Back pain

TRUE HEALING For Your Aching Back

TRUE HEALING for Your Aching Back

Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

A while back, my client Bernice sent this message in an e-mail. “Last night I sat on a straight, wooden office chair. My left trap (muscle that stabilizes the shoulder and protects the neck) was screaming. I tried to sit back, forward, and anywhere in the middle. There was no let up! It went away when the concert was over and I got up. Do I also need to learn how to sit?”

Yes, Yes, Yes… The light bulb went on!  A major cause of pain and injury is the WAY people move, as in; sitting, walking, and standing. Bernice finally heard me and connected the dots. She had used massage, good eating habits, doctors, medicine/salves for pain, and even exercises from therapy. The good news, they made her feel better for a while, but unfortunately the chronic pains came back.  Stress seemed to play a major role. Why did stress make it worse?

How can you get to the core of the problem and change?  

The causes of your body not moving correctly are your “habits of movement.”  Most of the time, we are not even aware these habits are working. They function like an auto-pilot.

In fact, we have the possibility of two auto-pilots:

  1. Ergonomic Auto-Pilot (designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, safety, and ease of use)
  2. Coping Auto-Pilot (mechanisms for survival)

The way you handle stress tightens your joints, or braces your body. Organized by your Coping Auto-Pilot, this stress reaction is easily habituated and becomes something we use 24/7 or it gets stronger in times of aggravated stress. Some people in their 60’s still “march in the band with their shoulders too far back” as they walk, even though their last band practice was 40 years ago. Your Coping Auto-Pilot is about survival, or perhaps mis-training, but most of its habits are meant to be just for the short run.

You can get the Ergonomic Auto-Pilot to function most of the time, and the Coping Auto-Pilot just for survival times and special occasions with COORDINATION PATTERNS™ & DYNAMICS TRAINING. This training is what made Bernice finally aware of the true cause of her movement problems and the tools to fix them.  Based on the research of kinesiologists, Dr. Valerie Hunt, Dr. Josephine Rathbone, and others, this training functions at the core neurological level to improve both movement & mind!

Coordination Patterns™ & Dynamics Training: Betsy Wetzig, Founding, Instructor

 PRE-REGISTRATION: CALL BETSY @ 610-398-9652

Classes: Tuesdays 2:00-3:00 pm 

Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 pm

Private Sessions

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

Chiropractic – Your Spine Works Harder Than You Think!

Woman having back pain while sitting at desk in office
Are you working hard?  Your spine is working even harder!

Most of us—80% of Americans—experience back or neck pain at some time in our life.

More than half of sufferers say that sitting in the same position for long periods at a time has the most negative impact on their back health and thousands of workers admit that they spend virtually the whole day in the same position.

Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on the spine as standing, so your back is always hard at work even when you think it’s resting.

Research suggests that one half of all working Americans have back pain symptoms each year.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Sit up straight: Have your bottom against the seat back and shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. Keep arms relaxed and close to the body and placed on the desk when typing.
  • Drive well: Drivers’ seats should be set slightly backwards, and elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle.
  • Be computer compatible: The top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows and the chair titled slightly forward – knees should be lower than hips and feet flat on the floor.
  • Take regular breaks: Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes without standing to stretch or taking a little walk. Use your feet instead of the internal phone or have meetings standing up.
  • Drink Up: Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee.

Most times we don’t realize how hard we are working our spines – actually abusing our spines!  Our spine and pelvis may be out of alignment, keeping us from sitting straight, and we don’t realize it until we experience PAIN. Since the health of our entire body may depend on being in alignment, it is wise to have regular Chiropractic adjustments to insure that we live a healthy life. Your chiropractor can also advise you on simple daily exercise regimes to combat the stress of sitting.

We take our cars for routine check-ups!  Do you do that for your spine?

We take our cars to the garage if it is running poorly!  Do you see a Chiropractor if your back is working poorly?

Chiropractic Care is available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA, West Lehigh Valley

Be smart…if you are experiencing pain or if you want to prevent pain,

Call 610-841-3395 today for an appointment.

 

 

 

Incorrect Walking: Stop Long-Term Damage

By Betsy Wetzig, BA

Pain associated with the feet, knees, hip and back is often caused by the habitual imprint of walking incorrectly. We can spend lots of money getting adjustments from health practitioners, and it will help; fundamentally, if we don’t stop long-term damage and continue to walk incorrectly, in a way that caused us the problems in the first place, then the condition will reappear.  It is even worse for all the people who just medicate the pain, and accept it as part of getting old or old sports injuries.

Worse still, it is not just pain we have to worry about.  Real damage is being done by many people because of the way they walk and you may be one of them.  For just one example, it can cause hip damage.  As Exercise Physiologist, Vreni Gurd, “…I  frequently see this same faulty walk pattern (overuse of the hip flexors) in those that have had or are about to have hip replacement surgery.  I think it is possible that overuse of the hip flexors during gait may pull the femur slightly forward in the acetabulum, potentially creating a wear problem leading to the need for hip replacements.” Milton Trager used to call this faulty walk the sit walk and it is caused by the misuse of the four Coordination Patterns that organize our walk, especially in this case the Swing Pattern.  In his Mentastics work, Trager applied an exercise which happened to be in the Swing Coordination Pattern to fix it.

As Vreni Gurd explains, “We can improve our walk by exercises that will help us to release our hip flexors and position our hips so that they will rotate more easily.  However, to fix our total walk, we need to fix our whole walk and our whole walk is a coordination of all our body parts.”  More is needed.  We need to learn how to loosen, lengthen, strengthen and coordinate our muscle/joint systems. The motion of the neck bones and weight motion of our head do affect the way the ankle is working and vice versa.

By trying to fix your walk partially by doing such things as putting your head in a certain place, holding your stomach flat, or pulling back your shoulders, you are usually doing more harm than good. Fortunately, the body-movement-mind system has a built-in way to function ergonomically.

So, why doesn’t this corrective system just kick in and fix us?  Well, our coordination system works something like the hard drive on a computer along with possible “apps.”  The hard drive keeps the ergonomic functions ready, but the habituated apps can easily get in the way. You might get a coordination app because you were in a cast for a while, so your body adjusted your balance and movement to accommodate it, but when the cast comes off, it is easy for pieces of this app to remain. Your body has a new habit of walking.  Perhaps you keep your weight shifted, or you don’t re-synchronize your gate.  Or you might also have a stress or pain reaction and get into the habit of living with tight ribs.  The apps that were useful for a while no longer serve us well, but we don’t know they exist or how to turn them off.  There are hundreds of reasons we put the apps on.

The good news is that you can clean up your “computer” and get back to the ergonomic hard drive through the correct use of the Coordination Patterns

You can do simple easy exercises and the principles of using the Patterns to optimize your walk and:

  •  Improve body mechanics, and the way you move – walk, sit, play sports, etc.
  • Reduce or eliminate joint/muscle pain, and support healing
  • Learn how to deeply relax, and live in a more relaxed ergonomic way
  • Use correct breathing to enhance your movement abilities
  • Learn to easily loosen, lengthen, strengthen and coordinate muscles/joints
  • …even use physical exercises to improve mental abilities.

Isn’t it time for you to fix your walk and stop long term damage from incorrect walking?  Coordination Pattern Training is the easy answer.  Have your walk analyzed today!

Private Sessions, Classes, and Workshops available.

Injury Prevention & Walking Restoration Workshop

Saturday, March 28th, 9:00 am to Noon, $45 (2 for $100)

Betsy Wetzig, international presenter, movement researcher, and dancer-choreographer, is founder and director of Coordination Pattern™ Training, Psyche-Soma Dynamics, and Full Potential Learning. Her work on Leadership Training includes co-authorship of Move to Greatness: Four Essential Energies for a Whole and Balanced Leadership and co-creation of the FEBI® (Focus Energy Balance Indicator).  She has created DVD “Coordination Pattern™ Training in Support of Tai Chi” with Tai Chi master Bill Newman.  Her work includes training for Pilate teachers, InterPlay Leaders, body workers, athletes, dancers and people who want to move ergonomically.

 

 

The Feldenkrais Method ®


Reconnect with Your Natural Abilities to Move, Think, and Feel

Experiencing back, neck, shoulder, or knee pain? Having trouble focusing your attention? Not enjoying activities anymore? Gentle Feldenkrais lessons can help you reconnect with your overall well being.

Learning to move with less effort makes daily life easier. The Feldenkrais Method focuses on the relationship between movement and thought allowing Increased mental awareness and creativity to accompany the physical improvements. Everyone can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method because you will learn to fully use yourself and this self learning leads to full, dynamic living.

The Feldenkrais Method is a gentle and effective approach that helps with:
• Pain reduction and relief from chronic muscle, joint or headaches
• Recovery of lost movement abilities
• Recovery from surgery
• Neurological conditions such as MS or stroke, neuropathy, etc.
• Improved breathing and sleep
• The ability to shift habits of movement and holding – which may have begun as a response to your injury or condition and are now a source of pain or restriction in themselves
• A range of skills to help yourself recover function in your daily life

After attending Feldenkrais classes, one has the experience of the body feeling completely different – much more free and pleasant.

Positive change doesn’t come from using willpower, strength, or holding the body in certain ways to move. These behaviors and attitudes caused the problem in the first place.

The Feldenkrais Method teaches how to allow the body to do its own thing according to a natural flow principle. It is all about slowly repeating simple moves while intuitively searching for an easier way. This method of rehabilitation is designed to change movements of the body by re-training the nervous system.

Feldenkrais offers particular benefits for all kinds of people who move for a living or enjoyment: entertainers, athletes, movement teachers, & health care providers, etc.

Carol Siddiqi, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais practitioner has been teaching Feldenkrais since 1999 following a 4 year training program. Carol is also a certified instructor of Kripalu Yoga and Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga.

Structural Integration, the Rolf Method

I  Want to Dance Again!

Mary Beth was a middle aged woman who taught ball-room dancing when she was younger and now was complaining about neck and upper back pain.  It became chronic and she didn’t know what to do for it except take pills.

 

One night Mary Beth had a dream. A wonderful dream where she was back dancing across the ball room floor. When she awakened from the dream, she remembered how it felt.  Oh, she could feel it so clearly –

  • how energized she was,
  • centered inside and feeling balanced
  • moving with ease, pain free
  • so very fluid, graceful and present – floating across the dance floor

As she laid there remembering, she gradually came to the realization that there must be a way to get all that back.  She was determined!  She wanted to dance again, be her old self!  But, she knew that this positive change for herself had to be in a natural way. No more pills!

After doing some on-line research, Mary Beth learned about Structural Integration and felt hope for the first time in years that she could enjoy dancing again. These treatments, she learned, could bring her body into balance. She was committed and made an appointment.

For sure her injuries and lifelong habits disrupted the natural alignment of her body and prevented her from being able to move freely.  Pain and strain was her body’s way of telling her that it was out of balance.

The Structural Integration sessions focused on her body’s complex matrix of connective tissue in a way that brought all her body’s parts into more smoothly functioning relationships – it integrated her whole system.

Some months later, Mary Beth was back to dancing and as she floated across the ball room floor, she felt like she was back in her dream – gracefully dancing with ease, pain free. She was enjoying life again!

She realized that even at her age, it paid off to be open to change!

Andrei Kazlouski, Structural Integration (Rolf Method) Practitioner