Laugh till it hurts your cheeks! The focus is going to be on - breathing.
Notice your breathing pattern. What part of your body expands as you inhale and then contracts as you exhale? Does Your body twist or pull to one side as you inhale / exhale? This is easier to do when lying down. But stop and notice right now anyway. We all have asymmetrical patterns of how this happens.
Here are a few games to play while breathing.
1 - FORM: Standing, sitting or lying down using good posture (no slumping).
Movement: Inhale to the count of 4, Hold the air in for the count of 4, Exhale to the count of 4, Hold the air out for the count of 4. Inhale repeating the cycle for 3 minutes or more (whatever length of time works for you). Daily.
NOW as you're doing this breathing to the count of 4 notice what are you doing with the diaphragm. expand the ribcage breathing in more air. This can stretch the diaphragm. Notice if you expand equally in front and back, right and left sides of ribs.
2 - FORM: Standing, Sitting or Lying Down using good posture (no slumping).
Movement: On the exhale pull the navel towards the spine and upwards. Release and let the lungs vacuum pull air back into the lungs. Then REPEAT again
Exhale pull the navel towards the spine and up under the ribcage trying to expand the ribcage – pushing as much air out of the lungs as you can. As you work with this technique it becomes easier but never easy.
Do this 4 to 10 times for a cycle and repeat the cycle again later in the day.
RESULT: This technique will do several things simultaneously.
“I do this one daily and my liver has never been happier. It has room to move and perform its function now (not stuck). – Best elimination in my life! – And my facial skin is finally staying clear of acne.” Mary Wheeler, LMT
At the age of 9 my I was punched in the abdomen very hard by a classmate. I received surgery that evening resulting in massive adhesions and a very big scar from navel to pubic bone… Gosh it did affect and change my life and body… wish my family had taken me to a Chiropractor instead of to the OBGYN who did the surgery… And this event my friends has led me down the path I am on today sharing all I have learned - regaining the proper function of my BODY. Mary the one who is the author of all this stuff.
Back a little stiff from sitting at the computer for hours? The body is made to twist and bend, when we do not do these actions on a regular basis the body tightens up.
Here are three simple solutions just for you.
1- FORM: Sit up straight and lengthen the spine by sending the crown of head towards the ceiling and tailbone towards the floor. Arms are hanging at the side, now squeeze the shoulder blades together in the back (gently). Rise up your arms to the side about shoulder height making a T shape.
MOVEMENT: Shift your ribs, shoulders and head to one side as a unit (TORSO). Then shift it to the other side. Exhale at the end of each movement inhale as you move back through center. Gently move left to right and repeat.
NEXT: Move this torso unit forward and back. It may feel like a lift in the front moving forward and a tuck in the front rib cage when moving backward. Repeat.
Let's add these four movements together. Get into a good form by lengthening the spine.. Now shift the torso left, front, right, back, left… Repeating this round motion BREATHING all the time. Pause. Now move in the opposite direction. Right, back, left, front, right…
Form is more important than the force of the movement. Go gently.
See the video below Ribcage Movements to relieve stiffness.
2 – Form: Sit up straight and lengthen the spine by sending the crown of head towards the ceiling and tailbone towards the floor. Raise your hands and arms straight above you head. Squeeze the shoulder blades together in the back (gently).
Movement: Now bring the Left elbow down towards the waist leaving the Right arm extended up. Stretch the arms in the opposite direction letting the body tilt to the side, relax the neck. Exhale as you move into the stretch.
Reverse directions (inhale as you move to reverse the position). Repeat several times as needed.
Result: This will lengthen the muscles between the ribs and the hips and open the ribcage.
See the video below 1 Arm Up 1 Arm Down
3 – Form: Sit up straight and lengthen the spine by sending the crown of your head towards the ceiling and tailbone towards the floor.
Movement: With your spine lengthened inter lace your fingers together in front of your body. With bent elbows and hands close to the chest raise your interlaced hands over the top of your head a few inches and move posterior (to a comfortable position). Squeeze your scapulae (the wing bones on your back) together and downward (gently). While holding this position pull your elbows away from each other (towards the wall and backwards). Count to 15. Relax and repeat and often.
Variation: Pull the elbows towards each other - the front of the body while holding the scapulae together in the back.
Move Well - Be Well
Bring your attention to what it feels like
to sit or stand where you are right now.
Self-awareness is the first step to being able to relieve pain.
So take Inventory – right now! Just make a quick scan.
Start at your feet, ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, chest, back, neck, head, shoulders, arms, wrists, hands etc.
Does anything call to your attention?
Go back to that body part and take a closer inventory. What is happening there?
Feel, Look and Listen.
Pain Management is – Awareness, Relief, & Prevention.
You are the only one with you 24/7 so who better to ask about you than you?
Pick up your copy of "Hello! This is your body speaking" at Amazon.com today.
Nothing stays constant. All of us need the ability to find new pathways, discover new solutions & alter our behaviors, creating our own evolution.
Walking is one of my favorite activities. Daily, I walk 40 minutes (at least). I get sunshine, fresh air and time for myself. And moving my whole body feels great. This recharges me and helps free the tension I’ve stored in my body from my other activities.
I know you can achieve good results from walking too.
KEEP THESE KEY THINGS IN MIND -
Play the following game with yourself:
In a standing position, leaving the toes of the left foot on the floor as you raise the left heel off the floor – Let the knee bend and when your toes are about to come off the floor. Look at where your knee is pointed.
Are you headed in this direction?
This will give you your normal pattern.
If your knee is straight forward pointed in the direction you are going ,AWESOME!
If not and your knee is pointed at an angle away from center front - you will have tension in your leg adductors (inside thighs) and hip rotators (buttocks). Tension in these areas will compete with the action of the leg swinging straight forward. Stretch these areas.
Pick up a copy of “Hello! This is your body speaking?” at Amazon.com
Move well ~ Be well,
Lets talk about the ankles.
A great way to strengthen them is this:
Sit with your foot hanging freely. Just cross your legs or sit with legs dangling off the bed.
Now draw the lower case alphabet with your toes (rotating the ankle) - abcdefghij………z. Repeat with the other foot.
Here is something to consider.
Did you know that active calf muscles (leg muscle contractions) pump most of the blood back to your heart? Sitting or standing still stops this pumping action. So here are ideas to use if you are stationary for long periods of time at work, travel or play.
Just flex and extend your feet (rise up on your toes) as you are sitting there. Working the calf muscle. Pumping the heel up and down, together or in an alternating pattern. It can be toe up heel down also.
If you're standing yet stationary shift weight from foot to foot creating a gentle rocking motion – raise the heels up slightly as you go.
Pick up your copy of "Hello! This is your body speaking" at Amazon.com
Move Well - Be Well,
The Crane Stretch – It’s about the Neck - A way to release tension.
Form: Lengthen spine sending the tailbone to the ground and the top of the head to the ceiling.
Movement: Let the head tilt to the Left letting the weight of the head dictate how far it goes – GENTLY. Then bring the head to the center upright position – lengthening it. Next tilt to the right letting the weight of the head dictate how far it goes – GENTLY. Then bring the head to the center upright position – lengthening it.
Breath: Now layer in your breath. Two short breaths in through the nose while head is in center upright position. Two sharp exhales through the mouth while the head is leaning to the side.
Arms: Now layer in grasping your hands or arms behind your back.
Very gently repeat the COMBINED motion 5 to 10 times.
STOP IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY PAIN!
,I went for a walk recently (6-1-10) and so much rain poured on me at one point of the walk that I burst into loud laughter. My smile lasted for hours.
I walk most days. It is time I spend with my body – moving it and letting it speak to me about what it wants. My body gets stiff and tight from working and sitting. Then as I walk I feel my body loosens up – Ah!
As I build this relationship with my body – “my friend” it speaks back to me,
giving me insights as how to better treat it.
Be your body’s best friend.
The one of the reasons the computer is so hard on your eyes is that you are spending great amounts of time staring at a object with no depth. Look out the window and your eyes are required to use depth perception and peripheral vision. Your eyes are meant to see the prey or predator on the horizon.
Good movements to counter the computer stare are as follows:
This is interesting: “How Handwriting Trains the Brain”.
Your eyes and the computer - here is a great article from the Wall Street Journal “Becoming a Squinter Nation” http://bit.ly/91tRoM
Clothing is the subject. Do you have any clothing on right now that is a bit tight? Anywhere your clothing is tight or snug it will interfere with the body’s circulation. The flow of fluids can be slowed or cut off at waistbands, belts, collars/ties, cuffs, bras, underwear, Socks, shoes, hats, hair bands, and tight jeans. Loosen them through out the day ESPECIALLY THE WAIST LINE AFTER LUNCH. The stomach and intestines need to swell and move to process the food. Be sure to massage the all restricted areas to re-stimulate the circulation – shower time works well.
I love the look of my tight jeans with spandex. I can handle the spandex compression on my thighs for about 4 hours. Then my feet and calf’s start to retain fluids (swell) and I can get calf cramps the next morning as well. Here is a way to help swollen feet and legs.
On the floor, lie on your back, close to a wall. Put your feet on the wall, at about a 75% angle of the floor. Rest here for 15 minutes. Repeat this daily.
DO NOT JUMP UP QUICKLY! Roll to your side and sit up for 10 breaths before rising to your feet.
If you have swollen legs you may feel the fluids moving out of your feet to the body trunk and it may become uncomfortable. Use good judgment. You know your body better than anyone else.
Here are good pictures of your body’s fluid systems:
Closing the hand around an object – does it hurt?
Grasping with our hands is something we do all day long and we would miss it greatly if we were not able to grasp with our hands. Look at your hands right now and be grateful.
A favorite thing I do that helps my hands feel better is this:
Using a rubber band stretched around the outside of my fingers and thumb (one hand at a time) open and close the hand (spread the fingers away from each other). Repeat 10 times. Move rubber band to the other hand and repeat. Do this daily or more if needed.
This exercise uses the opposing muscle group opening (extensors) from grasping (flexors) and helps balance muscles.
When I first started doing this exercise I could only use the thinnest of rubber bands now I use the wide blue ones that comes around the broccoli at the grocery store. This technique helps with all kinds of hand and finger pain.
This little tidbit helps open the throat.
Place the underside of the tip of your tongue on the center of the roof of your
mouth and press upward. Now while keeping the tongue there, exhale through your mouth while pressing on the roof of your mouth with the tongue.
Repeat several times.
Self-Awareness through Daily Motion:
A glorious spring day it is. Watching life burst forth from the trees. Sap is rising, exploring to find the extent of its owners (the tree) new form. Has the form changed since the sap retreated the previous fall? I am not an expert on how a tree communicates with itsself but I’m sure the sap is integral. Would you not agree? The tree with its sap must fill all the voids. Pressing outward to receive an end-feel of where sap has been pushed to determine its boundaries.
“This is taking inventory.”
This is the place to begin, taking inventory, this is an assessment of where and how I am today right now. Any system that wants to operate effectively also must continually take inventory. My own self-awareness is exactly this same process. Always taking information in, assessing – placing value on this information, and adjusting or not. At the beginning I have to ask myself questions to get the ball rolling but in a short time my own internal intelligence takes over. My unconsciousness takes control. One of my possible first clues that an assessment has been made is the feeling of discomfort or pain. This could be telling me to shift my position in my seat or pull my hand away from a hot flame. When I feel the discomfort or pain I consciously begin to ask questions to guide me in my adjustments. These questions, assessments and adjustments then feed my unconsciousness. This is a feedback loop that works wonders creating a happier experience in my body.
We all learned to move our bodies by watching the people around us as we developed from infancy. Do you remember learning to crawl – the questions and assessments that must have happened while learning? Today the assumption is that we can get up out of bed today and move. At the very least as well as we did yesterday, until we can’t.
We (as a world society) are no longer using our bodies as they have evolved to be used. We have lost the need to squat, twist and reach with our torsos or lie on a hard surface to rest. We are at a place in time of "we use it or lose it” the healthy function our body that is.
Just as we learned to walk by watching and mimicking others, we have become static in our bodies by watching and mimicking others, and now to evolve again we must find new muses to watch and mimic. What do you want to look and move like as you age? Hard question to answer. We all want to look good and never deteriorate. No one is going to MAKE you change your behavior, only you can do that. What incentive do you need to stop, take inventory and make the first move to operate your body in a more effective manner.
Since it’s springtime, take a moment and ponder how the
sap is running in your awareness.
My book “Hello! This is your body speaking” will guide you step by step through taking inventory and introduce you to many ideas on how to explore making changes in your current activities.
Mary Wheeler, LMT