Archive for Health and Fitness
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?
It’s not a big deal, unit it happens to us, right?
What we might think of as an uninteresting movement where we throw out our back from reaching for something.
Or when we throw out our hip like Devi who experienced agonizing pain from a Bollywood dance class.
Afterwards, she couldn’t walk because of the hip pain and her doctor told her, “Well if you’re like me, you’ll walk through the pain. Assuming the pain would still be there”.
So she got her crutches and decided there might be a better way out of this.
See, I had planned to teach a different somatics exercises class and had to scrap my plans since Devi was in obvious need as I saw her walk from the car to the building with crutches.
While she couldn’t lie on the floor (which is how we normally go about it), she was able to sit on the floor and that too wasn’t easy for her.
Then I found out what she could do and created a set of easy, gentle somatics exercises which are movements which would help release stored trauma in the body.
It was simply modifying a few things and coming up with a couple of patterns where she could initiate the smallest of movements.
As she listened to the guided instructions and followed along, she was able to free herself from her hip pain.
While a number of doctors aren’t aware of this brain processing possibility (some are, of course). Our brains have the ability to reset our nervous system so our body can feel more comfortable.
People who practice conscious Somatics Movements already know how to target the brain or are continuing to refine their ability in a precise way to restore trauma stored in the body so it can let go.
A week later. Devi went dancing again.
When you redevelop your sensory motor system in a unique way which is how somatics exercises are done.
You learn to use the least effort to gain more flexibility.
This shift, of your body experienced form within, is what a practice in Somatics Exercises can lead you towards.
Want to feel, know and experience the moves Devi learned?
These are same of the same types of conscious movements that have helped people who are in bed finding it difficult to move, only to discover that the struggle and holding tension levels and pain ease off.
Want to discover some of the most powerful scientific and spiritual conscious expansion tools on the planet – doled out in daily nuggets you can do in minutes and it’s 100% free to join in.
The ancient practice of meditation has even gone mainstream with my local NFL football team, the Seattle Seahawks. Go Hawks!
Shucks, my fellow soccer competitors may come out of the closet too and reveal how the mind, body and spirit can be dramatically lifted.
Inner Riches Meditation Experience for All Types of Athletes & Non-Athletes Too
It’s been part of my sports performance and soccer training for some time, although I add in brainwave entrainment that most anyone can do – and this is what you’ll learn about in the Inner Riches Meditation Experience.
So if you’re looking for a way to breakthrough or hop on board to a more empowered and fulfilling life – you gotta join us.
Plus, this event is 100% complimentary.
If you’ve never meditated – no worries – this event is for ALL skill levels.
Achieve Quicker Life Results with the Inner Riches Meditation Experience
You’ll be able to overcome any number of blocks or obstacles which can get in the way of what you in life – from your health, fitness, money, relationships, a job or career, and what you want to leave behind for others.
You can do this and achieve an exceptional state of meditation on demand.
Join us today in the Inner Riches Meditation Experience.
Jamie Oliver is at it again with Food Revolution.
If you’ve got to learn the fundamentals of reading and writing so you can support yourself later in life. Doesn’t it make sense to learn about the very thing you put in your mouth everyday ?
The body experienced from within, aka somatics, also has to do with how your body feels.
Food Revolution at school
How your body can be a barometer in what you eat and how it makes you feel wasn’t particularly addressed in any of the schools or university I attended.
OK, that was awhile back when we had real – not REAL – food devoid of many the insidious ingredients that many of us can’t pronounce or actually know what it is.
So Jamie has a petition where you can sign:
to help kids know how to simply prepare a meal and find out what ingredients – like tomatoes, asparagus, and apples – are actually about.
Food Revolution Question?
Did you know one of the definition’s of food says this: any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth.
What is necessary for health and growth is one thing. You probably know or have an idea of what it takes to thrive and feel great when it comes to food or its next level of nutrition.
It’s almost hard to believe in an abundant society, there is a need for a food revolution – but what do your eyes see at schools today?
Do you think a food revolution makes sense today?
Somatics can free up those muscles unlike other approaches out there
Somatics exericses are simple movement patterns where we use the brain’s cortex to reset our muscles back to comfort. Instead of hard work, we use our body with ease in a very intelligent manner. All you need is gravity and yourself.
Check out our 3 New Training Videos
We’re changing our former free mini-course and now have expanded it with 3 comprehensive somatics training videos where you’ll also get to download and keep several audio mp3 trainings so you can:
• Regain Mobility
• Restore Natural Flexibility
• and Recover Quickly From Injury
Simply by using 3 Steps.
What you’ll learn in our new training videos
How you can get out of back spasms by yourself…
The key somatics exercise which is a bridge to the entire system of somatics…
How to end stiffness.
How to conquer tension.
How to take on stress and beat it.
How to remain comfortable for life and more…
New free somatics video trainings available now.
Are you a back whisperer? Can you take yourself or someone you know out of a back spasm fairly quickly?
Unless of course you’re a back whisperer.
While most adults have experienced back pain, some 14% of us will live with it for several days. 26% of us live with back pain for the entire day. That’s just wrong or so I say having had to endure back pains in my 20’s & 30’s.
The Back Whisperer and Back Spasms
Recently a client explained how he had helped a boy recover within 10 minutes from some back spasms.
“I was just at leadership camp and a kid went down with severe spinal spasms. I took a nod from you and moved him from completely rigid and incapacitated to walking around normally in under 10 minutes. Very cool.”
The kids who witnessed this now call him the back whisperer.
That is pretty cool since 39% of us live with back pain for a few hours. Are these people their own back whisperer or what is it that most of us do to overcome back pain?
Half, that’s 50% of the people pop pills. A good 1/4 use over the counter measures while 1/5 use prescriptions.
For the rest of us that are trying to do something about it, 34% do stretches some other type of exercises. Men outnumber women in terms of the percentages who are doing something.
Back Whisperer – Men or More Women
Does this mean women already do something right? Do they have less back pain? Do they know the way of the back whisperer?
In any case, the back whisperer secret is free for all of us to try. You can join our free mini-course and learn how to do the very maneuvers the back whisperer used on his young charge.
Hanna Somatic Educators know how fast back spams can resolve by carefully moving in simple, easy movement patterns when coupled with our awareness. By being aware of our movements, we resolve many holding tension patters and as a result, your body may say thank you.
Be Your Own Back Whisperer
No need for pain meds, no special equipment, and no arduous exercise involved. The secret of the back whisperer is awareness.
Instead of being yet another statistic, why not find out for yourself if you can be a back whisperer too.
Are you a sugar baby?
A stealthy public health crisis is happening according to Dr. Lusting.
Is being a sugar baby leading us to obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease?
Watch this 60 minutes interview by CNN’s Sanjay Gupta.
The next time you try some sweets. Take a moment and feel what’s going on inside.
How does your body respond?
What do you do after dessert or drinking some pop?
How does it feel to be a sugar baby?
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!
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.
Back rotation doesn’t have to be an arduous, straining event. We oughta be able to simply reach into the backseat of our car and grab those cookies when we want them.
The practice of somatics is most often s-l-o-w so the nervous system can foster the necessary changes allowing the brain to rewire itself for higher function and easier ambulation.
Back Rotation and Somatics
Somatics can be revved up a bit and done at a more exploratory level which mimics the practice of feldenkrais which is the predecessor to Hanna Somatic Education and the somatics exercises.
The difference lies mostly in the intent, yet both practices can produce wonderful outcomes such as:
• an easy sense of back rotation
• better hip mobility
• a freer neck
• and improved coordination between the shoulders and hips
Thus walking becomes smoother, more efficient and effortless.
Central to this is the function our spine.
When we tend to specialize with our muscles in a specific exercise, we forget that we are one piece, one “somewhat” integrated system of movement. We are generally doing exercise specific to a body part rather than paying more attention to our overall movement which is vital and maybe more fundamental to our well-being.
I say “somewhat”, because many of us live with compensation and substitution patterns which we may not be conscious of. Consequently, we are not as fully functional as we could be.
Easy, effortless back rotation and a fluid neck
By reminding our muscular system of its capacity to move as a whole, we can have the ability to have easy, effortless back rotation for instance.
The kind you need while driving a car so you can easily look back and not just rely on the mirrors.
Many times a pain in the neck happens because something else in the system of movement is compromised, so try as we may to move our aching neck further… it doesn’t or is strained by our efforts.
By freeing up our system of movement, easier back rotation, leads to a more fluid use of our neck.
Subsequently, coordinating the movements at the shoulder with the hips to create better cohesion with easier back rotation, again allows us to more fully appreciate how well we can freely move.
Improving back rotation with somatics exercises has delighted many people. One particular movement, generally called the dishrag or 4 way twist is often many people’s favorite movement and the one they do everyday.
Freeing our neck and improving our back rotation can be fostered when we not only pay attention to the upper back yet also taking the lower back into consideration and awareness of the movement of the entire spine.
While there are static stretches which purport to increase our range of motion.
The movement system is key, not a static system.
When will I ever need to stay twisted for any length of time. The ability to twist, rotate and bend in any number of degrees is far more satisfying.
Just watch how animals gracefully crane their necks by moving their backs and trunk around. You won’t see them hold a pose in order to gain range of motion, yet they can comfortably live with back rotation that is easy. They gain range of motion by using the movement system consciously.
For us, our back rotation problems, hip immobility, tight necks and stiff shoulders, can be solved when we include a finer sense of our mobility possibilities through gentle movement so our brain can relax the muscles by creating enough muscular output to tune down the tension so that the necessary chemicals of relaxation can bathe our muscles and remind them to let go.
Back Rotation Class
In this week’s class, I’ll be offering yet another form of somatics differentiation, where we’ll do the necessary s-l-o-w movements and also a quicker combination of integrated movement patterns so we can literally feel our way to self-improvement and greater efficiency.
As we age, we can continue a positive development by differing the way we even do our somatics exercises. While somatics are great ways to tune-up the body and ready it for the day, we can explore the possibilities of combinig the s-l-o-w way with a different speed while paying attention to the quality of the movement.
Moving quickly doesn’t mean that the range of motion has to be large either.
We just have to set our mind to noticing what we can at slightly a quicker tempo when we move well and notice in the following days how our upright movements change in response as the integration develops.
Pleas join me as I give a new class where your:
• hips will be freer
• your neck will receive a lot of attention
• your back rotation will increase with easy mobility
• and you’ll be able to coordinate the actions of the spine, trunk, hips and shoulders by doing most everyone’s favorite movement pattern in a way I haven’t taught before.
Join me live or get the recording of this back rotation class.
When you go out to do whatever physical activity you engage in and over exert yourself, what form of recuperation do you use?
Do you use a hot tub? Do you use ice or ibuprofen to soothe your muscles?
Laurie and myself thought we were going to play in an over 45 co-ed soccer tournament last past weekend and found out it was over 40 instead. What are you going to do at our age?
Preparation & Recuperation
Good thing we both practiced our somatics exercises in preparation. We also did them in between and after the games all weekend.
This method of preparation and recuperation allows us to move more freely after engaging our bodies in an activity that is not normal in terms of our human development. All the cutting back and forth while wearing cleats is not what the natural design of the body has been used for over time.
Wearing our joints down with this un-natural and at times risky movement activity can exact a price. We’ve watched over time how many people struggle.
Even this weekend, we are watching how teenagers are barely making it through one game of soccer, in spite of all the training they are receiving.
Makes you wonder how much knowledge is applied when it comes to recuperation even at this young age.
In our age group, while others were doing some stretching, using tiger balm and downing ibuprofens… I kept a keen eye on who would make it through all the games without hearing the usual complaints of stiffness, soreness, aches, and over exertion that is very common not only in playing in adult leagues but the extra level it sometimes takes to make it through an entire weekend-warrior competition.
With our gray hairs, we both comfortably walked away with a 3rd place trophy. We were both happy how our bodies held up in the 90°+ heat in Yakima, WA at the aptly named Sunburn Tournament.
Our Preferred Method of Recuperation
Our preferred method of recuperation, using somatics exercises, allows us to be able to successfully compete and not have any of the usual stiffness afterwards. We had other weekend plans in store for the drive back.
The fresh air felt incredibly well to breathe. It was odd that only a couple of hours before we played in the heat of eastern Washington.
We didn’t have to traipse around at some 5400 feet, instead we comfortably ambled about enjoying the 5th National Park in the U.S.
Nature has a way of restoring one’s health even after grinding it out on the playing field. It’s as if our recuperation was fostered by hiking in the clean mountain air full of alpine flowers and snow in August.
The following night we headed over to our usual over 50 fun league to play a more recreational level of soccer and once again our bodies were well recuperated so that we could enjoy playing at the indoor arena.
The indoor game is a different type of game than the outdoor version. The movements are shorter and sometime quicker on account of the ball bouncing quickly off the boards and glass. Our quick reactions and the ability to respond without being hung-up is vital.
Laurie’s son accompanied us. He also got to play in a game. As we were leaving, all 3 of us were asked to just stay one more game, so we played with the younger 20’s somethings.
Now in between games, I thought I was done for the evening and would enjoy one of those malt filled beverages that many people use as a form of recuperation. Little did I know that I was about to play once again.
On our ride back, our teenager complained of being tired. Both Laurie and I heartily laughed as we compared the number of games we all had played. The old folks had him 5 to 2 (and 98 years to 15) and neither of one of us were sore, stiff, or aching as a result.
Even Grandma knows how to wield recuperation
I cannot rave enough about how amazing our recuperation powers are when we use the brain using the simple somatic movements.
While it’s of great help to have a positive mind-set, it’s fun to see how the body just keeps moving well along for the ride.
Even grandma, who missed the last step of getting off of the boat on their boating excursion to Canada, twisted her knee and asked Grandpa to show her some of those somatics exercises he diligently practices.
Grandma, like the rest of us, found how quickly her own powers of recuperation came to the fore when she used the somatics exercises which gets the brain to release held states of contraction while improving muscular function.
Brain based exercises like somatics take the edge off of the muscular tension, stiffness, and the stress we accumulate. Now had I only known this when I was living with fibromyalgia, I might have spared myself the many years of chronic pain.
No matter, to move well… can happen at least at age 50 and beyond for others. I’ll let you how it goes when I get to 60.
My hunch is… in the next decade I’ll probably learn a little more on re-balancing the nervous system and refreshing the body with somatics exercises.
All it takes is simple, easy movements which remind the nervous system to calm things down a notch. The powers of recuperation and moving comfortably lie well within us.