The knee itself is a complex joint that is not replicated throughout the body. It uniquely folds itself with a capstone which locks the bones into place. This patella can at times come off its alignment. The clearance of the bones as the knee folds is critical and can become shortened by various knee injuries. These exercises focus on increasing the clearance for the folding of the knee and opening up the knee with a natural springing motion.
First, warm up the knee by sitting and placing the palms on each knee. Breathe deeply inhaling into the belly. Continue inhaling while bring the breath up the spine and around the crown of the head. Exhaling, bring the energy into the shoulders, down the arms and into the hands through the knees. Feel the warmth penetrate the knees and flow off the bottom of the feet.
Second, begin to circle the knees with the entire surface of the palm from the outside to the inside. Circle the knee 36 times with the knees slightly bent to completely warm up the knees.
Use a seated position against a solid wall like a headboard on a bed or a wall with the feet outstretched.
Fold one knee with the inside of the wrist / forearm placed high on the inside of the fold. Make it a gentle squeeze to create space between the bones.
Now open the leg and gently pull it in the outstretched position -- it should be a gentle tug to help the body reset its limits.
Repeat with the other leg.
This exercise mimics the stomp of a horse. Horses spend long hours on their feet and have a natural way of relieving stress and opening up their knees. Do this to both knees.
Use a comfortable, standing position. Prefer an area that allows the body to balance with one hand to support putting all the weight on one leg -- a door knob, wall, or head of the bed stand. Stomp the foot without any weight on it.
Pick up that foot and let it fall naturally to the ground in a light, bouncing fashion. The heel should slide inward as the rest of the foot grips. The knee will have this lifting motion and may even pop as it opens up. Do this 3 to 5 times on each side.
The knee may need strengthening as well. And the alignment of the overall muscles in the knee often is influenced by the overall body alignment. Still, learning to relax and center the knee can greatly encourage recovery from trauma. These exercises are based upon tradition longevity exercises as taught in traditional Chinese martial arts.
Begin strengthening the knee with the knees comfortably suspended from a high chair -- start completely relaxed. Circle the toes in one direction while slowly raising the heel upward and then downward. Repeat while cicrling the toes in the opposite direction. This works the smaller muscles and ligaments of the knee.
Once that feels like the knees can manage the toe circles, stand on one foot and take the weight off the other foot. Now make circles on the ground with the toe pointed down in one direction. Repeat in the other direction. This works the larger muscles of the knee.
Once the knees can handle drawing circles begin to draw the crcle slightly forward and upward. The ideal is to be able to draw circles on a wall but start ever so slightly with a one or two inch raise. Take it slowly. Remember to circle in both directions.
© 2009 David Scott -- All rights Reserved