Each day…

Each day I look forward to a few things:

My coffee, my dogs, saying good morning to Dawn and Dr. Kathy Dooley’s Daily blogpost. The first 3 things should be apparent as to why I look forward to them. But some of you may not know Kathy. I’ve never met her personally but I’m going to soon. Her Immaculate Dissection course will be coming to Kinesis this summer and we’re over the moon excited to share in it! https://www.facebook.com/ImmaculateDissection?ref=br_tf

Each day, Kathy’s Daily blogs inspire, push, ignite and remind me of the WHYs Kinesis was brought to life. Her mission – http://www.drdooleynoted.com/the-dooley-mission/ – really brought me back to the REASON for opening our own business.(http://www.KinesisLiving.com)

Each day, Dawn and I hope to give our clients power over their pain, educate them into their own physical evolutions, allow them to safely advance their movement patterns and honestly LIVE in the most optimal way possible.

Each day, all of you remind Dawn and me why EACH DAY is so very important.

Coach Kimmie

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De Feet Boss… De Feet! ~ Part Deux

By: Dr Dawn DPT

As promised…some of my favorite stretches for de feet! You can check out Part 1 here.

1. Myofascial release for the tissue tension: Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls are the perfect myofascial release tools to create space in the well-packed foot region. Remember, there are 26 bones, 33 joints, and over a hundred soft tissue structures in each foot! I refer to the YTU® therapy balls as my rubber scapels that can poke, prod, and partition the tissues that bind us and manifest as pain. You can roll them around the entire plantar surface of the foot from heel to toes in a weighted (standing) or de-weighted (sitting) position depending on your (dis)comfort level. Aaaahhh…what a relief it is!

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ytutoeonball

I really like to finish off the roll with a prolonged toe extension (especially big toe) stretch. Big toe extension is super important for decent gait (fancy word for walking/running) mechanics. Even a small loss of range here can cause the foot to spin off the big toe joint as you push off during walking instead of rolling over the ball of the foot. This spinning action may contribute to bunion formation.

interlacedtoes

Interlaced Toes

happyalignedtoes

Foot Alignment Socks

2. Toe separation: Your toes have many of the same muscles as your fingers and should be able to perform many of the same tasks. They are under-performers due to being stuffed in shoes all day with no wiggle room or ability to exercise their right! Free your toes! They will thank you immensely…eventually!!

3. Top of toes/foot/ankle and anterior leg compartment stretch: This is a fantastic but oft overlooked area to stretch. If you walk, run, and/or hike frequently especially on hills…this will feel aahhmazing!!!

Toe/foot/ankle/anterior leg stretch

Toe/foot/ankle/anterior leg stretch

4. Calf stretch: There are many ways to get at the calf for stretching. This happens to be my favorite. You need a yoga mat or some other device (book, 1/2 foam roller flat side down). Stand with your feet parallel to each other and place ball of one foot on the top of one end of the rolled up mat. Ensuring you keep your hips squarely forward and your knees straight, step your other leg forward only as far as you can keep this good form. Inch your step forward slowly allowing your calf muscle’s stretch-ability to be your guide.

Calf stretch on yoga mat

Calf stretch on yoga mat

Hamstringstretch

Double hamstring stretch

5. Hamstring stretch: As with calf stretching, there are a multiple number of hamstring stretches on the market. I like this one because you can easily stretch both…at the same time. And if one is tighter than the other, feel free to allow one knee to bend to get a little deeper stretch on the opposite hamstring. And why are we stretching this far up the leg? Because the posterior fascial chain extends from the plantar surface of the foot all the way up the back and neck!

Be kind to yourself as you begin this process of foot space exploration. A little bit goes a very long way at first. You are releasing prisoners; they may need a major readjustment period. Here’s to FREE AND HAPPY FEET!!!

De Feet Boss… De Feet!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How many of you really think about your feet? No, I mean really consider those 2 (if you’re lucky) pieces of flesh at the end of your legs that serve as ground-body interface to transport you (again, if you’re lucky) from point A to point B? Most do not even think about the toes and feet until they demand some attention! They are taken for granted to be always at the ready. But what happens if they’re not happy? Cranky feet make for a cranky attitude in general! My feet are KILLING me! Don’t talk to me until I get these shoes off! Etc!

feetscreaming

Let me introduce you to your feet…the complex machinery taking up real estate just south of your ankles. There are 26 bones, 33 joints,  and over a hundred muscles/tendons/ligaments.

footbones intrinsicfootmuscles

Take a stand on foot health! Pay attention to standing posture. It is the first step to a healthier relationship with your feet and their interface with the rest of you.

Look at the potential chaos that ensues up the chain from a chronic toe out posture. malalignedskeleton

And chronic toe out posturing often leads to foot pronation which often leads to bunion formation.

pronationandbunions bunionbones

footalignment

If your car wheels were aligned like this, you would rush to your trusted auto mechanic for a realignment…ASAP! Otherwise, you might end up driving in circles and ruining your car tires as well your axles in the process. So why do you allow your pedal vehicles to point in a direction other than the one you intend to travel?

footalignmentLook at the photo to the right and then look in a mirror. Which set of legs and feet look most like your own? If you didn’t choose the center, you’ve got some work to do. And it does take work! Lots of it! Frequent corrections throughout your day during various activities. Your brain needs a neuro reset…an attitude readjustment so to speak. It is important that you remain persistent in your pursuit of a better stance. Remember, this habit stance may have developed years ago! It won’t change overnight or over a month.

earlyposturizing

Look at the toe posture on that young girl on the right. Oh and what do you think about the 2 photos? First thing I notice is the change in youth stance from 1981 to 2012! Yikes!!!

You better get started now! Katy Bowman, biomechanist, is a great resouce for further info on foot health: http://www.alignedandwell.com

Next entry: calf, ankle, and foot stretches to assist in the alignment process.

Who’s the real Biggest Loser?

I’ve held back my thoughts around this last Biggest Loser finale. But here goes… I’ve been a fan of the show for a long time for various reasons. 1) I love seeing new exercise moves & equipment on the show. 2) I was a fan of Jillian Michaels for a long while. Not so much now but that’s a different blog. 3) I really love Bob Harper and I’m glad he finally came out. Jeez. 4) Despite it being a competition for money and a TV show, I still believe the show creates huge changes in the contestants’ lives and definitely has the possibility to motivate people at home.

Unfortunately, like committing to ANY lifestyle change for a set period of time, there’s always the problems with coming back to ‘real life’. I would love to believe that all the contestants from BL have kept off or at least somehow maintained their weight losses.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the case. I don’t know the percentages of weight lost/maintained/regained but I’m sure the internet could tell us… Jennipher Walters of FitBottomedGirls (@fitbottomedgirl) writes an article about that here: http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/will-seasons-biggest-loser-contestants-keep-weight This makes me think about all the times in my life I’ve gained/lost/gained/lost weight.

Here’s Rachel Frederickson’s before and after shots.  She started at 260 pounds and is 5’4″.  At the finale she weighed 105 pounds. That’s a 60% weight loss in about 7 months.  If she weren’t on the show, a weight loss of 1-2, maybe 3 pounds per week would be the “good” way to drop pounds. To lose 155 pounds would then take approximately 77 weeks (18 months). Hmmm? Granted, contestants on the show are given a stocked & healthy kitchen, are medically examined, are given strict guidelines on nutrition and exercise habits, have no job except to workout and be “on the show”, have personal trainers at the ready plus have a great gym, a pool and lots of outdoor space to use.  These contestants are also coming from EXTREMELY unhealthy lifestyles so ANY major change in diet OR exercise would make a huge difference immediately.  Hmmm…

Rachel comparisonth

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Biggest Loser may “tweak” the show and add more contestant support? http://www.inquisitr.com/1129242/the-biggest-loser-considering-tweaking-after-rachel-fredericksons-weight-loss-controversy/ Really?

This is a photo of Season 13 contest Kim Neilson at her finale. There is definitely a difference between weight loss and being fit and strong-looking. Comparing she and Rachel’s after photos will definitely be different but Kim was also a professional wrestler prior to being on the show. Hmmm…

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Oh Jillian and Bob… I love you guys but I don’t think either of you handled this situation very well.

Bob and Jillian have distanced themselves from Rachel’s weight loss journey, despite working on the show, releasing a joint statement in a post on Facebook. “Jillian and I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the BL contestants on their hard work,” it read. “We’re not comfortable commenting on Rachel’s journey because we weren’t her trainers and weren’t given an opportunity to work with her at any point. Any questions about the contestants on The Biggest Loser should be directed to the show’s producers.”

Dolvett, on the other hand, at least addressed how this journey can be a roller coaster… Dolvett posted on Instagram: “Last night’s Biggest Loser Finale has sparked a huge reaction and I do not want the day to end without addressing it. Biggest Loser is a journey which has its ups and downs. Please try not to look at one slice of Rachel’s journey and come to broad conclusions. Rachel’s health is and always has been in my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!”

And Rachel’s quote:  “I think that with my journey, I truly found the person I want to be, so it’s about the lifestyle for me,” the Reality World reports.  Read more at http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/140488/Biggest-Loser-Stands-By-Winner-Rachel-As-Jillian-Michaels-And-Bob-Harper-Distance-Themselves#wGAus2C4YDfmAx45.99

Here’s another article I found surrounding this recent “controversy” from a woman who found herself in a similar situation as a young dancer.  CNN article from S.E.Cupp (dancer): http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/10/opinion/cupp-biggest-loser-been-there/index.html

So where do I stand on this whole thing? Who is the REAL Biggest Loser? I think we are. The general public falling prey to the ease of slurry social media posts and diving in the rabbit hole of horrific finger-pointing. Rachel worked hard to lose her weight – no doubt at all! I believe she was fortunate to have the opportunities from the BL.  I say we don’t need to judge ANYONE. For ANYTHING. We are all on our own journeys and there will be ups and downs along the way. Let’s support each other, love each other, live to help each other — rather than the opposite…

~Coach Kimmie’s 2-cents’

Anything… Everything

By: Dr Dawn DPT

How we sit, stand, walk, run, squat, carry, lift, push/press, sleep, and anything else we do on a repetitive basis affects our body composition and tissue health. Tissues here include bones, muscles, fascia, nerves, blood vessels… you get the picture! Our movements and positions either honor our biomechanical systems or they don’t. That is why it is sooooo important to practice “right” movement strategies throughout the day, not just while you are working out or doing your home rehab progam.

Anyone who comes into Kinesis for rehab, prehab, athletic conditioning, and/or core work hears this over and over again. But I believe one can never hear this too much. We all need movement corrections, even myself and Coach Kimmie! The goal is to spend more time in right movement patterns so our bodies can weather the times we revert to poor movement choices. No one is perfect! Spend time practicing… building myelin for future injury resistance.

In the meantime, enjoy the following video from one of my mentors Kelly Starrett. If you know Coach Kimmie and I personally, this video will ring true and sound verrrryyyy familiar!!!

It’s Genetic… NO, It’s Mechanics!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

If I had a nickle for every time a client tried to convince me their foot problems were genetic, I’d be rolling in the deep money! I won’t dispute the possibility of some genetic predisposition due to collagen fibers, bone structure, and other genetic markers. However, I take issue with the statement “It’s genetic, I have my mother’s (or father’s or uncle’s or grandmother’s) feet being used to avoid owning their bad habits and correcting biomechanical faults that can change the course of their foot health for a lifetime. A genome can not be altered (well, for the sake of this discussion it can’t!) but a mechanome can definitely be modified for the greater good.

“We are how we move” according to Katy Bowman, biomechanist extraordinaire. Read her timely blog on this topic here: Mechanome vs Genome. The moral of the story is you can do something, many things in fact, to address the issues with the tissues in your feet (or anywhere else in the body for that matter but today it’s the feet).

The most common malalignment of the foot attributed to genetics is the bunion. bunion anatomyIn reality, gait pattern, tissue tension, and poor shoe choices are the biggest contributors to bunion formation. Tight calves and hamstrings as well as walking like a duck (or ballerina) are the quickest way to achieving a beautiful (not) bony protrusion on the side of your big toe. Add wearing a shoe with a small toe box and a heel to push your entire body weight onto the ball of the foot and pow!

If we were meant to wear heels, our foot structure would look more like this:

foothighheelSo… what can I do? you may ask. I will tell you.

First: Wean down your heel height as much as possible and wear heels for special occasions instead of daily.

Second: Choose shoes with wide toe boxes to give your toes plenty of room to spread out. And help your toes find a new spread position by encouraging them with your fingers, spreading with toe muscle control, and wearing my new favorite toe aligment tool:

toealignmentsocks I wear these in the evening for about an hour or so before going to bed. WOW! What a stretch!

ytutoeonballThird: Use a myofascial release tool to loosen up the tissues in the foot and create space for blood flow, nerve communication, and mechanical efficiency. My favorites are the Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls. They come in several sizes but the classics are best for the feet. ytuballoffoot

Fourth: Stretch your calf muscles

katybowmancalfstretch

Fifth: Stretch your hamstrings/posterior chain

kbhamstringcalfstretch

Sixth: Fix your standing and walking foot pattern. If you are not a duck or a ballerina on the stage, please work on paralleling your feet one to the other.

footalignment

Your feet should line up similar to the middle set, feet in parallel to each other. Practice this in both standing and walking. The more you practice this preferred posture, the more comfortable and less foreign it will feel.

Seventh: Make an effort to do something for your foot health daily. Your feet and toes will thank you immensely for your efforts! You can create change! Your foot structure is malleable based on the mechanical stresses placed on it.

happytoes

Hell on Heels!

By: Dr Dawn DPT

Are you a slave to fashion? A real fashionista? Can’t give up your Choos? And yes, wedges are still heels!

Fashion Heels

Fashion Heels

wedgeshoeThere is a growing body of evidence, not to mention your own body you have probably been trying to ignore, that wearing heeled shoes is detrimental to your posture and biomechanics. The soft tissue imbalances created from faulty posture and biomechanics when the heel is in a raised position frequently lead to musculoskeletal pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) states “these debilitating conditions are painful for the individual, lead to the inability to work and to enjoy life fully, and are a cost to societies and countries.” According to WHO, millions of people are affected globally by musculoskeletal diseases/injuries.

Everything matters because everything is connected! What do you think happens to your knees when your heels are lifted throwing your delicate balance with gravity in a tail spin? And then your hips? Your spine? Your shoulders? Your head? Compensatory changes occur all the way up the chain to your brain.

highheelxray copy

So why do so many women (and some men) continue to punish their feet, knees, hips, backs, necks? Why haven’t more women just said NO! and demand a fashionable flat? We have to demand it and they will supply it! Right?!? Here’s hoping your heels find their way to the dumpster while you’re in search of an answer to your nagging body aches and pains. Throw on a pair of nice flats on your way out the door!

Fascianistas unite! Fashionistas watch out!!