HOLISTIC THERAPIES AND EXPERIENTIAL MODALITIES UTILIZED AT ATI WELLNESS:
ATI Wellness' Treatment Model of Perceptual Healing Solutions™ utilizes a Mind-Body-Spirit-Environment® approach and combines individual and small group sessions along with alternative/holistic therapies as a means to promote complete healing of the "whole person". ATI Wellness recognizes that its clients are complex individuals with differences in emotional conditions, family of origin, education, belief systems, relationships, and various levels of health. In recognizing that "multiple approaches work best", choosing healing methods that you radiate toward, and best fit your life, will provide you with the highest success. To achieve total health and well-being, a comprehensive system of traditional and alternative methods must be employed. This protocol demonstrates our understanding of "the psychology of individual differences".
The use of alternative and experiential techniques in combination with Perception Awareness allows one to experience profound transformation and healing to create a balanced, joyful and purposeful life. All activities utilized at A.T.I. are positive, proven, inspirational, respectful, motivating, and have a specific outcome goal. These modalities are designed to be easily incorporated into one's daily life.
When one is experiencing difficulties in their life that may include addictions, depression, eating disorders, and other emotional problems, they are faced with numerous choices of how to deal with these issues. One choice may be to do nothing, continuing in the same patterns, the same dysfunction, the same comfort zone of unhappiness, and lack of hope and lack of peace - hoping something will change.
Another choice may be to reinforce a mindset of sickness and continue to behave as a sick person behaves including constant doctor visits, hospital stays, extensive medications, medical treatment model options, excessive psychiatrist visits (medication seeking for instant gratification), entering therapy sessions with no real commitment, etc.
The positive choice is the Mind-Body-Spirit-Environment approach in combination with the Perceptual Healing Solutions™ Treatment Model, for a "whole person" approach to life transformation, which is total health and wellness. This holistic approach allows one to resolve addictions and/or emotional issues, gain a sense of hope and peace, and move on in life in a healthy and positive way, without a life filled with fear or sickness.
All of the Perception Awareness programmatic materials are separated into four sections: MIND, BODY, SPIRIT, and ENVIRONMENT. These materials include ATI Wellness Guide, Therapeutic Card Deck (recommended to use each morning) and Journal.
Change is a concentrated process and can be overwhelming for many. Where does one start? How can one attain happiness and overall health?
In separating out the "whole person", we allow you to begin taking steps to improve areas of your life from each section that will shorten the time it takes to attain overall well-being. For example, rather than someone going in and out of therapy for the next two years or following any of the negative options referred to above, Perception Awareness materials and tools rapidly address and improve all areas of the "Self" that involve the Mind, Body, Spirit and Environment. Perception Awareness Practice Sheets are provided under each section of this Wellness Guide to assist in analyzing perceptions relative to that particular section of the 'whole person'. The Perception Awareness Journal is sectioned as well to provide the tool to journal about these specific areas of the "Self". The Perception Awareness therapeutic cards, designed to be used each day, provide information and give instructions of things to do "For This Day" relative to the Mind, Body, Spirit or Environment.
This practice is recommended to be continued each day to attain rapid whole transformation. Great emphasis is placed on the continued utilization of all the Awareness materials and tools that will bring about life transforming results, end and resolve dysfunctional behaviors. The important thing to remember here is that by compartmentalizing these four major areas of your being: Mind, Body, Spirit and Environment, you can affect change in each part of your "being" as needed.
BUILDING AWARENESS THROUGH INDIRECTIVE TECHNIQUES
The best therapeutic result is attained when one comes to their own conclusion. ATI Wellness does not use directive or confrontation techniques which block the ability to gain insight into the issue at hand and come to one's own conclusion. Along with group and individual psychotherapy, ATI Wellness utilizes techniques that help to build awareness which in turn assists in gaining the therapeutic insight that is needed to overcome problems. Indirect Suggestion and Metaphor Insight are two of many techniques utilized at ATI Wellness.
Throughout one's life, through family, friends, or perhaps even therapists, one may have experienced what are called "directive techniques". An example of a directive technique would be, "stop drinking or you will die", "you have no reason to be depressed, just snap out of it', etc. These types of direct, judgmental statements do not work because they do not give the individual an opportunity to experience growth in working through the issue and arrive at one's own conclusion which would be to stop drinking or overcome one's depression. Directive techniques such as these will only produce a natural defensive response and will hamper therapeutic progress.
Indirect suggestion, on the other hand, is done in a therapeutic, purposeful way so that the individual is given a suggestion and a choice to respond that will bring about a productive conclusion. Once the productive conclusion is obtained, the next step is to begin formulating the methodology for implementing the newly formed positive perception(s). This is an area that will require continual work and practice. An example of an indirect suggestion: discussing choices involved in creating a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle along with social activities that are fun and do not involve alcohol use. Therefore, this suggestion can bring about the conclusion that "I can choose to participate in social activities without drinking alcohol." This same suggestion may be told in a few different ways to make sure that the individual has come to the desired conclusion.
A holistic approach is a complete wellness system that quickly and gently lets you move forward in your life releasing old habits, trauma and chaos you no longer need. It focuses on balancing strengths, resources and desires to create hope, peace and happiness in your life. A holistic approach is an effective way to help you change your thoughts, behaviors and attitudes at a pace that naturally unfolds for you. It increases clarity of thinking and the ability to focus, balances your emotions and attitudes, assists in alleviating addictions, helps you to see the positives in any relationship or life experience, and provides self-help tools continue to work on your own well-being.
Metaphor InsightAnother technique used under the Perception Healing Solutions™ Treatment Model, called Metaphor Insight, is designed specifically to bring one to her/his own conclusion. Metaphor Insight is conducted in the form of a story. The story is told with its true meaning hidden or never mentioned. You, the listener, develop your own understanding of the meaning of the story and how it has meaning for you and your life.
Story telling is a very powerful tool that has the ability to produce great change on many levels by bringing the listener to their own conclusion and their understanding of the message being presented to them. Metaphor Insight is basically telling a story with a clinical goal.
Insight-Oriented Cinema is another therapeutic tool used under the Perceptual Healing Solutions™ Treatment Model as another form of Metaphor Insight. The films provided within "Insight-Oriented Cinema" allow the "bigger picture to become more obvious". The Insight-Oriented Cinema experience can have a therapeutic impact affecting healing and coping skills, cognitive insights, self-understanding, ideas for dealing with situations and areas of distress, seeing other view points, spiritual understanding, greater self-awareness, understanding of love, and the meaning of life and death.
The use of Insight-Oriented Cinema takes the story telling a step further and provides a visual presentation of the story as well. You all have had experiences when you were reading a book that took you away from your everyday self or attended a film that brought you into a fantasy world. And, for that brief time, you forgot about your cares, worries and problems, and were engrossed in the power of the story that you were hearing and viewing. As you may be aware, the most enduring literature and films are those that have the ability to tell a compelling story that has some deep effect on the listener/viewer.
A very simple example of an enduring story written by Jacob Grimm is entitled Snow White. This is a very simple tale that has lasted for two hundred years and continues to entertain children and adults in both book and cinema form. What is it about the story of Snow White that has had such an enduring appeal for so many years? You can answer this question. Stories have the ability to discipline, to invoke emotions, to inspire, to effect perceptions, to effect change, and create mind-body powerful experiences that might defy human perception.
Insight-Oriented Cinema has the ability to provide you with an awareness of your deeper levels of consciousness that will help you form new perspectives. Your instructions for getting the most from the Insight-Oriented Cinema experience are to focus your attention on the metaphorical meaning of the film and how that meaning impacts your specific growth. This is an activity of maintaining conscious awareness rather than simply watching something without having any purpose and intent. Viewing the films with this purpose can serve as stepping stones between life and therapy, as in "art imitates life". A major effect that we might experience through this process is the conflict between our unconscious mind and our conscious ideas, intentions and goals. This conflict might allow unconscious material to become more conscious, assisting in the therapeutic process of uncovering the underlying causes of the present problems.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
The ATI Wellness Weight Management Program consists of psychotherapy, holistic and spiritual healing, diet and nutrition, and fitness that includes, daily Kai Chi Do, weekly Yoga and Tai Chi, Psychiatric consultation, medication as indicated, workout fitness room, and sauna.
SMOKING CESSATION PROGRAM
Want to quit smoking while at ATI Wellness? We can help.
Tobacco use takes the lives of approximately 5.4 million individual each year. The "Breathe Easy" Program is specifically designed to assist current smokers to lead a healthier life while eradicating the desire, need or compulsion to smoke. Participants are exposed to an array of support mechanisms and practices provided for successful cessation of smoking. Education is provided to assist individuals to understand what to expect when the body begins to rid nicotine and other toxins during withdrawal and the changes that begin to occur with healing. This four week program includes the use of Perception Therapy combined with various alternative healing techniques such as Acupuncture, Visualization Exercises, Deep Meditation, Imbedded Suggestion, and Guided Imagery. For participants requesting additional support, supplemental stop smoking medications are also available. (Medication costs, if requested, are the participant's responsibility).
KAI CHI DO®
Kai Chi Do is an energy art form that Charles Robinson, L.M.H.C., ATI Wellness' Clinical Director, started in the early 70's. It's been practiced by over a thousand groups, has spread across the U.S., and has become a vital part of a nationally accredited treatment program for mental health and addictions. Kai Chi Do has helped people to recover their true nature and become more alive. On the Daily Schedule you will see that Kai Chi Do is part of the morning schedule at the Clinical Offices.
Kai Chi Do is a system of movements that uses Five Elements combined with music, meditation, and breath work, to free blocked energy. In fact, the name "Kai Chi Do" translates to "Free Spirit Way" or "Open Energy Method".
In traditional Chinese medicine it is believed that all suffering is caused by congestion and all healing is the result of circulation. Congestion is where we're "stuck", stagnant, or resistant. Congestion is the ways in which we've hardened and armored ourselves against life. It can happen at all levels - physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. The circulation we're talking about is the free flow of energy, also called Chi or Spirit.
Kai Chi Do increases the circulation of pure life energy. It helps you to plug in, turn on the switch, pump your energy up, and relax to let it flow freely. Kai Chi Do reduces resistance and calms your mind, so you feel more aligned with yourself, and can integrate "open energy" into your daily life.
BENEFITS OF JOURNALING
Journaling can provide a wide variety of benefits. The benefits range from simply having the ability to express oneself on paper to decreasing stress, releasing trauma, and relieving worry and frustration.
Everyone has heard the saying, "you can keep the truth from others, but you cannot keep the truth from yourself". Journaling is a way to express your own perceptions and truths clearly and confidentially, through knowing yourself. Journaling also gives you the opportunity to talk about and vent your frustrations, your likes and dislikes, your experiences in certain situations and how you handled those situations. But more importantly, journaling gives you the opportunity to set goals for yourself with attainable time frames in a setting that you can continue to review with each success.
There is life transforming benefits that result from journaling. A few of these benefits include:
Assists in the healing process
- Helps to reconstruct perceived past events
- It is truthful without judgment
- Brings a sense of healing
- Releases emotions related to past events
- It is an insight-oriented process
Assists in relieving stress and anxiety
- Gains insight into the perceived causes of stress and anxiety
- Releases negative thoughts and emotions
- Provides a release tool in place of a reactive experience
- Journaling is a form of meditation - a tool to release and relax
- Allows one to compartmentalize life's perceived problems
Assists in self discovery
- Provides freedom of expression without judgment or censor
- Clarifies perceived desires and needs
- Enables catharsis
- Strengthens one's connection to "Self"
- Provides a tool for dream interpretation
Assists in exploring your spiritual nature
- Allows for a connection with one's spiritual essence
- Clarifies one's perceptions of spirituality
- Enables automatic writing about one's true nature
- Builds awareness and self-esteem through understanding of individual complexities as a spiritual being
- Amplifies a revelation of one's life purpose
Assists in improving health
- Writing down healthy eating habits and diet
- Journaling about one's process of improved fitness
- Keeping track of sleeping patterns/activities around sleep
- Viewing the transformation of perceptions related to one's physical body
- Mechanism for developing and conducting a plan for overall health and well-being
Assists in improving therapy sessions
- Journaling personal history with time lines
- Insights gained lead to heightened results
- Clarifies perceptions, thoughts and concepts
- Practice in sorting and grouping ideas, events, and behaviors
- Helps to locate the missing pieces from the subconscious mind
From the above benefits listed, you can begin to see the life transforming possibilities of the continued practice of journaling. Our Journal, based on Perception Awareness has been separated into four sections, with the specific intention to bring insight to the areas of your Mind, Body, Spirit, and Environment.
Set up a regular journaling schedule that can be realistically followed to receive the long-term positive results of this insight-oriented practice.
CONSCIOUS ENERGY BREATHWORK
Conscious Energy Breath Work is learning to use your breath as a basic energy healer. It involves merging the inhale with the exhale in a gentle, relaxed rhythm, pulling life in with the inhale and relaxing, releasing struggle with the exhale, connecting each breath without pause. Music and guided imagery facilitate the process of calming your mind and regulating your breath until the rhythm itself begins to breathe for you. Life energy is carried on the breath. Conscious Energy Breath Work is a gentle process that brings resolution to emotional discomfort without the pain of trying to figure it out or undo the past. Participants are often surprised at the power of Conscious Energy Breath Work – to bring clarity, uplift their perspective and release emotional wounds. They are amazed at how breath affects their consciousness. This process is a form of meditation, and participants can experience a spiritual feeling of oneness and unity that informs their daily life as they move forward.
Guided imagery is a technique of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide the imagination toward a deeply relaxed and receptive state of mind. Guided imagery has many difference uses and is based on a mind-body connection. Some examples of its benefits may include stress reduction, release of addictions and emotional problems, alleviate anxiety and depression, positive thinking, pain management, weight loss, lower blood pressure, promote health and well-being, and enhance creativity.
Guided Imagery is a safe and powerful therapeutic approach for activating the untapped resources of the mind. In the therapeutic setting, clients are guided, through suggestion, to a relaxed state of mind and are then provided with imaging techniques that focus their attention and resolution on the issues with which they struggle.
HEALING AND INSIGHTFUL MEDITATION TECHNIQUES
One of the main benefits of meditation is that it gives the practitioner the ability to find a place of peace in the midst of chaos. By having a consistent meditation practice, you will develop balance with your thoughts, allowing you to respond to any situation you are presented with in a calm and unemotional manner.
There are a variety of meditation techniques. Almost all types are used to consciously direct your attention to alter your state of awareness. Meditation is based on directed attention. You can direct your awareness to clearing the mind, toward your breath, images, colors, positive thoughts, etc. Meditation is used to learn to relax, calm the mind, explore your true nature, and develop inner healing. It is a purposeful tool for maintaining peace of mind and relieving stress in a demanding, fast-paced world.
Additional uses include:
- Increasing mental clarity
- Deepening concentration and insight
- Tap into inner guidance
- Enhancing creativity
- Trusting in your intuition
- Chakra awakening, clearing and balancing
- Manifesting your desires
- Balancing emotions
PERCEPTUAL ART EXPRESSIONS
Perceptual Art Expressions is the therapeutic use of art making, within a professional setting, by people who experience illness, trauma, or challenges in living, and by people who seek personal development. Through creating art and reflecting on the art projects and processes, people can increase awareness of self and others, cope with symptoms, stress, and traumatic experiences; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
Perceptual Art Expressions provides the opportunity to explore thoughts and feelings that they express in their art projects and to uncover the meaning that these expressions have for them. ATI Wellness implements the art therapy activities within the context of Perceptual Healing Solutions™ which promotes a better understanding of clients' addictive and emotional behaviors. The process enhances insight and self-esteem, relieves trauma, and diminishes anxiety.
Psychodrama is held in a small group session to role play behaviors, resolutions, family of origin issues, health and wellness issues, thought processes, and preparation for aftercare. The psychodrama experience is particularly powerful for clients preparing to return to their home environments upon completion of the Program.
One example is, clients role play the family dynamic, portrayed in the actual "living environment" that the client describes and includes significant others, family members, and others. In this insight-oriented aftercare preparation session, the client sets up the anticipated attitudes, belief systems, and behaviors of the people to whom they are returning. Other clients portray those roles. The session is played out with the client practicing techniques for dealing with possible attitudes that include anger, mistrust, hostility, apprehension, addiction, drug or alcohol use, dysfunction, confusion, as well as loving, supportive and accepting attitudes. These sessions have proven to be a truly beneficial adjunct in the preparation for aftercare.
Although its origins are vague, acupuncture is an integral part of the ancient healing system Traditional Chinese Medicine, where the individual is viewed as an integrated whole whose health is determined by the flow of qi (energy). The practice holds that the body has 14 primary meridians, or channels, through which the properties yin (blood) and yang (qi, or life energy) flow. When these elements become imbalanced, one's health is compromised. Acupuncture can assist alcohol and drug rehabilitation by curbing the chemical addiction and behavioral compulsions that feed a person's addiction to harmful substances or habits. Acupuncture has been shown to increase energy, reduce stress and tension, alleviate migraines, and chronic and temporary pain, strengthen the immune system and promote physical and emotional well-being.
Many of today's health problems can benefit from massage therapy because the manipulation of soft tissues affects so many of our bodily systems. The benefits of massage are extensive. Massage therapy treatments will have a therapeutic affect and improve health by acting directly on the muscular, nervous, circulatory and lymphatic (immune) systems.
ATI's licensed Massage Therapist conducts a Holistic Massage session that involves clearing and balancing the chakras, aura and energetic system, removing emotional blockages and cords, caused by fear and/or belief systems. As this clearing and balancing start to take place, we begin to have more clarity to our life's purpose, discovering our own inner strength and wisdom.
The Holistic Massage Session combines holistic massage therapy and energy work. This type of work is deeply relaxing, working on many different levels. Physically you feel the effects of the massage as different techniques are used to reduce muscle tension and pain. The energy work reaches a deeper level helping to connect the Mind-Body and Spirit. This combination of bodywork helps to guide the body into deeper levels of self-healing. Healing sessions can often bring up strong emotions and memories of past events, which your body believes is safe to release at that moment. Every person experiences healing differently, and depending on their life circumstances, will make the shift when the emotional body believes it is safe to do so.
Massage Therapy is provided by a Licensed Massage Therapist and is available for an additional fee, at the ATI Clinical Offices. ATI Florida Dept. of Health Massage Establishment License #: MM25495.
Chiropractors focus on removing restrictions in the nervous system so that the body, mind and spirit function at their most optimal state. This is a state free from stress and dis-ease and is called innate intelligence. Mind/Body Exercise (Medical Meditation) combines mantra, movement, breathing patterns and concentration. Dr. Singh offers individual sessions for stress relief, memory and mood enhancement, focus and vitality, clarity, self-esteem, overcoming negative impulses and habits, spiritual fulfillment, and as an aid in the healing of many disorders and medical conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic - often referred to as chiropractors or chiropractic physicians - practice a drug-free, hands-on approach to health care that includes patient examination, diagnosis and treatment. The most common therapeutic procedure performed by doctors of chiropractic is known as "spinal manipulation," also called "chiropractic adjustment."
CRYSTAL BOWL SOUND HEALING
Sound healing is a very unique experience that can bring about many positive changes. The sound healing is created by playing special Quartz Crystal Bowls whose frequencies resonate with the body including a calming meditative state. Participants normally lie comfortably on mats on the floor, or in a chair during the sound session. Sound healing can unblock pathways to allow the body to heal and strengthen on its own. The healing sessions can also help with relief from stress-related conditions, strengthen willpower; assists in reducing pain and discomfort associated with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression. After sessions, clients may experience improved memory, clarity, vitality and the ability to take action. Many report a deep sense of tranquility, sleep more soundly and are more aware of surroundings.
Reflexology promotes the body's ability to adjust and balance during times of stress. It has been shown to improve circulation which boosts the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles and other tissues and assists in the elimination of waste products. Because it promotes overall health, reflexology is used as complementary care for people with a variety of conditions. For example, Reflexology can improve immune function, skin tone, and circulation, as well as alleviate headaches, reduce arthritic and back pain, decrease healing time for injuries, and decrease the symptoms of addiction withdrawal. Practiced in diverse cultures for centuries, Reflexology is much more than a good foot massage. For either preventative care or in response to physical or emotional distress, Reflexology has been observed to create physical changes that can bring about balance, ease, and healing.
Facials offer a relaxing spa service that cleans and moisturizes skin. A facial can reduce blemishes and fine lines, improve skin tone and redness. A gentle massage of the neck, shoulders and arms is included.
GONG - RELAXATION & MEDITATION
Gong relaxation and meditation, through creative sound and vibration of the Gong, allows for deep relaxation and rejuvenation. The vibration of the Gong can release the nervous system of many illnesses... to regenerate the parasympathetic nervous system. The Gong changes the energy in our magnetic field, moves beyond the boundaries of the mind, and causes all 30 trillion cells in our body to resonate so we can find fulfillment and harmony.
At ATI Wellness, we do light stretching and lay in relaxation to the sound of the Gong. One client experienced hearing harmonized singing and flutes. One client had a hurting foot and the next day after experiencing the Gong, stated, "I was a little skeptical about the Gong and healing, today there is absolutely no more pain in my foot". Clients of ATI Wellness come out of the experience completely relaxed.
KUNG FU TAI CHI FUSION
Kung Fu Tai Chi Fusion is a blend of soft and internal arts designed to elevate chi in the body. Series of movements are fun and flow together to awaken your major energies centers, igniting your spirit. Focus is on building strength and flexibility in mind and body. Students learn to move like water; the most powerful element that carves the valleys through the mountains with its humble strength.
HATHA YOGA - A MIND/BODY/SPIRIT PRACTICE
Yoga is an ancient practice which focuses on the balance between mind, body and spirit. Practitioners of Yoga believe that in order for people to have emotional stability and clarity of mind, they have to integrate the body, mind and spirit. To achieve this, Yoga uses exercise, breath, postures, relaxation, and meditation. Hatha translates "sun-moon". Hatha Yoga is a nurturing practice of breath and form which creates strength and flexibility. Hatha is a general term for Yoga Asana practice, but tends to denote a moderate or gentle pace.
Yoga makes the body strong and flexible, improves breathing control, prevents muscle soreness, aids the circulatory system, stimulates the glandular and nervous systems, and also provides a feeling of being more in touch with one's self. Yoga brings a new positive perception of life, and continued practice will lead you to a sense of peace and well-being. The practice of Yoga can aid in the treatment of addictions, psycho-emotional disorders, diabetes, arthritis, digestive disorders, high blood pressure, anxiety and stress. Yoga also helps with the purification of physical impurities and harmful emotions by helping to detoxify the system. As one becomes stronger, Yoga is an excellent way to tone muscles and become more flexible, producing increased energy and vitality.
KUNDALINI YOGA - A MIND/BODY/SPIRIT PRACTICE
Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of Awareness. It teaches posture, breath, Mudra (hand position), movement and mantra (sound current). Each class begins with a tune in, breathing exercises, warm ups, then a Yoga set followed by rest time and meditation. Kundalini is said to strengthen the immune, glandular and nervous systems. This practice can energize and revitalize the body. It brings an awareness to the mind, body and spirit.
Yoga recognizes that if we want to make changes in our lives, we have to change ourselves. Yoga operates from the principle that our inner reality creates our outer reality. We have to alter our vibrational frequency so that we attract at a different level. Our frequency has to match what we want to manifest. And equally important, we have to clear our subconscious programming so it does not sabotage our conscious intent. For, in fact, it is the programming in our subconscious mind that creates our reality.
Kundalini Yoga gives a person back their own strength, it gives them discipline, changes the chemistry of the blood, stimulates the glandular system and also teaches a person to relax. Medication promotes clarity of thought and Kundalini Yoga provides the discipline to carry it out. Through this technology, an addictive personality is given immunity to protect itself from the pressures of society.
PILATES - A MIND/BODY PRACTICE
Pilates is a form of exercise, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, flexibility, and awareness in order to support efficient, graceful movement. The top benefits of doing Pilates exercise that people report are that they become stronger, longer, leaner, and more able to do anything with grace and ease. Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise with intention and fullness of expression:
- Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone. Energetically, Pilates exercises are sourced from center.
- Concentration: If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.
- Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.
- Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.
- Breath: Joseph Pilates emphasized using a very full breath in his exercises. He advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows - using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise. Learn more: Breathing in Pilates.
- Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The energy of an exercise connects all body parts and flows through the body in an even way. Pilates equipment, like the reformer, are very good mirrors of one's flow and concentration as they tend to bang around and suddenly become quite "machine-like" if one loses ones control and flow.
A Certified Laughter Yoga Teacher conducts monthly Laughter Yoga Sessions with the clients of ATI Wellness to expose them to the awareness of this health-based practice. Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea - simple and profound. An exercise routine, it is sweeping the world and is a complete well-being workout. The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon with more than 6000 Social Laughter Clubs in about 60 countries.
Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits. Participants of Laughter Yoga report significant general health improvements. Many have felt a reduction in the frequency of respiratory infections like common cold and flu, and some others reported overcoming depression, relief/cure from chronic medical problems. With people's committed participation, Laughter Yoga has helped many people become healthier.
Concept and Philosophy: Is it possible to Laugh for No Reason?
By Dr. Madan Kataria and Madhuri Kataria, Founders of Laughter Yoga International (www.laughteryoga.org)
Contrary to popular belief, Laughter Yoga has proved that one does not need a sense of humor, to laugh. Laughter can be learnt and programmed into the body, to bring about a complete transformation. Research has proved that just 10-20 minutes of fake or real laughter has a profound benefit on the human body. It is generally believed that in the absence of humor, Laughter is almost unthinkable. But, we cannot always depend on a sense of humor to create laughter, since humor is a phenomenon of the Intellect, the Mind. Moreover, humor is unique to the individual, their culture, and it varies from person to person. There may be few reasons for us to smile and laugh, while there are many reasons for us to be sad, depressed and frustrated.
In fact, regular conditioning as we grow up, has led to undermining of emotional expression. If we notice, children are absolutely natural when they laugh. Their laughter is not dependent on any external stimulus like jokes, comedy or humor. Adults, on the other hand, learn the art of suppressing emotions for fear of being ridiculed or facing a conflict, which proves to be detrimental in the pursuit of physical and mental well-being. Laughter Yoga is a unique concept of Unconditional Laughter, according to this, anyone can Laugh for No Reason. It does not rely on jokes, humor or comedy. It initiates laughter as a form of an exercise in a group, and as the Laughter Sessions progress; Laughter becomes real and contagious.
The name, Laughter Yoga, is derived from combining Yogic breathing (Pranayaama) with Laughter Exercises. This effective blend results in multiple health benefits, primarily increasing the supply of oxygen and boosting the immune system. It energizes and recharges the metabolism, making one feel fresh and energetic.
How to Laugh Without a Reason
The best part of Laughter is you really don't need any "Reason" to Laugh... Just Start. Initially Laughing alone may seem awkward, but experiencing Laughter Yoga Sessions or joining a Laughter Club makes it easy. It provides a platform which helps to break psychological barriers and shed all inhibitions. One can actually feel 'fake' Laughter turn into 'real' and contagious laughter. Laughter Yoga uses the two-way Body-Mind link to change the state of the Mind through voluntary physical gestures including Repetitive Clapping, Chanting, and specific Body Movements, together with Laughter and Breathing Exercises. This effect is so powerful that we have seen Laughter Yoga overcome severe depression in thousands of people the world over.
Laughter can be Programmed into your Body
Did you know that we can actually learn to Laugh? Our Body and Mind can be trained to laugh at will. It is like learning to ride a bicycle. Once you learn, you never forget it, just as any skill. Repetition is the mother of any skill. The repetition of any bodily behavior over a period of time leads to the generation of a corresponding emotion in the Mind. The brain develops new neuronal circuits for a particular body-mind activity that is repeated again and again. According to the principles of Neuro-Linguistic association and to scientific research, there is very little difference between thinking about doing something and actually doing it. Thoughts in the Mind, whether real or imaginary, produce similar physiological changes in the body. When a particular set of experiences are repeated over and over, the Body develops a fast "Knee Jerk" reaction that is triggered without involving thinking and the rational brain. This is called Conditioning.
By repeating these Laughter Exercises, the brain develops new neuronal connections to produce happy neuropeptides and hormones in the body that can be triggered by the repetition of this physical action.
"I came to ATI very anxious, insecure, depressed and with no hope. Thanks to my therapist Sandi, and all the wonderful staff, I'm leaving stable, happy and in a healthy process of getting completely free of anxiety. All the staff is compassionate, professional, respectful and the atmosphere at ATI is full of love and compassion. Thanks to all at ATI, I'm leaving with full of love to myself, others and very hopeful that life is just beautiful. Thanks to all."
Tampa, Florida, USA
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