Archive for May 2007

Exercise as an anti-aging therapy

May 24, 2007

OK, I’ve got another article from Science Daily. This one studied exercise and its impact on muscle tissue of senior citizens and found that it had a dramatically positive effect on muscle tissue:

Not only does exercise make most people feel better and perform physical tasks better, it now appears that exercise — specifically, resistance training — actually rejuvenates muscle tissue in healthy senior citizens.

The article isn’t just talking about muscles getting stronger. They actually studied something called the “gene expression profile”, a marker for the aging process, and they were surprised to find that exercise actually reversed the “genetic fingerprints” associated with aging!

Great stuff and more validation on how important it is to USE our bodies. Don’t let yourself rust, get moving!!

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Chronic Pain Can Impair Memory

May 18, 2007

Interesting article this morning over at ScienceDaily.

“Anyone who has experienced chronic pain knows that it affects the ability to work, sleep and perform other activities essential to leading a full life. Now researchers at the University of Alberta have confirmed that chronic pain doesn’t just cause physical discomfort; it can impair your memory and your concentration.“

click the link above to check it out.

We have a lot of clients who intuitively already knew this but I’m sure will be comforted to know it’s not their imagination. It IS a physiological process.

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Skin Deep, take 2

May 15, 2007

I posted earlier about the excellent website and database put together by the good folks over at Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep”. I just received the email below from their organization announcing a revision to the website. Thought I’d share it here:

Dear Friends,

Today we are releasing a dramatically expanded and improved version of our popular cosmetics and personal care products database, Skin Deep. The site has been redesigned top to bottom, and we’ve added ratings for nearly 10,000 more products.

Now in its fourth year and third major update, our Skin Deep product safety database provides safety ratings for nearly 25,000 personal care products – almost a quarter of all products on the market – and the 7,000 ingredients they contain. Due to gaping loopholes in federal law, companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products. Even worse, the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them. Our aim is to fill in where companies and the government left off.

Skin Deep is the only tool available to consumers to assess and compare the safety of personal care products.

Looking for safer sunscreen to protect the kids this summer? Or shampoos without dangerous preservatives? Skin Deep helps you learn what not to buy, and helps you find safer options for you and your family.

And along with adding thousands of products and a dozen new toxicity databases, we have also overhauled the look and feel of Skin Deep. You’ll find it easier to search for products and find answers about how chemicals affect our health.

While we believe that making informed shopping decisions matters, the lack of safety testing reveals major gaps in our system of public health protections. So how can you make a difference?

First, please visit Skin Deep and sign the EWG Action Fund petition to Congress demanding that manufacturers prove the safety of their products before they are allowed to sell them.

Second, make a donation to support our work. We rely on individuals to provide us with the funds to update the database and make a difference in Congress.

At about one million page views per month and growing, Skin Deep is the world’s most popular online product safety guide. Many thanks for your support. Enjoy the new and improved Skin Deep.

Jane Houlihan
VP for Research

GREAT video illustrating postural concepts

May 15, 2007

thanks to Donal and his blog for bringing this to my attention.

If you want a nice quick lesson on posture, watch this. It’s Brian Bradley, our director of therapy protocol, talking about postural health and balance to a group of runners. Great stuff.

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LA Morning Workout pics

May 14, 2007

Got an email from Amber, one of the therapists at the West Los Angeles clinic. She took a group of clients down to the beach at Santa Monica for a morning workout, and they took pictures to show how much fun they were having. Check ‘em out.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8266866@N04/sets/72157600207587573/show/

I especially love the inchworms across the pedestrian bridge!

And for you folks in SoCal, if you ever get a chance to go to the LA clinic, do it. Alex (the clinic director) and his staff down there do a fantastic job of taking care of their clients. We were out there in January for an Egoscue training event and got to work with a bunch of their clients that Friday, and we had an absolute blast. Great clinic, great people.

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Sequence

May 9, 2007

New clients ask me this question all the time: does the order matter?

They’re asking about their menu and if it is important to do the ecises in the exact sequence they are listed. The answer is “absolutely, yes it makes a HUGE difference.”

When an Egoscue therapist constructs a menu for client, they aren’t just throwing a bunch of exercises together. The exercises on that menu are selected AND sequenced in a very specific fashion to accomplish a very specific effect. For example, I might have a client who has a pelvis that is rotated (twisted) clockwise, so when they stand facing a wall, the left hip is closer to the wall than the right one. They also have an upper back that is really rounded forward. Now I may want to give them some standing exercises to go after the position of the upper back, but maybe I wrote the menu to first address the pelvic rotation. I don’t want them standing in that rotated position and end up strengthening the rotation. So we address the rotation first (in this example), and then once I see it come out, THEN we move on.

If you’ve been through an appointment in our clinic (or in any Egoscue clinic), you’ll notice that the therapist may periodically get you up and check your posture throughout the appointment. What is happening is they are seeing if what they wanted to get posturally out of a set of ecises is what they actually got. If so, terrific, onward and upward. If not, then as a therapist we need to determine why we didn’t achieve what we wanted out of that sequence and then figure out what stimulus we need to present to get what we want. It’s that kind of line of thinking.

So when a client changes the sequence of their menu, they are in effect writing their own menu and changing what it is the therapist was trying to do. I had one client who was very stubborn about this. They liked what they liked and wanted to do what they wanted to do. I explained at repeated visits why sequence was important but they just didn’t listen. So one day I asked them “so when did you complete your Egoscue certification?” The client looked at me, puzzled. I explained “well, you’re writing your own menus, you obviously aren’t interested in my advice, so I’m assuming you’ve had extensive training here. I had no idea. What was the theme of your case studies?”

Then I just smiled. The client looked at me for about 10 seconds, silent, then started laughing. “OK, OK, I get it, it’s really THAT important?”

Yeah, it’s that important.

If you feel the need to alter your menu’s sequence, don’t do that on your own. Contact your therapist, explain what’s happening and enlist their help on this. They’ll work with you to address whatever issue is going on so you can have a menu you are comfortable performing.

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and speaking of community……

May 3, 2007

I get emails from this one outfit, not even sure how I got on their list. I’d unsubscribe but about every 4th one has something cool in it. This last one had what I’m posting below.

We all act like we’re doing our own thing, totally independent of everything and anyone else. But we’re not. The older I get, the more I realize how interconnected we all really are. Most of us lament that life in 21st century western civilization seems to have lost a feeling of community and connectedness. Well, are we acting in a way that fosters such connection and community? Are we looking out for each other? Celebrating each others’ victories and consoling the defeats? When someone expresses a real need, do you tell them “well, sorry to hear that, I’ll pray for ya” or do you roll up your sleeves and do something tangible to help the situation? Now I’m not discounting the power of prayer, believe me. My wife wouldn’t be alive were it not for prayer, but that’s a story for a different day. But maybe the person could use some groceries, or help mowing their lawn, or maybe their back hurts so much they can’t work so you spend half an hour and show them some things they can do on their living room floor out of one of the books. Or you take your elderly neighbor to lunch or the optometrist so they can get new glasses they can actually read with.

I’m not lecturing here so I apologize if this sounds holier than thou. No one needs to hear this message more than me. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own drama that we forget we are part of something bigger. Anyway, I dug the story below and thought I’d pass it on. I hope you enjoy it, too.

A Sense of a Goose
by: Author Unknown

When you see geese flying along in “V” formation, you might
consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that
way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for
the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation,
the whole flock adds at least 71 percent greater flying
range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community
can get where they are going more quickly and easily because
they are traveling on the thrust of one another. When a
goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and
resistance of trying to go it alone – and quickly gets back
into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the
bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in
formation with those people who are headed the same way we
are. When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the
wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take
turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with
geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep
up their speed. What messages do we give when we honk from
behind?

Finally – and this is important – when a goose gets sick or
is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of formation, two other
geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend
help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until
it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they
launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch
up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each
other like that.

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