Easy Self-Care for Smoky Weather

If you're anywhere in the west of the US right now, you're probably living under smokey skies. Depending on your sensitivity to smoke, you might be experiencing itchy eyes, congestion, sore throat, headaches, sore or heavy lungs, fatigue, or difficulty breathing. After a bad case of bronchitis in my mid-20s, I've had every one of these symptoms this week, so I speak from experience. Here are some easy things you can do to protect your lungs and ease congestion.

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On Back Pain, "Good" Movement, and "Bad" Movement

Almost all new clients I see have the same question - "How should I be moving? What's the right way to move?" This question is especially prevalent among clients with chronic back pain. They've often been fighting with themselves, trying out a wide variety of modalities and strategies to get their pain under control, and trying to sort out good advice from bad advice for years.

I try to re-frame the question of "good movement vs bad movement". I'm interested in functional, useful movement. Movement doesn't exist in a binary - it exists on a spectrum. While there are general rules that should definitely be followed (ways to not sheer your joints, for example), the details may vary hugely person to person. Not all back pain looks the same.

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The Trouble with Belly Breathing

If you've ever attended a yoga class, you've likely heard the term "belly breathing", and have probably learned how to do it yourself. It's often referred to as the best way to breathe, and is taught as a method to avoid shallow breathing. For those who tend to breathe up high in their chests with a short, shallow breath, belly breathing is a great tool for increasing oxygen intake and allowing the diaphragm to get more involved. However, belly breathing can cause trouble just like shallow chest breathing can.

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Balance and Your Nervous System

This month, I've had the wonderful opportunity to help run a class taught by fellow Feldenkrais practitioner Becci Parsons on improving balance for people with peripheral neuropathy. This means that because of nerve impingement or nerve damage, they can't feel their feet to one degree or another. It's a very scary condition - imagine going through your day, unable to tell without looking where your feet are under you.

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Some Tools for the Physical Side of Grief

Only three days after the horrifying attack on a Latin music night in a gay bar in Orlando, I've decided to write about the physical manifestations of grief, and some tools for working through it. Partially, this post is for myself and my own processing, since as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this hit me very hard personally. I hope it offers you some reprieve too, whether from pain about Orlando or something else entirely.

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