Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Secret Even Doctors Don't Know

So I was with a client today who came in complaining about her lower back pain… yes, there was yet ANOTHER person in my office with the same issue that I see over and over. This seems to be a recurring theme in my office lately and designed by a higher power to MAKE ME absolutely incorporate something that I’ve been selectively adding to my practice when needed.

As I see it, low back pain generally (but not always) falls into one of two categories: hypermobile and weak lower back (disc problems, sciatica, constant pain, etc), and low backs that are so tight that they are literally crushing the discs (pain, etc). Either way, the remedy is pretty straight forward (hmmm, you wouldn’t have thought this with all of the meds and surgeries going on out there) but requires a particular mindset to view the problem through.

The problem, you see, is that the spine needs to be viewed as a system of integral parts all working together in concert to produce the desired movement that a person is demanding of it. That means that each vertebra needs to move to accommodate ANY movement of the spine. That’s right, every part is a player on the team. The problem arises when some of the parts (or players as it were) of the spine stop moving as much as needed by the other parts.

Either way, the person is going to attempt the movement that he or she desires and so, over time, some parts of the spine begin to move less and to accommodate, some others begin to move more. In the more common case that I see (75% of the time) the lower back is weak from sitting too much (car, desk, home, etc.) and the lumbar curve has actually decreased…getting stretched out from all of the sitting.

In this case generally the upper back is fairly tight and does not move well. The remedy is twofold… loosen up the upper back, and tighten up the lower back muscles. This remedy brings back more of a UNIFORM tension along the spine and relatively, the movement of the vertebrae are more equal than before. As this progresses, the pain subsides, the discs go back into place, chronic muscular inflammation drops, and the client feels better.

What I have found is that this method works almost 100% of the time with only slight variations needed to accommodate varying degrees of pain sensitivity and inflammation.
The other 25% of the time is another story which I will tell you about later…

What has your experience been with back pain and what remedies have you found to be successful in relieving your pain? Please help me complete this post by posting your comments below.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What do YOU want?

A week ago I was in the beautiful Maui sunshine with my fellow mastermind participants. To say that the trip was transformational to both my life as well as my business would be to vastly understate both the transformation as well as the experience. 4 months after we came together in a Las Vegas hotel, this group has proved to be made up of the perfect, complimentary group of participants, with depth of character, love for one another, as well as some very special and valuable skills…yes you’ll likely see some of them here at some point in the next few months.

The intent of a mastermind group is to use the group to laser focus in on one person’s (business, life, goals, etc.) and come up with creative ways for improvement for that person. The idea is that the collective mind is more powerful than the sum of its individual minds and that the wisdom that comes out of the collective mind (or “master mind” as Napoleon Hill called it) is what allows people to see the path to greater success. In this case, we focused in on each person’s business (this is a business master mind) as well as identifying each persons blocks to success. Luckily enough, we had 11 coaches in the room so we resolved those blocks pretty quickly.

The moral of the story is that people at the highest levels of success have coaches and groups who help them see the holes in their best laid plans, help them surmount the obstacles that hold them back, and see the opportunities that they had been blind to. But most of all, these mentors and assistants help us appreciate the brilliance that is ourselves.

So right about now you are likely asking, “so what Manny?”. What the heck does this have to do with me and greater vitality, health, bla-de bla-de blah… And the answer of course is that while solo work with a mentor can be powerful, work with a group (in any area) can be transformative in a multiplied way. So I encourage you to reach out, find your soul purpose, and get with people who are like minded and want to help each other out. You can start by commenting on my blog what your true soul purpose is and what you are looking for NEXT so I can best serve you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Raw Truth

And now from one of my good friends and a geyser of fabulous and arcane food and nutritional knowledge...

The Health Benefits of Raw Dairy

By Erica Stelcik

Raw dairy… it’s not as gross as you think it is!

Last time you bought a container of milk or butter, you probablydidn’t think twice that your container had the word “pasteurized” written on it. Have you ever thought about what that means exactly, and how it can affect your health? Milk in its most natural form is raw (unpasteurized), full-fat, and non-homogenized (i.e., the cream rises to the top). Until you taste the real stuff, you have no idea what you are missing out! Raw dairy from approved dairy farms is extremely safe to consume because the farmer follows even stricter safety guidelines than a conventional dairy farm. Pasteurization kills both the bad and the good in conventional dairy. Here are some reasons why raw dairy is one of the best Real Foods you can eat:

* All raw foods, including raw dairy, contain enzymes that are constantly breaking down that food. Enzymes are killed with heat processing. If you cut a raw apple in half and leave it out for a day, what happens to it? It starts to turn brown because the enzymes in the apple are actively breaking it down. Raw dairy works the same way – it contains enzymes that help break down its components. Raw dairy is the richest source of lipase, an enzyme required to break down fats. A fat metabolism problem (being overweight or underweight) or a fat-soluble vitamin (A, D, E, and K) deficiency problem can mean a lipase deficiency in the body.

* Pasteurization has been linked to asthma, immune system diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, and more. The tremendous biodiversity of good bacteria in raw dairy helps to repopulate the good bacteria we need in our gut, which is essential for maintaining a great immune system and our health.

* People who are unable to eat pasteurized dairy due to lactose intolerance can usually eat raw dairy without a problem. Lactase, the enzyme needed to break down lactose the milk sugar, is abundant in raw dairy.

* Raw dairy also has vitamin B6, which is easily destroyed by heat. Vitamin B6 is usually the most difficult B vitamin to obtain through eating. It is absolutely essential for carbohydrate metabolism.

For more information on raw dairy, please visit or Both websites discuss in great detail the benefits of raw dairy from grassfed, happy cows not dosed in antibiotics or growth hormones.

Erica is studying for her MS degree in Holistic Nutrition and is also a proud member of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She supports eating nutrient-dense foods made the traditional way, and absolutely adores raw cream on top of blueberries! She occasionally writes on her blog at

This post is not complete without your input, so I urge you to comment.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Barefoot Ken

Just yesterday, I read an amazing article about a man named Ken Bob (otherwise known as "Barefoot Ken") who is a well known evangelist of the art of barefoot running. And when I say barefoot running, I mean barefoot. Not with any of the "barefoot shoes" on the market like the vibram five finger, etc. And so, many of you are thinking at this point, "what the heck does this have to do with me?"

Well, I'll tell you. Barefoot Ken is such an evangelist about running completely barefoot because of his experience running his first (and last) marathon in shoes. Needless to say, the ruined toenails, and blisters on the sides and soles of his feet convinced him that shoes are really not good for the feet. And what he inadvertently discovered in his transition to running barefoot is that the human body is an amazingly elegant structure, designed over millennia to move us across the earth in an efficient and pain free manner.

See, what Ken discovered is that the foot, when unshod, actually is quite an elegant machine. Let me explain, each foot has 28 bones in it which create three different arches to allow the foot to expand and to provide potential energy to help in the upward motion of the leg as it leaves the ground for the next stride. Not only that, but the feedback from the ground helps us to adjust our stepping form so that we come into contact with the ground in the most elegant way (setting the outer front foot down first and then gently placing the rest of the foot on the ground) avoiding injury and expending the least amount of energy.

Using this form eliminates pain in the knee hip, and lower spine as the shock of heel striking common with shoe wearing runners, and steppers, is non existent due to the barefoot form. And this brings us to a very relevant question...Are shoes actually damaging our bodies in a way that goes beyond the foot itself? On the surface this seems ludicrous. Shoes protect the feet and help us to go places that we would otherwise not be able to go and do things that we would otherwise not be able to do. And thats just it. Shoes cause us to do things that are unnatural for our bodies, and because of this, we end up moving in ways that actually hurt us.

For example, the typical shod runner lands heel first whilst for the unshod runner, this would be very painful. While the shock of the heel strike in the shod runner may not be felt strongly in the foot itself, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that since that shock bypassed the shock absorbers provided by the three arches of the foot, the shock is now travelling directly up the leg into the next joint, and the next, and the next, etc. Over time this additional and unnatural shock wears the joints, the lumbar discs, etc. Yes, shoes do cause us to do damage to ourselves because they dull our sense of how we are touching the ground with our feet.

This post is not complete without your input, so I urge you to comment.