Activities of Daily Living
Activities of daily living (ADLs) are routine activities people do every day without assistance. The United States healthcare system classifies six basic ADLs: eating, bathing, getting dressed, toileting, mobility, and continence. “The performance of these ADLs is important in determining what type of long-term care and health coverage, such as Medicare, Medicaid, or long-term care insurance, a person will need as they age.” (Investopedia)
Taoist practices, developed in an age without an industrial healthcare system, help individuals maintain the ability to continue these ‘activities of daily living’ on their own, perhaps with the modest help of family and community. One’s quality of life is enhanced by regular habits that enable life’s basic necessities. Below are the names of some basic Taoist exercises that correspond with each of the daily activities.
-eating: massaging the gums and strengthening the teeth are part of Taoist energetic self-massage routines
-bathing: the balance and mindful movements learned in Tai Chi help one get into and out of a shower and bath.
-getting dressed: joint and tendon chi kung exercises help one raise their arms, bend over to tie their shoes, and open the hips to put pants on
-toileting: in addition to moving the bowels and a functioning bladder, toileting involves standing and sitting. Tai Chi strengthens the legs. Intentional self-massage of the feet and legs promote circulation of blood and energy.
-mobility: Taoist Yoga, or Tao Yin, focuses on the health of the spine, the psoas muscles, tendons, joints, and improving the strength and range of mobility of all the above.
-continence: a healthy and functioning large intestine and bladder are some of the most prized treasures of old age. Taoist wisdom recommends drinking clean water in the morning, large intestine massage, and bladder chi kung that increases pressure and eliminates stale urine.
If these practices are new to you, you can search the term on YouTube or follow this account for a while. It’s hard to teach everything at once, but it’s even harder to learn everything at once. Pick an area, search for the practice, keep learning and practicing. Or check the book featured in the link in this account’s bio.
“Some spiritual practices want to renounce the physical body, but then we have to poop.”