STARR GETS CERTIFIED BY THE AQUATIC EXERCISE ASSOCIATION
Paradise is proud to announce that Starr Nixdorf has completed and been certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association's AFP (Aquatic Fitness Professional) Practical & Skills Application Course in Visalia, CA, on June 1st, 2014. Starr also attended courses for Upper Body, Core & More which expands on her Pilates and Yoga instructor background, and the Aquabata Shallow program.
AquaBata takes the latest trend in fitness, Tabata, to the water. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), including the specialized Tabata format, transitions into the water with high-powered results. According to the AEA, "Dr Izumi Tabata conducted a study to determine if very short, very high intensity bouts of training, followed by even shorter rest periods, could benefit the elite athletes of the Japanese speed skating team. Results were published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, and showed that the subjects improved VO2 max, this in turn translated into improved performance on the ice. The other interesting finding was the Tabata Protocol improved both the anaerobic energy system (responsible for short, high intensity exercise, such as sprints) and the aerobic energy system (used for endurance exercise, such as distance running). Results from this 1996 study showed a 28 percent increase in anaerobic capacity and a 14 percent increase in VO2 max in six weeks."
BENEFITS OF AQUATIC EXERCISE POST PHYSICAL THERAPY
Water therapy isn’t new; it’s a method which has been used for thousands of years all over the world. Bathing in spring water was known to help Romans and Greeks to treat illness, thermal waters in Sweden were used to treat their ill and elderly, Japanese early on recognized the mental and physical benefits of their hot springs (referred to as onsen) and in Germany physicians widely prescribed a variety of water therapies. Aquatic exercise is often used as a remedy for sore joints and muscles, is a great way to improve muscle tone, and is incredibly low impact. The resistance provided by water means that you can get a great workout without having to bother about using weights or suffering further injury by misjudging your ability. Exercise done in a pool, lake or ocean can improve your flexibility, balance, and coordination. It can also help build up your endurance, assist with proper gait and maintain or improve mobility. You’ll probably also notice that your exercises performed in water allow you to reduce your stress level and is a wonderful way to promote relaxation. Your natural buoyancy means that you can go through your motions with a decreased gravitational pull, lessening compression and making exercises easier to do than if you were on land.
If you’ve suffered an injury, stroke, or some other type of condition and have completed your physical therapy, aquatic exercise can be a wonderful next step. There are several benefits to exercise in your local pool or body of water;
Your body has an incredible number of nerve endings in both your muscles and your skin. The pressure from being submerged in water creates constant stimulus, and your brain will be inclined to dull the part of the nervous system that is responsible for managing tactile sensory neurons so as to not feel overwhelmed. This allows you to stretch and move with less pain that you may otherwise be experiencing. Even those sensitive or averse to being touched often feel more at ease while exercising in a pool as their physical senses are dulled.
Your heart and lungs work harder under water than on land because your chest cavity is under constant increased pressure from being submerged in water. (This means that one workout can have further reaching benefits than the same workout on land.) Think of the pool as a compression bandage for your entire body, which helps to alleviate some of the chronic pain you may be feeling, allowing you to reach further and work harder. The increased blood flow from the compression on your heart and lungs will help to pump oxygen rich blood to your extremities, something that can go great lengths with the healing process.
You won’t need to have exercise equipment to get a fantastic workout that touches every muscle in your body and allows you a wide range of movement. Your muscles will recover faster in less pain, and you don’t have to worry about falling as the water helps you to maintain balance. You’re forced to move a lot more slowly while submerged in water, and this means that your brain and muscles have more time to process each and every movement, building a far better muscle memory as you go along. You’re also more likely to perform each movement with more precision, and have time to focus on form.
With many exercises, you tend to focus on one or another muscle or part of your body instead of using your entire body at once. Being in the water helps you to locate and make use of your core, and generally the movements allow for your entire body or many more groups of muscles to be addressed at once.
One of the pleasant side effects of being in water is the massage that water can give. Even a gentle flow or waves being produced from exercising bodies can give enough of a current that feels nice and can help relax tired or sore muscles. Buoyancy also helps relieve pressure on the feet, ankles and legs.
Let’s not forget that being in a pool is just plain fun. The enjoyment that can be had during an exercise class; either as part of a group or solo, can be a part of the day that you’ll look most forward to. The fact that you feel better and better after each session will give you the motivation you need to go back and make further progress. Almost any exercise that you can do in a gym has an alternate under the water. The more pleasant and enjoyable your exercise is, the more likely it will be that you’ll stick with it on your road back to good health and well-being.
This article was written by Nina Wells from Vidalux. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.
AI CHI AS THE NEW YOGA
When the world looks for a way to find an exercise that gives outer strength, inner strength, and spiritual well-being, we often look east towards Asia. The Indian practice of yoga has become so popular that even non-practitioners know the nomenclature (“Namaste”) and wear the outfits. But yoga is very popular and no longer just among Indians or women looking for a new way to stretch out. Both sexes use it and both women and men say that it makes their body lither and clears their heads. Yoga is very popular, but not the only way for a person to get their mind and body in order. Ai Chi moves are similar to Tai Chi moves and it uses breathing and exercise in the water for the individual. Is Ai Chi a substitute for yoga? Is it the new yoga?
Ai Chi was started in back in the mid-1980s by a Japanese man named Jun Kunno. Kunno was looking for a water-based therapy that could give the benefits of a massage-based therapy without the touching. The key to therapy was to get the practitioner to relax while at the same time working the muscles. Just like Tai Chi and many other Asian exercise programs, Ai Chi focuses on moving continuously. Doing this underwater gives it a relaxing aspect which can make the therapy to people of a wide age range, up to and including the very elderly.
How does Ai Chi compare to Yoga? Both use breathing as one of the keys to the exercise. Both also use movement. This is where the differences really begin. Yoga uses movement to get into position and which the person than holds. This is how yoga gives its full potential to create the positive energy. This energy helps gives the Yoga student his or her spiritual fulfillment. Ai Chi, on the other hand, creates energy and relaxation through continuous movement.
The spiritual side of both yoga and Ai Chi both are both buttressed by their meditative aspects. While one is doing these routines, they are also meditating, clearing the mind of those everyday problems that are adding to the stress in their lives. The goal of each is to walk away at peace with one’s self that will carry on from this session to the next.
What about the long term benefits? Both have proven as treatments for some of the more common and chronic medical conditions. Ai Chi can help lower blood pressure and the symptoms of arthritis. It’s even given Parkinson’s disease sufferers relief. Yoga is also known to help relieve blood pressure, relieve chronic muscle pain, and give relief to those sufferings from depression. It also helps give some pain relief to those suffering from heart disease and cancer. Therefore, in this respect, both Ai Chi and Yoga can give you similar benefits.
Aside from the movements, there is a huge difference. Ai Chi is done in a pool, where the session begins as students stand in water up to their shoulders. Someone who practices Yoga (a yogi) will be seen walking around with a mat to their local ashram or Yoga studio, which could be anywhere. So Ai Chi has some disadvantage in that the user must have the access to a pool. On the other hand, this gives Ai Chi more universal appeal to a larger crowd. Founder Kuonno intended that his new program using the relaxing powers of water to make his therapy work. Anyone who has been in a pool knows how relaxing the water can be, and this goes for people of all ages. Therefore Ai Chi has an appeal for octogenarians who might find the poses of Yoga a bit of stretch.
Benefits of an Ai Chi Regime
As we have stated above, Ai Chi uses the holistic approach to health combining movement, spiritual, and mental. How does it accomplish these benefits? Well, water gives resistance, so as one is moving in it, the action gives the muscles an additional workout. Yet, while one is the water, one is able to position oneself in positions not as easily achieved through yoga.
There are 19 movements to Ai Chi. They are done in progression, starting with the upper torso while the body remains static. When these are completed, the pupil moves to exercises that simulate the land-based Tai Chi, moving the body around. Because one is in the water as these movements progress, balance can be easily maintained. The soothing aspects of being in the water are also an advantage.
So will yogis turn in their mats for a trip to the pool? Both are great ways to improve your life without resorting to traditional medicine or pharmaceuticals. Both use a holistic approach to change the adopter’s outlook on life as well as limber up the body.
The difference may come down to demographics. When someone thinks of yoga, they think of a young woman with a Yoga mat heading to a workout in her yoga pants. On the other hand, any sort of pool exercise is linked to an older bunch in the local pool. Putting aside which one has more health benefits, as long as an exercise is linked to the retirement crowd, the advantage will go to yoga. But stay tuned, utility sometimes wins.
This article was written by Nina Wells from Steamshowerstore. She has over 10 years’ experience in writing health related topics and specializes in the health benefits of saunas and hydrotherapy.
SAUNA USE LEADS TO A HEALTHIER BRAIN AND MORE
Listening to a pod cast about how to improve muscle growth, endurance and generate better brain function has me really excited today. To sum up what Dr. Rhonda Patrick presented: If you use the sauna for "Hyperthermic Conditioning" you can increase your body's production of Growth Hormone. Science has proven that Growth Hormone (IGF-1) increases muscle while reducing fat, helps repair lean muscle, increases the growth of new brain cells, AND it prevents your brain cells from dying. You can also increase your body's production of Growth Hormone with strenuous exercise but your body will become acclimated to strenuous exercise over time and it will be less effective. BUT you can use the sauna for 30 minutes a day and enhance your body's performance. This is less stressful on the body and just as effective! But don't stop exercising all together, you just add the sauna on those days when you need a rest from pounding the pavement or slamming the weights. Super simple, super effective, sit in the sauna for 30 minutes.
This is the video: http://youtu.be/aHOlM-wlNjM
Who should not use a sauna is answered in this article from the American Journal of Medicine: http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(00)00671-9/abstract
Sauna use leads to a healthier brain, enhances endurance, and increases muscle while reducing fat!
REDUCE STRESS WITH A MASSAGE IN CARSON CITY
Massage is defined as systematic manual or mechanical manipulations of the soft tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes, including stress reduction. Some of the physiological benefits are improved muscle tone, circulation, and glandular activities. It promotes health and wellness while reducing stress. Soreness and stiffness of muscles will also get relief.
A professional massage also benefits all the other systems of the body. For example; a massage therapist can use cross-fiber friction and compression movements to help prevent the formation of adhesions and fibrosis in muscles. A therapist may also use friction, vibration and percussion movements to produce a stimulation effect on the nervous system, while gentler strokes such as petrissage produce a sedative effect for the relief of tension. Massage movements that are directed toward the heart will facilitate the flow of blood and lymph back toward the heart. All these movements improve the circulation of blood, which in turn supplies beneficial nutrients to the skin.
Because mind, body and spirit are one, massage is a good start in the pursuit of your personal practice and process for stress reduction.
Massage should be avoided if you have a condition that appears to be a contraindication (medically inadvisable) to massage. Similarly, if you have a medical or mental condition that needs medical attention such as pain, redness, swelling or high temperature, massage should be avoided.
In a future musing, I hope to discuss simple roles we can take on for our own state of health and wellness. These include meditation, exercise, low-fat/high fiber diet, the balance between work and play, keeping a positive mental and spiritual attitude, healthy aging and stress resistance, the benefits of epsom salt baths and essential oils, self-acupressure for common ailments and more on massage. My source for much of this information came from; Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage by Mark F. Beck
Lisa Crowley @ Paradise Salon/Spa/Wellness is your massage therapist in Carson City.
ARTHRITIS PAIN RELIEF TIPS AND TRICKS
First, what is arthritis? (Source: Arthritis Foundation)
Simply put it is painful inflammation of the joints. There are over 100 different types of arthritis... Symptoms are joint pain, swelling, stiffness, a loss of range of motion, plus pain can be moderate to severe, coming and going, etc. Diagnosing arthritis is complex, but we are not focusing on diagnosis. That is for you and your doctor to do together.
What can you do about arthritis pain?
Here are a few GENERAL actions you can take to relieve the pain of arthritis.
Regular non-impact physical activity (water exercise is excellent)
Maintaining a healthy weight (diet is #1, eating fresh healthy food)
Strengthening the muscles around the joint for added support
Balancing activity with rest (a good night’s sleep is priceless)
Using hot and cold therapies (ice packs, warm water soaks, sauna)
Qigong can be used for relief from arthritic discomfort as well
What is Qigong?
Life is energy. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the word for that life-force energy. Qi is everywhere, it’s in the earth, the galaxy, and your body. Qigong is meditation with movement; a conscious form of very gentle exercise. Qigong enhances the body’s natural healing abilities, it helps you to cultivate Qi through slow movements, smooth breathing, and focused thoughts.
The Chinese physician believes Qi imbalance is the cause of many illnesses. An emphasis is put on rebuilding the overall health and strength of spirit of the person, restoring a proper supply of Qi and blood to the body’s cells.
Aquatic Qigong called Ai Chi is taught in the warm saltwater pool at Paradise.
Theory: There are 3 levels of relaxation. The first level is postural relaxation. The second is relaxation of the muscles & tendons. The third is deep relaxation reaching into the internal organs, allowing you to sense their state. In the case of Qigong treatment for arthritis, when you have reached the third level of relaxation you can lead the qi deeply into the joint where it will repair the damage. And so the Qigong treatment must begin with relaxed and gentle movements to smoothly increase Qi circulation. The first stage of treatment is to learn how to relax and avoid muscle/tendon tension and stress, which can increase pressure on the joint and continue to damage it. (This is why water is wonderful, the buoyancy takes all the stress off the joints.) You must also place your mind on the tender joints. The more you bring your mind deeply into the joint and relax it, the more Qi will circulate smoothly and freely to repair the damage. The best time to practice Qigong is in the morning, it gets your energy flowing after being still all night.
Practical: XU HONGTAO MEDICAL QIGONG SELF MASSAGE
Sitting comfortably with relaxed muscles, take 9 slow deep breaths, women L (left) hand over R(right), Men R hand over L, placed on the low belly. Your mind is calm focusing on what is going on inside your body. Visualize energy in your body moving, taking away stagnant or stale Qi.
- Warm your hands by rubbing them together 9 or 18 times
- Make 3 slow circles around your eyes, feel the warmth from your hands
- Brush your hands over & around your ears 3 times, combing your hair back
- Make 3 sweeping strokes down the back of your neck and shoulders
- Make 3 sweeping strokes downward on the chest
- Make 3 sweeping strokes downward on the front of your hips
- Make 3 strokes down reaching as high as you can on the kidney region (low back)
- Make 3 inward circles around kneecaps, 3 outward circles around kneecaps
- Make 3 long sweeping strokes down the outside of the legs
- Make 3 long sweeping strokes UP the inside of the legs
- Make 3 circle strokes around the elbow joint, women L then R, men R then L
- Make 3 long strokes down each arm, women L then R, men R then L
REPEAT 3, 6 or 9 times, ending as you started, sitting comfortably… etc.
Some more tips for success:
- Do not do heavy exercises when inflamed, gently massage the joint & do light Qigong.
- When you have less pain & stiffness, take advantage & practice a little more.
- Don’t overdo it. If you have significant pain 2 hours after, you overdid it.
- Practice a comfortable length of time and gradually increase the repetitions.
- Focus your mind on the body part, imagine breathing in and out of the joint.
- Practice in nature for maximum benefits.
- Bundle up if cold increases your arthritis pain.
- As always, your doctor is the one to talk to before beginning a new exercise routine.
- This Qigong self massage is a tiny sampling of the EXPANSIVE knowledge in traditional Chinese Medicine.
- Use anti-oxidants to help reduce inflammation. We personally recommend SOD, CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Turmeric Curcumin, Hawaiian Astaxanthin, or Vitamin C, along with a diet rich in dark colored fruits and vegetables.
I hope this helps you get relief.
Starr Nixdorf, ATRIC
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