Sniffling & Sleep
Your First Move
(to relieve spasm)
Recovering In Style/Dr.Elliott's Cold & Flu Kit
is devoted to easy tips on how to address the following
problems, shoulder injuries, difficulty breathing through
nasal passages, and difficulty sleeping.
RESCUE YOUR SHOULDERS(TM)
"Frozen" shoulders or injuries to the upper arm muscles, such as the biceps and deltoids.
YOUR SHOULDER NEST(TM)
To support your shoulders so you can sleep, simply roll up a twin-sized padded comforter (those with poly fill are best for this purpose) into a fairly firm cylindrical shape.
Then arrange the cylinder in a horse-shoe shape, with the top of the U to support your head, and the two ends to support your arms. This has brought great relief to those suffering with shoulder injuries as it provides support for the shoulder joint and all the upper arm muscles.
You can also use the Shoulder Nest to sleep on either side, as this will support your upper arm and shoulder when you try to sleep. You may wish to add a pillow, preferably one that is easily shaped to fit your needs whether you are on your back or lying on your side.
Of course, seeing your local Feldenkrais(R) Practitioner will greatly help your recovery from shoulder injuries . Please use the link provided to the FELDENKRAIS GUILD(R) to find a teacher near you.
I first learned about the "Nest" from Ruthy Alon, one of the original assistants to Moshé Feldenkrais. D. Sc. After my own severe shoulder injury, my dominant shoulder was "frozen" or encapsulated for almost two years. My application of Ruthy's "Nest" was the only thing that could take me out of agonizing pain and also allow me to sleep at night.
Despite my severely "frozen" shoulder, I was able to completely regain my full range of movement through the help of Feldenkrais Practitioners and using the movements on my tapes on page 8 of this site.
RESCUE YOUR BREATH(TM)
Having suffered from a broken nose, deviated septum, nasal polyps and childhood allergies and sinusitis, I was delighted to find a simple solution to blocked nasal passages. I have discovered that many sinus patients have recovered from all those problems with this simple approach.
If you have ever listened to a baby sleeping or to another adult sleeping peacefully, you will have heard this breath. This is just our natural way to breathe which is usually lost after childhood.
Lie comfortably on your back and for the moment imagine that your nostrils have nothing whatsoever to do with your intake of air.
Instead, imagine that the source of your breath is a small hole in the very back of your throat, between the part of your throat you associate with your nose and the part that you associate with swallowing.
With your mouth closed, begin to inhale lightly dragging the air over that spot in the back of your throat. You may feel how you are delicately moving the tissues in the back of your throat.
You will make a slight sound--like someone deeply asleep on the edge of a snore. You may even recognize that this feeling and sound are familiar to you when you are almost asleep.
You can exhale any way you like--through your mouth or through your nose. Take all the time you need, but in no way interfere with whatever breath arises. That is, do not try to breathe in any special way or amount or timing. Just draw your breath from the "back of your throat."
You may notice that your breath, although not deep or of yogic proportions, will begin to gently fill parts of your lungs and chest you had not noticed before. Indeed, The Snuffle invites a delicate breath into the apex of the lungs, a new area for many people with breathing restrictions.
At first, this may elude you as you regain your original "baby" breathing. Do not be ashamed to make some noises until you find the proper way to do this. Once you have found how to breathe from the "back of your throat," you can finesse it, lightening the sound until it is not audible to others.
(Excerpted from Babymoves (TM) A Quantum Leap for Humanity, 1999.)
As you use this breath, you will notice that your nasal passages seem to open magically -- even if you have a cold or allergy! You may also experience your sinuses draining and, if you keep doing this occasionally, you will find the obstructions of polyps and deviated septums seem to clear. And you can throw away the constant companionship of tissues and handkerchiefs!
RESCUE YOUR SLEEP(TM)
For my easy tips on how to catch that deep, sweet wave of nurturing sleep, see below.
There are few things as damaging and difficult to live with as the inability to sleep. The latest research indicates that a full night's sleep for most folks would be approximately nine hours long. In our crazy modern world, many people try to live with six, seven, or eight hours of sleep and do not understand why they are still tired.
For those under stress--whether because of their work, their private lives, or their physical health or chronic pain--the loss of sleep worsens their abilities to have the resilience to bounce back.
A great innovator in the field of sleep loss is Feldenkrais (R)Practitioner Michael Krugman who developed the Sounder Sleep System(TM). His methods of small, sleep-inducing movements, or mini-moves(TM), are amazingly effective and easy to learn.
For more about the life enhancing Sounder Sleep System(TM), please see his website and wonderful reviews of his work as well as his list of those he has trained to teach the Sounder Sleep System(TM) at: http://soundersleep.com or at http://www.soundersleep.com .
I am very grateful to Michael for training me as a teacher of his system, not only because it has helped me and my students sleep fully again--but because many of his mini-movesTM are powerfully effective in my work with those with a variety of injuries of their hands, arms, shoulders and ribs.
My own innovations are four simple steps to add to the Sounder Sleep System(TM). If you have read the descriptions above--you already know the first two of them! Let's put them all together below:
First, create a Nest as described above. The Nest serves several purposes: it allows you to feel held and secure, it will block some amount of light (especially if you sleep on one side), and it provides support for your upper back and shoulders.
Second, once you are comfy, begin to do The Snuffle. Perhaps because it is associated with infancy or because it is the normal human way to breathe, The Snuffle invites a wonderful sleepy feeling. After just a few minutes of exploring this "baby breath," many of my students tell me they experience a sense of "creature comfort"and calm.
Although I began by teaching this to patients referred to me for breathing problems, I noticed that they all began to yawn and go to sleep!
Third,once you have established "Snuffling"and your nasal passages are opening, draw your breath behind your left nostril. This is surprisingly easy, just try it.
In India, there is a centuries old belief that when one is alert, one breathes primarily through the right nostril and when one is relaxing, one will breath through the left nostril. I have found this to be accurate and encourage you to experiment and discover for yourself.
Fourth, research has shown that people having trouble going to sleep often hold their jaws rigidly and move their eyes about anxiously.
Instead, allow your eyes to rest and your mouth to make any small rhythmic movements, like suckling or swallowing your saliva. Again, these babymoves(TM) are normal infant movements and are explored more fully in my first Tape Cassette Kit, Your First Moves.
Remember, you were not designed by Ford or Sony--as great as they may be! You were designed by the best Engineer in the Universe, and your system was refined since the beginning of humankind to work very well indeed. Before you turn to surgery or drugs or other invasive ideas, first use these simple methods to regain your true birthright of effortlessly healing, sleeping and breathing.
"SOUNDER™, SOUNDER SLEEP™, SOUNDER SLEEP SYSTEM™, SOUNDER SLEEP SOMINAR™, and MINI-MOVES™ are trademarks of Michael Krugman.
In a private table session you are
gently guided to re-evoke long forgotten neural pathways,
relieving pain and allowing freedom of movement.
This lovely photo is from Shelley and Harri in Perth, Australia.
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