Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?

Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?

 

I’ve recently started to train for a challenge, and its made me think about a few things…its made me wonder about actions, excuses and if you are actually stuck in a rut, what are you going to do about it? Expect others to help you out? Blame others for not helping you out? Blame the weather?

When I ran Bootcamp sessions, clients started out with great intentions, then the excuses started to come in…why?because life got in the way..the excuses started to come in.

So,when I started to train for the Three Peaks Challenge, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was looking for something to challenge me, a fitness and health related challenge, to get me off my bum, away from the TV, out in the fresh air, and to earn money for a charity at the same time.

I researched a few charity websites  and their organised challenges, a couple of them I might do next year, but when I chatted to my other half about them, he mentioned the challenge he had done 3 times, the Three Peaks. I knew nothing about this, and when he explained all about it , and that he would help train me, I decided I would go for it.

Week one looked like this:

Monday: 30 minute weights intensity training

Tuesday: 3 mile walk

Wednesday 5 mile walk

Thursday 6 miles

Friday Interval Training with weights

Saturday 6.8 miles

Sunday Day off, bouldering by the sea.

This week looks like this:

Monday 4 hour walk, 40 minute ice skating, 30 minute interval training.

Tuesday 5 mile walk

Wednesday – 4.5 mile walk

Thursday – Interval Training

Friday – 10 mile walk

Saturday – 10 mile walk

Sunday Day off.

I have got a plan for weeks 3 – 10, but I wont bore you with them, however…Tuesday morning, I found I was knackered after such a long day, the 4 hour walk was around the Eden project here in Cornwall, followed by the ice skating session, which Im rubbish at,, but its such a laugh, and thats important, we don’t laugh enough!

Anyway, Tuesday morning, I could’ve had a lie in, I could’ve made excuses, I could’ve told my self ” ah well, you can train tomorrow, its not important, you’ve done quite a bit already, do more next week”

Great excuses, for some, a bit like calling in sick when you cant be bothered. I recognised those excuses, they are just thoughts..

I got my walking boots on and took myself off for a long walk, a strenuous walk, as humans, we are capable of walking at about 3 miles per hour, I was aiming for 4, with a few steep up hill ascents along the way and some great scenary too, my mindset about half way into the walk was ” take a short cut here, go back early” , tempting, but I ignored it, and went on further, reminding myself of why I started this in the first place, the action I would have to do, everyday, to achieve it, and visualising the outcome.

Excuses are just thoughts.

Thoughts …what are they.. they are just thoughts, there to challenge you, to steer you off course, to help you, to keep you stuck, the trick is to embrace the thoughts, step back and see them for what they are, have no atachment to them, sounds tricky?

Try this :

When you have a thought, like I had the though ” you dont want to do a walk today, you are too tired”

I ask ” is that true?”

If the answer comes back as NO, then I get on with the walk, if the answer comes back as Yes, I challenge it, “Really? is it really true?”

Well, no it isn’t, I’m not exhausted, the human body is designed to move, a lot, all day, every day, we do more harm  by doing less.

When Ive challenged my thought, I then ask myself ” who would I be without that thought?”

…and thats the crux of it all…I would be me, doing what I said I would be doing, training for a challenge for charity, I would be happier, content having achieved what I set out to achieve.

It takes work

It means showing up every day

But whats the alternative?

Staying the same…being happy with average. If thats where you are at and are happy with that, then thats ok.

If you arent, then its down to you to show up and do what you said you were going to do.Do the work. Be the change .

If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Truth is, they arent  :)

However,when you are following your desire, your passion, questioning your thoughts, doing the work, you find your path, it becomes easy, because taking the alternative of pain, discomfort, frustration, becomes second best.

Arent you better than settling for that?

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

References: Byron Katie – the Work.

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Mel Collie | Bloated?

Most of us nowadays are stressed and rushing around, eating food on the go, not chewing our food well, feeling bloated and tired, anxious and depressed with obesity on the increase too…. can we help ourselves by starting with the simple things, by looking at how we eat.

When we are constantly day after day stressed and anxious, spinning many plates, eating on the run, doing many things all at once, your sympathetic nervous system (fight and flight) is in dominance , which leads to IBS, digestive issues, skin disorders,sleep issues, anxieties, low calcium absorption, low uptake of minerals in the food you eat, low selenium, increased bacterial infections increase, feelings of overwhelm, reaching for bad food choices.

Stress slows down the digestive system, the parasympathetic(rest and digest)  nervous system never gets a chance, it shuts down, affecting digestion and our ability to rest.

Do you actually schedule a time for breakfast, lunch and dinner, do you really make time for yourself to take time out of your stressful routine when it comes to meal times? or do you grab a sandwich and eat it in the car, walking down the street, or skipping lunch and snacking at your desk in the afternoon?

When you eat your food, chew it well, without the TV on, in a calming and peaceful happy environment, away from the computer/i-pad, away from social media and the noise of the TV and the distraction of the mobile.  This might seem impossible sometimes if the kids are driving you crazy, but, with some patience, meals at the table with no mobiles or tvs on is possible, mobiles and TV’s just  distract you and mean you chew less and dont even notice the food being eaten, which in turn can lead to you feeling more hungry and eating more food.

Just this simple thing can make a massive difference to your digestion, your health and wellness. You will find you sleep better, your good digestive bacteria increases, constipation decreases, increases the chances of your gut healing, helps your mood and decreases anxieties as theres a connection from the brain to the gut.

Also, a benefit to your digestive system is to eat fats – we tend to think fats are bad for us and we will get fat if we eat fats, but ..fat helps your brain, Omega 3 is brilliant, fish for example, or a really good quality fish oil, avocados are a good source of fats too. Omega 6 fats need to be kept lower, we dont need as much Omega 6 as we do Omega 3. So keep the overall eating of nuts to a handful a day, and change from sunflower/rapeseed/canola oil to coconut oil or olive oil or ghee.

When your digestion is your priority, your whole self benefits. The mood hormone, Seratonin, is produced in your gut, 80% of it, but not when your digestion isnt working well.

1. Eat slowly, your mouth helps your gut, digestion starts in the mouth, not the stomach.

2. Enjoy your mood as you eat your food, smile, laugh, eat with people you like to spend time with.

3. Lower grains/bread and dairy consumption, gluten and dairy (milk/cake/biscuits/cheese) can all aggravate the gut absorption of minerals, and increase anxieties and depression.

4. Take time out to eat your meals, slow down, eating is your time, not work time.

Love the good fats. Love your belly without the bloat.

 

Mel Collie

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Mel Collie | Are you always right?

Mel Collie | Are you always right?

I am one of those types of people that believes their version of life is the right version, I believe that I can be extremely stubborn, my mums like it (love you mum!) so was her mum and so was her mum, so maybe its hereditary!

But…for a while now, through relaxation techniques Ive adopted over the past couple of years , I’ve recognised this is a stressful thing for me, and I dont like it, I dont like the friction it can bring and confrontation that can occur as a result of having to be right.

What if there is no right or wrong?.

Right from the beginning of our life on Earth, we are taught the difference between right and wrong, which helps us to see the right way, and can steer us towards our beliefs and values.

However when we grow up we harbour those feelings of being bad or naughty , and they become our daily habits. We continually judge ourselves when we are being, what we perceive, as bad, telling ourselves off for not sticking to a healthy habit like eating more vegetables and less sugar for example, for not exercising more, for not being good enough, for not keeping up with the neighbours.

When we fail, we feel bad, it can spiral out of control, and lead us to binge eating or purging, hiding away and ignoring our feelings

Feeling shame and not sharing our story

My kind of liberation from the chains of right or wrong, good or bad, came when I read “Conversation with God Book 1 – 3 “by Neale Donald Walsch , and “Dying to be me” by Anita Moorjani

My lessons learned and understood are that we are all equal, all part of a tapestry, all the same.

We all fear the same things, all feel shame and, we all worry what others think of us, when we act out our “should have done that” or” could’ve said that” , or, “it would’ve been like that if only I had…”

All regret, all based on fear, all based on what we perceive as right, wrong, good, bad.

All perceptions. Core beliefs.

I went to sunday school when I was little .It was a common belief that you had the fear of God put into you if you were bad…who was to decide whats good or bad in the first place, is it based on their own principles? Their own core beliefs?

Who says eating a whole bag of Revels is bad? (ok, every day maybe….)
Who says that not drinking 3 litres of water a day is bad?
Who says that having a couple of cups of coffee a day is bad?
Arent we all unique, our own unique cells and fluids of lymph and blood circulating inside of us..we all react differently to the foods we eat and the environment surrounding us.

So, when you look at good and bad, as I was taught at Sunday school, God will punish you if you are bad, does that mean he will punish me for eating all those Revels? (especially the Orange ones, they are my favourite – take note Revel people, and start selling them on their own..:) )

Punished if you dont pray to him every night
Punished if you sin and have sex before you are married ..
Punished if you accidentally tread on an ant
Punished if you swear
Punished if you arent serving God
Punish you if you dont eat fish on a Friday or say grace before eating.

Really?…all these values are expressed and taught so we actually begin to FEAR the very person who is the higher self? Is that what religion is based on…fear?

Do you believe that to be true? If you sin , then God will punish you?
Doesnt that make God a person (kind of) who judges us?
Why would God judge you? – isnt that what he DOESNT want us to do, judge ourselves? Then why would he judge us?

If God has values then aren’t  “we all doomed ” (in a Dads Army type voice!)

In CWG book 3, Neale writes, “God has no values.”
Which makes sense doesn’t it?

For example, if you believe he does have values, then you believe he will say this to you – “You did this, and I wanted you to do that, so now you must be punished.”

Can you imagine that happening to the people that God created.

Thats you and me…

So, your values, as long as they are value-able to you, right here and now, they serve you, then they are value-able.

Do what works
Choose what is right or wrong by what works

Love
Gratitude
Peace

….all work

Killing
Fighting
War
Hatred
Judging each other and ourselves

…dont work

Choose what works.

Choose Love for the self and for others
Gratitude for what you have
Feel the peace that comes with those 2 things

Bliss..:)

Can we do that?

I did, (wasnt easy at times!) and saw changes around me, and even though I do, sometimes, feel a little bit naughty for missing a meditation session or eating those Orange Revels, I care a little less about those guilty feelings as they are let go with love, so yes, I feel love more, I feel less shame, and feel more gratitude for what I do have, definitely live more in peace and theres less anger and fear.

That saying is true, be the change you want to see in the world, it begins with you, your thoughts, your values, your choices that serve you, that are value-able.

Help and serve yourself first, then you are in the best position to help and serve others.

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

www.melcollie.co.uk

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

Mel Collie | Anxious & Stuck? Breathe…

 

Isnt it annoying when someone tells you to just relax…especially when you are stressed, busy, feel anxious, cant seem to find a way out of the circles you rush around in

Whats going on and how can you help yourself?

Lets have a look deep inside your system, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which controls the functions to maintain life. The ANS has 3 systems, two of which I will discuss here , that cannot work at the same time, its one or the other, and as these systems can be out of balance which can affect your stress levels, breathing, mindset, digestion, immune system, inflammation, anxiety..

So lets first look at the PNS:

PNS – that stands for your Parasympathetic Nervous System.
This is your rest and rebuild system. One of its jobs are to be responsible for your digestion and repair of your body and elimination of waste and toxins. To help it, relaxation, de stress, healthy eating, quiet times.

SNS – that stands for your Sympathetic Nervous System
This is also known as your fight or flight system. It prepares your body to fight or flee, run from a threat or danger.

Are they out of balance?

When the SNS is dominant you will probably be feeling anxious, stressed, drinking caffeine and eating processed foods and sugar. Maybe over training at the gym and not recovering or resting. The SNS requres delivery of the blood to the muscles which means that it takes it away from your centre,from the digestion. Thats why they recommend you dont exercise after eating . If this happens, one symptom you may have will be constipation as the digestion will be poor.

SNS dominance can also show up as you waking up feeling as though you havent slept well, sweating at night, feeling anxious, stress from financial issues, over-eating (especially processed foods that fail to nourish you with minerals and vitamins) , lack of sex or passion in your relationship through either your reduced desire (Too busy, too tired?) or you move towards the other end of the scale and have too much sex but with little connection with your partner- or who ever you are with.

We can suffer from many of the all at once cant we..feeling tired, worried about the mortgage, worried about deadlines at work, drinking a lot of coffee to stay awake, reaching for toast and sandwiches and pasta for quick and easy solutions for food, no time for sex, shallow breathing, bad digestion, constant colds and inflammation, feeling anxious…its not hard to see that many of us can be stuck in a dominant Sympathetic Nervous System.

So, what can you do about it?

1. Exercise. But the right kind. Find relaxing exercise like Yoga or Pilates, going for walks in the woods or on the beach, Tai Chi, reduce time in the gym. If you find that training hard is getting you nowhere, no results, try and change your routine for exercise thats not as harsh on your system. You might not like it, but you will begin to see results. This is what they mean when they tell you to listen to your body. Listen, then act. The more your ignore your bodies cries for help, the more it will persist.

2. Breathing . Focus on deep breathing, slowly, from the diaphragm and not from dominating your breathing from the chest

3. Nutrition. Choosing fruits and vegetables over pasta, bread, sugar, ready meals. Eat great fresh food 5 or 6 times a week, have one day off, see what happens. You may need to eat well 7 days a week to move a little more to your PNS system.

4. Meditate. Quieten the mind from the negativity and the chatter in your head which can lead to stress, negativity, taking on too much, reducing your self worth so never saying “No” to work which will increase your workload and stress. Meditation will help you remain calm and focused. Use it like a dentist or doctors appointment – never miss a session, even if its for a minute.

5. Quiet Time – quiet time at the end of the day reading a book, having a bath, turn off the TV (the News can be stressful..) talk to your partner, have a cuddle.

6. Care for yourself. Take care of yourself with regular massage. Find someone local who can offer you a special deal – buy 5 get one free for example, as an incentive to keep you going. The aromatherapy oils , the touch you feel, all help relax and reduce stress in the mind as well as the body, boosts the immune system, increase wellness and vitality through relaxation.

We are all different, what works for one wont work for another.

If you recognise that you are SNS dominant, make a couple of changes, thats all, just start by picking one for 7 days to adopt, if it all seems overwhelming at first, then take time to see what happens, what changes.

Some of us may only require a couple of small changes, others may require more, one size doesnt fit all, you find what works for you.

Enjoy creating your own sunshine.

Mel Collie
x

References: Paul Check – July 2013 newsletter. Paul Check – How to Eat Move & Be Healthy.
Byron Robinson. The Abdominal & Pelvic Brain (free to download and read http://archive.org/stream/abdominalandpel00robigoog#page/n2/mode/2up)
Deepak Chopra – Super Brain
Norman Doidge – The Brain that Changes itself

Mel Collie | Cellulite?

Mel Collie | Cellulite?

So you have cellulite, dont we all, well yes, in fact we do.

Ladies tend to have a lot more Cellulite in the thighs because we have more receptors in the thighs that attract the fat that cause those dimples in the skin.

What makes me mad is those ridiculously expensive waste of time magazines that show pictures of famous people in bikinis on the beach , with an enhancement of the cellulite on their thighs…shock horror, they are human afterall! They arent perfect! They havent been airbrushed!

So, you may not get rid of your cellulite, its perfectly normal, but, you may be able to reduce it, and heres an easy way:

Eat more greens – cabbage, sprouts, brocolli, watercress, cauliflower, spinach, kale, cavolo nero, collards

They have a compound called Indole- 3 – carbinol which is attracted and helps remove to the the toxins in your thighs, because thats all it is, toxins, which your Liver doesnt know how to deal with and it becomes fat, as our Livers are the basecamp for our health and welbeing, if its overloaded with toxins, your body will have extra fat.

Toxins can be many things…chemicals in the things you put on your body like perfume, make up, shampoo, conditioner, hair colour – choose the most natural products you can afford.

The indole – 3 – carbinol breaks down the fat molecules and excretes them – nice!

Eating greens with every meal you have will go towards helping you reduce cellulite, help your Liver detoxify and improve your immune system, reduce the risk of cancer.

Thats it.

Eat your greens, and just fall in love with the fact that you have cellulite like everyone else and arent perfect, just human.

:)

Mel

References: http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx?n=1417

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12840226

http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21757

 

 

Mel Collie | Spatial Awareness and your Movement

Mel Collie | Spatial Awareness and your Movement

One of the tests I do in a 1:1 assessment is for Spatial Awareness. What is spatial awareness and how does it affect your movement and your pain?

 

mel collie | spatial awareness

spatial awareness

A healthy spatial awareness allows us to understand our location, our surroundings, in relation to our bodies. This can be affected when we have a shock or an accident or trauma, affecting our ability to judge distances, for example, when we cross the road , we may not be sure how far away an approaching vehicle is, so we hesitate on the curb, not sure if we should cross or wait.

Poor spatial awareness can appear as being clumsy, bumping into things, standing too close to objects or people , than usual. You may also find it tricky to catch a ball, affecting sports, which may mean you’ve hated exercise since school because you have felt useless , less than able, find it tricky to differentiate from the words over, under, left and right.

Try this simple thing to help your spatial awareness improve: Grab a ball like  a tennis ball, and throw it against a wall and catch it. Try it with one hand, then with the other. Try it with a friend, playing catch, nice and slow and with no pressure to catch it at all, just see how it goes each time.

Try this a few times a week, but watch your breathing, try not to hold your breath as this can affect your results , in some people, in a very noticeable way, as inhibiting your oxygen tells your brain it is under threat, and all its interested in is keeping you alive, so reduced oxygen levels will slow you down and reduce your performance.

Mel Collie

Pilates & Kinetic Chain Assessor Level 4

mel.collie@live.co.uk

 

 

Mel Collie | fear and your back

Mel Collie | fear and your back

Back pain can be a direct result of anxieties, fear, worry , stress, a sign that we are always on the go, with stuff to do, places to go, families to organise, deadlines to achieve, dinner to cook, etc etc …and on top of all that, we get bills in the post , a stressful phone call , worry about the kids…all the things that just come along in everyday life, stress can create fear, which then becomes a response from the brain to the muscles.

Back pain is prevalent in many of the worlds population. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study estimated that low back pain is among the top 10 diseases.

Here in the UK,  low back pain was identified as the most common cause of disability in
young adults, with more than 100 million workdays lost per year. In the U.S. an estimated 149 million work days are lost every year because of low back pain

The condition is most common in Western Europe, followed by North Africa and the Middle East, and was lowest in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Why is that? Can we do something about it?

Well, our brain controls the muscles and whats happening in our central nervous system. When we feel fear, the front of the body contracts, shoulders round, abdominals contract, head juts forward.

When the body responds to fear and stress, it flexes, as if its trying to protect itself from oncoming danger. The same response our reflexes would have if we were walking down the stress and heard a loud noise, like a car backfiring or a door being slammed shut, our head juts forward, the shoulders round, the jaw tightens, the fists clench, eyes close, abdominals tighten up as the body flexes forward the thighs rotate inward and hamstrings contract.

The whole body is connected in our responses.

Constant contraction of the lower back muscles in a response to the Green Light Reflex, isnt because you have weak abs, its because your back is responding to your brain , its repeated over and over again throughout your life, it becomes a habit.

Learning how to deep breathe slowly into the belly is a good place to begin, this is a novelty for many of us, as we are so used to shallow breathing due to our rounded contracted posture, our diaphragm is affected by the position we hold, as are the lungs, we then tend to use the small neck and shoulder muscles to help us breathe, in turn, this also contributes to neck and shoulder pain.

Yet many of us shun the simple task of learning how to breathe correctly because, well, its just so simple it cant possibly work, surely we should be doing loads of sit ups to make our abs flat so we can have a stronger back?

Well,not really, most sit ups, even though its not a bad exercise, are done using the neck muscles to stabilise the body, hence many get a sore neck when they do sit ups, the very same neck muscles we use to breathe with…do you see where Im going with this?

Ok, so for you, if you have lower back pain the the moment, these 2 following moves are very simple,

Simple exercise for you to do for back pain,  : Lie on your back with hands under your lower back, the 5 vertebrae are opposite your navel.

Breathe out and flatten your lower back into your hands, breathe in and slowly arch the back off your hands. Repeat 5 times slowly, no less than 30 seconds, so dont rush it, the plan is that your brain feels the movement.

Then, still on your back, place the hands behind the head. Lift the head, as you flatten the back into the floor. Lower the head as you arch the back, exactly as you did in the first movement, but this time you are now using your head as well, co coordinating the head movement with the pelvis movement, feeling the movement, sensing the muscles being used.

Practice these 2 simple moves daily, practice them just after you wake up, again at night, think of these simple moves as an investment into your future of your back health. Theres 5 more simplly effective movements that follow this, watch this space for videos to follow on a couple more.

They will help you notice tight muscles in the back, help release them, allow the length of the muscles to return to normal, allow the blood pressure to flow through the fibres, helping muscular strength, flexibility and repair. You are changing your body by teaching your brain. Theres no quick fix,m just practice and a lifelong change. .

Melanie Collie

mel.collie@live.co.uk

Pilates & Posture Sessions in Portreath, Cornwall.

Kinetic Chain Assessor Level 4

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | How to have great posture as you age

Mel Collie | How to have great posture as you age

In my last post on the Red & Green reflexes,  you will have understood more about why pain and stiffness in the back, shoulders and neck and why its can be a simple thing like fear and our thoughts that can create pain and issues with our posture.

As we age, we can actually reduce the well known associated aging posture issues like back pain and reduced movement and balance.

The constant seesaw between the  Red and Green light reflexes, means that muscles are contracted and relaxed. As we get older we have more responsibilities , bills, relationship issues, worries, concerns, mortgages, work stress, deadlines, kids, sleep problems, diet issues, which can increase both reflexes.

All of these create a constant trigger of the 2 reflexes which eventually interfere with each other. When this repeats over the years, the senile posture is the result of all those years of pulling and relaxing, of fear and retreating, combining retractions of of withdrawal (Red light) and action(Green light) responses.

On top of this , we are told that as we age , pain is an inevitable sign of ageing, This is a sweeping statement, which can create a negative self image which is a judgmental point of view, and when we are judged, we tend to harbour a sense of fear and try to please others at our own cost.

This leads to a negative feeling, feeling  “less than”, so we feel small, our posture mirrors our feelings. This affects our fight or flight response, our breathing is affected, in turn this affects our posture.

The lower back muscles pull , the muscles in the front pull, the result is a forward head, rounded shoulders, rounded upper back. However, because we all see our own reality differently, our response are varied, so one person will not have the same posture as the next person.

Someone with a more stooped posture has their responses being more dominant in Red Light reflex . If the Green Light reflex is more dominant , we find the lower back curves are exaggerated , as is the neck too as they mirror each other.

We end up with the body being the outward projection of the habitual responses throughout our lifetime. responses to neuromuscular stress.

You can, though, reduce your stress responses, you can begin by noticing your triggers and you can change your body, how it moves, the pain you feel, and fatigue.

Accepting pain and lack of movement as we age is a myth, it can be inevitable of course, so lets embrace it, love it, allow it to fit , listen less to media and judgmental comments about what we “should” be doing and what we “should” look like as we age. These issues become the ingredients for our responses, they feed the red and green light reflexes so we feel more fearful which leads to us retreating more, concerned what others will think of us.

Happiness and fulfillment, gratitude for what we have, who we are and where we are, finding peace and calm goes towards a better inner being and strength, all of this can begin from a simple awareness of your breath, breathing from the lower abdominals,slow and steady inhalation and exhalation, connects with our sympathetic and para sympathetic nervous system, more about this in my next blog, so watch this space.

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

Pilates sessions and 1:1 sessions from Portreasth, Cornwall

Coming soon : Pre Pilates sessions. Spending time on walking, movement, neck and shoulder releases, feet, ankle flexibility and rotation.

 

 

Mel Collie | Back Pain isn’t all it seems

Mel Collie | Back Pain isnt all it seems

 

How common is back pain, have you had back pain or know someone who does?

How many times are we told to stretch this or strengthen that, maybe the back muscles are tight or weak, so we tighten up more and dont move it or we stretch certain muscles to hopefully allow those tight muscles to let go…is all back pain like this? Do we look at back pain with a “one size fits all” approach?

Lets look at it a different way.

Lets talk stress, worry, anxiety, fear, guilt…how common are those feelings as we get older, as we get more responsibilities like mortgages, rent, bills, kids, food shopping, work, assignments, doing things we dont really want to do, doing things we “should” be doing, following trends we “should be following, keeping appointments we said we would that we don’t really want to, keeping deadlines, drinking coffee to stay awake and keep up …etc etc

Maybe you dont even realise you are doing some of these things, you do them subconsciously, they become routine, we go on auto pilot .

When we go through these feelings, we tend to take shallow breaths, we inhibit the diaphragm and favour the use of the smaller shoulders and neck muscles to breath, and its not their job.

All of this can go on for many days, weeks, months, years, and we take 20 – 25,000 breaths a day, so you can see how this can add up, increasing pain in the neck and shoulders and lower back, because we arent using the right muscles to breath

Wow…thats a lot of movements for your neck and shoulders, no wonder they get tight/facilitated & your back gets inhibited/weak.

There is a simple and easy way to help your back pain reduce, your stress reduce, increase oxygen in your blood, increase wellness and reduce pain. Simply focus on your breathing pattern a couple of times a day.

Mel

 

Mel Collie | Posture – stretch it out?

Mel Collie | Posture – stretch it out?

Theres many different types of posture, you are unique, so its pretty much guaranteed that your posture is different to the next person, and just being told to stretch your hip flexors or your back or your neck or hamstrings to correct posture might just not work for you…so is there another way? A way that looks at not stretching hamstrings which are tight..as we believe that they are tight for a reason, so if you stretch them, and they don’t let go, its because they don’t think its safe to do so, theres something not happening in the structure of your body, and mind, which wont allow those tight muscles to let go.

So…what is going on?

Deep in your CNS (Central nervous system), you are deeply inscribed reflexes since you were born. What happens to you during your life affects your health and wellbeing, which in turn shows in your posture, which means your responses to events in your life are shown in your muscular responses.

Theres 2 major reflexes triggered by stress, which account for a large portion of the physiological problems as we age.

These are known as the RED light reflex and the Green light reflex.

Posture and Back Pain Reduction in Cornwall with Mel Collie

Posture and Back Pain Reduction in Cornwall with Mel Collie

Essential for our survival, these two reflexes protect us from danger and move us forward toward opportunities and change.

Now these 2 reflexes oppose each other, pulling in opposite directions , engaging all muscles and the CNS when faced with a withdrawal from lifes stresses and worries or when faced with a more positive outlook.

In a bit more detail, heres those two reflexes:

Red Light: When we feel fear, the body tends to tense up, the jaw clenches, the head moves forward, the abdominals tighten up, the diaphragm tightens, the breath is held, the legs turn inwards, the feet look pigeon toed, the hamstrings contract to bend the knees, the fists clench, the elbows flex. A stooped over posture, with shoulders being rolled forwards, breathing is affected, creating a smaller frame to protect us from fear, as we used to do when being chased by a predator, wishing to be smaller so we arent seen. Red light posture can increase blood pressure, painful necks, disrupted inhalation, pressure on the bladder.

Green Light: When we call our neuromuscular system to action, an action of assertiveness. The neck is pulled backwards, the shoulders pulled down, the chest lifted, contraction of the glutes, legs rotate outwards, knees straighten, gthe thighs are extended, the feet pronate (rotate inwards) . The Green light reflex used when we have to about our daily duties at home and work, stimulating action, using the muscles we need to move ahead. During times of stress, this reflex is called upon the most.

So, as we age, we see saw between these two, but as we age further they interfere with each other.

The contraction of back muscles in the green light reflex pulls the lower back and neck into a curve , back pain can be the result of our CNS, and using simple movement and simple techniques to test and “reset” our system, we can easily reduce the pain, understand it and live a better pain free life, from the inside out.

Our muscles will then react better and be stronger quicker and for longer without as much fatigue as we have been experiencing from constantly tight muscles.

Mel Collie

Pilates Level 3

Kinetic Chain Assessor Level 4

To book a 1:1 assessment contact Mel on : 07800797300

One hour is £50. Subsequent assessments are £35.

Pilates Classes are in Portreath, Cornwall on Monday 6pm and Saturday 8.50am