Trust the Wisdom of Your Body

What does it mean to trust the wisdom of your body? Think about a time when your body stopped functioning normally. Perhaps a body pain arose, or your digestive system had a sudden change, maybe you developed a skin condition or you got sick and never really healed fully from it. When these things occur we often feel concern about what this means for us. Sometimes we think of potential loss or limitation, and experience a general sense of powerlessness to how our body is expressing.

It is typical for us to go into “managing” mode. We try to find a reason why our body is acting this way. We look for a diagnosis, search for specialists to fix the problem, make appointments to get answers to our questions and hopefully solutions to our problem. We may try some procedures or techniques to remedy this problem and sometimes they seem to help and other times not. This can become an exhausting cycle, especially when it turns into a cascade of fixing one problem only to have it arise again after a short time. There is temporary relief, but then we find ourselves in the same or similar conditions down the road.

So how do we change the pattern? How do we discover what our body is trying to teach us so that we can learn the lesson and move on already? The first step is slowing down, getting quiet and starting to listen to your body. Your body has an intelligence of its own called life force. This intelligence is responsible for running all of the basic functions of your body. It is always at work even when symptoms occur. In fact symptoms are messages that contain information from your body’s intelligence. This is how our body talks to us. We have learned that symptoms mean that something is “wrong”. We get scared, go into fear about what is “wrong” with us and don’t trust how our body is expressing and therefore can’t learn from it. Let’s reframe that thinking to what symptoms really mean: 1. Stop, 2. Pay attention (listen), 3. Feel, think or do something differently. Symptoms are wakeup calls to say “Hey, pay attention right here, right now, this is important, don’t ignore me or try to get rid of me but instead listen to me, I am trying to help you”.

I have found that there are themes to symptom expression. In my own personal life symptoms have manifested in connection with something that I needed to change in my life. Wrist and back pain arose for me when I needed to make a change in my work life that I was scared to make. Skin problems developed at times when I felt insecure about my self-image and beauty and I needed to change the way I felt about myself. Severe dental problems occurred at times when there was a large amount of instability in my life and where I needed to create more stability for myself. We have the ability to look at these symptoms as “problems” or look at them as sources of information/energy, that when utilized, help us create the self and life that we want.

Network Spinal Analysis combined with Somato Respiratory Integration (together called Network Care) provide tools and techniques to help you discover your patterns and how your body is uniquely talking to you. The first step is to help you move from “fear mode” also known as fight or flight, into “relaxation mode” in your body. It is nearly impossible to slow down and listen if you are really scared about something being wrong with you. On a neurological level Network care helps your nervous system move from “sympathetic dominance” to “parasympathetic dominance”. From here you can start to listen instead of being hijacked with impending doom that something bad is or might happen to you. This is the starting point for gaining information from symptoms so you can use the energy contained in them to create changes that liberate you into a life of joy, inner freedom, extraordinary health and happiness.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, L.Ac

Posture & Joint Health: Don’t’ let Gravity Get the Best of You!

Have you ever been told you have poor posture?

Do you experience pain in your back, hips, knees or shoulders?

Have you noticed that your head is forward of your body?

Posture is more than standing or sitting up straight. Posture has to do with how well your body can work with stress, recover from injury or illness, heal, and function optimally. Imbalanced posture leads to numerous health concerns, including problems with your joints and even your internal organs.

Gravity can wreak havoc on your joints if your posture is not in the best alignment. This creates pain and poor biomechanics that can lead to early degeneration. A common sign of this is when people’s head come forward of their shoulders and body. This condition is called “Forward Head Carriage” and is epidemic in our society. Forward head carriage puts abnormal stress on different areas of the mid-back and low back creating pain, discomfort, muscle tension and sometimes even numbness and tingling down the arms or legs.

“Forward head posture leads to long-term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.” ~Mayo Clinic

Forward head posture also puts significant stress on your spinal cord. The spinal cord is the bundle of nerves that connects your brain to your body. When there is stress on the spinal cord it tightens and begins to physically fray. That means that messages that travel down that cord from your brain to body (and back up) get distorted and sometimes even lost. Imagine the significance of this if one of those messages that gets lost tells your heart to beat rhythmically or your lungs to breath.

 

Dr. Alf Breig, neurosurgeon & Noble Prize recipient, did extensive research in the area of spinal cord tension and found that, “Loss of the cervical (neck) curve stretches the spinal cord 5-7 cm and causes disease.” Loss of the neck curve occurs when the head comes forward of the body. Below is a list of causes of imbalanced posture and potential effects on your body.

What causes Imbalanced Posture? Imbalanced Posture contributes to:
·         Physical trauma & repetitive motions

·         Emotional & mental stress

·         Chemical toxins in foods & the environment

·         Spinal cord irritation & pull

·         Inflammation in your body

 

·         Wear and tear on your joints leading to degenerative arthritis

·         Muscular imbalances creating tightness in some muscles and weakness in others

·         Increased pain & chronic pain

·         Nerve irritation

·         Decreased blood flow to the brain and other vital organs

·         Poor adaptability

August is “Posture Awareness Month” at BodyMind Alchemy. I invite you to check out our free classes that we are providing to raise awareness of the importance of posture and its implications on your health. Please visit: https://bodymindalchemyboulder.com/events-calendar/in-office-talks/ to find out how to register. Anyone who comes to our talks this month will receive a free postural screening and computerized assessment!

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac

 

 

Inner work is Hard work: Why do I need to change or transform? Aren’t I already perfect?

Why do I need change or transform when I am already perfect? Can’t I just accept myself and be done with it? The answer is Yes! Of course you can. No one is forcing you to change or be different than you already are. By the nature of your essence you are divine, perfect, enlightened and free. No one is stopping you from accepting this perfection of youexcept for maybe yourself… hence the need for your inner work.

Inner Work can feel like hard work.  I sometimes hear people complain about how hard the process of change and transformation is; and it can feel like that for sure. We often create quite a bit of resistance between who we operate as on a daily basis and who we know our “bigger” self to be, and resistance is energy draining. The more we resist the amazing, beautiful, graceful, loving, kind, generous, perfect, divine being that we inherently are, the harder and more effortful our inner work will feel.

Some of our resistance comes from beliefs we have about ourselves that are “hard-wired” in our nervous system. These hard-wired pathways are so pervasive that even if we try and think differently we end up resorting to the same old resistances and patterns. This is called neural programming. It is easier and takes less energy to do the same thing over and over. This is why our nervous system habituates and creates dominant pathways, so that we don’t have to think about everything all of the time. This can be beneficial and also requires our attention to continual monitor what works for us and what doesn’t work for us at any given moment. This is where most of us drop the ball. We get lazy, we fall “asleep” or go unconscious and live on automatic pilot.

One of the best ways to come out of automatic pilot mode is through paying attention to your body. Your body is the storehouse of your unconscious. It is a gauge for what is happening in your mind and will tell you when something needs to change because it no longer fits for who you are. This can look like tension patterns, pain, and disease. These are simply indicators that something is out of alignment with the bigger parts of yourself. And what do most of us do when these things arise in our body? We try and get rid of these expressions instead of using the energy available in them to make change. So we feel tired and like inner work is a lot of work, because we are trying to create movement (change) without any fuel in the gas tank.

The most pervasive and outdated pattern I have found in my own life and in my work with others, which brings the most resistance with it, is that we are not worthy of the grandness of who we “hope” that we are. We feel shame for getting what we want because we think it means someone else won’t get something or that we are taking from someone else. We feel grandiose or arrogant if we feel amazing about ourselves, and for some reason label that as bad. We fear we might not be accepted, fit in with others or be desired, so we will be alone and no one will love us if we love us. These are just a few expressions of how unworthiness can manifest in your life.

All inner work as I see it, is to bridge the gap between who you really are (love, infinite worth, amazing, precious, rare) and who you believe yourself to be most of the time (undeserving, ordinary, no real gifts to contribute, un-valuable, can’t make a difference, small). So if you already live as infinite worth, and know your preciousness and value in every single moment, then yes you are done with your inner work. However, if there is still a gap for you, then there is even more that you can realize and embody about your true nature. This does not mean you are less than or imperfect now, because you are perfect, it simply means that you have yet to realize the fullness of your perfection and live as it.

One of the missing links I find with people is that they have done lots of inner work through their mind but haven’t addressed their body. You must work through both. When tension patterns shift in your body that energy becomes available to you.

How do tension patterns shift? Through your nervous system receiving new input that you can hold yourself differently in your body and through diving into your resistances. This is where the energy comes from to make change and where transformation becomes less effortful and more sustainable. Many approaches bypass or avoid the resistance, labelling it is as “negative” and uncomfortable, and come from the angle of “just think differently.” While this may work for some people, others will need more energy, momentum, and fuel to create the change they desire, especially when it has been a lifelong pattern.

The approach I use to support people is called Network care. It works with you through your body to reprogram the dominant neural patterns to ones that serve you better now and makes available the energy to create change so you can live as the perfection you are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac

Beyond Pain into Ease, Growth & Bliss: The 3 Stages of Network Care

Network Spinal Analysis care is unique in its application and progression. It charts a very specific path that goes through stages as your body begins to change. It is not a “fix it up” technique, meaning, you are not necessarily “done” when you are no longer experiencing the original pain or discomfort which prompted you to seek out care in the first place. In fact “feeling better” or having “less pain” is often just the beginning of the process. It is pretty easy to help someone feel better in their body; many techniques and tools can do this. It is an entirely different process to help someone not only “feel better” but also expand their inner resourcefulness, create more efficient patterns in their body/life and help people reach higher stages of wholeness, growth and evolution.

Many people think that they just want to get out of pain, but the truth is pain is just a symptom of a bigger issue going on in life. What people really want is more freedom, joy, happiness, vitality, flexibility, presence, love, connection, authenticity and bliss in their lives. We often have the idea that if ‘this or that’ changes then we will experience those things, but that is not the case. While relief of pain, though temporarily feels amazing, if nothing in a person changes at a fundamental level then they will recreate those “painful feelings” in another way. This is actually a smart thing that our bodymindsoul does for us. It is our internal guidance mechanism of sorts that tells us to stop, pay attention and make a change. Life is try to get our attention and it will do it in a variety ways until we listen to it.

The 3 stages of Network Care walk people through this process in an embodied and sustainable way. I call the first stage Ease, the second Growth and the third Bliss.

Ease: Most of us are tense most of the time, whether we are aware of it or not. This can be bodily tension, emotional tension, mental tension and even spiritual tension. When we are tense we are not receptive to life. Instead we are inwardly resisting. The first step in the Network Care process is to create a state and eventually a stage of Ease in the body. I differentiate between a state change (which is temporary) and a stage change which is a sustainable state change. In the Ease stage your body moves from “Fight/Flight/Freeze” mode into “Rest/Relaxation/Openness” mode. This is vital if you are to move forward in life. Many people stop at this stage because they feel so much better when they have more ease. This is great, and there is more. For many they want more than just feeling better, they want greatness, limitlessness, to know their power and resourcefulness beyond what they have ever experienced before. That is when they are ready for the next stage which I call Growth.

Growth: The growth stage requires commitment, dedication, and passion for yourself and your life. You must value yourself to be in this stage. When you are ready to grow it requires that you change habits, patterns or behaviors. In order to create the change that you desire you must make that choice over and over and over again until it becomes your new pattern. This requires that you be more aware of yourself, catch yourself when you fall into old habits and patterns, and make a conscious choice of what you now desire to create for yourself in this moment. This is the stage of empowerment and consciously becoming the creator of your life. You take responsibility for and value how you feel, what you think and the actions you take. Feelings, thoughts and actions are no longer random occurrences but instead deliberate choices that you make in each moment. Network Care develops neural patterning that coincides with this level of conscious commitment to your life. Growth stage neural patterning allows for an empowered stage of consciousness to become your baseline foundation so that even when you find yourself in lower thought and feeling states you can more quickly and with greater ease reset to what state you want be in at that moment

Bliss: Ahh, yes, bliss, it is indeed a stage of Network Care. Who doesn’t want to experience more bliss? Bliss is complete agreement and alignment with all parts of yourself with all other parts of creation. It is a coming togetherness, community, connection, integration, or how I like to think of it – a soulgasm. It is a stage beyond the mind, but the mind can be informed from Bliss; meaning you can live an integration of this stage in embodied form. It is the stage most often striven for, especially in spiritual communities, but you don’t have to be “spiritual” to want to live in more bliss and joy in your life. Most people have only felt temporary bliss state changes. These are common when you hear something inspirational or you have an encounter with a spiritual teacher. People often associate those experiences as being created by an “outside” force, person or presence and therefore they can’t create the stage change in their life. This occurs because people jump from Ease right into Bliss without going through the Growth stage. It is entirely possibly and quite easy to do this, however it does not create a sustainable shift in your life. This is because you don’t yet realize your power and who you are, which you develop in the Growth stage. You subsequently disown or project your power to create bliss on an outside figure/force. When instead you go through each stage you can sustainably be in any stage of your choosing. The Bliss stage requires advanced communication in your nervous system. Network Care upgrades the neurological software that connects the heart to the brain in the Bliss stage. This means your heart informs your brain more and more and you make choices in your life with your heart leading and head following

It is my joy to facilitate this process with/in others. To create Ease in the body, support people as they wake up to their power and simultaneously upgrading the neurological “software” and communication in the body so that higher level consciousness states can more easily be sustained in a person’s life. I have the honor to watch people move from pain, suffering, and disconnection into their empowered self who is living the life that they want to be living in joy, love, grace and gratitude. Please ask me how I might be able to support and serve you in this process

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, MS, L.Ac

What is BodyMind Alchemy?

BodyMind Alchemy is the transformation process of you through your bodymind. The body and the mind are not separate. This is mostly common knowledge but many people are not aware of just how intimately they are connected. For healing and transformation to occur bodymind must be addressed holistically and seen as two expressions of you affecting and interrelated to each other.

Alchemy can be thought of as transformation however it goes even beyond. Alchemy is concerned with finding the preciousness in what seems ordinary, it finds meaning in the meaningless, and it illuminates that which appears dark or dull bringing it to new life.

What does this mean for you? Often when something goes “wrong” in our body or we have a life situation that feels unpleasant or unwanted we want that expression of life to be fixed or eliminated. That symptom or life situation is often very charged and when things are charged they are full of energy, energy that can be harnessed and used to create change and transformation.

Instead of getting rid of problems, bodymind alchemy helps you connect with and harness that energy to be used to get you where you want to be. Symptoms and unpleasant life situations occur when life is calling us to move into a new part or expression of ourselves. It doesn’t mean that something is “wrong” with us, but instead that life is asking us to grow, expand, evolve, accept and rise into something even more beautiful and profound than we already are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, D.C., M.S., L.Ac