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New Form of Keep-Fit Offers Numerous Health Benefits (November 30, 2005)

Kotsuban Kyoshitsu, an instruction book on pelvic exercise
Exercise that focuses on the movement of the pelvis has been quietly taking hold in Japan. The pelvis is the human body's largest joint and plays a fundamental role in keeping the body working smoothly. Correcting and relieving tension in the muscles of the pelvic area can result in enhanced posture, a more shapely figure, and improved general well-being. Pelvic exercise has also been recognized as aiding in dieting, making it particularly popular among women. An instruction book on pelvic exercise has sold more than 200,000 copies, providing evidence that interest in this form of workout is riding high.

Numerous Benefits
Several different forms of pelvic exercise have been devised, but they all involve working and stimulating the muscles connected to the pelvis and smoothing out irregularities. One exercise, for example, involves lying on your back with your legs stretched apart and raising your legs about 30 cm off the ground while breathing in deeply. Such exercises correct distorted posture and bring the body back into balance, as well as enhancing the overall physical condition of the person's body by facilitating blood circulation and improving the functioning of the internal organs.

Exercise classes offered at cultural centers are proving popular with people keen to enjoy these benefits, and most of the participants are women. Shibasaki Yoshio, head of the Shibasaki Proportion Clinic in Tokyo, recommends pelvic exercise for dieting; indeed, he considers correcting pelvic distortions an essential element in any weight-loss regimen. "One cannot expect dieting to produce any results without correcting distortions in the body," he said. Some women who have engaged in this form of exercise say that their lives have changed as a result of eliminating back and abdominal pain, enriching their facial expressions, and gaining greater femininity.

An example of a pelvic exercise

Booming Business
Books on pelvic exercise have also been selling well. Among the most popular of these is Kotsuban Kyoshitsu (Pelvic Classroom) (published by Gentosha Inc.) by charismatic instructor Terakado Takumi, which has sold over 200,000 copies on its way to becoming a best-seller. In this book, Terakado, who runs the Z-MON Clinic in Tokyo, uses illustrations to explain how to exercise and stimulate the pelvic muscles by smoothly opening and closing the pelvis.

Numata Mitsunori, author of KotsubanTaiso de Kahanshin ga Yaseru (A Slender Lower Body through Pelvic Exercise) (published by Shufunotomo Co.) and director of the Yomei Acupuncture Clinic, recommends exercises that correct distortions in the pelvis through a special type of seated walking, in which the legs are extended forward while seated on the floor and the pelvic muscles are used to advance the body incrementally forward and backward.

In addition, devices used for pelvic exercise, including a belt that is wrapped around the waist to promote dieting and a cushion used to promote pelvic adjustment have been turned into hot-selling mail-order products that are being marketed through the Internet and other media.

As Japanese people become more and more health-conscious, the pelvic exercise industry is poised to expand further.

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Copyright (c) 2005 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

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