Saturday, November 28, 2015

First Step Workout 1 With Barre Warm-up

This workout is a streaming workout. I type that with a sense of glee because I've never been able to stream any workout longer than 10 minutes and even then not reliably but this one streams perfectly. You can get more information or purchase this workout HERE.

T-Tapp has had a player designed that allows even those on DSL to stream workouts. I'm pretty sure that it might even work with dial up though I'd suggest you check to be sure.

Ok, enough about the player. Let's talk workout.

The Barre workout provides a delicious 5-6 minutes minute lower, middle and even upper back warm-up and stretch. You can use either a Barre, a sturdy railing or a kitchen sink. I've tried all three and they all work.

The workout is awesome. It's an hour long and leaves you feeling worked, stretched and very balanced. I've done it three times now and. Each time I've been left feeling as if I'd had a deep tissue massage.

There's a good reason for this. First Step Workout 1 not only targets full fiber muscle activation and lymphatic movement but also mobilizes the fascia.

If you don't know what fascia is think of a chicken leg. If you pull off the skin. That shiny tissue is fascia. Each muscle cell, fiber and muscle are surrounded by fascia. We are literally bags of fascia. It's the stuff that holds us together.

It can become stuck to itself and when it does it hurts. It can be over stretched or short and tight and when it is, it hurts. Many, many times when we think a muscle is injured it may be a fascial alteration. Massage can fix this but so can T-Tapp First Step 1. Release and balance fascia and pain disappears. It's amazing!

To be honest I never want to workout an hour. It's hard to find a block of time that long. But I'm finding it for a First Step 1 bootcamp. Every workout has left me more balanced and calm than the last. I find myself wanting to find that hour.

The workout follows the structure and movements of the basic workout plus though each movement is slowed down and tweaked to insure greater muscle activation and target fascial release.

There's another aspect of this workout that I'm not sure people will catch onto.  When I work hard while doing this workout. My muscles become tired. Yet, when I finish I'm chilled, calm, relaxed.

So many people approach weight loss by doing "puke in a bucket" workouts. They aim to beat their body into submission. While that approach works for some it is actually self defeating for many more. Those kinds of extreme workouts activate our Sympathetic Nervous System. That's our fight and flight nervous system and when you activate it an entire hormonal cascade takes place. This cascade temporarily increases blood sugar which, increases insulin release. This can actually encourage fat storage.

Contrast this with a workout that leaves you feeling pleasantly worked, yet relaxed and calm. That's the Parasympathetic Nervous System. The rest and relax nervous system - no fat encouraging hormonal cascade!

I can't wait to try First Step workouts 2 & 3! When I do I'll review them both.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Reversing Belly Fat With Restorative Exercise, Therapeutic Massage, and Healthy Eating: The Fix

Before: with belly flattening tights underneath
Progress: No belly reducing tights underneath.
Notice that the front to back girth has gotten smaller.
To blast belly fat (no matter what your age) you need to take a four prong approach. I can hear you. "Wait a minute! Four prong? You only talked about three approaches in the subject line!"  Yes, but I'd be totally remiss if I didn't mention sleep.

1. Sleep - Lack of sleep sets off a hormonal cascade that encourages weight gain. You won't get far with a goal if you aren't sleeping well. 

2. Healthy Eating - This is very important if you want to improve glucose utilization and increase your body's sensitivity to insulin. Basically you want to cut back or eliminate processed foods in favor of whole foods. Dr. Ann Kulze , MD has some great free educational resources on her website. She also walks her talk. Dr. Michael Greger, MD uses valid scientific studies to explore and educate us on healthy eating and like Dr. mules, walks his talk.  

Chances are you're thinking, "But I already eat healthy." It never hurts to review what you're eating day to day, create some dietary goals and see how your body responds. I promise, you'll be amazed!

3. Exercise - Ideally you'll choose exercise methods that fit your lifestyle, goals and that you find enjoyable. 

The simplest exercise program is walking, though depending upon your climate it can be challenging. 

Rebounding can be a great indoor cardio option. (Have I mentioned that I love my Bellicon?) The cool thing about a rebounder is that you can take it outdoors in good weather. Try that with a treadmill! 

I still consider T-Tapp to be hands down the most time efficient exercise. You get cardio, strength, postural realignment, mind/body work, and better digestive assimilation in one compact workout! 

All that said, I want your exercise sessions to leave you feeling like a kid on a playground. Together we can turn any physical activity that you find enjoyable into the centerpiece of the program that will reverse your glucose utilization issues, decrease your health risk and change the contours of your body in very real ways.

4. Therapeutic Massage - I didn't put this last because it's less effective than what comes before. Massage Therapy can help reduce stress, which can help improve sleep. By assessing for postural deviations and using massage therapy along with restorative exercises you reverse those body changes more quickly than could be done with exercise alone. A body in alignment looks and feels younger, functions better and usually feels less pain.

OK! If the thought of all those changes leaves you feeling overwhelmed please read on.

The process of change can begin with the smallest of goals. 

For instance:

1.  Consistently perform one action that will, over time improve your sleep.

2. Consistently trade one processed food for a whole food alternative.

3. Consistently perform 5 minutes of rehabilitative stretches/exercises chosen with your postural distortions in mind.

4. Massage sessions at intervals that fit your budget. (My Posture Plus 60 special makes this really simple so ask about it.)

If you think that sounds too easy to bring about change you're wrong! I have clients who are told they look great and asked what they're doing who started out this very way. 

Start small, observe for and verbally celebrate your successes and before you know it you'll be feeling confident enough to make bigger changes and see even greater success. 

As Teresa Tapp says, "Yes you can!"



Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Reversing Belly Fat With Restorative Exercise, Therapeutic Massage and Healthy Eating - The Problem

T-Tapp Results  

Yes, it's definitely possible to reverse belly fat - even if you have the body type where your legs are very thin while your midriff never seems to decrease in size, even with sizable weight loss.

The person who has thin legs and a hard round belly faces an uphill battle but that is not to say you can't significantly reduce your middle. Those of us who gain inches more evenly and find our waistband  tightening simply see faster results.

So first off, why does the first body type I described have a tougher time reducing? Simply put, because there is more going on.

1. The body type I described with those thin legs most likely has a short lower rib to hip bone length and a short torso. This leaves less room for abdominal organs, which makes obtaining a flat abdomen difficult under the best of circumstances. Add in extra fat and the excess has no where else to go but out front!

2. A hard round belly is a sure give away that the person has intra-abdominal fat in and around their abdominal organs. This fat is the worst kind. It signals poor glucose utilization and insulin resistance, though not necessarily Diabetes. It also signals a higher risk for chronic disease including heart disease and Diabetes. Tough news to swallow but all of it can be reversed.

3. You don't carry around excess belly fat and maintain good postural alignment. The excess weight of the abdominal fat has a tendency to pull the pelvis out of alignment. The tilting of the pelvis allows the organs and fat inside the abdominal cavity to fall forward, which makes the belly bigger, which pulls the pelvis further out of alignment, which....well you get the picture.

4. The discussion wouldn't be complete without covering weak abdominal muscles. Weak abdominals allow the contents of the abdominal cavity to fall forward. This sets off the cascade discussed in #3. above.

Those are the major reasons why we have abdominal. Pudge, next time we'll discuss what. To do about it.

One scenario I didn't mention when I wrote this post is rib thrusting. Rib thrusting leads to weak abdominals (#4). At some point I'll do an entire post on rib thrusting. I'm a reformed rib thruster so I know first hand the havoc it can wreak and how it can hide postural distortion.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Reversing "Fat" Inner Knees With Exercise And Massage Therapy

Over the course of many years I've often seen T-Tapp reverse inner knee pudge. I assumed that it was simply muscle activation leading to a decrease in fat. That's probably true but it's not necessarily the only reason for this occurrence.

When I did my Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques Certification I learned that Adductor Magnus (AM) and Semimembranosus (SM) reside in same fascial bag.
This makes little sense because AM is an adductor and SM is part of the hamstring group. Coincidentally, both Adductor Magnus and the Hamstrings are innervated by the Sciatic Nerve. Maybe this is why they were slipped in the same bag? If Ida Rolf and Erik Dalton couldn't figure it out I'm sure I won't so I'm just going with it, no questions asked.

When alignment is off and a muscle is unable to do its job correctly it's not unusual for other muscles to try to assume the job of the weak, injured or inhibited muscle. This is just the body's way of keeping on keeping on. Unfortunately, this is how bigger alignment issues and pain syndromes begin.

So it turns out that sometimes the Semimembranosus moves over to try to share the job of the Adductor Magnus. This creates what Dalton and Ida Rolf call a "pineapple" on the inner knee. It changes the shape of the leg and if prominent enough can even give the legs a knock knee appearance. It looks like a fat inner knee.

The good news is that this can be reversed through simple restorative exercises and massage techniques. This powerful one, two punch takes away the "fat knee"
appearance as it restores proper muscular function,  which can relieve pain.

So I know you're wondering what you can do on your own. As I mentioned above T-Tapp is most definitely capable of decreasing or even outright abolishing knee pudge.
You can try the T-Tapp exercise, AWESOME LEGS for free.

For a more personalized approach that includes deep tissue massage to align the entire body, local clients can call for a "Posture Plus 60" session. I'm running a special where I'll do an initial evaluation, provide initial exercises and give a full body deep tissue massage. All for the price of a 60 minute massage.

If you live at a distance please know that I'm working on a Skype program that will include self massage techniques as well as initial evaluation and restorative exercises. If this interests you please contact me.

Adding to this post to say that I believe that T-Tapp also helps the Adductor Magnus do its job correctly, which would help the semimembranosus go back to it's official muscular duties. The deep tissue techniques I use just speed up the process by moving the displaced semimembranosus back where it belongs. Also wanted to add that the stance described HERE would also help slim down knees.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The "Fixing" Series

I truly believe that putting a body into optimal alignment will result in the most beautiful physical expression of that body.

I most enjoy working with clients to team up restorative exercise with therapeutic massage. Why? Because the visible results show up faster and the restorative exercise helps put the client in the driver's seat.

The amazing thing about restorative exercise is that you need not spend hours doing it to achieve visible change. When I put together a home program my first question is often about time limits and then space limits. This isn't my home program. It's yours, and because it's yours it should reflect your goals and fit your lifestyle.

So this series will highlight and explain the aesthetic issues that also happen to be alignment issues.

The first two I'll cover will be inner knee pudge and abdominal fat.

Local clients can call for a "Posture Plus 60" session. I'm running a special where I'll do an initial evaluation, provide initial exercises and give a full body deep tissue massage. All for the price of a 60 minute massage.

If you live at a distance please know that I'm working on a Skype program that will include self massage techniques as well as initial evaluation and restorative exercises.

I also provide healthy eating coaching because even small heart healthy eating changes can definitely bring about both dramatic and visible body changes.

So with that I'll say, "Let the series begin!"