Thursday, January 22, 2015

DRIFTA LIFTA Part 2- Jesse Burdick, Tacos, CSA, Nutrition for Strength A...

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Restoring Occipital Glide

One of the main things I see common with neck pain and lack of movement in the neck is the loss of occipital glide in the cervical spine.  If we view the Occiput as the top, C1 is a circular ring of bone that sits underneath.  When there is no longer free motion of flexion, extension, rotation and lateral bending, motion has been compromised.

The ability to have the combination of these movements becomes apparent when you passively move the occiput back and forth.  There is often a restricted side and loss of flexion is the norm now with staring at computer screens and smart phones for hours a day.

When true motion becomes restricted we start to have to much rotation at segments below.  This can create muscular attachments at these segments to become tense.  Think levator scapulae and scalenes.

Restoring Occipital glide in many instances neurologically relaxes these muscles.

For the person being treated, working on keeping flexion in the occiput becomes something that should be focused on.  Picture a string that is being pulled straight up from the top of your head with a very slight chin tuck.  After you hold that position for a few minutes, keep that tall spine and slightly rotate about 20 degrees back and forth.

Occipital freedom plays a big role in how the cervical spine moves.  Address it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Learning to Eat Color for Your Mitochondria and Brain

These are some of my notes from a lecture from Dr. Deanna Minich, Phd.  "Brain Nutrition and Mitochondrial Health."

Foods have energy that we use.  Healthier foods give more.  Eating sub quality food will lead to premature aging.  These are the signs.
1.  Inflammation.  Any type is considered aging.  New term, infla-aging.  Many times undetected.
2.  Pain.  Inflammation has to be present for there to be pain.
3.  Not able to eat foods you used to be able to.
4.  Lack of energy.
5.  Muscle mass loss.
6.  Muddled thinking and lack of concentration.
7.  Worsening eyesight.
8. Loss of elasticity of tone in the skin.
9. Graying, lackluster hair.

Put a lot of focus on eating "Color."  Most people have a phytonutrient gap.  It's not all about the macronutrients.
69% fall short in GREEN
78% fall short in RED
86% fall short in Purple/Blue
79% fall short in YELLOW/ORANGE
The average person consumes only 3.6 servings of fruits and veggies per day.


Phytonutrients have physiological location and specificity and have both structure and function. For example, Lutein for the macula and vision.  Anthocyanin's for brain and cognition.
Phytonutrients communicate messages to cell networks.  They protect the brain with antioxidants.

It's not all about the Carbs/Fats and Protein.  Focus on getting quality/diverse/frequent color and most diets clean right up.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fun Videos with Quality Information

Movement with Ido Portal.

Strong women doing Strong "men" lifting.

STRONGWOMEN from bammlondon on Vimeo.

Fungi kingdom is amazing.  Looking forward to learning more about this in 2015.

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to Keep Your Fascia Healthy

How To Have Healthy Fascia: Anatomy Trains Austra…:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Breathing, Health and Headaches

I've taken two of the Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) seminars last year.  I really like some of the concepts that are covered and valued how they made me look at things at a different angle.  Each course has close to 100 different exercise and variance of a concept.  One of the exercises I continually use is blowing up a balloon.  It's a nice external cue for using your diaphragm and abdominal wall and creating a full exhale.

I'm continually surprised at how some people have the inability to actually blow up a balloon.  They haven't breathed properly in years.  They mouth breath.  Taking air in through the mouth is junk air.  It's the equivalent of eating junk food.  You can survive, but you will get sicker/weaker over the years.

One of the correlations I see with the inability to breath well is a propensity to headaches, whether of the migraine or tension related type.  Now, I'm at all saying learning to breath will get rid of migraine headaches.  Please don't read into that.  But, it's a been an interesting observation.  There has been a reduction of the severity and frequency because of better breathing though.

A few reasons for the potential improvement.

1.  Reduced tension throughout the scalene musculature.  There exists an anterior, middle and posterior scalene.  These are accessory breathing muscles and stabilizers.  When we shallow breath, read breath up, (take a breath in and shoulders raise towards your ears) these muscles get chronically tight.  Imagine doing a bad repetition of an exercise 20,000 times.  This tension can create a lot of compression on the brachial plexus underneath the scalene.  It can create stiffness in the front/side of the neck that makes movement much more difficult.

2.  Reduced oxygen consumption at a chronic capacity.  Never really read about the rate of decreased O2, but I rationalize that chronic decrease has to have a detrimental effect on tissue quality and well being.

3.  Rib rotation occurs with breathing.  Inhale has internal rotation, exhale has external rotation.  We breath in better then we breath out.  In the west we don't measure or teach a long exhale.  Because of this we have locked internally rotated ribs.  This can lead to ribs that jut towards the ceiling when laying on your back instead of pointing towards your pelvis.  Weaker anterior core strength which potentially can create more psoas tension.  Psoas tension has tremendous attachments into the diaphragm.  Now we start a negative feedback loop of tension and breathing.

Breathing ladder type exercises after you have established a diaphragmatic pattern are an excellent tool to cement this in.  My personal favorite are kettle bell swings.  Swing it, set it down and take one breath in and out.  2 swings, 2 breaths.  Work up to 10 and back down to 1.  You will be tempted to really grab some quick cheap air, resist this urge.  Only through the nose and out through the mouth.  Can make this how you recover between your different sets of exercises as well.

Commit to breathing well and see how your health improves.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Book Review: freestyle

I was somewhat skeptical when I had heard about the book "freestyle" by Carl Paoli.  I assumed it was just another book about some "crossfit" style stuff and would lack much substance.  I was wrong.  Freestyle is a very good breakdown of a few basic moves.

Carl builds the book on 4 basic movements.  The pistol, the handstand push up, the muscle up and the  burpee.   Where I think the book shines is several different progressions for each.  Some are very creative and I can't wait to try them out.  For example, the use of bands around the waist to take some bodyweight off as you proceed to attempt a handstand off paralette bars.

I believe the book "Overcoming Gravity"  does a little better job of breaking down some progressions for things like front levers better, but this has better visuals in terms of real human pictures.  The book is massive.  I think there is to much writing.  That may be more my "pet peeve" then anything though.  I just want the info.  A picture is worth a thousand words.  This book, you get the picture and the thousand words.

If your goal is to master one of these four moves or you want to be able to help someone achieve better movements in these 4 exercises, then it's worth your money.