Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lower Back Pain - What Is the Cause of Lower Back Pain?

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What is the cause (or causes) of lower back pain?

Can you pinpoint the exact cause of your pain, so that you can treat it and get rid of the pain immediately? Sometimes you can. Though you need to be careful as back problems and symptoms have different causes.

 The Treatment Paradox 

Many people on the internet offer information on exact causes to help sell you a cure, and no doubt some of them even work. However, the concept of "cause" can be a tricky one - even to a doctor or
other medical professional. Very often your acute (or short term) pain will disappear naturally. In fact, most people have back pain during their life. It is a normal occurrence. And many times the pain goes away on its own without any type of treatment.

If you are using some type of treatment and your pain symptoms disappear, you might attribute the disappearance to whatever treatment you were receiving, when - in fact - the pain simply disappeared on it's own - the way a fever, cold, or a bad mood might simply go away on its own.

Likewise, human beings are complicated. We have unique lifestyles, beliefs and experiences.
Consider the popular medical idea that bone strength, muscle elasticity and muscle tone decrease with age. And that as we age the "discs" in the spine begin to lose flexibility and their ability to cushion and protect the vertebrae. That may be true. But does it cause the pain in your lower back? Not necessarily.
A person's bone density will decrease with age and perhaps even the disks in parts of their spine. But some people have damage in their lower disks and they have no pain. Your experience needs to be considered.

Here are some purported cause of back pain, especially pain in the lower areas of your back.. But keep in mind, many people also have the symptoms or conditions below but NO PAIN.

Injury or trauma to the back
Degenerative conditions such as Arthritis
Osteoporosis or other bone disease
Viral infections
Irritation to joints or discs
Spine abnormalities that a person is born with

Let's not forget so-called life-style factors such smoking, obesity, weight gain from pregnancy, stress,
general bad posture, and bad posture in certain tasks such as when lifting heavy objects. There are also factors such as a pinched or compressed nerve.

So when all is said and done, it is important to not use a treatment for your pain that is expensive or irreversible. For example, surgery for back pain is almost never recommended. Why? Because the symptoms may go away on their own or may go away with some type of gentle treatment such as massage, exercise, Feldenkrais sessions or other non-invasive (and cheaper) treatment.

Ryan C. Nagy, M.A. is a small business owner & consultant. Come see Ryan at

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Photo source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What You Need To Know About Starting A Yoga Class

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Exercising has a lot of benefits. This includes mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Attending a yoga class offers a more holistic approach to exercise than other traditional approaches. Here is what you can expect when you start attending sessions.

What to bring to a yoga class

You will need to bring a mat, which you will use during the session. If you are just starting your yoga class and you have not yet bought a mat, the best thing would be to call ahead and ask the instructor or studio if they have some extra mats that you can borrow before you can get around to buying your own. Before making a purchase, you can do some research or ask your instructor what the most suitable type of mat is. This is so that you can buy the right kind, considering that the mats come in different sizes, materials, lengths, colors and thickness.

You can also carry some drinking water when going for a yoga class and a towel to use if you get extra sweaty. Most studios will provide you with props that you may use during sessions, such as belts, blocks and blankets.

What to wear to a yoga class

The type of clothes you wear largely depends on the type of sessions that you are going for. Different
classes have different environments and different exercises to be carried out. For instance, if you are going for a Bikram session or a Power yoga class, you will typically sweat a lot due to the hot environment, so it would be appropriate to put on clothes that will wick away the sweat.
Your outfit also depends on the gender. For men, it is quite alright to wear baggy fitting t-shirts, while on the other hand, tight fitting tops will be more appropriate for women. This is because when carrying out some of the poses while in session, your top might come over your heady if it is too loose, leaving your torso exposed. Some women might find this uncomfortable and will spend the rest of the session trying to pose while pulling down their clothes all the time. This can be quite distracting.

When to arrive for your yoga class

Try and arrive a few minutes before the session is meant to start. This will give you ample time to get ready for the session. It will also give you the advantage of choosing a spot that you are comfortable with. This can be quite important if you are attending a popular or large session, where there will be many participants.

What to do when you arrive for your yoga class

Once you arrive for the yoga class, make sure to sign in. Also, you will most likely be expected to take off your socks and shoes before you walk into the room where the session will be held. Either ask or just check to see where other participants are leaving their shoes and follow suit. This might be in a cubicle or somewhere inside the room. It's also a good idea to switch off your phone.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Three Quick Tips On How To Get In Shape For Summer

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As you know, I like to get in depth with health and functional medicine as I see some very serious cases. With that being said, I understand that I need to simplify concepts for people who just want to lose 20 pounds and feel better. Here are three easy tips you should follow if you want to have more energy and lose some unwanted weight for the summer.

Cut out all breads, bagels, cereals, pizza, pasta and grains for that matter. I know I will get questions on what about quinoa, spelt, ancient grains, whole wheat, whole grains, etc. I am not going to explain the difference as I do that in the forthcoming book but the quick and easy response is eliminate these carbs mentioned above. You replace them with healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocadoes, almond butter, nut butter, fatty fish, a few almonds/walnuts/macadamia nuts, organic eggs if not sensitive and grass fed organic meats.

Reduce your stress levels by practicing meditation, yoga, prayer, etc.. This is easier said than done but you can see a qualified practitioner who can run your labs so you will know your stress numbers. This is unbelievably important as stress leads to weight gain and even death. Trust me on this folks. The hormone cortisol is produced when you are under stress and you have four times as many cortisol receptors around your midsection and that is where the fat gets stored for most people.

I always inform my patients and clients to just move. Emotion is created by motion. Movement
causes your neurotransmitters to activate, you feel better and will even shed a few calories. Now I am not someone who counts calories and cares about how much I burn but quick, "relatively difficult" workouts get the heart rate up, blood flowing, hormones activated and metabolism moving. When you exercise for three to four times a week for thirty to forty minutes each session, you will see an expenditure of calories and this will point the scale in the right direction.

In my practice, I see people with varying health problems and disease. I would say that up to 95% of their cases can be resolved by changing their nutrition plan, making lifestyle adjustments and having a quality workout program that is congruent with their physiology and lab results. There is nothing better than seeing a client transform their life and progress every day.

Thank you,
Please listen to us at Interactive Body Balance on iTunes or at You can also e-mail us at Thanks
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Photo 2: By Raquel Baranow, Wiki Commons