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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:52 pm 
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First apologies for the lack of new posts and responses...simply stated crisis mode at work limits my posting time right now

that said, I've been contemplating stress and how to maximize beneficial reactions to it. I've found that some yoga..besides supporting good flexibility, as noted by GEM-sensei, is also helpful for dealing with stress. slow and focused kata is also quite helpful. do any of you find particular kata or activities helpful in combatting stress?

I need to research if any studies specific to martial arts and stress relief have been done...believe some done on exercise..but don't know specifics or the rigor of the studies..hmmmm

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:10 am 
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A VERY quick google search shows a possibly applicable paper..too much for me to review from my phone at the moment..but here's the google entry

[PDF] A Comparative Study of the Effects of Martial Arts Training on Mood

The limited research on the effects of the martial arts on personal growth and development, especially in the areas of stress and aggression reduction, on behavior and mood alteration,
www.education.uconn.edu/departme.....

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:40 am 
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a related thought..how does the mindset/skills learned in your MA help you with small daily stressors? from calming the fight/flight reflex when approaching your boss for a raise/problem to dealing with pregnancy related GI issues, I've found some mental and physical aids to help in the little things of daily life. You?

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Stress reliever...I just drink heavily.

Just kidding.

Actually, when I am crazy stressed, I love to either lift weight hard or do any karate I can. Hitting the heavy bag is good.

Vicki

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:58 am 
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Modern life ?.

I can just about recall a much less huried life ,but I say this in a general type of way .

But still people got stressed .

Ten minutes of meditation is not going to have that much effect upon modern lifestyles ,yes there may be a good feeling a sense of relaxation too , but this can quickly be dispersed when we rub shoulders with people .

People are big creators of stress and spread it ,what I mean is a nice relaxed atmosphere is often spoiled .
We all have stress, so far I have yet to meet anyone who as no stress .

Even training oneself to remain awake ,creates its own levels of stress ,but this is one way forewards ,a differance is ;this is not the mindless variety that grips us in life .

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:11 am 
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A few personal studies .

Really its all about knowing yourself ,and I consider Sanchin a valuable device for knowing our reactions to things ,plus knowing our self .

But a basic element of being /awake ,or increased wakefulness is the lack of a self ,Training systems like Sanchin will challenge this self via conflict ,okay I feel great after doing Sanchin at the end of say a stress full type of day ,now thats ok in one sense ,but its not a ticket to "knowing one self" this type of training/feeling can go onto a endless life time loop .
Now if the self does not change nothing else really changes , simply we will still handle things within the cycle that our self as created .

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:07 am 
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Shana,

The only decent study I found (in an admittedly brief search) that seemed relevant was The Effects of Tai Chi Chuan Relaxation and Exercise on Stress Responses and Well-Being: An Overview of Research from The International Journal of Stress Management in 2000. A reasonable survey of research to that point on Tai Chi.

I've read a lot of papers about benefits of martial arts training over the years; unfortunately most seem to be lacking in one respect or another. Many of them make claims advocating particular types of training that seem unsupported by the data, and the studies cited are often poorly designed.

Try searches on Google Scholar http://scholar.google.com/ if you have access to a decent electronic library to pull the articles cited. If you find anything useful, please share!

Greg


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:22 pm 
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Max,
I do not believe that karate should be practices solely as a stress reliever...as that waters down the study and eliminates the "martial" part of the art and training. I do believe that stress reduction is a side effect of training, and I'm curious is the martial aspect is part of why it can be such a relief. For women, especially, we don't always have an ideal outlet for our more aggressive tendencies. I see this changing with some of the sports avenues, but martial arts is a great way to challenge our self concept as well as seek alternative viewpoints to apply to our lives. I find the self esteem and awareness aspects a great side effect from my training.

As for the 5-10 min meditations having little use, I would disagree. Sometimes, a simple pause in the escalation of tensions can avert explosions and over-reactions. Also, I would imagine (though I am no doctor) that temporary reductions in elevated heart rates and blood pressure have benefits as well.

I think, as a culture, we are too much of an all or nothing mindset. Lessons learned are beneficial, even when one doesn't "get" the full picture. Steps forward are still steps forward, and should not be discounted simply because you didn't arrive at the finish line at a set time.

And I am waxing philsophic..and a bit pedantic..sorry about that!

Basically, I'm intrigued by the benefits that a regular practice can offer....not just in martial terms.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:34 pm 
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Greg,
I too find most of the studies I've come across to be lacking, but there are so many styles of martial arts, so many styles of training within each style (from modern sports oriented to more traditional, from hard/defense goals to feel good self esteem goals to babysitting with uniforms), and so many age groups (kids to senior adults) that a valid study across all styles and types would be a huge study in numbers and duration.

What I find similar in most studies I've read so far is the same validation you find for physcial activity in general. Regular physical exercise shows a reduction in stress, an increase in feelings of well-being, and general improvements in health....mileage and results may vary :lol: .

While I would love to find a well controlled study that can support causality as well as correlate one activity to specific results......I'm equally as interested in the anecdotal response of our forum members. Not scientific...but interesting and worth reviewing!

Personally, my recent work situation has severely limited my training time of late (when it comes to a choice between sleeping or training...being impossible to live with or not....), and I've noticed a significant negative impact on my mood and behaviour. I can't say lack of training is the cause for this change (as time and work issue certainly play thier part), but I do know that when I have some time or forego some sleep to train a bit...there is a HUGE positive impact on my stress and mood. It's an interesting effect, and I was curious how others might experience the same.

If I find anything significant, I will certainly post here!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:36 pm 
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Vicki...
wine and heavy bag are both good...just not at the same time (leads to strains and injuries...ack!)

Seriously, I LOVE the feel good after lifting weights, hitting the bag, or simply doing kata and being "in the moment".

I think the intense focus and phyiscal activity simply let the rest fall away..if only for a short time, and that is often a good thing!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:18 pm 
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Shana .

I too never thought Karate was for stress relief ,possible side effects as you say ,so when I relate to this side effect that's what I mean .

As you say 10 mins is fine and worth while for you ,for me personally I find it of little benefit ,this does not for one moment there is no benefit at all .

Its similar to three sanchins per day ,I never ever do that type of Sanchin practice ,I much tend to benefit more from longer much longer bouts of practice.

Patience for me ,coming from the way I practice sanchin as greatly altered my inner self ,which acts upon most things I do ,and I am officially making a serious claim on this .



:D :D

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