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Feb
21

Body and Balance (8 Tips)

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Loss of Balance

A loss of balance can happen even if we’re messing around with our body.
 
Balance can seem elusive at times since certain factors can affect it and our brain.

1 – Compensations

For example, our shoulders can round forwards.
Posture - Rounding Shoulders, Chest Caving In, Palm Backwards, Knees Bent, Slumped Over

It’s not uncommon to see this coupled with the palms facing backwards.
 
You might think. No big deal. Yet, this out of neutral.
 
Neutral is when the palms face each other.
 
Try This
 
Move both shoulders forwards and feel if your chest sinks or slumps a little.
 
You know how when we have a bad day, how we can slump. While it is OK and normal to have a bad day here or there.
 
Life can add up to form this posture and keep us out of balance.

2 – Stress or Tension

This type of posture can lead to discomfort in the chest or upper back.
 
This can compound when high stress levels add the weight of our world on our shoulders.

3 – Life’s Events
 
Fun life events can take us down too.
 
See, as a sports fan, if you follow a team like I do which has not won a championship the past 50 years. Replaying this can have a negative affect. I’ve slumped many times over what should or could be fun.
 
Of course, when your team finally wins. The joy can send you to the moon!
 
So life and how we take part can affect us. This can challenge our internal balance where the brain can get altered.

Comfort & Safety to Restore Balance

If things are off kilter, one way to get back in balance is to tap into the brain to change it for the better.
 
You can change the brain by coupling the act of doing a movement with feeling how your body actually moves.
 
This may sound simple. Yet movement is a high level orchestrated event.
 
Even if you live in states of chronic pain, high tension or stress. There can be a small window where there is comfort or safety.

Doing vs. Feeling

See, the “doing” of a movement is one thing.
 
The “feel or sensing” at a deep level is another.
 
These are two distinct parts.
 
This may not be obvious to an outside observer who sees only the doing.

When you direct the mind and body together, this is what can help restore balance.
 
We do this using one of nature’s most potent acts.

Not Exercise in the Usual Manner

Exercise is generally considered a good thing.
 
The word “exert” may give the idea that it has to be hard work.
 
We tend to flip it and rather than exert, we focus on easy, gentle movement done with a level of awareness.
 
This is a far different approach than regular exercise where that is “more about doing”.
 
Moving with awareness couples the doing and the feeling.
 
There is much less exertion and more focus involved.

R.O.M. vs Q.O.M

Regular exercise may go for range of motion (ROM).
 
Moving with awareness is about quality of motion (QOM).
 
You tap into or notice the inherent quality of your own unique manner of movement taking place.

Human Movement System

See, the movement system involves many layers of muscles and fascia.
 
The fascia which covers the muscles has more sense receptors than the muscles.
 
So from a qualitative view, there’s a lot that can be going on underneath the surface of a simple movement.

Find Out How to Recharge Here

Plus, you can do and feel this in a playful, gentle or lazy manner. Yet, you can tune in and recharge at a very high level.
 
By tuning in, this is how we can change a posture and restore balance.
 
Not by trying to go for it or with force. You learn how to regain control with feeling and doing at a surprising minimal level.
 
So, to help with that. Here are…

8 Somatics Tips for Balance

Somatics, defined as the body experienced.
 
Since we focus on movement, you can apply this to exercise too!

1. Move with the least effort

This often goes against many people’s idea of how to exercise. Yet when we live in discomfort, this makes more sense. And it is safer to do.
 
If you are active, you can pay attention to your sense of effort rather than pushing with your efforts.
 
Remember, this has more to do with noticing the quality of movement itself.
 
This difference in attention is what make a big difference. This is what helps healing, recovery and living in an easy, flexible, fluid moving body.

2. Breathe with your movement

Often we tend to go on autopilot when it comes to breathing. So, becoming aware of breathing and how this is impacts your sense of effort can be quite revealing.
 
You can add this twist in. Do a movement and hold you breath. Feel or notice how this can affects the quality or feel.
 
You can choose to reverse your breath in the manner of how you would go about it. This can also affect a movement or the quality of feeling it too.

3. Move as a system not as a muscle

The big muscle–the brain–sends messages to the muscles. Then the muscles sends back a message to the brain. This feedback loop is full of information to be aware of and use.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Sensory Motor Feedback Loop

This lets you adjust your level of effort.
 
Plus, you can tune into or throughout your entire body since you are one connected living being.

4. Thoughts can affect movement and impact our body and balance

Sit and think.

Conjure up a thought and feel how your muscles respond.
 
As you do any exercise or movement, choose to think a thought and feel how your body responds.
 
You can play with different emotions to feel how your body responds as you move.
 
What does a thought or state of emotion do to what you feel as you move?

5.  Comfort is king

There’s no need to tough it out.
 
Use a prop to help feel as comfortable as you can.

Lean on Me Props

A slight adjustment of an angle or body position may be the necessary thing to do. This way your body can be as comfortable as possible at that moment.
 
Experiment with either a prop or change of position to suit your immediate needs.

6.  An exercise can’t hurt us

People will tell me they tried a certain exercise or even our gentle movements where they say. “That exercise hurt”.
 
It’s not the exercise or movement. It’s our brain which can respond in a painful programmed way.
 
This is useful information on the road back to balance.
 
If we try to force our body (and it doesn’t have to take much of an effort), it can react.
 
It may want to protect itself, especially if it is in an injured or in a chronic state.
 
This is the tricky part to getting back to the comfort zone on a more permanent basis.
 
It’s normal to err while learning how to get the brain to change.
 
There will be inevitable ups and downs on the way to regain control in a confident manner.

Get Back to the Fundamentals & Quality of Movement Itself

Un-Exercise & Move Well for Life!

So to repeat, it’s both what you do and how you heed the quality of of the feeling of what you do.

7.  Imagination is the least effort

In difficult times, you can use your ability to imagine a movement or exercise.
 
You won’t hurt yourself using this approach.
 
See, if you are having a painful flareup. You can still imagine a movement taking place.
 
I know this isn’t always easy. We’re more likely feeling or paying attention to the discomfort.
 
So why not give the brain 2 things to deal with. This is what helps breaks the cycle of pain.
 
When you learn how to be mindful of a movement, it is ok to feel whatever you feel. The more you can tune into, the more your brain sees a potential other option.
 
Thus, it’s program gets changed a little at a time until you get to a breakthrough.

Imagine This 

Do this slowly using your imagination.

• Move your ear to your shoulder as you move the shoulder towards the ear.  Then imagine the ear and shoulder slowly moving away from each other.
 
Repeat that a couple more times.
 
√ Could you sense any movement or any feeling taking place?
 
Now that you have the idea.
 
Go ahead and actually do the movement.
 
√ How did the actual (entire) movement feel? How did it compare with your imagination of the (entire) movement
 
√ Did it feel the same or a little different? Only you will know.

Unleash Your Imagination

Move with Confidence & Control

See only you will know (and feel) what you feel or sense.
 
Only you will know whether you were able to feel how your spine moved or shifted.
 
Only you will know if you could feel your hip move or a shift of weight in your hip.
 
Only you will know if you could feel or sense a weight shift in your foot.
 
If you didn’t feel a thing – that’s sensory information. You may have some SMA.

Success

 
Successful athletes others have used imagination and visualization techniques for quite some time.  
 
You can do the same by visualizing and feeling to the best of your ability.
 
This can set you up for an effortless way to regain balance in the body.

8Pain is our greatest teacher and gives us back our body and balance

In our practice of somatics, you learn how to wield pain and discomfort to your advantage.
 
This may sound counterintuitive. Yet, this is how you can get back control.
 
Pain is a signal you can change.
 
You dissolve it with an intentional use of feedback loops of information.
 
You gradually move move towards more comfort and pleasure.  You gain the internal know-how and mastery with practice.
 
Once the brain remembers that it can produce more positive feel-good sensations. You’re well on your way to restoring and maintaining balance.

Somatics Body and Balance Movements


Our approach was
initially designed to help:
 
Lower tension,
Free up stiffness,
Reduce stress,
Restore balance…
 
On the way to healing and resolving pain for good.
 
Gentle, mindful movements are now proven to be “the first thing to do to relieve pain”.*
 
It’s up to you to go inside and take control of:
 
• The brain and your own awareness,
 
• Using mindfulness,
 
• Paying attention to breathing,
 
• Noticing coordination throughout the entire body,
 
• Feeling tension levels,
 
• And learning how to Restore Comfort.
 
This innate ability restores and reconnects the brain and body from within.
 
Thus you can Move Easily and Restore Balance on Demand.
 
This is what we do (and feel) in the Somatics Un-Exercise Classroom.
 
Simple (yet powerful) conscious movement patterns pave the way.
 
This leaves the brain & body refreshedrestored and in balance for more happy days ahead!

Brain-Mind-Body Work Together

* 2017 ACP (American College of Physicians) Guidelines to Relieve Pain

Oct
30

Coordination Exercise (Revised Edition)

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Did you laugh while trying this coordination exercise?

It might have been easy for some of you.   If it was, trying doing it with your eyes closed.

Could you do it with a sense or feeling of ease rather than struggle or a lot of effort?

For the rest of us who may have teetered or tottered, let’s break it down another way.

Breakdown of this coordination exercise movement

While you’re sitting on a surface, you let one knee bend out to the side, while the other knee is bent out in front of you.

It doesn’t matter if your knee (which is bent out to the side) is jacked up in the air.  You do what you can with what you got.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Knee Out to Side

Grab a hold of the foot of the knee which is not bent out to the side. 

You get a hold of that foot with both hands.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Hold onto foot

If you can’t reach the foot, then it’s ok to hold the ankle, above the ankle or somewhere on your lower leg.

Then you start to move towards the knee that is on the surface or near it.

But, instead of going for it like you initially might have tried…

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Begin the Movement

STOP HERE Instead.

Stop Somatics Exercise

Then you begin to reverse course.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Reverse course

Then once you get back to where you started.

STOP Again.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Stop, Rest, Pause

When you move again.

“IF”

If moving over that far was a bit of a struggle.  Then on the next attempt you can either move less or try it again.

When you do it again, try and feel as much as you can in terms of where the effort is coming from.

If it wasn’t a struggle, then move out only that far (just a little ways).  See if you can make that smaller movement with a slower and smoother return.

Next Move

So now that you’ve got the idea.

“If’ you want to venture out a little further, then go ahead and move a little further out or towards the floor.

Remember you don’t have to.

You could “think” about going further out when you reach your comfort zone of that movement.

Somatics Exercise - Thinking or Just a Little Further

Once again, stop if you ventured out a little further either physically or mentally in your mind’s eye.

Then reverse course and…

Somatics Exercise - FEEL as Much as You Can

This is where the goods are at.

By feeling what in the heck is going on.

Like any of the shifts or wobbles.

Now you’re using your brain to “watch” and/or “feel” what is going on.

Rest again.

Then if you’re comfortable or you wanna check it out.

You can go for it.  (In your mind’s eye too).

Somatics Exercise - Roll onto Elbow

Then when you reverse course…

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Reverse Course from this Point

Once again “feel” as much as you can.

What muscles are you using?

Where do you feel all the action happening?

If you wobble or weeble on the way back, that’s ok.

By the way… Were you holding your breath or gritting your teeth to “do” the movement?

The Other Side

So when you go to the other side.

Keep in mind you don’t have to go for it… unless you want to.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - The Other Side

If it’s hard or a struggle on the other side…

Then either do less.

Or “think” you can and simply feel whatever you can as you do or imagine that particular movement taking place.

Coordination Exercise for Natural Flexibility

First, a movement which looks easy takes a lot of:

  • coordinating actions
  • a good sense of mobility
  • and natural flexibility.

Mobility, is the ability to move easily or freely.

This is what sets up an ability to remain comfortably flexible.

Things have got to start moving first before any of us can reach certain states of flexibility.

The way we do this with somatics exercises – which is the reverse to most approaches out there – has more to do with the brain and body.

See, we achieve natural flexibility by not stretching.

We are targeting the brain in a precise manner so you can feel as much as you can using feedback loops like your sensory-motor system.

Somatics Coordination Exercise - Sensory Motor Feedback Loop

Since the brain communicates to the muscles, we get the muscles to be more adept at their jobs by reprogramming the brain’s software.

This brain update allows us to use a more refined level of mobility, so flexibility is more easily maintained.

So if you’ve got your mobility and flexibility, then coordinating movements or exercises like this one, can be relatively easy.

No struggle, no fuss.

Effortless Movement

So what appears as effortless movement is a brain and body event.

Many of us can do it or get back to it by working with the brain and body.  This is what our Classroom helps people discover.

Since ALL the healthy vertebrate animals…pandiculate.

Healthy vertebrate animals are doing it

We take things a step further by applying more conscious attention.

Developing or redeveloping the ability of effortless movement can be gained using the brain’s intent to do or imagine certain specific movement patterns.

For example, the coordination exercise is a kind of a higher level somatics exercise.

This would be something we’d do at the end.  First, we’d explore or break it down so we can build up to it.

Though it’s good to test it out first to see and feel where you are at.

Coordination Exercise to Build Strength

You can naturally and quickly develop the requisite strength by setting up the building blocks of movement so a coordination exercise such as this one… becomes effortless.

While it might feel as if you gotta give it some oomph.  Strength can be achieved in many ways.

Somatics exercises lead us down this path as we need the requisite freedom in movement of our smaller muscles to move the larger ones.

Then we can more fully appreciate different levels of easy coordination on the way back to recapturing lost or forgotten abilities.

Somatics Exercises Coordination Class

Somatics exercises were initially designed to help people overcome all sorts of pain from all sorts of activities.

Even if we’re in the couch potato group – which don’t get me wrong – I love lounging out too.

Easy, gentle movements, which are broken down into manageable parts, paves the way for easier movement overall.

Conscious movement done with a simple 3 step method – frees the body so comfort returns again and again.

We’d love for you to join our freeing the back, hamstrings, coordination class where you’ll get the chance to see and feel how your hamstrings and back will lengthen, when done in a specific conscious manner.

Plus, you’ll learn the simple trick of knowing what to use to make this coordination movement feel and look easy.

Somatics Exercises Class 34 - Freeing the Back, Hamstrings, Coordination

So, let me know if this somatics coordination exercise movement was easy or a bit of a laugh.

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