Friday, February 25, 2011


The following is lifted from the NY Times of February 24, 2011. 


Unnecessarily Invasive

Published: February 23, 2011
A warning to all women whose mammograms show an abnormality: If your surgeon says you need a surgical biopsy to determine if you have cancer, be sure to get a second opinion. The odds are good that you should get a needle biopsy. That is safer, less invasive, and cheaper.
Denise Grady reported in The Times on a study of more than 170,000 biopsies in Florida between 2003 and 2008. It found that 30 percent were surgical, while guidelines suggested the rate should be 10 percent or less.
Why would the percentages be so high? Many surgeons may fail to keep up with the latest medical guidelines that favor needle biopsies in most cases. But surgeons also have a strong financial incentive to perform surgical biopsies rather than refer patients to the radiologists who perform most needle biopsies.
Either way, the result is much higher costs. Hospitals charge more than $10,000 for a surgical biopsy, and about half that for a needle biopsy. Surgeons charge $1,500 to $2,500 for a surgical biopsy; radiologists who do the needle biopsy charge between $750 to $1,500.
An excessive resort to surgery can also lead to needless injuries. A surgical biopsy requires an inch-long incision to cut out the abnormal area. A needle biopsy requires only a tiny incision to obtain a sample of cells, requires no stitches, and carries less risk of infection and scarring. Most patients who undergo biopsies, of either sort, don’t have cancer; some 80 percent of all breast biopsies turn out to be benign.
If the results of the Florida study, published in The American Journal of Surgery, are extrapolated to the entire country, more than 300,000 women a year are having unnecessary surgery, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brand new pillow design: the Neck Scarf

I have created a brand new design of flax seed pillow.  The neck scarf is perfect for wearing around the neck just like a scarf.  Seeds in the the point of the triangle shaped pillow help warm and relax the entire upper back while around the house, in the office or driving.  The neck scarf is also good for the lower back, feet and tummy.

The long edge of the neck scarf is 27 inches and the two short edges are 17 inches.  This 1.75 pound pillow costs only $30!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hanging to Straighten and De-compress the Spine

Hanging from a bar with your hands is a wonderful way to ease pressure and open up the spine. Many of my clients find instant relief with this simple, easy to do, method. It can be done on bars found in most playgrounds as shown above. You can also build a hanging bar in your home.  The hardware for building the bar is shown here.
Also available is the "Iron Gym," a bar that can be hung on any door that has a frame.  This bar must be removed if you want to shut the door so it is not a permeant fixture.  It can be used to straighten and decompress the spine as well as a chin-up bar.

Below Gale Gaines is demonstrating hanging to decompress the spine on a bar installed in my house.  She is a Nail Therapist and Reflexologist at the Ma'at Holistic Wellness Center in Laurel, Maryland where she offers spa manicures, pedicures and foot reflexology.  These practices promote the release of stress, blood circulation and feeling thus enabling a person to be more energetic and sleep better.  For more information Gail can be contacted at 301-317-8898.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Maggie featured in the Washington Post!

A recent article in the January 11th Washington Post features Maggie and the use of massage balls as one of the "11 ways to live well in 2011:"  

"These aren't new, but they are an alternative to the increasingly popular foam rollers. A set of 10 or 12, ranging in size from golf ball to bowling ball, allows for a thorough self-massage, especially in hard-to-reach places where rollers are ineffective, says Maggie Wong, who teaches their use at Yoga Plus in Bethesda and sells them. "Many people would like to have a massage daily, but it is both expensive and time-consuming," she says. "The balls are a healthy, affordable alternative."

The remaining 10 ways to live well in the coming year are equally inspiring and include dietary ideas as well as fitness.  


Massage ball workshop with Mike Choi and Jim Bathurst

My workshop with Mike Choi and his athletes.  Jim is in upper left corner and Mike is below.
One of the people who attended my massage ball work shop last September was a personal trainer, Mike Choi. He is well built, muscle-bound and very strong. But he suffered from pain, which in my opinion was largely because he was so tight. He liked what he learned about self-massage and stretching, and subsequently came to two more of my workshops. At the latest one he convinced five of his gym companions to come and see first-hand what I had to offer. I believe that they were impressed and accepted what I told them about deep massage and maintaining flexibility when training as intensively as they were doing.

Subsequently I was surprised and pleased to be steered to the Blog of one of the people who attended the workshop, Jim Bathurst. Here is what Jim had to say in his blog.


I always make it a habit of heading to various seminars and reading various books throughout the year. But I fall into the trap that many fall into whereas I only read books that I agree with, and go to seminars of strength experts whose material I already know.
Well, I went to a seminar this year on yoga and recovery techniques. Specifically it centered around using this ball.

Now, a good friend of mine, Mike Choi, had been carrying this ball around the gym with him for months. I hadn't had a chance to really use it, but I figured how effective could this thing be? I mean, it looks like a kid's playtoy, surely it's not going to be helpful to me?

At the seminar I dug around my sides and armpits. I found some very, very tender spots that I definitely couldn't hit with a foam roller.  A test of my overhead range of motion before and after this rolling was jaw-dropping. My shoulders opened up unbelievably well. I haven't had that reaction since I got ART massage a couple years ago. It was that good.

I used the massage ball on a couple clients with similarly spectacular results. And what does increased overhead range of motion mean, besides injury prevention? How about a better handstand! One of my clients improved so much after 5 minutes of rolling that the improvement on his one arm handstand was miraculous.

Then, someone who read the Beastskills Blog posted the following on the Beastskills site:

“Jim, the same day I read your review I went to the gym and gave one of the medium sized yoga balls a shot on my traps and delts. The improvements that were made on my handstands were incredible. Within a few minutes I was walking around on my hands much smoother than I had ever before. I also managed to PR on my behind the back barbell shrug. I was sold! I used the website that you posted ( and I bought a couple of their massage balls, and the spiky balls. The woman that runs the site was so nice and helpful (sending me so any stretches and therapy techniques) that I couldn't help but be excited about it all weekend. It's nice to see someone so passionate about her work! The tutorials and advice in your website has really helped me make some positive improvements in my life (not to mention keeping me safe from injury!) and I would really like to thank you! I hope that you have more to offer this year and I am certainly looking forward to a great year of improvements for myself. Thanks again!”

Now, believe me, we do not do one arm, or even two arm handstands at my workshops!! 
We keep it simple and practical!!

Come and experience it yourself at one of my workshops.