Tag Archives: relaxation

Mel Collie | 3 Ways To Relax

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Successfully Relax

Relax your shoulders.

What just happened then?

Did they drop, were you more aware that your shoulders were up by your ears?

Or did it not change anything at all, which is ok, there is no wrong or right.

Some of us are visual learners, some kinesthetic, some auditory, and some of us are a mixture of all of those.

Which is why, if you have ever been to a fitness class, pilates or yoga session, and were told to relax by the instructor and you found that you couldn’t, it could be that you just aren’t an auditory learner.

Maybe a light touch to your shoulders would help, maybe a cue you can imagine feeling “imagine your armpits are feeling heavy, dropping down to meet your hips”, maybe you would love to see it happen I another person and the penny would drop, you would the get it, and follow along.

If you knew how to relax you would do it, right?

 

Why would you choose to be tense, wound up tight like a spring?

Yet day to day we continue to be tight, tense, clenched jaw, tight hips, lifted shoulders.

Here are 3 ways you can un coil yourself, un wind and let go of that tension

  1. Place your hands on your lower belly, and breath in, push into the hands, push that belly out as much as you can. Pause. Then breathe out as much as you can, as the belly comes away from the hands, and towards your spine. Repeat 10 times, 4 times a day. (not only does it calm your brain, it also helps switch on your deep core muscles, a bonus!)
  2. Give yourself permission to have a walk today. Not just to work or home again, but a walk somewhere different. Maybe to the park, to the woods, to the beach, somewhere where there are trees, flowers, plants, water, somewhere you can see and feel nature. Just a few moments here. That’s all you need. If your time is short, take a different way to work or home, rather than rushing and not seeing anything,, look up, look around, take note of the tress and the sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, the wind, the leaves. There are many studies carried out in Japan on the benefits of relieving stress by using a technique they call “Tree Bathing”, which is just walking in nature, to help reduce stress, to help manage the stresses of modern life.
  3. Sleep . Switching off the laptop/mobile/i-pad an hour before you are going to bed makes a lot of difference. It helps your brain unwind, your eyes relax, your body can begin to relax and get ready for sleep. Having a bath, reading a book, meditating for 10 minutes, all help relax the mind, which helps relax the muscles in the body.

These days we work out, we train, we push ourselves, which is good for the body and we love the results working out brings.

When we understand that working out is also a stress on the body, we can overdo training on top of an already stressed out body, we place relaxation close to the bottom of the list of things to do.

Which is a shame as we are missing out on a trick here.

Doing less, relaxing more, giving ourselves permission to have more happiness, a calmer brain actually helps us find more strength, reduce body fat and have a healthier nervous system.

Starting with the boss of your body, your brain, can be the novel way to look at working out, giving you the edge, giving you inner strength, which always shows on the outside.

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Anxiety & Stress

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 | 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

Kinetic Chain Assessor Level 4

Neurological Assessments

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

Book: https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie