Have you been losing your balance lately? Feeling a little less steady on your feet, or actual dizziness? Well, it’s a pretty common complaint these days, for whatever reason. You are not alone.
Several medical explanations might explain it: inner ear disturbances, infections, or just vertigo. But chances are it’s a more fundamental disturbance: lack of grounding. This pandemic has knocked the ground of ordinary living out from under many people’s feet. That lack of grounding, or re-adjusting your grounding, leaves space for tipping over, for uncertainty, for losing track of where your feet are situated at the moment, as you paddle in place.
If you actually lose your balance completely and experience a fall, that can be hazardous. Many people these days have brittle bones that break or crack more easily. As you grow older, falls are one of the most common hazards. And a fall can land you in the hospital. One in three elders fall, and one in five will die from the falls.
Empatharian can help prevent falls, and improve your balance, both mentally and physically, with simple slow movements that take about 15 minutes a day. The Empath Stretch is an affirmation for peace-building in your life and in the world, and it’s a movement meditation that helps ground you.
Let me explain: What I call “The Empath Stretch” is the entry level exercise for Empatharian Movement for Peace. It’s a series of 12-14 movements, each one a word or words in a sentence, a sentence that is the affirmation.
Slow deliberate, mindful movements, done in a regular routine daily or even 3 times a week, have been shown in research to reduce the risk of falling by about 30%. There’s simple science in the reason for that effect: Awareness, attention, and cognition are all improved with doing the routine of slow movements. With more awareness and attention, more mindful living results in better balance, and sureness of step. Pro-actively exercising the mind and body muscles in unison, helps synchronize and ground the person, creating a structural integration that stops toppling over in its tracks.
Also, physically the Empath Stretch increases muscle strength, joint flexibility, and ease of movement, the more you do it. Moving is more smooth and graceful, over a period of time. Such simple movements and yet the upper body strength, the lower extremity stability and elasticity, are improved. Walking is easier.
Walking speed and agility are a predictive factor on dementia, by the way. And mental deficits add to fear of falling. That can become a vicious cycle where you move less, because of fear of falling, and the moving less creates the conditions for falls.
Neuromuscular coordination and reflexes are also improved with the two handed exercises of the Empath Stretch. And in the non-judgmental atmosphere of a session, your ability or lack in a particular exercise doesn’t detract from doing it at your own level, your own pace, as you feel comfort in moving.
We call it the Empath Stretch, because we expect a bit of stretch, both with the body and the mind. That means that you go just beyond your comfort zone sometimes, to gently stretch the muscle, and then hold the position for one second longer. Of course, it is imperative that you listen to your body as you move, and do not push yourself too much. Gentle is the watchword here.
With Empatharian Practice, and Empatharian Groups, on zoom or in person, the social interaction is a benefit that increases all the other benefits. The balance and exercise related anxiety is less in a group, and attention to movement is helped with the group’s focus.
If you’d like more confidence that you’re not going to lose your balance ability, you could do Empatharian Movement for Peace and participate with us, for fun and a balanced life!