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Freedom, Chains and Baby Elephants

by Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

Perhaps you have heard about the baby elephants of India which are trained to stay in one place by chaining a foot to a post on a short chain.  Because of this training, as adults, when placed by a post they just stay there without any chains.

Lots of life coaches and therapists have correctly recognized that people can also have similar internalized chains or blocks to their behavior.  It helps to make positive mental changes, like making “to do” lists.  However, the root of the problem functions in our psychosomatic system, i.e. a system which is both deeply physical as well as mental.

Notice the baby elephant was given physical as well as mental triggers.  He not only learned to restrict his movement a certain way.  He learned that frustration and a bad feeling (physical feelings and reactions) could happen if he moved the “wrong” way.  He patterned his “movement” and linked the safe, good-feeling, way to his specific movement way, by limiting his movement.  He patterned himself (physically and mentally) into his blocking behavior.

For people, our way of knowing/being/doing and even habituated stress responses are. embedded in our movement-mind-body’s Coordinating Patterns .  The good news is these Coordination Patterns and their Dynamics are easily utilized for releasing internally patterned chains and blocks.   Simply stated, Coordination Patterns® & Dynamics’ Training** was designed by movement researcher and Twin Ponds own, Betsy Wetzig to utilize this movement-mind-body link and its mechanisms of our style and behavior for health and well-being.

In fact,  this training can help people do all sorts of marvelous things better, like… walk younger, do Pilates or yoga, golf, write a play, prevent pain and injury, forgive, communicate,  handle stress, and create a well-functioning team or family.  Betsy gives workshops, classes and private sessions at Twin Ponds, and even internationally. She recently added work with the Multimaster Pilates Toning Table for power assisted exercise, re-patterning, and rehabilitation. 

*¹Based on the work of researchers and kinesiologists, Valerie Hunt and Josephine Rathbone.

Breaking a Sweat Exercising?

atm_class1[1]Do it Easier and Better with The Feldenkrais Method®           

By Carolyn J. Reese

The best exercise for me, so I thought, was to move fast and push myself as much as possible.  Then I learned how important it is to exercise slowly and gently so that my body/mind system can work together more efficiently. Yes, when the body moves, the mind changes for the better! This new way of exercising has greatly helped with my arthritis and Post-Polio Syndrome. It is called…The Feldenkrais Method.        

WHAT OR WHO IS FELDENKRAIS?  The “who” is Moshe’ Feldenkrais, a physicist, mechanical engineer and one of the first Western black belts. After reinjuring his knee, having surgery and going to rehab, the doctors told him that he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

His understanding of how the laws of gravity and motion affected the mechanics of movement allowed him to develop short exercises that helped educate his body in easier, more efficient movement patterns. He eventually used this knowledge to teach patients effective techniques for self-rehabilitation.

THE FELDENKRAIS METHOD, based on the principles of physics and biomechanics, was developed from his experience and understanding of human physiology and the connection between mind and body. 

With this discipline, commands are carried from the brain to the muscles, tendons, joints, and skin, and then reports on their condition are sent back to the brain. The purpose is to improve movement patterns rather than treating specific injuries or illnesses.

The Feldenkrais Method claims to be successful in training the nervous system to find new pathways around areas of damage.

At first, lying on the floor in a relaxed way and moving slowly, I mean really slowly, didn’t make much sense!  Little did I know that the slower I moved, the more my brain was engaged (mindful) and the more my body responded. Even visualizing a movement changes the brain and helps the body!  Being a “senior,” has given me years of incorrect exercising and therapy, but now with the Feldenkrais way of exercising, I don’t have to worry about hurting myself the way I used to and my body is retaining the improvements I made.

The Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement classes consist of a series of verbally directed and carefully structured movement sequences involving the body and the imagination. The movements are performed in a variety of positions – lying down, sitting, standing – which address a range of functions necessary for the safe, effective and powerful use of one’s body.

This safe and easy way of exercising can help with:

  • Reducing pain, back and neck aches, headaches
  • Re-educating the brain and nervous system to develop new ways of moving and perceiving the body
  • Orthopedic problems in bones and joints (poor posture or habits of movement that may cause pain)
  • Stroke patients, head trauma, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, neuropathy
  • Degenerative arthritis, Fibromyalgia
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Segments of our society: athletes, children, elderly, martial artists, artists, musicians, movement teachers and health care providers

“…the Feldenkrais Method can undo many of the aches and pains that plague us, and I currently recommend it to patients whose movement has been restricted by injury or chronic pain.  I also believe the Feldenkrais Method can help older people achieve greater range of motion and flexibility, and help all of us feel more comfortable in our bodies.”        –Andrew Weil, MD 

This style of exercise is not only revolutionary, but an enlightening experience! 

Attend a Feldenkrais Class or experience a private session of Functional Integration call Carol Siddiqi 610-618-0467

 

What Your Brain Needs You to Do

by Meg Deak

Do you get laser focused on the things you need to do,
and then get that wired/tired feeling?

Are you so intent on what you’re doing,
you have trouble seeing the forest for the trees?

Is it hard to get to sleep?

When you are focused – paying attention, thinking, planning, even worrying – your brain is processing in a brainwave state known as Beta. The electrical activity of Beta ranges from 12 to 38 HZ, or cycles per second, which is pretty fast.

Now focusing is a really great thing, especially in our ADHD world. The trouble comes when we get stuck in that gear. We can’t or won’t stop thinking. Too much of a good thing is too much. When our brains are processing fast, it takes a lot of energy. When something revs up for a long time, it’s likely to burn out.

Your brain needs to slow down, take mini-breaks.

treeAlpha Is the next level of processing, or awareness. Slowing down the brain’s electrical activity to between 8 and 12 HZ, opens your awareness and takes it inside. It’s like widening a lens that has been focused on an ant, walking up a tree. You open up to take in the whole tree, and then become aware of the forest.

Notice the crossover around 12 HZ – at the high end of Alpha and the low end of Beta. There’s the sweet-spot, where we get into a relaxed, focused state. Imagine being able to see the big picture in a usually stressful planning meeting.

Next, we move down into Theta, 3 to 8 HZ, which is a story all its own and best saved for another time. Hint: think learning, creativity and psychological health.  

Delta is the deep, sleep-through-a-thunder-storm kind of sleep. Its slow brainwave activity of .5 to 3 HZ is the state where the body heals and repairs itself. Large quantities of DHEA, the growth hormone, are released; it’s natural anti-aging.

So, what does your brain need you to do?

Let it slow down:

  • Take a mini-break every 90 minutes, where you get up and walk around, look out a window.
  • Close your eyes and gently hum on one long tone.
  • Turn off the music, TV, computer, phone for at least ½ hour. How long can you live in the silence? An hour? How about 2?
  • Learn to meditate

If you have trouble meditating, or find yourself unable to slow things down, try ourvibroacoustic-005 Vibroacoustic Sound Chair with Brainwave Entrainment. Our system uses specialized audio recordings with a uniquely-designed sound/light system and vibro-acoustic chair to help change your brainwaves.  These changes allow you to reach deeper states of relaxation and awareness.

Increase your brain’s efficiency, manage stress, sleep better, remember what it feels like to be deeply relaxed – these are all within reach. Call Meg at 610-504-4830 to see how we can help.