How To Keep Joints Strong

How To Keep Joints Strong lake city pt

Everyday we do a combination of so many motions.  We climb stairs, run kids to bus stop. We load and unload the dishwasher and the washing machine.  Then we vacuum the house, clean the tub, push a loaded down grocery cart and then carry all these items in and out of the car and put away bags of groceries.  We hang clothes, lug football bags, and mop floors and a myriad of a million other things. No wonder we are sore, tired and worn out.  We just did a whole set of dynamic motions.

Every joint in your body has a normal amount of motion to be well.  The joint should move through this motion at lease 10 times everyday to keep its flexibility.  Did you know that your shoulder joint is a ball and socket joint and it is able to move 180 degrees overhead?  Did you know that same ball and socket joint in your hip could never move that far?

At the most your hip joint can move about 140 degrees when you pull your knee to your chest.   Joints like to move and they were made to move.  They get stiff and achy when we don’t move them.  Our joints have a synovial lining in them and this lining makes synovial fluid and when we move the joints it makes more synovial fluid.  The synovial fluid is a slippery, slick fluid and the joints glide and slide, like a skater on ice, when they are well lubricated.  That is why some of us feel stiff in the morning as we try to get out of bed when we get older.  The joints have been stagnant all night and the synovial fluid is static. So the best thing you can do it stretch and do range of motion exercises to a stiff joint.  It may seem painful at first but it really it will make you feel better to get the joint moving.

Often after surgery on a joint, the best thing to do is get the joint moving.  Our rotator cuff patients aren’t allowed to move their own joints after surgery so we seen them in physical therapy to move their joints for them.

A physical therapist is a specialist in moving joints.  They know the exact biomechanics of how each joint works.  They know if the joint should roll, glide, slide, spin or combination of all of the above.  They know how much range of motion a particular joint should have and how all the muscles that surround that joint should work.  They are specifically trained to see if some muscles are working too hard and other muscles are not working at all.  They can tell if one set of muscles is too tight and another is too loose.  They test the joints to see if the capsule is too tight that surrounds the joint because it could be why the motion of the joint is restricted.  A physical therapist uses their hands to test the joint because they can feel whether the motion is occurring the way it should be.

The motions of our joints happen in three planes of movement. The three planes are the sagittal plane, the frontal plane and the transverse plane.  When you train whether it is with your stretching exercises or your aerobic or strength training, you need to train in all the planes of motion.  No longer can you stretch your hamstring in just the sagittal plane. It does not work only in the sagittal plane.  It plays a key role in the frontal and the transverse planes as well, so you will need to stretch it in this way also to prevent injury to it.  How do you do this?  Well one way is as you have your leg up on the chair, you can roll your foot to the inside and the outside.  You can twist your hips slowly to the right and the left, and then you can gently swing your hips up and down while the hamstring is still on stretch.  Now you will have gotten all the planes of motion and these motions are what you will need for that muscle and its corresponding joints.

So remember to stretch and strengthen in all three planes. The more sophisticated the motion the more planes it usually occurs in.  Can you always start training in with all these motions?  Often you can’t till you have mastered the single plane of motion first.  Then you would add on to the next plane of motion.  The next easiest plane is the frontal plane.  Lastly, you add in the transverse plane of motion.  It is the most complex of motions and requires a symphony of muscles firing to be efficient.


Examples of these planes and an exercise are listed below.

Sagittal plane- forward lunges happen in this plane of motion.

Frontal plane- the side lunge happens in this plane of motion.

Transverse plane-all the twisting motions happen in this plane of motion.  You would lunge forward and then twist with a weighted ball to the right and the left. Then you could lunge to the side and twist your trunk again to the right and the left with a weighted ball.


Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner or Lake City Physical Therapy and she and her staff can be reached in CDA at (208) 667-1988, and in our Spokane Valley office at (509) 891-2623.  We can teach you how to stretch and strengthen in all planes of motion so you can be injury free.

How To Strengthen Your Hips

How To Strengthen Your Hips lake city pt sheree dibiase

Achilles Hip?

Fabulous legs, that is what all of my lady athletes have this summer!! They have “Buns of steel” and great looking calf muscles. They all wonder why they have such developed booty’s and I tell them because that is where all there power comes from and if you don’t have the strength there your ankle and foot are at risk. And nothing is worse than a calf strain or tendonitis because then there is no more walking or running. Sometimes it is so bad that you can’t even push up onto your toes without pain in your calf.

Muscles in this area of the body are turned on by eccentric activity. Eccentric activity is an elongating contraction of a muscle. Muscles react to gravity and ground reaction forces and then motion happens and the proprioceptors are then turned on. Proprioceptors tell the muscles and joints where they are in space and what needs to be done next.

There are twelve muscles of the lower leg that are multi-joint muscles that keep the calf working efficiently. Four of them specifically are significant. These muscles of the calf are the Gastrocnemius and the Soleus which form the Achilles tendon on the backside of the calf region and the Posterior Tibialis and the Peroneus Longus, which insert into the foot region with complex sites of insertion. These four muscles then respond to the ground reaction forces on the foot and then the information goes all the way up the chain to the hip and the spine.

This is where the hip becomes so important. The hip musculature is very powerful and has to work in three planes of motion. These muscles have to function in the sagittal, frontal and the transverse plane. It is due to this level of need that the hip has to integrate so strategically with the ankle and the foot. Without the strength in the hip region, the ankle and the foot are at risk. Often when there are shin splints, whether posterior or anterior shin splints or Achilles tendonitis you must look up the chain to assess what is going on in the hip. Usually there is a weakness in the hip musculature that must be addressed. Often it is in the gluti where the weakness is present. The lateral gluti are particularly needed when you are in single limb activities. The amazing thing is that when you start training the gluti they absolutely power up the lower extremity and the likelihood of injury decreases significantly. A “sleepy butt” puts you at risk and you have to address this functional deficit and facilitate the firing pattern of the hip.

Physical therapists are specialist in assessing the hip and lower leg function. They know how to test for “Achilles hip” deficits and their job is to help you be able to train for full return to walking, jogging, running, jumping etc. Don’t wait till you have shin splints, tendonitis or a tear of the Achilles tendon, come in and get your hip and lower leg function assessed and let them set-up a training program for you. You too should have fabulous legs this summer.

Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy and she and her staff can be reached for an evaluative consultation at (208) 667-1988 and in the Spokane Valley at (509) 891-2623.


The “She” Economy

the she economy women in business women entrepreneur day sheree dibiase lake city pt

Women in the workforce and in their homes are moving our economy forward. The power women wield due to their networks is amazing. You see it everyday, one girlfriend telling another girlfriend where she buys her car insurance, how she likes her hair done by a particular salon and what Pediatrician she takes her children too, because they listen to her so well.

According to the consulting firm, A. T. Kearney women make 80% of all consumer purchases, buy 60% of all the cars and purchase 40% of all stocks, for their family.

Anne Fisher from Fortune magazine reported that in 2013, 60% of all 4 year bachelor degrees were obtained by women. Women were more likely to go into debt to obtain their degree, less likely to drop out and understood that if they did drop out of school they would potentially lose over $6500 a year due to gender wage gaps. They also understood that if they did hope to seek employment without a degree, they would most often be in line for service type jobs, whereas a man, with no higher education, could find employment easier in manufacturing, transportation and construction.

Women, according to CNBC specialist, Elaine Pofeldt, are in the Golden Age of entrepreneurism. They are starting businesses at an outstanding rate of 40% per year and that is double the rate of their male counterparts. She believes these enterprising females are equipped with the “inspiration, know how and the funding” they need to be successful in this new age.

So what drives someone to become and entrepreneur? Well according to Tyro, an online educational company start-up out of Boise, Idaho, they believe it’s because entrepreneurs know how to ask questions and come up with answers to daily issues you and I need to answer, to have a better quality of life. This new generation of young people wants a more balanced life and they are willing to sacrifice for their future, but they still want to enjoy the ride.

I was raised in a family where both my parents were entrepreneurs. They were both self-employed and have been all my life. I’ve never known anything different. I was fortunate to be able to watch my parents ask lots of questions, propose varying solutions and then implement strategies to accomplish all kinds of goals.

My Father was a dentist who owned his private practice for 33 years and my Mom was a registered nurse who decided to start her own travel agency in 1969 when women were not really in the workforce in record numbers and few held ownership positions. She sold her business after 35 years when she retired. During those years I got to see their unique skill sets and I realized quickly from them, that everyone has been given gifts and talents to make our world a better place.

In my world of healthcare women make 70-80% of all the healthcare decisions and yet no women are CFO’s or CEO’s of any Fortune 500 healthcare companies. Why are women not in positions of influence when they are advocating for their families in this arena? What should we be doing to support and encourage women to work together? How do we learn from other women who have gone before us? Where do we find these mentors?

I have wondered about these things for years as a women who owns her own private outpatient physical therapy business for over 31 years. I bought my first practice from a man, who I had to convince to sell to me over the course of 9 months. There were no women physical therapist to mentor me at that point. In our profession mostly men owned outpatient private clinics and all the training at our business meetings were run by men, for men. After I had my first baby it got even more complex for a working mother, and I have been on my own ever since.

So now we are here in the Golden Age for Women Entrepreneurs and I am thankful and excited. In our community we are stepping out and forward by hosting the first inaugural WED, Women’s Entrepreneur Day on November 28, 2017, 6-9 pm at the a Innovative Collective in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. We are so appreciative to Latisha Taylor, WED ambassador, from San Francisco, by way of Post Falls, Idaho, that she chose to make CDA/Spokane, her next stop for WED, Women’s Entrepreneur Day. Latisha owns her own healthcare company, Health and is a strong supporter of women in business. Please come celebrate, empower and support women in all avenues of business and life.


Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City, PA and she and her incredible staff believe health is a gift and you must choose it everyday. Come see us in our offices in CDA, Hayden and the Spokane Valley, and start today to make your health a priority!
Hayden (208)762-2100,
CDA (208)667-1988,
Spokane Valley (509)891-2623.

How The Affordable Care Act Affects Physical Therapy Clinics

How The Affordable Care Act Affects Physical Therapy Clinics lake city pt sheree dibiase

A friend of mine is a RN in an emergency room in a busy hospital in a warm, sunny state south of here.  He came to visit us this summer and told us of the confusion of so many people upon coming in to their ER.  When asked upon check-in what their insurance coverage was for their visit, there quick reply was “Well of course, Obama care”.  ACA  is the acronym for the Affordable Care Act and as you can see many of us are unsure of what it really means, individually or collectively as a community.  The Affordable Care Act is filling the healthcare world with a multitude of challenges.  Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Obama Care, this act impacts all of us.  These changes have been felt in our physical therapy rehabilitation world already this year.  We have seen a reduction in visits allowed for our consumers, a reduction in the re-imbursement by up to 20-40% per visit and consolidation of insurance carriers who are controlling the rate of this re-imbursement like never before.  Our patients are being required to get pre-authorization from their insurance carrier for something they already pay for with their policy and that their doctor wants them to have?  Furthermore, the ACA bronze level program may not even allow you to have that many physical therapy visits and you may have to pay a high price for it.  Is ACA providing access for healthcare coverage for all if it doesn’t allow you to have cost conscious rehabilitative care?  Is it ok to have healthcare coverage we don’t understand and are required to have, but that doesn’t even cover the ancillary care that is needed for people to return to work, home and play?


We are left to wonder how will our patients get what they need after ACL knee surgery, rotator cuff surgery or breast cancer surgery?  How will we serve the patients who need therapy when they have a fall on the ice this winter and break their wrist and are unable to write or hold a coffee mug if we are not even allowed to see them due to their limited 6 visits for rehabilitation for the year?


At our annual American Physical Therapy Association Private Practice Section meeting in New Orleans this weekend over 1,000 private practice owners wondered these same things.  As physical therapists, we are movement specialists and as usual I was impressed at how passionate all these therapists were about wanting to take care of people and help people be physically well.  I mean if you can’t walk, run, or jump, we are the people you need to see.  If you can’t lift your kids, carry your groceries or reach into the back seat of your car to get your briefcase, we are the ones that can get you back on track. If you have a nagging Achilles tendonitis, wake with a “crook” in you neck or your back hurts when you sneeze or cough or roll over; we are the people you need to call.   But can you call us?  How will we do that if we are unable to even see you because your insurance plan doesn’t cover physical therapy?  Then where will you go?  And will you pay cash to someone who isn’t a movement specialist and hope you get what you need?


In life there is a multitude of health care challenges that you and your family will face, and we as physical therapists are integral part of that fight to be well.  Please stay informed, read your work, private and Medicare policies.  Our nation was founded because generations of our families fought for our freedoms and rights. Don’t give up on your freedoms and your rights and when it is time to re-new your group or personal health care coverage make sure you get physical therapy coverage as part of your policy so you can continue to get what you need for you and your family.


Sheree DiBiase, PT  her staff can be reached at Lake City Physical Therapy,PA CDA office (208) 667-1988 or Spokane valley office (509) 891-2623 for an hour initial evaluation and treatment.  We accept most major insurance, Medicare, Medicaid and we do have discounted cash pay prices also.  We want you well!

You Don’t Have To Be Perfect When It Comes To Exercise

You Don't Have To Be Perfect When It Comes To Excercise lake city pt physical therapy hayden spokane valley coeur d alene post falls sheree dibiase



Made it, twenty-seven out 31 days in the month of January with 60 minutes of exercise.   Not an “A”, but remember perfection is not the goal.  Increasing our time frames for exercise and making a commitment toward our health is the goal for the year.  And 87 % is a good start.    So what is your start for the New Year?  What is your goal for your kids and family?  You need a plan. 


Drew Brees, a Super bowl quarterback, decided he wanted to make a difference  for the kids in this country in regards to their fitness.   He is a spokesperson for NFL Play 60.   This program was established to get our kids up and moving for 60 minutes a day.  He was encouraging them to not only play sports, but to do anything active everyday.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2010, one-third of our children and adolescents were overweight or obese.  That is one out of every three children that you know.   Those statistics are frightening.    


This year Brees has partnered with Kinect X-box 360 for Fitness.   They have developed a fun way to keep our kids on the move even in the winter, or when it’s raining and they can’t leave the house.   Our kids are gamers, and by using gaming technology we can peak their interest in fitness and to teach them that fitness is fun!   It’s called the “60 Million Minute Challenge”.     The goal is to recruit one million kids to be active for 60 minutes a day.  Wow, what a challenge.  Your kids can go online and sign up and participate in the challenge to make a better life for them and you.  We know from research that kids like to emulate their parents.  What are you teaching your kids about health and fitness?  Do you exercise for 60 mins a day?  How about you take the challenge with them for 60 mins a day.  


Sixty minutes may seem like a lot for you, so here is where you physical therapist can become a significant partner for you in this endeavor.  Physical therapists are your fitness experts.  They have a unique understanding of your fitness needs.  They can analyze your movement patterns and see your deficits and your strengths and then help you tailor a fitness program especially for you.  They understand injuries, disease pathologies and they work with all levels of health related challenges.  We call them challenges because they deal with physical changes in their patient’s bodies everyday and nothing intimidates them.  They know that fitness is the only answer, no matter where you are at in your health status.  Take the challenge, 60 mins everyday.  See if you can do better than 87 %.  I know you can.  I’m rooting for you!


Sheree DiBiase, PT and her staff at their Hayden, Coeur d Alene and Spokane Valley physical therapy locations can be reached at (208) 667-1988. They’re here to help people be their healthiest selves : ) 


How to Measure Your Pain And What’s An Acceptable Pain Level

How to Measure Your Pain And What's An Acceptable Pain Level lake city pt sheree dibiase

“Oh just live with it and it’s all in your head”.     I have heard those statements a lot in my 28 year career as a Physical Therapist.    Part of those statements sound true however there is definitely more to the story.  Recently, one of my patients told me that Arthur had come to visit.   At first I thought what? Who in the world is Arthur?  She then quickly clarified that Arthur is the nickname for her arthritis.  She calls it that when it flares up.  We both laughed and suddenly I wondered how many people out there just live with Arthur everyday and think that they have no other choice.  

In physical therapy everyday we are constantly asking our patients what is yourpain today on a scale of 1 to 10?  I am sure they all get tired of the question.  Some even laugh and say I don’t even know.  I just know I can’t look over my shoulder when I drive, or put on my shoes and socks or lift a gallon of milk off the top rack in the refrigerator.  So what is your answer,  on a scale of one to ten today?  Are you above a six out of ten with your shoulder pain or your neck that is so stiff you have a headache?   

Here’s what we tell our patients.  Anything over a six out of ten is too much pain and there are things you can learn to do and things we can do in physical therapy to help you.  You do not have to live with pain like that, period.   Anything above a 6/10 is too much pain.   Your mind and your body are so connected that you can deal with pain below a six, but when it rises above a six, it is way too much.  Your body and your mind are so connected that we become frustrated and agitated when are pain goes to high.  So don’t think just because Arthur came to visit he has to stay.  There is a way to keep him from taking up permanent residence.  We might not be able to get rid of him all together,  but we can help you deal with him so your pain is below a six out of ten.  So just come into physical therapy and we will help you find some answers.  

Sheree DiBiase, PT and her staff at their Hayden Idaho, Coeur d Alene Idaho and Spokane Valley physical therapy locations can be reached at (208) 667-1988 and  they are happy to help you learn how to keep Arthur from taking up residence.  

How To Improve Lymphatic System Function

How To Improve Lymphatic System Function lake city pt
Recently I flew to the East Coast to see my parents and go to a meeting. Two plane flights from Spokane to Denver and then on to Baltimore, Maryland. Well you know how you feel after you sit for that long a period of time. Your legs are stiff and your ankles look like they are two sizes too big for you. This is a time when you really need your lymph system to be up and running so not all this fluid collects just because you are sedentary.

The lymph system is an important system for your daily function. It works together with the cardio-vascular system and the immune system to absorb, collect and transport fluid and protein molecules. It has an important role against infection and tumor growth.

There are four easy ways to make sure your lymph system is up and running everyday, but it means you have to find time in your day to take care of yourself.

1) Exercise- Exercise activates the Muscle pump to enhance the flow of your lymph system. An example would be when you fly; you should do ankle pumps and ankle circles. You need to slide your foot back and forth bending your knee to pump the lymph nodes behind your knee. Then stand in the aisle and squat up and down for 2 mins. These things as simple as they are keeping are lymph system up and going.

2) Breathing- Deep belly breathing is an easy thing to do throughout your day. You can do it in any position, sitting, standing, or laying down. Stop now and put your hand on your tummy just over your belly region. Inhale deeply and slowly to the count of 4 and then exhale slowly to the count of 4. This deep breathing stops the stress response and stops the cycle of the release of cortisol, which is hard on the body when too much is being released into your system everyday. As those of you who do Yoga know this slows down your heart rate and decreases your blood pressure and you can take a mini vacation anywhere you are.

3) Skin massage- Gentle massage of your skin towards your heart. 10 mins everyday. Do it while you put on your lotion in the morning and at night. Your lymph system likes this gentle motion and stretch of the skin, it stimulates the body to mobilize any debris hanging around.

4) Arterial perfection- All this means is that we want to increase the blood flow to all our body parts which in turn will help motivate our lymph system to be more efficient. Walking, biking, and swimming are easy ways to accomplish this. All you need is 30 mins a day. The lymph system especially likes swimming. The water makes a natural pressure gradient that keeps the lymph system very happy.

Here’s to your lymph system. Take care of it and it will take care of you.

Author Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy. She specializes in women’s health, lymphedema and breast cancer care. She has over 30+ years of experience practicing. If you have questions, reach out to here via Lake City PT’s Facebook.

Why You Need To Be Fasting Once A Week

why you should be fasting lakecitypt

Twenty-four hours is a long time for fasting, but I made it. I fasted last week for 24 hours for the first time and I couldn’t believe I could actually do it. I decided to do it after talking to a physician and his wife who are fasting now one day a week. He explained all the physiology that goes on in your body when you fast and I definitely have a little work I need to do so I thought I would give it a try. Let’s just say this, by 2:30 in the afternoon, I felt like I was starving and I wanted to be done. But I kept going and drinking lots of water and I even exercised that night after work and I was happy when 24 hours was over.

Fasting is not a new idea. It has been done for religious practices and other reasons throughout the years, but in the present day there is research that the health benefits with fasting are worth taking another look at for losing weight. Dr. Michael Mosley’s book “The Fast Diet” and Dr. Carolyn Apovian’s book, “The Overnight Diet” are receiving a lot of attention with the idea that when you fast it jumps starts your ability to lose weight.

“There is one advantage that the intermittent fasting appears to have over a standard (calorie restricted) diet: studies suggest that when you do intermittent fasting you lose almost exclusively fat according to researchers, Dr. Krista Varaday and Dr. Michelle Hoffman”. They found that with a standard diet you lose about 75 % fat and 25 % lean muscle and with the fasting regime you lose between 85-100% fat. On Mosleys’ plan he allows men to have 600 calories a day on their fasting days and women 500 calories. On his program they actually fast 2 non-consecutive days a week and the weight lose is quite significant. According to Mosley this type of fasting is being studied to help ward off the likelihood of cancer, dementia and Type II diabetes.

Dr. Carolyn Apovian appeared on the Dr. Oz show with her “Overnight Diet”. She has a once a week fast, in which she allows you to drink protein smoothies (she feels the best protein is Whey and casein mix) and then the other 6 days of the week you follow-up with a low calorie, protein rich diet of regular foods. According to her and Dr. Oz, we all lose 1% of our muscle mass per year and muscle is what keeps are metabolism revved up, so that is why it gets harder and harder to lose weight as we get older. With her program you can eat fruits, vegetables and protein and she feels says it burns fat and not muscle and it increases your metabolism so it helps you decrease your overall weight. She believes her diet decreases your risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes and cancer and increases your longevity.

In the fast that I did I did not eat any calories at all. It is a true fast and it is a way for your body on a cellular level to be stressed and then it mobilizes all of your fat stores to metabolize for needed energy. In many ways this is exactly what we do in physical therapy with our patients everyday that have a tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or a muscle strain. We want the body to heal the tissue that is damaged so we rally the tissue on a cellular level to evoke a change. That’s how you make new tissue.

You stress it and it then responds with new blood supply and resulting new growth. Our other tissue is no different. If we never stress the system, whether it is our cardio-vascular system or our musculoskeletal system how can it change. So change it up. If the way you have been eating or exercising isn’t working for you don’t be afraid to see your MD and ask for the help you need with a new plan. Every body is different and every system needs to be challenged to move to the next level. Don’t be afraid to step forward this spring to a new you. Get moving, we are rooting for you, because your health matters to us.

Author Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy. She specializes in women’s health, lymphedema and breast cancer care. She has over 30+ years of experience practicing. If you have questions, reach out to here via Lake City PT’s Facebook.

Holiday Mental Health: Tips For Women and Moms

Holiday Mental Health lake city pt

I just love this time of year with all of its traditions and festivities. Their is something so special and fulfilling that comes from visiting with all my family and friends and celebrating another year together.

I especially love all the good food, treats, and last minute invitations for fun activities. With all
this action, our plan for a healthy life can go right out the window. So I do a few
little things to help you be healthy while you are having fun.

1) Laugh Often – Laughter really is the best medicine! Use your energy to lift each other up and laugh at the silly parts of our everyday life. Think of fun ways to make others laugh, this will help you to see the joy in this Holiday Season. How can you not like Frosty the Snowman and old reruns of “I Love Lucy” when she is working in the candy factory?

2) Don’t Take It Too Serious – The holidays can have a lot of pressure to them and sometimes emotions run high and people say and do things that really they don’t really mean to say or do. Don’t hold too tight to these words and remember you have a chance to use your words to tell people about all the things you love about them, even if it is your Aunt Mabel and you still remember that she told you she didn’t like your Christmas dress 20 years ago.

3) Find Time to Exercise – Even if you can’t fit in your whole regular routine at the gym sneak in 10 mins here and 15 mins there to go walking with your sisters or go ice-skating with your kids. All those minutes add up and keep us well.

4) Plan Ahead – If you know particular situations are difficult for you, dinner at your in-laws or the holiday office party, come up with some one-liners to stop the nasty progressions of unwanted conversations or simply remove yourself from the line of fire. Then make a plan to decide whether those conversations are something you need to have sometime later in private. No texting or emailing those conversations, you need to be face to face for those types of talks, it is only fair to everyone.

5) Make Time For You – We often get so busy at this time of year we sometimes forget that we need to re-connect with our own heart. Take 5 mins and sit by the fire with a cup of tea and put your feet up. Go to a Yoga class you have wanted to do forever with your friend, just because. We all need a little down time and only you know what that is for you, no one else, not even your spouse can tell you what that is. My Mom loved to cook and bake and when we were little she would tuck us in bed with my Dad home in the other room and she would run to the grocery store to walk the aisles in peace and quiet and get ideas. She lived on the edge.

6) Just Say Yes – Take a chance and live outside your comfort zone. Many of us live our lives locked in fear of what might happen. Say yes to the neighbors’ invitation for hot chocolate around the bonfire while sledding or yes to the friends who are going caroling in the nursing home. Say yes to the charity or to the soup kitchen request for help, your heart will thank you.

7) Eat and Drink – Responsibly of course, but do it and enjoy it! Try the new bread pudding your girlfriend made and the dark chocolate that was flown in from Europe. Just have one piece instead of two and one drink instead of 3. Often at family get gatherings we overeat or drink due to stress. Think ahead about what stresses you when you are there and drink a nice glass of water with lemon or tea instead.

8) Be Thankful – My favorite part of this time of year is exactly that, being thankful. I am thankful for my health, my boys, my friends and my family all over the country. I think of all my patients and all the challenges that they are facing everyday and I am thankful for them that they get up everyday and keep fighting for their health. There is nothing better to fight for than that: your health and the people you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Author Sheree DiBiase, PT is the owner of Lake City Physical Therapy. She specializes in women’s health, lymphedema and breast cancer care. She has over 30+ years of experience practicing. If you have questions, reach out to here via Lake City PT’s Facebook.

lake city pt hayden physical therapy how does yoga relieve stress

How Does Yoga Reduce Stress

lake city pt hayden physical therapy how yoga reduces stressThere are many different forms of Yoga. The word Yoga means “to unite” or “to join”, some say that it can mean “connection” or “contact.” The most frequently talked about form of Yoga in western cultures is called Hatha Yoga. It concentrates on the health and purity of the body. Yoga originally was one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy, however through the years many other religious groups included this tradition in their belief systems.

Hatha Yoga has the Yoga Sutras with posture and then breathing component mixed together. James Raub calls it a “psychophysical Yoga”. You can see then that Yoga can attain this mind body connection through a disciplined method towards a specific goal. In many religious traditions, Yoga was used to connect into a spirit-filled life force. Today the goal of Yoga is often to alleviate health problems, decrease stress and create a form of exercise that restores us.

Yoga Postures Names

There are many postures in Yoga. The postures are called asanas, and they are a steady, held pose. Many are named after things in nature such as the cobra, crane, eagle, locust, scorpion, tree, dog, lotus, etc. Some are named after shapes, such as a half moon, bridge, and triangle.

These postures are all done to accomplish specific goals for the body and mind. The “corpse” for example is done to relax the whole body, release muscle tension, calm the nervous system and helps decrease the symptoms of heart problems. (The corpse posture is exactly how it sounds, you lay flat on your back, with your palms up, and eyes closed. Your feet our hip width apart and you push your shoulders away from your ears. You relax your facial muscles, your throat; you swallow a couple of times with your tongue behind your first row of teeth. You then relax your pelvis, abdomen, and diaphragm and expand your ribs. You then let your spine relax into the floor and you lay still and motionless. As you do this all you concentrate on is your breathing patterns. You breathe in through your nose to the count of four and then out through your nose to the count of floor. You will consciously let all thoughts drain out of your body.) And I am telling you after a hard day at work this posture is one of my favorites.

Yoga Breathing

lake city pt hayden physical therapy how does yoga relieve stressBreathing in Yoga is called prana. It has lots of meanings. Some are: breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy and strength. The ability to control your breath leads to the ability to control your mind. The ability to control your breath also leads to the ability to refresh and rejuvenate all of the systems in your body. According to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, “When the breath wanders (i.e. irregular) the mind is also unsteady. But when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore one should learn to control the breath.” The breathing is the connection to the mind with the postures you are in.

This connection then allows your body to access this same peace of mind anytime throughout the day whether you are having a stressful day at the office, driving in dangerous traffic or having a “discussion” with your teenagers or boss. Remember, the more you practice these techniques the better you get at them and then they will become automatic. Do not be afraid to use your breathing techniques anywhere you go. They will help you have the tools to control your daily response to many stressful life situations. And yes it is as easy as breathing.

Should I Do Yoga?

So, is Yoga for you? Well it depends on your goals? Do you need a way to exercise, reduce stress and have a feeling of overall well being? Then Yoga might just be the thing for you.

I hope you enjoyed the article and if you have any questions comment them below so they can be answered 🙂

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