Experiencing Mindful Movement

You have probably heard how posture is important.  Alignment during exercise/movement is key to not hurting.  And, you’ve probably heard that breathing is pretty important too.  Did you know that you take a breath 22,000 times per day? Did you know that 70% of detoxing our bodies is through respiration?  Did you know that research supports that vital breath capacity (the maximum amount of air a person can expel from the lungs after a maximum inhalation) is a better predictor of longevity than cholesterol level, blood sugar level and whether or not you have a history of smoking?  Did you know that the single best exercise to fight personal or familial history of cardiovascular disease is to breathe diaphragmatically?  Did you know that cancer flourishes in an oxygen deprived state?  So, how do you breathe to maximize your health?

Focus on your exhale.  Blow out all of your air (as if cooling off a spoonful of hot soup) and then let inhalation occur naturally (it will automatically come from the diaphragm and thus clear the stale air from the lowest parts of your lungs.  You might cough…that’s ok.  Start with doing this 3x per day.  Work up from there.  Soon you’ll be building your vital breath capacity, and improving your longevity.  You’ll be fighting cardiovascular disease and cancer, just to name 2 biggies.  You’ll be lowering heart rate.  You’ll be reducing stress.  You’ll be shifting to the parasympathetic nervous system…and allowing your body to heal; the only nervous system state you can be in to allow healing.  Be thankful for your lungs and visualize healthy, joyful living.

Now that is mindful movement!!!

*For further experience/information on mindful movement through Shallyn’s Physical Therapy and Wellness Services: Currently Rehabilitation QiGong and Tai Chi classes at Perfect Fit Wellness Center in Peyton and summer classes starting in June in Black Forest.  May 8th, Dr. Shallyn will be presenting to the Falcon Senior Group at the Patriot School on Enhancing Balance with Rehabilitation QiGong and Tai Chi.  June 1, Dr. Shallyn is hosting a continuing education class on mindful movement for PTs/OTs at Regis University in Denver.

Functional Posture

You’ve heard the phrase that “the whole body is connected”.  At Shallyn’s Physical Therapy and Wellness Services, you will get a detailed look at how your body is functionally moving together during activity.  Subtle differences can make a big difference in nerve irritation and pain…maybe a distance from the actual abnormal movement pattern.  Isolating specific muscles for detailed strengthening may be warranted, but more likely, combined movements through functional training (activities you perform regularly) will help you get to where you want to go.  Learning how to move pain free for your body’s make-up is super rewarding!

At Shallyn’s I strive to put you into an exercise situation where your body can not cheat.  This allows more effective strengthening and balancing of your muscle imbalances.  A key way to do this is to exercise on a moving surface.  Shallyn’s uses the Pilates Reformer, Suspension Straps and Hippotherapy, for example.  In order to keep your balance on such apparatus, your muscles have to be working in harmony.  This may mean you can not lift as much as you thought you could for a little while…and then, watch out! you’re about to be able to lift even more once your body is balanced and you’re not over-straining a specific area to get that lift you were getting.

Check out my Facebook page for a short video on a recent Hippotherapy session that could be used for someone with painful shoulder motion.  By forcing optimal posture (riding a horse), natural shoulder motion becomes pain free.