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by Donna Brooks

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Build Strength and relieve Pain with Natural Rhythm and Ease

We all have rhythms that build on our bodies desire for varying amounts of effort and rest. Think of spending a day in the woods hiking. You might start out slowly and then pick up speed. You might rest frequently or run up hills with bursts of energy. You might be slow and fairly steady throughout. But, your body will clue you in on how to take this hike. And, in listening to your body, it will feel right. Your body can feel better in all your exercise activities when you learn how to apply it’s natural need for fluctuations.

When we experience chronic pain we often feel we can’t do anything. But what is there are gentle and supportive ways of moving your body that lead you back into these  rhythms of rest and activity? Can you imagine have more freedom and less pain?  Relaxation is the basis for your energy, recovery and even power.  Relaxation is not. collapse; it is accusing the path of movement that holds the most ease and integrity. Let me explain:

We get in the way of our body feeling better every time think our movement is linear. It’s really not.  If you have taken a class or lesson with me the following will be a familiar exploration:  Simply lift your arms in a T shape shoulder height. Now do a bicep curl (If you are not sure what that is just bend your elbows and bring your hands closer to your shoulders), Now, try the same thing but let your elbows curl ever so slightly upwards. See if it feels stronger but easier to lift. Respecting the natural curves of our muscles and the angular bends of our joints take effort away and help us sustain strength. If you didn’t feel this right away, don’t worry. You might have it already or you might need some individualized feedback to feel the power and subtlety of the movement.

Bending, gliding, rolling and folding at your joints is another important part of pain relief,  The non-linear range of their movement receives chronic holding in related muscle tissue. Joint health is a crucial subject when ever we talk about strength and fitness. That is because you can’t be strong without dependable joints that are both stable and capable of responding to weight and directional change. It’s common to think that joints function well because surrounding muscles are strong and flexible. Experience has shown me that the functioning of the joints themselves are improved doing range of motion exercises that are specifically initiated from the joints themselves.

A clue as to how this works can be discovered by doing some shoulder rolls. Notice what they feel like. Now, imagine the actual ball of the shoulder joint rolling around in its “cave” as you do the movement. What changes?

The kind of work I offer is subtle and does require patience. It’s also ultimately quite transforming. Not only have my students regularly reported easier and stronger movement, but they report more comfort and ease with themselves.

Thank you for reading this and I hope to see you in class or for a personal session soon!