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



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




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


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.


The Anti-Gravity Treadmill


State-of-the-art rehab tools and equipment are often found so effective they make their way into the gym for general population training. The latest piece of equipment to do so is the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill, which I had the opportunity to check out last week at Body Space Fitness in NYC. Originally designed by Nasa, AlterG treadmills can unweight up to 80% of a person’s body, allowing for stable support, unencumbered movement, and continued training through injury. These treadmills are used by professional athletes such as LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Kobe Byant and Kara Goucher, and can be found in the training rooms of many NFL, MLB, and NBA teams, in addition to collegiate sports programs and Olympic Training Centers.

As Body Space Fitness owner, Kelvin Gary, told me, “running is a contact sport”, and for those with joint and mobility issues, the AlterG allows them the benefits of running without the impact to the body. Wearing neoprene shorts with a skirt that is zippered into the inflatable chamber, the treadmills use Differential Air Pressure that literally lifts you while you run. Kelvin integrates intervals on the AlterG into training sessions with his clients, and they also book time on their own on the treadmill as part of their regular cardio training regimen.

Training for the NYC Marathon myself right now, I am happily still healthy. With a few more months of training to go and bigger mileage ahead, the AlterG would be an ideal way to keep running should overuse injuries arise. I am hoping, however, not to have to put it to the test. One way or the other, see you at the starting line November 2nd!



It’s A Wrap… Kinesiology Tape



A few years ago, at the Beijing Olympics, I noticed Beach Volleyball Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh’s shoulder covered in very badass-looking colorful tape. It was applied with an intricate criss-crossing pattern and I was intrigued to find out more. As an recreational athlete who tends to overdo it with a fair amount of frequency, I am always interested in what professional athletes do to treat their injuries. Since its their job to get back on the field or court as quickly as possible, they usually have access to the most progressive therapies. It turns out the latest thing is Kenisio Tape and in the London Olympic Games it was everywhere.

Kinesiology Tape is applied to reduce pain and inflammation, and support muscles in movement. Developed in the mid-1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a well-known Japanese practitioner in chiropractics and acupuncture, the tape was designed in response to the limitations he encountered working with traditional sports tape. Kenisio tape has a texture and elasticity very close to human skin. It is non-restrictive and allows for full range of motion, in contrast to traditional sports tape.

A few weeks ago, I found a doctor in NYC, Dr. Vladimir Friedman, DC, CCSP,CKTP, a chiropractor who uses the Kinesiology Tape as a post-treatment therapy. Nursing a hamstring strain going into a half-marathon, it seemed like the perfect time to see if Kenisio Tape worked. I felt I had come full circle when there on his wall was a picture of Kerri Walsh! While the jury is out as to whether Kinesiology Tape really works, I shaved 5 minutes off my time and broke that elsuive 2hr mark. You be the judge.

For more information on Kinesiology Tape, watch the segment from CBS This Morning above.


So Fresh and So Clean Clean



The sporty girl gets dirty and when it’s time to clean up she likes her soap to leave her smelling naturally fresh. Flowers like jasmine and freesia, fruits like lemon and lime, herbs like verbena and sage are some of her favorites from nature’s scents. She appreciates nice packaging too.


1.THREE SOAPS SPORT SOAP SET $19. Set of three triple-milled bars crafted from organic oatmeal, olive oil, shea butter and essential oils. This environmentally sensitive soap is packaged with an irresistible nostalgic sporting theme.  2. MARIO BADESCU AHA BOTANICAL BODY SOAP  $8. Enriched with fresh fruit extracts like papaya and grapefruit to exfoliate, cleanse, and leave skin feeling soft and smooth. 3.CLAUS PORTO BANHO CITRON VERBENA BATH SOAP $18. Floral verbena and a hint of citrus are blended together in this 100% natural shea butter oversized bath bar. 4.L’OCCITANE VERBENA SOAP ON A ROPE $10. This old-fashioned rope soap is delightfully scented with verbena. It hangs in the shower to dry, conveniently mess-free. 5.SABON DELICATE JASMIN SHOWER OIL $18. SLS and paraben free, this combination shower gel laced with essential oils smells great and leaves skin feeling luxuriously silky and soft.  6.FRESH FREESIA OVAL SOAP $15. This triple-milled, vegetable-based soap is enriched with moisturizing shea butter and infused with a delicious floral scent. 7.BLISS ORIGINAL BLUE BODY BAR $15. Bursting with a crisp, fresh scent this long-lasting French-milled moisturizing bar with massaging nubs delivers a lot of bath for your buck. 8.(MALIN + GOETZ)  LIME BAR SOAP $10. This foaming cleansing bar is synthesized with refreshing lime, to gently purify and balance all skin types.

Thanks to my guest beauty editor Evan Pepper!