Have you ever wondered how your strength and endurance stack up to your peers? 🤔
If you are over 60, there is an easy way to tell! Well, technically, there are lots of tests you may encounter in a PT examination. This is an easy test for you to try at home. Follow the instructions from the CDC in the link to do the 30 second sit to stand test! https://www.cdc.gov/steadi/…/STEADI-Assessment-30Sec-508.pdf
Place the back legs of your chair against the wall so that it does not slide backwards as you sit and stand. If you feel unsteady at all when you are trying this test then have a friend or spouse stand next to you. If you are below average for your age then you may be at risk for falls and should be seen by a physical therapist. If you are on target for your age then good work! Keep doing what you are doing!
Be proactive and enjoy good health as you add to your years of experience on this beautiful planet! We are here to support you!
🙏Child’s pose is a nice way to gently stretch the fascia in your back, neck, shoulders, hips and knees! Let's start with the spine, prioritize supporting a neutral spinal alignment. In this posture ensure that you support your neck by keeping the head in line with the heart and the forehead resting on the floor, a block, or your hands.
The traditional of Child’s pose is performed with the knees and feet together, hands back by the heels and the shoulder blades slightly away from the spine. This allows for release of the postural muscles at the mid back.
Extended Child’s pose is performed with the knees seperated and the big toes touching. In this version the arms are extended above the head reaching towards the top of the sticky mat.
In either version, the weight should be evenly distributed between both legs with support or filling of the space between the back of the thighs and the lower leg if they do not touch. Try placing a blanket between the back of the thighs and the calf muscles. Once you find the version of this pose that feels good to you today take a moment to breathe, close your eyes, and relax into the support of the floor.
📱As we tilt our heads further forward, the pressure on the cervical spine increases exponentially. In other words your head gets heavier as you start tilting your head down. Our muscles, ligaments and discs are not designed to withstand that amount of stress and strain.
When sitting or standing in good postural alignment, our heads balanced on top of our necks, the head weighs between 10-12 pounds. With 15 degrees of tilt, that pressure is increased to 27 pounds, and at 60 degrees is equal to 60 pounds of pressure.
Change how you interact with your smartphone (the same could be said for tablets). Instead of tilting your chin down towards your chest try one of these options:
1️⃣ Hold your phone closer to eye level
2️⃣ Use voice command to text or input data into the phone (emails, appointments, etc.)
3️⃣ Lay on your back and hold the phone at eye level
4️⃣ Cut back on smartphone use!
Be smart with your smartphone!📱
Mountain pose is a great place to start improving your posture! You can perform this posture with your back to the wall for improved understanding of where you body is in space.
Start with your feet and work your way up doing a scan of your body positioning. At your feet shift your weight forward and back to bring your weight even between the heel and ball of your foot. Than shift side to side and bring your weight even between your right and left feet.
Qigong is a form of exercise used to benefit your health. Originating thousands of years ago in China, Qigong is made up of three components which produce effects that gently stimulate Qi and strengthen body systems.
The three components are breath, posture/movement and intention:
🔹Breath🔹 harmonizes the body parts; relaxing and opening regions that connect the whole system.
🔹Posture🔹 and movement circulate Qi and Blood.
🔹Intention🔹 guides everything, helping the body mind to fulfill its healing potential.
Often Qigong is performed in a set of activities that are holistic and well rounded for health maintenance. But it can also be used as a singular form to correct a perceived imbalance, in other words to treat an injury or disease.
There are thousands of styles of Qigong. When Qigong is prescribed or implemented in context of medical treatment it can be a tremendous asset to health care.
🤱Although being a new mom is an amazing experience, it’s not without its challenges. Emotional changes, changes to daily routine, and new physical demands often accompany motherhood, and the transition can be overwhelming. Receiving acupuncture can be a key component of your self-care routine. Some of the most common concerns for which new moms seek treatment include:
❤️Backache: New moms often suffer from neck, shoulder, and back pain after months of carrying extra weight during pregnancy, recovering from labor and c-sections, and hours of holding, rocking, and nursing babies. Acupuncture is great for treating musculoskeletal pain of all kinds, and countless studies have been published supporting this claim.
🧡Fatigue: From sleepless nights to coffee abstinence, there are countless reasons new moms experience fatigue. Acupuncture patients often report feeling instantly energized after treatments without the adverse effects caffeine can produce.
💛Mood (depression and anxiety): At least ten percent of new moms experience postpartum depression, which can manifest as intense sadness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, apathy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of isolation or hopelessness. Acupuncture is not a substitute for talk therapy or antidepressants, but if you are on the fence about starting medication, acupuncture may be enough to manage symptoms in mild cases, or to support emotional wellbeing as in conjunction with other modalities.
💚Breastfeeding complications: Breastfeeding moms may experience a myriad of additional physical challenges such as mastitis, obstructed milk ducts, and insufficient lactation. Before antibiotics and baby formula existed, acupuncturists developed dozens of strategies for addressing breastfeeding issues. Today, acupuncturists who concentrate on women’s health employ variety of methods to treat breastfeeding problems.
❄️Wear layers. Your body heat will get caught between the layers of clothing instead of off into the cold outdoor air
❄️Go out at the warmest time of the day
❄️Wear appropriate footwear with anti slip (crampons) bottoms if you will be on icy areas
❄️Breathe through your nose or through a scarf over your mouth to warm the air
❄️Cover as much of your skin as possible including hats, gloves and scarfs
❄️Go back indoors if you are showing signs of hypothermia: shivering, confusion, loss of coordination or fatigue
Looking for a cardiovascular workout like running but sidewalks are buried?
⛷Try cross-country skiing! It can get your heart rate up, work your whole body, and get endorphins flowing. Cross-country skiing is minimal cost compared to other outdoor winter activities. If you own your own skis it can even be free. Try your local golf course, like Portland's Riverside. Want groomed trails? Pineland Farms has tons of trails and the option to rent skis. If you've tried classic and aren't a fan consider skate-skiing which requires different equipment. Both offer a way to really enjoy the outdoors, get some Vitamin D from the sun, and appreciate fresh powder. ⛷
It’s a familiar situation on a cold day in Maine. It is likely you will find yourself stuck in the cold at some point this winter and wish you had some way to warm yourself up. As it turns out, you do!
With the amazing power of your breath and a little practice you can warm yourself from the inside. Ujjayi breath is the ocean sounding breath. Try taking it off the mat this winter!
If you aren’t familiar or need a refresher than check out this free YouTube video by yoga with Adriene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQrsJ-yZWV8
Hydration isn’t just a topic for the hot months of summer. In the winter you may notice that your skin is dry, your throat gets scratchy or you may even get headaches from dehydration. If a cool glass of water is less appealing you can always go for hot or warm water.
A good practice for the winter is to start your day off with a cup of warm/hot water and lemon. Over the night your body gets dehydrated and this is only compounded if you wake up and go for a caffeinated beverage. Caffeine inhibits your antidiuretic hormone. This double negative results in you eliminating any hydration you may have gained from your caffeinated drink in the form of urine.
Caffeinated beverages include coffee, back tea, green tea and many sodas. Plain, simple water is your best bet for hydration. However, you can get hydration from fruits, vegetables and broth. Herbal teas and juices are also an option if you watch the sugar content.
There is a lot of mystery when it comes to cost and value of healthcare. How much does a service actually cost? How much would I pay out-of-pocket versus towards a deductible? When it comes to cost, does it matter where I receive care? In the midst of deductible season, these questions can make a big difference in care and experience.
At Jade, we do things a little differently. We want you to receive the best care for the money you pay and where you go does matter, especially if you have a deductible. Here are a few quick facts that may help:
1️⃣Hospital-based care can be more expensive: Compared to small private offices, hospital-based care can be more expensive for a variety of reason, such as higher overhead or billing under a physician.
2️⃣No aides or assistants: Unlike Jade, most large facilities use aides or assistants for physical therapy care. We guarantee 1-on-1 personalized care from a Licensed PT every visit. You will receive care from the most skilled provider which means your money is going towards a more valuable service.
3️⃣Integrating other modalities, such as yoga therapy and dry needling/Ah Shi acupuncture: Get more variety for the money you pay by receiving integrated care. We find patients get better faster, which means less money out of your pocket!
4️⃣Access to other services : Though you may be here for PT, we always go the extra mile to check insurance coverage for all our services. Acupuncture coverage is becoming more common and many patients take advantage of more than one service.
Happy Deductible Season!
☕️Switch out for Yerba Mate, Nettle tea, Matcha or Chicory root a few times per week. These offer other benefits including prized nutrients. Nettle and Chicory are caffeine free. Matcha - specially processed ground green tea leaves provide the caffeine with longer and steadier release avoiding the spike from coffee. Jasmine pearls, green tea scented with jasmine are another energizing alternative to coffee but they do have some caffeine.☕️
Moms who deliver their child via a Cesarean section can generally expect a longer recovery process than those that deliver vaginally. Wound care and healing are a big part of this recovery. Once the incision is fully healed, it may initially be tender or numb but this should steadily improve. If you had your baby a few months ago (or more) and are still experiencing any of the symptoms below, consulting a Physical Therapist can help you get back to normal.
1️⃣ - your scar or the area around it is sensitive or painful to touch
2️⃣ - you have numbness around / over the scar
3️⃣ - you are unable to wear certain clothing due to sensitivity around the scar
4️⃣ - pain / discomfort in this area with exercise or inability to perform certain exercises
It is not normal for sensitivity & pain to persist over a C-section scar. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your postpartum recovery, please contact us at Jade!
👟It’s time to go sneaker shopping, not always a fun task...Here are some things to consider to help make your purchase worthwhile.
1️⃣ Overall fit: the shoe should feel comfortable to stand and walk in without placing pressure on any sensitive parts of your foot.
➡️Important Tip: Shoe size is relative just as it is with clothing, try on within a half size of what you expect to fit into.
2️⃣ Shoe length: There should be about a finger-width amount of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
3️⃣ Shoe width: the shoe should comfortably accommodate the widest part of your forefoot, under all conditions (walking, running, standing).
➡️Important Tip: For some individuals, swelling may be an issue. The shoes that feel just a little snug in the morning may be intolerable later in the afternoon, so consider shopping later in the day. Don't count on the sneaker stretching over time to accommodate your foot
4️⃣ Purpose: why are you buying these shoes? If you plan to go hiking or trail running, you want a shoe with better grip and traction than if you will be indoors all the time. You may also want to consider the type of material (gore tex, etc…).
Using the above criteria should help you to find a new pair of sneakers that are right for you.
Good luck in your search!
Kinesio tape was originally designed by Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, to help improve patient outcomes. It is a flexible brand of tape that is often used in rehabilitation and sports settings and has gained press attention over the years as a result of its use with elite athletes. The tape is stretchy (sometimes called elastic tape) and can be used for multiple purposes, which include:
1 - balancing muscle activity
2- providing joint or ligamentous support
3 - improving fascial mobility
4 - reducing swelling via improved circulation & lymph flow
Kinesio tape is a tool used by Physical Therapists to help facilitate recovery from an injury. It can provide lasting pain relief for several days after a clinic visit and promote a return of normal musculoskeletal function.
✔️ Comfortable clothing and sneakers
✔️ Insurance card!
✔️ Reading glasses for paperwork
✔️ Relevant medical records or doctor referrals
✔️Calendar/Phone for scheduling follow-up appointments
✔️ Wallet for copays or self pay balances
❄️It's cold out there!❄️But, even if you are trapped inside there are ways to keep exercising and avoid those "stuck" blues.
YouTube is a goldmine of free videos to help you carve out a few minutes of active time. Try FitnessBlender, Tone It Up, or POPSUGAR if you want to get that heart rate up.
No equipment in your place?🤸♀️
Search for "no equipment needed," like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_K9ROuePCk
Live upstairs in an apartment?
Find low impact videos like this: https://www.fitnessblender.com/…/quiet-cardio-workout-low-i…
🧘♀️Lower energy? Try QiGong which is a great way to move when high intensity isn't on the menu. QiGong is gentle and requires little space. Lee Holden has great videos that can walk you through a basic QiGong routine lasting 10 or 20 minutes. See what Lee Holden offers here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj4qo2KL9f4
🧘♀️A healthy musculoskeletal system is a combination of strength, flexibility, stability and mobility. If flexibility is not one of your natural gifts it is probably a good idea to have a daily stretching program. When working on your flexibility it is important to keep three things in mind to get the best results and avoid injury.
1️⃣ In order to make changes in your muscle length, you need to hold a stretch for at least 20 seconds. Start by counting to 30, this is a good way to make sure you are holding your stretch long enough to meet your goals. You can also count your breaths. Depending on the lengths of your breaths you can count 5-10 breaths for each hold.
2️⃣Move into your range of motion and stop when you feel a gentle stretching sensation. Do not push to the end of your available range of motion or into pain.
3️⃣Hold the position, breath and relax. You may find yourself tensing other parts of your body. Try to relax your muscles, even your face muscles, to signal to your body that it is okay to soften. Deciding to count breath instead of seconds can help if you find yourself holding your breath.
🙏Sit or stand with feet firmly on the ground and begin by practicing self study. Close your eyes. Observe your breath. Let your thoughts rest on your breath, thanking other thoughts as they come and returning your attention again to your breath.
When you breathe in, visualize your spine elongates and the crown of your head lifts. When you breathe out, imagine that you are melting into the support of the earth beneath you.
Next send your breath all the way down to the bowl of the pelvis on your inhale and out the top of your head on your exhalation. You can layer onto this breath by breathing in and out by an equal count. Use a comfortable count for you, usually between 3 and 6.
It’s cold and flu season! Do you know the three best ways to prevent a cold?
1. Wash, wash, wash your hands! 👋
2. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed your hands. 👀👃👅
3. Consult with your acupuncturist/herbalist who will prescribe you over-the-counter Chinese herbs to take at the first signs of a cold, i.e. sore throat, congestion, chills, fever and body aches. We have effective herbal formulations to prevent a cold from taking hold.
🧘♀️Yoga balance postures are a great way to add some playfulness to your strengthening! Here are three general principles that will give you ways to adapt a balance posture appropriately.
1️⃣ When you are losing your balance, your body goes through three phases: wiggling your ankle(s), wiggling your hips, and increasing your base of support (falling off balance and placing your foot down). Your goal is to find the expression of the balance posture where your ankle wiggles. If you are too steady you are not challenging your balance and if you are moving your hips or falling out of the pose you have selected an expression that is too difficult for you today.
2️⃣ You have three body systems responsible for your balance. These three systems are your proprioception, vision and vestibular systems. Your proprioception is challenged by standing on an unstable surface. Your reliance on your vision for balance is challenged by closing your eyes or changing your gaze. Your vestibular system is challenged by moving your head. You can adjust your balance posture to target one or more of these systems.
3️⃣ When considering a balance posture, decide if you want to work on dynamic or static balance. If you want to work on your dynamic balance than focus on the transition into the posture. You may choose to transition through a few single leg stance postures before placing your foot down. If you are focusing on static balance, try to find that little ankle wiggle and hold the posture for more breaths before moving out of the balance posture.
Be careful, it’s slippery out there these days! A fall on the ice happens quickly and can lead to serious injury. The best course of action is to try to avoid falling in the first place.
In cold weather, assume all wet surfaces are icy. Walk like a penguin and take short, shuffling steps with your feet pointing slightly outward and arms away from your body for balance. Taking short steps will keep your base of support directly under you, and avoid putting your weight through your heel or toes which may result in slipping.
Choose appropriate footwear. Wear shoes with good traction and consider using winter traction cleats. Take the stairs one at a time, using the handrail and being sure to have both feet on one step before moving to the next step.
Be care out there!
🙏 Even when you are loving yoga sometimes yoga doesn’t love you back! Here are three yoga related injury red flags.
1️⃣You are experiencing pain, swelling or other symptoms in a consistent area for more than a few days
2️⃣Your pain gets worse with more yoga practice
3️⃣Your pain may have started in yoga but is now affecting your home, work and/or social life
If this sounds like you, don’t fear! Come see us at Jade for physical therapy that incorporates private yoga instruction to recover from your injury and keep doing what you love for the long haul!
Two postures that are great for cores strength are boat and locust! One targets the abdominals and the other targets the spinal extensor muscles. Both of these postures are easily adjusted to match what your body needs today. When performing these postures practice self study and observe where you are feeling your muscles working.
In boat pose you should be able to feel your stomach muscles working without pressing your stomach out (keep your belly button in and up while knitting your ribcage down). If you aren’t feeling this activation than adjust the posture by bending the knees or holding your legs with your hands.
In locust pose you should feel the muscles in your back working and your gluts should be able to stay relaxed. Adjust this posture by isolating the chest or legs lifting alone (not all together), or using your hands on the floor to support yourself.
By observing what your body needs today you will gain the strength you are seeking.
Having flexible hamstrings is a goal for many people. However, sometimes when you are stretching your hamstrings you are actually stretching your sciatic nerve. Here's the difference and why it matters!
Muscles respond to prolonged stretching by relaxing and if stretches are held for at least 20 seconds you can, over time, make progress in elongating your muscles.
Nerves respond to prolonged stretching by being irritated giving you symptoms such as low back pain and/or numbness and tingling in the low back, buttocks or leg.
If you are having these symptoms when attempting to stretch your hamstring you may be irritating the nerves in the back of your leg. As you stretch, adapt by keeping the lumbar lordosis (the inward curve of the low back) intact by keeping your back straight. Your nerves are stretched when your ankle is flexed. Pointing the foot, rather than flexing the ankle, will put the sciatic nerve on slack and avoid irritation with hamstring stretching.
Happy Stretching ❤️