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Boxing bag

littlebear0121littlebear0121 Member Posts: 1,072 Member Member Posts: 1,072 Member
I need a way to relieve emotional stress. I participated in and loved karate in my youth, and have found kickboxing to be a great stress relief. I'm thinking about getting a boxing bag for stress relief. Two questions:
1) Is it mentally unhealthy to be hitting something as a form of stress relief?
2) I have an autoimmune disease that occasionally causes inflammation in my wrists and hands. Would a boxing bag (the little ball type one that hangs from the ceiling) put too much stress on my wrists? I wouldn't use it when I'm flaring up in the wrists.

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  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member
    Whether something is mentally healthy IMO depends more on the mindset of the practitioner, than on the activity itself. My late husband was a martial arts teacher, and I practiced myself for several years as well as knowing a whole bunch of diverse martial artists of varying ages and outlooks. The people who brought a well-adjusted self to the activity stayed well-adjusted. The people who took it up for less well adjusted reasons (compensating for something they saw as deficient in themselves, wanting to dominate others, whatever) continued to be not very well adjusted. But some of the nicest, kindest people I've known have been martial artists. It doesn't inherently drive people toward violence or maladjustment.

    The one thing I'd observe is that well-adjusted martial artists are comfortable talking/joking about certain things that seem a little scary to non-martial artists. When you spar or do drills regularly that involve hitting (in a totally friendly, supportive, learning-oriented, reciprocal way), it becomes natural to speak casually or joke about it. That doesn't go over well with and can scare people who don't have those kind of hobbies.

    As far as whether a speed bag would be hard on your wrists, I'm sorry to say I have no opinion. (I assume that's what you're talking about.) I've used a heavy bag and striking pads/gloves a bit, but not a speed bag. I hope someone else may have an answer for you.
  • uppercutXpertuppercutXpert Member Posts: 23 Member Member Posts: 23 Member
    I need a way to relieve emotional stress. I participated in and loved karate in my youth, and have found kickboxing to be a great stress relief. I'm thinking about getting a boxing bag for stress relief. Two questions:
    1) Is it mentally unhealthy to be hitting something as a form of stress relief?
    2) I have an autoimmune disease that occasionally causes inflammation in my wrists and hands. Would a boxing bag (the little ball type one that hangs from the ceiling) put too much stress on my wrists? I wouldn't use it when I'm flaring up in the wrists.

    1. No it's not unhealthy. I would say it's very healthy to evacuate your stress and get in shape at the same time.
    2. I am not a doctor but I own a double-end bag (the one you are talking about). I suggest you buy a pair of boxing gloves and you will be very protected and you should not have any problem with your hands.

    Watch this video:

  • KickassAmazon76KickassAmazon76 Member Posts: 1,035 Member Member Posts: 1,035 Member
    I took up boxing during a very emotional and mentally damaging separation. When I hit the bag or other people I never hit it like it was my ex, and I never hit it to hurt anyone... Instead it was a transferrance of my pain into another object in a very tangible way. @annpt77 had some great points to keep in mind as well.

    For me boxing allowed me to drive myself so hard that it drowned out the pain I felt inside. As far as coping mechanisms, it was what I needed... If you feel you need it too, I don't see a problem with that.

    If you go the heavy bag route I strongly suggest investing in the hand wraps too - they'll spare your knuckles and wrists. If you're using a speed bag, I'm not really sure what that's like as we didn't use those in class.

    Also... It's never a bad thing to seek help to talk it through. I don't think I'd have made it to where I am now, if I hadn't had my therapist.

    Take care.
    edited November 20
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 439 Member Member Posts: 439 Member
    Exercise and boxing in particular got me through the pain when I lost my dogs. Like the previous poster I don't actually ever visualise the bag as anyone in particular. People love to joke in the gym that I must be pretending it is my husband because I hit it so hard and those comments get very old.

    Never used a speed bag so can't comment on the physical aspects but I imagine it would be way less impact than a heavy bag. Definitely get wraps as well as good gloves if you are going to use a heavy bag. And make sure your form is correct.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,085 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    Exercise and boxing in particular got me through the pain when I lost my dogs. Like the previous poster I don't actually ever visualise the bag as anyone in particular. People love to joke in the gym that I must be pretending it is my husband because I hit it so hard and those comments get very old.

    Never used a speed bag so can't comment on the physical aspects but I imagine it would be way less impact than a heavy bag. Definitely get wraps as well as good gloves if you are going to use a heavy bag. And make sure your form is correct.

    FWIW, I've literally hit and kicked my husband, and he me, in a controlled drill setting. It had no negative impact on our relationship, *because it was a healthy relationship to start with*.

    Neither of us would ever have struck the other in anger - both were horrified at the very thought. We avoided partner drills in group settings, but because of size/skill disparity and differences in learning/communication styles - we did better working with others, but the reason wasn't fear of fostering violence between us. IMO, and IME, psychologically healthy martial artists are *less* likely to use physical violence in personal life, because they understand it better, have practice in how to moderate responses to the needs of the situation, and know that its actual use (with intent of injury) is not a joke or game.

    Like I said, psychologically healthy people don't develop bad behavior simply because they hit things (or even people) for learning, fun, stress relief. The activities stay in their proper context, when the foundation is maturity and good sense.
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