Being European, I grew up with temperatures minus zero in winter time.
“Flowers on my legs” from the cold after cycling 11 KM one way to school every day, made me resilient.
But after living in Australia for a couple of years, I have noticed that my immune system is changing, feeling the cold earlier. Nothing feels better than a warm shower or a foamy bath. Still, I challenge you to turn the tab to ice cold every now and then. Or like I prefer, trying to swim all winter through…..
Cold causes an acute moment of stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as if you were sprinting up there stairs and then relaxing again.
But do we want stress? We certainly want to avoid chronic stress at all times, but there is nothing wrong with acute stress. It makes your immune system work. And that makes it stronger.
Strengthen your immune system by disrupting your body:
Every body has an 'accelerator' that is controlled by 'danger' from outside. If you are attacked by a bear, have to give an exciting speech or take an active sport, you press the gas. Once the danger has passed, you automatically slow down. Stress as described above is a good stress for our body. We need it to stay sharp and to be able to solve problems.
A strong body has an accelerator that is perfectly capable of dealing with acute stress.
But now comes the problem. In our society we are overloaded with too many incentives, high work pressure, a poor self-image, you name it. This creates stress on stress that the body can no longer process, also known as chronic stress. Our body only gives gas
A simple, fresh way to improve your immunity
Now back to that cold shower. By taking a cold shower or taking a plunge bath or a nice winter swim in #Coogee you train your body to recover from stress. You actually strengthen your immune system by disrupting your body. Gradually, your body finds the balance between accelerating and hitting the brakes. A simple, fresh and effective way to improve your resistance.
And when your stress responses are better, not only will your resistance improve, but also your pain tolerance, you will sleep better and you will have more energy. Give it a try, like I did….yep December in the #Netherlands….you can see the thick coats, but I was not the only crazy #WimHof follower out there
Booking an (online) AMN session will allow you to interact with someone who understands the complexity of how your brain affects your muscles.
Even if you think hands-on is the only way to get results, you will be surprised.
If you have any experience with #energetic #healing, #acupuncture, #hypnosis, #visualisation, #kinesiology, #clairvoyance, you will already be familiar with long distance results. If you have doubts: with a strong base in University level Physical education, Physiotherapy and Exercise science, and eastern based yoga and Traditional Chinese medicine interest, you can be sure of an abundance of knowledge and experience.
By understanding the value of looking at my clients as the sum of their parts and not just a bunch of unrelated individual systems, I have learnt precisely how movement can be used to influence your brain and how your brain can be utilised to influence your movement. So if you’ve suffered the effects of long term injury, maybe postural problems, issues with your flexibility or coordination, and muscle imbalance, I am uniquely trained to get through those problems in record time.
I have the knowledge to assess how the ailments you experience in your body correlate to the systems that control those things.
A few of the benefits you can expect from a session would be the switching on of dormant muscles or weak muscles, that might be behind some of your movement problems, improving your spinal alignment which ties into improving your posture, and ultimately improving your ability to move in a coordinated manner.
Now all of this together is going to reduce your risk of injury and improve your enjoyment of training movement for years to come!
Spring in (y)in
Spring is in the air!
We've passed the equinox and spring is here in Australia.
As we are part of nature, we also respond to changes in seasons, temperature and influences of moon and sun.
In Yin yoga meridians are a key factor to "influence" and also when we stretch we shift electrodes through connective tissue/ fascia. We try to nourish and invigorate the life force QI (chi), flowing through these tissues. In springtime liver (yin) and gallbladder (yang) are most active in the human body. A healthy liver stands for an overall sense of wellbeing, making sure that all organs receive enough blood and Qi, and help stabilise emotions. The liver stores blood and controls connective tissue, eyes and vision and menstruation. It is responsible for balance/harmony in the body-mind. When both liver and gallbladder are working well, you recover quickly mentally and physically. Imbalances of liver and gallbladder often are experienced (maybe by your closest family and friends ) as anger and impatience or holding back.
Every season has a most active yin-yang couple of organs, according to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine).
Heart and small intestine are connected to Qi balance in Summer. you can imagine that this is connected to hotter temperature, sweating and cooling down the body makes the heart pump faster.
In winter, the Kidneys and Bladder, play an important role in keeping the homeostasis in the body. The body tries to hold on to warmth and so to get rid of toxins, it will use the kidney and bladder instead of heart and sweat.
Lungs and large intestine work a little harder to keep the body healthy and balanced in Autumn. The Yin practise balances the organs and energises and nourishes your Qi.
Springtime is energetically connected to the qi of gallbladder and liver.
If there is an imbalance in the Qi of gallbladder and liver, you could have some of the following physicality's: a red face, dizziness, Tinnitus, migraine headaches, arthritis, stiffness, muscle weakness, unexplainable cramps, vision problems, menstrual Issues and or stomach upsets.
When yin-liver yang-gallbladder are balanced you experience resistance to disease and it helps with good digestion.
When lengthening the body in the directions of the meridians you can move the electro magnetic field and change the charge of/in the body. the photos at the beginning of this blog, show you some poses.
Don't worry if it does not look anywhere near this flexible posture, you want your body to be able to be comfortable in the pose for 3-5 minutes without being distracted in body and mind and you want to be able to keep the breath slow and relaxed.
Emotionally when off-balance in Yin-Liver Yang-gallbladder Qi, you might experience anger, irritability, frustration resentment or stubbornness.
Mentally you can feel confused, indecisive, or the opposite making too impulsive decisions (no balanced decisions) and you feel easily discouraged and have difficulties planning and thinking.
When doing yin yoga, staying in poses (without being distracted with fidgetting or thinking of other stuff then breath and body), can release feelings described and help you balance.
If you work with affirmations, you can listen to them just before you go to fall asleep in bed, when the brain is in a hypnotic state, downloading everything into the subconscious mind to change hard-wired patterns.
have a look at Bruce Lipton, (quantum physics)
Affirmations could have the following words in it: I am emotionally balanced, I have an easy-going nature, I feel compassion, I focus on tenderness/ kindness towards myself and others, I am capable to recover after an upset..... make these suggestions personal and specific, so they really vibrate with your spirit
Are you suffering from endometriosis and would you like as much support as possible?
If you are dealing with endometriosis you might have already experienced that this can cause a lot of problems or (chronic) pain.
Your G.P. and specialist would have explained that it affects the lining of the uterus, otherwise known as the endometrium. When affected by endometriosis, endometrial tissue is misplaced outside the uterus in various places. Most commonly it affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, ligaments, bladder, pelvic musculature, perineum, vulva, vagina, or intestines (and even more). All of this can cause a lot of problems and chronic pain on a daily basis and can really impact your quality of life and (mental) health.
You might already have had surgery and hopefully achieved improvements, but there could still be daily discomfort. This is where integrated interventions can help:
Today would be a great opportunity to book an assessment with a specialised exercise scientist, who is also a visceral (organs) related therapist and qualified yoga teacher. Christel Lemmen from Nourish body mind spirit looks at all kind of factors influencing dis-ease and chronic pain. She involves the brain and body/ belly to tackle underlying mechanisms stopping you from living.
Every woman is different, but very often there is some kind of altered brain function involved, seemingly to be a completely separate injury. You might have had a fall when you were really young impacting the inhibition of pain signals, or several injuries on one site of the body in the past with sports. There might be gut related problems around nutrition or bowel movements etc. influencing your breath or abdominal muscles. All these and more can be part of assessment and treatment to help you live life to the fullest.
I work with referals from obstetricians but I am also happy to see you with endometriosis without a referal. Also period pains without endometriosis, can stop you from engaging in life, come and find out how to change your body's responses to pain with neuroscientific training and more....
Did you know we are specialised in gut problems and also endometriosis related pain?
Are you regular or have you always struggled with toilet visits in your life? Western society says your healthy when you have bowel movements once a day, but eastern medicine prefers you to go at least twice and the quality is important too! Where are you on the Bristol Stool chart? And does it float or sink?
We are treating clients with IBS (irritable bowl syndrome), SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), constipation, diarrhoea and other digestive conditions. A belly massage helps to stimulate the peristaltic that should happen naturally to push the food forward while being digested.
Signs like heartburn, indigestion, needing a cup of coffee or a cigarette before being able to go in the morning between 5-7 am might be a sign that you need some help. Or just simply getting up early enough and giving yourself time to relax, move a little before your toilet stop might be a first step.
Never wait with going for Nr 2!
Nr 1 is a different story, urge incontinence has to do with constant responding on that first feeling that you might need to go....e.e.g before you leave the house, before you start a gym session, when you come home again etc. Did you know that you should only have to go 4-6 times a day and normally not during the night? Your bladder should be able to hold 400-600 ml at one time. If you go more often without massive fluid intake, it might mean that there are some issues in bladder or the rest of the belly causing pressure on the bladder or triggering the nervous system to respond.
Also did you know that joint problems can start from your organs? If there is tightness in your belly it will restrict the movement in arms and legs and can cause impingement or other movement problems!
gift vouchers to start the new year?
Looking for a gift voucher ? Not sure what your loved ones want? NO problem: they can choose when they get here: Rehabilitation, Massage, Yoga, Neuro-flexibility, Personal (injury) Training and combo pampering packages
Facts and Fakes of cryotherapy:
At the end of winter in Sydney, the water temperature has dropped to 14 degrees (sorry fellow Dutchies, that sounds like heaven to you), it seems a good time to discuss Cryotherapy. Cryo just means cold, hence taking an ice bath or in physiotherapy applying ice on joints or muscle tissue.
Ice cold believers and high performing athletes believe cryotherapy can speed up recovery, reduce injuries, muscle soreness and pain. There probably isn’t enough high quality evidence to support this in clinical practice.
Fact: The first thing that I found was that there was very little controlled research done on cryotherapy, certainly less than I would have thought considering how much money there is in professional sports. And the research that is out there compares warn to cold, assuming that cold therapy is beneficial.
Fact: Cryotherapy may assist in reducing pain. You only need to apply for 1-3 minutes no more or till the pain level decreases earlier." In fact: use ice and when you’re numb, you’re done. Slide the ice slow but steady over the painful area. It’s important to keep moving if you use an ice cube. Areas with thick tissue, like the top of the thigh, will take longer to get numb. Thin areas, like the side of the knee, will usually go numb quickly.
Fake: Why the first aid rule icing for 20 minutes against pain and swelling exists? Don’t get me started!!! while short icing might reduce pain, there is very little evidence to support using cryotherapy to reduce swelling and promote healing!
Fake: The current evidence is insufficient to support the use of (whole-body) cryotherapy for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise. University of Portsmouth's department of sport and exercise science in the U.K referred to only four studies examining the benefits of this treatment for reducing muscle soreness after exercise. “Unfortunately, this included only 64 participants, and as a result we cannot definitely conclude whether or not this treatment is effective”
Fact: we know that when patients get told that icing reduces pain, this information only can boost neurotransmitters. So, even if whole-body cryotherapy does not influence directly physiological, someone who believes it is, might experience a powerful placebo effect that could be beneficial to recovery,”
Having said all of this, you might have come across Wim Hoff, the Ice man, who puts brain over matter with his unusual resistance to cold. The findings suggest that his method could be relevant for management of some autoimmune and psychiatric disorders. Hof established several world records for prolonged resistance to cold exposure, an ability he attributes to a self-developed set of techniques of breathing and meditation -- known as the Wim Hof Method. Yet, how his brain responds during cold exposure and what brain mechanisms may endow him with this resistance have not been studied -- until now. This kind of techniques are not new and also described by monks while meditation and willfully regulation skin temperature. All very interesting for the future of ice ice babyyyyyy.
Fact: As you are probably not a top athlete, reading my post, it might be better for you to focus on rest, rehydration, refueling and allowing the body enough time to repair.
van den Bekerom, Michel PJ, et al. “What is the evidence for rest, ice, compression, and elevation therapy in the treatment of ankle sprains in adults?.” Journal of athletic training 47.4 (2012): 435-443.
Bleakley, C. M., Bieuzen, F., Davison, G. W., & Costello, J. T. (2014). Whole-body cryotherapy: empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 5, 25–36. http://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S41655
Bongers, C. C. W. G., Hopman, M. T. E., & Eijsvogels, T. M. H. (2017). Cooling interventions for athletes: An overview of effectiveness, physiological mechanisms, and practical considerations. Temperature: Multidisciplinary Biomedical Journal, 4(1), 60–78. http://doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2016.1277003
Collins NC. Is ice right? Does cryotherapy improve outcome for acute soft tissue injury? Emerg Med J. 2008 Feb;25(2):65–8. PubMed #18212134.
Costello JT1, Baker PR, Whole-body cryotherapy (extreme cold air exposure) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise in adults. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015 Sep 18;(9):CD010789. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD010789.pub2.
Lubkowska A1, Szyguła Z, et al The effect of prolonged whole-body cryostimulation treatment with different amounts of sessions on chosen pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines levels in healthy men. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2011 Sep;71(5):419-25. doi: 10.3109/00365513.2011.580859. Epub 2011 May 16.
Malanga GA, Yan N, Stark J. Mechanisms and efficacy of heat and cold therapies for musculoskeletal injury. Postgrad Med. 2015 Jan;127(1):57–65. PubMed #25526231.
Otto Muzik, Kaice T. Reilly, Vaibhav A. Diwadkar. “Brain over body”–A study on the willful regulation of autonomic function during cold exposure. NeuroImage, 2018; 172: 632 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.01.067
Tiidus, Peter M. “Alternative treatments for muscle injury: massage, cryotherapy, and hyperbaric oxygen.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine (2015): 1-6.
Have a look @ the arm/shoulder position in mountain pose:
When you lift the sternum in Tadasana, can you imagine how the position of the shoulder joint changes with the movement of the shoulder girdle?
ps are you talking about move the shoulders back and down? This means you are activating the Trapezius and Rhomboid: The function of the M. Trapezius Part Descendens is elevation and retraction of the Scapulae and often much more activated then the Ascendens Part (retraction and depression). The Rhomboid is the other muscle that elevates and retracts, so biomechanically you do not want to activate elevation, meaning the shoulders move up towards the ears, creating tension.
Try LIFT the sternum instead and keeping the lower ribs tugged in!
Do you also see how the inclination (angle) of the shoulder joint in Tadasana is depending on position of the scapula and clavicular on the rib cage?
The SC joint (sternoclavicular joint) is part of the shoulder girdle. The AC joint (acromioclavicular joint) forms the socket of the shoulder joint. The humerus is the ball of the glenohumeral joint (shoulder joint).
The orientation of the socket plays an important role in the position of the arm, as well as the anatomical shape of the joint (bony point limiting movement).
Variations of anterior, lateral and superior occur in the socket. The little different angles of the “hanging arm” in the pictures of the several yogi’s in Tadasana have a lot of implications in other poses!
You might not be the person to lift the arms in full abduction but try a little more forward flexion/abduction and externally rotate under 90 degrees!
Contact me for teacher training, feel free to post questions
#Functionalyogaanatomy #yogateachers #students #teachertraining#anatomy #injuries #lecturer #physiotherapist #anatomyphysiology#universitylecturer #Dutch #Australia:
NO MATTER IS YOU ARE A NOVICE OR A SEASONED YOGA PRACTITIONER, the path of YOGA CAN LEAD TO CALMNESS, FOCUS, IMPROVEMENT in BREATH AND BODY.
THE LATEST RESEARCH SHOWS THAT YOGA IMPACTS NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL AND NEURO-COGNITIVE MECHANISMS RELATED TO SELF-REGULATION, PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH, AND STRESS MANAGEMENT. REGULAR YOGA PRACTICE MAY BUFFER THE EFFECTS OF AGING AND INCREASE RESILIENCE TO LIFE CHALLENGES AND STRESSORS. YOGA WILL IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE AND BREATHING AND HELP THE MUSCULOSKELETAL, CARDIOVASCULAR AND NERVOUS SYSTEMS FUNCTION MORE SMOOTHLY. YOU’LL EXPERIENCE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE AND MORE RELAXED LIFESTYLE.*
WHY IS IT THEN THAT YOU HEAR MORE AND MORE ABOUT INJURIES, IN ALL TYPES OF YOGI’S?
FLEXIBLE AND NOT STRONG!
WHILE IT HAS BEEN PROVEN THAT YOGA CAN COUNTERBALANCE DAILY POSTURES AND REPETITIVE MOVEMENTS, SOCIAL MEDIA MAKES IT LOOK LIKE THE GOAL OF YOGA IS BEING FLEXIBLE. THAT’S WHERE THINGS CAN GO PEAR SHAPED!
WHILE BIOMECHANICALLY, AN OPTIMUM RANGE OF MOTION IS GREAT TO PREVENT INJURIES, IF THIS DOES NOT GO HAND IN HAND WITH STRENGTH, FLEXIBILITY IS A THREAT TOWARDS INJURIES. YOGA PRACTITIONERS WITH AN ADVANCED, BUT SPEEDY DEVELOPED ADVANCED ASANA PRACTICE, MIGHT HAVE CUT CORNERS OF DEVELOPING A GOOD STRONG BASE, BEFORE GOING TO THE NEXT ASANA.
WHEN YOU DISCOVER TIGHTNESS IN CERTAIN MUSCLES OR FASCIAL LINES, IT CAN BE A SIGN OF WEAKNESS, IN OPPOSITE AREAS OF MOVEMENT/STABILISING STRUCTURES. I EVEN SEE YOGA TEACHERS, NOT AWARE WHY E.G. THEIR LEFT HAMSTRING IS INJURED, NOT REALISING THAT THERE IS A MISBALANCE BETWEEN QUADRICEPS STRENGTH AND ACTIVATION AND HYPERMOBILITY OF THE HAMSTRINGS, PUTTING STRAIN IN THE SI JOINT (PELVIS). THE LAST THING YOU SHOULD DO IS MORE STRETCHING! STRENGTHEN!
IT’S ALL IN THE MIND!!
BEING INJURED IS INSTEAD OF ONLY A NEGATIVE, A GREAT TOOL TO WORK WITH!
IT CAN TEACH YOU AS INJURED YOGI TO BE MORE PATIENT AND QUESTION THE EGO: I WANT TO DO THAT TOO/WHY CAN’T I DO THAT? BE AWARE WE ARE NOT ALL 21, SUPER MOBILE GYMNASTS, SHOWING THE MOST ADVANCE POSE ON INSTAGRAM: IT IS JUST A POSE!! YOGA IS ABOUT CALMING THE MIND WITH FOCUSSING ON THE BREATH. AN ASANANA IS JUST A POSE AND TOOL TO WORK WITH BODY, MIND AND BREATH. INTROSPECTION DURING YOGA HELPS TO BE AWARE WHERE THE BODY IS IN SPACE (PROPRIOCEPTION) AND WHAT SENSATIONS IT GIVES (INTEROCEPTION). THEY BOTH CAN PLAY A ROLE IN PREVENTION OF INJURIES AND HEALING PHYSICALLY AND ON DEEPER LEVELS.
SCIENCE IS LOOKING MORE AND MORE AT CONNECTIONS BETWEEN BODY AND MIND.
FOR EXAMPLE, QUANTUM PHYSICS EXPLAINS IF YOU ARE STRESSED AND YOU BELIEVE THERE IS A THREAT, THESE SIGNALS RELEASE CHEMICALS INTO THE BLOOD TO PREPARE THE CELLS FOR A PROTECTIONARY RESPONSE. EVEN IF PHYSICALLY THERE IS NO REAL THREAT, THE BODY WILL RESPOND TO THE CHEMICALS, BECAUSE THEY ONLY RESPOND TO THEIR ENVIRONMENT. WHETHER YOUR THOUGHTS ARE RIGHT OR WRONG, YOUR THOUGHTS ARE CHANGING YOUR BIOCHEMISTRY!
OBSERVING AND INFLUENCING YOUR THOUGHTS CAN CREATE A HEALTHIER BODY!
RELAX AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
WHILE IT IS WONDERFUL TO BE ABLE TO DO A STRONG PHYSICAL PRACTICE ALMOST EVERY DAY, WE NEED TO LISTEN TO OUR BODY’S SIGNALS. SOMETIMES THE BODY AND MIND REALLY HAVE TO DEAL WITH STRESS.
EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR BODY, YOUR PRACTICE, NUTRITION (COFFEE, DAIRY, SUGAR ETC) A NAP ETC.
A tool that I use (as an exercise physiologist) to see how well I’m recovered is measuring the heart rate variable!