I was just watching this video of Kumari Suraj, "the Queen of Waacking Nuevo"
It's dynamic, a combination of strength and wild hand and arm movements. Very cool!
Compare that with swing dance, lots of core strength, the middle doesn't move much. Lots of control to make those quick turns and flips.
Then look at 60's go-go dancing, even the Watusi, etc. We were letting go of things in the 60's and 70's and our bodies expressed that letting go of old restrictions, and unfortunately, core strength.
This takes me to an Aston-Kinetics concept about using a Path of Action.
There are 3 basic ways that we express through this.
The Path of Ease--that would be characterized by the go-go dance.
The Path of Effort--think Frankenstein's stiff-legged walk.
Then there is the Optimal Path of Action. This combines ease and effort in a balanced, communicative way. Watch any professional athlete or dancer and you'll see variations of this beautiful partnership.
Each path has it's uses:
If you have a chronically tight area, discover the path of ease.
If you have a chronically low functioning area, discover the path of effort.
Then learn balance by combining them into an optimal path of action.
Walking well is a great example of the balance of ease and effort. The leg that you are weight-bearing on. the standing leg, is working, it's efforting. It's holding your whole body weight. The leg that's swinging through gets to take the path of ease.
Now how are you doing?
If you're feeling pain, stiffness or less energy, you can bet there's an imbalance somewhere in some Path of Action.
Before you dance upright, you learn to walk....If you're curious about walking more easily check out this video from Judith Aston.
If you think you might be ready to take the next step contact me and let's talk. about how I can help you.
"We have all known the long loneliness,
and we have found that the answer is community." Dorothy Day
This weekend we said good-bye to the "old Circle Healthcare" building.
The day before this photo, the water pipes broke. The front door lock quit working.
Our wonderful building was breathing hard.
Those who could come, gathered in the large waiting room amid the flotsam and jetsam of the moving sale. And like any funeral, people gathered around the food.
We wrote on the walls: wishes for the 5 stories of apartment dwellers who will be living in the new building. One child with a marker in her hand said, "You mean we can write on the walls?!?" Yeah!
We asked 2 questions: What will you miss most? and what will you not miss?
To a person the answer to the first question was "the people," the unique atmosphere of friendliness, "home" and respect that was fostered for all of our nearly 27 years. People nodded when someone said they had never been in a work environment as people-centered as ours. And they laughed when folks mentioned those not-so-peaceful exchanges.
And what would they not miss? Some people: not a thing.
Those of us who took care of the building were unanimous that cleaning up poop in the parking lot was the worst. I have a friend who's been homeless all the years I've known him. I don't mean to sound like a politician, especially this election year, but I will work for the day when people don't have to look for the corner of a parking lot to take care of human needs.
On a lighter note, I handed out the water pistols and twizzlers I always had on hand to keep my co-workers amused. We had some great skirmishes!
A colleague and friend for 30+ years, Dr. Jan Corwin, wrote later:
"It was just what we needed, and not too much of what we needed, as I know as emotionally slammed as I feel tonight, that if it had been a real sob fest, I might never have gotten up again."
Now about you.
Think about your life: your body, your relationships, your habits, your environment.
We are always leaving something. So what are you leaving? Some things are easier to move on from than others. Is there something big as a house that requires leaving? If there is, just consider it. Define it. Get the lay of it.
Moving on isn't just "poof!" It's a series of decisions and actions....but more about that later.
There's nothing like doing little things to take care of your body, after all, it's the only one you've got! But who knew how handy it can be all around the house!
9 Reasons to Use Epsom Salt (Try out the stress relief method TONIGHT) by TheAlternativeDaily.com
Epsom salt is a mineral compound comprised of magnesium and sulfate, and gets its named from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. Epsom salt has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a number of ailments and also has many beauty, gardening and household uses.
Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed into the skin which makes the health benefits readily accessible. Over 325 enzymes in the body are regulated by magnesium which also helps reduce inflammation, alleviates hardening of the arteries and improves muscle and nerve function. Sulfates improve the rate at which nutrients are absorbed and help to flush out toxins.
Here are just a few of the many wonderful benefits of Epsom salts we uncovered:
If you are stressed, you may be deficient in magnesium and you may have elevated adrenaline. When Epsom salt is dissolved in warm water it is absorbed through the skin and can naturally replenish lost magnesium. This magnesium helps the body produce serotonin, which is a mood elevating chemical in the brain.
Magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP – the energy powerhouse of the cell. Bathing in Epsom salt three times a week can help increase your energy, improve your mood and reduce the negative impacts of elevated adrenaline. Use 2 cups of Epsom salt in each full bath.
The sulphates in Epsom salt draw heavy metals and other toxins from cells which can ease muscle pain and improve cellular function. Adding Epsom salt to your bathwater pulls salt out of your body along with harmful toxins. Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 10 minutes for detoxification.
Relieve Pain and Cramps in Muscles
If you have sore muscles, migraine headaches or bronchial asthma, you may want to try an Epsom salt bath. It can relieve both pain and inflammation. If you are on your feet all day you may want to soak them in warm Epsom salt. It can also help neutralize foot odor.
Try the following beauty treatments that use Epsom salt:
Exfoliating Facial Cleanser - Mix a small handful of Epsom salt with a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub on your face. Rinse and pat dry.
Blackhead Remover - Add a teaspoon of salt and 3 drops of iodine into half a cup of boiling water. Apply mixture to blackheads using a cotton ball.
Skin Mask - For normal to oily skin, mix 1 tablespoon of cognac, 1 organic egg, 1/4 cup of nonfat dry milk, the juice of one lemon and half a teaspoon of Epsom salt together. Dampen your skin and place the mixture on your face – avoiding the eye area. Allow the mask to harden and set for about ten minutes – rinse and pat dry.
Home and Garden
Use Epsom salt around your home and garden:
Clean Bathroom Tiles - Get those dim and dirty tiles in your bathroom clean by mixing equal parts of Epsom salt with liquid dish detergent. Scrub tiles with the mixture and rinse well.
Fertilize Plants – Plants need nutrients including magnesium and sulfur in order to grow their best. Sprinkling Epsom salt once a week on houseplants, flowers and vegetables will provide them with nutrients they need to thrive.
Greener Grass – Magnesium is necessary for seed germination and is vital for the production of chlorophyll which plants use to change sunlight into food and helps the soil absorb phosphorus and nitrogen.
Sulfur also contributes to chlorophyll production and, as mentioned above, makes nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium found in fertilizers more effective. To help your grass be as healthy as it can, apply 3 pounds of Epsom Salts for every 1,250 square feet of lawn using a spreader. You can also dilute it in water and apply with a sprayer.
Enjoy all of these benefits of inexpensive old-school Epsom Salt!
-The Alternative Daily
Thanks to Fit over 40 for turning me on to this!
I can't believe how much I've been harping on the benefits of moving your body over the last 30+ years!
I mean, what's so good about it?
I'm in the middle of the biggest physical move I've made in--ever. And I'm grumpy.....
OK....the first time of many that my Navy family moved when I was 3 was probably worse.
I've been cozy in my office at Circle Healthcare for almost 27 years; and before that moving was no big deal: I did massage in all sorts of venues for 10 years, including the break room at Zell's Cafe, and before that moved a bazillion times for work or just for the heck of it.
Still, this feels bigger than moving my home, because here, I've worked with a bunch of fabulous people, not all of whom are moving with me. That means one heart-rending moment after another. Even the folks I'm moving with have reorganized, and our relationship is changed.
Oh, and did I mention we sold the building and it's going to be demolished? Our spacious, peaceful waiting room graced with Dawna Bell nature photos--the one some clients come early just to sit in--down to a couple brave photos here and there. Our beautiful mural wall by Carol Basch, untouched all this time by graffiti--gone by October.
Gimme a break!
So what am I learning....
If you want more help with #10, make an appointment with me. I love helping people gain the skills to help themselves to a wonderful life.
Call or text me at 503-709-9983. Let's get this show on the road.....
Hmmm, I've been thinking about the swing between times of a public atmosphere that expects people to treat each other with respect and the times we're in now, when ranting and publicly directing anger or disgust against a person or group of people is in the forefront.
Maybe because historically we've had to run from the saber-toothed tiger and then find food and shelter, society didn't have time or tolerance to develop the structure of a few places where we can safely and privately vent, and also to be reminded of our goodness and connection with the world and everything in it.
Whatever the reason, we can create these safe places now to dump, jump, rage, cower and cry, and be reminded by the trees, our animal companions, a loving presence that this will pass; so we can free up our massively creative brains to come up with new solutions.
And then firm, loving boundaries and kindness and respect won't feel forced on us. We'll choose.
Do you wonder why and what the heck to do about it? Jeana Cho has researched this annoying phenomena and has come up with a great solution.
Here are excerpts and I've cut to the chase, but the whole article is worth the read.
Why is there a disconnect between knowing the things that are good for us and actually doing it? Why is it that I’m so often tempted by that glazed donut sitting in the cafeteria but overlook the apple? Why do I continually hit the snooze button instead of going to the yoga class in the morning?
Read the reasons here and then check out the steps to increase motivation below.
Using WOOP To Increase Motivation
In order to make any behavioral change, it’s important to increase motivation and use tools to build resilience. One way to do this is through a scientifically validated enhanced goal setting called WOOP.
Mental Contrasting [WOOP, which stands for wish, outcome, obstacle and plan] is a visualization technique… It helps people to gain insight into their wishes and to clearly identify the obstacles that stand in the way of realizing these wishes. WOOP is an evidence-based self-regulatory strategy that people can use effectively on their own to change their behavior across everyday life (e.g., health, school, work, play, relationships) and across the life cycle (e.g., from childhood to old age).
WOOP involves four steps.
Read the whole article here
Jeena Cho is the author of an upcoming book The Anxious Lawyer, An 8-Week Guide to a Joyful and Satisfying Law Practice Through Mindfulness and Meditation. Follow her on Twitter: @jeena_cho
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"What have I done?"
"I hope no one noticed."
We've all been there....some of us more often than others.
Welcome to being human.
Fortunately most everyone has survived our blunders--which, in fact is 99.99 squared percent of the population.
We've come up with some amazing strategies: from complete dissociation, "I didn't! I wouldn't I couldn't" Did I??" to abject apologies: "I'm sorry x 100", to "What shall I do about this".....and everything in between.
The vast majority of our mistakes are small. We have a conscience. The physical manifestion of a conscience in working order is a slight sensation of shrinking back then then a physical forward/upward push as we begin resolving the error, and finally a gentle settling as we move forward. Our conscience gives us the opportunity of a do-over.
My goal in these blogs is to help you know how to allow these natural physical manifestations of your physical body to support your thinking and well being.
Being embodied has been a buzz-word for a long time. But what the heck does it mean?
Some people don't have a strong visceral sense or awareness of what their body is feeling. That's fine. We all have our strengths. You can use the sense you have developed to help you use your body.
I have a friend born with no sense of smell. And yet when she inhales the odor from Frankincense essential oil, she reports feeling like she's had "5 cups of coffee!"
When you are able to fine-tune your body's natural movement from flexion (curling in and down) through extension (moving up and forward) to settle then into a neutral place--a place of rest and readiness, all of your systems work better. Your mind, your emotions, your whole body.
"I am embodied" is true, since we drag these things, or they drag us around 24/7.
When we are living from this place of connection--and dare I say alliance--with our bodies, we have tons more resource than when we don't. We get to be present in this moment. We get to meet the moment, get a sense of its shape and then to affect it, just with our presence.
If you've ever been in a room with a happy person, you notice the pull to feel happy, too. Now you may resist it but the pull is still there.
The same is true of being in a room with someone who is resistant. It takes energy to stay with your own experience.
Join me in creating easy ways to stay "embodied."
Sign up for one of 8 spots in my free monthly Easy, Healthy Movement class at 503-709-9983.
Schedule an initial assessment and session which will give you a good start, by calling 503-234-0812. You can buy sessions online here.
"Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go."
May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude
Despair....who asked you to the party?
So I've had this lingering, sucky cold for a month now, and on top of that, one morning I realized that my knee wouldn't move. It hurt! It wouldn't straighten; it wouldn't bend. I couldn't power through it. So I did what seems natural. I gave up. A lifetime of illnesses, surgeries, pain joined me, and we all agreed that this was the end of a great life.
After a while, in the way we notice at any party, the conversation grew tiresome. My curiosity wandered away. So I thought, "I have a torn meniscus." The pad between the bones in the knee are in little pieces. Every so often a piece moves into the wrong place. I thought, "I know a lot. I can inch this thing out of the way." I did tiny experiments, and learned that resting in between was part of the solution. Gradually, my knee began to bend a little, But if I moved even a tiny bit out of line, pain would take my breath away. It took an hour, but at the end of the hour, I was completely out of pain and dancing up and down the stairs.
Do I blame myself for the despair? No. It was part of the process. This knee thing was no small deal.
I felt the weight of it and got to be reminded that I had good reasons for feeling bad. When we are tiny, especially before we can remember that just because mom is out of the room, doesn't mean she's gone forever, pain lasts a huge part of our life...because we've hardly lived! And we don't know it will end.
I've reassured "little me" a lot. I know what's true. Pain changes. Despair ends. As May Sarton says, "...nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go."
And I say, then go for gold!
So the 3 amazing things to remember:
How about you? Are you dancing down the stairs; problem solved? Or is there something that needs to be addressed? Something that's pulling on your energy. And, frankly, something you've grown tired of despairing about.
Let's have a conversation. I've helped thousands of people decrease their pain; gently and easily increase their activity and get their Mojo back. Call me in the Portland, Oregon area to set up an appointment at
503-230-0812. Let's get you feeling better!
2.5 Million Americans are Living with an Artificial Hip
In 2014 there was a 123 percent increase in hip replacements for patients age 45-64.
The technology gets better every year. And once you're over the healing hump, getting back to the life you longed for can be easy--or not.
The bones have healed, and all the rest of the tissues have knitted, but you will most likely be stuck in some of the movement patterns that you subconsciously learned while your old hip went down hill. Did that take 5 years or 30?
Previously useful movement habits need to change. What can you do about it?
This is the #1 reason to get Physical Therapy after a hip replacement. If the first round of PT doesn't get you where you want to be, advocate for another round. Don't be cowed by a physician who says you don't need it if you feel that you do. After my first hip replacement in 1986, my back went "out" from the change in my leg length, and my doctor refused to prescribe PT, saying, "PT will just make you feel better, not heal you." I took a little trip from despair to determination and talked with my OB-GYN who gave me a prescription for PT. And that got my mojo back!
Get into the water. Water exercise in which you're standing so you have some stability, and moving against water (preferably a warm pool: 92-94 degrees) is one of the best rehab exercises you can do. Of course, check with your doctor to be sure you're ready for this. Remember to walk backward and sideways as much as you move forward in order to work against resistance on all sides.
So find a pool in your area and go! Make it there 3 days a week.
A little push several times a day is better than one big challenge, especially early on. Your goal is increased strength, range and ease of movement, and decreased pain. If you push yourself into too much pain or exhaustion, and without a PT to motivate and guide you, you will back off or worse, stop and assume this is as good as it gets. So decide on a small goal that you will do repeatedly. It makes a difference.
Walk. Walk. Walk.
THIS IS NOT AS GOOD AS IT GETS.
I know, because I've had both hips replaced and revised (yes that's 4 surgeries over 30 years). I've had PT on land and in water. I've had chiropractic to help my scoliosis deal with the changes in my hips. And I've gotten Aston-Kinetics bodywork to un-stick scarred and stuck tissue and to get coached on my own easy, pain-free gait. I have tons of things I've learned and come back to that give me an active life. And sometimes, I just have to go back to my Aston-Patterner to be reminded, or fine tune part of my movement pattern. I didn't have to do it alone and neither do you.
It's why I became an Aston-Patterner in the first place. It works.
I've helped loads of people with joint replacements. People who were frustrated because they weren't back to activities they thought they'd be able to do again. People who wanted more out of life.
Recovering a healthy gait, or pattern of walking is a puzzle that can take time to unravel. So think about this:
How much is it worth to you to be able to play, to dance, even to walk without pain? What would your life look like if you weren't limited by pain or effortful movement? Are you ready to take charge of tuning up your physical mojo? What do you need to put in place so you're ready?
Contact me now @ valerie@MojoRecoveryTherapies.com to set up a conversation.
Or just call 503-709-9983.
If you're out of the Portland, Oregon area, click here find an Aston-Patterner near you.
"A year from now you may wish you had started today." Karen Lamb
There were years when I didn't set goals. I thought they were bad luck; that I would just disappoint myself--or someone else. Better to just go with the flow, she thought meekly. Amazingly, the flow has taken me to fabulous adventures, and my subconscious had a goal....When I was 12 I decided to do massage for a living, and so the "flow" led me here with thousands of hours of study and practice of bodywork, movement education and the intersection of physical and emotional flourishing.
What I've learned is that goals can be great, especially if you make the decision clearly--even subconsciously, or maybe especially subconsciously. The other important piece of the puzzle is to create and use your resources internally and externally to support your struggle on the journey.
If you were to set a goal for your health this year, what would one be?
Think of it in 3 phases:
How have you done after your injuries or surgery? Do you feel satisfied with your recovery? Or are you feeling frustrated?
Remember, the juice of a series of individual sessions is in having focused, accountable, precise and powerful tools to help you make the positive changes you've longed to make: less pain, more strength, easier range of motion and more vitality!
Why wait? As Karen Lamb says "A year from now you may wish you had started today."
Call 503-709-9983 and make an appointment for an initial assessment and treatment today.
And if you need a tune up, check out my 5-pack discount!
Photo by pakorn http://www.freedigitalphotos.net
Do you want a kick-start to feel better fast? Click here to get my free booklet.
I'm Valerie Lyon, the Mojo Recovery Therapist.