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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

ChiRunning - Combining modern physics and inner focus for pain free running

Nov 08, 2008 04:07PM
By Ana Maria King

Jeanne Higgins grew up running.  She started at age seven when her brother bet her a dollar that she couldn’t run a mile without stopping. Twenty-five years later, Higgins’ ankles and hips began to rebel at the stress of running. For eight years she could not run without fighting the onset of one injury or another. The pain took away the joy and freedom she felt from running when she was young.

“I hit my 30’s and it got harder to run without being sidelined with injuries,” Higgins lamented.

Then Higgins learned about ChiRunning, a technique that combines the inner focus and flow of T'ai Chi with the power and energy of running. The ChiRunning technique creates a running form and philosophy that takes the pounding, pain and potential damage out of the sport of running.

Like Higgins, sixty-five percent of runners in the U.S. will have to stop running at least once during the year due to injury. The ChiRunning form turns running into a safe and effective lifelong program for health, fitness, and well-being.

ChiRunning is easily learned and teaches people a bio-mechanically correct running form in line with the laws of physics and the ancient principles of movement. Practitioners learn to increase efficiency with a mid-foot strike and increase speed while reducing effort.

The technique is based on the same principles as Yoga, Pilates and T'ai Chi: working with core muscles, integrating mind and body and focusing on overall and long term performance and well-being. It is a meditative practice that increases mental focus and clarity, lifts the spirit and opens the flow of chi. ChiRunning can also be adapted to walking, using the same posture principles and mindfulness to make walking more efficient and enjoyable. 

The ChiRunning system is beneficial to all: an injured runner, a beginner runner, a marathon runner, a triathlete or someone who runs to stay fit. All can reduce injury and achieve personal goals. The program eliminates or reduces shin splints, hamstring injury, IT band syndrome, plantar faciitus, knee injuries and hip problems.

For those who want to run more efficiently or for those who seek to blend a spiritual component into their fitness routine, this workout offers an attainable solution for all.

After several months of practicing ChiRunning, Higgins decided to bring the practice to others in Charlotte by becoming a certified instructor.  She finds that working with clients one-on-one best helps them to understand the movements and learn the practice. 

“I have worked with people who have a lot of issues,” said Higgins.  “It’s satisfying to see their whole experience of running changing.”

For more information, visit or contact Certified Instructor Jeanne Higgins at 704-819-1196 or [email protected].

Author Ana Maria King is a non profit communications specialist with an interest in healthy living.

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