Genetic research shows why exercise builds resistance to depression

Genetic research shows why exercise builds resistance to depression

We have long known that vigorous physical exercise builds physical and emotional resilience but not much has been known about why. On an emotional level, overcoming obstacles builds self-esteem and "mental toughness" but genetic changes also occur at the cellular level when our bodies build muscle. A recent piece of research from the UK has shown how a particular gene which is activated by vigorous exercise helps to degrade a substance called kynurenine, produced in the liver as a metabolite, which is known to cross the blood-brain barrier and is associated with depression,…Read more …
Massage and Blood Pressure

Massage and Blood Pressure

I just read about this study which shows that medication for moderate high blood pressure (140-149/90-99) may be less effective than previously thought and also highlights the importance of lifestyle change to mitigate the risks and severity of hypertension. I have had high normal to moderately high blood pressure at times of my life (exam time definitely knocked me into the latter for a while) which I control by regular exercise and tracking my calories to keep my weight down (even a small decrease in extra fat can make a difference). I wanted to…Read more …
Electromyography Sheds Light on Quad Development

Electromyography Sheds Light on Quad Development

So called patellofemoral pain syndrome is a condition that shows up a lot in the clinic. It results in pain around the kneecap especially in loaded positions such as stair climbing and squatting, or after long periods of exertion. The condition, although still poorly researched, is usually attributed to wear and tear in cahoots with dysfunctional development of the quads, which due to varying fibre direction and obliquity guide the patella laterally and medially through its range of motion. We often talk about the "VMO", the teardrop shaped medial belly of muscle that…Read more …
The Beauty of Aging with Mobility

The Beauty of Aging with Mobility

I just read this article from Gold Medal Bodies, an excellent training site, and was inspired to write a little about how amazing it is to explore movement as a lifelong passion. At 43 (I realize it isn't so old), I can say without reservation that despite a pretty heavy knee injury, many tendinoses and bouts of weight gain and loss, I am fitter, stronger and better able to move than I have ever been. I don't credit this to any particular system of training, or any magical wellness approach but rather to…Read more …

Amazing X-Rays of Joint Kinematics

In my last post I spoke about the "internal movements" of joints and how significant they are to mobility. These movements, often referred to as "accessory movements" are collectively referred to as arthrokinematics, which is quite simply means "joint movement". It can be quite tricky to visualize the internal movements of joints unless you spend quite a lot of time with a skeleton model or cadavers, but a new project by Cameron Drake and Orthopedic specialist Dr. Noah Weiss has produced some beautiful animations of X-rays allowing us to clearly see these movements. Notice,…Read more …
Boost Your Mobility and Performance with Massage Therapy

Boost Your Mobility and Performance with Massage Therapy

Many think of massage therapy as a tool for relaxation and stress management, and that's absolutely the case. Today, though, I'd like to discuss the benefits of massage as part of an overall personal training package. The combination of fitness, conditioning, stretching and rest with professional manual therapy has enormous benefits for mobility and performance. What is mobility? Mobility is the ability to move or be moved freely and easily. Mobility is critical to the quality of a person's life in the sense that it not only allows for continuous movements of joints and…Read more …

New This Fall: Thai Massage Intensive Certificate

After taking some time to revamp the Thai massage training program, I have established a new course: the Thai Massage Intensive. This program takes the already well-established material from the Thai 1 level course and merges some of the most important information from Thai 2. The end result is a program that gives students a complete foundation for a strong Thai massage practice. To improve the learning experience, the class will be limited to 6 students, increasing the amount of contact time with each student and the depth of feedback. I am also…Read more …

A recent study shows relief of the symptoms of scleroderma with the application of Thai Massage

A 2013 study in co-operation with Khon Kaen university, Thailand has demonstrate effectiveness of Traditional Thai Massage on patients with systemic scleroderma, one variation of a pathology that can cause severe contracture of the body's connective tissues, particularly in the hands and forearms. The condition can vary from mild to severe and deforming and is often difficult to treat because it is considered an auto-immune reaction somewhat similar to rheumatoid arthritis. In the study, patients were given two weeks of daily home treatments (in this case, relatives administered the Thai Massage protocols), In a…Read more …
8 Ways Thai Massage is Unique… and Beautiful

8 Ways Thai Massage is Unique… and Beautiful

Over the last ten years as a Thai Massage practitioner in Ottawa and Montreal, I've gotten a lot interesting reactions when I try to explain what I do. The first question I get is usually "how is it different that traditional massage?". I try to resist the urge to talk about how Swedish massage is a relatively new massage system, drawn from Chinese Tui Na Massage, a much older tradition. That usually just gets blank stares and makes me seem pretentious. I decided to make a list to share with clients and others. Makes for…Read more …