Category: Movement + Mindfulness

Intending Your Power Within

“In the universe there is an immeasurable, indescribable force which shamans call intent, and absolutely everything that exists in the entire cosmos is attached to intent by a connecting link.” ~ Carlos Castaneda

Everything begins with intention, including connecting to your true power.

With so much to do every day, our energy gets dispersed and we can easily become overwhelmed—especially with increased activity in the summertime. When we’re overwhelmed, we forget about our intentions and start getting ruled by outside demands.

We may even find ourselves repeating old patterns of pleasing others and spending our energy on unhealthy habits. How do we avoid this and hold to the intentions that help us live more fully? At Being Energy, we believe that consistent practice is KEY. Because of this, we have created daily and weekly classes to help us stay connected to ourselves and to what is important to us.

Our intention with our next Path with Heart series is to explore and share with you, over 12 Sundays, how to acquiesce to and command your personal power, to bring focus and attention to the here and now. What does it mean to submit to your own power? To liberate yourself and become your full, luminous self?

We have learned that awakening is a process rather than an event. To shed limiting perceptions of yourself and discover what really matters to you is really a process of surrendering to Intent, to the force that gives direction and intention to your life, to your own power.

When you command your true power, the forces of nature support you, and the world around you responds—and it all begins with intention.

As stated in the Upanishads, ancient and classic Vedic texts, “You are what your deepest desire is. As is your desire, so is your intention. As is your intention, so is your will. As is your will, so is your deed. As is your deed, so is your destiny.”
PictAerin-Miles-8

Setting intentions, and reflecting upon them throughout the day, helps connect your body, mind and emotions in a simple, yet powerful way. The understanding of this power goes far back in our human history. Yet you can employ this age-old wisdom to create positive change in your life right now.

When you consciously set forth your intentions, you take greater grip of your mind and your life. It’s but one aspect of what we’ll work with in our 12-week Path with Heart course, and something that you can try out right away.

Ask yourself: What sort of intentions might benefit me and those around me?

This is individual. But to get you started, we’d like to share some of the intentions and self-observations we recommend in our Being Energy Detox Program.

Intention: “Today, I release all actions in which I punish myself. Today I choose to Be kind to myself”

Associated self-observation: How have I punished myself? How do I beat myself up? How and When I am being Kind to myself?

Intention: “Today, I let go of any negative words I use to put myself down. Today I choose to appreciate my mind, body and spirit with lovely words of appreciation”

Associated self-observation: “What damaging things have I said to myself? How many of these toxins are within me? I release them.” What words are you using to love and appreciate yourself?”

Intention: “Today, I reclaim all my personal power.”

Associated self-observation: Review the ways in which you’ve given up your power away by pleasing others or saying yes when you meant NO. Release your guilt or shame and consciously reclaim your power for the good of all.

May your intentions lead you to even greater joy, health and empowerment!

Learn more and register for Being Energy’s Path With Heart XVII: Personal Power.

Find out more about our Detox Program.

Additional Resources: Ultimate Guide to Mental Health and Education Resources

Good Vibrations: Elevate Your Energy in Minutes

Energy is vitality. It is expressed in our bodies, in our moods and in the way we relate to others.

We might say someone has “good energy” or “bad energy” for example, or that we are energized by an idea. This all has a physical expression—as scientific studies continue to reveal, the physiology and the mind are intricately connected—some would say inseparable. This is great news. It means that we have the power to influence our health at all levels with our thoughts and actions, and that each influences the other.

The other great news? When it comes to movement, a little bit can go a long way toward your health and vitality. Combine this with intention, and watch your energy lift in just minutes.

In terms of exercise, the standard recommendation is to aim for 30 minutes a day, five days a week (hello BE daily Mind + Body + Spirit classes!). If this seems daunting, try starting small. Choose the stairs over the elevator, for example. Or park at the far end of the parking lot at the grocery store. Take five to fifteen minutes to enjoy an extra walk around your neighborhood or workplace, or try some squats or pushups before jumping into your other responsibilities—it will be time well spent, helping you function more effectively mentally, physically and emotionally.

Ideally, you want to get some cardio, stretching and strength training in each week. The main thing is to do things that you enjoy, both so that you keep moving and because that sense of joy is also gives your immune system a boost. Maybe you like to garden, or dance, or jog or play catch with your kids. Work those things into your week. Or go to the gym and make it your time for you.

The sense of joy touches on what we think is key: Intention. Our thoughts influence our energy instantaneously. Our movement also influences our energy levels and our thoughts. When we move with intention, this has an even more dramatic influence.

Being Energy’s daily Mind + Body + Spirit classes are all about moving with intention. Here is a sample to try (about 35 minutes)—why not give it a go and see how you feel afterward?

Remember that taking the time to move is like putting energy in the bank, and when you move with intention, you add interest to that account that you can draw on to accomplish more in your life.

Consider joining our daily classes—you’ll enjoy:

  • 30 minutes of movement each day
  • Improved posture, flexibility and focus
  • Connection with a vibrant global community

Wishing you a fun, playful time,
Dr. Miles Reid

4 Steps to Free Your Breath

Here’s something to think about: What one thing can you live without for only minutes?

Your breath!

We can go without food for between three to four weeks, without water for three to five days, but without air, only about three minutes—unless you’ve been especially trained, which may give you an extra two minutes of life without oxygen.

So it stands to reason that our breath is a key to our health and wellbeing—physically, mentally and spiritually. It influences our nervous system and consciousness.

When you wake up, there is a natural, involuntary shift in your breathing pattern that signals the brain that you are awake. When you’re falling asleep, your consciousness and breathing shift in tandem.

The more you are connected to your breath, the more you become aware of your breathing patterns and responses, the healthier you’re likely to be in body, mind and spirit. To facilitate this awareness, I’ve created something that I call BYB: Being with Your Breath.

BYB was inspired by my Spiritual Psychology Masters Program studies, and more deeply by the death of my mother four years ago of lung cancer. During her illness, I witnessed her desperation as she tried to grasp for air. In those difficult moments, I would guide her to be calm, allow the breath to come effortlessly and release the fear. “Don’t judge it, don’t fix it, just be with it” were my words for her.

It might seem easy to say, and hard to do, but it is profoundly helpful—on levels beyond what I’d first considered. Now I think of BYB as an approach to self-realization through the connection to and liberation of breath.

So what is BYB? How do you do it? You might be surprised, but this simple method includes just four easy-to-follow steps that you practice systematically. They are:

  1. Observe
  2. Acknowledge
  3. Appreciate
  4. Open to Divine Inspiration

Aerin BreathingObserve. Simply observe your breath As It Is. Notice what is happening in your body. Is your belly loose or tight? Notice how it rises and falls with each inhalation and exhalation.

There is no need to change anything or make it better. Just notice what is.

When you can observe your breath without judgment or interference, you free your body and your perceptive ability.

In the observer mode, your autonomic nervous system shifts from a sympathetic fight or flight state to a parasympathetic state. Your attention moves away from any negative thinking patterns to the physical sensory awareness of your breath. You become more calm.

Silence exists in the pauses between inhalation and exhalation.

Acknowledge. Now that we have noticed our breath, we have a wonderful opportunity to learn from it. What thoughts are there as you breathe? What might be at the root of your breathing pattern? What ideas, emotions, limitations, constrictions or fears might you be holding from the past?

Appreciate. Now that you have observed your breath and acknowledged your thoughts, you have the choice to let go of the thoughts and of the breath pattern you were engaged in, freeing yourself to breathe in an uninhibited way.

This is your chance to take ownership of what you acknowledged—whatever might be restricting you—and appreciate and release it. Acknowledge the Loving Essence of yourself and others. Let your breath break through the prison of judgment and flow freely, without conscious effort. This is full self-expression.

Open to Divine Inspiration. In this last step you are with your breath—in divine connection with Spirit and with all that surrounds you. Each breath you take is a reminder of your connection to the Divine, to your origin, to who you really are.

Being with your breath, you are in the present, aware, fully functioning. All is perfect as it is, and so is your breath.

The more we free our breath, the more we free our perception and are able to acknowledge the higher forces that guide our lives—even the force of our breath. We understand ourselves as part of a much larger consciousness than the “I” of daily life. We breathe in the now and all is well.

Love,
Aerin

5 Ways to Get the Most out of Exercise

Whether we love it or hate it, we all know that exercise is important to our health and longevity. Given that, why not have some fun with it and maximize our exercise routine for faster results?

Physical activity helps both your body and mind stay strong, healthy and resilient. It helps you detoxify, oxygenate and think more clearly.  Studies show that regular exercise:

  • Reduces stress
  • Combats disease
  • Boosts brainpower
  • Improves memory
  • Controls weight
  • Increases energy
  • Releases endorphins
  • Improves mood
  • Promotes good sleep

The great news is that you don’t have to climb a mountain. There are simple things you can do to stay physically fit (which also helps you stay mentally fit), and you can start from wherever you are now on the fitness spectrum, at whatever your chronological age may be. The important thing is to get moving.

Maybe you already have an exercise routine that you enjoy. Great!

Girls_jog_along_Morro_Strand_State_BeachIf you don’t already exercise regularly, you can start today and you’ll instantly add to your energy bank account. Choose something that’s fun for you. If going to the gym is intimidating or boring for you, head outside. If the weather is uncomfortable, find an indoor activity that you’ll enjoy (maybe give our Being Energy Daily Mind + Body + Spirit classes a try).

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to a regular exercise routine, there are five things to keep in mind. For best results, you’ll want to incorporate the following elements into your routine to make sure that your body is getting everything it needs. Your weekly routine should include:

  1. Cardio activity two to three times a week. This can include energetic walking (vs. strolling), jogging, running, bicycling, dancing, tennis or other active sports, or other exercise that gets your heart pumping.
  2. Stretching and movement for flexibility two or three times a week. This can include basic stretches, yoga, etc. It can be simple.
  3. Core strengthening exercise and/or weight-bearing activity. Gyrotonic (we offer sessions at Tilo) and Pilates are great choices. The important thing is to strengthen and maintain the strength of the deep muscles in your abdomen—your power center.
  4. Energy redeployment. Gyrotonic is again a great choice., as are certain types of yoga; the idea here is that you want to reorganize your energy toward your center of vitality to nourish your internal organs.
  5. Set your intention clearly. Align with what you are doing so that your activity and intention match. It may sound odd, but it is very powerful, effective and enjoyable to have clear intention in what you do.

dt.common.streams.StreamServerThe greatest benefit from all this physical movement will come with a joyful mindset. Exercise can be fun! Have a good time with it. Try something new. Shake it up.

In good health,
Dr. Miles Reid

 

3 Ways to Create the Relationships You Want

Have you ever wondered how to fall in love again with your husband after 20 years of being together?

What about how to renew your view of your friends, and let go of misinterpretations and judgments?

How can you rebuild new, long-lasting, loving relationships?

Our intimate relationships present rich learning opportunities for healing and inner growth. They make way for an inner awakening and spiritual development. Yet we can get stuck.

When something is not working, when we are not getting our way, we can choose to:

  1. Blame the other person or situation
  2. Take responsibility and acknowledge what we can change in us

At some point, we all fall into blaming the other, or pointing the finger at the situation. It happens! But there’s another way—a way that we can consciously take toward growth.

Is your friend to blame? Does your mother, father, friend or sibling need to change so that you can get along? Think again! What is the true issue? Could it be your interpretation of the other’s behavior rather than the behavior itself?

You can take charge of your thinking and create the harmonious relationships you want. And it’s easier than you might think.

One of the greatest gifts of consciousness and being self-aware is that we can choose what to think.

Let’s look at our relationship with money. Does money go out faster than it comes in? Is making money something that is only for others, less spiritually oriented? Can we only earn money through hard work? Are we deserving?

Unconscious beliefs about money can boycott the effort you make to pay your bills on time, or cause you to say no to a great job opportunity that would bring you more money.

Changing your relationship toward money, and toward everyone and everything comes down to three things:

  • Release any negative thought, image or feeling you are holding about the person or situation or thing
  • Rebirth your thoughts, images or feelings. Allow yourself to think, “Yes, money flows to me with ease,” “My partner is thoughtful,” or ”I can do well in that job.”
  • Rebuild a new identity for yourself that has a value and is grounded in truth. For example, you may want to donate money to an organization that’s important to you, or take a class that you feel will change things in your life, or be the person who spends quality time with your family.

Break free from beliefs that may be holding you back so that you can experience abundance in life. Explore the relationship between your ability to manifest and your beliefs about yourself, love, sex and money, and observe how your life changes.

How can we manifest wealth in all things when we feel that we’re not good enough? How can we let go of unhealthy relationships and be open for new ones? What needs to die so that something new can be born?

Birth and death are natural processes, and part of all of life. Everything dies at some point—everything has an expiration date. Sometimes you have to let go so that something new can come forth. If you hold onto things inappropriately, it can create disease-causing toxins accumulate in the form of shame, blame and judgment.

By understanding these processes and learning to organize your experience in new ways, new possibilities and awareness have room to unfold.

You suddenly find a solution to a long-standing financial issue, or an infection that took root heals at long last, or you find the right partner after having felt stuck around intimacy.

We invite you to join us beginning on Sunday, April 12th, for our new Path with Heart series and release, rebirth and rebuild!

We’ll use movement, ”now-ing” and more to successfully transform our relationships and clear the path for your energy to flow.

The Healing Power of Drumming

It is a great gift to know Suzanne Tribe, and to be having her join us for our BE workshop in Italy. She’s an amazing person, with a special ability to teach, inspire and guide others to heightened states of consciousness.

STSlider1We share here her thoughts on the power of drumming, its history on the planet, scientific validation of its healing effects and its place in modern culture and the Shamanic path. We think you’ll enjoy getting to know Suzanne! For more information on our Italy retreat, beginning April 24, please see Retreat + Module One Teacher Training, Beyond Age, Beyond Syntax: The Energy Body.

Suzanne’s insights on drumming for health and vitality:

Drumming was at the core of community life and healing in most ancient cultures around the world—from the Tuvan shamans in Siberia to the Machis in Chile, the Anatolian culture in ancient Turkey to the Shuar in the Amazon Rainforest, the Inuit in Alaska, the West African Yoruba people and the First Nation’s people in America.

image028Drumming was a way to communicate from one village to the next; drumming expressed the joy of gathering in celebration; drumming was the fabric of connection, collaboration and healing. Shamanic drumming was, and is, a key component of creating sacred space, honoring the earth and its directions, and intentionally shifting states of consciousness to retrieve information for healing, wellbeing and survival.

In certain parts of the world, particularly more secluded areas, this is still a way of life. I witnessed this when I traveled to the Andes in 1997 to do fieldwork on pre-Columbian drumming and chanting. In the small and beautiful town of Iruya, high up in the Andes, at a time of the yearly festivity, people travelled for days from afar, on foot or by horse, to come together in ceremony. There was drumming, dancing and singing for celebration, reunion, healing and in their words “to connect with mother earth and the cosmos.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI learnt from the Aymara and Quechua people in the Andes about the importance of the drum in everyday life and in ceremony. The drum is our connection to mother earth, Pacha Mama, our groundedness. The sound of our voices projected in singing or toning are our connection to the cosmos, to our dreams. And our heart is at the center, allowing the flow between earth and sky/cosmos. I have carried these teachings with me ever since and they are part of who I am as a music therapist, as teacher and performer, and overall as a being dreaming on this earth.

sunday_drum_circleIn the 60s and 70s, a return to drumming as a community experience took place. In the United States free form drum circles sprung up at beaches, in parks and at indoor facilities. Simultaneously culturally specific drum circles were generated, and soon to follow came the facilitated community drum circles. In the 80s, with the shift in health care to more complementary and integrative models, a growing interest in drumming as a holistic tool emerged. Nowadays, there is a growing focus on drumming for health purposes in clinical settings, hospitals, psychiatric facilities, schools, private practices, etc.

Golden-Gate-Park-Drum-Circle_CroppedAs a music therapist, I have experienced the healing power of rhythm and drumming in helping patients to relax or become more energized as needed; in supporting premature infants to stabilize their heart rate and breathing rate; and in promoting parent-infant bonding (with the ocean drum and toning), drumming for stress release, drumming for caregivers in ‘caring for the caregiver’ programs, and in other situations.

Research has been conducted on drumming effects on health. A groundbreaking study by Barry Bittman, M.D. published in 2001, found that one hour of group drumming according to a specific protocol called HealthRHYTHMS, boosted the immune system and showed an increase in NK (natural killer) cell activity in participants. Subsequent studies by Bittman showed evidence that group drumming can lower stress, improve mood states and reduce burnout. (For more information about these studies, see http://www.remo.com/portal/pages/hr/research/index.html.)

79408_community-rhythm-circles-and-african-drumming-classesThe present trend shows that drumming for health and wellbeing seems to be making its way back into our culture. What about shamanic drumming?

Shamanic drumming for intentionally shifting one’s state of consciousness and journeying to other layers of awareness is a path I have been learning, practicing and guiding others along for the past 10 years. It includes creating sacred space, honoring the directions, setting intentions and journeying to non-ordinary states of consciousness and back, and includes the process of integrating the experience.

I’d like to conclude with these seven reflections on drumming:

  1. Drumming brings us into the here and now. Babatunde Olatunji, often considered to have inspired the return to the drum circle experience in North America, is quoted as saying: “Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
  1. Drumming is communication and expression without words.
  1. Drumming energizes us and can help us release tension.
  1. Drumming can intentionally shift our consciousness (assemblage point).
  1. Drumming with intention is powerful.
  1. Drumming can align us with our natural rhythms and the rhythms of nature.
  1. Drumming can align us with the rhythms of the universe.

IMG_2299Suzanne Tribe MA, MT-BC

Suzanne Tribe is a music therapist who conducts group empowerment drumming events for wellbeing and community building in the US and Argentina. Suzanne has performed extensively in a variety of world music genres, and at the University of Buenos Aires she taught dance majors the use of creative vocal expression. Her most recent CD with traditional songs from the Andes is Songs from Mother to Daughter.

“MY INTENT IS TO BRING THE HEALING AND TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF DRUMMING, CHANTING and MUSIC INTO THE WORLD!” says Suzanne.

Visit Suzanne on Facebook

When the Facts Aren’t the Facts: Depression, Drugs and Exercise

When it comes to facts, we don’t always get the real story. In fact, recent findings show that what we’ve been led to believe about antidepressants was cleverly skewed to favor drug companies. Surprising? For us, not so much.

Drugs, while they can be of great benefit and are sometimes necessary, are also extreme. Rarely do they work harmoniously with our organism—instead, they’re usually aimed at specific symptoms or intended for isolated results.

It was interesting and illuminating to discover this video about the real data on antidepressants. What’s the upshot? Antidepressants work primarily as placebos. Yes, that’s right. Placebos with a host of unwanted side effects.

Do Antidepressant Drugs Really Work? from NutritionFacts on Vimeo.

Reprograming-the-addictive-brainEven more, some side effects have only recently come to light with respect to age and antidepressants. The adolescent brain reacts very differently to antidepressants than the adult brain. In a Harvard School of Public Health study led by Dr. Matthew Miller, a careful review of over 162,000 pharmacy records revealed “that people under the age of 25 who received a higher initial dose of antidepressants were twice as likely to try to harm themselves, while that wasn’t true for people 25 and older.”

An increased suicide risk was also discovered in younger people taking an average dose. (See the NPR article Higher Doses of Antidepressants May Raise Teen Suicide Risk, also Dr. Frances Jensen’s book The Teenage Brain is a fascinating and excellent resource.)

So how can we affect depression positively, in a way that does us more good than harm? In a real way? Exercise!

Exercise has countless benefits—among them:

  • Elevated mood
  • Increased muscle tone
  • Decreased body fat
  • Better sleep
  • Increased energy
  • Heighted libido
  • Disease prevention (heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers)

The number of benefits trumps what any pill could offer, and even better: in most instances, moderate exercise complements any medicine, supplement or wellness plan.

1408574069790_wps_5_Teenage_girls_racing_in_tMotion is an integral part of our work with Being Energy for a good reason. Daily activity brings increased vitality as natural result. This is why we offer daily movement classes (Mind + Body + Spirit). In these classes, we share what we do every day to be well and stay strong.

We also incorporate evidence-based into our Nutrition + Health classes, and it informs our work in general. It’s important to consider the whole being for true wellness.

Yours in whole health,
Aerin and Dr. Miles

Harness Your Sexual Energy

Does engaging in sexual activity energize or deplete you?

Becoming aware of how your energy level rises or falls in relation to sex can help you increase your vitality bank account.

Outside of cultural or moral ideas of sex, there is the reality of how it is in your body, for you uniquely and individually. Sexual intimacy can be a wonderful thing, and yet the physical implications of orgasm may or may not serve us at a given time.

Considering your energy in relation to sexual intercourse is a practical, functional approach to your overall health and wellbeing. It’s very useful to take an account of your energy in relation to intercourse. It’s also easy to do.

So let’s put some attention on it. A little awareness can go a long way to energizing our bodies, minds and spirits!

Think about:

  • How often and with whom to you have sex?
  • What time of day?
  • How do you feel afterward?

How you feel immediately afterward is one thing, but how you feel an hour or two or three later, and how you feel the next day can tell you whether sex energizes or depletes you.

Did you know that sex at night can be more draining that sex earlier in the day? This is because at night, the body restores yin energy in the kidneys and orgasm is a release of yang energy, which can disrupt this energy restoration. It has less impact on your kidneys if you have sex in yang time of day—the morning time.

If you have kidney challenges (inflammation, for example) or kidney yin deficiency, this is especially important to pay attention to. Examples of kidney yin deficiency include dizziness, poor memory, low back pain, knee pain, ringing in the ears or hearing problems, spontaneous sweating, constipation, dry mouth and throat and aversion to cold.

If these symptoms sound familiar, you might want to experiment with favoring the morning over the afternoon or evening for sexual activity. Or if orgasms make you feel drained, you might consider abstaining for a period of time.

In contrast, if you run hot, and tend toward restlessness and a fiery temper, a release of yang through sexual intercourse can be centering and calming. You might need a sexual release to keep your energy from stagnating.

Like everything else, what is best for you is a personal, individual thing, and something that you have the power to discover for yourself.

So when you take an accounting, does an orgasm give you a boost in energy, or does it drain you? Does the time of day make a difference in your experience?

While our experience has a physical reality unique to each of us, social and religious ideas can have a distinct impact on our experience of our sexuality. What mental noise do you have about sex? What energetic entanglements restrict you? How do ideas of power play into and affect your experience?

Becoming aware of your stories about sex gives you the power to embrace or rewrite those scripts for your mental, emotional and physical benefit. Adding this to what you learned about whether you feel energized or depleted physically gives you a wealth of information to move forward with for energy.

You might want to alter your patterns, and even:

  • Have time away from sexual activity for a while to see what happens with your energy or
  • Engage more often in healthy sex

There are definitely things that you can do to enhance your libido and your sexual organs and essences. Learn more about herbs, supplements, exercises and more in the Nutrition + Health class Sexual Energy: Our Life Force.

The class airs live on March 7, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Learn more and register.

Energy, Awareness and Movement

Knowing Ourselves through Movement

In Being Energy, we consider movement as the departure point for enhancing the awareness of who we are and how we relate to the world around us. When we talk about movement, we refer not only to the physical act of moving our limbs, for example, but also to the mental attention required to know which leg we’re moving first, if right or left, or the breathing pattern associated with the way we move our right leg versus our left, and the memories and emotions stored in past experiences, and, most importantly, the perception of ourselves moving through space.

Carlos Castaneda inspired and encouraged me to practice movement daily—to make it a “must do,” with the purpose of finding the trail of energy that aligns all the parts of myself into one single energetic unit. He urged me to connect to the core, or to the alignment of all of what I am through movement. The seers of ancient Mexico characterized us are luminous beings held together by a vibratory force that they referred to as “intent”—the same force that holds stars in place.

Physical movement done with attention and purpose, he said, can forge the link to our vibratory force, the core of who we are as physical and energetic beings. Movement can lead to states of high alertness and awaken consciousness, creating an alignment of the whole self, our physical tangible parts and our energetic invisible parts.

Flow_of_Light_by_GavDude

Some professional athletes dramatically exhibit this kind of connection, such as an ice dancer flipping and turning in the air, landing powerfully, with grace, giving a breathtaking and breath-giving moment to all of us watching it!

But we don’t need to be a pro athlete to experience a connection to our center and sustain it as we go through daily life. There is something called “somatic education,” meaning that we can learn to sense and feel through movement, which is a beautiful way to start the journey.

Somatic education supports this exploration of knowing ourselves as energy first. I studied and taught somatic education for more than a decade, and observed its many benefits, including the personal experience of it helping me to heal unhealthy psychological-motor patterns and develop a clearer experience of myself as grounded and connected to my whole self. For example, I learned to stand up without projecting my lower ribs forward (a habit that had caused chronic back pain) and to free my breath by lifting the arches of my feet and to think and perceive without the unnecessary facial contortions, like frowning or raising my eyebrows.

I’d like to share with you an article about somatic education by Tomas Hanna. It is an introduction to what it is, where it came from, its pioneering teachers and its contribution to the field of health and consciousness. In Hanna’s own words, somatic education is the use of sensory-motor learning to gain greater voluntary control of one’s physiological process. It is ‘somatic’ in the sense that the learning occurs within the individual as an internalized process.

 Somatic educuation is based on self-teaching, self-learning, self-healing, and self-regulation. We find the “what” and the “how” through exploration and paying attention as we move through space, as we EXPERIENCE OURSELVES. There are several schools and methods of somatic education, which include:

Most of the explorations involve sensory perception and movement as the means of increasing one’s own awareness.

The Feldenkrais Institute

See Tomas Hanna’s Article.

To learn more about movement, watch our videos.

There is so much more to be said about somatic education, but I hope this is an interesting start for you!

Aerin

Boost Your Immunity in ONE Simple Step!

Imagery for Immunity

Research shows that our thoughts and feelings impact our physicality, from increased cortisol levels when we’re stressed to lowered immunity if we’re feeling depressed. Most of the time, we don’t consciously direct our thoughts for the benefit of our health, but we do have the power to do just that.

Visualization is a practical tool we can use at any time to deliberately and positively influence our immune system. When we say “visualization,” we really mean much more than seeing with internal eyes. Some of us are not visually oriented, and may not connect to the idea of seeing images with our eyes closed. Instead, let’s think of visualization as image-feeling. The feeling, whether we can cognize images or not, is really what we’re after. The emotion is what has the greatest influence on our health. (For more on that, see Dr. Reid’s blog post: The Power of Words.)

For example, visualize a tree. If you can’t see the trunk, branches, etc. in your mind’s eye, then cognize the feeling of a tree. In either case, when we imagine a tree, there is a feeling that we likely associate with concept of tree. This is what we mean here by visualization. So even if you can’t see that tree, you can still use visualization techniques for your benefit.

How does visualization impact us physically? It becomes part of the chemical conversation going on in our body, creating a blueprint that influences our neuro- and immunotransmitters.

Dopamine_and_serotonin_pathways

From our earliest moments of life, the brain and immune system are engaged in a constant dialogue. Each influences the other by means of chemical messengers. In fact, the immune system has neurotransmitter receptor sites in white blood cells, lymph nodes and elsewhere, and the brain has receptor sites for immunotransmitters called cytokines.

Three important cytokines are:

  • Interferons
  • Interleukins
  • Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)

Examples of neurotransmitters include:

  • Seratonin
  • Norepinephrine
  • Dopamine

Neurotransmitters circulate throughout the body with specific immune system receptor sites, as mentioned. Emotions impact neurotransmitters and thus affect immunity specifically, and our health generally.

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The immune system responds to messages from the brain formed by images or emotions. We can deliberately create mental images or encourage emotions to impact our immune systems in a positive way. Instead of letting our unconscious thoughts steer our health, we can consciously direct thoughts and feelings for greater energy and vitality.

You can use visualization in any moment to influence your experience, or you can use guided visualization for a different and often deeper effect. One of the simplest approaches is to use a counterbalancing visualization. Let’s say, for example, that you feel nervous—you can imagine yourself being calm and strong. Or maybe you feel tired—consciously imagine yourself being active, feeling what it feels like to have more energy. If you’re cold, you can imagine sitting in the sun on a tropical beach, or if you have high blood pressure, you can visualize your blood pressure going down.

If a person is dealing with cancer and thinks “I’m doomed,” it certainly doesn’t help the immune system. Indeed, fear may be the most weakening emotion for immunity.

If we let negative thoughts run unchecked, they can weaken us, versus consciously visualizing life and vitality. We can use the tool of directed visualization on the spur of the moment when there is a need or when we notice an unhelpful thought.

We can also use guided imagery to potent effect. Being Energy, our educational program on health on vitality, recently released the CD Into Your Heart, a guided visualization from Dr. Reid.

The visualization is designed to help you regulate the flow of your hormones and neurotransmitters in a way that reduces stress in your body and increases happiness. Dr. Reid guides you to opening yourself to the energy of your heart, to heal emotional hurts and find out what really matters to you.

Available for purchase from the Being Energy online store, it’s a tool that you can turn to again and again. Listen to a sample:

Dr. Reid also created a wonderful CD entitled Guided Explorations to Our Internal Organs, which is also available from the Being Energy online store.

In addition, you can try this guided visualization, or “recapitulation” for resolving past hurts. It guides you to evoking the feeling of safety and nourishment that one experiences in the mother’s womb for greater energy and vitality in daily life:

Remember that you can use visualization to benefit your life any time you like, whether it’s a quick image that you form in your mind to help you manage a situation, or whether you sit down.