Basic Physical Therapy Exercises

My Wellness Program is going great here at Aloha Wellness Center.  I’ve had a couple of months of bi-weekly chiropractic adjustments and four weeks of weekly massages.  Last week, I graduated to physical therapy exercises before my adjustments.  The exercises are relatively simply, but they do feel really good.  I’m thinking they should be a daily thing for me even when I’m not getting adjusted.

I’ll give you a quick run-down so you get an idea of what I’m talking about.  The first is an isometric neck exercise.  A lot of places online show folks doing them with their hands, but Dr. English uses one of those red balls you used to play dodge ball with in P.E.  You put the ball against the wall and your forehead against the ball and hold for 10 seconds.  Then you repeat on the right and left and then you put it in the curve of your neck to do the back.  I feel a little silly doing it, but it’s therapy, man, so lay off!

cat-cowNext is a stability ball exercise where you lay on the stability ball on your stomach, kind of collapsed on the ball. Then you press yourhands to the floor and press your torso up.  It is very similar to the cat-cow pose move, only with a stability ball underneath you.  And incidentally, the cat-cow pose is the next exercise.  It is followed by placing that dodge ball between your knees while you do a lying rotational twist on your back.  When you get your legs to one side, you stretch both arms to the opposite side – lovely spine stretch.  And the last stretch is the Figure 4 stretch – one of my favorites.figure4

The last exercise is the wobble board.  Using a wobble board with two balls under it (i.e. makes it easier for beginners), you use both feet to tilt the board forward and back for three minutes.  The goal is to touch the floor with control (versus letting it bang into it).  Jennifer says I’m pretty good at it and that was after only my second time…just sayin’.

So, I’m really enjoying this stage of the plan and am feeling an increase in my range of motion – especially in my neck.  It’s always good to see results!

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101 Ways to Be Happy

This is my 101st blog, so I am going to share with you my ideas for101 ways to be happy. In no particular order…

  1. Go outside
  2. Examine a ladybug
  3. Drink a soothing warm drink
  4. Call your mom (unless she makes you unhappy, in which case, see #5)
  5. Don’t call your mom (unless you can encourage her to be happy and remain happy yourself, in which case, see #4)
  6. Call your dad (ditto from #4 and #5)
  7. Smile at a stranger
  8. Be kind
  9. Watch something funny
  10. Look at something beautiful
  11. Say something beautiful
  12. Light a candle
  13. Smell a rose
  14. Get a massage
  15. Look forward to something
  16. Hope
  17. Read the Bible
  18. Take a walk
  19. Do something silly
  20. Plant a flower
  21. Play with your kitty
  22. Paint
  23. Fall in love
  24. Stay in love
  25. Dance
  26. Go for a walk in the rain
  27. Share
  28. Play
  29. Color
  30. Do a puzzle
  31. Tell someone you love them
  32. Let someone tell you they love you
  33. Splash in a puddle
  34. Kick rocks along a dirt road
  35. Go swimming
  36. Do tricks (handstands, hold your breath a long time, etc.) in the swimming pool and insist someone watch you
  37. Go to the beach
  38. Go camping
  39. Tell a funny story to someone who loves to laugh
  40. Tell a funny story to someone who snorts when they laugh
  41. Eat a grilled cheese sandwich
  42. Use different colored pens on your calendar
  43. Pick daisies
  44. Watch the sunset
  45. Watch the sunrise
  46. Get away from the city’s light pollution and stargaze
  47. Make homemade pizza
  48. Eat chocolate-covered strawberries
  49. Go on a picnic
  50. Look at Pinterest
  51. Send someone a hand-written note
  52. Say, “Thank you.”
  53. Say, “Please.”
  54. Say, “I appreciate you.”
  55. Say, “I love you.”
  56. Get a pedicure
  57. Choose a nail polish in a color you wouldn’t normally choose
  58. Go on a weekend retreat
  59. Make chocolate chip cookies, eat them fresh out of the oven with cold milk
  60. Watch your favorite movie
  61. Run through a sprinkler
  62. Sit by a fire on a cold night
  63. Go on a campout
  64. Go on vacation
  65. Go on a hike
  66. Try coffee ice cream with chocolate chip cookie dough crushed in it
  67. Try something new
  68. Go to a museum
  69. Tickle a child
  70. Tickle a grown up
  71. Make a new friend
  72. Call an old friend
  73. Blow bubbles
  74. Make homemade ice cream 
  75. Finger paint
  76. Make homemade play dough
  77. Do a project with someone you love
  78. Plant a garden
  79. Tend a garden
  80. Wash your neighbor’s car
  81. Mow your neighbor’s lawn
  82. Talk to your neighbor
  83. Go to a movie
  84. Sit in the sunshine
  85. Watch snow fall
  86. Exercise
  87. Use fancy dishes
  88. Use colorful paper plates
  89. Sing along at the top of your lungs to the radio in your car
  90. Play a game
  91. Look through photos from a vacation
  92. Daydream
  93. Walk through a garden
  94. Go to a park
  95. Doodle
  96. Wear your favorite shirt
  97. Draw
  98. Write
  99. Read
  100. Pray
  101. Laugh!

Chiropractic Adjustment of the Neck

Spocksnap. crackle. pop.

I’m not gonna lie. During the chiropractic adjustment, when Dr. English gets to the part where he adjusts my neck, there’s always a moment when I feel a little freaked out about it. It is truly an odd experience to have someone else be in control of your head.

And let’s be honest, we’ve all heard horror stories about quack chiropractors who did not know what they were doing and caused a lot of pain and harm.

But when your head is in the hands of a skilled, trained chiropractor who knows what he’s doing, you really can relax and enjoy.  And when you couple his education and experience with the fact that Dr. English is a gentle-touch chiropractor, the overall encounter provides a great deal of relief.

So for those of you who are scared of having a chiropractic adjustment, do your homework, find someone with the proper certification, and try to find reviews about him or her that speak to the gentleness of the adjustments.  And if you happen to be blessed enough to live in or near Austin, TX, I have a great recommendation!  😉

My First Chiropractic Adjustment (at Aloha Wellness Austin)

The X-rays don’t lie…  If you asked me how I thought my head alignment was, I would have answered that I had a slight forward head lean, but not too bad.  After my initial Wellness Evaluation X-rays, I can confidently say I was living in denial.  I’m apparently the poster child for forward head posture.

Because I don’t have any injuries or a specific incidence of trauma, my main goals for treatment are to increase mobility and work to correct my “textbook” forward head posture.  According to the X-rays, my 12-pound head was 2.5 inches from the proper degree of alignment. That means I’m lugging around approximately 50-60 pound bowling ball on top of my spine. Geez.

"Hello, I'll be administering your electroshock therapy today.  Hold still..."

“Hello, I’ll be administering your electroshock therapy today. Please hold still…”

So I had my first chiropractic adjustment here at Aloha Wellness.  Dr. English began my treatment with interferential therapy to start the process of increasing my range of motion.  What’s that?  Well, according to Wikipedia: “Interferential therapy (IFT) is one of the various types of physical therapy. It uses a mid-frequency electrical signal to treat muscular spasms and strains.. The current produces a massaging effect over the affected area at periodic intervals, and this stimulates the secretion of endorphins, the body’s natural pain relievers, thus relaxing strained muscles and promoting soft-tissue healing.”

In my words, he stuck little electrode pads to my lower back in four places and on four other areas in my neck area. Then he turned on the machine and I started feeling a tingling sensation, which was the little electrical impulses.  He set it to a level comfortable for me and let me lay there for 15 minutes.  All I could think about was the scene from Real Genius

Bodie: He said he didn’t feel like it. And I said, “You’d better!” And he said, “Or what?” And I said, “Or you’re gonna be in trouble.” And he said, “Jam it.”
Professor Hathaway: That’s a wonderful story, Bodie. I noticed you’ve stopped stuttering.
Bodie: I’ve been giving myself shock treatments.
Professor Hathaway: Up the voltage.

But I digress.  Next came the hands-on portion where Dr. English did some PNF stretches followed by the chiropractic adjustment.  It was smooth and painless, but I got the most wonderful “pops” in my back and neck.  I’m pretty sure I grew a couple of inches…

Then, it was on to the Posture Pump, which, in conjunction with the other treatments, will help fix that forward head posture I’ve got going on.  I felt excellent afterwards.  My husband made some crack about hoping I was finally well adjusted now…smart alek.

All in all, it was a great experience.  I’m looking forward to the next one!

me + groupon = heart 4 ever

So, you should know that I’m a total Groupon junkie.  I’ve gotten deals on everything from half off at expensive restaurants (like The Melting Pot) to deals on bed and breakfasts (like Vintage Villas) to massage and wellness packages (like at Aloha Wellness Center).  I’ve read some negative reviews about Groupon, but I stand by them.  Their deals are awesome and I have never once been disappointed with their customer service.

But this post is not really about Groupon…  Rather, it is about Aloha Wellness Center, a fabulous business I found as a result of my ongoing, unrepentant, love affair with Groupon and the amazing deals I get.

Aloha WellnessAloha specializes in wellness programs that integrate chiropractic, massage therapy, and physical therapy.  The Groupon was for a Wellness Evaluation and three follow up massages targeting the issues discovered in the evaluation.

I enjoyed the overall experience so much that I used Yelp for the first time, ever, to write a review.

As a result of my introduction via the Groupon, I signed up to participate in the wellness program they recommended for me.  And now, you get to benefit from my participation…through this blog!  I’m going to document the treatments I receive – giving my thoughts, results, and general review as I experience all that Aloha has to offer.  Coming Soon is my review of my first chiropractic adjustment…

Full Disclosure:  In addition to signing on to participate in the program, I also asked for a job and am now working for Aloha. My employment agreement includes free treatments.  Having said that, their prices are very reasonable and chances are good that I would have signed up anyway.  Rest assured, I intend to be fair and honest in my reviews, so you can still read an objective account.  Just so you know…