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BodyTalk for Peak Athletic Performance

Athletes benefit from the BodyTalk System in how they train and perform, recover from injury, and assimilate nutrients. Whether you are a casual athlete or a high-performing athlete, BodyTalk works quickly for those who tend to know their bodies well and be in good shape.

BodyTalk works at the mental, emotional and physical levels.

Mentally and emotionally, BodyTalk can help with performance anxiety. Typically, athletic preparation practices are strong, but the event itself can be filled with pressure that makes you crumble. BodyTalk can work at the powerful level of belief systems that have you thinking,“I’m too old for this” or “It’s not OK to be the winner.”

Physically, BodyTalk can help the body’s ability to:

  • Hydrate: Absorb and assimilate water that you drink to be sure it maintains your biochemical processes that feed energy and recovery.
  • Balance Musculoskeletal: Move the body to a place of tension vs. compression at all joints and intervertebral discs of the spine. The body has a natural shock-absorbing ability that keeps joints agile and movements fluid. Buckminster Fuller termed the phrase tensegrity to mean that structures can be supportive without excess pressure, much like the self-supporting structure of the geodesic dome.
  • Synchronize Body Chemistry: Support both how you assimilate nutrients that you eat as well as synchronizing enzymes and hormones for peak performance.
  • Be in the Zone: When you can let go and be in a place of serenity and flow, your mind and body are all working seamlessly in synchronicity.
  • Recover from Injury: BodyTalk helps the body become aware of an injured area so it can heal. Some injuries cause the body to compartmentalize an area, leading to slow or non-existent healing. Even old injuries that you have come to accept can be addressed.

Whether you are a weekend warrior, casually active or a full time/committed athlete – BodyTalk can help at all levels.  If you work out and are having issues with any of this or would simply like to take your performance and results to the next level, schedule a session to optimize your athletic performance.

Content adapted from International BodyTalk Association: www.bodytalksystem.com

You Mean I’m Learning Resilience Again?

No matter your particular style, we all reveal patterns under stress. In this blog I’ll talk about ways to feel more resilient and create more resourcefulness in your stressful situation—whatever that situation may be.

Your style under stress may be to go numb; to be unrelenting in your pursuit of “the goal” and therefore never take a break; to do things in spurts; to get 75% of the job done and call it good; or to simply hope that someone else comes to the rescue.

I had the opportunity to look at all these things when my family recently moved out of our longtime neighborhood. We entered a new neighborhood, and with it, a new stage of life.

I was definitely challenged and simply overwhelmed at times, and the funny thing is that as I reflect on the move—I saw myself do all of these things at different points in the journey of moving. My autopilot tends more to be unrelenting and pushes me until a task is done. Moving is like a cosmic joke because there is always another task to do!

I utilized some of the methods listed below to keep me engaged, energized, and present to what was going on within me and around me. My emotions were initially sadness and grief, and as the move progressed they moved to joy. Because I had the opportunity to make the change with my full range of emotions, I could embrace the clarity of decluttering and celebrate new possibilities.

Our body, mind, and emotions often put us into auto-pilot in stressful situations. It is as if all parts are saying, “this is the way we do it because it has always worked before!”

But has it really worked? If your go-to style works, then your energy will stay consistent, your thinking will remain clear, and you will act and feel resilient.

If these things are not happening in a challenging or stressful situation, then the first step is to have the awareness that there may be a more resourceful way to go about your experience.

To feel more resilient and create more resourcefulness in your situation, utilize all elements of the mind-body connection to get you there:

  • Doing the Cortices technique will keep your brain engaged and free from overwhelm.
  • Keeping your diet simple and free from junk food will keep your stomach and digestive system free from processing challenging foods, thereby keeping your thinking clearer.
  • Honoring your full range of emotions is healthy and important —make sure you have flexibility to embrace all emotions as welcome and necessary to accomplish change.
  • If possible, time away from a routine or a stressful situation can be a lifesaver.
  • Keep track of what routines, resources, and stress relief outlets keep you grounded and engaged.

Through my own move I was reminded once again of this important lesson: when it is time to roll up your sleeves and get things done—remember to take care of yourself.

Courage

This week, as I was walking into the Denver Health Hospital to see a patient, I noticed the most heart-warming phenomenon: real-life examples of courage and support. I saw people walking ever so slowly, hand in hand, as they made their way to the entrance of the hospital. An adult woman and what appeared to be her mother. A mother and her adolescent son. There were sweet exchanges of straightening a collar, gentle whispers and the constant holding of hands.

These people could have been patients, visitors, caregivers, etc. The key is that they were supporting each other in a time of uncertainty.

Humanity on Display

What does it mean to be the giver and receiver in a time of need? What does support look like for you or a loved one? Those folks were walking into the unknown in a very real way. The one concrete truth they knew was that someone that they loved and cared for was there for them. Sometimes that is the only known because outcomes are not.

Courage is defined as “the ability to do something that frightens one; bravery; strength in the face of pain or grief. The origin and root word of courage comes from the Old French root “cor,” meaning “heart,” and the Middle English origin denoting the heart as the seat of feelings.

Our heart meridian travels from our physical heart out through our hands. In a very real way, the holding of hands can support the heart energy of those who are struggling to be brave or summon enough of their own energy to face what frightens them and, with their heart, access their own courage.

How many of us question our bravery in the midst of a loved one’s crisis? Are we strong enough to provide the kind of support that is needed? Having the courage to overcome our feelings of inadequacy during these life experiences can make all the difference to someone who needs us.

When the time comes for you to step up in a moment of need, have courage and remember the importance of being present for others. Find the strength to give encouragement, instill confidence, or offer hope to someone in need. It’s not so much about solving problems for our loved ones as it is about simply being there for them.

And don’t underestimate the power of holding their hand!

The Benefits of Slowing Down

I was a young parent who felt like she was rushing through life. I wanted to get things done and feel productive. At the time, I had no concept of the potential benefits of slowing down.

Sometimes I wonder if I didn’t receive some kind of internal payoff or validation for my level of productivity. I could point to lots of reasons or stories to explain why I might have become this way. It was not until later in my life as a parent that I began to realize that some of these patterns remained unexamined and therefore were more in charge of me than I was of them.

My daughter was four years old when I realized that she was the same age as I was when my father passed away from an illness. Time really slammed to a halt when I understood that if I slowed down even a little, my moments in this lifetime would be richer and more present.

I was committed from that point forward to be more curious than knowing around my parenting, my relationships, and life in general. It seems odd that this transformation took place so quickly, but as I look back on my life, I recognize many instances that caused me to slow down and reflect. Some of these moments wake us up. Some of these moments help us remember. Some of these moments are temporarily or permanently transformative.

One of the ways in which I help my clients is by guiding them to slow down so they can hear, see, and feel into the experience of their lives. This is most easily done by “being” more in the small moments of your life.

Slowing down your life provides many benefits, such as allowing your slower nervous system to become engaged. Other benefits include:

  • Mental downtime
  • Deeper connections with self and others
  • Clearer thinking
  • Appreciating more of your moments

Look for ways you can slow down, like being mindful with your activities. Mindful is defined as a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Other ways for you to slow down your life include:

  • Create downtime in your schedule.
  • Meditate to create an alpha brainwave pattern.
  • Take three conscious breaths
  • Get lost in an activity that you love:
    • Play with a child.
    • Ride your bike.
    • Look at a beautiful scene.’
  •  Observe everyone at the dinner table. What makes them laugh, worry, etc?

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Begin with the small things that you know will help you gain success in the area of slowing down.

You can also be present in the flurry of an activity. For some people the busier they are the more present they are to everything around them. If you are one of those people be aware of the differences in your body and mind between activity and slowness. For very busy people, it takes a more concerted effort to unwind, slow down, and just be. Doing can be a chemically addictive state for the body and so it might feel uncomfortable and even unnecessary to try what I am suggesting.

Try slowing down your life and see if you notice more, interact differently, and listen instead of trying to solve problems. Pay attention to what is revealing itself in the moment.

***

~ William Henry Channing

To live content with small means. To seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich. To listen to stars and birds and babes and sages with an open heart. To study hard, think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions. Never hurry. In a word, to let the spiritual, the unbidden and the unconscious rise up through the common. This is my symphony.

Be You!

be youWhen It’s Best to Simply Be You!

I am at the Steam Espresso Coffee Bar to do some writing. I sit down with my tea and cake and as I settle into my writing space, I look up and notice that all the other singletons in the back room of the coffee shop are facing me.

Another way of saying this is that I was facing what appeared the “wrong direction.” I had to laugh. I mean, do you ever get the feeling that you are breaking a trend and you can’t help yourself or you don’t mind or even care?

My thoughts on all this… Laugh. Embrace who you are. Live Large and go against the norm.

Regardless of the situation, whether casual or formal, serious or amusing, the very best you can do is to simply Be You!

In the words of a famous philosopher…

“Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

Just keep Swimming, Swimming, Swimming.”

– Dory in Finding Nemo

What is your Parachute?

When you’ve run through your life too hard, what is the warning sign you listen to that tells you it’s time to decelerate? What is the rip cord that signals your parachute to open, enabling you to slow down?

I recently noticed that my elbows and hands were chronically tight and manifesting a variety of symptoms. Initially, because I was so busy, I did the bare minimum to manage the ailments. But when I slowed down and reflected, I realized that this summer is a time of great transition for me and my family as our youngest leaves home.

I made a decision to slow down, enjoy the summer, take more breaks in my work life, and reach out to people whom I enjoy. Because of my decision, this summer has proven to be sweeter, and the slower I go the more my elbows and hands are relaxing. This part of the body, it turns out, has a lot to do with gripping, holding on tightly, digesting, and protecting the giving and receiving of life.

Listen to your body

Parachutes can come in a variety of forms. Physical symptoms show up as illness, injury, or chronic ailments. It is interesting and telling where the affected area is in the body. Your body can be the story board of your internal climate.

Mental/emotional symptoms manifest in the form of feeling foggy, stuck, unsure, numb, or constantly emotional. These are typically accompanied by a situation in life that makes it nearly impossible to move forward with clarity.

Spiritual symptoms feel like an internal fatigue or lethargy within one’s self or one’s being, as if you have lost touch with who you are and what really fuels you.

Some parachutes are “loud and big” while others are “small and subtle.” They all make you slow down, if not stop in your tracks.

When your parachute opens, I encourage you to reflect on the significance and meaning of what is happening in your body, mind, spirit and, therefore, life. I find that if you choose to reflect on your circumstances, you tend not to have to repeat the lessons or symptoms over and over again.

Listen to yourself and pay attention to your parachute. It’s only trying to slow you down before things get really out of balance.

Making a Decision

Making a decision is easy and efficient for some people; while for others it is fraught with self-doubt and second guessing. What is your decision making style? Are you able to trust yourself at times like these?

To those who struggle with making decisions, thoughts of self-doubt may sound like “I’m sick to my stomach thinking about this,” “I’m scared to death I will make the wrong decision,” “What if this is the wrong decision?” or “I already regret my decision and I can’t go back.” And the anguish is even more intense when there is a deadline involved in the decision and there is no opportunity to give it more thought over time.

The ability to make a firm and quick decision is influenced by multiple factors. In my coaching and BodyTalk practice in Denver, I see that the biggest issues involve lack of trust in one’s decision making.

Balance and self-trust

Decision making can be influenced by:

  • Belief systems such as:
    o I can’t trust myself to make a good decision
    o Others won’t approve of me as a result of my decision
    o Someone will get hurt by my decision
  • Physical ailments like:
    o Liver and gall bladder underperforming
    o Digestive system issues
    o Inflammation in the brain, heart or gut
  • Emotional issues such as worrying or over thinking about the decision, other’s opinions, or its impact.
  • A decision making style that involves making a decision using a type of thinking that might not be your strength, such as thinking instead of taking a gut check or relying on your intuition.

Are you stuck in the pattern of always being a “poor decision maker?” My experience is that once the body, mind and emotions become more balanced, self-doubt and second guessing are replaced by the ability to trust yourself and be clear and confident in your decisions.

BodyTalk Balancing

Through BodyTalk balancing, the fog can lift and the next step often becomes apparent. In my coaching practice, we use multiple ways to examine your innate thinking style, your strengths, and the historical factors that influence the story you tell yourself about decisions, risk taking, etc. Both of these offerings are beautiful means to the end of getting clear about a decision or your decision making style. Becoming more knowledgeable about yourself brings a new awareness of the possibilities for you to shift or change your decision making style.

The first step to making better decisions is knowing that you want it to be different.

If you are interested in creating a new vision for yourself, where you can better trust yourself, and want to discover a means to make it happen, call me. If nothing else, you will gain an understanding of how you make decisions. Give it a try and see if it works for you!

Parenthood and Self-Care

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of working with a group called The Mothers of Boys in Denver. It is a wonderful organization that brings mothers together who have three or more boys and no girls. They help, support and educate mothers about boys and their unique mothering challenge. Given that in this family setting, the mother is the only female in the entire household, it makes her a special breed of mom. In fact, most are s busy they have o time for self-care at all.

Mothers of Boys co-founders Eileen McCoy and Sandi Johnson have done a beautiful job creating a community that helps these like-minded moms feel a little more understood and not so alone. They bring education, laughter, camaraderie, and service:

If you are a Mother of Boys, try it once and you’ll wish you’d known about us sooner. And that’s no joke. 

My friend and co-presenter, Betsy Henry, the Zen Mama, spent the evening talking and practicing ways to be mindful, present and more relaxed. We presented an abbreviated version of our one day workshop that we hold every August. The power in the evening was in the way we all took the time to be mindful and practice techniques that truly brought the tension in the room down a notch. I was so impressed and proud of the level of self-care in the room. Peeling yourself away from home to take care of yourself is much easier said then done. These moms walked away with the valuable knowledge of behaviors they could adopt when they were stressed or when they needed humor in the face of over stimulus, overwhelm and burn out.

I give a shout out to all parents who are at home managing the beautiful chaos of childhood.

It can be a life filled with long days and short years. There are moments when we are our best and others when we hang our heads for our reaction. Parenthood is not about gutting it out but about being your best self and bringing that out in others, even in times of challenge.

Self-care is key at this time in life when you are giving so much of yourself, your time and your energy. And community is key in parenthood. These mothers have created a community that will continue to feed its members. A place where they can be seen and heard, a place where they can be around women, and a place where they can be away from all that they care the most about.

I want to thank Eileen and Sandi for bringing community to these mothers who are managing the boy community in their own households.

Moving from Sickness to Health

The key to true healing is not necessarily more medicine or more procedures, but the changes people make in their lives…. To move from sickness to health, a patient has to come to an awareness that the ability to heal lies within, that sometimes illness is a wake-up call for change. 

~ Mylene Huynh, MD
Holistic physician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

If you could guess what needs to change in your life to get better, feel stronger, feel healthy, and overcome your malady what would your answer be? For some it is simply deciding that they will get better. For others it is addressing the stress that encompasses their life, whether a person, a situation, or a belief system. For many it is changing long standing patterns of how they approach their diet, rest, stress reduction, and daily pace, to name a few.

One of the questions I ask people who are sick, is whether they want to get better. It sounds like a funny question at first, but it makes a difference as to whether: 1) They will take the suggested actions to get better;  and 2) Their will to heal is strong enough to take responsibility for healing and overcome the obstacles and effort it takes to feel better.

Take Responsibility For Your Healing

Healing requires taking responsibility for your new lifestyle changes. Taking a pill or having a procedure can involve less effort than the day in and day out discomfort of changing patterns and behaviors.  A DOaholic will suffer withdrawal from accomplishing. Likewise, those who need to change what they eat can suffer deprivation. None of this “feels great” to our mind but our bodies are nothing but grateful for the chance to reset.

What actions do you take to let your body heal? What lifestyle changes are you willing to make to create an environment for healing? What are the components that help healing?

Here are a few suggestions for creating a healing environment inside and out:

  • No screens, TV, or To Dos.
  • Regularly do something you love.
  • Practice meditation/mindfulness in an organized, regular manner.
  • Surround yourself with people who uplift you and make you laugh.
  • Eat great food with low inflammatory and organic qualities.
  • Watch your mental patterns, changing beliefs that keep you stressed, protected or a victim.

What change is knocking at your door? Don’t wait for illness to wake you up. Just knowing that something isn’t right can be your sign that it’s time to shake up your routine and, therefore, your environment.

Integrated Health Practices For You

What I love about BodyTalk and my Holistic Coaching practice is that together we get to discover what unique environmental factors, belief systems and mental patterns create your stressful environment. With this information we find ways to create change using your natural strengths to help your body heal itself by addressing your unique factors.

One technique that reduces stress and brings about ongoing healing is the Cortices technique. You can watch a short a video on it by going to my FB page Tricia Gast. It takes a minute and when performed daily provides a reinforced balancing of the brain and body into a state of healing.

Panic Attacks – The Earthquake and Its Aftershocks

Panic attacks are a constellation of symptoms that are the body’s response to a single overwhelming stress-filled situation. While the effects of stressful events can build up to a panic attack, sometimes it is a single event that finally has the body reaching a breaking point. Knowing your trigger is the key to overcoming panic attacks.

A full-blown panic attack includes a combination of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath or hyperventilation
  • Heart palpitations or a racing heart
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Choking feeling
  • Feeling unreal or detached from your surroundings
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
  • Numbness or tingling sensations
  • Hot or cold flashes
  • Fear of dying, losing control, or going crazy

A panic attack is a way to force the body into fight, flight or freeze mode. It is the nervous system reacting to stressors (real, imagined, physical, mental, or emotional).

To ensure your “survival” the body will create follow-up panic attacks to be sure you are okay and away from danger. While these follow-up attacks are usually milder than a full-blown attack, they don’t feel any better. They often present themselves a few days following your initial panic attack, and an entire surge of the same chemicals will rush through your body. You will typically experience all the same effects as you initially did.

I liken this to an earthquake with aftershocks.

A point that is important to remember is that the magnitude of these panic attack “aftershocks” can be controlled by you. If you mentally do not play into the anxiety that comes with not being in control or the fear of having uncomfortable physical symptoms you can help keep the effects milder.

Panic attacks and their aftershocks can leave the body feeling like it has run a marathon—utterly exhausted and a bit hung over. It typically takes a few days to start to feel recovered.

Medical conditions or other causes can bring on panic attacks too. Some of them include:

  • Mitral valve prolapse (a minor cardiac problem that occurs when one of the heart’s valves doesn’t close correctly)
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid gland)
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
  • Stimulant use (amphetamines, cocaine, caffeine)
  • Medication withdrawal

If you’re suffering from symptoms of panic, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any of these other possibilities.

Natural Remedies for Panic Attacks

Here are action items I offer my clients who come to me to address their anxiety or panic attacks:

  • Do the Cortices 2-3 times a day to normalize your brain rhythm and bring your body into a more relaxed balance point.
  • Come in to be tested for essential oils or Bio Frequency patches, both of which help bring neurologic and energetic balance to the body.
  • Schedule a BodyTalk session, and get clear on your specific picture and triggers and how to plan accordingly.

Tricia Gast