Tag Archives: Anxiety

Vertebrae & the Spine

One dimensional views of the spines vertebrae


Vertebrae & the Spine

The spines vertebrae connects the skeletons head, chest and pelvis, distributes the weight of the skeletons upper body through the pelvis to the legs and protects the spinal cord and nerves.

Dare I write the natural 3 and 4 dimensional S shape of a healthy spine has 4 curves and is made up of 24 independently moving vertebrae and 9 fused vertebrae.  The 3 and 4 dimensional flexibility and stability of the vertebrae is created by muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber to increase  easy and pain free movement.

The motion and rotation of the vertebrae can be spontaneously motivated by a shift of skeletal movement of areas of  the head, ribs, shoulders, arms, pelvis, legs and feet.  By increasing a spontaneous fluid motion through this core skeletal system it improves balance and general overall health; physically, emotionally and mentally.

This core system of articulating, sensing and cultivating awareness of each unique pattern of movement describes the focus point of somatic learning in Feldenkrais. Read more about Feldenkrais below

Those who created the anatomy learning standards had a dominant left-brain approach using a 1 or 2 dimensional  focus when they separated the vertebrae into smaller sized chunks to compartmentalize them for easier scientific study and micro management.  These four parts of the spine are labelled; Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar and Sacral.

  •   Cervical spinal cord & nerve functions

  • Thoracic spinal cord & nerve functions

  • Lumbar spinal cord and nerve functions

2 direct ways to influence vertebrae and spinal functions

1.  Feldenkrais & the Spine

The patterns of micro-movement in Feldenkrais increase available movement and are intended for participants to begin observing the activity of  how each body part participates in the focused  pattern of movement.    Whilst observing the patterns one is creating another intention is to increase felt awareness of each movement.

Here are some examples of symptoms and diagnosed conditions that have been eased through learning some of the somatic movements of Feldenkrais:

  • Anxiety, depression & mood disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Chronic Pain
  • Eating Disorders
  • Edema
  • Fear
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Injuries
  • Intimacy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Muscle Tension
  • Muscle Pain
  • Nerve Pain
  • Parkinson’s
  • Spasms
  • Stroke
  • and more………

Why Feldenkrais?

It’s not a philosophy & there is no guru

The focus is upon a natural learning system & developmental building blocks that may have been interrupted through one’s lifetime

The wonderful integration focus of micro-movements in this somatic system of learning stimulates confidence and inner-strength.  It’s singularly focus is upon activating one’s learning awareness within themselves that increases a more complete and natural system of support.  In many students these patterns of micro movements has reduced the conditions and attachment to any diagnosis they have had.  It appears that changing movement patterns can decrease years of habits and reaction contributing to the diagnosis.

Feldenkrais is a self-focused learning system uniquely designed to increase ones abilities to function in the world.

2.  eating for Spinal Cord & Nerve Functions

Cultivating awareness of the nutritional needs for the vertebrae and all it’s functioning parts can create direct actions towards improving the conditions one’s experiencing.  Focusing upon an eating plan that feeds all ones moving parts can be an effective lifestyle change not only physically but emotionally and mentally.  Retrain your brain through eating and growing appreciation for the actual function it is feeding.

The only way to change is action

by Renee Lindstrom

Effective Movement Posture Mentoring Programs Available:

 1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)

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by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
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Copyright 2014 – 2021 Renee Lindstrom, GCFP
Feldenkrais®, Feldenkrais Method®, Awareness Through Movement®, Functional Integration®, are registered service marks of the Feldenkrais Guild® of North America. Feldenkrais Method®

Introducing the Cerebellum

Cerebellum is a Latin word that when translated into English it means little brain.  The circled part of brain pictured here is the Cerebellum.  It is located behind the brain stem just under the two lobes of the brain.

Early in my Feldenkrais training a video was shown of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais working with an infant who was borne without a Cerebellum.  Her name was Elizabeth.  Elizabeth’s parents had been told by numerous Doctors after her birth that she would never be able to learn, walk, talk or think.  Their predictions and recommendations were dismal.  In their first meeting Dr. Feldenkrais told Elizabeth’s parents that she was far more intelligent than her earlier Doctors had predicted.  As it turns out Elizabeth did grow up and attend University and had the ability to walk independently.  Thankfully her parents didn’t listen to all the earlier diagnoses and continued their pursuit of supporting their young child to reach her potential!

Why am I writing about the Cerebellum today? 

This body part became a dominate focus of attention in meditation this morning.  While sitting I guide my focus of attention through my body parts for a sensory check in, especially if I feel agitated. My intention is to discover  where the agitation is located.  Having a strong Kinesthetic sense means that if one part of body function is agitated balance is off. This sitting and scanning pattern allows for awareness of what is out of balance and gives the opportunity to pause and observe the agitation.

Usually recognizing it without going into story or strategies is enough to clear it.  If not, this recognition cultivates awareness of how this imbalance may influence the days functional abilities giving more choices of how to respond versus reacting.

It’s important to increase understanding of the impact the Cerebellum has in our moment to moment living experiences.  It governs key functions such as speech, mood, fear and pleasure response, balance and posture, mental function, movement, motor learning, and vision.  ​It receives information  from other regions of the  brain and body to coordinate and control voluntary movements.  Recognizing the world events is influencing  my cerebellum gives me pause to consider that it will be a major influence in others current experiences as well.

The Cerebellum is known as the fear and anger center which communicates with the pre-frontal cortex.  Five tangible ways you can choose to increase the window of tolerance in the fear and stress responses of in the cerebellum region:


Read More on Physical Reactions to Fear

Watch Video of Elizabeth receiving Functional Integration as young adult



Read more on Mental & Emotional Responses to Fear

#3 & 4

Read more on Pre-frontal Cortex Responses


Awareness Through Living

1st Level – Getting Started (Introduction & Pattern)
 2nd Level – Getting Intouch (Experiencing & Connection)
 3rd Level – Integration (Embodiment)
Read more on Cultivating Awareness through Living

Book a personalized  session for self, work or group

by Renee Lindstrom

Follow the journey on TwitterInstagram or Facebook

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP @ Inside Awareness,  Living in Natures Love Blog
Renee Lindstrom Live

Calming Fright, Flight, Fight reactions through movement techniques

by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP

Mindfulness through Movement

Observing people’s posture in standing and walking for the past 10 years has been educational.  I have begun to notice subtle posture nuances that clearly indicates ones state of mind and their physical and emotional well-being.  The most common condition I am observing in people is a separation between what one thinks and a connection to physical movement.

Generally I notice ones focus of attention is on interpretation of what is happening versus actual experience.  For me this means having a fixed perspective, opinion or belief.  If a physical ailment surfaces there is a fixed belief to go and have someone fix it or use tools to make physical movement easier.  Tools like a cane, walker, scooter, special chair and bed.    What’s missing is an easier possibility!  This is the exploration of how to move differently.  I am not referring to practices such as yoga, therapy, stretching or exercising as the difference is that you are following a limited structured pattern.  I am referring to increasing awareness of feeling how you move in the process of moving.  This includes increasing your ability to focus your attention on how each bone  and joint movement can be sensed.

When mobility increases I notice that there is an increase in coping.  The mask of fear, anger, pain and anxiety is replaced with a peaceful and open appearance.

Recently I wrote about settling the fight, flight, fright experiences of the Hippocampus from the perspective of communication.  I have noticed that another more effective way to settle these reactions has been through the application of Feldenkrais® Movement.

Working with three ways to settle ones flight, fight and fright reactions I find the application of Feldenkrais Movements the quickest and most effective for shifting and integrating change.  It engages more immediate functional connection between ones physical, mental and emotional states of being.  Many times I have experienced someone in a series of 6 classes for balance where after the first or second class someone has given up their cane.  They describe that they are less fearful to stand and support themselves.

This year a trend has been the lack of  connection to feeling one’s legs.  I had to purposely show  someone that they dragged a leg behind them when there wasn’t any physical reason for this.  It turned out this leg had been broken years before and this person forgot how to use this leg.  This resulted in collapsing. When life became too difficult to enjoy they requested an operation, however there wasn’t anything to operate on!

Recently I encouraged someone to consciously shift weight purposely into one of their legs and their reaction was to say that this leg couldn’t support them.  I asked them how they had walked all these years and suggested that this leg must actually be supporting them.  We spent a few minutes practicing shifting weight from foot to foot and their fear was tangible.  A short week later the leg that was not trusted appeared stronger and I smile as there was no hesitation in using this leg.  The fright, flight and fight reactions were not visible!

What is exciting as a practitioner giving guidance to explore patterns of movement is that there it bypasses the stories in ones mind and focuses them on discovering their movement process.  It teaches them ways to feel the movement.     It increases present awareness (being in the moment).

To other ways for calming ones state of flight, fright and fight can be through increased understanding of your emotional and intellectual functions and your environment.

Learn more about workshops, classes and personal appointment opportunities:

Read more:

Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015

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16 Reasons why to  explore Body, Mind & Heart Connection @ Inside Awareness?


  1. Experience a deeper connection to self .
  2. Increase self-value and trust in yourself, knowing you are doing what’s right for you.
  3. Connect to your boundaries and learn how to voice them in a safe  way without conflict!  
  4. Stop compromising.  
  5. Learn how to have  choice.
  6. Improve your posture! Walk, sit, stand, sleep, breathe, think and feel better.
  7. Increase your understanding of your self image and how it is holding your back from success!
  8. Stop feeling alone & lonely?
  9. Turn abusive relationships into empowering experiences!
  10. Stop doubting yourself when it comes to decision making.  
  11. Learn how to transition from taking things personally by developing skills to translate difficult messages.
  12. Move through fear to build relationships and find love.
  13. Understand how to resolve differences.
  14. Improve your odds of finding partnerships where you are  valued.
  15. Ending your relationships with more ease, respect and  moving forward with less attachment!
  16. Becoming aware of the culture created  by your parenting style (or your parents and their’s before them).

Read more about Inside Awareness

Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Value-Based Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Founder of Greater Victoria Peace & Intercultural Celebrations since 2010 & Greater Victoria Labyrinths since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Calendar Founder – 2014 & 2015

Signs of “Stress”

Stress results from physical, mental or emotional conditions that cause body or mental tension.    It can be caused from an illness, the environment, a social event or be  psychological . 

Body reactions to stress

  • Hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing)
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Light headed
  • Tired and fatigued
  • Backaches
  • Neck pains
  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Not sleeping
  • Heartburn and ulcers

Emotional Reactions to Stress

  • Irritability
  • Fear
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Withdrawn
  • Lack of concentration
  • Forgetfulness
  • Biting fingernails
  • Grinding teeth

Mental Reactions to Stress:

  • Poor decision-making
  • Reactive 
  • Not thinking clearly 
  • Reacting from past events
  • Fear of the future

Tips for managing Stress over the holidays (other times too!)


Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015


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Now until Xmas – most stressed out time of the year!

Do you spend now until Christmas filled with holiday stress ? (overwhelmed with tension & anxiety)  As so many do, December has become known as the Stress-Free Family Holidays Month!    Signs of Stress

Causes of Holiday Stress

  • Travel
  • Shopping
  • Money & bills
  • Family
  • Socializing
  • Hosting Holiday Events
  • Being Alone

Ways you can keep stress healthy

  • Check in to define what your longing for over the holiday (family, connection, community, giving)
  • Plan out how to achieve what you long for (set your intention)
  • Commit to checking in to ask yourself if you are meeting your goals or going off track
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthier during events  
  • Sleep more 
  • Relax more 
  • Schedule in ‘you’ time
  • Find an empathy buddy outside of your work and family for the season!  Someone you can talk out your tension with who will not increase your stress and will help you to remember what’s important
  • Meditate
  • Walk a ‘labyrinth’

Read Tips for Surviving the Holiday Season

Inquire about  upcoming workshops & webinars –  Are your intention and your holiday plans in alignment?


Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication,  Empathy,  Values Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000, Labyrinths of Victoria since 2012, #yyj Peace Week Grassroots Calendar Founder, Vice-Chair of World Children’s Summit on Peace & Nature in 2015


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Taking treatments outdoors

Feeling the ground

Feeling the ground

Taking clients outdoors for a change of  environment has been  successful in ways of:

  • Increased calmness 
  • Deepened breathing
  • New interest
  • Accepting condition
  • Lowering anxiety, depression and pain
  • Less tension and more flexibility
  • Increased hopefulness
  • Relief of depression

As a client enjoys these differences they will generally bring up a thought, experience or worry that they have not voiced that could be closer the to source of their condition.

Some ways of working outdoors with adults and children:

  • Personal Movement/Cognitive Therapy Session
  • Empathy Coaching
  • Relationship Coaching
  • Increasing Focused Movement Abilities using Awareness building skills, ie. Walking
  • Contemplative Movement for cognitive Therapy and Connection (effective with children and painful relationships issues)

An example is my most recent success is with a centurion who has suffered sever anxiety and depression that keeps them in a state of tension and nausea.  Being outside resulted in marked improvement in their current state of mind and understanding of  the relationships between tension, anxiety, mental state, cognitive abilities, nausea and movement.

Their home that has become their prison of ill-health and getting outdoors changes their focus of attention.  It has changed the view, smell, sounds, temperature and has them feeling the ground.  It has shifted their focus of attention and became a distraction to expand their limited focus.

Connect with Renee @ Inside for more information or inquires on how to enjoy coaching and personal treatments outdoors!

     Living in Nature’s Love by Renee Lindstrom, GCFP,
Feldenkrais® Practitioner since 2007, Communication & Empathy Coach since 2004, Art of Placement  since 2000
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