mind body

Precision movement philosophy phrases to live by

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After last weeks blog about checking in with your goals for the last quarter of the year, I thought I'd follow that with some motivational inspiration. Sometimes we get so bogged down with the day to day stuff we forget the big picture reasons for living and enjoying life. So here are the Precision Movement phrases to live by... Everybody say Om! 

 

1. You are what you absorb 

Sadly just eating the right foods is now not enough if you are not absorbing their goodness! How do you know if you are absorbing the nutrition you eat? Well you should feel good for eating highly nutritious food but most of us don't know what good feels like if we have only what we feel like now to compare it to. So my recommendation would be to get your gut tested and see how functional it is. See our partners page for contact information on Karen Maidment and Hannah Richards who can help with this. 

 

2. Movement is the foundation of life 

From the movement of blood and transport of nutrients and removal of toxins to getting around town movement is absolutely essential for life. It's also really important to move well, efficiently and effectively to minimise injury and discomfort. I believe movement is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping.  Stagnation leads to injury, depression and indifference.  So move more and move well - if you need some help with this you know where I am. 

 

3. Your body is a thoroughbred 

We can take our body for granted. We don't think about what it does every day to enable us to live, to see, to hear, to communicate, to move, to breathe, to digest food. Our body is a gift, it is our house and we should take care of it like it's a thoroughbred race horse or a top of the line sports car. You wouldn't put sludge in a sports car so don't put rubbish in your body. You want to nurture your body, feed and water it well, give it sunlight and fresh air, move it regularly and give it a bit of challenge every day to make sure it can withstand the toughness of life. 

 

4. Study your user manual 

Too many people assume they know how to move well. Here's what happens - we are born, we teach ourselves to move (amazing!), we continue to learn good movement and sports in childhood and hopefully our teen years. Then we go to university and we either continue (super amazing!) or we stop moving. Then we go to work and it's basically all over. I'm generalising here but you get the idea. When we enter the work place we teach our bodies to adapt to the sitting work environment which can give us all kinds of issues. The greatest gift you can give yourself is re-learning good movement either through a sport like martial arts or dance or working with a movement specialist to support you and get you back to your sports. 

 

5. If you don't use it you lose it

I am a personal testament to this! If I don't exercise regularly I start to lose my strength, my stability my tone and my shape. Many of the people I work with begin to lose their postural endurance and flexibility.  You've got to make an ongoing commitment to yourself to maintain your body. You'll live a longer happier life if your body is agile, functional and well taken care of. It really comes down to loving yourself enough to take care of yourself. 

 

6. Get in your discomfort zone

Comfort doesn't lead to growth or change. I purposefully placed myself in some very uncomfortable situations this summer to remind myself what it's like for my clients to change movement patterns and posture - it can be frustrating and uncomfortable both physically, mentally and emotionally. So I do know what it's like to start something completely new - I highly recommend it regularly. The joy comes when you master something that you've been struggling with - that's growth, that's change, that's a life worth living and an example worth setting to your children, friends and family around you. 

 

7. Movement is a constant teacher 

I'm finding more and more as I work with clients watching them learn and connect with their bodies that movement serves as a fantastic teacher. No matter how long you have been training you can always learn some new movement or reconnect with how movement feels in your body. To me, mastering movement is not about just exercising it is about really understanding how your body works and serves you. I highly advocate using movement and sports for challenge and personal growth. I am still humbled by movement - it's always been my greatest teacher. 

 

8. Mind over matter 

Firstly the brain is the control centre of movement. We don't move unless the brain is motivated towards something. Many things are involved in the motivation of movement. One of the important factors is how you feel about/towards that intention. If you dislike what you are doing your brain gives a different output in contrast to if you do like what you are doing. So, when moving, even if the movement or exercise is something you don't particularly like, train your mind to find the benefit in it and feed that information through the brain and attach it to the exercise. The brain/mind/body will avoid things it doesn't like - so override the dislike factor - reframe it. The saying mind over matter is never more true than it is here! 

 

9. Be present 

When anyone comes to work with me in the studio yes there are reps and sets and alignment and gains and goals etc. But what I really think they gain is the experience of being present in their body. It might sound a little kooky but going to the studio or the gym and just going through the motions, the reps, the sets, thinking about work or what you'll do afterwards is really not as beneficial as being present with your body for your workout. Movement is an enriching educational experience. It's an outlet, a form of expression, a release of energy or a way of conjuring up energy. But all this good stuff only happens when we are present in our movement. It's like anything really - when you are present you are alive and the experience is banked. When you are somewhere else you're just wasting what you're doing in the present. 

 

So there you have it - 9 magical philosophical paragraphs to live by.   Now go forth and conquer... :D 

An hour with KT how can I help you further?

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My work as a rehabilitation specialist is an important but relatively small part of health and wellness. I always try to give as much verbal advice as I can along with reading material and tonnes of motivational and moral support! But sometimes we need a little extra... Freebies anyone? ;) 

I'm offering an hour of my time throughout the months of September and October (to the first 15 people who sign up) to sit down and ask me anything about your health and wellness that you feel will support your work with me in the studio - (coffee and treats included obvs). If you are not currently a client of Precision Movement you can still book in with me - we don't discriminate here! 

All you need to do is:

1. Think of up to three topics you would like help with or would like to change. It could be a nutritional question, how to optimise your sleep, how to fit your home programme in to your life more optimally, to a new goal such as climbing Everest! 

2. Email me direct to book yourself in and list the topics you would like to chat about with me so I can prepare accordingly. 

3. Meet me at The Atrium restaurant at Grosvenor House Apartments and we'll discuss the topics and formulate a plan about how to integrate changes into your life for a healthier happier you. 

How does that sound? 

 

Contact KT direct at KT@precisionmovement and with the subject line "an hour with KT". Valid through September 1st - October 31st 2015. Appointments subject to KT's availability although we'll try to accommodate as much as possible. Appointments are non-transferable and cannot be rescheduled once booked. 

Precision Movement's inspiring summer book recommendations

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As many of you will remember I set myself some pretty hefty goals this year.  One of them was to read a book a month. I haven't quite stuck to this time frame but I have read 6 books this year so far! :) 

 

I try to think of many random ways I help make life a little easier for you all. So at this critical time of year when you are packing for your vacation and you realise you haven't got a book to read on the beach I have put together a list of my top four reads from this year so far. Now you can't say I don't look out for you all... ;p Without further ado my four hand picked book recommendations for summer 2015...

 

Winning Without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard

Probably the best business book I've ever read. Martin interviewed many of the top entrepreneurs on the planet asking them how they find and maintain what he calls the new dual optimum (a fancy phrase for the more globally recognised "work/life balance"). Hugely inspiring, with some great instant take-aways and broken into manageable chunks so you can read a chapter then take a dip in the pool, read a chapter then go for lunch. I'd recommend it if you need to recharge your business brain. 

 

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin 

Amy has a brilliant personal story to tell about her hardships and how she overcame them by NOT doing what mentally strong people DON'T do. If you're feeling a bit beaten up right now then this is a good booster for the spirit and the soul.  

 

When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Wientraub 

For a lighter story that reads more like a novel try Weintraub's life story of becoming a self-made man in Hollywood. With anecdotes about Sinatra, Elvis and a host of celebrities and musicians it's an engaging and fantastical story of a man who has lived what seems like a charmed life but he's worked his absolute socks off for.  I love his chutzpah - every good business person needs that! 

 

 The Road to Character by David Brooks

This is my most recent read.  I actually went to see David being interviewed in May which was a real treat.  This book is all about cultivating the eulogy virtues. We're pretty good at the CV virtues but perhaps not so focussed on the virtues that develop our character - such as bravery, kindness and selflessness. David takes 9 inspiring people from history who have made a difference to the world with their strength of character. He explores their lives and how they developed their eulogy virtues.  It's a beautiful and humbling read - good for an ego check! 

 

For those of you who are jetting off for the summer I wish you happy travels. Be safe. Make memories. Enjoy every moment. I'll still be posting so keep reading and read a book or two - it's really good for relieving stress! 

 

5 things for back pain before you see your doctor

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I see a number of people who have had no success with the long term relief of back pain by going to see their doctor.  There is a lot that can be done with injury and back pain before you seek medical treatment.  Even when you go to your doctor they recommend you exercise to relieve back pain.  What they don't specify is what exercise is best for you.   One thing is for sure, pain medication will only mask your symptoms and can make you think you are ok again until the medication wares off.  Medications also put your liver and digestive system under stress.  So what can you do to ease your back pain before going to see your doctor?

1.  Notice your pattern of pain

The more information you can gather about your patterns of pain the more likely you will notice what triggers your back pain and what exacerbates it.  Do you wake up with pain?  Does it occur later in the day?  How bad is it?  Does it decrease?  By how much?  You might find that by noticing the patterns of your pain you are able to make changes to help ease the discomfort.  

2.  Move 

Movement may seem like an unlikely remedy for a back ache but it is surprisingly effective.  The key to movement for relief of pain is doing it gently.  Walking can often provide a sense of relief (however if it makes it worse and sitting relieves it then take a rest periodically).  I recommend my clients do gentle back specific mobilizations upon waking daily to ease the back into the day.  You can download your copy of the Precision Movement Daily Mobilizations

here

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3.  Activate your core

If you know how to do this then focus on it by activating consciously throughout the day.  For more information see my article "Does having a strong core relieve low back pain?".  If you do not know how to do this then seek out a specialist who can teach you how.  Ultimately, if your back is aching it is telling you something is not right.  From a mechanical perspective it means certain areas of your body are taking more stress and other parts are not doing their job.  You'll need help with restoring this balance so seek out a corrective exercise specialist to help you with this.

4.  Stop, look, listen

Notice what might be causing or contributing to your back pain.  It might be the heavy boxes you moved yesterday or the position you are sitting in at work.  It may even be the exercise you are doing that makes your back pain worse.  Think broadly, it might not be a mechanical cause, pain can come from digestive issues such as food intolerance or constipation and in my clinical experience pain always gets worse when you are stressed.  Look at everything.  As obvious as it seems stop doing what you think may be causing/exacerbating the pain and see if your back calms down.  

5.  Think and take control of your thoughts

I know this sounds a little ominous but stay with me for a moment.  Sometimes people who have structural damage do not experience any pain.  It is a conundrum that puzzles medical practitioners even today.  What this really means is pain does not come solely from structural or mechanical issues or everyone who has structural damage would be in pain.  What tends to happen with pain is that we let it take control and rule our lives.  I have a wonderful client who went on a silent meditation retreat last year.  While he was sitting through a 6 hour meditation session his knee began to hurt.  His meditation teacher advised that he think on the pain and try to deconstruct it.  After some time he managed to break it down into a feeling of pressure and heat.  He changed his relationship with pain and it took his pain away.  Your brain is as adaptable as your body and it will learn what pain does for you and establish a trigger that sets it off without your conscious permission.   When you let pain take over and control you no amount of exercise and treatment will help you get better in the long term. 

The Life Resolution - the only one to make - EVER

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

Have you set your New Years resolution (NYR)?  No?  Good!  Don't do it.  Seriously do not set a New Years resolution this year.  Here is what is faulty with the NYR...

Faulty goods

Often we set a short term goal that can be achieved within 3 months - to stop smoking, lose weight, go to the gym, stop drinking so much etc.  Some of us achieve it most of us lose interest.  If we do achieve our goal (yay - well done you!) we are prone to slip back into our old ways and vow to ourselves in 9 months we'll try again.  

Why?  Because life is too important.  We are creatures that seek out good times and fun.  We want to participate.  So how do we deal with the conundrum of good times v being good?  

Golden Goods!

Precision Movement challenges you to set a Life Resolution (#liferez). The liferez is a lifestyle change.  It starts with taking a good look at your life and saying what can I change here to be healthier, happier and have optimal wellness and enjoy my fitness?

Instructions

The liferez is exceptionally easy to assemble.  You choose your changes and when, where and how to implement them and the reasons for doing so.  Ideally make one small change each month.  If you feel your change is successfully implemented and fits well with your life then go on and change something else.  

Completely customised

Your liferez is designed by you.  You can choose anything you would like to improve from as little as one less cup of coffee per day to taking your first vacation in 5 years.  We all have different needs, priorities and responsibilities so make changes that serve your life.  If getting to the gym 5 days a week is impossible for you then don't include this in your liferez.  Seek out what would work better for you.  Measure your progress by your own life yard stick.

Second class post and loving it

The liferez is an endurance event - it's your life.  You wouldn't want to sprint through your life akin to same day DPD delivery would you?  You'd want to take your time, sit in the post office for a while and enjoy the view, take a few travels, maybe get lost and redirected before arriving at your destination a la 2nd class Royal Mail.  With the liferez you'll make smaller steady changes that you can work into your life over time.  They'll take a little effort in the beginning but will soon feel routine.  

T&Cs

With the liferez you will value the T&Cs and you get to make up your own.  My T&Cs are based around the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time I am golden and 20% I splash out and throw caution to the wind.  My T&Cs stipulate that after my splash out I return to my golden ways and this keeps my liferez in check.

Guarantee 

The great thing about the liferez is as long as you use it consistently it has a lifetime guarantee.  It will always serve you.  

Want to know more about TheLifeRez?  Follow me on Twitter and use #theliferez or on Facebook. Contact me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk

Sophrology - how it helps pain & injury

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This week I had the fortune to interview Dominique Antiglio, a Sophrologist and owner of BeSophro.  Formally an osteopath from Switzerland, Dominique found her patients pain was highly linked to stress and how they perceived and reacted to daily life situations.  She trained in Sophrology as a means of helping her clients further and now teaches the technique exclusively in private and group sessions here in London at 58 South Molton Street practice in Mayfair.  I have personally benefited from this amazing technique and it is a great pleasure for me to share what Dominique has to say about relaxation and how it helps your healing and recovery.

KT:  What is Sophrology?

DA:  It is a mind body transformation technique that helps you deal more effectively with daily life occurrences - ones that may ordinarily stress us out.  It is a practice based on a philosophy and can also act as a therapy as well.  It uses breathing techniques, dynamic relaxation, visualisation and gentle movements to bring about change in the body and mind and to make you consciously aware of these changes.

KT:  Who can benefit from Sophrology?

DA:  Everyone!  I mainly see three types of people.  People who are stressed out and have physical pain related to their stress such as back pain or headaches.  I also specialise in birth preparation for pregnant women.  The third type of clients I see are people who are interested in their own self-development and want to expand their awareness and reach their full potential.

KT:  Do you work with clients who have physical pain?

DA:  Yes I help clients to discover if the pain they have expresses something in their lives that needs addressing.  Often physical pain can have an emotional or stress-induced cause which results in a seemingly 'random' relapse of pain until you take the time to look deeper into why the pain is occurring.  Once we establish what may be related to their pain I help them access resources to deal with underlying issues and beliefs associated with thier discomfort.

KT:  Do you think stress contributes to physical pain?

DA:  Enormously.  More than most people think.  The slightest change in the nervous system can change your breathing and the way your brain and mind functions.  It is a cascading affect - one system will affect the next system which affects the next and somewhere in that chain is the musculoskeletal system.  I believe the body is a very subtle and sensitive machine.  When any stimulus comes our way we take a conscious decision on how to deal with it.  Sophrology gives you tools to deal with your reactions to stress and stimulus that result in a better outcome for your body and mind to minimise the chances of it affecting you physically.

KT:  How often would you advise practicing Sophrology?

DA:  If everyone in the world did 5 minutes of Sophrology the world would be a much better place!  We would all have more freedom in our lives, in our thoughts, we would make better decisions, and be happier.  For use as a therapy I would advise 3 times per week for 15 mins.  If you practice the technique more, you'll experience more of the benefits!

KT:  How long does it take to learn Sophrology?

DA:  I teach people the basic techniques in 4-5 sessions.  You could do less than this and have it serve as a one off source of relaxation but to really achieve changes that you can keep benefiting from it is worth investing the time for 4-5 sessions.

KT:  How do I learn Sophrology?

DA:  The best way to learn is from a practitioner.  It helps to have a voice guiding you through the practice until you become more familiar with it.  I allow my clients to record their sessions so they can practice alone as well.

KT:  How long do the benefits of practicing last?

DA:  The more you do the longer the affects last.  My clients say the affects can last for 1 day and up to 5 days.  The response is individual.  If you are able to get into a regular daily practice the results are ongoing.  I recommend practicing 10 minutes a day for 7 days in a row to experience changes.

KT:  What are the limits of Sophrology?

DA:  Although Sophrology incorporates gentle relaxation movements the technique does not align, stabilise or strengthen areas of weakness or poor posture that may be contributing to physical pain.  Sophrology is not analytical so for work on a deep rooted emotional trauma I would refer on to a psychologist.  The technique also does not include any touch based therapy so if you have a blocked rib or a mal-aligned neck or spine I would recommend out to a manual therapist.  Sophrology is exceptionally compatible with all therapies though and can serve as a daily tonic - a way of being present, calm and quiet.  In my practice it has worked well as part of the healing and recovery of more serious illnesses, injuries and conditions.

KT:  What is the essence of Sophrology?

DA:  It is to improve the connection of mind and body and to be present often what I refer to as connecting with yourself.

KT:  Can you share a simple technique that people can use now?

DA:  One of the basic techniques we use in Sophrology is to slow the exhalation part of breathing.  This helps to bring the body into a state of relaxation. Inhale for 3 counts then exhale for 5-7 counts.  Repeat this breathing a few times in a conscious way and then try to maintain it for 2 minutes to start feeling a change.

KT:  Where can I learn Sophrology?

DA:  I teach BeSophro classes at 58 South Molton St, Mayfair, London.  I see clients for private sessions and in groups.  My next introductory session is and costs just £10.  It is a chance to try Sophrology to see if it a technique that would work well for you and your life.  I have a taster session BeSophro Taster on 12th February 2014 and my next Short course begins on January 15th 2014.

For more information on BeSophro classes with Dominique please visit www.besophro.co.uk.  Contact 07527 587 177 and info@besophro.co.uk.