• Services
  • Contact Us

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How to create that “vacation state of mind” everyday to manage stress and fuel your creativity.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

As a physical therapist, I see many people with chronic pain.  And over the last couple of years, I have seen just as many people with chronic stress.  I believe that the increased emphasis on technology in our society (as well as a poor economy) has created less breaks in our work schedules and more unrealistic expectations from our employers.  Unfortunately, chronic pain and chronic stress look very much alike and have similar negative consequences.

Both chronic pain and chronic stress involve three factors:  Perception, an emotional component and a physiological reaction.  It is the physiological manifestations of pain and stress that cause the long term diseases; Increased muscle tension, increase blood pressure, poor eating habits, decreased breathing and poor oxygen exchange, increased heart rate and increased levels of the hormone, Cortisol. .  Research shows that both chronic pain and chronic stress negatively affect memory and thought processes.    Both chronic pain and chronic stress AGES your brain. They also hamper creativity and productivity.

With chronic pain, the brain looks different.   There is a change in the brain’s ability to process chronic pain – the nerves in the spinal cord actually become more easily excited by even the smallest amount of pain. So chronic pain makes you more susceptible to pain and, I believe, the same is true for stress.   Stress leads to more stress. You get stuck in a vicious cycle.  Because of a reprogramming of the central nervous system, you can no longer handle even the most minor stressful situations.

From the research on chronic pain, we can extrapolate that stress may be best treated by re-conditioning the brain – hitting the “re-do” button if you will-  in the part of your brain that analyses stress.  To do this you must create moments when your attention is sufficiently drawn away from stress that you are almost stress free.

For a lot of us, this only happens when we are on vacation.  Even weekends are no longer sacred time off from stress and responsibility. Most people feel better physically and mentally while on vacation.  The question becomes, how do we recreate that “vacation state of mind” on a daily basis?

In a recorded, free phone call, myself, PR expert Lisa Elia and expressionist painter Amadea Bailey explore ways to re-condition the brain by moving your attention away from stress.  What can you do on a daily basis to handle stress with grace so that you can function at your best, most creative self?  Time pressure and overwhelm zap us of energy and creativity.  In the call, you will learn ways to create a state of relaxation – even in the face of everyday stressors so that you can fuel your creative fire and be on vacation (sort of) everyday.

Simply click on the link below, register (it is free) and listen to the call recording.

http://fuelyourfire.PRteleseminar.com.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Prevent wrist pain while exercising with WAGs.

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Wrist pain is often associated with poor posture. Whether you are driving or working at a computer, poor posture will decrease the proper flow of blood to the arms and hands and can, eventually, lead to wrist problems. Two great ways to improve posture are Yoga and Pilates. Ironically though, both of these exercise methods involve a lot of weight bearing on the hands and can aggravate wrist pain.  Enter a new solution …

wrist assured gloves

WAGs in action

Wrist Assured Gloves (WAGs).  These are special workout gloves that have a built-in, contoured gel pad and are specifically designed to provide joint protection and comfort. They were created by Occupational Therapist, Paula Wilbert and will ease wrist strain during any weight bearing activity by keeping your wrist in the proper alignment.  You can get more information on these great gloves at www.getWAGs.com

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Joint Friendly Exercise Routine Featured in Best Health Magazine

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

I designed a joint-friendly exercise routine for the Nov/Dec 2010 Issue of Canada’s Best Health Magazine.  This simple exercise program does not require any special equipment (beyond hand weights and a chair) and will help to protect knees, hips and shoulders from joint degeneration and decrease arthritic pain.  Remember that strengthening the muscles around a joint, which support and protect the joint, will decrease your chance of wear and tear on the body as well as chronic degeneration and pain in a joint.  The web version of the article is available here.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Guest Spot on “A Balanced Life” Radio Show.

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

This morning, I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Radio Show “A Balanced Life”, hosted by Beth Aldrich and Tracey Mallett. Beth is is the founder of For Her Information Media, LLC and Real Moms Love To Eat.  She is a healthy lifestyle and green living expert, writer, blogger… the list goes on.  Beth is also the founder of Restoring Essence Nutrition, LLC and a Certified Holistic Health and Nutritional Counselor through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).

Tracey Mallett is a lifestyle and fitness expert, host of several fitness DVDs and the author of “Sexy in Six” and “Super Fit Mama”.

Check out these links to learn more about these amazing women.

http://www.forherinformation.com

http://www.traceymallett.com

To listen to my guest spot on A Balanced Life Radio, click on the link below and on the 10/06/10 podcast.  We cover several topics from preventing knee pain, to avoiding repetitive strain injuries, to making sure your kids develop good computer habits that will prevent pain syndromes later on in life.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/a-balanced-life-beth-aldrich/id349220008?i=87998964

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Check out the May Issue of Pilates Style Magazine

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

My dear friend Tannis Kobrinsky is featured in this month’s issue of Pilates Style Magazine. If you are interested in some great Pilates mat exercises (and who isn’t?), check it out.

Pilates Style article

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Check out the January Issue of Woman’s Day

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Ready, Set, Walk! is the name of the article written by Karen Asp. I wrote the actual walking routines (one for AM, one for mid-day, and one for PM) and Karen wrote the article. In the January Issue of Woman’s Day – page 70.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Back Pain and Depression

Monday, July 21st, 2008

handelgrouplogo1.gif
Is my back pain all in my head??? I have patients ask me that question all the time.

Pain signals are processed in the brain – so it has to be involved somehow. Research has, in fact, linked anxiety and depression to back pain. But what comes first, the depression or the back pain?

Certainly either scenario is possible. You are depressed; you walk around slouched with no energy; you stop exercising and taking care of yourself. That is a recipe and a precursor for a back problem. But pain is depressing and often the psychological component occurs because of the back problem. A recent study found that 42% of people with back pain where depressed PRIOR to the onset of pain, while 58% became depressed AFTER the onset of back pain.

Depression is a reaction to feelings of hopelessness. So whether your depression came on before or after back pain, you are feeling a lack of control over your life – your job, your body, your financial situation, your relationships. The key to improving your back symptoms and your emotional state lies in your ability to re-kindle your sense of control and personal power. This is why I think life coaching is such a wonderful tool for people with physical pain. I’ve personally worked with a couple of life coaches over the years and The Handel Group is a coaching company that I highly recommend. The coaches at The Handel Group can help you understand how your reaction to life events creates stress, not the events themselves. Therein lies the control. You can change your physical and emotional response to stress by changing how you think about stress. The Handel Group will guide you through that process.

So is back pain in your head? Can you improve back pain with your mind? Well, sort of… You can change the way you respond to stressors in your life thereby decreasing your back tension and flare-ups… and improving other aspects of your life while you are at it.

To find out more about The Handel Group and to contact them about private or group life coaching go to www.handelgroup.com. If you tell them Chantal sent you, they will give you a discount on your first trial session. There is even a free, group session on August 13th. Their website has more details.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Back Pain With Driving – Tip #2

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

A lot of people experience back pain AFTER (not during) a stint of driving. Usually this has something to do with the way they are getting out of the car. When you turn and put your left leg on the ground and push off with your right leg to get out, there is a tremendous amount of torque and compressive stress at the knee, hip and sacrum on the right side.

To avoid this problem, try this…when getting out of a car, imagine that you are wearing a very short and tight mini-skirt (come on guys, it’s just pretend!). Swivel both feet out of the car before you get out of the seat. It is a lot easier on your back.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Back Pain Tip of The Day

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Here is a quick tip for the day. If you are having back pain or hip pain during or after driving, this blog is for you.

When driving, make sure that your seat is up close enough to the steering wheel. If your seat is too far back, you will have to round your spine (slouch) in order to reach the gas peddle. This causes stress on the discs and spinal muscles. Pull your seat up closer to the peddle so that your knee is slightly bent and you can access the gas without straining your back.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Back in Action

Thursday, June 5th, 2008

Well, here we are…It has been OVER one year since I have been able to blog. The reason? It is not that I ran out of things to tell you – never! It was some kind of technical difficulty; I couldn’t log in to write.

So a special thanks goes out to my Techie friend, Johnny, who fixed the problem for me. I am now back in action and ready to talk about all things wellness, physical therapy and pain prevention.

First, let me say that during my year of blog hiatus due to technical difficulties, I was busy shopping around for a distribution company for my KNEE PAIN DVD. I am happy to report that, as of December 2008, my DVD will be in stores and will be distributed by GAIAM. It will be available for purchase on this website as well as anywhere GAIAM sells DVDs (Amazon, Barns and Noble etc…). I am really happy with the way the DVD turned out and I think it will help a lot of you out there who have been contacting me about your chronic knee pain.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter