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.

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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.

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!…

 

Letting Go – part 3

Alan Watts trust quote imageRosemont Therapy Image 1The layers of our life experiences are interconnected and pile on to one another in our subconscious, affecting us in our daily lives, some we don’t even notice, some we hang on to.

Imagine those experiences are like spaghetti on a plate reaching like little tentacles touching and affecting many others on the plate.  When one noodle is moved or disturbed, are many others disturbed?  Yes they are.

Now, in most cases we are able to get over our hurtful negative life experiences without help.  But, when those unhappy ones surprise us, like suddenly losing a relative, we can be left full of regrets.  Trying to resolve these with our thinking brain through logical reasoning can seem like resolution, but in reality we are being fooled by our own selves into believing that everything that needs to be let go of actually is.  We have recurring triggers in our daily lives and we mistakenly believe that we have come to terms with what is bothering us.

What then to do to access those feelings and achieve true letting go?  Faith is how.  We need a belief and trust that things will be better even though we can’t see it, touch it or “prove” it with facts.

I am not talking about a particular religious belief, but a belief in a higher power.  It is of no matter as to what or who the higher power is, although for me, I rely on Jesus Christ as my guide.  The concept of having faith is a constant in all religious beliefs and cultures and it is an integral part of being human.  The problem is we have been taught not to feel.  The evolution of this relatively new belief system of not relying on our faith and intuition has to be reversed.  Our well-being depends on it.

Faith is necessary because we cannot apply logical thinking to resolve our illogical feelings.  Have you ever tried to convey your feelings about someone or something to another person to no avail?  Can they really understand where you are and what you are feeling?  It is difficult at best and probably impossible, because you have your unique layers of life experiences and they have theirs.  Conversely, is it really possible for you to understand their feelings and experiences?

Letting go is up to the individual to go through on their own.  The “Serenity Prayer” helps point out how we, as individuals need to rely on a higher power and our own awareness to let go.  If you are not familiar with it, here is one version:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Amen

This is why faith is such and important factor in our healing.  And if you really want to let go, forgiveness and not judging yourself and others is involved also.

As a John F. Barnes (JFB) trained myofascial release (MFR) therapist, I have first-hand experience in learning how to let go.  Being treated by an experienced JFB-MFR therapist allowed for new awareness to surface and combined with my Christian faith, gave me the ability to make huge steps in letting go of old beliefs.  It really is the ultimate mind/body therapy.

Social Media & Change

I have avoided social media until I recently joined a professional networking group that is based in and thrives on social media.  Well, here it is – trial by fire, thrown into the lion’s den, sink or swim.  You pick the analogy that works for you, but here I am doggy paddling (upstream) my way through the social media network, starting today.  And who knows, I might even buy a smart phone!

In short, this means I am a rookie.  So, go easy on me, but I definitely welcome your feedback.   Feel free to post and share any or part of what you see and like.

An interesting part of change is the chaos that comes before the change.  It doesn’t seem to matter how large the change is either, which makes it all the more puzzling to us when we try something different.  I have been saying to myself for years how I need to learn about social media, but I felt overwhelmed and did not know where to start.  It paralyzed me just thinking about it…where do I start, what is important, what if I “do” it wrong….  chaos prevented me from change.

It’s worth reminding ourselves that we’re OK as we go through the chaos of change.  We may not like the way we feel or the hassle or the learning curve or what others may advise, but change is good.  Change means we are learning, we are trying new things, we are moving forward, we are alive.

As a John F. Barnes trained Myofascial Release therapist, I treat clients daily and am reminded of the advantages of going through  chaos to get to what’s on the other side.  Pain, stress or fear of the unknown can cause chaos both physically and emotionally.  I help people feel better by facilitating their healing, keeping them safe and helping them weather the chaos of change.

Isn’t it funny that I found myself stuck in chaos?  Ahhh, change is not easy.