Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stress Management

It's More Important Than Ever!

survey conducted by a large pharmaceutical company demonstrates that now it’s more important than ever to take care of your employees in terms of health and wellness programs.

According to the results, stress in their home or personal life made them physically ill in the past year and 38% said the same regarding workplace stress. Nearly 30% of respondents said they did not get much work done when experiencing stress.

I’ve written time an again how important
stress management is to the overall health of a company. The cost of stress to U.S. businesses is $300 Billon per year! Left unchecked, it creates a cycle of dysfunction within both your employees and your organization that will spiral out of control.

Stress management is not simply about telling someone to calm down. In fact, according to research done by Fulbright Scholar Angela Patmore, and described in her book
The Truth About Stress, how we handle stress in our lives will either empower us our tranquilize us.

Patmore explains that by calming people down as a form of stress management, you “reduce their coping skills, making people more cowardly and unwilling to take up new challenges, through which they can grow in life.”

In these tough economic times, empowering employees through education is not a luxury, it’s a necessity – at least for those companies that want to thrive.

Amen to that!

Let us be reminded here that there are specific body patterns (breathing, muscular tension, movement, and structural alignment) to stress, anxiety, and fear. Employees need to be educated as to what their individual patterns are so that they have the “tools” to deal with them.

With those “tools”, employees will be more empowered, more effective, and more productive. And their company will be able to demonstrate a tangible return on that investment. It truly is a “win-win”.

Now, more than ever, we need to shed our scarcity mindset and begin to look at how we can enable our workforce to do what we’re asking them to do – and not make them sick in the process.

What have the effects of stress cost you and your company?

Leave us a comment and let us know any unique ways that you or your company are handling the effects of stress.


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Monday, May 18, 2009

Your Brain, Learning, and Vitality

What is it that keeps our brains vital?

It’s L-E-A-R-N-I-N-G.

What type of learning is best?

To answer that question, we must first look at how our brains are organized.

What I’ve come to discover (and what neuroscience is now demonstrating), is that our brains are organized through movement.

Read that last statement again, slowly:

Our brains are organized through movement.

When you think about movement, what comes to mind?

More than likely, you mind goes to the movements that occur in our:


You know, all of those movements that allow us to move around and take action in the world.

Did you ever stop to think about it in more detail?

Like how you speak, for example.

The movement of your lips.

The movement of the air over your vocal cords, driven by the movement of your diaphragm, to create the sounds that make up the words that you use to communicate to others.

And don’t forget the movement between the nerve cells in your brain that initiates and makes possible this ability to speak.

Movement is the language of our brains, and our brains are the great organizer of ALL movement

Movement is everything.

Without movement, life ceases to exist.

What has been shown in recent research – what we as Anat Baniel Method and Feldenkrais Method practitioners have known for quite some time – is that the quality of our movements are a manifestation of the quality of the workings of our brains.

According to Dr. Michael Merzenich, pioneering researcher of our brain’s plastic nature:

"Movement is inextricably controlled on the basis of ‘feedback’ from our bodies and brains, and movement control is guided very directly by the cognitive resources that guide all of our behaviors. They are weaker or stronger, enabled or disabled TOGETHER. Neurological processes that control the flow of cognition and thought are not really different from those that control the flow of movement — and in fact are complexly, inextricably inter-twined!"

What we have found is that when you begin to refine your movements, you begin to refine the way it is in which you think.

It’s called ‘embodied cognition’.

And this is clearly demonstrated in this study.

What it shows is that movement actually helps organize our brains ability to solve problems – and solve them faster.


… from just movement?

How does 40% faster sound?

Gimme some-a dat!

As neuroscientific research marches on, you are going to see a new paradigm in terms of how this is implemented into educational and corporate training programs to:

Boost memory
Increase problem solving skills
Create perceptual changes in the way we take in and process information (which will increase creativity)
Enhance the way we handle stress and anxiety (which costs American businesses $300 Billion dollars per year!)
Eliminate repetitive stress injuries
And increase employee productivity

All through movement and attentional training.

We just happen to be at the forefront of this.

So if you’re looking for that edge, that extra something that’s going to enable you to outpace your competition. Give us a shout.

You’ll be glad you did.

What are you or your company doing to keep you (and your brain) from being stuck in the rut of rote repetition?

Let us know how you apply the power of movement in your daily life.


Chad Estes
Movement Specialist

Copyright 2008 ETM Consultants