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2 weeks ago
‘Masking’ the real issues with breathing…
Face coverings and masks are part of our everyday life for the foreseeable.
When wearing one, if you feel you can’t breathe properly, it may be worth checking out whether you are doing one, or both of the most common habits which interfere with our breathing.
Are you mouth-breathing?
If you are, seal your lips gently and let the breath enter and leave through your nose. This should help you feel more comfortable. When we use the nose to breathe, the air is moistened, filtered and warmed before it gets into the lungs. When we mouth breathe, there is a limited amount of filtration and little or no warming or moistening of the in-breath.
Ever had a bad cold with a blocked nose? Our mouths & throat soon feel dry and parched. The effect of mouth breathing with a face covering can feel quite similar, leading to feelings of not being able to breathe.
Are you holding your breath?
Breath-holding is a common and often unnoticed habit. For example, it might happen when we’re concentrating or when we are under stress.
It’s a no-brainer why we feel we can’t breathe, if we are holding our breath.
Next time you wear your face covering, see if you’re mouth-breathing or breath holding and see what a difference it makes to address it.
If you want to find out how to unlearn habits, such as breathing problems, using the Alexander Technique, contact me on 07949 083629 ... See MoreSee Less
1 month ago
We often say, ‘oh, I need to relax more’, ‘I’m too tense, I need to chill out’.
What do we actually want to happen when we say this?
‘Relax’ is a funny word. It can make people let themselves go floppy and a little disconnected. It’s much better if we can be be at rest, but ready for action when it’s needed.
Think of a car. We’re moving along in the car, changing gear, clutching and accelerating. We’re in movement. In order to ‘relax’ the car. We don’t have to stop and turn it’s engine off and take the key from the ignition.
If we’re at traffic lights, we can be either holding the clutch and revving to engine a bit, waiting for the lights to change. An alternative, is to put the gearbox into neutral and wait for the lights to change before we press the clutch and engage the gears, in that way we’re ready, but not gearing up.
When an activity is over, we need to let our mind and body return to neutral rather than keeping it constantly engaged with our clutches depressed and the engine revving slightly. This is likely to cause excess tension and anxiety.
Think of it as ‘coming to quiet’. Don’t stay with the completed task or over-anticipate the next one.
The Alexander Technique helps people find this easily accessible place of quietness, but readiness and alertness for what life may throw next at you.
If you want to find out more about how you can learn it, visit my website at: www.alexandertechniqueworks.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less
Phones & Bones
Mobile phones.... They've become a big part of our everyday lives. They are so useful, some of us panic if we can't put our hand on them or go out without them! They're an amazing bit of kit, but not even a millionth as amazing as our bodies, which have been so intricately designed. We are walking miracles.
How we use and hold our phones can have a dramatic impact on our miraculous bodies. If you look at the effect on the body of holding a phone and looking down at it on the pic. If you add into this the weight of the average human head (3.5 kg or 10 lbs) you begin the appreciate how hard the back and neck muscles have to work in order to sit or stand in this stooped position. There's even a condition known as 'text neck', caused by mobile phone use.
See if you can notice how you use yourself when using a phone. Look around at others who are using phones. What are they doing. It's so easy to make a change: simply hold the phone higher so you can see it without dropping your head and rounding your back. If you're sitting, put a couple of cushions on your lap and rest the phone or tablet on those.
The human brain is extraordinary. We learn things by repetition and once learned, they become a habit, for better or for worse. See if you can change the way you use your devices and look after yourself. You're the best bit of kit going. ... See MoreSee Less
It’s like listening to little children read!
Poor posture? It’s not your fault!
Many people with poor posture will have been told, ‘sit up straight’, or ‘stop slouching’. Anyone who’s ever tried to put this into practice, will know that it’s pretty impossible to keep it up. The moment you stop thinking about it, back you go into a slump. Even worse, when you’re trying to ‘be good’ by sitting or standing up straight, it can feel quite stiff and tiring for the back.
It’s easy to think, well is my fault. It’s not! It’s come about by habit. If you look at toddlers when they’re moving around, they’re a joy to watch. They move with perfect balance, poise and ease and we didn’t teach them how to do that, they simply use their little bodies as nature intended. But remember, we were all little once, so we used to move like that too.
Unfortunately as we get older, we start to develop habits that squash out that wonderful balance and poise we had as children.
Try this: fold your arms. Now try folding them the other way around. What did you notice? Did you have to think about it when you folded them the other way? When you were in the new arm folding position, did it feel awkward, weird or wrong? This is a habit in operation.
Now it doesn’t matter which way you fold your arms, but if you think how this might be if that same way of learning, by habit, is applied to how you sit, stand, bend or move, can you see where the old adage, ‘a slave to our habits’ comes from?
It would be absolutely brilliant if we could change our habits in the way we live everyday life, by simply knowing what we’re doing is ‘wrong’ and start to do it the ‘right’ way. Our highly sophisticated brains don’t work like that. We need to change the faulty software or restore the factory settings. This is where the Alexander Technique comes in. A teacher can help you identify the habits which are interfering with your posture (or balance and poise as I prefer) and teach you how to go about changing those habits.
Once you've learned the Alexander Technique, it’s easy to start to see that aesthetically how your stature has changed, but even better than that, the postural muscles wake up and have more tone in them which helps support the whole body. You’ve never be told again to stop slouching. What’s not to like?
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Would you like to find out more about what this Alexander Technique lark is all about?
I'm giving a short talk about it on Zoom. It's fun and requires just a tiny bit of audience participation 🙂
The choice of dates are: Wednesday 20th May at 10.30 am or Thursday 21st May at 6.30 pm
Please message me with your choice of dates and your email address and I can send you an invite via Zoom.
07949 083629. firstname.lastname@example.org ... See MoreSee Less