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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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.

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.