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Help for My Muscles – Finally!

With the Multimaster Pilates Table

by Carolyn Reese

The warning from a Polio specialist in the 50’s was to not over-tax my muscles or I would lose the strength of the muscles affected by the Polio virus. But, as most of us do, I went on with life not believing that would happen to me.  However, the weakness crept up slowly and is now to the point that I need to use an electric scooter if I want to go any distance; for short distances I use a cane.

An amazing electronic table called the Multimaster Pilates, a power assisted exercise and rehabilitation machine, is now giving me the hope for stronger muscles and easier walking that I thought I would never have again.

Physical therapy couldn’t help. It was too strenuous and I wasn’t able to improve fast enough for the insurance to cover it.  I have tried other exercises and always seemed to end up in pain and discouraged, and consequently stopped doing them. So, where does that leave me?  I have admitted that I’m tired of trying and just want to go on with life the best I can – even working daily at my business of owning and managing a large holistic health center.  I have jokingly been accused of building my own old-age rehab.  Even with all the good intentions of the practitioners, I still have major muscle weakness in my legs and core muscles.

Recently, I found out about toning tables. One of the practitioners, who has helped me over the years, and I did some research and found a company in England that makes the Multimaster Pilates Table.

What a coincidence that the table was developed in the 1930’s by Bernard Stauffer, a physiotherapist, whose wife suffered from Polio. He wanted to find a way of improving her mobility, flexibility and circulation without having to spend a lot of time massaging and manipulating her each day…and it worked!

Since then it has been on the cutting edge of health care – especially in Europe.

The unbelievable advantage of this table is that it provides power assisted exercise and rehabilitation.  It works at my ability, passively or actively at multiple speeds with no muscle strain and no fatigue.  Wow!  For my needs, one can’t get any better than that.  I just lie on the table and for 3 or 6 minutes, depending on which program is I choose, the table moves me.  How can that help if I’m not doing the “grunt work?”

On this electronic machine, the muscles are exercised in a semi-passive state, known as Continuous Passive Motion or CPM, which works through repetitive, isokinetic movements to isolate muscle groups.  These slow, continuous, smooth, and controlled workouts can even improve my overall health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

This Multimaster Pilates Table is suitable for people who

  • Lack or want to improve muscle tone, strength, endurance and range of motion
  • Want to lose weight
  • Use cross training to improve their favorite sport or exercise approach
  • Need to manage or rehabilitate physical challenges
  • Want new innovative ways to deal with stress and improve their mind

Over the years, the benefits of this machine have been proven again and again.

This way of exercising can help manage and rehabilitate many health conditions, including MS, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, mobility issues, post-stoke, issues of aging and so much more.

Research at Oklahoma State University showed that 78 year olds exercising on this equipment for just 30 minutes, 2 times a week for 10 weeks resulted in

  • 34% increased leg and 30% arm strength
  • 50% improved muscle strength,
  • 22% increased mobility, agility
  • 33% increased balance
  • improved emotional benefits

 This shows an amazing amount of improvement in just 10 weeks.

I have been on this table now a couple times a week for several weeks and when I get off, I walk so much easier. People have noticed that my gait has improved and I’m just getting started.  I can say that the Multimaster Pilates Table is on its way to giving me back a much more productive, fun and healthier life.  There is nothing greater than “hope” for the future and that is another gift the table is giving me.

FREE Multimaster Pilates Table Demonstration

March 21, 7:00-8:00 pm

Betsy Wetzig, Coordination Pattern™ Training

Pre-register 610-395-3355

Healing with Daily Food – Daikon Radish

macrobiotic-diet-chartby Stephen Hoog

The daikon radish is a long white root vegetable sometimes up to a foot in length. It can be boiled, steamed, sauteed or pickled. It has pungent taste when raw and sweet taste when cooked. One of its main actions is to disperse animal fats that may have accumulated in and around organs  When one eats a meal high in oil or fat it is beneficial to fine grate a daikon then add a few drops of good quality soy sauce or tamari. By eating this simple dish as a condiment the meal is more easily digested. Daikon radish, also, can be obtained in the dried form. Soaked and eaten as a vegetable this form can help dissolve fatty deposits deep in the body such as those found in the prostate ovaries or uterus. Fresh daikon is more helpful in dissolving fats in more superficial parts of the body but can have a general effect.

There are special radish drinks which can be used for other medicinal purposes . One for fever is called Daikon Drink #1.  It is made by mixing 3 tbsps. grated radish, 1/4 tsp grated ginger and 2tsps. soy sauce. Then one pours 2-3 cups hot kukicha tea [twig tea] over it. It should be drunk warm–as much as possible. Then one should wrap oneself in a warm blanket or go to sleep. It makes you sweat and lowers body temperature. Some have used it for animal food poisoning and appendicitis. It is best used by strong and active people who get a fever from extreme foods. It shouldn’t be taken more than 3x a day.

Daikon Drink #2 is used to induce urination to relieve swollen feet or ankles. It is prepared by grating a 1/2 cup of radish and squeezing out the juice. Next one takes 2 tbsp of juice and adds 6 tbsp of hot water with a small amount of soy sauce or sea salt. This mix is brought to a boil and simmered for 1 minute, then drunk.   It should be used only  once a day and no more than three days in a row.

There is also a special carrot-daikon drink which helpful for liver problems and aids in discharging eggs, cheese and animal fats from almost any where in the body . It can dissolve calcified stones in the gall bladder and kidneys. It is being used for dissolving tumors and numerous other conditions.  It is made by grating 1/2 cup each of carrots and daikon. This is put in a pan with 2 cups of water and brought to a slow boil. Then  1/3 sheet of nori seaweed and 1/3 of an umeboshi plum should be added.  All ingredients are cooked for 3 minutes  with a few drops of soy sauce included  at the end. Everything then is eaten.

Numerous other daikon drinks can be prepared for varying conditions. Adding foods like shiitake mushrooms, lotus root, cabbage, burdock,  or roasted rice to the drink can target a variety of organs and conditions.

Daikon leaves are not to be wasted, They are very valuable, They can be eaten as a vegetable, pickled, made into a tea or used as a compress[for allergies].  Daikon leaves can be boiled and made into a hip bath for warming the lower abdominal area which loosens stagnation in that area. Cysts and tumors are helped by this.

Daikon roots are pickled at old farmhouses by hanging the root up to dry for a few days until they are limp then placing in a crock. They are mixed with rice bran and salt and layered. The following year they  are removed.  These pickles are high in vitamins and minerals and digestives enzymes. They can be eaten one small slice at a time usually during the colder months.

Some local food stores carry daikon  all year.  Chinese stores often carry it.  Locally grown is usually available in the fall . It is not always easy to grow the early varieties as they get buggy easily. Some farmers actually use daikon to loosen the soil so when they harvest it in the fall there is often an abundance of daikon available at farmers markets.

The list of use for the daikon is much longer than this article can cover..It is a fascinating common food that has marvelous healing properties and it needs no prescription to obtain.

The Macrobiotic Way of Eating involves assessing how one is making balance, both internally and in relationship to the environment then making choices to maintain that balance.  It also involves seeing the situation in terms of energy. A formal consultation includes looking at a persons medical history, using oriental diagnosis such as facial clues and   pulse reading, discussion of emotional factors and finally muscle testing to clarify what a persons individual needs are.  In most cases the result is a recommendation for a plant based diet however some animal may be included if a person so desires as well as herbal supplements if needed. This way of eating is changing constantly  throughout the seasons and as ones’ condition improves.

Read about Stephen Hoog and Macrobiotic Way of Eating.

Keeping Your Inner Well from Running Dry

Close-up of a young woman receiving back massage at spa

by Jeanne Mancinelli, RN, LMT, Reiki Practitioner

Constantly giving to family, friends, job, life events all help to drain your energy. When the inner well is full, we are able to give as the situation needs. If these events or situations begin to drain our energy and we do not take the time to replenish our supply, then we run into trouble.

As the body approaches this level, it begins to send out warning signals. These can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Feeling “down”
  • Irritable, Etc.

Now we are entering a “dis-ease” state. If left unchecked, it will spiral downward and become more systemic. You may experience:

  • An increase in blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent severe headaches

How to replenish the well?

  • First is to recognize the situation
  • Secondly, realize that if you do not take care of yourself, you could end up with a physical or emotional breakdown.

What do do?

What helps you relax? Make some “you time.” This is where massage can help. As early as 15 minutes into the massage, the body releases endorphins. These are the “feel good” hormones. During this time your blood pressure begins to lower. Further into the massage, your muscles begin to relax and tension begins to ease. Clients frequently report improved sleep.

The type of massage will depend on the needs of the client. The therapist should discuss the expectations of the client. Some people prefer a more vigorous massage, while others enjoy the long, slow strokes of the Swedish massage. Incorporating essential oils can help ease muscle tension, help elevate moods, and help alleviate stress.

Taking time to refill your inner well is good preventative medicine.

According to a statement issued by the American Massage Therapy Association, there is a growing body of research supporting the health benefits of massage. They have listed 25 conditions that are positively affected by massage.

Included in this list are:

  • Relieve stress
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Reduce muscle tension
  • Relieve tension headaches
  • Improved sleep, Etc.

Massage is so much more than what a lot of people think it is.

Massage is not just a frivolous activity. It improves your health and well-being, it is good preventative medicine.

Join Jeanne Mancinelli, licensed massage therapist, for a cup of tea in our homey kitchen and learn about the different kinds of massage and their benefits.

Tuesday, February 9th at 5:30-6:30 pm

Register with Jeanne at 610.393.9676.

 

 

 

 

 

Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Anxious-WomanThe holidays are here and for many of us it is a time of celebration and stress. For example, the holidays bring up memories of my deceased parents who I miss dearly.  They loved the holidays and provided me with my first tastes of Christmas magic. My mother lived a long, full life and passed away suddenly the week before Christmas.

Many share bittersweet experiences and stress at the holidays.  Perhaps your family is still intact, but your relationship with them is less that you would like.  At the holidays, we often nostalgically remember the good times in the past and regret the situation as it is today.  For others, holidays remind us of economic uncertainties.  Job security and unemployment are issues that haunt many.  For those trying to lose weight or battling an addiction, the holidays can present an especially challenging time.  For others, the winter climate in the Northeast can throw us off center.  As the daylight hours shorten, seasonal affective disorder brings on moods of sadness.

A few tips to lighten the holidays

  • First, take stock of the situation. What is in your control and what is not?
  • If you get depressed in the cold cloudy days of winter, you can’t change the weather however you could buy a “light box”. Light therapy can help.
  • If you’re concerned about your weight or addictions ramping up over the holidays, find a support group or friend with whom you can discuss your concerns.
  • Enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make tasty healthy treats vs. high calorie low nutrient fare.
  • As for the family, having realistic expectations of their behavior always helps to keep us grounded during reunions.

Most importantly, practice self-care.  If possible, spend some time outdoors – in the sunlight would be ideal.  Go for walks, exercise, meditate, eat nutrient dense food, and meet with people who bring joy to your life.  Laughter is great medicine anytime of the year. And take a few conscious breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed.  Finally, there is nothing more important for our health than regular periods of rest.  Do not short change sleep in order to do more.

I teach a mental technique that will be help – Effortless Meditation™. Meditation practice will do wonders to ward off stress and lighten your spirits at any time of the year.  It brings balance into your life.

Greg Schweitzer Director, Stress Reduction Resources Meditation teacher, Wellness coach, Speaker

Chiropractic – Your Spine Works Harder Than You Think!

Woman having back pain while sitting at desk in office
Are you working hard?  Your spine is working even harder!

Most of us—80% of Americans—experience back or neck pain at some time in our life.

More than half of sufferers say that sitting in the same position for long periods at a time has the most negative impact on their back health and thousands of workers admit that they spend virtually the whole day in the same position.

Sitting causes up to twice as much pressure on the spine as standing, so your back is always hard at work even when you think it’s resting.

Research suggests that one half of all working Americans have back pain symptoms each year.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Sit up straight: Have your bottom against the seat back and shoulder blades touching the back of the chair. Keep arms relaxed and close to the body and placed on the desk when typing.
  • Drive well: Drivers’ seats should be set slightly backwards, and elbows should be at a comfortable and relaxed angle.
  • Be computer compatible: The top of the screen should be level with your eyebrows and the chair titled slightly forward – knees should be lower than hips and feet flat on the floor.
  • Take regular breaks: Don’t sit for more than 30 minutes without standing to stretch or taking a little walk. Use your feet instead of the internal phone or have meetings standing up.
  • Drink Up: Try drinking water instead of tea or coffee.

Most times we don’t realize how hard we are working our spines – actually abusing our spines!  Our spine and pelvis may be out of alignment, keeping us from sitting straight, and we don’t realize it until we experience PAIN. Since the health of our entire body may depend on being in alignment, it is wise to have regular Chiropractic adjustments to insure that we live a healthy life. Your chiropractor can also advise you on simple daily exercise regimes to combat the stress of sitting.

We take our cars for routine check-ups!  Do you do that for your spine?

We take our cars to the garage if it is running poorly!  Do you see a Chiropractor if your back is working poorly?

Chiropractic Care is available at Twin Ponds Integrative Health Center, 628 Twin Ponds Rd., Breinigsville, PA, West Lehigh Valley

Be smart…if you are experiencing pain or if you want to prevent pain,

Call 610-841-3395 today for an appointment.

 

 

 

20 Simple Ways to Be More Mindful Right Now

  1. Pause right where you are and take two deep breaths.
  2. Look directly into your loved one’s eyes as you talk.
  3. Eat a snack with your full awareness – no reading, no screens, no conversation.
  4. Gaze out the window and take in the sights.
  5. Step outside and take a few deep breaths of fresh air.
  6. Pause and notice the sounds around you, both near and far.
  7. Move just the slightest bit more slowly and with more awareness.
  8. Imagine a time machine has transported you from 1915 to 2015 — notice what you typically take for granted.
  9. Consider what you appreciate about someone and tell him.
  10. Imagine you live in an underdeveloped country where having your basic human needs met is not a given.
  11. Name five things you are grateful for right now.
  12. If any of these are people, let them know you are grateful for them.
  13. Drop your shoulders.
  14. Sit up straight.
  15. Stretch.
  16. Hug someone and allow him to be the first to let go.
  17. Perform one simple random act of kindness.
  18. While waiting in line, resist checking your phone and look around.
  19. Smile. Make it genuine. What changes in your body, thoughts and mood?
  20. Smile at someone else. Notice the same.

Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgment.” ~ Brene Brown

In my last post, I wrote about balance and connection as my guiding words of 2015.  Crafting a flexible plan to bring me closer to my intentions, I divided up the areas of connection into categories where I had been lacking: self, husband, and friends.

Connection with self.

If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I would add — when Mama’s been meditating, the peace is increased.  Mood is infectious and the benefits of meditation are as well.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, it is vital to start here — with the need to get quiet in order to foster wisdom and clarity.  Call it prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in silence for a few minutes. Without it, awareness of our inner thoughts and experience is much more difficult to assess.

Although I currently meditate daily, I recommitted to 5-30 minutes of practice a day.  This also means offering myself compassion and honoring my need for sleep, rest, fun, and balance.

Shonda Moralis, MSW, LCSW, Psychotherapist

Incorrect Walking: Stop Long-Term Damage

By Betsy Wetzig, BA

Pain associated with the feet, knees, hip and back is often caused by the habitual imprint of walking incorrectly. We can spend lots of money getting adjustments from health practitioners, and it will help; fundamentally, if we don’t stop long-term damage and continue to walk incorrectly, in a way that caused us the problems in the first place, then the condition will reappear.  It is even worse for all the people who just medicate the pain, and accept it as part of getting old or old sports injuries.

Worse still, it is not just pain we have to worry about.  Real damage is being done by many people because of the way they walk and you may be one of them.  For just one example, it can cause hip damage.  As Exercise Physiologist, Vreni Gurd, “…I  frequently see this same faulty walk pattern (overuse of the hip flexors) in those that have had or are about to have hip replacement surgery.  I think it is possible that overuse of the hip flexors during gait may pull the femur slightly forward in the acetabulum, potentially creating a wear problem leading to the need for hip replacements.” Milton Trager used to call this faulty walk the sit walk and it is caused by the misuse of the four Coordination Patterns that organize our walk, especially in this case the Swing Pattern.  In his Mentastics work, Trager applied an exercise which happened to be in the Swing Coordination Pattern to fix it.

As Vreni Gurd explains, “We can improve our walk by exercises that will help us to release our hip flexors and position our hips so that they will rotate more easily.  However, to fix our total walk, we need to fix our whole walk and our whole walk is a coordination of all our body parts.”  More is needed.  We need to learn how to loosen, lengthen, strengthen and coordinate our muscle/joint systems. The motion of the neck bones and weight motion of our head do affect the way the ankle is working and vice versa.

By trying to fix your walk partially by doing such things as putting your head in a certain place, holding your stomach flat, or pulling back your shoulders, you are usually doing more harm than good. Fortunately, the body-movement-mind system has a built-in way to function ergonomically.

So, why doesn’t this corrective system just kick in and fix us?  Well, our coordination system works something like the hard drive on a computer along with possible “apps.”  The hard drive keeps the ergonomic functions ready, but the habituated apps can easily get in the way. You might get a coordination app because you were in a cast for a while, so your body adjusted your balance and movement to accommodate it, but when the cast comes off, it is easy for pieces of this app to remain. Your body has a new habit of walking.  Perhaps you keep your weight shifted, or you don’t re-synchronize your gate.  Or you might also have a stress or pain reaction and get into the habit of living with tight ribs.  The apps that were useful for a while no longer serve us well, but we don’t know they exist or how to turn them off.  There are hundreds of reasons we put the apps on.

The good news is that you can clean up your “computer” and get back to the ergonomic hard drive through the correct use of the Coordination Patterns

You can do simple easy exercises and the principles of using the Patterns to optimize your walk and:

  •  Improve body mechanics, and the way you move – walk, sit, play sports, etc.
  • Reduce or eliminate joint/muscle pain, and support healing
  • Learn how to deeply relax, and live in a more relaxed ergonomic way
  • Use correct breathing to enhance your movement abilities
  • Learn to easily loosen, lengthen, strengthen and coordinate muscles/joints
  • …even use physical exercises to improve mental abilities.

Isn’t it time for you to fix your walk and stop long term damage from incorrect walking?  Coordination Pattern Training is the easy answer.  Have your walk analyzed today!

Private Sessions, Classes, and Workshops available.

Injury Prevention & Walking Restoration Workshop

Saturday, March 28th, 9:00 am to Noon, $45 (2 for $100)

Betsy Wetzig, international presenter, movement researcher, and dancer-choreographer, is founder and director of Coordination Pattern™ Training, Psyche-Soma Dynamics, and Full Potential Learning. Her work on Leadership Training includes co-authorship of Move to Greatness: Four Essential Energies for a Whole and Balanced Leadership and co-creation of the FEBI® (Focus Energy Balance Indicator).  She has created DVD “Coordination Pattern™ Training in Support of Tai Chi” with Tai Chi master Bill Newman.  Her work includes training for Pilate teachers, InterPlay Leaders, body workers, athletes, dancers and people who want to move ergonomically.