The spinal gateway

The spinal gateway 

What the heck is a spinal gateway?

Touching something unknownEarlier this week one of you lovely people asked me “what are those spots you keep touching on my back’?  What a fantastic question!  I bet more of you have that question so I thought I would take the opportunity to write this week’s article in answer to that very question.  

If you remember my article from a few weeks ago that was entitled “Consciousness & the Spine” I wrote about the five different tension patterns that occur within the spine.  Those tension patterns get created due to some experience(s) that we’ve had that we haven’t been able to fully integrate, and if you remember there are different states of being (consciousness) that correlate with each pattern.  So why is that important here?  Well in order for you to become aware of those tension pattern within your spine you need an access/entry point or a “gateway” into that pattern.  You need to somehow, someway become aware of that pattern in your spine so that the tension pattern can begin to unwind itself.  The spinal gateway is just that.  It is an access point, an opening, into a particular tension pattern in your spinal cord where you can begin to become aware of that pattern.  So when I am making those touches on various spots on your back I am working with your spinal gateways, helping them open and develop so that you can become more aware of yourself, including how you hold tension and where you have resistance.

One of the things I say frequently to many of you is that awareness does so much, in fact I believe it does pretty much everything.  It brings that which was unnoticed or unseen into realization, and then through realization, you as an individuated expression of the One have the capacity or power to work with what is.  The only thing left after the moment of realization is for you to come into alignment with that which was realized.  All of that to say that the spinal gateway is a portal for the light of awareness to realize itself manifesting through a particular pattern of tension in your spinal cord.  This is important and what I feel differentiates Network from a lot of other work out there.  It really is a  self-awareness method.  Its not about me doing something to you, but instead about helping you find your own self, become aware of your own self, so that you can self-regulate, self-align, and self-adjust.  Everything that I “do” is to support your awareness waking itself up to your self and the development of the spinal gateway is one of the prime ways I do just that very thing.  

Development of the spinal gateway 

How the spinal gateways change and grow

Touching something unknown

Spinal gateways live between each of the bones in your neck and also along the sacrum bone in the pelvis.  They have both a very precise structural aspect as well as an energetic portion to them.  This means that they have a particular physical location (which is dependent on the tension pattern that is present in your spinal cord on any given day), but that they also have a nonphysical aspect which can grow.  You can think of the shape of a spinal gateway as a little vortex, spiraling with energy, but anchored into the spine between the bones in the neck and sacrum.  Also remember that just because the gateways are at these precise locations doesn’t mean that they are impacting only those precise locations that I’m touching.  The gateway is just the access point into a particular pattern and the pattern can be either localized to that area or have resonance at various other locations in the spine or body that I am not directly touching.  The beauty of the spinal gateway is that when it is accessed it can find all the other areas in the body that have the same tonal frequency or resonance with that pattern without requiring that it is directly touched.  This is why often you might become aware of some sensation, energy, or tension in a different part of your spine or body when I am touching say a spot on your neck or sacrum.  

The spinal gateways grow with continued care, contact and reinforcement.  This is one of the reason why the frequency of care is so important, especially in the first year or two of care, which is when a lot of the development of these gateways occurs.  It takes a certain amount of repetition to create these gateways and then for awareness to unwind the tension patterns associated with them.  When people first start care the gateways are often small and very close to the physical body.  They are felt as areas of rapport.  This is where your bioenergetic life force lives and as the gateway develops here there is greater awareness of the physical body and a sense of safety that arises.  As care continues and I have you lift your neck or sacrum you are beginning to stretch the spinal gateways both physically and energetically.  This activates your emotional body and emotional energy becomes the fuel that gets the gateway to stretch and grow more.   The energetic portion of the spinal gateway begins to live a few inches away from the physical body in what’s called your emotional field.  With this people often begin to have more awareness of their emotions.  

Then as care continues two spinal gateways start “talking” to each other.  One stretches and then the other stretches and a rhythm starts to develop between the two of them.  This activates the lower mental body where clarity, personal sense of self and discernment lives.  The energetic portion of the spinal gateways grows to about 2-3 feet away from the physical body at this point into your lower mental body/field.  This then continues until a “figure 8” motion begins to develop between two spinal gateways.  The rhythmic motion becomes more organized and fluid.  This activates the upper mental body where you can begin to see beyond boxes and stories and have more a visionary sense of self as creator of your life.  Here the energetic portion of the spinal gateways have now grown to 6-8 feet in distance away from the physical body into your upper mental field and with that your sense of “body” and self begins to become much more expansive.  

Heart Chakra concept. Inner love, light and peace. Silhouette inAll of this spinal gateway development occurs in the first two levels of  Network care.  Then in the third level of care the focus is on the development of the heart gateway, which is similar to the spinal gateways, but there is only one heart gateway rather than multiple like the spinal gateways, and the location is around the physical heart.  The heart gateway develops throughout the 3rd level of care and a coordination is learned between the development of this heart gateway with the spinal gateways that where developed in the first 2 levels of care.  In this 3rd level of care both the heart gateway stretches and grows in distances of several feet away from the physical body and the spinal gateways grow to about 8-12 feet and beyond.  This is where your soul body/field lives.  The coordination that develops between the heart gateway and the spinal gateways is one where your heart/soul is informing your thoughts, emotions and physical body.  

When people are fully in the 3rd level of care as their baseline the patterns of tension that were originally in the spinal cord aren’t really there in a traditional sense of a constricted tension pattern anymore, but instead just mere resonance or tracing.  In that way you can fully glean the awakened or oneness perspective of any pattern that previously had you held in a separative frame of mind.  That becomes the lens with which you see all of life.  The dance between soul/spirit and human becomes evident here and ultimately culminates in where the personal self stops leading the show and the soul prevails as the one that guides this human vessel.  

I hope this helps you understand the importance and function of the spinal gateways and why I am always touching those particular points on your spine.  I like to think of them as portals into more of you and as they grow you get to access more and more of yourself.  It is quite literally upgrading the neurological circuitry and with that you can communicate with more of yourself through having developed these access points into you.  At the most fundamental level they provide you with a way to become aware and resolve tension patterns in your spine and life so that you you can participate more ease-fully with life.  At the more developed levels they allow for integration of various aspects of yourself to come into awareness, helping you transcend perceived limitations of an individuated personal self, into the one heart, one love, one being that we all are.  

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Using anger productively

Using anger productively  

Harnessing the power to transform

43775966 - angry bearded man screaming into the phonePeople use anger in a myriad of unproductive ways.  Those that express their anger unproductively use it to blame others for their problems, prove their rightness and feel in control.  People also repress their anger unproductively.  Doing this allows them to be insignificant, not take a stand for themselves or what they value and not be the authority in their lives.  Neither of these ways are healthy, nor do they harness the transformative power of anger.

One of the reasons why people don’t know how to work with their anger effectively is because it hasn’t been modeled in our culture.  We are taught that anger is bad or scary (so we repress it) or have learned that its what we need to do to manipulate a person/situation and be seen, heard and get our needs met (express unproductive).

The real purpose and power of anger is to use it to create standards for yourself and your life.  Lets say you are changing a story that you have about yourself that “you are not worthy”.  You declare a new story for yourself that now says “you are pure worth and love”.  In order to do this effectively you must first be fed up and pissed off enough that you’ve been dropping your standards on who you are up to this point.  It must become intolerable for you to entertain the story that you are not lovable.  If it is does not reach the level of intolerability you will sink back into old patterns.  Anger gives you the fuel to say, “no more, this is not good enough for me, I’m never going back.”

Permissioning & directing anger

Find your fuel

Anger does not need to be explosive to be impactful.  It does need to be direct, clear, unwavering and come from a place love for self and others.  Productive anger has the quality of being firm in what is being conveyed or upheld, and simultaneous soft in it coming from a deeply caring place of creating greater value for all involved.

People who have learned to repress their anger they can find it challenging to permission themselves to feel it.  Repressed anger can be masked in neutrality, boredom, niceness and uncertainty.  For these people, in finding their anger, they will often laugh when their anger arises to disperse their uncomfortableness with it.  People who have learned to express their anger unproductively find it difficult to soften and care about themselves and others in the midst of their outburst.  In directing their anger they will go into blame of self or others.

confident womanRegardless of how you have learned to deal with anger in the past the goal of productive anger is to help you be your own authority by moving through victimhood into empowerment.  From an empowered place you are the decision maker of what is right and wrong for you and you alone.  There is only your standards for your life and you are accountable to keep them.  It is moving through layers of conditioning about what you’ve been taught about how things work and who you are, to becoming the determiner, creator and master of your life.  Productive anger is key in this process of providing the fuel to transform the places you keep yourself small so that you can shine in your magnificence.  Using anger productively is fiercely loving yourself enough to care about your life.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Feel good about being rejected

Feel good about being rejected 

Disarming your defenses

17405936 - sad little girl sitting excluded by the other kidsAt some point we have all felt the pain of being rejected.  Perhaps it was in a relationship where your partner no longer wanted to be with you, or no one seemed to want your skills or services, or perhaps your professional community or group of friend no longer included you.

Rejection can hurt like a bitch and it usually comes with a story that you are not needed, wanted, lovable or desired.  That’s where the real pain sets in.  Being rejected in and of itself is neutral.  Its in our story and our attachment to a specific outcome where we create pain for ourselves.

For example, say you go for a job interview and you really don’t care if you get the job or not.  You “get rejected” for the position and you experience neutrality rather than pain.  Now say instead you go on a job interview for your dream job.  You have more invested in achieving a certain outcome and tend to “take it personally” if the outcome is not what you desire.

When we take things personally we get defensive. We either pretend we don’t care, say we are just going to quit trying, or hopelessly try to fit in or change to get what we want at all costs.  This is because we don’t want to feel the pain inside of loss, failure or disappointment.  So the question becomes how do you relinquish attachment to an outcome and still care?

How to relinquish attachment and still care

Transform pain to pleasure

One of the most valuable (and challenging) things that I learned to do was to choose to feel good even when things seemed to not be going the way that I wanted them too.  Conceptually this may sound easy.  In practice it can feel more challenging.  Say your partner of the last 7 years comes home and unexpectedly tells you that they no longer want to be with you.  This seems devastating to you in the moment.  Your whole life crashing around you.  Everything you have worked to create seemingly going down the drain.  How could you possibly feel good?

I will share a few things with you that I’ve learned when I’ve experienced life circumstances that felt like my life was going down an out of control path.

  1. The moment you get the news something isn’t working out how you want it too, feel the pain of it.  Instead of letting your defenses mount, just feel the hurt.
  2. Next, even though you can’t see how what has just occurred is good for you, create the story in your mind that this is the best thing that could happen for all parties involved, and most importantly, believe it.
  3. Give some type of heart felt loving expression to or feel gratitude for the other party.  See how it perfectly is working in their favor (and yours though you may not see it yet) and be appreciative.

butterfly handsIf you do these “simple” steps you will feel less self-hatred (and other hatred), less displaced anger, less undesirability and more self- acceptance (instead of rejection). You will be acting out of deep care and love and it will free you up for what life wants to give you next.  Sometimes we spend so much time resisting what is that is takes years for us to accept what life wants to give us next.  Free yourself now so that you don’t spend years in unnecessary suffering.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Love infused physiology

Love infused physiology 

Upgrading the cells of your body

humancellsWould you like the cells of your body to function at a higher level?  Curious how?  There is much scientifically proven evidence which now indicates that lifestyle choices and emotional states influence how your cells function.  What this means is that the food you put in your body, the exercises you engage in and the emotions that you have will influence how your body functions.  And there’s more.

Science has been relatively mechanistic when it comes to how it thinks about the body.  Meaning it sees you as parts, and when one of the parts quits working, you fix it like parts on a car.  What science is now showing us, which fields like chiropractic, acupuncture and energy medicine have always known, is that there is a substance (energy) that informs the body.  This field of energy is non-physical but informs how the physical body functions.  The field has both electric and magnetic properties and is therefore called electromagnetic.

Your brain and nervous system are extremely pivotal in how your body functions, however studies now show that your heart has even greater influence.  The electrical signals that come from your heart are 60 times stronger than that of the brain and the magnetic signals are 5,000 times stronger (HeartMath Institute).  This means that activating your heart is even more important than keeping your brain active in order to produce health and longevity!

How does your heart speak?

Activating your heart

Clearly your heart is important.  The question now is ‘how do you activate it?’ Your heart speaks through feeling.  It can both sense (called intuition) and produce feeling. Your heart is like your own little portable electromagnetic sensor and generator, and powerful one at that!

You are the determiner of the feeling states your heart produces. There are 3 general feeling states:

  1. Negative: When you activate feeling in your heart that would be termed “negative” you produce disorganized signals and information, hence you feel crappy and have poor energy.  Disorganized signals sends distorted information to your brain, confuse your cells and create ill health.
  2. Neutral: When you feel neutral (meaning you are not actively producing negative or positive emotions) then your body gets neutral information and you have limited energy.  This means you have energy for the basic necessities of life and to fuel your body, but that is it.
  3. Positive: When you activate “positive” feelings with your heart, you produce highly organized information, which equates to feeling amazing and energetic rich.  Highly organized information excites your brain and improves energetic efficiency.

As crazy as this sounds, what is required is for you to feel good about feeling bad, and to actively produce positive feelings instead of being in a neutral state.  When you do this you increase the organization of your heart’s electromagnetic field, which infuses your physiology with love.

Network Chiropractic helps infuse your physiology with highly organized energy by helping you find, feel & use your heart and clears your nervous system from any interference to your heart’s abundant energetic resource.  If you would like more information on this topic Dr. Hessel will be giving a talk in the office on Wednesday March 29th at 7p on Heart Based Living & Love Infused Physiology.  Hope to see you there!

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Value yourself enough to take care of yourself

32552197 - preventive medicine financial condition self assessment concept.Value yourself enough to take care of yourself  

How to create change and make better choices

As shocking as this may sound, many people don’t care or value themselves.  When you don’t value yourself you make poor choices for your health and your life because you have an underlying belief that it (meaning you) doesn’t really matter anyways.

The fastest way to create change and improve the health of our nation is by getting people to care about themselves enough to take care of themselves. Making sure people know they have something of value to contribute by being alive, and that they are worthy & lovable. When people know their inherent worth and value, just watch how their health improves, how they make better choices that support their vitality and ability to contribute their gifts.

We currently live in a system that thinks medicating and numbing all of our uncomfortable sensations, feelings and thoughts will heal us, when indeed it is the exact opposite.  When we numb feeling all the “bad” things we think about ourselves and don’t get the opportunity to feel and disprove them as true.  They lurk in the background without any momentum available to create change.  You must feel it to heal it!  When you start allowing yourself to feel again you begin to realize things (meaning you) aren’t as bad as you originally thought they were.

handsmakingheartBenefits of self-love

Vibrant health

The benefits of self-love, value, and worth are no small thing.  If you want extraordinary health and an amazing life you must get this.  This is not new age fluff.  It is the real deal.  Love is the only thing that will heal you ever.  Period.

Think of a time when you first fell in love with someone.  Remember how amazing you felt.  Everything worked easier and better.  What happened in this state is that you allowed yourself to feel love as reflected to you from another.  The secret is you don’t need another person to permission yourself to feel this way, you can be your “other” when you see your value and inherent worth.

There is a basic fear in many of us that we are empty inside, that there is nothing special about us and that we have no gifts or talents.  We are constantly trying to improve ourselves, learn more things, get more degrees, so that we can prove to ourselves that there is something of value inside of us.  Society praises us for this, so our behaviors get reinforced.  The problem with this is that after attaining all of this knowledge/skill we still feel empty inside because we haven’t learned the most basic thing of all, which is that just through your mere presence alone you are everything.  You don’t need special training or skills for this one.  It is simply who you are.  You are the energy that animates your body and the universe.  That energy is love.  It is what/who you are.  When you know this you will feel silly ever having believed you were anything else.  Your body will heal, your emotions will lighten and your mind will become clear.

The core essence of my mission on this earth is help people remember who and what they are.  Nothing is more exciting to me then seeing another gain clarity, find their heart again and heal like crazy.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

What does your spinal diagnosis say about you?

44785944 - attractive woman with back pain at home in the bedroomWhat does your spinal diagnosis say about you?  

There are hundreds of official diagnoses when it comes to spinal conditions.  People are most familiar with low back pain, disc herniations, cervical or lumbar radiculopathies, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis and arthritis of the spine.  Each one of these has a different mechanism for how it shows up in the body.  The aim of modern medicine is to determine which condition is present based on signs and symptoms so that proper procedure can be performed.

People with spinal conditions often turn to a chiropractor when they 1) don’t want to have a surgery that their physician has recommended or 2) their medical doctor has told them that there is nothing else they can do for them except for pain medications.

One of the reasons that chiropractors are successful at helping people in these situations is because we look at the entire spinal system, not just where it hurts or has a “problem”.  We also evaluate the biomechanics of the spine, posturing, behaviors, thoughts and emotions that contribute to what is showing up in your spine.

There are no quick fixes.  Even if you choose to have a spinal surgery, if you don’t simultaneously make some changes in your life, your situation will likely not improve.  I believe this is one reason why so many back surgeries are unsuccessful.  Secondly, when you fuse or alter one part of the spine it will produce changes in how other parts of the spine function, which is why people often develop pain in previously asymptomatic areas of the spine after a spinal surgery.

How can something so gentle and non-invasive help?

Debunking the force myth 

We tend to think that if something physical is expressing in our body than we need something really physical to fix it.  There is also the idea that the more aggressive we are in our approach the more likely we will be at getting rid of it.  In this way of thinking the more force, aggression, doing or invasiveness = better results.

A-P-103Have you ever had the experience when you were trying to accomplish something, but you just couldn’t figure out how to do it?  You tried all your old ways of accomplishing, but nothing was working.  After exhausting yourself doing things and stressing out about it you talked with a friend to share your frustration and perhaps get some advice.  Your friend did not offer any advice but instead held an “invisible” space for you to talk while they listened.  At the end of the conversation you did not have an answer but you felt more spacious, clearer, and relaxed.  Your frustrations were heard.  The next day you went back to your project and saw a new perspective that you had not seen before, and alas you made some forward progress.

Your body works in much the same way.  When someone is present with your body, without trying to fix it, your body changes how it functions, postures and holds itself.  Chiropractic may be less aggressive and forceful than surgery or chemical alteration through pharmaceuticals, however when applied with presence its effects are much more profound.  The amount of presence you have in any endeavor is inversely proportionally to the amount of force you need.  The spine and nervous system respond to presence and the body will self-organize, self-regulate and self-heal when in the presence of presence.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration

Pain-free ≠ healthy body

Pain-free ≠ healthy body 

What does it really mean to have a healthy body?

I often hear people say to me, “I don’t need a chiropractor because I don’t have back pain.” While being pain free is nice, it doesn’t mean that your body is healthy and functioning at its highest level.  Pain is usually the last indication that something significant is occurring in your body.  If you wait  until you feel pain in your body to tell you that something is going on, you’re not paying attention to critical cues along the way.

body-painNow pain is not necessarily a bad thing either.  What it is, is a warning sign, a message that says, stop what you are currently doing and do it different.  When you don’t heed the message and continue your life in the same manner you end up going down a spiral cascade to less and less aliveness and participation with life.

To have a healthy body simply means that you are responsive to its cues  Your body is incredibly resilient and adaptable.  When you are responsive, by listening and taking action to make needed changes your body naturally heals itself.  You will know you’ve made the correct change because you will experience more energy, vitality, openness and participation with life.

Why a healthy spine is critical for a healthy body

Your ability to listen and take action

Most people don’t understand the importance of your spine in regards to the health of your entire body.  Your spine is not just the bones in your back.  It is also the muscles and ligaments that support your spine, and more importantly it is your spinal cord, which is the structure that the bones protect.

48864734 - human spine x-ray view, 3d renderYour spinal cord is your life line.  It is the communication link between your brain and your body.  Without it you do not exist.  It is also what allows you to pay attention, be aware of yourself, the sensations and cues your body gives you and to to take needed actions to change behaviors and habits that don’t optimally serve your body or you.  It is also the communication link between your brain and every muscle, organ and cell in your body.  If your spine is not healthy your ability to listen and respond is impaired and thus your health and function impaired.

So how do you know if your spine is not healthy if it doesn’t hurt?  Tune into how tense you feel, how easy is it for you to relax, to sleep, to digest and eliminate your food, to turn off your thoughts, to think clear, to take action and make changes in your life.  If any of these things are challenging for you, your spine is not expressing full health.

One of the things that I do in my office is assess the health of the spine and its ability to help you be responsive and take action in your life.  Get the health of you spine checked by a chiropractic professional to ensure its functioning to support you optimally.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado

Tension is not your enemy

15832931 - woman having headache isolated on blackTension is not your enemy… 

Its your protector

Have you ever been aware of tension in your body?  The type of tension I’m talking about here is an  underlying tension that is consistently present.  You might feel it predominantly in your legs, neck, back, head, belly, jaw, or maybe even your entire being.   Perhaps you became more aware of this tension after an injury, or a life change or challenge, or whenever you feel “stressed”.

Have you ever wondered why this tension is present and what purpose it serves you?  Typically we are so busy trying to “unwind” and “destress” our tension away that we never stop to wonder why its really there at all.

Tension is energy that is bound or held “in place” in the body.  It serves the purpose to hold reality “in place” for you so that you can function in your day to day life without feeling too much.  Essentially so that you can keep going despite what is happening inside or outside or you.  It’s your shield, your protection from things that might potentially hurt you.  Oddly enough holding tension makes you feel safe and secure and like you are in control of your life.

39405932 - outer space. meditation. woman silhouette. vector illustrationTension

The barrier between you & YOU

The intention of tension is to serve you by helping you feel less discomfort, but there are also drawbacks to its presence.  Tension puts your body in “on guard” mode and triggers something called your sympathetic nervous system.  This is also known as the fight or flight response. In this state your body can’t physically heal, its hard to think clearly and emotionally you feel either overwhelmed or completely numb.  Connection to yourself or others, which is one of our most basic human needs, is impossible when you feel tense.

Tension is also the biggest barrier between your little personality “you” and your bigger all knowing “YOU”.  You can think of this as your higher self, soul, spirit, purpose or passion.  This is experienced as dullness, flatness, mundane routines, and fatigue.

Pulling up tension gives the “illusionary” feeling of control and blocks you from feeling some discomfort, but it also disconnects you from the things that make your heart light up and make your life worth living.  Again tension is not the enemy, so trying to get rid of it by rubbing or stretching it out is only a temporary bandaid.  What is required is an ability to remain open (not tense) and drop into uncomfortable feelings and sensations when they arise.  Instead of guarding/protecting yourself, you move forward through whatever is happening without getting stuck inside of it.

One of the things that I help people achieve is an open nervous system so that the body can stay open  and feel life as it occurs.  Through having an open nervous system your body can heal quicker, function better and experience higher states of well-being.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

Stop avoiding uncomfortable sensations

28919296 - concept of fear with businessman like an ostrichStop avoiding uncomfortable sensations  

… and liberate yourself

Uncomfortable sensations make us panic, whether we are are aware of it or not.  It is a biological reaction that our nervous system has in response to discomfort.  We do everything we can to avoid uncomfortableness.  If something hurts (physically or emotionally) we tend to jump over it, around it or look the other way.  We see this in our over-medicated medical culture.  Every time an unpleasant sensation arises we try to find something to stop it and get it to go away.  This is incredibly unfortunate.  This pattern of avoiding and getting rid (though may produce temporary relief), overtime creates numbness, flatness and disconnection as we search for more methods, tools, or procedures to stop us from feeling  uncomfortable things.

This will probably not be a surprise to you, but as you numb away the uncomfortable sensations, you also numb away the range of pleasant and blissful sensations that you can feel.  You narrow your range of feeling.  Because the mind and body are connected I see this mirrored in the body as people experiencing a limited range of motion in their body.  This can manifest as decreased flexibility in the spine or decreased motion in a specific joint such as the knee, shoulder, hip, wrist or hand.

Learning to be with uncomfortable sensations is a skill

You can do it in 1, 2, 3

Because we spend so much energy and time trying to avoid what is present (especially when its uncomfortable) we often feel exhausted.  Then when we finally hit a crisis point we look for the easiest method to restore us back to at least a functional level again because we don’t have much energy left for anything else.  This is the primary reason most people never fully heal.  They get themselves back to functioning and forget to address the underlying causes that got them into crisis in the first place.  Then 6 months down the road they find themselves in a new or similar crisis.  Its a vicious cycle.

The good news is that you can learn to be with uncomfortable sensations.  You can even start today!  Here are 3 easy steps to get started.

  1. Next time you have an uncomfortable sensation, either in your body or mind (feelings/thoughts), stop doing whatever your doing.
  2. Put your hand on the sensation if its in your body, or place your focus on it if it a feeling/thought
  3. Instead of trying to wish it away, slowly sink into the sensation/feeling as much as you can allow yourself too

As you make this a daily practice you will being to notice that you can go a little bit deeper into uncomfortableness each time.  If you do this you will begin to notice changes in your sensations and feelings without having to “fix them”.  You will also notice that your biological tendency to run from or need to try and change them lessens.  With this you will being to realize how powerful you are.

Dr. Amanda Hessel, DC

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