Patients, Patience, and Impatience

Hello, again, Folks,

Today, I speak of a peculiar paradox of somatic education -- something expressed in a Tibetan saying I heard, recently:  "When things are urgent, go slower."

People in pain have a certain urgency.  No surprise.

In their urgency, they go for the "quick fix" -- the pain med, the quick adjustment, the quick stretch, the hour of bodywork.  These quick fixes rarely produce either a complete or a lasting result.

The reason:  they don't address the problem as it is, but only the surface appearance.

Somatic education is peculiar in this regard:  the processes we use during clinical sessions are mostly slow-motion action patterns -- we go slower -- but the changes that result come very quickly.

The reason:  the changes sought through somatic education (generally, pain relief) come by means of an internalized learning process that involves new physiological adaptation.  Adaptation and learning require, inevitably, at least two things:  attention and intention.

Attention and intention go together.  To exercise an intention, we must direct our attention to what we are doing.

The thing about attention is that it is not instantaneous; it fades in.  Test for yourself.  Look away from the screen toward anything and notice that it takes a good part of a second even to focus on it.  The same is true of music.  Turn on the radio into the middle of a piece of music and notice that it takes some seconds to recognize even one with which you are familiar.

When taking in new information, going slower helps you "catch" it and take it in.

Then, and only then, you can apply your intention to it.

Most forms of therapy require little or no attention on the part of a patient; result:  little or no exercise of intention and little or no lasting change!

So, as a somatic educator, I find that one of the most common bits of coaching I have to give with my clients (/patients, although I don't use the word) is to slow down.  Doing things too fast, too hard, and with too little attention ("mindfulness") is a common American fault (and a popular editing technique of advertising and the entertainment media which perpetuates and reinforces this fault-- sequences of "split-second video clips").  Too many people are "A-D-D" ! ! !  That makes them accident-prone (and generally, sloppy and error prone).  They must slow down -- not because it's easier (generally, it's not), not because they need a rest (which is generally true), but because they need to pay more attention and to exercise intention more carefully.  They need to work smarter, not harder.

If people don't slow down, they end up doing things the way they habitually do them and, by repetition, reinforcing the very thing they are wanting to get out of -- the movement patterns and functional habits that cause their pain.  They have to slow down enough to do the things they do in a new way.

When it comes to somatic exercises (a way people can relieve their own pain without direct coaching by a somatic educator), people must exercise patience.  In this case, the patience they must exercise is two-fold:  (1) they must slow down in what they're doing (somatic exercises) enough to feel clearly what they are doing and to do it in good form (not merely count repetitions) and (2) they must persist in a somatic exercise program long enough to obtain its designed-in effect (entailing, generally, some days or weeks of practice -- and some hours of experience).  The result:  substantial and durable improvement -- faster and more durable than by conventional therapeutic, "low-attention" methods.

If patients are impatient for relief, they must be patient so they can get it more quickly than has previously been possible.

Only once they have slowed down and made the necessary changes can they return to "the speed of life" and keep their new-found freedom and well-being -- or even go faster than before and still keep it together.

"A man of true means,
whatever the day's pace
keeps his wits about him
and however a fine offer be presented to him
keeps a level head.

What ruler of countless chariots
would make himself laughing stock,
fool of the realm,
with pace beyond rein,
speed beyond helm?"
-- Lao Tzu

SEE MORE ABOUT SOMATIC EXERCISES
An Entirely New Class of Therapeutic Exercises (article)
Software for Your Body (instructional programs)

Religious Faces of Superman

There exists an archetype in contemporary culture with which many generations present can identify. Every generation alive today knows Superman.

Superman who, having emerged from the midwestern farming tradition came to represent a person of virtue, of kindness and of strength, of benificent values, of positive intent -- and who hides a secret: his identity -- and a vulnerability that few others share.

Remembering that Superman was adopted by his midwestern farmer parents, his last name was not originally, "Kent" -- but Kantrowitz.  Superman (pronounced with "super" rhyming "soup-pear") was a nickname his Kryptonian parents bestowed upon him after a visit to Paris, one spring -- "little Soup-pear-man" -- because that was all he would eat.  It was on the note in the space capsule in which he arrived:  His name was Kal-El, but his nickname was Little Soup-pear-man. You can figure out the rest. And, of course, they Anglicized the name. As a boy, he was big for his age, but very nice, an intelligent boy.

Another clue: His original name-at-birth was Kal-El -- "El", in Hebrew, meaning "God". Taking a Kabbalistic approach, the Hebrew name, Kal-El, can be spelled in three consonants (four letters), read right to left, "K""L""e""L",  , the eleventh letter of the alphabet (English or Hebrew), K, the thirteenth letter (Hebrew) or the twelveth (12-English), L, and the nineteenth letter, a silent carrier for a vowel, "ayin", where in English, the nineteenth letter is, S -- "S", get it?  Coincidence?  I think not.  The symbolic meaning of the numerical equivalents of "K""L""e""L" =  "11""13""19""13" (or "11""12""19""12") is "Great Potentiality" and "Great Faith".

But what if Superman were Buddhist? What would he do differently? Since he strives to minimize harm to anyone and uses his powers beneficently, for the sake of all sentient beings, what would he do differently? Perform service even while in his dreams? What do you think he dreams about? Lois Lane? Lana Lang? Lex Luthor? Batman? -- feminine archetypes and masculine archetypes? Do you think he behaves differently in his dreams than he does in the waking state? Or do you think that, as he sleeps, he rests in the Source of Light and Life, the Silent Bliss-Being beyond the human mind and body? (the super-man state). Do you think that he rests in deep Silence (of which the Fortress of Solitude is a Metaphor), "silence" and "solitude" -- which also start with "S" -- the silent nineteenth Hebrew letter.

What if Superman was Hindu? Then what? What would he do differently? Well, for one thing, he probably wouldn't eat beef or wear cows-leather shoes. Those boots? They're patent leather. Other than that? Would he play the flute and seduce virgin cowgirls into a mass-"big one"? Would he transform his appearance to show the various powers and viewpoints and wonders of the Great Universe? And who knows what he does in the privacy of his own home with "company"? Would he declare, of himself, that "atman" (individual self-being) and "brahman" (silent, imageless, aware Groundless Ground of Being) are one? ("I and my Father are one"? -- again, getting a little ahead of ourselves).  Would he appear as Krishna -- the avatar God-embodiment (emanation) of Godhead? flying around saving people from demons?

What if Superman was Moslem? Would he pray five times a day, facing Mecca? abjure alcoholic beverages? Not eat pork? He would eat beef -- but those boots? Still patent leather. Imagine if he were a fantasy/religion-crazed Muslim extremist who was sent on a suicide mission, but suddenly realized that he couldn't blow himself up and that there would be no "72 virgins" for Superman, so he gave it up. Could Superman "do" 72 virgins simultaneously? Maybe he could. Probably he could. That would be like Krishna.

If Superman were Tibetan Buddhist, he would live consciously emanating from the Clear Light as his embodied existence, radiating the force of beneficence, fearlessly and peacefully present, attentive, intelligently responsive, compassionate, protective, empowering, and emanating silent wisdom and virtue not merely unto living beings, but into, as and through all, serving all sentient beings, communicating The Great Emancipation.

For him, kryptonite is the reminder of the mortal and transitory nature of things, even transitory even in his origins -- being sent into the unknown, "out there", and arriving at Earth -- ever-vulnerable -- even as he is eternally unchanging (primitively rendered in language as, "invulnerable") and super-regenerating -- and so, in that sense invulnerable to most hazards by virtue of his exquisite embodiment, in his transient body (Nirmanakaya), of the subtle self-organizing field of his subtle mind-body (Sambhogakaya); steadily intuiting our transcendental nature (Dharmakaya), the formless ground of being that persists even in the absence of activity or self-sense -- self-emergent, self-regenerating, self-equilibrizing with super-speed, i.e., invulnerable. Vulnerable and invulnerable. See? You didn't know that about Superman. Why would he talk about it?  What's he going to say to everyone?  "I'm vulnerable -- just as you are -- but I heal quickly"?  Would he go around saying that?  Why?  On the other hand, who knows what he says, at home -- and he is emotionally vulnerable, same as any man.

If Zen Buddhhist, same as Tibetan Buddhism, but without the kryptonite.

In this respect, he is very similar to another personage -- Harold Somaman.  Somaman is different from Superman, in that his special powers have manifested differently -- energy field transformations, sensitivity to probability pressure waves (leading to precognition and synchronicities), special ways of dealing with attention and intention. certain ways of biological self-regeneration and psychological transformation, occasions of remarkable telekinesis, things mysteriously disappearing from his life -- odd things like that.

If Superman were a Christian, would he address Jesus as "Father"? -- and how would that make Jor-El, his father, feel? But wait! What if Jor-El was a name for Jesus' father in Heaven? who sent his only-begotten son to save humankind?  Kabbalistically speaking, the names Jor-El and Joseph have significance. Alphanumerically, either of those names is impossible to analyze -- there's no "j" sound in Aramaic, so their names would have had to have been "Yosef" and "Yor-El". Then, Kabbalistically, that would get interesting.  Taking a Kabbalistic approach, again, "Yorel": YORL: four letters: "10" "6" "25" "13" (with a symbolic meaning of "Divine Conception"): and "Yosef": YOSF: four letters, "10" "6" "18" "20 (changeable with "P")" (symbolizing "the leap into newness, bringing memories of the past, along"). Confused? I am -- but back to Superman. With the benefit of time-travel, he would reach Earth when he was truly needed -- second time around.  He would still save people, but still not be able to be everywhere at once, except in spirit. I don't think he would raise the dead; I think that was just a demonstration to make a point. Other than that, how would his character change? Maybe he'd be more loving? But then, we don't know how he is, at home, and his benificient actions can certainly be seen as coming from a loving spirit -- wouldn't you say? But he wouldn't eat meat on Fridays, only fish. Or would he?

But remember -- his name is Superman -- pronounced 'aha-ward" (Howard) Superman ("soup-pear-man"), superhero and goodness-doer extraordinaire -- who loved his mother and who lived up to his father's dreams -- a real mensch.

A-mayn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For more on Harold Somaman, click here.
For more on Superman and other topics from The Other Side of the Looking Glass, click here.















Palpation -- One of a Somatic Educator's Essential Techniques

Thomas Hanna said that palpation -- gathering information by touch -- is a lost art among medical professionals, and that we, his students, would become masters of it.

In the process of Hanna somatic education, palpation isn't just done at the initial functional assessment of a client's condition, nor is it only an information-gathering action.  It's properly done at every stage of a clinical session of Hanna somatic education to evaluate the results of each pandiculation, and it provides information not only to the practitioner, but also to the client about his or her current condition.  How else are we to know whether we are finished with a region and its movements?

In a previous writing, "Precision Positioning for Miraculous Results", I speak of this last point in some detail.

For now, I want to communicate some things about the art of palpation, itself.

PALPATION IS A FOUR-DIMENSIONAL ACT
Now, before you go bounding off screaming, "another New Age twinko!!!", I want to clarify.  The fourth dimension, time, is not a Twilight Zone alternate reality or a mysterious abstraction (as implied by the term, "time-travel").  It's motion, itself, in the most ordinary sense.

We measure time by means of devices that move or display regular changes (watches and clocks) and we experience time the same way.  The term, "second", refers to the period of time between two heartbeats, the second heartbeat defining the end of a second.  It's an approximate term, the way the length of a foot is about one foot and the length of the first segment of the thumb is about one inch and one swallow is about once ounce.  Time is motion.

In palpation, many people touch surfaces with their fingertips and think they are palpating.  When such a technique provides little useful information, they abandon palpation as an investigatory act.  It's not a shortcoming of palpation; it's a shortcoming of their technique and their understanding.

To do a decent palpation that actually provides useful information, you've got to feel, not for a surface, but for a volume -- three (3) dimensions.  And you don't go rushing in, do a couple of quick presses, and move out.  What you do is soften your hands, reach in, and feel for the first resistance for reaching more deeply; you feel for where soft space becomes firm contact.  You go in slowly -- both out of respect for your client and for rich information.  Then, you wrap your hands around what you feel to discern its shape.  If you're squeamish, palpate in yourself until you learn the lay of the land and what it might feel like to your clients.

If you want to get more out of palpation, trace muscles from origin to insertion; that gives you something on which to anchor your attention and gives your client new sensory information that tells them in which direction, along what lines, to contract in pandiculation.

Once your client has done the pandiculation, or after you have done Kinetic Mirroring, you use palpation and movement to evaluate the completeness of the result.  If some sensory-motor amnesia -- and muscular contraction -- remains, you either repeat the process or have your client adjust positions to reach what's left.  Palpate -- Pandiculate -- Palpate.  Continue until the involuntary tendency to contract is gone or it ceases to decrease, then move on.





Understanding SacroIliac Joint Pain, Stopping the Pain and Weird Symptoms

WHO IS THIS ARTICLE FOR? 
This article is for you if . . . 
  • you have found the information provided both by medical practitioners and "alternative" medical practitioners to be "thin soup" that doesn't make you feel particularly optimistic about your recovery from sacroiliac joint dysfunction and doesn't increase your understanding, much, but only leaves you feeling faintly hopeful -- hope perhaps tinged with desperation or despair.
  • you have found pain medications inadequate to deal with the pain.
  • you have tried therapies and/or surgery and are still in pain.
  • you won't settle for less than lasting relief and are willing to do the work to get it. 

WHO AM I, THE AUTHOR OF THIS ARTICLE?
I am a former sufferer of sacroiliac joint dysfunction and a long-time practitioner (since 1990) of a clinical discipline whose principles and techniques I applied to myself to clear up sacroiliac joint dysfunction in myself: Hanna somatic education.

WHAT'S IN THIS ARTICLE?
  • symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • explanation of what healthy sacroiliac joints do
  • what happens to your sacrum that causes sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • a comparison of not-so-successful and highly-successful ways of clearing up sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • a detailed explanation of how clinical somatic education clears up sacroiliac joint dysfunction
  • a way to get started correcting the condition and ending the pain (CLICK, HERE)
You can read a more technically complete article, here.

Sacroiliac joint dysfunction includes many symptoms. How do I know about these symptoms and their cause? I had them and they went away as the position of my sacrum returned to normal position.

How did I accomplish that "straightening"? I used a series of exercises I devised, based on my understanding of principles of clinical somatic education -- having been a clinical somatic educator in practice since 1990. I'll explain more, below.



It may see odd, to you, that many of the symptoms you have -- pain in places seemingly unrelated to your sacroiliac joints -- come from a twisted sacrum.

At the same time, many of these pains are medically un-diagnosable -- meaning, no medical explanation can be given for many of them -- or the explanations given were educated guesses and the therapy didn't work. If you've had extended therapy for those pains, and therapy for those mysterious pains didn't help, or didn't help enough, or didn't produce lasting relief (common), they weren't understood or approached, correctly, by the methods used.

The Simple Explanation of Sacroiliac Joint Syndrome (Dysfunction)

"If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it."
Richard P. Feynman



Sacroiliac joint dysfunction (SIJD) comes from displacement (misalignment) of the bones of the pelvis and strain at the ligaments that bind the joints together.  Other terms for sacroiliac joint dysfunction are,  "sacroiliitis", "sacroiliac joint disease", "sacroiliac joint sprain", "sacroiliac joint syndrome", and "iliosacral pain".

Of the symptoms of SIJD, pain at a sacroiliac joint (at waistline level, in back, two to three inches to one side) combined with groin pain is the most common. I list other frequent symptoms, below.


SYMPTOMS OF S-I JOINT PAIN SYNDROME
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Following are the most common symptoms of sacroiliac joint dysfunction. Many more exist that vary from individual to individual.
    • pain at the groin and waistline, in back, same side - in combination
    • pain around the top rim of the pelvis
    • deep buttock pain, one side
    • reduced ability either to bend forward or to stand up straight
      On another page, I list more symptoms grouped by:
      • SENSATIONS

      • SKELETAL ALIGNMENT CHANGES

      • MUSCLE/MOVEMENT MEMORY CHANGES

      • EMOTIONAL EFFECTS

      CLICK HERE TO VIEW OTHER SYMPTOMS.

      There are a lot more symptoms listed on the VIEW OTHER SYMPTOMS page; I had most of them -- all but three. I was a wreck -- and I was a practitioner in a field that's supposed to get people out of pain, and usually does. But I couldn't help myself because we students of the developer of the method, Thomas Hanna, hadn't been trained to deal with sacroiliac joint dysfunction ("SIJD") before his untimely death. I was truly on my own and I had to develop a way out. I was in the mood of, "I'm not taking, 'no', for an answer." 

      By the way, the likely causes of my own SIJD, dating back to childhood, were falls on my tailbone, rollerskating, and a fall onto my feet from a second-story balcony. Because of my discomfort, I had the repeated urge to pop my lower back by forcibly twisting. I had had life-long pelvic discomfort until my crisis at about age fifty, when it suddenly got much, much worse.

      If you have two or more of the symptoms listed on this page, you likely have sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

      But don't assume that, from the symptoms. Other conditions can cause many of the same symptoms. Symptoms only suggest where to look for the cause. The way to tell if you have SIJD is by manual examination of your sacroiliac joints -- something you can do, by yourself, as instructed in the video, below, SELF-ASSESSMENT OF SACRAL POSITION. If you find one side deeper, that's it: a twisted sacrum and S-I joint strain.

      Follow the instructions. Self-examination involves a simple movement with your hands to feel the region of your S-I joints. Pay close attention to the spoken instructions so you know what you're feeling for. Don't guess. Either you can feel it, or you can't. 

      If you can't tell, you may visit a chiropractor or osteopath to get a diagnosis and to get trained how to examine yourself. If you're going to use the program of exercises to correct your own SIJD, you'll need to be able to examine yourself before each exercise practice session to know which side to do.

      By feeling the region of your back described in the video, you can feel ridges on both sides with your fingertips. These are not the S-I joints, but the edges of the neighboring hip bones. Toward the midline (the spinal line), next to those ridges, you feel, and others may see, dimples. Your S-I joints are there. The dimples are easier to find in some people than in others, but the S-I joints are there, deep to the dimples.




      SELF-ASSESSMENT OF SACRAL POSITION

      https://youtu.be/5zB1T6fYPLA




      If you've found one side sacroiliac joint deeper ("jammed"), you know what's going on with you. Good for you. Now, you know what you need: a way to straighten out your sacrum so it stays straightened out. That's on this page, at bottom.

      If neither side S-I joint seems deeper, your symptoms may come from other injuries -- which is good news for you because other injuries are much easier to clear up than SIJD. Visit the Consultation page to get a free Functional Assessment form. Complete it and return it to me by email for a recommendation of the program you need to end your pain.

      Unit 1 of Comforting Your S-I Joints is the foundation of the program. Called, "Unlocking the Situation", it decompresses a jammed S-I joint so that the sacrum can be caused to move by the exercises in Unit 2. You do Unit 1 before every practice session of Unit 2 exercises. Scroll to the bottom to send for instructions to get started for free. Learn the difference between this approach and standard therapeutic exercises. Click here.

      By getting started with Unit 1, you can develop the confidence that you actually can succeed at this program and, as improbable as it may seem, do for yourself what medical professionals and therapists have been unable to do, for you. Structured exercises that retrain muscle/movement memory can do for you what manipulation, drugs, TENS ("transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation" -- nerve stimulation through the skin), or surgery, cannot.

      Causes of a Twisted Sacrum


      THE SACRO-ILIAC (S-I) JOINT LIGAMENTS ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF S-I JOINT DYSFUNCTION, BUT THE VICTIM OF IT -- and the side that hurts is the non-jammed side (contrary to what one might expect).

      This Mayo Clinic entry describes recognized causes of a twisted sacrum.

      Sacroileitis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment of inflammation of the sacroiliac joints. 
      ref: Overview - Sacroiliitis - Mayo Clinic

      Causes for sacroiliac joint dysfunction include:

      • Traumatic injury. A sudden impact, such as a motor vehicle accident or a fall, can damage your sacroiliac joints.
      • Arthritis. Wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis) can occur in sacroiliac joints, as can ankylosing spondylitis — a type of inflammatory arthritis that affects the spine.
      • Pregnancy. The sacroiliac joints must loosen and stretch to accommodate childbirth. The added weight and altered gait during pregnancy can cause additional stress on these joints and can lead to abnormal wear.
      • Infection. In rare cases, the sacroiliac joint can become infected.

      In my clients' experience, nearly all cases come from an injury, with far fewer from pregnancy or other causes. Injuries include falls (bicycle, horse, rooftop, skating, ladder, etc.) and motor vehicle accidents with one foot on the brake at the moment of impact jamming the leg into the hip on one side.


      Unsuccessful and Successful Ways to Extinguish S-I Joint Pain

      Not-So-Successful Approaches

      These may be familiar to you.

      Two surgical measures used to stop S-I joint pain are radio frequency nerve ablation ("RFA" - cooking the nerve ending) and Sacro-Iliac Joint Fusion.

      • Nerve ablation costs about $2,100 and lasts 9-12 months before the nerve regenerates -- making repetition necessary.
      • Sacro-Iliac Joint Fusion surgery costs about $22,000 and has the side effects detailed in the article just below. Neither corrects the problem, but only minimizes symptoms.


      Click the image, below, to read the article by Dr. Centeno.
      Click for this article by Dr. Centeno.


      Skeletal manipulation is another approach. However, because of the muscle spasms triggered by a twisted sacrum, adjustments to the sacrum don't "take". Distorted muscular pulls distort the weight-bearing forces that go through the pelvis and distort its shape. Symptoms return or never  go away.


      https://youtu.be/K7urk1N5hPU
      https://youtu.be/K7urk1N5hPU

      The Three Biggest Mistakes Made by People
      Trying to Get Out of Pain



      Two other approaches have to do with the ligaments that bind the S-I joints -- and they're opposites.

      1. Loosen the ligaments by direct massaging or manipulation. 
      2. Tighten the ligaments by prolotherapy.

      If it strikes you as odd that practitioners use two opposite approaches (and not together), it suggests to me that their approaches are "shot in the dark" efforts in terms of something they know about. Certainly, if they were consistently effective, SIJD would not be considered so difficult to clear up. 

      But the ligaments are not the cause, but the victims of the twisted sacrum, and I've quoted the Mayo Clinic article as to causes. Any successful approach should somehow address the condition in terms of its cause, don't you think?

      Another approach, the approach I took and advocate, has no negative side effects, consistently provides lasting relief, and restores full function. I explain it, next.

      Clinical Somatic Education

      Because the field of clinical somatic education is relatively new and not well-known, I'll briefly explain it, to you. You may see this page, for more explanation.

      Clinical somatic education is a health discipline used to extinguish pain and improve movement. Muscles relax, nerve pain ends, and joints come loose. Instead of stretching, we use a completely different technique that causes a long-lasting relaxation of tight muscles by changing muscular control at the brain-level. It's called, pandiculation.

      Pandiculation: "The Whole-Body Yawn"

      Pandiculation is an action pattern related to yawning that has far-reaching effects on muscular control and physical comfort. It's ideally suited for retraining muscle/movement memory. Pandiculation is a completely different technique from stretching or manipulation.

      DOES STRETCHING "ONE BETTER"
       

      Everyone has experienced pandiculation (although not in the "assisted" way it's done in clinical somatic education). The “morning yawn and stretch” is a pandiculation (but not the athletic stretch, by the way).

      Pandiculation is what cats, dogs, and every animal with a backbone does, upon arising from rest. People call it, "stretching", but it isn't stretching; it's tightening muscles and then slowly relaxing and moving or even shaking (you've seen a dog do this movement). Pandiculation can be done in more ways than just yawning or the morning "waking up" stretch.

      Pandiculation is essential to reprogram muscles and movement. You need to unlock something before you can adjust it. Pandiculation unlocks muscle/movement memory, so it can be changed.

      After the unlocking, exercises that use pandiculation accelerate changes of muscular (postural) habits. The pelvis starts to reshape and the sacrum, to migrate to a new, comfortable position. With practice, improvements accumulate.

      Once the changes have occurred, pandiculation exercises reinforce the new pattern. Job done.

      My earlier description of the causes of SIJD cites muscular involvement and distortion of pelvic shape. The two go together, as I have explained -- but, to put it more succinctly, "Bones go where muscles pull them." Clinical somatic education addresses the muscular involvement and skeletal alignment.

      The system of somatic education exercises I developed to correct my own SIJD uses patterned movements to retrain muscle/movement memory. Changes of muscular pulls cause the pelvis to reshape. These changes can clearly be felt. Again, "bones go where muscles pull them."


      Why I'm Satisfied with This Program
      and I Expect You Will Be, Too

      Click on the image, below, to see the entire comment.



      TO SUMMARIZE: Compression and twisting forces that converge at the S-I joints cause compression of the S-I joints, strain the S-I ligaments, trigger reflexive muscular contractions throughout the trunk and legs that cause muscle and cause radiating nerve pain (that may be mistaken for spasm) -- symptoms that never let up, day or night.

      S-I Joint Dysfunction or Sacroiliac Pain Syndrome (the word, "syndrome " meaning a recognizable cluster of symptoms) causes a complex collection of symptoms that doesn't respond to therapy, when addressed directly. The key to stopping the pain is to get the position of the sacrum to straighten.

       

      ACTIONABLE UNDERSTANDING

      By now, we can see how the forces of an injury initially distorted the pelvis and how muscular contractions, maintained by muscle/movement memory, have kept the problem in place.

      We also see that the strain on ligaments is not the fault of the ligaments, but of the nervous system and muscular actions moving the bones of the pelvis into unnatural position. That puts strain on the ligaments.

      That means that we can't correct the problem in any lasting way by addressing the ligaments. (To tighten the ligaments, as in prolotherapy, misses the point and to stretch or loosen the ligaments may reduce their strain, but doesn't correct pelvic shape or habituated muscular tension patterns).

      It also means that we can't massage away the problem (have you noticed?). It means that we have to free the person from the grip of cringe response and develop balanced, well-coordinated movement that supports the sacrum properly and induces the pelvis to become symmetrical.


      Clinical Somatic Education to Correct Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction:The Role of Muscle/Movement Memory

      The medical model, which uses drugs, surgery, and electrical or mechanical devices, generally targets a specific symptom or location of pain, but does not, typically, address muscle/movement memory -- even if it does address skeletal alignment, as in chiropractic or osteopathy. Moreover, the medical specialty, "pain management", is a branch of anaesthesiology; it's primary approach is to mask or hide pain, not to eliminate its cause.

      Unlike the medical model and standard therapeutics, clinical somatic education uses action (movement) patterns to free -- and then re-pattern -- the muscular tensions that cause the pain of S-I joint dysfunction and keep the condition in place.

      The key term, here, is, "patterns". Thomas Hanna, in his book, Somatics | ReAwakening the Mind's Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health (available at many public libraries and via amazon.com), talks about how those tension patterns form with an injury and the process of ending them and their symptoms.

      These changes of muscular tension pattern influence pelvic shape over the long term. It's an entirely new, brain-muscle-based approach that works without need for stretching, strengthening, or soft-tissue manipulation. Instead, it corrects muscle/movement memory, and thereby gets all of the effects of strengthening, stretching, and soft-tissue manipulation -- but in a lasting way.


      Somatic education causes no undesirable side-effects, other than occasional, short-term soreness immediately after a practice session and lasting 1-2 hours.



      TO ComfortingYour S-I Joints

      CLICK THE IMAGE, AT RIGHT
      OR TO GET STARTED FOR FREE.
      ENTER YOUR INFORMATION, BELOW.



      With clinical somatic education, we correct S-I Joint Dysfunction in three stages.
      1. Unlock the Situation. We reduce the tension levels of the involved muscles, sufficiently to unjam the jammed S-I joint to permit repatterning of the forces that keep the pelvis distorted. 
      2. Reshape muscular tension and movement patterns through practice of movement patterns consistent with a sound, symmetrical pelvis and healthy S-I joint function. 
      3. Reinforce healthy, free, balanced patterns of movement -- not by strengthening, but by developing better integrated movement habits. These movement habits become second nature and do not require special attention in daily life.


      Click on the image, above, to see entire comment.


      See the section, below, to get started with Comforting Your S-I Joints, for free. It's free because I expect you to find it effective and to purchase the rest of the program.

      Comforting Your S-I Joints | A RECIPE for RELIEF

      This self-renewal program been well-tested -- starting with myself as the first "guinea pig". I had most of the symptoms listed. Once I found the exercises worked in me, I published them as preliminary instructional videos and then started teaching them to clients. Tabulated results of a survey of success rate appear, below.


      I understand why someone might be very cautious about taking an alternate approach to clearing up the problem -- and I suspect that you may already have "been the route" with both medical and "complementary medicine" practitioners, to little avail. What I can say is that no one has gotten worse, from this approach, and an overwhelming percentage have gotten better. Everyone I have worked with, personally (I'm a clinical somatic educator practicing since 1990), has been satisfied with the result.

      The program consists of a series of somatic education exercises done in a specific order.

      As in a cake recipe, no one ingredient constitutes the entire recipe, and there are steps of preparation; a somatic education exercise may be viewed as an ingredient and the whole program is the recipe.


      Who is This Program For?


      The "Gentle Spine Waves exercise" in Unit 1 of the program is such an ingredient and a step of preparation. It's not expected to relieve your S-I symptoms, by itself (although it works for simple back pain); it's a necessary step to unlock the situation. What it does is relax the back muscles; this step is one of preparation, not of "cure".


      https://youtu.be/-JMk0ANH7c8


      HOW TO UNLOCK THE SITUATION:

      If you're used to exercises or therapies that produce such small changes that you can hardly tell if anything is different, this isn't that. With somatic education exercises, you can feel changes rather quickly (obvious after two practice sessions). As, your movement and posture change, the symptoms of SIJD fade out.


      \TO GET STARTED, FOR FREE

      To get started with the program, Comforting Your S-I Joints and to see a statement of the expected result of each section of exercises, you may enter your information, below.



       HOW WELL PEOPLE DID WITH THE REGIMEN
      (OLDER VERSION OF COMFORTING YOUR S-I JOINTS PROGRAM)



      Enter where to send "get started for free" emails with instructional video links.




      We respect your email privacy

      A quick-response email message will come to your email address requesting permission to mail to you. Once you give permission, "Getting Started for Free" emails will come to you with bite-size steps for Unit 1 of Comforting Your S-I Joints.

      Comforting Your S-I Joints is a system of movement-based exercises that reprograms muscle/movement memory in a lasting way. You'll feel changes for the better with each practice session; changes accumulate over time. The entire system extinguishes the pain and restores mobility. They enabled me to get back to my life with no limitati
      ons.

      Final words: These exercises are refreshing, not tiring. If you're feeling too tired to practice the exercises, practice them and get refreshed.







      CLICK THE IMAGE, AT RIGHT
      OR GET STARTED, FOR FREE,
      BY ENTERING YOUR INFORMATION, ABOVE.








      https://somatics.com/page7-consultation.htm

      Click the image, above, to find out about
      availability of personal mentoring through the program
      with me, Lawrence Gold.

      ~~ Since 1996, I have offered a Lifetime Satisfaction Refund Guarantee ~~


      copyright 2014-2018 Lawrence Gold
      This writing may be reproduced only in its entirety,
      with accurate attribution of its authorship
      and contact information.

      The Somatic Codes

      There is a special meaning for that term -- The Somatic Codes.

      It's more akin to Morse Code than it is to the Codes of Hammurabi.  However there is virtue to it that would potentize the Codes of Hammurabi, if they were integrated together.

      The Somatic Codes are rhythmic numerical sequences that beat a resonance through oneself -- using specific movement elements to create specific rhythmic and timed sensations.

      This resonance of deliberately created self-sensations links or integrates memory, imagination, and sensation into an integrated, resonant, mobile faculty of intelligence.

      (And what would that do for your golf game -- or your video games.)

      I have detailed a portion of The Somatic Codes in my piece:  The Diamond Penetration Pandiculation Technique.

      These codes accelerate and deepen the effects of somatic exercises when incorporated with somatic exercises.  There will be video in the near future on YouTube showing how this is done.

      See many videos of pandicular maneuvers.  Here's the general channel of (some) of my videos.




      Hypothesis on Developing Obesity

      Just a summary entry:

      Anciently, during periods following famine (and also, at the harvest), there followed periods of feasting and celebration.  Understandable.

      What do people do, when feasting?  Overeat.  Consider Thanksgiving.

      Now, that's not the end of the story; it's where something new makes it interesting.

      What happens to the size of the stomach, when we overeat?  It enlarges.

      And what happens to the abdominal cavity, as the stomach enlarges?  It enlarges, to accommodate.

      And what happens when the abdominal cavity enlarges?  The muscles of the abdominal wall relax.

      And what happens when the muscles of the abdominal wall relax?  They make room not only for food, but for the additional blood circulation needed needed for the stomach to digest all that food (particularly, the proteins).

      Well and good.  Sounds healthy.

      However, what happens when a person habitually overeats?  The muscles of the abdominal wall come to stay habitually relaxed.

      And what's below (or just interior to) the abdominal wall?  It's called, "the greater omentum".  The greater omentum is a body of fat that drapes, like an apron (apropos) over the abdominal organs.

      And what do you think happens to all those nice, juicy nutrients from habitual overeating, with habitually relaxed abdominal wall muscles and all that increased blood circulation and with the greater omentum nearby, through which some of that circulation circulates?  By George!  That greater omentum, which has lots of nice space around it, is just waiting for all that nice excess nutrition to fatten it up. The body adapts to our way of life and changes shape accordingly; ask any fitness nut.  We become how we live.

      The fault doesn't lie with the greater omentum.
      The fault doesn't lie with the increased circulation.
      The fault doesn't lie with those relaxed abdominal muscles (that everybody wants to tighten).
      The fault doesn't lie even with all those nutrients.
      The fault lies with the fact that the person habitually eats too much at one sitting.

      If (s)he ate less, the stomach would not enlarge, so much, the abdominal wall would not distend as much, and there would be less room for the greater omentum, and less circulation.  And less belly fat gain.

      After times of famine, it's understandable that people might feast.  And it seems somehow "naturally sound" for people feasting after famine to get fatter -- as a way of "putting somthing away" in case of future famine -- a protective evolutionary development.

      And in fact, what has been observed is that people who starve themselves to lose weight end up gaining more weight, than before, after the starvation diet ends.  That's one reason why it's being said, "Diets don't work."  It's the evolutionary program for famine.

      Maybe I've just described more about how that works -- and why it's better to eat many small meals and snacks than it is to eat a few large meals -- as, in some people's case, one big meal each day.

      Now, it's also understandable why some people overeat. Famine is a "stressor".  And under stress, our belly wall does tighten ("Startle Reflex").  Feasting after fasting is a way of relieving that stress and also of forcing that tight belly wall to relax, simulating relief from stress.

      Does the nature of the stressor matter, when it comes to relieving stress?  Do we really differentiate one stressor from another at the feeling-level?  or do we just go for the all-purpose stress-reliever, the traditional one, the ancient one, that one that was appropriate after the stress of famine (or deprivation) -- food.

      Could it be, that is why people are seek to relieve stress by overeating?  Why we might eat when depressed?  or lonely?

      And what does it say about our times?

      Obesity is a symptom of a distressed society and of ignorance about stress and eating (including poor choices/quality of food/quantity).

      Just a hypothesis.

      "Never eat anything bigger than your head."
      ~~ R. Crumb

      a few resources:

      Calmly Energizing

      Somatic Breathing Training to Reduce Stress

       

      The Cat Stretch

      Somatic Exercises to Reduce Neuromuscular Stress


      free instructional somatic exercise video:
      to reduce Startle Reflex


      5 Movement Exercises to End
      TMJ Syndrome in about
      Two Weeks



      Hypermasculinity, Habituation, and the Apparent Spirit-Matter Split

      Habituation leads to pain through inadequacy of adaptation (dysfunctional behaviors), and this pain goads us to the Spirit-Matter Split, as dissociation ("I am not the body; I am pure subjectivity," -- the absurd Eastern error) and as materialism ("I am the body; I am objective, without personal biases," -- the pathetic Western error).  These are not mental ideals, but pervasive moods, our very underlying logic of life.

      One way disowns material existence and the body; the other disowns or is oblivious to subjectivity, or ones inner, personal life; one disowns the "outer", the other ignores or disowns or is oblivious to the "inner". 

      Interesting point:  when "outer" and "inner" perceptions (and identification with either) are differentiated (observed individually), equalized (made equally observable through practice), and integrated (observed simultaneously), formless Spirit appears as ones own nature.  (Jesus' saying, "If your 'eye' be single, your whole body will be full of light.").  But even habituation in that equalized state, as an effort, is impractical as a moment-to-moment life practice.

      Habituation shows up as being set in our ways, as resisting change, as persistent wounds, as persistent dysfunction, as fear, as force (forceful idealism or aggressive materialism), as bogged-down politics, as hypermasculine "spirituality" (celibacy, imposition of ideals upon oneself, striving to overcome self), as "final" knowledge, as the (presumed or apparently actual) inaccessibility of transcendental intuition, and at last as at first,
      as self-identification and our repressed and unconscious "shadow material" that goes with identification.  (We hide or resist aspects of ourselves, which become shadow material, entrenched, unconscious, as subconsciously controlled states of stress and compulsive behavior in-and-as our very bodily existence.  It does not hide in transcendental Spirit, but in our "immanent" selves).

      The problem is, habituation is the very vehicle of the transmission and survival of civilization from generation to generation (knowledge and tradition), and this present generation unwisely (and habitually) rejects habituation (via post-modern deconstructionism of knowledge and views) -- rather than recognizing habitual habituation as the problem and choosing habituations wisely!  (or we tend to think our habituations are wise and so reinforce them.)

      Thus, the global crisis of transformation and ("first tier") culture wars so often spoken of in integral circles come down to the drag of habituation upon necessary evolutionary transformation.

      Transcendental intuition makes transcendence of habituation possible (or easier), but transcendence without conscious embodiment (and people typically underestimate what that is), is dissociation, subject (vulnerable) to our own "shadow" influences -- the very Spirit-Matter Split.  And, of course, the work of conscious embodiment is limited without self-transcendence, which makes shadow material palatable enough (and witnessable enough) for differentiation and integration.

      The problem may be seen as incompetence in regulating habituation -- full spectrum.











      Getting to Sleep and Out of The Big Squeeze of Stress


      This entry provides an alternative to sleeping pills.

      It's for you if:

      • you have insomnia -- either chronic or occasional
      • you've experienced the downside of taking a drug to get to sleep
      • you want a natural alternative
      • you're able to get yourself to try something different

      Who I, the Author, Am
      I'm a clinical practitioner of method of brain retraining used to dissolve stress and trauma.  I developed this approach based on the principles of my field, a branch of mind-body training called, Clinical Somatic Education.  I, myself, have used the method described, here, to get back to sleep, when I've awoken in the middle of the night and not been able to get back to sleep. It generally takes about ten minutes, once I've used it, to fall asleep. Based on its success with me (and with others), I published the, Getting to Sleep, audio program.

      Getting to Sleep and The Big Squeeze of Stress
      Are you insomniac? Does sleep deprivation make your life seem stark or extreme? Are you over-sensitized? Are you exhausted?

      Here's a way to exit the cycle of insomnia. Understand why it works.

      WHY MOST INSOMNIA HAPPENS
      Two great polarities exist in every life:  activity and rest. Insomnia happens when we get stuck (stressed) in a state of emotional and physical activation.


      That state of stress takes two familiar forms:
      • "wired" mind
      • relentless muscle fatigue

      WIRED MIND
      Three kinds of "wired" mind keep us from relaxing into sleep:
      • endless thinking
      • troubled remembering
      • fearful imagining

      Those three ways of being mentally "wired" tie directly into muscular or physical tension.

      Being "mentally wired" is today's high-tech version of being "plain old-fashioned wound up." Being it's the electronic age, we can talk about being "hard-wired" in certain ways and tie that idea of wiring to the brain's control of our muscles -- and I will, shortly. But what's wound up is still wound up:  Our "idling speed" is too high and our air mix (breathing) isn't too good either. We may be driving with the brakes on (resistance to life-developments), and what's more, our steering may be out of alignment (be misguided).

      All told, this has nothing to do with body mechanics. It really has to do with our programming -- how we run our lives and how well we de-bug ourselves -- because, when we get bugged, sleep suffers.

      Sound strange? Don't worry. I'm going to tell you about two natural ways of debugging ourselves, so that we no longer have "bedbugs".

      We're going to start with two general ways people get bugged, what the "bugging" looks and feels like, and then how to debug ourselves. Onward.

      TWO REFLEXES OF STRESS

      People get crazy in life in two basic ways, ways that correspond to two basic reflexes of stress that get triggered in us, in life. One is a "fear or urgency" form of stress and the other is an urgency or "control freak" form of craziness. Sometimes they happen together, and yes, each corresponds to a reflex pattern that involves muscular tension.

      The form of stress associated with urgency, or the drive (and felt necessity) to get things (often, too much) done, triggers the muscles in the back of the body. They get tight and they stay tight as long we we are uptight.

      There's a healthy form of this reflex, which I am about to describe, and an unhealthy form, which I am also about to describe.

      In the healthy state, this reflex starts our movement from rest or a position of repose into activity.  It involves the muscles that stiffen the flexible spine in preparation for moving from repose into the upright position of walking or other activities, when spinal support is needed. It tightens the shoulders and muscles in other places. There's a name for this reflex: the Landau reaction. You can look it up. It starts up as we first learn to crawl and continues at-the-ready throughout a lifetime.

      The other state of stress, associated with self protection and fear, triggers a physical muscular reflex that tightens the muscles in the front of the body. It causes shallow breathing, speeds up the heart rate, and makes us want to bring our head down (cower) in an urge to curl up into a ball (fetal position).

      This muscular action gets triggered every time we feel afraid or anxious and stays triggered as long as we're afraid or anxious. (It's also been identified as an underlying cause of heart attacks.) There's a name for this reflex: the Startle reflex. You may have seen video of people in this state: soldiers running in a crouched state, under fire. They have been trained to run that way because it's natural self-protection -- as natural as Startle Reflex. In fact, they're helped to run that way by Startle Reflex. Soldiers are afraid; you'd better believe it. They've just been trained to override their fear -- the way so many of us have learned to override our feelings.

      About soldiers, what do you think PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is? It's habituated, reflexive states-of-craziness anchored in troubled remembering, fearful imagining, and compulsive thinking.

      The state of overactive, out of control muscles goes exactly along with troubled remembering, fearful imagining, and compulsive thinking -- which all trigger the "ready responses" we've learned, ostensibly to handle the situations about which we are feeling urgency or fear, but which simply make us crazy and make sleep impossible. Are you an exception? Is insomnia not like that, for you? OK. I've got something for you, at the end:  The Gold Key Release. It's for the exceptions to the rule. You'll like it.

      When you're "crazy awake" at night, when no position in bed makes a difference -- and no bed makes a difference -- have you discovered it's next to impossible to stop thoughts, memories and imaginings?  Efforts to stop them reinforce them, don't they? They leak back in. Even if you distract yourself with reading or counting sheep, do you end up thinking about what you've just read -- or about sheep?

      I'm here to suggest to you that there is a secret, "back-door" key to get thoughts, memories and imaginings -- and sheep -- to stop taking over your mind. There's way to release the muscular tensions that go along with them. Those muscular tensions have a certain feeling that goes exactly along with your compulsive thinking, memory replays, and fearful imaginings; they are the feelings of your compulsive thinking, memory replays, and fearful imaginings. One triggers the other and back again, and around and around, we go.

      You need a way to release to get the relief. There's a "back door" way. It works. No kiddin'.

      I will tell you right away that stretching is not the "back-door" key to release. Neither are breathing exercises or yoga (neither of which go deeply enough for to reach and reprogram chronic insomnia). None of those approaches reaches the control level where the reflexes of stress, Startle reflex or Landau reaction, live, which is exactly where they MUST reach, for you to get to sleep. Certain kinds of meditation might help -- but you've got to be far enough along in your mindfulness practice for it to work. Are you? (You are? Why are you reading this?)

      Neither, by the way, do "sleep number" or "Tempur-Pedic mattresses" change your stress level, and neither do "sleep-aid" drugs. How can you reprogram your insomnia with things that have nothing to do with your body's programming?

      WHAT WORKS

      What you need to do is get control of yourself. No, not that way.  I have something else, in mind: a way to release the muscular reflexes of stress that trigger your insomnia, from inside. That means, learn to relax, to relax by unlearning keeping yourself wound -- or wired -- up. You learn to relax the way you might relax a clenched fist. You don't stretch a clenched fist open; you relax it by natural, internal control. That's the direction you go, to unwind.

      Only, you seem to have lost your way. So, you need to re-learn that kind of natural internal control that ordinarily would function, naturally. The way to that kind of control is related, actually, to yawning. It has a strange name: it's called pandiculation.

      PANDICULATION: LIONS DO IT, TIGERS DO IT, BEARS DO IT, AND SO DO WE

      Pandiculation is an movement or action pattern that every animal with a backbone does, generally when arising from rest and upon finishing an activity -- and also at random throughout the day. Cats do it, dogs do it, even lumbering hogs do it. They do it, naturally, but for certain reasons related to "way of life", humans have to be re-taught to do it. Pandiculation feels good. It's good for you.

      Here's a five minute video explaining pandiculation.


      But instead of pandiculating, at work, to regulate their stress (which they could do, in minutes, in an office chair or at a company gym or even on the carpet in a private office), people go for coffee to get "wired". Then, at home, they go for a "drink" or something related -- or for a run, or watch video -- to get unwired -- but they don't do the very thing that would actually get them unwind: pandiculate. So, they accumulate unmanageable stress.

      Pandiculation is good to do after long periods in a particular position (such as when working on the computer or during any repetitive motion activity). What pandiculation does is refresh and relax us. What's not to like?

      HOW TO PANDICULATE, IN GENERAL
      Generally we pandiculate, in private ...

      ... but you can pandiculate in public and get away with it.

      Pandiculation always starts with a firm tightening of ourselves into a particular movement pattern or shape, followed by a leisurely release and movement into activity. You've seen it; you've done it. When it comes to yawning, that pattern involves your face, jaws and neck, and your breathing. What people call the morning stretch isn't a stretch, at all. The typical morning stretch involves yawning and the muscles of the back, shoulders, arms, the hands, the buttocks, and other places. It has a particular feel -- a very different feel from that of athletic stretching: It feels good. It isn't a stretch, at all. It's a pandiculation.

      Each way of pandiculating works on a particular set of muscular tensions and feelings. Say, you're stuck in urgency; it's your back muscles and shoulders that are tight. If stuck in anxiety, it's the front and central muscles of your trunk. A particular pandiculation reaches particular muscular tensions. Free the muscular tensions, and your nervous system -- your mind -- quiets down. Emotions quiet down. Thinking quiets down. You start to drift. You forget yourself without noticing. The result: sleep.

      Soon, I'm going to give you a link to a recorded somatic education program that uses pandiculation for sleep. You can use it just before going to bed or if you wake up in the middle of the night. I'll also give you a way to calm the emotions down, directly, because sometimes you need both approaches, if you've gotten particularly wired-up and stressed out.

      Before I do, since I like people to have an understanding of my advice before they take it, I'm going to talk about why those two reflexes go wrong.

      HOW WE GO STRESS-CRAZY

      Two words explain it all: habit formation.

      Habits form when we repeat actions frequently or sustain them at some level of intensity for periods of time. Then, they start to run on automatic, outside our control -- including at night.

      When The Landau Reaction Hijacks Our Lives

      In the healthy state, Landau Reaction comes and goes according to circumstances.  The more you need a heightened state of activity or alertness, the more intensely Landau Reaction gets activated -- and the tighter we get.  Our back arches, our shoulders pull back, our chest lifts, and our buttocks and hamstrings get tight -- we get a "swayback", where the "sway" is forward, over the fronts of our feet (giving rise to the expression, "being on our toes").  When circumstances pass, and the need for heightened alertness passes, we return to a rest condition -- more or less -- and the muscular side of Landau Reaction eases.  We relax.

      However, the more time we spend in Landau Reaction -- in traffic, at work, in our busy lives, in competitive activities -- the "better" we get at going into Landau Reaction.  Our brain, which provides and regulates the Landau Reaction, learns to be more and more ready to go into Landau Reaction.  Eventually (and commonly) we stay stressed, in Landau Reaction, in perpetual readiness for action -- and this state of stress in Landau Reaction is so common that, in contemporary culture, people consider the posture of Landau reaction to be, good posture or somehow attractive (e.g., "buns of steel") It's not good posture, it's not attractive, it's not even a sign of fitness (to those who understand what's going on). It's a state of maladjustment.

      The two states -- being in stress and in a state of rest -- oppose each other.  Where sleep is concerned, the reflexes of stress win over sleepiness.  Uncontrollable thinking, fearful imagining, troubled remembering, muscular tightness, and even soreness and stiffness (did you get an expensive "Sleep Number" or "Tempurpedic" bed?) become our nighttime experience of insomnia.

      Now, it's also true that our circumstances in life may provoke anxiety in us -- and anxiety shows up as Startle Reflex -- and it has its place in life, and also its unhealthy form.

      When Startle Reflex Clamps Down

      Startle Reflex, by tightening the muscles of our abdomen, prevents deep, diaphragmatic breathing, reduces our overall mobility, and by pulling us into a curled-forward shape, causes us to shrink ourselves to less than our full stature.  It's the shape of "hiding".

      In the healthy state, Startle Reflex comes and goes according to circumstances without lasting effect.

      However, unhealthy stuckness in Startle Reflex forms the same way as stuckness in Landau Reaction -- by repetition and sustained intensity. It can get triggered by the news, by a stressful relationship, or by money worries -- fill in the answer from your own life.

      In our current age, we can't get by in life by being curled up and withdrawn; we have to function, to be ready, to be active. It's the imbalance of our times, where stress and activity dominate leisure and rest. Stress even invades our leisure time and vacations -- and the relief of leisure and vacation ends all too quickly when we get back to our day-to-day lives.

      And so, Landau Reaction (arousal state) combines with Startle reflex (fear and withdrawal) in a kind of "Big Squeeze", with one dominating the other, but both happening.

      The result:  "stress" -- a combination of readiness for action and anxiety -- the feeling of being trapped in life -- The Big Squeeze.  Sound familiar?

      And so, insomnia, chronic thinking, fearful imaginings and troubled memories, muscular tightness, and even soreness and stiffness become our nighttime experience.

      Ambien, Lunesta, a nighttime cocktail, or other sleep aids do nothing to quiet these reflexes of stress. They just dull us and interfere with our necessary dream cycle.

      What to do?  How do we deactivate these reflexes of stress, so we can sleep?  How do we decondition ourselves from stress, so we can rest?

      Ah!  The Essential Question!

      Getting Out of The Big Squeeze So We Can Sleep

      Let's summarize, so our answer can be concise.

      The reflexes of stress are mind-brain-body states that get stuck, "on". Being stuck "on" is a learned state, running "on automatic".  The word, "learned", is key.  We learn our way into those states ("taught", by life); we can learn our way out of those states.

      By now, you may be feeling mystified.  What kind of learning can teach us to disarm reflexes of stress running "on automatic"? Not one limited to the mind; that's for sure.

      Here's the answer:

      We shift the tensions of stress from "running on automatic" to "voluntary" -- and then turn them off.  When something is "voluntary" it happens only when you decide to do it -- and doesn't happen unless you decide to do it. (By the way, that also means that our stressful responses are voluntary, if habitual. They may not seem that way because they happen so quickly, but we never get stressed about something we don't care about. The difference I'm talking about here is that we can learn to voluntarily relax ways in which we've become habitually tense.)

      How do we get from "automatic" to "voluntary"?  By cultivating "voluntary" in a unexpected way that, ordinarily, no one would think to do .

      THE BACK-DOOR KEY
      This "back–door key" is an entirely new way of thinking about and approaching a situation -- given our culture of "fighting" everything -- "Fight Breast Cancer", "Fight Drug Abuse", "Fight Terrorism", "Fight Domestic Violence" (!) . . . etc., etc.  Instead, of fighting, we cultivate voluntary control of what we would otherwise fight; we get into it (like a hand in a glove) and control it from within. Unexpected? Yes. Effective? Yes, very.

      This approach works for sleep (and for many other stress-related disorders, such as headaches, various kinds of physical injuries and certain common breathing disorders).  We cultivate voluntary control over Landau Reaction and Startle Reflex so that, when we rest, we rest.

      When we do, a very interesting thing happens:  our voluntary control takes over from (overcomes and replaces) automatic habits. We come to rest.

      Then, when we stop doing something voluntarily, it stops happening as a constant activation habit; it happens only when needed.  With reduction of excessive stress, instead of stress dominating our lives, we have more "cushion", more tolerance for it, more grace, in life.  Even in stressful circumstances, our stress level is less.  Sleep returns -- and reduces our stress level further.

      Since few people are familiar with these reflexes of stress and ways of quieting them, it's helpful to have guidance for assuming control of them.

      I have created such guidance, a program to quiet these reflexes of stress. You can get a free taste of it. Use it consistently for a week or two, upon retiring for sleep, and then (once you know the steps), as needed -- such as on occasions when you awaken in the middle of the night or when you are experiencing the effects of heightened stress.

      Along with that, you may need a way to calm automatic emotional reactions. I've provided a way. It's called, The Gold Key Release. It's a way to free your mind from the grip of concerns in an entirely new way that also opens the way for inspired action to handle the situation. There's a world of difference between suppressing something and releasing it. Read more about The Gold Key Release and test it, yourself. Click the gold key, below. It's VERY effective and it's free.

      The Gold Key

      You don't have to go it, alone. You can get help with The Gold Key Release, too.

      Sleep-inducing drugs have side effects for some people -- daytime drowsiness, hallucinations, mood changes, suicidal thoughts; the drug companies say so in their advertising.  This approach also has side-effects -- good ones: increased flexibility, decrease of back pain, and heightened physical energy.

      WHAT TO DO

      Now, you have a sense of the causes of insomnia and at least an idea of what to do about them. What remains is to test my words. Take action to free yourself from insomnia. Break the stress-insomnia cycle so that you can actually sleep.

      The 'proof' of the 'pudding' is in the 'eating'.  Test this approach, for yourself.  Get out of The Big Squeeze and get to sleep. "Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy."


      RELATED ARTICLES 


      Presently a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, Lawrence Gold has been practicing as a clinical somatic educator since 1990, with two years of experience on staff at the Watsonville Community Hospital Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, in California. Clients have come to him from as far away as Mumbai, India and Brisbane, Australia. He works with clients in person and live online. He likes to bring a sense of humor to telling the truth. You may have noticed. See more on his background, here.



      OTHER ARTICLES 

      OTHER PROGRAMS FOR STRESS-RELATED DISORDERS

      copyright 2015 Lawrence Gold
      http://tinyurl.com/Get-To-Sleep-Somatics