Tagged DIY health

“Forging the Mind Body Connection” – Testimony From A Special Forces Soldier Who Does Yoga

yoga soldiers

“The practice of yoga – breathing, being present and letting go – taught me to allow things to happen naturally.” – Doug Kiesewetter, U.S. Army Special Forces

In this powerful article with video, a Cross Fit trained, Special Forces soldier describes how he was left in a shambles after his first yoga session. But he continued and stuck with the sessions, eventually finding that it allowed him to access untapped strength and new found mobility. Although he lost 30 pounds, his Cross Fit totals stayed the same! And he claims that his results were mainly because of the mental benefits he gained from yoga.

Yoga helped him forge a mind body connection that created a more clear frame of mind. He found he had an improved ability to assess life situations clearly and react more calmly and effectively.  His optimized mind body connection improved his life, his marriage and his ability to operate with his Special Forces brethren (who also have found mental strength and clarity at yoga class.)

It reminds me of the fact that the real purpose of Chiropractic is to reestablish the connection of the brain to the body through the spine. Your spinal cord is the real-deal mind body connection, orchestrating billions of signals from your brain cells to every tissue cell of your body. When your free moving spinal joints lock up or spinal cord gets kinked, interference is created in this vital connection, hampering the coordinated function of your brain and body systems. It’s the Chiropractors job to free up the locked spinal joints and un-kink the spinal cord so normal signal flow can be restored and Life energy can flow.

Innate intelligence 1

Respect that you have an innate, inborn intelligence within you that coordinates all the bodily and mental functions that keep you healthy and alive at any given moment. Chiropractic care and yoga share a common goal of creating a more optimized connection between all your body parts. The powerful result is greater awareness of your environment, improved mind body function, greater health, more resistance to disease, clearer thinking, and an optimal mind set of calm decision making and peaceful stress resolution.

It’s often said in Chiropractic philosophy that nature needs no help, just no interference. This is the new model of health and vitality. Trust your inborn, innate potential to grow, heal, function and express vibrant life through the regular practice of methods like chiropractic, yoga, clean eating, rest, and meditation. You’ll discover that you can enjoy your LIFE, and become more resilient when LIFE throws you the inevitable curve balls, challenges and obstacles.

Click here to read and view the Special Ops yoga article courtesy of Men’s Health Magazine. They also provide a do it yourself yoga routine to help get you started.

Click here to go to DrPete.com and learn how a chiropractic lifestyle can enhance the lives of you and your family.

And thanks for reading my blog. Please share it with those you love!

Renew your life logo

Special thanks to source:

http://www.menshealth.com/fitness/yoga-benefits-for-men

VIDEO: Innovative Exercises to Improve Your Low Back Strength

founder female

Click here to go right to video, but I would read this first!

I’ve added a few new exercises to my daily core routine and I’ve been getting great results with them. The exercises were designed by my friend and chiropractic colleague, Dr. Eric Goodman, and I’m enjoying improvements of my own in the strength and flexibility of my low back, hips and hamstrings. These exercises hit what we call the posterior chain of muscles which basically include the spinal erectors, gluteus maximus and hamstrings. Take a look at this guy…

posteriorchainchart1

 

Here’s a great video produced by Dr. Eric for World Surf League Pro Lakey Peterson (6th in the world!) I’ve been passing this video on to a few of my practice members and they are loving it.

A few important notes:

The first exercise is the squat with body weight. Because my focus is rehab for my injured leg, I do these slow and in control throughout. You should too. As Dr. Eric instructs, push that butt backwards and counterbalance with your arms. You shouldn’t feel it too much in the knees. Go down slowly only as far as you can and still feel strong and comfortable with no knee pain.

The second exercise is great for surfers and athletes, but I don’t recommend it as a beginner exercise. I do these after I’m warmed up and at a  slower pace. I’m not a 21 year old female surfer anymore!

The third exercise is the one where I want you to pay particular attention to Dr. Eric’s instruction. This one, called the Founder, is the basis for Foundation Training and it’s a wonderful exercise. It may look like a yoga posture but I assure you that it’s specifically formulated to strengthen the posterior chain. Some call it powerlifting for your deep core muscles and I agree. But you have to get the technique and form down.

founder1

The last exercise is an innovative variation of the standard plank called the 8 point plank. That’s because you are contacting the ground at your wrists, elbows, knees and flexed big toes. This may seem like an easier variation, and it is great for beginners, but believe me when I tell you that you can really feel this exercise where it counts – in your deep core.

8 point plank 2

Enjoy the video and give it a sincere try…you won’t be disappointed. Go to FoundationTraining.com to check out all of Dr. Eric’s cool videos and books. For any of you local people who need help with this, you know I’m always available in my office to check your form and make sure you get it right.

Click here to view video

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

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.

 

Got a Stuffy Nose? Learn How I Cleared My Sinuses Using The Steamroom!

sinus

I’ve always been suseptible to allergic sinus symptoms during the autumn 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 eight weeks 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