Like Grandma said, “Epsom salt is good for what ails you!”

epsom salt grandma

I’ve been listening to Grandma for the last 30 years, incorporating periodic Epsom salt baths into my overall health & fitness training regimen. I take a nice, hot, relaxing salt bath when I’m sore, sick, injured, fatigued or just feeling down. I recommend them highly when consulting with my family, practice members and friends, and they all tell me how happy they are with the results they experience using this simple, yet highly effective protocol.

Epsom salts are a form of magnesium and sulfate, two minerals that many of us suffer deficiencies due to the depletion of our soil through over-farming. Researcher Dr. Rosemary Waring demonstrated in a University of Birmingham study that both magnesium and sulfate absorb directly through the skin and that Epsom salt baths significantly raise the levels of both of these minerals in your bloodstream. As time goes on, and baths are repeated, blood levels stabilize and remain higher than before.

There are many claims to the benefits of Epsom salt baths, from relief of muscle soreness to detoxification of the body. The benefits come from the higher levels of these minerals in your body. As I always say, as long as it’s not harmful, try it yourself and see what happens! Researchers and physicians suggest these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

-Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. -Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
-Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
-Improved oxygen use.
-Improved absorption of nutrients.
-Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
-Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
-Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
-Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
-Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
-Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.

epsom-salt

Epsom salt is available in any market or drug store. To start, use at least two cups of Epsom salt in warm bathwater and soak 15-30 minutes two to three times a week. As you load up with these minerals, you can cut it down to once a week, but I guarantee, you’ll feel so good after a bath that you’ll want to do it as often as possible.

One of the best things to do when you have a cold is to take a hot salt bath followed by some sleep under a warm comfy blanket. It will really help your body fight the cold and get you back on track quicker.

If you really want to supersize your bath, add two cups of Kosher or sea salt and one ounce of liquid potassium available at most health food stores. Your creating a virtual “salt water ocean” of minerals and electrolytes that have many beneficial effects on your physiology. Or better yet, soak, swim or surf in any body of salt water to absorb minerals and salts. There’s a reason why you feel so fabulous when you’re on vacation enjoying the beach and water!

Here’s some links to enhance your knowledge of salt baths:

http://wellnessmama.com/4513/magnesium-salt-baths/

http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp

http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/problems/treating/epsom-salt-baths.htm

Contact me with any questions and let me know how the Epsom salt baths have been working for you…

Keep Looking Forward…

Dr. Pete

drgratale@optonline.net

www.DrPete.com

201-836-9558

My Secret Weapon for a Runny Nose During Allergy Season

I’ve always been suseptible to allergic sinus symptoms during the change of seasons. I’ve always been helped by chiropractic adjustments and cranial manipulation, both of which allow drainage of mucous from the head through the neck. But this past fall and winter, my upper respiratory system went bonkers and really became a big problem for me. Once I discovered that the primary source of my allergic reaction was that darn pet rabbit that we had staying in our house rent-free, I erected a three room bi-level vacation condo for Jordy the Rabbit in our back yard!

But I still wasn’t right. My sinuses continued to be clogged and my eyes continued to tear. I had to sleep with my mouth open because of the congestion, and my throat was dry and scratchy every morning. My next step was to eliminate wheat and dairy from my diet, as both cause mucous formation and inflammation, especially the genetically modified stuff they now pass off as food. I gained some more relief of my symptoms, but I wasn’t there yet.

About 6 months ago, I started a new training cycle at The Gym in Englewood, which just happens to be equipped with an excellent steamroom. Everyday I hit the steam for a 5-10 minute session and performed some basic breathing exercises while in there, and the results have been astounding! Let me tell you how I did it.

First off, I like to stand while in the steamroom as the air is hotter up there and I don’t trust the coodies that can collect on steamroom seats! I spray a little eukalyptus/menthol spray into the air to give me that nice Vick’s VapoRub smell and sensation. While standing I perform light circular movements of my arms to stretch my chest open and pull my shoulder blades backwards. Next I perform 5-10 full focused centered breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth while expanding my ribcage and abdomen. I start gently and gradually use more force with successive breaths.

I then close off my right nostril with a finger and breath in and out with the left nostril for 5-10 breaths, again starting gently with successive force. I imagine the upper respiratory tract as a vacuum hose and I try to clear the mucous out of that hose through strong suction, either swallowing the mucous (not so gross) or blowing it out of my nose (use a towel for hygiene’s sake!) I repeat the process with the left nostril closed, breathing 5-10 with the right nostril creating that in and out vacuum cleanup.

Finally, I perform an ancient breathing exercise called nadi shodhan pranayama or alternate nostril breathing. Here’s an infographic of how it is performed. I’ll do 5-10 of these to complete my session. If you want to delve more deeply into this breathing exercise, here’s a link to a great article and video on how to do it. By the way, the alternate nostril breathing exercise can be done anywhere and at any time. It stimulates energy flow and balances your system.

And now my sinuses are clear most of the time! If I can’t make it to The Gym, I blast the hot water and steam up the bathroom at home and perform the exercises before showering. I actually sleep now while breathing through my nose, and my wife says I am snoring much less! The steam room isn’t for everybody, but if you’re suffering from chronic sinus congestion, please give this a try. I’m here to help you if you need more guidance or have questions.

Again, here’s the link for the article and video on alternate nostril breathing

Keep Looking Forward…

Dr. Pete

drgratale@optonline.net

www.DrPete.com

201-836-9558

The Surprisingly Potent Energy of the Earth

How Grounding Yourself Leads to Better Health and Healing

Earthing2One of the simplest healthy habits we all can do is right under our feet and we don’t even realize it! Research has shown that just 15 minutes of daily contact between our bare feet/skin and the ground restores the electrical balance of energy in our bodies, thus neutralizing the effects of stress and restoring our health and vitality.

The concept of EARTHING (making an electrical connection with the ground) rose to prominence when it was employed by team chiropractor Dr. Jeff Spencer and the Tour de France U.S. Cycling Team led by Lance Armstrong. Dr. Jeff made use of earthing technology to help the athletes recover from the grueling intensity of the race, and it worked. Earthing helped to reduce the accumulative racing stress on their bodies; sprains and strains seemed to heal overnight.

What is Earthing? From the Earthing Institute website:

Throughout time, we humans have sat, stood, strolled, and slept on the ground – the skin of our bodies touching the skin of the Earth.

And throughout time, such ordinary contact served as a conduit for transferring the Earth’s natural, gentle negative charge underfoot into the body. You see, we are bioelectrical beings living on an electrical planet.

Modern lifestyle has disconnected us from this primordial charge.

Earthing is the landmark discovery that the disconnect may make us more vulnerable to stress and illness. Contact with the Earth appears to uphold the electrical stability of our bodies and serve as a foundation for vitality and health. In an age of rampant chronic inflammation and disease, “grounding” ourselves by reconnecting with the Earth beneath our very feet provides a way back to better health.

As we make barefoot contact with the Earth, DC current full of negatively charged electrons flood into our body and neutralize free radicals, the nasty atomic particles responsible for inflammation and irritation of our tissues. Taking antioxidants or eating antioxidant rich food has a similar effect, but the Earth’s energy is free and readily available.

I’ve been recommending earthing for years as part of my program in the office and I make it a point to use it myself. I walk or stand barefoot on my grassy lawn daily, particularly when I’m gardening and watering the flowers. It’s important that there is some moisture involved to create the electrical connection – dry rock, sand or sidewalk won’t do. Connection can occur while in lakes, rivers and especially the ocean. Leather mocassins that get damp from grass or persperation would also work. Modern shoes with rubber soles are electrically insulated, thus they disconnect us from the Earth.

You can also purchase Earthing pads and bed linings that connect to an electrical outlet and recreate the flow of electrons from the ground. This is what they used in the Tour de France. I’ve had quite a few patients who utilized this technology and they reported that it worked great.

When you do earthing, you may feel some tingling in your legs and an increase in energy and good feelings. Many times mild to moderate aches and pains will quickly disappear. Earthing also neutralizes the effects of all the other electrical gadgets and electromagnetic fields that we are bombarded with daily.

Here’s links to a few websites that delve more deeply into the details of earthing if you’re interested, but for most of you, just get out there and go barefoot! Let me know how it’s affected your health and vitality!

The Earthing Institute Main Page

Frequently Asked Earthing Questions

Earthing and Grounding Products

Keep Looking Forward…

Dr. Pete

drgratale@optonline.net

www.DrPete.com

201-836-9558

FIRST LOOK: Candid Images from the Arnold Sports Festival 2015

That’s right…it was a wonderful reunion of my dear friends and former hosts of the popular ESPN Fitness Show BodyShaping at the Arnold’s Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio this past weekend. That’s ESPN Fitness Queen Kiana Tom and my buddy Rick Valente, a legend around Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, California.What a thrill it was to see them after all these years and see how they’ve grown to be ever more grateful, caring, charismatic and genuine good people.

Here’s a First Look at a sample of the candid images taken just a day or two ago. Be on the lookout for a more detailed and better resolution review of the sights and images taken by our professional photographer by the end of this week.

Here’s Kiana accepting the award as a “Pioneer of Fitness Education” from Arnold. Both Rick and I also received this award.

Award

Nice crystal honor!

 

Lee and Pete

Out to dinner with my dear friend, Mr. Olympia Lee Haney, the classiest champion you’ll ever meet.

They even gave me a badge…I wanted it to say HOST WITH THE MOST!

Rick Flair

Professional Wrestling Icon Ric Flair stayed at our hotel and enjoyed our coffee in the morning!

Innate Power

I had the fortunate opportunity to premiere my new workshop – Innate Power Tools – and I got them centered and energized!

Kianna and Rick

Wherever I’ve gone throughout the years, people always would ask me about the best fitness TV hosts in the business, Kiana and Rick!

Jay and Hulk

One of our own, Fitness Council member Dr. Jay Lipoff with the Hulk himself! Dr. Jay founded Foundation 4 Heroes, a charity that visits sick kids dressed as their favorite superheroes.

Chris Zaino

Former Mr. America and chiropractic thought leader Dr. Chris Zaino. What an inspiring chiropractic story he has!

Arnold

The Governator never fails to deliver! As he was leaving he said, “I’ll be back!”

Lee and Rick

Always a pleasure to break bread with my buddies Lee Haney and Rick Valente!

NY Strength

Dr. Jack Barnathan’s awesome NY Strength team, along with Ms. America Stephanie Mills, had a fantastic Roundtable of Champions segment.

Arnold Strongman

The strongest men on the planet – the Arnold Strongman competitors!

Arnold Classic

The Arnold’s Classic Men’s Pro top competitors. The winner, for a record fifth time, was Dexter Jackson, 2nd from left.

The Mountain

6’9″ Hakthor Bjornsson, who plays The Mountain in the HBO series Game of Thrones, hoists a 275 lb. dumbell press with ONE ARM!

Abs
Talk about some abdominals! Yikes!

me and Arnold

I got my professional picture with Arnold and you can too, if you come next year! (yes, I know my tie is crooked, but I work hard to create a successful event!)

Arnold poster

Largest Multi-Sport Festival in the Nation…

I’ll be posting the photos taken by our professional photographer real soon so be on the lookout. I hope you enjoyed this First Look at the fabulous weekend that we all had and I hope you can experience it next year.

Dr. Pete

SLIDESHOW: Dr. Pete’s New Workshop Debuts at the Arnold’s Sports Festival

Arnold promo final

Scroll down for the slideshow

I’m so honored to be presenting my new workshop at the ICA Arnold Symposium on Natural Fitness & Sports at this years Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio on March 5-7, 2015.

To think that just 5 months ago I was lying in a hospital bed with a torn up knee and cracked ankle. And now I will be leading an enthusiastic group of health and fitness professionals in a workshop that is the culmination of all my experiences over four decades in the physical culture world.

We’re going to have a blast at this workshop, learning to tap our inborn strengths through focus, breathe and movement. So wear loose comfortable clothes and it might not be a bad idea to bring a towel!

Here’s a taste of what’s to come! These are the slides I will be using as part of my presentation. There’s some useful information in here and the slides will give you an idea of what we’ll be covering, but you’ll have to attend the event to get the details! Watch for pictures and videos of the workshop coming soon…

 

The Night I Met Jack LaLanne…

JAck LaLanne blog post

What a thrill it was when I looked across the aisle! I was in the Columbus Veterans Memorial Arena in Columbus, Ohio at the Finals of the Arnold Classic Bodybuilding and Arnold Strongman Competitions. I arrived early and had a great seat near the orchestra and stage.

As I casually turned my head, my heart skipped a beat as I caught glimpse of the only fitness icon higher on my own personal pantheon than Arnold himself.

I was sitting across from Jack LaLanne!

The “godfather of fitness”, the “first fitness superhero”, host of The Jack LaLanne Show from 1953 to 1985! A trained chiropractor and World War II veteran, Jack started his Oakland California gym in 1936, which served as the prototype for dozens of gyms throughout the country that bore his name. Upon his death, Arnold Schwarzenneger called him “an apostle of fitness” who inspired “billions all over the world to live healthier lives.”

So after my knees stopped shaking like a nervous little boy finally meeting his idol, I popped out of my seat to go over and say hello. I congratulated him on being selected for the Arnold Lifetime Achievement Award that would be presented to him later that night and he reminded me to keep doing my push ups! We snapped a quick photo and I returned to my seat to enjoy the awesome evening.

One of most admirable qualities about Jack LaLanne was his  PASSION! Passion to motivate people to take better care of themselves through exercise and nutrition. A passion to inspire people to smile and appreciate their lives so they could experience a happier and more productive life.

Take three minutes out of your day and view this inspirational clip from the Jack LaLanne Show about Unhappy People, where he explains how health and happiness comes from within.

Jack_LaLanne_-_Unhappy_People

Click here to view the 3 minute video on YouTube.