Movement is more than exercise. Come and explore all the factors that impact our movement experience. Movement is impacted by our physical, emotional and mental health, not mention sport, culture, art, science, race and everything in between.
E032. Micki Havard - Pilates for Everyone
SHOW NOTES ON THEIR WAY
Matters of Movement Studio
E031. Cindy Willems - Fit over Fifty
Cindy is the owner/creator of My Fit Over 50, a website dedicated to the health of women going into menopause and beyond. After enjoying a great professional dance career (working all over the world including Stratford Festival), Cindy reinvented herself becoming a certified Pilates instructor, acupuncturist and holistic nutritionist. Now she uses her over 10 years of clinical experience and passion to help other women embrace the changes that happen as we age offering up an opportunity to become our best self. She believes that it’s important to keep challenging the body safely and efficiently and lives by that rule by getting her black belt in Kung Fu at the age of 50. Cindy also has a busy acupuncture and Pilates business in Toronto.
The Importance of Self-Care
During the podcast, Cindy speaks passionately about the importance of self-care and being the best advocate for your health. She empowers women to ask questions and have conversations about the changes that happen to their body going into peri-menopause and beyond it. She wants women to know that there are ways to help support the body as their hormones fluctuate, and often this can help make those uncomfortable symptoms of menopause easier to manage. Menopause is natural and should be the next part of a life well lived.
What is peri-menopause?
Cindy explains that you can actually be peri-menopausal for about 10 years. During this time your progesterone and estrogen are not in balance anymore. That brings on certain physiological symptoms like: night sweats, the inability to get a good night's sleep, and of course your period changes.
It's a time to be reflective on the fact that things are shifting and changing, and that you need to be a little mindful about what that next part of the journey will look like.
Self-education is a good tool!
It is important to have conversations about how you are going to support yourself now that your estrogen is starting to drop, because estrogen is the fuel and the goodness that helps support your brain and your bones?
When you stop producing estrogen, it is going to affect your bones. So what you may want to do is talk to your doctor about hormones that are going to help supplement the estrogen loss.
What can we do to support our health going into menopause?
Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things when approach peri-menopause into menopause.
Your bones become your bank account, so if you deposit into your bank account before you are 20 years old, you are going to be able to withdraw from that bank account and be okay, but if you don't deposit into your bank account, then you are going to be in some trouble.
We need to be more mindful now about how we move, how we approach fitness and exercise when we are in that peri-menopausal and menopausal state because depleting ourselves is not a good idea.
Be mindful, mindful of your eating, mindful of your sleep, and mindful of your exercise. Cindy explains that those are the three key things to focus on.
They call it the Second Spring
It is a woman’s second puberty, and it can be a really exciting time. It is good to have that guidance to just let you know that it's okay. When you have those maybe not so good days that it's okay. When you just can't kill it on your workout today, it’s okay; at least you got that workout in. Right! That's good.
It is just about having that little bit of education around, what your body needs now that it's changing and shifting?
E030. Eva Beun Lekkerkerker - The Human/Horse Physiotherapist
Eva is a person who lives her passion with her husband, their Icelandic horses, their three dogs and one cat in a small village in the North of Netherlands. As a physiotherapist and instructor she has always been looking for some way to put feeling (during riding) into words, and to also to educate people about how their bodies work.
Through the training of the Franklin Method Equestrian she has received new, very applicable insights and information. In recent years she has done various courses on sports psychology, which provides a nice total package to guide riders and horses.
Physiotherapist for both Horses and Humans
Eva explains that is about looking at both the biomechanics of the horse and the rider to see if the goal of the rider is fair for the horse as well, because when you look at the biomechanics of some horses, like in Belgium, they've got really massive horses and they won't be show jumpers. You have to also talk to the rider, help them understand the architecture of their horse and the horse’s capabilities.
The Franklin Method
With practice of the Franklin Method, equestrians become more aware of not only their own movement, but also the movement of their horse. Consequently, the connection between horse and rider becomes more clear and precise.
For Eva, Eric Franklin has taught her how to use her body, and what she really likes is the way he also uses metaphors and imagery. It has become the way that she works with riders.
The Art of Letting Go
Christine and Eva get into more detail about the relationship between the rider and the horse. Eva shares that the pelvis is probably the biggest factor when it comes to that relationship.
The pelvis is the main body part where we communicate because we sit on it, and the pelvic floor is such a big muscle. Eva readily speaks to her riders about the Art of Letting Go.
“I think we are hanging on to quite a lot of things, both physically and mentally. I have moments that I'm hanging onto things, or and clinging on to things and I want to grab it and I want to hold it. Then I thought, ``Well, what does it bring? '' I only can change it when I notice, and what I don't notice, I can't change.”
Establishing good Movement with your Horse
It is important to have a good mind-set around movement with the horses, as it can really impact the quality of movement with your horse.
Eva explains that being in the present is one of the most valuable, and needed skills while you're working with animals, especially when you're working with horses. They really mirror what we do, because it's also their nature.
“When my heartbeat is high, I need to use my mental capacity to lower my heartbeat. I need to first notice that my heartbeat is high, and then I need to train myself what kind of tricks I have, or what kind of capacity I have to lower my heartbeat down. The check in is really, really important.”
Teaching People how to Check-in
When Eva works with her riders, she has them check in with themselves.
“I just asked them: what does it feel like? Where do you feel something? I actually try to do it every time we change a gait. So when we go from walk to trot, I often ask them as well. Do a check in to notice your body. Notice what feels good. Notice what doesn't feel as flexible as you would like to have it? Give me feedback when you notice something.”
Listeners can find Eva on Instagram.
E029 - Helen Thompson - The Role of Baby Massage in Development
Helen is originally from Perthshire in Scotland, and lives on the northwest coast of Tasmania. Helen has her nursery nursing qualification and as a qualified childcare educator Helen has spent many year looking after babies, toddlers and children. In 2010, she discovered the wonderful world of baby massage. She became an instructor and delights in helping parents enhance their confidence while forging a closer bond with their baby. Helen started hosting her First Time Mum's Chat podcast in January 2021, where she is able to connect with parents on a weekly basis.
Understanding the Power of Touch
There is a lot of research on baby massage, and how it helps with mothers who find it hard to touch your babies. Massage helps them learn how to communicate with their child, and it has also been researched that skin-to-skin with a baby is very important.
Helen shares that it's mainly about touching and respecting your baby and giving your baby that respect. It helps with a lot of different things including: colic, constipation, and sleep. Touch has many health benefits, as well as a lot of emotional benefits. It helps promote relaxation for the mom and for the baby, as well as encourages: development, communication and bonding.
The Timing of the Massage is Critical
Helen shares with Kristina and the listeners the concept of quiet alert state. The quiet alert state is when your baby is just beginning to wake up. They are just waking up and they're just getting active for the day. They are communicating with you and they're engaging with you. This is a great time to actually do massage, because they are very assertive at that time and they can tell you what they like and what they don't like. Another good time is before bed, because it helps with sleep, and you can engage by talking to them, which helps them to move as well.
Developing your Baby's Body Awareness and Coordination
When massaging, Helen explains that it is best to start with the baby's head, and to go all the way down to the toes. You are giving them that body awareness and allowing them to see how long they are. When you go from the spine out to their arms, this allows them to see how wide they are.
While you are massaging, you increase awareness by speaking to them, “I'm massaging your left leg at the moment, and I'm just going to touch your toes.”
Finding Different ways to Communicate with your Children
If you communicate with your child, and if they can't communicate, there are things that a parent can do. Drawing is a great way for them to express themselves; as they are drawing, you can say, “Well, why don't you draw what you're wanting to tell me?” You can also incorporate movement like jumping up and down and have them act out what they are trying to tell you.
With teenagers it is a little different; with them, sometimes you just got to let them know that you are there for them. Be supportive of them and give them the respect to regulate and process their feelings.
Tummy Massages are Great for Everyone
Helen shares the amazing results you get, if you just gently sort of talk to your body and tell your body what's happening. You can do this while giving yourself a tummy massage. Massage works the same way in adults as they do in babies; massage in a clockwise direction, which is the way the bowel moves. When doing this you are releasing what is trapped there, and you are pushing all the waste out.
Parents that needs a little support on their parenting journey can visit Helen at her website My Baby Massage.
E028. Kelsie Bentley - Learning to Create Space in our Lives
Kelsie Bentley is a self-care and mind-set coach helping people-pleasing women
reclaim their time. She got her start coaching women from behind the chair as a
hairstylist, and dove deep into the work of self-care after going through her own
experience with burnout. Her written work can be found on sites such as; Mama
Minimalist, The Hive, and Morning Laziness, and she has been featured on
several podcasts including: Healing Unscripted, We’re Not Kidding, and All
Kelsey has flipped the script on self-care. There are a lot of rigid self-care
programs out there that have tried to prescribe to people how it should look.
Kelsie is not about that at all, instead she finds ways to help people fit it into their
schedules so that they are able to live successful, and purposeful lives.
A look at toxic positivity
Christina and Kelsie discuss the fact that many of us choose not to acknowledge
the problems, we try to positive mind-set our way through them. Mind-set is a
huge, huge thing, and it's definitely something we have to work on, but we also
have to be able to feel, experience and process our feelings.
It is about taking the time to just really dive into how you feel, feel those feelings
and try to work through them. This is so essential. You have to take that time and
really think, “Am I allowing myself to just wallow in something, or do I need to
experience this and move through it?”
How to Start Setting Healthy Boundaries
Kelsie shares that the best way to start setting boundaries is to identify if you are
the type of person who tends to be of service to others all the time. This can
happen when you own any kind of business; there is a certain element of being
of service to others. She explains the importance of separation; a time when you
can be yourself and who you are, and not have to constantly be of service.
The first step is recognizing those things that are wearing you out and that are
draining your energy. Then you have to figure out how to set the boundaries.
Kelsie suggests starting with those relationships, or situations that are not so
close to you. These relationships are not as emotionally charged, so it makes it
It's really important to be able to just recognize when you need that extra little bit
of care. We spend so much time taking care of everybody else's needs.
The Spark Method
You can start setting yourself up for success by doing fewer things, and finding
ways to make the things that you have to do easier. Time management is
prescriptive. Time management doesn't care about your energy levels, your
season of life, or your interests. You have to take a look at you, your struggles,
where you're at, and where you want to go.
Creating a space for yourself
It is important to understand that other people benefit from us caring for
ourselves. It is allowing yourself to unpack and take up space in your own life. It
is something that is incredibly important to learn. It can be challenging, because
it's a point of growth. We have to be able to allow ourselves to grow and go
through the discomfort. You will be pleased with the ease that will come from it.
Christina: Online Studio
E027. Janette Yee - Supporting Athletes Postpartum
Janette Yee is a Perinatal Therapist with a background in Athletic Therapy and Massage Therapy. She works with athletic birth parents that share her belief, “Confidence and strength in your body during pregnancy and after childbirth is a RIGHT, not a privilege.”
In response to suboptimal public perinatal healthcare, Janette created the Proactive Moms Method - a simple 13-exercise prenatal/postpartum program. Using this method, birth parents learn to stay active during pregnancy and return to pain-free sports after childbirth.
Janette is best known for her two ground-breaking online Caesarean recovery programs. In them, moms learn the essential skills of scar massage and exercise to optimize recovery. These courses focus on the psychology of healing, painful sex, preventing the "C-section shelf", and safe return to sport. One is designed for all moms, the other, for athletes.
Janette fills her days with mandatory playtime with her kids aged 3 and 6, while training for her return to competitive running. Her 15-year rugby career was recently recognized with a team induction into the Rugby Ontario Hall of Fame.
The most Hard Core Athlete is a Mother
Janette shares with Christina the work that she does with rugby athletes, and some of the injuries that she has endured in her 15 years of playing rugby. She reflects on her experiences of major injuries and concludes that nothing compares to being humbled by childbirth, both physically and mentally. In Janette’s own words, “The hardest-core athlete is a mother, and the biggest injury is childbirth.”
Expectations of Postpartum Healing
Janette explains that most athletes push their bodies as hard as they can; that's what athleticism means. When you're pregnant, and certainly after a mother gives birth, that's just not possible. That can be a huge blow to an athlete’s identity, to their ego.
Janette explains that childbirth is a season-ending injury, and during this time off, you can make a plan; what do I need to do? There's that sense of empowerment, and it helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mature Athlete versus an Immature Athlete
Janette uses the word immature, but not as a term of judgment. The mature athlete learns to trust their body because the brain is really stubborn. The immature athlete is going to do silly things, not trust their bodies.
It is wise to draw from your past experience of major sports injuries that you have gone through, in a certain respect, you will be wiser in making choices for your body.
Caesarean is a very Interesting sort of Injury
The surgery itself involves three main incisions, and many people don’t appreciate that because they only see the singular external incision, but it's three incisions.
Janette discusses scar tissue and the fact that it is a body's incredible super glue that holds all these incisions closed. Scar tissue is needed, especially for the first six weeks, so she instructs listeners not to bother it. The scar tissue is powerful, powerful glue that your body makes.
Now that you know, pay it Forward
Janette implores listeners to share information. Talk about it to anyone who will listen. You can make a difference every single day. That's how public health care is going to change. We all have a voice, and all of us can use it. Sharing information can make a difference in somebody's quality of life. All of us have that power.
Janette: Instagram | Website
Matters of Movement Studio
It was such a pleasure to be a guest with Christina! She is an excellent host and dives into such needed topics!
Learned so much in the first two episodes!
I love Christina’s mission to get us moving and taking care of our mental health. And she is actively committed to learning with us about topics such as diversity and creating inclusive environments in health and wellness (check out her episode with Alexis Idama!). Looking forward to the listening to the next episode!!!
Just love it!
I love all things that I’ve listened to so far. Christina’s voice is soothing and relaxing. She engages her guests as if they were friends and brings up important questions that highlight wellness and movement that make you pause and reflect. I can’t wait to listen to more episodes as I know this will be added to my list of go to podcasts 🧡💚