Vol. 9

No. 1


There is an old Taoist saying which advises: ³When you are sick, do not seek a cure. Find your center and you will be healed.

² What is this ³center² of which the ancients spoke and what is its importance to natural healing?

Hara means ³belly² in Japanese and the Chinese called it Dan Tien. This ³One Point,² as it is sometimes called, is one and one-half inches below the navel and the same distance backwards towards the spine. While this area may be recognized as a nerve plexus or an acupuncture energy area, it also happens to be the location of the optimal center of gravity for the body. It is the sacrum or the sacroiliac joint.

The Center of Gravity
In ³The Three Pillars of Zen² by Philip Kapleau, the author states: ³When the body¹s center of gravity is established in the region below the navel, the entire body functions with greater stability. The center of gravity in the average person is [shifted to] the shoulders. Moreover, instead of sitting and walking with an erect back, most people slump, placing an inordinate strain on all parts of the body.²

Hara encompasses physical, emotional, and spiritual qualities. To stand firmly on both legs with a straight spine and relaxed extremities is to have a balanced Hara or Dan Tien. A person is most balanced when the Hara center coincides with the physical center of gravity just below the navel. If a person¹s center has shifted above the navel, he or she will be top heavy and easily thrown off balance. Westerners frequently stand bent forward on one leg, moving the equilibrium from the sacrum and shifting it to the neck and shoulders, creating undue tension in that region.

When we are centered in the belly we have better body-mind awareness, better co-ordination and better body movements because the movements originate from the pelvic center of gravity. Being physically at ease then allows the mind to relax. Hatha Yoga and the Martial Arts, whether they are Aikido, Judo or Kung Fu, all endeavor to increase awareness of the belly center. Karlfried Graf Durckheim, author of ³Hara, the Vital Center in Man,² extolled the virtues of living with a balanced Hara:

³Health and recovery from illness are re-connected with having a good hara; just as cramp and tension obstruct recovery so does the lack of inner form. When you have mastered the application of hara you are always less easily tired.²

For those in the West who have not been raised with Eastern concepts such as martial arts, we have options from our own heritage. In the 1930's Helen Sanders, D.C ., and John Hurley, D.C., expanded the original concepts of D.D. Palmer, founder of chiropractic, in their writings and teaching to include the importance of sacral balance in health and disease. They found the displacement of the sacrum affected all the joints and muscles including internal structures of the body. Helen Sanders, D.C., stated: ³Alignment with the force of gravity means shapeliness, strength, health, harmony and correct posture without effort or fatiguing tension.²

The Law of Gravity is a natural law that not only affects the earth but human beings day and night. A balanced sacrum or hara can withstand this force pulling everything towards the earth, but trauma or stress distorts and displaces this physical-energy center. Distortion sets in when the sacrum moves from its centered position with resulting muscle weakness, prolapsed organs, and postural abnormalities.

We have at our disposal in the manipulative arts numerous methods to access and restore sacral balance that are non-invasive. It is not necessary to become a yogi or martial arts specialist to regain and maintain this inner balance. Through gentle muscle balancing techniques the sacrum can be realigned to its natural position along with home-care methods to maintain harmony. Then, as Durckheim predicted, we can have ³an inner calm from which springs the greatest possible presence of mind and the greatest possible capacity for endurance.²

For more information about the ways that Body-Mind issues can affect health, see the following articles in this website:
"A Philosophy of Health" and "The Wellness Program"

For for information about the Pythagorean Center, see the Directory of Information, send us an email at: mailto:pythagorean110@gmail.com, or call the office at (415) 459-4646.




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Jeffrey I. Friedman, D.C.
711 D Street, Suite 104, San Rafael, California 94901-3703
(415) 459-4646

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(707) 773-0288

DISCLAIMER: This newsletter is intended to provide health information to improve quality of life and assist users to better understand their health and arrange more easily for healthcare services. It is not an attempt to replace the need to seek healthcare services nor to provide specific healthcare advice. Information provided should not be used to diagnose or dispute a qualified healthcare professional's judgement. If you have any questions, please give our office a call or check with your local healthcare professional.

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