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Archive for chronic pain

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?

Jun
19

Stop with all the Trauma

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When we fall, our muscles go into certain protective trauma postures. We’ll go back inside of ourselves and stay there for some time until the trauma usually resolves itself. Sometimes it takes a little longer.

Can you release physical trauma?

What if we could use what nature has given us to release the protective holding of a physical trauma more quickly and confidently.

Releasing held trauma is something I know about since I realized I had been holding onto an incident which occurred while I was a young boy. Some 30 years of holding a pattern unconsciously kept me at bay – and I didn’t even know it. Until one day, I did a very specific maneuver and I was reminded of the event that I had long since forgotten yet recalled more from a conceptual level.

So here I was reliving it and at the same time “finally” letting go of it. The trauma which was held, let go. Sometimes we hold onto things more than necessary. Yikes.

Trauma & Knock KneesCompensations such as legs which are internally rotated can be a bear to live with, though in time we can get used to moving ourself around even if we’re hung up a bit, too stiff or get used to living with too much tension.

Heck we might have even created such a held trauma pattern by having read mystery or suspense books for too long with our knees knocking. Maybe those scary mystery books led us into another type of mystery such as scoliosis, which we can’t resolve.

Scoliosis and Trauma

Many people who have been diagnosed with scoliosis or suspect they have, often compensate with a fairly typical trauma response. While each of us displays this uniquely with certain vertebrate being pulled in one direction, another or in multiple distortions away from a neutral posture.

We can safely release held trauma tension patterns. After all, it has been happening to us on an ongoing basis. Our bones are not fixed as some would have you believe. If that were true, how come your still walking? Well maybe you’re still expertly limping around.

Held trauma patterns can cause us to limp too long so we favor another body part and compensate that around the trauma. We can get very good at navigating around, get used to it… until the pains of a lifetime keep knocking on the door again and again.

Trauma Release Class

Each week I teach people how the brain can let go of tension patterns, even if we’ve lived unconsciously with them like many of us have.

This week I’m offering an online class on a trauma release for the legs & hips which are more internally rotated. You can see that by looking at knees which roll inwards or a hip which is higher than the other one… or when we feel short waisted these types of compensations can let go when our brain’s motor cortex releases chemicals of relaxation so we regain both function and are more relaxed to move comfortably about.

You can get the class live or purchase a replay and enjoy it many times over. All you have to do is listen and follow along. No worries, you’ll be able to talk with me either live or in the replay portal where I’ll help you out.

Please don’t hold onto that physical trauma anymore, we can simply let it go and your brain is just sitting there waiting to make it happen now.

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Apr
22

Wall of Fame

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I didn’t exactly make the Hall of Fame, yet I managed somehow to survive the nearly 20 years of fibromyalgia (chronic pain) and make the Wall of Fame at the University of Texas.

The Wall of Fame houses the pictures of students who won various intramural sports competitions.

Little did we know we were headed for the Wall of Fame

Back in ’79, amidst the days of unrest of the Iran hostage crisis, the last 11 guys who didn’t make the soccer team formed an intramural team.

We beat our fellow University of Texas club soccer team in the semis and played against a raucous crowd of Middle Eastern students in the finals. We had to go to a penalty shoot-out to win the coveted burnt orange t-shirt.

University of Texas Wall of Fame T-shirt

Wall of Fame Then and NowThe celebration lead to my dorm room where there happened to be a very large bottle of spirits that we managed to finish off early in the morning. Somehow I made it through the 3 final exams the next day. Ah, to be young again.

My playing days got interrupted with what at the time seemed to be mysterious chronic pains. Eventually, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia gave me something to wrap my mind around during that nearly 2 decade struggle.

Fortunately I came out of it and learned very valuable lessons to pass onto others.

The University recently sent a Wall of Fame t-shirt commemorating our efforts. In a box, I discovered I had the original t-shirt we won in ’79.

Wall of Fame Moves

In those days, I was taught to stretch. It was something I never liked to do even though I would go for nearly 2 hours per day during my bouts of chronic stiffness and pain. Fibromyalgia was a 24/7 event.

Years later, I became a Hanna Somatic Educator and gave up my stretching ways and learned about the marvelous ways we can reset our muscles through the natural process of a pandiculation.

This simple reset brings our muscles to rest, lets us lose our stiffness, decreases tension and by magic, releases our physical pain.

There is really no magic about it. All it takes is 3 simple steps. Done with a gentle, easy conscious awareness. Our brain will reset muscles back to rest for comfortable movement.

Please join me either by phone or online this week as I offer some Wall of Fame moves where you’ll learn to release the inner leg muscles (groin), chest, diaphragm, and waist.

As we get older, we can move with greater ease. Life doesn’t have to be a struggle, at least this Wall of Fame individual knows it to be true and so can you.

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Next Tuesday, February 7 at 8am (pst) I’ll be appearing on Susan Rich Talks, Blog Talk Radio Show, Rich and Gluten Free.

While I’m a big fan of a gluten free diet, we’ll be talking about living pain free, getting rid of our aches, and losing stress & stiffness as we successfully age using an approach noted as far back as 1680.

Blog Talk Radio – Women 4 Women Network

As the guy who lived with the so-called women’s disease (fibromyalgia), I’m grateful to be asked to be appear on the Women 4 Women Network. They are empowering women both in business and life.

Eduardo Barrera appears on Women for Women Network Blog Talk Radio

3 Steps to Getting Out of Pain on Blog Talk Radio

I’ll share the 3 simple steps it takes to change those painful signals to ones of pleasure so you can get back to doing what you want again with your body.

You’ll learn some moves you can do. All you have to do is listen and follow along and feel yourself in the 3 step process of what is known as somatics exercises.

Blog Talk Radio and the Divorce Counselor for Stretching

When I was told to stretch to keep myself limber, little did I know I was actually taking myself backwards – even though I spent as much as 2 hours per day doing it, thinking this would help limber me up.

Whew, I had to come through the looking glass with regards to stretching and helping people find their way to aging gracefully. See you on Susan Rich’s blog talk radio show.

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Oct
16

Chronic Pain

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Living with pain we feel in our muscles, nerves, joints, organs and even our skin which hangs around for more than six months is a doorway to chronic pain.

I lived with strange nerve and chronic pain while enduring sciatica, inflammation, tenderness, soreness and stiffness which all attributed to an ongoing state of unhappy muscles, nerves and limited painful movement. It even felt as if I couldn’t get enough breath into the muscles to move easily.

Chronic pain is a thing of the past

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, it was a relief to learn that the uncomfortable feelings I had been having in my 20’s and 30’s had a name to it.

As a kid, I remember looking at the muscle magazines learning what I needed to do to make this skinny kid into a muscular powerhouse. Even while living in chronic pain, I went to the gyms, stretched, lifted weights, thinking this would be a way out since exercise is usually considered a good thing.

Muscles and Chronic Pain Need Not Co-exist

Natural Ways to Deal with Chronic PainUnfortunately, lifting weights and stretching didn’t solve the pains. Eventually, movement provided the key to getting the muscles and chronic pain to no longer co-exist in order to comfortably move.

There are many approaches to helping people naturally overcome chronic pain. You can find out about some of those in this month’s Max Sports & Fitness where yours truly has finally made it in a muscle magazine.

Living with Chronic Pain

Our brain and body can serve us naturally to ward off the stiffness, aches, and pains we feel in our muscles and elsewhere. Through a long series of trials and errors, I stumbled onto how animals naturally self-correct and move so well.

While I believe in a natural aproach of pandiculating, the process animals use. This has been systematized as somatics exercises which offers a key to un-lock muscular stiffness, improve mobility and take us to a place of natural flexibility.

There are other complimentary approaches which can take us a step closer to a life not full of chronic pain. Being free in our body and moving well is our birthright.

Sometimes we need a little help and a plan to get out of chronic pain with the desire we can return to all the fun activities life has to offer.

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What do most doctors, physical educators, professional sports trainers, magazine articles & even tv exercise shows have no clue about…

They don’t understand what Fido knows that could unlock your muscles and set you free once again.

There is a startling truth about your physical pain and how you can get out of it…
with a way most people aren’t talking about.

You can get out of pain more quickly and easily than you ever thought possible.

But let me back things up by saying “Having Pain Sucks”

Flinching & bracing is no way to live since living in chronic pain is hard… since it seems like it may never end or go away.

It might even seem like it keeps you guessing by moving around and not getting better, just becoming worse.

Having to take a hot shower just to get started in the morning to soothe already aching muscles… is no way to live.

Feeling older and over the hill before your time is not the way you thought it was going to be… but it’s become a way of life or so for the moment.

Is there any reason to live in this cave of despair?

You know that place to shut everyone and everything out since the relentless pain is too much.

That lingering flu-like feeling which doesn’t let go…

What’s interesting is that no one really get its since they say “you look fine to me”.

Like a bad movie version of Ground Hog Day… everyday you wake up in pain, everyday you wonder why does that mack truck keep hitting you… and you keep forgetting the license plate number too.

Sadly in this movie, you want to stay in the hole since you’re too tired…

And now what? Another day of aching pain… another day of misery… another day of the pain coming back.

But you know about this…you’re really tired and really tired of the endless pain which doesn’t go away.

So I’ve got a weird question…

Have you ever seen a cheetah or dog in back pain or ever seen one pull its hamstring?

The story will be continued…


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