A Soothing Out-of-the-Box Solution to Relieve Pain and Anxiety
By Margaret Lampasi
Most of us have to deal with plenty of stress in our days, which might include physical strain or pain. Even simply sitting in a chair at a computer can cause physical stress and tension. Or just watching the television news itself can feel heavy, if not anxiety-provoking.
If you want to experience a unique and soothing substitute to quell your stress or relieve pain, keep reading. The gentle, and oh so relaxing movement classes I give could be exactly what you need for stress management, good self-care and healthier lifestyle choices.
A Remarkably Effective & Gentle Mindful Movement Method (no, not chi kung / qigong)
Would you love to…
- Take a break from your particular set of tasks and responsibilities?
- Stop all the running around, and just slow down?
- Deeply relax and calm your anxiety?
- Relieve physical tension, aches or pain?
- Find new and easy ways to move your body that feel not only good, but extremely soothing?
- Be more at ease and comfortable within yourself and your body?
- Recharge your mind and feel more balance in your life?
Look no further because you truly can get these real results. The way is unexpected and, on the surface, can seem to be nothing special.
Enter a completely novel yet amazingly effective healing method that not only blends mindfulness with movement, but actually rewires your brain.
Yup, that is what I typed—rewire your brain. And for this reason, this method can lead to the healing of trauma, physical or mental. Most people have never heard of it (except for some singers, musicians, or physical therapists), and I bet you likely haven’t had much personal experience with it. If that’s the case, well I hope that’s about to change!
A Mysterious Name
I suppose I should reveal the name of this method. But I hesitate—and besides, it’s fun being so mysterious about it.
Most people mispronounce the name because unfortunately its formal name is a bit unusual and thus off-putting, I’m afraid. And in some circles I hang with, talk about it can be somewhat heady and high-falutin’, if you ask me (but shhh! I didn’t say that!), so I still hesitate to be forthright.
I myself would name it something like: The Mind-Body Rewire Method. And even that is odd sounding and doesn’t help my cause of educating folks or making the method more accessible.
But maybe I should just spill the beans and say the name? No, I still can’t seem to do it quite yet. Because you (all of us) need to know and focus on what it does, and not get distracted by—or judging—the cover.
Here’s what people who’ve attended my movement classes have said:
- “That was relaxing!”
- “I had been dealing with TMJ [jaw pain] for the last month, and this has really freed that joint up. It feels so much better!”
- My singing student who often suffers back pain said his spine remarkably “felt like air” and that his “singing was much smoother” after a class.
- My student who deals with anxiety: “I’m impressed by how calm you can be doing movements, and that it’s easier than guided meditation. You can’t help but leave your worries behind and enter a calm state.”
- “I found the class so soft [and it] felt very lovely. [It was] Very needed after an anxious few days with friends in the hospital.”
- My student in recovery from a mastectomy: “I told my physical therapist about your [movement] lesson. She remarked on my improved range of motion [in my shoulder] the day after I did your class. Your class helped me. Thank you.”
In short, most people overall feel quite noticeably better, with more ease and comfort in their bodies or minds, both during and after these classes. And some even feel amazed by what they can do at the end of the class. Physical results can include:
- less pain, even in places of injury
- looser or more flexible joints
- increased range of motion
- greater balance in standing
- more ease in functional tasks, like reaching or walking
Here’s what to expect during a class
You’ll frequently hear me say, Do less, or Go more slowly…
The class environment is completely non-competitive and non-judging. There is no rushing whatsoever and no unnecessary pushing; nothing hard to do, which makes it completely at odds with the tendencies of society at large to do or accomplish huge tasks. More often than not in life we all overdo or over-effort, which can sometimes create its own set of unfortunate problems.
Instead, when we can experience flow through both small and consciously done movements, the combination of no-pressure slow pace and frequent rests greatly lower your stress level. You end up not wanting to push yourself (or go on auto pilot) unnecessarily, but cutting yourself some slack and actually letting yourself be more present in the moment and with what you’re feeling and experiencing. This way, with more ease and comfort, you increase your awareness and lower your stress.
Some people say this class resembles the relaxing aspects yoga. That may be a bit true in that yoga is also very stress-relieving. But the method I teach is also completely unique and gentle in its own way, and works well for those who found yoga too strenuous.
Please understand I love both yoga and especially meditation. But meditation isn’t for everyone. Some either fall asleep; others just can’t seem to relax.
But be forewarned that my classes can be extremely relaxing, to the extent that you might be ready for a nap at the end of class. This is very common. And a sign that your body needs rest.
Relief for Stress and Deeply Healing
These movement classes are an effective means to relieve your stress, however it plays out, physical or mental.
The class is not intellectual learning but somatic learning—or re-education; it involves a re-learning that your body and nervous system maintain on their own without your having to mentally analyze the process.
It takes place in a very deep or unconscious way, because the movements and how they are done and organized reach a deeply healing part of the nervous system known as the parasympathetic branch, which usually isn’t that easily accessed. In fact, life in our contemporary society often goes against the health of this part of our nervous system.
A final few words about this movement method called Feldenkrais, named after its developer (Moshe Feldenkrais) in the mid-20th century I wrote about earlier. Yup! The cat is out of the bag!
The method is hard to categorize. It is completely holistic and also supported by science. It is holistic in that it considers the whole of the person, focusing on what already works well. It asks, what are a person’s abilities right now? It avoids the word disability, because even those of us with movement limitations have quite a bit that we CAN do.
Here’s what my movement class looks like
It’s a bit like a mindful movement meditation. It is done either seated, lying down, or standing. Most of the time it’s done on the floor on a mat. Each class focuses on a unique blend of gentle, easy, and often small movements done slowly.
Sometimes we focus on a certain area of the body. However, even if only a couple of body areas are the focus of the class, it seems that by some magical process, always the ENTIRE body is always positively affected by the end of the class.
Especially the nervous system is brought into a healing parasympathetic state. The reason why this method is so stress-relieving and capable of dealing with trauma is the deep manner in which it accesses the natural healing abilities of the nervous system. Most of us have experienced trauma in some way, big or small. A pandemic is one; and we all share that one.
Appropriate for All
The movements are very simple and meant for even the sedentary person or extreme beginner. Unless there’s an injury, everyone can participate. And even then, it can be modified to accommodate the person with an injury. Most importantly, being “fit” or young is certainly NOT a requirement at all. It is for everyone and every body.
TIME TO MAKE RELAXATION, SELF-CARE AND BETTER HEALTH A PRIORITY
If the idea of relaxation is ever-elusive or alluring to you, but you haven’t yet been able to make it a priority, then my classes are for you. And right now, for this week, I’m giving a free class if it’s your first one. If you’ve attended before then it’s half off at $7; the usual full price is $15.
There is always more to do, more on our plate of responsibilities and tasks. That’s never going to stop. But we all can take intentional breaks to soothe and recharge our nervous systems. We can each be kinder to ourselves.
My classes allow you to do just that. Add in the benefit of coming back home to your balanced sense of yourself—how you occupy or live in your own body.
As elusive as that sounds, it actually has a big impact on how you deal with stress and how you live your life. Or another way of putting it, it truly soothes your nerves in the most gentle of ways. And all of us—living in today’s world—totally deserve as much tender loving care we can get or give ourselves.