How can we become more self sufficient, feeling more empowered, not less?

These days seem to be full of more questions than answers. The uncertainty can leave many of us feeling like we have no personal agency, much less what will happen in the coming day, weeks, months, even years.

A lot of wise words from my elders roll through my head these days. Be Grateful. My mom always reminded us kids to, "Keep your eye on the donut, not the hole." What do you have to be grateful for? Do you have housing? Are you fed? Are you healthy? Be grateful. You can share that health, by keeping your distance, so you and others around you can also stay healthy.

Because viruses just look at human bodies as hosts to keep the virus spreading, we can fight back, by avoiding the opportunity for the coronavirus to jump a ride on a fellow person. We are literally all connected by this, either by infecting each other, or by caring enough to isolate/social-distance for the foreseeable future. What you do does matter. Just Do Something. Many people are telling me they are stres…

Lower Your Stress, Boost Your Immunity

Unless you live under a rock and/or never look at social media, you've probably already heard, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 a pandemic today.

We should all stay informed and follow the science experts' advice on how to limit the spread of the virus (which applies to all communicable viruses too). 
If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed, it's no wonder. 
Let's talk about how fear impacts our health and what we can do to counter balance our nervous systems.
Fear has helped us survive as a species. Humans are very prone to still be fearful of the unknown. But back on the savanna, fear would stimulate us to take action — fight, flee or freeze — when we perceived a threat, whether real or not. Every boulder looked like a slumbering lion, every stick on the ground might be a snake.  We wouldn't want to have those thoughts in reverse. "Oh, look at that rock, oh crap! It's a cheetah! Run!" By then, we would already be at a disadvantage.

What is Sensory Motor Amnesia?

Sensory Motor Amnesia (SMA) is a term coined by Thomas Hanna PhD, the creator of Hanna Somatics, also referred to as Clinical or Essential Somatics.
What is Sensory Motor Amnesia? In a nutshell, Sensory Motor Amnesia happens when your brain and nervous system--specifically your sensory motor cortex, the part of your brain that controls and senses movement--have lost voluntary control of how your body functions.
All motor patterns --good or bad--are learned. Let's back up a bit and talk about how we learn to move in the first place.

When we are actively learning motor patterns--from holding our heads up as babies to swinging a golf club, from eating with a spoon to riding a bike-- neural pathways become well established between your brain and muscles. This learning period takes place in the conscious part of the brain that is eliciting voluntary actions.

Over time, once you have mastered a pattern, the learned pattern shifts from the learning part of the brain to the lower brain, …

What is Neuroplasticity in relation to Somatics?

Your brain is plastic. In a good way. :-) Neuroplasticity means your brain can change at any age, and with changes in the brain, you can change things in your life and body.

Here is one of my favorite videos to explain neuroplasticity. Take a look.

But just as the video says, you can create positive changes, but you can also establish patterns that aren't good for you. That's why Clinical Somatics is so effective for helping people get out of pain. With simple, safe, down right enjoyable movements, called pandiculations you can rewire your brain to move you with ease and freedom.

Humans are faced with a gazillion choices a day. How we show up in our lives and what we do with them is predominately a series of choices. If you want to learn to move well so you can live well, visit my website, to learn more. I work with clients in person in my Portland Oregon studio, on the road teaching and online. If you choose freedom, get in touch!

freedom and ease for all,

The best way to get rid of forward head posture

If you work at a desk, love playing with your devices, ride a drop handle bar bike a lot, drive/ride in automobiles for long periods you probably have a tight, stiff neck. From an emotional aspect, if you are often stressed, anxious or depressed you too might have a tight, achy neck.

If you try to remedy the problem just by addressing your neck and head you will find it's uncomfortable and awkward.

That's because your tension is not just in your neck. Nope, it's running through your whole body.

Try the posture on: Jut your face forward a bit, like you might while sitting and looking at a computer monitor. Notice what the rest of your body does simultaneously. Can you feel how the back of your neck tightens, and so does your chest and belly? You might even feel how your inner thighs contract a bit. See, not just the neck, eh? It's a full body pattern, because no area of your body works in isolation.

Sitting like that, day in and day out, your brain, which controls how y…

Why my osteoarthritis diagnosis is not a life sentence

Back in 2011 I was hit by a car while riding my bike.

Being a movement and health coach for 20+ years, that day was going to put all my trainings and beliefs to the test. The way I looked at "posture and alignment," functional movement and how to get out of pain, was about to get flipped on its head.

There were many things that resulted from that accident. One was, the day following my accident, I couldn't turn my head to the right, and my right arm was contracting like the limb of someone after a stroke. (Being a personal trainer, this was gonna be a problem.)

I got x-rays of my neck.

Diagnosis: I was told I had osteoarthritis and the start of stenosis in my cervical spine.

My response: Yeah? So what. I didn't develop arthritis and stenosis in the last 48 hours. Why can't I turn my head?!

Hmmm... no definitive answers. My doctor just told me to do the same things everyone does for pain; get some bodywork, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, etc.

I got a…

Improve Shoulder Mobility with Somatics

In the video below I share a popular movement to help with shoulder, elbow and wrist range of motion. It's a common move to prep your shoulders for a workout, your sport or just putting a healthy movement break into your day sitting at your desk. :-)

But what if you can't do this move or it's really hard to shift your spine and shoulders around with ease?

To make this move-- and the rest of your daily activities -- easier and more enjoyable, do Somatics! 
With Somatics you will release tension patterns along the front, back and sides of your body and relearn to rotate your body with ease. Try the Daily Supplement playlist on my YouTube channel, or better yet, enroll in the Think Somatics Online Classroom for tons of recorded lessons created so anyone, anywhere in the world can learn Somatics.

The image below shows all the ranges of motion of the shoulder, elbow and wrist. There's a lot of potential movement, eh? But, we often limit our movement potential because we ju…