Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Friends don’t let friends wear sandals

September 7, 2015


Note: this excellent post was created by Katie Phillips, one of the terrific therapists in our clinic. And a special shout out to her husband for helping with the photos and videos!


At Egoscue Austin, we’ve been thinking a lot about your feet.  No, not about your nail polish or the length of your toenails–we’re thinking about foot function and position.  Twenty-five percent of the bones of the human body are in the foot.  The foot is capable of the same amount of mobility as the hand, it’s just that most of us don’t utilize all this potential.  


Look for more posts in the future on feet, like getting the most out of your Foot Circles & Point/Flexes, and additional footwear tips.  For today, we will talk about sandals or flip-flops.  

Flip-flops are the go-to shoe for many Austinites.  They are comfortable, relatively inexpensive, and convenient.  However, they can wreak havoc on the body.  Why?  To keep the thing from flip-flopping right off your foot you have to use all kinds of accessory muscles and joints.  There are the two main problems.  First, the toes have to clench and grab to hold the flip flop on.  This toe grabbing can cause symptoms like plantar fasciitis and hammertoes.   The second problem is that if the back leg is not pushing off with the toes, it is also not extending at the hip joint.  Hip joint extension is where we get to utilize our powerful glute muscles to help stabilize the pelvis and drive the leg forward into the next step.  Without proper hip extension power, the low back, hip, knees, ankles, and feet have to twist and rotate to swing the back leg around to the front.  The torque at the back, hip, and all the joints below leads to pain in these areas.

While walking, it is important for the toes to spread apart and push off, helping to extend the hip, which propels the leg forward into the next step.  Think about this the next time you walk.  And if you aren’t already, make walking a part of your daily activity intake.   


Take a look at this video of walking in flip flops.  Notice how the back leg never gets fully extended because that would cause the shoe to fall of.  This person can not generate power from their glutes and hamstrings to push off and move the body forward effectively.  They are essentially falling forward onto their front leg.  It’s not hard to imagine how this could lead to joint pain.

 

 

By contrast, wearing minimal shoes that fasten around the heel allow for greater extension and power generation at the hip joint.  Also, the toes can spread and create an even, stable base to push off the ground and drive the leg forward into the next step. 


So what to wear when you walk?  Where it is safe, barefoot is best.  If you want to protect your feet but be as bare as possible, choose shoes with a flat, thin, and flexible sole that also has backing on the heel.  The binding on the heel will keep the shoe on your foot and free the toes to fulfill their important push-off function.  The ability to get good toe push-off and hip extension equals happy feet, ankles, knees, hips and back.


In the photo below, look at how the toes have to grab to keep the flip flop on the foot.  

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And here, look at the toe spread. This is a happy foot!


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If you would like specific recommendations for footwear please feel free to contact us here at the clinic 512-527-0030 or austin@egoscue.com.  Happy walking!

Why are American health care costs so high?

January 23, 2014

This video does a great job of explaining why American health care costs are SO much higher than other countries. It’s incredibly informative, entertaining, and somewhat infuriating.

 

The Power of Forgiveness

December 21, 2013

I was going to write this post about something else entirely, and then I read this article:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/20/us/libya-widow-teacher-forgives-attackers/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Wow!

This is the story of a couple who traveled to Libya with their young son so the husband could teach English at The International School. He went out fo a jog one morning about a month ago and was gunned down by a 4 masked men in a jeep. The story has provoked outrage and anger around the world. The wife, however, has a message for everyone: love and forgiveness. What did she want to tell the people who murdered her husband?

 

“I just envision the black Jeep driving up to him and I don’t know their faces. I just want them to know that God loves them and can forgive them for this,” Anita Smith tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper in an interview.

Emotion broke her voice as she spoke.

“I don’t know them. That’s how I honestly feel. It may sound crazy. It’s God’s spirit that’s putting this inside me,” she added.

Smith said she didn’t feel any anger or want any revenge against the killers of her husband.

“I just really want them to know that I do love them and I forgive them, and Ronnie would want this, and I hope and pray that our son, Hosea, would believe this,” she said.

 

That is just incredible, moving and powerful. Now, why do I share this with you?

Forgiveness is a very, very powerful emotion, and so is guilt, and so is anger. We all know that the mind and the body are not really separate things but are different aspects and reflections of our being. I will go so far as to say this: the state of our spirit will absolutely mirror itself in the state of our physical body. You guys see this all the time. How do you physically feel when you’re completely stressed out? Does that feel “good”? If you deal with a chronic pain issue, how does your pain respond to stress? Probably hurts more, right?  

One of the benefits I have of being the longest-tenured clinic director in the Egoscue clinic system is I have a good sample size from which to draw conclusions. And I see over and over and over again that where a person is at emotionally and spiritually ABSOLUTELY impacts their pain.  And the most damaging emotions I see people hold on to, the ones that wreak the most physical havoc, are anger, guilt and shame.  Those emotions are incredibly destructive not just to your spirit, but to your body as well. They are absolutely inflammatory.

I see a lot of people walking into our clinic looking for help who are laboring under the tremendous burden of these emotions. And their physical progress will be necessarily limited to the degree these folks continue go hold onto these things. Some of the time, these emotions are directed outward at others. The client perceives someone “did them wrong” and they cannot let it go.  These people are stuck in victim-ness. More often, though, these emotions are directed inward, at themselves. They thought or felt or did something in their past they literally cannot stand. Think about that phrase, “I can’t stand the fact that…..” And then they come literally limping into my clinic having trouble standing!  

Holding on to these emotions is like grabbing a hot, burning coal from a fire and refusing to let it go. They keep grasping it, and it keeps burning them.  They cannot – and will not – begin to heal until they let that coal go. And likewise, many of the folks who walk into our clinic will not experience full healing and restoration in their bodies until they let go whatever that toxic emotion is they continue to carry with them, like a burning coal.

Is this post speaking to you? If so, good. Are you holding on to a burning coal at this very moment? Do you know what it is? Is holding on to it serving you or hurting you? Could you have the courage to lay it down and forgive and love yourself?  

Or are you reading this and nodding and saying “that was me, I spent years holding that coal, thank God I laid it down some years ago”? If that’s you, I’d love for you to share your story in the comments below.

If you need to forgive someone else, or if you need to forgive yourself, go read or re-read that story above. Then I’d strongly suggest you go watch this 18 minute video from the TED conferences, Brene Brown talking about shame. It is incredibly powerful.

If you’re reading this, if you are a client at an Egoscue clinic or are thinking of becoming one, the odds are good you are experiencing some kind of pain. A great place to start in the healing process is to do the inner work first of ensuring you can say yes to the questions “Am I ok? Do I approve of myself? Do I love myself in a healthy, nurturing way?” Be brutally honest with yourself and if the answer is yes, terrific! If the answer is no, I’m proud of you for asking the question and having the courage to answer it honestly.  Figure out what you need to do to be able to let go of the toxic emotions that are oxidizing and inflamming both your spirit and your body. Perhaps that is having a very frank, honest talk with a certain person in your life. Or setting up an appointment to speak to a counselor at your church, temple, synagogue or mosque. Or having a visit with a mental health professional. Or maybe it’s just realizing that, finally, enough is enough. In this moment, right now, you have the power to let this go, whatever it is, however big it seems. My prayer for you is that you’ll have the courage to do this and can then step into a new era of your life, free of these weights you’ve been carrying for so long. 

 

an update, and an amazing video

September 10, 2012

Hi guys. I apologize that it’s been so dang long since my last blog post. But i have some good excuses! Well, they’re excuses, i’ll let others judge if they’re worth a lick.

The primary one is that a new, centralized Egoscue blog is coming. It was supposed to be up by now, but we’re still waiting for it to get technically released. Right now there are maybe 3-5 active Egoscue clinic bloggers. When the new central blog is released, the idea is we’ll all migrate over there so people can just read one blog and get everyone’s content. I think it’s going to be great and we’re just waiting for it to go live. Hopefully that will be this month, i’ll try to keep you posted.

Then, we moved into a new clinic space at the beginning of July! I want to take some video to show it off to you guys. Those clients who have been there love it, as do we! It’s bigger, it’s better suited to what we do, and it’s easier to get to. It’s just a great space we’re thrilled to have and we invite you to come see it!

Then on top of all that, back in May i had an accident and tore the labrum in my right shoulder. I knew it needed to be repaired surgically but we were moving so i put it off until a couple of weeks after we were in our new space. So i had that done in mid-July, and boy howdy, it’s been a real treat.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff i want to share with you guys and i kept putting it off thinking the new blog would be up any day, but i’m not going to keep holding off. We’ll move over there once that’s open, but for now, i’ve got a video i really want you guys to see. If you want to be amazed at your own bodies, to get back in touch with the concept that we are simply magical creations and that our transition from a sperm and an egg to a full formed baby coming out of the womb is so far advanced of any science we think we know, then watch this video. It uses new technology to show imagery of “Conception to Birth”. It’s stunning stuff. Enjoy:


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Why do you hurt?

August 7, 2011

This is a GREAT post from our Nashville clinic director, John Elder. He talks about an interaction with a client, Judy, who developed shoulder pain.

here’s part of their interaction:

We sat in my office for about 30 minutes, asking each other questions. She asked about Egoscue and how we would help her pain. I asked about her condition and why she believed she hurt. The conversation of course went to tennis, and that is when she blamed her activity.

“But, you’ve been playing for 25 years. Why do you think the pain just started six months ago?” I asked.

“Well,” said Judy, “I don’t know. I guess I haven’t thought about it like that. I just know that it has been hurting since January, and I assumed it was due to too much time on the court. But, I’ve been able to play tennis pain free for 25 years up until that point.”

“So, if it’s not tennis’ fault. Why do you believe you hurt?

“Well…I guess I’m not sure.” Judy said.

“What happened in January?” I asked.

“My shoulder started hurting!” Judy said with frustration in her voice.

“No, Judy. What happened? What changed in January. Away from the court. What happened?”

And that’s when it hit her. Judy’s face when expressionless and turned a bit pale in color as if she had just seen a ghost.

Read the rest here.

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Two Patriots Have Spoken, Will You Listen?

May 1, 2011

This is going to be a very different post than what I normally write here. I ask for your indulgence, and it is my hope that if you take my recommendation and read the information I’m about to share with you that you will understand why I felt compelled to share it here.

We live in challenging times. Our world is changing, evolving, at a rate so fast that it almost defies imagination. The world is a very different place today than it was 20 years ago. And yet our country continues to prioritize and behave as if the world was still the world of 20 or 50 years past. That is to the detriment not just of Americans, but to the world at large.

Our nation finds itself at a crossroads. We have decisions to make about who we are as a nation, and what our values truly are. It is time for us to stand up as a people and decide what we believe is truly important, and then it is time to begin acting in a way that is consistent with those values and priorities.

Two patriots have done exactly that. They have written an article that was quietly issued by the Pentagon in April of this year entitled “A National Strategic Narrative”. The article was written by Capt. Wayne Porter of the US Navy, and Col. Mark Mykleby of the US Marine Corp. Both are actively serving military officers. I am heartened beyond measure not just by what they wrote, but by the fact that actively-serving officers wrote it, and that the Pentagon saw fit to issue it.

These two officers courageously assess our 21st century world and rightly conclude that policy and behavioral shifts are sorely needed if America is to remain a true power for good in this rapidly changing world. Old paradigms of how to achieve prosperity and security are no longer working, and will no longer work. The world has changed and America must change, as well. These two patriots lay out this argument clearly and persuasively.

I promise you, you have never read anything like this. This is a very, very important work and it should be read by as many Americans as possible. But not just read. We should read it, and then it is my fervent prayer that after reading it we will collectively discuss and debate it, that this paper will infect and inform the national dialogue and can serve to re-shape policy in a way that will help us to preserve and defend our precious Republic.

I am going to give you two links. The first is to an article about the paper. You can read that here:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/13/the_y_article?page=0,0

The second link is to the paper itself. You can read that here:

http://www.wilsoncenter.org/events/docs/A%20National%20Strategic%20Narrative.pdf

I STRONGLY encourage you to read both. The paper is 14 pages long. Some of you may think you don’t have the time or energy to read it. Please, if you care about this country, if you care about your children, your grandchildren, about the environment, the economy, about our national security, about our very Republic, you owe it both to yourself and to your country to read this paper and to share it with as many people as you can. Then actively discuss it. I hope what these two brave officers have done will re-light a beacon that has for too long been dimmed.

I thank these two officers both for their service to our country in their capacity as military officers, and I express to them my profound gratitude for capturing these ideas and principles on paper and having the courage to put them forth to the world. They did their part. Now it is time to do ours.

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Would you like to see some amazing photographs?

October 3, 2010

Check these out, aerial photos documenting our world. Beautiful.

http://justpaste.it/3ky

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