How Pilates Can Help Improve Your Posture

At The Body Gallery one of our focuses is improving our clients posture.

When we have a client come in with postural issues we begin our first session with a full static postural assessment. We look at our clients’ posture from head to toe using the postural assessment based on the findings of Dr. Janda.

What we are looking for are any obvious signs of over/under worked muscles which can cause muscle imbalance or dysfunction. We take a look at the pelvis to see if there are any deviations such as an anterior/posterior/lateral pelvic tilt, a lateral shift or rotation. From there we take a look at the glutes,  hamstrings, adductors, calves and spinal extensors. We also take a look at the scapular region, abdominals and the front of the thighs. Lastly we look at the arm position, head alignment and chin/neck angle head position.

Once we have gathered all of this information we check certain muscle function patterns depending on the findings we have seen in the assessment.

Finally we discuss a specific goal we will focus on during our sessions.

This method has given our clients great results, helping them to improve their posture and alleviate chronic pain.

For more information contact Cassidy at The Body Gallery

pilates@thebodygallery.com

Which one of these posture images looks like you?

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Food Allergy, Intolerance or Sensitivity?

I was recently asked to participate on a panel of health-care providers discussing digestive health. It was a great event and one of the questions I was asked was the difference between food allergies, intolerances and sensitivities.

A food allergy reaction is the result of the immune system identifying a food a foreign entity and then launching a response against it. The body will immune cells called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and histamine. Common food allergies include peanuts, tree nuts, seafood (fish or shellfish), milk/dairy, soy, eggs, corn and sugar. The symptoms may be immediate or rapid onset (IgE) or delayed with onset in hours to days later (IgG) which makes it difficult to identify their source. Common symptoms include the following:

Rashes
Hives
Pruritis (itchy skin)
Angioedema (swelling around the lips or eyes)
Shortness of breath
Abdominal pain
Chest pain
Anaphylaxis

A food intolerance reaction is a result of being unable to adequately digest a food. It causes chronic inflammation and irritation in the gut. A very common example is lactose intolerance. This is not an immune response but may be a result of enzyme deficiencies or other physiological factors.  Such symptoms may include:

Headaches
Indigestion/Heartburn
Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
Brain fog, anxiety or depression
Irritability
Inflammatory symptoms (eg. joint pain)
Difficulty losing weight (Check out my post on Food Allergies and Weight Gain)
Fatigue

It is important to be aware of how your body responds to foods. A good way to develop this awareness is to keep a diet log or diary which documents foods you eat and your physical and mental responses to them. This is often all you need to do to identify offending foods. Once identified, you may choose to begin an Elimination or Allergy Avoidance Diet where the suspected foods are removed for a period of time to see if your symptoms resolve. The foods may then be slowly re-introduced to confirm your suspicions.

If your diet diary is not definitive, you may want to pursue food allergy testing that will measure the levels of immune cells in your blood to various foods. You may also test for other inflammatory markers in specialized intolerance/sensitivity tests. This helps you understand your body’s reactivity and equips you with the information you need to take the next steps in your diet and lifestyle to optimize your health and well-being. What could be better that that?? I offer these tests in my practice and, when indicated,  find them incredibly helpful in resolving the chronic health issues listed above.

I recommend speaking with your primary care doctor regarding any changes in your diet and for supervision and guidance when investigating food allergies or intolerances.

For more information, check out this great article on the Allergy Avoidance Diet.

Here’s to your health,
Dr. Mead

http://www.dradeolamead.com

Photo credit: http://foodallergygal.blogspot.com/

Autumn: An Eastern Prespecitive

Fall Forest

Red and yellow leaves, pumpkin and squash, black cats, and creepy crawlers — autumn is upon. Autumn marks the end of the growing season and the beginning of the yin cycle. A transitory season balanced between a season of highest yang (summer) and of highest yin (winter).  It is a great season to take stock of the year successes and losses and to plan ahead for the upcoming winter and year.

In the cosmology of Chinese medicine autumn is a season marked by the metal element. Metal energy is consolidating and promotes inward movement, like a flower closing its petals. The metal energy gives us strength and determination for the winter ahead and contemplation of the harvest we’ve reaped.

According to Wu Xing (five elements) metal governs the lungs and respiratory system making it a great time of the year to fortify these systems. Traditionally, autumn is seen as a time for dryness, which can negatively affect the lungs. Symptoms of dryness include thirst, dryness of skin, nose, lips, and throat, and itchiness. There are many herbs and formulas that can assist in shoring up the lungs for this pervasive pathogen. Bai He Ju Gin Tang which translates to Lily Bulb to Preserve the Metal decoction is a classic formula for lung dryness. This formula is often used to treat cough and chronic bronchitis.

As autumn is a time to contract inward, more soured flavored foods can aid in this process. These include sauerkraut, olives, pickles, leeks, rose hip tea, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and sour varieties of apples, plums, and grapes. To aid the lungs with dryness: spinach, barley, millet, pear, persimmon, almond, pinenut, clam, crab, and mussel are most appropriate.

In general, autumn is a great time of the year to prepare the body for the challenging winter months ahead. We look to aid our patients with acupuncture and herbal remedies that will strengthen the lungs and respiratory systems, warding off the upcoming cold and flu season. Please contact us if you would like to know more on how to best prepare.

http://www.sfacugroup.com.

References

1) http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/Chinese_Customs/five_elements.htm

2) http://www.5elements.com/docs/elements/metal.html

3)Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books. Berkeley, Ca. 2002.

4) https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Enjoy+the+Energy+of+Fall+Autumn+and+Traditional+Chinese+Medicine

5) PublicDomainPictures– pixabay.com – Uploaded 03/01/2012 (Leaf)

6) LoggaWiggler – pixabay.com – upload 10/26/2012 (Fall Forest)