Monday, June 15, 2015

Nic Bartolotta and Dynamic Contraction Technique

Thought this was a pretty solid talk on resistance stretching.  I'd be really interested in trying out his stretching contraption.  Seems legit.

Optimizing Flex-Ability.  This is his presentation.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2015

How Much of You is You?

"You are just a human shell for 100 trillion bacterial cells."

You have ten to one bacterial cells.  The uniqueness of the bacterial microbiom can not be understated in terms of importance for health.  It influences are vast.

Cesarean babies are more likely to be overweight as adults and deal with more allergies.  All because they miss the mothers helpful microbiom from the birth canal and are now influenced by the her skin.  This can then lead to metabolism and immune system difference later in life.

Being put on antibiotics at a young age can also negatively influence your good microbiom.

When I first saw these commercials by Snickers I thought they were pretty funny.  Now, thinking about them a little deeper, they have some significant insight.

You are what you eat.  We have all heard this, but how many of us believe it.  When you eat sugar and processed foods you are feeding and growing the bad bacteria.  After years, you will crave that "Snickers" bar.  When you don't get it, you can become irritable, tired and or angry.  Is that the real you?

My wife wanted to do the Whole30 program for a month.  Without getting into whether I think this is good or not, the premise is no sugar, artificial ingredients or breads for a month.  (I've simplified my definition)

I would have told you I don't have a lot of of sugar intake, I do like my ice-cream at night, but overall I would have put me on the very low end.  I was shocked by how the lack of sugar in my system affected me the first 4-5 days.

What I found very interesting is I tried drinking a sugar free Rockstar (yea I was going to cheat) I couldn't find coffee and after tasting one sip, spit it out.  It tasted like nothing but chemicals to me.  This is a drink I'd enjoyed every now and then for years.

Could things be changing this fast?

How much of this influence becomes who we are?  Overweight?  Happy?  Depressed?  Focused?  All these attributes have been shown to be highly influenced by the good vs bad bacteria.

Dealing with asthma, allergies, autoimmune problems, and weight issues can have enormous impact on individuals lives.   So much so that they become your life.  How much of this is you and not just your gut's dictating what you are?

Pretty interesting fields of research in all of this.  Realizing the things you like and how you respond to them may be so influenced by bacteria in your gut can be mind blowing.  It's a head trip to say the least, but it's worth exploring and striving for a "healthier" gut of bacteria.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Health of Being Mindful

Mindfulness is a term that is being thrown around a lot in meditative circles.  To some its definition is being "intentional, accepting, non judgmental, focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations in the present moment."

To me, being mindful is making a conscious choice in the moment.  It is the opposite of being on default. (I believe some things have great value in being on default, but that will be a different blog post.) Maybe there is a word that better describes this then being mindful, but I don't know of it.

This type of mindfulness has great benefits to general health and well being.

Some examples of mindfulness are as follows.

Checking Facebook only certain times of day and not allowing a ding or beep to dictate what you are doing.  Choosing exactly what you feed your body.  It doesn't even have to be healthy.  Consciously choosing to eat a doughnut because you truly enjoy it, is I believe much different then eating when you are bored, or eating with guilt,

Knowing why you are buying something.  Books, clothing, electronics, conscious spending is powerful.  Why are you taking this seminar or reading this book?  To learn because you want to, or because you think it will look good?

Choosing what entertainment you enjoy, instead of simply sitting down in front of the TV or in front of some smartphone game.

Giving someone or something your entire focus and energy.  Listening to understand, not just waiting to give your answer.

Having a three year old has helped me immensely in this regard.  They seem to know when you are not PRESENT with them.  They aren't bashful about saying,  "Look at me please,"  "No sit with me."

When diets and budgets work it may be more of learning to be mindful and less about the exact diet or budget.  Wasteful eating and spending is cut out.

As a chiropractor/therapist/coach every person you work with is a chance to practice mindfulness.  Without it, there is little chance to get better and improve at your craft.  Without mindfulness you will  have one years of experience repeated 20 times, not 20 years of experience.

One of the reasons I've really enjoyed the Functional Range system is that palpation is taught with high precision.  Palpation of anatomy and feeling for tension, forces mindfulness.  Mindfulness to me will lead to me being a better therapist.

Mindfulness promises less stress and more enjoyment out of each situation.  This has solid research behind it.

The practice of mindfulness will be hard at first.  But like most things, the more you practice the better you get at it.  I think it will help carve away the minutia of what's really important vs what is just easily available and accessible.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dosages of Life

Sitting in a seminar this past weekend my mind began to wander about different principles that one encounters as you are introduced to new information or information presented in a different way.  I also started to think about what are some principles that I believe will never change.  One that I came up with is this, "Life is all about the correct dosage."

As a coach or therapist, you basically go to school or learn to apply the right dosage.  Knowing when to give a patient more pressure, less pressure, more therapy, less therapy.  How much, how often.  Coaches do the same thing.  More work load, less work load.  To give a cue, or let the athlete figure it out.  Work or rest is still dosage.

Medicine is crucial to get the right dosage correct.

What makes you better in one dose can make you sick or hurt in the next.  Caffeine can be a wonderful thing in the morning.  Triple shot of espresso an hour before bed may not be a great idea.

Some alcohol has been shown to be pretty healthy, even healthier then total avoidance.  To much alcohol is not healthy at all.

Fasting is a type of dosage.

There are times when I hear my youngest crying and my oldest asking me to play some game and I wish I could have some alone time.  Not having seen them for 3 days, I can't wait to have that "problem" again.

Osteoporosis is a disease of inadequate loading.  They don't get the right dosage of load on the bone.

Not enough sun and you can get rickets, to much sun and you may get melanoma.

To much stress can lead to all kinds of chronic disease and issues.  Not enough stress, you would never grow.  Your body doesn't get better or function like a human by not doing stuff.  It needs the right dosage of movement every day.

Sleep is a dosage.

As we grow older or do more in our life/profession, perhaps all we are doing is getting better at learning what dosage to give out, to accept, to chase, to recommend, to treat and to coach.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

11 Things That Annoy Me

1.  Products like Valsliders that sell for 30 bucks a pair.  These are furniture movers.  4 pack for 12 bucks at Amazon or Bed/bath and beyond.  ( I actually highly recommend them for patients as they can be used for lots of different exercises.)

2.  Marketing a myofascial release ball for 40 bucks because it has special grabby things on it.  It splits in half in a few weeks.  (have seen this)  5 dollar softball heater works just as well if not better.

3.  Still angry about 47 dollar ebooks.

4.  There seems to be like a group of 10 or so trainers that all recommend each others products.

5.  Being asked to send information, articles, or recommendations.  After following up and realizing like maybe 5% ever do anything with the information,  I developed a new policy.  I have them send me an email requesting whatever information they are looking for.  It puts accountability in their hands and I have a written reminder.  Maybe 1 out of 10 people ever send the email.  This tells me it wasn't that important and would have been a waste of my time.

6.  People asking for nutrition advice but can't tell me how many calories they ingest in a day or who balk at a food journal for a week.

7.  People who think coffee is unhealthy.  :)

8.  Anyone trying to convince me of an amazing supplement that changed their life, juices seem to be a craze for awhile.  Noni, cactus juice derivative, acai, pomegranate, zia, mona vie, juice plus, and every other 40 dollar dollar out there.

9.  That a workout needs to crush you for it to be a good workout.  "It really gets you sweating."  "I was so sore."  "It was a puker."

10.  Athletes that don't think they need rest days.

11.  Cable TV cost.

I'm sure this list will grow as this is whats in my head while I'm drinking some fine Ethiopian coffee. So part 2 in the future!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Functional Range Release the 2nd Time Through

Just because you have taken a technique class before doesn't mean you can't take it again.  I think some people just need permission to know that.

I've always budgeted education into my expenses.  I enjoy going to seminars and meeting other therapists.  Talking about how they incorporate different techniques or ideas into their practice is always beneficial. The ultimate is finding a seminar and being able to incorporate the techniques into Mondays patients.  

Functional Range always delivers on both sides. 

It's been a few weeks now since I retook FRR Upper in Chicago.  (I had already taken all of them)

I looked over my notes from the first Upper and the latest Upper I attended.  Very few were even remotely the same.  This tells me I was paying attention to different things, was hearing things differently or found new insight along the way.  

How many of us have rewatched a movie or reread a book and picked out cool new angles or ideas?

Same concept.  

On a practical side, I can always get better at palpation of anatomy, finding tension, touch and movement.  Your patient or athlete are not going to be able to tell you that you aren't on the triceps long head anymore or that the tension you are creating isn't matching the tension in the tissue.  Key concepts. 

After practicing for a year, I knew what areas of anatomy I wasn't as efficient at finding quickly and differentiating easily.  Time is money.  The quicker I find and treat, the more I get to treat, the better my patient outcomes.  

So the 2nd time around really let me practice "harder" on certain areas. 

I really recommend retaking a course in your future.  I think you will find even more value as an FRR practitioner.  Mastery is a journey.   

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mechanics of Throwing

Part of the importance of human development wasn't just running, but throwing.  Pretty interesting concept.