Archive for Fibromyalgia
Feeling good is your natural birthright.
Yet as we age our share of aches, bumps, dings, stiff feelings and various types of pain can add up depending upon our circumstances and the activities we choose to do or not.
To reverse the accumulation of life’s hurts and recapture the full pleasure in your body on a daily basis can happen when you remind yourself to…
Move Like an Animal
You see, all the healthy animals on the planet with a spine, tap into the brain to reset tension levels so they can move with comfort, agility and grace.
The human animal can too with a simple conscious 3 step plan to get the brain, body and nervous system revitalized to restore feelings of confident comfort.
So whether we feel stiff from everyday life, work or even the games and activities you enjoy or grind our way through.
There is a natural way for the brain & body to reverse stiffness and pain so we won’t have to beat on our muscles, ice, heat or use any of those balms just in order to be able to move a little easier in the first place.
Given our present understanding of the brain and how it’s like a piece of software we can change and modify.
We’ve been able to systematize what works in nature in order to upgrade both the brain and body so it can be programmed to ease tension, pain and stiffness naturally.
In the book, Move Like an Animal, you will learn:
• The 3 Simple Steps to Reduce Stiffness & Feel Pain Free
• How You Can Restore Your Natural Birthright to Feel Comfortable and in Control
In what I call, the issues in the tissues, you have the ability to use your brain and body in symphony to restore and recover those lost feelings of–feeling like your self again—even if things presently continue to stay amped up, stiff or painful.
• The One Key Movement to Feel Better Now
• How to Relieve Stress & Tension Confidently
• and Overcome Compensations which can be a Factor
In the animal world, healthy animals set themselves up daily for successful movement.
The ability to be agile, flexible and move in balance and grace is set up by the same natural neural mechanisms you too can access.
If you want to:
– Maintain comfortable mobility
– Restore natural flexibility
– and Bring back the feelings of pleasure back in your body,
Then Move Like an Animal is for you.
Feel Free Again
Through a unique, counter-intuitive approach, you can feel how to:
• Loosen Up Tightness
• Release Stiffness
• and Feel the Binds Melt Away.
“The old traditional approach is sadly behind the times in preparing our bodies for strenuous activities and in rehabilitating the discomforts that impeded our life and competitive efforts. The new frontiers of understanding brain plasticity have given us exciting insights that can be controlled through brain-altering stimulation. This exciting application of the latest brain science will benefit healthy and recuperating people alike on all levels.”
-Timothy Berger, BA, MA, RN, ATC. Professor of Sports Science, Muskingum Univerisy
Since there may be those times when we may be guarding to protect a sore, tight or painful area.
Having the know-how to release it—is of great value when you need to let high tension levels or feelings of stress in the body simmer back down.
The Nature of Movement Itself
This is inherently different since it’s not about the range of motion – its more about the quality vs the quantity.
The quality and nature of movement itself are what is at stake to remain comfortable for life.
See, those wonderful animals have got this part down.
No quality. They’re a goner.
For the human animal, less than optimal quality can bring all sorts of types of pain and the various binds, stiffness and restrictions we can’t seem to shake in the long run.
Using a series of unique, gentle, conscious movement patterns targeting a specific part of the brain can restore childlike feelings of freedom.
All of this set up by the brain so you can remain comfortable as you age.
Even if you over do it, your brain and body can change quickly without even resorting to pills.
“A doctor gave me muscle relaxants and pain medication for a painful incident at work. Instead, I did a few movements and my pain was gone and I’m back to normal. It’s amazing, this works.”
-Debbie Elliott, Registered Nurse
Since animals know how to relax and let go of tension on a daily basis…
The good news is. Your brain & body is waiting for you to tap into this same conscious power source to:
– Feel more relaxed,
– and Be able to sleep more easily too.
“Filled with practical advice. This is a very useful book for anyone who wants to move and feel better. I will recommend this book to my clients.”
-Dr. Del Millers, author of Fitness & Spirituality
What Move Like an Animal is About
The book begins with the ‘Animal Secret’ act that even the human animal did as a baby.
Once we remind ourself of this forgotten or lost ability, the brain remembers what to do to reset similar to the way we update our computers.
Down the Rabbit Hole
The brain is described as the one big muscle working with various feedback loops you can use to reset both stiffness and pain.
You’ll learn which ones those are and how to access them to return to the comfort zone.
A shift from the revved up sympathetic state to the more relaxed parasympathetic state of calm happens when you tap into the specific part of the brain
See, from a more relaxed state, the muscles are ready to be used rather than starting from a somewhat or higher rate of tension. This is what fatigues and wears a lot of us down.
We’ve lost that ability to de-rev naturally since the brain will keep certain programs running like a car idling in 2nd or 3rd gear, instead of neutral.
In the exercise and therapy world, compensations are readily seen and can throw us off center. Even though we can figure out how to use our body. We may be struggling or use more energy un-necessarily.
Compensations can shift as tension levels abate since the muscles are more relaxed to allow the bones to fall in place so we don’t end up fighting or struggling against gravity.
Then exercise or physical activity actually becomes freer and easier.
Proprioception is how we feel our movement and the positions we find ourself in.
The proprioceptive police may show up with signs of mis-alignment, pain, discomfort, tightness and on-going stress which further wears us down.
-Edward Barrera, Move Like an Animal
Brain Based Approach
You’ll get a birds-eye view as how this is the complete reverse to most approaches – since it is brain based.
Rather than going for range of motion, which can actually reinforce tension and keep certain brain programs in check.
Even painful events like a muscle spasm can be reverse engineered, released and restored to comfort on account of targeting the brain.
Making the Connection
Sensing, feeling and probing around gently opens insights as to how you are connected among your 17 layers of muscles and fascia.
The fascia which has more sense receptors than the muscles are part of the movement system.
When you delve deeply into the sensory-motor system, lost or forgotten connections begin to wake-up so that even sitting becomes more comfortable.
What to do about Oops, Falls, Strains and Traumas and How A Squirrel Offers a Way Out?
You’ll get to learn how a squirrel opened my eyes to the very method I was learning about and how this act can restore things in ways we may not have thought possible.
The binding process starts.
As we age, the stiffness, the binds and high tension patterns may have been or begun as a result of some type of trauma to our body.
We can accumulate these patterns which can be layered over other traumas.
We can think of this as a temporary ongoing phenomena since the signals to hold on, keep doing their job according to the set program for many, many, many years in some cases.”
-Edward Barrera, Move Like an Animal
R-O-A-R Your Way Back
To recover over any restriction (R-O-A-R).
Free up stiffness, postural or movement difficulties, niggling injuries, high tension levels and the like can be felt when you recognize how the brain is set up to serve you, so you can remain comfortable for life.
For those of you who really want to take things another step further.
Check out the back of the book where you can get access to the free audio version of the movements.
By listening, you’ll tap into another part of the brain which will deepen your experience to heal, restore and revitalize like a human animal can.
Ready to Move Like an Animal Again
After having lived a life of chronic pain and earning the label of fibromyalgia, I can say “it feels great to have more good days than bad ones”.
It’s my great pleasure to have Amazon bestseller, Move Like an Animal, out now in paperback and digital so you too can R-O-A-R back into life and feel the full pleasure of your body returning and maintaining even as you age.
Your brain and body can feel free, relaxed and in control.
So are your ready to Move Like an Animal for the rest of your comfortable life?
My name is Carol.
I’ve always been a mover and a shaker, and lucky to have actively moved through more than six decades without any chronic stiffness or pain.
Well, okay…there is the one little disc that occasionally and gently reminds me of the unintended back flip when I was body-surfing in South Africa twenty-nine years ago. (I found out the Atlantic’s surf was not like the lapping lake waters in my native Minnesota.)
So, anyway, the moving and shaking part…
I’m a retired teacher and principal, and a part-time freelance writer and yoga instructor—plus a globe-trotter over the years.
Always ‘wanted it all’ and have spent most of my life going after just that.
It’s all been mentally, physically, and spiritually challenging and exciting….and I guess I thought I was just blessed by an absence of physical pains and limited mobility, while many friends and relatives of various ages around me weren’t.
Just the way it was… no reason for me to give it much thought.
Lesson #1: No Pain Until
After all, I wasn’t the one in pain.
But then 2 things happened that got my attention.
And suddenly, pain had just gotten personal…
Three women with fibromyalgia found their way to my gentle yoga class, desperate for:
- Relief from Pain,
- and, Scariest of all, Hopelessness.
Secondly, I realized that some intermittent pain in my right leg and hip—originally attributed to a minor fall or maybe heavy snow shoveling–was not going away, and was getting worse over the months.
Stepping into a small corner of the lives of the three multi-gifted and dynamic women–whose lives were on hold—was eye-opening and gut-wrenching.
The dilemma was how to help them rather than hurt them more. So, we talked a lot.
I researched yoga for people with fibromyalgia.
They shared what they’d learned at the Mayo workshops they’d attended.
Alternative Ways to Process Pain
One of the woman, Gayle, mentioned one of the Mayo doctors talking to them about alternative ways to ‘process’ pain—changing the ways the nerves communicate with the muscles.
Suddenly…I remembered something.
A yoga workshop I’d attended a year or so earlier on something called “somatics”.
It was about re-educating the muscles and nervous system to communicate more effectively with each other.
The benefits centered around:
- Maximizing Body Functions,
- and Reducing Stiffness and Pain.
I’d been impressed with the concept, and a brief internet search led to more information and a couple of especially intriguing videos by Ed Barrera….himself a ‘survivor’ of fibromyalgia turned somatics practitioner.
Ed had also written a book, Move Like an Animal, teaching people the animal concepts of applying conscious pandiculation which had been systematized as somatics exercises
But life was busy, and I’d soon forgotten about somatics….until Gayle’s comment.
The two of us immediately set out on a lively pursuit of current information and materials on somatics, which led us back to Ed Barrera–with lots of questions on how to offer therapeutic movement to three committed fibromyalgia ‘warriors’ in Northern Minnesota.
He quickly, enthusiastically, compassionately, and in detail, responded to emails from both Gayle and myself.
The ’warriors’ and I began some group sessions, but Gayle never does anything half-way….and began an intense daily somatics routine at home.
The result? – Moving Like an Animal
She started seeing and feeling some improvement in movement and mood within a few days.
The progress continued over the weeks, and within a few months, she’d transitioned from some 10 years of dependence on her husband to help her move and do basic activities around the house, to an increasingly active life style…
Plus a a jaw-dropping run up the driveway one day when she got out of a friend’s car.
Gayle was hooked on somatics exercises and what moving like an animal was doing for her.
She and I read, studied, emailed Ed, and then offered a couple of classes introducing somatics to others in pain here in our community.
In the last year, I’ve also have incorporated some somatics movements into both my hatha and gentle yoga classes, and occasionally offer introductory somatics instruction upon request—yes, right up in anything-but-urban Northern Minnesota.
Participants’ comments (20-70 year olds) have been reaffirming of the benefits of somatics…and I celebrated the victories of those who had successfully decided to take charge of their pain and stiffness.
Lesson #2: The Wakeup Call
But all that good news still wasn’t enough to establish and expand my own regular practice of somatics.
Life got busy again. So then came wake-up call #2.
Yes….my right hip and leg—had me in on-and-off discomfort for more than a year.
When I realized that I needed regular Ibuprofen to get through our community theater rehearsals, I had to admit the deterioration of the situation.
So with the natural misconceptions of most 63-year olds, I started to obsess about what it actually was, and what medical/surgical interventions I probably needed to start thinking about.
Arthritis, Old Age, Hip Replacement, Surgery, Drugs
That’s right, I completely disassociated my hip and leg pain from everything I’d learned and been preaching about somatics, and was instead thinking “arthritis,” “old age,” “hip replacement,” “surgery,” and “drugs.”
I was in the midst of internet searches and yellow pages under “doctors,” when I realized what I was doing….or rather, what I wasn’t doing.
What I wasn’t doing.
However, because of the state I’d worked myself into, I also decided I needed Ed’s reassurance to make sure somatics would take care of this. After all this was MY pain now…and not ‘just’ somebody else’s.
A short diagnosis and download of a couple of appropriate somatics movement classes later, I was on my way to relief within 48 hours and in a few weeks, I was pain free again. But slow learner that I am…
Lesson #3: Go Back to the Well
I started taking all that freedom from pain for granted, and gradually slacked off of my few minutes of daily somatics…until I fell into another stiff hips and lower back issue….and one that seemed to be exacerbated by my yoga instruction.
What’s more, ironically, the pain peaked just days before leading another 4-week introductory Somatics session.
Fortunately, the panic I’d again worked myself into, quickly reminded me of my panic of two years earlier. I immediately set into some intense somatics, and got another ‘shot of encouragement,’ from Ed.
So, as it turns out, I’m taking somatics and mobility seriously now—finally.
I don’t want to stop learning or practicing it…for my sake, and for all the people I get to share it with.
More Than Not Having Pain
It’s about a lot more than simply NOT having pain.
It’s the whole feeling of freedom and absolute joy in MOVING and in the awareness of the marvels of human body.
When you feel that way, you get to remember how truly wonderful life can feel, and you almost can’t help but make the world a better place.
Does life get any better than this?
Ever feel like your body, brain or mind is close to the tipping point when it comes to pain?
Small injuries or minor physical setbacks might not seem like a big deal when they happen.
Yet your brain might go haywire and instead of helping, it works against you.
See, your personal history of injuries, infections, emotional set backs, and traumas can lead a brain to over respond even as a small injury heals.
The brain can go hyperactive and keeps sending chemicals of inflammation to the rescue, after the fact.
Cells called microglia acts as the immune system of the central nervous system.
To protect the brain, they swell up to create a buffer while they take care of the bad cells.
The good cells, however, can keep turning “on inflammation”, which is what we see happening in anxiety, chronic pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, etc.
In other words, when we keep getting stressed or tensed out, the microglia show up and create inflammation. Not nice at all.
Stress can magnify the situation and this period of activation can remain “on” for extended periods of time. Then this gets set as the program and many medical conditions such as chronic pain become the norm.
No wonder some of us struggle with discomfort, injury or stiffness longer than we think it oughta be around.
As the program continues to go haywire–say an accident happens–followed up by surgeries, pain medications and having to cope with the stress of getting it together undermines our ability to completely get over it.
Even though we think we oughta be able to handle it, we aren’t addressing the physiological mechanism to change and reverse the course back to our more comfortable self.
This can further make us feel down and bums us out.
Getting Pushed Past the Tipping Point
The sum of our life experiences add up to push us past the tipping point so the brain replays its response and you get your negative experience yet again.
Can the tipping point be reversed?
When we go back to what mother nature affords us to restore and revitalize our central nervous system, then we have a chance to reverse the tipping point and successfully climb out.
In many cases, you can reprogram both the brain and body so it can create comfort instead of amplifying pain and discomfort.
This reprogramming act is called a pandiculation. This works with the central nervous system to reset tension levels so you can feel comfortable and in control of your well-being.
When we go about pandiculation systematically, then we can re-right the ship and help get things back in order and in balance.
The reverse on-off switch to turn back the tipping point
You see, you have the inherent ability to decrease stress and lower tension by increasing it consciously using your awareness.
This concept may sound backwards or counter-intuitive, yet in practice – physically speaking – this is how you turn what is negatively “on” positively “off”.
By consciously turning “on” the central nervous system. You change the painful, stiff or discomforting “on” signal “off’ by detuning or fine tuning it down so you can idle more in neutral and restore tension levels back to the comfort zone.
Your nervous system can be reprogrammed to aid you rather than keep the on going program working against you. Pretty neat.
While it isn’t easy to live in pain or with high stress levels or chronic discomforts since they take away our normal relaxed attention and focus. If you can consciously tune into what it is you’ve either become accustomed to – or what is not healing in the way you think it oughta – like taking a little no big deal tumble or not being able to sit comfortably.
Force won’t help, so instead you use power the brain and body to reach a personal comfort zone which can be achieved with a little conscious practice.
By dialing into the haywire signal, you can fine-tune the pain activating signal or mechanism so it can reverse course.
The resetting and recalibrating begins to happen with what some have called conscious micro-movements. Oh happy days!
While this sounds simple, there is both an art and practice to get back to your former happy pain-freer self which nature has set up for you to access at any minute.
Through a series of trial and error easy, gentle movements, the ability to feel relaxation returns.
The fact is you can tune down what is turned “on” because the switch has been activated to inhibit and the message to reset begins as you turn it up with a micro-movement or conscious thought to do so.
Afterwards the nervous system acts to decrease the output or charge so those relaxing feelings return. It’s like giving yourself a hot tub treatment using your brain and body.
In nature, this is why all healthy animals with a spine self-regulate in this manner. They use the brain to change the body to move well with daily reprogramming.
When the human animal gets back to restoring this lost art or natural process to calm the system, you get the:
and the knowledge you can replicate feelings of comfort.
You can do this as often as you need or when necessary to take out stress and tension from everyday life events which accumulate in the course of our busy lives.
While you can’t escape stress, you can take control of your central nervous system as best as you can and further the possibilities of a comfortable felt-sense of living.
When you remember how to do this – you can let things roll off of you like a duck ruffling its feathers.
You’ll have what appears to be uncanny ability to regenerate, yet this is how nature sets it up for us to learn how to wield it and not be held outta control.
There is evidence that your microglia cells “remember” prior assaults and turn things up painfully when necessary. They can stay up and fire up more quickly.
Same goes in the opposite direction. The better you get at using the brain and body, you can bank on turning on those chemicals of relaxation on much faster too.
According to Dr. Gary Kaplan, these 3 things seem certain:
√ The source of inflammation are tiny cells called microglia.
√ Your history of physical & emotional assaults add up and increase inflammation.
√ Chronic pain and depression are neurodegenerative conditions.
Fortunately, we’ve systematized an approach to use both brain and body with gentle, small or micro-movements of coordination done with a certain level of awareness to restore the nervous system and your body’s basic feeling of comfort and well-being.
Now that you have a better understanding of the tipping point, you can choose to naturally heal, self-protect, prevent and maintain your healthy state of living.
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:
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?
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
The 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.
The word exercise often connotes sweat and hard work. Movement on the other hand is about changing a position.
So many people in the gym are exercising and are still in pain rather than being able to move freely and comfortably. Are their exercise programs serving them?
When it comes to exercise vs movement to get us out pain, I’m going to have to side with movement at this point in my 50 year old life.
The other side of exercise programs
Somatics exercises which are often the reverse of most exercise programs out there, changes pain and discomfort levels using the brain rather than the brawn of exercise. This can be a challenge when we’ve accustomed our self to pushing, straining and over efforting.
Without sufficient awareness, the simple somatics movements can become exertion and exercise and not bring about the change we want away from pain.
So in both types of exercise programs, problems can occur not because of exercise itself but how we move our self in this ever present field of gravity. After all, you don’t need a weight to cramp yourself.
A learning process to move more comfortably is highly involved, though anyone can do it when we are mindful and not rushed. This lazy approach appears on the surface to be too simple, yet is complex in terms of feeling our way through the various connections and sensations we can perceive.
These sense perceptions lead us to move more comfortably so that it’s possible you’ll never have to go through arduous exercise programs again.
After all, I can go play soccer, ski, ride a bike, and walk comfortably along a trail without the uncomfortable strain, stress and high tension levels I used to live with while living with fibromyalgia.
Of course there is a debate whether the condition even exists yet there are many millions of people with inexplicable pain. But some of us no longer have the pains which racked our nervous system to pieces where a good nights sleep is so sought after.
The treasure of sleeping well comes to us more easily when we are relaxed enough, namely the tension levels which can lower themselves either by the thought of a breath or the ability to let go – which for many, many, many folks no longer is the case.
So naturally we attempt to use exercise programs to exercise stress away. I’m not opposed to exercise yet as I said, when I play a 90 minute game of soccer, it’s all about the movement, the dance on the field, being able to avoid getting crunched and being able to take a hit and recovery quickly… but these are the games I play. What’s yours?
Exercise Programs – An Alternative Choice
Each week I offer online somatics exercise – using simple movement which can be thought of like as the reverse of an ab crunch or inner thigh lift for strengthening.
To come through the looking glass of exercise vs. movement is a novel way to experience what a difference a change of position can foster rather than forcing or pushing our self.
You can use this learning, then do your exercise in a reverse manner and discover for yourself if alternative exercise programs like somatics may be one of the missing links.
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.
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.
Fibromyalgia, FM for short, is a chronic pain condition, disease, syndrome or something which doesn’t exist, depending on your point of view. Some 5 million people have been diagnosed with pains which don’t seem to go away nor can be fully understood.
While I’m no expert on the subject, having been diagnosed with FM and successfully overcoming it… I can talk about a useful way to use our brains to change how our muscles feel and respond.
First, I’m going to talk about pain as an “it”. Like playing that game of tag, you know when you’re “it” and you wanted to get rid of “it” as soon as possible even though we were laughing, huffing and puffing trying to give “it” away to someone else.
Merely mentioning the word pain is sometimes too painful for people to even think about “it”.
Instead of talking about the aches, constant soreness, dullness, lethargy, burning, sore to touch, and tension which has you tied up in knots… see that might already be working for some of you.
I’d rather talk about “it” to take some of the edge away.
One of the most powerful lessons I learned along my way to a full recovery out of fibromyalgia. Yes, let me repeat that. I don’t have “it” nor got “it” anymore, nor am in remission, “it” isn’t coming back to take me down or out.
How can I say that?
Living pain free for the past 13 years is like a day and night experience. The night was like living in “it” in my 20’s and 30’s, where now… I am free, comfortable and no longer binded with any chronic discomforts.
Sure, there are occasional bumps in the road, yet in fact, it’s getting easier to move as I age. 50 is a good thing.
Life used to be too “it”-ful to even mention “it”.
During the period of recovery, I didn’t like to think of “it” as it seemed to rekindle more memories of “it”. Memories I wasn’t trying to repress, merely memories to learn from and let go of… saying goodbye to an “it”-ful friend and identity wasn’t easy… yet when that happens, you may be able to appreciate how not going there is necessary for that time being.
Yet life goes on, and “it” happens even when we’re living as healthy beings. Now all I have to do is tap into that resourceful brain of ours and feel the self-correction take place. We can self-regulate our self once we know how to wield the inherent powers of our brain/body.
Having been told “it” was all in my head… was actually pretty close to what some of the research is pointing towards… that the invisible fibromyalgia is a condition of the central nervous system.
If this is so, if “it” and you know “it” if you experience “it” enough… Would the possibility exist to change “it” from the inside, from inside our brain.
When we experience “it”… I knew “it” as body wide, moving here or there, zapping me, clouding my thoughts… making sometimes s-l-o-w and foggy decisions… at times often mis-understanding whatever verbal instructions over and over and over again… since I was about to forget them just as soon anyway.
Whew… too much work even if repetition is the mother of learning… and learning with a nervous system in jeopardy made it all the more frustrating at times. So if I ever met you and forgot your name… well that was par for the course and a person with fm was being a “normal” fm’er.
Now back to the brain… which can be changed doing simple movements.
The “tricky” part for people in chronic pain is to un-do patterns of movement which no longer serve us and re-establish new patterns which allow for a degree of different movement here or there.
Gradually, the brain and body learns how to un-learn what it is holding onto and remind itself of past patterns which were useful… while molding newer ones, we can move better as we age, otherwise what’s the point of going on binding ourselves over and over.
For “its” sake… something’s gotta to give.
Some of us know this state all too well and many people are looking for a way out.
The practice of somatics uses a brain process which is at the heart of somatics exercises. The exercises are more akin to un-exercise since they target a specific part of the brain to release muscles which are holding.
The downside is that it takes time to reorganize muscles yet the nervous system can be readily changed. A little bit of practice reminds the brain of how we once used it to self-correct the muscles.
The upside is easy, simple movement done with awareness… releases brain chemicals to allow the muscles to function at a better level while being tuned down to be less reactive and calmer… the binds begin to unwind.
Fibromyalgia, “it” sucks… yet with a little time re-organizing our nervous system… the brain can change and the body can feel young again, naturally, easily, and effortlessly.
Crashed yesterday while skiing… it was very Bode Miller-esque. Going for speed while having too much fun at age 50.
Our daughter, who was in the lodge, wondered who that person tumbling and sliding down the hill. She thought that maybe I would come to his rescue since she knew her mom and myself were coming down that very run.
Only moments before we were talking about people crashing and having trouble getting down some of the runs… oh well, my turn.
Sliding down the black run for a good distance, belly first with head up and skis up in the air behind me… it was time to dig in with the mittens and slow down. As a pole-less skier…
Skiing without poles is a practice in balance… and sometimes falls happen. I had long ago given up ski poles since it seemed liked a hassle when I was living with the pains of fibromyalgia.
Digging in, I could sense the possibility of popping back up on the skis… which somehow happened as I skied down to a smiling woman wondering if I just did that for show.
Well no, you see as I bombed down the steep run and got flipped, a knee gave way and I let myself slide down for some time until I could get composed enough to continue.
Today as I laugh about it and sit here with the knee raised up taking care of it, once again I was amazed at the powers of pandiculating like a pooch.
Sure there was some pain at night and in the morning.. so I naturally did what all healthy vertebrate animals do when they feel stiffness, yet in this case, I had to spend a little more time pandiculating with an injury.
What do wild animals do when they get injured? They’ll pandiculate. One day, I saw a squirrel fall out of a tree. He worked for nearly an hour until he righted himself and walked gingerly off into the woods.
Now, while I won’t be able to ski tomorrow… I certainly plan on returning as soon as possible… in the meantime I’ll keep on pandiculating like a pooch or squirrel to a speedy recovery.
Of the 5 million people diagnosed with fibromyalgia, intense chronic pain, 90% are women.
This neurochemical dis-ease affects the very people whose pain receptors are higher than others while at the same time they have lower pain inhibitors in their system.
While men learn to “suck” it up there are a whole host of symptoms like chronic fatigue, difficulty in sleeping, restless legs, etc.
Remembering where you put your car keys and other memory problems are common. Experiencing difficulty with concentrating, having headaches, and even irritable bowel are par for the course.
As a former 10%-er, yes I had a woman tell me that she thought I had the “women’s disease” when she asked me a lot of questions in which I responded yes to… and then finally getting doctors to diagnose it.
Yes to a variety of symptoms that I lived with in my 20’s and 30’s.
While there is no “known” cure for fibromyalgia, myself and others are now “cured” and no longer live with incessant pain.
Since there are pointers to chronic pain being neurochemical, I had to learn to increase my abilities of the inhibitory nature of the brain by actually having to learn how to move effectively so the pain receptors wouldn’t fire up… while at the same increasing the function of how I moved globally as one connected person.
“Getting out pain is easy” once you learn there is an actual living process which involves the brain to inhibit unwanted muscles from entering the show. Get those muscles to quiet down so you can move with greater ease and mobility and watch the stiffness leave as you rewire yourself neurologically.
While this may seem radical to some, it’s actually our birthright to move well…
The actual living process to engage in is called a pandiculation. We did this in our mother’s womb. It’s the very thing we think of as the morning stretch… which it isn’t.
It only appears to be on the surface. Much like when people see people with fibromyalgia and then hear, “you look normal or fine to me”.
For some of us, the 10%-ers, it’s a matter of getting back on track with simple, natural, easy movements that have been systematized to help get people out of pain and back in the game.
Since exercise as we know it fails many people, there is actually a way to un-exercise with gentle movements using the brain to make the changes we know or thought are possible.