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Photo by Le Minh Phuong on Unsplash
Photo by Le Minh Phuong on Unsplash

As many places in the United States and around the globe are beginning to navigate new realities and daily routines in light of COVID-19, there is undoubtedly a lot of stress, anxiety, and helplessness affecting not only individuals, but our entire global community.

I myself am writing to you on day 7 of a 14 day quarantine and the Los Angeles community is preparing to abide by a “stay at home” ordinance with no definite end date at the time of this blog.

As various studies have shown, mindfulness meditation is an indispensable tool to help soothe stress and anxiety, reduce chronic pain, as well as keep your brain well resourced and healthy. In fact, this study by S. Lazar in 2005 showed that those with a steady, long term meditation practices have more brain matter than those who did not.

In times of great stress, being able to find some grounding, centeredness, and self compassion can be key to making wiser decisions, and showing more compassion in social situations, as shown by this 2013 study by Weng et al. Having a grounded center on which to draw on can also lend solace and guidance to those around you, as Vietnamese Zen teacher Thich Naht Hanh once said: “When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”

Mindfulness Meditation: Where to begin?

I’ve compiled various links to that are appropriate for beginners and advanced practitioners of mindfulness meditation. I hope that you find them useful right now and in the future.

Using Deep Breath and Body Scans

This 5 Minute Mindfulness Meditation is led by Tara Brach, a renowned meditation teacher and psychologist who is based out of Washington, DC. You can read an interview with her talking about using mindfulness meditation during times of stress and pandemic here. Here are some great resources to help you check in.

Download a Meditation App

Insight Timer

Insight timer is a free app/website with an archive of guided meditations, longer talks teachings, sound healings, and other offerings.

- I like the quartz bowl healing by Aileen

Headspace

Headspace is a paid subscription app/service which provides guided meditation instruction. There is currently some free offerings on their website to deal with stress and overwhelm connected to COVID-19.

Get Connected with a Local Meditation Group

Insight LA

Insight LA is a meditation center based in Los Angeles, which is now offering classes and group guided meditations online via teleconference platforms.

Group Yoga Classes at Femina Physical Therapy / Fusion Wellness and Physical Therapy

I will be offering online yoga and meditation classes through the clinic, days and time to be determined in the upcoming days. Call the office at (818) 873-1403 to sign up!

From all of the therapists and staff at the clinic, be safe and know that you are supported! Please contact us with anything that we can support you with.

What Our Patients Have to Say

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Testimonial by J.H.

My last appointment with Heather was over 6 years ago but I still think of her every day. I don’t take for granted that I can easily get out of bed, care for my two active and busy young boys, run, play tennis, clean my house, or sit at a desk for several hours at a time. None of these tasks were easy for me before meeting Heather. Eight years ago my car was struck from behind by a tractor trailer that was estimated to have been speeding. I spent 3 years working with different PTs and Drs trying to heal and move on with my life. When I became pregnant and the hormone relaxin that “relaxes” all the joints of the body and the additional weight gain erased all my progress and I was suddenly in a lot of pain again. My OB sent me to Heather for one last try.

Read more: Testimonial by J.H.

Testimonial by Jamie M.

I have been going to see Heather for a while now, and I can't tell you enough how much she has improved my quality of life. Heather specializes in issues like pelvic floor, but I see her for other orthopedic issues.

I have a lot of chronic joint pain and dysfunction issues (back, hips, neck) that require that have ongoing physical therapy maintenance. The effects of my problem joints/areas overlap and interconnect with each other in complex ways, so helping me requires really having a complete understanding of the entire skeletal and muscular system. Pain does not always appear where the problem actually is, the human body is a twisty, many-layered puzzle. I have an exercise program I do at home and I am very functional, but there are just something things I need a PT to help me out with.

Read more: Testimonial by Jamie M.

Testimonial by A.M.

Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

-- A.M.

Testimonial by A.M.

Months after giving birth, it was difficult for me to go from a sitting or lying position up to a full standing position without feeling that I had to remain hunched over until a bit of time had passed to get fully upright. However, after taking Heather’s course, I learned exercises to get my body back to normal. She also showed me correct ways to lift and carry my son as well as put him in/take him out of the carseat and stroller. This class was really beneficial and Heather is a wonderful teacher who made me feel very comfortable.

-- A.M.

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

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