31 Days of Wellness: The Final Countdown

 

 
Here we are in the final week of January’s 31 Days of Wellness! Our monthlong journey through the wellness landscape continues with more of the most buzzed about trends, classes, and nutrition. As you can see from above I’ve been busy with cryotherapy, hip hop yoga, thermal baths, Bulletproof coffee, infrared saunas, Spiderbands, mediation, and lots more! We kick it off this week with…
 

 
January 22: INVERSION THERAPY. Gravity boots, inversion tables and chairs… the practice and benefits of hanging upside down has been around for decades. I stumbled upon it today at a friends house who has a wall yoga set up I couldn’t resist giving a try.

For spinal decompression and traction, inversion therapy is often used to treat lower back pain. Overall, the benefits of relieving gravitational pressure on the spine and stretching the surrounding musculature are increased flexibility, better circulation, and improved posture. When standing upright, gravity pulls everything in our body downwards, most notably is blood. When you are inverted you reverse that blood flow in your body which turns on the lymphatic system to flush out toxins and boost the immune system. Read More

 

Rapid Fire Relief

 

THERAGUN G2PRO

From professional athletes to celebrities to everyday fitness enthusiasts like you and I, the secret weapon in everyone’s training arsenal these days is the TheraGun. Utilizing high frequency percussive massage, the TheraGun is a handheld, battery operated, professional grade, vibration therapy tool designed to reduce muscle and joint pain, improve mobility, and enhance performance.

Designed by Dr. Jason Wersland, D.C., a chiropractor and the founder/inventor of TheraGun, this power drill like tool uses vibration therapy to provide high frequency percussion massage to targeted areas. According to Wersland, vibration therapy works on the nervous system, in addition to the muscular system, to reset the body’s response to pain and immobility from overuse or an injury. It literally shakes it all back into place.
Read More

 

3 Minutes to A Healthy Back!

 

 

Photographs by Casey Steffens

If you’re an athlete, being sidelined with an injury sucks. So many of us (myself included) don’t take simple preventative measures to keep them from happening, particularly when it comes to the spine. According to Dr. Scott Duke of Duke Chiropractic, our go-to resource for all things sports medicine, 80% of the walking population will eventually have some kind of back injury. We asked Dr.Duke for a quick, no-excuses routine anybody could do to keep their back healthy and ready for action!

The 3 X 3 Back to Back routine is 3 part series of moves that takes just 3 minutes!  This is an easy everyday workout designed to mobilize, stretch, and strengthen the spine without spending a lot of time. It’s a perfect warm up before working out that preps the body for activity and keeps us doing all those crazy workouts we love. Each section below is 1 minute.

 

PART 1: MOBILITY

This is your warm up, designed to loosen up and lubricate the spine. Each exercise is 20 seconds of continuous movement at your own pace.

 

1. Cat-Cow

On all fours, flex and extend spine. Head should move in line with spine.

 

2. Pelvic Release

Lie flat on back with left foot crossed on right. Arms flat at 90 degree angle. Drop left knee out to the side while turning head to right. Switch legs and repeat.

Read More

 

Shock To The System

 

 

As athletes, we are always on the quest for the latest innovation in sports medicine to prevent injuries from taking us out of the game. One of this editor’s go to resources is Duke Chiropractic, which offers full service sports rehabilitation. The latest innovation we discovered there is called “EPAT” or “Radial Shockwave Therapy.” EPAT stands for Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Technology, and is one of the most advanced and highly effective non-invasive treatments for neuromuscular disorders approved by the FDA.

In an overuse injury of a muscle or tendon, when we experience pain it is usually a result of inflammation. The body’s natural response is to create scar tissue to help heal the area, but according to Dr. Scott Duke of Duke Chiropractic, scar tissue reduces mobility, it is very weak and tears, and leads to the formation of more scar tissue and more pain. Probably most critical is that it lacks the blood supply to nourish and heal the injured area.

Enter EPAT, a regenerative treatment for tendon, muscle and bone disorders. Through a pneumatically controlled hand piece, compressed air produces a shockwave that delivers thousands of impulses deep within the tissue. These high frequency pressure waves feel like rapid fire zaps, and stimulate the body’s own reparative reaction, to enhance blood circulation and accelerate the healing process. Says Dr. Duke, ”With EPAT we can literally destroy scar tissue and help regenerate new tissue within the joint that prior to EPAT was too deep for our hands to reach.”

EPAT can be used to treat many painful soft tissue injuries, including Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, acute and chronic muscle pain and other conditions. At Duke Chiropractic they also use EPAT to treat frozen shoulder, post operative rotator cuff injuries, and even hip and knee replacements where scar tissue limits mobility and causes pain.

Radial Shockwave Therapy can also help the body produce more collagen — the protein that helps give tendons and ligaments their structure. There is an analgesic effect as well that can provide immediate pain relief. But probably the best news for athletes is that patients can continue activities immediately after treatment. There is no down time for those of us for whom there is nothing worse than being sidelined by a nagging injury.

 

Good Vibrations

 

HYPERICE VYPER FOAM ROLLER

The benefits of foam rolling have been well documented for increased flexibility and range of motion; faster muscle recovery; better circulation; and thus improved overall sports performance. The latest evolution of the foam roller adds vibration therapy into the mix, another established recovery technique, and takes the foam roller to a whole new level.

The HyperIce Vyper is the first high intensity vibrating fitness roller. Word is Kobe Bryant was using a foam roller on a Power Plate, the full body vibration machine, which inspired the idea. The Vyper has 3 speeds of vibration powered by a rechargeable 16.8 Lithium Ion battery. Vibration Therapy delivers high frequency oscillations that force muscles to rapidly contract and relax. While foam rollers are the go to recovery tool, adding vibration with the intensity and frequency of the Vyper allows the therapeutic benefits to permeate deeper.

HyperIce is recognized for creating a new generation of wearable icepacks that have become post-workout recovery favorites for such high-profile athletes as Lindsay Vonn, Blake Griffin, and Hope Solo. The Vyper is their second product and is being utilized used by professional and everyday athletes alike to warm up and recover from training and competition.

Related Stories: Rub Yourself, Stick It

 

Cryotherapy

 
 C’MON IN… IT’S FREEZING INSIDE!

 
Last week, on the snow day that was the Blizzard of 2015, I trekked over to another frozen tundra called KryoLife on West 57th St, to try “Cryotherapy”, where I stood naked in the cold in 240F below zero temperatures.

The translation of Cryotherapy is literally cold therapy. You enter what is called a Cryosauna (a bit of an oxymoron) and for 3 minutes are exposed to arctic temperatures that have been chilled by liquid nitrogen gas. Because the air has no moisture and there are no air currents, you actually don’t perceive the cold to be as extreme as it is.

Whole Body Cryotherapy is a popular rehabilatation tool in leading medical centers, health spas, and Olympic centers in Europe, and is becoming more widely used here in the US. It has been clinically proven to alleviate pain in those suffering with musculoskeletal, degenerative and joint diseases, as well as autoimmune diseases. It has also proven effective as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory on athletes and in sport performance, for post workout recovery and injury prevention.

Cryotherapy was first invented in 1978 by a doctor in Japan to reduce pain and inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis patients. He discovered benefits of cold therapy — not as it related to chilling the underlying tissue, but the nerves known as thermoreceptors that perceive temperature change. In other words, the perception of cold was optimal, as opposed to actual cold. His goal became to find a method to cool the greatest amount of skin in the shortest amount of time, without allowing the cold to penetrate the body.

For athletes, the ice bath has been the go to recovery treatment for traumatic injuries, chronic overuse, and preventative measures. Cryotherapy offers those same therapeutic benefits, and more, with rapid short term freezing, as compared to the gradual, uncomfortable and deep cooling of an ice bath. World champion sprinter, Usain Bolt had a mobile Cryotherapy unit at the 2012 London Olympic games for relief from back injury; Alberto Salazar used it coaching runners Galen Rupp & Mo Farah for the Olympic games; and soccer star Christiano Ronaldo has his own private cryochamber installed at his home. Read More

 

Rub Yourself

 

Image Map

CLICK ABOVE TO SHOP

In between massage appointments, on the road, or as part of your daily fitness regimen, every athlete and active person needs at least one self massage tool in their training tool box. Designed for warming muscles up pre-workout and relieving muscle tension and soreness post-workout, there are a wide array from which to choose, ranging from a very inexpensive ball to a foam roller to a fancier motorized sports massager. A foam roller or stick is great on big muscle groups, while a ball can work in between muscles and is ideal for trigger point release. Available in all sorts of fun colors, most are easily packable which make them ideal for travel too.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: BABYBELLE BODYBUFFER $295. Marketed as a cellulite reducer, this pretty little massager packs a lot of power in it’s oscillating motion! Using the babyBelle Bodybuffer before a workout is a great way to kick-start circulation and warm up muscles. After training, it enhances blood flow to the muscles, flushes out lactic acid, and relieves soreness. It is also available in a larger two handed size for a more vigorous, deep-tissue massage.

GRID 2.0 $64.99. A foam roller is an absolute must and probably the most versatile of all the self massage tools. The longer 26″ GRID 2.0 and smaller 13″ GRID, are our favorites for their multi-dimensional surface, that roll through the nooks and crannies of tight muscles, knots and kinks.  The GRID provides a more realistic massage experience: low and flat feels like the forearm or palm
; high and firm feels like the finger tips. The GRID is also available on a stick, GRID STK. Read More

 

Graston Technique

 

 
Medieval torture device or therapeutic healing method? The Graston technique feels like a bit of both. Six stainless steel tools, in different shapes, sizes and bevels, were originally designed by David Graston for athletes as to treat acute and chronic soft tissue injuries. Designed to break up scar tissue and facial restrictions, these tools are utilized by chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists to stimulate the healing process. While I can attest the method is extremely effective, the scraping of a metal tool across inflamed muscles hurts like hell.

According to Dr.Peter Duggan, D.C., CSCS of Duke Chiropractic, our go-to resource for all sports injuries, “The tools pick up tissue differently than my hands. They are especially effective in treating sports injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome, Achilles, rotator cuff, calf and hamstring injuries.”

The curvilinear edges of the Graston instruments, combined with their concave/convex shapes, mold the to various contours of the body and catch on fibrotic tissue, which immediately identifies the areas of restriction. The instruments are then used to break up the scar tissue so it can be absorbed by the body. The pain one experiences is actually a small grade inflammation that is created which starts healing process.

For all us athletes, weekend warriors, or recreational sport and fitness enthusiasts who don’t want to be sidelined by nagging injuries, the Graston technique is a legitimate example of no pain no gain.

 
 

BACK TO TOP