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!