Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mind-Body Solutions

If you've never heard of Matt Sanford, you should definitely check him out around the web. He is originally from Minnesota, and was in a terrible car accident when he was 13 years old, which killed his father and sister, and also paralyzed him from the chest down.

He has written a book called Waking, which I'd recommend any therapist to read, as it's really helpful to gain perspective from people who have actually experience traumatic injuries/illnesses in their lives. He has a very interesting story, where he was basically told in therapy to live in the remaining part of his body that worked and mainly forget about the rest, as it would never work again. After many years of living this way, he discovered yoga, and it changed his life. He was able to use his whole body to work together, and finally feel like a whole person again. It's an incredible testimony, and has led to many changed lives as a result.

Matt teaches adaptive yoga classes in the Twin Cities, and attends workshops and speaking engagements all over the place. I'm currently a part of a study that my workplace has put on each year for the past 4 years. It is all about applying some of these mind-body techniques to our own lives as well as our practice as medical professionals and applying it to our daily work. We start off with an immersion weekend where we have training for an entire day by others who have gone through the training as well as Matt. Then, we have weekly 90 minute sessions during a work day for four weeks, and it decreases to one time per month after that for six or seven months. This week will be our third week, and so far it has been great.

We work on things like relaxation techniques, grounding, and others with a partner as well as on our own. We have all of the yoga gear there for us and we all get excused for that time of our day. It's a huge commitment for the company both financially and time wise, so I feel really lucky to be a part of it. I've tried to apply it during sessions with clients as well as at home. It's been helpful so far, but I need a lot more practice to make it streamlined into daily routine for me. I'll have to write more about it as the weeks progress, but until then, here's a great video.

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