Hypnotherapy for Depression, Does It Work?

Depression

Depression is a popular psychological disorder and anyone can actually become depressed. There is more to depression than just feeling unhappy, fed up or bored. If you have difficulty getting over a depression or they start affecting your day to day activities, then you might need to seek professional help.

According to research, depression is the most common type of mental problems that people suffer from. With adequate treatment and support and such as counseling and hypnotherapy, people can overcome depression.

In this article, we have a look at a close look at hypnosis as a form of depression treatment.

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic tool which enables a person to be put in a highly focused state of concentration to achieve the desired result. When a person is in this state he or she tends to be more open to suggestions made to him or her, such as quitting drinking, stop smoking, to lose the fear of undergoing surgery etc…

Hypnotherapy as a therapeutic tool has been existence for more than hundred years and it’s widely used by many practitioners all over the world.

The main objective of hypnotherapy is to enable a patient to achieve that which the patient thought was not possible or is afraid to accomplish. When hypnotherapy is used to treat depression, the therapy sessions are usually aimed at assisting a person to achieve a total state of relaxation. While in this state, the patient can talk freely about inner feelings and emotions without experiencing any form of stress or anxiety.

Hypnotherapy-for-depressionHow Hypnotherapy Works for Depression

In a hypnotherapy session, a professional therapist employs various relaxation methods to put the patient under hypnosis, this can last for about an hour. Though in this hypnotic state, the person would still be conscious of things happening around him or her, but the person’s mind and body would become a lot more relaxed and responsive to any suggestions made by the therapist. Most times the suggestions will be based on the behavior or condition the person is getting treatment for.

Hypnotherapy works by targeting unhealthy or unwanted habits and replacing such habits and behaviors with much better ones. For example, trying to control anxiety and pain, or adjusting those negative thoughts that would have ordinarily worsened the symptom of depression.

Benefits of Hypnotherapy for Depression

  • Hypnotherapy assists in treating medical conditions without needing an invasive therapy or other additional medications.
  • Hypnotherapy is considered to be a safe treatment alternative and with minimal side effects.
  • Though it might not be the best option for some people, hypnotherapy is often regarded as a complementary therapy.
  • Medical practitioners use hypnotherapy alongside other depression treatments in other to enhance a patient’s total sense of well-being, uplift mood and boost feelings of hopefulness in the patient.

Hypnotherapists are employed to treat a lot of conditions, such as:

  • Depression
  • Smoking control
  • Chronic pain
  • Concentration problems
  • Anxiety
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Teeth grinding

Hypnotherapy can help a person acquire knowledge about how to gain better control of feelings like anxiety, depression, stress, and sadness.

Hypnotherapy can be used to combat negative behaviors that could worsen depression. These behaviors may include but are not limited to taking too much alcohol, smoking, and poor eating or sleeping habits.

Risk of Hypnotherapy

There are some risks associated with hypnotherapy. The most dangerous of them is that it can lead to the creation of false memories (known as confabulations).

4 Coaching Cues Everyone Needs To Know

Having a trainer to help guide you through workouts lessens the mental load you take on yourself in attempting to work out solo. A trainer picks your exercises, sets, reps, rest periods, and is able to watch your form and give you coaching cues as needed.

These helpful eyes keep you from creating bad habits in the weight room and avoiding injury as a result of poor form.

Coaching Cues

While training a couple of my clients this week I realized there are certain cues which everyone, no matter what their goal is, should keep in mind.

While a couple may seem self-explanatory, I’m willing to bet NO ONE thinks all four of these coaching cues while working out. Especially #2!

Here are the 4 coaching cues everyone needs to know

As a strength coach I’ve seen a WIDE variety of bodies…thick and thin, tall and short, highly athletic and well, athletically challenged, to say the least.

However no matter the client’s abilities I’ve found there are a handful of coaching cues that everyone needs.

Each of the 4 cues listed below benefits your results in the weight room and are reasons why you should keep them in mind when you’re working out. While one could argue there are plenty more cues you could think of, I find these cues to fit universally with any clientele type, for any goal, and while performing any exercise.

As a result cues such as “grip the ground with your feet”, “drive your knee’s out”, “sip air”, “big chest”, etc. are left out on purpose as each do not fit the bill for each and every particular exercise.

Take a look at the four listed below and the next time you’re in the gym try to pay attention to all 4 of these tips. You’ll gain fitness from them, I promise!

#1 – Start With Your Strong Side First

Ok so I might have lied right out the gate. Obviously this cue only applies to exercises that will have you using 1 leg, 1 arm, or 1 side of the body. However I found it important to include because so many people think backwards in relation to this topic.

When performing an exercise that is unilateral, meaning one side performs the exercise at a time, it’s almost 100% likely that the two sides won’t feel the same. In fact, chances are one side is actually stronger than the other.

During times when a client has a weaker side, 100% of the time the client will want to do the weaker side first as a means to “catch up” to the other, more dominant side.

Coaching Cues

There are 2 problems with this way of thinking:

  • By performing reps on the weaker, less efficient side first, you’re never really getting a clue as to what the exercise should feel like. Instead you’re more or less doing poor reps because the entire chain feels “off”.

Solution: Start with your stronger side first and take a mental picture of how it feels, then try to mimic or search for that feeling on your weaker side.

By performing reps this way you’ll at least give your body and mind a blueprint as to how the exercise should feel. This way when performing reps on the other side you have a feeling you’re looking for. When you find it, or at least come close to it, you know you’re doing the exercise properly. Which leads to the second problem with this situation.

  • People feel the need to do more reps on their weaker side.

This again is not a good way to think.

Solution: Think more WORK, not more reps.

In order to “catch-up” to your stronger side, performing more reps will likely mean lowering the load since you already can’t handle the load for the given amount of reps which you did with the other side.

While in certain circumstances you may need to lower the load a little bit, I personally rather have my clients get through as many good reps as they can with the heavier load.

For example, if you’re doing 6 reps of a half kneeling kettlebell press and can only get 3-4 without form failure on one side, perform a couple sets of 1-2 reps on your weaker side with the same weight. Even if you only get 1 rep each time you’ll be using heavier loads, which leads to you getting stronger.

As a side note, there’s always a carry-over effect in unilateral training anyway which again points to the fact that you should simply worry about doing the exercise the proper way first. Starting with your strong side first tremendously helps to ensure this.

#2 – Don’t Look In The Mirror

I guarantee you that 95% of the people reading this article are culprit’s for this one.

Who doesn’t look at themselves in the mirror when they workout!? Or better yet who doesn’t lift their shirt up and flex their abs in the mirror when they workout!? …ok that one might be a poke at a few of the people at my gym, but in all seriousness, there is some validity to this coaching cue.

Mirrors provide instant feedback. You don’t have to search your mind or body for what muscles feel what, how low you’re going, or whether or not it looks like what your trainer just demonstrated… which is exactly why you shouldn’t look in the mirror when you workout.

Coaching Cues

Proprioception is your body’s awareness of itself in space. It’s what tells you there’s someone standing 5 feet away from you versus 2 feet. It’s what allows you to dribble a ball without looking and step back in a lunge knowing where you’re foot is going to land.

Looking at a mirror while working out robs your body of the ability to increase your proprioceptive awareness and as a result, allows your eyes to play tricks on you.

When you look at the mirror you begin to avoid other sensory mechanisms responsible for the feedback your brain gives your body about your position in space. You no longer notice the feeling of your feet on the ground, let alone your toes in your shoes. Your awareness of where your shoulders are sitting and where your hips are going fall by the wayside; you become too fixated on what your eyes are telling you instead of what your body is telling you.

Don’t believe me?

Try closing your eyes the next time you do a squat or the next time you do a lateral lunge. It’s notable harder! In fact closing your eyes during an exercise is a legitimate way of increasing the level of difficulty.

Don’t get carried away, though, I’m not suggesting you close your eyes during every exercise, or really any exercise at all, instead I’m shedding light on the fact that staring into the mirror while performing your exercises is actually robbing you of an ability you have to gain more atheism.

Next time you set up in the squat rack, face the other way. You’ll be surprised; a good portion of you is going to want to turn around. In fact you may notice you’re not able to handle the same amount of weight that you used too. Don’t give in though, train yourself to face away from the mirror and you’ll see proprioceptive gains in your fitness abilities.

#3 – Control Your Breathing

The only group of people I’ve ever worked with that don’t strain or hold their breath during exercise is experienced “Yogis”, and even they allow their breathing to fall apart during exercises that challenge their abilities.

Breathing is an exercise you do every day. In fact, you could argue that it’s the single most exercise we do day in and day out.

Yes, breathing is an exercise and you perform roughly 20,000 reps each day.

Coaching Cues

As a coach, watching someone’s breathing patterns tells me a lot about a person. I can tell just by the way they breathe whether a person is stressed, anxious, scared, weak, strong, relaxed, in pain, injured, or in control and each and all are important as it relates to your ability to gain a high level of fitness.

9 times out of 10 you will hold your breath when challenged. It’s somewhat natural and relates to what we were just mentioning previously regarding looking into the mirror.

A challenging task requires focus and concentration. Sometimes it requires so much concentration that we literally forget to breathe. This results in poor breathing mechanics which can lead to compensations in your movements and poor motor patterning.

To avoid creating such issues pay attention to the way you breathe.

I start every training session with some form of a breathing drill. This does two things for the client:

  • Allows them to decompress from what’s happening outside the gym and focus on what’s about to happen inside the gym.
  • Trains them to take control and own their breath during exercise, which can lead to more strength and flexibility.

A simple crocodile breath performed for 10 breaths can effectively train your body how to breathe the proper way.

To perform, simply lay on the floor with your head resting in your hands. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth for 10 breaths.

In this case, the floor will provide feedback as to whether or not you’re breathing the proper way. When done correctly your torso and chest should rise and fall with the rhythm of your breathing.

If the weight of your body is too much to push-up with a breath, you can sit against a wall with your knees up against the sides of your chest. Sit up as tall as possible and again perform 10 breaths. In this case, your thighs will be your feedback mechanism to let you know you’re doing the exercise properly.

Breathing drills such as these will get your mind and body in the proper place for training.

Next time you’re working out pay attention to how you breathe. Perform a breathing drill like the ones mentioned just now and it’ll be easier for you to not only pay attention to your breathing but also control it when you notice yourself straining.

#4 – Finish With Something To Bring You Back To “Neutral”

Is Life a balancing act right?

Training should be viewed in the same way. I’m not talking biceps and triceps, or chest and back. The balancing act I’m referring to has to do with your core and the movements you perform during a training session.

Without getting too specific and detailed with flexion and extension patterns, it’s important that you at least know what the two are and how they affect your spine and your core performance.

Flexion=Shortening, Extension=Lengthening

Coaching Cues

Or, perhaps in a more relatable way with regards to your spine: Flexion is bending forward; the extension is bending backward.

We all have flexion and extension patterns that are omnipresent throughout our body.

Training trends have taken to a bit of an extension-based bias due to the increasing number of sedentary people we have in our country. As a trainer, our job is to make you healthier, fit, and reduce your chance of injury.

To combat your sedentary lifestyle we have you, the client, move around a lot during your session; squatting, lunging, stepping, picking things up off the floor (deadlifting), and bridging, each and all geared towards strengthening your hips, building your glutes, and taking you out of your sedentary (flexion-based) lifestyle.

While I’m certainly not against any of the previously mentioned exercises, its important that there’s a balancing act we follow. Not everyone is the same, and not everyone NEEDS heavy extension work. In fact some people live in extension in which case heavy anterior core training, yes flexion, is needed to make them more fit.

The Breakdown

If you’re doing a lot of extension exercises in your workout routine make sure you finish with something that’s going to bring you back to neutral.

You’ve lit up your extensor muscles, paraspinal, glutes, and hamstrings, now throw in some exercises to balance it out.

The Solution: Anterior Core Training

Turn on those “show” muscles on the front of your body to help balance out the training effects from all your extension-based exercises. Here are a few of my favorites that work well in bringing the body back to a happier place as it relates to positioning.

The next time you workout, throw in a couple sets of one of the exercises show above. Your stomach will thank you and so will your back!

 

Eicosanoids and Its Relationship with Human Health

Eicosanoids (eye-kah-sah-noids) are a kind of hormone messenger that tell our cells what to do at a very basic level. People have been making guesses about the function of these cellular instructors since the 1930’s. It wasn’t till the 1980’s however that the technology to see eicosanoids in action was developed.

Most of us are familiar with endocrine hormones, like estrogen and testosterone. Those familiar hormones are secreted into the blood to be delivered to their target tissues. Eicosanoids are another kind of hormone. They are born in and never leave the cell. So we can’t study them by looking at the amounts in our blood.

Our understanding of how important eicosanoids are is growing by leaps every year. Unfortunately, conventional medicine and nutrition have been very slow to incorporate new information about cellular hormones and health. In the case of eicosanoids, incorporating the growing body of knowledge about they work means significantly changing the ways we look at health and disease.

Eicosanoids explain so much

The exciting thing about eicosanoids is that understanding them explains so much about the chronic degenerative diseases that plague so many people. Most significantly, understanding eicosanoids put the solution, the power to change, squarely in the hands of each of us.

Learning about eicosanoids shines a spotlight on habits we repeat daily that are destroying our health, slowly and silently over many years. Understanding eicosanoids mean we can take responsibility for our choices and thus our health, and reverse degenerative processes before they become diseases. This is the heart of naturopathic medicine – education, self-awareness, conscious living and prevention of disease before it starts.

Conventional medicine is best at crisis intervention. It has little to offer people in terms of prevention and restoration. Everything developed as a pharmaceutical or surgical solution to chronic, degenerative disease at best masks the damaging events and ultimately fails to stop the processes of degenerative disease. If we want to truly become well again or to prevent becoming ill in the first place, we need to learn about and pay attention to eicosanoids.

We really are what we eat

Eicosanoid production is directly related to what we eat. We make different kinds of eicosanoids when we eat different kinds of food.  This is the basic “you are what you eat” idea explained at a metabolic level.

There are different types of eicosanoids. We are concerned here with what are called Series 1 and Series 2 eicosanoids. These two types function ideally as partners, balancing each other to allow our system to respond to a changing environment and shifting demands. For instance Series 2 will cause blood vessels to become narrow and the blood to clot. If this is happening to the heart, it will eventually lead to a heart attack; if it happens in the brain, it’s a stroke. Bad news.

But! If a person is in a car accident or slices a finger in the kitchen, we want some veins to constrict and the blood to clot, to stop the bleeding from an injury. Series 2 eicosanoids also trigger cellular reproduction—too much of that, out of control, is cancer. But suppressing it with too much Series 1 type instruction might mean a wound could not heal. The balance between these two is crucial to smooth and resilient physical function.

Take Charge with Your Choices

One of the most exciting discoveries about eicosanoids is how the balance between them relates directly to our diet. In a nutshell, “good guy” Series 1 eicosanoids are favored by a balanced fresh whole foods diet with adequate protein and healthy fats.

Series 2 eicosanoids, the “bad guys”, are created in larger amounts when we eat processed foods without enough vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Too much carbohydrate, which leads to excess blood sugar and too much insulin, triggers the production of Series 2 eicosanoids.

Without sufficient protein and the right fatty acids to balance the biochemistry, we become susceptible to pain, inflammation, restricted circulation, stiff aching muscles, difficulty breathing and suppressed immune function. All of these events, especially restricting the circulation of blood and thus oxygen, lead to ever more complicated problems in our tissues.

Our basic physical wellbeing depends on a daily diet, day after day, decade after decade, of fresh, whole foods including good quality protein and fats. The “machine” of our body is not designed to function optimally when fueled primarily by processed foods. The original design did not include any purpose for refined sugars, flours, chemical colorings, nd preservatives or meats laden with antibiotics and the residues of herbicides and pesticides.

Our body simply has no use for those additives, but once we swallow them, our system has to deal with them somehow. If we mistakenly swallow a poisonous mushroom, our body will recognize this as threat and automatically get to work to get rid of it.

We won’t be able to ignore the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that results! We’ll be weakened and drained by the experience. We’ll have no appetite and have to rest, making it less likely we’ll get up and eat more of that mushroom! The reaction and its consequences – it if they didn’t kill us – is a pretty effective way to get us to stop the sickening behavior and learn to not repeat it.

When we swallow other things that aren’t good for us, that have no real function in our body—like pounds and pounds of sugar, other sweeteners and other refined foods, our body has similar, if less dramatic reactions. In order to make us stop swallowing things that are bad for us, our body always sends signals. Symptoms like foggy thinking, irritability, fatigue, skin rashes and headaches are a few of the common experiences that result from eating a poor diet.

Understanding what food causes these experiences can be tricky. Usually we eat the same things day in and day out, for decades. Most of us eat wheat every day of our lives. How can we know whether a cookie or pasta or that bagel we love is causing these mild persistent headaches? We never experience a wheat-free month; we never give our poor head a break from the trigger food.

Over decades the same internal mechanisms that cause these seemingly mild symptoms on a regular usually daily basis, are leading to those silent killers, like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Americans are dying primarily from diseases that don’t make themselves known until they are well advanced.

All these diseases and others as well, like asthma, arthritis and colitis for instance, are directly related to how we eat. How we eat determines what hormone messengers are active in our cells and our blood, as well as what raw material our body has to work with to repair and maintain our tissues.

The vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids that make the raw material for all the internal functioning of human biochemistry, come from the food we eat. When we look at the typical diet of most Americans, we can see how many of us fall behind in our ability to supply enough nutrients for our basic upkeep, never mind extra for processing all the extra chemistry, the food colorings and preservatives we swallow with our refined diets.

Even those of us who make a concerted effort to eat a healthy organic diet are frequently facing hard choices due to busy lives, finances or the often confusing, frequently changing claims of various experts regarding “the best diet”.

Many of us, women in particular, are further challenged by the stresses that result from social pressures about appearance and body type.  Americans have been dragging their food choices through many changes in the past half century and the result is a lot of misinformation, and a lot of unhealthy people.

There is no single, ideal diet that is right for everyone. But there are some fundamental truths about food- the best food is fresh, organically grown, varied and eaten in amounts appropriate for one’s body size and activity level. Food can’t be divorced from the rest of life, so things like muscle mass, exercise, emotional life, and events like conception, pregnancy, breastfeeding, illness and accidental trauma, or extreme physical demands like training for a sport, require special attention to diet for the best results.

If you want to begin to make changes for the better, by adjusting the balance of eicosanoids in your body, the simplest starting place is to stop eating sugar and to really limit starches. This means all simple, refined sweets – sugar of all kinds, honey, all syrups, malts, and alcohol which is also pure simple carbohydrate. It also means refined flour products like white bread, bagels, crackers, white rice, pasta, chips and most prepared, packaged foods.

If you eat a lot of these things regularly you may experience intense cravings for them. You can control these cravings and help restore balance in your system by replacing sugary foods with whole, unrefined grains and cereals and good quality protein and fats. The best fat is found in olive oil and canola oil, fresh, un-roasted nuts and seeds and avocados. Eggs, fish, lean poultry and lean meat should be eaten every day, at each meal.

Some people benefit from eating soy foods like tofu, tempeh and soy milk as part of their protein intake. Round out  this diet with 2 or more cups a day of fresh or frozen vegetables  and 2 or 3 pieces of fresh fruit, and 6 to 10 glasses of water or herb teas and you have the basis of a dietary and health transformation.

You can get more specific food advice, and support for making these rewarding changes, from your naturopathic physician. Changes like this should be something you are curious about and excited to try—if it feels like loss, drudgery or restriction, you have not been helped to be happily excited yet! That means you need more information and support.

A commitment to try a new dietary element for 6 weeks is usually what is needed. In order for a person to learn the new way of eating and for the change to take effect in their body it takes at least a month and a half. Only then can a person understand, from the inside out, whether the hassle of the change is worth the effort or not.

Actually experiencing for instance, life without sugar, and all the ways you are changed by this choice, is necessary in order for you to be in charge of, and have the pleasure of the accomplishment of, choosing how you will live.

The balance of protein, fat and carbohydrate and how this mixes to create the internal chemistry of our body, in both very complex, and fundamentally – are simple. Think of yourself as if you were an ancient human—your great great , great, many times great grandparent, living in the world before refrigeration, before farms even. You live off the land and eat EVERYTHING- bugs, bark, and stuff even more unmentionable, because the food is uncertain and most often not abundant. This is the situation our bodies are designed to thrive in. We are fortunate and don’t have to eat bugs.

There is no reason not to enjoy a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream on special occasions. “Special”, by definition, is not every day. It’s not even once a week! If we eat a simple, fresh, and deliciously whole food diet 80% of the time and indulge in modern extravaganzas like Snickers bar and margaritas the remaining 20%, we would all see a dramatic improvement in our Series 1 and Series 2 eicosanoid balance, and thus in our total wellbeing.

Loss and Grief and Growing

Loss and Grief and Growing

Logan Smith has died. This not-quite 10-year-old was in his mother’s arms when the kidney cancer he traveled with for 7 months ended his life. His family has spent these months knit tightly around him. His 2 brothers, his mom, and her partner, all nested in and went with him as far as anyone possibly can, on the journey we will all take.

Surrounding them is a larger community of family and friends and care providers that has been present with practical and energetic loving support. It has been at times unspeakably agonizing to stay present to the death journey of this child.

Loss and Grief and Growing

Witnessing the love that was poured out in response to these demands, especially on and from his Mom, and on his closest family, and the relentless fortitude and attention they have paid to every moment with Logan is a source of learning and inspiration that now reverberates through many lives.

One of Logan’s very smart brother’s wrote about him, and about his family’ grief like this: “…we all loved him so much every time I look at a picture of him I start to cry and say it is not fair or come back but we know he won’t we will probably be like this for a very long time.”

Exactly. We will be experiencing what we have been learning from Logan’s life, and from our responses to it, for a long time. It makes us bigger, more of who we are, more whole, when we bear with what is true.

Everyone who cared about this family couldn’t be with them physically as much as they were with each other. Thanks to the world wide web, and to their efforts to stop in the moments and type out the often excruciating news. They were able to stay in touch with and share the grief and the growing with many more people.

The gift of the updates that came to us through Logan’s tumortown blog is undeniable. As these folks- as we all- enter the next phase of life, with Logan physically gone, with the need to try to do something, no longer driving the day, a new set of opportunities emerges.

Cancer and the death of a child is not ‘normal’. Actually, both of these things are stunningly common; but when it ‘happens’ to us, we feel suddenly transported to somewhere else, somewhere not normal, not part of everyday life.

Generally, in America, we don’t do much dying or disease or death; we compartmentalize these things, consider them strange and weird. Whenever possible we remove ourselves from all that. When it shows up anyway, we deal as best we can, do what we got to do.

When the transition occurs, when death has come and gone and disease is no longer occupying us, we are eager to ‘get back to normal’. As Logan’s astute big brother knows, that doesn’t happen quick, and normal will never be the same again. And, that’s not only right but good.

Because Logan has accelerated, has made his journey before the rest of us, we get to move along on our own roads a little smarter, a little stronger. Thanks to the Smith family, I know more about myself in relation to my journey toward my death.

I know more about how I want to live out my love for my children and my family and friends. I’m accepting this invitation to be alive while I am alive.

One of the things I want to do is remember, all the time, that no matter how ‘normal’ someone else looks on the outside, there is undoubtedly stuff that is unusual- brilliant, frightening, fascinating, startling, challenging- going on under their surface.

I want to be curious and interested in what is actually going on at the moment I am in. I want to stay aware of my tendency to think I already know something and to look at every person, every episode of life with fresh, newborn eyes.

When I see a couple handsome Smith teenagers walking around town, I want to see who they are, including that they are young men wise from hard work, beautiful with grief and incredibly strong with love- and, whatever else is true.

 

The Secret to Increasing Your Mobility Exposed

It’s safe to say that most men complain of feeling tight, especially in their hamstrings. However, it’s more interesting at the number of women that come in who also complain of similar “problems”

Is chronic hamstring tightness the new epidemic of society?

Absolutely not, but you may be thinking to yourself, “I have tight hamstrings, I stretch every day and can never seem to gain any flexibility”.

Mobility Exposed

If that’s you, you’re not alone. In fact, most people who complain of being “tight” often stretch frequently but see lackluster results.

How can that be?

Something clearly isn’t being worked if you’re making an effort to change every day and yet see nothing in return.

Today I’m going to breakdown why you likely aren’t seeing any gains in your mobility and why most of you have another problem entirely.

Practice each of the tips listed today frequently and in weeks you’ll see notable increases in your flexibility and athletic ability as well.

Now Let’s Talk About The Secret To Increasing Your Mobility In Details

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. Stretching for most people is insane, literally! Some people work feverishly to achieve more mobility and yet despite the straps, bands, and massages just can’t seem to increase their mobility.

Below are 3 reasons why you likely haven’t, and probably won’t, get the mobility you’re looking for unless you make some changes. Those changes are also listed below…

#1 – Poor Stimulus

First things first, what are you doing in an attempt to increase your mobility?

Stretching “cold” as they say is not typically recommended. Although research has suggested that in order to truly increase mobility one needs to stretch cold. I feel based off the results I see with my clients every day that’s not the case.

Enter the form of self-care; self-myofascial release.

Mobility Exposed

Self-myofascial release (SMR) is a term used to describe the process of increasing one’s tissue quality with the use of tools such as a foam roller, massage stick, lacrosse ball, or tennis ball.

Each tool is used in a variety of different ways to help decrease the tension within your muscles. It’s literally like giving yourself a deep tissue massage.

Painful? Yes. Effective? Absolutely.

Regardless of whether a client complains of being tight or not, the first tool I introduce them to is a foam roller. Tissue quality is one of the most important areas of focus when looking at mobility and range of motion.

If you’re someone who’s been stretching “cold” for quite some time then starting to use a foam roller will drastically improve your mobility. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a client to come to me with shoulder pain, hip pain, or tight hamstrings and feel almost 100% better after having rolled for 5-10 minutes.

That’s pretty powerful when you consider that some people may spend YEARS stretching and notice minimal gains, yet 5-10 minutes of applying a new stimulus such as a lacrosse ball or foam roller and all of a sudden their pain as subsided and there’s new range of motion to work with.

Your Rubbery Muscles

The analogy I often use when explaining the importance of foam rolling is the rubber band with a knot tied in it.

A rubber band is elastic in nature, much like our muscles. Both have the ability to lengthen and shorten and return back to their original state. This elastic component is what gives us our athletic ability and our ability to perform a variety of movements.

Mobility Exposed

What happens when you stretch a rubber band with a knot in it? The knot gets tighter and one end of the rubber band is subject to possible tear.

Your muscles are no different.

In the case of your body, the knot in the rubber band is a trigger point in your muscle and/or fascia. It’s a roadblock limiting the elastic abilities your muscles have naturally. Continue to stretch, strengthen, and move with knots and it’s only a matter of time before you tear or pull something.

Where do you start?

I personally like to have my clients start at the attachment sites, under your arms and in the inner and outer portions of your hip. These areas are subject to the most restriction because they naturally have the most range of motion.

Take a look at some of the ways you can use a foam roller or a lacrosse ball to help increase your mobility.

Attachment sites to use with a foam roller: Lat/Posterior Shoulder, T-Spine, Adductors, Hip External rotators

#2 – Lack of Consistency

As is the case with so many things in life, consistency is the key to success.

You’ve just learned a variety of ways you can increase your mobility using two simple tools. The key now is actually performing these exercises frequently.

You can’t expect to get results if you only foam roll the 2-3 days a week you go to the gym. It’s just not enough.

Think of how old you are and how long you’ve felt “tight”. Maybe you’ve had shoulder pain for 5-7 years, or had tight hamstrings for as long as you can remember. The point is, what took years to create cannot simply be undone in a matter of minutes (most times).

You need to constantly apply a stimulus in order to induce a change.

However, it actually doesn’t take as much time as you think to create a permanent change in your body.

Two to five minutes is actually all you need. The key is performing the exercises you need most once a day if not 2-3 times a day.

We’re talking a total of 14 minutes of work a week, that’s it!

Remember consistency is the key. That being said, it’s better to do 5 days a week of 2 minutes each day compared to 2 days a week for 5 minutes. 2 days do not apply enough stimulus.

A smart trainer by the name of Dan Jon once said, “If it’s important to do it every day”. Keep that in mind as you work toward increasing your mobility.

#3 – No Strength Training Integration

We’ve reached the final and most important aspect to increasing and MAINTAINING your flexibility.

The key word here is “maintain”.

How do you get your newly acquired mobility to stick?

The problem with most people is they spend so much time getting loose only to then hop on a treadmill or lay on a bench press. They’re not doing anything to stabilize their newly acquired range of motion!

After rolling and performing your mobility drills the body is an ideal place to accept change.

Take advantage of this and perform exercises that will help strengthen the muscles around the newly acquired range of motion!

It is at this newly acquired range of motion where strength will be the weakest and therefore needed the most to become a permanent change.

If you think about it, this makes sense though right?

You take an area of the body that is restricted, you open it up and now you’re like Bamby all over again. You’re wobbly and unaware of how to control this new level of the range of motion.

This is where the phenomenon of stability yields mobility comes into play.

You see more often than not a person never really lacks the range of motion they seek. Instead, they lack the ability to stabilize at that range of motion.

You likely don’t have a mobility problem, you have a stability problem, and this is the key to maintaining your flexibility.

In terms of hip and lower body mobility, I personally like a lot of deep squatting and shifting patterns to help stick your new range of motion.

For shoulder mobility, I love a lot of Kettlebell Bottoms-Up Pressing Variations. Just search for them on youtube and you will find more than enough video tutorials on them.

The main reason why these exercises are so effective is each requires your body to stabilize around a given range of motion. In the case of the bottoms-up kettlebell press, the mere act of holding the kettlebell upside down is what will trigger a shoulder stability response.

Gaining strength with these exercises will mean your newly acquired range of motion will be here to stay.

The exercises listed today are all great tools for increasing total body mobility with a big focus on the attachment sites.

Perform a healthy dose of the exercises listed today and you’ll notice a vast improvement in your mobility in just weeks!

Quote of the Week

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis

Your Time-Cramped Workout Routine and Density Training

Getting work done in a short amount of time is nothing new. From time to time your boss probably throws deadlines at you and expects them to be met accurately in a timely manner.

When you’re faced head-to-head with time constraints there’s no room for dilly-dallying, just good ol’ fashioned hard work.

It takes focus.

Cell phones likely go off and your Facebook feed likely gets closed out.

In fact, it’s not uncommon for such circumstances to bring out the very best work in people.  Both the quality and quantity of work you can accomplish when you have a short amount of time to produce it is actually amazing.

It’s for this reason that after reading this article, your new time-cramped workout style will work so well…

What Is It?

The training style is called Density Training and the trick is really no trick at all but rather a scientific method of working out.

Workout Routine and Density Training

Density training is a training style used by bodybuilders and power-lifters for years as a means to gain substantial amounts of strength and muscle in a relatively short amount of time.

For you women out there, don’t stop reading just yet. After explaining why it works and how to structure your own density workout, I’ll be giving you two different examples; one for building muscle and one for burning fat….so stay with me.

In the traditional sense of a workout routine, you perform roughly anywhere from 6-8 different exercises. Each exercise is performed for a given number of reps and sets. Including your rest times and water breaks, this all adds up to roughly an hour workout if you’re lucky.

Within the above-mentioned workout, two things are present…Volume and Duration.

The volume is looked at as the total amount of reps and sets collectively multiplied together. For example, if you did 5 sets of 5 of bench press the volume would be 25 total reps completed. Since you’re only doing 5 reps, let’s assume you’re using a relatively heavy weight.

The amount of time it took you to perform those 25 reps would be called the duration. For example’s sake, we’ll say 15 minutes.

Density training takes this truth and puts a crazed spin on it asking you to do those same 25 reps, with the same weight, in roughly half the time. This simply requires you to do those same 25 reps in just 7.5 minutes.

The result is a significantly higher level of work capacity as well as strength, endurance, and overall level of fitness.

How It Works

There are a number of different ways you can arrange this training approach to get the results you desire. Today the two examples we’re going to look at are a client who wants to gain muscle (Eric) and a client who wants to lose fat and stay lean (Julie).

The sequence is the same for both people however the exercise selections will be slightly different.

Here’s how it works: Starting with Eric…

For his first set, Eric would choose 2 exercises that stress opposing muscle groups. This would be an upper and a lower body exercise.

Eric will do a Back Squat and a Dumbbell Bench Press.

You choose opposing muscle groups so that while you’re working one, the previous gets a slight rest and avoids fatigue.

Eric will then choose a load for both that he can rep roughly 10-12 times.

The next step is important:

**He will only do 4-6 reps of each exercise before alternating to the next exercise**

This prevents fatigue and allows him to continue to pound out reps in each exercise for the entire duration of the set.

Eric will continue to go back and forth between the two exercises trying to complete as many 4-6-rep rounds as he can for a total of 5 minutes.

After the 5-minutes is up he’ll rest 3-5 minutes and repeat for another 5 minutes.

Sounds like a lot of work right?

That’s cause it is!

In this case, Eric’s likely to do anywhere from 40-60 reps of each exercise in just 10 minutes worth of work. Add in the rest time and you still have another 15 minutes to spare till you reach 30 minutes!

Julie will do the exact same protocol but with slightly different exercises.

Workout Routine and Density Training

Julie will perform Kettlebell Swings and Push-ups.

Again she’ll choose a load that she can do 10-12 reps of and only perform 4-6 reps each set. In this case, the push-up involves just her bodyweight so instead of choosing a load that’s appropriate she’ll choose a height that’s appropriate. Julie will choose a height that she can easily pound out 10-12 push-ups and do just 4-6 push-ups each set.

She again will alternate between the 2 for 5 minutes. Rest 3-5 minutes and repeat.

Sounds like fun right?!

Why does It work?

This style of training works for two main reasons. Much like your boss gave you a deadline at the beginning of the article, I too have given you a deadline to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.

This does a couple things to the client:

#1 – Makes them focus more because they know they only have to work-out for a short amount of time.

#2 – Because they have a shortened workout duration they automatically increase their workout intensity. I don’t even have to tell them, they just do it.

The reason being is people like to succeed. If they’re a little fatigued coming into an hour workout they’re liable to pace themselves through the first 30 minutes in order to simply make it through the entire workout.

If you’re only asking them to work hard for a short amount of time (5 minutes), people can handle pushing themselves. After all, you’re getting a 5-minute rest period after you done. When’s the last time your trainer told you to take a 5 minute break?!

The underlying principal behind why density training works are the simple formula below…

Increased Volume and Decreased Duration = Increased Work Capacity

All equaling increased results!

Workout Routine and Density Training

This is actually a good example of EDT – Escalating Density Training. Increased Volume and Increased Duration. But I thought the picture was appropriate for work capacity

 The Workouts

Now that you get the very gist of density training, I’ll share with you some examples for you the try on your own. First, let’s look at Eric; muscle building dude.

Eric’s Muscle Building Density Workout:

Circuit A:

5 Minutes

10-12-rep load for each exercise

**Perform only 4-6 reps per set**

Rest 3-5 minutes and repeat for another 5 minutes

When done rest for 5 minutes and move to circuit B

Dumbbell Split Squat and Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Circuit B:

4 Minutes

10-15-rep load for each exercise

**Perform only 4-6 reps per set**

Rest 2 minutes and repeat

Dumbbell Hammer Curl and TRX Triceps Press

Note: For the triceps press, because it’s your bodyweight you’re choosing a height at which you can perform 10-15 reps easily and only performing 4-6 reps. You can also do these on a barbell if no TRX is available.

Julie’s Fat Burning Density Workout:

Circuit A:

5 Minutes

10-12-rep load for each exercise

**Perform only 4-6 reps per set**

Rest 3-5 minutes and repeat for another 5 minutes

When done rest for 5 minutes and move to circuit B

Kettlebell Swing and Push-ups

Note: For the push-up, because it’s your bodyweight you’re choosing a height at which you can perform 10-15 reps easily and only performing 4-6 reps.

Circuit B:

4 Minutes

10-15-rep load for each exercise

**Perform only 4-6 reps per set**

Rest 2 minutes and repeat

Ball Slam and Squat Jump

Now, remember, these are just a couple examples. You can easily create your density workout to fit the equipment you have available to you. Meaning you CAN get a great workout at home!

Push-ups, Lunges, Walkouts, Burpee’s, Mountain Climbers, Squat Jumps, etc. all come to mind.

A Little Extra

Again, there are a TON of different ways you can play with exercise combination, total time, and a number of sets you perform with density workouts. However, there are a couple other things I’d like to point out:

#1 – Density training is extremely demanding to the CNS system and cannot be used for prolonged periods of time.

Workout Routine and Density Training

The title of today’s article has the words “Time-Cramped” in it. While some people will be able to handle higher loads and durations of density training it’s advised to throw in a density workout sparingly.

If you’re someone who requires shorter workouts routinely, play around with different exercise combinations that allow you to not feel as fatigued when finished. You can also use Tabata’s to break-up the high CNS fatigue.

My recommendation is alternate between workouts that have more of a strength focus (such as push-ups and squats) with workouts that have more of a cardio focus (such as ball slams and mountain climbers).

And with that….

#2 – Challenge Yourself!

Workout Routine and Density Training

When done the proper way density training should leave you exhausted, sweaty, and feeling like you just ran the gauntlet of all workouts. That being said you should also feel great about yourself!

You’ve embraced a hard challenge, been pushed mentally and physically, and made it through on top! In fact, completing a density workout early in the morning will make the work your boss gave you seem like a walk in the park! Not to mention you’re likely going to be more productive at work following your workout!

As always have fun and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Quote of the Week

“Either run the day or the day runs you”  – Jim Rohn

Conflict Resolution – 3 Powerful Steps That Guarantee Success

Conflict Resolution

Being in conflict with another person usually, mean feelings are aroused. Feelings are powerful. They can seem to take over our thoughts and we react “without thinking”. Feelings can be confusing and can seem to make no sense. You can have two different feelings telling you exactly opposite things, things that seem equally true, at the same time.

Feelings are true. They may not represent facts. Feelings just are. And, feelings change. Accepting your feelings is the key to choosing behaviors that are healthy and effective in your relationships.

It is possible to think and feel at the same time. Your goal is to allow and accept your feelings and to think your way through to decide how you want to act. For instance, I can feel stupid in a tough situation; I am not stupid in fact, although I can really feel that way. And, I do not want to act stupidly. So I pay attention, I accept my feeling. It makes me alert to the need to think about my behavior, take steps to become calm before I choose an action.

The way to resolve conflict is to be kind, clear, fair and honest. Being clear and honest doesn’t mean you will be making the other person happy.

Sometimes, information that is clear and honest is not the news they want to hear. But offering the information in a fair and kind way will allow them to hear it. Being unkind and unfair will make another person focus on defending themselves rather than really working on the conflict with you.

Here are some basic steps to help you think and feel at the same time and to behave in ways that lead to healthy resolution of the conflict between people.

Conflict Resolution

Step #1 Develop a Sanctuary

Sanctuary is a safe place. A safe place is where you feel protected from harm and optimally also from interruption. It’s best if you have both an indoor space and an outdoor place you can retreat to for calming yourself.

Step #2. Stop the Pattern of Reacting Out of Powerful, Distressing Feelings

Take 4-7 deep breaths as soon as you start to feel hurt, angry, guilty, defensive, etc.  Make each breath slower and deeper.  This way of breathing will actually change your internal state; it will reduce the output of ‘fight-or-flight” hormones. It will stop feelings of anxiety. You cannot be in a relaxed state and anxious at the same time.

Step #3. Practice Time Out

This is a great concept. We have tended to think of it as a way to discipline little kids. Try thinking of it as a mini-vacation instead. Everyone needs a time-out! Following are few steps to create time-out for yourself.

  • Remove Yourself From the Source of Your Distress

First, make a date with the person- “I need 10 minutes”; “I need the rest of the day; let’s check in with each other at 6 o’clock.” It is vital that you make a specific time to get back together and that you keep the promise. When you have stated your intention to return to the conflict, go to a place that feels like a sanctuary.

  • Identify your Feelings. Give them a Name.

You can say aloud “I feel angry”; “I feel abandoned”; “I feel so sad”, “I feel disrespected”. Do something that is physical, an action that releases the feeling away from you, and away from any other person or living thing. It is important for your well being, for your own sense of integrity, to release feelings in a way that does not harm yourself, other people, living beings or things that belong to or are used by others.

For example, if you are feeling anger, you can fast walk, run, throw rocks in the river, break sticks, beat the bed or wall with a pillow, write them a letter you do not send, scream into a towel or pillow or at an empty chair as though a person you have feelings about were sitting in it, etc.  Indulge yourself in the feeling until you have released it or feel some relief.

  • Nurture Yourself Until You Feel Calm.

Different things work for different people. Getting outside can help tremendously, even in ‘bad’ weather.  A walk by a river or creek is great. So is a soak in your tub, listening to your favorite music, or taking a nap.

Make sure you are not in a low blood sugar state- if it has been more than 4 hours since your last meal, have something to eat that is good for you. Sweets and alcohol will not help, but something substantial with good protein, something fresh and tasty, will make you feel better.

  • Take Responsibility For Your Own Stuff.

When you feel calm, ask yourself, “What is my part in this?  How did I help create the situation that upset me?  What did I assume?  What expectations did I have but not tell them?  What part of my past causes me to react this so intensely?  Did I communicate clearly?

  • Go and Approach the Other Person

When you feel calm and clear about your own part, then go and approach the other person Go and tell them you are ready to talk about what upset you.  Ask when would be a good time for them to discuss it with you.

  • Practice Your Ability to be in a State of Physical Relaxation.

It is ideal when we train ourselves to be relaxed most of the time. When you are used to being relaxed, your body can serve as a barometer, giving you early warning signs that alert you when a situation is beginning upset you.

Conclusion

EARLY is the most effective time to take action to resolve a feeling of emotional distress.  Do not wait, or tell yourself it’s not important. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that being truthful about your feelings will only hurt the other person and therefore the situation should be avoided.

When you are calm enough to be fair, honest, clear, and kind, you are ready to offer your constructive feedback. Keep your date with the person you are working with.

Hypnotherapy to Stop Smoking

It is no longer news that smoking is a dangerous habit responsible for a wide range of illness including: cancer, heart diseases, lungs cancer, infertility and even death. Many smokers are aware of this fact and are always in search of the next smoking cessation method. If you have tried all the available method with no lasting result, then hypnotherapy to stop smoking might just be the method that will liberate you from the addictive ‘chains’ of smoking.

Hypnosis to Quit Smoking

Hypnosis is a method that has proven effective in treating many physical and physiological conditions such as: weight issues, pain control, addictive habits and speech disorder. In practice, hypnosis involves a state of being in a trance or sleep-like state, yet you are fully aware or conscious of your surroundings (more like being hypnotized). In this state your body is more relaxed, and you are open to suggestions.

Many researchers have argued the uses of hypnotherapy as an effective measure to quit smoking, however there are testimonies of people who have successfully used hypnosis to quit smoking.

How Hypnotherapy For Smoking Works

Hypnotherapists work on the principle that in a state of hypnosis your body is more relaxed and open to suggestion. Therefore the help your mind reflect on the negative impacts of smoking, and replace it with conscious thoughts that get you ‘turned off’ at the thought of smoking.

Hypnotherapy has proven to be very effective due to it’s high rate of success when it comes to using it to help people with smoking cessation. This is one of the many reasons why people who want to stop smoking seek the help of hypnotherapists. If you want to quit smoking, it is advisable not to dwell on the negatives effects of smoking such as ill health, but instead you dwell on the positive outcomes like being reinvigorated with energy, being more physically fit, and the financial freedom to be gotten because of calling it quit with smoking.

For instance, a typical hypnotherapy session might get you focus on the heart disease that results from smoking, thereby getting you resent the notion of smoking. The goal of hypnotherapy to stop smoking would bring you to the point of realizing that:

  • Smoking is poisonous to your body
  • Your body is needed to live
  • You should protect your body to the extent that you would like to live.

Does It Really Work?

Hypnotherapy for smoking might produce different result from person to person-what works for me might not work for you. Hypnosis is usually dependent on your mind set and the reason you want to really quit smoking. Generally, stop smoking hypnotherapy have been found to be more effective for people who personally want to stop smoking as compare to those seeking to quit for the sake of a friend or a spouse.

Advantages Of Using Hypnosis For Smoking

  • Your view of cigarettes changes and you begin to detest them.
  • It is relatively cheap-when compared to other smoking cessation methods like: use of medication, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, etc.
  • Stop smoking hypnotherapy has no side effect as it is drug-free, and a natural technique.
  • Most smokers would stop smoking after about three hypnotherapy sessions, making it a more faster approach to quit smoking

Disadvantages Of Using Hypnosis For Smoking

  • It may not be effective for every one
  • May not lead to a lasting result as some patients may return back to smoking after some time.
  • Some people cannot be hypnotized.

Bottom Line

Hypnotherapy to stop smoking is a very effect smoking cessation technique, however, there are case of patients who would return back to smoking in times of stress or emotional breakdown. For a more lasting treatment, most hypnotherapist would advise you to continue with self-therapy even after the paid session.