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The A, B, C's

Advice, Blogs, and Commentaries

An ongoing series of psychological and yoga inspired entries.

If you have any mental health, parenting, yoga, life in general related questions and want advise from a professional, please don't feel shy to send Jennifer a question or topic and she can answer it or address here; all information to be kept confidential unless otherwise stated.

*please be advised this is not intended to substitute therapy, Jennifer is a mandated reporter in the state of California and will do what is required of her by law in the event that someone's safety may be at risk.*

First Blog Entry - What is Mind Body Therapy??

September 27, 2017

Welcome to my page and my new journey as a full-time Mind Body Therapist. I thought a nice place to start would be to describe what exactly is "Mind Body Therapy." Though this is not a formal term by any means, it is a term I have decided to use as I feel it best describes what I do. From my perspective, after nearly 15 years in the field and researching the topic extensively, you cannot separate the well being of a body from the mind. If one part is not well, the other will inevitably suffer in one way or another. What I do is conceptualize a person's struggle through the frame work that a health of the mind will impact the health of a body and vice versa.

For example, if someone has a cold and feels sick, many also tend to feel down or sad about not feeling well. Maybe some even feel a bit hopeless about their state of affairs refusing to leave their room until the are well; the body effects the mind in this more benign example. On a more serious note, if someone has cancer or a chronic medical condition, it is very normal to have strong feelings about this that may even impact their ability to function well at work or with their family. Then when we feel down about this, many find their physical symptoms gets worse; the body effects the mind which in turn, effects the body and it becomes a vicious cycle. Lastly, perhaps you know someone who suffers from depression and they report their body hurts and they are tired, maybe they also always have a headache or stomach ache. In this case, the mind effects the body.

This is why I use my Western training in psychology combined with my Eastern training in Yoga Therapy as a way to help a person find ease and grace through the unavoidable challenges life presents us all, whether they be physical or emotional in nature. Sometimes Mind Body Therapy looks like talk therapy only. Sometimes it will be a hybrid session with the use of breathing techniques, simple movements and mediation. Or maybe, it just looks like a yoga class.

What I do is customize my treatment style based on the individual clients needs, wants, and comfort levels. Mind Body Therapy is completely secular and does not include religious symbolism, unless you want it to.

If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message!

Peace and Blessings - Jen

Second Blog Entry - What is the difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy??

March 3, 2018

Ever since I graduated from my Yoga Therapist training and can't stop talking about it, I get asked all the time, what is the difference between Yoga and Yoga therapy. I get it, why would anyone know, unless they are a yoga therapist, have a friend who is a yoga therapist, or want to train to be a yoga therapist because they somehow stumbled upon a yoga therapist and fell in love.

Let's start with the dry facts. Most yoga teachers have between 200- 500 hours of training that is approved by the Yoga Alliance. A Yoga Therapist has at least 1000 hours of training that are approved by the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT). Much like any other other licensed professional, a yoga therapist had to graduate from an accredited program to be certification eligible and has to complete ongoing continuing education units (CEU's) to keep their certification active. Yoga teachers do not have all these extra requirements.

A yoga class will often have a broad theme that sets the stage of the intention for the class, such as "yoga for beginners, yoga for grounding, or yoga for the full moon." A yoga therapy session will have a specific topic of a therapeutic nature such as "yoga for lower back pain, yoga for knee surgery preparation/recovery, yoga for improved memory, yoga for improved anxiety management, or yoga for trauma recovery," to name a few of the endless options.  Furthermore, most yoga therapy sessions will have a formal intake and assessment process, similar to any other kind of therapy such as physical therapy or psychotherapy. A regular yoga class will not.

Lastly, a yoga therapy session will be geared towards the individual/group member's needs. Most yoga classes offer different options for different skill levels and capabilities, but will not offer specific modifications for individuals with special needs whether that's for the individual with hypothyriodism or the individual who is hypermobile and needs to build more strength stability for therapeutic reasons.

The simplest way to put it; yoga classes are for overall well being and yoga therapy sessions are for folks with more focus on a specific area of need whether that be a physical condition, a physiological condition, mental health challenges, cognitive difficulties, or spiritual wellness.

If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message!

Peace and Blessings - Jen

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