Archive | Announcement

If the shoe just fits – don’t run in it! Foot Month Ends, Bunions

I’ll admit I converted – I LOVE minimalist shoes.

One of the very important aspects of wearing any shoe, of course, is fit. I’m always on the search for the right fitting shoe.  For me, that includes a zero drop (think no heel) and won’t attract too much attention. The Five Finger style with separate toes gets a lot of looks. Even though the shoe is mostly black on the top, it’s the pink fabric in bePinkVibramtween the toes that makes people look down.  I wore them quite a bit while hiking so they’re not as bright anymore.  Still.  Their individual toes and most people don’t understand the style.

My first pair of minimalist shoes were water resistant, didn’t have separate toes, and came in black.  No one noticed them at all whatsoever and I was able to successfully convert my feet.  But… I completely wore them out.  They had done their job of strengthening my feet.

They were replaced with a gray and black beauty by Zem.  This little minimal has fun gray racing stripes and doesn’t attract any stares whatsoever.  While it isn’t water-free during a rain, it’s a great summer option and breathes well.  Take a closer look and you’ll notice the region for the big toe is actually shoShoes_minimalrter as compared to the area for the second toe.  While it’s only slightly uncomfortable at first, it didn’t take long to get used to so I thought the shoe would work well for me.

One of the amazing things about minimal shoes is they don’t require much break in time if any at all. It either fits your foot, or it doesn’t fit – and you know it immediately.  Because the heel cup conforms so well, the fabric rarely if ever rubs, grabs, or pulls.

Believing all was well, the shoe fit like a glove, I took an opportunity to run in them.  Unfortunately, they were too short (heel to toe) and my left big toe kept jamming into the shoe tip.  By the time I finished the run, the nail was red underneath it – I eventually lost the nail altogether.

If the shoe ‘just’ fits, don’t run in it.  Lesson learned.

My latest shoes are very minimal and very size 10!  It’s not that my feet are necessarily bigger than they were – in fact, they are the same length, but shoe-makers design for very narrow feet.  And while my feet aren’t substantially wider than before, they have too much depth and musculature to be pinched into a shoe that is too small.  These fancy shoes have super flexible soles, thin adjustable uppers, and a very cool design.   I recommend a slow transition to minimal footwear to give your feet time to adjust.  Just as you wouldn’t begin exercising weak muscles using super heavy weights, you shouldn’t begin walking weak feet muscles with only minimal shoes.

Minimal_Water_ShoeDid you know that, in general, most shoes promote feet weakness, rather than strength?  Hard soles, stiff uppers, and any heeled shoe prevent your feet from using the muscles that are designed to deform, and then stabilize, over uneven surfaces. And we rarely walk on anything uneven these days so that’s an added disadvantage.  Referred to as intrinsic foot muscles, in my study of foot patterns and research on abnormalities, I’ve found that faulty foot bone alignment (or chronic misalignments, rather) as well as overall muscle weaknesses allow a repetitive shortening of specific muscles that can contribute directly to serious problems, like bunions for example.

Bunions (Hallux valgus) can become quite painful and in advanced cases, debilitating, due to the body’s attempt to protect the tissues.  Believe it or not, bunions can be completely avoided and corrected using non-surgical methods in most cases.  Just to be clear, bunions are not a genetic predisposition!  See this picture of my husband’s foot demonstrating how a specific position forms a bunion.

Bunion2_TJSHe had shifted his ankle to the inside – note the arrow and the line showing the inner ankle bone moving off center of the foot.  What he did not show is the ‘duck footed’position (toes more out, heel more toward center line) that often accompanies a bunion.  He was able to shorten specific muscles including –  Adductor hallucis (oblique head) and Flexor hallucis brevis (lateral head) to create the appearance of a bunion in the knuckle bone of his big toe.

Also notice the line near the big toe – this angle becomes more acute as pressure on that toe pushes it more toward the other toes.  Walking with this configuration puts even more pressure on the toe in the final phases of the step, toe off, further exacerbating the problem in the joint.  If a bunion can be created, it can be fixed!  Here are some tips:

  • Align your ankle – put it back in the ‘middle’ of the top of your foot
  • Walk with your foot straight – toes pointing directly forward (not easy)
  • Ask for help – seek the advice of a professional who doesn’t insist surgery is the only answer

As we say goodbye to Foot Awareness Month, I am happy to say hello to Posture Awareness Month!  May 2016 is sure to be informative – watch for more tips and information on how to make the most of your body’s position!

**If you ever need help or have a question, don’t hesitate to contact BODYWISE directly.  If you’re curious and want to try us out, attend the ‘Don’t Exercise, Move’ workshop happening May 21 and every third Saturday from now until August – we’d love to see you!

DON’T EXERCISE – Research supported!

man looking down cliffThe ‘Don’t Exercise’ blog has brought up several questions, multiple comments, and even emails questioning it’s validity.  From ‘Do you really believe this?’ to ‘That’s great news!’, from ‘What *should* I do?’ to ‘That’s a relief!’

Nearly all of the people who question the truth of ‘Don’t Exercise’ have one thing in common – they just read the blog title and didn’t read the content of the article.  The title is such a controversy and caused such a fuss that lots of readers unsubscribed from the newsletter, even a chiropractor!

A little while ago, another well known doctor and posture specialist, wrote a note disagreeing with my article about ‘The New Sit’.  Guess what?  He hadn’t read the content either, he just saw the image and figured I had bought in.  It turns out, we actually agree that the New Sit is NOT beneficial.

Where do you stand?   

Having read the title, ‘Don’t Exercise’, would you agree with the statement, or disagree?  Are you someone with an opinion and time to write an inquiry?  Are you someone who looks at the evidence or takes time to read up on the subject?  If you read a subject line that says ‘Don’t Exercise’ wouldn’t you want to know what in the world it was about?

I’m writing about it because it’s in the news and it’s not easy to read everything there is to know about sitting or exercise or health – this is your opportunity to get the low down on what the issues are and decide what to do for yourself.

I’m going to come completely clean here – research has found that SOME exercise is better than NO exercise.

This statement is a lot like saying some eating is better than no eating.  Or some water consumption is better than drinking no water.  If you read the following statement, would you understand what it means?

    ‘Cessation of pulmonary respiration is linked to higher mortality rates.’

Yep, I know that.  You know that.  I think everybody knows that.  Maybe not though.  If you don’t know it’s meaning, don’t sweat it.  There are professionals in the field to help translate the science-ese.  Here it is again:  ‘If you stop breathing, you die.’    

What’s the point, you ask?  It’s about understanding what the research has found about EXERCISE and HEALTH.

The American College of Sports Medicine says that the evidence in support of the beneficial effects from performing exercise outweighs potential risks against exercising (eg cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, joint damage, muscle tears, etc) in most adults.  This is a fact considered indisputable because exercise has been shown to support the following list of changes in sedentary individuals:

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves lipoprotein profiles
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity
  • Manages body weight
  • Preserves bone mass in elderly
  • Reduces the risk of falling in aging populations

These are all good changes for people who spend most of their time SITTING.  By today’s standards, most people don’t consider themselves chronic sitters. 

However, Sitting is the new Smoking, remember?  Sitting is a health hazard.  A study from 2012, linked inactivity to over 5 million deaths worldwide every year, which is more than the deaths caused by smoking.  The new study by the Annals of Internal Medicine, found sedentary lifestyles increase the chances of developing conditions that contribute directly to dying prematurely, even for those who do the minimum recommended exercise. 

TVThe average American adult sits 9.3 hours per day not including commute times or meal times.  In addition, most people watch 3-4 hours of TV each day.  Potentially, you could be a 12 hour sitter, Monday through Friday.

Here again is the list of what may develop in the future (or you may have one or more already) that makes sitting such a hazard.  Sitters are still likely to face:

  • Higher risk of developing depression
  • Greater risk of developing cancer – colon, endometrial, and lung
  • Greater risk of developing heart disease
  • Increases the risk of obesity
  • Increases the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes
  • Susceptibility to muscular issues (immobility)
  • Interference of LPL, lipoproteinlipase (fat breakdown for fuel)

As a reminder, this is the same list of problems for both categories of people:  Sitters who Do Exercise as well as Sitters who Don’t Exercise.

EXERCISE in and of itself is not the solution, therefore, Don’t Exercise!  If you only have so much time in a week, why bother stressing about getting in exercise if it doesn’t positively impact your Sitting health anyway?

The takeaway:  Time to make a Plan about your Sitting Habit. 

As a non-exerciser, add the minimum weekly recommendation – 2.5 hours of moderately intense aerobics, OR 1.25 hours of vigorous activity, OR combinations of both types.  This does not include muscle building activity two times weekly.

What will you do?  How will you do it?  When and How often should you do it?

If you don’t know, I can help with creating that plan – it’s my specialty.  Contact me at dawn@bodywisebodywork.com.

As a current exerciser, here is a very important reality check:  The minimum recommendations of exercise do not counteract diminished health from prolonged sitting.

Let me prove it to you with this simple test!  Stretch your calves for 30-60 seconds each side – I recommend a piece half-foam for consistency and portability.  Sit for the average amount of time you spend in that position.  For me, it’s about 70-90 minutes at a time.  Re-check your calves by stretching them again.  Hopefully, you’re convinced… Please send me feedback on what you experienced!  Calf_stretch

Here’s another reality check:  The body you take exercising, is the same body you use for sitting.  If you do more sitting than exercising, you strengthen ‘sitting’ body patterns.  The test is the same!  If your calves stretch-ability changes while you’re sitting, that’s the movement availability in your calves during exercise.

What will you do to transform to a non-sitting body pattern?  How will you do it?  When and How often should integrate the tools?

If you don’t know, I can help with creating that plan, too – it’s exactly my specialty.  Contact me at dawn@bodywisebodywork.com.

Til then, Happy Sitting!

Holiday Cheer

 

BannerHorses   Dawn-Horse

It’s the holidays.   And speaking of holiday cheer, I’ve been particularly, and amazingly, cheerful recently.  I discovered the reasons why, which are not entirely surprising!

According to Psych Central, research has demonstrated the positive effect on [one’s] happiness as social interaction and taking part in voluntary work.  I get a 2 out of 2 working with Sue Moore.

1)  Sue has become a strong business partner and has invited me to join her Medicine and Horsemanship program.  Through her amazing coaching skills and positive perspective, she has earned herself a place in my business and in my heart – fulfilling social interaction, too.

2)  Through Sue, I found a not for profit, Empowerment Through Connection (empowermentthroughconnection.org).  ETC is dedicated to providing education, improving communication skills, and promoting personal growth using horses as co-facilitators.  Volunteering for ETC is an incredible experience!

Being with horses on a regular basis,  learning the ins and outs of running a stable, as well as providing bodywork services has given me the opportunity to find my source of happiness.

I urge you to increase *your* happiness this season – try volunteering or make a donation!  The pay-out is exponential!

Wishing you a Happy holidays!

(To find out about opportunities at ETC or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit their website or contact Sue Moore 425.328.7107)

Healthier & Wealthier: July 31

Optimize Your Health and Wealth

I’m excited to present this workshop where you will

1  Learn how Health and Wealth are closely connected
2  Discover what is keeping you stuck and preventing you from moving Forward
3  Understand the 3 Keys to Integrating your Health and Increasing your Wealth

Meet guest presenter Lynn Brown, Intuitive Financial Planner and creator of Winning
at the Game of Life.  Read more about her at http://raanessoflife.com

I would be honored for you to attend.  You will take away more value in this workshop
than you will spend in time and money – guaranteed or I’ll refund you immediately!

   Thursday, July 31, 6:30pm-8:00pm
The Brew, Main St Bothell

   $25 – Bring a friend $20 each
Light refreshments served

  rsvp   dawn@bodywisebodywork.com

Meal of the Year

I love squash.  My kids do not.  I see Thanksgiving as a time of year when I am justified in serving squash and making them taste it.  The day they decide it’s really not so bad afterall is worth all the complaining.

Is there something you don’t like that you haven’t tasted in a while?  Be adventurous and try a new flavor this holiday season:  You never know, you may decide it’s really not so bad afterall…

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!