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Tuned In — Aligning Body and Mind

Busting the Myth of the Mind/Body Split

Friday, March 31, 2017
By: Whitney Easton

Busting the Myth of the Mind/Body Split
“Alignment is when all of the processes that define our human existence are working together.” 
Garry Lineham, Co-Founder of Human Garage 

I wanted to take a minute to step back today to define what we mean by “mind/body repair and alignment” at Human Garage. It’s painted across our walls, it’s the hashtag we put on all of our Instagram posts, and it’s a part of our vocabulary in much of what we do. A belief in the undeniable link between mind and body is at the core of our work as a company.

In previous blogs, I’ve alluded to and hinted at the connection between body and mind but I’ve made the assumption we all come to the table with a similar understanding of what this means.

And it’s interesting: people often refer to us as “bodyworkers.” But I think this runs the risk of oversimplification. We are bodyworkers, yes, but it is because of the powerful connection to the brain and the mind’s powerful connection to the body that our realignment work takes root.

Societally speaking, we go to the doctor to fix our bodies, we see a psychologist to fix our minds, and we connect and access our souls in churches, mosques, and temples (or whatever is your place of worship).

But, what if there was a place and a type of work that allowed you to connect to all of these? 
 

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Why Does Good Posture Matter?

Monday, February 27, 2017
By: Whitney Easton

Why Does Good Posture Matter?

The word posture gets a lot of buzz these days. We use it often in our own practice at Human Garage and realigning poor posture is at the core of what we do. We are about mind/body repair + alignment, after all. We believe that posture is at the core of many issues of pain, dysfunction, and injury in the body. Our technologically driven society where we stare at laptops, iPhones, Instagram, Facebook, and sit in our cars for long periods of time a day have fundamentally altered our body's natural state. Sadly, this is often not for the better (I am fighting my urge to hunch over my MacBook Air as we speak, thank you Apple).  


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Are All Trainers Created Equal?

Monday, January 23, 2017
By: Whitney Easton

Are All Trainers Created Equal?

In Los Angeles, there are thousands of personal trainers, body workers, yoga teachers, pilates instructors, and the list goes on. It can be hard to sift through the masses to understand how one type of trainer differs from the next. One of my hopes in creating this blog, Tuned In, is to help our clients, past, present, and future, understand what distinguishes our approach and philosophy at the Garage.

Our trainers at Human Garage support the work that we do in realigning bodies, minds, and souls through a distinct approach. It is why we don’t, in fact, call them “trainers.” Rather, they are our Progression Specialists that support the work of biomechanical development and progression. 


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Four Lessons 2016 Taught Me

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
By: Whitney Easton

Four Lessons 2016 Taught Me

Well, here we are Human Garage family: it’s 2017. I’m reflecting on what 2016 brought us as a young and growing company where and mind and body repair and alignment are concerned. I’m reflecting on the many of you I met in 2016, as colleagues and clients of the Human Garage.

This time last year I was a client, like many of you, searching for a better answer, a different way, and freedom from pain. I carried with me the belief there had to be a better way and indeed, I found it. I transitioned from client to staff in January one year ago and in this process, I’ve learned a few things. Some emerge out of my own journey of healing and feeling better, while others emerge out of watching many of you along your path to feeling better.

With January upon us, it’s time to pull back, reflect, and learn from the lessons of 2016. I hope to share these lessons with each of you, wherever you may be in this process of healing. What has 2016 taught me?

1. Patience is everything.

While returning from a long flight from New York City recently, there was a young boy, maybe three years old at most, in the seat in front of me. When we arrived at our gate at LAX, the impatience of many New Yorkers and Angelenos antsy to get off the plane was palpable. We rubbed elbows, huffed and puffed while grabbing our bags out of the overhead compartments without knocking each other out, invaded one another’s personal space, and many started to push past one another in an effort to get off the plane (airplanes and airports have always been my Achilles heel for testing patience).

The young boy in front of me was growing weary with an unknown delay a few rows in front of us. He started to pout and complain quite loudly, something most of us were doing in our heads.

His mom turned to him: “Sweety, remember what I taught you about patience?”

The young boy, with a giant smile across his face, exclaimed proudly: “I didn’t bring patience with me today, Mommy. I left it at home.” He began to giggle, proud of his wit.

My row erupted in laughter and the impatience of our section of the plane softened. By the time our laughter subsided, we were ready to get off the plane. The young boy was on to something.

When I started coming to the Garage as a client, I wanted immediate relief. In many ways, I was highly impatient. In some aspects, I found relief with my first unwinding session. My hip that nagged me for over a decade felt instantly better. My migraines, however, took time. Patterns in our body that took 30+ years to create will not be completely resolved over night, yet we live in a society driven by instant gratification. We want answers and solutions at lightning speed. We want off the plane at the blink of an eye and we make ourselves miserable (and those around us), when we leave our patience at home and demand our way off the plane, immediately.

Re-balancing my body on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level has taught me to wait, to trust, and to reassess my impatience when it comes. At least the young boy in my story acknowledges when he’s left his patience at home for the day.

2. When we ignore any one aspect of our health, we ignore our whole well-being.

Allow me to explain: if I don’t take care of myself emotionally, eventually my physical body will feel it. Or perhaps I take phenomenal care of my body physically, but have never tuned into my emotional self. I could be the most spiritual person you know, but neglect my physical health. Each aspect of our health works together to create the totality of our well-being.

I’ve met great psychologists in my life who take terrible care of their physical bodies. I’ve met incredible athletes, too. One once told me “I don’t have feelings.” I resisted my urge to tell her: “You’ve just lost touch with them.”

To prioritize any aspect of our well-being over another is to ignore and neglect an important part of our whole self. The parts we ignore will eventually want to get our attention. We are the “Human” Garage, after all. We care about all, not just one part, of our humanity.

3. Rest is the best medicine.

I’ve written about this before and I will write about it again: let your body rest.

We get a lot of women at the Garage who’ve had issues with fertility, irregularities in their periods, or hormonally related issues. They’ve tried everything. More recently, I experienced irregularities in my own menstrual cycle during a high stress period of my life. Working full time, finishing graduate school, and the stresses of living in large and sprawling Los Angeles seemed to bring them on.

I took a couple of weeks off for the holidays (I’m aware this is a privilege). I slept in, I rested, I ate well, and I spent time with loved ones. I stopped panicking about my health and instead decided to give my body rest. I unplugged. I reminded myself of #1, practicing patience. And, guess what? My body naturally reset itself, all on its own.

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t serious medical conditions that just a little bit of R&R can fix. But, I am saying rest would make many things a whole lot better. Sleep and rest are often our best medicine.

4. Our thoughts matter.

Buddha once said: “We are what we think.” And whether or not you agree with Buddha, I think he was onto something with this one. If no one else hears what we think, it can’t possibly matter, right?

Think again: our thoughts matter.

What we think (or don’t) about ourselves has the power to manifest in the physical body and in our lives. Our work is about mind/body repair not just “body repair” at Human Garage. The stories we tell ourselves about pain, healing, and our lives ultimately impact our bodies, on cellular and physical levels.

Have you ever watched the end of a marathon or another endurance race? I think it’s safe to say even the best of athletes are exhausted at the end of 26.2 miles. But somehow there’s that runner that finds it deep within herself to push through those last moments and win. If there’s any “proof” that our mental stories matter, to me it’s on the face of the runner that guts it out across the finish line, even when her body tells her she’s got nothing left. Somewhere deep within her she tells herself she still can, even when her body says she can’t.

Our thoughts matter.

To close, I’ll leave you with this. The New Year can be overwhelming if we bog ourselves down in trying to change and reset too many aspects of our lives. I’m weary anyways of setting New Year’s Resolutions (there’s more on that here). I encourage you today to take just one of these elements and pay attention to it this week.

Simply notice.

Notice your thoughts and the stories you tell yourself about you, in this world. Notice if and how you rest. Do you feel rested? Can you carve out even 30 more minutes of time to rest in your day? Notice which aspects of your health you prioritize and which you neglect. Notice which parts of you you find less important. Notice how you respond to waiting when impatience creeps in.

Notice which part of my list you liked the least. Which part rubbed you the wrong way? Perhaps that’s the starting point for you in this new year of 2017.











 

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Why I Won't Be Setting New Year's Resolutions: Balance for a New Year

Friday, December 23, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

Why I Won't Be Setting New Year's Resolutions: Balance for a New Year

It’s that time of year again: the time of year when many set resolutions, resolutions that go often as quickly as they come. 2016 is coming to a close and many of us begin to vow to do something or many things differently in our lives. Gyms and yoga studios see surges in new clients in January. Yet just as quickly as we’ve made them, resolutions begin to fade. 


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Staff Tips To Balance and Align This Holiday Season

Wednesday, November 23, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

Staff Tips To Balance and Align This Holiday Season

 

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Bringing the Body Back Into Balance: Q&A with Co-Founder Anela

Thursday, November 17, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

Bringing the Body Back Into Balance: Q&A with Co-Founder Anela
“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” Balance is a favorite word here at the Human Garage. It occurred to me in my recent conversations with client and staff alike that it’s a word we often use. I’ve recently stopped to wonder: do we understand its many meanings? 

Last month I had the privilege to sit down with Anela to converse and share in a dialogue about a topic near and dear to her heart: bringing the body back into balance. Our goal was simple: clarify what we mean by balance.

There’s a lot of wisdom brewing from within the walls of Human Garage. Today, I will take a step back to share the powerful wisdom about one of the ways we can bring our bodies back into balance through the use of something called the Biochemical Wellness Analysis Test or BWA. (Fear not: we'll break down today what this means more clearly). 

As I share Anela's wisdom with you, it is my hope that the concept of balance will not seem so elusive. Our bodies are incredible vessels created to be in a harmonious state of equilibrium. My intention in sharing this conversation is to shed light on one of the ways through which we can realign our vehicles, the human body, into a more perfect state of balance.

Q: Balance is one of those words we hear so much around the Garage. I’d like to break it down today so let’s start here: what is balance?


“We all talk about balance, but really, do we understand the true meaning of balance? Life is about balance. Having a harmonious life is about keeping yourself in balance with your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state of being. So even talking about too much of something. Even of something good can hurt us as much as something bad, equally.”

Q: Can you give me an example of a time in your life you felt you did or had too much of something?

“I realized that too much of certain things was actually hurting me. Too much of working out. Too much of even spirituality. You know being to much of anything is actually hurting us….As a gymnast, I would say what life is. It’s like balancing on a balance beam. You’re constantly trying to hold your weight in one place. So you’re gonna fall off many many times in life but the whole purpose is realization: being able to realize that hey, I walked away too much from the balance, from the center.”

Q: What types of issues do you see in your work here at Human Garage when bodies are out of balance?

“Many things could be physical nature. And then emotional nature. It can start as an emotional nature, where we feel not good enough, depressed, anxious. A lot of people suffer from panic attacks. Then it starts- if that issue is not addressed, we start feeling aches and pains. And that’s urgency that the body is talking to us saying hey, I’m out of balance. And that’s how disease starts to develop.

For example, I enjoy working out and I enjoy running and I would run 13 miles in a day...And I thought that was a great thing. But, years later, I started feeling pain in my knee, in my shoulder, in my lower back. Waking up with body aches and pains. Something was off. And I didn’t understand actually what I was doing: I was running away from some emotional things that I never ever addressed in my life. And those are the things I covered up with excessive working out, excessive involvement with yoga, spirituality….it was just a bandaid or a cover up. I took a moment to stop to take an honest look into my life, into myself, and I realized: the hardest thing for all of us is to really look at ourselves, to see what’s wrong, and ask: what is it that I need to address? And what is it that I need to work on? So it helps to go to a therapist, it helps to find a place where you will be guided.

And, actually, that is what Human Garage is here: we are not healers. We are allowing a person an individual to start realizing for themselves what needs to be done and what work needs to be addressed in the first place. And that's why people are very successful because they participate in their own personal healing. So another thing is: disease. What is disease? Being out of ease. Dis-ease.

So again, understanding the root and the cause of the problem is the key as we are looking at Human Garage the way our therapy works. We are looking at a holistic approach to healing. It’s never one thing and it’s never just one pain. It’s a whole being." 


Q: So we’re talking about balance in the bigger picture, but why does balance matter on a smaller scale? On a cellular level?

“So what we do at the Human Garage is we have test called the BWA test, the Biochemical Wellness Analysis test, which we use saliva and urine. It’s a subclinical test, so even before anything, any disease will manifest itself on a cellular level in the physical body, we’re able to see it what’s happening, on a subclinical level.

The whole human being is created to be in balance, so we have everything within us to keep us balanced and in harmonious state. So many elements are influencing our well-being today. Our nervous system is constantly bombarded by information, certain emotions, certain inputs from the outside world. So we are constantly fighting these influences.

Even the fact we are using social media so much, it’s a constant input in our nervous system, so our nervous system is really stressed out. And we understand that a healthy nervous system is so important for a healthy individual. So we want to strengthen the nervous system and we want to bring that awareness back to our clients. So once they get off the table and they walk out they will have many realizations about themselves, their lives, certain things that they need to change.”


Q: To someone who is new or is very unfamiliar with our work, how would you describe what the BWA is?

“The BWA test is a roadmap to your health (pictured above here). It helped me so much. It takes the guessing game out. So we’re not guessing oh my liver is not functioning - or maybe I’m too alkaline or too acidic. The BWA really helps us to narrow down the guessing game and then it’s a specific and very well aimed process to bring the physical body back into balance. So, it’s a very very simple process that sometimes people may not be believers because it’s so simple.

As long as we realize something we are able to shift it. And as along as we can see it, we can address it. So when we know we’re completely out of balance in certain areas of our lives, the test will show us. Looking at somebody’s test without even knowing them personally, I can tell what that person is going through emotionally, physically, and then just shifting one thing as simple as drinking more water can change somebody’s life.

We also believe that no one from the outside can really heal you but yourself. We can have helpers and guides but it’s the work that we personally have to do ourselves.”




*Pictured above are are a before and after test showing the process of re-balancing that a client underwent through our testing and supplement process. The first was taken in June of 2016 and the second test, just last week. This is a clear example of moving a body back into a more balanced state from a cellular perspective. 

Q: What would be the markers that the BWA is measuring that can be out of balance?

"The first thing we’re going to look into is catabolic and anabolic state. It includes 14 biomarkers. Addressing one thing, just the biomechanical, it can still leave us open for other things. So we are approaching body holistically - so we need to address biomechanical and biochemical approach. So as we are fixing the human body and working on physical alignment, it's important to look at what's happening biochemically.

With these biomarkers were able to figure out if this person has openings for some kind of disease to come in and were able to prevent and stop the developing of and going into disease.

For example, if were talking about catabolic or anabolic functions, it's telling us how our body is handling stress, pressure from the outside world. Catabolic means to bring down and anabolic means to build up. The catabolic marker is showing us that our body is breaking down and does not have enough ATP, the main source of energy for cells in our bodies. The anabolic marker means that our body is building up and has substantial energy to build new cells, organs and keep us healthy and energetic. 

Q: How would you say that being biochemically balanced, doing this work, supports the other alignment and biomechanic work we are doing at the Garage?

“One of the biomarkers we are testing through the BWA is hydration and electrolytes. It’s so simple yet so important for the human body. We can overhydrate. We can do hours of hot yoga and it’s great but actually that’s stressing out our adrenals and depleting us of important electrolytes. We’ll see tightening of the body, tightening of the muscles, increased heart rate, sometimes panic attacks could show itself.

I often hear people say “But I drink lots of water!” But I’m not eating any salt with it. So again, that’s information. We have to know if we’re working out excessively or lots of stress that we also need to replenish ourselves.”


Q: What are some steps that we can take to get our bodies back into balance?


“First thing I would say is that it’s important to have some sort of a test. What’s happening on a cellular level, inside of our bodies? Which means it’s not only in the blood but on a subclinical level. And I know we’re working with BWA test and we see amazing results and people are really coming back and reporting their lives have changed.

It could be taking certain supplements we use, essential oils, flower remedies, there are so many different things we can use as long as we know what we are dealing with.

So the key actually is to know yourself better than you know anything else.

Emotions play a really big role. Positive emotions are so important in our healing. Everything we are experiencing, on an physical or emotional level: it goes back to the biochemistry of our body. Anger, correlates to our liver. Sadness, it’s related to kidney function. I would also say that positive affirmation. It’s very easy to be in a negative state. Just turning on the TV is something that can change your whole day.

The important message is to always step away and to take time. Even if you need to remove yourself to be alone for a moment and come back into center.”


Q: What role do you think nutrition has in bringing body back into balance. Here in LA there are so many nutritional fads. Vegans and paleos and everything in between. Nutritionally speaking, what advice do you have in terms of balance?

“That’s a really good question. Because a lot of people think that just by eating only salads or just juicing, that it’s good. Or just by drinking alkaline water it’s great. There are all of these new things everyday on the market that say “this is the best thing.” Again, each one of us is different. It’s important to remember that not everything out there that we hear is good for us. I believe that every person out there should have some kind of testing done at least once a year to know where they stand and to know how to approach their being. For example, just drinking cold pressed juices or eating salad- it seems so healthy on the outside . It’s what I talked about earlier, too much of a good thing can actually hurt us in the long run. So it’s important again to know that we have to create a balance.

Learn how to listen to your body. Once you are done with the test you’re going to start connecting more to your body. You’re going to start developing this language, that you yourself have with your personal body.

“Your body will tell you what you actually need once you remove the blockages. I’ll go back to it’s a biomechanical process, we work on the biomechanical in order to connect the biochemical. Your body will tell you hey, you’re lacking protein or hey, you’re missing carbohydrates. Or, you are not digesting your food properly. Just like being able to constantly have these feedbacks, feedback from your body. It’s a beautiful thing.”


Q: There are a lot of different types of tests you can have done. Why not go to my acupuncturist or go get a blood test or whatever. Why not do one of those? Why do the BWA?

“I’ve found that there are lots of test out in the market that give you lots of information but it doesn't give you what to do after. You get great information but then it’s all up to you to search for it and then the other thing is you have to go visit many different practitioners in order to address certain issues. I believe when you can get a specific treatment under one roof and can be seen or guided as a collective, as one, as an individual instead of going to different practitioners. Every practitioner will give you a different diagnosis, which I find very confusing. With this test we want to take confusion out of people’s lives. I think that’s very important.”

Q: So this test won’t give a diagnosis is what you’re saying?

“No, it’s not giving a diagnosis. It gives us an overall picture biochemically of where we stand at this moment and the results are not from a short period of time. It’s the accumulation of many, many years. Where you are today. And just looking at the test, we can tell where this person is heading and if we’re able to stop it, shift and change and we’re able to control biochemical processes on a cellular level.

And if someone has more issues, they’ll be directed to other practitioners and if more tests need to be done we will guide them but the most important thing I would like to mention is support, constant support.”


Q: What changes have you noticed in your life as a result bringing your body back into balance, specifically biochemically?

“Well I believe that this test pretty much saved my life. I didn’t even know how many issues I had on many levels when it comes to physical health. I suffered from PTSD for many years, since the war in Bosnia and then just my life, being a single mom for over 22 years, living in New York City with so much stress that I wasn’t even conscious of it. I was always super busy keeping myself always in such a busy state so I wouldn’t have to feel but as soon as I would have a couple of days off for vacation I would get sick and I wouldn’t understand why until I moved to L.A. when I started breaking down rapidly, super rapidly.

I had time to rest, I had time to sit down and observe myself. And i just started realizing I wasn’t in such good shape or good health as I thought I was.

Because the body has this ability to mask itself very very intelligently, so the first time I started realizing I was losing cognitive functions, I wasn’t remembering people’s names. I was not able to remember certain words. I was struggling to express myself. Memory issues. A lot of things, a lot of emotional things too. I was feeling anxieties, increased heart rates and there was a point I thought I was having heart issues, serious heart issues. So when I got the test done it showed that I was in really bad shape. So it took me maybe six months to feel what optimal health feels like. So just sitting back here today and looking back where I started today, I’m so grateful that i tested. This test came at the exact time I needed and I think if I didn’t address it in the time that I did it probably would have gone into a more clinical state where I would have to see doctors and specialists on many different bases.

It changed my whole life, it changed the way I eat, it changed the way I think. And just as long as we live on this planet, we will constantly learn new things but I’m just so happy that I had the support and this guide. It came as a saving grace, for me.”


Q: To our readers that have made it to the end of this blog: where do they begin?

“The simplest place to start is to get tested and see where your biomarkers are at. Come into the Garage and take the Biochemical Wellness Analysis. It only takes about 15 minutes of your time. From there, you’ll have a consultation to go over the results to determine what supplements you need to take for your specific body and imbalances you may have.”

As a closing anecdote, I will share the story Anela shared with me. She shared the story of our own nutritionist who, after nearly 8 years of infertility struggles, finally became pregnant after undergoing our BWA testing and supplementation program subsequently. Simone will give birth to a baby girl later this month. As Anela and I ended our conversation, she reminded me that thousands of dollars and expensive tests were not necessary with her infertility struggle.

I’ll leave you with these closing words about the power of bringing the body back into balance biochemically:

“Just talking to her, how amazed both of us are at the simplicity. It didn’t cost so much money, it didn’t take a complicated procedure that are putting the body under so much stress, emotionally, physically and mentally, but it was just so simple that it blew our minds as well. And now, seeing her almost ready to deliver, it’s a beautiful thing to witness so that we can share with other woman.”

Interested in learning more about this test and the process to rebalancing both body and mind? I encourage you to call or email us today! 

 

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5 Things We Love at Human Garage

Tuesday, October 18, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

5 Things We Love at Human Garage

 

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Proactivity vs. Reactivity: What Migraines Teach Us All About Chronic Pain

Thursday, September 29, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

Proactivity vs. Reactivity: What Migraines Teach Us All About Chronic Pain

Pictured above, it is October of 2015 and I walk into Human Garage for the first time, one day after my most recent episode of a migraine attack. At center, following my first session at Human Garage. And to the far right, a picture taken on Thursday, September 29th when I arrived to work at Human Garage. Smiling. Pain free. Healthy. My facial expressions are telling.  


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A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils

Tuesday, September 06, 2016
By: Whitney Easton

A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils

In the world of natural methods of healing, there are a multitude of remedies. One such remedy is essential oils. When I first was introduced to natural modalities to heal the body, I often found myself overwhelmed by the amount of information and the variety of products through which to sift. 


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