Located on the first floor of the gymnasium at Chinese Culture University is the Athletics Ability Restoration Room. Many students and teachers at the university who have various aches and pains make a point of coming to this room. In fact, the room is managed by teachers and students who are experts in Chinese martial arts. In the evenings from Monday through Friday, martial arts experts provide Chinese style massage free of charge, helping to bring back the ancient Chinese techniques in massage. Everyone who has tried out the service has given it two thumbs up.
There is a specific reason for the name of the Athletics Ability Restoration Room. Chinese Culture Universitys Department of Chinese Martial Arts instructor, Lee Chih-ming, said that since the massage that instructors and students provide could involve various medical or therapeutic issues, it was decided from the start to avoid using the words massage or tui na in the name of the facility. Rather, it was decided to call the room the Athletics Ability Restoration Room, Lee said, as the place is actually used for instruction. He added that the room is actually to provide an outlet for students in the department to put their hands in practice to test out their restorative abilities and to provide service to the teachers and students at the university who require it.
Lee Chih-ming said that many people do not understand how to properly use their bodies and limbs. For instance, he said, he provided restorative therapy once to a student in the Department of Tourism who was doing an internship at a hotel. The student often had to carry heavy tea pots and as a result tried to support the weight by tightening his shoulders and constricting his neck. One thing led to the next and the student ended up causing his shoulder to re-position itself. The student also developed problems in his waist. As the saying goes, "The proper person to remove the bell should be the one who originally tied it on." Even after restorative therapy, the student himself had to spend three to six months re-adjusting his posture.
The Athletics Ability Restoration Room has been in existence for the past two years. One student in the Department of Martial Arts who has provided service to countless numbers of teachers and students is university senior Chen Kuan-tai. Chen said most of the people he treats come in complaining of shoulder joint dysfunction or aching muscles. He said that at no time is any invasive or illegal medical therapy carried out.
Chen Kuan-tai said that, based on his experience and observations, one cannot ignore the results of incorrect use of ones body. For example, he said, a long term habit of shrugging ones shoulders will ultimately lead to tightness in the chest. In addition, walking hunched over rather than straight up will cause the shape of ones ribs to change. He said that when people walk, they should do so with their head help up and their chest forward. He said that walking in a manner in which you lean overly forward or backward is incorrect. A nature vertical stance is what will be most comfortable to your body, he said.
Chen also said that many people are accustomed to crossing their legs and putting one leg over the knee of the other leg. If they do not change this habit, however, or at least make sure that they regularly switch legs, they could ultimately cause their hips to change position. Chen also pointed out that women who wear high heeled shoes should try to slightly hold in their stomachs as they walk. Otherwise, he said, vertebrate could be injured. Chen said that the biggest problem among men is frozen shoulders. He said that dropping ones elbows and wrists and letting ones shoulders rest naturally is the best way to prevent getting a frozen shoulder.
"Once someone discovers his or her interest, even if they have yet to work in that field, they are already halfway to becoming successful," said assistant instructor Tang Jen-ping. Tang said that this is what he tells students all the time, and it is what Chen Kuan-tai thinks about constantly. In discussing about what he wants to do after he graduates, Chen said he plans on looking for work in which he can provide restorative therapy using traditional Chinese martial arts practices.
Lo Tan-chi, a freshman in the universitys Department of Dance, is a frequent patron at the Athletics Ability Restoration Room. Lo said that she frequently injures her waist. However, the instructor at the room provides her with instruction and also offers her tui na massage on a regular basis. Lo said she also frequently injures her ankles and knees. In addition to receiving therapy, the teachers and students in the Department of Martial Arts instruct her on ways to prevent hurting parts of her legs. Their main idea is that preventive measures are the best way to avoid injury.