movement

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

Improving Movement, Improves “Awe!”

by Betsy Wetzig, BA, CCPT

When was the last time you felt awe? According to current research the “AWE EFFECT” gives you “enhanced critical and creative thinking faculties, improved health and an increase in pro-social behaviors such as kindness, self-sacrifice, co-operation and resource-sharing.” (Researcher, Dr Dacher Keltner UCA, Berkley) But notice awe has a very important physical component. It is felt at the deepest level of your physical being.

What is Awe? Awe is an emotional response to stimuli and has been defined as “the feeling of being in the presence of something vast and greater than the self, which exceeds current knowledge structures” (Keltner & Haidt, 2003). It requires a physical response. It requires perception and awareness, which use our physical-mental link. Indeed, awe is a process of our neuromuscular “movement-mind-body link”, which is the research bases of Betsy Wetzig’s, Coordination Patterns® & Dynamics Training.

Because of trauma, stress, cultural restrictions of behavior and poor movement training, people can inhibit the functioning of their movement-mind-body link. Thus, people can unknowingly inhibit their awe experience. In the modern world it’s easy to do. For instance, were you ever told to shape up, or sit still? Such actions can inhibit perception, awareness and feeling, and they are just the tip of the iceberg.

The good news is that Coordination Patterns® & Dynamics Training will also turn on ergonomic movement-mind Patterns to make your body move its best, easiest and most efficient way, as it opens up the freedom to deeply “awe” and a whole lot more.

Location: Twin ponds Integrative Health Center, Breinigsville. For information on Coordination Patterns™ & Dynamics Training classes, workshops and private sessions, call Betsy Wetzig at 610-398-9652.

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

 

Your Movement Nature Revealed

MP900309567[1]As the owl in “Winnie the Pooh” might say, “Whoo , who, are YOU?”

Do we really know? Do others? Would you like to know more about the authentic you?

We certainly know a lot about other people from the way they walk and move. Your body and movement are talking to “others” and “you!”  Are you ever being mis-understood?

Like most people, you probably tend to ignore your body and movement when they are trying to tell you that you are stressed, frustrated, nervous, tired, blocked, angry, lonely, or acting like someone your really don’t want to be.

  • Could this denial or mis-understanding of your body and movement be hurting you physically and mentally? YES?
  • Do you have any tapes running in your head that say, “Sit like this, pull your shoulders back, you are bitchy, too strong, too weak, too_________?” YES?

You can easily become more aware of your true movement-mind self and style, and use this awareness to improve your potential, including:

  • creativity
  • communication and learning
  • all your talents
  • skills
  • interactions with others

Simple, easy exercises can reveal the core, internal patterns and dynamics of your body-brain-movement-mind − your core self!

Join us and have fun using the movement and dance of the Halloween Characters of your youth, along with the way you walk to reveal your true authentic self at our Halloween Workshop.

Facilitator: Betsy Wetzig, an international presenter, movement researcher, and dancer-choreographer, has been working and researching with this neuromuscular movement-mind link since 1971. She has created Coordination Pattern™ and Dynamics Training, to help people find and apply this awareness to their live

Your Movement Nature Revealed Workshop

Saturday, October 29, 9 am-12 pm, $45.00

Pre-register 610.398.9652

Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center

 

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.

It is Peace of Movement-Mind–Body

It is not really “peace of mind” but “peace of movement-mind-body”. A state of peace is actually a behavior which by its nature exist in the whole of our being. All behavior is both physical and mental. The mind and body are one, yet we often forget this simple truth to our detriment.

Peace needs to be embodied in us. It is so much more than a state of relaxation. When an athlete, dancer or artist is performing in the “Zone” are they not at peace? Should we call this type of peace, transcendent peace? What other types of peace of movement-mind-body are we missing because we limit ourselves to the false and simplistic “peace of mind”? How about the peace that surpasses understanding? What are the many probably false assumptions we have been holding because we are seeking the “peace of mind”?

The “peace of movement-mind-body” can be reached with many tools including spiritual ones and embodied practices like art, music, dance, exercise, meditation and in fact, a deep interaction with life in which we are open to explore our personal dimensions that are out of balance. Such tools require the whole of us, our flesh, our heart, our mind, and even our soul.

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, Choreographer/Dancer, Educator and Co-originator of Full Potential Learning.

Flexible Body, Flexible Brain

Feldenkrais Method® of Somatic Education

“What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”  – Moshe Feldenkrais, D.Sc.

Do you have a flexible brain?  If you are rigid in your body, you must be rigid in your thinking – not flexible. If you are rigid in your thinking, you must not be open to trying new ways to make your life betterIt may be pain that you are dealing with.Would you rather take a pill and hope the pain goes away? Some may call this laziness – or rigid thinking. If you can stop the pain by learning how to move more easily, why don’t you?

Is your inflexible thinking a fear that keeps you from believing that YOU can control your health and well being?  Where is that fear coming from?  Did you learn this from your parents?

So, now you know that one goes hand-in-hand with the other. Tight muscles, tight thinking! Both rigid!

Recognize the fact that you CAN be in control of your body and thinking – you can be open-minded. One way is to join a movement class and become aware of how your body works and how it can work easierAfter you have become acquainted with who you are by observing how you move, your mind will open up to all kinds of new possibilities. 

Learning how to move can be an essential addition to the treatment of neurological, orthopedic, chronic pain and stress-related conditions.

Jan Larus, who just turned 80, anticipated needing a hip replacement due to severe osteoarthritis.  Weekly Feldenkrais lessons contributed to her ability to avoid surgery:

 “Today I can walk and sit, usually with little or no discomfort, and I feel more flexible than ever. I no longer limp and I do not feel restricted in my daily activities.  That’s good because I anticipate many more birthdays.”

Attending Feldenkrais Classes will expand your awareness of how you think, sense, feel and move. The possibilities for personal improvement and human development are limitless… allowing you to reach a higher level of intelligence.

“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein

Carol Siddiqi, a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner, was introduced to the Feldenkrais Method while attending Kripalu Yoga classes over 30 years ago. She pursued her interest in The Feldenkrais Method by enrolling in a four-year training program, which she successfully completed in 1999.

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