U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

11/13/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2023 15:41

Live Whole Health #195: Do the twist!

Simple movements of the body are refreshing and can remind it of all the ways it's meant to move. If we have been sitting too long, or through a period of inactivity, you can use simple movements to reenergize your body and help it return to flexibility and ease.

This video walks us through a movement series that leads to a simple spinal twist. By moving at the waist in this way, we encourage normal movements of all the spinal segments by engaging the muscles that surround the spine and stretching and lengthening the tissues of the torso.

When we rotate at the waist, we can mobilize the spine and even help our digestion. Just like wringing out a wet towel, the spinal twist wrings out the tissues of the trunk, flushing out inflammation through movement and muscle contraction. See if you feel lighter, maybe even taller, after this simple exercise.

Mary Horne, a yoga teacher from the Central Arkansas VA, guides a moving meditation practice that is gentle enough for everyone. This series of guided movements is shown standing but could also be done sitting in an armless chair if that feels more comfortable.

Check out this video to learn about Whole Health and explore what matters most to you.

If you are feeling all "twisted up" inside, VA offers many resources that can help you: https://www.mentalhealth.va.gov/self_help.asp.

These self-help materials provide education about mental health conditions as well as tips and coping strategies for success in regaining wellness. Although not a substitute for direct mental health care, these materials can support and enhance care. This brief guide lists a variety of books, web-resources, and mobile applications that have been reviewed and used by VA experts.