I have recently become a little stressed out. Yes, Even a lifestyle coach who KNOWS how to take care of stress can sometimes get a little "over-worked." Heck, when I am up to something BIG in life, a little stress and excitement are not only unavoidable but one of the measures that I am really LIVING life.
The stress showed up for me as sleeping restlessly and clenching my jaw. I used to clench my jaw a lot when I was younger and suffered from canker sores on my tongue and cheeks from the pressure. On top of the teeth-clenching, I began to get that deep throbbing pain in my back molars signaling a tooth abscess.
Being no newbie to root canals with 3 other molars completely replaced, I have felt this pain before. This time, I booked an appointment with the dentist but had a funny feeling that I was doing the wrong thing. I poured through articles and certification that I have studied trying to find out more about my teeth until I found a book I read about 2 years ago called Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual by Doctors Janet Travell and David Simons.
This book had helped me numerous times with clients with muscle knots and pain related to these trigger points. Astonishingly, I found a passage about trigger points actually CAUSING tooth pain and heat/cold sensitivity! The book explained that certain trigger points above the ear and in the jaw muscles will actually sends pain to the teeth sometimes causing unnecessary extractions.
So, I started to massage my trigger points and, yup--you guessed it...the pain went away. I have been working giant knots in my jaws daily and the pain in my teeth is almost gone...including the heath and cold sensitivity that accompanied that side of my mouth for the past 2 years.
I wonder if the over $3000 of dental bills for my other teeth was even necessary. Perhaps I did have abscesses but the teeth I had pulled on the right side of my mouth are the EXACT teeth that were killing me just days ago. I guess I will never know...but now YOU CAN KNOW before you go under the drill.
Check out the book excerpt with pictures of the trigger points here
Monday, September 17, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
I have recently become aware of blocks in my own life...things that stop me from being WHO I want to be. At times they are just shadowy "blind-spots" that I keep running into like procrastination, getting bogged down or a general loss of power. At other times, I recognize that the issue is very clear: avoidance of certain things, meeting with certain people or making certain goals.
As I began looking at these blocks, I became more aware that the same blocks kept popping up throughout my life!! Not only did I have a loss of power around, say, pushy people in my personal life but also in my professional life, with friends, family, clients and business associates. Humm...interesting right? It became very clear that my loss of power and my unwillingness to deal with certain people and certain situations had NOTHING to do with the individual or situation and EVERYTHING to do with who I was being.
Let me share a quick example from my own life:
I used to feel a complete loss of power when clients would not take my advice or follow a program that I had created for them. This resulted in frustration and , at times, conflict between myself and the person whom I professed to HELP! I NEEDED them to do the program so I could fix them! WOW...let's break that one down to illustrate where I was lying to myself, who I was being, and how I have come to a different way of dealing with it:
1) The lie:
OK, there are a couple of lies that are hidden in this one.
The first is that I know what is best for people better than they do! I pretend that people NEED the work I do. In reality, each human being is able to choose his or her own course in life. If people just really love food and aren't worried about the health repercussions, then who am I to make them wrong for that? The truth of that situation is that I provide a very valuable service to those out there who really do want to transform their lives and health but I am NOT here to make that choice for them or make them WRONG for not choosing what I would choose. NOBODY, my friends, needs fixing...we are all perfect and complete. From there we can CHOOSE to completely transform our lives because we want to ....not because we HAVE TO FIX things.
Second lie (This one is a BIG one): I was pretending that the program was for them when in reality I was so attached to the outcome. It was important for them to succeed so that I could feel good about myself. In that place, I NEEDED something from my clients for my self. I wasn't able to be there completely for them, without judgement and in a place of giving because I was being selfish. By taking my own need, and ego, out of the picture and just making myself present, I realized that I can always bring power and clarity to the situation. I can now be there fully for my client and really listen to what is going on rather than making everything mean something about me. In this space, my clients and I work through some amazing obstacles. I am now COMMITTED to helping my clients and not ATTACHED to how that happens.
So, you want to know the amazing thing? This pattern did not at all end with how I approached my clients. I soon realized that I became that needy, judging person when ANYONE didn't want to take my advice or when I really wanted someone to do something. It was affecting my relationship with my phenomenal boyfriend, my family, and my friends. I was actually being so selfish that I would distance myself from people rather than come to terms with who I was being. Once I saw that I was being selfish, and needy, I simply let it go and created a new way of being. I decided that I was going to be a powerful leader instead. Now each time I am faced with the situation, I automatically see it for what it is and can choose to remain a powerful leader instead of defaulting to a selfish and needy martyr.
To be fair, this is a sticky business. I didn't realize that I was actually doing it until I was given the tools to do so. So, now I pass those tools on to you.
1) Look for places in your life where you have a loss of power...a place you just can't seem to get through: Perhaps it is your health.
2) Look to see where you are lying to yourself. There is a fib in there somewhere and the more diligently you search for it, the more power you will get back for yourself.
3) Decide WHO you want to be in that situation.
4) Be that person and keep looking for the little lies.
I work through this process frequently with my clients. For instance:
"I didn't have time to write down my food or do the exercises" There is lie in this which is SO dis empowering. The lie is that the client doesn't have enough power to even schedule his time. That he is just a helpless victim of his schedule. I have no judgement here: NONE. I don't need them to fill out their journal or complete their program...but I am committed to empowering them. So, what there is to do is just acknowledge the fib: "I don't have control over my schedule or life." and do one of two things: Either recommit to making it a priority and set structures in place to make sure that you follow through in the future. OR you can acknowledge to yourself that you are not willing to take this step toward securing a healthier body. There is no right or wrong here...no judgement just complete honesty.
In a place of honesty with yourself and with others, there really isn't anything standing in the way of what you want...there may be some confusion about what you want to create but the game-playing is over. I occasionally get clients who swear up and down that they want great health and a body they can be proud of but will never follow through when the opportunity presents itself. Just as I had to dig deep into my loss of power, they must dig deep to see where they are deceiving themselves. Either they really don't want what they say they want, or they don't want to do what is necessary to obtain it.
There is such great power available in distinguishing these lies because they allow us to live in reality...they allow us to see what is real and work with power to create something else. Without this honesty, people all too often fall into playing the victim or hopeless martyr. I have yet to see a "victim" achieve any lasting fitness goal. Success rises from empowered people not those who so easily diminish themselves with self-deception.For more information on learning to do this type of self-work, I recommend visiting Landmark Education. It has completely changed my life for the better and has also been a positive influence for several clients and family members
Saturday, May 26, 2007
See this post for a couple of my favorite resources for starting to think about your mind and your body in a different way...for creating the life and body you want.
Posted by Keizer's Edge: South Beach Fitness Tips at 8:48 AM
Monday, May 21, 2007
Click here for interesting article regarding alternative treatments which work in conjunction with traditional HIV therapies. I wonder why more information is not available about this even 2 years later?I predict that holistic approaches which support the immune system and work in conjunction with the traditional medications will be a stepping stone for the legitimization of holistic medicine. That is, until we start to truly understand the inter-relatedness of our bodies' complex chemical systems and how our modern environment and lifestyle is CAUSING a majority of these chronic diseases...just my prediction.
Posted by Keizer's Edge: South Beach Fitness Tips at 8:24 PM
Thursday, May 17, 2007
First, I would like to explain that I believe that the recent research into the human brain and quantum physics proves that your body and mind are inseparable; that your mind has the ability to profoundly affect your body in both positive an negative ways. The greatest coaches, athletes and gurus all understand this deep connection and capitalize on it through meditation and visualization practices. You would be hard-pressed to find an Olympic athlete who does not incorporate visualization into their training regimen. With that said, I believe that it is at LEAST equally important for the average person with a fitness goal to harness the mind because the mind creates the thoughts which become the beliefs which create the behaviors which dictate success or failure . Without the thoughts and the vision, there is nothing to create the changes you desire.
If you are constantly stuck in negative self-talk or simply using a lot of energy disliking your body or the situation that you are in, then there is very little energy left over to actually create a new body. In order to free up some of this energy and help you focus on a new way of life, I have adapted a very powerful technique inspired in some ways by the work I have done on myself with Landmark Education.
Step 1) Create who you would LIKE to be.
Of Course, in the case of many of my clients we write down something relevant to fitness. The examples must be in present tense and NOT include negative words like not. For example: “ I am a vibrant Grandmother with the strength and energy to wear out my grandchildren .” instead of “I am a Grandmother without pain.” You can not really create a negative and it is much easier to create something that truly speaks to you; something that gets to the emotional tug of what you desire from your goal. Inspiration is essential here.
Step 2) I believe that the world works so powerfully for us when we actually tie our own goals into helping others. It takes us out of the world of “me” and puts us into a situation where we are getting what we want by giving back to those around us. So in step two, you create a world in which the person in step one actually exists.
How would be acting if you were actually the person you created in the previous step? The kicker: you must also tie that goal into helping others. For example: instead of “I am a grandmother who works out 4 times per week to get in great shape for my grandkids,” she would make it so much more powerful by stating, “I am a grandmother who has created a group in which I teach other seniors how to exercise and keep up with their grandkids.” or “ I am a grandmother who leads a group of other seniors and Grandchildren in fun, healthy activities each week.” The two latter choices puts this grandmother in a place of giving so much to others and makes her responsible for something bigger than herself. It would be much more difficult to skip her workouts with many people relying on her and she would certainly have to be fit and learn a lot about her body if she wanted to teach other seniors about fitness.
Step 3) Follow through with your ideas.
Tell other people about what you have created for yourself and begin to build it! Without actually taking action, the creation dies, and so does your created-self. Stick with it and grow as you become fit. Because when you help others in your journey, your power is amplified many times over.
I have seen this principle work time and time again with many of my clients and I am personally inspired by each client who completes this exercise. In my class just this week, I had a client who just came out of some heart difficulties create the future in which he has bicycling club for troubled teens in his area. He will soon be getting his heart strong through a very “big-hearted” possibility. My beautiful mother-in-law has rheumatoid arthritis and keeps her health by teaching yoga, recently adding children’s classes. People who help others in this way absolutely move me.
My own life is a an example of this principle as I have created for myself a future of abundance through inspiring over 1 million people to fitness through my clinic and my work by 2010. Since the time I created this future for myself, my life has bloomed as has my practice. Each day I wake up with a new sense of purpose and urgency knowing that there are a million people out there who need my help. It’s a good life, but don’t take my word for it…go ahead…sit down and start creating yourself now!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
If you have a trainer who isn't providing results, you have to read my tips for giving him the boot and choosing someone who will actually give you RESULTS!! 7 Tips for choosing a Phenomenal Trainer
Posted by Keizer's Edge: South Beach Fitness Tips at 8:56 PM
Friday, May 11, 2007
As a corrective exercise coach, part of my job is to trace the root of any pain or problem to it's source. Over time, the same culprits keep popping up again and again. So, in an effort to keep you from falling victim to these exercise villains, I am publishing my list of repeat offenders.
1) Abdominal crunches and leg raises.
Everyone is obsessed with abdominals and, as a result, most people end up over working them; and worse, working them improperly. Over-working your crunches simply adds to a flexion-chain imbalance, pulling your hip forward and your ribcage down…making you look “slumped” and exposing you to a flat back syndrome and back pain.
Lying leg raises are a big offender and the hanging leg raises produce so much force through the SI joint and lower lumbar that it is very dangerous for the average person who has not properly activated his or her lower abdominals.
Here is a test you can do if you are currently doing leg lifts. Lie flat on your back and slide your fingers under your lower back on each side. Now, slowly apply pressure to your fingers by flexing your abs. Not too much pressure, just enough so that you can tell that your abs are activated. Now, keeping equal pressure, try lifting just one let straight up and slowly back down without losing any pressure or “squishing” your fingers. If you cannot pass this lower ab strength test, what do you suppose is working when you have been doing your leg raises? Not your lower abs since they cannot even stabilize one leg properly. This results in compensation throughout the kinetic chain and a LOT of activation of the lower back just to stabilize the discs. In other words…murder on your back.
This will be a not-so-welcome addition for many of my avid runners. However, In, my experience, I find that running poses danger to the casual athletes in two ways:
First, people who are just looking to get into shape very often default to running to “lose that extra weight.” The major issue here is that when you run, you multiply the shock of each step by several times that of simply walking. For a deconditioned person, this means that the ligaments and tendons are too weak to handle the load, particularly if the individual is already carrying around extra weight. This can lead to major joint dysfunction in the knees, hips, and sacroiliac joint, causing the muscles around these joints to spasm and cause pain.
Second, my avid runners often develop huge muscle strength imbalances due to the constant repetition of running. Chronically tight hamstrings, caused by a lack of glute function, will pull the pelvis down and cause a flat back resulting in lumbar pain. I call these people my “no butt” clients because they have a flat back tight, chest, and slumped shoulders giving them the appearance of slouching and flat bottoms. Unfortunately, this posture is also reinforced by sitting in a chair all day at work and eventually the lower back loses too much curve, the spine can no longer distribute the force of running efficiently, and we get pain as muscles spasm.
3) Seated Leg Press or Sled Press.
My guys are notorious for piling a ton of weight on this machine to impress their friends. Unfortunately, most of them do not have the flexibility to actually do the proper movement through the entire range and end up using their lower back to move all of that weight.
Simply put, if you are lying against the pad, your lower back should NEVER come off of the mat. If you can not bring the sled down far enough to complete the range of motion, you need to stretch you hams, glutes, and calves or switch to a more functional (and in my opinion more beneficial) standing squat as long as your form is good.
Imagine your glutes being very tight and your lower back curling off of the mat on the way down. What muscles do you suppose have to activate in order for you to push the sled back up? Yes, your lower back erectors. This is a great way to slip a disc or traumatize your lower back muscles.
This list is not an “AVOID AT ALL COSTS” list. I do, however recommend that you avoid these exercises until you have any postural problems cared for by a corrective exercise coach or physical therapist. If you have a healthy back, and are currently doing these activities, make sure that you are doing them properly so you maintain your healthy back. You can watch for signs of chronic tightness (stiffness that will not stretch out over time) as a good indicator that something in your exercise routine is causing a muscle imbalance. Make sure that you go to a professional who is trained to assess and correct these imbalances and give you a new exercise routine which will keep your joints healthy and strong.
Posted by Keizer's Edge: South Beach Fitness Tips at 8:40 AM