Makko Ho Exercises
The Makko Ho (Makko-Ho) are the meridian stretching exercises that were developed by Mr. Nagai as an aid to promote health and well-being. The stretches are designed to stimulate the flow of energy (Qi) in the meridians as well as stretching and strengthening the muscles.
When he was 42 years old, Mr. Nagai suffered a stroke that paralyzed half his body. Doctors said that he would never recover his full body movement but he was determined to find a way back to full health and prove the doctors wrong. It took him three years to gain his full health during which he developed the Makko-Ho exercises.
A basic rule of thumb is that you should, over time, increase the stretch until you get close to your own limitations, using the breath while remaining calm and relaxed. It is more important that you are aware of the tensions in the body that occur during the execution of the exercises than trying to undertake overly strong stretches.
The exercises enhance the Qi flow in all twelve meridians with each stretch working on a Primary Meridian pair according to the Five Elements (Qualities) of Chinese Medicine.
- Primary Fire – Heart and Small Intestine meridians
- Secondary Fire – Heart Governor and Triple Warmer meridians
- Earth – Stomach and Spleen meridians
- Metal – Lung and Large Intestine meridians
- Water – Bladder and Kidney meridians
- Wood –Gall Bladder and Liver meridians
The most important thing is to learn to breathe properly, to allow your body to benefit from the positive energy (Qi) that they take in with each inhalation and let their body benefit from the elimination of negative energy when they exhale.
There is a great description of the Makko-Ho at Pro-Holistic