Anxiety- One Brave Step

Anxiety- One Brave Step

What’s the difference between a professional and an expert?

The person who not only has impressive qualifications but has walked the walk and speaks from experience. Bravery comes in many forms and sharing a personal story that may in some way help another is a type of courage we love at Ponderings. We welcome one such person: Sarah Healy- Health Professional and life changer.

 

Here’s a discovery that may help you on your journey: exercise helps to reduce anxiety but how do we put it into action? I can speak from experience, and I want to share this with you.

 

I’m an Exercise Physiologist, and up until recently low and behold I had a fear of exercise.

 

Sounds ridiculous right?  I started to avoid exercise, feeling anxious and using every excuse under the sun to resist.  I used pain and injury as my excuse. My clients come to me with pain and injury, and I give them exercises to help.

 

I wasn’t always this way, but I have for a very long time identified myself as an injured person. I remember going to a chiropractor as a gymnast at ten years old because I was experiencing back pain and that continued through years of gymnastics, competitive aerobics (never was very good at that fake smile), track cycling and anything else I could try.

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After having my first two children, my anxiety levels were through the roof.

 

Sometimes just the thought of going for a walk or a ride would stir up pain in my back and knees. Back spasms weren’t uncommon, and I feared it would be too debilitating to feed and carry my babies. None of my pain or injuries were severe, but my anxiety would cause tension, and that tension and memory of pain would bring on more pain and panic.

 

Stress or anxiety causes a stress response, fight or flight. Chronic anxiety can lead to hyperstimulation, even if the threat has passed, leading to headaches, tight and painful muscles and general aches and pains.

 

I was anxious about exercising, not exercising, having injuries, having pain, putting on weight; afraid people would think that because I was injured, unfit, in pain and overweight I wouldn’t know what I was talking about professionally.

 

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I didn’t initially realize that my anxiety was increasing my pain.

 

It was when I noticed it in a family member that was experiencing pain always just before the same event and always less when away on holidays that it finally linked for me. I was also very aware of what I was missing out on with my family when my husband would take the kids for a walk or ride, and I wouldn’t go. I was missing out on so much. I was determined not to identify myself as an injured person. It wasn’t the exercise as much as wanting to move daily as part of my routine, wanting to move and not thinking about it so much.

 

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The mental aspect of pain is so incredibly powerful that you can experience higher levels of pain just by receiving an MRI diagnosis than compared to those with the same injury but without MRI investigations. You are not your MRI; you are not your diagnosis.

 

Countless studies have identified the benefits of exercise for the symptoms of anxiety so I was well aware that exercise could help me too. Where I stumbled was the very thought of exercise was making me feel anxious. I needed to reduce the fear of exercise and the only way I could do that was also to reduce my fear of pain and injury. If I was to try exercising I needed to be calmer and accept that if I was to feel pain during or after my session that would be ok. My pain was not an emergency.
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New neural pathways were needed in my brain, to bypass my routine response of ‘oh no I’m about to exercise and make all of my injuries and pain worse!’ Who would create those pathways? Me.

I would meditate and imagine my body relaxing, my muscles relaxing and when I started to add more exercise, I would treat myself like I would treat my clients (I know right? Who knew?) As therapists we are so good at helping others we often neglect ourselves!

 

I went back to basics but also changed things up because with different exercises or environments I was less likely to predict a movement that would cause me pain.

 

A local ‘Ninja Warrior’ gym was one I tried. Ninja training meant fun climbing rope ladders and monkey bars and flipping tyres, the time would fly by. It didn’t feel like a workout, and I gradually started to trust my body again and not obsess over little niggles. Activities I did not even consider through fear of pain and debilitation were now an option.

 

Muscle fatigue and pain from exercise, the ‘good pain’ -I don’t fear. I love the feeling of my body reminding me I have put in the effort. I have enjoyed welcoming that feeling back into my life.

 

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Please find movement that you enjoy even if it takes you years and many trials to work it out. ASK FOR HELP from physical and mental therapists. Meditation and mindfulness are such powerful tools too. I have learned to believe I can heal and if I do experience pain, I can relax with it before panic makes it escalate. I have even recently started playing Gaelic Football, it’s not easy, I haven’t run in years but its fun, so much fun.

We are blessed with so much choice here in Australia, take advantage of that. It doesn’t have to be an organized sport it can be hiking to a waterfall, swimming, a circuit with a group of friends, walking your dog on the beach, street orienteering (it’s a thing, look it up, it can be fun) Moreover, if that means being the slowest on a Gaelic football team and sitting on the bench for the finals than do it and cheer as loudly as you can. At least then you’ll have a reason to train.

 

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I can’t say that my anxiety is gone, but it has diminished.

 

There were a few anxious tears before the first few Gaelic training sessions, could I do this? What will others think of me?  I’m too heavy, slow, uncoordinated? However, each time I attended those sessions, it would get easier to tie up my boots and go.  

 

So why am I sharing my story with you?  

 

Because for someone with anxiety you can feel very alone with your experience. You agonize over every detail and can become very focused on your own story and worries. Once you start to open up, you realize your story is not that different from so many others. I have learned so much from everyone that provided me with the tools to help myself, and I have continued to research more so I can help my clients get back their joy in movement.

 

 

Sarah Healy Teknique Health Want to get in touch with Sarah and find out more about healthy healing? This inspiring human can be found HERE.

About Sarah Healy: 

Exercise Physiologist – AEP AES ESSAM | Bachelor of Applied Science – Human Movement |

Graduate Diploma – Exercise for Rehabilitation | Cert IV – Training & Assessment

An Exercise Physiologist with over 13 years of experience and has been employed in the sport and fitness industry since 1996. Sarah works with individuals experiencing pain, musculo-skeletal injuries, posture/muscle imbalances and those that have developed anxiety relating to exercise and movement.

 

 

 

Anxiety- One Brave Step

What's the difference between a professional and an expert? The person who not only has impressive...
Adventures of the Last Week of February

Adventures of the Last Week of February

What is that smell?

It is my feet.

Hard working people, fun people and people with awesomeness dancing in their soul like Michael Jackson on crack have smelly feet. It is a fact.

Truth is I do not own many pairs of socks. They don’t like us here. I like bare feet. Bare feet and a nice Jimmy Choo do not mix. Neither do Kmart boots. Just saying. Information is information.

Polished floorboards and a soaring roof glide above like a church cathedral, of glass angles and the smell of the ocean is drifting through the wide open doors. It reminds me of my old ballet haunt. My children are laughing at some random joke they made, most likely inappropriate and just out of ear shot. He walks in and kisses me on the cheek, asking how many goals I kicked today. A little warm and fluffy ewok like animal otherwise known as my Dog licks my ankle. My heart gets big. So big it feels like it will take off like hot air balloon right out of my chest and my eyes start to water. It is too bright in here. So much light.

Love

Happy

Contentedness

Will it leave?

Will it last?

Maybe that is not an ewok licking your ankle darling maybe its the black dog? He is here to ask you Who Do You Think You Are. You Cant. People Will Say Things. People Will Poke At You. Be Smaller. Cmon Turn Down the Volume on that Light. That Little Light That You Let Shine. No, surely not.

Fear

Loss

Gulp

Fear knocked and the door, faith answered, and no one was there. Ah ha, I remembered we aren’t mates anymore.

Gratitude pops in for a cuppa and a squeezey hug. Fear is losing his grip people, he is losing his grip. Fear is a big ogre with nostril hairs so vile Roald Dahl would dry reach. The man has sold millions of copies of books. He would be a great judge.

There is a place we call cuppa snuggles. It is the time when all the ODonnell women folk make a cuppa and jump on my king size bed for gossips and chats, laughter and silly reminiscing. Remember the time Nanna spat her teeth out? What about that time we ransomed the dog for chocolate biscuits?

Sisters Friendship Ideas Imagination Creative Concept

Her and I stand and look at the ocean together and smile, it is happening. It is really happening. We spoke of this, we whispered about this place when we were smaller. When the world was big.

Sacred.

Special.

Mum, why can’t you?

I am so sorry, but I am really tired, it has been a big day, and I am a bit dizzy.

You have time for other people, but not me.

No sweet child, if you only you knew. All my love goes to you and your siblings. I do what I do for you. Your smile makes me breathe, and your heart is my treasure to protect. The universe gave you to me, and now I must give me to you. It is written in the stars and in our biology. We have been friends for eons you and me.

When they are so small and tiny they need you; when they are big and independent, they need you. Balancing…on a budget

I haven’t heard from you; you sound really busy. Things must be going well. You must be doing alright if you are in Point Lonsdale now, business is good huh? Its a bit far away from the go-to people in town though isn’t it? Oh well, each to their own.

Each

To

Their

Own.

That is correct.

Is this a hairdresser? We need a hairdresser. I do hope you are useful here.

No, its a wordsmith agency of awesomeness.

Least do no harm, that is my motto, this anti-seizure medication will do the trick.

Yes Ok Doc.

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Why am I SO HUNGRY, its the anti-seizure medication. That cow is making my mouth water. What the actual hell is going on? Put down the bacon. I said put down that bacon.

To be fat and live or to be thin and sick? That is the question.

Mum! Dad is going to be pissed, your dog ate his new Yukka plant.

For the love of Jehovah. Eye Twitch.

That bloody dog! Three dogs. Why do we need three dogs?

Its a pack thing. One needs a tribe and a pack. Now we have a pack.

Mum! Dad is going to be cross, your dog just ate his new socks!

Yup.

The actual pair of glorious cotton foot pockets that matched had now crossed into the abyss of dark matter otherwise known as Kelpie.

Awesome.

I have never felt so inspired, your story, omg your story! I was so scared to put myself out there; now I know I can do it. I know I have to do it. Because my story matters. My story needs to be told, and I understand it isn’t just because its mine, its because it will help someone else, and that’s more important than being stuck in fear. It is about communication and human interaction. Smile. Yes my dear bright and shiny human, it does. You matter. You all matter. So much.

Chairs are pushed in, the looks on faces make my heart swell again. They heard. They felt, and they understood. These beautiful seeking, learning humans.

Planet Spectrum

Fear once knocked on this door but doesn’t any more; he’s gone up the road for a listening ear. He worked out his BS isn’t welcome here anymore.

Mum have I told you today that I love you? Would you like a foot rub?

Yes please favorite child, but first may I make you some pancakes?

Let’s turn up that French jazz music, how groovy is it?

You guys are seriously messed up, and lame. Who listens to Jazz Music and talks like that?

You once did before hormones took over you child.  This one still has at least a years worth of reciprocal love left.

Hey, Dingus, do you need me to get milk on the way home? (Heavens open, choir sings.)

Why am I so tired? I wish that nerve would stop twitching every time I exercise. It makes me nervous.  What if its the aneurysm?

Don’t think about it; it will go away.

No

It

Won’t.

It will just pop on you, exploding in your head bigger than the Sydney NYE Fireworks and Y2K back in the day, and Bobs your Uncle you will be standing there looking at yourself wondering what the hell happened and who’s that standing over there? Archangel Gabriel? Wow, you’re much taller than I imagined, Gabe those wings are working for you.

Did you come to meet me personally? What do you mean what am I wearing? I am stuck with this for the Afterlife? No, I did not know that there was a fresh hole in my pants near my… Bikini waxes are so yesterday…

My bad.

You really need to buy some better activewear. You old fave puma trackies and holy t-shirt are so gross. You are not a hot mum. What will you do if you actually die on one of these walks? You know how people are, they won’t stop they will think you are a homeless person. Of THAT ILK, the low brow type. You know what people think of homeless people. Except you and a few good eggs. You know what its like to have no home.

F%$k it, and f$%#, Lorna Jane.

Bikini waxes are out of fashion; bikini waxes are out of fashion.

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Monash University would like to congratulate you on finishing the first part of your certification.

Mindfulness. Breathe in. Breathe Out. I am that I am. This too shall pass. God give me the strength to move through this world and do not harm but to radiate all that is good and pure.

MUUUUUUUM! Do you shop? There is NO FOOD!

Superb.

We would like you to get on board and donate your time to the cause; we only need you to drive over 6 hours to do it, it will be great for the organization. They need people like you.

My kids need people like me.

No, I do not want to lock the door and put on my sneakers. It’s Tuesday.  What! Is it Saturday? Oh wow, that went quick. Where are those Nikes?

Marlborough Sav Blanc

Tryambakam Yajamahe

Snooze.

Good morning Monday! ALARM SCREECH.

Read More From Ponderings….

Australia You Have Your Very Own ‘Yoda’!

Australia You Have Your Very Own ‘Yoda’!

 Over the last 50 years, there have been treasured yet humble contributors to our well-being and health. One such Australian has dedicated his entire life to the discovery, research, and formulations to support our health. He cannot levitate, or throw misbehaving Jedi across the room, he can, however, weave some pretty impressive feats. His name is Des Lardner.

Des LardnerThe beautiful landscape of the Wimmera is the home of Des Lardner’s Headquarters. Amongst the offering of therapies, organic food, consulting, etc. there is a Dark-Field Microscope for live blood viewing in the store. Giving practitioners and patient the ability to view patient’s own red and white blood cells in real time on an LCD screen. Sounds like Star Wars right? Nope, it is right in Horsham Victoria. Build it, and they will come here with people traveling Internationally and Nationally to get assistance. w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 31% of the burden of disease is preventable in Australia. Many Aussies recognize the need for health prevention, and while biological systems have similarities, each of us is very different in our body’s response. It is how we activate the most premium health in our very individual physical makeup that matters. Des Lardner believes that the focus on the history of medicine and reviving old formulas in combination with using more powerful herbs to good effect is a dynamic key to prevention. But more importantly? The knowledge needs imparting to young naturopaths and health professionals. (It screams of Jedi doesn’t it?)

There is a common thread in the diverse field of health that information needs to be hoarded and tucked away, a competitive field of “wellness experts” has instigated this trend. However, not this inspiring alchemist! 2018 presents expansion, Des Lardner, plans to get this lifetime knowledge out to those that need it while taking it to the Digital Space. While the format is still “under wraps” there is a buzz in the air, and it is contagious- (naturally!)

Des Lardner

He is the genius behind the natural herbal colic mixture, renown all over Australia for relieving bubs tums and Mum and Dad’s nerves, later taken up by a leading pharmacy chain. More than 103 products formulated by the dedicated consultant pharmacist and herbalist have hit the shelves. One of his most outstanding achievements was the discovery of 2 novel pain compounds in rose hips while studying his Masters at Sydney University at age 60. Did I mention the word impressive?

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Des now leads an entire team of qualified practitioners specializing in Naturopathy, Herbal Therapy, Sleep Apnoea (accredited services), Iridology, Nutrition, Homeopathy, remedial massage and cranio sacral massage as well as organic produce and products from food to makeup.

For more information about Des Lardner and his amazing use of the “force” for good health  go to: http://deslardnerorganic.com.au  or jump on Facebook and see: https://www.facebook.com/Des-Lardners-Organic-Natural-Health-Clinic-165724976826271/

 

 

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