back pain

Deep Core Strength Shown to Prevent Back Pain

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People Feel & Function Better When They Do Pilates

We in Pilates have been talking about back pain and exercise for decades. And while a whole host of anecdotal evidence does point to the deep core strengthening of Pilates as a huge help in preventing and treating back pain, the scientific evidence has been scant.

The connection between Pilates and less back pain is clear to me. It seems obvious to me that if you strengthen pelvic and shoulder stability, and strengthen deepest as well as more superficial layers of muscle, you are in a better position to withstand higher impact activities without fear of back injury and pain.

And, guess what? Not only is it clear to me, it's true!

A new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and published in the Journal of Biomechanics, examines what may cause chronic back pain in runners and what exercises may help. Basically, runners with weak deep core muscles are at higher risk of developing low back pain. "[W]eak deep core muscles force more superficial muscles like the abs to work harder and reach fatigue faster. When those superficial muscles are doing the work the deep core should be doing, there are often painful consequences."

It is not the six-pack that matters, but what is underneath it. And that is what we teach in Pilates!

Back Pain and the Opioid Epidemic

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Some Facts on Back Pain:

I was reading some statistics today on back pain, especially on the connection between back pain and the current opioid crisis we are having here in the US. Things are really quite scary! 

1. Almost Everyone Experiences Bad Back Pain

Yes, that's right, 80% of Americans experience back pain, and of those, 70% have bad enough pain that they go to the doctor. Statistically, more women than men seek treatment (which given my own experience with my husband, is not surprising, as he hates to go the doctor).

2. Back Pain Is One Of the Most Expensive Health Problems

Lower back pain alone accounts for 2-3% of all doctor visits. While that percentage seems low, it is higher than visits for allergies and the common cold! Between physicians, PTs, and pharmacies, the cost adds up to about $30 billion per year!

3. Treatment Costs Go Up, but Outcomes Haven't Improved

Most disturbing is the fact that as treatment costs go up, patient outcomes stay exactly the same. Why?

Because the costs are mostly for pain medications, which include fentanyl (which killed Prince) and Oxycontin (which most recently killed Tom Petty). And pain medications don't fix your back pain, they just numb you and turn you into an addict.

What Can You Do About Back Pain?

If the medical establishment is not helping people with back pain, and is in fact contributing to the opioid problem by simply giving people pain pills, what else can you do? Just suffer? As you might imagine, I have some ideas.

1. You Gotta Move!

One thing that we know improves peoples' back pain is properly done exercise to maintain appropriate spine positioning and posture. The less we sit, the more we move, and the more we move well, the better we feel. 

2. You Need To Chill Sometimes

There is a stress component to back pain, no doubt about it. We overwork and overworry. Take a bath, do a meditation class, take some deep breaths. But spend some time unplugged and relax!

3. Strengthen Your Deep Abdominal and Back Muscles 

Recent studies show that deep core strength helps us stabilize our spines both in movement and against load. In my humble opinion, Pilates is one of the best exercise modalities for this. 

Back Pain Resources 

1. Free Back Pain Resources

I have two free videos for you. The first is about how to stabilize your back and pelvis:

and the second is about Pilates Fundamentals to Eliminate Lower Back Pain:

2. Low-cost Resources

All of my Pilates Audios will help you reduce or alleviate lower back pain. They are 30 minute Pilates exercise routines that, if done regularly, really will help your back pain. Price? $20 each for something you can use daily, and easily travel with.

Click here to check out Pilates Audios

3. Higher-cost Resources

My two top resources for back pain are the Pilates for Back Pain eCourse and an Online Private Lesson.

The $97 eCourse is a comprehensive guide to using the full PIlates mat repertoire to eliminate your back pain, including an ebook with photos, audio workouts, and explanatory videos that break everything down for you. Weeks of content!

Click here for more about Pilates for Back Pain eCourse

An online private with me will allow me to see how you move and give you more specific recommendations for your particular back pain issue. A 55 minute session, which includes the video for you to watch and re-use, is $120 (Pilates pro discounts and package pricing available.

Click here to book an Online Pilates session

Any questions? Contact me and I will help you out!

 

Celebrate Summer!

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Celebrate Summer! New Logo - Cute Juniper Peanut Video - Half-off Pilates eCourses & Audios Today Only - Summer Appointments Available - Half-off Skype Pilates Sessions

Summer is finally and officially here and we are very happy at my house.

I am very happy with my new logo. What do you think? My website is also being revamped as I type this. Let's celebrate summer!

1. Celebrate Juniper Peanut's Video of the Week

Juniper Peanut continues to come out of her shell and delight us! Here she is showing off her new doggie trick - a full 360-degree turn on her back legs.

2. Half-off Pilates eCourses and Audios Today Only

Starting right now through tomorrow, get any Pilates Audios (back pain, neck pain, ring/roller, basic mat), the Pilates for Back Pain eCourse, and/or the Usui Reiki I eCourse ALL AT HALF PRICE! No code needed. 50% discount will show up in cart automatically. Save up to $80! Just click here to buy all of my audios & eCourses at half-price.

3. Summer Appointments Available

For much of the year, it is almost impossible to get an appointment with me in the studio. But that eases up in the summer! I would love to see you at either Real Pilates or Pilates on Fifth this summer.

We can create a program that works for you, and I have a number of great teachers that you can continue with in the fall in either location.

To sweeten the deal, new clients can purchase their first session with me this week for just $100 using this link.

I will be in touch to schedule as soon as I see the Paypal notification! Only 6 spots available - 1 per customer. New clients only!

4. Half-off Skype Pilates Sessions Today Only

Starting right now through tomorrow, new clients can click here to buy their first Skype/Facetime Pilates Session for just $40.

I will be in touch to schedule as soon as I see the Paypal notification! Only 6 spots available - 1 per customer. New clients only!

6-Week Online Pilates Programs Start May 8

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6-week Online Pilates Programs Start May 8, 2017 - Register Now for Bye Bye Back Pain or Restore Your Core Diastasis Repair!

Bye Bye Back Pain!

You do not have to suffer from back pain that limits your activities and your enjoyment of life.

Is back pain dragging you down? Do you have to constantly be careful of how you move and what you do because of your back? Have you been doing ab exercises but still feel like your back is weak? Are you losing sleep, and unable to do what you like?

This program is for you!

Learn how to find a neutral pelvis and strengthen your functional core. Gain more usable strength through proper breathing, correct form, and full body exercises including Pilates and bodyweight training. No equipment needed!

Click here for more information on Bye Bye Back Pain

Here’s how it works:

  • Six-week on line training program starting on May 8.
  • You will be expected to follow a 15-30 minute, 4 day day per week workout plan that may include written workouts and hyperlinked videos.
  • Exercises are appropriate for all levels with modified options for beginners. The workouts include breathing exercises, pilates fundamentals and mat exercises, and bodyweight training.
  • Participants will be required to pay in advance and fill out all health forms and waivers before the program begins.
  • Participants will be required to do daily check-ins with me via email or Facebook group.
  • The training program is payable via cash, check, or PayPal ($199 total).

Please pay and register for the training program using the button below. Just $199.

Restore Your Core Diastasis Repair!

Since Diastasis repair surgery is generally not covered by health insurance, so many women just learn to live with it. But you don’t have to live with a Diastasis!

Learn how to pull your abdominal muscles back together and gain more usable strength through proper breathing, correct form, and full body exercises including Pilates and bodyweight training. No equipment needed!

Click here for more information on Restore Your Core Diastasis Repair

Here’s how it works:

  • Six-week on line training program starting on May 8.
  • You will be expected to follow a 15-30 minutes per day, 4 day per week workout plan that may include written workouts and hyperlinked videos.
  • Exercises are appropriate for all levels with modified options for beginners. The workouts will include breathing exercises, pilates, and bodyweight training.
  • Participants will be required to pay in advance and fill out all health forms and waivers before the program begins.
  • Participants will be required to do daily check-ins with me via email or Facebook group.
  • The training program is payable via PayPal ($199 total).

Use the button below to pay and register. Just $199

 

And here is a bit more about what you can expect:

https://youtu.be/CgLQNZtfqJA

Happy Spring! I Have Lots of News

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Happy Spring! I have lots of news to share...

I don't know about you, but to me this winter has felt unending and difficult to endure. I am so happy that Spring appears to be here to stay. Happy Spring, everyone!

To celebrate the season, I went for my eye exam and have new glasses on order. I never wear green, but these green tortoiseshell cat's eyes were the the first pair I tried on and turned out to be the winner!

Transitioning from Pilates Studio to Online

With all this new Spring energy, I decided to take on a few projects that will enable me to work from my laptop and offer my Pilates, Fitness, and Reiki services to more and more people around the world. To that end I joined Amanda Tress' Business Accelerator Workshop, and am working to increase my online engagement, Skype/Facetime teaching, and online Pilates workshops and groups.

I have some special pricing options on all of this for you that I will announce later today!

FASTer Way To Fat Loss

I have been accepted into and have started the first round of the FASTer Way to Fat Loss certification. This program combines science-backed Intermittent Fasting protocols, tracking Macro nutrients based on what your activity levels will be in a given day, and solid, effective workouts into an easy-to-follow and continue 6-week format. Be on the lookout for more information.

Live Videos

Facebook Live is a new medium for me, but I am enjoying connecting with friends and followers in a new way. I try to address topics of interest to both Pilates Teachers and clients, including osteoporosis, back pain, diastasis, and more. Follow me on Facebook to see my Live Videos.

See you later on today with some special spring Pilates options! I look forward to helping you.

A More Personal Post - Update on Me!

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A More Personal Post - Update on Me!

I was looking through this blog, and realized that I had not written much about me lately. And there is quite a bit happening with me here!

Looking for Expat Opportunities

The most exciting news right now is that I am actively seeking expat work opportunities out of the US. I spent six years out of the country when we worked and lived in Turks and Caicos (on Providenciales and then at Parrot Cay by COMO), moving back to NYC to support my dying parents. They passed in 2013.

Then we didn't really want to move Smiley, who was sick and old, and she passed at the beginning of 2016.

So, now it is just the two of us and our 30# Juniper. And after this presidential election, I am pretty sure that the US is not where I want to spend the rest of my life. If I do decide to stay here, I will most likely move to California.

I have always wanted to explore Asia, and to that end I had a Skype interview last night with a wellness resort on Koh Samui, Thailand. The interview went well, and I look forward to the next steps.

But, as I am also a believer in not overlooking anything, if you know of any opportunities in the Pacific or Indian Oceans (Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bhutan, Australia, New Zealand), or CA, please let me know!

Got A Handle on Finances

Finances are tough for me. I hate tracking money, although when I do track money my life is much easier (go figure). After a crisis at the end of December, where we were just dead broke and in the hole, hubby and I have started tracking every penny, and it is working!

Ignoring problems doesn't help. And I have a tendency to just say yes to everything, because I want everyone to be happy. It never works out well.

So now we save receipts and do spreadsheets every week. Bills get paid on time and we know what we are spending. What a relief!

Launched New Six-Week Pilates Programs

In my push to move more of my business online, I launched two separate six-week Pilates programs - Bye Bye Back Pain and Restore Your Core Diastasis Repair. Both are doing well, with the participants feeling better each week.

We are halfway through this first round, with a new round starting next Monday 13 February.

More about Bye Bye Back Pain Program here.

More about Restore Your Core Diastasis Recti Program here.

I am Teaching More Pilates via Skype and Facetime

As I transition to more global thinking, I am focusing more on teaching remotely. There are lots of folks who would like to work with me, most cannot make it to NYC to see me (and now that I only teach 4 days a week it is increasingly difficult to get a studio hour with me), and many are Pilates teachers.

I really can effectively teach people via video - skype or facetime. I just need to be able to see you, which simply means finding a good spot for your device! One of my remote clients is an experienced Pilates teacher who lives in California, and he is seeing changes in his body and how the work feels, as well as learning some new exercises and cues, in just 4 sessions.

And right now I am offering Skype/Facetime sessions to Pilates teachers for only $80 or 5@$360, and to none-teachers for $90 or 5@$400. You really can't beat the price (since a regular private with me is $160) and you get all of the benefit of a great Pilates session.

I am growing to love remote teaching more and more! Contact me using form below to set up your Skype/Facetime sessions.

So, there you have it! My 2017 is, so far, working well. How about yours?

Want to Work with Me? Send Me A Message!

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Win the Full Salonpas Pain Relief Product Suite

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Salonpas Pain Relief Products Are My Go To!

I can remember my parents using BenGay for pain relief. That smell of the menthol and camphor was so strong!

A Less Messy and Smelly Alternative

As I grew up, I looked for products that smelled a bit better, but since everything uses the same base of camphor and menthol, I either avoided topical pain relief or just sucked it up with the smell. I tried IcyHot, Biofreeze, and even the Thermacare-style hot and cold packs.

Meanwhile, my Japanese friends were using Salonpas, which combines the camphor and menthol with an actual anti-inflammatory (methyl salicylate), and doesn't smell as intense. They would bring me boxes when they went home to visit.

And because the products are Jet-sprays, gels, and patches of varying sizes, they are much less messy than the old ointments and creams.

FDA Approved for Pain Relief

But now, I can buy Salonpas here in the US! And in addition to the regular patches, sprays, and gels, they have a hot patch and a lidocaine patch - all of which are FDA approved for pain relief and are viable alternatives to increasingly expensive prescription patches.

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What Do I Use Salonpas For?

The toe I crushed in 2013 still vexes me, especially in damp cold. I wrap my toe in the small Salonpas patch and it really helps!

I have chronic nerve pain from shingles, and I use the large Lidocaine patch when that gets bad, as well as the heated large patch.

Hubby has chronic back pain, and a shot of the spray helps him feel better for 6-8 hours at a time.

Plus, if I am extra sore from working out or an old injury flares up, Salonpas really rescues me!

Recently, the Salonpas folks sent me the entire product line. And now, they would like to give this same set to you!

And we have a winner! Congratulations to Carol Reid. You should already have an email from me.

 

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