Noah Karrasch is a certified Rolfer who has developed his own style of bodywork called
CORE bodyword. CORE stands for “Coax Order, Restore Ease”.
Our bodies hold onto old traumas, fears and stresses in the connective tissue. This
kind of bodyword encourages the connective tissue to release all these old traumas.
This work has led Noah to an understanding of the body which he shares with us in
this book. He sees the body as a series of hinges (joints) which need to be kept
“oiled” and stretched to maintain health.
The chapters go through all these hinges in the body from the “big toe hinge” through
the ankle hinge, the knee hinge, the hip hinge, the sacred hinge (sacrum), the stomach
hinge (dealing with the psoas and spinal hinges of the lower back), the heart hinge
(dealing with the upper back vertebrae), the arm hinge (first thoracic vertebra)
and all the way up to the head hinge (neck vertebrae).
This book gives an interesting understanding of the structure of the human body for
a qigong practitioner. He takes the holistic view that we need to work with all our
hinges, not just the ones that are giving us a problem.
There are quite a few parallels with qigong in this work:
The structure of the human body starts with the feet and legs, our foundation. We
need to be grounded and to connect with the earth.
Body and emotions cannot be separated. In Chinese Medicine, qi governs all the physiological
functions but also is inseparable from the emotions.
Correct structure is vital in qigong and we can learn a lot from Noah’s precise analysis
of the structure of the human body.
Feet and knees should point in the same direction - essential for preventing injury
in qigong and taiji.
He desribes a new balance point of the foot, the big toe hinge whose location is
very close to the Bubbling Well acupoint (Kidney 1).
Releasing the hip hinges relates to the releasing the gwa.
The core muscles are vital in good posture and correct structure. One very important
example is the psoas muscle.
The importance of diaphragmatic breathing.
His chapter on the head hinge relates closely to the qigong concept of suspending
Noah provides a whole series of opening, stretching and strengthening exercises which
would be a welcome addition to any qigong or taiji program.
I think that bodyworkers such as Rolfers and cranio-sacral therapists have a lot
of insights to offer the qigong world.