Category Archives: Stress management

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

Mel Collie | Pelvic Floor Dysfunction?

If you were watching daytime ITV last week, you would have witnessed a conversation on Loose Women about weak pelvic floor and leaking.

It wasn’t discussed in a manner that was very helpful to other women who find this embarrassing or want to stop this happening, but don’t know where to begin, who still believe squeezing and core exercises are the way to go for a”strong” pelvic floor.

A strong or weak pelvic floor can leak. A weak strong (yes, your muscles can be both) pelvic floor can be “tight” because its working for other muscles , and if its doing the work of other muscles, its exhausted (weak), and does not need any further strengthening without the other muscles its compensating for being strengthened first. For example, the glutes, external hip rotators or inner thigh muscles could be unorganised, which is another way of saying they aren’t working in harmony with the other muscles in the movement chain, maybe because of an injury, a scar- which can inhibit other muscles working well, or just sitting for a living

So, if you are doing pelvic floor exercises and they aren’t working, stop,it isn’t you, and you aren’t doing anything wrong, have a go at doing something else instead.

Heres 2 things you could start to work on instead:

  1. Awareness of your jaw clenching throughout the day. The jaw and pelvic floor fascia is connected, but the brain can also make the connection to use the jaw for strength, especially when during childbirth you clenched your jaw , the connection between that and pelvic floor contraction and relaxation was made in your brain – what gets fired together gets wired together…Clench your jaw, is your pelvic floor more toned when that happens? If it is, you cant walk around with a clenched jaw all day…or, maybe you have..
  2. Breathing. Its becoming more commonly known now, thankfully, that proper breathing using the diaphragm rather than the upper chest and shoulders can improve intra-abdominal pressure, thus improving pelvic floor tone , that doesn’t especially mean making a strong pelvic floor weak or strong, but making it work in tune with the other abdominal muscles and diaphragm, so they all work well together, they are more organised. Slow breathing can be practiced before you get out of bed in the morning and when you get into bed at night, in the bath or any other quiet moment to yourself – you need about 60 seconds each time to practice at first. Allowing the exhalation to be a little bit longer than the inhalation , as this is when the oxygen enters the blood cells. Always be aware you practice breathing without clenching the jaw, for me, who has a busy mind, this is the tricky bit, I clench my jaw often, but, with awareness, thats reducing and pelvic floor function has improved.If you find you would rather practice diaphragm breathing on your front, you cn do this too, some clients find this easier, as you are sing the surface your lower abdominals are resting on as feedback , breathing into your lower belly as your press it into the floor, exhaling as it gently lifts away from the floor. always aware the jaw is relaxed, the face soft, the shoulders down your back and glutes relaxed, no tense.

Practicing these 2 very simple free techniques 2 – 4 times a day, will see you get very fast and lasting results, it may, like me, make you aware of how much the jaw clenches, how much stress you can have in your life, even when you think you don’t, how much control you think you have and how surprised you will be when you see how everyday life affects your inner self.

 

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Neuro Kinetic Therapist

Assessments and treatments from Portreath, Cornwall, UK

https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie

Pilates Classes and 1:1 personal training

 

 

 

Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter

Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter

When was the last time you felt light?

I don’t mean lighter as in weight, so don’t go jumping on the scales…they are for dieters and we all know restriction leads to your body going completely in the other direction..

I actually mean lighter in your life

When was that?

When did you last feel bubbly inside, like those Vitamin tablets that dissolve in a  glass of water , bubbles fizzing away, when did you last do something that left you feel like that, all effervescent

inside , interested, curious,excited.

What were or are those little patches of light or sparkle?

What was the last thing you were curious about, that you wondered about.

It could be such a small thing, its almost not even worth bothering about, in fact you probably ignore it altogether.

I have one right now

I have a curiosity about macro photography. Everyone I follow on Twitter has been doing grand landscapes..but some are doing different stuff, I’m fascinated by ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) and Multiple Exposures, shots that makes you think and you remember, not photos that tell you what is there already with pretty colours and stuff and you forget a second later…Im curious about macro shots, small stuff, detail, microscopic photography, I have a patch of light about it, a sparkle or interest. I spent hours researching it yesterday afternoon..its sparked my curiosity

Now what not to do is to tell yourself its silly, its nothing grand and wont win you the lottery or make you ££££, because thats a sure fire way too kill ideas before they have even had a chance, its a sur fire way to kill any passion..

But , what if you just to followed it

See where it lead you..

You have no clue why you feel these little patches of light

But they just feel good

It feels right

If you don’t follow it, if you don’t listen to it, then you may just be depriving the world a glimpse of the human being that is you. Even if it touches one person.

Even if that person is just you

If you were not afraid of anything, nothing, not afraid of other peoples judgements or of your own (and that can be huge!) then what would you do for a living?

What excites you, what grabs your curiosity…what do you wonder about?

It my just be those little sparks of light that are you, become meaningful, become your passion..which could just change your happiness , wellness and even your life, without you even trying to steer the ship

You are following your sparks of light.

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Is stress a positive thing?

Mel Collie | Is stress a positive thing?

 

Stress.. a warning sign to the mind thats something wrong in the data set. The mind looked inside itself and said..hey, whats going on..one of the filing cabinets is open and is not neat and tidy in here, its unorganised, its messy….whats happening?

Stress…the minds inability to be able to solve the situation..the minds constantly housekeeping, every second its checking the files..all the data, making sure its all in place, organised, and stress is where the mind says , this isn’t right, its not supposed to be like this.

You’ve hit a point, theres something you don’t agree with, its not that somethings actually WRONG, its just that you don’t agree with whats going on..

So, is stress a positive thing?

Is it an illusion..have we created the stress we know today, modern stress?

Well, your mind creates a state of feeling , you have a moan at yourself, because you don’t have anyone else to moan to.

We judge ourselves, often speaking to ourselves the way you would never allow a friend to speak to us.

We then internalise whatever it is we don’t agree with and it manifests as stress

The external stuff can be things like being stuck in a job you hate, not having the latest fashions, not having a new car, unable to afford to go abroad or buy new shoes or the latest laptop or newest mobile.

All these thoughts and processes bubble over in our minds.

We have an inability to recognise the data, our brains cant organise it, so we then get stressed..

We cant work it out

We haven’t got the answer

So we row with the self

Instead of…accepting it

When  your body is thirsty you need water..it the bodies last attempt to get water, to get your attention to drink and hydrate.

Stress is mental thirst, bubbling over with information that your mind cant put it into a neat pile, it goes into hyperdrive in terms of intellectual responses, so you over think and over analyse. as the brain throws information at every situation, it cant put it into boxes, making it neat and tidy, organised. Our 10,000 year old ancestors reacted instinctively to the growing stimulus and fought or ran from the tiger/lion/melting volcano.

Now we have invented issues we call stress – the mobile fell down the loo, cant find the car keys, cant get a six pack, the person in the office has a belly is flatter than yours, the office isn’t tidy, the trousers aren’t ironed properly…etc etc…

If you react often to situations like these they can be an indicator to where the real problems are in your life.

They are all invented problems that aren’t a threat to our survival, like the caveman running from the tiger.

So, maybe we  have to just accept thats what happening, realise it ..an accept it..

So, how can we begin to quieten the mind and release some of the stress we feel?

 

Ways to de stress

  • Quiet time is so important, especially with the constant noise from social media. Quiet time helps our mind to strip back the information that is not necessary.
  • Breathing slow and deep – 10 times – repeat 4 times a day.
  • Go for a walk on the beach/woodland/mountains/park
  • Have a bath – no one is allowed to disturb you
  • Read a book that stimulates your mind away from the glossing over stuff like how the latest celeb lost a zillion stone and how their wash board stomach makes them happy ..
  • Challenge yourself – do something that scares you…go climbing (believe me..that will really get you going..), go scrambling, go for a run, book yourself into something you have to work towards like a marathon, learn something new, spend a night out wild camping and look at the stars ..
  • Spend less time on social media and more time meditating, which doesn’t mean you war orange robes and sit for hours at a time, it can be as simple as just a minute a day, doing something that grabs your curiosity – like playing the guitar for example..

However, ultimately, to accept it, realise that you have situations that are stressful to you, and ask why, notice the knock on effects, how you can change your beliefs.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

 

 

Mel Collie | Don’t reach for the stars…

Mel Collie | Don’t reach for the stars…

Stop it now, stop thinking you can each for the stars

Theres a huge explosion I’m witnessing on social media telling you that you can do it, you can be have and do more.

And you can..but theres a right way, and a wrong way, and I feel that many of us are in overwhelm and feeling stuck because we are doing it the wrong way.

I’m seeing a few people who are spiralling into feelings of despair and unworthiness, overwhelm and unhappiness..because they believe that their lives are unworthy

Thats a huge problem, because, in my humble opinion, no ones life is unworthy

We are all equal

You have a right to be on the planet as much as anyone else does, what you choose to do with the years you breathe are totally up to you, its your decision.

It is not a waste of your time if you feel you have no passion to do big things and achieve great stuff..who actually determines what great stuff is and why do we still deal with labels, putting ourselves into boxes and closing the lid?

Look at human beings who talk about buddhism.. for example

They are only talking about kindness towards each other – they aren’t bank managers, they aren’t CEO of Harrods, they aren’t running a newspaper, they aren’t CEO of a popular shop or brand, they don’t swear by eating clean and doing 100 sit ups for flat abs… yet they smile and are content..

They too may have wondered what they are going to do when they grow up

Like you, they may have been tempted to work in an organisation, in an office

….Well, ok maybe not, but you see where I’m going with this….

When I’m on holiday, its the local people who make the place, the people standing behind the counter serving you the coffee, the people in the street standing around chatting, the people sitting outside the cafes playing chess, the people mingling and just living, just being, in their ordinary lives, they are the characters.

You don’t have to reach for the stars if you don’t want to

You can just be

If you feel that just being isn’t not enough for you, well, the noise of social media can drown out your passion, until you just follow the crowd feeling alone and lost without a sense of purpose, because you may just be spending your time comparing yourself to others, even if you don’t mean to your life may seem to pale in comparison to others achievements..

…remember though, the life on Facebook and Twitter etc is usually fake, not many people take off their mask when they are on social media, they are great at being keyboard warriors, hiding behind the laptop, but to actually stand up and be real, that takes courage…

What to do about it then? You could spend some time being silent, away from the noise, closing the laptop, spending 15 – 30 minutes a day in a quiet breathing space, this can be as simple as taking the dog for a walk, having a bath, reading a book, going for a swim, knitting, sewing, walking, climbing, running, helping others.

Helping others give us a huge amount of peace

Its simple, it takes up our time, which is why many people don’t do it

Helping others is why you are here, to serve.

Its selfish, because it gives back to you in so many ways

So, go and help others, expect nothing in return, do it for yourself, reap the rewards, it may not be financial, but financial reward isn’t always a sign of success, what you feel in your heart though…well..thats a different matter..

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Mel Collie |Lies in the Fitness Industry

Theres so many lies in the fitness industry, so many, I don’t know where to begin, I’m also worried that once I start ranting about them, I won’t stop and might just bore you to tears…so I will limit this post to just 3 of the main ones that really get to me:

  1. Adverts – if you believe the hype you need to wake up . Theres a company currently selling a thick double belt that you wrap around your waist to hold in your fat and make you appear slimmer. FFS. The tightness of this belt will compress and disturb your breathing patterns, and you will use your neck muscles to breathe, creating pain and dysfunction in your neck and lower back..expect that to happen if you buy it. Expect, also, to lower your self esteem even further by thinking that you will be a better person by being slimmer. Accept yourself as you are. Then change anything you want to by moving your body, its designed for that, rather than paying just under £20 for a belt that wont help you out at all…however, if you find movement difficult because of your size, start with changing your brainiest, your thoughts. This post hasn’t got the scope to discuss that in depth, but it doesn’t have to be complex, it does though involve a lot of realisation and acceptance, which can be really tough to do, if you choose to see it that way, many of us choose the path of least resistance , making excuses, blaming others, finding comfort in eating, realising that theres no one else to blame expect ourselves is a tough and bitter pill to swallow. Byron Katies work on managing your thoughts and beliefs and having realisations that will rock your world are available for free on her website and many videos on You Tube plus her books are very helpful – Loving What Is could just change your life. Once you realise something though, accepting it and releasing it can be the hard lessons.There could be tears shed along the way, but remember, to climb the mountain and get to the summit, you have to earn it, train, research, accept truths that flip flops and shorts aren’t the things to wear and you have to invest in some real equipment, ask those who have already been there and done it, ask for help, take the bits that work, discard the rest…every journey to the summit starts with one step, and each step takes your further to your goal, those steps are the most important, don’t lose sight of them.
  2. Movement & Muscles. Its a shame that the industry touts pink small weights and shake weights (really…?)  for women. Lift weights, you don’t have enough testosterone to bulk up. Muscle burns fat, movement creates a better functioning skeletal frame and more stamina. This works its way into your life. Everyday tasks become easier, Walking becomes easier. Breathing becomes better. However – if you are a person with a desk bound job as many of us are, me included, I do a lot of writing, photo editing and research on my laptop, you are deluded (Im being polite) if you think you can just get up and move and function well. It doesn’t happen. If you’ve ben stretching tight hamstrings for months, why aren’t they stretched by now? If you’ve been stretching tight hip flexors for ever, why are they not stretched by now? If your lower back twinges when you stand up, why is that? If your feet roll inwards and your knees hurt, what can you do about it, do you really need orthotics, is there anything else you can do to work your foot muscles? What happens to your glutes when you sit, do they stretch, why is that, and why don’t they work when you stand up, what does their job instead? Is a herniated disc a cause…or a symptom? Is plantar fascia a cause…or a symptom? Why is having a tight toned ab section more important than having a functioning body that moves well so you can keep moving well with no pain well into your old age? Because tight toned abs sell dvds and make money. However..a tight toned muscular area doesn’t mean those muscles are working well. Form doesn’t equate to function . Being sold a toned ab fitness class doesn’t mean those abs doing their job. I’ve seen tight over worked neck muscles for dysfunctional core muscles. I’ve seen tight necks for poor foot mechanics. I’ve seen a class full of men and women doing sit ups so fast they are all using their necks to complete the move. This really gets me. Form is key. In every single rep you do. Unless you have a great reason as to why the 3rd, 4th or last rep isn’t as important as the first.The hardest thing is keeping awareness throughout each repetition.
  3. I cant think of a third…theres no many more..but, well, when I trained to be a  Pilates instructor, I was so fortunate to have a wonderful tutor, Joanne Cobbe of J Pilates. I had a few wobbles on the course, I was unsure of my path and unsure if Pilates was the be all and end all, her advice was that this was ok, its normal to doubt, but to examine why and if I believed Pilates wasn’t for me, then to seek what was. Now, 7 years later, I still teach Pilates. However. It isn’t the be all and end all. It is for some, but so is Yoga, running, climbing, swimming, rowing, weight lifting, canoeing, hang gliding  etc etc Finding what works for your body is key. If you do what you loathe you will end up cancelling sessions, turning up late, feeling demotivated and end up blaming yourself. Bootcamps are all the rage, I was fortunate to go to some workshops run by Paul Mort, I learned a ton of truths from him, and still do from his emails and Ive been a member in his monthly marketing group. he too bemoans the lies in the industry. I ran a bootcamp on a beach. Then i started to realise that getting up early to train wasn’t the right thing for some people whose sleep was being affected by hormonal imbalances. Theres calories in stress and sleep…but these wont sell dvd’s..should you get your sleep and stress sorted out first before signing up for a Bootcamp course. Sure you should. Will you? probably not, but if you go to a great bootcamp instructor who knows about hormone balance, nutrition and cycles of the body, you will learn  that success comes from working from within. This may mean changing some things about your routine – black out blinds in the bedroom, no mobiles/laptop use an hour before bed, no caffeine after mid day(if that works for you, you may have to change that to 9am) reading a book before bed to help calm the mind, keeping em and paper by the side of the bed to write down thoughts when you wake up during the night, eating more fat and protein closer to bedtime if you regularly wake at 4am because blood sugar releases stress hormones, meditating, breathing exercises, going for daily 20 minute walks to de stress and calm the nervous system, practicing 5 slow deep breaths before eating to help improve digestion and calm the nervous system…..stuff like this can be taught at bootcamps, so if you are attending one that just shouts at you to do more sit ups and eat less food, move on…if its not something that you love or thats lasting, or that fits into your routine, you wont stick at it.

Rant over…

Conclusion – don’t believe the hype, stop doing stuff that doesn’t serve you on Facebook ( a great procrastinator!)  listen to people who have been there and done that..got the scars and can help you move on, don’t follow the sheep – find what works for you, your metabolism is unique, what works for your mate (or what worked for you last year…) wont necessarily work for you, spend time on you, be kind, loving , laugh, play, have fun, enjoy life, but most of all, realise your body is a instrument, learn its tune, how to play it, be in harmony with it rather than against it, stop grabbing your spare tyre and hating it, this reinforces negative self talk, but massage it, learn to accept that its just the result of loving what you have eaten, once you accept yourself, change becomes easier, you work with it rather than against it.

Life is worth living. Go live it. With no excuses.

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