An Amazing Secret of Orchestra Conductors

A recent article disclosed evidence proving orchestra conductors lead healthier, longer lives than almost any other group and are known for their vitality and vibrancy. At first, it was thought that the constant exposure to music might be the key, but this was not found to be true of all musicians.

It was eventually discovered that it is the “wing-flapping” motions these conductors do while performing. Research showed that these upper body exercises provided a better cardiovascular work-out than lower body exercises like walking, jogging, and bicycling.

These upper body movements expand the muscles of the chest, opening the lungs and flooding oxygen to the entire body. The movements also cause your heart to pump vigorously to propel blood and nutrients to muscles and organs. Thus oxygen and blood are able to reach tight, tense, constricted areas lowering blood pressure and circulating more blood to the brain to sharpen thinking.

Many of us are tired, achy, and sore from so much of our time spent in constricted positions that reduce the flow of blood and oxygen  A pleasant solution  – if you don’t plan to start conducting an orchestra – is the wonderful “wing-flapping” motions of TAI CHI AND QI GONG.  Check our listings for a class that fits your schedule.

Facts regarding conductors are taken from an article by Dr. Susan Lark, M.D.

Cross Train Your Brain

A novel form of “cross-training” brain exercises called “neurobics is designed to generate new neural pathways by presenting the brain with unexpected sensory and emotional experiences according to Robin Manning, creator of Neurobics.

Because neurobics exercises the various areas of the brain using all the senses, the growth of neutrophins is possible to strengthen synapses and dendrites.  Some suggestions are:

1.  Try using the opposite hand you usually use to eat, brush your teeth, comb your hair, or shave.

2. When you wake up, try smelling something different from the usual coffee such as peppermint, vanilla or rosemary.

3. Close your eyes while you shower to stimulate your tactile sense.

4. Turn the photos on your desk or shelf upside down.

5. Try reading an article upside down ( it’s not as difficult as it sounds).

6.  If you frequently use an elevator, learn the Braille numbers for floors.

7. Create a “sensory canister” containing aromatic herbs and spices like sage, thyme, or cloves.  When you dial a phone number, take a whiff from the canister and see if you can remember the number.

8.  Break your routine by driving to work a different way, shopping in a different supermarket, or eating in a different ethnic restaurant.

Once you get the idea, you can easily come up with your own neurobics, and I would add, begin a new exercise such as TAI CHI that uses both body and mind in ways different from your usual daily activities.

For more information check out Rubin’s site: as well as our class schedule.

Want to Slow Down The Aging Process?

According to health expert Deepak Chopra, if you want to slow down or even reverse the bio markers of aging (blood pressure, bone density, body temperature regulation, basal metabolic rate, immune function, sugar tolerance, muscle mass, muscle strength, skin thickness [amount of wrinkles] and hormone levels) practice one or more of the following:

1.   Practice a mind body exercise such as TAI CHI or yoga. *

2.   Change your perception of time; don’t be in a hurry.

3.   Get restful sleep.

4.   Eat fresh, nutritious food.

5.   Take at least two multivitamins with minerals daily.

6.   Exercise regularly.

7.   Don’t put toxins in your life including: toxic foods, toxic emotions, toxic relationships, toxic environments.

8.   Have a flexible attitude to minor hassles.

9.   Look at so-called problems as opportunities.

10.  Nurture loving relationships.

11.  Always have an attitude of curiosity, learning and wonder, and spend time with children.

If you have the attitude that you get better as you grow older in every way – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially, then you will age in a much more graceful manner.

Adapted from “Health” by Deepak Chopra


Odd and Even. Yin and Yang. Substantial and Insubstantial.

There is polarity to everything. We are built with a left side and a right side, and body movement reflects this polarity. Anything we can do with one side, we can do with the other.

We frequently talk about which leg is substantial. Ask yourself, which arm is substantial?

Are the arm and leg on the same side both substantial, or are opposing body portions connected? How does this affect your movement? Each question brings another facet to the endless possibilities of polarity.

Tai Chi Practice Each Day May Keep Shingles At Bay

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Alicia Chang, a recent study showed “…people who performed the slow, graceful movements of tai chi had a better immune response against the virus that causes shingles than those who attended health classes to learn good diet habits and stress management. Both groups were vaccinated with a chickenpox vaccine. After six months, the tai chi group had nearly twice the level of immunity as the education group, and tai chi combined with the vaccine showed a 40% increase in immunity over the vaccine alone.”

“An estimated one million Americans fifty and older – who have had chickenpox – are aflicted yearly with the painful, itchy rash. The chickenpox virus can remain dormant in the body and resurface as shingles years later.”

“Increasingly popular in the West, tai chi is already known as a good low-impact exercise. Now research suggests it offers benefits beyond improving fitness and balance.”

A Beginning Guide to Sensing the Flow of Chi

  • Hold head level, chin slightly in. Relax shoulders (shrug upward, then drop).
  • Lift tongue to touch roof of mouth just behind upper front teeth.
  • Relax arms and hands – lightly shaking hands.
  • Relax waist, hip, legs, sinking energy to feel grounded – lower body heavy.
  • Focus senses toward back of head (think “listening behind”).
  • Raise arms a little, keeping them about shoulder width apart.
  • Breathe deeply from the dan tian (about 1 1/2 inches below navel)
  • As you inhale, separate and tighten fingers.
  • As you exhale, relax and let fingers drop.

Continue this for several minutes. Close your eyes…

Read moreA Beginning Guide to Sensing the Flow of Chi

A Few Life Lessons Learned From Tai Chi

A number of years ago there was a redundant little phrase going around related to anything beneficial that said, “It’ll do you good …and help you, too …besides all the benefits you get from it!” For me, Tai Chi falls into that category.

Many times since beginning the study of Tai Chi,…

Read moreA Few Life Lessons Learned From Tai Chi