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Tensho - the ultimate breathing exercise!

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

My recent tryst with a kidney stone prompted me to write this article. A kidney stone is a hardened deposit that is produced in the kidney due to various reasons. It then passes through the ureter (tube connecting the kidney with the bladder), and then out of the body with urine. For large stones, surgical intervention is necessary.

Sounds simple?

It isn't really! The size of the stone determines the degree of pain one experiences during its passage and also the treatment. In my case the recommended treatment was loads of water, medicine, pain management and patience!!

Instead of using excessive pain killers (oral and inject-able that in any way adversely affect the kidney), I began trying to figure out how better to manage and reduce the pain? What exercise would facilitate smoother passage of the stone? Adequate hydration and what else?

Well, I settled on three activities - walking, breathing and a karate kata. But which kata? One that combines circular upper body movement, deep abdominal breathing. Movements that are gentle, yet providing a varying degree of resistance. The idea was to simulate the internal organs that would facilitate good flow of fluids. The deep breathing would promote oxygenation of the blood, and better distribution of life force originating at the navel.

Tensho fitted the bill. The deep breathing, circular gentle movements and the slow pace at which the kata could be performed was ideal for my condition. After a couple of repetitions, indeed the pain was controlled. Due to it's nature, Tensho also helped in clearing the mind and bringing consciousness back to breathing. Sort of like a moving flowing meditation.

The action plan was a hit from day one!!

So effective was the practice of Tensho combined with walking and hydration that it prompted me to put pen to paper - or finger to keyboard! I also took a video of myself performing the kata to better illustrate the movements and the breathing pattern.

Indeed, Tensho has played its part in my quick recovery and its practice is recommended whether you are suffering from Kidney Stone or not.

Just one more useful aspect of practicing Karate.

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Lovely we need to get this message out to many out there looking for such solutions and physiotherapy .

As it's said " Breathing is the Lord of strength" keep it up Sensei Mayukh . OSU


Wonderful alternative to painkillers.


Quite amazing. Would never have thought of this utility of Karate.


Very well written and will be veryuseful to those who may, God forbid, develop kidney stones.

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