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Gail’s Story: Overcoming Arthritis and Regaining Freedom

A NOTE FROM MY MOM

I started experiencing knee, back, and hip pain when I was around 35. I figured it was just from being so active. I played softball, waitressed, and had two young children. 

As the pain led to stiffness, swollen knees, and joints, I decided it was time to see a doctor about this issue. The orthopedic doctor put me on Celebrex and it helped somewhat, but it did not fix the problem entirely. The pain and swelling continued over the years until I ended up with surgery for a frozen shoulder. 

Finally, I went to see a rheumatologist and was diagnosed with arthritis. I was told that it was very important to exercise along with taking medication. Over the course of three years, I tried methotrexate, Leflunamide, Hydroxychloriquine, Embrel, Humera, and finally Rinvoq. Even with the medications, I still had to have my knee drained twice. I also tried to exercise like I used to at the gym, but it only seemed to inflame my joints. I became very depressed and frustrated because it felt like fighting a losing battle. I was at my wit’s end and was tired of taking all the medication and risking my health, especially with the outbreak of COVID-19, so I knew it was time to try something new. 

That is when I started Tristan’s Yoga Prehab™. His Knee and Hip Reset for Pain + Stiffness course along with Restore Your Core have given me back my life. I am able to do the things I want to do without the pain and inflammation I experienced from normal gym exercise.  My flexibility and strength returned and I now have the proper tools to use to combat any knee, hip, or back issue before it can become a problem.  

I remember looking at the cost of his courses and wasn’t sure if I wanted to spend that much money on something I had never tried – would it work? But, I read the reviews and calculated just how much I had spent on a gym membership, doctor bills, therapy, and medications and realized the cost of his program was a drop in the bucket compared to these expenses. Not to mention the 2 years of pain I suffered from the frozen shoulder. I started with the Knee Reset and fell in love with the way I started feeling and healing. I was hooked and the more courses I purchased, the more my body and life started to return. The way he has developed these programs and the information he provides has truly made a difference in my life.

I can get down on the ground and play with my granddaughter or climb the steps to her playhouse. I have energy again and most importantly, I have “me” back. At 58 years old I am more active than I was in my forties. 

Thank you Tristan for sharing your passion for yoga and knowledge of Physical Therapy with all of us in these courses so that we can take back our health and wellness!

 

 

**Struggling with arthritis? I formulated a gentle, progressive course exactly for you! Try CHAIR YOGA FOR JOINT HEALING today!

Top 3 Tips for Relief from Arthritis Pain: No medication needed!

I’ve got a quick story for you, about a client who suffered from arthritis. She had been feeling achy, chronically stiff, and had pain in her joints that was starting to radiate through her limbs. Ouch. When she was diagnosed – she was shocked, thinking “I’m 23 years old – how is this even possible?” Well, with autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), your immune system attacks the lining of your joints – at any age! 

She looked for alternatives because she didn’t want to be on arthritis medication for the rest of her life. And I don’t blame her! Some of these intense anti-inflammatory medications used for osteoarthritis treatment and RA can be really hard on your vital organs — even causing prolonged nausea, headaches, fatigue, and brain fog. Many RA medications also drastically reduce your immune system placing you at higher risk for infection, drug-related cancers, and in rare cases even death. No thanks!

The good news is that there is an alternative to medication! One important thing to note about joint pain is that typically the more you move, the better you will feel. I know, I know – it sounds counterintuitive. But, think of it like this. The motion involved in moving your joints actually creates lubrication between your joints, making it easier and much less painful to move. Remember, motion is lotion…for your joints! 

This client worked through progressive yoga and physical therapy-based mobility exercises with me, and quickly experienced amazing results – as long as she keeps up with her mobility work she experiences no more chronic pain and has yet to go on arthritis medication! HUGE WIN! 

Here were the three most important things I shared with her…which I will now share with you!

#1 If you have any form of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, it is so important to stay mobile. Even the most gentle movements will go such a long way to increase your mobility and level of comfort. Yoga-based mobility is great for this, because you can work your whole body and isolate certain joints that need more TLC. 

However, with Rheumatoid Arthritis, specifically during times of flare up, it is advised that you avoid intense stretching and exercising as this may be more detrimental to your joints and create more damage than good.  It’s not to say don’t move at all, rather modify your intensity and be gentle on your body as you move through your day or attempt a light mobility practice during a flare up.  Once it resolves, you can continue your regular strength and mobility practices.

#2 Practicing balance poses and core strengthening with mobility work or gentle yoga practice will improve your flexibility and balance. This will increase your long term strength and endurance, which will in turn support your joints and overall stability for a lifetime. 

#3 One of the most common things I would see as a Physical Therapist Assistant were people who experienced gradual muscle deterioration, aka “sarcopenia” – because getting moving again with arthritis was causing them too much pain. So, in addition to rebuilding muscle strength and endurance, you also want to ensure that you keep up with your strength and mobility work! This requires just a few minutes of daily movement – if you don’t use it, you lose it! So be sure that you stay consistent! As I always say — CONSISTENCY IS KEY! 

Arthritic pain and stiffness can be present at any age, whether it is simple osteoarthritis from “wear and tear” and the aging process, or Rheumatoid arthritis which is a systemic inflammatory disease process that attacks your joints.  

Your body is unique and so will be your journey if you have arthritis.  Not every person requires medication, though some may eventually or intermittently from time to time.  However, EVERY BODY can benefit from healthy mobility practices, yoga, whole body strengthening and balance training to protect your joints.

With arthritis you do want to make sure you work progressively – start simple and gentle and go from there. Need some help with this? Not sure where to start? Check out Chair Yoga for Joint Healing, which is the perfect “done-for-you” place to start! 

If you need ongoing support, get on board with the Yoga Prehab™ Membership – for just 0.60 cents per day, you’ll get the very best at-home Physical Therapy-based healing guidance, easy-to-follow yoga mobility programs, and more!

3 Tricks to Relieve Painful “Text Neck”

Do you know what your neck looks like when you’re scrolling through your phone? If I had to venture a guess, I would say it is probably at some sort of an angle, positioned downward to better stare at your device. This phenomenon is leading to more and more cases of “text neck” as I like to call it – which is stiffness and pain in your neck (and upper back) due to increased, chronic straining (AKA scrolling through news feeds, email, websites, etc across all of our super convenient devices). 

I know that I’m not immune to this problem! Practically every day I catch myself tilting my head in some weird way while absorbed in something on my screen. Today, it’s a normal and common problem, but it shouldn’t be something we all just accept as appropriate and healthy posture. All evidence points to this sort of posture creating really problematic stressors and strains on the spine. Over time, this can only lead to problems and pain. Consistency and commitment to taking care of your neck is key, as is adjusting your posture when you are on your smartphone or other devices.

In a study conducted by Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, it was found that as the head tilts forward the force place on the neck dramatically increases. When we hold our head in a healthy, neutral position, the forces to the cervical spine are about 10-12 pounds and evenly distributed, which is normal. But as we tilt our head forward the force increases:

Repetitive forward head posture and frequently hanging your head may lead to all sorts of neck problems, including early wear and tear, degeneration, nerve root impingement, herniation/bulges, and possibly the need for surgery. Imagine having a consistent force on your cervical spine that is the equivalent of 30-60 lbs? The results from that long term force cannot be good for anyone.

This graph from the study described above shows the effects of the tilt that accompanies cell phone use.

Be sure to use these best practices to decrease the strain you are putting on your neck and spine:

1. Be aware of your head and position

As shown above, even just a slight tilt away from a neutral spine practically doubles the force your cervical spine is feeling. Good posture isn’t just “shoulders back,” in this day and age we all need to be sure we are keeping our chins away from our chest and maintaining a healthy, neutral spine. 

2. Use simple neck stretches throughout the day

Even just gentle, slow, alternating ear to shoulder movements can stretch each side of your neck to prevent stiffness and cramping. This is even useful for those of you sitting in desks and around conference tables during the workday. Or students in lecture halls and classrooms! Just as you might get the urge to stretch your legs, be sure you are giving your neck some much needed time for gentle stretching throughout the day. 

3. Practice yoga poses that target neck and shoulder mobility

Naturally, as a yoga teacher, I am a huge proponent of yoga (shout out to my Yoga Prehab™ tribe!). But only because it actually works

In today’s busy world, I find that the countless clients I have worked with over the years really do have time to invest in their health and well being, even if that means just practicing a few minutes of yoga per day. 

My favorite poses (asanas) to target problematic neck and shoulder stiffness are the much-beloved downward facing dog and the ever-popular, super stretchy cat-cow. These help to stretch out and relax the neck, shoulders and even provide tension relief for both your upper and lower back. 

Pop into these even just for a few minutes when you feel that text neck tension creeping up on ya’ – bye text neck!

For a proven method to release, stretch, and strengthen these problem areas and heal from “text neck” once and for all, check out my course The Text Neck Fix. Better to spend a few minutes a day with me, than to need weeks of expensive rehab for nerve damage, disc issues, or other neck, shoulder, and cervical spine-related issues.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

Why So Tense? The TOP 2 EASIEST Ways to Combat Painful Body Stiffness

Want to guess what one of the best ways to prevent body stiffness is? It is actually by moving. Seems a bit counterintuitive, but I swear to you, it makes perfect sense. 

Think about it like this – if you aren’t moving (or grooving) and your muscles and joints are just hanging out with nothing to do, they will very likely get stiff. And with stiffness, sometimes follows soreness. And then discomfort. So, the key is to keep some movement and mobility – even just a little – into each and every day. 

An easy way to break it down is to remember that motion is lotion – no joke! If you are stiff and sedentary at work or during your commute, it is extra important to get more mobility into your daily routine. The more movement and mobility you are able to do, the better lubricated your joints will be. This means easier movement, less stiffness, and less pain. If you are not moving, your joints will not be as supple, and you’ll likely experience tightness, soreness, and discomfort. 

The good news is you do not need to have an intensive exercise routine that you adhere to daily. The solution to these issues and the prevention of pesky muscle and joint pain is not hours of laborious work and training. The effort you put in each day – even just 10-15 minutes – can dramatically improve your health, comfort, and wellbeing. Over time and with consistency, you’ll experience more comfort and less pain. 

This is the whole concept behind Yoga Prehab™, which I developed to help your muscles and joints stay healthy. Before falling victim to rehab due to injuries and chronic pain, I help people take preventative action to actually strengthen their muscles and joints in order to prevent injury. Makes sense, right?

So, over time and with a dedication to movement and mobility — stiffness and discomfort will decrease. In situations where you need some immediate relief for sore and stiff spots, try this Super Soothing Shoulder Cure! It’s quick and requires only 2 minutes, 2 ingredients, and 2 simple steps!

Super Soothing Shoulder Cure

  • A couple of drops of Peppermint essential oil 
  • 1 or 2 tbsp Coconut oil (or other mild body oil of your choice such as almond or jojoba)
  1. Mix your ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Rub the mixture onto your shoulders and experience cooling, soothing relief for tight, sore muscles!

See? Easy, right? Peppermint has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, making it a great solution for aches, pains, and muscle spasms you might be feeling in your shoulders. (and you won’t smell like grandma’s Bengay cream)

Did you give the Super Soothing Shoulder Cure a try? Let me know how you liked it!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

 

6 Tips To Naturally Rebalance Your Chakras To Relieve Neck + Shoulder Pain

The heart chakra (Anahata) is the area of energy in your body that is related to love, care, and compassion – both for yourself and others. The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is the area of energy in your body related to feeling heard, communicating with others, and honestly vocalizing your needs. When these centers of energy are out of balance, encumbered by stress or other emotional factors, you can actually carry those feelings of imbalance as tension in your body. 

This naturally can contribute to aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, right where those energy centers are found. Because the throat and heart chakras are next to each other, many rebalancing methods for one also benefit the other. So convenient! 

Remember that sometimes a chakra might be either blocked or overactive. Either way, these easy tips will help to rebalance your heart and throat chakras if and when they are out of sorts and imbalanced. 

  1. Speak Your Mind! Sometimes the throat chakra can feel blocked when you feel unable to express yourself. If there is something you’ve been meaning to get off your chest, do so in a gentle, honest, and mindful way. You deserve to feel heard!
  2. Go Green! (or Blue) The color associated with your heart chakra is green – specifically, emerald green, while the throat chakra is all about blue. Try surrounding yourself with these hues, or wearing something in these colors to lift and unblock those chakras.
  3. Give Thanks! For the people in your life who you couldn’t live without – let them know how thankful you are! Show your appreciation and support to those who support you – even if it’s just a quick hello, text, or email to let them know you love ‘em. Acts such as this will allow your heart chakra to really radiate. Your throat chakra is all about vocalizing and communicating, and positive words to those you care about can lift your mood and open up your throat chakra in a powerful way.
  4. Yoga It Up! Do some yoga! I love a good cat-cow sequence for healing the throat chakra. For some poses (asanas) that will target both your heart and throat chakras, join me for my Heart Reset Flow, suitable for every skill level.
  5. Turn It Upside Down! Other quick yoga-based practices for opening up the throat and heart chakras include inversions, which help stimulate the blood flow to your head, neck, and chest. Pop into a quick, gentle downward facing dog to relieve those blocked chakras and get the energy flowing. My 7 DAY CHAKRA CLEANSE is perfect for getting things realigned using physical therapy-based mobility and yoga techniques!
  6. Pamper Your Heart! Practice some self-care to help open your heart chakra. Whether it’s snuggling in to watch your favorite movie, taking some time to settle down with a face mask, or preparing your favorite healthy meal, showing yourself some love will help rebalance your chakras and get some much-needed relaxation.

Looking for more neck + shoulder remedies? Try the NEW SPINAL RESET FOR NECK + SHOULDER PAIN.  Get all my secret tips + tricks for instantly improving pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders…you won’t find them anywhere else!

New Year, Who Dis? How to eliminate pain and start feeling amazing in 2020 

Raise your hand if you have ever been prevented from doing something because of pain? 

Oh, I see you. You raised your hand, right? 

When you’re uncomfortable, for a short while or chronically, it’s not always easy to say “yes” to everything enthusiastically. Sometimes even small nagging pains make going for a walk, spending the day with friends, working out, or getting cozy so difficult. 

And I understand. With that comes frustration, fear of missing out, and just feeling very…blah. Dealing with discomfort can be really discouraging. 

The bottom line is that no one likes being uncomfortable and no one enjoys being inhibited from living their lives. And thankfully, there is no need for it to be that way.

I have so many clients and students who have experienced incredible results after putting in just a little extra time to really stretch and heal in a safe way. My methodology is not just about yoga, although yes, yoga is amazing. It’s about using yoga and physical therapy techniques to heal your aches and pains in the most effective way. 

If you’re ready to shimmy your way into 2020 with a “New Year, Who Dis?” attitude then you are absolutely in the right place! Congratulations, you made it!

So, what are the very first steps you need to take to eliminate pain and start loving life in 2020?

First, let’s talk about shifting your focus. If you’re constantly dwelling on how much pain you are in and how much tension you are feeling, that can make it really hard to relax. It might sound silly, and I know pain can be an overwhelming sensation, but relaxing even in the face of pain is an important step toward allowing yourself to fully heal. 

Try this…

Take a really deep breath in, and as you exhale visualize yourself relaxing. Know that everything is going to be okay. You are going to be okay.

Continue to inhale deeply, acknowledging the areas and places where you are experiencing pain, and as you exhale completely and empty out your lungs, be conscious of softening into a place of relaxation. 

In this more relaxed state, I guarantee that you will be able to think more positively about educating yourself and gifting yourself with greater mobility and greater comfort. You can do this and you will do this! 

Next, get into the new year groove (new decade groove to be more accurate) by spending some time with me and this healing, restorative Heart Reset Flow to shake off 2019 and get ready to make 2020 your…BFF! This flow is for all levels of skill, and designed to get you into a clear, peaceful state of mind. 

2020? You got this on lock!

I warmly invite you to join me for any videos on my YouTube channel that speak to you and what you need most. Always, always feel free to reach out to me should you need any guidance or advice. 

And of course, don’t forget about the incredible BOGO SPECIAL I’m offering this month:

When you purchase my 30 Day Total Body Makeover you will also receive the 7 Day Chakra Cleanse (a $197 Value) completely free!  

Suitable for any and all levels of skill, these two courses will 100 percent launch a new YOU this new year!  These are my two favorite courses EVER and I want to see you ROCK your 2020 EDITION BADASS SELF!  YASSS!

BUT ACT QUICK!  SALE ENDS JANUARY 7, 2020!

Sharing is caring! Share your New Year, New You goals with me on Instagram and let me know how I can help you achieve them! I love answering your questions and am always inspired by what you are looking to learn more about. Keep in touch!

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

How to Fix Your Tension Headache Fast 

Hmmm, maybe your house is really loud right about now? Or maybe your holiday travel or jetlag left you with a headache?

Whatever the reason, having a headache is decidedly not a great way to enjoy the holidays. 

So, let’s fix that tension headache of yours and let’s do it quickly!

First, grab a soothing essential oil (if you have some – the doTERRA brand is my fav right now). Lavender oil works really well and has a wonderfully relaxing scent. Eucalyptus and peppermint are also great for muscle relaxation and tension relief, in addition to having stronger smells that can work to clear out your sinuses. Smelling the essential oils, rubbing a few diluted drops on your scalp, and even placing a bit above your ears (avoid your eyes) close to your temples, can have an immediate calming and cooling effect. Note: Always dilute your oils with a carrier oil to protect the skin!

Hear me out on this one…I know it’s not an essential oil, but if you have Tiger Balm lying around, rub a tiny bit on the area just behind your temples, being careful to not get it anywhere near your eye (or on any pillows or clothes – it can stain). 

Get out of direct light if you can. Cover your eyes comfortably, turn down the lights, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Turning down the lights will help ease your headache if it is causing you to feel sensitive to light, and avoiding your computer and phone screens will help decrease the straining of your eyes. Slowing down the pace of your breath can help soothe the nervous system, making it easier for your body to be more receptive to decompressing and relaxing. 

Your shoulders and suboccipital muscles all tie into the base of the skull, so when there is long-term tension, pressure, twisting, and unnatural strain, you may feel shooting pain around or behind your eyes or near the back and side of your head.

Do this easy, breezy, super soothing tension headache fix with me and in under 15 minutes you will be well on your way to feeling back to your old self. No more stabbing or shooting pains in your head, neck, or behind your eyes!  Note: Feel free to turn the brightness down on your screen when you watch. This definitely helps!

I invite you to circle back to this tension headache fix each and every time you start feeling any sort of headache creeping up on you, and share with anyone you know you may be dealing with similar discomfort. There is no reason to keep suffering! 

If you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, tension, eyestrain, fatigue, and low energy, try out my Text Neck mini-course before you invest tons of time and money going to countless physical therapy appointments. Get The Text Neck Fix and start healing safely and immediately (71% off for a limited time)!

Try these effective tension headache treatments whenever you’re facing that painful, nagging ache and please be sure to check in with me and let me know what worked best for you!

Stay well, free of tension headaches, and enjoy your holidays!

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

The 4 Most Effective Methods for Tension Relief 

Tension can strike at any time of year, am I right? Any time, any season, any given day your body may feel tight and tense, leaving you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re finding its worse during the winter or even just during this hectic holiday season. Whenever you’re feeling tense, put these methods to good use to experience some fast-acting relief for all your tension symptoms!

Stretch It Out

As a Physical Therapist Assistant over the last 7 years,  I have always told all my patients to take the time to stretch, no matter when or where. And now, I am telling you! Push whatever fears or concerns about looking awkward aside and get down to business by stretching anywhere and anytime you feel necessary.

You can make stretching look good, I swear. Honestly, whoever has the pleasure of seeing you will probably just assume you’re an athletic person, doing normal things that athletic people do. So go for it! I always celebrate anyone I see on the street stretching and releasing discomfort. Stretching is something everyone needs in order to stay healthy and maintain their best mobility. 

Sip, Sip

Sipping on a soothing beverage has powerful benefits for both mind and body. Mint, lavender, or chamomile are all teas that are well known for their calming properties and relaxing scents, but one of my personal favorites is rooibos. I love rooibos for it’s delicious, warming, fragrant qualities, but also because it is beneficial for blood pressure and circulation.

A lot of tension and inflammation problems can be caused or worsened by poor circulation, and oftentimes when you feel super stressed you’re blood pressure and heart rate are probably higher than normal. Rooibos works to lower blood pressure, helping relieve problematic manifestations of tension and stress in the body. My favorite rooibos blends are from Tea Sparrow; they come up with the most inventive, healthy, and delicious flavor pairings each and every month. 

Turn Up The Heat

Heat can be a great way to combat tension throughout various muscle groups in the body. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, those are great options, but you can also achieve the same results by taking a warm, luxurious shower or bath. You can even heat things up internally by doing a quick, energetic yoga sequence (with me)! 

Special Neck-nique 

Sometimes tension that originates in the neck will be symptomatic as pain in your shoulders and head. Nowadays with everyone straining their necks working at computers and looking at their phones, it is so important to address neck pain quickly and consistently. Letting neck pain linger can cause chronic headaches and migraines as well as knots and prolonged tension in your shoulders and back. 

I’ve observed this evolving trend of increasing neck trouble throughout my career, and love teaching people new techniques to get their necks right.

Try this in just three easy steps:

  1. Sitting on a chair or on the ground, stretch your left arm down by your side
  2. Then, tilt your head to the right until you feel a nice, gentle stretch along the left side of your neck
  3. Hold for 20 seconds or more, and then switch and do the other side

Super, simple stretches like this have a tremendous benefit when done consistently. To really get to the root of tension extending from your neck, get The Text Neck Fix, which I created as a tool you can use literally anywhere to quickly and effectively relieve neck pain and improve your posture (mega bonus -it’s currently on sale, because I love you all so, so much)!

Looking for more safe and effective methods to combat tension, increase mobility, and sleigh all day? Take a look at today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram to learn more!