Boost Your Energy, Fight Fatigue

One of the biggest complaints wellness professionals hear from clients is a lack of energy and always feeling tired. You know– feeling pooped, sluggish and wondering why you don’t have more get up and go?

Many of these feelings are caused by natural changes in the way your body operates. Hormonal balance changes with age, so does the speed of your metabolism. As a result, internal organs change the way they operate too, and sometimes those changes effect the processes in your body that create energy. The good news is that very often there are some simple dietary changes that can help compensate for body changes over time and, in turn, pump up energy levels and drastically reduce fatigue.

Here’s a short list of easy-to-do dietary and behavioral tips to keep yourself going strong. Bet you’ll find at least one surprise here!

Continue reading “Boost Your Energy, Fight Fatigue”

Is Massage Really Good For You?

There are more than 640 recognized complementary and alternative medicine modalities–everything from acupressure, to chiropractic work, to yoga, to meditation, to massage therapy. Over the years there have been many studies to try to determine if these techniques are as effective as other “traditional medicine” options, or if they’re better as a compliment to other treatment, or if there are any negative aspects.  The good news is that when it comes to massage therapy, there are some very promising results. The bad news is that there there still aren’t enough studies to tease out the benefits of massage by modality (technique). Most focus on the effects of massage therapy on a specific disease or condition.

Just the facts about massage

Massage therapy has been around for more than 5000 years.  The practice of using touch as a therapeutic and healing method are evident in the ancient history of India, Egypt , China and Japan, Greece and European countries. It wasn’t until the latter half of the 20th century, however, that there was a rising interest in natural healing methods in general, and massage specifically, in the US and other Western countries.  Massage has since earned a place as a respected and legitimate form of complementary medicine focusing on increasing wellness, disease prevention, and more. Continue reading “Is Massage Really Good For You?”

The Energetic Element Of Healing

Perhaps you’ve heard about healing practices that involve working with what’s commonly referred to as “energy”. For example, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques, like acupuncture, and the ancient Hindu Ayurvedic traditions are some of the most widely known and used around the world. These practices have placed a focus on “balancing the energies” of the body through manual therapies like massage, wide-ranging and tailored edible remedies, and even surgical procedures to encompass the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illness for 2000 to 5000 years.

Triathlete, Coach, Motivator Talks Massage

BoRivera1blogWhen most of us are just slapping the SNOOZE button for the second time, Bo Rivera is already in high gear at the gym. Not just any gym, Santa Clara’s premiere gym, Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS). And he’s not there just for his own wellness, he’s part of the FNS team, both as superstar coach and marketing lead.  He’s been with FNS since the club opened in 2012 helping hundreds of athletes and weekend warriors build new skills, acquire new fitness habits, and push themselves to reach their personal goals.

Bo has a true passion for fitness and helping others achieve their fitness goals.  He’s a lifelong athlete who grew up playing soccer in high school and college, and has been an avid snowboarder, cyclist, and martial artist for more than 10 years. He’s committed to building excellent habits for fitness, nutrition, wellness, and a positive attitude.

Bo practices what he preaches, too.  He’s an accomplished triathlete and designed his own customized fitness and nutrition program. He’s also a big believer in the benefits of massage therapy in helping him maintain maximum wellness.

Bo’s passion is contagious, as any FNS member will tell you. We were curious as to why he believes massage is such an important part of a wellness program, and a little more about his own motivations, so we sat down with Bo for a quick Q&A.

Continue reading “Triathlete, Coach, Motivator Talks Massage”

Fourteen Ways to Combat Back Acne aka Bacne

“Bacne” is a portmanteu of “back” and “acne” and refers to the ever so common acne breakouts on your back and shoulders. Like acne on your face, back acne is generally caused and worsened by excess oil production in your skin, a buildup of dead skin cells, clogged pores, certain medications and supplements, and stress. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by dirty skin, worsened by cosmetics (use noncomedogenic makeup to prevent clogged pores) or greasy foods. A propensity for acne, in general, is also genetic.

The biggest problem with bacne is that it’s hard to reach, hard to manage, and without intervention, hard to get rid of. Here are fourteen tips that will help you win your war on back acne.  Try one or more for a week or two and see the difference!

Continue reading “Fourteen Ways to Combat Back Acne aka Bacne”

Getting Enough Electrolytes?

Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 10.13.08 AMIf you’re a runner or cardio exercise buff, you’ve likely heard of the need for electrolytes. Electrolytes are ionized (electrically charged) salts in your body. They are what your cells (especially nerve, heart,  and muscle) use to maintain electro-chemical connections across cell membranes and transmit electrical impulses (nerve impulses, muscle contractions) between and among cells.

Electrolyte concentrations in your blood are managed in your kidneys. And those concentrations are changing constantly as your body moves and processes waste. When you exercise heavily, you lose electrolytes in your sweat, particularly sodium and potassium.

Continue reading “Getting Enough Electrolytes?”

Do I Have Shin Splints?

shinsplintpic“Shin splints” is a general term referring to pain along the shinbone (tibia) — the large bone in the front of your lower leg. The pain can originate on the front of your lower leg (anterior shin splints) or the back (posterior shin splints). Shin splints are very common, mostly in runners of all ages, dancers and servicemen and women.

The medical term for the most common type of shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints are most often caused by changes in intensity of exercise, changes in training routines, or generally overworked muscles, tendons and bone tissues related to motion (usually running). Lots of people experience them when they change their run to more uneven terrain (up hills for example). You can also get shin splints by doing repetitive activities that require a lot of starting and stopping (like dance or military exercise). Basically, shin splints occur as a result of overloading your shin bones. Different than a muscle cramp, shin splints persist, often over days or weeks if untreated. In general, shin splints are more painful than they are dangerous, but some active treatment is wise. Continue reading “Do I Have Shin Splints?”

Massage Can Significantly Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety disorders affect almost 7 million American adults–about twice as many women as men. Anxiety comes on gradually, typically between childhood and middle age. A Surgeon General’s report on Mental Health revealed that 16% of adults between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from various anxiety disorders for at least one year.

Causes of anxiety

The causes of anxiety are many, which is one of the reasons it’s so common. Anxiety is produced when you are overly concerned about relationship or job issues, many, your health, and lots more. These concerns blend into negative, fearful thoughts about the future or debilitating guilt about the past.

Continue reading “Massage Can Significantly Reduce Anxiety”

Know Someone Who Walks Like a Duck?

Almost 75% of Americans will  will experience foot health problems of varying degrees of severity at one time or another in their lives.  In children, “duck walk” and the opposite “pigeon toed” are both common, and as hip muscles develop and trunk bones align, these temporary abnormalities are usually corrected naturally. Some people, however, retain the “walks like a duck” posture, or develop it later in life.

Causes of “duck walking”

The medical term for “walks like a duck” is “out-toeing” and it can be caused by heredity (rarely), poor habits, or, more commonly, imbalances in the way the muscles hold, stabilize and rotate your hips. Specifically, the muscles involved in hip rotation are externally rotating your hip joints causing your legs turn turn out – and the feel follow.

Continue reading “Know Someone Who Walks Like a Duck?”

Abs and Your Core

crunchesYou know the drill: crunches, leg extensions, barbell rollouts, chops, planks, twists, rows, sit-ups, and deadlifts.  All those exercises move you toward a goal of washboard abs.  But well-defined abs aren’t the same as having a strong core.

Your “core” is really a group of muscles in your lower back, stomach and hips. Basically, all the muscles you have that are not in your arms and legs. Their function is to keep the spine stable and the body upright.  They help bending, rotation, and twisting and are involved in just about every moment you do.

Continue reading “Abs and Your Core”

Massage for Weight Lifters

Millions of people use weight training as a way to improve coordination, increase muscle mass, speed metabolism, and improve strength. When proper form is used, weight training can be very effective in helping you look and feel better.

By definition, weight training increases the amount of effort your muscles exert and challenges your metabolism to keep up with the increased energy needed to sustain those efforts.  During the process, muscles react different ways.  Sometimes weight lifters experience soreness because of microtears in the muscle fibers, or feel sore from the buildup of lactic acid and other natural body chemicals in the stressed areas.  Even when your form is perfect, all this exertion and stressing of muscles can cause aches and pains.  That’s where massage can really help.

Continue reading “Massage for Weight Lifters”

Top Four Reasons You Have Lower Back Pain

About 2% to 10% of people who experience lower back pain develop chronic low back pain, which affects daily living for at least 3 months. The causes are many since the spine and muscles in the lower back are involved in most of the movement we do on a daily basis. Here are a few of the most common ones:

1. The way you sit. Poor sitting posture can result in lower back injuries and contribute to the poor positioning of other parts of the body, such as the arms, wrists, and legs.  You can make some small changes that can have a big impact on your posture and in turn reduce chronic pain in your arms, fingers, lower back and legs.

2. The way you sleep. Many shoulder, upper and lower back issues are caused, or exacerbated, by incorrect sleep posture. Whether it’s your pillow, the position of your arms or the firmness or softness of your mattress, changes in sleep posture are easy to do and can have a huge impact both on the quality of sleep you get, and how you feel when you wake up. Continue reading “Top Four Reasons You Have Lower Back Pain”