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Archive for exercise and 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?

Jul
08

Kids Stuff For Adults

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Healthy adults can do kids stuff to remind our muscles how comfortable they can feel once again and again.

Pandiculation is kids stuff

Kids StuffMost of us began to pandiculate in the 7th week of our life. If we’re a healthy adult, we continue this very natural act to reset our muscles and movement system. This gives us comfortable movement.

If not, we can remind our nervous system of its former ability and bring it back to consciousness. This ability reminds us of our feelings of well-being.

The kids stuff we used to do fortunately has been systematized as somatics exercises which are gentle, easy reminders to self-adjust our muscles back to the comfort zone.

Kids stuff reboots our movement software

The systematic somatics exercises allows us to explore our internal terrain in novel ways which fosters the development of our brain’s motor cortex as well as re-eliciting our capacity in our sensory cortex to sense ourself at finer levels.

For instance, the simple act of breathing can be opened up merely by pandiculating ourself to improved health.

This type of kids stuff is relevant at all ages… and this type of kids stuff reboots our movement software towards better breathing and more comfort in our movement system.

Stiffness or stiff movements are learned over a lifetime and are replicated as a habit. Can we dissolve what seems like chronic or acute stiffness… you betcha we can. Remind ourself of the former kids stuff we used to do and we can feel the stiffness let go in our back, shoulders, and neck for example.

A healthy vertebrate animal moves with ease, grace, suppleness and in harmony since its movement system is coordinated and not bound up, down, sideways or held twisted.

Can we free ourself back to more harmonious states? Could some simple easy kids stuff be the ticket?

Paying attention to our internal state while we are moving allows us to recalibrate. Our body knows the way back to reset ourself to comfortable states. It’s simply a matter of kids stuff when you get right down to it.

In our earlier kids stuff moments we were highly engaged in a learning matter. Now, we can rekindle this relationship of movement, let go of it artfully, then we remember how we re-navigate our internal terrain towards ease in moving around.

Sometimes we can experience a flash from the past, we can bump into past difficulties and yet smooth things out. In any case, we are re-establishing a finer way to move and self-adjust our entire movement system.

The quality of a movement rather than the strength or force of a movement is what sets us free. The precision in which we can be aware of our internal arrangements is a path to greater ease and freeing up our muscles to regain mobility while restoring natural flexibility.

When we reacquaint ourself with the method or process of natural reorganization, we might keep doing this kids stuff for the rest of our comfortable life.

Kids Stuff Class for Adults

When we’re injured it might feel as if we’re beginning from scratch to move around. All the bracing, holding on and tensing may seem normal yet when we let go of our holding patterns more quickly, we reboot as we did as children.

You can join me for an online kids stuff somatics exercise class. All you have to do is listen and follow along to remind yourself of how easy, simple movements can unlock tight, stiff, holding patterns. The brain will take care of it in seconds.

You’ll get to free up the back, shoulders, neck and hips in our one hour+ kids stuff class where you can join us live or get the replay.

Learning to get out of physical pain is easy once you have the somatics know-how. Mastering the art of moving well takes time since we have to develop our ability to do so although our brain can quickly make changes in our movement system.  For instance, recovery can happen quite quickly when your nervous system can turn the switch “on” to relaxation.

A difficult somatics move

Somatics BookIn the book Somatics, by Thomas Hanna, there is a very interesting movement to release the hips, legs, knees, ankles, back and as far up as the neck.

The pattern is one of inversion and eversion of the ankles and how that relates to the knees, hips and back.

While this pattern may take some time to learn or readjust the movement system.  The practice and effort is worthwhile to improve walking and recover quickly from the mishaps in life.

Like all things such as fine wine, time spent mastering movement is necessary.  However,you can simply imagine particular movement sequences and reap tremendous benefits.

When I first learned this particular somatics exercise, I was in agonizing knee pain. This remarkable pattern caused great consternation on my part. It felt as if my leg or knee was going to break.

Treating this movement as exercise was a sure fire way for me not to break through learning how to simply move instead of trying and pushing with all my efforts in vain and pain.

Why did I make a somatics move so hard?

Coming from the exercise world of pushing, straining, going to exhaustion and breaking myself down, built in a pattern of doing things from the types of physical activities I had been trained in.

To change the habit of movement required I had to tone it down, way down. My muscles were locked-up although I could compensate around that. When the knee gave, this was the beginning of a new chapter and suprise, one where I had to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again by rewiring the nervous system since I had reached an end.

When we brace, it doesn’t take much to fire off a painful signal. Learning how to de-tune an amplified pain response gets our attention.  You can begin to revitalize the movement system rather than push against the wall of pain you may face.

In time as I explored this movement, I came to love it once my brain un-locked the pathways so the body could move easily and understand the many ways we can hurt or better our self.

“An exercise in and of itself cannot hurt us.”

It’s how we unconsciously or habitually move or try to accomplish things with our body which feeds back its signal of pleasure or pain.  The richness and variety for which we have many verbal descriptions for.

Somatics Blow Off Class

This week I am teaching an online class where you can get join me live or get the replay of the somatics movement many people blow off.

Why do I know this? My very own clients tell me that they’ve shirked it or found it hard to do by looking in the book, so this is why I recorded a version of it and you can learn by listening and following along.

When we apply the simple somatics system with a helpful guide and we’re interested in learning, success happens and the knees, hips, back and neck simply ache less.  Recovery is minutes away.  Feeling great is simply a matter of retuning your movement system.

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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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    Jun
    25

    Exercise and pain part 4

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    Why exercise and pain don’t have to go together?

    We often activate muscles and rarely think about de-activating them unless we think or are told to stretch. Stretching, as we know it is bad for us.

    The other side of exercise and pain. Animal know-how.

    Instead, the de-activation of muscles is the other side of the coin and is what can allow us to free a painful back spasm for instance.

    Healthy vertebrate animals have this know-how to move well. Below is a video on a human animal, who at the age of 79, learned about the system of de-activation to control a back problem which plagued him since age 42.

    A woman was scheduled for back surgery. She was curious as exercise and pain was going hand in hand in her life. During the course of one afternoon, she learned how how to de-activate muscles as animals do.

    She went to Alaska on vacation and merely did 5 of these unique de-activating exercises and she traveled pain free in the car and plane for the next two weeks.

    When she came back home, she cancelled the back surgery merely from learning how a unique form exercise and pain don’t have to go together.

    Naturally, she saved herself and the healthcare system $39,000.

    It’s amazing how life can change when we get back on track so we can do what we want again.

    Exercise and pain don’t have to go hand in hand.

    As a former member of what I call the pain club… I lived with a chronic pain condition known as fibromyalgia. This affects some 5+ million Americans. The minority of the 10% who live in this painful state are men.

    Despite all our efforts, if we continue with both exercise and pain, then it ain’t working and there’s no need to push through it anymore.

    If you want to be done with exercise and pain then learn to move like an animal again. You can even try it for free. Try the other side of the coin and learn how to deactivate painful, aching, tight muscles the way nature intended.

    Get past exercise and pain.

    Animals have the know how. We’ve merely lost the fine sense of moving well like the animals we truly are. You know, the nice ones who won’t bite you… though some of them bark awfully loudly, especially if you live in pain without a resolution.

    Download some free animal moves so you can experience how exercise and pain will no longer be in the same equation.


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