Pilates Mat Class

Are you looking for a great Pilates mat class but hate the gym? We may be just the right match for you! We have created a monthly mat class with a maximum of 8 people. This class is intended for the injury free clientele who are looking for a small size mat class and access to a video of the exercises so they can continue to do the work at home. If this sounds like you take a look at the details below.

The video of the exercises will provide the cues needed to continue to keep up with the great form you learn in the class!

Core Builder copy


What is Oncology Rehabilitation?

From Guest Blogger Bettina Neumann of Rising Sun Physical Therapy

Bettina Neumann, PT, CST, LLCC, is a licensed Physical Therapist in California and Germany, as well as a certified CranioSacral Therapist and Lymphedema Specialist. She is the founder and owner of Rising Sun Physical Therapy, Inc.


How Can Physical Therapy Help Patients Recover From Cancer?   

 A cancer diagnosis changes everything, brutally ripping people out of their normal lives. From feeling reasonably well to a flurry of tests and procedures, things move fast for patients post-diagnosis. There are a host of decisions to be made regarding treatment and care.

 Typical cancer treatment methods are surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or some combination of two or more of these. All of these options have potential side-effects and can open a patient up to additional risks, both during and after treatment. Common side-effects of cancer treatment are weakness, fatigue, reduced range of motion in the affected area, coordination and balance issues, decreased endurance, pain and discomfort, and swelling. The long list of side-effects can be depressing and frustrating. It feels like just more bad news and many patients wonder if the cure isn’t as bad as the disease.

The good news is that there is help. Physical therapy can help in all stages of cancer treatment, from initial diagnosis through active treatment and during the recovery period.

In Germany, physical therapy has been a regular tool in the cancer-fighting aresenal for over a decade. Here in the U.S. the importance of rehabilitation after cancer treatment, or using it to help maintain health during cancer treatment, has been slow to catch on. Only in recent years has its importance been acknowledged by leaders in the field.

Research shows that physical therapy treatment during and after cancer treatment can effectively improve the quality of life for patients. Physical therapy during cancer treatment can help reduce the patient’s risk for complications like lymphedema, poor self-image, impaired range of motion, or even nerve impingement. The key to lowering the risk is early intervention.

Before cancer treatment begins a physical therapist can evaluate a patient to get baseline measurements as well as assessing level of function and general physical health. After evaluation the therapist can advise patients on ways to maximize physical health before treatment starts. Physical therapists also educate patients about the risk factors for lymphedema, a swelling condition that sometimes results from damage to the lymphatic system.

During cancer treatment physical therapy helps patients maintain a sense of physical well-being and function and can aid in pain management. Proper instruction at this stage can reduce the risk of side-effects. A good PT teaches patients how to increase function in affected limbs/areas without strenuous exertion. Post-treatment physical therapy can restore full possible function for patients. It also helps them transition back to work, hobbies, and life in general.

If you or a friend or loved one have been affected by cancer, give us a call and find out how we can help make a difficult time a little better. Our goal at Rising Sun Physical Therapy is to help all of our patients improve their quality of life and independence by encouraging them to play an active role in their own recovery.

As always, feel free to call or email Bettina if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.               rspt@risingsunpt.com, 415-282-4083.


What is Kinesio Taping?

Ever wonder what that pink, blue, or black tape is that is showing up on almost all athletes these days? It’s Kinesio Tape! Do you need to be an Olympic Gold medal winner to enjoy the benefits of kinesio taping? Not at all, Kinesio Taping Association International (KTAI) estimates that 85% of the users of kinesio taping are not athletes but people who suffer from chronic pain, repetitive stress injury, and ligament, tendon, and joint injuries.

In 1979, Dr. Kenzo Kase, developed the kinesio taping method to enhance his manual therapy techniques. To further facilitate his method he developed the kinesio tex tape from 1979 to 1981. Due to the success and popularity of the kinesio taping method, Dr. Kenzo Kase founded the Kinesio Taping Association International and the first conference was held in Japan in 1984.
So how can Kinesio Taping Method help you?

The Kinesio Taping Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process. It provides support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting. Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, Kinesio Tex Tape is safe for populations ranging from pediatric to geriatric, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions.

5 Keys to Health Insurance and Navigating the new Reform

Today we have a guest blogger, Carl Horne

Company photoWelcome Carl!

He has been working in insurance for 8 years with Healthmarkets. Their focus
has always been on helping families responsible for their own benefits, and the micro business. They broker with most of the highest rated Insurers and give you personal assistance in finding what best fits your needs for your, Health, Life, Supplemental and Disability insurance.

5 Keys to Health Insurance and Navigating the new Reform:

1) Review your health coverage:

Whether your plan is grandfathered(enrolled prior to March 23 2010) or
ACA compliant, talk to a licensed agent to understand your benefits.
The Affordable Care Act, has mandated many new benefits so it’s best to
know what is covered by your Grandfathered plan vs ACA plan.

2) Use Preventative Care:
Part of the ACA mandates are coverage for preventative care. Everything
from Immunizations, Cholesterol and Blood pressure screenings, to
cancer screenings and colonoscopies are covered 100% regardless of your
deductible. Make sure and talk to your doctor about recommended
screenings and you can consult with your agent to make sure it is

3) Plan for out of Pocket Expenses:
Higher deductible plans and large out of pocket maximums have left many
unable to pay their medical bills.
With the high cost of insurance these plans are more attractive because
the premiums are lower. Unfortunately you are at
greater financial risk. A relatively inexpensive way to help is to look
into Supplemental benefits that will pay you if you have
an Accident, Hospital stay, or Critical Illness, and help offset your
financial exposure.

4) Understand How You Use Insurance
Many of my clients are self employed, healthy and use primarily
Holistic Healthcare.
Although it is counter intuitive, many of these benefits are not
covered well by insurance. If it is covered, you will
likely be paying for a much more expensive plan. I have typically found
that the higher premium you pay is more than
the cost of paying for benefits like, acupuncture, chiropractic, and
massage therapy out of pocket.
You may consider an HSA plan. These plans have higher deductibles, and
you pay out of pocket for everything except
preventative until you reach your deductible. After your deductible is
met the plan pays and protects you form the major medical bills.

With these plans you can set up a Health Savings Account with your
bank. The funds in this account can be used for all your out of
pocket medical expenses. The advantage is the amount that you fund your
HSA account is a tax write off.(up to the IRS limit). These funds of
course roll over year after year.

5) Better Protection
Pre existing conditions can no longer increase your rate or deny you
You can also no longer be dropped from coverage for medical reasons, or
have reductions in your plan benefits.

For more information please feel free to contact me

Carl Horne
Licensed Insurance Agent 0F46503

2107 N. First St Suite 350 ■ San Jose, CA 95131

P 415-341-0178 ■ C 415-845-9659 ■ F 408-794-2285

carl.horne@HealthMarkets.com ■


Exercise Reduces Stress. We know! Are we ready to change?

Exercise does more for us than just get us in great physical shape, it also gets us in great mental shape!

Everyday life naturally leads to stress, with our jobs, family and the pressures we put on ourselves. What do we do to handle these stresses? Do we do the things that will really help us or just satisfy our caffeine or sugar cravings? Ultimately making the stress worse. Why don’t we take a quick walk around the block or go for a great workout instead? Why don’t treat ourselves like we are our number one client?

Even though we know exercise has been proven to increase the concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress we are still in our same old patterns of another cup of coffee, another pastry or a glass of wine (maybe two).

Maybe it can overwhelming to think of the big picture and we are afraid of failure? When the task seems too daunting we decide not to try than to try and fail?

What if we broke it down into baby steps? Give ourselves a direction one stepping stone at a time? This way we achieve a goal and feel the accomplishment of it. Once we feel this accomplishment we may decide we want more because it feels good to reach our goals right?

What would your first stepping stone be? A quick 10 minute walk  before you leave for work?  Or maybe get off the bus or train stop a  stop early so you can walk the rest of the way to the office? Or take the stairs instead of the elevator?

Think about it. Are you ready to create your first stepping stone?

For more information contact Cassidy at The Body Gallery



Get Fit While Watching the Super Bowl

Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Metlife Stadium: Home of Super Bowl 48. Photo by Anthony Quintano on Flickr.

Super Bowl Sunday is upon us! Time to gather around the T.V. and root for your favorite team to win. There will be plenty of beverages, snacks, and high fives to go around. I would like to add another dimension to your yearly routine. Why not get fit while watching the game? It’s a perfect time to do some reps and work on yourself.

These exercises can be done quickly and do not take any extra equipment to perform.

1. Coach Triceps Dips

This can be perform on a sturdy chair, a bench, or a coach.

  • Sit with your back to a bench or chair
  • Place your hands on the bench so your fingers are pointing to you
  • Lift your buttocks off the ground and straighten your legs so only your heels are on the floor
  • Bend your elbows out behind you to lower your buttocks towards the floor
  • Push back up until your elbows are straight
  • Follow this video for a demonstration.
    • People with a shoulder problem should probably not do these unless they are supervised.

2. Crunches

Crunches can be done quickly and are a great workout for your abs.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
  • Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.
  •  Don’t lace your fingers together.
  • Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in.
  • Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest
  • Gently pull your abdominals inward.
  • Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.
  • Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down.
  • Follow this video for a demonstration.

3. Squats

Considered the king of all exercises, squats develop a lot of lower leg muscles and your core. They are easy and quick to do but there are some key elements you will want to pay attention to. If you have not done squats before we recommend you work with someone who can show you the proper form.

  • Place feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles.
  • Roll the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Note: Allowing the back to round (like a turtle’s shell) will cause unnecessary stress on the lower back.
  • Extend the arms out straight so they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down (like your hands are on someone’s shoulders at a 7th grade dance). Or, if it’s more comfortable, pull the elbows close to the body, palms facing each other and thumbs pointing up.
  • Initiate movement by inhaling into the belly, and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips backward as the knees begin to bend.
  • While the butt starts to stick out, make sure the chest and shoulders stay upright, and the back stays straight.
  • Keep the head facing forward with eyes straight ahead for a neutral spine.
  • Let the hip joint squat lower to the ground than the knees, if comfortable. Pro tip: Try squatting onto a box. Gentle tapping it with the butt will be a reminder to squat low.
  • Engage the core, and exhale while driving through the heels to return to standing. Imagine the feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving the feet.
  • Follow this video to see a good demonstration.

So if you are on the edge of your seat and have a lot of energy put towards one of these exercises and help yourself become healthier.


1) Beams, Rob “Coach Robb: Strength: Tricep Dips Off Chair or Bench” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqahmBbPfAA

2) Howcast featuring Racheal Buschert Vazirelli “How to Do a Squat | Boot Camp Workout” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXJrBgI2RxA

3) Livestong.com, featuring Amy McCauley “How to do Crunches” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xyd_fa5zoEU

4) McDermott, Nicole “How to do the Perfect Sqaut”. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/25/perfect-squat-form_n_3147277.html

5) “How to do Crunches”.  http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-do-crunches.seriesId-101966.html

6) “Triceps Dips”.  http://www.teachpe.com/strengthening/dips.php

Ergonomic desks for improved lifestyle

Are you sitting at a computer more than 6-8 hours a day for work?

I have many clients who come once a week for bodywork in order to compensate for the effects that sitting at a desk is having on their bodies.  These aren’t inactive people either.  Most of them are exercising regularly when they aren’t sitting at a computer all day. Still, their bodies are suffering from the long term effects of sitting for such long stints of time each day.

It manifests as frozen shoulders, neck pain, chronic back pain, migraines, sciatica and major hip imbalances along with mental and emotional stress. I realized that unless people change the way they work, I can only help them temporarily.

So what is a more viable solution?

The idea of a standing desk is great, but standing all day is not that great for you either. It’s a drastic change from sitting and has it’s own implications.  It’s more ideal to be able to sit and stand interchangeably.  There are many automatic desks out there that allow you to sit and/or stand at the same desk with a remote control.

I started looking for a local company that provided such a solution and found Ergo Depot in Potrero Hill.

I took a client of mine who was a great candidate for a desk like this to Ergo Depot and they were incredibly helpful.  She purchased one of the mobile desks (and one of their ergonomic chairs) and has since had significant improvements to her back and hip problems.

Check out this video and start thinking progressively about investing in changing the way you work for a more healthy lifestyle.

I will have a sample desk from Ergo Depot in my studio for you to test drive starting next week.

10% of the time… Eat for pleasure! My favorite French Chocolate Bark Recipe

Researchers have discovered that chocolate produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana. The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two, but can’t remember what they are. Matt Lauer on NBC’s Today Show, August 22

chocolate bark

French Chocolate Bark

An easy treat to whip-up and share for the holidays

My thoughts on moderation:  90% of the time, eat with the intention of improving your health. 10% eat for pleasure. Enjoy my favorite holiday recipe. My family is expecting this treat from me and always eat up every bit. I love to make it for them, because it’s made of simple wholesome ingredients and not loaded with added sugar.

What will you be making?

French Chocolate Bark
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Prep Time: 15 minInactive  Prep Time: 2 hr 0 min  Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 24 pieces

8 ounces very good semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 ounces very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, salted cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Melt the 2 chocolates in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

Meanwhile, line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a ruler and a pencil, draw a 9 by 10-inch rectangle on the paper. Turn the paper facedown on the baking sheet.

Pour the melted chocolate over the paper and spread to form a rectangle, using the outline. Sprinkle the cashews, apricots and cranberries over the chocolate. Set aside for 2 hours until firm. Cut the bark in 1 by 3-inch pieces and serve at room temperature.


Learn more about how we help people stop dieting, improve digestion, and sleep like babies!
Schedule a 30 minute complimentary initial consultation with me today (valued at $150)
Call Now 415.308.3529 to reserve your spot.

What Client’s are saying: http://www.yelp.com/biz/happy-belly-health-san-francisco

When was the last time you talked with a professional about your health and felt like they were really listening to you? Here at Happy Belly Health in San Francisco, our priority as certified health coaches is to care for you and help you take care of you. Through our nutrition consultations, gentle cleanses and programs, we provide a supportive environment to enable you to achieve all of your health goals and learn how to eat for nutrition and enjoyment.

Copyright © 2012 Happy Belly Health, All rights reserved.

Pilates Exercises for the Airplane!

Here are some great exercises you can do while sitting on the plane.

It’s the sitting that really gets to our bodies, let’s keep ourselves moving a little bit to help prevent the aches, stiffness and pain that can come with traveling.

Breathing– finding your core. belly button pulling to the back of spine, bearing down into pelvic floor, connecting the diaphragm

Neck Rolls– full neck rolls in both directions, stopping & stretching where it feels tight, try to keep your body still just move neck

Shoulder Circles-full shoulder circles in both directions trying to keep your body still and just move the shoulders

Ankle Circles– full ankle circles in both directions

Roll Downs-moving thru & warming up the spine. use your Pilates breath to engage core

Cat/Cow-flexion & extension of spine. make sure to bear down into pelvic floor during extension to protect lower back

Roll Downs– second set, spine more mobile, deeper core work

Knee Stirs-core work, stabilization of the pelvis. bring knee in towards chest & stir in socket. both directions. uses your Pilates breath to engage core. only your knee & hands should be moving. pelvis stays still

Knee Folds-core work, stabilization. bring one knee into chest. hold for 5 counts. bring back down. switch sides. use Pilates breath to engage core. only leg should be moving. pelvis stable.

Priformis Stretch-cross one ankle over the opposite knee. lean forward.

Side Bending-gentle lean over to one side. stretching the sides of your back. breathe into the stretch. do both sides

Rotation-rotating the spine gently. breathe into the stretch. both sides

Standing Hamstrings-stand with feet hip width apart. bending over. keeping legs straight.

Remember: switch sitting positions frequently, every 1/2 hour would be optimal and move about the cabin whenever possible!

Have a safe flight!!

 For  more information contact The Body Gallery

Health Tips For Airline Travel


Thank you to the Aerospace Medical Association for this information. If you would like to learn more about aerospace medicine please click on this link. 



Airline travel is fast, convenient and safe, with the vast majority of passengers reaching their destinations safely and without harmful health effects. However, the aircraft environment and travel-related factors can cause certain stresses on travelers.

The Aerospace Medical Association has prepared this brochure for passengers, with the hope that the following useful air travel tips and general health information will make your travels more enjoyable

General Tips

Plan ahead

  • Research the health-related conditions in the country you are visiting.
  • Be sure your immunizations are current.
  • Allow ample time to check in and reach your departure gate.
  • Carry your medication with you in your carry-on luggage.
  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes that have been worn previously.
  • Delay your trip if you are not well.
  • Seek the Advice of your physician if you have any

Cabin Environment


In order to allow for flying at high altitudes where oxygen concentration is lower, aircraft cabins are pressurized. This pressure, called barometric pressure, is lower than at sea level. For most flights the cabin pressure is similar to the pressure on a peak of a small mountain that is at 5,000 – 8,000 feet.

This has two effects:

1. Less oxygen is available because the pressure of oxygen becomes lower, and

2. Gas within our body cavities expands. Both of these phenomena are usually well-tolerated by healthy passengers.

Both of these phenomena are usually well-tolerated by healthy passengers.

Effects of Altitude – Oxygen

With increased cabin altitude comes a decrease in oxygen absorbed into the blood and circulated throughout the body, as compared to ground level. As long as you are in reasonably good health, your body has mechanisms that compensate for this decreased quantity of oxygen.

On the other hand, passengers with significant heart, lung, and blood diseases may not tolerate lower amounts of oxygen well. Therefore, they should consult their physician before air travel to evaluate their capability to travel and to determine if there is a need for medical oxygen or other special assistance.

  • Medical oxygen can be arranged with most airlines. Check with your carrier several days in advance of the flight.
  • The combination of low oxygen, alcohol, inactivity and sleep can generate unpleasant side effects like dizziness and/or fainting if one stands up too fast after awakening. Arm and leg exercises before standing up will usually prevent this.

Effects of Altitude – Gas Expansion

The body contains air in the middle ear (inside of the ear drum) and sinuses. As the aircraft ascends, the air in these cavities will expand but the excess pressure will be released outside via tubes connecting them to the nose. On descent the reverse occurs, with air flowing from outside to these cavities via the same tubes. This is well-tolerated as long as the air can flow into and out of these cavities freely. To facilitate the free flow of air, particularly on descent, it is helpful to periodically swallow, chew or yawn. (This is why it is important that passengers stay awake during descent.) Give something to drink to young children or a pacifier to infants.

  • Avoid flying if you have an ear, nose or sinus infection. Congestion prevents the air from flowing freely in and out of these cavities which could result in pain, bleeding and even a ruptured ear drum.
  • Don’t fly if you are not able to clear your ears.
  • Eat slowly and avoid eating gas-forming foods (peanuts, cabbage, etc.) or carbonated liquids shortly before a flight. The swallowed air or gas formed through digestion will expand and can cause discomfort.



Humidity in the cabin is usually low: in the range of 20%. There is no specific risk to your health, but low humidity can cause mild discomfort, particularly dry skin and eye irritation for sensitive people.

  • Drink about 8 ounces of water each hour and use a hydrating nasal spray.
  • Limit consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks because they cause you to lose fluids.
  • Wear glasses instead of contact lenses.
  • Apply a skin moisturizer.
  • Consider using eye drops


Some people are sensitive to the motion of the aircraft and develop nausea and dizziness. Known as motion sickness, this is more common in smaller aircraft and when facing some level of turbulence along the flight.

  • Request a seat over the wings and/or request a window seat.
  • Schedule flights on larger airplanes.
  • Avoid alcohol for the 24 hours prior to flight and in-flight.
  • Consult your physician about motion sickness medication if necessary

Sitting Space

On long flights we tend to remain seated for extended periods of time. In susceptible individuals, prolonged periods of immobility can slow down blood flow in the leg veins. This can lead to ankle swelling and, in predisposed individuals, increase the risk of blood clots to form inside the veins, known as Traveler’s Thrombosis.

Traveler’s Thrombosis manifests as pain and/or swelling in the legs during travel or even several days or weeks afterwards. It can be a serious and, on occasion, a life-threatening situation if a clot breaks off and travels to the lungs causing what is called a pulmonary embolism.

Also, staying seated for prolonged periods of time can cause muscle stiffness and pain.

  • Wear loose clothing (conversely, avoid tight, restrictive garments).
  • Place nothing under the seat in front of you, for more leg space.
  • Stretch and periodically exercise your feet and ankles while seated.
  • Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water while minimizing alcohol, sugary and caffeinated beverages.
  • Consult your physician if you have underlying illness such as recent surgery, cancer, blood clotting disorder or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

If you would like to learn more, please continue to the Aero Space Medical Association website.


  1. http://www.asma.org/asma/media/asma/Travel-Publications/HEALTH-TIPS-FOR-AIRLINE-TRAVEL-2013.