JUDY FASONE
Health and Wellness with Movement and Nutrition
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Self Care is Health Care
Common Sense

Despair about our environmental challenges is frequently heard when caring for my clients. Waking up to ourselves also means waking up to what is around us. How do I balance the injustices of our day? For those that are politically active, and taking a stand, I applaud you! For those that are in the throes of a healing crisis, focusing on yourself does contribute to solving the larger problems of our world. You cannot help anyone until you heal yourself. Finding that balance is a life long task.

Long ago, I had a weekend away from single-parenting my 3 young daughters. I sat in the deep woods alone, in Southern Ohio, in the early morning. Overhead, I heard a commotion. It was spring, and the sounds emanating from a nest of hungry, baby birds, was unmistakable. I imagined the parents had been driven off, abandoning the nest, or had been killed…I imagined a rescue, what could I do? I imagined the birds toppling down in their distress and being someone else’s breakfast. Self care to me is common sense

There was nothing I could do. It seemed like it took forever, but eventually, the parent came back and fed them. The quiet was palpable. I then realized another option: the parent had fed themselves before feeding the little, hungry ones. If the parent was weak from hunger, it would not be able to sustain itself or any offspring. Then, as a young woman with 3 young daughters and on my own, the message from nature hit me like a lightening bolt, and I have never forgotten that lesson. Self-care is not selfish, it is a necessary routine needed to remain healthy and be able to give back to others. The time I spent in the woods built resilience, and improved my mental and physical health.

Our bodies have two paths to go down: improved health and wellness or deterioration. Just as the “powers that be” have neglected the sustainability of the planet, our environment is in a seriously unhealthy state. Prevention is the best medicine. Had we made better decisions 30 years ago, 16 year-old Greta Thurnberg would not be telling grown-ups they should be ashamed of themselves for being so greedy and selfish.

Reaching or regaining your full potential takes time, energy and creativity. None of us are exempt from this need of self-care. For some of us, healing may mean getting involved in the issues at hand, by taking a stand. As you care for yourself, remember there are those that are in the trenches of the protests, getting arrested for our sake, for Earth’s sake. The fight for our lives and home is here.

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Judith Fasone
Patiently waiting

Recovery takes time. Is that why anyone with a health problem that seeks help is called a patient?

If you have an acute problem, like a broken bone, you will be going directly to a clinical setting, not to get a massage or see an alternative practitioner. Know that it takes about 6-8 weeks to heal the bone, depending on age and other factors surrounding the event, as well as previous health conditions. You will need a month or two after the initial healing of the bone to recuperate, depending on your situation. Clinicians call their subjects patients, and yes, patience is needed here, but not like when you have a chronic issue. The word patient is regularly used in all clinical settings.

Chronically ill persons often see alternative practitioners, coaches, counselors to find help with their problems and are referred to as clients in many settings. With chronic illness, even more patience is needed, because behavioral patterns and physical compensation patterns may be well ingrained, and need time to change. For example, persons with diabetes or obesity may need to look at their dietary intake, movement and exercise patterns; receive counseling for self-esteem or explore the relationship to food, receive coaching, set goals with support for learning self-care habits for long-term, sustainable change. Each area must be addressed, and with the right kind of support improvement is possible.

I was told long ago, that on the average, we would need about one month of healing activities for every year we have been having the problem. So if you have had knee pain for 5 years, and not really addressed it, and surgery is not recommended yet, you may need at least 5 months of reorganizing that knee. This might look like receiving sessions of PT, Acupuncture, Trager, massage and/or diligently following the recommended activities to support healing in between sessions. It may also include self massage, Mentastics, gentle movement and improved nutrition in many cases. Supplements can be helpful the same as medications: temporarily to assist the healing process. I use this as general guideline for letting my clients know that patience is certainly needed as well as commitment to an active self-care plan.

As we age, our bodies are like an old home we just bought or have lived in for a long time but neglected. The current problem may be a leaky pipe, but when you start the repair, you realize it is attached to rusty pipes, soggy under structures that are ready to collapse and are moldy. How similar this is to a human body!

Everything is connected, and neglecting or ignoring one current problem will compound in time.

I use the term client for my practice. In my opinion, a client is someone who is in more control of their process, and their life. They are in absolute charge of their plan of care, and while on the table, we communicate about what is needed next, according to how they are sensing and feeling in the moment. With the Trager Approach, you will loosen and relax into new physical ease and comfort in your body. You will learn simple movements to do at home to further the changes. While coaching, I facilitate goal setting, and you choose what you want to work on. I accompany you and support you. We work through your barriers together when a plateau is reached.

Be patient and love yourself through the process. Heal at your own pace.

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Judith Fasone
The small, still voice within

In the last blog post, I mentioned “gut feelings” Let’s continue this topic and note that there is evidence that the small, still voice is linked to the hormonal messages sent from our gut. Some physiological findings help us understand how bowel-disorder treatments such as antidepressants and mind-body therapies can improve gut health. It is not uncommon to be prescribed antidepressants by a gastro-enterologist to treat gut health. Also, patients who take probiotics show twice as much of an improvement in mood compared to the placebo. With an improvement in the gut, comes an improvement of well being. If our belly is not functional, or is compromised what is happening to our “gut feelings”? We can approach healing our gut with movement as well, so it will digest and eliminate better, and you will have more awareness.

Tension in the gut is fairly common, so it makes sense that relaxation techniques can help. So can gentle, self-massage. Place your hands softly on your belly. Note your breathing, no changes, no striving. Allow your hands to follow the up and down motion you feel as you breathe. Paint a color on your belly, going from inner to outer, center to edge. Notice the parameters: the ribs, the diaphragm, the pubic bone, hip bones. Paint the color so that you do not miss a spot. Rest your hands, and repeat. You will notice your belly soften. Enjoy the feelings and sensations while you pause.

You were inducing a relaxation response with your hands, congratulations! With a relaxed belly, you now are more aware of your messages…so listen carefully, and respond with kindness and support. Perhaps you now feel more back pain, gently use slow movement to help alleviate that, move in a way that your body directs, not something your think you should be able to do. Allow an impulse to move arise. You may find you have to go to the bathroom…do not delay! How does it feel to walk with a softer belly? Be kind to yourself today!

If you get a message from your body, heed it, it will only get louder! Our bodies have an innate capacity to heal itself, and also to alert us to any untoward environmental stress. Long ago I was told “even an amoeba can avoid a harmful substance!” We have so much more capacity for interpreting messages!

Stop and smell the roses!

Stop and smell the roses!

Judith Fasone
Ch, ch, ch, changes

Is it time for a change? If you have some nagging feeling that something is not quite right in your world, that is the first sign that something needs to change. Too often, I see clients in my practice that have ignored their inner voices for so long, that their bodies have deteriorated to the point of pain and suffering. I could cite numerous cases from mild to severe. The fact is, we often put ourselves last, and our bodies take the hit.

The initial feeling that is being ignored originates in the gut. We call this a “gut feeling” for good reason! The gut has miles of cellular material that is intelligent and picks up sensations continually. The gut is formed at the same time of the brain in the fetus, and is often referred to as “the second brain” by holistic practitioners. We each have an inner voice that tells us when something is not quite right about a person or situation. These feelings or inner knowing is called intuition.

Not only is the initial gut feeling ignored, but we also ignore and neglect the louder messages: fatigue, tension and pain. Pain arrives on the tail of fatigue and tension, but will get louder and louder until you listen. Loving ourselves does not have to interfere with how we love others. You will have more energy and caring for everything else in your life, if you end your suffering.

The Trager Approach offers numerous ways to develop self-care and develop skills that will help your body learn to trust you again.

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Judith Fasone
What is your range of motion?

Moving every joint, every day, is important. What are your movement habits? Is movement on your mind first thing when you wake up? Do you follow through? Every day I envision what I want to do in the day, and movement is always part of that thought. A walk to the coffee shop, a swim across Hidden Lake, a bike ride later with my sister. If I haven’t moved much during the day, I take a walk instead of sit down to eat a long lunch at work, opting to walk for 20 and eat for 10 minutes. Or after dinner I may finally get that walk in. If I have a partner to move with I am more committed. Paying for a weekly class, or joining a club has been motivating in the past. Planning a backpack trip, or hike with friends also helps me stay mobile.

Most days I do not always accomplish this, but it is a strong desire of mine. I negotiate with myself and make excuses, and usually I do find ways to move throughout the day, and have longer, more pleasurable activities on the weekend. This takes planning! There is always something to do, a project to finish, but I want to age gracefully. Range of motion has many facets.

Putting every joint through full range of motion (ROM) is a great way to add movement to your day. It is not a replacement for the other mentioned activities, but it is a start. ROM is a term used by healthcare professionals, and it means just what it says. Each joint has a certain range of motion when it is in optimum health. Active ROM is when you move your body yourself, and Passive ROM is when someone else moves your body. I would add that we can increase our movement range by engaging in any activity we find pleasurable. Let’s call this: FUN ROM!!!

In a Trager session, both are used. In Mentastics, the movement explorations done at the beginning and/or end of a session, you initiate the movements with guidance internally from your own impulse to move (like a good yawn or stretch happens unplanned in the am); or you would be guided by me, the practitioner, to explore movement with music or images. This is ACTIVE ROM. You can easily demonstrate this: Make a circle with your wrist, initiate side to side movements, and up and down. Stay within your comfort zone. You just did ACTIVE ROM. Assess….are there painful places? Are joints popping? If you were in a Trager session with me I would guide you to explore with an image…this is Mentastics. Begin to move your wrist again, adding an image as you do this. Perhaps you have olive oil in every joint in your hand, and you imagine a slippery, soft feeling. Continue to soften, what could be lighter, easier? Notice the feeling. A Mentastic can be developed or created for any part of the body, from the smallest to the largest muscle group, to full out running, walking or swimming. It is still active because YOU are initiating the movement.

On the other hand, (yes, a pun), passive ROM is when someone moves your limbs. This is quite an unusual feeling for the first time on the table. If you have ever had PT/OT you may have experienced this with your therapist. The Trager Practitioner is continually offering your body passive ROM to reach the unconscious holding patterns that were caused by injury or assault, mentally or physically. We guide the limbs gently into the rage that is available. Never pushing, only questioning “how could it be?” Joints that rarely move are coaxed into moving beyond painful patterns. Muscles are softened and lengthened, increasing yoru range of motion. In both cases, an additional benefit is the lubrication of the joints and increased circulation that occurs. Your lymph system drains and your immune system can function better. Overall, there is a pleasurable, tingling sensation, and deep relaxation.

Simply put: YOU ARE MOVED. This is passive. Both active and passive ROM are necessary, for the deep healing of compensation patterns in our lives. As we age, we maintain healthy joints and organs as we keep moving, and especially if we spend time listening and responding to our bodies during the activity. Did you know the body is rocked over 5000 times in a Trager session? This is an estimate from one of my instructors. I never counted it personally. But think of rocking a baby, that lulling slosh and repetitious rock brings sleep quickly. During sleep, we reach a state of repair at the cellular level. you may not fall asleep during a session, (some do), but you will be lulled into a place of deep relaxation and true rest.

I have seven movement classes set up for the rest of the year…join me and I will tell you more! Please click on my events tab if you are interested! Or, come for a session, and get an individual movement lesson. You will leave with a doable plan to move more throughout your day, and your life.

Keep moving! If you feel stuck…call me! I can help you learn this movement approach, the Trager Approach to healing yourself.

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Judith Fasone
Finding Balance and Neuroplasticity

Milton Trager MD developed an approach over his lifetime to reduce limitations from trauma and neurological problems like Cerebral Palsy, stroke, paralysis, polio and later in his life Parkinson's Disease. Using movement and guided imagery, we can recreate lost nervous system connections, now known by current neuroscience as "neuroplasticity" . Research has validated what Milton knew instinctively.

“Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, neuroelasticity, or neural plasticity, is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual's life, e.g., brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the proportion of grey matter can change, and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time” (wikipedia). Movement, crossword puzzles, learning a new language and music all help create new neurons that keep our brains growing new connections.

I am offering a class on Sunday 9/22 from 12-5 to explore these ideas related to balance. This introduction to the Trager Approach will use movement and touch to improve your balance physically and in your life...everything is related. Old injuries that have not healed may be kept alive by compensation patterns, so new movement patterns need to be learned. Patterns are also formed in the way we think or speak about things, so being aware of your attitude toward yourself and your limitations will be discussed.

Neuroplasticity can be used in a positive or negative way, you make the choice. If you have strong self-efficacy and self reliance, you know you can heal yourself, you know you can be well. You may also have a lot of self-doubt and fear about your health, which will bring about problems and delay healing. We can learn to use our brain power to live the live we want, fully and alive at any age. This is not black and white, but many gradations of movement and light, and to live fully is to explore them all. Perhaps this is why it is called GREY matter! I want to show you ways to explore the full range of your being, the depth of you that has not seen the light of day for a while. Sometime we need a pair of eyes to help us with our blind spots.

Primarily, learning these skills for yourself is a must before you share with others, but if you are helping others, these simple techniques are easily shared and VERY EFFECTIVE, I have been a nurse for 30 years and a Trager Practitioner and instructor for 22 years. I will help you develop a plan to move beyond your current capacity to move and enjoy the freedom you long for.

SUNDAY SEPT 22 from 12-6 1540 W. 5th St 614 486 8323 register online thereikicenter.net

Judith Fasone
Nuero-chemical Happiness

Sometimes it is good to review the science behind healing. Here is a short version:

Relaxation happens at a cellular level when we have all our needs met. The para sympathetic nervous system in the body sends signals to the body/mind that everything is ok. Cellular repair occurs in this mode, and serotonin, just one of the necessary ingredients for feeling good, is released. Rejuvenation of energy occurs, and our immune response is at full tilt to keep us free from external viral and bacterial assault.

During sleep, serotonin is being restored. Without this lengthy rest overnight, our serotonin supply is depleted. Overtime, this leads to depression, anxiety and more. Luckily for us, this is an unconscious process, and there is so much more happening at the cellular level!

Trager sessions access the para sympathetic nervous system through gentle rocking, elongation, and eliciting the reflex response in a slow, rhythmic way. During the time you are on the table, your body is bathed in natural, hormonal responses that activate cellular repair. Greater circulation of blood and lymph are part of this healing response. Most clients report sleeping better than they have for a long time after a session.

Access to the unconscious mind comes during this deep rest. As in a dream, memories that are held in every cell of the body are now free to release as the client is lulled into a dream like state on the table. These memories come from our personal experiences in life, the good and bad times, and are a part of our holding patterns in our gait, attitudes and responses to current situations. The release does not need to be verbalized, just felt and registered. We do not ask questions during this period, but offer a safe, resting space. A deep breath may occur spontaneously, as the release occurs.

Candice Pert wrote Your Body is your Unconscious Mind” in 2000. If this topic interests you, the audiotape is worth hearing. In a nutshell, she notes that our brains are not in charge, and that our molecular drama is forefront in our way of being in the world and is at the forefront of medicine.

Milton Trager was ahead of our time, but his legacy lives on in the hands of his students/practitioners/teachers all over the world. He understood and taught that “my hands are feeling the unconscious mind”, and this is where the lasting change occurs.

I have added a chart to help you understand further some of the other chemicals needed for good health and happiness! Have a good night sleep tonight!

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Judith Fasone
A Question of Ease

The Trager Approach offers us the pathway toward peace we may be looking for. There is an experience of pleasure that is missed in the course of chronic pain or emotional heaviness, and the speed of everyday living. What is it that is needed? Ease. body, mind and spirit are all needed to access pleasure in our body, the pleasure of being alive.

First, ask yourself “ what would I like? A personal inquiry, such as this one, will lead to an answer of some sort. Ask yourself this question right now. Perhaps the answer is “a drink of water”, or “less pain in my back”. Respond to this request, now. It takes only a few minutes for these requests, but often, we do not ask and do not respond to the answer we receive. By the end of the day, we have neglected ourselves, are dehydrated and our back is now screaming at us.

If you had a guest over to your home, you would attend to their needs, if it was within your power. You would ask, because you want them to be comfortable. You would respond because you invited them there, and want to ensure a good visit. In our day to day actions, we can help others get their needs met, especially if we work in the service industry, or have a private practice, or are a mother, father, sister, brother, friend etc. We all fit into one of those categories. We help others everyday figure out what they want, and leave ourselves out of the equation.

Back to our little request, once answered, we gain ease. A trust develops internally that we are deeply listening to ourselves, and will hear and respond. The tension relaxes, ease is the result. Our perspective and irritation dissipates. How long do you stay with the question? Until you are comfortable. Another pillow might help. Perhaps standing up, walking away from your desk, and getting that drink of water will revive you.

Ease is the difference between taking the cap off a jar that has already been open vs. a jar that is brand new and won’t budge without knocking it on the floor. Our body/mind wants to be easy. In a fast paced environment, ease goes by the wayside. Slow down, and ask what could be softer, what could be easier. An answer will arrive. be ready for a positive change.

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Judith Fasone
Trager Talk: Caring for non-emergent amd chronic pain

At my last workshop, 7/28. we discussed how to treat a non-emergent situation. Barring the need for emergency hospitalizations, there is much to be done to reduce pain and panic, using the Trager Approach.

Consider this personal example: A new practitioner of 4 years, I stopped by to visit a friend, and I accidentally slammed the door on my own fingers. I do not remember the situation now, it was over 15 years ago. I do remember my immediate response to the extremely painful feeling I had in the 3 middle fingers of my right hand. They looked to be bend backwards, but not broken, I was in tears with pain, and alone in the driveway.

I immediately reached down for the grass. I gently slid the tips of my fingers under the roots of the grass and began elongating by slightly elevating my hand away from the earth. I jiggled and let go, then repeated numerous time. I felt some relief after a bit, and never had any bruising. It was a spontaneous reaction, and a creative one. I didn’t know what to do, but the gentle jiggling and elongating did the trick.

Staying calm when injured is sometimes difficult. Taking some breaths and going into hook-up will slow the heart rate and help you to think better about next steps. Survey the situation, and the resources for help, and make a decision. Emergencies occur when there is a threat to breathing, any bleeding or severe pain.

If you are certain you do not need help, continue with your own self-care:

1) Breathe and relax as much as possible. 2) Decrease swelling and bruising with gentle movement to the area 3) Increased oxygen means less pain. Pain is often a result of the O2 supply being cut off for too long, and the body is screaming for air. 4) Apply heat after inflammation is gone, and cold to bring down the swelling. 5) Never use extreme heat/cold longer than 5-10 minutes. 6) When the pain is more manageable use a hot washcloth for 3 seconds then an ice cube for 3 seconds, and repeat 3 times. Do this a few times a day to speed healing. The contraction and relaxation of the tissue will remind the cells how to normalize.7) Use wintergreen or sweet birch oil to decrease pain. Gentle application will soak in and create mild heat and reduce pain.8) Topical magnesium oil will speed muscle/bone cellular damage.

For chronic pain, stay with it. Learn your compensating patterns. Ask for help. You do not have to live with chronic pain. Injuries heal rather quickly in our bodies, but if you have lingering pain, there may be an unresolved emotional component to it. Seek guidance on how to get to the root of it. Treat the injury as if it just happened. Stick with it. Pain is our loudest messenger! It has some importance, do your best to listen and respond to behavioral changes, or you may keep re-injuring yourself.

Rest is important and a high protein diet will speed healing as well. Listen to your body and be a first responder. Our bodies have an innate capacity to heal itself, if put in the right condition. If you have been told there is nothing that can be done for you, attend to your own needs until you run out of ideas, then try the Trager Approach.

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Judith Fasone
Moving Medicine: Trager First Aid this Sunday!

Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa! First let me apologize because I know my blogs were duplicated and scheduled in error, I do apologize for this inconvenience. The best of intentions are thwarted by technology!

A quick reminder to sign up for my class this SUNDAY, 7/28 on Trager First Aid at the Reiki Center from 12-6 PM. We will explore chronic pain, offering relief and deep healing with self healing touch and movement, and also discuss what to do in an emergency situation if you are injured. (Barring the need for the Emergency Dept!).

Trager is not a replacement for medical care, but remaining calm and addressing any immediate needs can make a big difference in the healing of an injury.

Learn why Self Care is Health Care in this seminar, and get out of the heat at the beautiful Reiki Center on 5th Avenue.

Register online at thereikicenter.net. If you have taken one of my classes in this series, I will give you a rebate of $10 when you arrive. Bring a friend or family member, and you will learn skills to help them as well as support each other beyond the class.

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Judith Fasone
Rowing for real!

Yes, I am! Four years ago at age 60 I joined the Upper Arlington Adult Learn to Row group, and completed a grueling session. My body was eager to become strong as a rower, and my will carried me through, but it was tough. Team sports were not my preference in High School, so that summer I learned to sweat. I couldn’t stop simply because I was uncomfortable, and the sweat rolled into my eyes and down my back.

The hardest task was getting in and out of the shell, which sat slightly below the dock. In a coordinated effort our group would go “in and down” at the beginning and “one foot on dock and one on strip and up and out”. I was not the only one learning to stand quickly and in a balanced way.

I hung in there, and this is my 4th year! I feel like I might know what I am doing, and can put forth more effort when in motion. The coaches are great, very patient and young…but they know what they are doing , and I trust them to help me improve.

Taking care of our aging bodies is a priority. If you want to enjoy your life, and are tired of feeling like a slug, join a group activity. Push your edges. Start where you are, and make a commitment to yourself. Your health will improve, and so will every other problem you may have at the moment.

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Judith Fasone
Row, Row, Row your boat...

Whether or not you are merrily rowing your boat down the stream, the stream is flowing and you are rowing. Notice in this moment if you are going against the current or with it. Are you in the flow of your day, your life? Stopping for a moment and taking a few breaths could make the difference in your day.

Allow me…to guide you for 2-3 minutes, that’s all, I promise you will feel more relaxed!

Sit back in your chair, and let go of any tension you are aware of. Notice your breath for a few cycles. Then take 5 slow, deep breaths~inhalations and exhalations. Use a pretend straw to exhale to slow down. With each breath get slower.

Now sit quietly for another minute or two, stretch and get back to what you were doing!

It takes intelligence and sometimes courage to simply be.

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Judith Fasone
Pleasure and Pain

As much as we want to live in a free world, and in the US we have the declaration of independence to lead the way, freedom is a concept that just does not exist for some of us. Our healthcare system has for too long been the focus of quick fixes which is not sustainable. Our government functions in the same way, although there is a trend in the Veterans Administration Health Care system to move toward a more alternative and wellness direction. This is very hopeful, as it is spreading to the profit sector as well.

For many, chronic pain has a way of placing a stranglehold on our lives, reducing our freedom to live as before. We become accustomed to chronic pain especially, as it becomes “familiar”, or “of the family” so to speak. We may become so used to our pain, we cannot imagine not having it. We may even look for it when we wake up, or in a quiet moment during the day, like a friend who has come to live with us. This true friend gave us an important warning signal that something was wrong, and the emotion of the event was part of what locked in the painful feelings related to the physical injury and the pain then became trapped in the cell. As the original assault healed, compensation patterns were created in other parts of the body and the original injury was glossed over as if it was all better. If not corrected, the compensations problems will add insult to injury and our entire system learns to manage what was once, a long time ago, an event that will not be quieted.

Emotional assaults cause physical holding patterns, and physical assaults cause emotional patterns as well. Without pain, what is there? Freedom of movement, greater mobility, returning to a life that has been restricted. Are we ready to do the work needed to rehabilitate, reinvent and integrate fully back into our lives?

Between the the compensation patterns that occur (the body is great at holding things together in an emergency, to reduce further damage), the ease of saying no to social events that are challenging, and maybe even being off work, healing seems like a chore. Stick with it, pleasure is around the corner! Kahlil Gibran says “the pain is the unbreaking of the shell that encompasseth our understanding”. What does pain teach us?

As we get older, the amount of time needed to heal is longer, as our cellular repair is slower as we age. But change is possible, and we become more thoughtful and involved in our inner world as we age. We can extend healthy years, if we focus on doing everything we can to prevent cell death. One sure way to age faster is to stop moving, stop interacting and stop living. Slowing down and becoming more conscious is not the same as stopping.

Spiritual teachers like Thomas Moore, author of Ageless Soul, and forty other books about the soul, cites “we need to allow ourselves the depth of our sadness as well as our happiness, and a lot of soul work happens during these times”. Pain takes the toll on us emotionally, and depression and sadness from the loss of our freedom to move and interact as before needs serious reflection. Who am I with this pain, who was I without it? Finally, we are stopped in our tracks, to evaluate our path. How to make sense of our world, and the meaning of the pain, sadness, and possible isolation you may feel? How does chronic pain relate to the soul?

There are plenty of methods to help you heal. Alternative methods of healing, like the Trager Approach, massage, Reiki, sound and vibrational healing, counseling, biofeedback, guided imagery, breathing techniques and even reading inspirational material may be helpful to change the pain patterns. Find some support, experience a new type of bodywork, draw your feelings, draw your pain body. Listen deeply to your inner voice, and pleasure will delight and surprise you. Notice the moments during the day when you smile without cause, or find yourself singing. Notice how often you are free from pain, even if for a moment, and how that feels. Take it in small doses. Move more slowly, in a way that feels good to you. You will develop a tolerance to pleasure, as you did the pain or the medication you took to subdue it. . pleasure is powerful medicine.

Make that declaration of interdependence today, and find a team to help you move towards greater freedom in your body, your life. Follow the freedom trail, and honestly, we cannot change these deep seated painful patterns alone, whether they have to do with our personal pain, or our societal pain. We need each other. Let’s look for ways in which things are working well, and celebrate that!

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Judith Fasone
Breathe Into Open Heartedness

The lungs massage the heart with each breath. Imagine that! Breathe in and out, with this idea in mind. Full breaths, up to the collar bones, and exhaling until you feel all the air leave the lungs. Imagine now a straw to pull the air through, slowing down… blowing out through the straw as you exhale and feel the full effect. Sometimes making a soft sound can help as you breathe in and out. Shoulders and accessory muscles are not needed to breathe deeply. Continue with half that much effort, and what is half of that? Slowing down the pace, relaxed breaths enter and exit easily. Shoulders relax, lungs expand, massaging the heart.

Holding the breath is common when anxiety is present. This may be happening and you do not even realize it. Watch your breath for a few minutes. It is not so easy to watch something that normally happens without our conscious awareness. When we become aware of it, we may want to take control. Initially, you may feel anxious as you watch it, and feel like you have to now be in charge of one more thing. Take a good look in the mirror the next chance you get. Our posture influences the health of our heart. The ribs form a protective structure around the heart and lungs, and when a person is in optimal health and happiness, there is plenty of space for both. This space can diminish as we neglect our physical bodies and our mental states…we may become depressed, head hanging down or cowering slightly against the harshness of our world. We may hide our heart from others and withdraw, avoid eye contact and intimacy to keep ourselves safe. We also may become immobile or misshapen over time. Inside the shrunken rib cage, the heart and lungs become misshapen overtime, adapting, but the valves of the heart cannot close properly (leaky valves) and we are short of breath. Our daily behaviors, movement patterns and emotional states create the shape of our bodies as we experience it in this moment. These adaptions and compensations are the bandages of our wounds.

Rumi says:

“Don’t turn your head, keep looking at the bandaged place. that’s where the light enters you. And don’t think for a minute that you’re healing yourself.”

Breathe in the beauty of the Southern Italian Dolomites

Breathe in the beauty of the Southern Italian Dolomites

Judith Fasone
Soil, Cell and Soul

As basic as water, sun and time, is to a garden; is the caring touch, movement and trust that develops in the relationship between client and practitioner.  The Trager Approach® is a gentle way of opening our cells up to more oxygenation, more relaxation, more circulation and more freedom for body, mind and soul. The conscious and subconscious mind is nurtured by loving touch and affirmation,   meeting someone where they and their physical bodies are without judging, pushing or prodding.  Rocking a client in a rhythmic flow of movement, releases water and nutrients into the cell,which I liken to cellular gardening. With the right environment, health is enhanced, inviting a calm reassurance that the world is safe.  Trager tills the soil of our cells in a beautiful, effortless way.  Practitioners are gardeners reaching the mind and soul of our clients through their cell-soil with the intention to create peace, one person at a time.  

As an avid patio gardener and Franklinton Farm volunteer, I was awe- inspired by “The Big Little Farm”,  a documentary just released at the Gateway Theaters in Columbus, Ohio. It inspired me to share a review. The story goes something like this:

A young California couple has a vision of turning a worn out, 200 acre farm that was ruined by modern day agricultural practices (chemicals, antibiotics, and heavy machinery), into a thriving farm that is in harmony with nature.  The land had no viable soil, but it had dirt.  Dirt will not grow plants, without a lot of interference with herbicides and pesticides, because of the nature of a mono-culture.  The pond was dried up, mudslides had washed a lot of the good bottom soil away, and fields were parched and cracked in the midst of the worst drought on record in the area. 

Intent upon organic and natural farming practices; the couple hires an expert, Alan, who has the wisdom and confidence to turn the farm around.  For each challenge a creative solution arises. Focused on harmony and realizing the potential of nature as teacher, Alan knows to listen and observe deeply to the natural world, letting the creative, corrective plan come alive.  Many examples were aptly filmed and the intelligence of the natural world shines through. Diversity and inclusion are key components.

This film is a tribute to the natural world which expresses within me a certain calm, centered satisfaction and trust in the future that comes from witnessing the healing of the land. It is also a tribute to clients that come for healing and restoration. In a session, in this peaceful place, the fertile soil of our cells is soothed with rocking, and the soul gets a gentle reminder that this is the way to peace.  Follow me.

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Judith Fasone
Moving Medicine Class Series

This series of classes will enhance and empower you to find and enjoy greater ease and pleasure in your life and your body. The Moving Medicine Series begins on June 30. Those have attended other classes have been pleasantly often feel like they have had a 5 hour Trager session for the price of one.

Moving Medicine: Living Pain Free 6/30/19 12-6

Yes, you can! If you lose sleep from pain, are limited in your activities in any way because of pain, the Trager Approach can help. Being gentler and more conscious with our movement on a daily basis may help you find your individual path to freedom from pain. Moving Medicine is the art or science of restoring or preserving health using movement. 

The Trager approach, founded by Dr. Milton Trager, was ahead of its' time. Science has now explained how it works: Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment (wikipedia). Our mind creates these compensation patterns because we want to avoid the pain. The muscles become tighter to support the avoidance of pain, fascia wraps around the newly organized compensation to protect us. When the initial injury has sufficiently healed, the compensation pattern may remain. Over time, this may create other problems in the body. Luckily, neuroplasticity also means we can reverse those pattern to regain full function again. The pattern is released through mindful, gentle movements generated by impulses within you. All of these actions are simultaneously occurring in a Trager session or movement class AND I will teach you to do these things for yourself..

This introductory workshop is one of 6 monthly classes to help you enjoy your body and your life more. It also meets one of the requirements to enter into the Trager Certification program. Register on line at theReikiCenter.net or call 614-488-8323 for more information on this class and the class series. You can also contact me!
All are welcome! No experience is needed. The focus is on self care. If you are a nurse or an LMT, I can offer you continuing education credits. See you there!

Upcoming Classes are monthly at the Reiki Center (except 8/3/19):

7/29/19 Trager First Aid: healing new and old injuries

8/3/19 Trager First Aid: this one is in North Royalton, OH, near Cleveland. Let me know if you would like to carpool from Columbus with me. I will be returning the same day. The Purple Skies Homestead is a beautiful home, organic farm, and training facility for Trager and other modalities. In addition, Visar has 2 beautiful rooms with a double bed and private bath if you are coming from out of town and want to stay over. Contact Visar Duane: 440-781-8136 to register.

8/18/19 Exploring Boundaries: Being with self and other

9/22/19 Finding balance: Improving your physical and emotional balance

10/27/19 Trager for Couples: How to help our loved ones feel better (Save $10 each if you come with a paying partner to practice on.)

11/24/19 Helping ourselves as we help others: are you a caregiver?

Each class will address these topics, but also you will leave with a better understanding of what this approach can do for you. Or you may be inspired enough to take my 3 day Mentastics Class in November in North Royalton,Ohio, for more fun and self development. You may even decide to become involved in the Certification Program. Perhaps you would like to become a Trager Practitioner in your retirement plan? I get a session every time I give one. It is very gentle on our bodies. If you are an aging bodyworker or service provider, and want to continue helping others feel better, think about offering this approach as part of your transition to retirement.

Go to https://www.tragerapproach.us/ for more class offerings, training track information and general information and videos about this approach.

First Class of the Moving Medicine Series in $95. If you take more they are $10 less each time. (Nurses and National LMT members: if you are looking for CE’s the entire series offers 27).

Judith Fasone
Becoming Soul Oriented

In another post I said: “ we are so goal oriented, we forget to be Soul oriented!” There are many thoughts about the existence (or not) of a Soul, but here is my understanding at this time.

Happiness may be a signal that we are doing the work of the Soul, and from my limited experience, humans find happiness when our Soul is doing what we are here to do. In my case, I am really happy in nature, when I interact with others, or when I use my hands and heart to relieve clients, friends and family from pain and suffering. I feel alive when I complete a song or poem, plant a garden, engage in growing something, or encouraging someone. Whenever I am in the process of creating art, or observing the beauty of the moment, I feel I have stepped into something greater than myself, that may be my Soul self.

To be more soul-oriented, may mean that the bigger work of my life is in consideration, rather than setting a goal for the day or a year. Daily goals are steps toward Soul work because they arise from desire. And our deeper desires are also important to consider. They arise when we find ourselves stuck in boredom, or have some physical or emotional event that is unpleasant. IS this the life I want? What is a life? What can I contribute? What truly makes my heart sing? What do I want? These soulful questions help me to dive deeper into satisfaction and happiness. When I follow the inquiry, I become more engaged in my life.

When I empty my mind, my Soul has a moment to rest and come forward or shine through. Sitting quietly in the woods, or on the patio, looking at a tree sway in the breeze. Then an inner impulse arises, to seek, to question, to be in awe. I listen and I respond. I feel fortunate to have choice and the free will to live my life. I have the privilege of having all my needs met, and so I also have a responsibility to contribute to the Greater Good. (I always thought God was misspelled God=Good)

Daily, the world around us is chaotic, fearful and suffering is present. I am aware, but do not spend much time here. I limit my intake of news as I limit my intake of sugar. It weakens me. I help where I can, and I lean toward beauty, nature, music, sunlight, clouds…nameless things that clear my mind and fill my…Soul. I know I can choose how I spend my time, what I ingest and how I react to my world. I take full responsibilities for my actions, I am accountable and engaged with others. I also know i am still a novice, learning everyday about happiness and being Soul oriented.

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Judith Fasone
Grace Space

In the course of a day, I find moments to take a pause from thought and action. It only takes a moment to become fully present. My life is filled to the brim with wonderful events including family, friends, creative expression of music and poetry, traveling, spending time in nature, cooking and sharing my life with my community. I am especially grateful that I have the time to pause and reflect on my day, in between activities. This is a learned behavior. Since my private practice consists of helping my clients to slow down and listen, I deepen this practice as well.

This morning, while taking a walk, two friends and I saw a Black Headed Blue Warbler. It was not afraid of us. We had quietly approached the area, and in our silence I noticed the bird, on a tree trunk about 4 feet away from us. Apparently, the male of this species is easily approachable according to the Ohio Birds book I own,.We were able to photograph it, and bask in its iridescence. For a few minutes, time was suspended, and wonder and awe became the focus and the feeling.

This is what I would call a GRACE SPACE; a natural event, unplanned, one that inspires awe and wonder. No words are needed. Instead , in the silence our perceptive abilities of the world around us grow. I enjoy these moments of grace, and the more we notice them, the more they will happen. Notice and share your experience of grace space, and the occurrences will increase throughout your day.

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Judith Fasone
Moving Medicine

Milton Trager, MD, was ahead of his time. His vision was to “create peace in the world, one person at a time.” From a very early age he was found greater strength, flexibility and ease by gently exploring movement. The first fifty years of his life he practiced his approach in solitude. The result of his inner explorations resulted in The Trager Approach.

Milton’s life took many twists and turns to get to the point of creating his approach, described in Moving Medicine by Jack Liskin (1996). Milton died in 1997. I never met him, but he visited me in 2 dreams that I remember in great detail, within the first 3 years as a practitioner. The deeper message was to “go at your own pace”, “we connect without words”, and “have a sense of humor”. I was actually hooked on this approach after my 3rd Trager session with local Columbus practitioner, Xichel Woods. She encouraged me to let go, and I didn’t even know I was holding on. I was a single Mother with 3 daughters under the age of 10 at that time, and close to 40 years old. It has been a continual process of letting go even 22 years later. I love the work, and have never felt the need to learn any other techniques, although i have traded with many excellent practitioners, of many different approaches, that were very helpful for me at the time. I receive a sessin every time I give one.

My practice has evolved to include my experiences as a nurse (mental health, community health and holistic theory and practice, functional nutrition classes and nurse coaching. Everyone has an innate capacity for health, and an individual path to the vibrancy of a healthy life. Relying on external healing approaches is at times necessary, as in the case of emergencies. I would not suggest treating a broken arm with nutrition or a Trager session. Emergency services are rightfully needed and save lives everyday. Continual poor eating habits, over use of alcohol and sedentary lifestyles, stress, and external and internal environments all contribute to poor health. Prevention and wellness is a way to avoid of illness, doctor’s visits and hospitalizations. Many sources are citing our healthcare system as the #1 cause of death in our country. Check on this link to find more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225187/ . The U.S. healthcare system has high rates of death related to medication overuse and errors,and infectious processes. Every day in my private practice I promote prevention of illness through empowerment, movement and touch. Is health determined simply by our desire to focus on being healthy and happy?

Learn to listen deeply to the messages of our bodies and especially what makes us happy and excited about life! Regularly, I engage in rowing, backpacking and hiking, even as my body is slowing down with age. The changes that occur physically in our bodies are gradual, and sitting is NOT the answer. Slowing down yes, but do not stop moving. Certain days I have more inflammation when I wake up. I stop to think what I did (or did not do) or ate the day before. Overall, the diet and lifestyle I have now has been a gradual shift to greater consciousness and health.

Thanks , Milton for introducing me and the world to a lighter way of being, freer not just in our body, but in our mind as well. Truly, there is no separation. As I age, I feel healthier, happier and more peaceful. So can you.

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Judith Fasone
By Invitation Only

The Trager Approach has some interesting and effective principles. One of the hallmarks of our work is to INVITE the tissue to feel softness, never pressing, never pushy. Our world is moving faster and faster, and according to “Moore’s Law” this will continue exponentially (Friedman, 2016).  Thomas Friedman, in his book Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration, goes into great detail regarding the toll technology has taken on our physical bodies and social relationships.  Moore’s law states: “the expectation that the power of microchips would double roughly every two years”, has come true, and gone beyond that assumption. Many of us have felt the changes that have occurred in our lives because of this exponential growth of computation and artificial intelligence.  One of the major consequences of this acceleration, is the length of time it will take our social structures to catch up and protect us from those effects.  Depression and suicide in teens is one of those effects.  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/14/563767149/increased-hours-online-correlate-with-an-uptick-in-teen-depression-suicidal-thou  .

You may be thinking of some of your clients that have benefited greatly from simply slowing down, which is taught and felt during a session.  In fact, that may be our greatest gift as practitioners and teachers of this approach. Milton certainly was ahead of his time, as he mentions in Trager Mentastics: Movement as a  Way to Agelessness. “Mentastics will help us develop patience”. (Trager, 2007).  Patience allows us to make better choices. 

For the past 22 years practicing the Trager Approach with clients, I explain to my clients that the session is “by invitation only”.  During the session I ask the tissue “how could it be” and teach my clients to ask similar questions that inquire about pain or confusion or anxiety rather than plan a response to a symptom. Even if the first 40 years of my adult life (or theirs) was full of pushing toward my full Self, it can be different now.   I was invited to let go. And I did. Little by little, with each session, training, and each encounter with hook up.  Is this what our clients come for?

Mentastics and Hook Up (A prashe used my Milton Trager that connects us to something greater than ourselves) allow us to let go of the historical/herstorical/hysterical physical and emotional roles and assaults we may have endured which are etched into our cellular memory. At the time, these memories were needed, self-protective measures, behaviors and movement patterns. Thus, the INVITATION to let go, becomes a suggestion, a choice that we can make. It is up to us. Do we want to hold onto what happened to us in the past, or go softly and openly toward our future? How about just for this moment? Once the freedom is felt, it can be experienced over and over. This is the feeling you can have anytime, just by recalling your session. The stories behind the patterns do not need to be told, in fact retelling our stories often keeps the wounds alive, and healing is never complete. There is a better way. Mentastics teach us to become fully present with the sensations that happen when we relax, allowing our bodies the space and time to be more fully alive. We can then respond to our inner need to let go, and choose a pathway to peace.

Friedman suggests in the book mentioned above, that when we are waiting for someone who is late, we can make a choice to take advantage of the unplanned empty space.  Perhaps this is a time for a Mentastics, a breath, hooking up to that vast ocean of pleasantness we learn in a session. I just found a new phrase for it: Grace Space! Perhaps we could schedule that into each day.   

 

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Judith Fasone