Ever feel like you’re having to choose between two paths, one leading you to good choices and the other leading to bad ones? Want to start living your life in ecstasy and benefiting from having good health instead of continuing to live life in agony? Then come to this Free Wellness Lecture on how to do just that by reducing inflammation, enhancing all body systems functions, slowing down the aging process and reducing pain.
Join us for this limited time experience on Wednesday, June 10 2015 from 7pm to 8:30pm at Yonemoto Physical Therapy located at 55 S. Raymond Ave, Suite 100, Alhambra CA 91801. Please call (626) 576-0591 to RSVP. Seating is limited.
Qigong is much simpler to do than Tai Chi. You can rid your body of aches and pains with the gentle, low impact movements. It helps to move the vital life force through energy pathways like acupuncture, but without the needles. Qigong also helps with organ function. Come experience how you can improve memory, sleep better and feel happier.
The Level 1 Qigong class will be from 7pm to 8:30pm on Thursday, June 11, 2015 to Thursday July 16, 2015. The classes will be held at The San Marino Center in the Fireside Room, 1800 Huntington Drive, San Marino CA 91108.
Price for classes are: Residents of San Marino: $104, Non-Residents: $109. To register please contact the City of San Marino Recreation Department at 1560 Pasqualito Drive or call (626) 403-2200 or register online at https://registration.sanmarinorec.org. The class number is 373238-01. The age to take this class is ADULT. For more information please call (626) 403-2200.
My mom always told me to sit up and stand up straight. At school, girls walked with a book on their head to practice good posture. Now, after many years of working as a physical therapist, I realize my mother’s wisdom in emphasizing good posture.
Many of my patients hate to hear these words because they bring up a very negative emotional response. Unfortunately, their mothers nagged them with the same words I am now using when I have them stand with their backs against the wall, trying to keep their buttocks, upper back and head lined up. Most of them cannot keep their heads against the wall, and even if I use a rolled up towel they can’t push the roll into the wall. Their chins point upward as their necks extend towards the wall with a hunchback look. Not only does this make you look old, but it reduces your balance, decreases how much air gets into your lungs, causes neck and back pain, shoulder limitations, and possibly even jaw disorders.
There is a growing problem in the younger community with reliance on cell phones, tablets, and laptops, and even with students’ writing postures. There should be more emphasis on sitting up straight, angling writing surfaces similar to drafting tables, and using larger arm muscles to write in order to prevent fatigue. Using whole body mechanics is more efficient and aesthetically pleasing and results in more beautiful handwriting. I also advocate keeping both feet on the floor for good pelvic alignment, which also prevents high blood pressure, according to my Chinese medicine teacher.
When you sit or stand up straight, try to align your ears with the shoulders. The shoulders should line up with the hips which, if you are standing, should line up with the ankles from a side profile. Start looking at people and see how much their heads go forward. Even a small distance forward can put a big increase in pressure in your lower back disks. Gravity will pull a forward head down, causing more effort by the neck muscles to keep the head from falling forward. This can explain constant soreness and hardness in many people’s neck and shoulders. When the head is aligned and balanced on the neck, almost no muscle power is needed to keep the head perched on the spine.
It takes about 21 days of constant awareness to change a habit, but if you stick with it, you will be rewarded with better health, younger appearance and better organ function. If you are still responsible for the welfare of children, encourage them to stand up and sit up straight, but please, do it in a way that makes them want to do it for a lifetime. If you are already grown up and have a forward head, don’t despair, many of my patients are doing better! It takes a little work and encouragement but, under the guidance of a good coach, it is well worth the effort.
Sheila Yonemoto, P.T., has been a physical therapist for more than 30 years, specializing in integrative manual therapy, utilizing a holistic approach. She can be reached at Yonemoto Physical Therapy, 55 S. Raymond Ave, Suite 100, Alhambra, CA 91801. Sheila also offers a Qigong “Chinese Energy” exercise class. Your first class is FREE. Call (626) 576-0591 for more information.
Recently I attended a physical therapy seminar focusing on core/trunk stability and was shocked to find that a young, trim, healthy looking woman, who also happened to be a physical therapist, had a very unstable core and back pain. I have also heard of situations with young girls playing very competitive soccer having weak and unstable core muscles. I was dismayed to learn that in 3-4 years, female soccer players have a high percentage of knee injuries. I now feel very strongly that soccer for females should be banned, unless something is done to stop the progression of knee injuries in young girls.
The current culture of using cell phones, tablets, video games, backpacks and other sedentary activities also contributes to poor posture, muscle weakness, muscle imbalances and early onset of arthritis, pain and nerve entrapment. What happened to all the moms and teachers who insisted on sitting up straight, and encouraged getting out and moving? I am seeing 30 year-olds with very slumped postures, having arm pain, jaw pain, neck pain, back pain and headaches.
My optometrist mentioned to me that there is a direct correlation between eye strain and poor trunk tone, strength and posture, due to lack of activity, which often affects a child’s ability to learn. It’s harder to focus the eyes when the trunk can’t stay stable for long periods of time, which is what it is supposed to do, which makes reading more difficult and, ultimately, learning becomes harder.
If this problem affects a young, relatively healthy and more active population, trunk or core instability probably affects many mature adults as well. This can contribute to balance problems, breathing difficulties, incontinence and lower energy levels.
The good news is that something can be done about it. It might take a little work to bring awareness to the muscles that are responsible for keeping us upright, but it will result in using smaller amounts of energy and decreasing degenerative changes in joints. Physical therapists are experts in observing posture and movement and can guide people in getting stronger, moving around more efficiently and decreasing wear and tear on the body. Exercise classes are great for this as well, and getting a customized program to address specific problems is one way to make sure that imbalances are corrected first. Gym classes often focus on the larger movement muscles of the trunk and don’t pay attention to the smaller and less visible postural muscles that work most of the time.
Moms used to say “stand up straight” and sometimes it turned into nagging that left emotional scars. I have to say, mom was right. Instead of rebelling against standing up straight, switch your thinking to developing a good stable core. You will have more energy, look younger, have better balance and may reduce a lot of strain on your knees and your eyes.
I focus on the topics you care about most.