Essentrics®, an exercise program founded by Miranda Esmonde-White, is an excellent way to improve our health in more ways than one! I began teaching Essentrics® in 2017 and I loved it so much that I moved through the levels of teacher training to become a Level 4 Instructor. I am amazed at the success that my students have had in relieving arthritic pain, improving posture and increasing flexibility, and according to Miranda we can also promote Essentrics® for its immune boosting power.
As Miranda explains, "Every cell in our body depends on the constant movement of fluids to be cleansed, lubricated and nourished. When we don't move, we become prone to chronic pain, injury and disease." (Miranda Esmond-White. Principles of the Essentrics Program. The Esmonde Technique. 2018. Pg 108).
While lecturing on Essentrics TV (October 18, 2021) , Miranda stated that "exercise is the number one way to get the lymph fluid flowing" which is what helps us to keep our immune system healthy. Our muscles play a key role in our immunity because they are responsible for creating movement which helps to pump the blood, oxygen and immune cells around the body. We are not designed to lead sedentary lives and yet very few of us need to chop wood to keep our houses warm or farm our food, and as a result we spend much of our time sitting while watching our devices. I would argue that most health problems are a direct result of lack of exercise and/or ineffective fitness programs.
You don't have to look very far for research to back up the claim that exercise helps us to stay healthy. I think we would all agree with this principal but it wasn't until Miranda highlighted how Essentrics® specifically assists the lymphatic system that light bulbs began to go off in my brain. You see the "function of our lymphatic system is to maintain fluid balance in the cardiovascular system and to distribute immune cells" (DK London. The Human Body Coloring Book. 2011. Pg 20) and it is through the trademark, large circular pumping movements that are performed in every Essentrics® class that we are able to nourish and support the 650+ muscles and 360 joints, tissues and ligaments of the body. Very few exercise programs are able to target every muscle, in every workout.
One of the most effective techniques that we use in Essentrics® that targets the lymphatic system is our intentional manipulation of the body's protective stretch reflex. Without getting too technical, when you reach down to touch your toes, your brain sends a quick message to the muscles to 'Be careful! You don't want to tear anything' and it actually hinders your ability to go too far so you don't get injured. This is one of the reasons that traditional stretching in the fitness world is so ineffective because the stretches are done very quickly, at the end of a workout, without enough time to relax this protective response.
In Essentrics® we bypass this reflex by lightly contracting the muscles, releasing the tension slowly, relaxing and then we are able to extend to the end of our stretch safely, allowing the body to reach its flexibility potential. And this takes place throughout the entire class, not just at the end. As teachers we lead participants through these movements in an interesting way, to lively music which makes the process fun.
As Kapit and Elson explain in the Anatomy Coloring Book, "Lymph flow is facilitated by nearby muscles contractions" (Pearson Education. 2014. Pg 20). The release of these contractions promotes the flow of fluids throughout the body. In Essentrics® we are assisting the heart by pumping fluids around the body. You can liken this to greasing the components of an engine. If your car runs out of oil, you will know it because the engine will seize. When we stop moving every muscle the way it is designed to move, the cells die off because they are not being used and nourished anymore. This is why when we go to a physiotherapist for a problem with our back, they often direct us to the tiny piriformis muscle as the culprit. There are no optional muscles/cells and Essentrics® helps us to nourish all of the muscles, not just the front facing popular ones!
I continue to be amazed by the power of Essentrics®. I am thrilled to be able to offer four classes a week to my Virtual Fitness students. Should you like to try a free class just click on the Coffee Cup from the Home page or click here https://calendly.com/betholdfield-fitness-talks/free-virtual-coffee-15-minutes?month=2021-10 .
See you soon,