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There are many pathways -- the first I'd say to you is Awareness. Often times it has to do with misplaced energy that needs to be aligned and or recalibrated. As a Practitioner that works with clients on their inner equilibrium, breath patterns, and the like using the GYROKINESIS® Expansion System (which organically brings that back into "reset") -- we observe standing, posture, and walking patterns to help them with those inner-operatives and balance. Try it Today!
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Before we can answer that question we have to determine why your balance isn't 100%. The balance system is a complex network of multiple sensory inputs (vision, inner ear, joints/muscles) and central (brain) processing. Determining which component is the weak link by simple, but targeted, testing helps develop a personalized, efficient, and effective balance program. Programs may involve visual processing exercises, strengthening, cardio, weight lifting, vestibular exercises, posture, or all of the above. I'm happy to do a consult to give you more specifics about your goals and needs!
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This is such an important part of our physical health that is often overlooked! I like to think of kids and how they play and are jumping off of things, scaling walls, spinning in circles and balancing on one foot all while just having fun. They have great balance because they are constantly challenging it. They also have youth, strong muscles and bones and fully functional inner ears intact.
As we get older, we lose muscle mass, our vision gets worse and become more sedentary. That saying "if you don't use it, you lose it" comes into play here. If we want to keep our balance, we have to be doing things to challenge it and keep our muscles and bones strong. Where you start depends on your current level of balance and strength.
Simple balance exercises like standing on one foot or on a foam pad can be a good start. I also love Tai Chi for improving balance. In addition to balance exercises, it is important to strengthen your core, hips and legs to help increase muscle mass which will also help you steady on your feet! The key is to keep consistent and try to do something everyday. Make it something you enjoy like even dancing in your kitchen!
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Human beings need to be grounded with Mother Earth; this grounding helps with balance. When our energy is flowing up and down, the energy is properly moving to Mother Earth. There is another part of us that needs to be grounded as well and that is our soul. Our soul needs to be grounded within our body first. Our soul is our primary energy source. If our soul is outside of our body, this primary energy source creates an unbalance within us. Once the soul is grounded in our body and our body is grounded to Mother Earth balance is improved immensely.
As your conceptual memory is built upon the parts of the brain that allow you to navigate through space, the exercises recommended below are also valuable in preserving your ability to think your way through problems. Walking in unstructured natural environments is helpful, but making a point of learning a new concept each day also reinforces the basic circuitry in the brain.
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Hi Sammy. Qigong and tai chi are also wonderful ways to help you foster good balance. In addition to helping train your ability to sense your position in the space around you, these gentle mindful movement practices can help strengthen muscle and flexibility which can help prevent falls.
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Balance naturally decreases with age due to changes in depth perception, muscle mass, reflexes, and coordination. The National Institute of Health reports that one in three people over 65 will experience a fall each year. The good news is that research on balance training suggests that practice can improve stability - both when standing (static balance) and walking (dynamic balance).
Try these three exercises to integrate your visual (eyes), vestibular (inner ear), and proprioceptive (feedback from muscles and joints) systems for more responsive balance.
Eye Scan Technique – Looking down when you walk, for fear of falling, tenses your body decreasing blood and energy flow. For greater trail safety, use this technique borrowed from race car drivers.
Just as you’d scan the road ahead when driving, allow your eyes to scan the path ahead. Keep your head level, eyes at the horizon, then lower your eyes to scan far to near, to far to near, to far to near ... and continue. Look around to enjoy your world then return to scanning. Feed your brain continuous trail data from changing perspectives. First practice standing, then while walking on flat sidewalks at slow speeds, then graduate to uneven terrain in different lighting conditions.
Uneven Hip Circles - Our cars have been engineered with independent suspension of tires for a smoother ride. Just as your shoulder can move separately of each other, ideally your hips can respond independently to trail conditions, like stepping off a curb.
Take a wide stance and imagine you are circling a holla hoop around your abdomen. As you circle, turn your torso to face towards one leg then the other. Circle in both directions. Next, place one foot on a floor pillow and repeat the circling and turning. Before switching legs take a moment to notice the sensations. To challenge yourself further, if you feel safe, close your eyes and repeat the circling exercises. With eyes closed you cultivate channels of proprioceptive awareness from muscles and joints. Notice what you feel.
Ankle Circles - Flat cement sidewalks are a modern convenience, but we have lost awareness of the ground. Ankles and feet stiffen and fluid can more easily accumulate in our legs. Our walk looks very old. Try this for yourself and notice it’s harder to walk and less energizing.
Stand safely on one leg and point the toe of the other foot to the ground. Circle your higher ankle in one direction then the other. Let your hips get into the action by taking the circle all the way up the leg to the knee and hip. Stop and notice the sensations then switch legs. When walking, practice on uneven terrain to cultivate foot, ankle, and hip flexibility for a more flexible and independent you.