Feldenkrais®: Making the Impossible, Possible and Easy!

Feldenkrais®: Making the Impossible, Possible and Easy!

Anna, a middle aged mother of two has been experiencing more and more physical pain as she gets older. A childhood auto accident left her with physical challenges, but now her hip is the main concern. Her physician said that she would probably need a hip replacement in her future.

Naturally, Anna became very fearful about this prognosis and mentioned it to Laura, her good friend. Laura told her that she had read an article recently about an alternative health modality called Feldenkrais that helps people with hip problems, arthritis, and other painful physical conditions.

Anna was a little skeptical, but pursued the search for a Feldenkrais practitioner and made an appointment immediately. Sure enough, her experience after her first private session, which was called Functional Integration®, made her feel very hopeful.  Her tight muscles felt more relaxed and she was more aware of her body feeling more open. The practitioner used gentle, non-invasive touch and verbal instruction to guide her in her own movement process. As she walked down the hall after this session, she felt taller, her balance seemed to be better, and her hip was not hurting like it did before the treatment.

After a couple private Functional Integration sessions, the practitioner suggested that Anna attend some Feldenkrais classes called “Awareness through Movement.”  During the class the practitioner verbally directed the students to highly sophisticated movement sequences that were very pleasurable and effortless.  She did most of these exercises while on a floor mat, but there were others in the class who did them sitting in a chair.

Since Anna has been attending the classes for a couple months and doing the exercises at home, she has gradually felt less and less pain in the hip area. Her balance and flexibility has greatly improved along with her range and ease of movement.

What her original research said was that Feldenkrais exercises help at a fundamental level by improving the body’s underlying neuromuscular and skeletal organization. Learning new ways to move can be an essential addition to the treatment of neurological, orthopedic, chronic pain and stress-related conditions.

Since she caught the problem soon enough, surgery in her future is unlikely; however, she has learned that those who do have hip surgery still benefit greatly from the Feldenkrais classes because their physical therapy recovery is so much easier and faster.

Feldenkrais classes and private sessions are available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.

There is never enough food for a hungry soul!

Many of us realize that we are overweight and/or recognize that we are driven by food cravings that lead to unhealthy food choices. And most of us are aware of the impact of being over weight or obese – lethargy, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and gastrointestinal problems are just a few of the major complications. So, why do we continue to overeat and make unhealthy choices about food?

Ultimately, it’s not about the food, it’s about the lack of fulfillment (the hungry soul) inside us. It drives us to eat to satisfy an emotional not physical need.

How do we bring greater fulfillment to our lives and make healthier food choices? A good place to start is with positive lifestyle habits such as exercise and meditation.
Effortless Meditation™ changes our brain and improves our thinking; brain waves
become more coherent and orderly during our meditation.  The state of restful alertness in our meditation brings peace and serenity to our lives. Adding this revitalizing experience, ideally as a daily practice, works wonders.

Try one month of feeding your soul daily by quieting your mind with meditation. I suspect you will quickly notice that you are developing a growing awareness and sensitivity about your need or lack of need for food. Making healthier and smart food
choices comes more easily, almost automatically with growing awareness.

With greater mental clarity and awareness, you will be better prepared to improve the quality of the food that you are consuming. Just as a high performance engine does best on high octane fuel, we thrive when our food is packed densely with nutrients. In
contrast, if we eat foods that are mostly “empty calories” (e.g. soda, white flour and highly processed nutrient sparse foods) we will continue eating and consuming excessive calories in order to get the nutrients that your body needs. Nutrient dense foods energize us and satisfy our hunger with fewer calories.

Be gentle with yourself, meditate, get some exercise, and eat well.

Greg Schweitzer, Director of Stress Reduction Resources and Effortless Meditation™ Instructor for more than 30 years

Acupressure: Holiday Health Is In Your Hands!

Ready or not, the holidays are coming! Along with the hustle and bustle, stress slowly builds. Who wants to waste time running to the doctor and spending money on pills? There are gifts to be bought and wrapped, decorations to be placed, cards to be sent, parties to attend, cookies to be baked, food to prepare, and on and on! Just thinking about it, creates stress. Save your precious time for the joys of the season. Don’t let stress take control of you.

There’s no better time than right now to learn how to take charge of your health with the healing touch of your own hands.

How can this be done? The ancient Chinese practice of acupressure brings balance to the body using the power and sensitivity of the fingers and hand. Through the use of gentle finger pressure, tapping, gentle pounding, and pressing meridians at acupoints to even the flow of energy, health and wellness is restored.

The body has twelve healing energy pathways (meridians) as identified by traditional Chinese Medicine. Energy (chi) flows through these meridians and your holiday stress and tension can cause them to get blocked at the acupressure points. By effectively using acupressure techniques, energy begins to flow through the meridians reducing muscular tension, increasing circulation, and enabling deep relaxation. Stress is relieved and harmony is restored to all body functions.

Let this holiday motivate you to relieve the stress that is stored in your body now (and even more so as the holidays approach), strengthen your resistance to disease, and ultimately maintain your health. Join us to learn self-care applications and pressure points for not only holiday stress but many other specific conditions.

Give yourself the gift of stress relief this holiday. You don’t have to shop for it, wrap it, or return it!  You’ll have it for the rest of your life to use at any time you feel the need.

 

 

 

 

Do You Know Why a Lymphatic Massage…

is beneficial for your health? The lymph is like its red brother, blood. It filters foreign matter and removes excess fluid, protein, and waste products from the tissues and transports them to the blood to be circulated and eliminated.

If the lymph didn’t do its job, you would die from protein poisoning within
twenty-four hours.

Unlike the blood, lymph does not have a heart to pump it through the body. It moves along slowly with the help of the contractions of voluntary muscles (a reason exercise is beneficial), squeezes of intestinal muscles, and pulsations of nearby arteries. The negative pressure in the chest cavity provides suction.

External hands-on stimulation helps increase the passage of lymph, especially when it gets backed up.

Lymph collects at nearly eight hundred nodes throughout the body, with two hundred in the neck alone. When nodes become swollen in the neck, armpit, or groin, the areas feel tender.  And, when the ankles, feet, legs, arms, and hands become thick with accumulated fluid, you have edema. Lymphedema also may occur following the removal of lymph nodes due to cancer.

Therapist and doctors report good results for:

  • sprains and bruises
  • puffiness in the face following cosmetic or dental surgery
  • muscular spasms from overuse or chronic tension
  • also figures in the treatment of:  sinusitis, burns, acne, scars, arthritis, emphysema, migraines, tinnitus, trigeminal neuralgia, spinal injuries, and some cerebral disorders

For patients who have undergone such operations as hysterectomy, prostectomy, and mastectomy, clinical evidence indicates that Massage Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) moves fluid when an area can no longer perform this function. If begun before the 5th month of pregnancy, it can serve as a preventive for swelling and stretch marks.

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center has 4 Lymphatic Massage Therapists.  If you would like to make an appointment, please call 610.395.3355.

“I was introduced to the Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center while undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The massages continue to be very helpful in my recovery and well being.” Mary 

Research by European scientists confirms the effects of MLD. From the book, “Discovering the Body’s Wisdom,” by Mirka Knaster