Change is Hard; Poor Charlie Sheen

Charlie SheenI don’t usually write about celebrities or current events per se, but as I watched poor Charlie Sheen struggle with his interview with Matt Lauer, I struggled with him. Why? I know change is hard. I see it in myself and my clients who come to me for help.

What Charlie did was to take a monumental step forward in his own healing. His history of anger and erratic behavior along with alcohol and drug abuse is well documented in the tabloids and TV magazines. His lifestyle and inability to change it led to his latest admission that it cost him millions of dollars and more importantly, his health.

I, like Charlie and most of us have had to face things that were extremely difficult. I tried and tried to quit smoking for years and always went back to it. For many years I was angry that I couldn’t do it but finally found a program that helped me quit and stay quit. Smoking cost me my health too like Charlie. I have only 70% of my lung capacity as a result.

It begs the question of why would I (we) do that to ourselves? Most of us certainly don’t want to harm ourselves on purpose, but we continue do things that might anyway. Our fear of change, fear of losing friends, fear of looking like a failure. Whatever the fear is, it paralyzes us from changing from what we know, even when what we know it is harmful or negative. Weird, huh?

So I contemplated Charlie Sheen’s statements and listened to the obvious fear in his voice and thought good for you Charlie. He really doesn’t know yet how much his life will change for the better. I wish him well and look forward to different, more positive bits about him in the tabloids.

I have extraordinary results treating fear-based beliefs in a safe manner with John F. Barnes myofascial release (JFB-MFR). Take a step like Charlie did and call me to set an appointment or I can will be happy refer you to a JFB-MFR trained therapist near you if you’re not in the Sacramento area.

 

 

 

 

 

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Inner Power

Inner PowerMost of us have heard the phrase ‘take your power back’ but alas, most of us don’t really know what that means, or if you do, don’t know where to start.

Start with listening to your intuition as it is never wrong! I must tell you that it is not something that you can just turn on or off. Power through our intuition is a state of being that for most of us must be learned. Now, to clarify, I am not talking about pushing your ideas or will onto someone like a bully. I’m saying, be assertive in stating your needs.

I have over the years, I missed out on things because I didn’t state what I was feeling or what I needed. But, I have since learned that even the simple act of saying what you need is powerful. Even if you don’t get what you asked for. I have had a whole lot more regrets from not saying anything than I have from asking and not getting.

Add your inner power to everyday life and you will feel better, work better and treat others better. As I said, it is a state of being and if you truly follow your intuitive guide, you will exude confidence and an inner power that people will see, feel, and respect.

John Barnes MFR is the only therapy that treats the whole person including the mind/body and spirit. We can help you find and take your power back in a safe, non-forceful manner allowing for true healing.

We’ve Been Lied To About Feelings

feelings off switch picJohn Barnes, PT trained myofascial release therapists such as myself hear him say again and again of how we are taught from a young age not to feel. This is particularly true in America where it is seen as a weakness.

We are taught by almost every aspect of society to hide our feelings from others. We stifle tears and turn away so no one can see our face. We answer “I’m fine” when we’re really not.

I am amazed at how much this behavior is perpetuated by social media, TV, movies, self-help books and the like. We are told to stuff our feelings and certainly never to cry in public. This is seen as being weak or unstable which is a total lie. If anything, it is a sign of strength and balance.

God gave us our emotions and intuition as a guide to do what is right. Not only for others, but for our own self too. Let your feelings surface instead of holding them inside. And please allow others to let their feelings out as well. Don’t say to them ‘don’t cry, ‘it’s alright’ or ‘it’s okay’. Even touching them or handing them a tissue will stop emotions in their tracks, maybe, never to return. Allow their moment to finish and let them to come to you or to ask for what they need.

I have seen amazing results on my treatment table when clients have that ‘ah-ha’ moment or gradually let go of their old beliefs. You will be empowered with your new freedom from the bondage of keeping your emotions inside. Your body will feel less stressed and a sense of well-being will prevail in all you do.

If you need help, I provide John Barnes myofascial release, which is a safe, gentle hands-on therapy to help you release your stress and get in touch with those stuck feelings that may be preventing you from true healing from old wounds.

Myofascial Stretching; how is it different?

P1000072I would estimate from what my clients tell me, that maybe ten percent of them stretch before starting to exercise. And of those that do stretch, maybe only half of those use myofascial stretching as opposed to traditional stretching. Typically, people are trying to help themselves feel better, but in reality, they are sabotaging their efforts by not stretching correctly or at all. Of those that do stretch, they can enhance their performance and reduce injury by using myofascial stretching.

So, what’s the difference?

Traditional stretching which is still widely used by most physical therapists, athletic trainers and personal trainers teaches you to hold the stretch for 10-15 seconds and usually for 3-5 repetitions. Some you may notice that some people even bounce while engaging the stretch. While this type of stretching can provide some positive effect on your muscles, it is only for the short term. To fully engage the soft tissue for a truly effective stretch, it is necessary to release the fascia too.

Why is this important?

We know from science that fascia is stronger than muscle, so it follows that if there is a unreleased fascial restriction preventing the muscle from reaching its potential it will not function properly and in fact, may lead to injury.

Myofascial stretching is different in two basic ways. First, it does not force the stretch like traditional stretching. Start the stretch and when you feel the first hint of a pull, stop and back off from that. It’s almost like an imaginary stretch in your mind. Allow your body to lead you and follow it as it releases. The second major difference is that we hold the stretch for three to five minutes. It takes at least a minute and a half to three minutes for a fascial restriction to get one to two releases, so that’s why we suggest holding longer than that.

You can use myofascial stretching in place of your regular stretching no matter what area you’re trying to stretch. Also, with myofascial stretching, you can use a 4″ ball (as shown in the above photo), a foam roller, a Nola Rola ™ or whatever else you typically use while stretching.

Just remember, never force the stretch and give yourself enough time to stretch before you exercise. You will be amazed at how much better your body feels when you start using myofascial stretching in your routine.

Call me at 916-363-7173 if you have questions about this article and to set myofascial release therapy appointments. I offer one hour individual instruction covering myofascial stretching, use of the 4″ ball and foam roller. I will customize the class to your specific needs.

You can also contact Sara Beacham at B Fit Physical Fitness with questions about stretching. She specializes in helping runners of all levels reach their goals. Her website is https://www.chicobfit.com/ and FB page is https://www.facebook.com/chicobfit?fref=ts.

A Poor Diagnosis is Not a License to Blame

who-is-to-blame-1a1I was reading an article titled “It’s Not Your Fault: Dealing With Guilt After a Lung Cancer Diagnosis” by Nathan Pennell, MD, a medical oncologist at the renowned Cleveland Clinic. His article was about how people feel guilt and get blamed for their lung cancer diagnosis.

While reading, I had thoughts of many of my clients’ similar stories of how they felt guilty or were shamed by their family members or friends for their ‘illness’ or diagnosis. Surprisingly, I’m not talking about those with cancer, but conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraine headaches and low back pain which are some of the most common conditions I treat with myofascial release therapy.

It seems our society is obsessed with asking ‘why’ and postulating endlessly on who’s fault something is. Those questions serve no good purpose, and in fact, they hinder the healing process when someone is already hurting with physical or emotional pain.

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself how you can be a positive influence for them. Those with pain are already asking themselves what they did wrong or what they should have done differently or why did God allow this to happen. Don’t add to their pain, especially when there’s no medical reason for it. The condition simply ‘is’.

Be supportive and helpful when needed without enabling their pain behavior. For example, a person may grab their neck as they get up from the couch and the spouse responds by telling them to sit still and they will get what they needed. This only enables the pain person to stay in that role. Instead, add encouragement that they can do it themselves and positive reassurance that you understand.

Offer love, compassion and humility when interacting with a person in pain and remember, it’s not their fault!

Clearing the Clutter

Cluttered desk; Albert EinsteinFunny how Albert Einstein’s mind came up with this question.  I often have to stop and clear my mind to find what I’m trying to remember or solve.

Just the other day as I was looking for a particular replacement part for a window shade I had to dig through piles of stuff on the shelf in the garage. “I know it’s here”, I said to myself. I just ordered and received it a couple of months ago. I felt frustrated about wasting time. I started chastising myself for not putting it in a proper place so it would be easy to find when I needed it, when it occurred to me that I had way too much clutter.

Stepping back and looking at the pile on the shelf, I was able to see what a mixed up mess of stuff was there. Screws, nails, rubber and metal washers, chain link fence ties, brackets, a nylon rope splicer (really?), plumber’s tape, etc. Well, you get the idea, too much clutter to find anything easily.

Clutter also fills our minds so it’s hard to find things there as well. How many times have you forgotten where you put something or forgotten to do something? So why do we take time to clean up and organize the physical clutter in our lives but not the mental clutter?

When I get treated with John Barnes myofascial release, I sometimes find my mind flooded with so many thoughts at the same time it’s stunning how that’s even possible. So much, so fast, so overwhelming. Well, not really overwhelming, more like amazing. You see, I have learned to clean the mental clutter with prayer and intuitive trust. That is, I trust that the most important things will surface and be there when I need them. Conversely, if something trivial or unimportant comes up, I toss it away without a second thought.

To clarify, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of overthinking things. Trust you intuition to be right and true in all things. If you mull over something too long, it grows and becomes paramount in your mind which makes it harder to ‘find’ other important things. So clear the clutter.

Now, where’s my phone? I can’t find my phone!…

 

10 Ways to Ease Stress; part 2

stock-footage-dolly-shot-of-a-motivational-sign-saying-stress-free-zone-with-a-warm-tropical-beach-backgroundThe first part of easing stress for the most part was about ‘doing’ things differently. No small task when it comes to changing habits or trying to establish new ones. Part two is more about the ‘inner’ or mental aspect of stress relief. These last six items may be more difficult than the first five as they require introspection, which most of us don’t like to do. Hang in there folks, it will be worth it in the long run. If you need help, I provide a safe, non-judgmental place for you to learn how to release stress using John Barnes myofascial release. It is a gentle, non-forceful form of bodywork that allows for true healing. Call me at 916-363-7173 for appointments.

6) Take responsibility. Think of the ‘Serenity Prayer’. Ease your stress by asking what you can change and what you cannot. If you can make a difference in an outcome, take action. If you cannot, then put it out of your mind. Let others be responsible for their own actions, don’t try to ‘fix it’.

7) Reduce stressors. Most of us find that life is filled with too many demands and too little time. And, most of us choose what’s most important to us. You have the power to decide what and when you have time to do something. So, reprioritize weekly and don’t forget to take time out for yourself.

8) Examine your values and live by them. Be true to your ‘self’. Remember, your intuition is never wrong. The more your actions reflect your true beliefs, the better you will feel, no matter how busy your life.

9) Set realistic goals. Set too high, goals become daunting and add stress to your body. A modest, reachable goal is healthy and positive. Remember too, that goals are different from expectations. Most often expectations are out of your control are met with disappointment and resentment.

10) Self talk. Pat yourself on the back ’cause nobody else will. It’s important to remind yourself when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed that you’re doing the best you can. You can’t give more than 100% (no matter what your coach said).

Practice, practice, practice. Do not give up on trying ways to relieve your stress. Even if you only put one or two of these into practice, you will reduce your stress and feel better. So, welcome to the ‘Stress-free’ zone.