Saturday, June 30, 2012

Thought For The Weekend

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself." - Jim Rohn

 I'm taking an amazing course. I've learned so much in the last 8 months. The number one life changing thing that I learned so far is the fact that the most powerful change there is comes from within.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Killing Yourself to Get Fit?

If some is good more is better - NOT! Most of us - me included these days - struggle to find enough time in our day to sustain regular exercise. The flip side of that is overexercise - a state of mind I've visited earlier in my life.

THIS article outlines the problem beautifully.

I'll also tell you that it's not only extreme exercise that can burn you out and make you sick. Just being overbooked, in emotional overdrive, running around every minute of every day can have the same end result. I know. I've experienced it and am taking steps to make sure it never happens again.

Interestingly enough this kind of overkill doesn't always result in a thinner more sleek physique. Quite the opposite.

We mere mortals don't have all the lotions and potions and nannies and house staff available to the rich and famous so we have to try to do it all in addition to the extreme exercise or busy life. In the end something has to give and it's usually our health. Trust me, I'm talking from experience.

Wishing you a day of happy, joyful moderation!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sun Burn!

While spending the weekend in the sunshine, I used sunscreen, Factor 50 to be exact. Unfortunately I managed to miss two thin lines at the top of  the back of my shirt. Ouch! I grabbed my Swiss Juste products and within seconds the burn had cooled. I reapplied every few hours when I started to feel the heat building and just hours later was good to go.
I didn't even have the recommended products for sunburn. That's one of the things I like about Swiss Juste products. There are so many that will do double and even triple duty.

The first product I applied was Body Balm. It felt cool and the arnica helps relieve inflammation.



After allowing the body balm to dry I gently smoothed on some Chamomile Hand Cream. It's comforting and forms a slight barrier, which seemed to help keep the area pain free.








Despite having had an excellent outcome using those two products I'm going to order some Sage Gel (for cooling) and Marigold Cream for healing. They are actually the best products to use for sunburn and it never hurts to have them on hand. Not that I'm looking for another sunburn!

Editing this to add that my sunburn is all healed now and to my surprise it didn't peel!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just When You Thought You Understood Healthy Eating

This is pretty much a 360 degree turn about from what most Cardiac Rehab programs teach.....and yet there are some cardiologists who are now embracing this approach.




There are also other videos you can see by clicking on the link above. The health benefits people see with this LCHF approach are pretty amazing. I guess the question would be how long the average person can maintain this type of diet. I also wonder how many people would adopt the diet and go on to fall off the low carb part while maintaining the high fat part. THAT is a recipe for health disaster!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Science Behind Organs in place

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The T-Tapp movement, Organs in Place is one of the most misunderstood and often maligned exercises I've ever encountered. Because of that I'd like to shed a little light onto this movement.
It's not really about organs totally falling out of their places. It's more about postural changes along with the effects of years of gravity, intra-abdominal pressure and in some cases pregnancy.
First posture: As we age we have a tendency to assume a toe out stance (duck feet) and this will tend to pronate or roll the knees inward. This inward roll of the knees pulls the hips and tips the pelvis which is why we tend to have more back pain as we age. But more importantly to the matter at hand (Organs in place) it also encourages the contents of the abdomen to press forward due to the tip in the pelvis and the effect of gravity. This can be even more pronounced in women who have given birth one or more times.
Now muscle: The transverse abs is a sheath of muscle that literally holds your internal abdominal organs in place. That’s its job. It’s also a muscle that can’t be easily contracted through movement alone. Things that increase intra-abdominal pressure like sneezing or coughing or certain positions will cause it to contract. It’s a muscle that hasn’t gotten much press until the last few years.
This muscle which is responsible for keeping your innards in place is the muscle that “organs in place” targets. (The T-Tapp move half frogs also targets it.)
But please understand that we’re not talking about organs that have gotten mixed up and are sitting in a big old pile all in a jumble. We’re talking about a transverse muscle that’s gotten flabby from childbirth and increases in intra-abdominal pressure and yes, increased fat stores all of which has allowed the abdominal organs to lean forward and to some degree drop because they are not being supported by the transverse abs. You can lose the fat, which will make the abdominal area smaller, but if you don’t tighten up the muscle it’s still going to bulge. Further more, if you do traditional ab work without tightening the transverse you can potentially make the bulge worse because traditional ab work increases intra-abdominal pressure which causes the belly to bulge out as you do your sit ups.
Organs in place works to at first temporarily move the organs slightly up and in so that your tummy lies flatter which will allow you to get more out of the exercises to follow. (Yes even standard crunches) The good news is that just as getting those organs back up and in allows the standard crunches to be more effective, the more effective crunches over time allow your transverse abs to get tighter (I really suggest half frogs to help this process along). This, over less time than you would think leads to a tighter flatter midsection.
It’s not magic it’s just simple but anatomically solid rehabilitative fitness and that is what T-Tapp is all about. Helping the body help itself.
Next let's look at the exercise Half Frogs.
I like to think that half frogs take OIP to the next level. Think about how your abs feel when you press up and lift your hips off the floor to begin OIP. This positioning uses gravity to assist in moving everything back up toward the rib cage where it belongs.
Now fast forward to half frogs but lets look at the last part of the movement first. When you lift your bottom off the floor and aim your knees toward your shoulders you’re using the same kind of gravity assistance as you do with OIP. Except that with HF you’re more actively contracting muscles in order to lift your bottom versus OIP where you could partially use your feet to assist in the tuck.
So with OIP you reverse the changes using gravity to take the place of weak and ineffective muscles. Then with HF you contract those weak in and ineffective while still using gravity to assist in keeping the abdominal organs lifted up and in so that you’re building flat tight musculature versus the round hard tummy traditional sit-ups can build.
This reverse lifting move also has the added benefit of decreasing intra-abdominal pressure, which further “sucks: your abs inward and at the same time prevents pressure and tension in the lower back which is very common with traditional sit-ups.
Finally let’s go back to the beginning of HF. The closing and opening of the legs (with that important tuck) helps to stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak and flabby muscles that led to this problem in the first place. If you place your hands down below your hip bones while doing this open and close movement you’ll be able to feel the muscles contract.
So where most traditional sit-ups target just the abs or even attempt to isolate a particular part of the abs group of muscles, OIP and HF done together targets the abs, groin, and hip muscles as a complex.
This is important because in real life muscles don’t work in isolation. They work together and fire in specific order like the parts of a well-oiled machine. So, it only makes sense that if you strengthen them like a machine you’ll not only gain aesthetic results but will gain real life functional strength you can take into your everyday life.
One last thing, next time you do OIP. HF try to do a kegel at the top of the lift during HF. You’ll probably realize that you’re already doing one. Very cool, Eh? Built in kegels!
 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Using Ballet Arm Workouts , T-Tapp and getting "Results"

Despite my previous post about the dark side of professional ballet I love it! Yes, I love ballet and I love ballet workouts. To deny it would be less than honest. The great thing is that Ballet workouts - like pretty much all other workouts - are compatable with T-Tapp.

I can hear your brain cranking - "Will I get better results if I add Ballet to T-Tapp?" My answer to that is, "It depends." It depends on what you are looking for and how you define "Better Results."
What I can assure you of is that you will get "different" results than you would get with T-Tapp or Ballet alone. I can't predict what those results will be but there is no harm in experimentation.

I hope that Ballet Beautiful won't mind me using this pic.
Her DVD does have a 15 minute segment perfect for use as an add-on.
Please note that true experimentation is different than workout jumping. I see too many women who jump from workout to workout in an effort to find those elusive "perfect results." Some even have a stack of unused workouts that were cast aside when the next sure thing came along before they were able to try to last sure thing.

So how to mix them? There are a variety of ways. The easiest may be to alternate them.
T-tapp arms, cardio, Ballet arms - repeat and take a rest day. Voila! Schedule.

Another approach would be to use T-Tapp Tempo arms or UB two to three days of the week and tack on a short ballet arms segment. Or do a ballet workout that includes arms after doing PBS and then tack on a set or two of T-Tapp arms. Please notice that in neither case did I say to do both workouts back to back in their entirety. It's not about doing more, it's about mixing two different arm shaping methods and finding out what works best for you.

Finally, if you are going to mix T-Tapp with ballet arms give it time. If you don't like the result it's easy enough to change it - honest. It's going to take 6-8 weeks minimum to see where your body will go with this so be brave, buck up and commit to 6-8 or even 12 weeks if you're brave enough. Yeah, I know that 12 weeks is 3 months!

If you read this and are planning to try it or have already tried it I'd love to hear what your plan is or was.

Ballet DVDs with easy to tack on arms segments: I mentioned Ballet Beautiful above. I'll reply to this thread to add some as I discover or hear about them and readers please feel free to do the same.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Carving out Sculpted Arms

From time to time I receive emails from would be T-Tappers who currently lift weights and are afraid of losing their hard earned muscle mass. The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too when it comes to T-Tapp arms. You will just need to be smart about it.

First you need to know what kind of muscle gainer you are. I can think about lifting a weight and gain muscle (easy gainer) while at the other extreme there are women who fight for every inch of pump they put on their body (hard gainer).

Obviously if you're an easy gainer and want to keep some mass you have less to worry about than if you are a hard gainer. In truth, for the hardest of gainers the perfect mix may just be combining T-Tapp arm movements with a weight training plan.

That can get a bit tricky and I like things that are simple so for my money the good old fashioned push-up is the way to go.

No equipment needed, variations for all levels of strength, works multiple muscle groups and since it's weight bearing it's bone friendly. (T-Tapp is also bone friendly but that's an entirely different post.)

The only downside is that you can get hurt doing pushups. Pushups shoulder intensive and since shoulders are our most mobile joint something had to give. The shoulders have traded stability to gain that mobility.

You can find an excellent article with form tips HERE.

I am a strong believer that you shouldn't bring your chest all the way to mat during pushups. This may be fine if you have a large chest but in my case doing this means that I am putting quite a stretch on my anterior shoulder area. I honestly can't think of a single thing to be gained from doing this but do know that it could set even the strongest person up for injury.

I am also not a big fan of 100 pushup challenges. Forcing yourself to max out on pushups is a recipe for injury. 2 pushups done in perfect form are going to carry less chance of injury and bring you more benefit than 100 reps where you do the first 2 perfectly and then slowly but surely experience form erosion with each additional rep. Potential for injury goes up exponentially and if that isn't enough to stop you there is the fact that you very well may not get the look you're after.

When mixing T-Tapp arms with pushups I recommend you do at least PBS as a warm-up, follow that with your pushups and finally finish up with T-Tapp arms and arm circles. In, Out, Down, Dirty, Sculpted Arms - mass preserved.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thought For The Weekend

The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself. - Thales

Simple statement, couldn't be more true. I think that this is second only to my favorite question. "What do you want your life to look like?" I'm still working on that one. How about you?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Behind the Curtain: The problem with Ballet

I had a totally different post planned for today but happened upon THIS ARTICLE and felt compelled to post it.

I can't claim to ever having been a professional ballerina. I danced with a regional company. I was a partial owner of a very reputable professional dance studio. (Thanks to a great curriculum we had graduates who are now professionals.)

Yet even at this less than professional level I felt some of the injustices that this article talks about and saw it when our students moved up the ladder in an attempt to forge a ballet career. If I had $5 for every time a dancer auditioned and was declined and simply told to lose 10 pounds I could buy something really nice! Maybe a new smaller wardrobe - just kidding. :)

The article really describes the behind the scenes professional ballet world quite accurately and that's sad. Most young children love to dance and we don't want to take that away from them but surely there is a better way.

Editing this to say that I know that my last two posts were on the negative side. I'm not personally feeling negative - those subjects just happened to cross my radar. Tomorrow I have a more positive post on using T-Tapp and bodyweight exercise to carve out sculpted arms.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Energy Drinks - Just Plain Ugly

It's no secret. I'm no fan of energy drinks.

Share this video with any young person you know who drinks them. (You'll have a watch a short Home Depot commercial before the main video begins.)

Even more dangerous is the idea of mixing alcohol with energy drinks.


Empty Calories are bad enough but dangerous empty calories? That just plain insane.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

T-Tapp Hoedowns

This video shows the T-Tapp move hoedowns. You can use this quick move as a quick re-energizer.

Monday, June 18, 2012

T-Tapp Basic + Workout

This is an updated version of the original Basic Workout Plus. I've had it for a while but I can't remember trying it - I tend to fall back on my old original T-Tapp VHS tapes - yes I'm one of the few people in the world who still owns a VHS player.

Despite the fact that I know T-Tapp - and this workout - very well it was a pleasant surprise. It is Teresa in her livingroom. Yes, it really is her livingroom! Primary Back Stretch is really slowed down and I was streaming sweat by the time I was halfway through. My first thought was, "At this speed this workout is going to take a half an hour to get through." But it didn't. :)

The workout is listed as lasting 18 minutes and according to my DVD player it lasted 17 minutes and 45 seconds. Workouts that tell you they are one length and then end up being shorter or longer are one of my pet peeves. My schedule is busy enough that it's a trial just to find time for my workouts. If I schedule 20 minutes that workout needs to come in at or just under that time limit!

The other thing I love about this DVD is that the movements are also chaptered individually. This will make it easy if I want to just do PBS (Primary Back Stretch) followed by TTT (T-Tapp Twist) and a set of Hoe downs on some mornings.

Please note: If you use this DVD and decide to use some but not all of the sequence it is important to keep the sequencing and not do the movements out of order. One movement builds upon the one before it so sequencing is important!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

PASSED!

Yesterday I received my certificate officially recognizing me as an Advanced Myoskeletal Therapist.
Board Certification is my next stop and hopefully then Egoscue Certification. I've got a few goals for after that but I need to take it one step at a time. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thought for the Weekend

This area is so very beautiful and I feel so lucky to be able to live here when so many only experience it when on vacation. Yet in the hustle and bustle of the day it's easy to miss that beauty or begin to take it for granted. I never want to take the miracle of Mother Nature for granted.

I love both of these quotes.

 Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. -Lao Tzu

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. -Kahlil Gibran

The flowers (AKA to some as pretty weeds) are in our field.

Be sure to look around you and wiggle your bare toes today!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Skin Brushing - Exercise for Your Skin and More

Skin Brusing, like other alternative self care subjects, has been the subject of some very lofty claims. I can't speak to that. I can only speak to what it has done for me and for people I know who use it.

If you've never tried skin brushing I totally recommend you give it a try. Over time Skin Brushing will leave your skin feeling soft as velvet. It seems to help improve my skin tone as well as long as I'm consistent. Once you hit the right pressure and cadence for the skin you're currently in SB feels wonderful!

I've know people who use regular skin brushing to keep their chronically swollen ankles depuffed. In one case an ankle that had been puffy for over 16 years after a vein grafting depuffed with regular brushing. The key is to remember that puffy skin is also fragile and you should never brush with more pressure than the weight of a nickel and using your hands vs a brush is also a good idea in these kinds of areas.

Most people start with a shower brush made of natural bristles but I've had people successfully begin with a dry washcloth.

The T-Tapp site has a kit that gives you instructions and everything you need to get started.





Traditionally skin brushing instructions tell you to simply brush toward the heart. I don't support or receive support from this site but they have a pretty thorough description of skin brushing plus a description of an alternative hot towel method. I want to try the hot towel method with a few drops of 31 or Anti-Stress oil. I know that it will feel like a little bit of heaven.



This video shows a different take on skin brushing and gives some information about it. I find it very interesting.



Most people don't even give their lymph and lymphatic system a thought. Why not give yours some positive strokes today?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How is your Range of Motion?


Please be absolutely certain to keep your lower/mid back flat on the floor during the entire time you are trying to do these movements. Never force. This is not about forced range of motion. It 's best to either memorize the steps or have someone read them to you as you put your body into each position.

Lie on the floor with your knees comfortably bent, feet pointing straight ahead and lined up below the corresponding hipbone. Press your lower back into the floor and maintain it there for safety throughout.

WARNING: If your back comes off the floor at any point during this exercise do not continue!

Bring your arms straight up perpendicular to the floor and shoulder width apart. (Shoulders stay back and on the floor.) Bend your elbows so that they are now parallel to the floor with loose fists acting as an extension of your forearms. Palms should face inward toward each other. Keeping that right angle open your elbows to the sides until they hopefully touch the floor. (Your arms should look like this
l_ 0 _l

If they touched that’s good if not you already found some muscle imbalance.

Next place the flat surface formed by your pointer finger curling

Keep that back flat and slowly inch those hands over head but make sure that you keep the flat surface I described touching the floor. Can you keep the flat of hand, shoulders and lower/mid back on floor, elbows totally straight and parallel to the floor with elbows behind ears and neck relaxed with chin neither up or down? If not you have found a decreased range of motion.

Ok now relax and place arms straight down at your sides and take a few breaths. Put your head in neutral position chin neither raised or tucked, let gravity turn your head to one side as far as it will go but DO NOT force it. If your nose isn’t pointing over your shoulder parallel to the floor you have decreased range of motion. Now check the other direction.

There are other self tests one can do to assess for muscle imbalance with both upper and lower body but that’s another subject for another day.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Yes Ladies We Are Different! Would You Ignore These Symptoms?

A Female Heart Attack survivor just reminded me of this video. While presented in an amusing manner the message is an important one - for women or for any man with a woman in his life.


We woman will often have very different symptoms when we are having heart pain or even a full blown heart attack. That can be true for men as well.

When in doubt, check it out. You can't be too careful with your heart.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Massage Appointments

We are now only accepting new clients by referral. If you've
previously had a massage with us, are being referred or have a gift certificate please feel free to contact us.



Monday, June 11, 2012

T-Tapp and PCOS

This question recently popped into my inbox:
I came across your posts regarding T Tapp on Videofitness forum and was truely inspired by your knowledge. This is my first time I'm writing to any T Tapp Trainer.

I am from India and started T Tapp on 5th May. I did 10 days bootcamp with Inst1&2 and saw an initial loss of 1" from abdomen and 1/2" from hip and thigh. Since then I am doing T Tapp.

Little background- I have PCOS and weight keeps piling on no matter what I do. I have tried earlier too to lose weight but in between got side tracked and realised when I am some 50-55 lbs over weight (weigh 200lbs right now). I started with P90X and did that for a month, lost some 16 lbs but after that stalled. Also with the weight loss was'n't seeing any change in my body. I came across T Tapp while going through success stories and decided to give it a try.

I was very happy with the initial inch loss but after boot camp haven't seen any further loss which I desperately need for my health sake. I didn't lose any weight with T Tapp. I am trying to eat healthy and control my carbs.

Today I read your posts about shorter T Tapp workouts like Tempo arms and torso and rotating them with other exercises like yoga or cardio, dividing them in UB,LB and core segments.

I would highly appreciate your advice on the following?

  • Can I do shorter workouts like tempo arms or HTF or tempo lower body (standing) on a daily basis with yoga or workouts like slim in 6?
    I have been advised on T tapp forum not to do T Tapp more than 20 minutes if I am doing it everyday. I somehow dread doing long Total workout every other day after the boot camp. For me it is much easier to maintain my concentration for 25-30 minutes and I can do it everyday.

  • What else can be effective with T Tapp if I want see weight loss as well? Shall I go for Yoga or strength training pr workouts like Slim in 6?
I am from India so it would be difficult for me ever to meet a T Tapp trainer in person. I am really looking forward to your suggestions.

 
You can most definitely use shorter T-Tapp workouts and I find that T-Tapp mixes quite nicely with any other type of activity. I would not suggest that you do more than the Basic Workout Plus on a daily basis unless of course you are doing a Bootcamp. You also want to avoid repeating bootcamps too often. In my opinion it’s overkill to do so. Finally, I would suggest that you be careful of filling up your schedule with T-Tapp and a ton of other activities. It may feel as though you’ll be hedging your bets or covering all bases to do this but again it’s overkill and very well may bring you less results rather than more. If some is good more is not necessarily better.


The diagnosis of PCOS means that you have at least some insulin resistance. The stress of overtraining is going to make this worse rather than better. The stress response can also cause your body to secrete even more insulin and since insulin is a fat storage hormone that’s going to work against your goal of inch loss, let alone weight loss.


As far as an addition to T-Tapp, I’m going to suggest something that sounds really kind of basis and not all that exciting. WALKING! You could do three T-Tapp workouts a week and walk three days of the week for about 30 minutes. If you have a rainy day and can’t get out you can use Step away the inches or another walking style workout. Stress reduction can also be helpful. A short yoga session a few times a week could help with this. A plan like this would be a total break from the extreme workout feel of P90X and may just jump start your inch and weight loss.


I’m sure that I don’t have to tell you that eating a low glycemic meal plan is an important part of overcoming PCOS. When it comes to this I believe that the saying, “You can’t out run what you can eat.” is true.
 
Once she emailed me back to tell me she would give T-Tapp and walking a try I asked her to stick with it for 2 weeks and then get back to me so we could pop some controlled intensity into her plan to crank things up a notch.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thought for the Weekend

I had posed the question; What do you want your life to look like? in another blog post.

I ask myself this question almost daily prior to meditating and I have yet to get a true and solid answer.

What I can answer however is what I DO NOT want my life to look like. So if the answer to the first question eludes you try thinking about the second for a time.

If we can allow all that does not serve our ultimate desires to fall away we will find that what remains is our authentic self. Trust me, that's easier said than done but it does provide a template for personal self care and improvement.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Letting Go To Create Space for Change

I'm not sure what's harder; starting a new healthy habit or letting go of the things in life that no longer serve us. I think it might be a toss up. On first look you might think it's a chicken and an egg type thing.

Personally, I think that the letting go needs to take the lead at least when it comes to forming new healthy activity and stress relief habits and even to some degree when changing your eating.

With healthy eating it is possibly to serve yourself healthy new foods first and eat the less healthy after  if you feel you need them. The snafu with that can be that you're going to get tired cooking two sets of foods and you'll hang onto your taste for highly salted foods prepared with a lot of unhealthy fat.

With stress relief and activity you will almost have to let go of something in order to make the time to add in the healthy activity. If you let go of nothing you're most likely going to end up cutting yourself short on sleep and that's never a good thing. If anything you will need more sleep to help off set the stress of a changing routine.

The answer for some may be using a really time efficient program. I've mentioned before that I really like T-Tapp because it's so efficient. I've also been asked to review another new program and look forward to testing it out and seeing how it works.

Recent studies have show that you will gain health benefits from as little as 15 minutes of activity. If you are presently inactive I challenge you to find 15 minutes in your day to be active. You don't need to have an activity in mind. Just experience your daily schedule while looking for 15 minutes of something you can eliminate in favor of exercise. TV and computer time come most readily to mind.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Get the Scoop on Healthy Eating



I'm sorry that it looks like I'm running a series of ads on this blog of late. I don't get any payback for any of the books I've written about lately. I'm just trying to get the best resources in print up on the blog so that people will know about them.

Dr. Ann Kulze, M.D. is the real deal. Her "Eat Right for Life" books are excellent. Dr. Ann has taken the research and distilled it down into two entertaining and enlightening books on how to eat right and how to set up your kitchen to eat right.

My family and I enjoyed and benefitted from both of her books.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Foreward Head Posture is no Joke!

“For every inch of Forward Head Posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.” -Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol. 3

Carry your head 2" foreward and you're asking your neck and spine to deal with an extra 20 pounds. Ever try to carry a 20 pound bag around for an entire day?

Foreward head posture can also decrease your vital lung capacity and alter bowel function.

Click this line of text to read the article from which I'm paraphrasing and quoting.

Here's a simple exercise to prevent/help reverse foreward head posture:

Sit in good alignment, knees in front of hips, feet directly under knees and straight ahead, shoulders over hips, chin level.

Now pull or "duck" your chin back and hold. You're moving to a position as if avoiding something swinging in front of your face and threatening to hit your face.

Repeating this simple exercise throughout the day can help release your neck muscles but a thorough massage followed by the use of this and/or possibly other exercises will be even more effective. The reason that the combination is more effective is that this or any other postural deviation may not be coming from the area you see the deviation. So a quick neck fix might not take away the pain long term. If your neck hurts and I give you a neck massage without looking for other causes for the deviation I'm basically chasing the pain. At best that's a short term answer to the problem.

Additonal food for thought: Look at the sequential pictures above. What is happening to the line of the shoulders? Is that hunched look inevitable as we age? I personally don't think so.

*This exercise should not be considered medical advice. If you develop pain as a result of this exercise or existing pain becomes worse please discontinue using it immediately.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Culprit and the Cure

I find it extremely ironic that as a nation we seem to rely more and more on pills and procedures and yet we are heavier, less fit and in general more sick than ever before. That's not to say that all medications, procedures and surgeries aren't necessary. There needs to be a balance and I think we need to renew our sense of personal responsibility.

On that note; I challenge you to take control of your own health. I'm not telling you that you should never see your doctor again only that you should take an active part in your treatment - if you're being treated - and take control of the areas of your life that are truly in YOUR control.

That really comes down to lifestyle and possibly lifestyle change. The Culprit and the Cure by Steven Aldana is a great book to get you started. His nutritional guides are also great.

Dr. Aldana got me hooked on wellness during a weekend seminar years ago. I purchased a copy of this book during that weekend and it wouldn't be exaggerating to say that it changed my life.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

C25K

C25K = Couch to 5K. It's a great program to get you running, for the first time or after a winter off. There are a ton of apps available that either provide the program itself or allow you to set up intervals.

You can find the program here  and here but my favorite C25K program can be found here - great info. I used these podcasts last year and really enjoyed them.

This year I'm running the program for an employee wellness offering once more but I think I'm going to do run/walk intervals, still using my barefoot running shoes to train and possibly walk the day of our Fun Run/Walk. Shaking my head at the notion of barefoot running shoes. heh heh

You can't beat a program that only asks you to commit to 30 minutes three times a week.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Client is Always Right

I once had a - now retired - physician tell me that if you listen to the patient they will eventually tell you what is wrong. He was an amazing listener.

I've come to find this to be true over the years. We all have an innate sense about our bodies. I think that our modern lives and the objects we surround ourselves with and even an over dependence on technology and medications - throw a pill at it - dummies down this sense of self.

The combination of massage therapy and therapeutic exercise can turn that sense back on. It's almost as if the propriocepters lead the way. That's one reason why I feel so strongly about using passive and active range of motion in my massage sessions. It helps clients reestablish a sense of self from the outside in.

There are quite a few home exercise programs that work to establish that same sense of self. If one doesn't click another will.