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!

10 Way to Ease Stress; part one

stock-footage-dolly-shot-of-a-motivational-sign-saying-stress-free-zone-with-a-warm-tropical-beach-backgroundWe all have stress. It’s a part of modern life so here are some tips on how to help reduce the affects of stress on your body. I have divided this into two parts so it’s not so overwhelming. As you read this, take what may apply to your own situation as not every suggestion will be meaningful to you. The important thing is to become aware or your stress and if needed, this will give you something to draw on for help. Of course, my specialty, John Barnes myofascial release can significantly help reduce your stress in as little as an hour a week so if you’re in the Sacramento metro area, give me call at 916-363-7173.

1) Eat and drink sensibly. Take time to prepare foods instead of eating ‘fast food’. Try not to binge or habitually eat snack foods. Choose wisely and eat or drink in moderation. Drinking alcohol and overeating may seem to reduce stress, but it actually adds to it.

2) Assert yourself. You do not have to meet others’ expectations or demands. And remember, they don’t have to meet yours either. It’s okay to say “No.” If you are being assertive, not angry, it allows you to stand up for your rights and beliefs while respecting those of others. 

3) Stop smoking. Nicotine acts as a stimulant and brings on more stress symptoms. Give yourself the gift of dropping this unhealthy habit. There are many free stop smoking programs available if you need help and support. 

4) Exercise regularly. Choose non-competitive exercise and set reasonable goals. Aerobic exercise has been shown to release endorphins which are natural substances that help you feel better and maintain a positive attitude. If you need help getting started, contact a personal trainer for advice.

5) Practice relaxation techniques. Relax every day. Yep, take time for your ‘self’. Choose from a variety of different techniques such as deep breathing, Bible reading, listening to guided imagery or a soothing piece of music. Try combining opposites; a time for deep relaxation and a time for aerobic exercise is a sure way to protect your body from the effects of stress.

10 Things Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

As an alternative medicine practitioner, specifically a myofascial release therapist, I see many clients who are disillusioned with their doctors and/or the medical system in general as it is now. Here are some thoughts of mine born from those client complaints. I hope they help you or someone you know.

medical photo

1) Yes, you can fire your doctor. You can change doctors any time you wish and you don’t even have to give them a reason. Even if you just don’t like yours, or just don’t ‘feel’ comfortable with them, by all means, change.

2) Your pharmacist probably knows more about your prescribed medicine than your doctor does. Most docs know what the meds are supposed to treat, but not how they may react with other meds you are taking or the best time of day to take them.

3) You don’t have to take a prescribed medicine. This is true! Many people have adverse side effects or reactions to medicines, so go back to your doctor immediately and talk about other alternatives. But, before you do, talk to your pharmacist (see number 2 above).

4) Your doctor will tell you to lose weight but not how to lose that extra weight. They have good intentions, but docs have little knowledge on how to do it, so you will have to do your homework and own research on various ways to lose weight.

5) ‘You need to exercise’ says your doctor. How many of you have heard that but have not been given any suggestions of what type of exercise or how to start? No? Then talk to your friends and see what they are doing or get the name of their personal trainer so you can get a program built specifically for you.

6) Most doctors don’t offer, but you can get a second opinion if you are unsure of or don’t agree with what your doctor is diagnosing.

7) Similarly, you can ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist if you want a more definitive opinion. Most primary care docs don’t offer because they are the ‘gatekeepers’ and are told to keep costs down, but don’t let that stop you from getting what you need.

8) Don’t waste your appointment time asking your doctor for advice on what your insurance covers. They won’t tell you, and for good reason, they don’t know, so ask the office insurance specialist not the doctor.

9) Here’s a big one in my book. Your doctor won’t tell you that there are non-medical alternative medicine treatment options available to you. In fairness, they probably don’t know about them. If they do, most doctors are skeptical of them. So, this is for your own awareness. Seek out what alternative therapies there are for you to try.

10) Most doctors will never say to you that they don’t know what is wrong with you so they will use words like, it ‘may’ be this or ‘we’ll try this’, or ‘this is going around’, you get the idea.

So, above all, take your power back from your doctor. After all, it is your body and your health and wellbeing that are at stake. And don’t be afraid to ask others you may know for advice and guidance. After all, we all have valuable insights and experiences to share.