Monday, March 28, 2011

Heathy breakfast

This is what Art and I have been eating for many years.

2 Tbsp granola 
2 Tbsp oats         
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp raisins                 
3 prunes              
1 Tbsp almonds      
Cook with 1 1/2 cup of water, bring to boil and serve. You may add banana and any kind of fruits.

HEALTH NEWS from consumer reports
A bowl of cereal a day keeps hypertension at bay
Mar 24, 2011 10:29 AM

Men who start the day with cereal are 19 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than people don't have cereal for breakfast, according to a study presented this week at an American Heart Association meeting in Atlanta. Those who have two to six servings a week are 11 percent less likely to have elevated levels. In either case, people who opt for high-fiber varieties fare even better.

The study hasn't yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, but it is part of the respected Physicians' Health Study and included approximately 17 years of follow up with some 13,400 participants.

Our tests of high-fiber cereals, show they don't have to taste like cardboard. Costco's Kirkland Signature and Kashi GoLean both did well in our taste tests. Look for products with at least 3 grams of fiber and no more than 4 grams of sugar per serving.

This study also underscores the importance of breakfast, which has been linked to other health benefits as well, including a healthy weight, controlled cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and improved sensitivity to insulin.

See our tips for other ways to control your blood pressure and the heart tests you need and those you don't.

Study links cereal consumption to lower blood pressure. [American Heart Association]

Physicians' Health Study [Harvard Medical School]

—Nicole Sarrubbo

Monday, March 21, 2011

vitamin D

Dear Yoga students,

In a recent yoga class we had a discussion about vitamin D. Here is a note about the benefits of vitamin D from You may subscribe to these reports at

Can vitamin D supplements prevent respiratory infections?

Vitamin d respiratory infections
Vitamin D clearly helps build and maintain strong bones. And in recent years a number of articles have suggested, though not proved, that insufficient levels of the vitamin are also linked to everything from breast cancer and tuberculosis todepression and multiple sclerosis. Now a new study adds some more evidence for the vitamin’s role in preventing respiratory infections such as sinusitis and pneumonia to the list. 

In the study, published this month in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Finnish researchers divided a group of 164 young male military recruits into two groups. Half received a placebo and half got 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D. After six months, there was no difference between the groups in the percentage of people who reported symptoms, such as a cough, runny nose, or sore throat. But those who received the vitamin D supplement were significantly less likely to have missed duty because of respiratory infections than those who got a placebo.
Although more convincing studies are needed, what I found particularly interesting was the improved outcome with a fairly low dose of 400 IU a day. Last year, the Institute of Medicine raised the recommended levels of vitamin D to 600 IU a day for most adults and 800 a day for those 70 and older. Some experts recommend even higher amounts, up to 3,000 IU a day for people living in areas such as the Northeast, where people might not be able to make enough of the vitamin from exposure to ultraviolet light.

I would hesitate to recommend those higher doses, since the risks are still unclear, especially in patients with heart disease. Instead, I would stick with the new IOM guidelines. Of course, the best way to get vitamin D is through dietary sources, such as fortified milk and fatty fish such as salmon or sardines. Limited exposure to sunlight can also provide vitamin D, but talk with your doctor first, to assess your risk of skin cancer. Testing can make sense if you have symptoms your doctors suspects might be related to low levels of vitamin.

Joseph Mosquera, M.D., is a board-certified physician also trained in integrative medicine, and a adviser  

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Body Massage Ball Workshop schedule for March


Below are the dates and the locations for the Body Massage Ball workshops for the month of March.

If you had attended a previous workshop before, this will be a good refresher. This time I intend to focus on the neck, shoulders, spine and buttocks. Please see below for details. 

As you know, my work is largely through referrals, so please tell or forward this email to friends whom you think will be helped by this self massage technique. I also do one-on-one privates sessions for up three people. The fee is $60/hr for the group, that is, the fee may be shared by participants.

Please wear a tight fitted top and bring a yoga mat to class if you have one. I provide the balls but they are also available for purchase. (Please note I am not equipped to accept credit cards).

Thank you, and I look forward to seeing you.


3/13   1:30-3:30 pm  $30   Little River Yoga 6399 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria. VA 22312. To enroll 703-203-8510

3/20  1:3 pm  $30     Yoga Plus Bethesda, MD. 20817. To enroll, 301-365-2424

3/26  1:30-3:30 pm  $30   Oleney yoga center 16650 Georgia Ave, Olney MD 20832-2418. To enroll 301-774-1961

3/27 1:00 - 3:00 pm    $30   Lifetime Fitness  1151 Seven Locks Rd. Rockville, MD 20854. 240- 314-7044

The objectives of this class are to demonstrate and teach the use of massage balls for achieving deep tissue massage, acupressure release and overall body flexibility. The focus will be on the neck, shoulders, spine and buttocks. The class will include:
   *  Warm up movements to promote flexibility.
   *  Stretching and strengthening of all regions of the upper torso including shoulders, spine and the abdominal and back muscles.
   *  Using massage balls of various sizes and firmness, in combination with movements to promote spinal flexibility and deep tissue release.
The outcome will be a rejuvenated body with improved range of motion for daily tasks, the restoration of athletic flexibility and a decreased propensity for injuries. Participants will learn self-administered techniques for sustaining a healthy, flexible and pain free body.

Balls for the workshop will be provided and be available for purchase after the class.

Biography of Maggie Wong
I am now in my thirteenth year of a successful yoga practice in Washington metro area.  In addition to yoga, I trained in the use of body massage balls and over the years have developed my own techniques to improve the effectiveness of the balls. I have had scoliosis (abnormal spinal curvature) since childhood and use the balls daily to deal with actual and potential skeletal and muscular difficulties. I integrate my personal experience with my teaching practice.
See Videos
Click these links to observe videos produced by one of my students for the cross-fit community.

YouTube - Videos from this email

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jane Brody of NYTimes on how to take care of tendon pain.


For Tendon Pain, Think Beyond the Needle

Published: February 28, 2011
Two time-honored remedies for injured tendons seem to be falling on their faces in well-designed clinical trials.
The first, corticosteroid injections into the injured tendon, has been shown to provide only short-term relief, sometimes with poorer long-term results than doing nothing at all.
The second, resting the injured joint, is supposed to prevent matters from getting worse. But it may also fail to make them any better.
Rather, working the joint in a way that doesn’t aggravate the injury but strengthens supporting tissues and stimulates blood flow to the painful area may promote healing faster than “a tincture of time.”
And researchers (supported by my own experience with an injured tendon, as well as that of a friend) suggest that some counterintuitive remedies may work just as well or better.
A review of 41 “high-quality” studies involving 2,672 patients, published in November in The Lancet, revealed only short-lived benefit from corticosteroid injections. For the very common problem of tennis elbow, injections of platelet-rich plasma derived from patients’ own blood had better long-term results.
Still, the authors, from the University of Queensland and Griffith University in Australia, emphasized the need for more and better clinical research to determine which among the many suggested remedies works best for treating different tendons.
My own problem was precipitated one autumn by eight days of pulling a heavy suitcase through six airports. My shoulder hurt nearly all the time (not a happy circumstance for a daily swimmer), and trying to retrieve something even slightly behind me produced a stabbing pain. Diagnosis: tendinitis and arthritis. Treatment: rest and physical therapy.
Two months of physical therapy did help somewhat, as did avoiding motions that caused acute pain. The therapist had some useful tips on adjusting my swimming stroke to minimize stress on the tendon while the injury gradually began to heal.
The following spring, although I still had some pain and feared a relapse, I attacked my garden with a vengeance. Much to my surprise, I was able to do heavy-duty digging and lugging without shoulder pain.
Could the intense workout and perhaps the increased blood flow to my shoulder have enhanced my recovery? A friend, Richard Erde, had an instructive experience.
An avid tennis player at 70, he began having twinges in his right shoulder while playing. Soon, simple motions like slipping out of a shirt sleeve caused serious pain. The diagnosis, based on a physical exam, was injury of the tendon that attaches the biceps muscle of his upper arm to the bones of the shoulder’s rotator cuff.
He was advised to see a rheumatologist, who declined to do a corticosteroid injection and instead recommended physical therapy and rest.
“I stopped playing tennis for a month, and it didn’t help at all,” Mr. Erde told me. “The physical therapist found I had very poor range of motion and had me do a variety of exercises, which improved my flexibility and reduced the pain somewhat.” After two months, he stopped the therapy.
Then several weeks ago, after watching the Australian Open, he thought he should do more to strengthen his arm and shoulder muscles and decided to try playing tennis more vigorously. “The pain started to drop off dramatically,” he said, “and in just 10 days the pain had eased more than 90 percent.”
A Frustrating Injury
Tendinopathies, as these injuries are called, are particularly vexing orthopedic problems that remain poorly understood despite their frequency. “Tendinitis” is a misnomer: rarely are there signs of inflammation, which no doubt accounts for the lack of lasting improvement with steroid shots and anti-inflammatory drugs. They may relieve pain temporarily, but don’t cure the problem.
The underlying pathology of tendinopathies is still a mystery. Even when patients recover, their tendons may continue to look awful, say therapists who do imaging studies. Without a better understanding of the actual causes of tendon pain, it’s hard to develop rational treatments, and even the best specialists may be reduced to trial and error. What works best for one tendon — or one patient — may do little or nothing for another.
Most tendinopathies are precipitated by overuse and commonly afflict overzealous athletes, amateur and professional alike. With or without treatment, they usually take a long time to heal — many months, even a year or more. They can be frustrating and often costly, especially for professional athletes and physically active people like me and Mr. Erde.
In a commentary accompanying the Lancet report, Alexander Scott and Karim M. Khan of the University of British Columbia noted that although “corticosteroid injection does not impair recovery of shoulder tendinopathy, patients should be advised that evidence for even short-term benefits at the shoulder is limited.” Like the Australian reviewers, the commentators concluded that “specific exercise therapy might produce more cures at 6 and 12 months than one or more corticosteroid injections.”
Treatments to Try
Now the question is: What kind of physical therapy gives the best results? Most therapists prescribe eccentric exercises, which involve muscle contractions as the muscle fibers lengthen (for example, when a hand-held weight is lowered from the waist to the thigh). Eccentric exercises must be performed in a controlled manner; uncontrolled eccentric contractions are a common cause of injuries like groin pulls or hamstring strains.
Marilyn Moffat, professor of physical therapy at New York University and president of theWorld Confederation for Physical Therapy, prefers “very protective” isometric exercises, at least at the outset of treatment until the tendon injury begins to heal. These exercises involve no movement at all, allowing muscles to contract without producing pain. For example, in treating shoulder tendinopathy, she said in an interview, the patient would push the fists against a wall with upper arms against the body and elbows bent at 90 degrees.
In another exercise, the patient sits holding one end of a dense elastic Thera-Band in each hand and, with thumbs up, upper arms at the sides and elbows bent at 90 degrees, tries to pull the hands apart.
“The stronger the shoulder muscles are when the tendinopathy calms down, the better shape the shoulder is in to take over movement without further injury,” Dr. Moffat said. “You don’t want the muscles to weaken, which is what happens when you rest and do nothing. That leaves you vulnerable to further injury.”