exercise

Ergonomic Exercises Can Prevent Injury & Improve Minds!

Ergonomic Exercises Can Prevent Injury & Improve Minds!

By Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

 

Even walking, your body, mind and brain have an ergonomic “best way” of functioning.  (Ergonomic – designed for maximum comfort, efficiency, safety, and ease of use). This “best way” uses neuro-muscular patterns to manage and coordinate movement and mind.  Unfortunately, this system can also cause us to function in less than optimum ways.

Among other things, this system functions in our psychosomatic capabilities.  Even the dictionary defines “psychosomatic” as: a physical illness that is caused by mental factors such as stress, or the effects related to such illnesses. However, our psychosomatic system can function to heal us and help us function ergonomically. It can help us handle stress to prevent injury, and deal with our habituated stress reactions in a positive and releasing way.

Based on mind-body-brain research, Betsy Wetzig used this core coordinating system to develop Coordination Patterns™ & Dynamics Training. Ergonomic exercises are turned into an ergonomic life!

This Training uses simple physical exercises to:

  • prevent injury/pain, rejuvenate
  • improve physical skills (yoga, ports, etc.
  • improve breathing
  • release physical stress reactions

This Training’s Behavioral Dynamics’ explorations improves the use of:

  • perception, awareness
  • creativity
  • styles of art, learning
  • leadership, living
  • communication, relationships, and emotional reactions

If you want to live the “best way” in your life, consider using the movement/mind exercises of Coordination Pattern & Dynamics Training

For more information call Betsy Wetzig: 610-398-9652

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 Workshop: Ergonomic Exercise to Transform Your Life! Sat., Oct. 26, 11 am – 1:00 pm, $45

New class starting: Wednesdays 6:30-730 pm, $75 per 6 classes

A “Good-Bye Letter”

Discover Yourself with the Feldenkrais Method®

The following letter was written by a doctor who experienced a hereditary spine condition. He was a client of Carol Siddiqi, a trained practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method of Movement®. Carol worked with him for more than 8 years in the private Feldenkrais lessons called Functional Integration®. These lessons were tailored to his learning needs as Carol guided his movements through gentle non-invasive touching and words. The learning process was carried out without the use of any invasive or forceful procedure as he laid on a table or sat on a chair fully clothed. Over the many years working with Carol, his knowledge went far beyond the anatomy of his body. Read the following to hear his gratitude and the improvement of his physical condition.

Hi Carol,

This is a difficult note to write, but I’ve decided to discontinue our lessons. I find saying “good-bye” to you difficult because I deeply appreciate what you’ve taught me. You have inspired me and I respect and admire the person you are. Before I met you, I only knew I had ribs, shoulder blades, and a pelvis because I attended anatomy lab. Now, I can feel them and have techniques to free them up, not like you can, but I can “play” and make progress.

Some of the things I learned and am experiencing:
• I understand movement and walking so much better
• I can feel the unity of the body and the connectedness of the parts
• I’m always amazed how you work in one area and then I feel a softening and movement in another area
• I’m more confident walking
• Your stories of others striving to overcome disabilities, and seeing how you’ve responded to injuries has been inspirational

I’m so glad Dr. Feldenkrais devoted his life to developing these lessons, glad you found him and glad I found you. I feel the weight of responsibility to keep striving, playing, and working. I will keep you fresh in my mind as I do so.

I wish you the very best of health and satisfaction and trust you know what a wonderful difference you’ve made in my life and, I have no doubt, in the lives of countless others. For me, you’ll always be the woman who can make floors and tables soft.

Thank you, Carol

Charles

The Feldenkrais Method® is a form of somatic education that uses gentle movement and directed attention to improve movement and enhance human functioning. With this Method, you can increase your range of motion, improve your flexibility and coordination, and rediscover your innate capacity for graceful, efficient movement.

By expanding the self-image through movement sequences, the Method enables you to include more of yourself in your movements. Students become aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns and rigidities, and learn to move in new ways.

The Feldenkrais Method® helps those experiencing:

  • chronic or acute pain of the back, neck, shoulders, hips, legs, or knees
  • central nervous system conditions such as multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and stroke
  • musicians, actors, and artist can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity
  • seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort
  • healthy bodies, but wish to enhance their movement abilities

Group classes are called Awareness Through Movement® where the Feldenkrais teacher verbally leads students through a sequence of movements in basic positions. These precisely structured movement explorations involve thinking, sensing, moving, feeling and imagining.  By increasing awareness, the student learns to abandon habitual patters of movement and develop new alternatives, resulting in improved flexibility and coordination.

“Make the impossible, possible; the possible easy; and the easy, elegant.”       – Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc.

Awareness Through Movement® classes: Mondays 5:45 – 6:45 pm

Feldenkrais Method of Movement® private sessions: 

Call Carol Siddiqi, BS, GCFP, RYT

610-618-0467 or carolsiddiqi@hotmail.com

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

 

Tai Chi / Qigong Saved Me from Fibromyalgia

By Carrie Lowry

Fibromyalgia for me was a slow starter and gradually got worse. It was clear to me that staying in bed all day should not be an option. Then I saw an article on the benefits of Tai Chi/ Qigong for Fibromyalgia and felt that this could be a good way for me to get back into living. I was middle aged and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life being miserable. I learned that it was important to get my body moving and just moving around the house was not helping at all. This was a real down time for me!
The common symptoms I was experience were:
• Muscle pain
• Extreme fatigue
• Sleep problems
• Bowl problems
• Depression

It took about 3 months before I could be diagnosed. My doctor tested painful tender points during an examination. He asked me about the exact pain I was feeling in certain areas such as over my neck, back, chest, elbows, hips, buttocks, and knees. These areas were small and much more sensitive than other nearby areas. The doctor also checked other points on my body that were not tender points to make sure I didn’t react to these as well.

Getting the diagnosis gave me some emotional relief because then I knew what I was dealing with. I’m big on research, so I got busy learning what I could do for myself. One of the important things I learned was that I needed to move. Yuck, just the thought of it at first made me cringe!

The research showed me that Tai Chi and Qigong are two mind-body practices that originated in ancient china and have been practiced there for thousands of years. People of almost any age or condition can participate.

One of the results of doing Tai Chi and Qigong are heightened feelings of well-being along with a variety of other health benefits such as:

Boost in energy
• Decreased pain and stiffness
• Better sleep
• Better physical and mental health
• Feeling better allows me to be more active – helps with depression

The research at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston reveal that a significant number of patients with fibromyalgia responded well to Tai Chi, experiencing alleviation of joint pain and other symptoms. This study is published in New England Journal of Medicine. I’ve also learned that trials have shown there were better results with Tai Chi / Qigong than reported in trials of drug treatments for fibromyalgia.

I was motivated and really engaged and after about two months started to feel much better. Improvement was gradual, but steady. Seeing the other students in my class, who I now consider friends, has also given me something to look forward to. My experience with Tai Chi / Qigong has been very positive, so I highly recommend it to all those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Check with your doctor who, I’m sure, will recommend that you do gentle exercises. Tai Chi is perfect for this.

I now understand why Tai Chi / Qigong have lasted for thousands of years in China. It’s greatly helping me and my friends in so many ways.

Join one of Crystal Klein’s 4 weekly classes offered at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center of the Lehigh Valley, located at 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA. Call 610-395-3355 for more information.

Immune System Boost

Protection
From Foreign Invaders!

We depend on our national military to protect our country from foreign invaders, but do you realize that YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR BODY from its foreign invaders?

Your personal military is your immune system.  How successful is it?  Is it supported and well trained by you?  Are you confident that you are well protected?

Your immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend your body against attacks by “foreign” invaders. These are tiny organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections. Your body provides an ideal environment for many of these invaders and it is the immune system’s job to keep them out or, failing that, to seek out and destroy them.

When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result and an immune system boost is necessary.

The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them.

The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.

Sound like a war zone? Don’t wait until war breaks out. Get an immune system boost with a healthy lifestyle of eating well, exercising, and managing stress, and your immune system will support you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Carrie Lowry, Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

                                                                                                                        

 

Step by Step…Breath by Breath

A Meditation Walk

A Tip from Coordination Pattern™ Training

For some people, like me, meditation is the most fun when it is done while walking.  You can still quiet your mind and relax.  The secret of doing it, I call the butterfly breath. Try it sitting down first.

1) The exhale>Blow your air out as you would do if you were trying to blow a butterfly off a flower.

2) The inhale>Open your mouth and allow the air in.  Don’t pull the air in with face, throat or upper chest muscles…. Just allow it in. (Note: You may feel your hip move slightly forward and back as you do this breath.)

After you have mastered this breath sitting then try doing it as you walk.  Some people take 3 steps for each exhale and inhale.  Some people take 4.  Just experiment and find a comfortable stride and number of steps for you. 

Next try counting your breaths and try to relax.   You can even say in your mind “One relax.  Two relax.” Etc.  Count to 10 and start again. When you have this moving along easily, just keep your mind on the count, letting yourself just witness what is around you without becoming involved or making judgments.>> Your mind and body are quieting.

Next stop counting as you walk and just think of one neutral word.  You can use the word “relax”.  Say it over and over as you walk, at first replacing the count.  You can eventually let go of keeping it in rhythm with your walk if you want to, but you do not have to

Just let it simplify. Let everything you do be easy.  Keep just witnessing your environment.  You are there and have a knowing of what is around you but you are not engaged with thoughts of it.  Keep mentally saying your word or the word “relax.”

This type of meditation may not give you the full benefits of sitting meditation; but, It does:

  • quiet the mind
  • helps you relax
  • burn calories while gently exercising.

Coordination PatternTraining improves the use of the whole brain and gives improved access to all its intelligence and skills. It can be applied to improve Communication, Leadership, Creativity, and, Learning skills. Join us for class on Tuesday and Thursday, 7pm.

Betsy Wetzig, Originator of Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training, Co-author of Moves For Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader.

Feldenkrais: Pain in the Knee

Feldenkrais: Pain in the Knee

Alternatives to surgery for treating joint pain from arthritis

Even if you still have a spring in your step, chances are fifty-fifty that you have, or will have, “some evi­dence of osteoarthritis of the knee,” according to Mark R. Cutkosky, a mechanical engineer at Stanford University. He is part of a research program, known as Movement Re­training, which focuses on alleviat­ing pain by analyzing and possibly changing a person’s stride.

One of the major problems at the root of knee pain is uneven wear and tear on the knee cartilage, which leads to arthritis. “We’re trying to slow the rate at which arthritis progresses,” says Cutkosky. But, he cautions, do not to try changing your stride on your own: you could do more harm than good. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and covered in a special report in NSF’s Science Nation.

With the guidance of a Feldenkrais Method teacher, you could safely change not only your stride, but how you habitually organize and move your whole self—since the knees are dynamically connected to, among other things, the ankles, pelvis, ribs, breath, and eyes. Devised by a scientist determined to defy the medical verdict that only surgery could relieve his knee pain, the neurologically informed method uses gentle movement and attention to unlock the brain’s power to learn a better way.

Exercise in general is crucial for people with arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic. In fact, lack of exercise can make your joints even more painful and stiff, “because keeping your muscles and surrounding tissue strong is crucial to maintaining support for your bones.

Carol Siddiqi, Certified Yoga Teacher & Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner