Learning about SOMATICS and CHRONIC PAIN…

“Demystifying Chronic Pain, A Somatic Functional Perspective,” By David MacDougall.

How do we measure the cost of chronic muscle/joint pain? A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates the cost of healthcare spending for back/neck pain is $87.6 billion a year. Studies indicate it is “the leading global cause of disability in 2015 in most countries.” Just stroll through your local pharmacy and note the amount of shelf space occupied by “pain killers,” and you can see that chronic pain is truly a cultural phenomenon. Since back, neck and other chronic musculoskeletal pain are so common, you may have personal experience with the cost and inconvenience/suffering they cause.

Low back pain is a prime example of the persistence of the medical enigma of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Much of the money spent treating back pain is allocated for diagnostic testing in an attempt to determine what is causing the pain. Yet despite the enhanced sensitivity of new imaging devices, typically no definite pathoanatomic site is found, and no theory of what causes regional back pain has stood up to scientific testing. The structural bias inherent in most of medical thinking obscures the fact that many regional musculoskeletal disorders do not respond to treatment as diseases because they are not diseases.

Medicine and Somatics each seek to determine the underlying causes of maladies such as back pain, but Somatics takes a broader perspective. The medical viewpoint is affirmed, but with Somatics the focus is not on “what” causes the illness as much as it is on “how” the physiological system has adapted to stress and trauma. Symptoms are seen as an indicator of strain due to dysfunction within the involved systems. Since muscles are the agents of function within the musculoskeletal system, it seems logical to focus our attention there. Indeed palpation of the hip and back muscles of back pain sufferers commonly reveals hypertonicity and soreness and softening of these tissues via manual therapy often brings temporary relief. But we must bear in mind that muscles contract only when activated via a signal from the motor nerve. If we wish to evoke a lasting change in muscle tension, the change must occur within the central nervous system that regulates nervous activation of muscle action.

Various methods may induce de-contraction of hypertonic muscles, but when the muscle contractions have been habituated and the condition has become chronic, an internal reorganization of the sensing and activation of muscle actions must occur before the changes evoked by therapy can persist. Those suffering must take an active role in developing more efficient self-regulation of muscle action.

The somatic exercises developed by Thomas Hanna, PhD are a proven time efficient, gentle means of enhancing voluntary control of movement and posture. The exercises are based in methods of somatic education developed by Hanna during 17 years practice of the Feldenkrais Method, and are informed by current theories of motor learning and biofeedback training. Helmut Milz, MD, former consultant to the World Health Organization, said, “these exercises could make a real difference for the vast number of people who suffer from musculoskeletal ailments.” Since enhancing the efficiency of bodily movement enhances vitality in all functions whether physical, emotional or mental, students find that as they lose the pains they have suffered with for years, other benefits occur as well. In the words of Thomas Hanna, “Somatic Exercises can change how we live our lives, how we believe that our minds and bodies interrelate, how powerful we think we are in controlling our lives, and how responsible we should be in taking care of our total being.”

Mark your calendar and register today for Dave’s  Workshop on Saturday, Nov. 3rd, “Somatic Self-Care,” and learn an easy-to-practice set of somatic exercises that will enable you to reduce unwanted muscle tension and restore/maintain comfort and ease of movement with 10-15 minutes a day of pleasurable movements. Then, on Dec. 1st, Dave teaches us “A Somatic Approach to Better Breathing.”

David MacDougall, MA, LMT, is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator specializing in intelligent self-care for the reversal/prevention of muscle/joint pain. Contact Dave to register.

What is Somatics?

By Dave MacDougall.

Somatics is a term coined by Dr. Thomas Hanna to describe a field of study and practice that focuses on a person’s own ability to use internal awareness to improve physical function. Based on his studies in neurophysiology, biofeedback, yoga and the Feldenkrais method, Hanna devised a self-care routine he called the “Daily Cat Stretch” which he presented in his book, Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health (1988).

Habitual muscular tension is at the heart of a wide range of health problems from chronic pain syndromes such as backache and headache to a variety of arthritic complaints. We know muscles have no will of their own, so we can see that the problem lies not in the muscles themselves, but is instead a consequence of deficient regulation and control. This functional deficit in the nervous system’s management of muscle function represents a lack of voluntary control that cannot be remedied by any amount of structural reengineering. Change must come from the inside out.

In other words, the illnesses of hypertonicity are not medical problems needing treatment, but instead are sensory-motor problems requiring somatic education. Since studying with Dr. Hanna in 1990 Dave MacDougall has taught the “Cat Stretch” and other somatic exercises to over 3000 people desiring to prevent or eliminate chronic muscle/joint pain and stiffness.

Mark your calendar and register today for Dave’s Intro Workshop “What is Somatics?” at One Big Roof on Sat. Oct. 13th, 10:30-11:30am. Then, on Saturday, Nov. 3rd, join us for “Somatic Self-Care,” and learn an easy-to-practice set of somatic exercises that will enable you to reduce unwanted muscle tension and restore/maintain comfort and ease of movement with 10-15 minutes a day of pleasurable movements. Then, on Dec. 1st, Dave teaches us “A Somatic Approach to Better Breathing.”

David MacDougall, MA, LMT, is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator specializing in intelligent self-care for the reversal/prevention of muscle/joint pain. Contact Dave to register.

One Roof Welcomes Clinical Psychologist Dr. Dana Lau.

This month we welcome a new clinical psychologist to One Roof, Dr. Dana Lau. Her specialty is adolescent therapy, and she treats families and adults as well. Her practice includes DBT and mindfulness, so she is a great fit with all of us here. Her complete bio is on our website, and she accepting new patients at this time. Feel free to reach out to her directly to schedule an appointment.

Rx: Healthy Heart

Rx: Healthy Heart by Dave MacDougall.

An enormous amount of energy has been spent on research for a better means of preventing/treating cardiovascular disease, the #1 cause of death. Reliance on medical saviors obscures the simple fact that our own breathing habits may be the most important determinant of coronary health. This failure to recognize the value of learning to breathe more fully is unfortunate because we are thereby forfeiting a powerful means of maintaining heart health.

Efficient breathing requires effortless expansion of the thoracic area drawing air into the lungs. Muscle tension in any of the muscles which affect the ribs and breastbone reduce expansion. For example, many adults hold their abdominal muscles tight on inhalation, thus inhibiting the depth of thoracic movement. The shallow more rapid breathing style produced causes hyperventilation syndrome, characterized by elevations in blood pressure.

Essential hypertension (80-90% of cases) is persistently high blood pressure not due to any identifiable medical pathology. Hypertension is associated with substantially increased risks of stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. The links between habitually shallow breathing, chronic high blood pressure and the incidence of cardiovascular disease are well known.

We can learn to improve our respiratory habits, breathe easier and reduce our disease risk. A field of study and practice known as Somatics has developed in recent years, as discoveries in neuroscience and biofeedback have shed light on the internal self-regulatory abilities demonstrated by students of so-called “mind-body” disciplines (yoga etc.). A wealth of learning in methods of intelligent self-care and healing await those willing to take responsibility for their own well-being.

David MacDougall, MA, LMT, is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator specializing in intelligent self-care for the reversal/prevention of muscle/joint pain.
Dave will offer an intro to Somaticcs Self-Care class at One Big Roof on January 20th
and a special Somatic Approach to Better Breathing on February 24th
Contact Dave to register.

 

Intro to SOMATICS

By Dave MacDougall.

Somatics is a term coined by Dr. Thomas Hanna to describe a field of study and practice that focuses on a person’s own ability to use internal awareness to improve physical function. Based on his studies in neurophysiology, biofeedback, yoga and the Feldenkrais method, Hanna devised a self-care routine he called the “Daily Cat Stretch” which he presented in his book Somatics: Reawakening the Mind’s Control of Movement, Flexibility and Health (1988).

Habitual muscular tension is at the heart of a wide range of health problems from chronic pain syndromes such as backache and headache to a variety of arthritic complaints. We know muscles have no will of their own, so we can see that the problem lies not in the muscles themselves, but is instead a consequence of deficient regulation and control. This functional deficit in the nervous system’s management of muscle function represents a lack of voluntary control that cannot be remedied by any amount of structural reengineering. Change must come from the inside out.

In other words, the illnesses of hypertonicity are not medical problems needing treatment, but instead are sensory-motor problems requiring somatic education. Since studying with Dr. Hanna in 1990 Dave MacDougall has taught the “Cat Stretch” and other somatic exercises to over 3000 people desiring to prevent or eliminate chronic muscle/joint pain and stiffness.

Mark your calendar and register today for Dave’s “Intro to Somatics” workshop at One Big Roof on Sat. Oct. 28th, 12-4pm. Learn an easy to practice set of somatic exercises that will enable you to reduce unwanted muscle tension and restore/maintain comfort and ease of movement with 10-15 minutes a day of pleasurable movements.

David MacDougall, MA, LMT, is a certified Hanna Somatic Educator specializing in intelligent self-care for the reversal/prevention of muscle/joint pain.

Some answers lie just beneath the surface…

Readings with James Orzano at One Roof are a guided exploration into self-awareness and self-discovery. Each reading is a unique experience that can reveal the deeper inner meanings behind issues that are presenting themselves on a mental, physical, and spiritual level.

Each Reading begins with a discussion about the client’s issues and a clarification of the intention for the Reading. Then a spread is created using the Osho Tarot Cards. This layout serves as a portal into the client’s energy field and provides James with a template for gaining insights that can identify hidden clues, which can help them “connect the dots” about difficult challenges they are facing. Since the client selects their own cards, the layout is a direct reflection of what they have been unable or unwilling to recognize or accept.

James provides a guided interpretation of the Reading and generates a clear picture of the client’s present situation, with suggestions about how to move through the obstacles that have been standing in the way of growth and change. The emphasis of the Reading is not on prophecy or divination. Instead, the Readings focus on the “here and now” and encourage the client to embrace their potential for transformation and empowerment to shape their future by accepting the need for change.

With over 20 years of experience offering Readings, James is able to create a safe space for clients to fully immerse themselves in the energy of the Reading experience. He is an empath who is a compassionate and gifted intuitive channel. With a no-nonsense commitment to truth, James brings humor and wisdom to the deep and introspective realms of personal growth.

One Roof welcomes new practitioner!

One Roof welcomes psychotherapist Stephanie Armer (LCSW). Stephanie is currently accepting new patients at our 58 Henry St. offices. Stephanie has been in the social work field for over 13 years. She provides a structured and safe environment in which clients feel comfortable identifying goals and working towards a more positive and fulfilling life experience. She collaborates with clients to identify and build on their preexisting strengths, develop and utilize coping mechanisms, and increase mindfulness. Stephanie strives to enable clients to embrace and cultivate these strengths utilizing strength-based therapies, while creating a treatment approach that meets the individual needs of the client or family.

She uses a dynamic approach in her work, using a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), along with strength-based techniques. Stephanie works with adolescents, adults, couples and families to provide support in a therapeutic setting. She has particular interest and experience in working with adolescents and adults struggling with depression, anxiety, self-esteem issues, family conflict, and trauma. Visit our Practitioners’ Page for complete contact info.

Hiroshima Day 71st Commemoration Ceremony

Grafton Peace Pagoda Saturday August 6, 2016

Hiroshima Day
71st Commemoration Ceremony

Everyone is welcome to commit to peace and never again using weapons of mass destruction. Let us come together to create world peace one step at a time. Let us find ways to heal the earth and all beings. We must have no enemies and become the enemy of none.

6:30 PM walk from Grafton Town Square to Peace Pagoda (4.3 miles) Pagoda Pagoda2016HiroshimaDay
8:00 PM Program of Peace

– Ceremonial Lighting of Lanterns
– Interfaith Prayers for Peace
– Musical Offerings
– Speakers/Readings
– Fire Hoop Dance

Rain or shine. Please wear weather-appropriate clothes and bring a flashlight and insect repellant. You may also want a blanket.

Please contact the Peace Pagoda to participate: For more information please call the Grafton Peace Pagoda between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM (518) 658-9301

 

Documentary Trilogy

pathbgPath Documentary Trilogy

This documentary trilogy will educate viewers, shed light on topics of consciousness exploration and investigate the many theories of the soul’s purpose. Our films cover subjects of consciousness, out of body exploration, paranormal encounters, holistic healing, physics and metaphysics. The Path trilogy will introduce metaphysical concepts to the mainstream audience with hard scientific and experiential evidence from our expert panel. The intention behind the films of Path11 Productions is to continue to challenge people to question their beliefs, to raise the vibrational level of consciousness on a large scale and spread the message to as many people as possible that we are all one, we are consciousness. The DVD series will be targeted to the mainstream American audience in order to educate people to consider alternative practices to achieve optimal health, an opportunity to raise their level of consciousness and to implement new ideas of living in this physical world for an overall higher quality of life. Produced by April Hannah and Directed by Michael Habernig.

For more information visit http://www.hannahshealing.com/the-path/

There will be a film screening of “The Path: Evolution” at Saratoga Arts on Tues July 12th at 7pm. Contact them for more information at 518-584-4132.

Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival, 6/12

Grafton Peace Pagoda Flower Festival
Celebrating the Birth of the Buddha
Sunday June 12, 2016 at 11:00AM

-Traditional Buddhist Ceremony
-Ecumenical Prayers
-Speakers
-Music
-Pot Luck Community Lunch

flowerNipponzan Myohoji, Grafton Peace Pagoda
87 Crandall Rd, Petersburgh, NY 12138

For information or to help with ceremony preparation
Please call (518) 658-9301 between 8am and 5pm

FLYER attached below for download.

Flower Festival FLYER 2016