Posts

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!

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.

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!

 

When You Get That Feeling, You Need…Hamstring Healing

How many times in my career have I heard about unbearable, tight, fatigued hamstrings? Literally countless. 

The group of muscles in your upper thigh, particularly your hamstring, can be so easy to strain and so difficult to properly heal. Releasing the tension in your hamstrings is a way to bring mobility and comfort back to that area of your leg and ease much of the discomfort associated with long-term tension.

The hamstrings are part of the superficial back line of fascia, which means they are built with more endurance muscle fibers. Endurance muscle fibers, also known as slow-twitch fibers, are meant to be more resilient and durable. These fibers that make up our hamstrings do not fatigue easily and provide us with necessary support and stability for posture. So, naturally, there will always be some tightness in your hamstrings to help you hold yourself upright and help propel your body forward while you walk.   

The problem is when they get too tight, causing hamstring strains, general discomfort, and decreased mobility. Sometimes the hamstring will get so tight it will actually pull your pelvis down and into a backward tilted position. This creates too much strain on the lower back and can be the cause of a lot of chronic discomfort or pain. 

Does any of this sound familiar…?

I would venture to guess it probably does.  So, how do you actually loosen up those super tight hamstrings that plague so many of us?

One simple yoga pose you can try is called “legs up the wall” or “waterfall pose.” This pose I find just straight up relaxing, in addition to helping stretch out the legs. Try it in three simple steps to feel a nice stretch:

  1. Scootch your booty so it is flush with a stable wall
  2. Climb your legs up the wall until they are flat against it, or modify as needed by bending your knees to ensure you are comfortable
  3. Hang out here for a minute or more, breathing and relaxing into the pose, feeling a comfortable stretch in the back of your thighs

One of the best things you can do, weekly if possible, is to devote some time to targeted hamstring release techniques. Targeting and really thoroughly stretching your hamstrings at least once each week will ensure you are making progress over time and seeing results in the form of decreased pain, lower back, and pelvic alignment, and much less leg fatigue. Set aside a minute to really get some solid work in, stretch with me, and get loosey-goosey hamstrings in under 20 minutes! I’ll guide you through every step to ensure you are maximizing the benefit of each movement throughout this sequence. 

Last but not least, check out today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram for another super-fast method for stretching those hamstrings. Let me know if you have any questions about effectively opening up your hammies, or if there are any other muscle groups you’d like to learn more about releasing from tension!

How to Get Rid Of “Holiday Hangover” 

Aside from getting your flu shot and having Vitamin C supplements at the ready, what else can you do to stay healthy and happy during the holidays? 

The basics are this: get enough sleep, stay hydrated, move your body. 

Getting enough sleep may be easier said than done, but it is so, so essential. If you’re feeling fatigued, every part of your body is going to feel it too. In order to keep all the functions of your body in top condition, you have to get enough rest. 

At least 8 hours is recommended, but let’s be honest…how many of us actually get that much?

But, did you know that while you are sleeping your body does most of its healing?  So, cutting into that sleep you need can really take a toll on your health. Think about it — do you want muscle recovery, digestion, or detoxification working at a sluggish rate?

 Nope. 

Ideally never! And definitely not during the holidays when there are so many yummy foods, desserts, and drinks to indulge in. You want everything functioning at full capacity to enjoy the holidays in good health, even if we snack on a few too many cookies shaped like snowmen!

If you’re somewhere chilly or if you’re lucky enough to be in warmer weather for the holidays, it’s probably not quite reaching summertime heat levels wherever you are this month. Drinking water and iced coffee can be so easy when the sun is scorching hot or you’re enjoying the beach, but sometimes as the weather cools down we have a tendency toward not maintaining adequate water intake. 

Drinking water not only helps maintain normal organ function and cell growth, but it is also a key piece of flushing your system and aiding your liver and kidneys in your body’s natural detox processes.

The average recommended water intake per day is 8-10 glasses per day.  (That sounds like a whole lot of trips to the toilet if you ask me!)

Whether its sweets, a few cocktails, or half a cheesecake that your body needs to flush out, drinking plenty of water will help this process tremendously. I’m a believer in living your life and enjoying that second (or third) helping of your favorite holiday food, but I think you can agree that feeling bloated after eating too much is never, ever fun. 

Water, even with a squeeze of lemon or lime for some extra vitamin C, can help with stimulating digestion and flushing your system. Keep a water bottle on hand, find a water source at every party you attend, and be sure to drink a huge glass of water right when you wake up and right before you go to sleep. 

One of the body’s best detox mechanisms is the lymphatic system, which is stimulated almost purely by movement. Exercise, walking, massage, and yoga are all great ways to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Twists, gentle movement, and gentle stretching is beneficial for the lymphatic system and will ultimately help boost digestion and strengthen your immune system. I’m sure you’re completely out of Thanksgiving leftovers by now, so if you want to get your lymphatic system pumping and feel totally refreshed, try out this Turkey Day Detox Flow!  

The holiday season is always crazy, so we all need to be sure we are providing our bodies (and minds!) with a little extra TLC. Get some extra sleep, drink a ton of water, and be sure you’re moving each and every day!

I’d love to invite you to join me on Instagram for even more information on holiday health this coming Workout Wednesday, where I’ll explain how we can use yoga to help ease anxiety. And keep an eye out for an exciting Holiday Giveaway announcement coming up soon….!