Posture: Looking for Patterns

During my physical therapy graduate education, postural assessment was a key factor in all evaluations. And we were taught that the shoulder of dominant hand was often lower than the opposite side. And that was it. No true explanation for why and no recommendation that it could possibly altered. Just merely, a nice party trick to tell people you knew something about them just by looking at them. They are amazed that you could tell.  Wouldn’t it be more amazing if you could actually alter that posturing?

It wasn’t until someone pointed out that my Right shoulder was lower than my Left that I began to really […]

Letter To the Editor of Physical Therapy Journal: Stress Management as an Adjunct to Physical Therapy for Chronic Neck Pain

Self photo, catching some blissful breath on the foam roller
Late last year I wrote a response to the Physical Therapy Journal article, “Stress Management as an Adjunct to Physical Therapy for Chronic Neck Pain.”  My response is posted here:

“Initially, it was a pleasure to finally see an article in PTJ that approached the psychosocial aspects of pain. We know that pain is a sensation that may be brought on by sensing pressure, chemical irritant, or temperature. But what that pain means to us and how it escalates into a chain of mental and physiological processes, can be stoked by psychosocial aspects. So, I thank the authors1 for […]

Chronic Inflammation: Could it be making you depressed?

Updated 10-3-14: Please see additional information in a more recent blog, Trust Your Gut, Heal Your Gut: A Personal Story. 

Emerging evidence demonstrates that there is a connection between inflammation and depression.  It’s no wonder that when your body is always in a state of inflammation, you may feel sad.  And the science shows that it may not be just the fact that you are sad because you are experiencing limited function……it might just be the ongoing physiology in your body. Other disease processes may be caused by inflammation, as well…..cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity, to name a few.

A review article presents the science of […]

Interview with Tianna Meriage-Reiter, PT, DPT, PYT on Shanti Green

Recent interview on the blog of  Shanti-Green. Find out more about Mind-Body Movement Center and Tianna through this interview.

Shanti Green Interview (click here)

 

 

Contact Tianna to see how she can help you start to feel better or keep you feeling good.

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Conservative Treatment for Plantar Fascitis: It isn’t all just stretching

You may have experienced this before: pain on the heel or sole of your foot upon rising from bed in the morning, burning sensation along the arch of the foot, or pain along the arch of the foot, under the big toe and perhaps into the heel, after you’ve walked for a bit. I’m not a doctor, and can’t diagnose you, but it’s likely that you experienced plantar fascitis.  I’ve experienced it, and I know it’s not fun, nor does it “go away” quickly. Below is a description of plantar fascia, how it functions, why it might become irritated and how do we help […]

Chronic Pain: Changing Your Brain

                                                     
I was just looking through an old book I have on Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI). They go over the usual tips of relaxation, posture, and strengthening.  In 2006, I thought it to be a pretty comprehensive book to treat the RSI that I was dealing with at the time. But nothing in there approaches the science behind the pain and therefore, how we can make lasting changes.
The emerging science out there shows that with chronic and even acute […]

Headaches: Help without Medication

Headaches can come from many different sources.  Some things that influence headaches are: dietary contributions, stress and anxiety leading to tension, and musculoskeletal issues.
Musculoskeletal Sources of Headache:

Cervicogenic (cervical instability or stiffness): usually pertains to the upper cervical region

Thoracic (upper back) stiffness

Myofascial (tissue) restrictions

Psychosocial and Stress leading to tension-holding habits

Causes:
The list below looks at sources of  irritation, inflammation and tension to the muscles around the neck.  This tension can impinge on the nerves that come from the cervical spine and travel up to the scalp, temples, and around the eyes.

Car accidents: In my experience, patients usually had a tendency towards the stiffness/instability in the cervicothoracic region […]

Holiday De-stress: Your Mind & Body will Thank You!

Holiday De-stress:
Take the time to PAUSE, your Mind & Body will thank you
As much as we try to stay balanced and breath through it….we just can’t deny that this time of year brings added stress. A little inkling of stress and your mind-body knows just what to do: increase your blood pressure, build tension in the muscles, createa short/rapid breath cycle and ramp up production of your body’s stress hormones (cortisol). And maybe you can handle this for a short time, but continue this cycle and you feel out of control by the end of the week. So when you’ve tried to find […]

Learn to be Still: Understanding Fatigue

I went to a great class this last week, “Understanding Fatigue: Focus on Stress, Habits and the Brain,” by William Sieber, PhD. I wanted to share some key points that I learned.  If you want to know more about anything, please contact me and I will do my best.

Common conditions with “fatigue” as a symptom:

Allergic rhinitis
Anemia
Depression
Anxiety
Food allergies/intolerance
Heart and lung disease
Rheumatoid arthritis, Fibromyalgia, persistent pain syndromes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Sleep apnea
Type I or II Diabetes
Hypothyroidism
Medication: analgesics, psychotropics, anti-hypertensives, anti-histamines

Interesting to note:

On a cellular level, mitochondria are our energy sources, producing ATP.  It has been shown that when we expend more energy (ie exercise, activity), our […]

“Sideshow Bob” with a lesson in “Keeping Quiet”

I was pruning my bonsai tree (which was lovingly named “Sideshow Bob”) in the studio space today.  He often gets little brown ends on his long green strands. In the midst of thoughtfully removing the brown tips that I could find towards the back of his locks, I turned my attention  to his closer strands and noticed I had missed all the ones right in front of me.

And it dawned on me…..isn’t that the mindset that I (we) fall into so many times? Always looking past the present towards what will be, could be, might be…. And missing what is right there in front […]

Breath of Fresh Air

 

The pollen count is up and this may leave you scratching, coughing, and sneezing.  Allergies are flaring up. You may even have a heavy head or headache.  Once your airways become irritated, mucus begins to form. Mucus is just our body’s response to increased inflammation.  The key is to reduce the irritant and also the inflammation. So, following an anti-inflammatory diet is a good idea, particularly, staying away from dairy, sugars and alcohol. Adding natural anti-inflammatories to your diet may be helpful.  Turmeric and ginger are natural anti-inflammatories.

You can also try using a Neti-pot or Sinus-Wash bottle (by NeilMed) on a regular basis to keep your […]

You are not your diagnosis to be “fixed”

Tat tvam asi, “I am that.” But your doctor wrote you that you were a bulging disc, or a torn rotator cuff, or a neck strain, or a ruptured achilles tendon, etc, etc.  Understand that you are more than your diagnosis.  There is more to you than is written on that prescription pad. You are more than the physical body; you are a mental body, an intellectual body, a spiritual body. And with that, you can not be fixed.  I see patients daily, often with a dozen or so co-morbidities and a half dozen or so medications to “treat” the co-morbidities. They come to […]

No effort in the path is ever lost

I started my Healthy Back Series class last week. My intention is to bring the yoga into science and keep the science in check with yoga.  And to bring awareness to…..well, awareness. And isn’t that what yoga is?  To yoke the mind and the body.  So that is how I started out.  Bringing in the awareness of our senses and our ability to intake from the world (our sensory cortex) and mindfully let it out to the world (our motor cortex).  And I provided a diagram of how our breath affects other aspects of our lives through the autonomic nervous system and feeds back […]

Old memory, physical pain

I was treating a patient and they reported having pubic pain. At prior visits, she reported having pain in certain positions with her husband.  I delved deeper knowing the history of this patients pain was well seeded.  My initial intuition said this was something other than physical, but as a PT, during a PT visit, I had to think anatomical/biomechanical.  I laid suspect to the sacroiliac joint.  Finding a minor obliquity, I treated it with some muscle energy technique.  But my intuition was telling me that there was something more.  Asking, “when did it start?”  Patient replied, “when I was pregnant, 12 years ago […]

Moving through memories

I have been reading a Dr Peter Levine’s work on trauma that is held in our bodies.  Pain is truly cerebral.  His work takes people through the acts of moving and sensations rather than focusing on old memories.  I have been using guided imagery (bhavana) with my patients and uncovering deep seeded roots. The emphasis is purely on feeling sensations in their body, that they are only sensations from body to brain, that the brain is the creator of the emotional attachment.  And then….I have them imagine they are moving without fear of moving, without pain.  They either come out of it with uncontrolled […]

Learning to Breathe

Hmmm, a blog. I never thought I would have this.  But then again, I never thought I would be chanting and teaching yoga classes but here I am.  I started taking my yogic path more for exercise.  The first thing I noticed was that I didn’t know how to breath, or I did, but I just wasn’t doing it. Wondering why my mind felt better but my body was hurting, I didn’t quite realize what this yoga was all about.  I read BKS Iyengars, Light On Yoga and had no idea what I was reading at the time. Then, I found out about physical therapists getting […]

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