IAmA New Therapist

Hola My Peeps!

Being a new therapist, I have lots of questions. LOTS of questions. Fortunately I am surrounded by brilliant minds who generously want to share their guidance and experience.

I’ve been doing 30 minute(ish) video conferences with therapist I admire, and we discuss a variety of topics of interest to new therapists – how to build a business, how to network effectively, how to take care of your body, etc.

You can find all these videos on my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLu1NZIuFEBw1rMAut7cADbuCQGxYi1fPP.

Let me know if you have any questions you want me to chase down!

You are What You Think

Exciting News!! Tune Up Fitness gave me an outlet to write about a subject that has been fascinating me lately – the power of our thoughts. I’m tempted to write a whole dissertation on why I find this topic so interesting, but I want you to have time to read the article! So I’ll let you go for now.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, insights after reading the article!

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Can Negative Thoughts Make You Sick? The Science of How Thinking Affects Your Body

Welcome to my Mindpage

I’ve been trying to succinctly describe what this website and blog is for and about. And I keep coming back to, it’s about all the things I find interesting and want to write about. ūüôā I’m on a journey of discovery to figure out life, the universe and everything. I’m 42, so I guess that’s appropriate.

ANYWAY, I have to get ready for worky-poo, so I can’t write much, but it’s been AGES since I’ve written, and I had to break the seal on that, so that the words can start flowing again. So, more to come shortly.

Happy Friday and go do something fun that makes you laugh and move in a way you haven’t in the past week or month! Here is a picture of my brothers and me that you can use as inspiration. Put a measuring cup on your head as a hat, and see how it makes you feel. ūüėõ


The Electricity of Touch

I’ve long been fascinated with science fiction. ¬†I grew up watching Dr. Who, Star Wars, Star ¬†Trek, Misfits of Science. ¬†I loved Madelaine L’Engle’s books, as well as The Girl With Silver Eyes, Dune, anything by Ursula K Le Guin, Lord of the Rings. ¬†I was so hopeful that there was magic in the world, that we are not just flesh, bone, and blood. ¬†I wanted powers.

And as I get older and find some moments of quiet and observation, I realize that I DO have powers. ¬†The world really does not operate in a linear, A+B = C function. ¬†It’s wiley and impressionable and moldable and multifaceted. ¬†With every interaction, there are innumerable forces at play, most of which cannot be seen, felt, or heard. ¬†Or maybe they can be, but we’ve lost the art of reliably, consciously doing so.

And what is truly fascinating, is that now there are studies that prove that that as humans, we are energetically entangled with each other. ¬†You can read one of the studies¬†here. ¬†The gist of it is, there is an exchange of electromagnetic energy when people touch (especially with the right hand) or are close together (within 18 inches). ¬†If a person consciously adopts a “sincere caring attitude,” it could positively affect the heart rhythm of people within their proximity!!

Here is a quote from the study that I find really intriguing, “…when individuals focus their attention in the area of the heart and consciously generate a positive emotion, the heart rate variability patterns become more orderly and coherent,” and “…individuals who intentionally increase their cardiac coherence by maintaining a focused state of sincere love or appreciation can induce changes in the structure of water and the conformational state of DNA.” ¬†The study goes on to imply that a therapeutic technique could become more effective by the practitioner adopting a “sincere caring attitude.”

This gives me so much hope! ¬†I have learned so much in the past 14 months, but I know I still know NOTHING! ¬†But at least, now I know, if I really care about my patients, my touch will be beneficial to them – even if I’m not treating the exact muscle that needs to be treated. ¬†My touch, generated from a place of compassion and positive intent, can be a “magic” power that helps my patients feel better!

What do you think of this article?  Do you notice effects in your body when you are around a positive person versus a negative person?  Do you think you can affect people solely with your positive atttidue?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. <3

 

Adding Adductors to your Body Body of Knowledge

Yes. ¬†I purposefully tried to make the title of this blog as confusing as possible. ¬†Why? ¬†Does it mean I’m not a good writer? ¬†Does it mean I don’t care about the edification of my readers? ¬†Does it mean my brain finds pleasure in confusing word play that takes a couple of moments to figure out? ¬†Because, No, No, and Yes. ūüôā

So, Adductors. ¬†If you are like me, you probably have only ever heard of adductors as a glump of muscles that get “stretched” in wide-legged yoga poses like prasarita padattonasana (wide-legged forward fold). Before starting school at the Center for Neurosomatic Studies (CNS), I had only a vague notion of some muscles in my inner thigh that were super tight, and which did not allow me to do wide-legged poses without getting a cramp in my butt. ¬†Thank you, CNS, for helping me understand with specificity what these muscles are.

Your adductors are made up of several different muscles that connect from the lower portion of your pelvis to the back side of the long bone of your thigh (the femur).  I realize the pelvis can be a bit of mystery as well, so here is brief overview of the points we need to know about.  The pubis is the bone on the front of your pelvis.  If you are like me, you often accidentally ram this into countertops/tables, and it hurts like a mother.

Directly underneath the pubis is the ischium. ¬†Sit on your hands. ¬†Go ahead – it’s okay. ¬†Sit on your hands. ¬†You feel those bones pressing into your hands? ¬†Those are your ischiums (commonly called “sit bones”). ¬†The pubis and the ischium are the superior (aka “upper” or “northern”) attachment points for the adductors, as you can see in the drawing below (which is a view of the pelvis from the front). ¬†Disclaimer: ¬†these are drawings I did quickly for my own personal study aids, so they are not 100% accurate. ¬†They’ll give you a gist of the anatomy, however. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

The adductors are made up of the Pectineus, Adductor Longus, Gracilis, Adductor Brevis, and Adductor Magnus muscles.  You can see the specific attachment points in the illustration below. (Please note that my anatomy text led me astray in regards to the attachments of Gracilis and Adductor Longus.  They should actually be flipped).


From the pelvis, the adductors travel at an angle to connect to the back of the femur, as you can see in the illustration below.  I used to think that the back of the thigh was made up of just the hamstrings.  But there is a lot going on back there! All the adductors connect there, as well as many of the quadriceps.


Why are the adductors important?  For SO many reasons!  They have trigger points that can present as pain in the front and inside of the thigh and in the genitals and rectum.  They can cause the sacrum to tilt, which forms an uneven base for the spine, resulting in a functional scoliosis.  Also, the adductor magnus can pinch the greater saphenous nerve, causing the knee to collapse while walking.

At CNS we learn how to treat the adductors, which can relieve the symptoms described above. ¬†But sometimes releasing a muscle is not what it needs. Sometimes it needs to be stronger. ¬†Weak muscles can contribute to pain, just like over-active muscles can. ¬†I love the Adductor Slides Yoga Tune Up¬ģ pose; it helps you tune in to your adductors and strengthen them in a fun and slightly excruciating way. ¬†Here is a demo from Trina Altman.

Well, I hope you learned a little something about your body today. If you try the adductors slides, let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading today!

 

 

 

 

On Following Your Dreams (aka making uncommon decisions)

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. ¬†Mostly that is because I think I utterly exhausted my brains and will in making the decision to move to Florida, cut back to part-time, and go to school for massage therapy. ¬†All of that just plump wore me out.

But now the decision is made. ¬†And I’m here. In Florida. I tried to be here last week, but Hurricane Irma had different plans for me. ¬†Tim and I drove down here on the 4th, unpacked our stuff into our apartment and then promptly packed an overnight bag and drove right back to Iowa. ¬†It was Tuesday. The storm was forecasted to hit Sunday. Yet all the stores were already out of water. ¬†It scared the shit out of us, to be honest. ¬†We are used to dealing with tornadoes, but huge storms in a state with like 3 roads that you can use to exit the state sounded like a nightmare.

So we chose the lesser nightmare and drove the 19 hours back to Iowa.

It was weird going back home again, especially after I already said goodbye to all my friends, family, and coworkers, only to return about 4 days later. ¬†HEY! ¬†Guess what! I’m baaaaack!

People were actually pretty understanding. ¬†They often echoed a thought that was ricocheting around in my head a TON – “Um, maybe this is a sign?”

And, see, this is where I get utterly confused about this whole dharma/life purpose thing.  I thought I was watching signs and signals and felt as if this path was chosen for me.  But then, a category 5 hurricane started hurtling toward me.  Talk about mixed messages.

But, I guess, that just because you are following your dharma, does not mean you will not have tribulations.  In the Bible God was always sending his people on missions and quests that were horribly inconvenient and resulted in tons of annoyances and discomforts.  Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do because you gotta do it and because you know that by doing so, the world will become just a little bit better, and that makes all the difference.

So I decided, after a lot of internal tortuous dialogue, to not cancel all of my plans and aspirations. ¬†I came back. ¬†I’m here. ¬†Now.

I haven’t had much time to reflect/absorb/adjust yet. ¬†Granted, it’s only Day 1. ¬†I was madly unpacking, buying groceries, getting an oil change, cleaning, cooking food, etc. ¬†Maybe perhaps I was a little bit numbing with busyness. ¬†But that’s OK.

To close, here are the things that are good about this decision so far:

  1.  The people I have encountered here so far are super friendly and helpful.  Had THE most helpful guy at the Take 5 Oil Change place today.
  2. We found a super cute breakfast joint on the super cutely named road, Sunset Point, and my breakfast was only 6.50.
  3. The St. Petes/Clearwater airport is only 15 minutes from our apartment.  From there you can, for a mere $60-$80, fly directly back to Moline, IL, which is 15 minutes from our house.
  4. I am becoming more resourceful.  No ladle?  Use a cup!  No lids for my pot?  Use tin foil!  No bed?  Sleeping bags and blankets on the floor!
  5. I saw a snake on the sidewalk in front of my apartment, and I only jumped 2 feet and did not scream.

So, that’s it for Day 1. ¬†Hope you are having tons of interesting adventures, and thanks for reading!

On the Importance of Movement

Where have I been, you may be wondering?? ¬†Well, let me tell you. It’s a story that begins at the latest last summer and at the earliest back in high school, with a few milestones in between.

I’ll start at the most recent beginning, which is last summer.

For the past several years, especially since discovering the primal diet (thank you Mark Sisson!), I have felt very compelled to share with others the fascinating things I was learning, namely Рwe have the power to heal ourselves without the use of prescription drugs and surgeries.  As I started to eat better and move my body more regularly, I noticed a huge improvement in my level of anxiety, my body composition, and my energy levels.  It was nothing short of amazing. I wanted EVERYONE to know this.

But I struggled with the best way to share this message. I was not content with sharing this information with only the interested friend or family member (or the uninterested family member ūüėõ ). ¬†I wanted a more Official communication forum.

Consequently I ventured down the yoga teacher training path. ¬†Teaching yoga fed my deep curiosity about the body, philosophy, and spirituality. It also gave me an avenue to share what I was learning with others. ¬†I LOVE teaching, especially those classes where the students and I are on the same wave length, and everything just…gels. ¬†Amazing. Total Flow state.

Yet, I still yearned for more. I was/am working full-time at a fairly stressful job, fitting in classes and workshops where I could.  I clung to the job because I have a HUGE need for security, safety, and a financial safety net.  Yet, I wanted to do more with the health and wellness sphere.  But I was running out of hours in the day and energy to do both well.

I was super discontented and unsettled and stressed, and I felt as if my life was being used incorrectly by me. ¬†So I started meeting with a psychologist who is also a yoga therapist – a woman who marries west and east and blends science with spirituality. During the first session I explained my plight. She had me write down my intention. I wrote “My intention is to find my purpose and follow it fearlessly.”

A day or two later on the Yoga Tune Up Teachers Page, I learned about a pain treatment modality, neurosomatic therapy, that focuses on posture to analyze the root of issues in the tissues. ¬†It is a form of manual therapy, but it also adds in the component of corrective exercise (so patients don’t just revert back to old patterns of behavior).

I was intrigued!  I called the school and ended up speaking to a man just a year younger than me who just quit his job in real estate to go back to the school.  He was SO HAPPY. Over the next few days we talked for a few hours, as he answered all my detailed questions about the program.  This system of treatment gelled SO WELL with what I had been learning in YTU, and it also made intuitive sense to me.  It was a natural fit for the style of yoga/movement that drew me as well.

For the next year, I would torture myself with deciding whether or not to take the plunge and do this program. I would talk to students from the program, hear their remarkable impressions of the program, how much they loved it, how they wished they could do it again, how great it was to help people that no one else could help.

Yet I waffled. How could I leave Iowa? How could I ask Tim to completely change our life?  How could I leave my parents????  How could we leave our adorable house that we spent 14 years making perfect?  What would I do for money?  I had grown very accustomed to the lifestyle that my stressful corporate job provided, to be honest.

I was confident that I would love the training program. I was sure that this career path would provide more fulfillment, joy and flow than being a business analyst at a bank.  I knew that this career would give me opportunities to learn and grow in a field that is fascinating to me.

So, what to do?  On the one hand Рsecurity, family, safety, knowing what tomorrow will bring.  On the other hand Рlots of potential, room for growth, greater understanding of this vessel in which I live, but also insecurity, lack of predictability, increased expenses, and a move 18 hours across the USA.

I finally decided to take the plunge.  Tim is joining me on this crazy adventure. We are breaking out of several years of comfy habits and routines which is absolutely terrifying but also exciting.  As we are fixing up the house, cleaning out 14 years of accumulation, I realized that our comfy life was also kind of stagnant.  We had swung too far off center, and we needed a massive shake-up to reach equilibrium again.  Much like the body needs constant movement for optimum performance, life needs movement and change as well!

I hope to continue writing as we progress through this experience together, but I will have to see what this new life looks like.  I will be working part time and going to school part time, but hopefully I can still find time to write!

So this is already a super long blog post, so I better sign off.  Thanks for reading!

 

After further thought…

My students Thursday night asked me a couple of questions that I was not really prepared to answer.  I tossed out the first thing that came to the top of my head, but after further reflection, I have more to add. It takes awhile for my brain to get into gear!

Question 1:  What is the biggest change I have noticed with doing yoga regularly?

This one caused a rush of conflicting thoughts in my head, even though it seems like a simple question. ¬†A lot of this tumult of thought circled around, “I don’t actually DO yoga regularly!” ¬†I have a varied movement practice – I jog a couple of days a week, I lift a couple of days a week, I attend a yoga class once every couple of weeks, I do one of Jill Miller’s videos once or twice a week.

I’m conflicted about even calling myself a yoga teacher, in point of fact, because I feel as if it can give people the impression that I practice 6 days a week for 90 minutes everyday, and I can do handstands¬†and splits and crazy binds. ¬†I can’t do any of that stuff, so I don’t teach any of that stuff. ¬†I help people understand their bodies better with the aid of the Yoga Tune Up¬ģ balls and mindful mobility and strengthening work. ¬†We crawl, we swing, we roll, we look at pictures of muscles in books. ¬†Is that “yoga”? ¬†Technically yes (as I understand it), but I fear it’s not what people typically consider yoga to be.

So once all of that darted through my head, I settled back on the question – what is the biggest chance I have noticed? ¬†I told the class¬†that after taking the YTU Level 1 training, I noticed that I felt myself stacked over my feet better – like I wasn’t leaning forward all the time. ¬†That was the biggest change for me.

And that is true, but, upon reflection, what I have really noticed from my mindful movement practices is that I have more Awareness now. ¬†I notice when my shoulders start to creep up around my ears, I notice when I start breathing shallowly, I notice when random parts of my body tense up (like my hands or my belly), I notice (with a slight bit of detachment) when I feel annoyed or angry, I notice when my mind is going a million miles per minute. ¬†Sometimes I just notice these things. Sometimes I notice them and then try to change them – I will stretch, or roll on the balls, or reflect on whether it’s worth it to get angry about this situation. ¬†That Awareness is what I have noticed most from doing yoga.

Question 2:  Does it ever get better, or do you have to constantly work at it (re: muscle tightness)?

My answer to this was, you really do need to keep working at it. ¬†You can’t just roll and relax and be done with it. ¬†You need a relaxation maintenance package. ūüôā

And that is true!  But what I forgot to mention was that if you change your habits (especially postural habits), you can start to alleviate tension all over the body.  For example, if you stack your ears over your shoulders, it releases strain in the back of the neck, the back of the head, the tops of the shoulders, and the jaw.

So, while you still should continue to move your body as much as possible (whether in “yoga” or some other mindful movement practice), if you move your body BETTER and use Awareness to re-position yourself in a joint-stacked position, you will over time reduce pain and tension in the body. ¬†Instead of trying to fit another exercise class into your day to keep yourself supple, you can continuously adjust yourself as you are walking, reading, doing the dishes, working at your computer. ¬†As Katy Bowman always says, Stack Your Life! ¬†Improve your mobility while doing the other things in life you have to do.

I’m still not sure that fully answers both questions, but if I wait until I have a perfect answer, I will never get this posted!

Hope you are having a great Memorial Day weekend and that you can get out outside, put your toes in the grass, laugh with your friends and family, and eat delicious food!

 

Where Worlds Collide

Last week I attended the Iowa Women Lead Change Conference in Cedar Rapids, IA.  It was a really amazing conference, with a lot of thought-provoking speakers.  But what really blew my mind, was that when I went to the Dubuque Yoga and Oneness Festival two days later, a lot of the same concepts were presented.  The scientific research community is finally starting to prove to the the corporate world that what yogis have been saying for thousands of years is actually true.

Here is a brief overview of the cross-pollination – it centers mostly around how 1) we are all connected and 2) the words we use with others and ourselves have a powerful impact on bodies. ¬†I’m presenting this in list form because lists make my brain feel good. ūüôā

  1. Action conquers fear.
  2. Progress not perfection.
  3. We underestimate our ability to recover from failure.
  4. Most people talk themselves out of their dreams.
  5. Stop telling yourself what you are not good at – Growth mindset vs. Fixed mindset.
  6. Women are critical to business success because we have a drive for meaning and purpose.  We have strong communication skills and are relationship-focused.
  7. MRI – Most Respectful Interpretation
    1. Interrogate reality – consider your filters: attitudes, beliefs, truths, opinions.
  8. Act from a place of values and vision.  Be authentic!
  9. Pause boldly – don’t let the amygdala (your ancient brain) boss you!
  10. BREATHE to bring the heart into a coherent rhythm and by doing so increase brain performance.
  11. Relaxed brains have more Aha! moments.
  12. We need Periods of Silence in our lives.
  13. Screen time dulls your capacity to think.  After 90 minutes of screen time, take a 20 minute break.
  14. Choose your words wisely. ¬†An employee’s brain lights up when they hear positive words from her manager. ¬†When she hears negative words, 11 regions shut down, and the effect lasts for hours.
  15. Emotions are contagious.
  16. Saying Thank You to an employee releases oxytocin (feel good hormone) in his brain.
  17. Yoga helps get your body into a coherent state.
  18. True failure comes from not trying.
  19. Mindfulness practices are a good way to deal with overwhelm
  20. Our brain does best when we are around others who care about us.
  21. Exclusion lights up the same parts of the brain that are lit up when physical pain is felt.
  22. The brain is hard-wired to belong.
  23. The ancient brain is kind of a jerk. It’s an efficient jerk though. ¬†It quickly grabs on to patterns and integrates them to make decisions. ¬†That is where stereotypes begin. ¬†But we can PAUSE and consciously react differently.
  24. We cannot multi-task!!  The brain just toggles really quickly between tasks and loses 20-30% productivity in the process.
    1. Busy-ness does NOT equal productivity.
  25. We need Rest, Stillness, Mindfulness.
  26. Be mindful of outsiders and pull them in.

Based on that list, where do you think I learned that information?  At the Yoga Festival?  NOPE!  That is what all these smarties and PHds and authors at the conference shared with us!!

But that is basically what I learned at my day at the conference too. ¬†Our thoughts, our heartbeats, our cellular material are all intermingled and shared with the people around us. ¬†Where do “I”¬†leave off exactly, and where does “Other” begin?

I think this article is already long enough, so I will hold off on sharing more from the conference for now. I hope you found this information as interesting as I did!  If you want to learn more, you can check out the following people:

  • Carey Lohrenz :¬†http://careylohrenz.com
  • Sallie Krawcheck:¬†https://www.ellevatenetwork.com/team/sallie-krawcheck
  • Jenn Bleil:¬†https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-bleil-28a5765/
  • Jill Saunders:¬†https://www.linkedin.com/in/jillsaundersprofile/
  • Dr. Steve L. Robbins:¬†http://slrobbins.com
  • Jeff Masters:¬†http://www.jeffmasters.net

 

 

May Workshops

I have 2 brand new workshops going on at Indigo this month, as well as an old favorite. I would love to see you there!

Location: Indigo Wellness 1621 5th Avenue, Moline IL 61265

Cost per workshop: $25 per 90-minute class or $20 if you register 5 days before the event.

Only 15 spots available, so reserve your spot early at indigowellness.info/Services & Prices/Workshops.

62 Point Rolling and Relaxation Meditation ‚Äď May 9th 5:45PM – 7:15PM

When you try to ‚Äúlive in the moment‚ÄĚ or meditate or focus on ANY ONE THING for more than 8 seconds, do you quickly get frustrated, tense, and angry with yourself?¬† Meditation and mindfulness are supposed to help RELIEVE stress, not CAUSE it.¬† But our hyper-active brains often have a hard time slowing down and being okay with inactivity.

I have been, um, ‚Äúblessed‚ÄĚ with an overly analytical, over-active mind. Somatic-based meditations (where your brain is guided through the body) are one of the few types of meditation that can handle my monkey mind.¬† If this sounds familiar to you, I invite you to join me for this class.

We will begin class with a somatic meditation, guiding the mind through 62 points on the body.¬† We will then use the Yoga Tune Up¬ģ therapy balls on all of the 62 points, bringing the mind‚Äôs awareness into each of those areas and letting it settle there for a few moments. ¬†At the end of class, we will go through the 62-point meditation a final time, allowing time for the mind to observe the improved mind-body connection that comes with rolling.¬† You may find that the combination of tactile sensation (rolling) and guided somatic meditation is a gateway to the calm you seek.

The Primal Core ‚Äď May 16th 5:45PM – 7:15PM

Ahh.¬† The Core.¬† It‚Äôs ‚Äúengaged‚ÄĚ in almost every single yoga or exercise class, and we all want a toned, sexy one. But what is it really?¬† Why do we have such a love/hate relationship with it?¬† Why is it so important (beside looking good in a bikini/Speedo)?

In this workshop we will use Yoga Tune Up¬ģ therapy balls to relieve tension in the multiple layers of core ‚Äď rolling out tissues from the neck to the base of the spine.¬† We‚Äôll also use the Coregeous balls to start to tune in to our bellies and stimulate digestion.

This class will also include a brief introduction to the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. You’ll learn why this approach is helpful for many people, and you’ll leave with some helpful tips on how to start to incorporate healthy habits such as eating whole foods, moderating sugar intake, and developing good sleep hygiene into your daily life.

Foundation Tune Up ‚Äď May 23rd 5:45PM – 7:15PM

Your feet have a pretty thankless job.¬† They get stuffed into leather coffins all day, they can‚Äôt breathe, and they can barely move or wriggle. On top of that, they have to carry the weight of your entire body all day long.¬† And then the weekend comes, and you repeatedly slap them on unforgiving concrete for a several miles.¬† And then we curse them when they hurt.¬† Show them a little love and affection and take them out for a date night with the Yoga Tune Up¬ģ therapy balls.

In this workshop you will learn some fun and relaxing therapy ball techniques and mindful movements that will help you treat and train your foundation, all the way from the tips of your toes to the crest of your hips.

This class will be great for runners, cyclists, or walkers (or movers of any type).