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5 Questions about Cupping

  1. What is Cupping?

    Cupping involves the usages of glass/wood/silicone cups that are used to create a vacuum on the body. Depending on the chosen method, these will either stay in place for 5-15 minutes (traditional cupping)
    or moved around the area (Gliding). There is also a less well-known version called “Wet Cupping”, with which small cuts are made before the cups are applied. During this version, the cups will be filled with blood from the client. Needless to say proper hygiene and qualification of the therapist are of extra concern with this method.

  2. What are the benefits of Cupping?

    There are multiple benefits from cupping. The most well known reasons to use cupping is to speed up muscle recovery after workouts. This was very commonly seen in the last year’s Olympics, where multiple athletes were seen walking around with the typical marks from a cupping treatment. Because cupping is very non-invasive and doesn’t cause much side effects, it’s a very common choice for athletes after competition or training.Aside from the physical effects, Cupping is very well known for it’s soothing effects on the central nervous system. For this reason, the treatment is often chosen as a pain reliever or to fight stress in general.

  3. How does Cupping feel?

    A lot of my clients describe it as a “reverse massage”. This makes sense since instead of being compressed, the skin and connective tissue is being pulled up and decompressed. Traditional cupping, depending on the amount of vacuum and duration of the treatment can be a bit uncomfortable, whereas gliding is typically experienced as very relaxing. Your therapist is supposed to monitor how you feel during the session and adjust when necessary.

  4. What do the colors mean?

    The skin can show different reactions to Cupping, and each has a meaning as you can see below in the picture. Sometimes Cupping is used as an “assessment”, to get an idea of what’s going on in the area underneath the skin. If area’s display moderate or sever stagnation, these points are often focused on more during follow up treatments. Usually we see these markings become less and less noticeable as the client starts to react to treatment.

  5. Where can I experience Cupping?

    In Asia, Cupping is a very common treatment method and is used to support the body while fighting disease and therefore is very easy to find. When choosing this option, make sure the hygiene standard is good enough since dirty cups can cause infection.
    Also, in most of these establishments there is no underlying physiological knowledge. If you want to get cupping done for specific problems or body parts, it is best to find a Physiotherapist that is also educated in Cupping.

 

Of course, feel free to contact me if you’d like to experience a session!

 

 

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The 4 Stages of Change

Where does change actually begin?

Does it begin with the actions I take?

Does it begin with results?

Does it begin with other people noticing I’m getting results?

If you want to change

This change begins, by the way that you communicate with yourself

There are four stages to changing

Number 1 is : I should change

And the sad reality is that 99.9% of all people are stuck in that stage

There’s literally people that will spend the rest of their life saying “I should change”

And after 80 or 90 years there are dying , thinking, “I should have changed

How can you overcome that?

You want to get to the next stage: “I can change”

Once you realize change is possible, it opens up many possibilites

Now what gets it to the next level?

” I will change “

And the only step between “I can change” and “I will change”

Is taking action.

So you realize you’re able to change, now is the time to get off your lazy ass and take action

To go out and pimp. To get rejected. To go to the gym. To read everything about finance.

Take, action.

I WILL CHANGE

And the good thing is, it feels good, it feels great taking action.

And the last stage is, I AM CHANGE

And that’s literally one of the best feelings in the world.

 

Source: RSD

 

 

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Vitamin D

Vitamin D

Occurs as ergocalciferol (D2) in vegetable nutrition and as cholecalciferol in animal based foods. The latter form is more absorb-able. Upon exposure to sunlight, the body creates previtamine D, and then converts that into it’s active form.
Vitamin D helps in the recovery of the muscles and aids the immune system. It also strengthens and maintains the bones and interacts with a lot of hormones and other nutrients like calcium, vitamin K and magnesium.

Works together with: Calcium (without D, only 10-15% of the amount of calcium we ingest will be absorbed)

RDI for vitamin D is 10mcg

Found in:

– Fatty fish
– (Grass-fed)butter
– Meat
– Full dairy and cheese

Deficiency can lead to:

– reduction of bone strength
– Reduction of power
– decrease function of immune system
– Fatigue

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HITT workouts for at home

Most if you reading this are on the 12- week strength building program and are now ready to focus more on all-round conditioning, body composition and flexibility.

The workout below is from the well known “Fitness Blender”, which is a Youtube channel with hundreds of awesome workouts. (check them out and subscribe to their channel!)

Follow this workout into your program instead of a day of heavy lifting. The following week, see if you can do two of these. It’s your choice if you want to keep lifting on the side, or just focus on High intensity training primarily!

 

enjoy 😉

Mark

 

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Shocking facts about Sleep (deprivation)

We all know sleep is important for our health. Still, sleep is often the first thing we cut if we need to make more space in our lives. Ironically, cutting back on sleep takes a toll on productivity, creativity, concentration, communication skills and basically whatever  makes us function as  human.
So for whatever reason you’re cutting sleep, you’re doing it worse.
Here’s a couple of notes I took of the video “Why Sleep is critical for the Body and Brain”. It’s a great video and a great channel to subscribe to. Check the quick facts here but be sure to watch the full video when you have time.
– Less sleep decreases the ability to consider alternative solutions to problems.  Our prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, decision making, reasoning and problem solving and is significantly impaired with less sleep.
– Slow wave sleep and REM sleep is needed to take information from short term memory to long term memory.
– When you dream the brain is seeing how unrelated pieces of information fit together and simulating scenarios you need to be prepared for. Sometimes this can lead to insights you would otherwise never have (Paul Mcartney came up with the melody for “yesterday” in a dream)
– The Amygdala processes emotional information and is more active when you’re sleep deprived. The less sleep, the more likely you overreact to things.
– Only 5% of the population functions well on less than 6 hours of sleep. And even if you think you’re functioning well on your amount of sleep, would you know? Activity in prefrontal cortex goes down when sleep deprived, and that is the only part of the brain that has the power of self assessment. To “think” about how it’s functioning. so would you know if you didn’t get enough sleep?
– Sleep is also essential for tissue repair, balancing of hormones and maintenance of metabolic pathways.
– It’s also important for weight-loss: participants on a calorie restricted diet that could only sleep for 5 hours lost 55% less body fat compared to 8 hour sleepers on the same diet.
They also lost  60% more fat-free mass (muscle)
– Hormone levels are impaired with sleep decrease:
Higher Grehlin levels (causes fat retention and hunger) 15% higher
Leptin (making you feel saturated) was significantly less
Melatonin was less (anti -aging, anti cancerous)
Increased of cortisol (increases the worst fat, visceral fat)
HGH was less (cognitive function, muscle mass, tissue repair)
– 10pm to 2am seems like the most bang-for-your-buck sleep (the most growth hormone)
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Supplement Review: Venum BCAA

Supplement Review: Venum BCAA
 
Taste: 9/10 (Mango) it’s GOOD. Nice tropical mango taste which is addictive enough to make me want to add it to every bottle of water. It’s sweetened with stevia with which I think they went slightly overboard but I just slightly adjust the dose or refill my bottle once it’s halfway and it still tastes nice.
Price: 35$ a bit over $1 per serving (unless you use my tactic)
 
Would buy again: 100%
 
Notes:
– Sweetness makes them perfect to turn into BCAA ice cubes for in your water. Refreshing!
– Added electrolytes which is a plus with the severe heat here
– 0% sugar
 
Overall: BCAA’S are “essential amino acids”, building blocks of proteins that the body cannot produce herself. Therefore we need to get them from food or supplementation.
The strength of BCAA’S lies in their ability to protect the breakdown of muscle mass and kicks-tarting the muscle repair.
 
Effectiveness: I’m definitely less sore and recover quicker than I have on previous workout programs. It’s very hard to say how much of that is attributed to this supplement.
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Myths busted: Is your spine “Out of Alignment?”

So many time clients with spine issues tell me the following:

“I’ve had this in the past and my spine was out, so it had to be put back in place”.
Usually, they refer to a manual therapist or chiropractor that did that for them.

I believe this needs to be addressed since it’s simply not true and it can create problems which I’ll explain.

But first let me point out that the spine is a very strong and robust structure. It cannot simply be pushed into and out of alignment by quick thrust. If that would be the case, Rugby players and MMA fighters would be in serious trouble after nearly every match.
Also, in Australia, recently some students tried to take apart an SI joint. It took them more than an hour, 2 students, a hammer and lots of sweat to do it. There’s a small chance that if that’s the case, a microsecond and a quick thrust will provide any structural change.

As a matter of fact :

“No supportive evidence is found for the chiropractic subluxation being associated with any disease process or of creating suboptimal health conditions requiring intervention. Regardless of popular appeal, this leaves the subluxation construct in the realm of unsupported speculation. This lack of supportive evidence suggests the subluxation construct has no valid clinical applicability.” 

Why is this misconception a problem?

Saying that a client’s spine “is out” creates two problems in my opinion:

  1. dependency on the practitioner or technique used to “correct” the problem.  It’s the practitioners duty to inform the client correctly and in my opinion, and provide information and/tools to empower the client to take manage or restore their own bodies’ function. We as health professionals can and should help this process but dependency on us should be avoided.
  2. False beliefs about a structural “dysfunction” of the spine. Saying something is “out of place” and “needs to be adjusted” creates the idea that there is something wrong with the spine. The next time a client deals with pain, a logical consequence would be to think “my spine is out again”, which will result in thinking that manipulation is needed to fix the problem.

Both of these issues can be avoided simply by not using these terms anymore. Spinal manipulations definitely have clinical value but we should aim to provide information that is accurate and beneficial to the clients beliefs, aside from just treating them.

The Epidemiology of low back pain. (Hoy D1Brooks PBlyth FBuchbinder R.)

 

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Shocking Facts about running #3 – EM Sportscience updated research

EM sportscience released a video that broke down new research on running shoes so it’s time for an update on my -now- blog series on the topic.

After #1 and #2 , here’s a video that does a great job at explaining what current evidence is showing. Below you’ll find the bullet-points of the talk but if you have the time, I’d recommend watching it all (maybe during your next treadmill run?)

Injuries in running have not gone down over the last 10 years, despite shoe technology

No conclusions can be drawn by comparing former research to now since injuries have changed and runners changed.

Impact force peak doesn’t seem to be a causal factor in running injuries 

Most impact doesn’t happen on landing but later in stand phase. Which means cushioning the heel makes less sense than assumed.

There is no good evidence that loading rate (or faster running) leads to higher change of injury. 

There is no significant connection between anti pronation properties in shoes and injuries. Actually, it seems that sometimes pronation can be an advantage 

New suggested ways of looking at running injuries and shoes might be the “comfort filter” theory and the “preferred movement path” theory.

 

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Shocking facts about Running #2

#1 The most expensive shoes are the worst.

 

According to a study done by Bernard Marti, a preventative medicine specialist at Switserlands’ Universtity of Bern, runners wearing A-quality running shoes are 123% more likely to get injured than runners in cheap shoes.
That’s right. Seems crazy right?

He and his team analysed 4.358 runners in the Bern Grand-Prix, which is a 9.6 Mile race. The first thing that struck them was that 45 percent of the studied group had been hurt in the year leading up to the race.
The rest of the information from the study wasn’t any less surprising:

The most common variable between the runners wasn’t training surface, running speed, body weight, age, motivation or previous injury.

It was the price of the shoe.

Runners in shoes over 90$ were twice as much likely to get hurt as runners in shoes of 40$ and below.

For me, it’s not that much of a shocker. I’ve been running on 20$ fake (don’t tell anybody 😉 ) Nike Free running shoes and I’ve never felt better during my runs.

#2 Feet don’t respond well to cushioning

 

We believe that the more cushioning in our shoes, the more comfortable the feet will be. We might be wrong.
First off, all the cushioning in our expensive running shoes do nothing much to reduce impact. When you think about it, that’s not so strange. During every step we take during a run, the body weight that comes down smashing onto the ground can go up to 10 times your body weight.
In my case, that would be 1500 pound of force coming down onto a half an inch of rubber. It’s very unlikely that piece of rubber is going to absorb it all.

“You can cover an egg with an oven mitt before rapping it with a hammer, but that egg ain’t coming out alive”- Christopher Mcdougall (Born to Run)

Secondary, more cushioning make our landing mechanics worse. During some studies on gymnasts they found that the thicker the landing mat, the harder athletes would slam down, trying to find balance. A comparable thing happens when we run. The feet sense a soft underground and instinctively pushing through to find a hard, stable surface to land on.
This is often found when multiple types of shoes are used while running on a force plate. Often, force absorbed by the plate changes significantly while changing between well cushioned shoes, thin soled shoes and barefoot running shoes. Just not the way you’d expect.

Often impact levels are the least in bare foot of thin soled footwear, and highest in cushioned shoes. And that’s because with less cushioning to rely on, we use our bodies’ own shock-absorbers  and they happen to be really good.

And even better, it can be trained to become even better.

If you want to know how your shock absorbers are functioning, click here

 

I’ll upload some stability exercises to my channel soon.

 

Mark

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The Reason Kettlebells are awesome.

Let me be straight upfront. If I only had to choose ONE piece of equipment to train with the rest of my life, it would be a Kettlebell. And that’s coming from a skeptic.

In a relatively short period of time (I’ve been working out for over 15 years and have been using Bells for the last year or so) I completely fell head over heels for Kettlebells in all shapes and sizes.

okay that might be a lie * 

 

So what are Kettlebells and why are they so special?

Let me break it down for you.

Kettlebells are canon-ball-shaped weights with a handle on them. They should remind you of a tea-kettle.
Their shape allows you to perform movements that can’t be replicated with dumbbells or barbells, giving you an all-round fitness experience which no tool can do better.

One of the key benefits is that it makes the entire body work together in most exercises, which makes it possible to train strength ánd cardio at the same time. How convenient is that?

forget about those hours on the crosstrainer 

Because most movements put the entire body to work, the workout is very time-effective. A short 30-45 workout will give you all the effects that a 90 minute machine based gym session would do, and most probably more.

Kettlebell workouts increase athletic performance, melt fat and dramatically increase the cardiovascular health.

oh, and did I mention it gives you abs and glutes of steel?

…There’s a downside to all of this. HARD WORK.

The movements are not easy since multiple joints and muscles are being put to work. So getting someone experienced and certified to teach you would be strongly recommended. (like me)

 

“Kettlebell training is not for sissies but it is not elitist. Dr. Krayevskiy, father of Kettlebells, took up training at the age of forty-one and twenty years later he was said to look fresher and healthier than at forty”

-The Strongfit Certification Handbook

 

If this is you, contact me and we’ll make it happen.

The price of admission is a strong spirit and attention to detail.

 

* Because of their movement types, Kettlebells should start at around 16-20kg for men and 12-16kg for women. 

for lower weights, you may as well grab a dumbbell.