clock neck exerciseStretching the neck muscles can be challenging and confusing.  Here is a simple, centering neck exercise that can help alleviate neck pain.  It is called “The Clock.”  This is the same pattern of movement as used in the article entitled, Computer Eye Strain Exercises.

Lay on the floor in supine position (face up) on a yoga mat or towel.  You want the surface to be firm but not too hard.  First, feel the muscles of your head on the ground beneath you.  The floor will be your guide as you move through the exercise, so maintain contact with it without too much effort.  Also,  you will be gently massaging these muscles via the pressure on the floor as you move through this neck exercise.  Make sure your head is in good alignment.  Your neck should not be flat on the floor and your chin should not jut out.
Look up and imagine a large clock above you. Now move your head up towards the twelve and then down to the six slowly three times. This will mimic the “yes” movement.  Now, move your head from the three to the nine three times slowly. This will mimic the “no” movement. You can use your  nose as a guide. Remember to maintain contact with the floor beneath you. Now you can hopefully sense your neck in a more centered alignment. Maintain this centered feeling for the rest of the exercise because you will want to return to it as your reference point for these next steps.
Next you will do the opposite diagonal movements of the clock. Look up at the one and down at the seven three times slowly. Place the one right next to the twelve and the seven right next to the six. This will be a more specific stretch. Next do eleven and five o’clock again, imagining them right next to the twelve and the six on your clock. Pause in the center as mentioned before.

Read More →

Weekly podcast from livesensible.comIf you ‘re in a rush for last minute holiday shopping or have high expectations on what gifts you  may give this year. Here’s a thought,  sometimes a meaningful gesture is worth more than a purchased gift.  Consider offering assistance to your loved ones and friends that are simple and practical, but are highly appreciated.  Your time and consideration are worth a great deal, and will be valued and remembered for a long time.  If you are strapped for cash like many people this year, this  is a less stressful way to celebrate that can deepen bonds between family members instead of always having a monetary attachment to your values!

So instead of rushing to the mall and dipping into your savings to buy the perfect gift, here are some sensible holiday gift ideas that are cost effective and helpful…[…]

skepticismMany people claim to be skeptical when it comes to hearing information on anything metaphysical (of or relating to the transcendent or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses) .  Even something as ancient and well documented to being effective as Acupuncture can be scrutinized though it has been proven to be and is in fact a recognized form of healing.  To be a skeptical person often implies a kind of superiority or that the skeptic is right and the other party needs to prove their perspective to them.  Another way of approaching our questioning is by having healthy skepticism.

There needs to be a clear understanding of what a true skeptic is.  Skeptical is to suspend one’s judgment and to have a kind of intellectual cautionary sense while hearing information.  It does not mean doubtful or cynical.  It is not closed minded.  The opposite!  A true skeptic is so open to understanding that they are willing to suspend judgment until all information and experience is heard or perceived.  We can all  miss a lot of valuable lessons and information in life if we try to be too smart or too cynical.  We close ourselves off to serendipitous experiences that can really help our lives grow and support our well-being.  When we are children each day and experience is new and magnificent in its newness.  As we get older we of course adapt a more mature perspective but wouldn’t it be wonderful to consciously choose moments to be less cynical and instead practice healthy skepticism?

We may believe by being cynical we are being wise but actually there is a danger of operating out of fear and keeping the status quo.   When operating  from a place of gratitude there can be a resonance with the world around us and the wisdom that is there.  If we cannot notice the small answers we can not be ready for the big ones when we need them.

Often people will base their judgment regarding holistic health on “insufficient evidence” in the Scientific Model.  This is rampant in relating to ancient healing herbs from  around the world.  Saying something has “insufficient evidence” does not mean it is not helpful.  It can simply mean that there was not enough funding to prove the effectiveness of it.

Be aware that as one listens from a skeptical viewpoint one may simply be listening in a judgmental or doubtful viewpoint which is ok-but be aware of it.  Healthy skepticism is important -it helps us be discerning with information.  We need our opinion to survive and carve our own bit of happiness in this world but trying to learn something beyond your perceived reality can really open your experience and often you may find a whole new set of tools with which to draw from.  A classic movie on this topic is “What the Bleep Do We Know?”  Skillfully acted by Marlee Matlin it illustrates how our thoughts influence our behavior and finally our experience and even self-esteem.  Remember, the lens of negativity and superiority one may view the world from often can be turned back onto oneself and leads to perfectionism.  The bane of self esteem.

Being skeptical is protection against gullibility but there must be a balance if one is to believe in hope and new horizons of thought.  Looking a scant and saying I’m skeptical (but actually judgmental and doubtful)  makes one actually closed in one’s  listening.  A true skeptic suspends judgment before  she/he hears the whole story. So, simply by the admittance of being skeptical you are in fact saying that one is in fact open to hearing what is being brought to the table.  One is practicing, healthy skepticism.