Friday, January 29, 2016

My guilty plesure

We all have bad habits and certain things in our lives that we could live without, right? At least I do. And not just one, but several although I've been working really hard to get rid of some stuff.

When we moved to U.S. (almost 4 years ago), one of my concerns (if my daughter finds her way in a huge high school and how to get a drivers license) was the fear that in a few months I'll gain 20 pounds. The food here is good (my not so secret pleasure number 1), it's served in a billion places, eating out is relatively cheap (compared to Finland) and portions are HUMONGOUS! My trick to adjust was completely cut out gluten. No pizzas, no hamburgers and no bread. That was one of my best decisions in this life. 

Living without gluten became relatively easy in a year or so, since you will (believe it!) stop craving that stuff after awhile and I was happy with my diet and enjoyed the delicious food in Charlotte. Did I gain any weight? Nope. Did I lose any weight? Nope. 

The gluten intolerance was not the sole answer to my skin (truly it's the  gut that's the trouble, skin issues are only a symptom) problems either, so I needed to dig in deeper! After several consultations with my chiropractor (like doing adrenal tests etc.), she announced me (this was one of the days I don't remember with any pleasure): I need to quit coffee.  No way, honey, that'll NEVER happen! (Drinking coffee is a sacred thing in Finland, quitting that would make my ancestors to roll over in their graves and I could never go back).)

So after some serious talks, I agreed to cut my coffee consumption to a quarter of what it used to be. What a huge accomplishment. These days I only drink 2 cups (read: huge mugs) of coffee every day (and some truly-bad-for-you-decaf when it's just not possible to survive without), unless it's a special occation (like being in a bad mood). And I am still alive. (Barely.)

Did this help me with my issues? No, I did't lose any weight (well, I didn't even expect that), but I was able to sleep well. With coffee my adrenal hormone level was rised high up all the time and I had trouble falling asleep. So at the moment I am happy that I have achieved a life without 40 oz. of coffee every day.

Then comes the biggest - and toughest - thing: my sugar addiction. Probably you have experienced the sugar cycle (and if you haven't, I am truly envies of you) when you take just one piece of chocolate, it becomes 10 pieces in a matter of seconds and then you crave something savory until it's more sugar and the cycle keeps going on. If you are bright enough, you'd understand that just don't take the first bite and you'll be fine. For me it took 46 years to learn this. And some days it is still not happening.

I am lucky (well, kind of) that every time I enjoy more than 3 PIECES of chocolate in a week, my skin becomes unbearable itchy! This helps me cut my sugar consumption and luckily I never add sugar to my coffee, so that leaves me my last pleasure: a glass of wine! I can have that one glass on dry white wine once a week if I have stayed out of sugar the rest of the week. Hooray! I am saved.

And my tip to you all who struggle with sugar issues, is GETaWhey nutritional bars! They have 3 delightful tastes and there is absolutely no sugar (still it tastes really sweet), nor artificial ingredients. GETaWhey is a great product that my friend makes herself! She can be 100%sure of what is in her bars, since she does it all herself. I have some samples in my office and you are free to ask me more. Here's the link to her page, and I am doing this as a favor for a friend who developed this awesome product (no bonuses for me).

You can find it also in Facebook.

And now it remains to be seen how I'll manage my diet. My goal is to be healthy and energetic, not just lose weight, but if I (finally) lose a couple of pounds, I'd be more than happy!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Love your neck!

Some of you know that 'Text Neck' is fast becoming a huge issue in out health. Not just adults, but adolescent and even children, suffer neck pain and head ache due to excessive use of mobile devices. Everywhere you go, you'll see people looking downwards to their devices and soon the muscles of the neck become extremely tight and stretched or shortened.

More specific info you can read at this great article: 

Opening a spine with my thumbs
Sometimes we need an Advil or too to help with immediate pain, but I hope that you all understand, and explain to your children, that painkillers never correct any factors or issues behind the pain. Any kind of pain is  an important signal from your body that yells: something is wrong!
Client helping with 'wings up'.

Usually neck pain and headache will  just gradually get worse if we don't remove the tightness of muscles attaching to upper spine and neck area and correct the posture. That is what I do in my work: correct the posture with clients help.

If you have neck/head pain, my main goal is to bring back the flexibility of mid and upper spine, which allows your a better, natural, posture. And I am not talking just how you're supposed to constantly think of sitting/standing with your head up, but allowing those deep postural muscles to do their job. And for that they need nutriens, blood and mobilization, since the lack of blood had been immobilizing the deep muscles (think how the motor of your car needs oil, our joints and muscles need circulation the same way).

Client helping with 'wings down'.
With special technique that I have learned the mid and upper body treatment is being done in seated position! That allows the spine movements and gravity to help in the process. The prone (face down) positioned massage  won't allow me to use all the natural movements of the spine (flexion, extension, side flexion and rotation), so that's why I add seated part (15-45 minutes) to my type of spine massage. And I strongly suggest you to join to my excellent spine stretching workshops every Wednesday @11!

Relieving subscapularis muscle - I will not force
it, so there is NO PAIN.

So help your neck and relieve the balance of your muscles. Keeping our posture upright is hard work and I can not do it for you. But I can re-activate and soften the muscles, make sure that joints are moving in their best range of motion and help your nervous system function in its best. And all that I do, in painless, gentle and there is no manipulation of bones! (I can refer you to an excellent chiropractic care in case I suspect there is something out of alignment in vertabrael level.)

Welcome to an evaluation for $25 or just book the first treatment for $60 (70minutes!). It's Kata's Way that keeps you in balance. And Balanced is Painless!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

No Stretching your Spine 1/27!

But will be back Wednesday 2/3 @11!

(I have some dental issues with my ontodontist...)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

At this moment

Right now I'm listening to how the sun is shining. It's beautiful. I am lucky that noticed it when most of the day all I have been feeling is coldness and frozen feet. 

In January it's perfect time to calm down, listen to your books and stretch a bit between clients. No planning ahead, struggling with Quicken or worrying about taxes. In the beginning of new year it's time to make new habits. Like listening a book in the middle of workday. Jeff Menapace's Bad Games is almost too scary though! 

How do you enjoy your January?

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 2016

Hello all my friends!

First I want to thank you all for being my clients. I have enjoyed this interesting journey to become a better functional and structural therapist. Past year and a half has been enjoyable and empowering time for a newbie in this business in this country. If you don't know me yet (or long enough), I will just briefly mention, that I got my license in North Carolina in June 2014 and started to work at Ballantyne Chiropractic Wellness for two days a week at that point. I was also an employee in another chiropracters' office for a 8 months (1-2 days a week), but soon realized in which way, with who and where I truly want to work.

My journey in this field is to learn more about human body and it's functions. But I also want to use my original Finnish techniques and that is,  because so far I have found nothing better nor even close to this technique in this country. But I'll keep searching and widening my perspectives, because that's what this journey is about.

At this point of my journey I have also learnt something really important: I need to take care of me better. I love my job and have been giving almost all my energy to it (that's what you are supposed to do when you start a business, right) and enjoyed every single day! But I also have suffered some wrist issues and low back trouble, just like we all. I am lucky to have such a great group of therapist around me, so I am taking good care of, but it reminds me that (even) I am not getting any younger.

So in the beginning of 2016 I will not do resolutions, but I am promising to take better care of myself, find time for my exercise and make sure that I have enough time for relaxation. If all this goes well, it also means that I'll have more energy to search for interesting continuing education, time for my study groups and best of all: opportunities to explore and develop new products and my ways of helping you to feel better!

I am so very certain, that I know the best techniques in the world, but there is so much more we can do together. I am continuing my journey to better and optimal health and will be sharing what I learn to all of you. At this point it means reducing my working hours a bit: I will be available Wednesday and Thursday evenings, but can not take any clients Thursday morning or Friday afternoons. I will stick into my taichi class on Tuesday afternoon, so my last appointment time on Tuesdays will be at 3pm. That will still leave a plenty of options for your care.

Mondays 10-5.30, Tuesdays 8-4, Wednesdays 8-7.30 and Thursdays 1-7.30. Fridays by appointment only (8-2). This sounds complicated, but only thing I did, was blocked 2 hours for taichi, 1 hour for tennis and opportunities for gym and walk. These activities deserve to have a spot in my schedule!

As a reminder, I will continue my awesome Stretching Classes for Spine Health every Wednesday @11am. If you haven't tried it yet, please do so. YOU need to take care of YOU and I need to take care of ME. Let's do this together! If you have any new ideas, please let me know. I am always open to new things.

But my number one goal for 2016 remains the same: Let's balance your body and keep that pain away. I can help you both in structural issues and in functional imbalances. Balanced is Painless: that's Kata's Way!

In this picture I'm checking my clients ankle (joint between calcaneus and talus bones; tibialis and fibularis muscle groups).