Bringing Mind Body to Your Facility, Part 2

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 7:28
Posted in category Fitness

Mind/body techniques

Here are some mind/body techniques used at The Marsh.

Training methods:

* Visualization is encouraged during exercise. For those who are hypertensive, trainers have them visualize their blood vessels being relaxed and open as they exercise.

* Heart-rate monitors are used for body awareness. As members practice breathing exercises or visualization, they can watch their heart rate slow down, thus feeling more grounded before working out.

* Exercisers are encouraged to feel and focus on the muscle(s) being used during a specific strength lift to get more out of that exercise.

* Trainers use visualization or metaphors to cue clients to feel and think about their muscles and posture.

* Balance and stability equipment are used to incorporate varying degrees of balance, coordination and proprioception, which requires the mind and body to work together.

* Tai chi, yoga, Core Method and qigong are incorporated into traditional exercise programs.

* Trainers give their clients permission to not be perfect.

Pool programs:

* Instructors emphasize breathing and relaxation for body awareness, “groundedness,” balance and stability.

* Instructors teach core stability: to feel abdominal muscles and achieve a neutral spine, which is the core to healthy movement.

* During ai chi instruction, a form of active meditation in water, participants listen to the sound their hand makes as it goes through the water and watch the pattern in the water made by their hand and arm.

Physical therapy:

* Physical therapists stress patient education to enhance understanding of the processes underlying a person’s pain and dysfunction. An educated patient is usually less anxious, which can allow the mind to create an enhanced healing environment. An educated patient is also empowered to participate in activities that promote healing. Treatment sessions use models, pictures, metaphors and whatever else is required to help patients understand their problems.

* Emotional responses to pain (anger, anxiety, flight or fright) are not ignored, as often happens in the current medical model. Therapists actually solicit this information from patients and attempt to use it to change interpretations of their problems.

* Exercise training incorporates the use and increasing awareness of the proprioceptive and vestibular (balance and equilibrium) systems.

Getting in touch with these physical systems is critical in changing the maladaptive movement and behavioral patterns that often accompany chronic pain.

* Yoga exercises are part of every patient’s program.

These are some ways you can incorporate mind/body concepts into your club. They are simply examples. You, of course, can find other creative ways to introduce the mind/body approach to wellness into your diverse arena.

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