Blog Archives

Touchy Topic Tuesday: What About This Four-Cups-of-Coffee Bombshell?

It’s been all over the news: a study published last week in Mayo Clinic Proceedings indicates that drinking more than four cups of coffee a day may be hazardous to your health, particularly if you are under 55. The researchers found that younger men who passed the 28-cup weekly threshold – which works out to about four cups per day […]

The Traps of Treating Pain

Posted by on May 16, 2013 in Pain | Comments Off on The Traps of Treating Pain

Doctors admit that there are sometimes few good options for treating chronic pain: Doctors hate pain. Let me count the ways. We hate it because we are (mostly) kindhearted and hate to see people suffer. We hate it because it is invisible, cannot be measured or monitored, and varies wildly and unpredictably from person to person. We hate it because […]

The Five Stages of Healing (Bodyworker Edition)

Posted by on April 07, 2013 in Ankle pain, Exercise, Medicine, Pain, Physical Therapy, Plantar fasciitis, Rolfing, Stress, Yoga | Comments Off on The Five Stages of Healing (Bodyworker Edition)

Like a lot of other practitioners, I tend to suffer from bodyworker machismo. I spend my days treating other people’s pain, and ignoring my own. Which is exactly what I advise my clients not to do. Recently, I hurt my foot. The technical description of what I did was tearing the plantar fascia on my right heel, after changing my […]

Foam Roller Therapy: Why It’s Awesome

Practical Bodywork is thrilled to bring you this guest post by Jesse James Retherford of TAO-Fit.com. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a huge advocate of foam roller therapy, and for a good reason: it works. In my personal and professional life I have found that foam roller therapy is an incredibly valuable practice. It is an absolutely vital component […]

What to Do When You Can’t DO Anything

Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Anxiety, Cancer, Healing Spaces, Meditation, Pain, Practicality, Stress | Comments Off on What to Do When You Can’t DO Anything

As many of you know, my brother-in-law, Leif, is currently battling a rare form of cancer called mantle cell lymphoma. He’s young, formidably strong and has one of the healthiest lifestyles of anyone I know. We went up to Maine to visit him last week. It’s impossible to describe what it’s like to watch someone you love go through a terrible […]

The Smoking Gun

A widely-reported study finally traces the mechanism by which massage therapy reduces pain and promotes healing: They found that massage reduced the production of compounds called cytokines, which play a critical role in inflammation. Massage also stimulated mitochondria, the tiny powerhouses inside cells that convert glucose into the energy essential for cell function and repair. “The bottom line is that there appears […]

The Roots of Chronic Pain

New research shows direct hormonal links between childhood trauma and adulthood disease: There are two pieces of information that really provide the bridge to understand the connection between emotional trauma and adult disease, and the HPA axis is one of those pieces. The other is epigenetics. It starts with the hypothalamus in the brain, so that when we perceive any kind of […]

A Tip for Young Healers

Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Listening, Pain | Comments Off on A Tip for Young Healers

Several years ago, a guy from my yoga class offered me a ‘free nutritional counseling session.’ He was a student at a holistic health program and needed to get practice credits. I said sure, why not–even though I’m pretty confident that my nutritional needs get met, and have the bursting health to prove it, I can always learn something new. […]

When Stress Is The Problem

Posted by on July 06, 2011 in Exercise, Massage, Pain, Practicality, Theta waves | Comments Off on When Stress Is The Problem

How many holistic healing practitioners have you encountered who piously urge you to ‘eliminate stress’? You’re not ‘living the life’ unless you’re ‘free from stress’! Just makes you want to smack ‘em. Because stress happens. If your life is entirely free from stress, you’re either a sociopath or you’re dead. You can eat healthy, exercise, meditate, get counseling, get a better […]

Massaging the Violin

Posted by on July 05, 2011 in Anatomy trains, Back pain, Massage, Pain, Swedish massage | Comments Off on Massaging the Violin

Science has finally come around to studying massage, sort of: Massages Ease Low Back Pain – NYTimes.com. …Each of the massage groups received 10 weeks of treatment, and at the end of that period, all three groups had some improvement, as measured by their answers to 23 questions about performing routine activities without help — for example, climbing stairs without […]