The Problem vs What's actually happening
We started the massage and once I had my hands on him and instructed him to take a few deep breaths, I immediately knew that his breathing was dysfunctional. Instead of expanding through the chest and ribs, his breath was pushed down and out through his belly.
Now, belly breathing isn't necessarily dysfunctional. Yoga classes often incorporate belly breaths into class because it grounds and expands the breath throughout the body, but in this case, his body was doing belly breaths exclusively through the belly and from a place of survival. This pattern had shut down the ribs' ability to expand and contract, thereby affecting how the overlying structures, like the rhomboids and scapulas, were functioning, and this was creating the knots and tightness in his shoulders.
The other aspect of this dysfunctional breathing pattern goes back to his days of playing several impact sports through high school. He played soccer, hockey, and wrestling and had developed the tendency to hold his breath and brace for impact. This tendency translated into his body deciding, "This is how we deal with life- we hold our breath and wait for the impact."
This holding pattern was established while he was a teenager now it repeats itself as he navigates a stressful job, a pregnant and birthing wife, the responsibilities of fatherhood and being a provider, and now caring for a new baby.
So even though the problem is in his shoulders- that's where he experiences tightness and pain- what's actually happening is the limitation of the lungs, ribs, and breath to fully expand and contract and do their job providing a solid foundation for the structure and function of the ribs through the breath cycle, and integrate and accept the natural flow of life.
We made several releases, restored and balanced his body's view of dealing with life, and we were able to achieve quite a bit of expansion through the ribs and clavicle during inhalation, which in turn easily released the knots in the back and shoulders. He got off the table feeling immensely better and breathing deeper and ready for another session!
Our new integrative sessions combine many modalities to maximize the healing potential of every session.
You no longer have to choose between modalities because I've combined the best of everything to give you a truly healing experience.
Acupuncture, BodyTalk, and Massage plus cupping, aromatherapy, Thai herbal compresses, and more, all included!
Sessions are available in 90 min and 2 hour sessions!
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I loved reading this quick list on ways to get unstuck! In my brain injury recovery process, depression has been, and sometimes still is, a factor I have to deal with on the regular.
Depression is a common occurrence for anyone dealing with Trauma of some kind. Trauma can reate shifts in brain chemistry and one key part of brain chemistry is the production and use of neurotransmitters, chemicals that have a direct effect on how we feel day to day and even moment to moment.
Interrupting this cycle of stuckness has been the second best tool (after acupuncture) I use to get me out of the depression cycle and into a better mental frame of mind.
My favorites from this list are:
3. “What makes me feel worse? Should I do something other than play the same game on my phone because it’s taking me down a dark road?”
My phone is the number one cause of over-stimulation and when my brain gets over stimulated I feel stuck, disconnected, and depressed. Setting down my phone, tapping out my Cortices (learn how to here), drinking some water, and eating a healthy snack is how I counteract this Stuck pothole.
4.“What stories am I telling myself?” Say them out loud or write them on paper. Hunt for the hyperbole in your thoughts and cross it out. It’s likely not that bad.
My work with BodyTalk and the brain has made me have a few huge realizations - there is no original thought in the brain, and the brain will always makes things out to be worse than they actually are. When I find myself stuck in my brain, the best way to interrupt it is to get out of my head. Fast!
I have a few close friends where we are willing listeners for each other. If any of us need to get out of our heads, spill our 'stories,' and get another point of view, we are just a phone call away. It's been super helpful to get unstuck and not carried away on the made-up story train of my brain.
20. Try not to fully isolate yourself. Being in the company of others can remind you that all is not lost.
I'll be honest, I like to be a hermit. But being a hermit isn't good for the psyche, the emotions, or my social life. I usually joke around that I don't like people, but as soon as I get out with my friends or meet new, interesting people, I find myself having a blast and really grateful that I took a risk and got out there. And I remember that I actually do like people! Plus getting some good belly laughs is always a great way to get unstuck and lift the feelings of depression.
21. Get up and move. Physical activity releases endorphins that make us feel better.
Endorphins are the body's natural feel good hormone. They aso counteract the effects of stress and relieve pain. They're so good at relieving pain that endorphins have been shown to be 10 - 200 times more powerful than morphine!
So whether it's talking a walk in the sun, getting on your bike, or discovering a new hobby like rock climbing, moving your body is one of the best ways to get mentally, and physically, untstuck.
Here's the complete article and be sure to check out the side boxes for more questions to get yourself unstuck.
So you've heard about acupuncture. Your best friend gets it. Even your great Aunt gets it.
You've heard acupuncture can help your low back pain, or maybe that ankle you broke in college that's still giving you trouble.
Or how about your co-worker telling you it helped her get pregnant after years and years of no success? And then it helped her recover quickly and she felt great after her c-section?
I know you've been meaning to schedule your first appointment, but you just haven't gotten around to it yet.
I completely understand there might be a few mental road blocks to getting acupuncture. I mean it's pretty weird, right? Sticking needles in the body to heal it?? Plus, what about the needles???
Well, here's a story I like to tell people who are considering acupuncture but haven't scheduled yet, because needles.
Remember that first time you rode a roller coaster?
You're standing in line listening to people screaming their heads off. You have a knot in your stomach and your hands are shaking a little. You stuff them in your pockets so your friends won't find out how scared you are. You even consider making up a story that you have to pee or you're not feeling well so you can get out of line and save yourself. But you don't because you don't want your friends to call you a chicken.
So you get on the ride. You strap yourself in while the butterflies in your stomach flap wildly, threatening to make you barf even before you're on the ride!
Then you're off! There's ups and downs and twists and turns and quite a bit of screaming too (it's ok to admit. It's only you and me here).
And then it finally stops. You get off and catch your breath. And what's the first thing you say to your friends?
"Lets do that again!!!"
See, our brains make acupuncture a bigger deal than it actually is, just like your brain was gearing up for danger in anticipation of riding the roller coaster, your body thinks it's gearing up for danger with the idea of acupuncture needles when in fact, it's nothing.
And it's actually quite cool!
It's actually simplicity, even laziness, at it's finest. All you have to do is take a nap while me and the points do all the hard work.
And when you get off the table you'll be asking me,
"When can I come again?!"
Consider that this is a sign it's time to get off the "I've never had Acupuncture" bandwagon.
Consider that this a sign you no longer need to live in pain.
Consider that this is a sign to finally have that baby you've been dying for.
Consider that this is a sign to finally start taking control of your health.
So call me. Message me. Text me. Come see me!
There's no time like the present to get your health in order while you're still able to enjoy it!
Acupuncture is a safe and effective tool to get you feeling better faster on your healing journey,
but there are often times mental road blocks to actually scheduling your first appointment.
At Breakthrough Holistic Therapies we strive to be honest, transparent, and compassionate to everyone who is considering working with us.
That why I've put together this list of the most common questions I get asked about acupuncture.
The answers below are the most frequent questions I get asked and will give you a good idea of what it's like to get acupuncture.
1. How does acupuncture work?
Just the very nature of carefully and painlessly inserting the acupuncture needle creates a shift in the body's nervous system. Of course it does - there's a foreign object now connected to your body causing your body to communicate differently on many levels, the least of which is the nervous system. Every point has a specific function and when we combine them together we harness the synchronistic effect of those points to communicate with the body on all levels - energetically, emotionally, physically, and systemically. This is why acupuncture can create shifts in the body, not only on a physical level where it can eliminate pain as well as bring back nerve function where it's been lost, like in Bell's palsy, but it also helps those with anxiety and depression feel better and think better.
2. What will the first session be like?
For the first session I recommend coming 10 minutes ahead of time to fill out the paperwork and get settled.
I will take you to my treatment room and discuss your health and what you want to work on. You will then lie on the table, face up and fully clothed, and I will begin with a BodyTalk session where we ask the body what's it needs. I will tell you what comes up and what we will be working on for the session. I will then ask the body what acupuncture points it wants to have. I will place the points, making sure you are completely comfortable, and then step out of the room for a few minutes, usually not longer than 15 minutes. We will then remove those points, turn you over to place the points on the back of your body. I will then leave the room again, usually not longer than 15 minutes. I will then come back in the room, remove the points and we will discuss a health plan for your care, the next steps to take, and answer any of your questions.
3. What if I'm afraid of needles?
I love working with people who are hesitant to try acupuncture because of this reason! Needles can be scary and based on past experiences, very painful! I get it and I understand! I had to work through a needle phobia myself - while I was in acupuncture school too!
The needles are far more scary in our heads than they actually are in real life. For some people they want to know all the details and in this case we will talk about why you're afraid of needles, what they actually look like and feel like, how and where they will be used and what you might feel when they are placed. For others, they don't want to a know anything, see or touch them ahead of time. It's all ok and perfect!
Once the needles are placed, 99% of people say, "Oh! That wasn't so bad!" or "Wow! I didn't even feel it!" Then they take a deep breath and relax on the table.
I've worked with plenty of people who now frequently use and love acupuncture who were once like you! (And a few of them are still scared and they come anyway because they know it works!)
4. How does BodyTalk work?
BodyTalk is a complete and detailed system of using bio-feedback to find out what is going on in the body and takes many hours of practice to do effectively. You can learn more about BodyTalk here on my website and on the BodyTalk International website.
5. Do I need to prepare for getting Acupuncture or BodyTalk?
It's important to eat a healthy meal at least 30 -60 minutes prior to getting acupuncture or BodyTalk, especially if this is your first time. Some people can feel faint during or after a session, and eating before hand is the best way to prevent this from happening or lessen the effects. Drinking plenty of water ahead of your session as well as after is also very beneficial.
You will be resting on the treatment table for a short period of time, so avoiding food and beverages that may make you antsy is also a good idea so you can be relaxed and comfortable during the session.
6. What should I wear?
Very rarely do people need to to fully undress for acupuncture. Please wear or bring comfortable clothing that can be rolled up at the legs and arms or easily be moved aside.
7. How will I feel after a session?
Most people report feeling very relaxed after a session and the most immediate effect you might experience is sleeping better that night than you have in a long while. The beginning Acupuncture and BodyTalk sessions are resetting your body's system and a good nights sleep is your body's way of processing and integrating the new information from the treatment.
Avoid strenuous activity after your sessions so you can maximize and extend the healing benefits.
8. How many sessions will I need?
This answer varies from person to person. The quick answer is that we ask your body what it needs and go from there. Because illness is usually progressive and we often have a lifetime of patterns to address, acupuncture and BodyTalk are not a 'one and done' treatment. I recommend committing to a 4-6 session series so we can address the foundation changes that are often needed to get you feeling better. Its very common for the first few treatments to be close together and then space out after you start noticing shifts and changes.
Because BodyTalk works with the Body's innate wisdom and is based on what's "priority' for the body, we have to respect the body's wisdom when it comes to what's needed next. Your body is smart and knows what it needs, it just requires that we listen to it.
If you have any additional questions that I haven't covered here? Let me know!
If you have any more questions or concerns about your particular health concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. I always have time for you!
And don't forget: I always offer free 20 minute mini sessions so you can see first hand what it's like!
Call me at 720-310-8525
Learn more about Acupuncture and BodyTalk
Learn more about Miranda
I'm a mom of three phenomenal teenagers, a small business entrepreneur, a TBI Survivor, and childhood trauma survivor. I know what it takes to rebuild a life from devastating illness, and I want you to know you're not alone.