Here’s what happens in the process that I call Becomingness. There are three things that we put out there that we misunderstand and think that they are being given to us rather than we are projecting them out: Joy, Belonging, and Companionship.

Biocognitive science is based on research that demonstrates how thoughts and their biological expression co-emerge within a cultural history. Individuals are seen as an inseparable bioinformational field of mind, body, and cultural history in constant search for contextual meaning.

Low back pain treatments often address the structural issues caused by posture and movement dysfunctions, including sitting for long periods of time. Low back pain is one of the most common health issues, and integrative treatment is especially effective. 

Low back pain is especially common among people who spend a lot of time sitting down. Sitting tightens the hamstrings, which then pull the pelvis out of alignment, causing it to tilt. This tilt then puts extra stress on the structures of the low back and hips. Muscle tightens and fascia gets thicker and shorter, adapting in ways that seem to hold the shape of sitting down even when standing, walking, and running. 

Bodywork treats low back pain by releasing tension and lengthening fascia. Working with the hamstrings, hips, psoas, and other related structures, it addresses the imbalances that cause pain. It also helps nourish tissues, bringing blood and nutrient flow to oxygen starved nerves and muscles. 

Acupuncture treats low back pain by resetting the nervous system and correcting imbalances. This is especially helpful when the pain has become chronic, because the nervous system gets more and more sensitive to persistent problems, sending louder and louder pain signals to the brain. Acupuncture is effective for helping to turn these alarms back down, resetting the pain signalling to a lower level or helping turn it off entirely. 

Counseling also treats chronic low back pain. When pain has become chronic, it changes the way the brain works. Working through the resulting emotional dysregulation and learning mindfulness and awareness techniques helps clear the effects of long term pain on the brain and nervous system. It also works with other integrative treatments to boost effectiveness. 

Somatics treats low back pain, helping to address dysfunction and maintain positive results from other treatments. Somatics builds awareness of the body and how it moves, so that posture and alignment issues are able to be addressed. Classes and a regular practice are able to stretch and lengthen tight tissues, calm the nervous system and its pain signalling, and teach the body how to move in ways that are more sustainable for long term health. 

Low back pain treatments work with soft tissues and the nervous system to correct imbalances and address dysfunction. Bodywork, acupuncture, counseling, and somatics are all effective, and can be part of a comprehensive treatment plan to address the specific causes of your low back pain.

We have good news: 

New Website! We have upgraded to a shiny new website and are very excited to share. Learn more about Dr. Birdee, see our upcoming Ha.Lé Adventures, and sign up for our next Men’s Series with Jane House. Please let us know what you think. 

No More Sales Tax on Classes! The TN State Legislature saw the error of adding sales tax to fitness and wellness classes and fixed it within one year, which is really fast for government. Sales tax no longer applies to classes and workshops at Ha.Lé. We applaud the democracy in action that brought this legislation into law and increased everyone’s access to health and wellness. 

Janice is teaching a LOT more classes this summer! 

Janice’s Movement classes incorporate balls and rollers to release tension, restore function, and reduce pain. Students are finding them to be a remarkable experience they are eager to add to their practice, and so Janice is stepping in to teach even more classes as other teachers travel this summer. 

Janice will be teaching: 

Saturdays 8:30: July 13, July 20, July 27, Aug 3

Wednesdays 9:30: July 17, July 24, July 31

Thursdays 9:30: July 18, July 25, Aug 1, Aug 8, Aug 15

Mondays 9:30:  July 22, July 29

When in doubt, you can always check the schedule page of our website!

Ha.Lé is pronounced ha-lay, like hallelujah. 

Ha.Lé is a name from our founder’s Vietnamese heritage, meaning Breath of Life. 

The breath of life moves through us moment to moment. When we purposefully change our breathing and allow it to soften and deepen, we can stimulate our vagus nerve. Stimulating the vagus nerve helps to turn off our stress responses and cue the body to relax, nourish, and heal. Our breath can literally be a key to create health and healing. 

Ha.Lé means Home in Hawaiian. 

Home is a place of comfort and safety. It is a place where we feel free to relax and let go of the stress that can make us hard. Home is a place where we nourish ourselves, rest deeply, and heal from injury and illness. 

At Ha.Lé, we invite you to come home. Come home to your body. Come home to your breath. Drop in to the ways that your own body and mind are speaking to you, telling you about this experience you are having. 

And the same four letters in English say hale, which means healthy. 

Hale means healthy in a way that is hearty and full of vitality. It is a way to thrive in the world, with our full mental and physical resources. 

These meanings layer on top of each other. They also connect to form a pathway: working with the breath can help us come home to our bodies and minds, which in turn helps us create health. 

Our bodies and minds are biological systems that are complex and full of potential for dis-ease, healing, and health. At Ha.Lé, we invite you to come home for nourishment and support. 

Spending most of your day sitting down changes your body. It can cause imbalances in the musculoskeletal system, which can cause tightness and pain. It can also affect systems of the body like your circulatory system and your metabolism. These changes can be treated and corrected through integrative care.

Sitting down tightens the hip flexor and hamstring muscles. Over time, the body begins to hold this shape, shortening and loosening relevant muscles so that you are adapted to sitting down. Unfortunately, this means that when you then go to stand, walk, run, and move around, your body is no longer able to do that as easily.

As your body adapts to sitting down, you may develop low back pain. This is often caused by the way the hamstrings, hip flexors, and other muscles affect the alignment of your pelvis. You may also develop knee pain, as the muscles that affect the knee begin to work differently and in ways that are less suited to staying mobile.

Sitting down for long periods of time also affects the systems of the body. The cardiovascular system slows down, delivering less oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Because your large muscle groups are more relaxed, they use less glucose, which means more sugar is left in the bloodstream. Sitting also slows your metabolism, reducing levels of the fat-burning enzyme lipase by 90%.

Integrative health care can help loosen muscles that have grown tight from sitting, and to address muscular imbalances caused by adaptations to sitting down. We can assist circulation, bringing fresh blood and nutrient flow into tissues that have grown stiff or painful. We can also support healthy metabolism, and help the body learn to be more comfortable being active.

Sitting down all day is not what our bodies are designed to do, and so it can contribute to a lot of health imbalances. Integrative health care uses acupuncture, bodywork, counseling, nutrition, and somatics to help correct these imbalances, reactivate the systems of the body, and create health.

Our bodies talk to us all day long, and so we are each an expert on what it means to live in the body we have. When there are health issues or goals that need support, your care providers need to prioritize listening to your experience of your own body, and then partner with you in your care.

Because our bodies and minds are really one system, not two separate parts, is especially important for our health care providers to help us feel heard about our experience. They need to be able to interact with our whole selves, and demonstrate emotional literacy as we describe our pain, concerns, or optimal health goals. This builds trust and rapport, and makes treatment more effective.

At Ha.Lé, we always begin with a conversation. Our Medical Consults are an opportunity to spend an hour talking with an expert physician about your health, so that we know how best to support and treat you. Our therapies also begin with a conversation about how you are feeling and how we can support you, and then each treatment is a continuation of that conversation, as your therapists collaborate together for your best care.

Our health care is more effective when we feel heard. When our experience of living in our bodies is fully acknowledged by our providers, then we are able to more fully trust the care we receive, and to be more open to receiving it.

Collaborative Care is a philosophy of integrative health care based on communication and working together. It is a more effective way to treat issues and reach specific health goals, because it provides a team of therapists who are actively communicating and working together for your care.

The collaborative care approach takes integrative health care to the next level. By themselves, each of our 5 domains of care–acupuncture, bodywork, counseling, nutrition, and somatics–are evidence-based and effective. When combined through collaboration, they become even more effective! For example, when your acupuncturist is working with your bodyworker and your counselor, and they have all checked in with your somatics instructor, they are able to pool their expertise in order to really focus on what will best support your health.

Each of our 5 domains of care are designed to complement each other, building together to create health. This is why we create treatment plans, to outline which therapies and how often you should receive them in order to move toward your health goals. The therapist you see for a first appointment can create that plan with you, or you can create it through a medical consult.

Our medical consults are offered by an M.D. with deep expertise in the latest research into the effectiveness of integrative care. They are a great option when your health situation is a bit complicated, if you have a lot of medications to take into consideration, or you feel that you’ve had trouble finding a doctor who will listen to you. After your medical consult, the M.D. will lead the collaborative care process with your therapists, as well as communicate with your other doctors about your care.

Collaborative Care is a game changer for creating health. It allows every treatment to build on the one before, across treatment modalities and among different therapists. Through collaboration, your treatment team is able to more effectively address your health issues and support your health goals.