Author Archives: Restore Motion

Nina Helms: Yoga Instructor

Restore Motion is excited to introduce a twice weekly vinyasa yoga class taught by veteran yoga teacher, Nina Helms.  Nina has extensive experience practicing yoga since 1994 and was certified to teach at the White Lotus Foundation in Santa Barbara, CA in 2002.  She combines her yoga expertise with her knowledge from her own struggles with injury and pelvic pain. Trained by the Yoga industry’s luminaries, Helms takes a non-dogmatic approach and is sensitive to body limitations while focusing on integrating strength, flexibility and balance. Nina’s teaching incorporates knowledge of the anatomy, familiarity with pain and the ability to coach to each practitioner’s ability and experience level.  Join her every Tuesday at 11:00am or Wednesday evening at 6:00 to create space, healing and strength in your body and spirit.

 

Photo Credit: http://www.sheintimatefitness.com/about/

When Pain Becomes Chronic

The pain science research over the last 10 years indicates there are significant differences between acute pain and chronic pain in our bodies.   When there is an acute injury, the brain receives the signal from the injured tissue. As the tissues heal, the nervous system gradually calms down.  Normally, our bodies have a low level of excitation in our nerves.

When the level of excitation does not calm down as an injury heals, the pain becomes chronic.  The tissue injury is healing, but the nerves are still over-stimulated. The central nervous system is extra sensitive.   The brain then interprets even small inputs as pain. When the nerves are over excited, the surrounding nerves also become more excited causing the pain to spread to multiple areas.

The primary question then is how to calm the nervous system to decrease the pain.   The research suggests that one of the most effective strategies to calm the sensitivity of the nervous system is aerobic activity.    Decrease in pain levels have been seen with even small amounts of aerobic exercise such as 5-10 minutes. The main point is to start where an individual is able to move with a minimal increase in pain.  The brain needs to experience that it is “okay” to move again. The pain science research consistently shows that individuals who are afraid to move have poor outcomes.

Other strategies to calm the nervous system, include deep breathing, meditation, and general healthy habits including good sleeping patterns and healthy diet.  All of those strategies decrease the stress in the nervous system which will gradually decrease the sensitivity.

It is important to understand that the chronic pain does not mean that there is new tissue damage occurring.  The brain just needs the body to move again to decrease the sensitivity of the nervous system.

 

Written by: Stephanie Bloom, PT

Picture: https://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/chronic_pain_causes_solutions_slideshow/webmd_rm_photo_of_pain_illustration.jpg

Meditation Retreat: Part 2

In our April Newsletter we shared that current neuroscience states 8 minutes of meditation a day will change brain structure positively! Meditation: Part 1

This newsletter, we expand on the phrases presented last time to help gather and direct attention for meditation. Metta is a Pali word defined as “loving kindness,” fierce compassion or freedom of heart. Metta Meditation is a practice where one focuses on a set of phrases that sends kind thoughts first to oneself  and then to others. In comparison, Mindfulness Meditation is a practice where one focuses on the immediate present moment without judgement.

Sit comfortably with your spine supported.  Closing your eyes will help bring your attention inward.  You can keep your eyes open to read the phrases until they are easy to remember.   

It is helpful to set a timer for 5 or 8 minutes. The phrases used in Metta Meditation help gather and direct your attention. They give the mind focus, “something to do.”  Breathe in and think “May I be free….” Breathe out and think “…of enmity and danger.” Here are phrases to try:

(Inhale) May I be free… (Exhale) …of enmity and danger
(Inhale) May I have…. (Exhale) …mental happiness
(Inhale) May I have… (Exhale) …physical happiness
(Inhale) May I have… (Exhale) …ease of well-being

Direct these phrases in a cycle first to yourself, then to a benefactor, a friend, and then to a neutral person (someone you interact with but don’t know well).  Later try to expand your Meta circle to a “difficult” person then to “all beings.” For example you could include a favorite teacher, good friend, the check out person at the store, and the aggressive driver from your commute in your meditation.  It is easier to practice with those close to your heart at first.

Our perception of our experience changes when we are able to realize the fact it isn’t what is happening around us, it’s  the way we react to what is happening around us that can be upsetting.  Meditation allows us to create spaciousness between stimulus and our reaction to that stimulus on a daily basis.

Sylvia Boorstein updated the language of the classic phrases in her book Happiness is an Inside Job

You can give them a try too:
(Inhale) May I feel… (Exhale) …contented and safe.
(Inhale) May I feel… (Exhale) …protected and pleased.
(Inhale) May my physical body… (Exhale) …support me with strength.
(Inhale) May my life unfold… (Exhale) …smoothly with ease.

 

Miriam Graham, PT, DPT, MBA  May 2018

Image Credit: http://www.sylviaboorstein.com/books/

Meditation Retreat: Part 1


Sylvia Boorstein, PhD, and Miriam Graham, DPT (December 2017) with Dr. Boorstein’s books Happiness is an Inside Job and Pay Attention for Goodness Sake.

Current neuroscience states 8 minutes of meditation a day will change brain structure positively! 

Meditation is about choosing an object on which to REST your mind.  The mind frequently wanders to the past or to the future. GENTLY bring your mind back to REST on the chosen object.  Typically, you will go through several cycles back and forth, starting and restarting in any one session. That IS meditation, the exercise that brings about resilience.  Just like exercise for your body, meditation requires effort and repetition.

The phrases used in meditation help gather and direct your attention.  You can sit, stand (or walk slowly if it is more comfortable to be on the move).  If possible, close your eyes while sitting or standing, this will help you bring your attention inward.  Comfortably support your spine. It is helpful to have a timer to set for 2, 4, 5 or 8 minutes. Try this mindfulness phrase to exercise being in the present for 2 minutes:

Breathe in: May I be present in this moment.
Breathe out:   May I meet it as a friend

Once you feel comfortable with 2 minutes, challenge yourself to 4 minutes.  Remember the exercise is to bring yourself back to the phrase and breathing.  You ARE doing it RIGHT if you have to redirect yourself back from wandering onto your grocery list or starting to fall asleep… That is the exercise!

Last December I attended a 6-hour meditation retreat lead by Sylvia Boorstein and Sharon Salzberg. Both women were engaging speakers and I appreciated how simply they presented “Metta” or “Loving Kindness” meditation.  Metta is a Pali word that is translated as “loving kindness,” fierce compassion or freedom of heart. Next installment we will introduce a cycle of phrases to practice a Metta Meditation.  Until then, enjoy the respite of taking just a few minutes to withdraw and rejuvenate in this moment.

 

Written by Miriam Graham, PT, DPT, MBA  

Dr. Mistry’s Oral Hygiene Benefits & Tip

It’s Spring Cleaning  Time … even for your TEETH !

Visiting your dentist regularly has many health benefits overall.

Regular dental visits are important because they help keep your teeth and gums stay healthy. Residue on teeth after eating and drinking all day can cause plaque and tartar to buildup and not only cause tooth decay, but can erode the mouths gum tissues. When this happens, you end up getting an infection called gingivitis.  As gingivitis progresses, the tissue that attaches gums to teeth can break down and cause a more serious condition called periodontitis which can cause eventual tooth loss.  A dental professional can offer treatment to correct such gum disease.  

One way to minimize food residue on your teeth and the associated plaque build up is to lubricate you teeth with drinking water.  Gently swish the water between your teeth paying particular attention to direct the flow of water to the front and back teeth–both tops and bottoms before and after you eat.  

Don’t wait for sudden unexpected  tooth pain before seeing a dentist … go for a tune up of your mouth  this SPRING to prevent Tooth trouble!

 

Written by Bhavana Mistry, DDS 

Nicole Anzia of Neat Nik

Nicole Anzia launched her organizing company, NeatNik in 2007. Ever since, she’s used her innate organizing ability and entrepreneurial spirit to help clients all over DC area simplify their lives. She believes that when people feel in control of their surroundings, they are better able to reach personal and professional goals — and they can spend more time doing the things they love. Nicole also writes a monthly organizing column for The Washington Post. Nicole lives in Washington DC with her husband and two daughters.

Spring-cleaning means different things to different people. For some people, this time of year is a chance to de-clutter surfaces, straighten up the home office and clean out their closet. To others, this is a chance to do some serious deep cleaning – windows, appliances, furniture and rugs. There is no right or wrong way to spring clean your house – do what needs to be done and feels right to you.

On my spring-cleaning/to-do list this month
1)   Take things out of my kitchen drawers and cabinets and wipe out the insides. And I’m only going to put back the items I need and use.

2)   Wipe out the insides of the garbage and recycling cans in my kitchen.

3)   Remove things from my vanity’s cabinets and drawers, wipe out the inside and re-organize the contents.

4)   Remove everything from the floor of our coat closet, clean the floor, and throw away or donate any shoes or boots that no longer fit or have not been worn in the past 6 months.

5)   Clear off my desk and wipe the surface clean. Cull papers and file papers from the past 3 months.

6)   Wash my pillows, pillow covers, and mattress cover.

7)   Wash throw blankets and have furniture and area rugs deep cleaned.

8)   Wipe down baseboards and doors.

9)   Throw away old and expired food from my pantry. Wipe off shelves and make a list of what needs to be re-stocked.

10) Discard all old newspapers and catalogues. Remove myself from the mailing lists of at least 5 company’s catalogues.

The change of seasons is a perfect time to clean and organize your home. It’s an opportunity to get things in order and head into the warm spring and summer months feeling in control and refreshed.

Frozen Treat Fruit Smoothie

Nighttime snacking can be a difficult habit to quell.  If you crave ice cream, Dr. Annina Burns of Oxford Nutrition Health, says you may be lacking magnesium. Magnesium helps with muscle relaxation and sleep.  Many people are deficient in magnesium because of ongoing chronic stress.  Dairy is one source of this vital mineral.  If something frozen and tasty is your passion and you can tolerate dairy, try this frozen treat instead of ice cream.  

Ingredients

1 C Full-fat Greek Yogurt
1C Whole milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Whole Foods brand Whey protein powder)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon to taste
2 cups frozen berries

You will need a blender that can blend frozen fruit into an appealing consistency and paper cups to freeze ~¾ cup individual servings.

Directions
Pour milk and scoop yogurt into blender.  Add protein powder, vanilla extract and cinnamon.  Blend for a minute until combined and smooth.  Add frozen berries to the blended liquid and pulse blender to break up the frozen berries.  Continue to blend mixture until all the berries have been liquefied into a uniform mixture.  This may take up to 4 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.  Pour ~¾ cup smoothie mixture into paper cup for individual servings.  Place the smoothie cups in the freezer.  When firm, place them in a bag to protect their flavor.  To enjoy, allow the smoothie to sit at room temperature to soften for a few minutes.  If you can’t wait, partially defrost it in the microwave on high for 25 seconds.  

Click here for a printer friendly copy.

Written by: Miriam Graham, PT, DPT, MBA

 

RM Hosts DMV Pelvic Floor Study Group

    

Restore Motion hosted the DMV Pelvic Health Study Group Saturday, January 27th.  There were over 23 attendees from DC, Maryland, VA and WV!  Our guest presenter was Dr. Rachel Rubin a urologist who specializes in sexual health.  We were thankful for the chance to discuss scholarly articles and challenging patient care issues with Dr. Rubin.  

One sensitive topic discussed was the general outrage about the sexual abuse by USA Gymnastics Team physician, Larry Nassar . His actions put legitimate treatment of the pelvic floor in questionable light for the general public.  (See link to article below by a pelvic floor PT and doctor of Physical Therapy.)

This determined group of therapists and physician want to speak out for the necessity of pelvic health and sexual health education for all ages.  We also enjoyed catching up with and meeting our colleagues and friends.  Always good to put a name with a face!  

We plan hold more events that bring our network of colleagues closer together to help our patients.  It often takes a team of practitioners to heal pelvic dysfunction and sexual trauma. Physicians (urologists, gynecologists, colorectal, gastroenterologists), physical therapists, mental health therapists, nutritionists and sex therapists refer to each other to promote each patient’s healing and well being.    

Written by: Miriam Graham, PT, DPT, MBA   

Nassar’s Atrocities Stigmatize A Legitimate Medical Treatment article by Lori Mize, PT, DPT

    

RM Friend: Marisa Nickols

Meet RM Friend MarisaNickols, Co-Executive Director of Baby’s Bounty Montgomery County.  Baby’s Bounty MC is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that provides safety, health and wellness essentials to at-risk infants up to six months of age who are born into poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, and other disadvantaged situations.

When Marisa was pregnant with her first child she noticed, “my husband and I had lots of support from friends and family.  What we weren’t given, we were able to buy–whatever was needed.”  Reflecting on her good fortune she “started to wonder what happens to new moms and families that don’t have the resources?”  Marisa first heard about Baby’s Bounty when she caught a segment about the charity on the news. “I decided to donate my daughter’s things to the charity when she grew out of them.”  She was surprised to hear a few months later the charity was closing its doors.   

“I have a background in politics–and I thought those skills could be applied to running a charity.”   The needed skills of organizing volunteers and getting a message out to the community overlapped well. Nickols reopened Baby’s Bounty 3 months after the doors were closed. In FY 2015-2016 Baby’s Bounty helped 127 babies, doubled that the next year and in the first 6 months of FY 2017-2018 have helped 220 babies in Montgomery County.

“Some mothers don’t have an infant car seat when it is time to leave the maternity ward.”  Babies in need are identified by hospital case workers, Montgomery County or Health and Human Services referrals. Cribs for Kids is an organization that helps purchase Pack-n-plays (portable cribs) at a good price for the charity. Used infant car seats aren’t allowed to be donated; they have to be purchased and donated new.  Monetary donations allow the Baby’s Bounty to purchase items for “Safe Sleep, Safe Travel, Health & Hygiene.  The charity is funded through a combination of 2 grants from Montgomery County, donations and fundraising efforts. The Baby’s Bounty “Run Rockville 5k and Stroller Derby” will be April 22.  Click here for the flyer.  

To learn more about Baby’s Bounty of Montgomery County visit their website http://www.babysbountymc.org/

 

International Pelvic Pain Conference 2017

Restore Motion physical therapists Carrie Cothran, Patrick Wenning,  and Reshma Rathod attended The International Pelvic Pain Society Conference held in Washington DC October 11-15th. When asked to summarize her “take home discovery” from the IPPS Conference, Carrie Cothran replied, “Pain can be viewed as a neuro-immune response.  Structures within the body that aren’t injured may still undergo an inflammatory reaction due to the tissue changes associated with pain. This in turn contributes to long-term protective responses that affect resting muscle tension and ability to do work. The protective responses that occur with pain make the body more vulnerable to injury.”

Patrick Wenning remarked, “At the conference, there was such enthusiasm for better understanding scientific knowledge of the pelvic floor. Most of the time, pelvic floor rehabilitation is new to people and to other PTs mainly because it is an area of the body that people don’t want to talk about. Discussion with fellow participants was frank and enlightening.  They made me feel that I had something to contribute and that I made the right decision to pursue this specialty. I still have a lot to learn as the science continues to uncover more useful information!”

Reshma Rathod added, “Opioids don’t work with Fibromyalgia or chronic pain since the endogenous opioid receptors are already occupied due to changes associated with chronic pain.  When opioids are given for acute pain, they interfere with mood, sleep patterns and contribute to headaches. Ironically, patients may want to continue on the opioid medication to address their depression, difficulty sleeping and headaches.  The body’s dependence opioid medications ‘stick’ with the person making it more difficult to discontinue and cause more problems in the long run.”