Forward Head Posture

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These days my CranioSacral Therapy practice is filled with kids and adults experiencing a variety of symptoms related to forward head posture (FHP).  These symptoms can include headaches, head pain, tired or strained eyes, suboccipital spasm and shoulder pain/arm pain.

What is forward head posture?  FHP happens as our head moves further out over our shoulders and chest as we peer down at our digital devices.  The problem with this new posture is that the weight of our head increases the further we bend our head forward, putting more strain on the muscles, ligaments and fascia responsible for supporting the weight.

In neutral spine the weight of the head is about 12 pounds.  For every inch the head moves forward from its ideal gravitational center, it feels as if it weights an additional 10 pounds.  So if the head moves an inch forward, the brain perceives the weight of the head to now be 32 pounds.  If our head moves two inches forward, we then have a 42 pound ball to balance on top of our spine.  Three inches forward, 52 pounds.  You get the idea.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for this amount of weight to change the structure of our spine.  The wear and tear on the soft tissue, as well as the spine itself, makes it increasingly difficult for our body to stabilize our head and spine.  This can then cause potentially damaging issues like bone spurring, facet sticking, nerve impingement and disc degeneration.

The good news is that if treated early enough we can undo the posture and the reverse the damage.  And for those who come in long after they’ve been experiencing symptoms, I can still help.  My advice for those who work on computers or spend hours a day looking down at devices, be as conscious as you can about good posture now.  Set an alarm if you have to to take a break from the computer and check your posture.  Get an ergonomic evaluation.  Instead of bending your head to look down at your device, bring the device up to eye level.  My final piece of advice is to not ignore symptoms!  They are our bodies alert system telling us that something is out of balance.  Find a good practitioner, I’m partial to craniosacral therapy (CST) and get on it early.  The sooner I can see someone the easier and faster it is to correct the situation.

You’re in good health,


Nasal Irrigation Found to Increase Sinus Infections

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If you are a regular neti pot user you might want to give this article a read.   Talal M. Nsouli, MD, director of the Watergate and Burke Allergy & Asthma Centers in Washington, DC conducted a 12 month study to find out if regular nasal irrigation was helpful or hurtful.  In his study he found that patients who stopped nasal irrigation for one year had a 62% reduction in sinus infections from the previous year — and got half as many infections when not using sinus irrigation as those in the control group.

According to Dr. Nsouli, mucus contains aggressive antimicrobial agents that have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral activity. One called lactoferrin, an immune system stimulator, has been shown to be effective against infection, including cold-causing viruses (rhinovirus) and, I was surprised to learn, even the HIV virus. Irrigating the nose regularly washes away the mucus and with it a valuable defense mechanism. When study participants stopped their nasal irrigation routine, they were astounded at how much better they felt and how quickly — even though it takes two to six weeks to fully restore the natural condition of the nasal passages.

Doctor Nsouli emphasizes that he is not completely against nasal irrigation, but in his opinion it should only be used when specifically needed and for a short time.   To neti or not?  It’s a good question.

Hit The Reset Button On Your Brain

Moon CranioSacral Therapy, Insight 1 Comment

My husband and I recently took a Monday off and headed to West Marin.   It’s one of our favorite places to get away because there are few people out there, amazing coast and there is little to no wifi.  As we walked on the beach picking up seashells, watching seagulls fly over head, listening to the waves crash on the shore, I found myself taking deep breathes.  The longer we walked and listened and watched, the more I found myself decompressing from the week.  The more my brain stopped churning and thinking and doing…

It was very nice 🙂

We spent the entire day out on the coast and into the evening.  No computer, no phone calls, no text messages, no news papers, no Facebook.  It was truly a day off.  By the end of it my head felt clearer, like there was room to “take in” again.  There is so much stimulus in our world today and often I feel saturated.  And I know that when I feel saturated there is not much room for anything new or for creative ideas/solutions to come forth.  Tasks seem bigger and more demanding than they really are.  I’m noticing that I get LESS done when I’m like this, when I haven’t taken the time to reset my brain/nervous system/self.

This short article speaks to much of what I noticed on the beach that day.  My task-positive and task-negative networks have been out of balance.  All that influx of stimulus and multitasking has me feeling tired and drained.  In his article Levitin points out that if you want to be more productive and creative, and have more energy, we need to look at our balance of doing tasks and having time to daydream.  We need to truly give ourselves a break from the technology stimulus that pulls our attention in so many ways every minute of the day.

Here’s a link to the article.  I think it is well worth the read.

It's Summer Time! What Sunscreen Will You Be Using?

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With all the different sunscreens to choose from, how does one decide?  I for one have always been skeptical of putting sunscreen on my body due to the load of chemicals in them and the refusal of the FDA to regulate for our health.  And I know that skin cancer is on the rise.  What are we to do?

+There’s a great website from EWG – Environmental Working Group – that breaks it down.  They have a list of the best sunscreens in terms of protection and health risk.  You can also find helpful information on sun safety tips and other research.I’d highly recommend checking it out if you plan to spend any time in the sun this summer.

There is also a short article put out by Dr. Mercola on safe sunscreens and how to choose what’s right for you.

Have a wonderful summer and protect your skin!


The Benefits Of Standing Up In A Chair-Bound World

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A while back I heard Terry Gross interview The New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds, about her new book The First 20 Minutes.  Here is the link to the transcript of the interview which I think is worth the time to read.  In the interview Reynolds talks about the importance of standing for 2 minutes every 20 minutes.  From the article:

“Sitting for long periods of time — when you don’t stand up, don’t move at all — tends to cause changes physiologically within your muscles,” says Reynolds. “You stop breaking up fat in your bloodstream, you start getting accumulations of fat … in your liver, your heart and your brain. You get sleepy. You gain weight. You basically are much less healthy than if you’re moving.”

Now I’m not bound to a desk, but I do spend a lot of time sitting while I work.  After hearing this interview I decided to try this out myself in my private practice.  If I’m working with someone for an hour I find a way to do my work standing 2 – 3 times in that session.  And, in the time I schedule for myself between each client I stand and do some movement exercises as well.  I’ve been doing this now for almost a year.  What I’ve noticed is that when I’m really good about standing during my CranioSacral sessions I’m way less tired at the end of the day.  I’ve also noticed I’m less stiff in my body and generally feel pretty darn good!  I have more energy for my clients and more energy for myself at the end of the day.

My suggestion, give the transcript a read and see how you can implement this into your work life.  I think you’ll be glad you did.

Yours In Health,


Take A Stretch Break – How Posture Influences Mood, Energy And Thoughts

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This is a short read that explores the connection between our posture and our mood.  Yet another good reason to sit up straight, take stretch breaks and walk tall.  All things our mom’s probably told us when we were little.  No surprise, they were right.  From the article:

Peper’s conclusion: sitting up straight and walking tall is good for energy and mood. The opposite can have the opposite effect. The basic premise is a scientific take on “fake it till you make it.”

“If your grandmother told you to sit up straight,” said Peper, “in some ways she was right.”

Other studies have produced further evidence that would gratify mothers and grandmothers everywhere. For example, a small Ohio State study in 2009 found that sitting up straight reinforced confidence. Other work has demonstrated that bad posture can result in feelings of helplessness and stress and that adopting postures associated with power can decrease sensitivity to pain.

So, after you finish reading this, take a stretch break and then observe yourself.  How do you feel?

The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle – Neural Manipulation

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I just completed a 3 day intensive on Neural Manipulation (NM). Specifically this class focused on Neuromeningeal Manipulation. This is fancy talk for working with the central nervous system which is comprised of the brain, spinal cord and various membranes surrounding the system. I can not tell you how profound this work is. For me it is the missing piece of the puzzle that allows for the resolution of injury, chronic pain and dysfunction and the random symptoms we all have that never seem to go away.

So what is Neural Manipulation exactly?  Jean-Pierre Barral who developed this amazing work describes it best:

“Neural” refers to the nervous system of the body, which includes the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. This delicate system acts as a communication highway throughout the body, and when it is not operating properly, pain and loss of function can result. Neural Manipulation, or NM, identifies local nerve restrictions and fixation while examining their effects on the rest of the body. The application of the gentle NM techniques re-establishes communication in the body, and improves its ability to adapt and restore itself to optimal health.

Optimal health relies on a harmonious relationship between the different systems of the body – such as the nerves/nervous system, organs and their support tissues, and other structures.  When nerve fixation occurs in one location, the body is forced to compensate elsewhere.  This disharmony creates wider spread restriction, abnormal points of tension, and chronic irritation that over time can add up to functional and structural problems – musculoskeletal, vascular, nervous, urinary, respiratory and digestive, to name a few.

An NM therapist identifies specific nerve fixations and their global impacts on the body.  Through application of the gentle and specific NM techniques, the patient’s body becomes less bound by dysfunctional patterns allowing it to achieve a better state of optimal health.

Conditions treated with Neural Manipulation:

Lower Back Pain and Sciatica, Headaches and Migraines, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Joint Pain, Digestive Disorders, Post-operative Scar Tissue Pain, Swallowing Dysfunctions, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Whiplash Injuries, Lumbar and Cervical Stenosis, Herniated Disc, TMJ, Injury To Head Face and Brain.

If you would like to know more about how this work can benefit you please contact me.  I am more than happy to give a short consultation and answer questions over the phone.

As always – Be Well!


When Too Much Vitamin D Is Too Much

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In the past year or two Vitamin D has gotten a lot of press.  It’s become the new wonder vitamin that everyone should be taking.  Or should we?  If you currently take a vitamin D supplement take a look at this article.  It was published online in the American Journal of Cardiology.

“Vitamin D is good to a certain level,” said the lead author, Dr. Muhammad Amer, an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins. “But don’t just keep on taking it. Have your blood drawn and your levels checked.”

Be Well!

Inspiration For A New Year

Moon CranioSacral Therapy, Insight 1 Comment

Happy New Year!  I just read a short piece titled, “The Joy of Quiet” written by Pico Iyar.  A wonderful read about unplugging, slowing down and taking the time and space to think; or just be.

In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug.

Grab a cup of tea, breath deep and enjoy!