Breathing for Relaxation

Breathing is fundamental to living and its our most natural instinct. But to breath deeply, slowly and smoothly is almost and art that brings enormous benefits to our mental state and wellbeing.

So if we cannot breath properly it can be difficult to release stress and fully relax. To breath deeply oxygenates the blood and allows a full range of expression and a clearer head.

So when we are not calm we tend to hyperventilate causing too much carbon dioxide to leave the blood stream and this can cause all sorts of physical and psychological symptoms such as dizziness and panic attacks. In a panicked state we breath more quickly.

It may really be stating the obvious, but air is such an essential element to being human and to make the most of breathing by breathing deeply and evenly can be essential to bring a sense of calm and being able to relax the mind.

There are 2 types of breathing. Shallow, or costal, breathing where the air enters the upper chest and upper lungs and abdominal, or diaphragmatic, breathing where the diaphragm contracts and air enter the lower lungs.

Costal breathing can be a natural response to stress. When we learn to manage our breathing and make sure we are abdominal breathing we can bring calm and clarity to mind and body.

We can use visualisations such as this one to learn to breath fully and deeply.

Breathing slowly and deliberately imagine every deep breath inwards that your entire body is calm centred and beginning to unwind. By closing your eyelids and resting your eyes deep relaxation flows over your entire body. Each breath is  releasing and letting go of tension through out your body. Where there is tensions direct your breath and feel release and lightness and pleasure. As cool clean air reaches your diaphragm your body begins to open up to the feeling of relation.

As you breath deeply imagine a cool green colour deeply penetrating your throat entering your lungs and soothing your heart. As your continue to breath slowly and deliberately this beautiful green energy is wrapping around and soothing each vertebra of your spine and opening your pelvis. The  connection of your throat and pelvis allows freedom of breath and relaxation.

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Learning to Relax

Learning to relax in our modern world can be challenging.

Our body and state of mind are often telling us to make a change and take some time out.

But taking the time to listen to the body and making the commitment is often difficult.

Triggers for stress often happen over a period of time, we work long hours, we have pressure from home and work as well as the stress of living in our busy world such as road rage and cyber bullying  which can be totally unique to the present time.. So we feel we need to think quicker, work harder and excel in all areas.

So stress causes our bodies to react increasing hormone and adrenaline levels which is the fight or flight mechanism which diverts blood from the brain so the body is ready to deal with the perceived danger.

We often believe to some extent that we work better under pressure and this may be true for short term gains but consistently relying on this pressure to preform is ultimately very taxing for the body and can push us to breaking point.

So eventually hopefully we decide to revaluate our priorities and take the time out to learn to relax.

As a Remedial massage therapist and Kinesiologist I use both these modalities to bring back peace and calm but these are just the beginning of what people can do to learn how to help themselves. By taking the responsibility back and plan and prioritise your own needs you can not only reduce the impact stress has on your life but be of benefit and more available to those around you.

I will be adding from time to time more information on creating calm and stillness  to our mind and body along with different art pieces that either myself or my daughter has created .

Please feel free to leave positive comments as the content is all my own and it takes time and effort. But use it to help yourself and clear your head and improve your wellbeing.

For more information or to book an appointment or to purchase artwork ph 0448513171 Mind Body Integration 33 Fourth St South Littleton.

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Case Study – Frozen Shoulder

Case Study – Frozen Shoulder

 

I have a client aged 53 who presented approximately 8 weeks ago diagnosed with Frozen Shoulder left side. At the time he had roughly 15% range of movement in his left shoulder going straight up from his hip and both forwards and backwards. His pain levels were high relying on endone from 4pm to sleep.

He has previously broken his right hip, and calcaneus as well as 3 broken ribs in a fall from a ladder approximately 3 years ago. He has disc problems in his lower back and a tear to his right subscapularis both long standing injuries.

Visually comparing his shoulders his right was sitting as normal while his left was lower and wider and his muscles were no longer hugging the glenohumeral joint but loose and weak.

He is an ideal client in many ways, happy to come weekly and determined to increase his range of movement (ROM) and reduce pain. We used Kinesiology and these are the goal statements we used for each of the first 6 weeks.

Week 1 – My muscular system and shoulders function free of dysfunction.

Week 2 – I have freedom of movement in my left rotator cuff.

Week3 – My shoulder muscles work in harmony. I am able to extend my arm over my head.

Week 4 – I increase my range of movement(ROM) and my body functions free of pain.

Week5 – I build strength and ROM in my left arm.

Week 6 –  I am easily able to do tasks that require exterior rotation of my shoulder without pain.

Kinesiology is a form of biofeedback muscle testing where you follow a succession of protocols, for example frozen shoulder massage, gaits, diet recommendations, essential oils or many other options depending on the skills and knowledge of the therapist, to gain health benefits. Kinesiology is aimed at strengthening the body’s ability to heal. So, I’m aiming at achieving congruency with the goal statement to align emotional and physical wellbeing.

In the six weeks since we started his ROM is sitting around 80 % and both his shoulder are sitting symmetrical.  He is more than impressed to be able to wash is hair with both hands and is able to place both hands behind his back. He has been endone free since week 4 and making steady progress towards having full ROM and freedom in his shoulder region.

Published with permission of client.

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Rotator Cuff

Rotator Cuff

When we talk about the Rotator Cuff in relation to shoulder function we are basically describing four muscles which stabilise the shoulder joint (Glenohumeral Joint) or in other words the 4 muscles which hold the arm into the shoulder joint.

In Kinesiology certain muscles fall into different meridians groups as in Chinese Medicine.  The Rotator Cuff muscles are Supraspinatus (Central Meridian), Infraspinatus (Triple Warmer) Teres Minor (Triple Warmer) and Subscapularis (Heart Meridian).

So looking at the Supraspinatus and the Central Meridian. The Central Meridian is linked to clear energy flow upwards towards the brain. So when the Supraspinatus Muscle is working effectively you have clear thinking and able to make good decisions. Emotional upsets and stress can interrupt the flow restrict clear thinking and eventually damage the Supraspinatus.

Infraspinatus and Teres minor are muscles which both relate to the Triple Warmer Meridian so any dysfunction can be an indicator for Thymus and Thyroid function. These 2 Meridians are often associated with hyperactivity , fight and flight as well as weight gain. Infraspinatus can be further stressed by heavy metal poisoning. Weakness can show up also in the elbows and wrists. Both muscles respond well to iodine rich foods such as fish and seaweed.

The Subscapularis is under the shoulder blade (almost hidden) and associated with the Heart Meridian. If you look metaphorically at the Subscapularis muscle it about what is being hidden. The emotions of love, hate and compassion all fall under the heart meridian. Do your head and heart always communicate?

So these 4 small muscles and tendons basically provide support to the joint itself. So injury or overuse can cause pain reduced range of movement and a variety of painful conditions including frozen shoulder, bursae, and shoulder impingement.

So if you look at the shoulder more generally some larger muscles such as Deltoids , Traps and Pecs, Rhomboids  can all effect should movement but the Rotator Cuff allows the movement to be smooth, stable and supported.

For Kinesiology or Remedial Massage.

Mind Body Integration  33 Fourth St , South Littleton 0448513171

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Pec Major Sternal

All three Pecs Muscles, Pec Major Sternal (PMS), Pec Major Clavicular (PMC) and, Pectoralis Minor are very interesting but the Pec Major Sternal (PMS) in particular seems to go weak for a lot for people and some of that maybe caused by lifestyle factors.

So the pectoralis major muscle is divided into Pec clavicular (PMC) which lies on stomach meridian and Pec Major Sternal (PMS) which is one of the of the main liver meridian muscles.

There is also the pec minor which is deeper still and has nerves running to the arm and can get congested if lymphatics are not flowing smoothly in the area. Is a breathing muscle and associated with the lung meridian.

Functionally the pec major sternal moves the arm inwards and draws arm and shoulder forward. If too contracted it will cause the shoulders to roll too far forward.

If PMS is weak or not working effectively some of the problems that can be experienced are headaches, sensitivity to light, immune problems , liver conditions,  or glaucoma.

Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) works from a deeper understanding of human experience than does a more western approach. In TCM the PMS works in the liver meridian related muscle group. From the TCM approach the liver meridian is related to growth, flexibility and adaptability.  Bringing in a feeling of confidence and being understood and included can strengthen the liver meridian.

Lifestyle has a big part to play.  Fried, sweet foods, caffeine and carbonated drinks can all have a negative effect on the PMS. And if you are waking constantly of a night time between 1am and 3pm take a good look at your diet particularly of a night time to ensure you are digesting food and adapting to the days challenges. Or your liver meridian can have you up thinking about it.

Foods that will strengthen the PMS are green leafy vegies, parsley, vitamin A and rose hip tea.

To help your PMS to function more effectivly Kinesiology is a good option. Mind Body Integration, 33 Fourth St South Littleton. 0448513171

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Strategies to help with handwriting

Strategies to help with handwriting in children

 

Many children have difficulty with handwriting skills and brain integration. Primitive and postural reflexes have always been of interest to me especially supporting my children through school.  My knowledge is much better now than when they were smaller but everyone learns somewhere.

Starting at the beginning with the Palmer reflex. This is a primate reflex which emerges at about 11 weeks in utero and usually and lasts until about 4-6 months as a baby starts to focus and use hand eye coordination to reach for objects and begin exploring their world. This movement starts as a reflex and is most notable when a baby’s hand will grip whatever he touches and you need to pry their hands open. As they start reaching for items and developing their hand eye coordination the reflex is no longer needed.

The development of the pincer grip for picking up smaller items which often go straight to the mouth.  Using the thumb and forefinger is the forerunner for holding a pencil as well as being able to track and write from the board at school.  As a baby the hand will often then go straight to the mouth developing the fine motor skill incorporating hand and mouth movements. The Babkin Response (movement of the hand which will in turn purse the lips and open the baby mouth) is also key in developing handwriting but also because the mouth is also involved so smooth speech being able to coordinate hand and mouth movements together.

Task initiation can also be problem with children with hand writing problem. Problems in knowing where to begin planning tasks, starting projects independently, keeping track of possessions, keeping bedrooms and school bags tidy all seem to come up for children with poor hand writing skills

The early development of fine motor skills is crucial to handwriting skills , being able to shift focus from board to paper and spacial awareness and development of smooth speech.

These skills can be improved with exercise and coordination skills and developing core strength as the body core does not engage fully if a child has struggled with hand eye coordination problems.

Crossing the midline is great exercise for developmental skill. Helpful for visual tracking and reading and writing left to right, as well as throwing and catching a ball.

Kinesiology and fine motor exercise can build strength in the intrinsic muscles of the hand to help a child to improve their fine motor skills and develop  greater confidence in their handwriting ability, task inhiation and coordination.

Mind Body Integration 33 Fourth Street Lithgow 0448513171

This artwork pictured is a small peak at a scribble drawing by my daughter Beth Flynn and will be on display in Mosman Youth Prize from the 16th March 2018.

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Transform your Weight

Kinesiology is a great way to achieve lasting results with weight issues without personal self-sabotage.

Weight issues are complex and very individual.

There can be many triggers which prevent us from living a sustainable healthy lifestyle. Food addictions, emotional eating, genetics, poor self-worth, family culture, linage, advertising, self-sabotage all sorts of elements can be the catalyst to prevent the sustainable change we are looking for?

Kinesiology is all about setting goals and having the power to achieve them.

A goal balance is basically this:

# use an affirmation you wish to achieve such as “I am comfortable at my ideal weight”

If your body agrees with this statement you are probably your ideal weight already. If it doesn’t a muscle test will indicate just what is required to make this statement true for you. It may be working with a specific muscle group or group of muscles to regain tone but more important switching so that muscle works as it should. To manually strengthen a muscle can help can help implement change in the muscle and the state of mind.

Kinesiology can also suggest which foods can help strengthen your overall health.

Everybody is unique and following a certain protocol and making a statement like “I am comfortable at my ideal weigh” true for you. Done this way within time changes are sustainable.

Your body is always working in your best interests if we can remove the blocks to self-sabotage to doing so.

 

Some affirmations you might like to try for healthy weight are.

 

I release peer pressure around my body size.

 

I nurture and nourish my physical body every day.

 

My metabolism functions at optimal levels.

 

I am motivated to release excess body weight.

 

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