August 17, 2017

Meditation improves your exercise experience, anxiety and acupressure, better sleep with MELT and CRP

Meditation to increase exercise performance

Something interesting I noticed the other day at my Crossfit-like class – I was cruising through a run / kettlebell workout outside on a hot summer evening… and I wasn’t feeling any mental or emotional suffering. I didn’t push myself particularly hard that workout, but realized that it was a whole lot easier to perform athletically without the added mental and emotional critique / dialogue / resistance. There was a formula we discussed at our meditation retreat in July:
Suffering = Pain x Resistance.
Take out the mental and emotional resistance to what you’re doing, and the suffering disappears. Not the pain, but the suffering. And thus – increased athletic performance with an atmosphere of ease and relaxation.
How do you “remove the resistance” you ask? See if you can identify any resistant thoughts and emotions, and then relax and let them be, while not engaging in them any further. (On the same topic, here is how to cultivate an attitude of acceptance.)

Acupressure for anxiety

Everyone gets it at least once in a while, so here’s a handy acupressure for anxiety protocol I found on the webs. I used it myself after I meditated too much the other day and got a bit anxious – I was pressing these points as I was walking home up Connecticut Avenue, and yes, it did help.

MELT and CRP for deeper sleep and exercise recovery

OK, what the heck are MELT and CRP? If you’ve had pain and seen me for acupuncture, I’ve probably hounded you a little bit to check out the MELT website. (BTW, the website is very salesy in my opinion, but the method itself is amazing. I recommend her book if you want to understand the science behind it). Too long to explain here, but its intent is to improve the health of your body’s connective tissue system, which, it turns out, is everywhere in your body, and intimately connected to your nervous system functions. Therefore, important for a huge host of body functions. In addition to reducing pain, it also really helps sleep for some people, particularly the depth of sleep and amount of relaxation and deeper breathing during sleep. Sound good? It is pretty awesome (I do it maybe 2-3x/week before bed). And, MELT is amazing for keeping my joints in shape after my Crossfit-like classes – knees and hips have been an issue and I can come home with creaky, sometimes painful knees and have normal knees after 5 min of MELT-ing – and that is a true fact, as miraculous as it feels/sounds.
Other thing to mention is CRP – Constructive Rest Position. This deceptively simple “exercise” (in quotes because you actually lie still on your back–it’s easy as pie) is one of the best I’ve found to easily relax the psoas muscle, along with other key low back muscles. One thing that Crossfit-like classes do to your low back is compress it – weighted squats, deadlifts, etc etc. Sure, it’s important to have good posture and alignment while lifting, but, things happen. The other major challenge to the the back and psoas – – sitting – – is something we can all relate to. I’ve started doing CRP 4-5x/wk right before bed, and it is amazing for recovering space in my lumbar spine and actually relaxing the psoas and low back. And incredibly relaxing in general – which makes for a good sleep.

2 Comments on “Meditation improves your exercise experience, anxiety and acupressure, better sleep with MELT and CRP

March 3, 2018 at 8:10 pm

Is anxiety curable? I’ve been getting treatment for years and I still get bad symtoms sometimes.
I would appreciate any insight you can provide.

Jeremy Riesenfeld, M.Ac., L.Ac.
June 5, 2018 at 4:49 pm

I would say that anxiety can certainly be reduced. Sometimes when you’ve been treating it for a long time and still have bad symptoms, it can definitely be worth trying some new types of treatment. Based on our experience here treating patients with acupuncture and herbs, many people with anxiety have experienced significant relief. Feel free to ask any further questions.


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