Archive | Pain-Free

Turn Off Happiness

Are You Turning Your Own Happiness Off?

SwitchOnHappiness-BODYWISEBodywork

You may have turned off your own Happiness flow – I did as a young teenager and I only recently learned how to turn it back on: The results have been incredible and are evident mentally, emotionally, and even physically!

Learn how you may be turning off your happiness, and how you can change that, and change your life as you watch my video below….


Happiness Formula

How to Transform Unhappiness to Happiness With This Formula

Happiness formula-BODYWISEBodywork

Transform your unhappiness with this key formula: Look at ‘what’ you live, and look at ‘what’ you expected – do they match up? What are you unhappy about? Why? What can you do about it? What formula or blueprint could change your unhappiness to happiness.

Discover the Happiness Formula in my Friday Live Video…


Thinking Your Pain

What Does Your Thinking Have to do With Your Pain?

fearandpain-bodywisebodywork

Welcome to Friday Live!

What do you think about your pain? It’s not what you think…Actually it is what you think! Does fear, anguish and other factors result in pain you may be experiencing? Can calm and peace help you overcome it? How does your thinking affect your body?

Enjoy the answers on my Friday Live Video!

 


Feet don’t fail me now – National Foot Month

FeetFeet go mostly unnoticed… until summer when sandals and nail polish come out in full force.  There are some who show off their feet and some who consistently hide them. 

It’s National Foot Health Awareness Month and feet problems are all over the internet, from bunions to hammer toes to fasciitis to heel spurs, you can read about everything.

But why do we have so many problems with our feet?  Katy Bowman, Biomechanist, says that feet are not healthy because of a chronic pattern in our society that decreases circulation, contributes to weakness, and even negatively effects the joints in our knees and hips. 

The chronic pattern is wearing shoes.  Shoes to the feet are like, oven mitts to the hands – they may protect to a certain degree (degree fahrenheit, of course), but worn all the time seriously limit mobility and dexterity.  

Pink kitchen gloves isolated on white background.

And it’s not just that feet are in shoes most of the time… it’s also that we walk around on surfaces that are uniformly flat.  What the nervous system does between our feet and our minds is pretty astounding.  It’s constantly measuring how far away the ground is and it measures the distance between steps on a set of stairs, too. You’ve felt this when you expected a step that wasn’t there or didn’t expect a step that ‘was’ there.

Take a quick look at your own feet.  Notice the shape and health of the nails, the joints, tendons, and muscles (can you even see any muscles?).  Do you have an arch when you stand or only when you’re sitting?  Do you walk pigeon toed or duck footed?  What pattern do you wear into the tread on your shoes?

All this provides information about what’s happening in the structure that is the foundation of your body.  Without a strong and stable foundation, the rest of the structure suffers.  Buildings are constructed with specific guidelines for materials based on the environment and stressors to ensure value and long term usage. Think about houses for a moment – a house you want to buy may appear in great condition.  However, you need an inspector to determine if the foundation is crumbling.   Everyone knows that investing in a house with a suboptimal basement is a poor choice because the rest of the structure will eventually follow suit.   House foundation

Why don’t we think that way about our feet, too?   Unlike buildings, our feet require more than stability to function well – they also require mobility which adds to the complexity of keeping them healthy.

A woman I know  broke her left foot recently.  After limping around in a boot during recovery, she developed knee pain on the non-injured side.  It turns out that she tore the meniscus in her right knee after favoring her left foot for so long.  Unfortunately, the meniscus was injured because of a problem in her right foot that was identified years ago but not resolved.  

If you suffer from pain in your knee, hip, low back, shoulder, or neck, it just may be your feet to blame.  Improve your foot health and reap the rewards a set of strong feet gives the rest of your body. 

Start off on the right foot by trying movements like these:

1  Open and close your toes

 Toe abduction

2  Walk around on the balls of your feet

 Walk on toes

If you find them difficult or you want even more practical tips on how to move your body well, join us at the
‘Don’t Exercise, Move’ workshop, April 16, 2016
www.bodywisebodywork.com/exercise-move-workshop

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!

Do we sit because we can’t walk?

Falling, TrippingAccording to this study done by Purdue University, the high fall and injury rate of students reflects the inherent instability of bipedal locomotion (walking).  Students are falling 58% of the time while walking, so it must be that humans weren’t meant to walk on 2 legs. 

 Seriously? 

Humans have been walking for a very long time… and because students at Purdue are tripping and falling over half of the total time they spend walking, the study concludes humans aren’t designed to walk.

Let’s look at other pieces of information that may have been a contribution to the problem.  Most individuals studying in a college setting are between the ages of 18 and 26.  It is very fascinating and interesting to note that, by 1988, the United States adopted the law requiring children to be in car seats (a full 10 years after Tennessee made car seats mandatory).

Hunh.  1988 was… 28 years ago.  My my, could there be a correlation between these young adults current ability (or inability, I should say) to walk and the environment that directly effected how, how much, and to what degree, they developed during their initial attempts to learn to walk?   

And by the way, has anyone looked at the connection between the increased use of automobiles and human mobility via walking or equestrian riding? 

Is it possible that cars and the use of car seats are the cause of the current trends in human walking incompetence?   

We’ve all seen ‘those’ parents who don’t take their children out of the car seats when the drive is over.  And now we even accessorize car seats:  They snap into the stroller, fit into the grocery cart, and even come with a curved base – all the easier to ‘rock’ the baby to sleep.  By the way, years ago a friend shared with me that these kids are called ‘Bucket Babies’ and tend to have a flat spot on the back of their head.

The truth is bodies are meant to move! 

Since car seats have become so versatile, children aren’t getting the same stimulation and opportunity to build movement patterns.  They are delayed, under-developed, and less coordinated.  Review the following growth markers considered basic development:

  • At 1 month, a baby should begin lifting their head and turning it to the side while lying on their stomach – in recent years, parents are told to give their kids ‘tummy time.’  No tummy time happens in a car seat.
  • At 3 months, a baby should begin lifting his chest as well as head and perform pushup like movements while lying prone.  They also push down with their legs if you stand them up.  Babies can’t push their legs against the curve of a car seat.
  • At 7 months, a baby should be able to roll over, sit unsupported, and bounce on her legs while supported.  Children at this stage have not developed the same strong network of motor nerves that more independent babies have.
  • Between 8 to 12 months, children should be crawling, pulling themselves up to standing, and walking with help.  If kids aren’t mobile by this point, they really scream about it!

Humans have been raised in an upright world for much longer than they’ve been placed in car seats.  There is more research to be had on this issue.   For now, understand that car seats are just the beginning of a life of limited movement.  With trends as they are, no one is likely to have a future of tripless walking – not with the average American sitting 9-12 hours a day.

Combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle!  Walk more, Move more, Sit less!

If you need help or want to learn more ways to accomplish optimal health, attend the
‘Don’t Exercise, Move’ Workshop
April 16, 2016 at 3pm
rsvp dawn@bodywisebodywork.com

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!