19Mar/19

Always Learning

Patricia Kearns at Sligo Kinesiology for help with lower back painI am a curious person by nature I like to ask questions some of them a bit more quirky than most people would consider asking. The phrase “It would take YOU to ask THAT” has often been uttered in semi annoyed tones by my close family members. I tend to look a bit deeper into subjects that interest me and go beyond the obvious. That is one of the reasons I took to Systematic Kinesiology like a duck to water. It is a huge and complex subject but full of connections, patterns and logical explanations. I am always looking for these connections and thinking outside the box. When I see clients I am working away in the background between each treatment session to join up the dots and make sense of seemingly unrelated symptoms.

Earlier this month I attended an advanced training course in Dubin organised by Siobhan Guthrie principal of The Association of Systematic Kinesiology in Ireland, TASK. Our Instructor Marek Urbanowicz is a highly qualified and vastly experienced kinesiologist and acupuncturist. He flew over from England to teach a jam packed programme to a group of 40 enthusiastic post grad students. I found this event fascinating as Marek had lots of new material to teach us as well as interesting twists and tweaks on techniques we already knew. Of course I had loads of questions but didn’t get a chance to ask many such was the pace and timing of the weekend.

My big takeaways from the weekend:
The importance of proper breathing using the diaphragm. Many off us breathe too much into the chest and not enough into the belly area. Due to stress or physical trauma the diaphragm can become tight and restricted making it very difficult to take a deep breath. By tapping or massaging specific points on the body we can help to free the diaphragm and improve a person’s breathing capacity. This in turn increases energy and relieves tension throughout the body.

The vital connection between the Psoas (a hip flexor muscle) and the diaphragm. Correct diaphragmatic breathing supports the Psoas muscle. There is also a connection between the Psoas and the Neck muscles. As the Psoas in very often involved in low back pain it is very important that if functions correctly i.e. neither too weak or in a tight spasm. By checking and adjusting the neck muscles we can re-set the Psoas.

I was amazed at how restricted many of us are in our Range of Movement without being in actual pain. The body compensates in various ways for as long as possible but sooner or later a point will be reached beyond which we will feel pain or stiffness. This usually happens when the body is under stress be it emotional or extra physical exertion such as in sports or heavy work. The good news is it is very easy to improve Range of Movement of muscles with simple kinesiology techniques. This means we can be one step ahead and avoid that pain and stiffness.

Most importantly Marek emphasised one core principle that I learned years ago on my very first morning of Kinesiology Training: The Body Heals it-self. As practitioners we assist and facilitate but ultimately it is the client’s body that does the healing. When people ask me if I can fix problem X or Y, I respond by saying I will do everything I can to facilitate your healing over a short course of treatment sessions. Healing is a process and it takes time for the body to adjust to a new and better way of living. Everybody is different and I tailor my treatments to suit each person and address their individual needs. I will give my clients simple techniques and information that they use at home between sessions and after the course of treatments is complete. As we all journey through life we learn and grow and put ourselves under stress and strain. By knowing how to heal ourselves at the very early stages we are empowered to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible.
In our modern society many people look for a quick fix for annoying health problems. They usually choose a treatment option based on what is widely accepted and advertised. I have never agreed with this approach. I do my own research ask lots of questions and make an informed decision based on what feels right for me now and in the long term. For anybody who is looking for a gentle natural treatment for low back pain or other chronic pain do send me an email and I will get back to you to discuss how I can help.

18Feb/19

A Push-Start to Better Health

Patricia Kearns Sligo Kinesiology helps people with muscles pains

Drawing By Tina Pommer

Years ago it was quite common to see people …mostly men pushing a car to get it started. Often a quick push would be enough to see that puff of smoke and the car taking off with a jerk. Nowadays vehicles are much more reliable but what about ourselves do we ever need a push-start to better heath?

The human body is designed to heal itself. We all know that a cut on the finger will heal up quickly without much attention. A deeper and more serious injury will need stitches and dressing but ultimately it is the healing power of the body that closes the wound and repairs the skin. Many people have chronic pain due to muscle spasm. Muscles make up about two thirds of our body weight so they are responsible for a lot of pain and stiffness. The common diagnoses of “It’s just a muscle” usually means “…. “there is nothing much that can be done but it will get better in time”. Systematic Kinesiology treatment is one way of speeding up this process by encouraging lymph and blood flow to the affected area. This kick-starts the healing process by removing toxins and bringing oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. This itself increases energy and helps people feel better emotionally which in turn accelerates the entire healing process.  Like the car which got that first push the body once it gets started will continue to repair and rejuvenate without even a puff of smoke.

Kinesiology treatment is often the little push or nudge that the body needs to begin the healing process. If this is of interest contact me by email and I will get back to you.

13Jan/19

On the Road

Over the past six Patricia from Sligo Kinesiology gives talks and demos about natural health caremonths I have given several talks and demos about Systematic Kinesiology at events all around Sligo town and county. When I’m getting ready to for these talks I have to remember to pack some important items which include:

Portable plinth

Covers for plinth

Sligo Kinesiology Banner

Food testing kit

Wedge shaped blocks for back pain

Flyers explaining what I do

However if I forgot to bring all of the above I could still work away and demonstrate Systematic Kinesiology because I will never forget the most important tools of all ..…My own two hands!  Kinesiology is very much a hands on therapy. I use my hands to muscle test and find weakness. I then rub specific points on the body and hold points on the head to strengthen any weak muscles I find. Of course it is much easier and more relaxing for clients to lie down on a plinth but I can also work with a person sitting down or standing. I find people really enjoy these demonstrations and so do I. It’s much easier to show people what I do and let them feel the effect rather than trying to explain it in words. I am always happy to give talks and demos to groups of people who have an interest looking after their own health through natural methods.

13Dec/18

A tale of two Umbrella’s

Patricia at Sligo Kinesiology helps people overcome phobias When I was about age four I had a phobia about …Umbrellas! Yes I was terrified of going anywhere if I got even the slighted glimpse of one of those big black monsters. This was a huge inconvenience for my parents as on wet days one of them or Granny would have to sit with me in the car with me instead of going into mass. Visitors to our house were forewarned that past the front gate was strictly an umbrella free zone. I vividly remember the terror I had on seeing an open umbrella and no amount of coxing or explaining to me that it was harmless was any help. This situation must have gone on for at least a year until my mother had a brainwave. On a shopping trip to Dublin which would have been a rear event in those days she bought me a small pink and blue umbrella. This may well have been the first time such an item ever crossed the Shannon. The next morning I clearly remember Mammy saying “I got you a present it’s in the hallway. I ran out in excitement and to my horror I see what looks like an umbrella opened up on the floor….. But wait it can’t be … this one is small and very pretty!!!!

Phobias are irrational fears about something ordinary like an umbrella, dogs, cats, or even travelling in a lift or flying in a plane. Introducing a person to the frightening stimulus in small stages like my mother did with the umbrella is one way of overcoming phobias. This works better for objects and animals than for events or situations.  In Systematic Kinesiology we have another method of helping people who have phobias. We work very gently on the person’s energy system to calm down the fear in the subconscious mind. This system works well for people who have a fear of flying, public speaking or similar.

To finish my story it took me a day or so to make friends with my new present but then we became inseparable rain, hail or sunshine. After that the big black monsters just seemed to disappear.

 

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.