HOW TO TURN YOUR CHALLENGES INTO OPPORTUNITES | Become a Warrior

I’d like to discuss something that is very personal to me…..how you can turn your challenges or crises into opportunities. When you look at people like Michael Jordan, Rocky Balboa, and Bruce Lee, you can see that these spiritual warriors have the most unbelievable focus, attention, and tenacity.

Here are some practical tips that you can do in your life to develop this resiliency and turn your challenges into opportunities. As George Mumford highlights in his book The Mindful Athlete, when we walk the path of a spiritual warrior, we can we think about the journey as opposed to the destination. When we look at some of these incredible athletes and true warriors, we can see that it isn’t about the outcome or the results, it’s about the journey. “An ordinary man takes everything as a blessing, or as a curse, whereas a warrior is going to take everything as a challenge.”

All right, here you go! Three things that can help you turn your challenges into opportunities.

  1. Noticing what’s right

We tend to, during times of crises or challenges, focus on what’s wrong and what isn’t going right in our lives. However, rather than focusing on that, we can focus on the beauty of the moment, with all of its imperfections, and we can find this deep wisdom that we wouldn’t have found otherwise. When we can really begin to look inward at this inner critic and emotional blueprint, and ask questions and explore it with curiosity, we can inquire about this really amazing wisdom. This will allow us to be able to look from a different lens to be able to see this obstacle or this challenge as an opportunity for growth.

2. Emotional error correction

Rather than blaming someone, something, or even ourselves, we need to think about asking the question “why?”. Have wonder and curiosity about why this happened and potentially what do you have to learn from this? Whether your challenges are small or big, there’s always something to learn about yourself. There’s always an opportunity to transform your growth as a human being. When we can transform the frustration and aggravation into the joy and satisfaction of learning about ourselves, we can begin to have more teachable moments in our lives. We can begin to have these experiences or these challenges that bring us awareness and make us more focused and present in our own lives. So, essentially when we are experiencing these different emotions, we can bring this wonder and this curiosity to the forefront because when we do that, then we begin to see the experience and situation so differently. We can ask with an open heart, and we can inquire about ourselves, be inquisitive about the situation and begin to grow.

3. The right effort

 This is where we focus on the journey, not the destination. This is where we don’t necessarily think “life’s a grind and I’m just going to try to push through.” Instead, we appreciate all the moments, experiences, and people along the way and appreciate the process, not the outcome, results, or the destination. This is where we can sit, and we can simply enjoy sitting. It is when we don’t have to be on the go and running and doing a million things. We can actually just be present and pay attention. We can pay attention to our experiences and be in tune with what our body needs. This is the right effort, not pushing so hard that you just continue to get hurt in your exercise program. Instead, you just give the right amount of effort so that you see these adaptations over time, for example.

There you have it, three ways that you could help turn your challenges into opportunities. I was diagnosed with stage three liposarcoma two months before my wedding about five years ago. That was when I made this commitment to myself that I wanted to not just survive cancer, but I wanted to thrive during cancer. With that, I have taken all of these steps to optimize my mindset, nutrition, and movement to really help me achieve the life that I want to have. I hope that you can turn this current challenge into an opportunity for you.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Check out my TEDx talk below to see my story of turning challenges into opportunities.

COULD YOUR ANXIETY and DEPRESSION BE COMING FROM YOUR GUT? | SIBO

Did you ever wonder if anxiety and/or depression was caused purely by psychological reasons or possibly from other causes? It absolutely can be caused from many different things such as systemic inflammation, leaky gut, hormonal changes, and your gut, specifically SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which is what we’ll focus on today. Surprising I know! Let’s dive into the gut-brain connection, the bacteria and neurotransmitters in your gut, as well as what you can do to improve that neurotransmitter function in your gut and brain to really help you improve your mood, feel better, and move through your life with ease.

Other causes for anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression can come from many other physical causes. It can come from systemic inflammation or leaky gut. Leaky gut is where we have endotoxins released into the bloodstream coming through the epithelial lining of the small intestine and that creates an immune reaction. This can also lead to leaky brain. This is where those endotoxins cross the blood brain barrier and can contribute to things like mood changes and brain fog, etc. We can also have anxiety/depression related to hormonal changes. Last but definitely not least, we can have it from small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).  In essence, the altered microbiome can be one of the biggest contributors to anxiety and/or depression.

Typical course of action in America

The typical course of action in America is that when you present with anxiety and/or depression, you are prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRRI). This can be something like Prozac, Paxil, or Lexapro. The reason these are prescribed is for low serotonin, our feel good neurotransmitter. Serotonin is one of our key chemical messenger that signals to the brain. This is formed by the bacteria in the gut, and guess what, 90 percent of our serotonin is in our gut! So, now we want to ask ourselves, why is our serotonin low? We may want to dive into what may be happening in the gut that could be contributing to this.

SIBO

SIBO, once again small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, can be one of the huge underlying factors in anxiety and/or depression. This is something that is definitely not looked at as frequently, and if you are experiencing something like bloating and other digestive symptoms, then this would be something to look into as one of the potential causes of your anxiety and/or depression. This happens when we have an overgrowth of the normal bacteria in the gut, and it creates a dysbiosis which means just an imbalance in the bacteria of the gut. This in turn will lead to things like nutrient deficiencies, malabsorption, and imbalances in the neurotransmitters. The gut-brain connection is a bidirectional communication between our gut and our brain. Our gut is our second nervous system. The bacteria in the gut is essentially what’s forming these neurotransmitters, our chemical messengers and communicators to the brain.

Testing for SIBO

Why is it so important to look at possible bacterial overgrowth in the gut and test it appropriately? When you are having any digestive issues like bloating, abdominal pain, any type of diarrhea, constipation, etc and it’s coupled with anxiety and/or depression, then you should absolutely be tested for SIBO. SIBO is tested using a breath test which is going to assess either hydrogen or methane gas. You ingest something called lactulose, and because it cannot be absorbed, it will be present in the small intestine. If it ferments with the bacteria in your gut, then you will exhale either a methane or hydrogen gas. If you’d like to order a test, click HERE.

Irritable bowel syndrome has been used as a diagnosis for many years, and now what we’re finding out is that IBS diagnosis is really SIBO in most cases. When you have this diagnosis, and you are experiencing anxiety and/or depression, it is going to be imperative that you address this as one of the potential root causes of your anxiety or depression because there’s no way that you can have the appropriate amount of serotonin, and even elements of dopamine if you are experiencing SIBO.

So what do you do about it?

1) The first thing is to make sure you get properly tested and evaluated.

2) Include a low FODMAP diet.

It is important to remove any type of inflammatory foods or triggers that could be aggravating this condition. FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. Low fodmap foods are easily digested carbohydrates which is a really important aspect of a SIBO protocol. Also eliminate things like gluten which is found in wheat, a high FODMAP food, a big driver in leaky gut, a common complaint or comorbidity along with SIBO.

3) Supplementation.

Typically, supplementation is going to be required because you will likely have malabsorption issues. It doesn’t mean that you definitely will, but there is a strong possibility, especially is this has been going on for quite some time. You may have to take specific highly bioavailable nutrient supplements until your body can absorb a more effectively and be able to repair the gut lining in cases of leaky gut. Glutamine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body for immune health and intestinal health. This will be one of the very important nutrients that you will want to ingest if you are diagnosed with SIBO. The recommendation is 15 to 21 grams a day.

4) You want to reinoculate with probiotics.

It is important to recognize that not all probiotics will work for every SIBO patient. Most commonly, spore-based probiotics seem to be best as some other probiotics could make you worse.

5) Antibiotics

Antibiotics are typically used to treat the SIBO. There are different protocols and philosophies on when the appropriate time is to give the antibiotic. However, it is going to be necessary in most cases, whether it’s an herbal antibiotic or a conventional antibiotic to kill the bacteria.

In summary, hopefully you can appreciate that there’s way more to anxiety and depression, then simply only psychological reasons. We’ve only scratched the surface of just one part aspect of this, but I wanted share with you about neurotransmitters, introduce the gut-brain connection, and hopefully just have you think a little bit deeper about how can you begin to address some of the root causes of why this could be happening to you or someone you love.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to treat or diagnose. Please check with your physican or functional medicine practitioner to determine a specific plan.

7 Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System I Beginner Lymph Drainage

Let’s discuss one of the most powerful and most neglected systems in the body, the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a critical part of the immune system and is vital for protecting us from illness and chronic disease.

Seventy to 90 percent of all chronic disease is linked to inflammation. How do we get rid of inflammation? Primarily through our lymphatic system or other detoxification systems or organs including our liver, kidney, lungs, skin, GI system, tongue and fat.

We are made up of 80 percent water. Let’s compare the lymphatic system to an aquarium. We can appreciate that if the aquarium has clean, filtered water everything in the aquarium (the fish, algae, etc) is going to not only survive but thrive.  However, if that tank is unfiltered, becomes toxic and infected, everything in the tank is also going to become toxic and have a lack of oxygen and nutrients.  Therefore, it cannot survive, let alone thrive in that toxic environment.

As one of my mentors Dr. Perry Nicholson says, “you cannot get well in the environment that you got ill  in.”

Symptoms of a Poor Lymphatic System

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, then you most likely have a lymphatic issue but truthfully if you’re living in modern society, you most likely have a lymphatic issue anyway because of how toxic our environment is. With that said, if you had things like morning stiffness, chronic pain or fatigue or stiffness, bloating in your face in your abdomen, varicose veins, brain fog, poor sleep, acne, bad breath poor capillary refill, and painful lymph nodes, then most likely you are dealing with some kind of lymphatic issue.

Amazing Facts About the Lymphatic System

The lymph system is pretty darn amazing. There’s over 700 lymph nodes in the body and over one third of them are in the neck. There’s 15 liters of lymph in our body. All of the lymph is pumping in one direction, the direction of the heart, and it’s deeply connected to the gut.  It is connected through the Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT), specifically the Peyer’s patches. Remember that 70 to 80 percent of our immune system is in our gut! Now you can appreciate this deep connection of the lymphatic system to the gut. If there is a gut issue, there is a lymph issue!

7 Ways to Improve Your Lymphatic System

What can you do if you have a lymphatic issue? What you can you do to help optimize your immune system? Here are seven key ways that are very easy things to integrate into your life and should be foundational.

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing

The two key ways to improve your lymphatic system are movement and breath. Let’s speak about breath first. When I refer to breath, I really mean diaphragmatic breath.  You are using the diaphragm to actually create a pumping mechanism that is going to pump the lymph to the cisterna chyli, which is one of your main lymph drainage points in the center of your abdomen.

Breathing diaphragmatically is going to improve the chances of having a healthy lymph system.  We breathe 20 to 25,000 times a day. If we have stress breathing, however, and the diaphragm is very restricted, that is going to significantly impact the function lymphatic system. Breathing is your superpower!

Try taking at least three diaphragmatic breaths every hour and breathe for five min in the morning and at night before bed.

2. Movement

Once again, movement is one of the most important things to do to improve your lymphatic system.  We want to think of hydrating the tissue and moving the lymph system.

Try to move frequently throughout the day, not just for one hour and then sitting the remaining part of the day.  Think about movement snacks. As Gray Cook says, “move well and then often.”

3. Staying Hydrated

It seems very simple, but also very challenging for many people. Remember, we are 80 percent water so it is very important for the lymphatic system to be well hydrated.

Make sure to that you’re drinking at minimum, eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day, and always making sure that your urine is yellow is pale yellow to clear.

4. Anti-inflammatory nutrition

The more inflammation that we have, the more toxic our environment is. We cannot get well in the environment that we got ill in. Focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet, getting rid of any gut infections anything like yeast overgrowth or SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) that you recognize is contributing to a poor lymphatic system is essential.  

All of these systems work together, so it’s really important to address any underlying condition and really focus on a well-balanced whole food natural diet.

5. One-minute lymphatic drainage.

This is the most basic version and is for beginners. It’s a great starting point for many people.  If you go  too fast too soon with the lymphatic system, you can actually cause a huge detoxification reaction and it can make you feel very ill. This is a great way to simply start the process, and if you have any negative symptoms, you would wait until those symptoms resolved for you progress.  Ultimately the goal is to do this daily. You could do it in the shower, before you work out, or any consistent and convenient time. Always make sure to follow with movement.

Watch the lymph drainage HERE.

Remember that for the lymph drainage the order is very important, you’re always starting on the left side and then moving to the right, and you start with above the collarbone area, move up to the jaw under the jaw, and then go into the pec, then the abdomen, then the inguinal area, and then behind the knees. The order is very important and perform five pats in each place.

6. Vagus nerve stimulation

The vagus nerve is the longest nerve in the body, one of our cranial nerves that regulates our parasympathetic nervous system. We can stimulate the vagus nerve in many ways; through breathing and meditation, specific cranial nerve exercises, humming, chanting, yoga and more. Because we can improve that parasympathetic system (rest and digest state), we can impact our impact our breathing, and therefore our pumping action of the lymphatics. 

You’ll want to make sure that you one of more of these practices in your daily life.

7. Decreasing Stress

When the HPA axis (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis) is activated, our stress pathway in our body, we’re ultimately going to release cortisol. Cortisol can break down proteins. More specifically, it can break down collagen. Collagen is the main structural protein in the extracellular matrix of connective tissue in the body and is the most abundant protein in our body. Therefore, the breakdown can impact the structure of the cells in the lymphatic system, which therefore can cause blockages and decreased blood flow, which ultimately in turn means that there will be more congestion and a more toxic environment.

Please find the things that help YOU manage stress! Please see how to map your nervous system.

So there you have it, seven different ways to improve your lymphatic system, and hopefully with a little background information to help you on your healing journey.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Source: Dr. Perry Nichelston, Stop Chasing Pain

Disclaimer: This is not intended to treat or diagnose. Please check with your physican or functional medicine practitioner to determine a specific plan.

Supplement recommendations to boost your immune system

Did you ever wonder what supplements you should be taking during this COVID-19 virus? I’ve had a lot of questions recently about what supplements to take to not only prevent illness, but also fight off illness and boost your immunity. Although there are no vaccines to date for COVID-19, there is a ton of emerging research on different nutraceuticals and botanicals that can be used once again to not only prevent illness, but to fight off illness. Let’s dive in.

  1. Curcumin

Curcumin. This has been shown to reduce inflammation, as well as reduce the viral infection of COVID-19. It is beneficial to have black pepper with it, which enhances the bioavailability. The recommendation is 500 to 1000 milligrams twice a day.

2. Quercetin

This is a plant flavanoid that is found in many fruits and vegetables and it has been shown to decrease viral growth. It is recommended to take 1000 milligrams twice a day orally.

3. Zinc

Through a large body of research, zinc has been shown to have antiviral properties. You would take this in any form of zinc, so it could be citrate, acetate, glycinate, picolinate, or gluconate. You would take small doses of 30 to 60 milligrams throughout the day.

4. Vitamin D

This has been shown to reduce upper respiratory infections, decrease viral growth, as well as improve the overall immune system. This recommended dosage is 5000 international units daily.

5. Vitamin C

This can really play a huge role in immune defense and it is actually being used in the hospitals treating COVID-19. Take one to three grams a day orally.

6. Vitamin A

Not only does it support the lining of the respiratory tract, but it also can contribute to reducing inflammation and supporting the immune system. You would take 10,000 to 25,000 international units daily.

7. N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC)

This can support the production of glutathione, which is one of our most powerful antioxidants. In addition to that, it also can reduce the severity of the flu. It is recommended to  take 600-900 mg twice a day.

8. Melatonin

We know that during times of stress we are not getting the proper amount of sleep, or the proper quality of sleep. Melatonin can help produce more restful sleep and can also reduce inflammation. You can take five to 20 milligrams before bedtime.

9. Elderberry

This has been used extensively in the prevention of the flu. In addition to that, it’s packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. You can take 500 milligrams orally.

10. Resveratrol

This is a compound found in red grapes, and it has been shown in the lab to attack a relative virus of COVID-19. Resveratrol’s anti-inflammatory properties appear to play a significant role in accelerating the healing of organs such as the liver, lungs, intestines and heart by slowing inflammation and swelling. It is recommended to take 100-150 milligrams twice a day.

11. Green tea or EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate)

This has been shown to reduce information and has also been known to affect the pathway that is consistent with the COVID-19 virus. You can either drink four cups of green tea daily or take 200 milligrams of the EGCG.

Summary

Of course we know what all the precautions associated with COVID-19 are wearing masks, washing your hands, and participating in social distancing. However, you can also consider how you can optimize your immune system. If you do get this virus, you can potentially decrease the viral load thereby changing the way that your body responds to it. Whether it is coming from foods, (check out 12 immune- boosting foods,) or supplementation, this is a really good opportunity to do whatever you can to stay as healthy as possible. Of course, please don’t forget sleep hygeine, meditation, and movement!

If you’d like a ready to order list with high grade supplements (that you can customize), email drarianne@themovementparadigm.com with “supplements” in the subject line.

If you need help on your journey to better health, contact drarianne@themovementparadigm.com to schedule.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

Source: Institute of Functional Medicine

Disclaimer: This is not intended to treat or diagnose. Please check with your physican or functional medicine practitioner to determine a specific plan.

What is stress doing to your weight loss goals? I Hormones

Did you know that stress can significantly affect your ability to lose weight? I wish weight loss was as simple as “eat less and exercise more.” However, many of you have probably experienced weight loss resistance despite doing all of the things that you should be doing from a nutritional, stress management, and movement standpoint. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are always ways to continue to improve your health. But why do some of us struggle to lose those extra stubborn pounds?

There are multiple reasons why this could happen, some of which include changes in the microbiome,  leaky gut, which can affect your ability to absorb nutrients, inflammation which can result from food, toxins, bugs, trauma, and hormone dysregulation. That is what we’re going to focus on today. Here are four hormones that can be interfering with your weight loss.

  1. Insulin

As it relates to hormones, the number one offender is going to be insulin, no doubt about it. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas. It signals to your body to absorb glucose (sugar) from your bloodstream and turn it into fat. It is referred to as the “fat storing hormone, because it can shut down the metabolic burning. This is why high blood sugar and high insulin levels make it harder to lose weight. Therefore, it can contribute to chronic disease, excess weight gain, and excess fat storage. Increased caloric intake, stress, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI), genetics, hypertension, Polycysytic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) among others can contribute to insulin resistance.

2. Thyroid

One in five women and one in 10 men have been diagnosed with thyroid disease. However, about 50 percent of the cases go undiagnosed primarily because the testing is insufficient for really looking at a complete picture of the thyroid. Most often, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) is checked. However, there is also a free T3, free T4, Thyrogobulin Aibodies (TgAb), Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies(TPOAb), and sometimes reverse T3 to really get an entire picture. Some of the things that can contribute to thyroid disease are gluten intolerance, stress, and environmental toxins, which are huge contributors including any type of nutrient deficiency.

3. Cortisol

This is one of our biggest stress hormones. When we are under stress or we have a perceived threat or stressor, we activate the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA axis). This is our stress pathway in our body. Our amygdala in our limbic system detects this perceived threat. A physiological response is mediated through the hypothalamus triggering the pituitary gland by secreting corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH). The pituitary gland in our brain secretes adrenal corticotropic hormone (ACTH) into the bloodstream to signal the adrenal glands, which sit right on top of the kidneys. The adrenal glands then in turn release glucocorticoids, such as cortisol. When this happens in the case of running from a tiger that is a normal response, it’s a survival mechanism. The problem starts when we have this stress response all the time. This is when it can lead to things like weight gain, insulin resistance, loss of lean body mass, increased fat storage, and the higher propensity for any kind of inflammatory condition, autoimmune disease, or chronic conditions. Therefore, it’s really important to understand how this stress pathway, when under chronic stress, affects your ability to lose weight or not. Keep this in mind that it could be a ding on a phone or it could be running from a tiger, if you’re having the same response all the time, then that pathway is constantly activated, which means cortisol is constantly being released.

4. Sex Hormones

Many women can experience things like breast tenderness, heavy menstrual bleeding, fibroids, weight gain, fluid gain, and bloating. This can all be largely in part due to a high sugar diet and a highly refined carbohydrate diet, as well as environmental toxins and stress of course, contributing to increased estrogen dominance in the body. Now men on the other hand can also experience this and they might notice things like increased breast tissue and abdominal weight gain. This also can factor into if men have low testosterone. In this case they might have sexual dysfunction, poor libido, brain fog, inability to concentrate, bone loss, and weight gain.

There are many ways to naturally balance hormones that apply to all of the above. First and most importantly is decreasing stress!  As you can see, this is one of the consistent hormone disruptors in weight loss. Finding ways to manage your stress through meditation, journaling, nature, walking, talking with friends, or simply whatever helps you the most. Other very important things to consider include:

  1. Balance your blood sugars
  2. Include a protein, healthy fat, and fiber source in each meal and snack.
  3. Eat a high-quality protein source at EVERY meal
  4. Eat every 4-6 hours (unless hungry)
  5. Consume healthy fats
  6. AVOID sugar and refined carbohydrates! This can’t be stressed enough.
  7. Limit or eliminate alcohol
  8. Avoid undereating or overeating
  9. Eat fatty fish (Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel) as often as possible
  10. Get enough high-quality sleep

Summary

The take home message is this. I want you to understand that stress plays a huge role in your ability to lose weight, if that is your goal. It is really important to understand how mindset, mindfulness, stress reduction, and relaxation are all so vital to an overall health program. It is way more than just losing weight, it is about feeling healthy inside and outside. To do that you really need to focus on managing your stress. The ways that you can do that are through basic informal mindfulness practices, formal meditation, breath work, grounding with your feet, walking out in nature, etc. There are so many ways to just take time for you and take time to really manage your stress levels because, as you can see it directly impacts all of these aspects of your health and your immunity.

If you need help on your journey, please reach out!

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

5 MOVEMENT SNACKS I Working at home during the quarantine

I know that many of you have been working at your desk all day during this quarantine. You may not be getting up as much and probably not feeling as great as you normally do. These simple exercises can be done at your desk or the surrounding area. Rather than heading to the kitchen, here are five movement snacks that you could do throughout your day to help you get focused, energized, and maintain your mobility.

  1. Cross Crawl Pattern

The cross crawl pattern will stimulate the right and left hemisphere of the brain, ultimately waking up the logical and the creative side of your brain.

To do this exercise, while sitting, place your hands behind your head, and then exhale as you bring your elbow to your opposite knee. You do not need to touch each direction, but just try your best. Repeating for a series of 15 to 20 repetitions. You can also do this from standing, and the same idea, bring elbow to opposite knee. View the exercise HERE.

2. Foot Release

The foot release can be done from a seated or standing position. You can use a ball that’s the size of a golf ball. I love the RAD rounds for this. The foot release is really designed to improve the mobility of your foot and hydrate the fascia, helping to keep it elastic. You’re also stimulating certain receptors in the bottom of the feet that have a direct link to your brain. From an  Eastern medicine perspective, reflexology, by applying pressure to reflex areas, is said to remove energy blockages and promote health in the related body area and research has shown to stimulate the vagus nerve as well. I recommend this to nearly every patient. It is a very powerful exercise, very simple to do, and feels amazing. It will take you just a few minutes on each side.

To do this exercise, use a small ball on the six different points on the bottom of your foot that will be included in the picture below. You’ll hold the ball in each spot for about 20 seconds, making sure that you feel a nice release (about 75% decrease in pain/discomfort), and then moving on to the next spot. View how to do the exercise HERE.

6 point Foot Release

3. Half Salamander

The half salamander exercise is a cranial nerve reprogramming exercise. The goal of it is to improve the thoracic mobility, ribcage and sternum motion, and improve the blood flow around the vertebral arteries, and ultimately the upper cervical spine. It is very simple to do and you could do it multiple times throughout the day to have a cumulative effect on neck, shoulder, and thoracic mobility.

To do this exercise, first check your cervical range of motion. You can do this by looking to the right and left to see if there’s any asymmetry or restriction. Then, place your hands behind your head and you’re going to side bend to one side and then look with your eyes in the opposite direction. Make sure to keep your face forward, and you’ll hold this for 30 to 60 seconds. You would of course repeat on the other side, and then you would recheck your cervical range of motion, which should be improved. To see how to do the exercise, click HERE.

4. Thoracic Rotation and Side Bend

The thoracic rotation and side bending exercise is also a great exercise to do to help negate some of the sitting posture of that forward, often rounded position. You’re using your eyes to really help improve the range of motion in the upper back. Your eyes have a direct connection to the muscles in the back of your head, the occiput muscles. So, you’re using your eyes to really drive by looking as far as you can. Each time you should be able to get successive improvement.

To do this exercise, first check your thoracic range of motion by rotating to each side seeing if there is any restrictions or asymmetry. Then, place your hands behind your head and you’re going to look with your eyes all the way to the right. Next, rotate as far as you can to the right keeping your hands behind your head. When you get to your end range, side bend. Come back to center and return to your start position. The next time, you’ll rotate even further, looking with your eyes as far as you can to the right. Then, once again side bend. Each time you should be able to get farther and farther. Repeat three times on each side, and then recheck your thoracic range of motion, which should be improved. To see the exercise, click HERE.

5. Hip Mobility 90/90

Hip mobility is very important, so you want to make sure that you take the opportunity to get down on the floor and maintain your hip motion, especially if you are going to be sitting all day at your desk. You do want to make sure that this is active controlled mobility, so you want to make sure that you’re breathing diagrammatically in each position to convince your nervous system that you are safe in that position. Go to the point where you feel some discomfort, but it should never be painful.

To do this exercise, you will start with a 90/90 hip position. From this position, slowly rotate to the other side maintaining an upright trunk position. Using your breath, exhaling, as you rotate, and then taking your big inhale to prep the motion. Make sure you are doing this in a comfortable position and that there is no pain. Then, move into a reaching forward position on the front leg.  Use tension by pushing into the ground, pushing the ground away and hinging from the hip. It may be farther for some than others. Next, you’ll open your back up and rotate to the front leg. You’re really trying to open your chest and extend your hip on that side. Make sure to really squeeze your glute to maintain that position while breathing. To see how to perform, click HERE.

Summary

I hope that was helpful and that you gained some new movement snacks that you can do throughout your workday, especially during this quarantine. If this was helpful for you, please make sure to share it with your friends and family.  The rule of thumb is to move EVERY 30 minutes while working, so try one of these or take a quick stroll. Better yet, do both!

If you need help on your journey, please reach out!

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.