Resistance & The Salvation of Softness

Have you ever had a moment of subtle resistance? Well of course, we all have. Here is a little trick I learned while exploring Awareness Through Movement and again while sitting on my cushion. To be frank, it has helped me in just about everything I do.

Recently I noticed I was reluctant to start dinner. Strange. I love to cook. I love to eat. I have a big beautiful box of fresh veggies from my local CSA. So, why on earth was I resisting this?

I paused.

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Mood, Food, Inflammation & Mental Health

Mental health issues have a huge impact on society. Some suggest that their impact is larger than any other chronic disease, including heart disease or diabetes. And if you suffer from persistent pain, then you're four times as likely to have depression or anxiety than those who are pain-free. 

There are so many factors involved in complex conditions like mental health issues and persistent pain. But today, we're going to look at just one of these factors — inflammation.

First, we’ll go over a few of the links between inflammation and mental health. Then, we’ll talk about some exciting research into natural approaches - things like foods, nutrients, and lifestyle upgrades - and how these are related to better mental health.

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More Movement. Less Exercise.

There is no life without movement. From the blood that pulses through our veins to the actions required to gather and consume food, your mind and body are intimately connected. And while your brain is the master control system for your body’s movement, the way you move can also affect the way you think and feel.

Some of the functions for movement are obvious — like hunting and gathering. Other critical aspects of movement may be less obvious — like the way movement acts as an extension of your cardiovascular system or primary pump for your lymphatic system. And then there are all the other ways movement impacts you emotionally, mentally, and socially.

There’s a lot I could say about movement. But for today, we'll focus on the importance of moving more in everyday life (i.e. more movement, less exercise).

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Is Your Blood Sugar Creeping Up & Increasing Your Pain?

Blood sugar is literally that: the sugar in your blood. Your blood contains all kinds of important nutrients and other substances that you need to be healthy. Including glucose (i.e. sugar), which is a crucial energy source for your brain and your red blood cells. Blood is the liquid transporter that distributes these compounds to all parts of our bodies.

Sugar (a type of carbohydrate) is one of our body’s main fuels. The other two fuels are fat and protein. I call it “fuel” because our cells literally burn it to do work. It’s this “biochemical” burning of fuel in all of our cells that is our metabolism.

So, how does blood sugar get too high? 

In this post, I’ll talk a bit about blood sugar balance, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and pain. Then I’ll give you 10 proven strategies that can help manage blood sugar level naturally. The good news is that blood sugar levels are responsive to diet and lifestyle upgrades.

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Movements Of The Jaw

Ahhhhh….the jaw! This lesson is one of the lessons from a series of Jaw Lessons that I share in the BODY+BRAIN Membership.  The title of this MP3 nugget of jaw moving goodness is “The Connections & Movements of The Jaw.” You see, I am almost positive that you know in your mind and mouth that the jaw has an impact on your teeth and other mouthy parts. But did you also know that the jaw and its movements play a pivotal role in balance — physically and emotionally?

The upper jaw, part of the cranium, connects most intimately with the spine and back of the body. Every movement the upper jaw makes reverberates through the spine. But we will explore that a bit more in another lesson.

The lower jaw (a.k.a. the mandible) connects most intimately with your body-core, rib basket, and sternum. See if you can imagine this glorious network of soft tissue that connects the jaw to the clavicle (a.k.a. collar bones), sternum (a.k.a. breastbone), hyoid bone, the upper two ribs, and so much more.

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Feldenkrais Is So Much More Than Movement

I LOVE reading The Elusive Obvious!

The book is only available in Hardback format; which brings me a special kind of sensorial gratification. As I hold the book in my hands, I can feel the strength of the binding and the subtle texture beneath my fingertips. The simplicity of the firm black and white cover delights my minimalist spirit as the title begs me to delve into a koan-istic approach to moving and learning.

As I flip through the dense and fibrous pages, I digest each word of somatic wonder. My mind starts to bend towards a deeper realization that this work, The Feldenkrais Method®, is so much more than movement. What we discover about ourselves can reverberate throughout our lives.

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Progressive Muscle Relaxation To Relieve Stress + Reduce Stress

If you suffer from complex pain, then you know what it's like to feel tense. Even tending to your home can feel like it takes excessive physical effort. And, the quality of your efforts is impacted by your ability to relax.

There are a variety of relaxation techniques and activities to choose from. Progressive Muscle Relaxation is one that is easy to learn and yields a variety of benefits — developing a sense of well-being, lowered blood pressure, decreased muscle tension, less anxiety and fatigue.

The general intention of Progressive Muscle Relaxation is to hone in on your ability to relax by intentionally comparing relaxed and tense states. In turn, this can help to reduce anxiety and stress by bringing awareness to and then releasing the physical aspects (i.e. muscle tension).

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Do You Have Hip Joint Confusion?

So what’s with all the hoopla about the hip joints?

hoop·la   \ˈhü- plä\
: talk or writing that is designed to get people excited about and interested in something

Well, recently I have been a little obsessed and bewildered by how many people really don’t know where their hip joints are. Now I get it. The hip joints don’t take up a ton of real estate in the ol’ sensory-motor cortex. They don’t require fine motor skills or other subtle interactions with the world. Heck, they don’t even fully form until years after we are born.

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