When Props Become Dangerous: The Limited Usefulness of a Foam Roller

I recently was forwarded an article on how a foam roller may be hurting your body more than helping it in certain situations, specifically stretching sore IT bands.  The article pointed out that in some situations, the IT band is already overstretched due to the gluts not firing like they should during physical movement. When muscles don’t do their part, others come to the rescue and then those become overstressed. Many people, including me, have a difficult time engaging the glute medius. An example is given in the article to test if this issue applies to you. You’ll be in good company if it does. Glut med weakness is very common and can lead to other issues in the body including an overstretched IT band. The bottom line is that if your IT band is tight or overstretched, stretching it further by using a foam roller can really cause harm. As with all props, knowing how to effectively use them and in what movements is key. I recommend you read the article yourself, take the test, and then judge if this problem applies to you. The comments after the article are equally informative so I suggest you take a little extra time to glance at those as well.

http://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/your-it-band-is-not-the-enemy-but-maybe-your-foam-roller-is

What I appreciated about the article though is that it points out some key philosophies which I’ve hit on in previous blogs: find and address the root issue, use mindfulness in physical movement, and of course take pilates. (That last one was in a comment.) You may want to consider the Foundations Course with Sharon Lightfoot-Pound or Progressive Pilates with Heidi Byrnes but you’ll need permission for the latter. Either way, pilates is an excellent way to understanding body mechanics and movement, all of which will increase your strength and help you live a healthier lifestyle.

One final note: I will no longer be posting for Bria’s blog. I hope you’ve enjoyed the postings thus far and more importantly, found the material informative and helpful to reaching your physical goals. Hope everyone has a safe and healthy holiday. All the best to each and every one of you in the New Year.

 This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

20 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Fitness Fanatic

The holiday season is upon us. This is not news to anyone nor is the struggle to find the perfect gift for our fitness gurus and fanatics, especially if the gift has to be inexpensive and truly appreciated. I’ve come up with a list that is both inexpensive, functional, and will hopefully result in a sincere “thank you” regardless of the recipient. The most expensive is $100 but you can easily get a 20% discount at Bed, Bath, and beyond. Most suggestions, however, fall within the $20 or less range and some are ideal for stocking stuffers costing just a few bucks. I hope you are inspired as you do your holiday shopping for loved ones and acquaintances that make it on your list this holiday season.

1. Fitbit ($100)

By far the most expensive on the list. However, Bed, Bath, and Beyond will usually have a 20% discount bringing the total price to less than $80. If said recipient doesn’t like it, the store is very generous with returns. I recommend the One version of the Fitbit because it seems to do some much more than other models for the same price.

  1. Yoga mat.

Easily found at Walmart, Target, and other retailers, this is a must have for those practicing any kind of body work at home, including yoga, pilates, or simply stretching.

  1. Toning balls or hand weights.

A wonderful compliment to any fitness routine including pilates and barre. Sometimes it’s easier to own your own for travel, home workouts, or to bring to the studio for ease of use and your desired weight of the ball. One of the best resources to purchase is OPTP. (http://www.optp.com) In fact, unless otherwise stated, OPTP is the go to place for any of the suggestions below.

  1. Anytime Pilates

For $18/month with the first month free, this gift may be best as a suggestion or gift certificate for the second month until the recipient decides it’s worth the monthly cost. Anytime Pilates is an on-line website with hundreds of pilates workout videos using every piece of pilates equipment imaginable including just a mat. Be sure to check out the website before deciding if this is the right gift for the intended recipient.

  1. Bria gift certificates (Price varies)

How could this not make it on the list? All kinds of options including water bottles, t-shirts, group or private instruction. The amount is up to you but just about any amount will help your pilates lover feel appreciated.

  1. Brita water bottle ($10-$20, depending on size.)

Brita’s website will often have coupons for discounts and sometimes Target will have a digital coupon as well, an added bonus when trying to save money. The Brita water bottle has a built in water filter so any water source can quickly give a full bottle of clean water to rehydrate after a workout. Available in many sizes and styles.

  1. Arnica, Epsom salt, heating patches ($5-$10)

Just the thing sore muscles need and an inexpensive option for a gift. To jazz it up, use unique packaging such as a plastic, holiday container or basket with all three and your own unique message. Believe me. Your recipient will feel pampered.

  1. Theraband ($4.50-$15.00)

Often used in physical therapy, a Theraband can either support stretching or added for resistance in mat or reformer workouts. Many colors and sizes are available depending on use.

  1. iTunes gift certificate ($5+)

Add energy to a workout with their favorite tunes. Sometimes even the best of us need some extra motivation and music can often be just the trick!

  1. DVDs (10-$20)

Lots of options but I added this to the list because your fitness guru may have a special interest or need in a particular area and no doubt there is a DVD for it such as developing flexibility, proper stretching etc. Many DVDs now come with several options including length and type of workout. I’ve found some that have a dozen 15 minute workouts with great instruction.

  1. Toe Sox ($12-$20)

Another favorite. Not only does it prevent a person from having to use the “grippy mats” when doing standing leg exercises on the reformer, it also prevents contracting Athlete’s Foot and other unsavory things from the straps. Many studios I’ve come cross around the country mandate that these be worn for good hygiene. Regardless, your workout will improve when using these. Socks come in many colors, sizes, and styles including ones geared towards barre, pilates, and dance. You also get 10% off your first order.

http://www.toesox.com/

  1. Overball ($9.70)

Great tool to keep stability between the knees or added core work when using beneath the tailbone during a workout. The Overball can be inflated as much as a person prefers. If you’re not sure what this is or how it’s used, just do a quick search on the web or find more information on OPTP’s website.

  1. Magic Circle ($34.00)

One of my all-time favorites. Great for adding resistance, stability, and stretching, my favorite being the latter one. Bria carries the circle as well as many pilates organizations such as Balanced Body, STOTT, and retailers such as OPTP.

  1. Pinky ball ($3.50)

We use to call this “the ball of truth” at one studio because if you place it on your lower abdomen while doing reformer work, the ball should not move if your core is engaged and you are equally stable on both sides of the body. Often it rolls off, hence “the truth” that you are not actively engaging your abs, leg circles are too wide, or whatever the reason may be to cause the ball to roll off the body. The other use though is to loosen tight muscles in the feet. The Pinky Ball is miracle cure for this, at least in my opinion. My feet take a beating and the Pinky Ball really unwinds and untightens all the little muscles in the feet.

  1. Foam Roller ($5.95-$33.95)

Many styles and sizes as well as uses. I love the black foam roller but not everyone would agree. Best advice here is to be sure to get a gift receipt so the recipient can exchange if needed. If you don’t know what a foam roller is, then in a nutshell it releases tension in the muscles and can also act as a core stabilizer and warm-up if used during mat work or before a reformer workout.

 16.The Stick ($27.50)

A bit pricey but this is a self-massaging tool to relieve muscle tightness. A favorite among runners, bikers, and other athletes, the stick is wonderful for calf soreness. Check out the company’s website for testimonials, advice on choosing the right size, and just about anything else you need to know to make an informed decision.

https://www.thestick.com/

  1. Massage ($45+)

Who couldn’t use a great massage? Don’t forget the Groupon and discounts to Bria members at Light of Hand massage next door or discover your own massage guru. Whatever you choose, after the stressful holiday season, a massage could be a wonderful gift to the overworked mom, dad, friend, or family member.

  1. Gift certificates to a favorite health food mart or store – supplements, juice bar, or healthy to-go meals (Price Varies)

For the active person, who couldn’t use a gift certificate to Whole Foods, PCC, Trader Joes, or their own favorite spot for a quick, on-the-go bite. Practical, convenient, and no doubt will be appreciated even if it isn’t glamourous.

  1. Neu-spine ($34.00)

I’ve heard many complain about lower back pain. Though there may be underlying causes that should be addressed with a physical therapist or your doctor, one common practice is to place sticky mats under the lower back to support a neutral spine. Balanced body came out with a better solution called Neu Spine. The product supports the lower back to assist with keeping neutral or the sacrum for rollups. I’ve found this to be very effective and much more so than the sticky mats or other solutions typically offered. Product comes in small, medium, and large. For more information, see link.

https://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/store/accessories/other/neu-spine.html

  1. Jolt gum ($18.95)

I came across this from a former boss and doctor who used it in place of coffee since he didn’t drink coffee or energy drinks. The gum is highly caffeinated and effective but be sure not to overdo it. If you’re an avid coffee or energy consumer, it’s best to stay away. That said, it’s quite effective and often used by military personnel as well. Review full details on Amazon.com before purchasing and of course, use at your own discretion and risk. Caffeine is still a drug.

The important thing is to think about what your fitness lover has complained about the most over the last year and consider if any of the ideas above would resolve the problem. Regardless, the most important thing is that when you’re giving the gift to include spending time with the person and listening to whatever they have to say. The gift is just a doorway to connect to another person and another way to show you sincerely care about their passions.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Thanksgiving for Your Body

This Thanksgiving I’d like to suggest that among the offerings of gratitude for family, friends, health, and happiness, you take a moment to appreciate all the ways your body serves you in life. The body is a magnificent piece of machinery if not art capable of an intrinsic intelligence no man-made machinery could ever achieve. It allows you to interact with this world, accomplish work, and give a loving touch to a child or loved one. The body provides us opportunities every second of our waking day to do more for ourselves and others. It definitely deserves our appreciation and gratitude. This Thanksgiving, take a moment to admire all that it does for you. Without it, you would not even be on this planet experiencing the highs and lows and everything in between. While many of us will overindulge on Thanksgiving, be sure to include some exercise to help it process all those delicious side dishes, desserts, and of course turkey, even tofu turkey. Sitting on the couch after an enjoyable meal feels wonderful but after a while, give it a bit of relief by taking a walk with a family member, playing a game of touch football, or going for a bike ride. Both you and your body will feel all the much better for it.

Here is my short list for my Thanksgiving for my body. Maybe it will inspire you and give you a reason to pause and think about what you may be grateful for as well.

  • I am thankful that I have eyes to see, ears to listen, and the ability to taste food, healthy or not.
  • I’m grateful to be able to walk, use two arms and hands, a voice to communicate, and a mind to navigate through this complex world.
  • I am grateful my body lets me know when it needs to rest, eat, and give special attention to areas that may be in discomfort.
  • I am grateful to breathe on my own.
  • I am grateful for its elasticity to improve physically, deal with change, and heal.
  • I am grateful that I can convey kindness, love, sympathy, and help by writing a note to a friend in need, listening to others, smiling, or an understanding touch.

None of the above would be possible if I didn’t have and use my body for my own well-being and others. All too often it’s easy to criticize ourselves or others, become frustrated over our limitations, or simply not take the time to listen to what our body needs until we become sick. I hope this Thanksgiving you will include your body in whatever way you give thanks and in a way that perhaps you never have before. No matter your situation, we all have a lot to be thankful for. Focus on the positive and what you can do. Appreciating yourself is just as important as appreciating others. This Thanksgiving be sure to do both.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Emergency Ab Workout 101

All of us want a strong core. Why else would we be doing pilates? OK. It feels wonderful but so does eating a home-cooked meal or imbibing in a glass of wine. However, neither of those help us achieve our fitness goals. Sometimes we can hit a plateau in our pilates practice. Despite our best efforts, the results just aren’t there. Well, here’s a little bit of hope for you.

I came across an article that amazed, intrigued, and yes, even gave me the results I have been seeking for a very long time. I’m rarely impressed and even more rarely forward articles I read on-line, especially from Yahoo. That said, I’d feel really remiss if I didn’t share this with you. I hope it can help you achieve your goals if you are experiencing this same plateau or alternatively, be an added tool to keep in shape when you travel, can’t get to the studio, or just simply a tool to explore other ways to increase your strength on your own time.  You should notice that many of these moves are pilates based but what I was impressed by is the simplicity, clear instruction, modifications, and of course, results. Hopefully, you will be feeling the burn from a great workout like I did and who knows, maybe those extra pounds so many of us gain during the holidays will be a thing of the past.

https://www.yahoo.com/health/lose-the-pooch-the-best-exercises-for-lower-abs-102023490603.html

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Pilates and Wrist Pain

Many of us has experienced it; few of us know what to do about it. So why can wrists hurt so much for some and not for others during a pilates workout? Regardless if you’re doing mat or a reformer class, let’s explore why it occurs and then continue on to what you can do about it.

There are a lot of small little bones that connect the arm to the hand. There are no muscles to support this connection at the wrist unlike many other areas in the body. There are, however, forearm muscles that come down into hand in addition to all the little muscles inside it. Imagine the space you’d create if you were going to palm a basketball and took the basketball away but keeping your hand static. A small, hollow area is created in the palm of your hand. Keeping this form in place during a movement reduces the weight of your body into your wrists. In other words, the weight doesn’t sink into your wrists but utilizes other active, stronger muscles in your hands, forearms, and shoulders. If you’re on the mat, try pushing into your fingers and creating this small space beneath the palm of your hand. You’ll notice other muscles engaging and less weigh bearing down and into your wrists. Keep in mind it will take time to condition and actively engage your hands and arm muscles during a movement. The fact is we don’t often take a lot of weight into our hands though we can and do overuse them in everyday activities. Those activities though don’t take in most of our body weight such as a push up. So every day, all day we are using our hands but not in the way we use them in pilates class. The point is to not sink into your wrists and whatever you can do to actively engage other muscles groups, then you are in the process of conditioning your muscles in the right way.

Another area to be aware of is the shoulder girdle. If you are down on your knees and hands or just your hands as in a plank position, be aware of how broad your shoulders are. Are you sinking into your hands or is your shoulder girdle strong and more level? While on all fours, try sinking in on purpose and then bringing the opposite to your awareness by letting your shoulders actively engage. What difference do you feel in your wrists?

I won’t address physical issues that a person may have such as carpal tunnel syndrome but there are things a person can do to relieve the weight bearing load into the wrists. One common prop is folding a sticky mat and placing under the wrist so that the wrist is not only supported but propped up slightly if you are on a mat. This will prevent some of the pressure from sinking into your wrists until you have improved both your awareness and conditioning. There are gloves and other products you can use as well with similar results. If you’re doing mat work or you are in a yoga class, you can also move to the edge of the mat which will give you about the same incline as the sticky mats. Just be sure your mat is not really soft. Otherwise, it may prove to be counterproductive. A softer surface will allow more sinking. If you’re in a reformer class and your hands are on the bar, try sending your fingers out lengthwise to get a co-contraction of other muscle groups. This again should lead to less discomfort and pain. One final note: you also have the option of using the box whether in yoga, mat, or a reformer class. By placing your forearms on the box and removing the hands altogether, you are decreasing weight in the hands and wrists.

The bottom line is that there are many options. Don’t settle for pain. Talk to your instructors before or after class and if needed, get outside help either through your doctor or physical therapist. Wrist pain should not prevent all the benefits you can receive from pilates. You have options so it’s up to you to discover what those are through your expert resources.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker. Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 911 immediately. The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

An Interview with Joanna Nichols, LMP, at Light of Hand Massage

Ahhh….a massage. How many of us have received a gift certificate or scheduled a massage for ourselves as a special treat? Massage is often considered an indulgence or a luxury and not as a regular tool for good health. Research has shown though that aside from stress and muscle relaxation massage is complementary to many health issues such as nerve and joint pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, digestive disorders, and anxiety. There are many different types of massage, all of which can be confusing, so take time to discuss particular needs with your practitioner. Not all practitioners can deliver every type of massage and it’s important to see someone who is skilled in the area of massage that you need. The most common are Swedish, deep tissue, sports, and trigger point.

Recently, after a few too many hard workouts and unsuccessful attempts to loosen up my muscles, I went to Joanna at Light of Hand Massage for a deep tissue massage. I’ve had massages before for the same issue and I can honestly say that Joanna is one of the most sincere, caring, and gifted massage therapists I’ve come across. She is the only therapist who took a significant amount of time to understand my needs and treat accordingly which incorporated deep tissues and Swedish, not just the deep tissue I originally sought. I subsequently decided to ask her to join me in an interview on massage therapy for Bria’s blog. Light of Hand Massage is located next to Bria. Be sure to check out the current discounts and Groupon offerings at the end of our question and answer session. A link to her website and how to get in touch with her is also included. Joanna may or may not be the right therapist for you but massage therapy isn’t just an indulgence but a way to improve physical and mental health. Since when did good health become an indulgence? Never. We all deserve to feel good. If you aren’t there yet, hopefully you will be soon.

How did you come up with the name of the business?

I was sitting down with my boyfriend and I had no idea what to call the name of the business. This was the hardest part for me and he just said, “why don’t you call it ‘Light of Hand Massage”? It’s a play on words.” At first I didn’t like it and then it became the whole idea behind the business too. When I think of “Light of Hand” and I think of the logo and the name of the business….it just sort of evokes caring and warmth for me. This business is my heart. I’m living from my heart. I don’t call it work. It’s a dream come true for me.

What can a client expect from a massage at Light of Hand?

If it’s their first time, usually I will walk them through the entire process. I will tell them to keep in communication with me and I’ll keep in communication with them. I let them know their modesty will be respected at all time. I really like to tell people to melt on the table. I like to get people into a place where they are almost falling asleep, where their body just completely lets go. And I feel like a lot of work can be done by getting people to that place, more so than just digging my elbow into their shoulder. I pay attention to details, down to the linens, the color of the walls, the temperature of the room, the type of candles I buy. It’s all part of the experience even if they don’t notice. It’s very personal. Very intimate.

What is your background and experience?

This process started in 2011. I’m actually from Mississippi so when I was living there, I started massage school and was absolutely enthralled with it but unfortunately, finances kept me from finishing. I finished about a third of the program and then I lived in Denver for a little while. There, I also studied naturopathy and I went to a school in Boulder. I studied herbal medicine, reflexology, and all of these wonderful things. That again was sort of a finance thing and maybe too it just wasn’t the right time to be studying. As soon as I came to Seattle, all of the pieces sort of fell into place by themselves. All I had to do was walk this path that was laid out in front of me. For me. That was what it sorta felt like. So I started massage therapy school at Everest College and I literally just made up my mind that day. I walked in there and enrolled the same day and started two weeks later. I started in June 2013 and finished in late March 2014. So, I’ve only been at this 7 months but I feel I’ve been doing it for 20 years. It’s almost been surreal in how quickly I’ve adapted and be involved with this work that I’m doing. I feel so connected to what I’m doing. It feels natural, like I’ve been doing it forever.

What are the benefits of massage that you see most often in your clients and how often will they need to come see you to see those benefits?

The benefits with massage in general are so vast from increased circulation, decreased stress, maintaining integrity of your muscle tissue because you’re bringing more oxygen to your muscle tissue. Not only that but there’s also an energetic and emotional aspect of massage too. I know this sounds cheesy but they tell you in massage school that the “issues are in the tissues”. You can hold emotional issues in your muscle tissue. Sometimes people will have sort of memories of a time when they were at their grandmother’s house. That’s a part of massage that I find fascinating besides all the physical benefits. The emotional and spiritual benefits of massage therapy are just as great as the physical benefits.

Regular massage is once to twice a month and that’s ideal. I think twice a month is ideal. I think there are a lot of people who feel guilt over spending the time, and/or money, and/or energy on themselves to get a massage because a lot of people still sort of see it as this luxury which is understandable but I think that it’s an invaluable tool because you come into a massage studio, you speak with a massage therapist, and for that whole hour or hour and a half is all about you and they are asking you about you. You’re laying on a table and they’re holding space for you and when else do you get that?

 

Do you work with pregnant women?

So with women who are pregnant, obviously there are a few things that are different about the massage. You don’t want to have them lay on their stomach. We typically will use pillows and/or   bolsters to get them in positions that are comfortable for them.  The main different though is that they will be in a position called “side line”  which is essentially when you have them lay on their side and have some support between the knees. There are certain precautions you want to take as well. A lot of women don’t want massage during their first trimester. [Later on in pregnancy], a lot of women want deeper pressure when they’re pregnant, especially around their hips.

Do you take insurance?

I don’t currently take insurance but it’s not something that I’m not willing or wanting to do. It’s just that having a new business I’m trying to take things one step at a time.  So it’s probably something that in the next year I will offer. A lot of people have actually asked me that. Hopefully that will be something I can do in the future.

[Note: you may be able to use your employer-provided PSA account or be reimbursed partially through your insurance company. Just check before you assume but it’s definitely worth investigating!]

I hope the above interview has inspired you to explore this measure of good health for you or someone you know. If you want more information, please contact Joanna at lightofhandmassage@gmail.com or visit her website: www.lightofhandmassage.com. First time clients receive 25% off the first session – 30, 60, 90, or 120 minutes -and Bria members get 10% off any session thereafter. Be sure to check out the current Groupon offering as well.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

 

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Defeated or Determined?

There are times in a person’s life – say mine, for instance….or yours – when you’ve made a decision to change something and very soon afterwards, temptation is at your door step, hand-delivering an excuse, with your status quo looking more appealing than ever. For instance, you decide to cut down or cut out sugar and your good friend and neighbor shows up on your doorstep with a cake exclaiming how excited she is about trying this new recipe and she’s dying to know what you think. Or, you decide to get back into a regular pilates routine and just as you are about to leave for class, a friend phones and wants to treat you to the movie you’ve been dying to see. Or, deciding to start a new job search to leave a stressful, unfulfilling one behind and your computer dies right there in front of you right along with your commitment. There are countless examples when life seems to challenge us in this way. It’s as if the universe is saying, “Really??? Are you sure you really want to do this? Change is so hard and wouldn’t it be easier if you just left things alone?” No. It wouldn’t be easier. I see situations like these as a “call to arms”. The so-called universe has pulled out all stops and so should you. It’s a time to list all the reasons you made the decision in the first place and then regardless of the initial obstacles, find a way to succeed. Graciously accept the cake, throw it in the trash, and lie to your friend about how good it was. (Just kidding. There are other options that don’t involve eating the cake, thus breaking your commitment, in case you lean more towards humble honesty.) Ask your friend if she can go to the movies another night. Make a list of the skills you do have and companies or industries you do want to investigate for your job search. The point is, you always have a choice. You’ve been given an opportunity to dig deep, see what you’re made of, and discover your own resourcefulness and dare I say, willpower. Don’t – I repeat don’t – see it as a reason to delay your start or a reason to not do it at all whatever the “it” is that was just challenged. This is not a sign to call it quits or that something isn’t meant to be. The direction of your life is determined by you and sometimes – many times – your success has moments of solidarity. It’s just you and you alone. None of us are as weak as we think so dig deep, find that inner strength, and press on. Betraying your own trust is far more damaging than almost anything else you can do.

For those who regularly read this blog, you may have noticed that nothing was posted last week. The reason is that my computer DID die right in front of me and then I had to go out of town. Despite those challenges and even now having a nasty cold, the blog is back up and running. For those with keen memories, you took notice this isn’t an interview with Joanna Nichols at Light of Hand Massage. That has been delayed but I do, with great intention, plan to post next Friday.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Amaze Yourself

Recently, I saw a Youtube video of two people on the Cadillac doing movements that mesmerized me. When I shared this with a friend, he begged me not to attempt it. As if. The video though left me with a feeling that we are far more capable and competent than we give ourselves credit for. The following day I received an email from the pilates studio in my former town offering a discount if I’d return. Apparently, they didn’t know I had relocated to Seattle over the summer. Out of curiosity, I checked out their webpage to see what had changed. When I left Nashville, the studio was moving to a trendy area called “The Gulch”. Again, I came across a video that had me mesmerized. The owner and one of the instructors had created a choreographed dance scene on the Cadillac which was nothing short of mesmerizing. Both are former, professional dancers. I know both fairly well as I use to be an avid customer and had the privilege to be guided by their expert training.

My point in telling you this is that both videos demonstrate that we are far more capable of moving our bodies in ways than we give ourselves credit for. It’s easy to get into a routine and become “lazy” in the sense that we lose the connection between our bodies and our minds. Every class or workout routine offers an opportunity to reconnect, to push ourselves – within safe boundaries, of course – and to experience just how amazing these things are that we own and use to move throughout the day. I’ve shared the videos below not to challenge you to do this yourself, but to offer an opportunity to pause and find your own appreciation of your magnificent human body. It is capable of far more than you may give it credit for. If we strive just a tiny bit to expand our strength, our connection between the mind and body, and develop awareness, we may surprise even ourselves at what we can accomplish.

Pilates “Full Hang” by Regan Hoerster, Village Pilates Studio

http://simplybalancednashville.com/  (SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE)

As a heads up, Bria will be posting Youtube videos at some point in the future so that outside of the classroom, you, too, can develop your own practice from Bria’s expert instructors. In the meantime, next week’s blog will include an interview with Joanna Nichols, LMP at Light of Hand Massage located next door to Bria. She will discuss the benefits of massage, her unique approach, and what she hopes to give to her clients, just in case you want to give your amazing body a delicious treat and added support for all the work it does for you.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

How to Reduce Stress Through Procrastination

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the things on your “to do” list that procrastination sometimes becomes a part of your life? Or, are there some tasks that you just can’t seem to get done for no other reason than you just don’t want to even if the task is important? If so, you are not alone.

A long time ago I read an article by John Perry at Stanford University which changed my life. (I placed a link to it at the end of this blog.) The concept is called “structured procrastination”.  If you’re really turned on by it and want to learn more, there are business articles, NPR interviews, a blog, and much more out there in cyberspace on the topic, especially if you want to procrastinate some more. I wouldn’t hold this against you. Getting back to “structured procrastination”, I’ll try to sum up the concept as best I can so you can get going, feel good about your accomplishments, and have less stress in your life. Less stress equals better wellness and we all want to feel the best we can each and every day.

The idea is to do something less important but still important. I know what you’re thinking. What??!!! Essentially, what a person does is inflate the importance of one task over the more important task so you get the less important task done. Then, you move on to the next “to do” item on your list, regardless if it’s that monster of a task that you’re currently avoiding. Typically, it isn’t. According to Perry, each task has to have two characteristics which really aren’t true: an inflated sense of importance, i.e. horrible things will happen to me, my family, and potentially all of mankind if I don’t do it and two, a deadline, i.e. I have to complete Task A-I-Don’t-Want-To-Do by this <insert deadline>. There is an art of self-deception here but what I’ve found from my own experience is that momentum is a wonderful and very fulfilling side effect. For example, if I opt to get the oil changed in my car – something I hate to do but is necessary – instead of paying bills, I feel a sense of accomplishment that enables me to move onto the next task.  I have to add, though, that for me the task doesn’t have to be important. I can do something completely off my “to do” list to really distract myself, aka procrastinate, such as organize a closet. I get the same momentum effect I would if I did something more important with a deadline. Feeling empowered, I typically go straight to the task I was avoiding. I know countless professionals who use this in their work life and develop a reputation for getting a lot done and done well. That truly IS important. They spend more time doing and less time avoiding. Try this and see if it works for you and don’t forget about the link below. Perry’s concept has been an invaluable asset in my life and I hope yours. With the busy holidays coming up, this might be just the tool you’ve been looking for, especially if you want to keep up or start new fitness goals to keep the holiday weight off. You’ll be able to go out, enjoy life, spend time with the people you love, and far less time worrying and stressing out about all the things you just can’t seem to get done.

http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.

Mindful movement = Healthier Lifestyles 24/7

What is mindful movement? We hear that term a lot and some even practice this in pilates. But how often do you use it in your everyday activities from walking, eating, getting in and out of the car etc? In this fast-paced world, it’s normal to rush but that can lead to all kinds of problems such as higher stress and even injury if we aren’t paying attention to what we are doing in the moment. All we have is the moment anyway, right? We can’t change what happened yesterday or even five minutes ago nor can we change what will happen tomorrow. So, mindful movement equates simply to focus. It requires only that we stop our “monkey minds” from running free and bringing attention to our present moment. This will not only bring you more fulfilling moments in your everyday life but better results in your workout routines from pilates to barre to any other cardio or weight training routines you practice. Think for a moment how you felt after your last workout. How good did you feel? Consider that perhaps it was because you practiced more focused attention on how your body is moving in space, how it relates to space, and how it feels in space. What would happen if every so often you made this a daily habit? If you checked in with yourself from time to time on how you feel, how you’re moving, how you’re relating to your world? My guess is that you would increase your levels of happiness and decrease your stress. Try it. You’ll see what amazing results occur when you simply slow down and bring your attention into the present moment. If you’re really up for a challenge, try really slowing down. On purpose. As if time were playing out in slow motion.  It really does change your perspective and believe it or not, you might even find you get more done in less time than you ever thought possible.

As always, feel free to email me with feedback, questions, or suggestions for topics that interest you. I can be reached at smsunrise@yahoo.com or contact Bria directly. Thank you for reading!

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.Never dis­re­gard pro­fes­sional med­ical advice or delay in seek­ing it because of some­thing you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a med­ical emer­gency, call your doc­tor or 000 immediately.The views expressed on this blog and web­site have no rela­tion to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other insti­tu­tion with which the authors are  affiliated.