What is Required for Avoiding Stiffness with Age?
Is your body getting stiff as you get older? Over decades, the gravitational effects of standing, walking and running causes fluids to pool in our legs, hips and low back. Sometimes our pumps, our muscles, are not being used consistently enough to keep our fluids moving. Over time these fluids, which are rich in connective tissue cells, begin sticking the muscles of the legs together fixating us in our use or misuse patterns. The muscles become increasingly inefficient at pumping fluids because they can’t move. The legs feel heavy; the feet muscles get weak; plantar fascitis, shin splints and ‘neuropathy’ develop. (I put this in quote marks because many times an ankle muscle that is not working is labeled neuropathy), often accompanied by swelling. Some of these situations are just dysfunctional muscle coordination patterns resulting from adhesions between the layers.
Poor circulation in our legs affects the conditioning of our feet and legs for walking. Muscles that aren’t being used become unable to move. We feel stiff and lose the grace of moving freely. We walk in stiff and stomp along ways, using our feet as platforms rather than functional movers.
Here are 3 things you can do to avoid stiffness as you age:
If your feet and legs are feeling heavy and weak perhaps you would benefit from a session with our talented NeuroMuscular Reprogramming® Therapists at Healus Neuro Rehab Center. Give us a call at 415 388 9945 and make an appointment today. Don’t let rigor mortis set in early…!
If you’ve never been here before and don’t understand how we can help you, you can ask for a FREE NeuroMuscular Assessment where you will meet with Jocelyn Olivier, founder and clinical director at Healus and the creator of NeuroMuscular Reprogramming NMR®. She will assess your movement patterns and tissue quality and educate you to the best approach to correct those problems that are plaguing you.
Here is a great talk by British anatomist Gil Hedley on the facts about Fascial ‘Fuzz’ and how it sticks our layers together when we stop moving. With NMR we test all your muscles and make sure they are all moving and working, we release your adhesions and wake up your coordination, more of your muscles working will get the work done easier. As my last client today said going out the door: “I feel LIGHTER!” That’s because all the stuckness was gone!
Give us a call at (415) 388-9945 and make an appointment today…Feel better for the rest of your life.
Ever wonder why the relaxation from a vacation disappears so quickly? Your everyday habits of posture and stride reinforce tension in body and mind. But you can change your walk and change your life…
Your body has four swinging pendulums: two arms and two legs. When you learn to allow them to swing passively (not try to swing them), your body relaxes, your mood lifts and you reset a new balance in your body and mind.
Gait Analysis describes the phases of walking as the stance phase and the swing phase. By allowing each leg to swing, instead of lifting it to step forward, as most people do, you can release habitual, sometimes painful, tension in your legs, hips, pelvis and low back. “I thought I was walking O.K.,” reported a student. “I didn’t realize how tension in my legs was causing knee pain.”
Your arms are also pendulums. By releasing to gravity and allowing them to swing passively, your breathing relaxes, spinal tension decreases and circulation of breath and fluids increases.
“I am breathing so much fuller, without thinking about it,” said a student, “and my jaw is relaxed.”
Lift Your Mood
From a mind-body perspective, when you surrender your legs and arms to gravity you release control. You signal your personality to let go, to let nature take her course. A profound shift in your nervous system occurs, from fight or flight to the relaxation response with its cascade of ‘feel good’ endorphins. You enhance blood flow for recovery and performance. Anatomically, your arms and legs are designed to be used as pendulums but busyness, haste, and cultural imprinting have conspired to limit this gift. “I feel like the walk is walking me,” said a student. “This is easy.”
Reset a New Balance
Life gets you bent out of shape. However, allowing your arms and legs to swing passively rebalances your tension patterns. Here’s how. Your arms, right to left, are approximately the same weight, as are your legs. The momentum of their weight, swinging passively, creates a balanced, gentle, and repetitive action on your neuromuscular, skeletal and fascial systems.
Uneven stresses can occur from a stronger right leg push-off, for example, or muscular compensation from an old injury. This can torque your spine unevenly with each of the 6,000 to 8,000 steps you take daily which, left uncorrected, results in repetitive stress injuries. A balanced walk is a healthy walk. “I couldn’t walk more than 10 minutes without pain,” reported one student. “I learned to balance out my stride. After just one class, I can now walk for an hour or longer, pain free!”
The Benefits of Coaching
Your muscular compensations tighten over a life-time as your body tries to function the best way it knows how. This happens in all sports and activities of daily living, which is the best reason to identify and eliminate compensations in your most repetitive activity — walking. You can go out for a walk to release tension patterns, but since you’ve never been trained to identify and correct your imbalances, they will persist. As you age, you rigidify, lose flexibility, balance and vitality. Dynamic WalkingRM coaching helps keep this from happening.
Join our next training to…
When: One two-hour training: Saturday, April 29th
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Where: Healus Neuro Rehab Center, 655 Redwood Hwy, Mill Valley, California
Dr. Suki Munsell holds certification as a Registered Somatic Therapist and Educator. She will be joined by her husband, Russell Munsell. They have co-taught Dynamic Walking since 1990. Training with them “you’ll gain the freedom to choose and the power to change.”
Learn more about their classes and read The Ten Steps to Dynamic WalkingRM at DynamicVitality.com http://www.dynamicvitality.com/dynamicvitality.com
Sponsored by Healus, the Center for NeuroMuscular Reprogramming held on their beautiful waterside deck.
Breathe in and out normally and then, at the end of an exhale, don’t breathe in again until you absolutely have to…COUNT the seconds until you feel you absolutely HAVE to take another breath. You should be able to get to 35 seconds. If you can’t, you likely have hidden hyperventilation and need to come to our next client education class: It Begins with the Breath.
It all begins with the Breath. Breathing is fundamental to our metabolic efficiency. Abnormal breathing patterns produce abnormal metabolism and a host of conditions no one thinks to relate to breathing.
What does the breathing mechanism actually accomplish?
Sarah Young of Women of Movement FaceBook group sent me an amazing link on breathing by Roger Fiammetti, author of “Respire! Respiration Totale Pour Tous”. I want to share it here for all who are interested in the breathing mechanism in all it’s glory. It’s in French, but I think the pictures tell the whole story.
Total respiration allows for the restoration of the perfect balance of our bodies. It allows the mobilization of the different diaphragms. The most well-known being the Thoracic Diaphragm, but also the Cranial Diaphragm, the Cervical Diaphragm and the Pelvic Diaphragm. These different diaphragms are going to stimulate the various levels of the nervous plexus that appear on the screen.
These four diaphragms have an expansive ability to manage the cerebral flax and the tentorium. The cervical diaphragm is made up of the tongue and the muscles of the Sternocleidomastoid. The well-known thoracic diaphragm is a domed muscle that separates the abdomen from the thoracic cage. The Pelvic Diaphragm is a big basket of muscles that ties the sacrum to the bones of the iliac and the bones of the basin. These diaphragms work together in synergy and stimulate the circulatory system as well as stimulate the central nervous system.
The Thoracic Diaphragm is a very interesting and very important muscle that descends upon inspiration and ascends upon expiration. This mobilizes the viscera; the intestines, the liver, the pancreas, the bladder. These viscera will descend and ascend and will stimulate the pelvic diaphragm. This dynamic illustration shows the mobilization of the whole lumbar spine during respiration.
The diaphragms and respiration play a role in brewing the viscera. All the muscles go into action during respiration: the back muscles, the muscles at the level of the throat, the muscles at the level of the jaw, the muscles at the level of the neck. The ribs mobilize and expand during inspiration and retract during expiration. And during respiration, the muscles of the abdomen are not only important for forced expiration but also provide a certain resistance to the diaphragm. This allows you to breathe slowly into the stomach and the perineum.”
Can we get younger? Can we undo the effects of time and bad habits? I’ve always thought that we as human beings are capable of much more than we’ve been lead to believe. I’m on the road to find out…what am I capable of?
I am stumbling along a path of transformation; aimed in that direction for a year now, sometimes more on it, sometimes falling off it. I can feel things changing. I’m stronger, more positive and happy; getting my initiative back. I’m getting excited about the possibilities of things I haven’t yet done in my life and thinking about how little time I have left to do all that life has yet to offer. There’s no time to waste. I’d like to feel even more concentrated and committed to making myself, and my health, a bigger priority in my life.
Did you know it’s the muscles on our bodies that burn the fat?
When you let your conditioning fall off is when you begin to turn the calories you eat into fat. My first step in resurrecting my body is to put it through enough exercise in a short period of time to change the metabolic demand system. So with the days getting lighter later, I will plan to walk up the hill nearby once a day for a week. What will you undertake this week to resurrect your body?
If you are moved to share observations or commentary or wish to join us, please feel free to do so via Healus Neuro Rehab Center, firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a small group interested in pushing the envelope and doing our best to keep our eye on the goal of personal transformation through sharing our intentions and actions toward those goals. Contact me at email@example.com and we’ll compare notes on the journey.
How about you? What would you like to undertake for you? How about a free 1/2 hour assessment in our clinic if you haven’t already had one in the contest of your session work?
Jocelyn Olivier, Director
Healus Neuro Rehab Center