Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Cleaning for the Issues in your Tissues!!

Is it safe to say that it is officially Spring now??? Upon getting through what seems to be like 3 winters this year, here in Wisconsin we are starting to see the true signs of Spring around us! The birds have been out and have been chirping for weeks now, but they finally seem to be able to stay out and not have to retreat back to their shelters from the cold!! Seeing all of the lawn bags at the foot of the driveways for Yard Waste pick up day actually brings joy to our neighborhood!! It means that we can actually spend time outside to clear away the winter debris and spruce up our yards to make way for the new growth to rise up!! Bring it on!! : ) 

Following the cycles of nature, Winter is all about cozying up inside, staying warm, and resting our bodies to store energy. The Spring season is well known as a time to be more active, clean up our homes, our lives, and cleanse our bodies. This includes moving our bodies more as we are able to enjoy the outdoors once again.  

Have you begun your Spring Cleaning projects? Which projects or tasks are the most enjoyable for you? I'm learning to love yard work (I didn't always love this...) as I do love the outdoors, and enjoy spending time working together with my husband to beautify our surroundings. However, my most favorite task is cleaning out closets and drawers! There is something freeing about "letting go" of the stuff that we've been holding onto but is of use to us, doesn't fit, is not in style, or doesn't bring us JOY! 

Are you participating in a Spring Body Detox or Cleanse this year? This is a wonderful time to do this as our bodies are naturally seeking detoxification at this time of year. Drinking more water, especially with fresh squeezed lemon juice added, is one way to flush out our systems. Today marks Day 1 of my Intermittent Fasting cleanse that I'll be implementing 2x/week for the next month, at least. My plan includes drinking water, broth, and cleansing fluids until 11am or noon, then eating healthy, fresh foods throughout an 8 hour window, until 7 or 8pm. I've done this in the past and it makes me feel amazing!! 

As we cleanse and declutter our physical bodies and surroundings, the idea of sifting through mental clutter often arises. What sorts of thoughts, emotions, beliefs or ideas are no longer serving you? How can you "let go" of some of these negative issues in your life? Have you ever considered what lies at the root of the pain or discomfort you experience in your body? It might be a good time to start to "Spring Clean the Issues in your Tissues!!" 

Through 2 decades of working as a Physical Therapist, I've noticed some common themes as my clients are dealing with pain in certain body parts. When I worked at "Knee Specialists of Wisconsin" 100% of our clients came in with some degree of knee pain. Using the Muscle Activation Techniques  systematic approach to identify and correct each client's unique structural and muscle imbalances contributing to their symptoms was a HUGE part of the healing process on the physical level. Healing on the emotional level was also a large part of helping my clients feel better. One common theme that I noticed with this specific population of clients in their 60's and 70's was a difficulty "moving forward" in life as they were transitioning from a life of working hard to reinventing themselves in retirement. So many of them were frustrated that they had worked so hard throughout their lives, but were now having trouble enjoying their retirement because of knee pain. They were regretful that they seldom took steps to take good care of their bodies or listen to the warning signs along the way, and now that their knees were screaming at them, they felt overwhelmed but were finally doing something about it! Once they identified and embraced these emotions and were prescribed unique exercises to manage their specific muscle imbalances, they were surprised at how much better they felt! Most of our clients were able to avoid knee replacement surgeries with our interventions, and they learned how to take care of themselves to "move forward" with less pain! 

Are you holding onto any unresolved "issues" in your tissues?  Are you overwhelmed with the process of uncovering and then healing from these issues? There are solutions out there if you are willing to take some time and do some "inner" work. 

I just recently finished reading "Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover your Authentic Self" by Denise Linn. It was the perfect way to head into Spring this year! "Soul Coaching is a 4 week program dedicated to an in-depth bearing and cleansing of the different aspects of your life: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. By following the practical, carefully crafted steps presented here, you'll find that you're able to uncover your authentic self. By utilizing the energy of the elements of nature -Air, Water, Fire, and Earth- this program allows you to clear away old blockages so that you can truly begin to hear the secret messages of your soul." I found it to be an amazing experience, especially since I did it with my great friend, and we had a weekly check in call or in-person chat to discuss our transformations. I'd love to hear how it goes for you too! 

A client and now good friend of mine recommended a book called "Healing Back Pain--The Mind Body Connection" by John E. Sarno. This book discusses his research on "Tension Myositis Syndrome" (TMS) and how patients recognize the emotional roots of their TMS and learn how to sever the connections between the mental and physical pain to resolve their back pain. I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to reading it soon, as I have just ordered it from Amazon. Check it out! 

I wish you all the best as you clear out the old "stuff," both physical and emotional, and make room in your life for fresh new growth on many levels!

Keep Moving Well!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Something Lost...And Something Gained...

Do you take the time at the end of each year to look back and reflect on your highlights, accomplishments and successes? Or do you focus on what goals you have yet to achieve, what you could have done differently, or wish you would have focused on instead? Personally, I used to focus on the latter. However, this year as I look back through the 12 months of 2017, I have decided to take a positive approach and celebrate the successes and achievements that have taken place, and finish off this last month on a good note. This year a common theme that resounded in my personal and professional life was "Something Lost and Something Gained." Of course, loss and gain can offer either good or bad experiences, but the following losses and gains of 2017 were all "good", and have provided profound growth opportunities.  

Something Lost: Judgement
In 2016, the "Well-BALANCED Life" blog post theme was really fun, as a different topic was presented each month that all added up to empowering you to move and live better.  The intention for 2017 was to try something different, with a "SIMPLIFY" theme, and do video blogs. It seemed like a great idea to spend less time sitting and typing, and more time moving and teaching you how to move better with simple, educational movements through exercise videos. You might be thinking, "Where were these video blogs?? Did I miss something?" No, you didn't miss them. I didn't do them. Instead of judging myself for not embracing and overcoming my fear of the camera, letting anyone down, or achieving this goal, I chose to let these judgements go. Instead of jumping to conclusions and judging situations or others' actions, I have also chosen to let those go too, as that feels so much better. 

Something Gained: Freedom 
By shifting the energy and focus to let go of judgement, the emotional and energetic burden caused by judging myself and others was lifted, which allowed a HUGE sense of freedom.  What a much-needed gift this was this year! :)

Something Lost: Hiding place
Throughout the 5 years of renting a small room inside two different Chiropractor's offices, I admired how confident they were with their practice techniques, business directions, and how they both took the initiative to rent their own space and move their missions forward. I've always struggled with confidence so I was content to just "hide out" inside of their space and stay "small" with my business...for a while. I finally reached a point where the time was right to step out of my safe place and move forward with a mission of my own this year!! 

Something Gained: Space to Grow
Moving into a new space has been one of the main professional highlights of this year. The feeling of gratitude I have for all of my clients, family, and friends who have helped 1212 Bodyworks grow into the business it is today is truly overwhelming! :) Having the physical space that now suits the flow of my business will provide wonderful future growth opportunities.  

Something Lost: Weight (15#)
With the help of my personal trainer, Ryan Bloor, and many dietary changes later, I have lost about 15 pounds this year!! Whew!! After recognizing in August of 2016 that I was not only hiding inside of the Chiropractor's office, but also hiding inside baggy or layered clothing because of my gradual weight gain, I knew I needed to make some major changes. I have officially embraced the fact that I need an accountability partner, and those weekly scheduled workouts really helped me honor my priorities. By building muscle, I was able to burn more fat and detoxify my body. In May of 2017, I received the "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis" diagnosis, and thus began the journey of a strict diet known as the "Autoimmune Protocol."  Meat, veggies, and fruit were the only allowed foods, so for 3 months, that is what I stuck to. I slowly, strategically reintroduced foods to find out which ones were triggers for my symptoms and have adjusted my diet accordingly. I am feeling better overall, but am doing what I can to continue to uncover the root of these Autoimmune issues to fully heal from them. 

Something Gained: Height (1/2 inch!!)
At my annual physical this year, I was SHOCKED when the nurse told me that I was 5 ft, 7 inches!!! I have been 5 ft, 6 1/2 inches for the past 15 years at least. I do remember once being 5' 7" back in college, but somehow lost a 1/2 inch over time. I truly believe that the strength training I have done has helped my posture and spinal stability so much, I actually am standing taller!! The physical and emotional weight that I have lost over this past year have also helped me to stand taller with more confidence.

What were some of your biggest losses and gains, and how did these experiences help you grow? I'd love to hear about the highlights of your year and what you are celebrating as you reflect on the past 12 months! Looking forward to sharing our health journeys in 2018.