Where To Continue with Fitness Fixer During Healthline's Pause for All Bloggers
Friday, April 30, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
Thank you and congratulations to everyone who wrote to see if I was OK when Fitness Fixer suddenly stopped broadcasting April 7. Smart readers know I never missed getting you Fitness Fixers for the last 4 years - even overseas with remote, difficult, even non-existant Internet. You know who your friends are when they check in to say they care. Thank you.
The Blogger software that Healthline uses to make the Health Authority blogs including Fitness Fixer, announced that we cannot upload articles or receive or reply to comments after April 30th. Through an engineering accident, my Fitness Fixer was stopped April 7th. Healthline has told us that for an undetermined time, perhaps many months, all blogs cease. While the next step is determined:
On Twitter. Readers, teach me how to use this thingie. I will post fun contests, quick fixes, class announcements on Twitter. No chatter, just useful info. Follow TheFitnessFixer - Twitter.com/TheFitnessFixer
Engineers wanted - Our human-powered electricity generation program is still in progress. Build the prototypes of the hand and leg cranks (like bicycles) to run lights, televisions, and other daily electricals. It's insanely backwards to pay and use electricity to run artificial fitness machines to burn calories. Turning the machines yourself would burn the calories and light the world. Come join us! E-mail or Tweet me.
Thank you to Johanna, who single-handedly redeemed the complaining students featured in Air Pushups. Johanna came to a recent Fix Back pain class and said she had taken a yoga class with me and remembered when I did one-armed air push ups. She said she thought I was a superhero. Thank you Johanna.
Thank you Dr. Paul Auerbach who invited me to write The Fitness Fixer. Thank you Healthline.
Thank you readers for the thousands of letters telling how you fixed your pain and your life using this work. Lots more we can do. Rock On.
Stuart Wood has been teaching my work in his Tucson community to retrain healthy movement to reduce the high rate of strain-related injuries. Instead of doing rehab exercises after you strain yourself doing your work, you use healthy movement for your work - the real fitness as a lifestyle.
Here is an update on his water harvesting training - a needed program in arid Arizona:
"Hi Dr. Bookspan, I trained the staff for the Watershed Management Group today it was a lot of fun and they were eager and receptive to learn. Training in this formal setting assuaged some of my fears and gave me confidence. Thanks for your confidence in me it is great to hear.
"I could answer their questions and they just kept coming with more. I encouraged them to keep in touch with me so I could direct them to specific Fitness Fixer entries and support their efforts. Everyone was eager to take the handouts you sent me in the mail and were asking about help for friends (to prevent) back surgeries, etc.
"I took some good pictures and am doing a little photo editing on them. I was very happy afterwards and look forward to doing more of these. I have posted the photos from my training:
"I am going to develop a survey that I can get feedback with using a cool online tool.
"I felt very professional in my AFEM shirt. They were also excited by the prospect of completing modules. Just wanted to send you a short note. I have to go watch dogs now but I'll prepare a complete e-mail and upload the pictures soon for a suitable blog entry. I'm keeping my chin up But not squashing vertebrae :)
Stuart, of course I have confidence in you - you are my Jedi. Keep doing great things.
On the web, Grand Rounds is a collection of the best on-line medical posts from the past week. A different host works hard each week to find and list the articles. This is different from the Grand Rounds in a hospital, which is a lecture for doctors about a patient or topic.
Thank you to this week's host for doing the hard work of collecting and featuring our information.
Continue to see this and other Fun Fitness as A Lifestyle on my website, www.DrBookspan.com.
Academy Developmental Ability and Special Olympics Programs - Updates From Peggy
Monday, April 26, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
Reader Peggy started an entire program of employment training for developmentally disabled adults using my methods of healthy functional movement and real fitness as a real lifestyle. They learned good bending, lifting, reaching, pushing, and carrying methods to do good work for pay in the community Mail Room - Functional Fitness as a Lifestyle By Mail Room Workers.
Now Peggy is taking this work to two new programs. First, is a housekeeping employment program. Peggy is using my Backman!™ figure to make flashcards to teach good movement skills for all the bending, reaching, and lifting in housekeeping skills, and will soon have photos of the results for us. Healthline is changing this Fitness Fixer format, so look for the updates on my web site at - www.drbookspan.com/AcademyStudents.
Next, Peggy is taking our healthy training to the Maryland Special Olympics Garrett County. I am looking forward to the good work we can do with these athletes.
She sent a photo - with a bear cub, writing,
"As a reporter I was able to go on the bear tagging with Natural Resources folks. It's part of the program to check on numbers of bears etc. There were 4 cubs. Mom, though sedated, bolted into the woods and the rangers gave chase leaving four of us holding cubs for over an hour. You put them under your jacket to keep them warm and they scramble right up to put arms around your neck.
"It was raining so we sat in the news van with our bears in our laps while we waited for the rangers to return. I hummed Brahms Lullaby to mine and talked to him about not getting into people's garbage. They have blue eyes."
Related Fitness Fixer about Peggy's Work Through My Academy:
Fast Fitness - Eighth Group Functional Training: Spine and Shoulder Stability With Overhead Motions
Friday, April 23, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
Here is Fast Friday Fitness - eighth in the series of Functional Fitness Training (Bookspan Basics) to teach your group, teams, classes, students, kids, battalions, or self. In this Bookspan Basic Training, you train positioning and muscle skills to reach overhead with healthy mechanics for the shoulder and lower back.
Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front in view of all. Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn to prevent injurious positioning during overhead motions.
Everyone reaches up. Have everyone notice if they lean their upper body backward to raise their arms. See if their tilt their beltline downward in front or push the hip/pelvis forward. See examples in both photos above and below. Explain that leaning back and increasing the lower spine arch are not a healthy ways to raise arms and that upright neutral spine is a stronger base for their arm movement and uses abdominal muscles.
Have everyone bring their ribs back down to level, pull upper body to upright, and tuck the hip under to straighten the pelvis to vertical and neutral. The motion is like doing an abdominal crunch standing up, without curling forward. You crunch enough to bring yourself to straight and upright. See our short movie of fixing this on Overhead Lifting, Reaching, and Throwing Part II - Lower Back.
Have everyone hold their upper body upright and vertical and notice where their shoulder is and try it again with healthy position.
Leaning back when raising arms increases the inward curve of the lower back, causing a swayback, hyper-lordotic posture. Hyperlordosis is a common source of "mystery" back pain. It comes when you over-arch - usually during long standing, walking, running, reaching, then goes away. People are mystified. Look at both photos again. It is easily prevented by stopping the injurious position then and there. Send your success photos to me at DrBookspan.com.
Make sure everyone breathes. A bad habit promoted by much popular fitness is tightening the abdominal and backside muscles to do minor movements. People hold their breath. Make sure all can do full relaxed belly breathing while holding neutral spine and reaching both arms overhead. Remind all to keep their shoulders down and not raise the shoulders when they raise the arms.
My friend, teacher, and fellow instructor Shihan (means - high teacher) Peter Chong of Singapore, 8th degree Black Belt (HachiDan), breaks 10 blocks of ice while standing on eggs.
Shihan Chong did this for his 70th birthday in front of 200 friends and supporters. Here are some photos:
Shihan Chong broke 10 blocks of ice with his bare hand while standing on 2 trays of chicken eggs. All 10 blocks of ice were broken, but not one egg.
"Tameshiwari" - breaking - is a major part of development of spirit and character in his style of Karate.
Shihan Chong lived many years in Japan training with the legendary Sosai Masutatsu (Mas) Oyama. He was President of the Singapore Karate-Do Federation (SKF) until 2009, President of the Singapore Martial Arts Instructors’ Association (SMAIA), Senior Advisor to the International Karate Organization - Kyokushinkaikan (IKO Japan), and Chairman of the IKO Asia & the Middle East. He recently was awarded the International Martial Arts Living Legend Award.
Ted loves to run. We previously fixed his back pain from running. We kept in touch about all his successes with pain free running. A few years later he wrote, worried that his hip x-rays showed severe hip arthritis and an old hip injury hurt. We again got him back to pain free running. That is what we do at Fitness Fixer. In the New York Times, an article quoted a physician who always had pain after running and said he "had no idea why." More about that follows with what Ted and I did to fix his hip pain from running.
Four years ago, Ted came to me with back pain from running. He had been running with too much inward curve in the lower back, which is a common cause of lower back pain while standing, walking, and running. We stopped his back pain from running by teaching him to reduce the too-large inward curve to neutral spine during running and daily life - Back Pain From Running.
A year later, he wrote back saying that since his back pain was completely gone (plus a few other things we fixed in the interim), he noticed some hip pain. He had been running with the foot turned out (duck-foot) and wrote, "A straight push off after the foot-strike made the pain go away - Runner Fixes More Pain With Straighter Push-Off.
Earlier this year Ted wrote that his doctor said his x-rays showed arthritis in both hips. I told Ted not to let doctors scare him into anything rash (surgery, giving up running, taking medicines that cause other problems, and so on). Often the arthritis or other abnormality that shows up on an x-ray is not the cause, or only cause, of pain.
The New York Times recently ran an article quoting the President of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as saying he (the president) "Has no idea why his knees are sore after each time he runs." The article also quoted several prominent physicians saying, "Most folks should not go (to doctors), because most general doctors don’t know a lot about running injuries. Most docs, often even the good sports docs, will just tell you to stop running anyway, so the first thing is to stop running yourself. In fact, because you probably will have to make a co-payment if you see a doctor, you will be adding insult -the fee - to your injury."
In a study reported at a recent meeting of the American Orthopedic Society, Dr. Matthew Silvis did MRI scans of the hips of 21 professional hockey players and 21 college players. Results showed 70 percent of the athletes had abnormalities, More than half had labral tears, which are scary looking rips in the cartilage that holds the leg in place in the hip bone. None had pain, or only minimal discomfort that did not affect their playing. The same is true for rotator-cuff tears. Studies have demonstrated that about half of all middle-age people with no shoulder pain have these rotator-cuff tears that show on scans but they have no pain or symptoms.
I wrote to Ted with several things for him to check and fix about his body mechanics. He replied:
"Thus Encouraged, I ''flattened'' it out, and used the Same Mechanics to do AN EXTREMELY Slow Jog on my 20-min Sunday Walk/Jogs. which have been PAIN FREE.
"The doc looked at my x-rays, told me he had NO idea how I could run on my arthritic hips, had me demonstrate the Flattened Better Exercise on Stairs Method, I explained my 41 year Love of Running....and he said ''You've already figured it out, keep doing what works and YOU call ME if you need to come back.''"
Ted didn't need to go back to the Doc, but he did write to me:
"Sorry to bother you Dr. Bookspan, "In my running you helped me with my back, then you helped me with my knee, (and shoulder).
"I may be pushing my luck here, But NOW my hip flexor (psoas) is inflamed and essentially my thigh is swollen. By paying attention, I found the pain in the hip is in front, about where a tendon would attach to the hip (not the ball joint as I had feared).
"QUESTION--is there an isolation exercise for this tendon??? assuming there is one (I didn't pay much attention to Anatomy in Pharmacy School). What would be some good re-hab exercise/stretches?? This is an old injury from catching my foot on the upswing while running across a tarp spread over the track."
I gave him a nice stretch for the front of the hip where the leg meets the body (anterior hip).
Ted wrote: "Thanks for the quick response
"I went out this morning and did 40-minutes (ohboyohboy) PainFree
"I'm game for any other techniques (and am reading all your web site info…)
"This has added literally YEARS to my running starting 4 years ago when you helped me fix my Back Pain."
Then Ted went walking around downtown on concrete surfaces. He wrote that he was in pain again. I sent him to all the anterior stretches in my book Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier. Ted replied:
".....I just got the book last night, "was hurting from a lousy 20-min run, "looked up ''quad'' and ''hip flexor'' stretches and was Pain Free this morning.
"Like I told my running buddy this is like a CookBook for Pain Relief,,,,,,,
"I cannot wait to go out and hurt something else."
Fast Fitness - Seventh Group Functional Training: Advancing Ankle and Knee Safety With Single Leg Jumps
Friday, April 16, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
Here is Fast Friday Fitness - seventh in the series of Functional Fitness Training (Bookspan Basics) to teach your group, teams, classes, students, kids, battalions, or self. In this Bookspan Basic Training, you advance lower leg stability from single leg vertical jumps to lateral movement:
Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front in view of all. Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn how to reduce lower body injuries during sideways jumps. Remind them they need to use the same principles from the Third, Fifth, and Sixth FFT of vertical jumps.
Have everyone crouch using good bending (knees do not sway inward or slide forward, taught in the first skill), then rise to toes with stable neutral ankle (not bowing outward at the side, taught in the second skill). Remind them that when they land from a jump they use the same neutral ankle.
Stand with good stance on one leg only. Have them leap side to side from one leg to the other
Then try it jumping side to side on the same leg. Switch and repeat.
Use this for improving ability and reducing injury potential from changing direction, cutting, lateral movement, landing to the side from jumps, slips and missteps, and more. It builds on the Third, Fifth, and Sixth Functional Training exercises where you learned to jump vertically (up and down), laterally (side to side) with good lower body mechanics, then advanced to vertical single leg jumps.
During actual real life walking around, practice this by hopping (from one foot to the same one foot only) from point to point. Use street cracks and lines as goal points.
Trainers, Drill Instructors, readers, send in your stories of how you use these in your program.
Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.
Readers have sent in their success stories on understanding how some of the most common musculoskeletal pain occurs so that they can keep it from coming back.
Here are just four letters of success:
1. From Monica in Montana last November:
"Hi Dr. Bookpan, "I've been reading your articles again. It seems reminders were in need. My back seems well (thanks to you!) but when I started having pain on both sides of my hips, I realized I was returning to walking with duck feet to a certain extent - an old habit. It's just enough to cause me problems. I'm working at watching this very much and it is better.
"I thought I was using all of the good bending to pick things up rather than using my back. When (my) knees gave me some issues, I came back to re-read your knee article too. I'm found that I was so tight that I can't get my heels to stay on the floor when I bend, so I wasn't doing good bending. I am getting a plan together of your stretching and strengthening exercises. I'll probably end up with all of your books, with not only now in mind : ). Your information makes me up lifted when it comes to aging, not that I'm old, 43. I spent so much of my youth in pain, so now I try hard to take care of myself in healthy ways and stay out of pain. "Thank You! Monica "
I wrote back with things to do and Monica replied:
"Dear Dr. Bookspan, "Thank you for the reply. "I received your book. I've been taking it in and implementing the methods. I can say it's only been a couple of days and my hip is improving. With this experience of really helping myself I knew I would no longer rely on other people solely for help and thank you for making available tools to very common obviously misunderstood health issues. What you are doing is making a difference. Please do not concern yourself with a reply. I know you will read this and that is good enough for me. Warmest Regards, Monica (Montana)
In April, Monica sent this follow-up:
"I hope you are doing well! With your help I have lost 8 1/2 pounds! For years I've wanted to lose at least 10 minimum. I'm almost there and it's been so easy I have a feeling all that can go, will go. I use to be heavily into bodybuilding. It set up a mentality about getting enough protein. As I grew older and did not work out like I use to I still kept up the protein. Due to reading your book Health & Fitness in Plain English, it put my fears of dwindling muscle due to not enough protein to rest and put them in reality.
The consumption of grains and protein took a dramatic decrease. I have a lot of energy and my body is getting leaner and leaner. Life is so much easier. My back is still doing great. When I hurt my back I looked at all the things that may have contributed to the injury. I am humbly grateful for being able to see (all this)…I am better. I am sleeping again. "
2. Laraine first wrote that her same pain had returned. I replied and asked her to check if she had gone back to the same habits that caused the first pain, and gave her ways to check.
Laraine replied: "Good Morning Dr. Bookspan: "I e-mailed you several times regarding the extrusion in my lower spine (L1 S1) & you were kind enough to respond to each & every e-mail. I know you are busy & you still took the time to answer. I am practicing the body mechanics daily & doing the exercises & I am improving - thank you so much again for your support....
"You replied back asking if I was not just doing the exercises but using them to live and move correctly. Sometimes I didn't. I try to do them exactly the way the book has instructed --- and as you said not to do them as a regiment but incorporate them in daily life.
"I wanted to let you know that I did do the wall test at home yesterday & I noticed that my shoulders were slouching. I guess for the past couple of weeks after I was making progress I went back into the habit of bending forward a little with my shoulders & didn't realize it. Yesterday, you mentioned to check your posture with the wall after the three extension exercises, I concentrated on neutral spine & noticed the pain subsided & I was much better.
"Thank you again for the reinforcement - sometimes after using poor body mechanics for so long, it takes time to change that - we simply find it easy to go back to the old habits of poor posture without realizing & can get discouraged thinking we are not going to get better. I really believe in your book & if I keep doing things the correct way & maintain that, I will eventually heal.
"As I said in my previous e-mails last month, this is the most logical & sensible way to maintain a healthy back. I know it will take time - but as long as I make progress, I will be patient. I guess I lost my moral yesterday & thought I was going backwards. Keep up the good work - you are wonderful... You are an inspiration to all that have pain. Also, thank you for your persistence in making sure that I am doing the stretches & exercise correctly...."
"This back injury had sure been challenging for me. Now I'm better. I'm glad that I found your website." Laraine P"
3. Our own Inspirational Ivy from New Zealand made gains:
"It is now four years since I discovered your website. With your help and advice I was able to overcome debilitating sciatica in my right leg plus foot drop. Since then I have carried on using your methods to keep free of pain.
"In the early hours of Friday morning, I awoke to excruciating sciatic pain down my left leg. I asked myself as to why this has happened, telling myself that I had not been doing any bad bending or similar. OR so I thought. Yes, these past few days I have been rushing here and rushing there which has resulted in me being lax about my movements, in particular, standing at he bench while cooking etc. I always put my spine into the neutral position. Always!!!!!!! I am asking myself. It would appear - not so.
"Yesterday and today, I have stopped rushing about and telling myself every time I move "Think Ivy, think before you do anything." I seem to remember using those very same words four years ago."
I wrote back, to Ivy that I hoped it took more than "a little rushing" to cause such pain. It may sound odd, but I hope it took a lot of bad bending and standing. No one should have so little margin - you need the strength for leeway for unexpected events and still not cause pain. No one should need to live "on eggshells" or reduce activities to prevent pain.
"Thank you for you kind words. I have now fully recovered thanks to your help and advice. I could not understand as to why I was not recovering as I THOUGHT I was doing everything correctly. I referred to your book "Fix Your Own Pain Without Drugs or Surgery" and the penny dropped - because I was experiencing pain, I was leaning forward as I walked. Once I rectified my posture, the pain went immediately. Silly me, I was aware of the pain but not of my posture.
"Yesterday, I was watching one of the residents here watering her garden. She is experiencing a severe attack of sciatica. I noted that she not only bent to the side she was also leaning forward. Her back was arched so her butt stuck out. I made a few suggestions in the nicest possible way and this was her reply. Mind you, you have probably heard this one before "It sounds like too much work to me." Needless to say, I walked away.)
"I am now free of pain thanks to your wonderful advice. Thank you Dr Jolie, what would I do without you. "Love and hugs Ivy"
Ivy wrote with several follow-ups that all continued fine. She went on to use good bending after her cataract surgery where bending over is harmful to the recovering surgical site (as well as the back).
4. A special e-mail came in from JayaKrishna (Kris):
"Dear Dr. Jolee ( I am the Indian guy from Jersey who attended one of your seminars in person).
"It has been almost 5 years since I first read your article in the December of 2004.
"After 5 pain free years, it is was only last week when I suddenly felt my lower back tightening up again for the first time. Almost predictably I started feeling severe shoulder pain. But this time I was fully prepared. I went back to the basics. Whom else to seek for help other than St.Jude of the Joints. I pulled all the articles written by you and read them one by one. Thanks to your principles, I then did some deep soul searching and found out that cause was violating of the golden principles outlined by you due to the pressure of work or the strange feeling of invincibility that comes from enjoying good health.
"It is very strange that when we recover and start enjoying life again, we sometime forget and start thinking ourselves to be invincible. Bad habits creep in again.
"As an atonement for my violations I ordered two more books by you from Amazon: which is Healthy Martial Arts, and Stretching Smarter. I took my new year resolution to be always mindful of these golden principles from you. I promised myself a one day sabbatical every year when I would re read your articles and reiterate these golden points.
"I once got this little nugget of wisdom in a party (Most unlikely place). Nursing drinks in our hands, we were all discussing on the secrets success and happiness when one of the drunks said the most profound statement: The one who is punished the most in a particular endeavor or area and is still standing will have the secret to success and knowledge.
"Looking at your life, your education, experiences it is no wonder that you have been chosen to share your treasure trove of knowledge on healthy living. I cant tell you how much I am grateful for your acquaintance. "Regards, Kris Jayakrishnan"
Dr. Emer wrote: "Dr. Jolie Bookspan offers a comprehensive discussion on Achilles tendon surgery, weighing on important issues like whether ligament tears can heal without surgery and whether surgery plus physical rehab, or physical rehab alone is the favorable approach."
Come learn Karate. Readers have asked about Paul's classes. Last year, he opened our Karate dojo (school) in downtown Philadelphia.
Paul Sensei (Sensei is your teacher) teaches Shotokan karate in a kind and fun environment. Paul advanced to third degree Black Belt rank (SanDan) last year, and is a gentle patient teacher. Every class works on several katas (forms), kicks, punches, blocks, strikes, and self-defense partner drills. Beginners through black belts are welcome.
Here we are ^
Classes are small. Beginners and kyu rank (below black belt) usually have black belt students to work with personally. Classes are Mondays 8 - 9:30 pm and Thursdays 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
We rent a lovely dojo space in a friendly Aikido school. We often do not make as much through student fees as the rent, but we train for the pure, the skill, and the love of the form. Enter on 21st Street between Chestnut and Sansom, 2nd Floor, end of the hall to your right.
Here is Paul Sensei on the cover of the book Healthy Martial Arts. He trains without gyms, eating meat, or supplements: Paul also teaches Do-It-Yourself home repair and Green home repair classes at Temple U Center City.
To register for any classes, see my CLASS page - DrBookspan.com/classes. Full descriptions of Paul's classes on his web site PaulPlevakas.com. Show up in class with this post to get a discount.
Dr. Bookspan's Ab Revolution™ Core Retraining Relieves Spondylolisthesis Pain
Monday, April 12, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
When a vertebra in the lower spine slides forward on the one below it, it is called spondylolisthesis. In June, I will be presenting my research at an international medical meeting, on a technique I developed to relieve the lower back pain that results from spondylolisthesis.
Like many medical words, spondylolisthesis comes from two Greek words - spondylo, means "spine," and listhesis, means "to slide." Why do the bones slide?
The standard medical literature contains several customary explanations for the condition, each repeated from the next. Often, people who are found on x-ray to have spondylolisthesis are told they have a disease. Often, one of the remedies repeated is surgery. Having spondylolisthesis does not mean you have a disease, or a condition that need medical treatments or surgery. I have found in laboratory studies of many patients with spondylolisthesis, that the lower spine can slide like that when they stand with too much inward curve of the lower back, called swayback and hyperlordosis. It is a slouch, that over time, can push the lower spine bones forward on each other. It is reversible without surgery or medicines.
Normally, your spine bones are held in place, like other joints, by the shape and action of the joints between them. The joints of the vertebrae are called facets, which means "little faces." Facet joints are oval and flat, and look like they are looking at you when you look at them. When you stand and move with your lower spine overarched, that overarched bad posture is a common cause of lower back pain. Nothing much may show up on x-ray for many years. After years overarching the lower spine, the facet joints begin to abrade and grind, and show degenerative change. The vertebrae may also begin to slide.
Fixing the slide involves deliberately moving your lower spine out of slouching and into neutral spine. The forward slouching (slipping) vertebrae can normalize right then. By no longer slouching in a way that slides the vertebrae, the cause of the pain is stopped. I will be presenting this work at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Fitness Fixer reader Teresa recently finished her PhD. Teresa wrote:
"Two abstracts I submitted for the ACSM Annual Meeting from my dissertation have been accepted for poster sessions (one for Exercise is Medicine, the other for scientific abstract)! So I get to go to Baltimore for the ACSM Annual Meeting/Exercise is Medicine Congress. The first one is "Are Physicians Discussing Strength Exercise with their Patients Over Age 40." The second one -"Influence of Physicians’ Knowledge, Beliefs, and Attitudes on Strength Exercise Adoption by Adults over 40."
"Your example in submitting your abstracts on the Ab Revolution training for low back pain was an inspiration that has helped me. I am excited to be doing these two!
"I love keeping up on the FitnessFixer. Thank you all for your help and support!
"This is my first time doing this and any suggestions from a veteran like yourself of (presenting at these) meetings would be HIGHLY APPRECIATED. Also, I really look forward to meeting you in person!
"I look forward to hearing from you soon (now with my tax paperwork off to the preparer, I'm ready to buckle down to make my posters). "Teresa Merrick, PhD"
How to relieve pain from spondylolisthesis and other injuries, without surgery or medical treatments: 1. Here is the book, The Ab Revolution™, available through my books page - www.DrBookspan.com/books or click the image below:
Video of How to do neutral spine - The movement is a simple "pelvic tilt" done while standing to reduce an overarch to neutral spine. It is not an exercise to repeat 10 times, or other number of times. It is stopping the painful injurious slouch one time and remaining in healthful relaxed neutral position for general life and movement - Friday Fast Fitness - Neutral Spine in 5 Seconds.
Here is Fast Friday Fitness - learn healthy floor-sitting, mobilize your pelvis, and use your core muscles and brains at the same time to move out of painful position to healthy comfortable sitting.
Here is a technique to identify if you sit in a way that is associated with lower back pain, and a technique to move out of unhealthful position:
1. Sit on the floor cross legged. 2. Notice your pelvis. Does it tilt backward at the top, so that the lower back rounds outward. This is too much tuck, demonstrated by my student Yash in photo 1 below:
3. Put your hands on the floor right behind your hips. Push against your hands to lift your back upright. Can you feel your hip tilt forward to upright position demonstrated in photo 2 below?
(In the photo above, hands are not behind the hip, to provide unobstructed view of the hip/pelvis corrected from tilted back to vertical)
Sit well and you can sit without back pain.
If your hip is too tight to move out of unhealthful tilted position, then it is likely that you are sitting with your back in painful rounded position.
If you are tight, or do not know how to move your pelvis while sitting, it is often easier to learn to mobilize your pelvis standing or lying down. The pelvic tilt is misused in therapy settings. It is mistakenly thought of as a strengthener or a back pain fix. The muscle work (to strengthen) is minimal. The idea is to learn *how* to move the pelvis so that you can voluntarily move to the needed position, then hold it.
Offered together with a second separate workshop Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier. 1:30-4:30pm.
Both workshops are held the same day in downtown Philadelphia at Temple University Center City (TUCC) campus (not main campus). The Center City campus is at 1515 market Street.
People fly in from all over the world to attend this double workshop in one-day format. All class and registration links: DrBookspan.com/classes
July 27 and 28th in Snowmass, Colorado:
The Wilderness Medicine Conference and Annual Meeting will run four of my workshops in Snowmass, not far from Aspen. Each workshop runs only once this year.
Fix and Prevent Injuries - Ankles, Arches, Discs, Knee, Back, & Neck. Tuesday July 28, 2010. 3:20-5:20pm.
Not The Same Old Stretches - Stretching Smarter Stretching Healthier. Wednesday July 28, 2010. 7:30-9:30am.
Functional Core Training - The Ab Revolution™ No More Crunches No More Back Pain. Wednesday July 28, 2010. 10am-12noon.
Diving and Hyperbaric Physiology and Medicine, "Advancing Your Knowledge" (For those with prior diving medicine or scuba background). Tuesday July 28, 2010. 3:20-5:20pm.
These workshops are free with WMS medical conference admission. Last year it was required to pay for the entire conference to take my workshops. Thanks to empowered reader Jen, and wonderful WMS staffer Teri, very limited places may be open to pay for my workshops without conference attendance. I am paid nothing to travel there and give many hours of teaching time. Take a space only if I will be glad you attended.
To register, contact the WMS - Wilderness Medical Society by e-mail to Teri Howell Teri@wms.org, or phone 801-990-2988.
Thank You Grand Rounds Nutrition and Fitness Edition
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
Thank you Dave Munger, of "The Daily Monthly" for hosting Grand Rounds this week and including my article What is "Fitness as a Lifestyle?" in his choices for best medical writing. He mentions that my entire Fitness Fixer is devoted to healthy ways to be fit. Thank you Mr. Munger.
My work changes the notion that exercise is different from your life. If you have to stop your life to "go do" exercise, that is not exerecise as a lifestyle. How you live, sit, move and eat is your fitness as a lifestyle. Click What is "Fitness as a Lifestyle?" to get started.
On the web, Grand Rounds is a collection of the best on-line medical posts from the past week. A different host works hard each week to find and list the articles. This is different from the Grand Rounds in a hospital, which is a lecture for doctors about a patient or topic. Thank you to this week's host for doing the hard work of collecting and featuring our information.
Reader Fun Steve previously wrote with his success losing weight and getting in shape with Fitness Fixer. Then he moved from Thailand to Japan. What happened next?
"I 'done did' something to my stomach. Without having visited any doctors here, my own diagnosis is/are hiatal hernia or tearing of the linea alba area of my stomach muscles.
"No 'pain' but constant discomfort. Constant but mild indigestion. Shortness of breath. Here is the real kicker... If I do leg lifts while doing 'slight' crunches, I have a 2-2.5 inch vertical band of 'something' that reaches from my xiphoid process down to below my belly button. Feels like a strip of weak muscle. I normally don't do full crunches. Perhaps I lift my shoulders 2-3 inches at most.
"My rectus abs are solid. Rock hard .. but the area between left and right side is soft now. This odd strip of 'something' doesn't protrude unless I do leg raises and crunches (so I'm not doing them!) but if I use my hands to press it inward, I can do the crunches or leg raises without that strip pressing up. It's as if the rectus abs, once contracted, hold it in.
"So... what have I done to myself? Besides not doing any crunches and leg lifts, what shall I do to heal myself?"
I answered that (using my e-mail x-ray machine) it sounded like a diastasis, full name Diastasis Recti.
The vertical muscle fibers pull apart, leaving an area between them. This is popular in pregnant women and men with bellies. The 'rock hard' belly is often the large amount of fat (or pregnancy) pushing against the covering muscle, stretching it tightly. Weight loss will let it rejoin and heal. It's not surgical, meaning it can heal if you lose the belly.
I reminded Steve that crunches are not functional exercises, meaning they do not use your abdominal muscles the way you need them to function during any real activity in your daily life. Crunches repeat the bent forward posture that people already spend too much daily time in, and that he already new I had developed a method called The Ab Revolution™ that solves the counterproductive nature of crunches and leg lifts. For the time needed to heal, he could stop belly stretches - back bends, yoga cobra, and updog, and stretching the belly with too much food and weight gain. Continuing to do crunches and leg raises using hands as manual splinting has turned out to make things worse - since the muscles atrophy more.
"How could I be pregnant?!? Actually, I have 6-pack abs! (Well, really two 3-packs right now. Unfortunately there is a thick layer of blubber covering them.) Under them too. ">>Dr. Bookspan wrote: Sorry to hear. "Yes... me too. I came back from Thailand having lost almost 20 kilos, and due to McDonald's introduction of the 'Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese' into Japan and a side of trans-fat potatoes, I put it all back on."
I reminded Steve that weight loss will let the split area rejoin and heal, and that a diastasis was not surgical, meaning it can heal if you lose the belly and stop pulling it open with Pilates style leg lifts and crunches.
"Lose the belly. Lose the belly. That's all anybody says. Lose the belly. Hey, Buddha had a big belly and he didn't have this problem!?! Humpty Dumpty had a big belly and all that happened to him was that he fell off a wall. Well I don't sit on no walls!!! No sir! Not me. I sit on a couch doing bicep curls with the TV remote! I do full presses with bags of Doritos! Pectoral presses crushing my beer cans! Lose the belly?!? Oh well... I guess I gotta..."
I had developed The Ab Revolution™ to solve one common source of lower back pain - a slouching posture of too much inward curve in the lower spine. The Ab Revolution™ retrains function. Conventional ab exercises are often mistakenly prescribed for back pain. Conventional strengthening does not make people stop the actual cause, the slouch. They are just stronger people who slouch. Doing crunches also perpetuates another cause of back pain. It is an irony of pop fitness that without understanding causes, counter productive exercises are prescribed, then repeated by reporters then repeated by trainers and so on. The same is true for hamstring stretches, covered separately. What was interesting was all the documentation I received from people with diastasis and hernias who could use The Ab Revolution™ without pain and with benefit to build abdominal wall strength without pushing things out further with crunches. It made sense. I am looking into it further.
Steve wrote again:
"I follow the the Ab Revolution™. That's what's made my back feel so much better. I haven't had so much as a twinge in my back in the past year or so! It's been your work that made the difference. As my stomach gets smaller so does the diastasis. I'm not worried... now :o) Just PO'd. Thanks for the info about my (larger than necessary) stomach."
Steve went back to healthier eating and was easily losing weight following the healthier, smaller, traditional Japanese meals without fast food.
Dr. Bookspan Inducted to Hall of Honor - National Organization of Underwater Instructors, NAUI
Monday, April 05, 2010
Jolie Bookspan, M.Ed, PhD, FAWM
It was my honor to be notified recently that I was inducted into the Hall of Honor of the largest non-profit scuba diver training organization in the world.
The award is for my work as a scuba instructor, teaching divers and diving leaders, as a diving and hyperbaric medical researcher finding safer diving practices, advising committees determining policies, running hyperbaric medical conferences, writing diving textbooks, and other contributions.
The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) trains recreational and technical scuba divers from novice through instructor. Their motto is Safety Through Education.
This year, two people were inducted. I was honored along with my old friend and colleague Henry Veix, former physical education director at West Point Military Academy.
My colleague Peter Oliver accepted the NAUI Hall of Honor award in my name and expressed my thanks.