DVD review: A.M. & P.M. T'ai Chi with David-Dorian Ross
As you know, I'm always looking for ways to improve health and well being. While in MT school, I was fortunate enough to be able to take t'ai chi lessons from a wonderful instructor. But when I was back in Pittsburg, I no longer had that resource.
With the DVD: A.M. & P.M. T'ai Chi with David-Dorian Ross and CJ McPhee, I've been able to start back with this wonderful practice.
The DVD has two twenty minute sessions, one for beginning your day with increased energy; the other to help you wind down from your day and release stress and tension. The video is easy enough for beginners, and you'll soon find your flexibility improves so that the movements become smooth and flowing.
Filmed on the beach, with rolling waves in the background, it's soothing just watching that! Add David-Dorian and CJ's clear instructions for the gentle and easy movements and you'll soon find yourself enjoying increased energy and a feeling of peace throughout the day.
You can find the DVD at David-Dorian's Site or from Amazon.com. Wherever you get it, I think you will be pleased with its gentle, easy to follow instructions.
Do not use with pregnant/lactating dogs, or when injury or illness is present. This routine is not intended to replace appropriate medical care for your dog. When in doubt, check it out (with your vet).
When using calming touch on your dog, please remember that your dog will pick up on your emotional state as well. If you are nervous, s/he will be nervous, too. Take a few moments to take a few deep breaths and become calm before you start the process. Use a firm but gentle touch.
Applying a small drop of lavender essential oil to the inside tip of each ear and massaging it in will help start the relaxation process for your dog.
Start by stroking your dog from the top of the head to the tail 2 or 3 times.
Press the spot right between your dog's eyes, 3-5 times.
Press the spot right between your dog's ears, at the level of the base of the ear, 3-5 times.
Gently pinch and roll the spot on the spine right behind the shoulder blades.
Squeeze and massage from the shoulder joint of the leg to the tips of the toes, paying special attention to each joint. The knees and back toes are especially important. Do each leg 2-3 times.
You can also hold your dog's tail at the base and rotate it. Go both ways. One direction will be easier. Go that direction several times, then reverse for a few turns. (You may want to have someone help you by holding the dog's head or distracting it with a treat. If your dog continues to protest this move, you can simply rub the base of the tail.) Continue until the tail is moving easily.
Finish by stroking from the head to the tail several times.
Wearing a snug fitting coat/t-shirt will often help your dog's anxiety. For storm related anxiety, put the shirt on your dog as soon as you know a storm is headed your way.
Late last year I wrote about how I viewed Mayan hammocks as a pain management option, in addition to being a great relaxation tool. I mentioned how the gentle rocking/swaying of the hammock could stimulate the vestibular system. Today I'd like to give you the details on why that system is important to everyone, from babies to the elderly.
When asked about the vestibular system, most people will often relate it with balance and inner ear issues. But the VS has more influence on our bodies than you think.
The VS affects all the sensory processes of the body, which makes it important to make sure it is in the best condition. More importantly, the VS is intricately involved with another very important system: the vagus nerve.
The vagus nerve is actually two cranial nerves, extremely long, which earned them the nickname "Wandering Nerves". Extending from your brain stem to the viscera (your internal organs), with branches to the heart, lungs, stomach, and ears, they gather incoming information from the body. This information helps the brain make sure the body is working efficiently. The vagus nerves also dispenses instructions to the body on how to work at peak performance.
This is valuable to know, because appropriate stimulation of the vagus nerve will help you slow your heartbeat, lower blood pressure, and bring about a relaxation response.
Which is where the vestibular system and the vagus complex connection comes into play. When you rock in a chair or swing in a hammock, you gently stimulate the vestibular system and therefore the vagus complex. This leads to mental and physical relaxation without much effort on your part.
The vagus complex is also responsible for your digestive system and its duties. If you are having a bit of trouble with constipation, gas, etc. it might be beneficial to try rocking, gentle bouncing on an exercise ball, or swinging in a hammock (are you noticing a theme here?) if more water and your regular exercise aren't doing the job. (Of course, check with your primary health care provider to make sure there's no major problems first!)
Don't have time for rocking or swinging? Since the lips and mouth are richly supplied with connections to the vagus nerves, try pinching your lips, chewing gum, or (gently!) biting your lips. Any of these will also help you avoid eating when you are stressed. Remember to breathe, drink a glass of water, and rock in your seat for additional tension relief.
Consider investing in a hammock or comfortable rocking chair for their considerable health benefits. In my opinion, the money I've spent on my hammocks (I have 2) has been the best investment I've ever spent on self care. Go ahead, invest in yourself, too!
Simply move your cursor over the drawing of the hand to see what your fingertips influence, or over a word in the list to find the spot on the hand related to it.
There is also a link there for a foot chart, but our hands are so much easier to reach. Plus, you can press/rub the reflex spots on the hands just about anywhere, anytime without your great aunt wondering why you're pinching your palm. : )
Remember, reflexology is not meant to replace the care of a primary health care provider. Err on the side of caution and get your situation checked out by your doctor, especially if you are experiencing more than a minor ache or pain.
For those of you who like to see beautiful kaleidoscopes, this is a beautifully relaxing video. It would make a terrific Christmas gift!
Ken Mayering (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been a jewel. When I first found his sample video on youtube, I liked it, but felt the images changed too fast to be relaxing. When I commented on it, he offered to slow it down. I loved the results, so ordered one this morning.
So visit his website, find a speed that you like, and contact Ken about your preferences. I can't wait to get mine, relax into the hammock, and bliss out!
Born across the state line in Missouri, I moved to Pittsburg in 1983. I spent several years working at Miller's Professional Imaging before deciding in 1993 to devote my life to helping people feel better.
My massage training at White River School of Massage Therapy included anatomy & physiology and several different modes of massage. These included Swedish style, acupressure, Reiki and Craniosacral therapies. After graduating, I added prenatal and facial massage to my skills.
Learning is my first love; I love to research new ways of dealing with pain and tension. An important aspect of my practice is being able to offer my clients suggestions to use between massage visits to help reduce tension and stress.
I have held licenses in both the state of AR (1993-2010) and the state of MO (2010 to present). (Kansas is currently working on a state license law.) I've been certified by the National Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork since 1993.