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Freeing Fascia


I forgot. I forgot balance is the key to everything. So when I injured my knee, it not only woke up the interconnected muscles and vessels within my body, it woke up my mind. I had already been nursing an achilles tendon injury when I received this second wake-up call, so it became very clear that something needed to change in order for me to unclog my pathway to health.

I love my walks. Experiencing nature with the sun warming my shoulders brings joy to my soul. The only problem is it became too routine. Too much of anything can tip the balance bar and throw you into the abyss if you’re not careful. I forgot to mix up my exercise and stretch other parts of my body, and stretching was exactly what I was missing. Remember the day when you could stretch for two minutes before a run? Now, learning the hard way, I’ve discovered I need to stretch 20 minutes before a walk! My new routine consists of some yoga poses, breathwork, stretching, and fascia rolling. Yep, good old fascia rolling. I remember my chiropractor suggesting this years ago. I felt uncoordinated trying to roll on this hard tube, not to mention it hurt, so I gave up. Not a good decision. If I had kept it up, along with stretching, I may not be in the position I am now. I’ve also discovered a wonderful hand held fascia roller that gets into the tight spots a floor roller cannot. The combination works wonders.

By definition, fascia is a thin casing of connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone, nerve fiber, and muscle in place. The tissue does more than provide internal structure; fascia has nerves that make it almost as sensitive as skin. When we have stuck energy in our body, it can’t help but clog that connective tissue, creating pain in the body.

Many of you reading this may be experiencing, or have experienced, similar injuries or ailments. You understand the patience that is required to heal. When I had my frozen shoulder 10 years ago I embarked on a similar journey. It’s so important that we listen to our bodies. Our minds may try to trick us and tell us to ignore the pain and move on, but wisdom tells us otherwise. It’s not easy for me to take days off from walking but I’m learning to accept that my yoga/stretching routine may be all that my body requires that day. When I listen, my pains respond with relief.

In doing my own research on fascia I’ve learned a few things that have helped me release the sticky stuckness. I talked about this in my last post, Back in the Saddle!, addressing the emotional side of feeling stuck. When we store stress and unresolved emotions how can it not stick to your bones? In my case, literally. It’s when we make the decision to really do something about it that release is possible. Here are some wonderful fascia busting tips that can bring fluidity back into your body, mind, and soul:

*Stretch at least 10 minutes a day.

*Add collagen to your drinks/smoothies.

*Hydrate with water. Recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces.

*Practice a relaxing yoga such as Yin Yoga.

*Meditate and practice breathwork 5-20 minutes daily. Diaphragmatic breathing (breathing from deep down in your belly rather than your chest) is optimal.

*Roll out your tight spots with a fascia roller.

*Mix cardio into your exercise. Swimming and biking have been great for me! Less jarring on the tendons.

*Take saunas. Especially after a workout.

*Practice Block Therapy. A wonderful new practice in breaking up the fascia.

*Get a nice deep tissue massage (if deep tissue is too painful for you, ask for lighter pressure) and drink lots of water afterward. I had an amazing one recently and felt so much better.

*See an acupuncturist. This has really helped me with healing and with sleep. I also get a shot of B12 on my visits.

*Work with your chiropractor/physical therapist on proper form for stretches.

*Be true to yourself. Express your thoughts and feelings. Honor YOU.

With all this very valuable information being noted, I will never give up my nature walks. I only need to remember to keep them in perspective. Reminding myself it’s the joy of the walk in moderation, along with other forms of exercise. If I walk a mindful mile feeling at one with nature it is far more beneficial than racing through five miles. After all, what value has life if it isn’t enjoyed?

Click here for some valuable information on diaphragmatic breathing and block therapy.

A special thank you to my friend and energy healer, Marci Lubore, who kindly directed me toward this wonderful fascia roller and block therapy. She works wonders through many healing modalities including essential oil blends and energy work. For more information and scheduling, she can be reached at Healing Touch Energy Therapy at marci.lubore@gmail.com.

Living, Loving & Unlearning is Released!

 

Full-Book-Cover blogLiving, Loving & Unlearning’ has been released! My hope is that this book will assist you in becoming the truth of who you are, lighting a path for you to travel your journey with comfort and ease as you move through the ups, the downs, and all the in-betweens.

Love & Blessings,
Cynthia

Click here to order your personal copy of ‘Living, Loving & Unlearning’.  ~Namaste

 

The Act of Balance

The excitement was building!

My physical act of balance.

My physical act of balance.

I did it! I ran through Hero Rush (my 5 mile, 18 obstacle course) after days of rain and mud up to our ankles, and oh what a rush it was!  The photo above reveals the excitement we were all feeling before the race, and to be honest, my excitement was mixed with nerves as I had no idea what I was in for.  As it turns out, it was one big wet muddy blast!  Psychology Today recently published an article about people who are consistently curious, and present challenges in their lives, as happier than those who remain complacent.  All I can say is that I felt ecstatic for days after this last curious challenge, for many reasons.  I pushed my body to reach to the outer limits, I laughed a boatload as we slipped through the muddy ravines, and most of all, I felt joy in my heart.  When the race was over, and they pulled out the last hose to wash us all down, I danced through the water with a smile on my face and a light in my soul.  Yes, I was a giddy girl.

Horses were always my mom’s great act of curiosity. Here she is on Noble Savage in 1966.

Horses were always my mom’s great act of curiosity. Here she is on Noble Savage in 1966.

With that being said, some recent events have forced me to remember the importance of balance in our lives. The photo of me up on that high wire may be an example of a physical balancing act, but life, well, it’s one great big act of balance. We must choose what is to be a priority at any given moment.  Sometimes, it won’t be what you planned but it will be what you know in your soul is right.  Just a few days ago, we lost our beloved family dog, Ollie, and on the heels of that, my mother was in need of increased care in her assisted living facility.  Between grieving and caring for my mom, certain things have to take their place on the back burner.  I have a swim meet coming up, which I should be training for, but more important things happened to pop up on my priority scale.  After spending hours with my mom, and organizing changes for her, I was just getting ready to leave and head to swim practice when her nurse’s aide walked into the room and reported that mom had a last minute doctor’s appointment. Her aide offered to take her but I knew in my heart the right thing was for me to take her.  In setting my outer goals aside (and missing swim practice), I nurtured my inner sanctum by aligning with love.  Not to be a martyr, simply to listen to the silence of my soul and believe in my knowing.  It turned out to be a great day with mom, ending with a lovely lunch in her room.  She will be 86 years young in a couple of weeks, and I must say, it’s been a life well lived.  A woman who was extremely curious and challenged herself constantly.

Louise and I at our last swim meet together in Skaneateles, NY

Louise and I at our last swim meet together in Skaneateles, NY

And so it goes, I have my swim meet next week.  Am I physically prepared to swim my best?  Nope.  Am I okay with that?  Yep.  There’s so much in life to love and be grateful for.  Trophies and accolades are nice but the icing on the cake is giving and feeling the love that surrounds.  I plan on having a great weekend with my high school swimming bestie, Louise.  We don’t take swimming as seriously as we did in high school but we sure have a ton of fun with it.  I’m certain it will be a wonder~full weekend at her lake house this time, enjoying the views of New Hampshire, sipping a little wine, reminiscing and laughing. Lots of laughs.

9 Healthy Energy Boosters For 2013 & Beyond!

After the holidays and busy times in our lives, our energy often feels tapped.  Here are 9 quick tips to gather up the energy that periodically slips away…

1. Get your SLEEP! Nothing saves energy more than sleep.  The more rest you have, the more you have to give.  You will make wiser decisions with less agitation, and yes, you will eat healthier because we crave sugars and unhealthy fillers when we are tired.

2.  Say NO more often. Trust your instincts when your body tells you you haven’t enough energy to say yes to every request.  Limits and boundaries are healthy for you and the person you’re setting them with.

3.  Pay attention to good nutritional habits. Take in energy foods like green leaf veggies, fruits and adequate proteins. Keep alcohol intake and sugar to a minimum, and drink plenty of water!

4.  Choose wisely with your supplements. Have your doctor check your blood levels to evaluate what you need.  For those living in the north during winter, vitamin D adds energy that the sun gives us in the summer.  Omega 3′s are great mood lifters and helps with depression. Vitamin C keeps those white blood cells alive and active, increasing your immunity, and vitamin B complex decreases your stress level.  A good multivitamin helps in many areas you may be lacking.

5.  Give Service to others. When you do it can’t help but bounce back and fill you too.  There is a natural boost  you receive in giving.  Choose an organization, program, group and give of your time.

6.  Develop an exercise program that suits you. Walking, joining a gym, dancing, swimming, you choose.  Create a schedule that is realistic for you so you will stick with it as an ongoing lifestyle routine.

7. Visit your chiropractor for regular adjustments.  A healthy spine fights disease, fosters clear thinking increasing your creativity, and allows you to perform physically at an optimum level.

8. Express yourself!  It takes much more energy to hold in anger, fear and frustration than it does to release it.  Think of the energy it takes a pressure cooker to hold in its contents until the lid is finally lifted and the steam is released!  Express your feelings calmly, before this boiling point, and you will find your issues become resolved productively and peacefully.

9.  Take time for relaxation and quiet time. Research has revealed that quieting your mind is a catalyst for expert performance in many aspects of your life. Get a massage, watch a movie, take a yoga class, visit your favorite spa, plan that vacation, visit a friend, read a book, listen to soothing music, meditate…RELAX…

Wishing you all a happy & healthy new year…here’s to new beginnings!

 

 

A Blast From The Past!

Well, I did it.  I ventured in to my first masters swim meet and what a wondrous experience it was!  The fact that it was at my alma mater, Ithaca College, made it even sweeter.  The last time I swam in an IC pool was 30 short years ago, and needless to say, the old pool is no longer there. In its place is a brand new state of the art swimming facility, equipped with an Olympic size pool, swim tank & huge hot tub.  Nostalgia hit me big time as I read the records of the IC Bombers on the wall.  I might have been up there for a minute back in 1980. It warmed my heart to think back.  And if I quiet my mind enough, and look far into the bleachers, I think I might have seen my Dad with his old 2 hand stopwatch, yelling out my split times.  Oh the good old days.

The biggest difference I noticed with masters swimming compared to college swimming is it’s so much more FUN!  All the pressure is off and it’s more about doing your best rather than having to beat the person next to you.  Since you’re swimming alongside women and men of all different ages, shapes and sizes, according to your qualifying time, you don’t know where you’re going to place in your gender and age group, until the end.  My end resulted in 2 firsts and a 2nd in my age group.  Pretty sweet for a first meet. I very likely had the biggest smile on my face mixed with shock and wonderment while I stood at the scoreboard.  Sometimes, it’s the little things that bring the biggest feelings.

Louise and I circa 1979

Louise and I circa 1979

I’m so grateful for my friend, Louise, who has been encouraging me to take the plunge for 2 years now, around the time she started with her masters swim team.  She had expressed to me how much joy she felt swimming again, but it wasn’t until I felt the flow of practice, and excitement of the meet, mixed with the memories of what’s in my blood, that I really got it.  And a huge added perk, she will be joining me next month at my next meet.  My bestie high school friend, and swim team co-captain, swimming together once again.  What could be better than that?!  Perhaps a weekend at my cottage intermingled with hikes and savory dinners, pre-swim meet.  Oh life is good.

My New Journey To Health

Join me on my new journey to health as we move into the second half of 2011…visit my fresh, up to date website at cynthiabrennen.com.

All my past, present and future writings, radio shows and musical videos will be posted on Cynthia Brennen, LMSW.

It has been a JOY writing, speaking and dancing on this blog!  Meet you on my new website!

Namaste, mes amis

Former Lew-Port Swimming Star Still Making Waves At Age 50

Check out this beautiful article written about my lifetime friend, Louise.  We have traveled many roads together and apart.  Learned wisdom along the way, gathered strength, shared many laughs and cried a few tears.  Through thick and thin we’ve aged in years but our hearts still beat the drum of a child’s pure heart.  Aging is not a downward slope, but a beautiful hot air balloon ride, full of treasures for your viewing pleasure.  Take it ALL in…

p.s. I am also known as, Cindy Weintraub:)

http://www.buffalonews.com/city/communities/lewiston/article389229.ece

Also view Louise’s blog http://www.linesofbeauty.com

The Sickness Of Our Drug Culture

Click below if you are ready to hear some mind, body & spiritual truth…mixed in with a few laughs:)  Nutrition and exercise has become a past time for many in our fast paced, quick fix, drug induced culture.

www.finerminds.com

‎”There’s no money in healthy people,” says Bill Maher. Have a good laugh with this very funny man as he takes a very serious stab at two strange bedfellows: Big Pharma and the government. Leave a comment to let us know if you think he’s way off base or spot-on target.

The Magic of Nature

Please join Lee Welles and I on Help, Hope & Healing, WWLZ820am Talk Radio, Saturday, September 25th, 12pm-1pm EST.  Lee is an award-winning author of the Gaia Girls  series, a certified yoga instructor, and is currently Deputy Mayor of Corning, NY.  In the past, she has held a position as the WETM Fitness Expert and has been a health column writer for various newspaper publications. Lee and I will be discussing everything from magical nature to healthy living to midlife changes to “radical” forgiveness.  This is a show you will not want to miss!  As always, calls are welcome at 607-732-4820 or 1-866-732-4820.  Hope to hear from you as we continue to help you heal and live health-full lives!

WWLZ820am Radio Show, 9-18-10, Exercise, Nutrition, Beauty Products & Overall Wellness

To learn Dr. Vice Lujan’s very informative answers to his Health Quiz, click on “Exercise, Nutrition, Beauty Products &  Overall Wellness” link under the category, “AM-WWLZ 820 Talk Radio”.