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February 08, 1988 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-02-08

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Students relax mind and body

through ancient
By D. Stephen Voss
Daily Reveille
Louisiana State U.
When most people think about mar-
tial arts, they picture Chuck Norris or
Bruce Lee-bulging, sweaty muscles, a
black belt, and quick karate chops.
Very few imagine a well-lit room full
of stress-filled college students and
senior citizens seeking a "centered,
harmonious existence," but according to
instructor Bill Harrell Jr., that's what
tai chi chuan is all about.
"People envision these Eastern arts
as shrouded by incense, accompanied by
the sound of deafening gongs, but
should instead look at them as highly
evolved arts that require serious study
and diligent practice," Harrell said.
"There are so many people out there

Chinese art
who can benefit from tai chi, but many
Christian thinkers shy away from it be-
cause they think it's laced with Eastern
religion," he said. "It's really a way to
clean out our thoughts and cultivate our
spiritual light."
Sometimes called "Chinese shadow
boxing," tai chi is the martial artist's
version of aerobic exercise.
Manytai chi students seek relief from
arthritis, weight problems or "internal
problems," Harrell said.
"This martial art is really built on
fundamental principles that Mom al-
ways told us about: a suitable exercise
program, proper rest and relaxation,
and eating the right kinds of foods,"
Harrell said. "It's as simple as that."
"What terrifies me is when I see teen-
age college students so stiff they can't
touch their toes, because they are so

overweight," Harrell said.
Harrell said "literally hundreds of
millions of people" in China use tai chi
as an exercise method.
"I wish I had gotten involved in it 30
years ago. I think I am more limber now
than when I was at college age," said
James Hintze, a Louisiana State U.
associate professor and student of tai
"I got involved because tai chi is a
"There are so many people
out there who can benefit
from tai chi... It's a way to
clean out our thoughts and
cultivate our spiritual
physical and mental discipline, and it's
good for you," Hintze said. "You don't
have to be 18 and muscle-bound."
Harrell said the main purpose of tai
chi is to relieve muscle tension, making
it perfect for college students.
"We (people today) are trained to keep

tension in our muscles. We don't even
realize it," Harrell said.
"Tai chi involves a very mystical con-
cept called chi-loosely translated as
intrinsic energy, which moves through
the body in channels called meridians{
and actually removes blockages along
the path," Harrell said.
He said the Chinese believe people
become unhealthy when these meri-
dians are blocked by muscle tension.
"The crux is to be yielding, not to re-
sist force with force, but with a relaxed
body," Harrell said.
Harrell said tai chi can cure many
problems caused by modern society
"People in larger cities have lost
touch with themselves and with each
other. It's part of a dehumanization pro-
cess caused when people live in crowds
in our culture," Harrell said.
"We seem to thrive on violence," he
said. "We expect a kind of reward when
lawlessness goes unpunished."
Harrell said different tai chi groups
usually develop a common "spirit" dur-
ing the sessions, which reverses the de-
humanization process.

Spelunkers find
natural wonders
By Todd Mounce
Daily Egyptian
Southern Illinois U., Carbondale
It's dark, it's cool, it's damp, and you
can't see your hand in front of your face.
You're in another world, you're in a
Spelunking, or cave exploring, isn't a
sport for everyone. Because cavers often
experience restricted movement, pati-
ence is a must.
"You have to want to do it; and if you
don't want to, you're going to be miser-
able," said Phillip Moss, president of the
Little Egyptian Grotto.
The Grotto is a student organization
dedicated to cave conservation and ex-
The club members incorporate ex-
ploration, surveying and photography
into their weekend caving expeditions.
"There are places underground where
you can go and be the first person
there," Moss said. Moss, whose explora-
tions include Mexico, has been caving
for about 15 years.
"Curiosity and the unknown moti-
vated me to begin caving," said treasur-
er Dan Williams.
Club members are concerned about
damage being done within caves by peo-
ple who aren't aware of the effect their
actions might have on the cave's ecolo-
gical system. Refuse is left, names writ-
ten on the walls and cave inhabitants
disturbed, Moss said.
Moss expressed the necessity of leav-
ing a cave the way it is found. Bats, an
endangered species in Illinois, will not
frequent caves where there is human
traffic. Even the compacting of sedi-
ments from walking interferes with
animal life.
Members light their path with small
celatin-powered lanterns, which are
attached to their helmets, and hand-
held flashlights. They dress in clothes
that repel water and aren't easily rip-
ped. Occasionally members wear wet-
Moss said there is a large concentra-
tion of caves in Missouri, Kentucky and
Tennessee. The club travels to Missouri
and to several other states.

New technique takes the needle out of
dentistry... The USC School of Dentistry
is doing research on anew, painless way of
numbing the mouth tor dental work. Its elec-
tronic dental anesthesia - a needle-free,
drug-free method of blocking pain by stimu-
lating nerves with electronic impulses-and
its as etfective as local anesthesia for
routine dental procedures. Patients can in-
crease the amount of anesthesia by turning
a dial on the controller any time they feel
discomfort. "The best candidate (for this
technique) is the needle-phobic," said Stan-
ley Malamed, adentist and associate profes-

sor of anesthesia. "Some people are allergic
to local anesthesia, so now they have a
reasonable alternative." EDaily Trojan, U.
of Southern California
Acne medicine harmful to unborn.. .
Accutane, the most successful chemical
treatment for severe acne, can cause "se-
rious birth defects in 60 to 70 percent of
babies born to mothers on (the drug)," said
Dr. Peter Lynch, head of the U. of Minnesota
dermatology clinic. Treatment will not cause
abnormalities in a child fathered by an Accu-
tane user as the damage occurs during fetal
development. The most common known
side effect of Accutane use is chapped lips
and skin. Other side effects include blurred

vision and severe stomach pain. Long-term
effects are not known. Kate Peterson
-Minnesota Daily, U. of Minnesota
" " t
Breakfast still most important meal of
day. . . Studies indicate that those who eat
breakfast live longer. Those who neglect to
"break the fast" may find their energy levels
lagging behind their cereal-eating friends.
Weight loss is also more likely to occur when
eating breakfast than when not. Lastly.
breakfast skippers can be deficient in cal-
cium, riboflavin and vitamin C, which may
not be consumed in adequate amounts dur-
ing the day. Toni L. Wood -The Pointer,
U. of Wisconsin, Stevens Point



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