Monthly Archives: December 2013

Rolfing for Emotional Healing

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I am often asked by my Denver City Rolfing clients about the emotional benefits of Rolfing. We store our emotions in our bodies. That’s where the structural work of Rolfing can help to free the long held trauma in our muscle tissue. As we work the physical body our emotional past has the opportunity to be freed up and released!

 

 

 

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Enjoy the most excellent article by Eric Maisel, Ph.D on “10-Tips for Emotional Healing.

We experience emotional distress in all sorts of ways, as sadness, anxiety, addictions, unproductive obsessions, unwanted compulsions, repetitive self-sabotaging behaviors, physical ailments, boredom, and as all sorts of angry, bleak, and agitated moods.

What helps relieve this distress? What helps a person to heal? The mental health system as currently constituted says that the following two things help the most: drugs and talk  therapy. Setting those two aside, what else helps? Here are ten tips for emotional healing:

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1. Be yourself

You must be yourself. This means asking for what you want, setting boundaries, having your own beliefs and opinions, standing up for your values, wearing the clothes you want to wear, eating the food you want to eat, saying the things you want to say, and in a hundred other ways being you and not somebody small or false.

2. Invent yourself

You come with attributes, capacities and proclivities and you are molded in a certain environment. But at some point you must say, “Okay, this is what is original to me and this is how I have been formed but now who do I want to be?” You reduce your emotional distress by deciding to become a person who will experience less emotional distress: a calmer person, a less critical person, a less egoistic person, a more productive person, a less self-abusive person, and so on.

3. Love and be loved

Part of our nature requires solitude, alone time, and a substantial rugged individualism. But this isn’t the whole story of our nature. We feel happier, warmer and better, live longer, and experience life as more meaningful if we love and let ourselves be loved. We must be individuals (see tips 1 and 2) but we must also relate. To do both, to both be ourselves and relate, requires that we acknowledge the reality of others, include others in our plans, not only speak but listen, and makes ourselves fit by eliminating our more egregious faults and by growing up.

4. Get a grip on your mind

Nothing causes more emotional distress than the thoughts we think. We must do a better job than we usually do of identifying the thoughts that don’t serve us, disputing them and demanding that they go away, and substituting more useful thoughts. Thinking thoughts that do not serve you is the equivalent of serving yourself up emotional distress. Only you can get a grip on your own mind; if you won’t do that work, you will live in distress.

5. Forget the past

We are not so completely in control of our being that we can prevent past sore points from returning. They have a way of pestering us as anxious sweats,nightmares, sudden sadness, and waves of anger or defeat. But we can nevertheless try to exorcise the past by not playing along with our human tendency to wallow there. We must tell ourselves to move on and mean it. If you have a secret attachment to misery, you will feel miserable. As best you can, imperfectly but with real energy, let go of the past and forget the past.

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6. Flip the anxiety switch off

Rampant anxiety ruins our equilibrium, colors our mood, and makes all the already hard tasks of living that much harder. There are many anxiety management strategies you might want to try—breathing techniques, cognitive techniques, relaxation techniques, and so on—but what will make all the difference is if you can locate that “inner switch” that controls your anxious nature and, deciding that you prefer to live more calmly, flip it to the off position. With one gesture you announce that you will no longer over-dramatize, that you will no longer catastrophize, that you will no longer live a fearful life or create unnecessary anxiety for yourself.

7. Make meaning

Meaning is nothing more arcane than a certain sort of subjective psychological experience. We can have much more meaning in our life if we stop looking for it, as if it were lost or as if someone else knew more about it than we did, and realize that it is in our power to influence meaning and even make it. By making daily meaning investments and by seizing daily meaning opportunities we hold meaning crises at bay and experience life as meaningful. Meaning problems produce severe emotional distress and learning the art of value-based meaning-making dramatically reduces that distress.

8. Let meaning trump mood

You can decide that the meaning you make is more important to you than the mood you find yourself in. Rather than saying “I’m blue today” you instead say, “I have my business to build” or “I have my novel to write.” You start each day by announcing to yourself exactly how you intend to make meaning on that day, how you intend to deal with routine chores and tasks, how you intend to relax—how, in short, you mean to spend your day—and you consider all of that, the rich and the mundane alike, as the project of your life, one that you are living with grace and in good spirits. You reduce your emotional distress by checking in more on your intentions and less on your mood.

9. Upgrade your personality

You may not be the person you would like to be. You may be angrier than you would like to be, more impulsive, more scattered, more self-sabotaging, more undisciplined, more frightened. If so, you require a personality upgrade, which of course only you can supply. You choose a feature of your personality you would like to upgrade and then you ask yourself, what thoughts align with this intention and what actions align with this intention? Then you think the appropriate thoughts and take the necessary action. In this way you become the person capable of and equal to reducing your emotional distress.

10 Deal with circumstances

Would you experience more distress sunning yourself at the beach or facing a long jail sentence? Circumstances matter. Our economic circumstances matter; our relationships matter; our work conditions matter; our health matters; whether our nation is at peace or occupied by invaders matters. Many circumstances are completely out of our control and many are within our control. We can change jobs or careers, we can divorce, we can reduce our calorie intake, we can stand up or keep quiet, we can do exactly as much as we can do to improve our circumstances. As a result of those improvements, we feel emotionally better. Emotional healing requires that you take real action in the real world.

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Who knows if we are in the throes of a “new depression epidemic” or a “new anxiety epidemic” or whether keen emotional distress has been a significant feature of human existence from the beginning. What is different now is that the paradigm of self-help is completely available to anyone who would like to reduce his or her emotional distress. You can understand yourself; you can form intentions and carry them out; you can learn from experience; you can grow and heal. Naturally none of this is true if you are unwilling to do the work required. But if you are, you have an excellent chance of reducing your emotional distress and experiencing genuine emotional health.

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For more information, visit Denver City Rolfing.

 

 

 

 

Rolfing for Trail Running

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I always encourage my Denver City Rolfing clients to begin and end their day with stretching. It’s the easiest way to maintain our bodies natural flexibility and movement. Regular stretching and body work modalities such as Rolf Structural Integration are great ways to stay young and active.

Enjoy this excellent article by Gretchen Yoder on Active Stretching for Winter Sports.

Get Ready for Winter Sports With Active Stretching

Are you thinking about the winter sports? Tight muscles, cramped joints and a lethargic body is not how you want to ring in this winter season. Instead, prepare your body for sledding adventures, skiing moguls and family snowball fights by introducing stretching into your overall health and  fitness routine. Don’t worry, you don’t have to schedule tons of time to make stretching beneficial and effective. Just ten minutes will do the trick.

Get Ready for Winter Sports With Active Stretching

START WITH THE BASICS

When incorporating  stretching into your workout, take a two-phased approach. The first phase should focus on preparing your body, joints, heart and lungs for a dynamic workout. The second phase should focus on cooling down your muscles and preparing your body for an active recovery following your workout. In essence, it is most effective to sandwich your strength and conditioning workout routine with two short, but effective, active stretching routines.

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PHASE ONE: WARM UP AND DYNAMIC STRETCH

If touching your toes and taking deep breaths to start your workout is your idea of warming up and stretching, then you are missing out on an excellent opportunity to set yourself up for a great workout. According to research by The National Strength and Condition Association, passive static stretching can lead to reduced performance when compared to an active, dynamic warm-up alone.

A great workout starts with a great warm-up so the first step to an active warm-up that is going to increase your performance is spending a few minutes on a foam roller. The purpose of the foam roller is provide soft tissue flexibility in preparation for a more fluid and free-moving workout. The few  minutes it takes to foam roll will pay dividends for the remainder of your fitness session.

After you’ve established more flexible muscles with the foam roller, the next step is to prepare your body for elevating heart rates and getting down to business. The warm-up should not be easy. It should start easy, but then progress to the point that when you’re finished five minutes later, you’re ready to go full steam ahead into your workout.

A dynamic warm-up should include explosive movements such as high knees, skipping and moving lunges. It is important to remember that the purpose of these types of exercises is to prepare your joints and ligaments for the high intensity portion of your workout. Make sure not to push yourself too hard, but instead focus on starting slow and revving up your body for an effective and dynamic workout.

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PHASE TWO: COOL DOWN AND RECOVERY

After you’ve left all of your effort, sweat and tears on the gym floor during your high intensity strength and conditioning workout, it is now time to take three to five minutes to incorporate some light stretching and cool down techniques to finish off your fitness routine. The purpose of this stretching phase is to loosen up any knots that might build up in your muscle fibers during your workout and prepare your body for proper recovery that will last hours after your workout has ended.

It is important to stretch the major muscle groups you exercised during your workout and to focus on any problem spots that you may have. Some simple, but highly effective cool down and recovery stretches include the child’s pose, lower leg lunge stretches and the cat stretch for your back and shoulders.

Static Stretch

If stretching is typically an after-thought for you during your workouts, focus on incorporating these ten minutes of pre- and post-workout stretches this winter to prepare your body for optimal performance during and after your workouts.

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For more information visit Denver City Rolfing.