Thursday, February 28, 2013

Holistic Aromatherapy

One of the first things I do when I open my massage office is to lightly infuse the air with aromatherapy. For my established clients I often know what they prefer. If I know that they will be going home to relax after their massage my choice will be different than if they've told me they will be active post massage.

Aromatherapy can definitely be a great addition to your personal wellness plan. It can bring stress relieve. You can use it to invigorate when you'd rather not use caffeine. I've previously talked about using it in the bath. Essential oils can also be added to pure oil - jojoba is my favorite - and used on the skin and hair.

THIS article is titled Holistic Aromatherapy and provides a number of blends you can make for use at home - or if you're a massage therapist perhaps in the office. There are also some other great related articles on the side bar.

My challenge to you is to try to be aware of the scents around you - natural and artificial - and then be aware of how they make you feel.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Addicted to Junk

The book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us is on my "want to read" list.

When I first heard about it I honestly thought that it was just a rehash of previous books on the subject.

But ealier today I listed to THIS Fresh Air interview on NPR and my interested was sparked. Also if you click on the book link above and scroll down there's an amazon.com Q&A interview with Michael Moss.

I've seen just how addicted processed foods are. I've seen people look like they wanted to cry when you begin to talk to them about the need to change their diet in order to avoid really serious health issues. They are literally scared to death of the thought of giving up their processed, fast and restaurant food.

This stuff can literally kill you. Oh to be sure the death is more like shooting yourself with a BB gun day after day after day rather than bringing out the big guns and taking one clean shot. It's a slow drawn out death filled with a growing medication list and a shrinking wallet as health costs climb. Dramatic?  Yes, but also all too true. <shaking head>

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Rush to Advanced Exercise

"Which T-Tapp workout is the most advanced?" "Which barre workout is the hardest?" Can you recommend a "puke in a bucket" HIIT cardio workout? HMMMMM actual questions by actual people, often those who have barely gotten their feet wet in the fitness arena.

One message I wish I could get out the general public is that doing the most advanced, toughest, puke in a bucket workout doesn't make you advanced, especially if you haven't prepared yourself and are using poor form. What it is more likely to do is to: Build a dread factor so that you dread your workouts, exhaust you without any significant long term benefit, and/or injure you. Sound like a bargain? I don't think so either.

Our society is big into external signals. The infomercial commercial with the guy or gal with the ripped abs, the pencil slim model who's had one set of ribs removed, lipo and countless other procedures to bring her to that all elusive "perfect" state, the airbrushed personality on the cover of a magazine.

My challenge to you is to spend a week listening, really listening to your body from the inside out. When we constantly chase after "advanced" we're really chasing the future. Instead cultivate being comfortable with where you are - right now - and be content to - through consistent, sane movement -see where each and every moment will take you.

This can be very difficult if you've had a life or physical set back that moves you from a higher level conditioning to a lower one - I've lived that scenario. It can be just as hard if life has slowly but surely rendered you less and less active and you wake up one day and realize that you aren't that 18 year old football player, ballerina, gymnast, active teenager any more.

I can honestly tell you that it's possible to feel and move like a person who is much younger than your years. It's also possible to do this and not wake up every day with pain from the workout you did the day before. You also don't have to be a slave to the gym. But what you do need to do is find comfort with where you are, learn mental and muscular awareness and turn a blind eye to the steady stream of media telling us what is wrong with us and how we should "fix" it. Oh and by the way if you call in the next 10 minutes we'll send you a free plastic gadget and  charge you an arm and a leg for having done so..... 'nuf said?

Monday, February 25, 2013

T-Tapp: Step Away the Inches


This short little gem is comes in at less than 25 minutes but packs a punch. Teresa mentions weighted shoes during the workout and states that you don't necessarily need them for the workout to be effective and you should believe her!

This is a great in home "walking" workout for days when the weather or the ground surface is bad. I love to alternate doing this workout one day with Healthy Hormones or Senior Fit the next. It also works well to do Basic Workout Plus first and follow it up with Step Away the Inches.

I value the fact that this workout never leaves me feeling "beat up." Instead I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day or the evening, depending upon when I do it. It's very easy to use the new form cues, such as ribs lifted, set lats during the workout.

It never fails to heat up my core to the point where I perspire lightly. I wouldn't characterize it as a "killer workout" and yet we have to remember that "results" whether we're looking for improved health and/or aesthics don't happen and then stay around long term because we're half killing ourselves. I consider this workout one of my "honor my body" workouts.

 
 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Senior Fit Tempo 4

 
I briefly mentioned this workout when I reviewed Senior Fit. At that point I hadn't even tried the Tempo 4 workout contained on the DVD. I wanted to settle into the form pointers first. I also expected the rhythm to be fast enough that I'd have trouble maintaining those new form pointers.

After trying the workout I was surprised but not disappointed. The tempo is not so fast as to throw form off. The workout is shorter - about 48 minutes - but I consider it to be a solid workout that I'm benefiting from using.

With my workout sessions limited to 30-50 minutes in the early morning and 15-30 in the evening this workout has definitely been one of my go to workouts. It increases my heart rate though not through the roof. What I like best is the way it heats up my core. I literally begin to feel warm through the entire band of my core muscles by the mid-point of the workout. The sensation grows through the end of the workout and my core tends to stay warm for at least an hour after I finish, even after my shower. I take this as proof that my metabolism is revving.

After abundantly sampling the workouts on the Senior Fit DVD I can honestly say I consider the DVD to be a bargain for the price.

Before I close I want to talk about the water breaks that the newer DVDs contain. I know that some may be put off by them  because at first they seem to break the flow of the workout. I embrace them for what they allow me to achieve. Taking those very short water breaks gives me a chance to reset my head and my form and I think get more deeply into the movements.

There's another aspect of them that occurred to me recently mid-workout. During the workout movements you're contracting muscles isometrically, often holding those contractions for a long time. The water break allows blood and lymph time to flush through the areas you were holding. This flushes out the old and allow fresh oxygenated blood to rush into those areas. I would think that this action repeated again and again would also help to decrease or at least minimize any inflammatory build from the exercises. I value that and believe it's why I'm not seeing any inflammatory response to my workouts unlike other workouts I've attempted.

For me workouts are more than a vehicle to buff. They're a vehicle to better long term health and a balanced body. Now if a little buff happens down the line.......well who am I to complain. heh heh heh You can purchase the DVD HERE.
 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Elemental Eating to balance the body

http://www.thewayofnature.co.nz/acm/5-elements
THIS is short and sweet article that explores balancing the mind and body throught the 5 elements.

My challenge to you is to read the article and note if you are skeptical from the get go - many traditionally or medically minded folk will be - then make an effort to lift that skepticism to look a little deeper and see if anything in the article relates to you and your life. Putting ourselves in mindset boxes of our own making is one of the most limiting things we can do. I learned this when I went to massage school and was introduced to Eastern Medicine and Native American concepts. There truly is room for all views and opening our minds to different views can be a very, very good thing.

THIS Page talks more about the 5 elements. It's where I got the picture.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Thought for the Day

 

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” - Rumi

 
A few of my favorite stones and crystals
 This quote was written about love and breaking down the barriers we have built against it. The concept can also apply to living a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, healthy activity, stress reduction.

A woodworker, Russ Jacobsohn states, "Working with wood is mostly taking away all the wood that doesn't belong to get at what you're aiming for whether it's a table leg or a tiger."

You can look at your life, and in turn your lifestyle this way and begin first identifying, and then removing the things that don't fit into the picture you have of your lifestyle of choice. Sometimes you have to jettison some junk to make room for the good stuff.

My challenge to you is to go through your day - or your week if you're brave - and make note of everything that works against your healthy lifestyle, weight loss, fitness goals, decreased stress levels, or any other goal. Then decide which of those things can't be released or at least changed. Don't just give it a passing thought, shrug and figure it can't be changed - really brainstorm. Then consider what your life would look like without those things. I bet you'll be surprised.
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Quick and Easy Facial

Thoroughly cleanse face
Put about 2 tbs of dead sea salt into your palm
Drop 1 dropper (5-10 drops) Jojoba  or other facial oil onto salt
drop 3 drops chamomile oil onto salt
drop 2-3 drops of pure water onto salt (I like water into which cell food has been added)
Blend salt mixture
Apply to clean face massaging to stimulate blood flow and to exfoliate
moisten hands with water and aply to fae to melt remaining salt crystals
Allow remaining mixture to dry on face
Rinse well - some oil will remain and moisturize skin
May apply regular night creams over remaining oil

Note: Don't scrub your face with the salt as if trying to take off a layer of skin. Use gentle pressure and circular motions.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

T-Tapp Challenge Update

This post was supposed to have gone out yesterday but due to technical difficulties it didn't happen - so here it is.

I am officially loving this challenge! It started with a 14 day (2 week) boot camp and I've changed up the emphasis every 2-weeks since. I've had the challenge of two young puppies which has limited my workout time. This has been a positive though because it's held me to a "less is more" philosophy when I might have over done.

Over doing increases my inflammation levels, which is not cool. Less is more is way cool and leaves me feeling wonderful! thank you so much for your wisdom Teresa!

I plan to review the DVDs I've used as I changed up my emphasis. It may take some time because life is busy and reviews take more time than a regular post.

Just today two people asked me if I was losing weight. One said my lower body looked thinner - this is amazing because I tend to be quite Rubinesque in the lower body.

I'm a combo bodytype so weight comes off equally and it doesn't look like much until the inch loss is up there. I think I've noticed subtle changes in my clothing but I've avoided measuring. I've been eating my fill of healthy food - no dieting here! Weight loss? It fluctuates between 4-6 pounds. Nothing major.

The best thing is how I feel - wonderful! My eyes no longer hurt - I tend to forget to use my moistening gel. That's not good beause they still look red but they feel sooooo much better! I'm off my prescription eye med and at this point am only using OTC eye moistening gel one to twice daily - usually once because like I said my eyes no longer hurt and I forget to use the gel.

I'm looking forward to each workout because I feel great when I finish. This two week stretch has me doing twice daily workouts. One day the AM workout is longer and the PM shorter. The next day it's the reverse.





Friday, February 15, 2013

Acture! Posture in Action

Great Book
Click on the following link to read Acture! Posture in Action by Thomas Myers. The article is written for massage therapists but it contains information that anyone who has an interest in posture - their own or posture in general - can appreciate.

I have a series of pre-recorded webinars using his book Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2e in my to do queue.

 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Power of Sound

Water dancing to sound
This is an interesting article on sound, and the power of sound. You can find a slide show of water/sound images here.



I think using one of these while making your own sounds would be an interesting form of meditation.

 
You can actually build your own tonetic sounder. It's bigger than I would have imagined. Or you could just chant. :)
 Seriously, If sound can move water in these beautiful and mysterious ways imagine what it can do for your life! 
 
 

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Are you Drowning in a Sea of Stress Hormones? The One Minute Hug

Puppies know how important daily touch is.
This article does a great job of explaining stress hormones and how touch can be part of the answer.

The article speaks to massage therapy as a touch modality. I actually recommend that you seek out touch on a daily basis. We're all so very busy but most of us can set aside one minute. My suggestion - and unfortunately I can't remember where I heard this in order to give credit to the originator - is to spend one minute hugging your significant other or even your pet each and every day. This isn't a fly by hug while you're thinking about four other things you need to accomplish tonight. It's a solid minute where your concentration is on the sensation of giving and receiving touch in the form of a hug - actually a snuggle works just as well.

What if you don't have a pet or SO available each and every day? Skin brushing is one way to provide yourself with a daily dose of self care in the form of touch. To maximize the touch benefit be sure to really concentrate on the sensations you experience while performing skin brushing.

Your challenge is to make daily touch a priority and see how it changes your mood and stress level. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Serenity Stress Reduction Bath

Serenity Bath
I treasure my old cast iron claw footed bathtub. I really think that these old tubs were the original in home spas. I've had two votive candle holders on the wall behind the tub for years and other candles and an old oil lamp placed around the bathroom, which is actually large by modern standards but small compared to our other bathroom. Recently I found two start shaped candle holders and we suspended them from the sloping ceiling with chain. When I want to destress I have a variety of different products I use in the bath. Some are Swiss Just products. One of the easiest is also one that I find most effective. It's nothing more than a tub full of hot water. A handful of dead sea or epsom salts and 5-8 drops of lavender essential oil. {sigh} 

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Souper" Healthy but Tasty Soup

I threw this together yesterday and it came out great with very little effort.

Ingredients:
6 cups of carrot juice
4 cups of low sodium organic vegetable broth
3 medium onions quartered
6 ribs of celery halved
4 zucchini cut in thirds
1 large shallot cut in thirds
3 cloves of garlic cut in thirds
1 28 ounce of black beans (low sodium, drained)
1 cup of cashews (raw, unsalted)
teaspoon or so of dried rosemary
3 stalks of fresh sage or teaspoon dried
Large stalk of basil or 2 tsp dried

Place above ingredients in a soup pot and simmer for 30-45 minutes until vegetables are tender then tranfer to a high powered blender and blenderized completely and transfer back to the pot.

1 -2 one pound bag of frozen mixed vegetables
1 one pound bag of baby peas
1 28 ounce can of black beans (low sodium) drained

Add above ingredients to blenderized soup and heat gently until vegetables are cooked.

Sounds and looks like a ton of work but it isn't. Resulting soup would also freeze well.

 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Frozen Treat That's Part of Healthy Eating?

I think this appliance has been around for a while but I'm just getting on board with it. It's called Yonanas and it rocks! Long story short, it turns frozen fruit into a soft serve textured treat. YUM!

The machine is also available in a Deluxe version for $10.00 more. The extras are a Popsicle set and a Tupperware type container. I opted to get the regular version and I'm perfectly happy with it.

There's also another recipe book available and I won't even link to it because the reviews are that poor. This is mostly because it's an expensive book with few recipes. I feel that the booklet that came with it gives me a good enough idea of what's possible to make up my own recipes. I want to purchase a few extra ice cube trays to freeze almond milk and coconut milk to try to add variety to our frozen treats.

The machine Valentine's gift from me to all of us but once it arrived I just had to use it to make a sweet treat for my sweet - and me too. I'm a vegetable lover and would take a good salad over a Sundae any day - one of many oddities about me. For me getting enough fruit in each day can be stretch. I always get my first two servings in my green smoothie but after that it's a crap shoot. I really enjoy having a fruity frozen treat so this is a win win.

There are two things that shine about this machine. First, everyone can have whatever type of fruit treat that they want because it feeds the treat right into the bowl. So last night DH had strawberry with a little banana and I had banana and mango. The second thing I love is clean up. It really is as easy as it appears in the video. It's dishwasher safe but honestly a little dish soap and a sponge, rinse in hot water and rack dry works just as well.

I wanted to address some of the negatives that you read in the reviews.
- motor broke  - I wonder if this was an auto shut off for over heating. You are instructed to allow frozen fruit to sit out prior to using it. I can definitely see where not doing so would strain the motor.

- Hard to clean - Not sure what to think about this. I find the opposite, in fact it's so easy to clean I tend to clean it before serving up the treats I've been making.

- Frozen treat is stuck in the machine - Yes, there will be residual treat in the grinding area of the machine when you finish. I just take the machine apart (takes seconds) and scoop it out. Then I do a quick wash up of the parts and I'm good to go.

- Doesn't taste good - If you are addicted to artificial sweetners, sweetened beverages (corn syrup or diet alike) or sweetened processed foods then NO these naturally sweet treats aren't going to taste sweet to you. You could add corn syrup or honey or some other sweetener but honestly that's just feeding your toxic hunger.

At the end of the day I'm super pleased that we have a treat that's actually good for us versus choosing one that probably won't kill us - at least not right away. :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Puppy Update!

Reilly and Fionna after Reilly cleaned her face.
"Look mom I did a good job. Her face is nice and clean!"
We're now at the point where we can't really remember what it was like to not have 4 dogs as part of our household. Reilly has gotten over any resistance he had and all four canines play and sleep together as if they were always together. We're really enjoying having a canine family of four and are really very happy we made the decision to move ahead with our plan.










Fionn delights in plunging headfirst into the
first available snow drift!
It's quite amazing how different from one another the dogs and pups are and yet it's just as amazing how many ways they are similar. Fionn (pronounced Finn) is still our big bumbling puppy yet he is as smart as a whip. I've extended my morning workouts to 50 minutes. The first time I did this Fionna was content to occupy herself and didn't seem to even notice that the time was longer than the 30 minutes I was taking previously. Fionn on the other hand was accutely aware. He wasn't unhappy about it but wanted to let me know it hadn't gotten by him. Around the 45 minute mark he walked over and sat down and alternately stared at the TV and then at what I was doing. He seemed to be thinking, "It's that same T-Tapp lady and Mom's doing the same kinds of movements but man this is taking forever!"



DH, the man who longed for a pile of little Terriers is in his glory. Saturday naps have never been this good. I'm enjoying searching for the perfect mode of travel to allow us all to go on vacation together. I've discovered some of the most interesting trailers and travel vans, some more affordable than others. I'll share some of them in the future. Starsky and actually my son's cat Sky who is visiting both seem to enjoy watching the antics of the dogs. The both obviously consider themselves superior to the canines in the family yet everyone gets along without issue.
 
Pups are now reliably housebroken, sitting on command, staying for increasingly longer on command. Fionn has the most trouble with this. He is more excitable than Fionna but he's getting better over time.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Detox Days and inflammation

I've mentioned toxic hunger previously. It masquerades as hunger and/or cravings. This article talks about the Detox process itself. It also mentions that you can derive many of the benefits of a detox simply by making some healthy changes.

 I've done a both juice and water fasts in the past and yes, the results were quite profound and more than a little uncomfortable. Hindsight I really think that it's best to do so under an experienced health practitioner's watchful eye.

But here's another bend on the same theme: Why not just commit to a plant based diet for a period of time? No processed food, no restaurant and certainly no fast food - though to get off subject restaurant food is usually essentially fast food in disguise. Plan on eating loads of plant foods. Let natures starches like sweet potatoes and beans be your starchy carbs and fruit be your dessert, cut caffeine, alcohol and voila! Controlled Detox!

In the beginning you may have to eat 4 or in extreme cases 5 times a day to slow the detox symptoms and toxic hunger but over time work to cut back to three squares a day. If you're able to, cut to the chase and go to 3 meals a day right away.

Knowing that the unpleasantness you feel is your body cleaning house can make it easier to deal with the unpleasantness. Knowing that your body and  YOU will be healthier, have more energy and feel more alive on the other side of this change in eating can sustain you in your plan.

At first you might only plan for a week. Later two weeks or even a month. Eventually you may feel so darn good that you'll reach the end of your plan and decide to make it a lifestyle change.

It's not for everyone but for someone who doesn't feel ready to completely give up their unhealthy ways it's a start. Just remember that any unpleasantness that you will feel isn't as a result of the plant based foods you're eating. That unpleasantness is the junk from your "normal" eating patterns being released. The great way you feel after you adjust is, among other things a decrease in inflammation.

"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy." - Dale Carnegie

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Senior Fit: Warm-Up Workout - so much more than meets the eye

I know I already described this workout in a previous post.  I decided to talk about it again because I'm finding it to be so versatile. It's billed as a warm-up for the Senior Fit workout but honestly, it's so much more.

Decided to add a bit of an explanation concerning how I believe this workout warm-up works to quiet back and even hip pain.

When you're doing this segment pay close attention to the cues. Specifically do not ignore the cues to press into the floor and cues to straighten arms.

Musculoskeletally generated pain is tricky and over time it sets up postural imbalance. When Teresa has us push into the floor we activate muscle. That's good but even better the muscles we activate help to reflexively quiet the most common pain generating muscles. When we straighten the arms we're creating a kind of hammock that stretches the back body and again realigns the areas that we just physically and reflexively loosened.

Musculoskeletally generated pain rarely, if ever is totally balanced in nature. The careful positioning in this segment helps put your body back into alignment and that alone is good for some pain reduction for most people.

This workout also teaches you and your body proper form and alignment. You will then, over time, translate this new felt knowledge into your standing workout and this is going to cement the positive changes you are experiencing. It's truly win win.

Traditional cardio and weight training can actually encourage our natural tendency to  be misaligned. I believe that this sweet little segment can reverse that before it turns into something ugly and painful.

- It can be used as a mobility prelude to running, walking or any other cardio workout.

- It's great for the morning after a strenous workout, basketball game, ski session or any other sport or activity that's left your muscles sore and stiff.

- If you've had a stressful day it's the perfect transition from work to home. Need a good night's sleep? Do this workout prior to bedtime.

- Spend the day on airplanes and in airports and land in a new time zone? Yep, this one would be great before bed and/or first thing in the morning.

- Feel a cold coming on? You've got it!

Simply put, the sequential movements are appropriate to wind up or wind down your day.

 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Special Gift

I've been meaning to post this picture for a while. It was a gift from a friend. It's on the wall in our massage space bathroom. It might seem a little crazy to put such a beautiful piece of art work in the bathroom but hear me out. Massage therapists spend a lot of time in the bathroom because we wash our hands all the time! So each and every time I wash my hands I get to enjoy it. You can see other pieces of her artwork on her blog.

Trust me when I say that the pic I snapped with my phone doesn't begin to do it justice. It's a water scene done with a wax medium. I'm not an artist so I don't know the proper term. Every time I look at it I see more than I saw the last time. Thank you Dayna!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Take T-Tapp to the Office Day: More thoughts on HH4MM & SF

After finishing a bootcamp using both Healthy Hormones for Menopause Management with the new Senior Fit I'm finding that I love the complimentary nature of these two DVDs. What a power team they are! I'm loving all the options they give. The form tips are consistent across the DVDs but the lengths of the workouts and the different ways I can use them makes the pair a very powerful tool in my fitness, no make that, wellness toolbox.

After the first couple times of using both workouts I realized that these workouts are also chock full of short movements that you can take with you to work to reverse the postural distortion and even the stress of your work day. This can be accomplished a few seconds at a time if you just stop to take a break periodically. The movements are especially helpful to massage therapists and anyone who works from a position that is over a patient or client.

When I finish with one client I like to turn over my space and then do a movement or two. The clap away move is brilliant for opening up my chest and releasing my upper back even as the clapping helps to move the energy in the room and give it a fresh feel. Hunches with jazz hands into hunches with progressives all leading to a second set of clap aways reenergizes my fingers. Follow it with a set of kickaways and you're ready for the next client.

After a major break like lunch a set of hoedowns gets me up and moving before you know it. No after meal groggies. These same ideas could be modified for any workplace application. These are just one example. There are other exercises that could be tucked into your day.

The best thing about using these fast powerful movements to reenergize and reset your day is that you'll be reinforcing the positive changes you're working toward with your T-Tapp workouts. The idea is not to make it a chore but to use these powerful but a little oasis of power movement that you do to care for yourself in the midst of caring for others.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Mystery of Low Back Pain

You can read a great article on the causes of low back pain HERE. Back pain is unbelievably common and yet few of us understand how complicated the reasons for the pain can be. The article is thorough but not so technical to be unreadable.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Question to Healthcare Professionals

Do You Believe in Lifestyle change? Do you believe that it impacts disease? Yes? Then why is that so many of us relegate it to the arena of a second class citizen?

"Yeah right." "Yeah, like that's going to happen." "I don't think he/she can make that change." Ever hear these words or words like them roll of the tongue of a healthcare professional when lifestyle change - especially healthy diet is suggested? I have. I've shamefully said those words before I understood the power of lifestyle change. Then there's the silence, eye rolls - literal or figurative and arm crossing.

If we, as professionals don't believe it's possible for our patients to change then they don't have a chance. "Well, I'd never say that in front of the patient." you might think. But let me tell you, your body language screams just what your brain believes - even as you deliver your lifestyle change "talk." It's hard enough when someone believes you can do it and has a professional rooting for them. It's near impossible if it's labeled - verbally or silently - impossible.

Which came first; the prevaling attitude that people can't or won't change or our disbelieve that true change is possible? Think about it.

Best practices, best practices... Lifestyle change should be our first best practice. I'm not saying that medications, tests or procedures are never needed. I'm saying that if we made lifestyle change as important as it should be, we'd be on our way to a healthier nation and to controlling our run away medical costs.

Don't for a minute think I'm taking away the responsibility off the patient. Actually, I'm suggesting that we empower them to accept responsibility for their own self care and by extension their health and wellness. The power rests solely in their hands.

It's not easy if we're rooted in the old "take care of the patient mode. It's much easier once you move to the "empower the patient to take care of themselves mode." And yes, some will toss the responsibility back at us but many won't and success breeds success and on and on. Super simplified yes, but more is out of the scope of a simple blog.

My challenge to you is to think about your attitudes and beliefs around lifestyle change - for your patients, for your family, for you. Maybe it's time we healthcare workers began to lead by example.

And now I'll step away from the soapbox.