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Move Like an Animal BookMany years ago I saw a squirrel fall out of a tree and like humpty dumpty put herself back together again.

This extraordinary act happened during the course of my training to become a Hanna Somatic Educator over ten years ago.

At the time of the fall, I was both surprised and mesmerized by all the movements the little fellow attended to before triumphantly walking back into the woods.

While I was learning about this animal act and how we could use it both manually for the hands-on bodywork as well as for the movement patterns we teach.

What I came to discover is to Move Like an Animal and give up the ways in which I was taught to stretch.

Simple conscious movement done with an ever growing awareness trumps all the stretching techniques I practiced, even those I practiced for hours at a time to “not” relieve my chronic pain years of fibromyalgia.

I had no idea the brain could reset tension levels and didn’t think much of it initially, even though my knee was recuperating from an accident on account of micro-movement.

Tension levels can appear to hold us in place.  Many of the compensations which hold us out of balance are held at the level of tension signals generated by the brain.

When we learn to turn the switch off, the tension levels lessen so we can reprogram our muscles for more effective and easier movement.  The upside is, stiffness and pain go away.

In the past decade, I’ve continued to put this to the test in soccer tournaments where we play some 3-5 games over the weekend or more during weekly competitions.

My peers fill up the physical therapy and massage tents with all the usual aches and complaints of tight hamstrings, groins, sore backs, calf cramps and more.  Just from playing a game so many people stiffen or can’t rest knowing they’ll get even stiffer in between games.

While I’ve had my shares of injuries from the collisions and the odd mayhem which happens, I continued to foster the ability to Move Like an Animal so that the general stiffness doesn’t happen.  The aches and pains of a collision lessen rapidly.

The ability to recover quickly and be able to play again continues even as I play in the national and state level senior competitions.  So I even took this decade long experiment further and did not ice or use up the tiger balm or even have a need for a hot tub.

While those measures can ease things a bit, I took the squirrel’s point of view and re-mend with simple conscious movement.

Since I’ve helped many, many people do the same, the book:

Move Like an Animal: Feel Comfortable, Be Flexible, Move Well for Life in 3 Simple Steps,

is now out of the cage and available to download from Amazon.  If you can read this, then you’ll be able to see it and read on your electronic device.

What are you waiting for?  Are you ready to Move Like an Animal and Be Comfortable for Life?

At Victoria’s University School of Sports and Exercise Science in Australia, James Zois sees the same epidemic I’ve been raving and kindly reminding you about – stop stretching!

“Too many athletes still use the counterproductive technique of static stretching during the warm-up”

Poor Guy StretchingSome people keep on stretching and are wedded to the concept.

Look at this poor guy stretching

By attempting to stretch his hip flexor, he’s actually tightening his hamstrings, the muscles behind the leg.

He might be even contracting his back muscles to be able to get that foot to the buttocks.

Maybe he can still sit on his heels, but the point is… a stretch such as this is still done at professional levels and worse, high schools and even middle schools kids are being led down this lazy and counter-productive route.

Lazy on account of research moving on. Athletes do not need this to warm-up.

Divorce Counselor for Stretching

As a divorce counselor for stretching… you can rest easy, there are other ways to lengthen muscles and warm them up.



For instance, healthy vertebrate animals aren’t stretching either. It’s not what you think.

They consciously contract and then release themselves.

By refocusing your attention on what muscles are designed to do, that is to contract, we can reset them and ready them at the same time.

Stretching is Over

Leave it to the folks who’ll continue to argue about it saying it makes them feel good rather than understanding it’s a waste of time and we can use our intelligence to reset things rather than pulling us apart.

Even for us 50 year olds, stretching is over.


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Nov
04

Fit Over 50

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Staying Fit Over 50 isn’t all about hard work. Are you ready to keep on rockin’ once you hit 50? Don McGrath and myself are going to share how you can be…

Fit Over 50

You can join our Fit Over 50 live phone call for free and find out:

• How to be confidently active
• Specific techniques successful athletes use
• Ways to be injury-free

Don interviewed and wrote, “50 Athletes Over 50” and will share what he gained from that experience. He’s also the creator of the “21 Day, 7 Habits Program” which gives us the body and energy we need.

Fit Over 50
Getting out of physical pain and recovering quickly from injury is what I do as a seasoned Hanna Somatic Educator and recent gold medal winner at the Washington State Senior games. I’ll share with you specific things to do to remain agile, limber, pain-free and have the ability to move like a healthy animal any time you want.

Being Fit Over 50 is easy

To be fit, you have to have the know-how and use the tools we’re gonna share with you on this call.

We’ll give you the specific techniques that you can use to move well beyond 50 too.

Register for the Free Call for Fit Over 50

We’re going to rock the house, like 50 year olds still can.

Registration closed.

Aug
01

Exercises for Lower Body

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Exercises for lower body can come in handy when you’re a senior athlete.

Instead of preparing to run or lift weights for this past weekend’s Washington State Senior Games, I chose to do some un-conventional exercises for lower body.

Exercises for lower body. The other side of the coin.

As a senior athlete, I’m very interested in how my muscles can return to function as quickly as possible. By working with the space between our ears, namely the brain’s cortex, we can reset the muscles back to a comfortable resting place so they won’t ache, complain and need any ibuprofen.

Exercises for lower body equals gold medal.Getting the gold is one thing, being able to be comfortable afterwards and ready to play again is another.

Rewiring the brain with exercises for lower body using somatics exercises takes out any compensations and substitution patterns.

Since many of us substitute or compensate with our muscles, to regain better function through a re-wiring process with our given structure… takes time.

It is in the very time of now, we can observe how we can change our self.

Taking steps to increase our function with exercises for lower body even during an event can allow us to move well especially after the competition is over.

Limping to the car and looking forwards to the hot tub is what some people will do.

Athletes who struggle with compensations are like the many people who have to be athletic just to move their body around by pulling themselves or trying to move rather than it being more effortless, easy and comfortable.

Undo the compensations with exercises for lower body

Are we all so far away from graceful movements? Hardly, if only we were to re-program the muscles, then we’d get to experience that youthful wonderful movement we once had or were denied.

By working with the brain, we can lessen the negative output to the muscles. We can take out the stress and excessive tension.

What I mean is the excessive tension and holding patterns that muscles will do based on habits, shortening of our muscles and even things like dietary issues and medications which compound how we can effectively move.

Exercises for lower body can be done with the least effort when our brain organizes movement in an efficient manner. We can regulate this time and time again.

To manipulate ourself well in space, to move as well as you can… doesn’t require hard work, just focused attention on how well you can move.

As we become consistent, then we restore our natural ability to do what all healthy vertebrate animals do which is moving with awareness.

The quieter we become in ourselves, the more we’ll notice… and there’s a lot beneath the surface if we dare to venture inwards. We can sense how our compensations can unwind with unique exercises for lower body.

Unlike stretching or strengthening, with somatics exercises you are engaging the brain’s motor cortex where the learning of movement occurs as well as the resetting of the muscle’s length.

Exercises for lower body to un-lock muscles

With the number of substitution patterns and compensations we’ve created, we can still unlock and unlearn those so we can improve our movement patterns which is vital to moving well for the long run.

Even certain training habits and the usual exercises for lower body where we’ve been cued a certain way may have fostered a furthering of compensations unless we took the time to release those compensatory habits.

Moving with natural patterns rather than conditioned patterns allows us to return to moving freely. Then, we use those conditioned patterns in the games and activities we enjoy.

With our 600 muscles and 17 layers of muscles, it’s no wonder some of the aches and concerns we have remain a mystery or are left un-resolved.

We can help resolve things with unusual exercises for lower body. We can go back into our sense of movement and notice the adjustments which take place.

By noticing our own self-adjustments, we can master the art of moving well before, during and after our competitions, games and dances.

Becoming aware of how we hold ourself, we can truly let go and return to moving effortlessly and easily with some unusual exercises for lower body known as somatics.

Want to change the quads, psoas, and other leg muscles in a very different and easy way?

Join us this week, Friday August 5th for an online class on exercises for lower body.


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Jul
17

Upper Body Exercises

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Upper Body ExercisesThe other side of the coin when it comes to upper body exercises.

Generally, when we think of exercise we are usually pushing a weight, giving a bit more effort, holding a pose, stretching or breathing more rapidly.

Cortical Inhibition Upper Body Exercises

Do we ever take the time to un-do what we just activated with our upper body exercises?

Many people would think of stretching, which we know is bad for us according to the research. There is a unique way we can actively use our brain to un-do the activating of the muscles of the upper body.

When it comes to the neck, upper back, chest, shoulders and arms… how often have you consciously worked on getting those muscles to let go?

The brain can do this through exercises known as somatics exercises which primarily uses gravity as the load to release any held contraction levels.

Those contraction levels may remain higher after we activate our muscles with normal upper body exercises. If we remain activated and tight, then the muscles can’t lower their resting rates to be more fully activated the next time we need to use them.

While we may spend worthwhile time activating muscles, we can use the brain’s inhibitory process to bring those very muscles back to neutral resting rates so they are idling in neutral rather than revved up in 2nd gear to begin with.

Is the brain factor missing in upper body exercises?

The brain can be used to release relaxation back into our muscular system so we can feel how the muscles let go and become softer.

If we are living with a tight neck from everyday stress do we need upper body exercises to strengthen that which is already tight?

Wouldn’t it seem to make more sense to have a set of upper body exercises which could release the muscles we just jacked up thus giving us a more balanced use of ourself.

Many times we often talk of balance as working the front side or the back side when it comes to upper body exercises. Do we include the muscles of our side so that each side is balanced as well? By working with the front, back and both sides we can strengthen equally and attempt to be more in balance.

Anybody doing de-activating upper body exercises?

All of these upper body exercises are all well and good yet did we take the requisite time to actively de-activate those muscles too.

Getting stiff from exercise or feeling the tension increase in our muscles doesn’t necessarily have to remain. Any rigidity would be hard to balance by what, more upper body exercises to strengthen tight or stiff muscles on the other side of what we think we need to balance.

In normal exercise, we’ll lift or move with ideas like 3 sets of 10 to build strength or we’ll do many movements so our aerobic capacity increases through the repetition of swinging a limb many times.

By using the brain in a very conscious manner, all we need to do is just say three or less movements to get the brain to reset the muscles.

Then we can move onto perhaps a different angle or different intention to re-focus the brain and improve the movement and the memory of that particular movement.

Moving freely, easily and naturally as healthy vertebrate animals do comes from the very same procedure they use to move well, be agile, and appear graceful with their movements.

This type programming and learning comes from the brain. We human animals have forgotten how to use this other side of the coin when it comes to upper body exercises.

All it takes is just a different orientation with gravity and being mindful so we can more fully return ourself to a fuller capacity and have a more or deeper balanced approach with upper body exercises.

If you’d like to find out how to rebalance in a completely different way, then join us on Friday, July 16th. You can join us live, online or get the class which will be ready for replay afterwards.

We’ll explore how to use the brain with simple movements to reset those muscles which often don’t when it comes to upper body exercises.

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Jul
10

Somatic Athlete

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Somatic AthleteTo move easily and recover well is what a somatic athlete can expect.

Somatic athlete is a term I use after not stretching for well over 10 years, yet have the flexibility at 53, that many 15 year olds have lost.

The practice of somatics allows for easier recovery and is a super easy way to prep for an athletic event and life in general.

Somatic Athlete Uses Intelligence Over Brawn

Given that your brain’s motor cortex can reset the resting levels of muscles naturally and effectively, it makes sense to keep using it so the sensory-motor system continues to evolve for your continued enjoyment with your body in whatever activities you choose.

This past weekend I had the bodily pleasure to play in a national soccer tournament for us seniors.

With each passing game, I could hear an athlete say how tight they had become or what was giving out – and these are the people who play the game.

What kind of preparation did they do?

Did they continue to run more, play more games, lift more weights or do the dreaded stretching thing?  All the many usual things we do using our brawn to get us or remain in shape.

Most of those activities involve revving up the muscles, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, unless we can’t recover quickly or feel good after a physical activity.

Many athletes still falsely believe stretching cools them down. Before I get a lot of flack for say that–stretching is bad for us according to the current research.

Is there something else we can do to help us recover or not stay as tight in between our events or games?

The Other Side of the Coin the Somatic Athlete Uses

The brain’s cortex, however, can inhibit muscles.  Why is this important?

While you normally activate the muscles in your games and activities, what can you do to actively de-activate them?

By using the brain’s cortex, it can create chemicals of relaxation in the very muscles you used up in your activity. The very ones which become overly contracted, sore or so stiff where you can hardly move and yet can’t wait to get home and do the usual things of icing, warm water soaking, ibuprofens, etc.

These band-aid lame attempts can help some easing, yet they don’tt cause correct nor reset the resting levels of the muscles.

The brain can change how your muscles are responding through cortical inhibition where you learn to tune down or turn off unnecessary muscles from jumping in or substituting.  In other words, the effort in movement becomes easier.

However, many recreational athletes continue doing something passively like drinking beer, sitting in the hot tub or icing to take care of the aches since this is what the majority of us have been led to believe or prefer doing.

While those activities can be fun, does it really regenerate the body?

How the Somatic Athlete Preps and Recovers

Preparing the body is key to not only being able to enjoy all the many ways you can play, it also allows you to recover quickly so you can play or participate in your favorite activities more often.

While it’s true adequate hydration, nutrition, and a positive mental attitude are key components for an athlete, you are always moving in your games and your movement system needs to be re-adjusted accordingly.

To re-adjust the movement system and take out the kinks or prepare for an activity is to remind the sensory-motor system of its functional capacity with the added bonus of being left feeling the resulting relaxation which occurs.

Your brain has the ability to relax your body more powerfully than a hot tub and a heckuva lot easier than sitting in ice.

Stressed, over worked muscles need time to recover and that can be enhanced by naturally utilizing our intelligence.

The brain’s cortex can be used to prepare the body and mind for a multitude of physical activities like a soccer tournament, running event, playing volleyball or just enjoying a walk or going out dancing for an evening.

You oughta be able to run at any age without pulling a hamstring or throwing your back out from just bending over.

A somatic athlete can recover and have the confidence to go back into their favorite physical activity sooner rather than later.

Come join me so you can discover how a somatic athlete can both prepare and recuperate in our a variation of the daily maintenance program so you can free yourself naturally, easily and keep on moving & playing well as you age.

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