Important Breath

breathing

Each one of us breathes everyday, otherwise we would not be alive. We know that breathing is important or else we cease to be alive, but I believe it’s importance is not completely understood.  If you think about it, breathe is life.  Yet it happens without thought, without awareness of what exactly is taking place and the depth of it’s importance. Breathing is the one physiological function that happens voluntary and involuntary. We can consciously control it with our mind, or allow it to happen automatically by the central nervous system. I write this post to bring awareness to the breathe and encourage conscious awareness with it. The benefits of doing so are healing and simply surreal. Continue reading “Important Breath”

Core Strength-More than just a 6 pack

core strength importance low back health

I recently began working with Travis. He is a young guy with a strenuous job of cleaning carpets. He sits in the truck and then is bent over in the position he cleans in.  He came to see me for low back pain and neck pain. We are doing a series of exercise and stretches to strengthen his core muscles and get his front body and back body to work together to create a stabilized center.  So far from the two weeks we have worked together (3 times a week), his improvement is outstanding. He is sleeping better at night and his headaches have gone away.

What is Core Strength?

Core Strength is extremely important for a number of reasons.  Many people think of abs or core strength as that six pack look and appeal.  It is so much more than that.  Your abdominal muscles are a part of your core, but several muscles are involved in what your core is. The abdominal and back muscles work together to create your overall core strength.  Lack of these muscles working, and lack of them working together, creates imbalances that in then turn create problems. A prime example is low back pain. Problems of a week core can go beyond just the low back too. Why?  Because the muscles of the low back are connected to other muscles that respond to the weakened low back, and therefore tighten or shorten creating other physical symptoms and limitations.

So rather than focusing solely on crunches to build that six pack, it is recommend to think of the core as what gives you posture, and support, and stabilizes you to protect the precious spinal column. If you sit often, training and strengthening these muscles is very necessary.

What are Core Muscles? 

  • External Obliques-Side abdominal muscles
  • Internal Obliques-located under the external obliques, running perpendicular to them
  • Rectus Abdominis– Front ab muscles.  The ones that create the “6 pack”.
  • Hip Flexors-This group makes up the muscles in front of the pelvis and upper thigh. There are many muscles that make up the hip flexors. The Psoas is the deepest and one we talked about last week.
  • Transverse Abdomonis- the deepest of the ab muscles located under the obliques. These muscles are tend to get ingnored and not properly conditioned and strengthened, being they are so deep.
  • Erector Spinae-Bundle of muscles and tendons that extend the upper, middle, and lower back. These muscles straighten and rotate the back.
  • Multifidus-Muscles and tendons located under the Erector Spinae that help stabilize the spinal column.

Continue reading “Core Strength-More than just a 6 pack”

Meet Your Psoas..

Psoas muscle

The Psoas (SO-AS) is a muscle of the body. One of the largest, thickest and deepest muscles in the body.  This deep muscle is on both sides of the body, extending out of the 12th thoracic vertebrae to the 5 lumbar vertebrae, down through the core of the abdominals to attach at top of the femur, or thigh bone. It is the muscle responsible for connecting the spine of our bodies to our legs, forward flexion, supporting the spine (with aid of the abdominal muscles), and more.  Think lifting your knee up to your chest…this action is performed by the psoas.  This deep muscle is also very sensitive to emotional states.  So keeping the Psoas healthy and strong is very important, otherwise many major effects can occur in the body. Healthy refers to not only strengthening and lengthening, but stress management and control. Continue reading “Meet Your Psoas..”

Spine-Low Back Health

Whether your are a work out enthusiast or you simply can’t even begin to think of working out or exercising, understanding the importance of Low Back Health is essential to your overall quality of life and reducing injury. My neighbors recently began remodeling their pool.  The guy that came out to check out their pool and begin the process was wearing a back brace.  I asked him why the brace.  He told me that he pulled it helping his little boy learn to ride a bike.  I knew my next post needed to be about Low back Health. And so it goes…..

What is the Spine Really?

The spinal column is extremely important and vital in proper movement and messaging throughout your body.  The Spine consists of 33 bones stacked over one another.  A variety of muscles and ligaments connect these bones and keep them properly aligned….or hopefully anyway.  You then have your spinal cord which runs about 18 inches long from the vrain to your Lower back (at your first Lumbar Vertebra). Damage to the Spinal Cord is serious and can result in loss of both motor and sensory function. 31 nerves extend out from the spinal cord. These nerves relay messages to the spinal cord and throughout the rest of your bosy, creating movement and sensation.

Now muscles are connected to bones via ligaments like I mentioned above. You are able to bend over, move and flex your back muscles, sit, stand, and much more from the muscles of the back. They create the protection and the movement for you Spinal Column. Have you bent over and felt a twinge in you lower back?  That is a muscle or series of muscles throwing out a defense mechanism and warning you to step back or ease up, otherwise damage to the Vertebrae and potentially nerves could occur.

Continue reading “Spine-Low Back Health”

Inactivity- a major health risk

The majority of us know that exercise, or physical activity is important and beneficial for overall health and weight loss. We know we should eat healthy and exercise to benefit our health and happiness.

But did you know how big of a risk physical inactivity is?  It’s detrimental effects are comparable with that of smoking!  1 out of 10 people died world wide, in 2008, from inactivity, similar to that of smoking.  The risk factors of being inactive contribute to severe medical conditions from heart disease to osteoporosis, and other illnesses. In the U.S., the amount of obese people is half that of inactive people. Now please understand that inactivity leads to obesity, but is not obesity. Obesity can contribute to the lack of exercise or activity, but it doesn’t mean someone obese is necessarily inactive.

So what is going on??  If you read my last post, I touched on movement and exercise not being the same.  Many people exercise everyday, but then do not participate in movement or activity the rest of the day. Modern conveniences, 8 hour work shifts behind a desk, an app for everything (soon there will be an app that walks for you), has lead or society into a state of laziness, conscious or unconscious. It’s sad really.  And I hope that those that read this, read more. Whether from this site our searching others statistics elsewhere. Awareness is the first step in the process of change. Continue reading “Inactivity- a major health risk”

Exercise & Movement

Exercise : a particular movement or series of movements done to become stronger and healthier

Movement: :  (1) the act or process of moving; especially :  change of place or position or posture (2) :  a particular instance or manner of moving

Exercise is important…period. Movement is important…period. Exercise and movement are both very important, but one is not necessarily the other.  Biologically speaking we are naturally meant to and need to move.  Times have changed throughout the course of history.  Where we once had to hunt our food, and build our own homes, we now run off to the grocery store, to obtain the closest parking spot possible and then rent the home that has been built.  This enables the majority of us to have the time to work our 8-9 hour desk jobs, were sedentary is ordinary.

Where movement was once necessary for survival, it now is not.  And so exercise has become more important because of the lack of movement, the sedentary life styles we have adapted.  But if you are only getting to the gym or outdoors for 60-90 minutes a day, and the rest of your day is back to the desk chair, home to the couch to watch Netflix, the dial of your cellphone to order take out for dinner, is your exercise enough? Continue reading “Exercise & Movement”

Welcome

Welcome to this Wellness Forum.  My name is December and I love health and being well…..I crave it.  It feels good.  This being said, there is not a one-size-fits-all for health and well being. There are many contributing factors. As individuals, we discover oursleves and begin to learn what works for us.  I have created Kontan’s Place to touch on the three areas I feel impact health and wellness.  These three areas are:

Exercise & Movement.

Mind & Creativity.

Food & Consumption.

Within each of these three areas, I will give insight on what I have learned from people, from my own continuos education, and from my own practice.

This is a site for expression and learning.  Although I am the writer, I am the learner too.  I am not claiming to be an expert, nor am I claiming what I say should be the Holy Grail.  I am speaking from my place of perception, experience and learning in life.

Please enjoy and reach out if you have questions.

December.