Have you found yourself believing that your body isn’t made for the movement you love?
Discouraged? Continually getting injured?
Been told that something is WRONG with you?
It's easy to feel hopeless when you’re in pain & don’t fully understand why, most especially when you've been told to accept your limitations.
But most often, pain is not as finite as it seems. Usually, pain is a symptom of imbalance & the thing that is wrong with you is your biggest opportunity to become stronger & more balanced than you'd previously imagined possible.
I massage. I educate.
I provide massage therapy sessions that are purposeful, technical, specific & effective.
My skilled eye sees subtleties in movement & posture, allowing me to provide tailored movement instruction that translates seamlessly to your body.
A most important aspect of my work is to help you regain
an understanding of how your body works in systems
& to inspire a strong sense of hope that healing & becoming stronger
is not only possible,
it's SIMPLE & attainable.
Strength & conditioning.
Moving is what bodies know & do.
I firmly believe that any movement system, natural or skill-based, is wonderful & excellent & good. Joints are lubricated by movement. Bones & muscles become stronger with movement. The heart & lungs develop efficiencies & our minds become clear.
We call this health.
But so often in our modern world we run into little hitches when our neuromuscular system becomes lazy from inactivity, leading us to stabilize our bodies poorly & to move inefficiently, frequently followed by injury & pain. As we attempt to find fixes, we come close but often miss the mark.
Frustration follows & we begin to wonder if our favorite movement system as harmful to us. Or we convince ourselves that knee, hip, back or shoulder pain might just be an acceptable part of the game.
But neither is true!
When your stabilizing muscles aren't functioning properly,
your body is in conflict.
What is true is that our bodies are made of muscles with very specific assignments of stabilizing joints or moving bones. When this disconnect occurs, usually it's the stabilizing muscles losing their connection & since stability is of utmost priority, your large, strong moving muscles get recruited for the job, while your stabilizing muscles continue becoming even weaker & more unengaged.
Caught up trying to provide stability for your body, doing too much of the wrong work, your moving muscles are disadvantaged because they’re being asked to do two jobs simultaneously. They aren't free to provide movement through their full range of motion when attempting to provide stabilization. In constant contraction, they become shortened & tight, while opposing muscle groups become lengthened & tight. A constant tug-of-war.
Is stretching the answer?
We're often misguided by following the instinct to stretch what ails us. However, stretching muscles that are weak & already pulled long is counterproductive. Stretching has it's place, but most often this isn't what's missing.
To bring us back to ease & elegance, power & balance, we need strength. Each muscle or group of muscles must perform their assigned roles exactly perfectly. When stabilization occurs properly in your hips, pelvis & spine, movers are free to perform at maximum strength, through a full range of motion. The body is perfectly balanced, strong & flexible.
This is normal movement that you can reclaim in your body.
It is normal to be without pain when sitting, jumping, standing, walking, running, lifting your children, getting out of a chair, into old age. Even though it's common today, it's abnormal to have difficulty performing these basic movements. It doesn't have to be so.
I encourage you to contemplate.
Body connectivity as it pertains to running.
In an ideal world, the body strengthens & stretches simply by staying active, through daily living, play & sport. However it's all too easy to obtain fitness while moving poorly, catering to poor movement habits & allowing recurring injuries to dominate.
Runners are notorious for figuring out how to manage & run through injuries & as a group, present repeatedly with common injury themes. Coaches, even of the elite, are often quoted speaking about individual running styles. I'd like to say that there is no such thing. A runner may have their quirky imbalance that they've figured out how to work around, or it's even developed into a recognizable & famed way in which they move, but the human body is a human body & does have an ideal, as I state strongly in the previous section.
Injuries everywhere in the body continuously point to missing pieces in core stability relationships. Hip & core instability present negatively in the hips, knees, foot & ankle. When your common over-pronation is mis-corrected by "supportive" shoes rather than finding strength in the body, you've been misguided.
Further, running technique is not a list of do's & don't. Following lists of rules often results in extra efforts, often leading to excess rigidity. I'll state it again: once stability is found in the body, your limbs are free to move powerfully & without restriction & miraculously, you will find yourself following all of list of rules you could find.
The concepts need to be ingrained IN YOUR BODY, in strength.
Barefoot & minimalist running.
I believe that Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run, is an excellent storyteller & skilled not only at sniffing out a good story, but that he's also hungry to deliver an important message. His bestselling book inspired many to believe that they, too, can become runners.
And I love that a barefoot & minimalist footwear movement was born. An increased sense of connection with the surfaces you’re moving on can be very helpful in achieving the stability that's necessary for the split second each time your foot makes contact with the ground. Taking off your shoes can teach you not to strike or skid into the ground; when you're barefoot, you will have to figure out how to be graceful & absorb your body's weight by muscular strength rather than jamming your joints around.
However, the truth remains that taking off your shoes isn't the answer. Addressing areas of weakness up the chain is essential. All of the muscles in your body have to do their jobs no matter what is or is not on your feet. Give yourself the challenge & run in moonboots or Hokas if you want to. But consider, as Christopher McDougall asked us to to, what exactly it is that you think your shoe doing for you.
If you're thinking that your shoe is fixing some defect in your body, correcting your imbalances, or absorbing your body's shock as it pounds into the ground, please keep pondering.
Running & fitness progression programs.
Know why you are doing what you are doing.
Whether you're aiming to improve your overall health, trying to continue looking great in your jeans, or wanting to build stronger bones & muscle, are you actually helping yourself meet your goals?
Health & fitness isn't as simple as calories in vs. calories out & being mindful of why you're doing what you're doing can go a long way.
Do you know the difference between "cardio"
& aerobic activity?
Chronic cardio & related terms are thrown around these days as being detrimental to our health.
Meanwhile the Surgeon General suggests we put plenty of walking into our daily lives, specifically keeping a pace during which we can comfortably speak, but not sing.
No. Training aerobically is a very specific type of activity during which we use oxygen & glycogen to burn fat as fuel. Aerobic training has huge benefits & is where we develop real heart health & fitness. By advising us to keep a pace at which we can comfortably hold a conversation, aerobic exercise is being advocated by our Surgeon General.
Walking is what the Surgeon General advises, but what the proper aerobic effort varies for everyone. It may be walking or it may be running a six minute mile, but regardless, spending most of your time training at this intensity is where healthier bodies are developed as the mitochondrial growth & disbursement increases within your skeletal muscles, your heart becomes stronger & more efficiently pushes an improved blood supply through your body. You start moving faster at the same easy efforts as you get healthier & become more fit.
Many well intending people put in a lot of time working out, but stress their bodies by working too hard for too long, too often, hence the term chronic cardio. Spending lots of time above aerobic threshold, thinking more is better & craving the burn can be a lot more stress on your body than benefit.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
We're also hearing a lot about short bursts of intense efforts being the best bang for your buck when it comes to fitness training. It it very true that spending short amounts of time near max effort, followed by a rest intervals, we improve our body's maximum capacity to transport & utilize oxygen while also providing our bodies many of the same aerobic benefits of easy efforts.
I'd love to help you get results.
I've got a lot of content on this page, so if you've read through, hopefully some of this is resonating with you. Maybe you'll find a little inspiration to follow through with the exercises your physical therapist gave you, or you'll check back in with him or her for follow up, or you'll dig out Hansons Marathon Method from the stack of books at your bedside. If so, I've done a little bit of my work.
If I can be a part of your team, I'd be honored. With multiple areas of expertise, I can help you get to the root of your weaknesses. Since most of us are motivated by our injuries, they present an excellent opportunity to pause & evaluate, become stronger & more balanced.
If you're healthy & ready to become stronger, excellent. Most people haven't experienced being anywhere near their potential & so often, well into middle age, you best is ahead of you.
If you feel lost & completely unfit, it's okay. We can only be where we are. If you have a little time to dedicate to yourself, I'd love to be your experienced guide.
I'd love to chat with you. I can be reached at 206.313.7560. Texts & emails are welcome too!