Welcome Fitlandian’s to Episode 54. We have another exciting guest with us today, wellness consultant and life coach, Cheri Anderson and she’s going to teach us how to use our parasympathetic nervous system to manage our pain and stress.
As a wellness consultant, Cheri provides services in three areas which are focused around helping people live a lifestyle of wholeness. In order to accomplish this, Cheri says it’s necessary to first locate where constraints exist within a person’s “whole being.” The whole being is made up of the body, the spirit and the soul. When there are incongruences in one of these areas, there will be some type of mental, emotional, or physical conflict occurring.
“My passion is identifying those incongruences and then creating solutions” Cheri explains.
One way Cheri helps her clients find solutions, is through the practice of Holistic Biomechanics™. Holistic Biomechanics™ are the mechanics of all of the systems of the body working together as a whole. Cheri works one on one or in small groups helping people understand the biomechanics of movement in their bodies through sensory work with their nervous systems.
The nervous system has a parasympathetic (rest and digest) function and a sympathetic (flight or flight) function. When a body is in a parasympathetic state, it’s functioning in an optimal way; the way it was designed to work at that moment. However, when we get in our head about a pain we’re experiencing, our mind jumps to worry and judgement, thinking things like, “Will it always hurt like this?” and/or “Why is this hurting and will it last forever?”
This internal fight or flight dialogue continues to trigger more flight or fight type responses in the nervous system for protection, but never truly realizes the pain for what it is. By doing this, Cheri describes it as, “reinforcing the patterns of protection out of a false place.”
But when you stop, observe and recognize the pain, it creates sensory awareness in that area giving your brain more of a concrete answer instead of letting your mind wander and worry. It is our brain’s job to execute what we are telling it to do and with better instructions of what’s happening in the body it allows the nervous system to automatically shift to a parasympathetic state where it can calm and heal itself. Simply, when we have specific information that our brains can be sensory around, it allows our body to do what it is designed to do.
How Do We Sustain This Parasympathetic State?
When contacting Cheri for a private session, you’ll find there are different methods she uses depending on the client’s needs. When working with Christa, Cheri chose compression which consists of light touching of the skin. By lightly touching and engaging a specific area of the body, that area opens up and becomes available to give and receive information. While gently pressing on Christa’s neck and shoulders, Cheri facilitated more information being sent to Christa’s brain instead of letting her nerves try and gather the information. While creating more “chatter” in that specific area, it creates new pathways and gives Christa’s brain clearer feedback, allowing her nervous system to do what it does best.
Cheri’s Tips on How to Escape Your Brain’s Food Loops:
- Sense your body – “mapping” is when our brain has two points of reference and creates a line between the two, making it clear how they connect. This practice helps us to understand exactly how our bodies function and what is happening inside.
- Notice thought patterns – every thought and feeling is a physical motor pattern. When you’re saying “I’m sad” or “I’m happy”, there is a physical pattern that takes place. When you associate feelings with your body, it aligns with exactly what you’re telling it.
- Acknowledge thought patterns – when acknowledging a specific thought pattern or giving into a food craving, notice how your physical structure shifts when the flight or flight response is relaxed. For example: paying attention to how fast you consumed the food instead of going straight to judgement or shaming.
Cheri’s Easy 4-Step Process When Dealing with Stresses, Pain or an Obsessive Food Loop:
- Notice your thoughts and allow your attention to come to them without trying to come up with an immediate fix-it solution
- Give your mind a list of options of what you can do
- Make a decision
- Embrace your structure after whatever decision you chose without shame or regret
These simple but not easy tips are extremely effective in helping us create a lifestyle of wholeness!
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