<![CDATA[ The Center For physical health - Blog]]>Mon, 14 Mar 2016 14:52:24 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Welcome!]]>Fri, 29 May 2015 04:51:19 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/welcomePicture
Welcome to The Center For Physical Health on the web. Our experts in physical health are here to partner with you on your journey to wellness. Nothing is more important to us than helping you live the life you love. Read what our professionals have to say about getting out of pain, achieving your performance goals, calming your mind and healing your body. Ask us questions and share your experiences with other readers. We are so happy to have you as part of The Center For Physical Health community. For more information on our physical therapy center in Los Angeles, visit: www.physical health.com

  Our online offerings include:
  • Feldenkrais Method Awareness Through Movement Lessons
  • TRX Home Program
  • Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention Tips and Exercises
  • Pre and Postnatal Tips and Support
  • Lectures on Mindfulness, Wellness, Chronic Pain and more
<![CDATA[Every Breath You Take: Better Breathing (Part 4)]]>Sun, 03 May 2015 04:57:03 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/every-breath-you-take-better-breathing-part-4
by John Sweetman, Certified Therapeutic Yoga Instructor

Relax, rejuvenate and re-balance with the following yoga breathing exercises. The first exercise will restore balance to your mind and body (right/left hemispheres of the brain, sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the nervous system). In the second exercise you will increase your exhalation relative to your inhalation, making the lungs more efficient at clearing out old stale air.

Yoga Breathing Sequence - Alternate Nostril Breath
1.  CLOSE your RIGHT nostril with your right thumb.
2.  Open and INHALE through the LEFT nostril.
3.  CLOSE your LEFT nostril with your ring finger.
4.  Open and EXHALE through your RIGHT nostril.
5.  INHALE through your RIGHT nostril.
6.  CLOSE your RIGHT nostril with your thumb.
7.  Open and EXHALE through your LEFT nostril.
8.  INHALE through your LEFT nostril.
9.  Continue alternating 5-10 times.

Yoga Breathing Sequence - Incremental Breath
1.  INHALE to the count of 2 and then EXHALE to the count of 2.
2.  INHALE to the count of 2 and then EXHALE to the count of 3.
3.  INHALE to the count of 2 and then EXHALE to the count of 4.
4.  INHALE to the count of 2 and then EXHALE to the count of 5.
5.  Repeat 5-10 times.

<![CDATA[Every Breath You Take: Better Breathing (Part 3)]]>Sat, 02 May 2015 04:52:02 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/every-breath-you-take-better-breathing-part-3with Cathy Kandalec-Sweetman, Certified Pilates Instructor

In this segment of our Better Breathing Series, I'd like to introduce you to a special breathing technique used in Pilates called POSTERIOR/LATERAL (BACK/SIDES) RIB BREATHING. This style of breathing is a basic foundation for all Pilates based exercises and is well worth the time and practice to learn. This technique has a dual purpose in that it allows us to keep the abdominal muscles pulled in deeply, so they can act like a protective corset for the spine throughout each exercise, and at the same time expand the ribs creating space and length throughout the spine.

Pilates Breathing Sequence - Standing/Sitting

1.  Wrap band/scarf around the lower part of your rib cage, full width, cross the ends in front of your body, elbows at your sides, palms up.
2.  Keeping your shoulders relaxed, pull the ends of the band gently forward to create pressure against your ribs.
3.  Inhale, let your breath travel down your spine, expanding your ribs into your back & sides and sense the pressure of your ribs against the scarf by your inhale (breath moves the band, not your whole body shifting weight).
4.  Exhale, draw your abs in and up as your ribs close gently together (arms will pull slightly forward).
5.  Repeat for 8-10 breath cycles.
6.  Note: If you find yourself without a band or scarf, hug yourself, crossing your arms in front of yourself and have your hands touching the sides of your lower ribs (fingers point behind yourself).

Pilates Breathing Sequence - Child's Pose/Rest Position

1.  Come onto your hands and knees (only if knees OK), sit your buttocks back towards your heels (can put a pillow between your buttocks and heels), round forward, resting your head on top of your hands or on the floor.
2.  Inhale, breathing into your back, expanding your back ribs towards the ceiling and wide to the sides of the room.
3.  Exhale and pull your abs in and up while gently closing the ribs that expanded with your inhale.
4.  Repeat for 8-10 breath cycles.
5.  Note: This style of breathing may not feel natural at first, but with daily practice you'll re-train your body and re-establish habits for better health.
<![CDATA[Every Breath You Take: Better Breathing for a Healthier Brain and Body (Part 2)]]>Thu, 30 Apr 2015 02:58:46 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/every-breath-you-take-better-breathing-for-a-healthier-brain-and-body-part-2
by Bridget Quebodeaux, GCFP
Science has proven that lung capacity, wellness, and life-span are dependent on optimal breathing. 

Many adults have developed patterns of moving and breathing that negatively impact their breath and the ideal balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body, leading to symptoms ranging from pain to mental sluggishness or organ dysfunction.

The Feldenkrais Method® offers a simple, easy Awareness Through Movement® lesson to help you improve the way you breathe. Click the image below to listen to staff Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner® Bridget Quebodeaux lead you through the sequence. For those unable to access the audio, the sequence is printed below. 

Call 310.475.6038 today to schedule an appointment with one of our staff Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners® for assistance with improving the way you breathe. 

1. Lie on your back on a firm but comfortable surface (a carpeted floor or hard floor with a blanket is ideal).

 2. Bend your knees and stand your feet on the floor hip distance apart and at a distance from your butt that allows your legs to feel securely supported.

3. Attend to your breathing. Which parts of your body are active as you inhale (where do you feel movement as you breathe in)? Which parts of you are you aware of as you breathe out? If you had to describe your breathing as physical sensations alone, what might you say (i.e. I can feel my back press against the floor as I inhale, I can feel my belly tighten as I exhale, feel my throat open as I breathe in...)? What is the depth, ease, satisfaction of your breathing?

 4. Gently protrude your belly---as if you were inflating a balloon in your lower abdomen.

 5. Allow your belly muscles to relax back to their normal resting position. Repeat this movement several times. Don't rock your pelvis as you push and release your belly. Think of your belly expanding in all directions---front, sides, back. As you expand your belly, your diaphragm is moving downward.

 6. Do the opposite movement---pull your belly in and puff out your chest. Relax and repeat this movement several times. When you do this movement, your diaphragm is moving upward.

 7. Take a breath and hold it. While holding your breath alternate pushing out your belly and pulling in your belly while inflating your chest. When you do this movement you are moving your diaphragm down and up. Exhale when you need to , and repeat: breathe in, hold your breath and alternate pushing out your belly and pulling in your belly/expanding your chest. Think of a long balloon ½ filled with air. Its as if you are pushing the air from one end of the balloon the other. Some people use the image of a see-saw to describe this movement. Make sure you rest and breathe when you need to, and return to the movement when you are ready. Repeat the see-saw movement for 5 breaths. 
8. Rest for a moment with your legs extended long (if this is comfortable), and just notice your breathing---which parts of you are you aware of as you breathe in and out. How much of yourself are you aware of being involved in breathing now? What's the depth, ease, satisfaction of your breathing now?

 9. Roll onto your belly with your head turned to the right. Your right arm is resting on the floor so that your elbow is bent and your hand is near your face, and your left arm down along your side. Breathe in, hold your breath and make the same "see-saw" movement. As you push belly out, your lower back rises and as you expand your chest, your upper back rises. Repeat several times, breathing and resting when you need to.

 10. Turn your head the opposite way and switch your arms so your left hand is near your face and your right arm is down along your side. Continue "see-saw breathing."

 11. Roll onto your back and rest for a moment, and one last time just notice your breathing---which parts of you are you aware of as you breathe in and out? How much of yourself are you aware of being involved in breathing now? What's the depth, ease, satisfaction of your breathing now? How would you describe the function of breathing in terms of physical sensations now?

<![CDATA[ABC7'S EYE ON LA Featuring Jessica Zarins, GCFP]]>Wed, 29 Apr 2015 04:06:03 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/in-the-media-abc7s-eye-on-laJessica Zarins was featured this past Sunday in KABC's "Eye on LA" segment on going healthy.

Emmy Award-winning host Tina Malave experiences Feldenkrais one-on-one with Jessica and says that "after her first Feldenkrais session, she woke up the next day with no aches or pains for the first time ever!"

The segment runs 22 minutes and Jessica's part is 20 minutes and 30 seconds in.
Watch it here. Call 310.475.6038 to make an appointment with Jessica for a Feldenkrais session. 

<![CDATA[Every Breath You Take: Better Breathing for a Healthier Brain and Body (Part 1)]]>Thu, 16 Apr 2015 04:25:31 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/every-breath-you-take-better-breathing-for-a-healthier-brain-and-body-part-1Human beings have oxygen-hungry brains and bodies. We can live for days without food or water, but only minutes without taking a breath. 

Many adults have developed patterns of breathing that negatively impact the ideal balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. This imbalance can lead to symptoms ranging from pain to mental sluggishness or organ dysfunction.

Stress, poor posture, pain, snug clothes, and habit are just some of the reasons that keep us from breathing deeply. We wind up using our chest muscles (shallow breathing) instead of our abdomen to breathe deeply. 

Diaphragmatic breathing, also called belly or abdominal breathing, is deep breathing that engages the diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of the lungs just below the ribcage, and the most important muscle for breathing. Using this spring-loaded trampoline of a muscle, we take air in and exhale out deeply, efficiently and almost effortlessly.

The goal should be to breathe from your diaphragm all of the time.

The Feldenkrais Method®, Yoga and Pilates Method all offer simple, easy solutions to help you improve the way you breathe. 

Call 310.475.6038 today to schedule an appointment with one of our staff 
Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners® or Certified Yoga and Pilates Instructors for  assistance with improving the way you breathe.
15 Reasons to Improve the Way You Breathe

Decrease stress and anxiety.
Help to detoxify the body.
Relieve pain.
Strengthen core muscles.
Improve posture.
Stimulate the lymphatic system.
Increase circulation.
Lower blood pressure.
Improve quality of sleep.
Increase cardiovascular capacity.
Increase pulmonary capacity.
Strengthen the major organs of the body.
Improve digestion.
Increase energy and stamina.
Promote healing.
<![CDATA[The Benefits of Pre-hab by Marc A. Pierre, MS, PT]]>Wed, 15 Apr 2015 04:13:09 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/the-benefits-of-pre-hab-by-marc-a-pierre-ms-ptMost individuals are familiar with the thought of rehabilitation after surgery, but not the idea of pre-surgical rehabilitation (pre-hab). 

Traditionally, a physical therapist helps with post-surgical rehabilitation, but you may be surprised to learn that the therapist can also be your biggest ally during the pre-hab process.

Often, there is a period of waiting involved prior to any surgery. This time is valuable, and it can be utilized to prepare the body for surgery and facilitate a better outcome after the surgical intervention. 
Individuals who participate in a pre-surgical rehabilitation program tend to regain function and return to their daily lives faster than those who do not.  Improving health and fitness, and being in optimal physical health can go a long way towards the facilitation of post-operative recovery. Patients who are physically prepared for surgery can leave the hospital sooner and are likely to suffer fewer complications.

When muscles, bones and joints are in optimum condition before the procedure, the impact of the inevitable muscle loss and joint stiffness is minimized post-operative. Essentially, the stronger a person is going into surgery, the better the chances of an easier and faster recovery after the surgery.
It is common for the region that is about to be operated on to be inflamed and weak. With a carefully planned exercise routine, a physical therapist can help reduce inflammation and improve blood circulation to the affected area. This improves mobility, helps with pain relief, promotes correct movement patterns and minimizes compensatory movements like leaning and uneven weight bearing.  

By working with a physical therapist prior to surgery and creating a pre-surgery rehabilitation plan, you will create a strong foundation for rapid recovery. Similar to the post-surgical collaboration, you can expect your physical therapist to work closely with your doctors to facilitate recovery even before you have surgery. 

If you or someone you know is considering or planning surgery, call 310.475.6038 to schedule a consultation with one of our staff physical therapists.

Guidelines for Pre-Surgical Rehabilitation:
1. Start the program at least six weeks prior to the surgery.
2. Start slowly. This is not the time to aggravate an existing issue or trigger a new one.
3. If you are physically fit, consider increasing your intensity, frequency or duration, as long as it doesn't interfere with your current injury.
4. Yoga is an excellent way to prepare both the mind and body for surgery. The combination of relaxation and soothing movements can be beneficial before, as well as after surgery.
<![CDATA[How the Feldenkrais Method® Works & Who It Helps by Pat Barragan, GCFP]]>Wed, 01 Apr 2015 04:22:01 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/how-the-feldenkrais-methodr-works-who-it-helps-by-pat-barragan-gcfpThe Feldenkrais Method® is an approach to movement re-education that re-awakens the body's awareness of what is healthy. 

The subtle, gentle and deliberate movements of Feldenkrais help re-train the brain to re-establish a healthier and pain-free way of using your body. 

Feldenkrais replaces old patterns of movement, while improving mobility, motor functioning, breathing, and blood circulation, as well as increasing self-awareness, ease and efficiency of movementThe results can be dramatic. 

In group classes, the instructor leads sequence of gentle exercisethat gradually evolvintgreater rangand complexity. These precisely structured movement explorationinvolvthinking, sensingmoving and imagining.  Many lessons are based on developmentamovementand ordinarfunctional activities (reaching, standing, lying down, sitting, looking behind, etc.); some are based on more abstract explorations of joint, muscle and postural relationships.

In one-on-one treatment, the patient lies comfortably while the practitioner uses touch and tissue manipulation to gently guide the body through subtle yet precise movements that help forge new neural pathways to maintain movement and muscles to experience better ways to work.

Feldenkrais helps people whose abilittmove has been restricted by aging,injury, illness, disease or condition. Patients suffering with chronic or acute pain can also benefit.

While Feldenkrais can bring immediate relief, it can also help avoid re-injury by teaching patients how to move in a better way so as to prevent problems in the future.

Call 310.475.6038 today to schedule an appointment with one of our staff Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioners® for assistance with an injury, illness or condition that limits your movement and/or causes pain.  

Core Principles of The Feldenkrais Method®
(excerpted from The Brain's Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D.)

The mind programs the functioning of the brain.
A brain cannot think without motor function.
Awareness of movement is the key to improving movement.
Differentiation - making the smallest possible sensory distinctions between movements - builds brain maps.
Differentiation is easiest to make when the stimulus is smallest.
Slowness of movement is the key to awareness, and awareness is the key to learning.
Reduce the effort whenever possible.
Errors are essential, and there is no right way to move, only better ways.
Random movements provide variation that leads to developmental breakthroughs.
Even the smallest movement in one part of the body involves the entire body.
Many movement problems, and the pain that goes with them, are caused by learned habit, not by abnormal structure.

<![CDATA[90 Seconds a Day to Improved Balance]]>Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:28:52 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/90-seconds-a-day-to-improved-balanceBy Physical Therapist, John Dillon

Everyone can benefit from improved balance. The ability to stand and walk upright on two legs requires a great amount of balance. It also requires the coordination of many systems in the body working together to keep you upright and prevent falling. Injury to one or more of these systems may result in loss of balance. Aging, disease, cognitive impairment and some medications may also cause them to work less efficiently.

Falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions for trauma among older adults. A fall can lead to a fear of falling again, which frequently leads to inactivity and functional decline.

But just 90 seconds a day of balance training can help increase independence, improve coordination, efficiency, posture, sports skills, reaction time and joint stabilization.

Here are 3 safe and effective home strategies that can be done daily to improve your balance. Remember to stand in front of a stable surface, such as the kitchen counter, for safety and assistance. Notice the tiny adjustments your feet and ankle muscles are making while your brain is making new connections about what works and doesn’t work.

1. Bring your feet together, release your hands and balance for 30 seconds.  If this is easy, make it more challenging by closing your eyes. 

2. Stand with one foot in front of the other, heel to toe.  If this is difficult, separate your feet like you’re taking a short step. Balance for 30 seconds.

3. Repeat #2 with the opposite foot in front of the other.  Balance for 30 seconds.

Do this every day and you will notice an improvement in as little as a week.  Pick a time of day that is consistent and make it a habit.  I balance every morning while waiting for my instant oatmeal to microwave. 

Soon you will need more of a challenge, so try closing your eyes, rotating your head or body, reaching behind or standing on a soft surface like a folded towel.  Be creative like kids are; they challenge their balance constantly, such as walking on sidewalk cracks or avoiding them.


<![CDATA[FOUR TYPES OF EXERCISE FOR BONE HEALTH]]>Mon, 05 Jan 2015 19:32:12 GMThttp://laphysicaltherapyblog.weebly.com/blog/four-types-of-exercise-for-bone-healthby Cathy Kandalec-Sweetman
Exercise is one of the best ways to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.  If you've already been diagnosed with osteoporosis, appropriate exercise can help maintain your present bone mass.  
It is well known that exercise builds muscle, stamina and endurance, but it also builds and maintains the amount and thickness of bone (bone mass and density).  Stronger bones help to reduce the risk of fractures. 
Below are the four types of exercise that health professionals recommend for building and maintaining bone health.
1) WEIGHT BEARING exercises encourage your body to rebuild bone by putting your skeleton under stress so it will get stronger.  It's as simple as including some combination of walking, hiking, stair climbing or dancing into your daily life.  To be effective, experts recommend at least a half hour (doesn't have to be at one go) of moderate to vigorous exercise 5 times/week and as little as 3-5 miles/week.  
You'd be amazed at how easy it is to accumulate that mileage.  Instead of getting frustrated by driving around and around the parking lot to get the nearest space, try one of the furthest spots and walk.  If you're shopping, you'll be carrying and/or pushing your cart of goods back to the car, building bone while you do it.  Whenever you can, choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. If your job keeps you sitting at a desk most of your day, get up each hour, walk around, do some chair squats, heel raises or wall push-ups.  Are you in the habit of sitting and eating at your desk for lunch?  How about taking a walk or seeking out some stairs?  Your mind and body will thank you for it. 
2) RESISTANCE EXERCISE includes any activity where you work against the weight of another object.  This includes using free weights, machines (Pilates, Gyrotonics, TRX), stretchy bands or tubes as well as exercising in water.  For best results perform any combination of the above 2-3 times/week.  Give your muscles a chance to recover by taking a day or two off in between workouts and engaging varying muscle groups on a daily basis.
3) CORE STRENGTHENING is also critical for overall bone health.  This includes exercises to strengthen your abdominals, low back, hips, buttocks and other muscles that support your spine (most common fractures are of the spine).  Pilates, Yoga and TRX are highly effective core strengthening exercises and as an added bonus, they help improve balance, thus reducing the risk of falling. 
4) FLEXIBILTY is important to help maintain a healthy range of motion in your joints and ensure freedom of movement.  Daily stretches will help prevent injury and keep you limber, mobile and resilient to the stresses of life.]]>