Monthly Archives: September 2013

Rolfing & MMA Professional Athlete, Eric Owings

Check out and enjoy this excellent article by Rolfer Tam Tran in the September 26th issue in t-square health.

Rolfing® Professional Athlete, Erik Owings

September 26th, 2013 by Tam Tran

Erik & Tam

Professional sports teams are known to have Rolfing® Structural Integration as a part of their training and recuperation regimens. The Phoenix Suns and the Minnesota Vikings are two examples of teams using Rolfing to enhance player performance.

Sometime last fall, I got a voicemail from Erik Owings. After listening to the message, I was pleased to learn of another athlete of professional caliber with enthusiasm for Rolfing.

Erik is a mixed martial artist (MMA) who owns the gym Mushin NYC and has fought on the professional level in the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Corporation). He and Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre (GSP) created the RushFIT ultimate home fitness workout. In addition, his most recent ventures included developing  his own vitamin line and writing a nutrition and fitness manual.

When Erik came in for his first session last fall, he said he’d known about Rolfing for quite some time, having read “The Endless Web” by Rosemary Feitis DO and Louis Shultz DO, both of whom are Rolfers™ and direct students of Dr. Ida Rolf herself. The book made a lot of sense to him; it described the structural relationship of the body, held together by our connective tissue, or fascial system.

He suspected his body had a lot of scar tissue and bound fascia. He frequently suffered from persistent pain upon awakening and thought that it was due to his rigorous training regimen and the injuries he accrued over the years and fighting professionally in the UFC. His body showed plenty of evidence of past damage: a stab wound in the ribs, a torn meniscus, an 18″ scar down the inside of the left lower leg, broken fingers, head trauma, and even a temper now and then.

After just a few sessions, Erik would look forward to his Rolfing more and more. My Rolfing treatments surpassed his expectations and  reduced his chronic pain significantly. Unlike self-massage tools, Rolfing provided the necessary manual rigor and precision to decompress his body and relax him while building on positive improvements in his range of motion and agility for his training.

After about a year, he stands more open and aligned, moves with greater ease, and feels stronger than ever. Rolfing has helped him manage his lower back tension, knee pain, and neck tightness. He feels less stressed and more energized and has since included things in his training that he has never done before, such as half-hour long static free standing squats and one handed pull ups.

Erik feels that, as an athlete and fitness specialist, the only way to stay “in the game” and prevent serious injury is to make the time for and commit to regular hands-on therapy. For him, this therapy is Rolfing. In fact, he feels so positive about his experience that he refers me to his closest friends and clients, including GSP.

For me, it’s definitely rewarding to provide a form of bodywork that makes such an impact to Erik’s training. To all of you athletes out there, make sure to support your fitness with a recuperation regimen. Try Rolfing with T-Square Health LLC. Let me help you recover from your past injuries, avoid new ones, and surpass your athletic goals!

For more information on the benefits  of Rolfing, click here to visit the Denver City Rolfing website.

Health Benefits of Turmeric

Indian Turmeric Abstract

 

When clients come into my Denver City Rolfing practice asking about the best natural anti-inflammatory, I always recommend adding Trumeric to their diets.

turmeric2
Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. Turmeric was traditionally called “Indian saffron” because of its deep yellow-orange color and has been used throughout history as a condiment, healing remedy and textile dye.

Nutrients inTurmeric - 2.00 tsp (4.40 grams) - Nutrient%Daily Value
 manganese17%
 iron10.1%
 vitamin B64%
 fiber3.7%
 potassium3.1%
Calories (15)0%

The chart above details the %DV that a serving of Turmeric provides to your good health.

turmeric

 

Health Benefits

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), the bright yellow of the spice rainbow, is a powerful medicine that has long been used in the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent to treat a wide variety of conditions, including flatulence, jaundice, menstrual difficulties, bloody urine, hemorrhage, toothache, bruises, chest pain, and colic.

A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory

The volatile oil fraction of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is calledcurcumin. Curcumin is thought to be the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. In numerous studies, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects have been shown to be comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory agents such as Motrin. Unlike the drugs, which are associated with significant toxic effects (ulcer formation, decreased white blood cell count, intestinal bleeding), curcumin produces no toxicity.

An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Curcumin may provide an inexpensive, well-tolerated, and effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, recent research suggests. In this study, mice given an inflammatory agent that normally induces colitis were protected when curcumin was added to their diet five days beforehand. The mice receiving curcumin not only lost much less weight than the control animals, but when researchers checked their intestinal cell function, all the signs typical of colitis (mucosal ulceration, thickening of the intestinal wall, and the infiltration of inflammatory cells)were all much reduced. While the researchers are not yet sure exactly how curcumin achieves its protective effects, they think its benefits are the result of not only antioxidant activity, but also inhibition of a major cellular inflammatory agent called NF kappa-B. Plus, an important part of the good news reported in this study is the fact that although curcumin has been found to be safe at very large doses, this component of turmeric was effective at a concentration as low as 0.25 per cent—an amount easily supplied by simply enjoying turmeric in flavorful curries.

Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Clinical studies have substantiated that curcumin also exerts very powerful antioxidant effects. As an antioxidant, curcumin is able to neutralize free radicals, chemicals that can travel through the body and cause great amounts of damage to healthy cells and cell membranes. This is important in many diseases, such as arthritis, where free radicals are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and eventual damage to the joints. Turmeric’s combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects explains why many people with joint disease find relief when they use the spice regularly. In a recent study of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was compared to phenylbutazone and produced comparable improvements in shortened duration of morning stiffness, lengthened walking time, and reduced joint swelling.

Cancer Prevention

Curcumin’s antioxidant actions enable it to protect the colon cells from free radicals that can damage cellular DNA—a significant benefit particularly in the colon where cell turnover is quite rapid, occuring approximately every three days. Because of their frequent replication, mutations in the DNA of colon cells can result in the formation of cancerous cells much more quickly. Curcumin also helps the body to destroy mutated cancer cells, so they cannot spread through the body and cause more harm. A primary way in which curcumin does so is by enhancing liver function. Additionally, other suggested mechanisms by which it may protect against cancer development include inhibiting the synthesis of a protein thought to be instrumental in tumor formation and preventing the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.

 

01turmeric-dyeing-march2010-014

 

Tips for Preparing and Cooking

Tips for Preparing Turmeric

Be careful when using turmeric since its deep color can easily stain. To avoid a lasting stain, quickly wash any area with which it has made contact with soap and water. To prevent staining your hands, you might consider wearing kitchen gloves while handling turmeric.

If you are able to find turmeric rhizomes in the grocery store, you can make your own fresh turmeric powder by boiling, drying and then grinding it into a fine consistency.

How to Enjoy

A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Add turmeric to egg salad to give it an even bolder yellow color.
  • Mix brown rice with raisins and cashews and season with turmeric, cumin and coriander.
  • Although turmeric is generally a staple ingredient in curry powder, some people like to add a little extra of this spice when preparing curries. And turmeric doesn’t have to only be used in curries. This spice is delicious on healthy sautéed apples, and healthy steamed cauliflower and/or green beans and onions. Or, for a creamy, flavor-rich, low-calorie dip, try mixing some turmeric and dried onion with a little omega-3-rich mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Serve with raw cauliflower, celery, sweet pepper, jicama and broccoli florets.
  • Turmeric is a great spice to complement recipes that feature lentils.
  • Give salad dressings an orange-yellow hue by adding some turmeric powder to them.
  • For an especially delicious way to add more turmeric to your healthy way of eating, cut cauliflower florets in half and healthy sauté with a generous spoonful of turmeric for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

For more information, click here to visit the Denver City Rolfing website.

 

Rolfing for Winter Sports

Man Plowing Snow with Skis

 

Now is the time to start your Winter sports training and use Rolfing to help bring your body into balance and gain the most from your training efforts.  I see many athletes in my Denver City Rolfing practice who rely on Rolfing to keep them in top performance shape. Rolfing can increase strength and flexibility and also reduce injury recovery time.

To make the most of your pre-season training check out this excellent article by Thayer Walker featured in Men’s Health.winter-hikingAs the days get shorter and the mercury drops, you’ve got two options to prepare for winter: den up in the living room and put on a few extra pounds or train hard and attack the snow sports. We’re picking the latter. Here’s how to get started.

Snowboarding

What Your Body Needs: The most crucial skills in snowboarding are flexibility and rotation, according to Chris Hargrave, manager of the Burton Snowboard Academy at Northstar-at-Tahoe. Mastering the sport requires improving four key ranges of motion: toe-to-heel balance for transferring your weight from toe edge to heel edge; flexing and extending the knees, ankles, and hips, which helps generate airtime; core rotation, which allows for controlled spinning in the air; and the ability to shift weight between the front and back foot, which allows the rider to move the board with momentum.

skier

 

How to Train: Vince Redondo, a snow-sport training expert at Sport Club/L.A. in San Francisco, suggests increasing your hip mobility with a snowboard-focused workout: a three- to five-minute warm-up on an agility ladder, side-to-side shuffle, and 90-degree hops. Squats will strengthen your ankles, knees, and hips; try them while holding a medicine ball and standing on a Bosu ball, and you’ll increase your core strength, too. Rotate your shoulders from side to side as you stand. One-armed cable rows—while standing on a Bosu—can help to make your back and core stronger and prevent muscle imbalances.

Ice Climbing

What Your Body Needs: It’s a technical sport, but training for it doesn’t have to be. The key skill is is strength, says Will Gadd, holder of three international ice-climbing championship titles. “You need to be able to do solid squats and staggered grip pullups over and over again,” he says. “That’s the best possible training for ice climbing without actually climbing.”

ice-climbing-6

 

How to Train: One of Gadd’s favorite all-around winter-sport workouts doesn’t even require weights. It’s a circuit of 100 air squats, 100 pullups, 100 situps, and 100 pushups, with each exercise completed before moving on to the next. (Starting out, choose a more realistic number of reps.) “Anyone who can do that workout in less than 20 minutes isn’t going to have an issue with any of the strength requirements in winter climbing—or any outdoor sport,” he says.

Skiing

What Your Body Needs: Former U.S. Ski Team member Reggie Crist won X Games gold in ski cross and spends his winters working as a heli-ski guide in Alaska. He’s done it all while avoiding one of the sport’s most common injuries, a torn ACL. His secret? Strength symmetry. “Your quadriceps and hamstrings are antagonistic pairs of muscles,” says Crist. “If your quads are more than 20% stronger than your hamstrings, you’re more likely to blow out your knee and end your season. A big part of training for skiing is preventing injury.”

Man Plowing Snow with Skis

How to Train: Most people have much stronger quads than hamstrings, so Crist recommends stepups to even out the imbalance. Place one foot on an elevated surface, like a chair or bench, so your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Step up onto the surface. For a tougher workout, do lunges up your staircase—think of it as basically a series of stepups for both legs.

For more information, click here to visit the Denver City Rolfing website.