By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • May 19, 2020
Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Jun 15, 2020
- Brain and heart = 73% water
- Lungs = 83% water
- Skin = 64% water
- Muscles and kidneys = 79% water
- Bones = 31% water
- Regulates our internal body temperature by sweating and respiration
- Helps transport oxygen all over the body for a healthy heart
- Assists in flushing waste and preventing constipation
- Acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord
- Forms saliva and aids in digestion
- Sip your water throughout the day rather than chugging it all at once and always keep a bottle with you (Hint: If you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated).
- Use water as your main source of hydration (Drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine can actually dehydrate you).
- Check the color of your urine (It should be pale and clear rather than dark and odorous).
- Try infusing fruit into your water for a fun and refreshing flavor.
- Incorporate liquid-based fruits like grapes and watermelon into your diet (these provide hydration too!)
Stephanie Duffey • Jul 06, 2020
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Feb 10, 2020
- Foam rolling
- Slow yoga (yin and deep stretch)
- Going on a walk
- Writing in my gratitude journal
- Going to bed early
- Enjoying a massage
- Knitting and watching Say Yes to the Dress (guilty pleasures!!)
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Feb 17, 2020
WHAT IS PRONATION?
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Dec 04, 2019
As a physical therapist, I’m often asked the question, “How do I know when I need to slow down, stop, or keep going?” It’s a valid question, and one that many people struggle to identify. It’s challenging to interpret what you’re feeling in your body, when you can push harder, and when you need to scale back. So, to keep things simple, I came up with a little something I like to call the stoplight method. Let’s break it down.
Green Light: When you’re operating at the green light level, you’re able to exercise with no aches and pains and you may even be looking for ways to intensify your workouts. If you’re a runner, you’d be able to maintain the current pace or distance that you’re following with no discomfort. This is where you want to be (but I know this isn’t always possible or realistic).
What to do: Maintain what you’re doing, or experiment with advancing to the next level. For runners, this means working toward a faster pace or increasing your mileage.
Yellow Light: Signs to look for if you’re approaching the yellow light include light soreness or achiness that persists for more than 24 hours after your run, a small limp when running (but not when walking), and slight swelling of your joints after a run.
What to do: Slow down a bit—this is your body telling you to back-off. Take a rest day and re-evaluate how you’re feeling. Try to recognize patterns. For example, maybe your knees start to hurt when it’s time to get new running shoes, so take a trip to the shoe store! Listen to your body and take action if there’s a behavior you need to change to feel better and enhance your performance.
Red Light: If you’re approaching the red light, you’re experiencing very sharp pain that stops you in your tracks. The pain is debilitating and you are unable to walk without a limp. You may be experiencing intense swelling in your joints and intense discomfort that doesn’t subside after 24 hours.
What to do: It’s time to consult an expert. You may be at risk of a stress fracture or other serious injury. While it’s challenging to seek help and cease physical activity, it’s important to be seen by an expert early, so your injury doesn’t intensify. You may also be able to recover more quickly if you get help for the problem earlier rather than later.
I hope my simple stoplight method helps you identify how to deal with the pain you may be experiencing in your body and the action steps you need to take to feel better.
Need help from an expert? Let’s chat!
Paul Linden, PhD
Aikido of Columbus
I have been practicing Aikido since 1969 and Parkinson’s Disease since 2004. Aikido is a non-violent Japanese martial art and a study of peacemaking. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease of the brain. The two have a lot in common.
Many years ago, while visiting Los Angeles, I met a friend of a friend. As we were sitting together eating lunch, he casually said, “You know, I could kill you as you sit there.” I smiled and said, “Yes, of course you could” and kept eating. I knew he wasn’t being hostile but was merely expressing a fact. Astonished that I understood, he explained that he was a Viet Nam veteran, and that was his way of testing me.
He had killed many people, and he knew how thin the line is between life and death. He knew that anyone could die at any moment. Combat soldiers learned to live on the edge of life and death, and when they came home, they were unable to fit back into normal society, which pretends that death won’t happen. He was stunned that a non-veteran knew that edge. I told him about my martial arts training and how it was possible to know the edge without killing anyone.
Two concepts underlie Aikido as I practice and teach it: First, emotions and attitudes are physiological events in the body, and to receive an attacker in a peaceful way, the body must be trained to do so. And second, the body moves with better balance and strength in a state of inner stillness, kindness, and gratitude. (My website has a free downloadable handout titled EMBODIED PEACEMAKING which details the basic exercises that I use to teach this.)
• Copyright Columbus Dispatch 2013. The newspaper published this essay, and they were generous enough to allow me to use it in my teaching.
Practicing calmness when attacked and compassion for the attacker caries over to stresses and problems that aren’t attacks. Such as Parkinson’s, for instance. When I was diagnosed, my initial reaction was shock! And my practice for the next six months was to say to myself many times a day “Parkinson’s” and train my body to go into calmness instead of fear. Gradually stillness and compassion took the unease out of the disease.
The real function of martial arts, I think, is to help us accept our fundamental weakness. I can block a punch, I can parry a kick, and I can escape an arm lock. But I can’t control the weather, a presidential election, or whether I have Parkinson’s. Once we build up enough personal power, we can accept somewhat calmly the unacceptable.
Having Parkinson’s is inconvenient, but if I get frustrated or irritated at it, the tremors increase and the disease feels worse. The more I meet Parkinson’s with an attitude of compassionate engagement and relaxed strength, the better my body functions. This is not philosophy. It’s physiology.
The questions are: What do I choose to become as Parkinson’s eats away at my brain? Do I cultivate habits of fear or anger about my condition or habits of power and compassion? So in the end, practicing Parkinson’s is very similar to practicing Aikido.
Parkinson’s will never be popular as a path of self-improvement. The same approach, though, can be applied to everyday difficulties — whether personal, interpersonal or international. The world would be very different if people didn’t respond to difficulties in a rush of fear and anger. Think of all the killing and aggression that would not take place if we each took responsibility for our body and our hurtful reflexes. Peace would be possible.
PAUL LINDEN, Ph.D. is a specialist in body awareness education, and his work focuses on the interplay between self-exploration and more efficient and effective action. He has extensive experience teaching people such as musicians, athletes, pregnant women, children with attention disorders, and computer users. Two of his focus areas are abuse recovery and peacemaking.
He is the developer of Being In Movement® mindbody education, and founder of the Columbus Center for Movement Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in Physical Education, a sixth degree black belt in Aikido and a first degree black belt in Karate, and he is an instructor of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education.
He is the author of a number of e-books, and videos, among which are:
• Winning is Healing: Body Awareness and Empowerment for Abuse Survivors
• Embodied Peacemaking: Body Awareness, Self-Regulation and Conflict Resolution
• Feeling Aikido: Body Awareness Training as a Foundation for Aikido Practice
• Comfort at Your Computer: Body Awareness Training for Pain-Free Computer Use (a paper book)
* Embodying Power And Love: Body Awareness & Self-Regulation 10 hour video.
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Aug 03, 2020
By: Dr. Stephanie Duffey • Mar 02, 2020
WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
WHAT’S THE CAUSE?
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Other than identifying what caused the irritation in the first place, here are some of my other tips for managing plantar fasciitis:
- Get a frozen plastic water bottle, freeze it, and roll your foot on it using moderate pressure a few times a day. This loosens the tissue and the ice cuts inflammation. You can also use a tennis or lacrosse ball.
- Stretch your calves with the knee straight and then bent, or use a foam roller. Tightness and trigger points in the calf can be a contributing factor and refer pain to the heel so it’s extra important to stretch this area.
- Stretch the plantar fascia by crossing the ankle over your knee and pulling your toes backward. This is a great way to loosen up the bottom of your foot
- Get a supportive, pronation-control shoe. Plantar fasciitis pain can come from excessive or quick pronation. Find a shoe that works for you and use inserts as a secondary supplement.
- Try a night splint or sock that pulls the toes up to give a long duration stretch while you sleep. This can be uncomfortable so I recommend you build your way up. Start with a few hours and gradually work up to the whole night. It usually takes about 3 months to get the full benefit.
- Watch how you lift. Whether you’re lifting a squirming child or weights, be sure to lift with your legs, not your back. The quads and glutes are waaayyy stronger than your small back muscles, so be mindful.
- Take a posture check. How you sit (or stand) during the day is really important. Desk jobs in particular bring you forward and cause you to slump. Think of it this way: For every degree your head comes forward, your spine muscles have to work exponentially harder. Not sure what your posture looks like? Have a co-worker take a surprise picture of you sitting at your desk to get a good glimpse of your posture during the day.
- Use a lumbar roll, especially if you work at a desk or drive frequently. A lumbar roll is a squishy pillow that you can place behind your low back to create additional support. It also helps your posture when you’re seated. Here’s the one I use from Amazon.
- Take a stress test. What repetitive motions do you do frequently exhibit throughout the day that cause aggravation? Maybe it’s reaching for something, picking up an infant, or some other movement. Make a tally of what’s causing irritation in your back on a daily basis.
- Strengthen your core correctly. By activating ALL the core muscles (not just the six-pack in the front) you take strain off your back. While strengthening your core isn’t the only way to resolve back pain, it certainly is a game-changer.
- Move your body. Incorporating movement into your daily routine can significantly reduce back pain. The next time you miss your workout, notice how you feel. Chances are, you’ll feel much better when the muscles are loose from working out.
- Stretch your hips, mid and upper back. Practice mobility work so you can move through these areas and you aren’t relying only on the mobility of your back alone.
- Use good pillow support when you’re sleeping. If you’re a belly-sleeper, you may try placing a pillow under your hips. You should also consider training yourself not to be a stomach-sleeper to take some of the pressure off of your back. If you’re a side-sleeper, put a pillow between your knees to keep your legs stacked. This helps take the twist out of the low back). Back sleepers should try placing a pillow under the knees for additional support.