If Bending Backward Hurts

When you stand up and bend back­ward, or when you do the cobra pose in yoga, the joints between your ver­te­brae slide over one anoth­er.  The joints of the spine tele­scope over each oth­er like the sep­a­rate plates of a Japan­ese suit of armor.

But some­times, instead of slid­ing smooth­ly, the ver­te­bral joints bind or pinch.

Then you have pain, inflam­ma­tion, and lim­it­ed move­ment.  Doc­tors call it “facet syn­drome.”

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How a Foot Adjustment Helps Your Brain Work Better

Why are peo­ple so sen­si­tive or tick­lish on the soles of their feet? 

Why is a foot rub the most plea­sur­able (or most painful) part of a mas­sage?

The sole of your foot has a zil­lion nerve end­ings in it.  So do the joints of the foot and ankle.  That makes this part of your anato­my extra sen­si­tive.

foot anatomy

There’s a rea­son we’ve got all those extra nerve end­ings in the feet.

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Sacroiliac Joint Injury and Piriformis Pain

Every Step You Take – Every Move You Make

Can Your Sacroiliac Joints Take the Stress?


It all comes down to the prin­ci­ples of engi­neer­ing.

When you’re stand­ing up, grav­i­ty is pulling the weight of your tor­so straight down.

For­tu­nate­ly, you have two legs and two feet to sup­port you.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, they’re off to each side.  Nei­ther of them is direct­ly under your cen­ter of weight.

Roman engi­neers designed arch­es to hold up a struc­ture using sup­ports on each side. How does your body pull off this feat of engi­neer­ing design?

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New Research Emerges on “Wonder Herb”

There’s new research about an herb with potent health ben­e­fits.  This med­i­c­i­nal plant

  • Is rich in antiox­i­dants and min­er­als such as mag­ne­sium and chromi­um
  • Helps pre­vent Type 2 dia­betes
  • Pro­tects your heart from devel­op­ing an altered rhythm
  • Can low­er the inci­dence of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and oth­er forms of demen­tia
  • May pre­vent cer­tain can­cers, espe­cial­ly liv­er can­cer
  • Wards off depres­sion

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Just Do This Every Morning

Just Do This Every Morning

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Update on Barefoot Running Benefits

Barefoot Running – It’s Less Efficient

Bare­foot or min­i­mal­ist run­ning has been attract­ing adher­ents as a more phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly nat­ur­al way to run.

A “nor­mal” run­ner lands on the heel with each stride.  In the min­i­mal­ist style, the run­ner lands on the front part of the foot.  Pro­po­nents of fore­foot land­ing say that the front-of-the-foot land­ing style is more phys­i­o­log­i­cal­ly nat­ur­al and is less like­ly to lead to runner’s overuse injuries.

But there’s one ben­e­fit that bare­foot run­ners can no longer claim – increased ener­gy effi­cien­cy.

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Learning to be Healthy is Like Learning to Ride a Bike

When you first learned to ride a bike, some­one had to teach you the rules of the road.  In my case it was my dad who taught me:  ride on the right, wear a hel­met, use hand sig­nals, and so forth.

It’s all good advice.

But even when you know these rules, you still don’t know how to ride.

bike rider

You’ve learned an exter­nal data­base of bike-rid­ing relat­ed ideas.  But your brain, mus­cles, and bal­ance sys­tem still can’t auto­mat­i­cal­ly coor­di­nate their actions to keep you in bal­ance and mov­ing for­ward.  That takes a dif­fer­ent type of learn­ing process.

In the world of pre­ven­tive health­care, it’s like being told to eat nine serv­ings of veg­eta­bles, exer­cise every day, get ade­quate sleep, and the like.

It’s all good advice.  And you should fol­low it.  But it’s an exter­nal data­base of health-relat­ed ideas.  It’s not enough.

None of it trains your brain, diges­tive tract, kid­neys, liv­er, and endocrine glands to auto­mat­i­cal­ly coor­di­nate their actions to cre­ate improved health.

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Janis Brenner: The Body Does Not Forget

Pro­fes­sion­al dancers are dif­fer­ent from the rest of us.  But there’s one sig­nif­i­cant way that they’re not dif­fer­ent.

Read this arti­cle that my guest author, Janis Bren­ner, wrote a few years back for Dance­View Mag­a­zine.  She out­lines the many lay­ers of injury and bod­i­ly stress that have punc­tu­at­ed her years as a dancer, chore­o­g­ra­ph­er, singer, and teacher.

Seems like a steep price to pay.

Janis Brenner

Jump­ing Janis

But her sto­ry isn’t much dif­fer­ent than that of most of my patients, whether they’re dancers, archi­tects, ele­men­tary school teach­ers, or any­thing else.

You may not think that you earn a liv­ing by mov­ing your body.  But you do.

And, like Janis, your accu­mu­lat­ed injuries, acci­dents, spills, aches and pains have a sig­nif­i­cant cumu­la­tive effect.

But the effect isn’t all neg­a­tive.  Every­thing that has hap­pened to you becomes part of your sto­ry. You can pre­tend to ignore the inci­dents of the past, but your body doesn’t for­get.
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Guest Post: Dancer Injuries — What You Need to Know

My col­league Deb­o­rah Vogel has more than 30 years expe­ri­ence in dance med­i­cine, train­ing dancers and oth­er per­form­ing artists in self-care, align­ment and injury pre­ven­tion.

She pro­vides exten­sive resources and “how-to” videos on her blog The Body Series.

She’s gra­cious­ly allowed me to repub­lish one of her arti­cles — Dance Injury Pre­ven­tion Infor­ma­tion — which can help you (even if you’re not a dancer) under­stand when an injury is poten­tial­ly seri­ous or when it’s just a “nor­mal” part of being a phys­i­cal­ly active per­son.

Dance Injury Prevention Information — Deborah Vogel

How do we dis­tin­guish between an injury and the nor­mal “wear and tear” of being a dancer? This is a ques­tion that dancers and dance teach­ers face on a dai­ly basis. We have to con­stant­ly eval­u­ate the body’s mes­sages and thus make choic­es either to rest or to keep going.

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Is There a Benefit to Using Protein Drinks for Weight Loss?

Can meal replacement powders help you control your weight?

For a num­ber of years, I’ve rec­om­mend­ed a detox diet plan that includes, dur­ing one phase, the use of pro­tein pow­der meal replace­ment shakes.

The detox plan has worked great for a num­ber of my patients – and I’ve ben­e­fit­ed from it too.

But meal replace­ment pow­ders are often rec­om­mend­ed as part of a strat­e­gy to lose weight.

whey protein

Do they work?

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