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Healthy Community Challenge

Posted on: March 9th, 2012 / by Diane / Posted in Tips For Health / No Comments

Healthy Community Challenge

Diane Lee & Associates is proud to be part of The Healthy Community Challenge and has provided some of the expert fitness resources that accompany this amazing 90-day challenge. We will be not only participating personally but will be on CTV and in The Province providing fitness tips for Exercises during pregnancy (Diane), Yoga (Leanne) and Running.

The Healthy Community Challenge is your opportunity to take advantage of health and fitness knowledge and resources during a provincial call to action. We all know what we should be doing to stay active and healthy and why it’s important, but sometimes it’s nice to have that extra motivation to get on and stay on track. The Healthy Community Challenge is that motivation and now, you don’t have to do it alone! Register today online at https://healthycommunitychallenge.com/ and join us for this 90-day journey to a healthier lifestyle.

The Healthy Community Challenge has a variety of fitness resources ranging from your own FREE Healthy Community fitness guide, FREE training program downloads, FREE recipes & a 45 day nutrition plan all the way through a full range of relevant fitness equipment and exercise dvd’s. There are no excuses.

Each week on CTV’s morning news and in The Province you will have the opportunity to hear from health & fitness experts on a wide range of topics ranging from Dr’s advice, to how to stay on a program to pre & post natal fitness from some of the best practitioners in their respective fields. Still have questions? It’s as easy as asking an expert and we will direct you to the resources in your community that can help you. At the end of 90 days, we will use the results to determine who in British Columbia represents the Healthiest Community and share random prizes for participants across BC as well as grand prizes for the four featured communities ‘most active’.

This challenged is sponsored by Vega, presented by Innovative Fitness (IF) and partnered by CTV and The Province. Associates from Diane Lee & Associates have provided some of the expert fit tipsand are proud to be affiliated with this challenge. Join us and see how much better you can feel and be after 90-days.

The Freedom To Dance

Posted on: December 8th, 2011 / by Rachael / Posted in Tips for Dancers / 1 Comment

Who hasn’t heard these cues at some point in their dance training…

imagine a $100 bill between your bum cheeks
squeeze the back of your thighs together
get your knees over your toes
tuck your bum under
lift your pelvic floor
use your core
turn out
pull up
squeeeeze!

…and this can be just to stand in first position!

While helpful, these type of cues can invite us to use considerable effort or power to hold a position or force movement. Muscles become short and hard when contracted, and although they can provide us with control and strength, there are a number of ways that contracting more than what we need is not to our advantage.

Think of a horse who has both reins pulled tight. It cannot move freely, it’s stuck in the middle. By pulling one rein harder without relaxing the other you may turn the horse but you have added extra force and compression on it’s neck. Just like reins, our muscles move our body. When we squeeze unneeded muscles, we create compression and hamper movement.

Our muscles also effect how we breath, transfer weight and balance on one leg. Over-tightening again hampers movement. How can we breath freely when our chest and back is tightened? How can we jump high if we don’t lengthen our muscles first before take off? How can we balance on one leg if muscles are pulling us off center? Over-tightening, like a rigid building in an earthquake, makes the body prone to breaking down when movement occurs. When it comes to dance we must first let go, breathe, and lengthen to allow room for movement to take place. And who doesn’t want more freedom, longer lines, higher jumps, breath and joy in their dancing?

“Recent research supports [the] notion that movement skill is inversely proportional to the unnecessary muscle activity that occurs during its performance.” 85

In other words, by only using the muscles you need, the more efficient your body becomes and the more your technique and performance improves.

From an intuitive sense we know this is true. A new dancer often uses much effort to attempt a movement, squeezing muscles in various ways, perhaps holding their breath. A masterful dancer makes it looks easy, only using the essential muscles needed while breathing freely and easily.

This is also why we breath in preparation for movement, why our turns are better when we’re relaxed, why we shake our jitters out or mentally prepare before going on stage. Because we know that if all our muscles “tense up”, our performance suffers and we appear stiff and heavy.

So if you’re struggling with getting your leg higher, controlling turn out, or even pain, what’s the solution? Rather than trying harder by squeezing harder (which can create an endless source of frustration), check your body’s range of movement passively with good alignment (usually lying down or have a therapist check) and find out what is limiting your movement. Address this first.

If you have great range when stretching or relaxed but this isn’t translating into class, you may be using your muscles in a way that isn’t taking advantage of your full range. This is where dancers may want to squeeze or try harder to get what they want from their bodies.

Pain and injury often result.

Squeezing the right muscles is just as important as being able to lengthen, soften and relax the muscles you don’t need. In this way you can truly find out what your underlying weaknesses are. The focus should then be on training these weaknesses without compensation. Sometimes you may find there are no underlying weaknesses, just good technique that awaits you.

Come see Rachael Corbett to learn more about your body, prevent injury, and discover ‘good technique’!

You may also be interested in reading Rachael’s article ‘Troublesome Turnout’.

Time to Mind

Posted on: November 21st, 2011 / by Diane / Posted in Tips For Health / No Comments

Most people come to physiotherapy for help with their bodies thinking that their mental health and physical health are separate. However, changing movement behaviour (how we sit, stand, run, work, play) often requires that we ‘change our brains’ and correct or ‘rewire’ the non-optimal motor programs that are perpetuating pain or limiting performance (see Core Versus Strength). It also requires that we reflect on things we think and believe.

Many of our patients are surprised to learn that the key to leading a more active, pain-free lifestyle begins with understanding how their brain works and are surprised to know that the structure of our brain changes every day through our entire lifetime. How? Every experience we have, including our thoughts, conversations and movement practice (or lack therefore) changes the neural networks in the brain. How you think, how often you think it, what you do and how often you do it causes the neurons in your brain to wire together and to get faster and better at thinking or doing whatever it is you’re thinking or doing! This can be good or bad, depending on what you’re thinking or doing!

As we approach a very busy time of the year, it is easy to let go of the activities that keep us healthy. My wish, and gift, to you this holiday season is to introduce you to the work of Dr. Dan Siegel, a neuropsychiatrist and author of Mindsight and co-author of The Whole Brain Child whose mission is to “provide a scientifically grounded, integrated view of human development for mental health practitioners, educators, organizational leaders, parents, and others as we promote the growth of vibrant lives and healthy minds and to bring more kindness, compassion, and resilience into our world!”

In particular, I’d like to share with you his Healthy Mind Platter – seven daily essential mental activities to optimize your brain and create well-being:

Healthy Mind Platter

David Rock and Daniel Siegel 2011

Seven daily essential mental activities to optimize brain matter and create well-being

David & Dan – Focus Time – when we closely focus on tasks in a goal-oriented way, we take on challenges that make deep connections in the brain
Diane – Take time to focus this holiday season on what is really important, minimize the multi-tasking.

David & Dan – Play Time – when we allow ourselves to be spontaneous or creative, playfully enjoying novel experiences, we help make new connections in the brain
Dan – We live in Canada – go find some snow and make some angels or at least a snow man!

David & Dan – Connecting Time – when we connect with other people, ideally in person, and when we take time to appreciate our connection to the natural world around us, we activate and reinforce the brain’s relational circuitry
The mind is an embodied (through our whole bodies) and relational process….
Diane – spend quality time with those you love and do something outdoors with them.

David & Dan – Physical Time – when we move our bodies, especially aerobically, we strengthen the brain in many ways
Diane – Pick up the pace of that winter walk, find a few stairs to climb, dig out the skiis or skates and revel in the wonder of joyful movement!

David & Dan – Time In – when we reflect quietly internally, focusing on sensations, images, feeling and thoughts, we help to better integrate the brain
Diane – Try Dan Siegel’s Wheel of Awareness practice and feel how easy it is to turn in and explore the wonder of yourself – Wheel of Awareness

David & Dan – Down Time – When we are non-focused, without any specific goal, and let our mind wander and simply relax, we help the brain recharge
Diane – Breathe the winter air deeply and take a walk by yourself for a change.

David & Dan – Sleep Time – When we give the brain the rest it needs, we consolidate learning and recover from the experiences of the day.
Diane – Give yourself the gift of a great sleep-in at least once a week, especially during the busy holiday season.

May you always remember to make time to restructure and support your mind and body, it is never too late.

A standing complaint – I can’t sit without pain

Posted on: October 28th, 2011 / by Diane / Posted in Low Back & Neck Pain / No Comments
Now that we are in between the sunny active summer season and the cold active winter season most of us find ourselves sitting more, catching up on paperwork, reading, doing crafts for Christmas etc.  And along with the increased time in sitting, comes that nagging low back, mid-back and neck pain.  Why?  And what to do about it?

While there are many reasons for back pain while sitting, a common one is the failure to sit on our butts properly. By your butt, I mean your pelvis.

Check out the two sitting postures below along with the skeleton that is mimicking the pelvic position. This fellow’s complaint was neck pain with sitting – note the kink in his neck in the picture with the poor pelvic position compared to the posture of his neck when his pelvis is placed properly beneath him.

Sitting and pain

 

A picture is worth a thousand words, isn’t it.  There is more information on how to place your pelvis properly when sitting.

Check out this article to learn more about how to sit on your butt properly – it all begins with a good squat!  Maybe that will be the second blog post – I’ll let you tell me if that is what you’d like to hear about next!

–Diane

Welcome to the Diane Lee & Associates Blog

Posted on: October 28th, 2011 / by Diane / Posted in General / No Comments

Diane LeeWelcome to the new Diane Lee & Associates Blog! Why a blog? Well, our mission statement is to Empower through Knowledge, Movement and Awareness and what better way to share knowledge than to tell some stories. After all, isn’t that what a good blog is about – sharing, connecting and story telling. Our intent is to share with you some stories from our practice and life experiences and connect with you in a way that there often isn’t time for in our treatment sessions.

We hope you enjoy what follows and look forward to your comments – they will influence future blogs for sure. Follow us on Twitter @dianeleept and and Facebook to be advised when there is a new blog to read.

Please note that we cannot advise or directly answer questions through this blog – come and see us to get your questions addressed.

Diane Lee & Associates
#102 - 15303 31 Avenue
South Surrey, BC V3S 7E1

Phone: 604 538 8338
Fax: 604 538 3277
Email: info@dianelee.ca