Personal Growth

John Barnes Myofascial Release Resources

With it’s increasing popularity, you’ve probably  heard of Myofascial Release.  Perhaps you’ve read about  fascia in an article or heard it mentioned in a news report.  But you’re  still not clear exactly what it is or its role in the body.  Maybe you even have several friends who have received MFR, but they all describe it differently.

For a deeper understanding of fascia, what Myofascial Release is, the philosophy of John Barnes’ style of MFR and it’s history, I’ve included a link to John’s archives.  I’m always available to clarify or answer questions as you work your way through the articles.

My current clients may find it helpful to read about some of the topics we’ve discussed in our sessions.  I would love to hear any comments you might have.

Happy Reading!

Click here to read John’s Therapeutic Insight articles!

 

 

Celebrating Ten Years

10 yearsThe last ten years have passed in the blink of an eye.  When I began my business in 2007, I had no idea that it would become such an integral part of my life and who I am.  My clients and I have studied the human body together with curiosity and compassion.  We’ve watched one another age and go through many life changes.  We’ve explored what it means to let go of trauma and to finally heal.  It seems that what begin as a business has become a laboratory in which to explore what it means to be human.

I’d like to thank each and every one of you who have walked beside me on the journey.  Here’s to the next ten years!

 

 

Brain Scans Show Distinct Differences in Sufferers of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is estimated to affect 1 million to 4 million people in the U.S. yet it remains scientifically misunderstood and typically dismissed by the general public.  For those who suffer from the relentless symptoms of CFS – malaise, inability to concentrate, tender muscles & joints, headaches and crippling fatigue – it’s most certainly real and at times can be debilitating.

Validating the realness of CFS, a new study out of Standford University School of Medicine sheds a bright light upon the syndrome. This study revealed how those with CFS actually have differences in their brains compared to normal brains.

Pain imageMost significant was the finding of a reduction in the amount of white matter – a network of long fibers that communicate between nerve cells. CFS is linked to chronic inflammation that is potentially caused by our immune system’s response to a viral infection – and such inflammation could be happening throughout the body.

Damaged white matter wasn’t really a surprise, but further investigation uncovered something profound that they didn’t expect. Brain scans revealed abnormalities in a bundle of nerve fibers in the right hemispheres of CFS patients. This bundle, called the right arcuate fasciculus, connects the frontal and temporal lobes and in the brain scans they had an abnormal appearance. As explained by their article, researchers distinguished this as a fairly strong correlation between the degree of abnormality in a CFS patient’s right arcuate fasciculus and the severity of the patient’s condition.

While more research is needed to further pinpoint these changes in the brain’s white matter and determine potential causes for CFS, this study provides comprehensive clinical evidence that CFS creates real physiological symptoms in the body.  John Barnes Myofascial Release can help manage the symptoms of CFS.  It may also lessen general inflammation through the release of interleukin-8 into the tissues during holds five minutes or longer.

Read the full study from Standford University here:

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2014/10/study-finds-brain-abnormalities-in-chronic-fatigue-patients.html

 

Willpower Woes? It’s Only a Matter of Time.

During this time of year when we review our habits and goals thoroughly, keep in mind that some things may be beyond your control, your self-control that is. This isn’t an excuse for being unaccountable, but rather, our brain’s reward system and perception of time could have as much to do with accomplishing our goals as our internal will and discipline.

will powerI found this interesting article in which researchers delved into the motivations of goals and self-control. Author, Maria Konnikova, helps reveal a bit more about how our brains work. Self-control is synonymous with delayed gratification and when we think of delayed gratification – not eating a treat now to be slimmer later, saving money now to pay for the honeymoon next year – we attribute our willpower in making it so.

Yet it’s actually not that simple. If the timing of the payoff is longer than expected in coming or comes at irregular intervals, we may give up too soon.  That leads one to ask: so when do you hold ‘em and when do you fold ‘em? It’s still up to you, but this article definitely brings up some interesting points on our perception of time vs. our mental willpower.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

Can you forgo a brownie in service of the larger reward of losing weight, give up ready cash in favor of a later investment payoff? The immediate option is hot; you can taste it, smell it, feel it. The long-term choice is far cooler; it’s hard to picture it with quite as much color or power.

In psychological terms, the difference is typically seen as a dual-system trade-off: On one hand, you have the deliberative, reflective, cool system; on the other, the intuitive, reflexive, hot system. The less self-control you have, the further off and cooler the future becomes and the hotter the immediate present grows. Brownie? Yum.

But what if the reality is a little different? What if the ability to delay gratification is actually more like the commuter faced with a crowded train platform than like a dieter faced with a freshly baked treat? A failure of self-control, suggest the University of Pennsylvania neuroscientists Joseph W. Kable and Joseph T. McGuire, may not be a failure so much as a reasoned response to the uncertainty of time: If we’re not quite sure when the train will get there, why invest precious time in continuing to wait?

Click here to read the full article.

Don’t give up on your resolutions to be healthier in 2015 just yet.  Time is on your side.

 

 

Silence your Inner Critic with Self-Compassion

Think of the way we talk to our plants, our pets, our grandparents, our children.  When we are speaking to these special beings, we emit words with the energy of love, compassion and kindness.  Can we say we speak to ourselves that way on a consistent basis?

holiday blog picUnfortunately for many of us, it’s a daily task to clean up the inner thoughts we have about ourselves – especially when crossing by a mirror.  Yet showing ourselves a bit of kindness could go much further to improving our attitude, and even our general well being, according to a new study I read about in Natural Health News.

The study researched women with regard to their body image and physical measurements, and found that self-compassion, rather than self-esteem, could be a vital means to increase positive body image and protect women from unhealthy weight obsessing and dieting practices.

As explained by the article, self-esteem comes from evaluating oneself as above average, whereas self-compassion is described as when dealing with feelings of inadequacy, despair, confusion, and other forms of stress, we respond to ourselves with kindness and understanding.

We may “know” our thoughts and food are connected – especially if you’ve ever succumbed to emotional eating – but as the article says, how we treat ourselves during difficult times seems to have bearing on how we feel about our bodies and food.  Self compassion allows you to give yourself a break and realize that struggles and imperfections are a mandatory part of life.  Everyone has to deal with them – even the ones who seem to have it all together.

The holiday season is hectic enough without you being unkind in your thoughts about yourself (or others).  Remember the best way to keep a healthy body and physique is to RELEASE the obsessing about it and actually accept and be happy with the body you have right now.  Just like when you show kindness and understanding to another person, they respond well, so does your own body when you think kind thoughts about yourself.

Be easy with yourself and give yourself permission to let go.

John Barnes MFR Resources

With it’s increasing popularity, you’ve probably heard of Myofascial Release.  Perhaps you’ve read about fascia in an article or heard it mentioned in a news report,  although you’re still not clear exactly what it is or its role in the body.  Maybe you even have several friends who have received MFR, but they all describe it differently.

For a deeper understanding of fascia, what Myofascial Release is, the philosophy of John Barnes’ style of MFR and it’s history, I’ve included a link to John’s archives.  I’m always available to clarify or answer questions as you work your way through the articles.

My current clients may find it helpful to read about some of the topics we’ve discussed in our sessions.  I would love to hear any comments you might have.

Happy Reading!

www.myofascialrelease.com/resources/articles.aspx

The Healing Journey

john picRecently, I attended MFR II with John Barnes in Captiva, FL.  The question was raised, “How long will it take me to heal, when will I be done?”.   As MFR therapists, we constantly work on our own healing processes.  Healing is a journey of discovery.  There is no focus on the outcome, just a willingness to feel and become more aware.  Once we are aware of what is happening in our bodies and minds, we can decide what to change, what to let go of, and what to embrace.

How long does it take to learn something new?  How long does it take to let go of old belief systems and open to new possibilities?  How long does it take to heal physical and emotional trauma?

As long as it takes us to feel, to soften, to open.

John shared this poem with us at the seminar.  I think it encapsulates the idea that we have what we need to change/fix/heal inside ourselves.  It is a message of hope.

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But,  it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in.  It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.  I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

― Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” Anais Nin

What the heck am I doing writing a blog? That’s the question I keep hearing over and over again in my mind. I’m a total introvert and an unusually private person. This is definitely NOT in my comfort zone.

roseIt’s taken a long time for me to get here. Like most of you, I’ve had my share of emotional and physical trauma. At an early age, I learned the wisdom in hiding, becoming invisible. The safety in not being seen. And it worked for a long time….or so it seemed.

Then I began to study John Barnes Myofascial Release. I realized that if I wanted to become a true master of MFR (not a superficial dabbler) I needed to work on myself. One of the first things we learn in John Barnes MFR is that “you can only take people as far as you are willing to go”.

What does that mean? Well, if I won’t commit to my own personal growth, even if it is uncomfortable, can I really help anyone else on his or her journey? Unless I challenge belief systems that don’t work for me anymore, can I honestly ask my clients to? I’ve had to nudge myself along these last four years, slowly revealing layer after layer. Now it is time to blossom and expand to my full potential in order to help others do the same.

So, I’ve let go of the outcome and here I am, open and exposed. My hope is that by being “seen” on this blog that I can spark discussion. I’m not interested in just writing a series of lectures. I am, however, interested in hearing your comments and insights so we can learn and grow together.

It’s a huge risk for me and I would be lying if I said I weren’t afraid. But that’s kind of the point isn’t it? No one grows in his or her comfort zone.

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