How to Use Yoga to Build Bone

By |2017-12-22T20:57:47-07:00December 22nd, 2017|Aging, Arthritis, Healthy Posture, Nutrition, Osteoporosis|

In my last article I talked about Wolff’s Law, which explains how the pressure exerted on a bone stimulates the bone to grow, so it can resist that force in the future. There are 2 ways to stimulate bone growth. One is using the force of gravity (compressive stress), and the other is the way muscles pull on the bones when they are in various positions (tensile stress). Yoga puts the body in a variety of positions that are not on the gravity line, or plumb line. This means the muscles have to work harder. It’s like the difference between [...]

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Can Yoga Help Osteoporosis?

By |2017-08-09T19:25:16-07:00August 9th, 2017|Aging, Exercise, Falls, Healthy Posture, Osteoporosis, Yoga|

I know a lot of people that have broken bones in the last few years. Most of them are women; some are friends and some are yoga students. Most of them are over 50. While we may worry about losing height due to osteoporosis, breaking a bone is much more serious, since it can require surgery and lead to other complications. Is there a way that we can reduce our chances of osteoporotic fractures? The Stats In the US there are about 55 million people with osteoporosis. About twice as many women as men have osteoporosis. The most commonly fractured [...]

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Dowager’s Hump — How to Prevent or Correct It

By |2018-05-30T15:30:09-07:00April 11th, 2014|Aging, Back Pain, Healthy Posture, Neck pain, Shoulders, Sitting Posture|

Many people I meet are concerned about getting more rounded and stooped over as they get older.  I know I was! Your thoracic vertebrae (in the upper spine) have a slight forward curve naturally (a "Kyphosis"). In many people in the industrialized world, this curve can become extreme. When the extreme curve is high up in the thoracic area and into the cervical spine (neck area), it is sometimes called a "Dowager's Hump". This can lead to back and neck pain, due to strain on the muscles that occurs with misaligned posture, and loss of height.  Over time, this change [...]

Save Your Spine! Interview with Jean Couch

By |2017-01-30T16:49:25-07:00May 3rd, 2013|Aging, Back Pain, Bending, Body Awareness, Breathing, Exercise, Healthy Posture, Sitting Posture|

This is an interview that I did recently with Jean Couch, author of The Runner's Yoga Book,  and the owner of the Balance Center, where I did my training in the Balance Posture Method.  Check out what Jean has to say about keeping your spine healthy so that you can look and feel your best. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DD: What do you think people today most need to know about reducing back pain? JC: The anatomical knowledge that is desperately needed in the US today is to know the difference between your waist and your hip sockets!  People have no idea that [...]

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Empower Yourself in the Face of Pain

By |2017-01-30T16:49:25-07:00December 17th, 2012|Aging, Back Pain, Healthy Posture, Sitting Posture|

Research has shown that when you don't think you have any power or control over your circumstances, you will often give up and just accept painful situations.  This can lead to depression and hopelessness.  I remember learning about this in my college Psychology classes.  It's called "Learned Helplessness." Wikipedia defines it as "the condition of a human or animal that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards." The Research Martin Seligman's experiments beginning in 1967 showed that dogs who received [...]

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How to Prevent Falls

By |2017-07-25T21:15:07-07:00September 15th, 2012|Aging, Back Pain, Falls, Feet, Healthy Posture, Standing, Walking|

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults over 65 fall each year, and there were 2.2 million non-fatal fall injuries in older adults in 2009 alone.  Women are more likely than men to get injured by falls, and potential injuries include fractures and head trauma. The issue of preventing falls becomes more important as you age.  Can you do something to prevent falls? Common Causes of Falls Some medications can cause drowsiness or dizziness, so you might want to check with your doctor if you experience these symptoms, to make sure that your medications are not [...]

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Improve your Vision with Posture & Eye Exercises

By |2017-01-30T16:49:26-07:00April 3rd, 2012|Aging, Eye health, Yoga|

In the last few years I've noticed that it's been getting harder to read the labels on my vitamin bottles.  I've also had some trouble reading menus with tiny print in dim light.  My eye doctor says that's normal for someone in their 40's, and that I should get some reading glasses.  I did buy a pair (the lowest amount of magnification I could find), but I can't bring myself to use them. In this month's article I'll share with you how posture and vision are related, and give you some yogic eye exercises that you can practice.  Try them [...]

How to Relieve Painful Joints

By |2019-02-25T16:20:27-07:00October 10th, 2011|Aging, Arthritis, Healthy Posture, Wrists, Yoga|

Do you suffer from painful hands, knees or hips? If so, you may have osteoarthritis (OA), a condition characterized by pain and stiffness in the joints. OA is distinct from rheumatoid arthritis, which is an auto-immune disease also affecting the joints, which can lead to redness and swelling of the joints. What Causes Osteoarthritis? Causes of OA include sports injuries, some types of work, genetic predisposition and unhealthy posture. When the joints are misaligned, the cartilage at the end of your bones can get worn down, so that eventually you may have bone rubbing on bone. This cartilage, when healthy, [...]

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Do you Suffer from Leg Cramps?

By |2017-01-30T16:49:26-07:00September 13th, 2011|Aging, Bending, Healthy Posture|

Lots of people ask me if I have any suggestions for leg cramps. These tend to occur in the calf, the hamstrings or the quadriceps muscles. The hamstrings are on the back of your thighs, and go from your sitz bones (what you sit on) down to your knee. Your quadriceps muscles are on the front of your thighs. Leg cramps can occur during the day, or they might wake you up at night, which can be really frustrating. Causes of Leg Cramps No one knows exactly the cause of leg cramps. Dr. Andrew Weil says they may be caused [...]