Posted by: charleenesfitness | March 22, 2013

The in’s and outs of stretching

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stretching May Be Bad?


“…there is no research which proves categorically that there is any need for separate stretching sessions, phases or exercises to be conducted to improve performance or safety.” Dr. Mel Siff,  Supertraining

This may sound like a crazy person rant on the subway but science has shown that stretching does not improve performance (it can diminish it), warm you up, prevent soreness or most injuries for that matter and does not make you taller.  So why then do so many people stretch?  One guy once actually admitted “so I can impress the girls in Yoga class.” Obviously, he couldn’t be helped.  The fitness industry is fraught with many conflicting ideas concerning stretching.  Depending on your goals, it might not be a problem if you are ‘tight’.  Sometimes tightness actually helps people in sports and (tight hamstrings can make you more economical and a better runner- according to a Nebraska Wesleyan study) in daily activities by protecting against injury. Contrary to popular thinking, inflexibility isn’t always due to simple disuse or a lack of stretching.  There’s often a functional and genetic basis for tightness and stretching may not solve the ‘problem’.  In a thinly veiled ego boosting effort I’d like to compare myself to the world class Kenyan runners…like them, I don’t participate in flexibility programs.  The costs and time outweigh any of the dubious benefits.  

There are many kinds of stretches.  All stretches fall under these two categories:

  1. Static – it’s held in a challenging but comfortable position for a period of time usually 10-60 seconds  – Includes: Passive, Static active and Isometric
  2. Dynamic– done by moving through a challenging but comfortable range of motion repeatedly, usually 10 to 12 times and holding for no longer than 2 seconds and incorporates muscle contractions – Includes: Active, PNF and Ballistic- there are more compelling reasons to perform these stretches than static ones.

A goal of stretching a tight muscle is to push it into a position it was not capable of before.  But why is the muscle tight to begin with?  Are you addressing the symptom and not the cause? All your muscles work in pairs and have opposing/antagonist muscles.  When one muscle is tight the opposite muscle is many times over stretched and possibly weak.  By addressing the antagonist muscle you may relieve the tightness without spending one minute stretching!  Moreover, new research actually shows stretching does not increase the length of muscles. The greater degrees of flexibility garnered with stretching are likely the result of boosted tolerance to the pain of stretching, not actual lengthening of tissue.  In other words you get used to the pain and can go farther in the stretch.  

“…researchers…found that when athletes did static stretches, performance often suffered. Many couldn’t jump as high, sprint as fast or swing a tennis racquet or golf club as powerfully as they could before they stretched. Static stretching appeared to cause the nervous system to react and tighten, not loosen, the stretched muscle, the research showed.” -NY Times  

Another major concern of flexibility training is stretching past the point of what you can control. If you can not control the range of motion there is little reason to go there.  Let me show you what I mean.  Take a look at the photo below.  Even though,  I’m not crazy about this ‘quad stretch’ it serves as a good example.  Please stand up and try it.  I’ll wait.  Were you able to get your heel to your butt? Ok, now tighten your hamstring, remove your hand and try to keep your heel up.  Did your foot drop?  This is called your flexibility/strength window: the distance between your passive flexibility and your active range of motion.  

Why would you stretch past the point of where you can control?  Many times these flexibility/strength windows are so big it contributes to injury.  It is not uncommon to slip and be flexible enough to fall into a certain position but not strong enough to hold it, so you tear some soft tissue.  The next time you stretch try powering your limb/joint into the stretch position using only the strength of the opposing muscle.  Hold it there for a prescribed amount of time and then attempt to bring it a little farther into the range of motion.  You may find it useful to have a friend or trainer act as a barrier that holds your position.  Do not have the person “push” you into a range of motion you can’t control. 

If you are going to stretch here are some rules:

  1. Get an evaluation and find out what muscles and joints are tight and why.  You may not need to stretch. 
  2. Flexibility is largely genetic and increasing your flexibility takes a long time – re-evaluate why you are stretching and if your time might be better spent elsewhere. 
  3. Only static stretch after your warm up, not before.   Do the activity you are warming up for, but slowly at first.   
  4. It may be good to lightly stretch at night before bed, many people report it helps them sleep. 
  5. No static stretching prior to an event or activity – this will inhibit the muscles from contracting fully during your movements.
  6. Don’t over stretch!  At best, you will lose stability in your joints and at worse your will tear a tendon (which shouldn’t be stretched to begin with) and forever have a looser joint (which will open you for future injuries).  
  7. Don’t stretch loose joints, it will only make them more unstable.  
A big bugaboo of mine is watching people stretch all their muscles, including the loose ones.  Think of your body like a out of tune guitar.  When you tune an instrument, would you stretch all the strings the same, or just the out of tune ones?  Stretch all the joints and muscles the same and you’ll be a looser and more unstable version of your asymmetrical self.  If you insist on a flexibility program find out what is tight and why and then stretch only those muscles that need improved range of motion. 

The one uncontroversial truth about stretching is that it does increase flexibility…albeit after a long and dedicated effort.  Now you are more flexible so you can show off in yoga class, join the circus or be better at doing splits. Simply participating in a smart exercise program will actively move all your joints thorough their normal safe range of motion; this may be enough.  Ask yourself and search your soul, is independent flexibility training worth the gym time even though most of its benefits are unconvincing?   

Full Disclosure:
Before you discredit this whole article because you think I have a confirmation bias about stretching please know I used to be a huge advocate of flexibility training.  If truth be told, I taught other trainers about its efficacy and how to properly integrate it into one’s routine – and many of them are still doing it today. The fact of the matter is that the damned science caught up and got in the way which pushed me to reevaluate my flexibility protocols.  That being said, sometimes I do stretch because it feels good, maybe I’m just a masochist? 


1. Mel Siff, Facts and Fallacies of Fitness, Denver, M. Siff,  pp 121-122; 2002.
2. NYTimes: Right reasons to Stretch
3. NY Times: To Stretch or Not to Stretch
4. Shrier. Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine. 1999. This paper and Herbert are literature reviews:  contradictions in existing research, and conclude that there is no convincing evidence that stretching is useful
5. British Journal Of Sports Med: Stretching Before Exercise 
6. PT Journal: Stretching Does Not Increase Muscle Length  
7. C. O’Connor : Muscle Activation Techniques  

Posted by: charleenesfitness | January 30, 2013

Power of the tower – thanks for sharing Egoscueportland

The Power of the Tower

9 Votes


When clients first see the Egoscue Multi-Positioning Tower and are told it is going to be in their new menu their response is typically one of these two:

1. Wow! I’ve heard so much about this and have been wondering when you’d have me do it. My friend said the Tower helped her so much!


2. I don’t feel anything. How is this helping me? Why do I have to lie here so long?

I thought I would take a minute an explain a little about how the Tower works, why it works, why it can take a long time, why you might not feel anything during it, and what postural imbalances it can have a positive effect on. Whether you have done the Tower before or not, hopefully this will help you get a better understanding of this powerful E-cise and encourage you to try it for the first time or continue to commit to it if you are already doing it.

The Supine Groin Progressive is the most common E-cise that the Egoscue Tower is used for and Pete Egoscue in Pain Free describes that “This E-cise is designed to allow flexion and extension of the leg, rather than rotation through adduction and abduction (side-to-side movement).”

Let’s break this down to a very simple terms that you will understand and then explain why it can take an hour (or longer) for that to happen. In Pain Free, Pete first introduces the Progressive Supine Groin in the knee pain chapter when talking about “external rotation”. External rotation of the femur can be seen when looking at your knees in a mirror from the front and the knee caps are pointing outward (instead of straight ahead).

The femur is being rotated out by strong tight muscles in the hip (psoas, iliacus, etc) that usually are also holding the pelvis in extension (anterior pelvic tilt).

What is happening in the body in this situation is described in the P3 (Posture, Pain, and Performance Workshop material):

Keep in mind that the body is a unit and that the body is linked functionally from head to toe. The anterior tilt of the pelvis is caused by the strong, tight hip flexor muscles and puts excessive arching into the low back. The more a person walks with the tight hip flexors, the more they pull down on the spine and exacerbate the problem. To relieve the tension on the spine, the upper back rounds – taking the shoulders forward – and the head tilts downward. To relieve the tension in the hips, the femurs externally rotate, taking the knees and feet outward. This is a formula for pain up and down the body.

Going back to the knee chapter of Pain Free, Pete talks about how this constant rotational torque coming from the hip is transferred into the knee joint. The knee is a hinge joint (think door hinge) and is designed to flex and extend (the door opening and closing) not rotate. That rotational torque is what can cause knee pain. The Tower is designed to unlock the tight hip flexors which will allow the pelvis to return to neutral, the spine to come out of lordosis and return to normal and the femur to return to neutral and point straight again. This will cause a chain reaction up the body allowing upper back to come out of excessive spinal flexion, the shoulders to move back into position and the head to center itself over the torso once again. The Tower also helps to reconnect the kinetic chain from your ankle to knee to hip and get them functioning as a unit once again.

(BTW just because I’m talking about knee pain here, that doesn’t mean that’s the only thing the Tower addresses. The Tower will help with: low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, sprained ankle, degenerative knee pain, degenerative hip pain, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, herniated discs, carpal tunnel, plantar fasciitis, and many other problems. I’ll outline how the Tower effects some of these in future posts – stay tuned.)

Watch this video to learn how to do the Tower:

How long it takes each person to do the Tower will depend on their unique postural imbalances but for most people it takes around an hour. As the video explains, you start with your leg in the top level and stay there until your low back releases completely to the floor (typically 5 minutes). At that point you can lower your leg one notch and then wait for your back to release to the floor again. Since there are six levels of the Tower it will take on average 30 minutes per leg or 1 hour for both legs.

If you are in chronic pain and have tried everything, but not the Tower, it is worth a try. This is the one e-cise that is easy to do and will make a huge impact on your posture and pain. Stop by your nearest Egoscue clinic to come try it for free. We’ll explain what is going on in your body and why the Tower will help you. 

To learn how the Egoscue Tower helps eliminate chronic lower back pain  watch this video.

Posted by: charleenesfitness | May 5, 2012

Pain free Golf seminar

Pain free Golf seminar

Join me for a two hour fitness seminar where you will learn the necessary movements for the golf swing. The proper mobility, stability, and strength required to play pain free and powerful golf.

Posted by: charleenesfitness | April 10, 2012

Would you like to be pain free? improve your game? life?

Posted by: charleenesfitness | April 10, 2012

How to be happy!!

Some people whoever the more they acquire the happier they will be. I used to live like that and then things changed. The more I gave up and let go the happier I became. Found this article that can shed light on this. Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain,… stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go: 1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big? 2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” Lao Tzu 3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life. 4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle 5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly! “A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind” Elly Roselle 6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. 7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all. 8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly. 9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it. “Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” Joseph Campbell 10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. “The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer 11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place. “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt 12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real. 13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now. 14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words. 15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.
Posted by: charleenesfitness | April 10, 2012

Pain free living

So many amazing Pain Free golf and Tennis seminar coming up!! Also seminar on how to eat to live pain free. Lets get started today.

Posted by: charleenesfitness | January 20, 2012

Why Muscle Activation Techniques?

Why Muscle Activation Techniques™?

Posted on December 13, 2011

                        Muscular compensation is a common thing. We all “know” that if your knee starts to ache, it is probably from doing too much work, and we all “know” that this is a form of compensation. My question is, why is the compensation there in the first place? It seems that the word “compensation” is a scapegoat: “Oh well my knee must be compensating for something. I’ll just push through it.” Most of us accept that our knee compensation may be part of the aging process or a by-product of too much work. The truth of the matter is that if we addressed the muscular compensation at an early stage, your knee ache probably would never have manifested.

Do you tune up your bicycle every year? Do you take your car to the shop to get everything “checked-up” every once-in-a-while to prevent your car breaking down? If so, why don’t we do the same for our body? What would be perfect is if we had a human body mechanic, someone who could assess the quality of motion in our body and make sure that everything is working to the best of our abilities

Muscle Activation Techniques™(MAT), in its various forms (MAT Specialist and MAT Jumpstart), are just that – mechanics for the body! MAT specialists are masters of human mechanics, bones, and muscles. Their job is to use your joint motions to assess the quality of your neuromuscular system – the communication pathways between your nervous system and skeletal muscle. Your neuromuscular system will not allow your muscles to pull you into any positions that they are unable to control. If a muscle becomes stressed, it may inhibit its ability to contract as a defense mechanism. This gives the muscle an opportunity to do less work so it can begin its recovery process. We don’t generally feel a muscle inhibit itself, but what we do feel is the muscles around the inhibited muscles “tightening up” to restrict motion.

The most common method used to deal with “tightened up” muscles, is to stretch them out. Stretching allows you to push yourself into some positions that your body was not capable of before. That is good, right? How did your body allow you to reach that position? Stretching has been said to relax tight muscles. Most of us feel some relief from stretching “tight” muscles; the problem is we just determined that those tight muscles were there for a reason! We have now started to focus on addressing the symptoms, rather than address the source of the problem.

Muscle Activation Techniques™ is unique in that it addresses the source of the problem, the inhibited muscles. More often than not, once you stimulate the muscles that are not doing enough work, the tight muscles will relax and become “untaught”. Once all the muscles are working efficiently, the neuromuscular system may allow you to visit those positions that were restricted before. Now you can reach into the back seat of the car with ease. Aaahhhh, freedom!

Now what if I already have an achy knee? A quick and easy example of an achy knee is either on the outside or inside of the knee. Your doctor, or physical therapist, may label this sensation as a lateral or medial meniscus tear. Our meniscus is a very tough, durable piece of cartilage that is designed to act as a shock absorber between the end of your femoral condyles (bottom end of your femur) and tibial plateau (top part of your tibia). Essentially, it is designed to take a beating. So how the heck do you get a meniscus tear?

On the bottom end of each femur, we have menisci, a lateral meniscus and medial meniscus. Let’s imagine for a second that each meniscus should take 50% of the shock absorption load. That means that the menisci together are accounting for 100% of the load. Now, what happens if we have a muscular imbalance on one side of the knee? As a by-product, one of those menisci may start to take 60% of the load and in order to let the other only take 40%. The meniscus that is taking more load will obviously get beaten up a bit more and may give you that sensation of an ache. If you address the original muscular imbalance that was caused, this may actually decrease the pressure on the one meniscus and return it to its balanced state. The aches generally will decrease. If you manage the imbalance, you can actually create an environment that promotes healing!

Written by Brandon J. Green – MATcs, RTSm, MAT Jumpstart

Call me to schedule an appointment

Posted by: charleenesfitness | January 17, 2012

Very important information about common medications

By Dr. Mercola

I was recently invited as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show for the third time.

It’s a great privilege to dialogue with someone like Dr. Oz, who has such a great impact on spreading the message of natural health.

Unfortunately, there are some challenges with participating in this type of media presentation, because most of the answers must be condensed into very short and easily digestible sound bites.

Therefore, I’d like to expand on some of the questions raised on the show. Dr. Oz’s format really does not allow for much more than a 20 second sound bite for an answer, which is typical of nearly all major media… If you had a chance to view the two segments on Dr. Oz, I felt it would be helpful to provide additional information that time did not allow for five of the topics discussed on the show… I’ve also linked to additional resource articles that provide more in-depth information.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the most crucial nutrients for a healthy life. The powerful “sunshine vitamin” is becoming increasingly well-known for its many phenomenal benefits, including protection from colds and flu, diabetes, MS, cancer, and a wide variety of other ailments.

  • But what’s your best source for vitamin D?
  • How do you get your levels within the healthy range?
  • And, what’s the ideal range?

Vitamin D Sources

While a lot of the focus on vitamin D ends up being about vitamin D supplementation, the IDEAL way to optimize your vitamin D levels is not by taking a pill, but rather allowing your body to do what it was designed to do—create vitamin D from appropriate sun exposure. In a recent interview, Dr. Stephanie Seneff really brought the importance of getting your vitamin D from sun exposure to the forefront. While I’ve consistently recommended getting your vitamin D from regular sun exposure whenever possible, her input really convinced me of the wisdom of this natural strategy.

She believes that when your skin is exposed to sunshine, it synthesizes not only vitamin D3, but also vitamin D3 sulfate.

Your sulfur levels are intricately tied to your cholesterol levels, and play an important role in the prevention of heart disease. So getting regular sun exposure has much greater health ramifications than “just” raising your vitamin D levels and preventing infections. Sun exposure also appears to play a role in heart and cardiovascular health, and much more!

The sulfated vitamin D formed in your skin in response to sun exposure is water soluble, unlike an oral vitamin D3 supplement, which is unsulfated. The water soluble form can travel freely in your blood stream, whereas the unsulfated form needs LDL (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) as a vehicle of transport. Dr. Seneff’s suspicion is that the oral non-sulfated form of vitamin D may therefore not provide all of the same benefits as the sulfated form, because it cannot be converted to vitamin D sulfate…

As I said on the Dr. Oz show, if you cannot get your vitamin D requirements from sun exposure, I recommend using a safe tanning bed (one with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields). Safe tanning beds also have less of the dangerous UVA than sunlight, while unsafe ones have more UVA than sunlight. If neither of these are feasible options, then you should take an oral vitamin D3 supplement. It will definitely be better than no vitamin D at all.

Vitamin D Serum Levels and Dosages

Some 40 leading vitamin D experts from around the world currently agree that the most important factor when it comes to vitamin D is your serum level. So you really should be taking whatever dosage required to obtain a therapeutic level of vitamin D in your blood.

However, while there is no specific dosage level at which “magic” happens, based on the most recent research by GrassrootsHealth—an organization that has greatly contributed to the current knowledge on vitamin D through their D* Action Study—it appears as though most adults need about 8,000 IU’s of vitamin D a day in order to get their serum levels above 40 ng/ml. This is significantly higher than previously recommended! For children, many experts agree they need about 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.

At the time GrassrootsHealth performed the studies that resulted in this increased dosage recommendation, the optimal serum level was believed to be between 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml). Since then, the optimal vitamin D level has been raised to 50-70 ng/ml, and when treating cancer or heart disease, as high as 70-100 ng/ml.


Vitamin D Study Participants Needed

D*Action is a worldwide public health campaign organized by GrassrootsHealth, aiming to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic through focus on testing, education, and grassroots word of mouth. And while one paper has already been published, this GrassrootsHealth study is still ongoing and accepting participants.

Additional Vitamin D Information

For more in-depth information about vitamin D, please see the following web pages:

Ubiquinol/Co Q10

If you’re over 25, your body becomes increasingly challenged to convert oxidized CoQ10 to ubiquinol. Why is that important? Well, ubiquinol is one of the single most crucial nutrients for energizing every cell in your body. It is especially useful for protecting your mitochondria, which supply most of your body’s energy currency in the form of ATP. I believe virtually everyone over 30 benefits from supplementing with this but is imperative for anyone taking statins to be on it.

Ubiquinol is the active form of CoQ10 needed to help your cells take fat and other substances and convert them into usable energy. But if your body cannot convert Co Q10 to ubiquinol, you can come up short on some or all of its benefits. To learn more about ubiquinol and Co Q10, all the potential benefits, and why they’re essential if you’re taking a statin drug, please see the following articles:

Hypertension and High Blood Pressure Medications

It’s important to understand that uncontrolled high blood pressure is a very serious health concern. It can lead to heart disease and increase your risk of having a stroke. It’s estimated that high blood pressure affects 90 percent of Americans at one time or another. Like statin drugs, blood pressure drugs are pervasive, with one in three Americans taking them. Of those, an estimated 25 percent are falsely diagnosed! They have what we call “white coat hypertension,” meaning they suffer temporary anxiety when at the doctor’s office, and as a result, their blood pressure goes up. However, they don’t truly suffer from hypertension. When they’re given a drug to treat a condition they don’t have, it can only cause them harm…

Again, I believe very few people really need them.

Natural strategies are absolutely crucial to address the underlying cause of high blood pressure. Make sure you’re getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega 3-fats, such as krill oil. Research suggests that as little as 500 mg may lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides, and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol. You’ll also want to dramatically reduce grains and sugars in your daily diet, especially fructose, replacing it with healthful fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, organic pastured eggs, and grass-fed meats.

Getting the right amount of regular exercise is another key factor.

If you are currently taking any medications to control your blood pressure, please understand that these drugs are not placebos and most work very effectively to lower your blood pressure. But they don’t do it in a way that addresses the cause. So if you stop them, there is a chance your blood pressure will rise very high, and sometimes high enough to cause a stroke. So only wean yourself off your blood pressure medications while under careful professional supervision.

For more information relating to hypertension, from how to reduce your blood pressure by effectively addressing stress… exercising… normalizing your weight… and which foods to eat and which to eliminate, and much more, please see:

Statin Drugs

The majority of people who use statin drugs for lowering cholesterol are doing so because they’ve been told it will help prevent heart attacks and strokes. However, just the opposite may be true. There are some 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk. Many statin drugs have been linked to defects in heart muscle function and even increases in strokes. One study found that statin therapy was associated with decreased myocardial function. This decreased heart muscle function could lead to heart failure.

Dr. Oz is a cardiothoracic surgeon and treats many patients that suffer from the complications of coronary artery disease, and as such is convinced that some people benefit from statins. I take a different position and think that there are only a tiny segment that might benefit, typically those with genetic issues like familial hypercholesterolemia (a condition that causes your body to produce too much cholesterol) or those with very high risk factors. But there is some compelling evidence to suggest that even these groups may not benefit from taking them.

Learn more about why I believe statins are so risky… including an interview with former astronaut, Dr. Duane Graveline, whose health was seriously damaged by a statin drug… and an article by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior scientist and researcher at MIT…


When it comes to the use of antidepressant medication, Dr. Oz is still in somewhat of an allopathic mode—the idea that for nearly every disease or symptom there is a pill that will likely cure it. The conventional approach to treating depression is to prescribe an antidepressant (or two). I firmly believe that antidepressants do more harm than good in most cases of depression.

Dr. Oz seeks to apply natural alternatives like St. John’s, SAMe, or tryptophan in lieu of more hazardous antidepressants, but while such supplements are certainly safer, and sometimes effective, you’re still not treating the underlying cause of depression. Some will argue that if you’re low in serotonin, you might benefit from some tryptophan. But while this may indeed help, you’re still not addressing the reason for why you’re low in serotonin. There are reasons for that, and once you eliminate the root cause, you won’t have to take pills of any kind… I think it’s really crucial to address these underlying issues.

As for antidepressants, there’s startling evidence and countless research studies that strongly suggest antidepressant drugs simply do not work. Meanwhile, every year, psychiatric drugs kill an estimated 42,000 people—that’s an astounding 12,000 more people than commit suicide due to depression.

Rooting Out the Causes of Depression

There are a number of very powerful strategies to address depression. One that has been proven more effective than antidepressants in a number of studies is exercise. Exercise not only relieves depressive symptoms but also appears to prevent them from recurring. Unfortunately, since no one is going to be making tens of billions of dollars on encouraging you to exercise, it has not received the amount of funding for studies that antidepressant drugs have received. However when the studies are performed, exercise continually comes out on top, demonstrating benefits above and beyond what antidepressant drugs can achieve.

Three key mechanisms appear to be that exercise:

1. Improves insulin receptor sensitivity

2. Regulates serotonin and norepinephrine, two key neurotransmitters in your brain, and

3. “Switches on” genes that increase your brain levels of galanin, a neurotransmitter that helps lessen your body’s stress response

Your diet is another key factor that must be addressed. There are well-documented studies showing that animal-based omega-3 fat (DHA) is very useful. I’m a firm believer in krill oil, which is far more effectively absorbed than fish oil. You also want to make sure to optimize your diet, meaning removing sugars, grains and processed foods, and replacing them with healthy fats. Why is your diet so important for your emotional and mental health?

The Gut-Brain Connection that Can Help Explain Many Cases of Depression

One of the reasons that dietary changes work is because it helps alter your gut flora in very beneficial ways. The beneficial bacteria in your gut have a profound influence on your health, including your mental health. They produce substances that your body needs. And, your gut actually produces more serotonin than your brain does!

Your gut is frequently referred to as ‘the second brain,’ and when you consider the fact that the gut-brain connection is recognized as a basic tenet of physiology and medicine, and that there’s no shortage of evidence of gastrointestinal involvement in a variety of neurological diseases, it’s easy to see how the balance of gut bacteria can play a significant role in your psychology and behavior as well. With this in mind, it should also be crystal clear that nourishing your gut flora is extremely important, from cradle to grave, because in a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut, and each needs its own vital nourishment.

Last but certainly not least, is finding a skilled psychotherapist who can help you work through some of the contributing emotional challenges. But optimizing your physiology with the physical approaches mentioned is probably the best marriage of an approach that has a high likelihood of success.

Here’s additional information everyone should read… whether they’re experiencing depression, or have a friend or loved one who is trying to deal with it, or just want to be better informed about antidepressants and depression.

Posted by: charleenesfitness | September 13, 2011

The truth about stretching -Why Muscle Activation Techniques is the way to go

For any more questions or to set up a session please contact Charleene O’Connor
Posted by: charleenesfitness | April 25, 2011

Egoscue in the Wall Street Journal

A Surfer and a Phenom at Her Very Core
Egoscue In The
Wall Street Journal
USA – April 12, 2011 – Bethany Hamilton lost her left arm in a shark attack
in 2003. About two years ago, she started to focus on postural poses that helped
to realign her spine, which X-rays showed had curved toward her now stronger
right side. Ms. Hamilton has been working with postural alignment specialist
Dustin Dillberg. They train at least two days a week for an hour and use Skype
to work out together when Ms. Hamilton is on the road. This is an amazing story
of overcoming obstacles to achieve a fuller life.
Egoscue is going viral
A Surfer and a Phenom at Her
Very Core

“Wellness is not the absence of pain, but the absence of
limitations” ~ Pete Egoscue

Since 1971, The Egoscue Method® has
helped thousands of people free themselves of chronic pain. With over 22 clinics
worldwide, Egoscue helps thousands
of people free themselves of chronic physical pain such as: TMJ; headaches;
carpal tunnel; neck, back, knee and shoulder pain; sciatica; herniated discs;
tennis elbow; carpal tunnel syndrome; plantar fasciitis; fibromyalgia;
arthritis; tendonitis; and many other types of joint pain. We help people of all
ages regardless of their athletic background, while numerous professional
athletes use this method to enhance their performance and extend their careers

Whatever your situation, our Egoscue Method®
therapists will help you achieve a pain-free active lifestyle!

The Egoscue Method® is the
leader in non-medical pain relief.

To schedule an appointment:

Charleene B. O’Connor BS

Muscle Activation Techniques Specialist
Egoscue Postural Alignment Specialist
TPI Golf Fitness Instructor 3
CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach 2
NASM Personal Trainer
Kangen Water Distributor

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »