How Could This Pain Have Anything to do With Stress?

How Could This Pain Have Anything to do With Stress?

Sarah took the Effortless Meditation™ course because she was intrigued by what she heard in the introduction session; however, her primary motivation was to support her sister who enrolled in the course. She knew her sister was in distress and she felt that her sister would be more comfortable taking the course if she participated with her.

The first four classes proceeded smoothly, and when they returned in two weeks for their fifth session, Sarah remarked that she hadn’t had any stomach pain in two weeks.  Since she hadn’t mentioned stomach pain as a concern, I inquired about it.  She explained that during the preceding two years, “I’ve had every test in the book to determine why I have pain every time I eat. It’s gotten so bad, I hardly eat at all.”  None of the tests have found anything abnormal and just last week, her doctor explained that he thought stress could be the culprit.

How could this pain be due to stress, she asked.  Sarah said she thought her doctor was crazy, but now she’s seeing that he was correct.  Her pain is real, it’s not in her mind.  Stress causes tension and muscle contraction.  Hold a tight fist for a couple hours and tell me it doesn’t hurt!  Under chronic stress, muscle tension cause headaches or pain may show up in our jaw, arms, abdominal area, anywhere in the body.

The deep rest and relaxation of Effortless Meditation was relieving the tension in Sarah’s muscles.  Deep rest is an antidote for stress, it relieves the stress response.  The proof, Sarah was without pain that had been plaguing her for years, and she was able to eat again incomfort!

Deepak Chopra, M.D. would explain that this wasn’t magic, it’s based in science.  Sarah was meditating every day as prescribed.  Her smile said she couldn’t be happier.

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

The Unexpected Leadership Breakthru with Coordination Pattern™ Training

Susan was looking for what? All she  wanted to do was relax, learn a bit, and take some time for herself.  The Self and Joy Renewal Retreat was running at Twin Ponds Center. The flyer said, “Enjoy fun, play, food/cooking, music… along with mind-movement understanding.”  Why not give it a try?

On the first night, as the group was making the English Tea, Susan realized that what she really wanted was to break out of the behaviors that were holding her back at work. Already, she was getting a core understanding of how she functioned and differed from others. So when filling out and discussing Betsy’s handouts on Family Styles and Types, she saw how some of her “restricting” habits were learned in her family and culture while others were her reactions to stress.  A light bulb was going off, “I can change!”

Overnight she glanced through Betsy’s book, Moves to Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader. The section on Swing/ Collaborator/ Leadership weaknesses really hit a cord.

By Saturday, Susan was already using her new creativity and communication skills. Who would have thought her plate of vegetables… as she is a person who always has to be “Correct and Proper” … would win the “Most Humorous” award. Although it was, as Besty pointed out still wonderfully placed and orderly.

Later, as the group made and enjoyed dinner, Susan was fully on board with her newleadership skills.  She had actually experienced how the Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training exercises opened up her movement and most surprisingly, her mind; how they allowed her to Swing into her interactive and playful self which had been ignored and pushed down. She told Betsy, “I can hardly wait to lead my next team meeting at work.  I used to dread them.  Now I can enjoy and use my team members’ ways of functioning instead of trying to control and organize them into little copies of me…… I’m wondering what George’s reaction will be when I start enjoying his stories and jokes instead of giving him a dirty look to keep him on task.  It makes me laugh just to think of it.”

Susan was so thrilled with what she learned at this workshop that she signed up to attend the weekly classes.  She knew that this Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training helped her to break through to a new and improved level of leadership and a more satisfied life.

Betsy Wetzig, Originator of
Coordination Pattern
Breakthru Training

Moving with the Feldenkrais Method for Sciatica Pain

Proper body mechanics are important at all times, but especially when you are struggling with low back pain due to injuries like herniated discs or sciatica.

Medical experts will often prescribe gentle exercise, physical therapy or mind body practices like yoga or Pilates, before considering interventional treatments or surgical options. A recent press release in the San Francisco Gate announced the publication of a new book entitled Stop Sciatica Now, which teaches individuals struggling with sciatica symptoms how to use the Feldenkrais method to alleviate their pain. So what exactly is this and how does it work?

The Feldenkrais Method was named for its founder who was a physicist, mechanical engineer and judo pro who developed the technique to cure himself after sustaining a debilitating knee injury. He based his ideas on biomechanics, physics and human development. The concept is that people develop certain habits in how they move.

When a person sustains an injury such as a herniated disc with painful sciatica symptoms, he will start adopting new patterns to compensate for the pain. It is believed that over time these new patterns actually hinder recovery so that he must develop a new perspective on functional awareness and develop new ways to move that enhance coordination and flexibility and ultimately reduce pain. The student must develop new neuromuscular patterns to retrain his mind and body–searching for new ways to move naturally.

Consistent with the idea that this is an education, individuals practicing the technique aren’t referred to as patients but rather as students.

If you suffer with sciatica from a herniated disc and your doctor has suggested exploring ways to get active through gentle movement, the Feldenkrais Method may be something you want to learn more about. The Mayo Clinic indicates the Feldenkrais Method is utilized for neck and back pain as well as neuromuscular issues.

In a session, the instructor guides the student at first with verbal direction and then with a hands-on approach, through a series of gentle movements. The student may be lying on the floor, seated or standing as they learn how to develop an awareness of new movement patterns.

Carol Siddiqi, CYT, GCFP, has been teaching Yoga, Feldenkrais Method®:
Awareness Through Movement and Functional Integration® for more than 30 years