Insomnia...Why?

Another New Year’s resolution of mine, was to clean up my diet and eat more organic produce as well as grass fed organic meats. I decided to eat a little bit of meat and produce every couple hours. My sugar highs and lows disappeared throughout the day, and I felt great! A few weeks after the new year, I found myself falling into the arms of convenience and eating processed junk food. What can I say, we are all human.

I discovered something very interesting when I went back to my old habits. My sleeping patterns, which had improved over the weeks prior went back to spotty at best. I would wake up at 3 am like clockwork. I always figured this had to do with my old bed, but due to recent habits, I realized it has more to do with the quality of food I place in my mouth. What does this mean? Eating good food, not only helps the body to function, but it also helps the body to repair.

A consistent circadian rhythm is key in starting your day and staying efficient. It is said that between 10pm and 2am, your physical body repairs, while between 2am and 6am neurological function repairs. This means that when I wake up at 3am and remain awake until roughly 4:30am my neurological function skipped an hour and a half of repairs. At 7am, when its time to start my day, I feel incredibly sluggish wanting a few more hours of sleep.

How does food effect this circadian rhythm? Stress. Low quality food covered in pesticides, injected with hormones and made with processed ingredients puts our bodies under additional stress. This type of stress combined with the stress of our daily lives has a direct effect on the delicate balance of hormones in our bodies. When that balance is skewed, our bodies respond by altering the circadian rhythm. This is a very simplified explanation, but moral of the story is: Eat high quality foods, your body will thank you.

Fuel For the Body

As I drove back to the Bay Area from Lake Tahoe today, I streamed a multi-day seminar on the Female Hormone System. The information I obtained was exceptional, and it helped me to better understand the many symptoms we often identify as disease.

The biggest thing I learned today was that most ailments stem from the fuel we put in our body. In turn, these ailments can often be reversed by eating appropriately. This doesn’t mean go for a low fat diet, nor does it mean cut all carbs from your diet. What it means, is eat whole organic and grass fed foods. The nutrition packed in such food is generally enough to minimize many of the ailments we see now a days.

In comparison, conventionally raised produce, is often packed with pesticides and other additives. In the same aspect conventionally raised meat is often pumped with hormones to help the animal grow bigger and beefier, much like the steroids some take to get more “yoked”. These additives cause havoc on our endocrine systems, and I am not just talking about the female hormone system, men’s bodies’ respond to this as well.

Once our delicate systems are disrupted, our bodies work over time to keep balance. This means we are more susceptible to lower energy, getting sick or even disease (if we want to get dramatic about it). Moral of this short story is, be mindful of what you eat on a daily basis. Make sure you are getting plenty of grass fed protein, organic vegetables as well as high quality fat. The key word is balance.

If you have questions about how this works, please let me know via email info@arborvitaemassage.com or schedule a session for bodywork. I would be happy to provide more resources to learn more about the topic.

 

Magnesuim

As many of you know, I recommend an Epsom Salt bath to nearly everyone who receives a massage. Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate and when taking an Epsom Salt bath it is the most efficient way to absorb magnesium in the muscles.

To take a proper Epsom Salt bath in three steps:

1- Place 2 cups of Epsom Salts in a standard sized bathtub

2- Fill bathtub with warm water to desired depth

3- Soak in the bath for 20 minutes to allow the magnesium to seep through the skin

I was asked recently why magnesium is so good for us and why we should supplement it. I found this blog that laid out the benefits of magnesium as well as the possible consequences of magnesium deficiency. Check it out!

How to be Ultra Spiritual with JP Sears

Last year I had the pleasure of meeting JP Sears while I learned more about emotional eating and why we all do it now and again. Since then, I have been following him and enjoyed many of his youtube videos. He has a series called “How to be Ultra Spiritual.” Each one in the series has absolutely cracked me up, so I thought I would post the original one for you all to see. If you too find it to be as hilarious as I do, check out more of his videos on Youtube.com.

New Year's Resolution 2015

I always find it easier to add something to my daily routine rather than to remove it. This year I decided my New Year’s Resolution would be to drink more water; more specifically, a gallon of water per day. It is a lot more water than I have been drinking, but so far so good.

If you too want to add more water to your daily, this is a great way to get it all in.

1 – Drink 20 oz of water directly when you wake up

2- Drink 12 oz while eating your breakfast

3- Drink 16 oz two hours before lunch

4- Drink 16 oz with your lunch

5- Drink 16 oz two hours after lunch

6- Drink 16 oz two hours before dinner

7- Drink 20 oz with dinner

8- Drink 12 oz before you go to bed

These instructions came from www.ehow.com. I found that using a Nalgene bottle has worked well, as it has the measurements on the side of the bottle. In general I have been drinking about 16 oz every 2 hours until I have finished four 32oz Nalgene Bottles. Yes, I do have to visit the bathroom often, but it has minimized as my body has gotten used to the increased water intake.

It is also a good idea to add a pinch of either unprocessed sea salt, or Himalayan Pink Salt to your bottles of water. This will replenish the minerals that may be flushed out with the water increase. I add this to two of my four bottles, although it would be beneficial to add it to all the water.

Happy New Year everyone!

Listen to your body

I love riding the slopes on my snowboard. By the time the ski season comes, I find myself itching to get up to Lake Tahoe and strap on my board. Once the season starts, I tend to hit the slopes as often as I can.

This last weekend I met up with an old friend to hit the slopes. Early in the day, I caught and edge and hit the ground pretty hard. My friend pointed and laughed at me (as good friends do) while I shook it off. My first thought was, “Man, am I glad I wear a helmet.” As we continued down the hill, I was feeling off and I knew that if I continued, the probability of further injuring myself was high. I called it a day.

The next morning, I woke up with the discomfort of whiplash. As soon as I got home, I made a few phone calls to my team of health practitioners. Between the chiropractic, soft tissue work and proper movement, the discomfort in my neck and shoulders was instantly gone.

The moral of my story is to listen to your body. Stop when your movement doesn’t feel right because “working though” the pain may create more injury. Secondly,  don’t tough out discomfort, it isn’t worth it when you have people like myself who can help you. If you are currently managing discomfort from a hard workout, or a weekend of activity, please schedule a massage appointment. The soft tissue work and do wonders.

SNOWTASTIC!!!

When the daily grind takes over, a day of fun can leave us feeling a bit sore. What does one do about that? Do you just wait it out by calling in sick to work? Do you suck it up and try to ignore the soreness? Is there anything you can do to help minimize the aches?

In general, there are a few things that I recommend to manage your soreness.  It can be especially helpful when getting back to a seasonal activity in a slightly different climate than you are generally used to.

1- Epsom Salt bath – Many of you have heard me talk about the epsom salt bath. It can be a wonderful recovery tool. The trick with the salts is to soak in them for 20 minutes to allow the magnesium to penetrate through your skin. Magnesium is a mineral, along with calcium and potassium that is needed to contract or relax a muscle. If you find yourself with a charlie horse in the middle of the night, or general soreness, and epsom salt bath will usually take the edge off.

2- Stay Hydrated – The mountains, especially in the winter can be incredibly dry. This will not only cause your lips to chap, your skin to itch a bit,  but it can also contribute to headaches, and gut issues. Simply drinking lots of water can help combat these symptoms. To really step it up a notch, I often recommend adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt, or unprocessed Sea salt to your water. Adding this salt will turn your standard water into electrolyte water without adding the unnecessary sugar and additives in electrolyte drinks. The best part is that it doesn’t change the taste of the water, unless you have put too much.

3 – Massage – Getting a massage after stressing a set of muscles that have not been used in a while can be incredibly helpful in the recovery process. The massage itself will increase circulation to the deep dark corners of your muscles. Areas that my not flush out as easily on their own. This “flush” helps nutrients get to the areas that need it, allowing for cellular repair and rejuvenation. Plus a massage can be a great end to a fantastic weekend.

Above all, continue to take the time out to have fun. Enjoying your days off with giddy school girl giggles can cure many ailments. It is an incredible motivator to get you out of your daily grind and enjoy all that life has to offer. Take care of yourself and have fun doing it.

Game Day with #TeamSalemi

On August 2, 2014, I watched one of my clients, Mike Salemi, obtain a personal record at the Northern California Kettle Bell Competition in Oakland, CA. It was amazing to watch him accomplish 19 clean and jerks using 40kg Kettle bells in each hand.  That is roughly 176 pounds, the most of any competitor that day.  What impressed me the most with his performance was his ability to maintain his postural integrity while working toward complete muscle fatigue.

Over the last year I have assisted him with keeping his muscles working at their optimal performance as well as maintaining mobility in his joints. Consistent bodywork has enabled both he and I to understand how his muscles respond to tension. This competition was the first that I was able to provide him with both a pre and a post event massage.

The purpose of the pre-event massage is to assist the athlete in warming up, increase circulation to the muscles and provide a psychological lift prior to the competition. It is administered right before an athlete is going to warm up. In Mike’s case, it was the kick-start to his warm up, which later resulted in a personal record.

Following his flight, I also provided a post-event massage. I was able to help him with cool down and immediate recovery.  In general this type of massage can help to relieve cramping, enhance circulation and promotes lymphatic drainage.  Most of all it helps to reduce the aches and pains one feels the day after the even (delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS). When I received a text from Mike the next day informing me that he was feeling great, I knew I did my job well!

The Dreaded Ice Bath

This month I had the privilege to provide much needed support to the many participants of both the Vineman 70.3 as well as the full Vineman.  As both of these events attracted highly motivated and driven athletes, I found that many participants I had the opportunity to work on did not know of my favorite recovery methods. In this blog I am going to touch upon the dreaded ice bath.

The ice bath is a great method to kick off the recovery process by controlling inflammation. Submerging one’s body in 54-60 degree water limits the inflammation by constricting the blood vessels limiting the flow of inflammatory material into the affected area.  It is best to do an ice bath after a hard workout leaving enough time for a proper muscle cool down before the plunge. There is often a misconception that inflammation is bad, but it is necessary for the healing process. Too much inflammation, however, can prolong the healing process.

One of the most inventive ways to make an ice bath is to use a 32 gallon garbage can and fill it with cold water. To control the temperature add ice as needed. Hang out in the cold water for 6-8 minutes. Check out this site from Active.com that informs of the dos and don’ts of ice baths.  ICE BATHS DOS AND DON’TS

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