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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How Your Beliefs Impact Your Health

I was so flipping happy to find see this video about the stress response on T.E.D.! As a Kinesiology Major in college, I spent quite of bit of time looking at the stress response and recovery as a sign of health! So for me, hearing blanket statements of stress being harmful to your health has been a bit like fingernails scraping slowly along a chalkboard. If you follow my work, then you know that I have a lot of respect for the positive and negative aspects of the stress response.

In this video, Kelly McGonigal does a wonderful job of covering some of the research looking at how our beliefs about stress change our physiological reactions to stress and how the stress response has a built-in social aspect. She discusses three studies that shed new light on the stress response, and how our beliefs and relationships to stress may actually improve our health.

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5 Tips For A Sustainable Home Practice

One of the most liberating aspects of exploring Feldenkrais® and Mindfulness is that you don’t need fancy equipment or a designated building, or an expanding field of wildflowers to practice. The practices are incredibly accessible and they meet you where you are— as long as you are willing.

Living in the Capital Region of New York, I know that it’s not always possible to make it into a studio for a class. Truth be told, there aren’t a lot of studios in this area that offer Feldenkrais or Meditation. Thankfully that’s slowly changing. And now with technology,  we all have bountiful access to classes.

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Meditation & Gut Health. How Are They Related?

When you think of meditation you probably don’t associate it with better digestion and gut health. I know I didn’t until I learned just how much chronic stress influences our gut health and just how powerful meditation is for decreasing stress.

What Does Evolution Have To Do With Healthy Digestion?

Issues like leaky gut often come from living a high-stress lifestyle. Most of us are under a lot of stress in today’s world. When you’re feeling anxious or rushed, your body goes into fight or flight. This is a survival mechanism that’s been with us since long before our frontal lobes developed. Back when we had to struggle just to survive, fight-flight -freeze was useful, but nowadays we don’t have to fight off predators and run for our lives (at least not often). This response to external stress kicks in anytime something triggers our stress response.

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Journey Back To Wellness with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Thirty-seven years ago, my life was abruptly altered. It was my last year of college and I woke up one night with so much pain in my ribs – both front and back – that I had difficulty breathing.

It continued to happen night after night and I knew that I’d better get it checked out.

Within a week, my parents took me to a rheumatologist? Why that specialty? Because oddly enough my sister – who is five years my senior – had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis eight years earlier and they thought it was possible that I also had RA. They were close enough.

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Who’s Your Saboteur?

We all have a way to which we hold ourselves back. Ways in which we keep ourselves safe by settling for what is familiar. For example, try simply noticing that voice inside your head that gets very chatty whenever you are about to make a decision or do something new, especially something that could result in change. Is it telling you that you’re nuts to consider what you are thinking of doing? Does it say that you failed once before and will probably do so again? Or is your voice like a sly cat, sweetly seducing you to eat those fries and chocolate shake?

Simply noticing these habitual stories, seductive voices, and destructive dialogues will help you to realize that there are inner saboteurs at work. In the act of noticing you begin to empower yourself to make truly conscious decisions that will result in positive and lasting changes in your life.  

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Walking Awareness

One of my favorite things to do is to take an early morning walk on the beach or out in nature. I love the playfulness of the wind sweeping off the water and the acrobatic birds playing in the waves. I love how the clean fresh morning air dances with the sound of the ocean and the sense of an expansive settling that arise from within. I am inspired to play with my own movement experience.

Often when we are walking down the street, we are not thinking about the way we walking, how our skeleton moves, or what muscles we’re using, or whether the pressure of every step is subtly hurting some part of our body. Our goal is simply to get from where we are to where we are going, and often without much awareness of the process. Even taking a morning stroll on the beach can be void of awareness. We can be entranced by the world around us without necessarily sensing ourselves in it.

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