Posture and pain...

  • By 7045002825
  • 30 Jun, 2017

Good posture/form prevents injury

Do you wonder why you have a chronic pain (back, neck, hip, knee for example)?   

It often boils down to posture.

Oh yes! Correct posture/form prevents overuse injury, protects joints, allows for better breathing, makes the body super efficient/flexible, and you feel a whole lot lighter just walking around.

The problem is we have been conditioned since young childhood to slouch, and all our cars, couches, sitting desks, laptops, etc. are designed to make us slouch.  

Repetition and Time.  

That's all it takes to create injury.  

And that's also what it takes to retrain oneself.  It is possible!

If you'd like to know more, please see my website:  

Malama Pono,


Lahela Fit Blog

By 7045002825 30 Jun, 2017
I work with a lot of feet.  

They are so important to our health.   Healthy feet will provide valuable cushioning from the forces of gravity (force absorption).  Healthy feet will also be able to disburse those forces of gravity, and create elastic rebound (propulsion).   So, we can stand, walk, jump, run, engage in our favorite sports with less chance of injury, and the likelihood of enjoying it much longer.    With better-trained feet, your overall posture improves, too.

Taking care of your feet is anti-aging, preventive healthcare.

Less then ideal feet will compel the rest of the body to compensate.  We take on a lot of extra force into all of our joints.  All of them.  If you want a physical demonstration in person, I often show people this by doing a proper jump/landing and an improper one.  Even though I'm doing the jumping, you can feel the force through the floor and into your own body.

Have you noticed how people tend to walk when they need to be in walkers?  Often shuffling the feet.  Better trained feet can help with that.

Have you noticed too, that when people get older, they start getting concerned about falling down a lot.  Better trained feet can help with that, as well.

Did you realize that your knee problem, back problem, hip problem will also be reflected in your feet?  As you guessed, better trained feet can help with that, too.  

What do healthy feet need?

1).  Strong, flexible arches (yes I said arches because there is more than one arch in the foot.  Come see me to learn more about this).  

2).  Good stability in the ankles.  

3)  These arches and ankles require strong and flexible muscles, particularly in the foot and lower leg.  

Yet  -- we often treat feet as an afterthought.  They sure take on a lot of abuse.  Especially with women, and I'm certainly guilty...

We often put our feet in ill-fitting shoes.  Sometimes this is by choice (ugh, those cute, cute, high heels).  Sometimes, people had to make do growing up, and their shoes were too small.  That happens too.  

And as we age, it's very common for feet to change.  Ligaments weaken.  Muscles atrophy.  You start to see some serious changes in toes, and arches.  I've seen plenty of toes that were crossed over the foot, hammer toes, and bunions.

There is often still a way to improve those feet.  

Are you curious to know more?  Come check out my website to see what I do.  

Malama Pono,


Pilates Method Alliance certified Pilates Teacher
STOTT PILATES ® fully certified Pilates Instructor
Franklin Method  ®  Level 3 Certified Movement Educator
LMT (MAT#6286) and Board Certified (NCBTMB 307766-00)
By 7045002825 30 Jun, 2017
Do you wonder why you have a chronic pain (back, neck, hip, knee for example)?   

It often boils down to posture.

Oh yes! Correct posture/form prevents overuse injury, protects joints, allows for better breathing, makes the body super efficient/flexible, and you feel a whole lot lighter just walking around.

The problem is we have been conditioned since young childhood to slouch, and all our cars, couches, sitting desks, laptops, etc. are designed to make us slouch.  

Repetition and Time.  

That's all it takes to create injury.  

And that's also what it takes to retrain oneself.  It is possible!

If you'd like to know more, please see my website:  

Malama Pono,

By 7045002825 29 Jun, 2017
Does this cue sound familiar to you in a Pilates class:  "Don't let the ribs pop!  Knit them together, pull them in!  Suck it in!"

You definitely don't hear this cue in Yoga...

This is one of the most dysfunctional Pilates cues I have ever heard --something I questioned in teacher training -- and I was pleased to know after studying Osteopathic Sciences why it's actually functional and good, to let those ribs "pop."

A.  Let's do a little experiment, shall we?

1.  Sit, stand, whatever feels most comfortable for you.

2.  Reach an arm up overhead.  Forward.   From the side.  Notice how much range there was.

3.  Now suck in the belly and knit those ribs tightly. Pull them down.  Don't let them go.  And while you're doing that, try the same arm reach.

Point made?

4.  Let's try that experiment again.  Take a breath in.  Allow the ribs to pop open, let the belly pooch out.  Notice how much air you take in.

5.  Now try knitting those ribs together, don't let go.  And while you're doing that, take a breath.

What did that feel like?  Not very satisfying, right?

6.  Try this again with a back-bend if you care to do so.  You'll again find that range of motion is affected by rib popping and rib knitting.

B.  I want to direct you to a very cool old video of Joseph Pilates doing his exercises that he called Contrology, which we call Pilates today. .  Notice the rib popping.  So if anyone claims to be teaching "authentic" Pilates, surely should not be cue-ing people to knit in the ribs.  

Where did this cue originate?  I suspect that it came from ballet aesthetics -- lots of ballerinas went into teaching Pilates.  Now it might be that this sort of cue might possibly maybe be helpful for a naturally hyper-mobile 16 year old dancer.  But it surely is not helpful for your typical human being.  People of all sorts go into Pilates, and over the past dozen years or so, Pilates has been marketed for rehabilitation of injuries, for people seeking greater flexibility and mobility.  And as a result there are so many non-dancers in Pilates today, particularly a very solid group of desk-working professionals, retirees, non-dancing athletes, and more.

C.  Anatomy-wise, these are inescapable facts, based in Osteopathic Sciences:

1.  The ribs open when we breathe.  Preventing this movement restricts the amount of breath we can take in.

2.  The ribs attach to the spine and affect spine movement.  Preventing rib movement restricts spine movement.

a.  If you want to be more exact:  Ribs push up on the transverse processes of the spine and compel the spine into extension.   So when we breathe in, lungs expand -- ribs open up, ribs move the spine into extension.

b.  This also happens in arm-reaching because of how the arms attach to the shoulder blades, which attach to the collar bone, which attaches to the breast bone, which attaches to the ribs, which attach to the spine.  It's all connected, you see... so by the time you're reaching the arm overhread, the spine is slightly extended.  So the ribs will pop out.

c.  When we deeply exhale, the abdominal muscles assist in pulling the ribs downward, and thus the ribs compel the spine into forward bending.

3.  Therefore, if you're constantly knitting in the ribs, basically by gripping abdominal muscles, you're keeping the spine in a forward-bent position.  How exactly does a normal person do a back bend if they're forcing the body into a forward bend? 

Again, if you're a naturally hyper-mobile ballerina or contortionist, you can still do your backbends and arm reaching with these knitted in ribs. Because your ligaments are hyper-mobile.  It's still not necessarily functional cue-ing, however.   If you're the vast majority of the population with normal mobility or maybe not very flexible at all, this cue is going to keep you inflexible.

D.  With one simple cue, I've convinced people that they didn't actually have a self-diagnosed "frozen shoulder", and I've helped older people with mobility issues reach higher without pain.

I have taken people who looked straight as a board, with very strained looking faces while trying to do a spine extension (like a Swan or Cobra), into easy spine extension in just a few group classes which only spent part of the time on spine extension exercises.  They experience substantial improvement just in relaxation of neck muscles with just a few minutes on one exercise.

Take another look at the video of Joseph Pilates!  If anyone was "authentic Pilates," it would be him, right?

If you're curious to know more, feel free to contact me through my website:  

Malama Pono,

Pilates Method Alliance Certified Pilates Teacher
STOTT PILATES ® fully-certified Pilates Instructor
Franklin Method   ® Level 3 Certified Movement Educator
LMT (Mat#6286) and Board-Certified (NCBTMB 307766-00)  

By 7045002825 01 Jun, 2017
Summer break season has officially begun -- and with that, beach season (regattas, surfing, sailing, tourists getting tans), hikes, outdoor games, sitting by the pool grilling, and all of that fun stuff.


Oh, and hey, I just figured out this stuff is also working great on MUSCLES.

We're talking about SANDALWOOD ( Santalum Album).  I've been doing massages with this essential oil, just this and a bit of coconut oil.  After a day at the beach in the sun and salt water, the skin really dries out.  The coconut and Sandalwood combination has been just been absorbing right into the skin, leaving no greasy residue, and making the skin smooth and silky.  

What's more:  I worked on my Dearest, who did a 10 mile canoe race after barely any preparation with the team.  Even if you're well conditioned for sports in general, canoe paddling really works your whole body -- and sports-specific training is the most ideal way to train for a competition, obviously.  And in particular, paddlers (even the teens) tend to have complaints about the low back -- which points then to "Lats" in the shoulder, and believe it or not -- "Glutes" in the hip.  I did a Sports Massage routine after the race, and he woke up with no soreness.  Overjoyed.

DISCLAIMER:  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.  This Blog is not intended for Medical or "Healing" advice.  Please do not use this product if you have a known allergy to Sandalwood or its constituents.

What else can I say about this marvelous essential oil?  Sandalwood has been prized for millenia, being used as far back as Egypt 4000 years ago.  It was so coveted in the early 19th century, that my ancestral China and Kamehameha II helped to deplete my ancestral Hawai'i of its precious ' Iliahi  almost to extinction.  We used to have forests of it, particularly on Kaho'olawe (which later got heavily damaged by miltary bombing exercises in the 20th century), and also in the Tantalus area (which in the 20th century got developed for housing).  Sandalwood has long been held sacred in our traditional Native Hawaiian healing practices, and we still use it.  So in 2017, members of the community are trying to save forests that are getting overrun by invasive species like the strawberry-guava tree.   The tree needs room to grow more babies, and other trees creeping in have root systems that prevent that.  Fortunately, there are companies which state that they are using RENEWABLE sources of Sandalwood, including a farm in Kona, on the Big Island, Hawai'i (I've seen the video).  So that makes me feel better about using this oil.

You only need a few drops of this oil, so an 80-drop bottle will last for a long time.  The essential oil is thick, so you will need a bit of patience to drop it out of its originally packaged bottle.  If you put it in a tiny dram bottle, you can tap and shake it out more quickly.  

If you're now curious to try this marvelous stuff, and also happy to find a company which says that its resources are renewable, then come take a look at my website:   

Malama Pono (take good care of yourself),  

By 7045002825 21 May, 2017
[Photo by Shaiann Cottrell (2016).  This is what a wa'a (canoe) looks like from one angle, showing the Ama and Iako (outrigger)].

What a fun morning!

The 22nd Annual George Perry Memorial Keiki o Na Wa'a is a celebrated regatta exclusively for the children and teens.  It's sponsored by the Lanikai Canoe Club, which has deep and storied roots in Hawaii.   An estimated 700 kids showed up today (flanked by exuberant family members, coaches, and friends), from a number of different Canoe Clubs.  The featured photo is from a talented member of the Hui Nalu Canoe Club (whose founders included the world-famous icon of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku).

It was fun to meet some of the central people running the show so to speak -- including "Aunty Mauli" who founded the regatta and who has been been paddling for 61 years.   It was truly a family affair, with her loved ones running about making sure everything was going on smoothly, from feeding the kids to coaches meetings.  And I got to sit in a nice shady spot with other family members who set up a tent for KUPU and Sustainable Coastlines, who do great community projects for the environment.  Sustainable Coastlines is working with our high school class for a service project, and KUPU was there informing parents and kids about opportunities for students. 

It was inspiring to hear the adults encouraging the kids to "paddle to win," BUT "have FUN," and to cherish the friendships they make within their clubs and with the kids who compete against them.  People who paddle definitely form long-lasting friendships -- for decades.  

AND it was great to see Kupuna (elders) who had been consistently paddling for up to 70 years.  It's definitely a sport that one can continue for life -- although there still are plenty of opportunities to help even the youngsters prevent injury and be really limber before the race!

I was thrilled that the Lanikai Canoe Club (host of the regatta) allowed me to lead the teen girls in pre-race stretches.   They made a great showing -- a very close second place!  And it was so amazing that some of the girls came up afterward and said "Thank you for the stretches, they really worked!"  My goal was to help them feel limber from hand, to foot and from foot to head.  particularly in the hip/low back/shoulder area, of course!   With just a few minutes, I selected my three favorite myofascial stretches that would do the trick both pre-and post-race.

Especially meaningful was the traditional Hawaiian blessing and history lesson from my Kumu Gerald Nalikolauokalani Lam.  He told the story of the original settling of the Hawaiian archipelago, where they first landed (where we all were), how this related to our Hawaiian Navigation practices, and how the waters are still sacred.  Kailua Beach has always been sacred to me, well before I heard these oral histories.

Malama Pono,


By 7045002825 12 May, 2017
Ayurveda invokes the idea of something exotic, sacred, spiritual, even.  Yet, a lot of misconceptions have invaded the Spa industry.  Imagine a set spa menu of treatments, taken out of context of the entire health treatment, and not taking into account the client's individual health needs (physical, emotional, energetic), and potentially causing dis-comfort and dis-ease -- rather than a pleasant Spa experience.  I've seen more often than not, practices done without even a consultation to understand the client.  This is the exact OPPOSITE of Ayurveda.

My course teaches what Ayurveda actually IS, how it is said to WORK, and how it can apply to a massage therapy career.

Ayurveda is a health system, and a discipline, and a sister-science of Yoga.   It's NOT a one-time treatment or kitschy spa experience.  However, there are useful applications for the licensed massage therapist, when done correctly.

The practice requires knowing yourself and the person you're treating.  You have to know what will benefit them, and what will set off the disease process.

Ayurveda requires for optimum health, strong adherence to living in harmony with Nature, not against it.  Knowing what activities, what seasons/weather, what emotions, and what diet is best for you.  And what will set you off balance.
It requires specialized knowlegdge of things such as:

FIVE (metaphysical) ELEMENTS ( Panchamahabhuta ):   They are not themselves physical, but which manifest in physical things.  These are components of everything in the Universe on a subtle, energetic level.

THREE DOSHA (subtle energies):   Expressions of these metaphysical elements.  Again, they are not physical in and of themselves.  They manifest in physical characteristics.

PRAKRITI (Constitution):  Essentially it's the sum total of the individual body/mind, which is unique.  It's how all the various combinations of Doshas can combine in a person to affect their physical appearance, mental and emotional characteristics, tendencies towards certain disease states when out of balance.

And, there are pretty good ways of telling what someone is, by looking at their appearance (hair, skin, nails, build), speaking to them (personality traits, emotional expressions, body language), engaging in questions (wellness goals, their career, hobbies, sports).  You cannot adequately treat someone if you don't do that first.  

How do you treat someone you don't know?  Ayurveda is meant for every-day use in the home, with the family.  These are people you know extremely well -- and thus, you will have both learned and intuitive knowledge about what will help them improve health, and then remain so.  Particularly when it comes to diet and everyday self-care.  The more invasive Pancha Karma treatments (which require enemas)  I DO NOT do or teach -- because of state laws placing it in a legal  grey area -- and ignorance of the law is no excuse, even for non-lawyers.  

My practices and educational program are limited to that which can be done via a valid state massage license.

UPDATE:  May 18, 2017:  Ohhh, man! I just completed the course outline, for massage school. As brief as possible, an explanation of what Ayurveda IS, how it is said to WORK, a sample massage routine, and many yummy recipes that I have worked on for years and also learned from Ayurvedic Physicians from India.  

If you're interested in this massage school curriculum, and wanting to get qualified to take the Hawaii state licensing exam, shoot me a message through my website:  

Aloha, and Namaste.

LMT (MAT#6286) and Board Certified (NCBTMB 307766-00), both since 2001
Diploma in Ayurvedic Sciences, 2005 (Aloha Ayurveda Academy, afiliated with Ayurveda Institute of America)
By 7045002825 08 May, 2017
Well, May 6th was International Pilates Day!

Who Knew?

To celebrate, I donated a door prize to give back to clients and looking forward to meeting the winner!

Really, it was a celebration of our CLIENTS.  Because they allow us to do what we love (teaching), and they keep bringing in more awesome clients to fill classes.  We are so grateful to them.

I wasn't able to attend, being at the Haase Myotherapy workshop, but eager to know who won the door prize that I donated!  I will talk more about it later and supplement this Blog entry when I find out.

Update:  May 18, 2017:  

AHA!  I just found out who won -- it's one of my favorite studio clients, who has brought many people to us.  How awesome to give back!   

Here's to your Health!

By 7045002825 08 May, 2017
This is an apt pictorial representation of the workshop.  An advanced and thorough understanding of Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology for massage therapists.

Aloha!  I have been state licensed as a massage therapist and also certified through NCBTMB (National Certification Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork) since 2001.  As part of this awesome organization, we are required to keep updated with our training with continuing education courses.  This one called Haase Myotherapy kept beckoning to me via a Facebook video ad, and I took a look by the second time.  

Oh My Goodness.    Sign me UP.

So glad I did.  Not only did Robert Haase and his lovely and talented daughter Sara teach us a number of wonderful routines for Plantar Fasciitis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Sciatica, Whiplash, "TMJ" problems, and more -- they also taught us valuable information in marketing and business.

Robert Haase has a very advanced and thorough understanding of Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology, and taught us that a number of things we have been taught to do in regular massage school was actually injurious.  And I could tell he was the real deal, when he touched on things also talked about by Thomas Myers (the author of Anatomy Trains) and Eric Franklin.

So far, I have done his hip and feet routines on several people, and they have all remarked that they feel better in the and can walk more comfortably.  It feels really good to help so much in just a few minutes.

And my personal testimonial after the workshop:  My body never felt so good, from the feet up even into the jaw.  The jaw!  That had been a challenge for a few years after I got knocked in the jaw during a martial arts class and then it slipped out of joint.  Now THAT was the most nauseating pain ever.  False migraines.  Felt sick every time I spoke a syllable.  Each syllable.  I couldn't eat.  I got help with realignment (non surgical), but oy it had slipped out of joint one other time, not as badly as the first time.  Well -- I am completely convinced of the effectiveness of his work in a short time after experiencing this workshop.  

I'm very much looking forward to seeing how I can integrate these practices in my professional field, and growing my business.

Here's to your Health in 2017!


By 7045002825 06 May, 2017

Why are we teaching Pilates on theories that are 15 years old and either Disputed or Disproven?

Originally Posted on  September 26, 2011  and Updated on May 5, 2017 by  Lahela Hekekia

Okay, hopefully I got your attention from that title!  I found some interesting food for thought, after a colleague mentioned her frustation at exercises systems (including Pilates) becoming closed systems and limiting growth.

You're right -- this isn't exactly a Pilates photo, but this is how I felt about being compelled to teach something that was outdated and not resonating with me.  It was a struggle in futility.  So I simply moved to another studio which allowed me to teach as I wanted, rather than be required to teach exactly as everyone else taught, when I was disagreeing with the concepts/cues taught about Anatomy, Alignment, even Breathing.   A few years later, that Brand caught up with the times, and changed many things -- and I'm so very thankful for that.  

A.  The original Pilates came from an older understanding of the human body; and one cannot dispute that in almost 100 years, modern science has embraced far more advanced concepts about Anatomy, Physiology, and Kinesiology.  

 1.  We used to have this view just 20 years ago, that muscles connected only to tendons, and that bones connected to bones through ligaments.  Well, that is just not accurate.  We now understand that ligaments also connect to muscle.   

 2.  We also used to think that ligaments could not regenerate when they were damaged (as compared to tendons and muscle).  That is also incorrect today (look up Prolotherapy).  

 3.  We also never even thought about Fascia 20 years ago, and now it's the rage in the fitness and wellness industry.  

  a.  We used to teach that muscles pull, that they shorten and lengthen.  

  b.  Now, we are understanding that muscles may not shorten and lengthen all that much, and that it's the Fascia that's changing.  That instead of looking at the human body as having several hundred muscles, that we should instead view the human body as one continuous piece with multiple compartments.  (Look up Thomas Myers).  

Everything is changing.  Rapidly .

B.  Moreover, when Joseph Pilates first started teaching, people for the most part led more active lifestyles, with far different lifestyle habits (no cell phones or laptop computers, no drive-thru fast food establishments, and so forth).  Moreover, if you look at Joseph Pilates's old videos, you'll see some which leave you questioning whether everyone was moving safely.  I'm thinking of one in which he was actively pulling a man's head.  Ouch.  At any rate, their daily habits were different from ours nearly 100 years later.  Our bodies have changed, and so have our needs.  

C.  As the years went on, Pilates changed from men's fitness, and became synonymous with dance, because it helped dancers heal their bodies from injurious training (which isn't the most sound idea in the first place, but it is a beautiful art).  

 1.  For decades, the field was dominated by dancers who became teachers, and they taught for their own niche market.

 2.  Nowadays, Pilates is embraced by a much larger community.  With the aging populations; surgeries for major joints like knees and hips (requiring more physical therapy); sedentary lifestyles leading to back pain; and of course emerging scientific discoveries, it became advantageous to modernize Pilates and take another look at whether we are doing truly healthy exercise in this country.  And to suggest injury-preventive training, as well as rehabilitative, corrective work.

D.  An unfortunate development in Pilates was that the discipline became littered with dysfunctional cues based on dysfunctional dance aesthetics.  (For example, pressing down the shoulder blades, sucking in the belly at all times, not letting the ribs "pop" when you lift the arms, get taller as you twist the spine, and so forth).  Let's take some of these dysfunctional cues and look at them:

 1.  Keeping the belly sucked in at all times.  There are so many things to challenge here:

  a.  Breathing.  Functional, healthy breathing requires that we use our Diaphragm properly, in a way that allows our organs to move the way they're supposed to.  That means, letting the belly pooch out, so that the organs move.  If you don't do that, then you don't let the Diaphragm go all the way down and fill the lungs properly.  This is an easy test.

  *  Breathe in and let the belly button pooch out.  Feel how much you can fill the lungs.  Take an exhale, and notice how you feel.

  *  Now KEEP THAT BELLY BUTTON SUCKED IN.  Try to take an inhale.  You can't fill the lungs so well, can you?  How do you feel mentally?  I rest my case.

  b.  Keeping the belly sucked in at all times was thought to help support the low back.  HOWEVER, this will make a person constantly "grip" their abdominal muscles, and produce a weak Psoas Major .   A, muscle which directly touches all of the lumbar vertebrae and disks (uh oh, that's the low back), connects to the Pelvis, and also the leg.  A muscle which is critical for walking, sitting, standing, and all manner of movement.  Oh yes, time to toss out that cue altogether.  

 2.   "Knitting in the ribs at all times, don't let them pop."  

  a.  This is especially dysfunctional when you do spine extension.  In an ordinary, non-dancer type person, this will make back-bending a physical impossibility.  At best you might go a little bit past vertical.  The ribs change when the spine changes, and vice-versa.  If you don't let the ribs change, then the spine won't change.  It's just common sense.  If you want to test me on this, try it out.

  b.  This cue will also limit range of motion in the shoulder.  At the end-range of arm-reaching up into the air, the human skeleton does a little spine extension.  So go back to what I said in (2)(a), above.  Then try this little experiment.

  *  Reach your arms up in the air and let the ribs "pop."  See how far back you go.

  *  Now  KNIT IN THOSE RIBS AND DON'T LET THEM MOVE.  Now try raising your arms and see how far they go.

 3.   "As you twist the spine, get taller and taller."  Well this is just anatomically inaccurate.  And it could cause an injury.

  a.  If you actually did lengthen the spine as you twisted it, you would damage the spine and the spinal cord, which is part of your Central Nervous System.

  b.  Thankfully you cannot do that.  It just isn't how your Facet Joints work in the spine.  And, it's a mathematical impossibility, based on the curved shape of the spine.  

 4.  "Slide the shoulders down and back."  While this may be intended to tell people not to "shrug" their shoulders, this is a potentially injurious cue.

  a.   Just try this experiment to see how this cue tends to reduce range of motion with arm-reaching:

  *  Reach your arm up in the air, without thinking of anything else.  Note how high you went.

  *  Now, SLIDE THAT SHOULDER BLADE DOWN AND BACK.  DON'T LET IT BUDGE.  And now try reaching the arm up in the air.  That's possibly worse than knitting in the ribs.  How did your neck feel doing it that way?  Ugh.

  b.  I see a lot of people who misconstrue that well-intentioned cue and "fix" their shoulders, and contract muscles that need to stretch.

  c.  And if you need further convincing, both Pilates and Yoga are questioning this dangerous cue: /

Thanks, Eric Franklin, for bringing ALL of this to the forefront years ago!   He really opened my eyes, starting in 2010.  We were learning about really up to date scientific research, as well as some classic research from the early 1900s that had gone mostly ignored.  And a lot of this research raised serious questions about whether Pilates as an industry will need to undergo another dramatic paradigm shift.  Including the rehab side.

E. Modern Pilates was not perfect, either.  I had long been aware from my days as a Pilates teacher-in-training that what we learned was debated.  

 1.  We didn't hear that in regular teacher training -- although I questioned from time to time, the information I had been hearing in basic teacher training.  It conflicted with what I understood in the human body from massage school and from massaging people.   I ended up hearing about the debate from their leading physiotherapist at the time, booking private lessons from her, and taking a specialty course that she had been teaching.   A year later, a leading Physical Therapist took over the course and came up with a new manual, explaining in more detail what was really going on in the human body.  Yet, basic teacher training was still teaching the wrong information!  At least at that time, that was the case.  

 2.  So this led me, out of curiosity, to do some research.  Apparently, all this modern approach to Pilates started in the late 1990s, after a pair of researchers named Hodges and Richardson published studies about the role of certain muscles in the abdomen and trunk area, and relieving back pain.  From there, Core Stabilization/ Core Training exploded within the Health and Wellness industry everything from weight lifting to physical therapy focused on a little abdominal muscle called the Transversus Abdominis .

 3.  While I still have yet to find a definitive retraction, I did find an intriguing article by Hodges in 2008 admitting that its not as simplisitic as once thought.  Now thats quite notable, considering that so many people are still acting as if its Absolute Truth.  I also found some other articles that are either pro- or against- the ideas we preach about core stability.  One asks if its pure stupidity.  Yikes!  And one article in particular punches holes in all the muscle testing. . .


I'm not looking at this as if all my previous study of Pilates was a waste (certainly not).  I don't need to throw away several years of study.  In fact, I'm more than happy to entertain multiple approaches and use the ones that work.  Who knows what the scientific research will uncover in the next 20 years?  I change with the times and bend like the green bamboo.  Or the palm tree in the breeze.



By 7045002825 06 May, 2017

Successful Weight Management for Life: Change your Thinking. Ditch the quick loss plans.

Originally Posted on September 28, 2011  and Updated on May 5, 2017 by Lahela Hekekia

Every few months, it seems that some new weight loss plan, pill, or shake arrives in the market, and perhaps millions of people are moved to try it.  Especially when someone triumphantly reports losing a significant amount of weight and going down several pants sizes in a short time, with no exercise!

Is this health ?

Some are even marketed as network marketing.  I was once curious about an MLM in 2000 but didnt think much of it after a few meetings.  How many times can someone hear eat all the pizza, fries and ice cream you like; take the fat blocker pills, and energy pills; and still lose weight.?  Yuck.  It just didnt resonate.   Well, and then there was a widely publicized news report of the founder dying a month later, from a drug overdose.  It just sent me running.  And as well, the energy pills had Ephedra, which became a banned substance.  I remember looking at boxes of unopened product and threw them all away.  Blah.

I was later, in 2012, drawn to another MLM mainly because of a great friend who had an amazing idea about doing fitness videos with other friends in the fitness industry.  Now that MLM did stress the importance of balanced eating and exercise, which was great.  However -- ummm -- I just really didn't like the product, it didn't taste good to me.  And after a couple of months, I couldn't lie to myself.  I went back and looked at the things that I wrote back several months earlier and nodded.

So, I am not at all for weight loss shakes.  Here's why:

A. The things that always raise personal red flags are artificial sweeteners, Sucralose,and Stevia in the ingredients. I realize its in there because most people looking to lose weight crave the very sweet taste, but they dont want the calories or simple carbs. However, they all have negative health effects.

1.  Sucralose is literally sugar combined with chlorine, which I've known for the past 18 months, thanks to a local Naturopath. Heres an article on it, as well as Aspartame.

2.  Views are mixed with Stevia. .   I just really cant stand the flavor of it.  Two of my friends felt sick and got headaches after having a drink with it.  And so did I.

B. I believe whole-heartedly in a real food diet which retrains unhealthy thinking and teaches people to be independently successful. Weight management is hard work. Keeping it off for life involves a change of life to make it work. My metabolism is better now than it was in my 20s. 

C.  Diet clubs and plans have some initial success. But the long term success is grim. I'm sorry, but it just is.   And who hasn't seen those TV shows which pit people in a battle to see who could lose the most weight in a relatively short time?  Unfortunately, a lot of them regain weight and/or apprently suffer negative health effects as a result of their ordeal.

C. The other thing is:   I have a hard time believing that one can lose fat with a weight loss program, without exercise.  And by that I mean, body fat percentage.  Because fat percentage and activity level are pretty good indicators of health and potential risks.

The following have been well-recognized for decades now...

1. Most diets without exercise end up with loss of lean muscle, water, even organ tissue; and their body fat percentage can grow higher, even if the weight goes down.

2. As a result of weight loss by calorie restriction,  the metabolism ends up compromised and holds onto body fat even more tightly. So, if someone falls off the wagon so to speak and gains weight, they gain back a lot more fat.  One need only look at well publicized figures to recognize how easy it is to fall into the yo-yo cycle.  This fat storage is apparently built into our DNA.  Our ancestors faced periods of famine and also trekked by land and sea to populate new areas, so they had to be efficient to survive.  Can I do this with even less effort, less energy expenditure?  Sure, I'll lower the metabolism so I don't have to eat as much.  Sorted.

3. When people are claiming to lose fat, are they talking about measurable, documented fat percentage loss?  Or are they just looking at a change in the scale, or the loss of pants sizes and assuming that its all fat?  The most reliable measurement of fat percentage is the hydostatic tests. The next most reliable are calipers if done correctly. Those hand held biomechanical impedence things are wildly variable. Like by 4-5 percentage points.

And related material:

Pardon me for getting really steamed, but it really irks me to see advertisements that promise that you'll get "fit" in only 30 days, whether its a pill or a workout.

What a load of . . . well I'm going to use my internal editor to not use the words I'd like to use right now.  In this case, Im steaming about a health club advertising a 30 day, 7 days a week Boot Camp.  Sounds like a perfect opportunity to get a stress fracture, inflexible joints (including spine), and perhaps a knee injury. Especially for those folks 30 and over.

Fit in what way?

Perhaps someone who goes all out for 30 days will lose a few pounds.  But there is no way that the body can maintain such a punishing regime.    It's a recipe for an overuse injury, which could manifest within the 30 days or after.

And when (not if) that injury hits, it will sideline you and cause the usual collateral damage:  (1) Weight gain often happens, (2) Frustration, depression, lowered self-esteem, (3) Some people give up; (4) Others may develop eating disorders, particularly women; (5) Still others return to exercise before they have finished healing and set up a chronic injury/pain situation.

7 days a week is never recommended for us normal folks, unless its some kind of flexibility training.  (Now that would fall within the guidelines of the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).  The people who might fall outside of that are ELITE and YOUNG athletes.  But even then, I've seen Cirque du Soleil/Shanghai Circus acrobats hobbling about with ice packs strapped on to this and that body part, getting right to work.  And I have also seen elite dancers in some constant state of pain.  (Which is why Im so enamored with the Franklin Method®, especially for these folks!)

Well then, we normal folks ought to be taking at least one day of rest per week AT THE LEAST.  If you find yourself feeling stiff or developing pain, your body is giving a clear signal to slow down, and figure out whats going on.

Fitness is a lifestyle, its not something you can obtain quickly.  There are many facets to physical fitness including core strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and control.  Then, there is overall health which includes your energy level; blood work (HDLs, blood sugar, all that good stuff); emotional and mental health; diet (yeah, we cant make up for the pizza, fries and beer with a big workout and nothing but broccoli the next day.  Dont laugh, I knew plenty of friends in college who did that every weekend).

And if you are new to exercise, or took a long hiatus because of life circumstances, you deserve to treat yourself well.  Start with a doctor checkup to rule out any cautionary measures and jump joyfully into some brisk walking, swimming, or other low-impact exercise.  Grab a friend.  Take in an appropriate level Pilates or Yoga class.  Learn proper body mechanics to prevent injury.

Whenever I see people hobbling about and saying how great their workouts have been, I want to cringe. Want some Ibuprofen with that?

Wouldnt you like to experience instead, that workout in a more joyous, elastic, energetic way and go back to feeling as if you were a kid again?  If so, call me; and if Im too far away I can most likely find someone in your area.

Anyway, thats my rant for today.  Im totally against get-thin-fast and get-fit-fast regimes.  Do it the old-fashioned way:  with patience, and focus -- and retraining the brain to think healthy for life.  Your body and brain will love you for it.



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