Take the New Year Challenge
There is a functional test that will put you to a challenge.
Sitting with your feet on the floor, attempt to lift the right foot free of contact and make clockwise circles. As you continue the circle motion attempt to draw in the air front of you the number (6) six with your right index finger.

As you attempt to continue the combined movements you will find that the foot wants to follow the path of the hand and reverse its direction to counterclockwise circles.

There is no question that the hand is quicker than the foot or dominates the movement path to the brain. Let me know if you can succeed in over-riding the pattern.

January is always a New Year of challenges that lie ahead – enjoy each and every one of them.
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Moving into the New Year
As we move into a New Year, it’s time to resolve our ongoing physical ailments and restore our body to health. Every New Year’s resolution should include a list of activities one wants to get back to doing and the means to achieve it. One of the best means available is BCT. Hundreds of patients will attest to the fact they are now back on the tennis, racquetball, or basketball court playing better than ever. They are also running marathons, biking through Europe, and hiking the Appalachians, a feat they never thought possible. It’s never too late to start!
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A New Year and A New Body
In this age of “Extreme Makeovers” and “Fashion Police”, is there an approach that looks beyond the exterior and focuses on the tangible interior?

Absolutely – BCT is a self-treatment exercise program that can help negate the feeling of premature aging. One factor in feeling old (as another “New Year Baby” is born…) is Mobility.
How quickly and efficiently do you move?
How many seconds does it take and at what level of comfort can you:
  1. Roll over and get up out of bed.
  2. Stand up from an easy chair without arm rests.
  3. Walk up/down a flight of steps.
  4. Kneel down to retrieve an article from the ground.
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Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Every day you are given 86,400 seconds to be deposited in your bank of life!
How do you spend them knowing you can’t:
  1. Save it for another day.
  2. Give it away
  3. Recover it at the end of the day.
With each passing day and year, health becomes more valued and at the same time harder to recover, so spend your time wisely.
  • Choose walking or running instead of standing
  • Rock in a chair instead of just sitting
  • Exercise during times of idleness
  • Get busy and stay active – time is running out!
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Dressing to stay warm may make you cold
With winter in full swing, we bundle up in layers to stay warm. Did you ever stop to think the items you choose to protect may actually be harmful?

In the clinic, we have treated patients with headaches, shoulder/arm pain, back pain, and foot pain all influenced by wearing attire.
Too tight of a hat banding around the head can constrict blood flow and add tension to the cranial fascia. A heavy coat can draw the shoulders downward tractioning the cervicobrachial plexus affecting neurovascular supply, and add compression forces to the spine. Boots too tight/high/rigid to bend with normal movement can restrict foot/ankle glides and decrease circulation.

Even if you have a strong heart (circulatory pump), you need to dress for comfort to make sure you stay warm.
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Reasons to use BCT during the Cold/Flu Season
With outbreaks of respiratory/flu-like symptoms, the entire body can fall victim to aching, etc. As with most illnesses, it is important to keep the body moving with minimal exertion to enhance recovery. BCT encourages activity that minimizes the body’s workload. Use of assistive tools/exercise equipment i.e. basic rocking chair, stationary/recumbent bike, one-legged treadmill walking (opposite leg stationary and off belt), and low bouncing on a mini-tramp are all ways to assist motion.
Keep moving – MARCH!
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National Heart Month
February 3, is National Wear Red Day to support heart disease awareness for women.

February is also a time to look at heart performance. There are numerous factors (genetics, diet, exercise, biomechanics, ie.) that can affect heart function.

Biomechanical (skeletal-muscular) changes have been known to compromise both cardiac and pulmonary performance. Altering changes to the chest cavity can impede rib, lung, or heart function. Changes within the chest cavity can also result in pain.
BCT has a series of checks and corrects that assess the structural performance of the chest cavity. When the source of pain can not be identified and cardiopulmonary studies and tests come back negative, consider a BCT biomechanical assessment.
Take your health to heart.
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The Body Has A Heart
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, symbolized by a “heart”, it may be time to look at our own body and our “heartless” attitude towards aging.

Kleiman – BCT views aging as a natural, painless process. Throughout life, the body attempts to do itself no harm. We get gray hair and lose hair, gain wrinkles and lose tissue elasticity, we often require bifocals, etc. These are not painful processes. Aging, in itself, is not the cause of all the aches and pains one may experience. The accumulation of life traumas/injuries and the length of time one endures physical injuries are the likely sources. The good news is that most injuries to the body can be corrected; the body is quite forgiving. Stop blaming all those aches and pains on aging.  Take an active “heartfelt“ approach towards resolution, the sooner the better – so the “beat” goes on.
Good luck!
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Mid-Winter Lull
As we get ready to March out of Winter into Spring, the worst of the weather may still be upon us.
It is important to use caution when snow gives way to freezing rain and ice. Fall prevention needs to be a priority.
To decrease risk of falling when outdoors:
  1. Invest in a pair of shoe/boot treks that can be slid over the sole of your footwear with rubber/coiled grids or small spikes.
  2. Get out your golf shoes early and wear the low grade spikes for grip ease when doing chores outdoors.
  3. If in a pinch, carry several large rubber bands in your car or on you to place around your footwear before taking steps.
    Intervention can help keep the Spring in your step.
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A Spring Fling May be the Thing
With Spring in full swing and the weather getting warmer, it is important to get moving and stay moving.
Whether you spend a lot of time riding in a car, sitting on an airplane, or squatting/kneeling in the garden, keep your legs moving – stand up, stretch, walk.

A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is characterized by stasis (pooling) of the blood in the lower leg. The leg often appears swollen, hot and tender to the touch. It can be life threatening and should be monitored and treated by your physician.
Stay healthy – Keep moving!
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National Public Health Week Continues to be a Yearly Focus
National Public Health Week motto is: “Live Stronger, Longer!”
Falls are a leading cause of injuries that can lead to death in persons 65+ yrs. This coming month, do what you can to prolong a healthy life – the following are recommended:
Annual Screenings:
  1. Colon - prostate
  2. Mammograms.
  3. Diabetes – Glucose Test/ A1C test
  4. Osteoporosis - Bone Density Scan
  5. Vision – glaucoma/cataracts
  6. Blood Pressure/Heart Rate
  7. A biomechanical screening - to  identifying areas of dysfunction
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National Fitness Month
Its time to Spring clean, de-clutter, and simplify life.
* Dispose of old shoes that are worn into previous weight bearing patterns before walking/running.
* Flip bed mattresses to re-distribute body  weight for a better nights sleep.
* Repair and reinforce yard chairs for better support.
* Purchase and use gloves with grip ease when using hand held tools.
* Wear cushioned knee pads when down on all fours to scrub floors or garden.
* In the yard put on golf or  spiked shoes to aerate the lawn and decrease risk of falling.
* Don’t place yourself at risk – hire professionals when the job compromises your health and safety.
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Summer Transfers
Now that summer is officially here, there is always the possibility that a transfer may put you at risk-for an injury. If you engage in biking or boating-keep the following tips in mind:

Bike Transfers:
Transferring on/off a bicycle is a risk that can be minimized. The first guide is to have a bike frame that is proportionate to your trunk height. The seat should be positioned so there is a slight knee bend at the downward pedal stroke. Use of a curb or elevated platform provides an advantage to get on and off with less rotation through the pelvis.

Boat Transfers:

To transfer safely in/out of a boat, the key is to have two stationary level supports to transfer between. Many times the boat is loosely anchored and the dock and boat are seldom the same transfer height making it a high risk for injury. To minimize the risk we suggest a sturdy, portable pool/boat ladder with hand rails that can be securely anchored to the side of a dock or boat to provide better foot/hand placement to control body weight during the transfer. In canoes and kayaks, a looped tow strap can be secured on/around the end of the boat so foot/knee placement can be shortened to provide better leverage to get into the boat safely without tipping. It is recommended that another body or weighted object be placed at the opposite end to keep both ends of the boat in the water.
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Celebrate National Men’s Health Week - June
In recognition of the men in our world, we’re focusing on health-related problems specific to males.

1. Inguinal hernias are a frequent occurrence for males. They account for about 80% of all hernias. Inguinal hernia is defined as a weakening of the inguinal/abdominal region allowing the intestinal sac to protrude through.

BCT looks at the relationship of the pelvic girdle to the lower extremity and the length/tension relationship affecting the integrity of the anterior wall. The ability to decrease the risk of hernia can have a biomechanical link.

2. Low Back Pain – Males typical body structure, i.e. broad shoulders on a narrow pelvis focuses the weight of the upper trunk on the bottom vertebral segments in the low back (lumbar spine). Keeping L3-4-5 vertebral segments centered through the pelvis aids force distribution. BCT can assist in centering forces, protecting the low back.
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Look to the Sky for the 4th of July
Being able to look up skyward to watch the fireworks over the 4th of July makes one realize the importance of neck mobility.

Not only does it require full neck/head extension but also postural strength of the neck muscles to sustain the position 15-30 minutes.
To prepare for the event, take a small towel roll and position it behind your neck and look upward at the ceiling/sky for 5 minutes. As one increases the looking up time, decrease the amount of neck support by making the roll smaller. When you can sustain the hold without support you are ready to celebrate.

Amongst the oohs and aahs, one often forgets the discomfort until the following morning when it presents itself.

If you haven’t achieved the hold time, you may want to take a towel roll with you for the fireworks!
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Jammin' July
With summer well under way, the level of physical activity seems to be increased.

Participating in recreational sports can put one at risk for injuries, especially those involving the hands and feet.

A common injury that often gets over looked is jamming the toes and jamming the fingers.

Most individuals “bite the bullet”, and do nothing or they tape or ice the finger or toe.  They may even stop activities that seem to delay healing.

What is important to note, is that the jamming motion is also a compression motion, narrowing joint space resulting in a decrease in joint movement. 

BCT believes that the true healing of the joint does not take place until the joint space and accessory joint glides are restored.

Next time you jam your finger/toe think biomechanics and take action!.

Best of luck and let us know how you did!
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Shop Till You Drop” – Back to school shopping lesson.
With school back in session and clothing trends set in motion, use good fashion sense.

Low riding hip pants with a low waisted belt act as a lever tipping the sacrum (lower back) into a forward tilt. This forces the abdomen to protrude beyond the pelvis, pulling the shoulders and chest forward and down, leading to poor posture.

Flat slides or sandles without heel support or control leads to a forward weight distribution. This forces the forefoot and toes into a curl grip to keep the shoe on, distorting good foot posture.

You don’t have to compromise your posture if you shop to avoid the drop.
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Back to School Physicals.
With students returning to the classroom and sports competition, thorough physical exams are important.

In addition to the basic vitals, postural assessment, and systemic reviews, a biomechanical screening is highly recommended.

Too often, skeletal-muscular changes from past injuries continue to exist. Pulled/torn muscles, tendinitis, and bursitis are frequent occurrences when dysfunctions exist for extended periods of time.

BCT supports the school of thought that “prevention in the form of early intervention” keeps the athlete in competition.
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Back to School - Shopping
To enjoy the school year ahead, BCT offers these helpful tips:
  1. When back to school shopping, select shoe/clothing designs that mirror individual structure i.e. Trace a bare foot on paper – cut out template and fit the shoe to the foot by design. If highest peak of foot is at the 2nd/3rd toe, then the highest point of the shoe should be the same. If there appears to be the absence of a defined waistline, garments with fitted/tight waistlines should be avoided. Excess fabric for garments should be available where movement is greatest.
  2. When selecting a backpack, the length and width of the pack should be proportionate to the individual’s torso area (top of shoulders to bottom of buttocks). Instruct students to use double straps. If single strap, lengthen the strap and wear diagonally to distribute the load.
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Back to School - Safety
When getting on/off transportation that has excessive height for children, encourage the use of a running board/step stool or parental assist. Extreme changes in height in SUVs and bus transfers etc. can put your child at risk for biomechanical dysfunctions that can go undetected.
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National Spinal Health Month
"My back sounds like a musical instrument, always popping, clicking, snapping, and grinding." A healthy joint is quiet and stable. When a joint loses its optimal biomechanics, the movement patterns become altered causing undo stress on parts of the joint and capsule. Abnormal forces placed on the joint can cause early deterioration. As a general rule, normal aging of a joint should not be a painful process.
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Get accustomed to a safe, comfortable costume!
With Halloween in sight at the end of the month, it is time to plan and assemble a costume.
When selecting costume design, consider important elements affecting function:
  1. Proper fit: avoid excess material that drags on the ground tripping up the wearer as well as companions. Avoid articles too tight that constrict movement and limit a quick response.
  2. Footwear should be athletic in nature, tie shoes vs. slip-ons with a lower heel and full foot support.
  3. Face Mask should be porous, (use a pin/needle to create air holes), lightweight with large eye-nose-mouth openings to eliminate heat and allow for adequate air exchange. It should be removable yet secured when being worn.
  4. If carrying a trick-or-treat bag, use a light-weight, strong, short-handled bag or container that can close and open easily.
  5. Wear reflective clothing or place reflective tape on the costume to increase visibility.
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Don’t let the Grinch steal your health this Christmas!
Ways to guard your health:
  1. Set time aside to exercise 15-30 minutes/day through the end of the month.
  2. Purchase a new/used piece of exercise equipment you’ve always wanted.
  3. Access free health club day passes used as promotions during the holidays.
  4. Ask for gift certificates to health clubs/spas/fitness stores.
  5. Pay yourself $1/day if you exercise 15-30 minutes/day. Invest in your health!
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Gifts That Give
December is the month for holiday gift giving. Be inspirational and give gifts that foster participation in physical activity or exercise.
Give a gift certificate for dance lessons or a DVD to take dance lessons at home.
Purchase a day/week/or month pass to a local fitness center – to encourage them to try it.
Purchase day passes for skiing at a local ski hill.
Buy a gift certificate at one of the local sporting goods store to purchase equipment to work-out with. It can range from a jump rope to a treadmill.
Pay for an early entry into a running – road race so they feel compelled to train for it.
Give coupons that you have made to get active with them. A daily one mile walk companion or a yoga partner 3X/week, etc.
Give by example. Be a role model, encourage physical activity and exercise by doing it yourself.
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Holiday Glow.
In our efforts to prepare for the holidays, we can be subject to hectic schedules, too many holiday treats, and not enough sleep. Be aware, all of the above can take you off course from a healthy lifestyle. Be determined to maintain control and a healthy glow through the holidays.
Get control – pace yourself:
  1. Identify one important task each day and complete it.
  2. Eat one healthy meal each day, in portions fit for you.
  3. Go to bed one hour earlier than your usual time and enjoy the extra slumber.
  4. Incorporate physical activity throughout the day. Give yourself 3 gifts of exercise on a daily basis.
Stay moving. Try walking briskly around your car 3X before getting in and after getting out. Rock 3+ minutes in a rocking chair, or stand-up/sit-down 3X before sitting down. Go up and down and back up a flight of steps (3X) to tolerance.
Be the star – lead the way and shine bright this holiday season hoping others will follow.
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Holiday Decorating
Minimize holiday injuries related to trimming the tree and putting up lights. When trimming tree, securely anchor tree to wide based stand. Counter weights/straps are recommended. Brace a step stool/ladder against wall of fixed support when using an ornament extension tool (ruler/coat hanger) while keeping weight over support stand at all times. When stringing lights use a roof rake/tree pruner to assist with heights that exceed your reach on the stepladder.
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Holiday Stress
Through years of clinical experience I have found back pain is biomechanically induced more than stress-induced as advocated by celebrity doctor, John E. Sarno, M.D., author of Healing Back Pain and Mind-Body Prescription. Stress appears to find the weakest physical link and often enhances symptoms such as pain. However, stress is seldom the sole cause of pain. Use this stressful time of year as an opportunity to assess biomechanical performance before engaging in physical activity. When actively addressing the problem through Biomechanical Correction Technique, stress is often put into perspective and becomes more manageable. 
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