Enough with the tight abs myth

Old Myths Die Hard You know and believe the earth is round. (OMG, I sure hope you do!) You know and believe smoking is bad for you and those around you. That's just two examples of how beliefs/myths can change due to science and new discoveries. But one myth that seems to never die is a "tight core" is good for you myth, particularly for those with low back pain. As a personal trainer and former pilates instructor, I use to push the tight abs agenda too. Now, with more neurophysiology and somatic knowledge under my belt I believe something different.  Plus, when you read about the original study that set off the tight core frenzy you realize what was extrapolated from the original study was off base. It wasn't that people who were pain free had tight abdominal muscles. The study showed that those pain-free peoples' abdominal muscles contracted slightly  (key word, slightly) with certain movements. It wasn't that their abdominal muscles were not chronically co

The Latest Think Somatics classes

Peace is an Inside Job If you want to create more peace in the world the best place to start is within your own body and mind. Life is going to be very different for most of us this coming holiday season of 2020. I'd like to help you be at ease as much as possible. Somatics gives you better understanding of how you respond to the world around you. And when you have a better understanding of yourself, you can better relate to those around you. Sound good? Then please join me for class. Here's what we're doing for the next 5 weeks. . .  Get Your Head on Straight  |  Week of 11/16 Here's a super fun class to help relieve you of neck, shoulder, all over tension and pain . Next time you're on a Zoom call (or pass your reflection in a mirror) check and see how your head tips to one side. I bet it does. And I also bet you aren't completely conscious of it. Nor do you even feel how that tipping influences your whole body. How your head is positioned relates to a full bo

Let's stop blaming 2020

I think it's fair to say the year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most trying and chaotic years in our lifetimes.  But the year itself--2020-- is not the problem. It's us. It's humanity. Racism, climate change, a country with no plan to handle a pandemic, a threatened democracy, resorting to conspiracies because reality is too hard to accept, are not just happening  because  it's 2020. It's not the year. What we are all dealing with are systemic problems. It just so happens that 2020 is when everything came to a head. Like a great big zit. Popping a zit, Belushi Style If anything 2020 is doing us a big favor.  2020 is saying, "Yo, Humanity. WTF?! You've got some serious s&%t going on and you need to get your house in order. Regardless of what humanity does, time and the planet are moving forward, and we will leave you behind regardless if you aren't up for a change." Anyone banking on things miraculously changing for the better come

Can we calm the world by calming ourselves?

Stress is a public health crisis. Our bodies are designed to handle stress in small doses. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and protests against racial injustice entered the equation, Americans were dealing with chronic stress related to pressures of family, work, finances, environment, climate, digital media, and more.  When stress becomes long-term or chronic, it can have serious effects on our bodies.  As a Clinical Somatic Educator I see more and more new clients presenting with higher levels of pain, exhaustion, anxiety, inability to focus and an overall low sense of personal agency. Somatic Education helps people better understand how their brains, nervous systems and bodies react to stress. All humans and animals have a fight/flight/fawn/or freeze response to fearful events with full-body muscle contractions called reflexes. Reflexes keep you safe, like when you reflexively pull your hand away from a hot burner or, eons ago, ran from a sabertooth tiger. Once safe, your nervous

Gut and Brain Health

There is a lot of great research about how what we eat keeps our bodies and brains healthy. Particularly fermented foods that provide probiotic bacteria to improve gut flora . This article from John Hopkins explains the gut brain connection . I usually have a batch of homemade kombucha and sauerkraut going at all times. Both are super easy-peasy to make. There is little hands-on time required. Just patience to let your concoctions do their thing, i.e. ferment. Here's my basic recipe for sauerkraut. Ingredients 1 head of cabbage  1.5 tablespoons of pickling salt Yep, that's it. Salt and cabbage. There are discussions galore about which salts to use. Don't use salt with iodine in it. Beyond that, you can experiment and decide which you prefer--sea salt, kosher, etc.  I always use green cabbage for my kraut. I'll explain more in a bit. Let's get back to how to make the kraut. Tools A large bowl (Wooden, ceramic, glass, stainless steel. No plastic.) Two hands OR you ca

Pandiculate for Peace

Peace is an Inside Job.   Greetings from Portland OR. Just to let you know, we aren't in the midst of a riot-infested wasteland. Things are tense, and I worry about what will unfold next. But I want you to know that some media outlets are lying to you about what's really happening here. If you want some facts here you go  and more here .  I constantly look at the state of the world, especially right now, through a somatic lens. See, in the Somatics world we never fight tension with more tension. That just creates--you guessed it--more tension! The world is in a huge contraction and tensions are high. And things just seem to be escalating. That's not to say that anger and pushing back are bad. They just don't do us any good if that's all we know how to do. Like the saying goes, "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail." This goes for both sides of any oppositional issue. Again, in the Somatics realm we never push, fight against tension, or

"Breaking the Rules" with Somatics

When you first start doing Somatics, or maybe after months, or even years, of practicing, you might still be approaching your Somatics practice with thoughts like, "This is how I was told to do arch and flatten." so I must do it like I was told.  We live in a culture that has many rules to keep order in society and organizations. Some of them are more cultural norms than true rules or laws. Think of the many authority figures that tell us how to use our bodies. Doctors, yoga teachers, social media, family, religious leaders, etc.  I think this is why when people come to Somatics they are looking for specific directions and exact rules to follow. But Somatics is not about hard set rules , per se. Somatics is not about  doing what someone tells us to do .  Somatics is about  being . Somatics is about  sensing . It's about you being your own guide and teacher. To make Somatics a true, self-taught learning experience, here are some questions to ponder.   First, check out  20