Mind / Body

How can you bridge the space between your mental and physical experiences?

These somatic techniques train the body to inspire the mind and teach the mind to positively shape the body. The term ‘somatic’ means ‘experiencing the body from within.’ Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. Our bodies can become tools for working with our mental state and our mental patterns can become vehicles of change for our physical bodies.


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8 Steps to Relieve and Prevent Back Pain

13.02.2021 | Integrate Columbus
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Mar 02, 2020
Experts estimate that up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some time in their lives. While common among many people, back pain is NOT the norm and there are many steps you can take to relieve and prevent it from occurring. Today, I’ll break down 8 steps that I’ve implemented into my own life to help reduce back pain.
 
  1. Watch how you lift. Whether you’re lifting a squirming child or weights, be sure to lift with your legs, not your back. The quads and glutes are waaayyy stronger than your small back muscles, so be mindful.
  2. Take a posture check. How you sit (or stand) during the day is really important. Desk jobs in particular bring you forward and cause you to slump. Think of it this way: For every degree your head comes forward, your spine muscles have to work exponentially harder. Not sure what your posture looks like? Have a co-worker take a surprise picture of you sitting at your desk to get a good glimpse of your posture during the day.
  3. Use a lumbar roll, especially if you work at a desk or drive frequently. A lumbar roll is a squishy pillow that you can place behind your low back to create additional support. It also helps your posture when you’re seated. Here’s the one I use from Amazon.
  4.  Take a stress test. What repetitive motions do you do frequently exhibit throughout the day that cause aggravation? Maybe it’s reaching for something, picking up an infant, or some other movement. Make a tally of what’s causing irritation in your back on a daily basis.
  5. Strengthen your core correctly. By activating ALL the core muscles (not just the six-pack in the front) you take strain off your back. While strengthening your core isn’t the only way to resolve back pain, it certainly is a game-changer.
  6. Move your body. Incorporating movement into your daily routine can significantly reduce back pain. The next time you miss your workout, notice how you feel. Chances are, you’ll feel much better when the muscles are loose from working out.
  7. Stretch your hips, mid and upper back. Practice mobility work so you can move through these areas and you aren’t relying only on the mobility of your back alone.
  8. Use good pillow support when you’re sleeping. If you’re a belly-sleeper, you may try placing a pillow under your hips. You should also consider training yourself not to be a stomach-sleeper to take some of the pressure off of your back. If you’re a side-sleeper, put a pillow between your knees to keep your legs stacked. This helps take the twist out of the low back). Back sleepers should try placing a pillow under the knees for additional support.
 
It’s never too early to start taking preventative measures to protect your back and it’s never too late to start living a pain free life! If you’re experiencing back pain and need help from a professional, let’s chat!
How runners can relieve tight hamstrings

8 Tips For Tight Hamstrings

15.02.2021 | Integrate Columbus

Stephanie Duffey • Jul 06, 2020

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As a physical therapist, I hear complaints all the time related to tight hamstrings. In fact, the hamstrings get a bad rap for always being the problem muscle, but if we take a closer look, you’ll find that your hamstring tightness may just be a symptom of another issue. Here, I’ll break down my top 8 tips for relieving tight hamstrings and preventing future pain in this muscle group.
 
1. Don’t be a sloucher. 
Poor posture can be a huge contributing factor for hamstring tightness. When you arch your back, you’re actually putting more strain on your hamstrings to help hold you in that position. Instead, focus on stacking your ribs over your pelvis. Your hamstrings will thank you!
 
2. Be a belly breather.
Being a belly breather goes hand in hand with keeping good posture. When you stand properly, your diaphragm works more effectively, enabling you to breathe better while creating stability and activation through the core. 
 
3. Keep your core strong.
When you stay mindful of your posture and breathe through your belly, you’re activating your core. In addition to following tips 1 and 2, it’s also important to specifically target the core as a muscle group. Tight hamstrings could be compensating for a weak core, so make core part of your weekly training routine. Here are some of my favorite exercises to work those abs (Plus bonus side effect: You’ll look great in your swimsuit!)
 
4. Keep your glutes strong.
Remember in tip 3 when I said that your hamstrings could be compensating for a weak core? The same is true with your glutes. The more you train the glutes and core, the better off your hamstrings will be. So share the love with other muscles groups. Download my Runner’s Prehab Guide for some of my favorite moves for strong glutes. (These are great exercises even if you don’t run!)
 
5. Don’t be a “sitter.”
This one’s for all my peeps with desk jobs. When you sit all day, you put your hamstrings in a shorter, tightened position. Take advantage of this quarantine and break up your day by going for short walks so you don’t get stiff. It’s also a great way to take a mental break!
 
6. Remember the hammies in your strength routine.
Fun fact, tight muscles do NOT always equal strong muscles. If your hamstrings are tight, it could actually be a sign that you need to strengthen them. Try some of these moves for strong hamstrings.
 
7. Practice dynamic stretching before a workout
You’ve probably heard this before but it’s incredibly important to move while you stretch to prevent cramping and better protect your muscles. Try walking hips swings or some of these exercises to set yourself up for success before your workout.
 
8. Foam roll after a workout.
One of the best ways to release knots and trigger points is foam rolling. It’s an awesome recovery for your muscles after a run or workout and provides a deep release while preventing muscle tension and pain. Do your muscles a favor and show them some love after you make them work! Here’s my favorite foam roller.
 
Need help treating your tight hamstrings? Let’s chat!
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Dehumanizing is so Human

12.02.2021 | Integrate Columbus

Paul Linden, PhD

www.being-in-movement.com

paullinden@aol.com

How can people bear to cause other people pain? How can people embrace racism, sexism, political and religious violence, and hatred? A major part of the answer is that it is all too easy for people to see the world through fear and anger and to view other people as not fully human. But in dehumanizing others, people dehumanize themselves. And in so doing, they become numb and can hurt others without feeling it.

However, this is not simply a political, cultural, psychological or spiritual problem. This whole process takes place in the body. Though most people do not notice it, emotions are actions that we do in the body. Hatred is something that is done in the body.

To change how we feel, it is not enough just to decide to stop destructive feelings. The body must be taught to not hate. And in a sense that is impossible. It is impossible to stop a negative. It must be replaced with a positive. Through specific and concrete body techniques, it is possible to teach people to create, understand and use in their lives a body state of awareness, power and compassion. This is not the whole solution, but it is a necessary foundation. It moves people to feel others as human and to care what happens to them.

Based on his 50 years of practice, Paul has developed a short series of simple, powerful transformational exercises. By using concrete and testable language in teaching, Paul can help people learn very rapidly how to apply these techniques effectively in their lives.

PAUL LINDEN, PhD is a body awareness educator, a martial artist, and an author. He is the developer of Being In Movement® mindbody education, and founder of the Columbus Center for Movement Studies in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a BA in Philosophy and a PhD in Physical Education. He has been practicing and teaching Aikido since 1969 and holds a sixth degree black belt in Aikido as well as a first degree black belt in Karate. In addition, he is an instructor of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education. He has extensive experience teaching people such as musicians, athletes, business people, computer users, pregnant women, adult survivors of child abuse, and children with attention deficit disorder. Paul has written numerous papers on diverse topics. He has also authored a number of e-books and videos, among which are (at www.being-in-movement.com):

• Embodied Peacemaking: Body Awareness, Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution

• Winning is Healing: Body Awareness and Empowerment for Abuse Survivors

• Embodying Power and Love: Body Awareness & Self-Regulation (10 hour video)

• Talking with the Body: Training for Helping Professionals. (10 hour video)