After 25 years in the fitness industry and now edging into my 13th year as a manual therapist, I feel I’ve seen just about every “new” remedy, every ancient form of movement exploitation, and more fusion-based methods than I care to write about.
When I first tried a yoga class, I think I was about 23. I admit quite forthrightly, I didn’t love it.
It's sad when someone, especially a visionary passes from this life into whatever that place beyond is. Jack LaLanne died this past Sunday at the sparking age of 96. He brought fitness to the masses and is someone I've always admired and listed as someone whom helped develop many of the philosophies of my own early workouts.
"I have not only lost my husband and a great American icon, but the best friend and most loving partner anyone could ever hope for," Elaine LaLanne, LaLanne's wife of 51 years and a frequent partner in his television appearances, said in a written statement.
I met him about 10 years ago in California during a convention and I asked him how he kept his body feeling young. His reply, "Don't think about your age. I never do. Who knows how old I am? I don't."
To some extent, that's sound advice yet I am still obsessed with the aging process and reducing the negative effects we associate with aging. If anyone defied the aging process it's Jack.
More than not thinking about aging, my two cents about how he stayed so young and active for so long - he juiced for years, he stayed active always, and he one thing all of us should consider... he ate less than what we assume we should.
Even for me, after doing a two week cleanse, no sugar, less of everything, and getting a full 8-hours of sleep every night, my body feels stronger, more alert, clear headed... it's a good thing to consider. I am not saying starve yourself and don't eat by the way! Eat! Eat good, healthful foods, just eat less. Consume less. The general population in the US consumes up near 2800-3400 calories everyday but only expend about 1500-2000. What you don't use... you store and that overworks everything from metabolic system to the nervous system.
In any event, Jack, where ever you are now, I for one will never forget your legacy.
I am in the middle of doing a cleanse and in doing so, (like all things that pertain to me using my own body as a test subject for personal research and experience) I share these experiences openly and honestly to anyone reading my blogs.
I also engage in Facebook when my time permits me to stop working and enjoy the networking possibilities on that vast network. I posted that I had decided to do a cleanse and the replies were very mixed, controversial and the personal message fell upon me quickly and in great number.
One I read I knew should be a blog. A friend and colleague was intrigued about my comment about one of the goals of my cleansing. I mentioned that I was intentionally trying to help my liver “reboot”, rest, and repair. She was intrigued by the comment about manipulating the liver and sent me this in reply:
“I recently have been having pain on my right side. Long story short went to my doc & had a sonogram. Turns out I have an enlarged liver and need to see another doc about this...Wonder if what you mentioned could be a cause.”
You all know I am not a doctor but I must say, I have learned and practiced many techniques regarding both liver functions and structure. So, with that in mind, here’s my two cents about what the liver is, does, and what possibilities can cause an enlarged liver.
There is a great blog I found on the internet that explains what the liver is and does. http://www.puristat.com/livercleansing/liverfunction.aspx
It’s a really clear article and saves me time on getting to the point of this blog. The real question is what happens when the liver is enlarged?
While the liver is capable of regenerating itself, its capacity to repair itself can be seriously impaired by repeated stressors of various sorts. So remember the bullet point list in the Puristat blog. If the liver is having trouble doing it’s many jobs efficiently, how do you think your body will handle it? How will your liver handle it?
Remember the liver has many functions, including detoxifying the body, making bile, storing and processing fatty acids, such as cholesterol and making proteins. It is the body's largest solid organ. A healthy adult liver is comparable in size to a football. Various medical conditions can cause the liver to become enlarged, but an enlarged liver itself is not a medical condition.
So now on to possible causes of an enlarged liver. I can only tell you what I know from clinical experience and personal research (mostly through PubMed.com, American Medical Journals and other credible resources… not the first hits usually on Google…). For more information about your enlarged liver, go see your doctor.
Actually, there's lots of things that can cause an enlarged liver. It can be from something severe like liver cancer to something simple like pent up anger. Seriously. There are many diseases that affect how the liver processes. One of the common threads to many of these diseases is the role enzymes play in the life of any cell. Without putting in any scientific terms like lysomes into an analogy, let me try to simplify a complex happening in a cell when particular enzymes are not produced or absorbed:
In a healthy cell, particular enzymes break down waste products. If there’s not enough of this type of enzyme, fatty waste products don’t get broken down and the cell gets filled with waste. So now the cell is filled with waste, swollen beyond it’s normal size and wreaking havoc on the body because it’s not happening in one cel… it’s happening in many of them.
There are a few termed “Clinical Diseases” like that I’ve worked with. One is called Gaucher’s disease. And what I have learned about this type of disease is that Gaucher cells accumulate and displace healthy normal cells in bone marrow and organs such as the liver and spleen. This accumulation causes a host of signs, including skeletal deterioration, anemia, and organ dysfunction.
But there is another termed “issue” people have… but it’s not a disease and a similar happening is occurring… it’s called INFLAMMATION. When cells are inflamed, your liver is under siege… any type of inflammation will cause a response from the liver… one potentially being getting swollen.
· Liver cancer
· Repeated, excessive alcohol consumption
· Congestive heart failure
· Too much iron absorption
· Too much belly fat
Bottom line, the liver is a cesspool for dumping waste and it would be a nice thing I think to give the liver a break once in awhile and help it out. It’s not that hard by the way. If it’s not a disease that’s causing your liver to be enlarged, right away, I would give you some simple tips:
1. Drink water consistently 3 liters per day – sip it frequently, don’t gulp it periodically.
2. REST. Take a nap especially on the weekends and even if you don't feel tired. The liver rejuvenates most during REM phase of sleep.
3. Talk to a decent therapist and get some pent up anger out. Try to get more conscious about how much you keep inside your body.
4. Go to youtube and type in MELT Method. You will find a video with the 3-D breath breakdown. Do that everyday. If you can, do an assessment on the floor first, then do the technique, then reassess. Your body should feel more weighted on the floor in your upper body thus giving more room for the liver to move and regain optimal mobility and motility. It helps.
5. Stop drinking so much alcohol. You can all tell me red wine is good for me but I think it’s like anything else besides water. We shouldn’t do it every day. Skip a few in the week and help your liver out.
6. SWEATING is good. Just sit in a sauna or move in a way and do something that makes you sweat for about 30 minutes. If that seems like too much time to move, go for 10 and work your way up one minute more every other day.
7. Talk to your doctor or go see a specialist about checking your enzymes.
8. Eat some vegetables and organic fruits for health sake. Just do it. They are good for you. Raw is the best but make sure it’s clean and organic for most things raw I believe is a good idea.
9. MELT!!! Not only is the 3-D breath a great tool, there is so much you can do to support your liver by stimulating your connective tissue in a positive way. MELT rejuvenates the fluids in this tissue with specific techniques that improve the efficiency of your movements and that can only be good for your liver too. For now, on youtube there are some techniques you can try but MELT videos and downloads are finally in the works! We are reshooting in March so be on the lookout in a few months for more products and helpful tools!
10. Get a hug. I have to tell you, just some human touch really helps the liver out. Get a massage, get a visceral session… (Hilary Bilkis, will be doing body work sessions, in my office while I am traveling. She will be seeing clients for CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Mobility treatments...good for the liver!) The dates she will be in and available appointment times are as follows:
Feb 4: 11:15, 1:45, 3:00, 5:00,
Feb: 18: 11:15, 1:45, 5:00, 6:15
March 4: 11:15, 1:45, 3:00, 6:15
March 18: 11:15, 1:45, 5:00, 6:15
For more information about Hilary, visit her website: www.awakening4wellness.com
Please contact her directly to make your appointment. email@example.com or cell phone 973-479-2229
Over the past 4 months, there have been more and more research studies coming out about a particular virus that is linked to Chronic Fatigue. I have seen people with chronic fatigue many, many times in my office. It is not only debilitating, most doctors up until recently call it a psychological disorder, nothing more.
But recent research is linking Chronic Fatigue to a virus called XMRV. This virus is related to the AIDS virus so most of the studies in years past were focused on determining how XMRV related to the AIDS virus. The researchers were not looking at CFS up until the past few years. This year, a few research studies are showing that not only do people with CFS frequently hold the XMRV virus, people afflicted with CFS also have been found to carry other infections causing a lowered immune response. For example, intestinal viruses, Chlamydia Pneumonia, EBV, HHV 6 and even rare lung parasites have been found in people who have been diagnosed with CFS.
HOW DO PEOPLE GET CHRONIC FATIGUE?
Many docs will say it's heriditary and aging is what sets off the illness. Once we reach our late 20's our immune response is commonly degraded as our cellular damage out weighs our cellular repair. Though most people don't immediately suspect CFS when subtle symptoms arise like IBS, sleep disorders, anexiety, depression, and even a slow return from a simple cold but these symptoms are frequently present long before severe symptoms arise.
Two recent posts, one from NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113650222&ft=1&f=1128 and one article from the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/09/health/research/09virus.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=chronic%20fatigue%20research&st=cse have shown compelling evidence of multiple viruses being linked to CFS!
So for those of you who have had someone tell you your fatigue is in your head and stop being so dramatic and depressed, finally, the maddness comes to a stop. Nearly 98% of about 300 patients with CFS hold the XMRV virus, said Dr. Judy A. Mikovitis, the lead author of a paper in the Journal Science. (See NY Times article for more info).
As for what I know about CFS, this virus can be combatted with special drugs and the researchers and clinicians have had some remarkable results. This syndrome leaves not only the body's muscles in a fatigued state, the connective tissue system also becomes spongy, unresponsive, and unable to support the muscular contractions needed for general movement. This, in my opinion is the start of the aching joints and muscle fatigue that soon follows those daily with CFS.
If you have CFS, now is the time to take action both by finding out more about the XMRV virus and treatment available as well as taking some self-care steps to stimulating the connective tissue to combat the chronic symptoms associated with CFS. This syndrome is not in your mind. It's in your body and it's time to get out of the chronic cycle of fatigue.
All the best in health and wellness. I am sure you have not heard the last of this from me~
Well, it's taken about 8 years for anyone in the fitness or health indutries to listen to reason when it come to long-term wellness and longevity. This month's Men's Health Magazine has an AWESOME article regarding Connective Tissue and Tom Myer's work, not to mention our very own Robert Schleip, research extraordinaire! I hope you will check out this article at the link below.
Although the article doesn't discuss treating the connective tissue with hands-off bodywork, at least it shows some of the information about hands-on techniques. Although we are well positioned to move forward, there is still a great deal of work to be done! Keep spreading the word about MELTing!