STEP® – Sports Traumas Emotions Performances

MIND & BODY SOLUTIONS FOR ATHLETES

STEP® stands for “Sports – Traumas – Emotions – Performances”. It is a specific programme designed by Christian Fimiak for athletes and coaches.

Please Note: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician. If you are injured, seek medical advice immediately. STEP® programme is not a substitution for the standard treatment you would give an injury (such as ice, heat, elevation, rest, surgery, etc.), nor is it a substitution for your rehab process. STEP® programme is in addition to everything else you are doing to treat any injury or surgery recovery.

STEP® programme is not designed to replace anything you are currently doing to enhance your performance.

STEP® programme is in addition to coaching, strength and conditioning, good nutrition, and medical care or any other modality that adds to your performance.

STEP® is a programme to help you think out of the box in matter of achievement (healing, personal growth, performances).

The two main cutting-edge techniques I use during my session(s) with athletes are:

EFT/Emotional Freedom Technique

Back in 1994, Gary Craig – a Stanford engineer, conceived a method based on acupuncture meridians. It is referred to as “EFT” (Emotional Freedom Technique) or “tapping”. There are no needles involved as you will use the tip of your fingers to tap on specific spots located on your face, torso and hands.

This method is very useful to treat all negatives emotions such as: sadness, fear, phobia, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, disgust, etc… EFT helps to ease pain, to loose weight, to overcome lack of confidence, self-sabotaging, low self-esteem, to support smoking-cessation… EFT is a wonderful and efficient tool to be emotionally free from negative beliefs and limiting thoughts.

Once learned, you will literally have this tool at your fingertips for the rest of your life! This technique aims directly the negative emotions you may nourish either consciously and/or unconsciously. Whatever happens in your life stimulates your brain. An event, real or imagined, always turns on the hypothalamus who acts as a Conductor giving order to others organs and glands in your body to release a flow of hormones. On the long run, those biochemicals released by negative emotion stimuli have a deleterious effect on your body leading to biochemical addictions.

EFT speaks directly to your body, bypassing the conscious mind, and completes the processing of chemicals out of the cell receptors, returning your body to a state of balance. And since we are speaking directly to your body and not your mind, you don’t have to believe it will work in order for it to work. You can remain completely sceptical and still get great results! I welcome scepticism, because the most sceptical you are the biggest advocate you become in the end!

Another advantage with EFT is that, after our first meeting in person, we can do the next sessions via Skype.

Somatic-psychoeducation

Somatic-psychoeducation is the extension of Fasciatherapy, a manual technique close to osteopathy but without manipulations. Both disciplines were founded by a former Physiotherapist and Osteopath: Danis Bois (PhD).

Somatic-psychoeducation is a unique approach combining manual therapy (touch), movement, and body-centered introspective and verbal techniques. It helps athletes to resolve physical and emotional pain, to develop their perceptual abilities and creative expression. And to reconnect with subtle sensations of their living, sensing body. By restoring the dialogue between body and mind, a sense of groundedness and wholeness is able to emerge, providing access to the fullest potential previously locked by trauma(s).

As it deals with musculo-skeletal problems, this discipline is becoming more popular with athletes. It is difficult to grasp what Somatic-psychoeducation is about just by looking at a practitioner working. Lying on the couch, with or without clothes, the athlete surrenders to the contact of the hands which seek the imperceptible mouvements of the body with very precise and very slow movements. This imperceptible movement is called: The Inner Movement.

The sensation is very strange and pleasant. In fact, does one actually feel something ? The body seems to ondulate under the expert hands to emerge fully refreshed. In this time, the practitioner has tuned into and followed the rhythm of  the fascias of the athlete. The fascias are the fine membranes which envelop muscles, bones, viscera, brain, spinal cord, ligaments, blood vessels, etc and links them together as a spider’s web. Very elastic, they support the organs and absorb shocks. Under stress, these conjunctive tissues contract, then relax back but in some cases, they do not relax back. Symptoms of functional disorders then appear such as pain, tiredness, malaise, and various ailments which, often, prepare the grounds for the illness itself.

The objective of somatic-psychoeducation : to treat these symptoms as soon as they manifest themselves, by relaxing the fascia so that they find their proper place and their rhythm again and let the energy flow. But also to help the athlete develops the perception he/she has of her/his own body, by making him/her aware gradually of the importance of feeling the sensations of the body. In terms of sport performances, the feeling of those sensations are very important.


Why do I say that performances do not start on the mental level? What is involved then? Why an athlete trains so hard and devotes his/her life to the first step of the podium and it does not work. Physical training, positive thinking, nutrition are not enough because the key of success also goes through the physiological and cellular level related to your emotions.

Every cell in our body has up to one million cell receptor sites. It is the job of these cell receptors to take in nutrients, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to nourish each cell and keep it in balance. And when these cell receptors are clogged with some biochemicals that you metabolize you will keep going with under-performing results and the cohort of negative emotions that goes with! It is a downward spiral.

What happens then on the physiological and cellular level?

Every cell in our body has up to one million cell receptor sites. It is the job of these cell receptors to take in nutrients, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to nourish each cell and keep it in balance.

An event happens. It can be thoughts we have, something that happens to us, something we witness happening to someone else, an injury, a trauma, etc.

The hypothalamus releases a cascade of chemicals that are called peptides. These peptides are short chain amino acids that we experience as an emotion or sensation.

These peptides dock onto cell receptor sites throughout the body. Now nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals can’t enter those receptor sites. If the chemical/emotion isn’t naturally processed out of receptor sites it remains there.

Eventually these receptor sites shrink up and die and the cell divides.

The body then makes more receptor sites for that same chemical/emotion and less for nutrients, proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

We then spend our time trying to deal with the event and these unprocessed chemicals/emotions on a psychological level (mental) rather than the physiological (physical) level that it happened on!

That’s also why it feels like your problem is getting worse. That’s not your imagination, that’s an accumulation of those chemicals in your cell receptors. It is a biochemical response your body is having. The things that happen to us happen on a physiological level.They literally bypass our conscious mind and happen biochemically and physiologically to us. But we end up spending our time trying to deal with them psychologically and mentally. EFT helps to clear those addictions and to restore balance in your body.

 

More information on STEP® “Sport-Traumas-Emotions-Performances”

SPORTS

All sports have more or less some negative impacts on our movement systems chiefly because of postural constraints and all stresses on a physiological and cellular level. Nowadays, it is acknowledged that amateur and professional training starts earlier than the well known physical training and goes beyond it (nutrition, medical care, mental preparation, etc). I do intervene in both case, before and after training.

The methods I am using (EFT and Somatic-psychoeducation) allow me to work efficiently, initially alone despite the fact that the athlete is with me. And then comes a phase of empowerment for the athlete in relation to his/her request and to me. This period relies on the acquisition by the athlete of the necessary skills taught by myself about EFT. The same goes for Somatic-psychoeducation through movement session and introspection session.

TRAUMAS

Two types of trauma

  1. Physical trauma: this trauma hits the body. The associated consequences are pain, fear. And the loss of motion range firstly impacted by the injury and then by the surgery.
  2. Psychological trauma: the other kind of trauma that would settle very shortly after the physical injury is suffered. There are also beliefs held about how long it takes to recover from any given injury and what that process entails

Both traumas have a common denominator: the biochemicals released by your hypothalamus. And for both types I am using two cutting-edge techniques: EFT and Somatic-psychoeducation.

Finally, whenever you are injured your body immediately forms a fear of re-injury and a memory of protection on the cellular level to keep that part of your body safe. You begin to hold yourself in a certain way and your body begins to adapt around the injury. Once that injury heals, nothing signals the body to release the fear of re-injury and the memory of protection. Your body then never returns to a state of balance but remains in that adaptive state. You will consciously or unconsciously hold back in the way you move your body. This increases your chances of further injuries.

Please note: This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a physician. If you are injured, seek medical advice immediately. The services I do provide are not a substitution for the standard treatment you would give an injury (such as ice, heat, elevation, rest, surgery, etc.), nor are they a substitution for your rehab process. They are in addition to everything else you are doing to treat any injury or surgery recovery.

EMOTIONS

Emotions can be experienced either as a result of the injury/surgery and/or when injury-free an athlete can have some negative beliefs and limiting thoughts. And sometimes quite a lot of them. Whatever is the reason of those emotions

In many cases, experiencing an injury and/or a surgery brings a cascade of thoughts and feelings about what this means to you. For example: anger, frustration, sadness, embarrassment, disappointment, hopelessness, loss of control, and fear of death are some of the common emotions that get stuck in the cell receptors. There are often negative emotions connected with the rehab process or not being able to perform for a period of time due to your injury/surgery. It’s critical to tap on all of the emotional chemicals to release them from the cell receptor sites.

All negative emotions experienced during the injury and the rehab process have a huge impact on our daily behaviours and performances. Like the limiting beliefs we do hold, they condition our life with very addictive behaviours due to the biochemical process taking place in our body, particularly in our cell receptor sites.

If we consciously and unconsciously manifest our emotions through feelings and behaviours, our body does express them through its biochemistry. The main conductor in this action is the hypothalamus gland which is very sensitive to stressors.

EFT and Somatic-psychoeducation allow athletes and coaches a safe access to their emotional traumas in order to release them from their mind and body.

PERFORMANCES

“No apparent weaknesses but could play better”, “Athletes who have a high potential but aren’t improving”… How frustating it is to be fully aware of his/her own potentials and not being able to express while training and competing. Once these issues are cleared, you can finally play at your true potential.

Two main factors can alter performances. They usually manifest themselves through a loss or a decrease in range of movement:

1. Injury/surgery;

2. Emotional conflicts experienced by the athlete in relation with his/her personal history, his/her family and friends, his/her sporting environment.

The loss in range of movement: injury and surgery usually impact your range of motion.

One function of the fascias is to absorb chocks, like a shock absorber does on a car. Either the connective tissue absorbs the shock and returns to its initial shape after being deformed by the shock wave, or this wave is so huge that the targeted fascia keeps the kinetic energy produced during the impact and stays tensed, retracted thereby limiting your movements. Or sometimes, there is a ripping or a rupture when this energy exceeds the absorption capacity of the fascia.

Whatever are the consequences, a Somatic-psychoeducation treatment will stimulate the natural capacity of the connective tissue to restore its original shape, its initial place within the body. And when the lesion is too big, such as a rupture, the same stimulation will facilitate, after  medical care, the healing of the tissue with a better dispatching of collagen and nutrients required for tissue reconstruction. Both EFT and Somatic-psychoeducation will help you during the recovery period.

Sometimes there is neither an injury nor an emotional upset of any kind, but there is a stiffness or tightness that is inhibiting the range of motion. It means that emotional chemicals can store in certain parts of your body and as a result inhibit range of motion. Most of the time those limitations are the products of the personal relationship that the athlete sustains consciously or not with his/her personal history, his/her sporting environment, his/her family and friends. To address those issues allows in most cases to restore range of motion.

If you’re angry with someone, fearful about something, feeling guilty about a situation, etc… those chemicals can inhibit the movement of your body. Think of it as a barometer to let you know that those chemicals are sitting in your cell receptors and need to be released. Your body will get your attention any way it can!

More information, please contact us.

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