By: J Emanuel Hodge MSAOM, HHP
Integrative Medicine Physician
Movement: The Neglected Need (3)
Taking charge of your health is not a quick process, but if you do it, you will notice the benefits of it.
Through consistency of proper breath and hydration, as explained in the previous articles, and applied to Movement with Integrative-therapies, you can find a new healthy balance in your life.
Movement is the act or process of changing place or position. When performed with a releasing breath and focus, it compels muscles and body functions to release contractions. Movement, as a Neglected Need, encapsulates Meditation, Exercise, and Nutrition:
● Meditation – as in mindfulness of movement and stillness. Letting go of destructive obsessions, releasing judgments, fear, apprehension, and accepting the temporary nature of what is.
● Exercise – as in mindfulness of exerted movement incorporating breath and hydration. Exhaling into pain, exertion, heaviness, uncomfortable sensations, and compound contractions.
● Nutrition – as in the mindfulness of consumption and assimilation of foods. Chewing an average of 32 times, or until the taste is gone from food, compelling our internal systems to rest and digest.
Meditation, Exercise, and proper Nutrition facilitate our 5 basic needs for growth, expansion, and personal balance. The 5 basic needs for growth and its associated expressions (natural elements, organs, emotions, etc.) are:
● Breath – viewed as metal/lung
● Hydration – viewed as water/kidneys
● Exercise – viewed as wood/liver
● Meditation – viewed as fire/heart, releasing judgment
● Nutrition – viewed as earth/stomach, acceptance
Creating a balance for self by applying the proper breathing and hydration techniques shared in previous articles (i.e. exaggerated releasing exhale 3 times per hour and holding alkaline water in the mouth for 10 seconds or more 3 times per hour) and understanding that applying these to Movement will bring mindfulness of action and solution to challenges.
Applying breathing and hydration to exercise or daily functions to inspire growth and expansion is viewed as the element of wood. Maintaining Breath and Hydration enhances our body systems function (circulatory, digestive, immune, endocrine, integumentary, etc.), boosting and compelling our capillary exchange of nutrients and oxygen we consume. Allowing our alkaline water to aid in detoxifying our build-ups helps exchange acid and alkaline balance in our body (preferably 60/40 – 70/30 alkaline high).
The true challenge that we have in life is not realizing the effects on the body, the body systems, and the body‘s ability to function properly we cause when we exist in the compensated actions of trauma. The most basic muscles, organs, and body systems’ response are constructions, contractions, inflammation, Phlegm, and diminished circulation.
These responses often simulate the results of dehydration, which adds to tensions and restricted functionality.
Cold or heat sometimes caused by trauma often redirects blood flow and can starve an area of our life healing blood, nutrients, oxygen, and hydration. Just as when you slap a hand on a surface covered with water, this disburses the water into different directions. In a similar fashion, our body reacts to trauma and creates different directions to help compensate for its trauma, thereby leaving the area either undersaturated or oversaturated with blood, which defines our pain sensations, and compensated habits.
What are some of the reasons we fall back out of balance? Often it’s because of our habits – or rather, our Compensated Habits. When we experience trauma we tend to develop a compensated habit that allows us to stay in function, though this function is often strained from the trauma. We have a tendency to go to over the counter quick relief consumables that numb pain, thins the blood, attacks our liver and kidneys, disrupts our stomach, inflames our intestines, quickens our heart rates, and causes eruptions of the skin.
The purpose of Breath and Hydration 3x’s per hour is to provide the basis of how we compel our muscles to relax, as well as motivate smooth function of our stomach absorption and elimination, soothe our organ systems, and improve our circulation each day. Developing the habit of adding these two basic neglected actions helps produce a clear sensational awareness of body constriction and release.
The purpose of holding water in one’s mouth is to create the habit over time of activating out the system through consumption: holding, chewing, swishing, etc. Holding for 10-30 sec three times per hour and chewing food a minimum of 32 times acts as the pilot light to our stomach oven, heating it up to receive, causing a smoother absorption, transformation, and transfer of the nutrients we need from what we consume.
Movement is such an amazing and dynamic expression that can aid in or take from discomfort. It is the action taken that solidifies our body’s expression. In regard to pain and dysfunction, the lack of movement, hydration, and breath contributes significantly to distress, discomfort, constriction, compounded contractions, pressure buildup, tension, stress, and sustained pains we experience.
Diet is important as well, though it is not the focus of this particular expression. By practicing Breath (exaggerated inhale through the nostrils with a releasing “hawww” sound exhale through the mouth) 3x’s/hrs in conjunction with Hydration (holding alkaline water in the mouth for 10 seconds or more three times consecutively per hour) will enhance your metabolism and digestion.
Maintaining breath and hydration in conjunction with varying movements, therapies, and exercises will not only turn your ‘ok’ massage into an amazing massage, but it will also turn your constrictions and/or restrictions and pain into flowing, relaxed, improved circulation.
Breath and hydration are the key elements to enhancing our life experiences. They promote greater release enhances digestive, circulatory, systemic and lymphatic functions, as well as improve the clinical responsiveness, correction, and healing from therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic, and physical therapy. Exercises, movements, and total daily life functions from any therapy would be enhanced if we stayed aware of breath and hydration. To assume control of the body you must assume control of the breath.
Five needs that have to happen in order to create not just the self-awareness but the ability to let go of this defensive exterior that we hold onto those five things are:
These 5 elements when properly performed, allows us the ability to be clear to take charge of our health and to be mindful of where we are within our lives. Bringing Mindfulness to our basic autonomic functions not only improves our health but also allows us to focus and achieve what’s important in our lives.
Read Part 2 of this series: The 3 Neglected Needs Part 2 Hydration