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Rest and exercise are living miracles. Their benefit is absolutely certain and incomparable. No medicine or therapy can substitute for them.

I think of Exercise as intentionally using your movements to express your caring. Even if you cannot run or swim you can use your breath, posture, walking, showering and getting dressed as powerful means of healing your body.

Through regular exercise you can bring greater strength, flexibility and endurance to your body. I teach my clients how to exercise. I do this through private sessions and through small group classes offered during the warmer seasons. I combine elements of yoga, tai chi and dance with running, hiking, climbing, martial arts, calisthenics and just plain “make it up in the moment” movements. These workouts develop a functional body, able to better walk, bend, twist, lift, run and squat. They simultaneously develop strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and poise. You learn primarily how to listen carefully to your body during whatever type of movement you are performing. You also learn principles of alignment, i.e. how to use your body so that you are constantly aligning yourself with gravity in every movement.

You learn how to engage honestly and caringly with pain, fatigue and stiffness; neither indulging nor avoiding them. These are the language of your body. They will be your life long companions. There is no avoiding them. Try to avoid them and they will hunt you down and inhabit your body more and more and more until you give them the attention they demand. You must develop an honest, real relationship with them. This is a great learning. One you will cherish.

Rest is essential to Healing every illness or trauma. A sprained ankle or a cut finger insist on being rested. This is equally true for all illnesses from flus to cancer. Most people only rest when they are hospitalized and that can hardly be called “rest”. Why wait for an emergency to take time for yourself. By giving your body the rest she needs now, you reap the benefits of energy, immunity and a happier mind, now.

Relaxation is rest. Learning to relax your body deeply restores your vitality. As you become more proficient you are able to relax at will during your normal daily activities. Each time you do so, you feel immediate benefit.

Energy is the currency of the body. Chronic health problems occur in large part because the body lacks sufficient energy to fuel all her functions. Therefore your immune system, thyroid function, digestion, or become unable to meet their demands.

I teach my clients how to rest not only physically, but also how to rest and restore their weary organs through specific purification regimens. Most of my clients are severely sleep deprived. Many have lost their ability to sleep. Many have become dependent on medications which, at best, induce an altered state similar to, but not the same as sleep.

A cell in the nervous system, when fully energized and healthy is completely relaxed. It is like a spider in her web, completely alert to every detail in her environment, totally relaxed and able to respond instantly and appropriately to whatever occurs. As a neuron losses energy and becomes weaker it becomes hyperactive. It becomes nervous, highly sensitive, too easily excited and responds in exaggerated ways to minor stimuli. Does this ring a bell? The capacity to rest, to relax, to sleep is lost. When this happens all our other functions unravel… energy, immunity, hormonal balance, brain chemistry etc.

Through real skillful therapies you can regain your natural abilities to relax and to sleep. This restores the energy levels of your brain and nervous system. It feels wonderful and is essential to healing almost all health problems.

MAY 24, 2012

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