Eastern and Western Perspective: Warm Ups

warm upsSo what are warm up? Generally now warm ups are seen as stretching and some jogging exercises before a game or an activity happens. By now this is pretty much a pretty accepted norm wherever you are in the world. Are you aware that before globalization and having the world pretty much have the same understanding of things the east and the west have different views on what warm ups are. Just to be sure we are of the same page of the thinking cycle. Why do we do warms ups? Generally the warm up is done as a preparation before an activity happens. As such why does the thinking differ?

First of all we start with what is generally the readily accepted norm nowadays. The norm is that stretching does wonder for your body such as decreasing injuries by increasing the flexibility of the body. Generally there are three widely accepted types of stretching and they are the passive, active and ballistic stretching. Just for brief definition as to what these are the passive stretching are stretching that are done by another person or a stable object so as to give a stretch to the structures. The active stretching are done by yourself using your own initiative using your own bodies muscle function. The ballistic stretching are the stretching that are done with ballistic movements. As to how they work warm ups are generally regarded as an activity to increase flexibility by heating the tissues us. As to how effective they are recently according to the Evidence based practice they generally only consider the active stretching as the stretching type that somewhat works since it is initiated by the person doing the stretch.

For the Eastern belief in stretching it is usually seen as a type of mind body exercise ensuring that the body acts as one. This is the trend that I have been seeing in books with the literal translation and if you are going to attend the traditional schools that teach eastern martial arts they generally do not have the stretching exercises in which you make sure that every joint in your body is well stretched. Generally not all the eastern philosophy is called by this name but they are a bit similar to the Taoist principle that the more you know your body the more you can do with the less amount of injury to it. This is particularly similar to active stretching in a way that you should do it slowly in a controlled fashion the particular difference is that these stretching techniques pretty much varies according to what you are studying and where you are studying. And history wise these eastern warm up techniques go back to at least 4000 years ago and seeing that it still stays today says a lot it’s been tested by the best quality tester there is time. As for how long the western warm up have been present I really can’t see a definite account of when they started appearing but since western society is particularly based on Greek culture I guess they started sometime around the time the Olympic style events appeared.

As you can see the trends in warm ups now are changing we seem to be returning to the activities that are proven by time and are usually untouched by the Evidence Based Practice fad in health care which is pretty much limited by the capabilities of today’s technology. I am not saying that eastern philosophy in stretching is better than the one used by the west. You as a person should always make the proper decision based on what you know or experienced as a therapist or you should first ask about the stretching methods before doing them so as to make sure that they are safe. Also do not rely too much on the evidence based practice making it your bible of some sort but instead they should just help guide you to the proper answer to helping your clients.

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