From The author, Nancy Swayzee
Hi! Thanks for your interest in my books and your own health. This website offers an alternative method of strengthening for the 'whole"body and the brain. The exercises are particularly appropriate for us older adults, because they are all adaptable to literally every level of ability and condition. They allow you to start out with just fun, silly body movement, and work your way up to a full, effective exercise routine.
They are all "portable" exercises, that you can do when you're traveling in your RV, visiting your kids, traveling around the U.S. or Europe...They're exercises for ANYWHERE!
First, I want to tell you what makes these abdominal and back exercises different. Strengthening the deepest layers of your abdominal muscles will be achieved with NO movement of the head or trunk. Then, your posture will be dramatically improved and your back muscles strengthened with only FOUR repetitions of each exercise. You will look taller, leaner and younger. Your joint and muscle flexibility and range of motion will be improved by "moving through" stretches rather than holding them. Your respiratory function improves through the practice of "belly breathing". And daily practice of the exercises will also result in stress management beneficial to your "whole" health.
All of these positive changes come about through the use of your breath to initiate, execute and enhance the effectiveness of each exercise.
These are whole body exercises! It is not enough to focus on strengthening a single muscle or set of muscles. The strengthening of our muscles and bones must be combined with the actions of other muscles to benefit the body as a whole. In everyday activity, the body functions synergisticly; everything working together to lesson the load on one particular system.
This program is safe, appropriate and adaptable for EVERYONE, even special populations, such as seniors, bedridden, arthritics, cardiac recovery, para or quadriplegic, overweight, pregnant women right up to the moment of delivery, MS, CP, or other CNS related conditions.
Although this book was written as a preventitive and rehabilitative program for people with a history of back injury, back surgery and chronic back pain, the benefits of "core" strengthening of the trunk are invaluable for everyone with a torso!
How does it work? The abdominal exercises use "forced expriation of breath" to pull the abdominal wall inward, and then sustain easy diaphragmatic breathing while maintaining the deep, inward pull. The range of motion exercises use continuous rythmic spiral/diagonal movements to lubricate the joint capsules and warm the supporting muscle groups. The back strengthening exercises involve use of the breath and small moves, held in a sustained postition for several seconds; sending new sensory information to the motor nerves and beginning the process of neuro-muscular re-education. The slow repetitions of the moving stretches and the application of low force stress-tension to the muscles allows the muscles to go through the changes necessary to allow permanent tissue lengthening.
Along with the book, audio cassette tapes of my voice taking you through the exercises are also available from me directly. Use the coupon at the back of the book. The tapes act as both a training guide for the entire program and as an aid in achieving the relaxed state suggested for your daily exercises. Special tips and cautions are clearly given.
Tapes available at P.O. Box 1927 Penn Valley, CA 95946 $10. plus $3 S&H.
Good work to you, and most of all, delight in this new experience!
The publisher, Nancy Swayzee
Nancy Swayzee is an exercise therapist with twenty years in private practice. She is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine as a Health & Fitness Instructor, and is certified as a Medical Exercise Specialist by the American Academy of Health & Fitness Professionals. She is also a neuro-muscular therapist, specializing in the St. John method of Neuro-Muscular Therapy. Considered an expert in functional anatomy, she has developed a reputation as an inspiring presenter and teacher of functional exercise for the last decade.
As the Exercise Specialist for Tahoe Forest Hospital, she developed and taught a variety of classes for special populations as well as the general public. Her Breathworks abdominal classes & workshops have been hugely popular in the Tahoe/Truckee region since 1991. Recognizing the need for a medically oriented and approved exercise program that physicians could comfortably prescribe for their patients, Ms. Swayzee and her partner, Janet Fletcher Brady received an educational grant from Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals to make the broadcast-quality video, Fitness Forever. Based on the remarkable improvements in overall physical condition, coordination, balance and mental acuity of the regular members of the hospital Fitness Forever class, Swayzee, then a 61 yr. old senior herself, wrote the script based on the format of the ten year old program. The video received the endorsement of the American College of Sports Medicine, and more recently, the prestigious Time, Inc. Health International Film & Media Award for Medical and Health related films, as well as an award from the National Council on Aging on Excellence in Health Promotion.
Ms. Swayzee and Ms. Brady are currently working with PBS to develop a daily fitness series for public television. They still offer workshops around the country to other health professionals. In addition she presents at many national health conferences. Her book, "BreathWorks For Your Back...Strengthening Your Back From The Inside Out", was released by Avon Books in April of 1998, and is in its second printing with Harper-Collins. She is currently working on a book about slowing down the aging process.
Working with her granddaughter, who sustained a closed head injury in 1993, Swayzee became interested in the connection between physical activity and brain function. She has since gone on to write several articles on Exercise & the Brain. Most recently, she began doing workshops for various school districts on Stress & The BrainWhat Inhibits Learning. Her unique work with recovering stroke and brain injury patients has now grown to include those with Parkinsons disease, Cerebral Palsy and Multiple Sclerosis.
At 70, Ms. Swayzee is still teaching Breathworks classes six times a week and has developed a dedicated following of older adults. Her classes appeal to both women and men.
American College of Sports Medicine
Penn Valley, CA 95946
Affiliations and Dertifications:
University of California at Davis CIT Stroke Recovery Program 2002
Educational Kinesiology Foundation Brain Gym Training Program 1999
Am. Academy of Health & Fitness Professionals, Medical Exercise Specialist 1995
St. John Neuromusuclar Anatomy & Physiology, San Francisco State University 1993
American College of Sports Medicine, San Diego State University 1991
Nat'l Handicapped Sports & Recreation Association, Certified Instructor1987
Activities 1990 to 2009 ~
~ Breathworks Presentations at Monthly Wellness Clinic recorded for showing on Channel 95 Lake Wildwood
~Teaches "brain-based" Breathworks classes at several facilities around Nevada County
~ Contributing author to Audacious Aging", published by Elite Books. Due to be released March 15th 2009
~ Beginning work on Moment by Moment An Ageless Process
~ Winner of prestigious Time Inc. Health International Film & Media Competition for Health & Medically Related Subjects in the category of Geriatrics
~ Winner of Molly Mettler Award for Leadership in Health Promotion, awarded by The National Council on Aging
~ Co-creator & Producer of nationally acclaimed Fitness Forever Senior Exercise Video
~ Completed "Breathworks For Your Back... Strengthening Your Back From The Inside Out" published by Avon Books April 1998
~ Presenter at major health conferences, including AARP National Conference,
National Council on Aging, The American Society For Cardio-Vascular & Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and The National Wellness Conference
~ Private practice of neuro-muscular therapy & rehabilitative exercise since 1985