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Thread: Training after heart valve replacement

  1. #1

    Training after heart valve replacement

    Hello all,
    Thanks in advanced for any and all input.

    I am a former student of Korean martial
    Arts of which I attended classes for 10 years
    Twice a week. In that time, I obviously witnessed
    My health improve and realized the importance of
    Learning from a qualified instructor with a lineage.
    When I was diagnosed with a bicuspid aortic valve
    After a vertigo episode with chest discomfort I exited
    My school.
    Everything stopped in my life. Yet, I have and had a good number of kung fu lessons, qi gong, mediation and tau chi forms that we all understand can and will improve overall
    Health.
    My feeling of leaving was a decision I do not regret. Why would a student put his instructor in a risky situation. There was nothing I felt could be done. I was going to slowly die as my valve narrowed until it was time for replacement. While waiting I was put on a chemical stint of beta blockers after a minor heart attack.

    4 years after surgery, I'm still of the opinion
    That training with an instructor is the only way
    To train but rejoining a school for me isn't a smart
    Decision. The chances of an instructor having experience
    With a heart valve replacement will most likely be nil.
    And so, I'm left with the question of which is about doing my own training without an instructor based on what I've learned? The danger is doing permanent damage. And so, I've been following the instruction from cardiac rehab only. 45 minutes a day of treadmill or bike but it is not kung fu. As of late, I'm finding swimming and water therapy very important. I also have access to a yoga studio which I can practice and meditate without interuption. And so, I'm beginning to ask...what short forms can I practice without having a bounding heart during recovery? What qi gong movements would help? How do I set my mind during practice? And there are many other experiences and thoughts to address. The bottom line is there are some minimal moderate levels of my kung fu training that apply and are very theraputic. Although, I'd like to learn from an instructor the liability of the situation can be very irresponsible on my part.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    SF Bay Area
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    2,111
    Yang Tai Chi short form is ideal to add to your rehab for the things you want to achieve.

  3. #3
    Whatever recommendations you get, obviously you should run it by your physical therapist or doctor first as you no doubt know.

    That said, these neigong exercises are probably ok.



    I've been told that the exercise at around 1:28 was used by a person in Beijing recovering from a heart attack. He transformed from pale and sickly back to good health from neigong, including that exact exercise.

    But ask your doctor.
    Last edited by rett2; 02-07-2017 at 08:08 AM.

  4. #4

    Nei Gong

    Yes. I do find Qi gong and morning preparatory movements are all well and good. However, certain main Tai chi forms and other internal practices
    do effect my heart hours and hours after practice. It is most noticeably when the beta blockers wear off or I am at rest. At this time
    the heart can surge or skip. This can happen with stationary biking and treadmill exercises as well. Another issue is not having energy pool up around
    the artificial heart valve. I try to lead my energy outward and away to my extremities and this is important. And so with finishing and cool down
    it is very important to meditate in a kneeling position as well as a light stretch. What has frightened me initially is doctors and physical therapist
    don't necessarily understand tai chi and kung fu in relation to my condition. For instance, I tried my main tai chi form and stopped practicing not as
    an excuse not to practice but I did not know what is was doing. I found it over road the beta blockers completely and at rest my heart would bound
    and increase. With that lesson learned, I decided to not practice without understanding how to lead energy away from the heart channel and that would
    take an instructor whom is willing to past that knowledge. I've found certain references to being careful about qi gong massage around the heart and that
    energy should be lead away from it because this can cause damage. And so, I've had experiences that are therapeutic with Qi gong practiced a specific way
    and others where it is unclear. I feel I'm in undiscovered territory.

    Thanks for the video.
    I will review. I am continuing with movements that I know will improve a certain quality of life with a level of mindfulness applied to having
    a positive experience. This past week was good. Baby steps.

  5. #5

    Yang Style

    Quote Originally Posted by -N- View Post
    Yang Tai Chi short form is ideal to add to your rehab for the things you want to achieve.
    yes. I am familiar with Yang Style and do see the benefit. There are instructors that teach Tai Chi locally but I have not
    spoke with them as of yet. With 10 years of training, I am still and will always be a beginner. I do feel my morning meditation,
    followed by morning preparatory exercises (preparing the major joints), then qi gong, with a few short form ku fung
    drills, finishing with standing or kneeling Chi Kung is wonderful to start the day. You have a good point. I will look
    into speaking with the local instructors who may be teaching Yang Style. They may have had heart patients in the
    past who have benefited from being taught with a certain intention.

    Thanks for the comment.

  6. #6

    Qi gong.

    Quote Originally Posted by rett2 View Post

    I've been told that the exercise at around 1:28 was used by a person in Beijing recovering from a heart attack. He transformed from pale and sickly back to good health from neigong, including that exact exercise.

    But ask your doctor.
    Yes... I watched the video. Some of these Qi qong movements are very similar to movement that was passed to me. I'm praciticing a qi gong walking drill that is linear. This reminds
    me of Bagua movement with the twisting. I do see the health benefit as it is likely to detoxify the body using these positions. Mindful practice of this would result in a better quality of life.
    good suggestion.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.
    Posts
    44,282

    Training as rehab

    Take a look at Pink Warrior Fighting Tactics By Carol Collins in our JAN+FEB 2017 issue. Carol is a breast cancer survivor and she discusses her Tai Chi and Kung Fu practice during treatment and remission. It's not the same as a heart valve replacement but some of her experiences might resonate. Good luck and live strong, BubblingSpring.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  8. #8
    This talk ends up being a lot more interesting and valuable than you'd think at first from the oddly gung ho start (at least I think so), and it's pretty entertaining.



    It goes into quite a bit about breathing and heart rhythm and might be helpful. Short version is that smooth regular breathing is very good for you. Same lesson as can come from meditation but this is very physiologically anchored.

    I believe that as organisms we are systems naturally striving for equilibrium. So low-control qi-gong with a big letting-go component allows for the body to take over on its own. (As opposed to technical, high control, frilly dao-yin stuff) That and a big dose of spacious kindfulness directed into any problem areas.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Canada!
    Posts
    23,101
    whatever you do, just don't overdo it.
    don't let your desire and emotion compromise your physical health.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  10. #10
    "And so, I've been following the instruction from cardiac rehab only. 45 minutes a day of treadmill or bike but it is not kung fu"
    So that was cardiac rehab 4 years ago. I'm assuming that by now your MD has cleared you to resume normal activities. "Kung Fu", by definition would not constitute a "normal activity" for the average person.

    My question is: what are your physical restrictions if any? is it ok for your heart rate to exceed a certain amount of beats per minute? Are you to avoid impact to the chest and abdomal region? Can you engage in hard physical compression with another student, or by forming a specific posture such as in yoga?

    Most all of us middle age and up, older warriors have one or more types of physical restrictions due to repeated orthopedic surgeries [like myself] and/or other aliments pre existing or newly emerged. Pain in the joints rein supreme. Just ask anyone in that age group, "What is the pain of the day?" And you'll get a litany of complaints. Ultimately as time passes we learn how to work around these limitations, get a good workout and move forward in the pursuit of our martial skills and life in general. Don't let an off day where the "Chi is low", send you into a depression.

    Furthermore, the onus for health and well being rests on YOU and your choices more than it does on your instructor. You know [or should anyway] your body better than anyone. Tell your instructor exactly what your limitations are and if there is something you don't feel comfortable with DON'T DO IT. Simple as that.

    Pick a style that is age, health and wellness appropriate. Ie: not MMA, Tai Boxing etc. A martial art should build up and restore- not tear down. Even BJJ practiced conservatively keeps Sports Medicine personal in business. You're on point with Tai Chi and swimming. It doesn't get any better than that. I see 90 year old's in the pool who can barely walk, swim through the water with ease.

    "Fortify the strengths and strengthen the weaknesses while you build up a reserve", thats my personal philosophy. Move forward buddy. Enjoy and appreciate the present moment....because thats all we really have!
    Buy the best and cry once!

  11. #11
    there is no reason for you to practice any form of martial arts. do yoga.

    if you can do cardio bike but somehow kicking the air in taekwondo stresses your heart you dont understand your body and it is not safe.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

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