09Nov/18

Sleep and Sheep

 

Patricia Kearns at Sligo Kinesiology helping people with sleep problemsWhen I was young if I couldn’t get to sleep at night my mother would tell me to “Count Sheep”. This didn’t make much sense to me as we had no sheep on the farm just cattle. Of course I was supposed to count imaginary sheep, the whole idea being that I would get tired and fall asleep. I’m not sure how well this works but there is something very calming about repetitive mental activity. In real life counting sheep is not so easy. As you start to count they wander around the field swapping places. Another “sheep trick” is hiding behind each other so two become one.

Getting back to the subject of sleep …melatonin is the hormone which regulates sleep cycles. This hormone is produced naturally by the body as darkness falls. Nowadays the bright blue light from screens of laptops, i pads, tablets and mobile phones held close to the eyes can trick the brain into thinking it is still daytime. Because of this melatonin is not produced making it more difficult to get to sleep and quality of sleep is not as good..

Some simple self-help tips:

Eliminate all blue light sources such as i pads, tablets and mobile phones from the bedroom.

If possible avoid using these devices for about one hour before bedtime

If you use your phone as an alarm clock switch it to “airplane mode” at night.

Gentle exercise such as walking or rebounding during the day will help with sleep.

Touch the two prominent bumps on the forehead using the finger-tips of both hands, gently stretch the skin upwards and hold for a few minutes. This simple technique works really well to calm and relax the mind.

In a Systematic Kinesiology treatment I help people who have difficulty sleeping by:

Balancing the whole body including the energy system which generally helps people to relax

Checking for and treating adrenal stress which is often a cause of poor sleep

Supporing the endocrine system including the Pineal gland which is responsible for producing melatonin.

Sometimes people have accepted that they are just poor sleepers and nothing will help. However this is not necessarily the case. As shown above with Kinesiology there are several different options to help people. I always aim to get to the root cause of the problem, treat it and offer my clients solutions that they can use at home as well.

20Oct/18

Asking for help

Sligo Kinesiology helping people with shoulder painI have written a few articles about how I fixed myself using Kinesiology. This one is different!  A few months ago I hurt my shoulder and despite my best efforts I couldn’t fully fix it myself. It improved a little but would get sore again when under any pressure. I was rubbing various points related to shoulder muscles but I was only guessing as I could not muscle test on myself. To do this I really needed to see another kinesiologist.

Finally I gave in and asked one of my colleagues to take a look. She tested me found the problem and fixed it. I felt some relief straight away and I knew we were on the right track. Once we figured out where the problem lay I was able to continue working on it myself and in a few days the pain was gone. The actual source of pain was not even a shoulder muscle but one in the mid back which was affecting my whole shoulder and neck area. In kinesiology we treat the entire body and check many different muscles in a treatment session. This makes it easy to catch a problem in one area which might by causing pain somewhere else. Sometimes pain in the lower back or sacrum can be due to problems with the neck and vis versa.

The lesson I learned from this is that when I need help I will ask for it sooner rather than later. The earlier a muscle weakness is treated the quicker the recovery time. As therapists we are very busy looking after other people and it is easy to neglect our own health.  I fully intend to get regular treatments from now on.

I often meet  people who in the course of conversation will tell me that that have some pain in the lower back, hip, knee, shoulder etc but…. “it’s not bad enough yet”. In other words they won’t get anything done until it gets much more painful!  This is such a shame as intermittent or minor muscle problems are easy to fix in the early stages. I know this myself from experience.

10Aug/18

Open Wide!

Sligo Kinesiology help with jaw TMJ disfunctionDo you ever suffer from:

  • Pain or tightness in the face and jaw area
  • Clicking of the jaw when yawning
  • Clinching or grinding of the teeth at night
  • Jaw pain/discomfort after prolonged dental work
  • Regular un-explained headaches

Any of these may well be due to malfunction of the “Temporal Mandibular Joint” or TMJ

The TMJ is the most complex joint in the whole body.  Located just below the ear it allows us to open and close the mouth, move the jaw from side to side and the chin forward and back. It has a greater range of movement than any of our other joints. A massive 50% of sensory and motor brain cells are devoted to the TMJ.  An imbalance here can have a knock on effect on many different areas of the body including the hips and lower back. There are several different muscles involved with the TMJ and some of these can tighten and spasm on one or both sides of the jaw. We tend to hold a lot of tension in the jaw area without even realising it. A simple self-help tip is to gently massage the muscles beneath the cheeks on both sides of the face.

In Kinesiology we have a more detailed treatment for TMJ disorder where we check to see exactly which muscle is responsible for the tension.  We then work along that muscle to “turn it down” or relax it. We can also check if TMJ might be associated with pain or discomfort in other areas of the body. In many cases re-setting the TMJ muscles can have a very positive impact on the entire body through the release of stress and tension.

19Jul/18

Kinesiologist Fix Yourself!

In keeping with the bright sunny weather over the past few weeks I decided to give my therapy room a face lift. I got lovely new curtains to replace the dark red ones on the front windows. As is often the case in decorating when you fix one thing something else shows up. Here it was the dark red paint on the chimney breast which started screaming at the new plush cream curtains. There was no option but to buy a tin of pain a roller and brush and try to tame “Ruby Red” into “Dusky Brown”. After two under-coats the dark red was looking more pinky white so not quite finished yet.

For this painting operation I was hopping up on chairs and reaching to the celling and twisting to get at into awkward corners. Next morning I work up with a sharp pain right across my lower back. I couldn’t even bend down to put on my socks. In the past this back pain was a regular visitor. It would arrive like that in the morning and get worse as the day went on. I would be out of action and very sore for a few days at least and painkillers would be called for. Thankfully this is no longer the case. Since discovering Systematic Kinesiology I am able work on myself at the first signs of an ache or pain and prevent it from getting a hold. In our house the proverb “Physician Heal Thyself” has become “Kinesiologist Fix Yourself”. I regularly use my training to fix my back, neck and shoulders at the first niggle of pain or discomfort. It is so much easier to arrest something in the early stages rather than waiting until it gets very painful.

To return to my painting story. I spent about 10 minutes using kinesiology to strengthen a weak back supporting muscle which was causing other muscles to tighten and spasm. Afterwards I was able to bend again easily and get back to my work. Later that evening my husband who is at least a foot taller than me declared that I should have asked him to do the high bits! His kind offer did not go to waste. He ended up giving the final coat high and low bits.

As a kinesiologist being able to fix myself gives me great reassurance and confidence. It’s quite easy to pull or sprain something when doing housework, gardening or physical exercise. The important thing is not to let a minor injury become a chronic problem. When working with client’s I figure out which muscles are prone to weakness. I then give them simple techniques to use at home should the problem happen again.

 

14Jun/18

My First Speech

Sligo Kinesioogy talksFor some people public speaking comes naturally and easily but not me. I used to be terrified even having to introduce myself in a group. I would hear my heart pounding and my voice would be thin and shaky. Up until recently I never needed to speak much in public so it was ok. Throughout my Systematic Kinesiology training we were encouraged to take up any opportunity to speak in public. We need to get the message across to people of what it is we do. I got the chance to do this a few weeks ago at the monthly “Sligo Women in Business Network” meeting. At the February event we were asked if anybody wanted to participate in a “members soapbox evening” to be held at the end of May. The organiser was looking for six speakers and each person would have 15 minutes to talk about their own business. Thinking this sounded like an ideal opportunity for me and anyway May being still a long way off…I put down my name. Now I was committed and straight away a little bit of panic crept in. Then the self-talk started

What would people think? ….I’m just a few months in business the other people are very confident and competent business owners… they know a lot more than me!

What if I freeze up and I’m not be able to speak?

What aspect of Kinesiology will I talk about? …..there are so many options…

Will I do a demo or not…. will I bring my plinth or not?

What if nobody volunteers to be my demo person?

What will I wear? ….My navy “Sligo Kinesiology” Tee shirt, my light blue one or something smart?

Two week before the event I still hadn’t my speech ready and I was jumping around between different options. Then on the advice of an experience public speaker I decided that I would forget about the demo and explaining how kinesiology works. Instead I will just tell my own story of how I got involved in kinesiology and WHY.

On the evening of May 29th I arrived at the venue early set up my banner and a few small props. I was the first speaker of the evening by my own choice. Once I was called I just went up front and starting talking. I had a few notes written but found I didn’t need them. I simply told my story going through the key points of my life which led me to become a Systematic Kinesiologist. I also gave a few examples of ways in which I have helped people with various different complaints. I even made a joke or two and got a few laughs. This just happened it wasn’t planned. Then my 15 mins was up and it was all over. Everybody clapped I went back to my seat and was able to relax and enjoy listening to the other speakers.

I always find that thinking about something is much worse than actually going out there and doing it. I would regularly talk myself out of doing challenging things and regret it afterwards  Every time I push myself to do something that takes me out of our comfort zone I learn, I grow and I feel better afterwards. Kinesiology has helped me to grow in so many ways and do things I would never have imagined even six months ago.   I am delighted now that I availed of this opportunity to speak in Sligo. Oh and in the end I wore my light blue “Sligo Kinesiology” Tee-Shirt.

02May/18

Gardening – Aches and Pains!

 

Now that Spring has finally arrived it’s nice to get outside and do some gardening. I have a very small poly tunnel myself and I enjoy pottering about digging, sowing and transplanting.  I mostly set lettuce, spinach and herbs as they are easy to grow, nutritious and high yielding.  A few years ago I couldn’t do any gardening at all as I would have back pain for days or weeks afterwards. Now I use kinesiology to stay flexible and if I happen to pull or strain a muscle I can treat it immediately and usually fix myself in a few minutes. This gives me the confidence to work away without the worry of “putting my back out”. If any of this sounds familiar or if anybody finds it difficult to straighten up after a spot of digging, sowing or weeding there is a solution.  Through Systematic Kinesiology muscle testing I can check the muscles used for digging, bending and lifting and identify any weakness. When an important muscle is not functioning correctly it puts extra pressure on other nearby muscles and joints eventually causing stiffness and pain. Using kinesiology techniques I can strengthen and balance the weak muscles allowing the whole body to work smoothly and efficiently.

23Apr/18

Grounding

Grounding at the beach

On Saturday I went to the beach with Pippa for the first time this year. I love to walk barefoot on the sand at the water’s edge because it feels really good and is a great way of grounding. It is said that the earth has a slightly negative charge so when we walk barefoot on the sand or grass electrons flow into the body. These electrons cancel out free radicals or positive ions which have an inflammatory effect on the body. We tend to accumulate positive ions from toxins in the environment, eating processed food and from getting stressed. Antioxidants in organic fruit and vegetables help to fight free radical damage. Regular grounding by walking barefoot on the beach is just another simple, pleasant and free way to stay healthy.

03Mar/18

Where it is…. it isn’t!

Where it is ...It isn'tWhere it is… it isn’t” This was one of the first phrases I learned at a Systematic Kinesiology introductory talk nearly two years ago.   I didn’t fully understand it at the time but I do now. Having practiced and worked with many different people I have found that the source of a problem is not always where we expect.   Clients might complain of backache, neck pain, knee pain etc. but rather than chasing the pain I will check fifteen or more different muscles in the body from head to toe.  I will note any imbalance or weakness and then fix what I find. In Systematic Kinesiology we treat the person not the problem.  A pain in one part of the body can be the downstream result of tension or energy blockage in another part.

One example is the Piriformis muscle which is situated in the hip area close to the sciatic nerve.  Problems with this muscle can sometimes cause lower-back and hip pain. When testing the Piriformis we check if weakness might be related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw.  The pain could be coming from here as people hold a lot of tension in their jaw muscles particularly when under stress.  This tension will unbalance some jaw muscles which has a knock-on effect all the way down the body.  Using kinesiology techniques we are able to release tension in TMJ muscles which can often help ease hip pain and sciatica.

In Systematic Kinesiology we always look for the root cause of our client’s pain or discomfort.  Then whatever treatment we give will be more complete and last longer than just fixing the symptoms.

 

17Feb/18

Texting – A pain in the neck!

Texting with head bent forwardText Neck is a relatively new syndrome brought about by people spending too much time with their head and shoulders bent forward staring down at screens such as smart phones or tablets. Texting in a forward head posture puts excessive stress and strain on the muscles and ligaments behind the neck which are trying to withstand the weight of the heavy head pulling forward. This pressure increases substantially the further forward the head goes.

In the drawing below the dog on the right is in a typical text neck posture with his head bent down, the neck stretched forward and the upper back rounded. His ears are very far in front of his shoulders instead of being directly over them. If this position is maintained for even short periods of time on a regular basis it will lead to neck and shoulder pain, upper back pain, breathing issues as the lungs are compressed and eventually because everything in the body is connected lower back and hip problems.

The solution: take a look at the dog on the left, he is holding the phone up at eye level with a straight upper back and neck, and ears positioned directly above the shoulders. This is the posture we should try to imitate whilst texting to take pressure off the neck and cervical spine. It is important to be aware of your posture when using mobile devices so that if you find yourself slumping forward take a break stretch and move about to relax the neck and shoulder muscles.

For anybody suffering from painful or stiff neck and shoulders a Systematic Kinesiology treatment will help to rebalance these muscles and make is easier to maintain good posture.

14Feb/18

Muscle Testing – It’s not a wrestling match!

Sligo Kinesiology-Muscle testingOne day a client asked me this very good question about the muscle test:

“How can someone small and light like yourself possibly overpower the muscles of a big strong man like me?”

I’m going to share my answer:

In Systematic Kinesiology the muscle test we do is not a test of physical strength but of communication between a muscle and the brain. When we test a muscle the client is asked to hold a limb in a specific position. This isolates and contracts that one muscle without involving its synergistic or helper muscles. I use light pressure on the arm or leg and ask the client to push gently against me. I then push back.   If the muscle wobbles or gives way this means that the flow of information between it and the central nervous system is disrupted. While the muscle may be physically very strong it is “switched off” or inhibited right now and is unable to do its job.  It’s a bit like having a bad mobile signal and somebody rings!  Your phone itself is working perfectly but all you can hear is the odd word or crackle because the signal is weak.

After the muscle test we use kinesiology techniques to restore communication so that the muscle switches on when needed to do it’s own job. This in turn takes pressure off the neighbouring helper muscles which will otherwise become over-worked and tired. If this happens they will eventually “complain” and we know it because we feel stiff and sore.  Regular Systematic Kinesiology treatments help to keep all our muscles “happy” and working at full capacity.