This #WellnessWednesday blog from our medical director Dr. Josephine Adamson highlights the Cayce advice from this reading:

…stretch like a cat or a tiger” -- Edgar Cayce reading 1468-5

All mammals stretch! Most of us have seen a dog, cat, or baby stretch spontaneously, and we have watched professional athletes stretch as part of their training. Many of the Edgar Cayce health readings recommend twice daily body stretches along with head and neck exercises.

Studies show that stretching can improve posture and flexibility and increase the range of motion of your joints. Stretching increases the blood supply to the stretched muscles and helps circulate fresh blood through the area. Actively lengthening muscles can ease any muscle tension remaining after periods of inactivity. Stretching may also improve your performance in physical activities and decrease your risk of injuries. There are conflicting studies about when is the optimum time for an athlete to stretch, but for most of us, we just need to remember to stretch every day!

Stretching is a healthy activity, but animals and babies stretch because it feels good! Stretches bring physical muscle relaxation and can also bring mental relaxation, especially if you take time to focus on your body, feeling each muscle lengthen.

Here is A.R.E. Health Center and Spa employee Jean Rowe demonstrating a few body stretches you might want to try. Move slowly and stop immediately if the stretch hurts. If you have problems with your joints, please check with your health care provider before adding stretches.

Lunge forward on your left knee. Be careful to keep your knee squarely above your ankle. Place your hands on your bent knee for balance. Hold for 5 breaths then return to standing. Repeat with the right knee.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Gently rise up on the toes, if possible, as you raise your arms and clasp your fingers together. Gently bend your upper body to the right. Hold for 5 breaths. Slowly come back to standing. Repeat with a left bend.

Interlace your fingers behind your back if possible or grasp a small towel. As you exhale, gently bend over and allow the hands to move towards the head. Hold for 5 breaths then return to standing.

Sit on the floor. Bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of your left knee. Gently turn your head to look over your left shoulder (as shown) hold for 5 breaths then release. Repeat with the left knee bent over the extended right leg.

Sit on the floor, bottoms of the feet together. Sit up straight then hinge forward from the hips to place the hands on the floor, if possible. Hold for 5 breaths. Return to sitting uprigh