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All Health's Breaking Loose: The amazing healing machine

September 28, 2011|By Loa Blasucci

For Sophie, 2 1/2 , spontaneous twirling, gyrating, and specific “fly girl” moves can happen at any moment. With or without music, any open space is an invitation to “bust a move.” You can see the joy in her movement. It’s beautiful to watch. Being a grandmother is the best job there is. Children connect us to the past, they remind us how wonderful it is to have energy and freedom of movement.

Dr. Candace Pert, a renowned neuroscientist and pharmacologist, has written more than 300 scientific articles on neuropeptides and their receptors, or mind-body communication. She conducted ground-breaking research in the 1990s that provided evidence that chemicals called neuropeptides attach to cells and deliver encoded messages of emotion. Her book, “Molecules of Emotion,” purports that feelings are chemically present within and around the cells of the body and not just localized in the brain. This and hundreds of other studies suggests to us that our bodies — not just our brains — have memory.

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Which brings me to a recent personal training session I had with a middle-aged female client.

At the beginning of our first workout, she quipped that she was “allergic to exercise, hates doing it and isn’t good at it.” After a couple of sessions, she mentioned the time in her 7th-grade gym class that she came in last in the mile run and all the kids stood there waiting for her to cross the finish line. Then there was getting picked last for dodge ball, and never being able to do the splits like her friends.

A lot of beliefs were tied up in those memories. She believed she just wasn’t good at any kind of movement, and associated exercise with failure and shame. But before she learned to be ashamed of her body’s performance, there was an unabashed and joyful little girl who loved to move and groove much like my granddaughter Sophie.

Anyone raising a toddler can tell you it’s an all-day chasing game. We start out active, we do cartwheels on the lawn, we run and play until someone tells us we’re not good at it. Then we find other things to do — and in this age of technology, there are plenty of other sedentary things to do. Not everyone likes to exercise, but each one of us has a body that rejoices in movement. If we can understand ourselves and our feelings about our bodies and our personal history, we are more able to release negative feelings about exercise.

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