chronic pain

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

 

Revolutionary… Learn the “Reverse Aging Walk”

iStock_000012014469_Smallby Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

Don’t wait until you are looking too old, aging too fast, and living with chronic pain. Better to stay youthful, agile, and strong with a reverse aging walk of your own. But, even if you already have problems, it’s not too late. Here is just one of many stories of people who have learned the benefits of a “Reverse Aging Walk.”

“It’s old age. It’s arthritis. Learn to live with it.” These are some of the words of discouragement I had received about my chronic pain. A neck too stiff for driving, aching shoulders, burning mid back, sore lower back, unsteady gait, and tender knee were all the old injuries that came back to haunt me, limit my mobility, and dash dreams of an active life.

Luckily a friend recommended I try working with Betsy Wetzig. After one class of Coordination Pattern™ Training and Dynamics and a week of doing the suggested exercises on my own, my pain began to recede! Now, I have been attending Betsy’s group class for two years. I have stood in the kitchen pain free while chopping veggies. My knee is much more stable as I carry a heavy basket of clean clothes up the stairs. My neck is turning farther and with more ease as I drive. I am now dreaming of a brighter more active future!

My whole body is improving. Recently, my massage therapist mentioned to me that my bunion is improving because there is much more movement in the big toe joint and the toe is at a better angle. The large muscles in my body are stronger while at the same time more loose. My muscles and skin are more firm. The exercises are paying off. It is much easier for me to move and I am back to walking for exercise. Other people are noticing my improvements. Bernice

Move Better – Be Better! Join movement expert, Betsy Wetzig. Learn simple exercises that tap into your natural coordination of mind-movement and body-brain. Make your every step a “Reverse Aging Walk.”

Use Coordination Pattern™ & Dynamics Training. Move Better – Be Better!

  • Prevent joint injuries and pain
  • Improve balance and ability
  • Look better – more dynamic
  • Unlock stress reactions and tightness
  • Improve your talents and abilities

“Reverse Aging Walk” Workshop
Sat., May 14, 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Fee: $45
Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, West LV
Register at 610-398-9652

The Trager Approach

Rocking to Health  

Movement Education & Mind/Body Integration 

Have you ever been in an accident? Do you have weak posture? Are you fearful?  Perhaps you have developed emotional blockages or experiencing daily stress.

Dr. Milton Trager developed The Trager Approach, a psychophysical integration therapy, to treat his own chronic back pain. He became fascinated by how the body coordinated its patterns of movement in response to chronic pain or injury.

A Trager treatment consists of gentle, rhythmic rocking, and lengthening movements creating a state of deep relaxation and flexibility, which can allow the body and mind to achieve a state of balance and integration.

As the rhythmic motions progress, it is thought that deeper states of relaxation can facilitate the release of unhealthy patterns of tension between mind and body at an unconscious level.

By teaching the mind to unlearn these patterns of “blockage,” the body can also release chronic states of tension and become more flexible with less pain.

Conditions treated with the Trager Approach:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint irritation
  • Soft tissue discomfort
  • Improving athletic performance
  • Flexibility
  • Balance
  • Physical injuries
  • Neurological events (limited or restricted movement like stroke)
  • Tension headaches
  • Stress-related disorders
  • Emotional imbalances
  • Postural problems
  • Mobility issues
  • Pain relief
  • Increase physical mobility
  • Mental clarity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 
  • Sports injuries
  • Back and leg problems (sciatica)
  • Breathing issues (asthma and emphysema)

Two aspects of Trager Therapy:

Table Work: The client lies on a well-padded table in a safe, comfortable environment while your body is supported and gently moved within its pain-free range of movement and natural rhythm. You may choose to be fully clothed, or partially clothed and appropriately draped.

Mentastics: Dr. Trager developed simple, effortless movements to encourage playful exploration of “what could be freer” for your body. Integrating Mentastics into your daily life will allow you to enhance and recall feelings of ease, freedom, flexibility and joy. Mentastics can become part of the way you take care of yourself by relieving stress and tension. Instruction is offered in private sessions or class.

Bonita Cassel is a Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and has been practicing the Trager Approach since 1985.

For Table Work or Mentastics instruction, please call 610.395.3355

 

 

 

 

 

Could this be you?

And, the Vision is this…

One day a woman with a chronic physical problem had a vision.  It was of having an alternative health center to go to for pain relief and to gain the knowledge she knew she needed for lifestyle changes. She was ready to not only work on relieving her chronic pain but to get to the root cause of all of her concerns.

She knew she needed a place where she could work on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels. She also knew that there needed to be collaborating experts in these fields to give her the support, motivation, andthe self-awareness / education that she so longed for.

“When the time is right, the teacher appears” is a saying in the spiritual world.  She was ready to work at a deep level. Her desire was realized when she found Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center.  Now, she had collaborating experts in the different fields to help her with the psychological root cause, help her to be more relaxed, teach her how to eat healthy, and most of all teach her how to move in an effortless way to relieve her physical pain. 

How exciting to have expert practitioners in their fields give her the support, motivation, self-awareness, and all the education she needed to empower her ”self” so that she can be pain free and successful in all areas of her life.

Could this be you?

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center is your place for natural health and lifestyle changes!

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.