This is a must read for every runner.  I am now carrying Foot Wheels and Foam Rollers, a must have for every runner!

“I have great results with Plantar Fasciitis with all most 90% cure rate with special Massage Techniques.” Anchor an exercise band in a loop on a desk chair leg. Put the arch of your foot in the loop/sling working against the resistance pull the exercise band toward your body 10 times. Relax and repeat the exercise 10-15 times. I also do Kinesio tapping which works great too. Arch Strengthener I highly suggest buying Foot Savers sold on www.yamun … Read More

 

 

How Does Foam Rolling Work?

 

Posted on May 2, 2013 by Todd Hargrove
“Thank You Todd Hargrove for your great article, I wanted to share it with as many people as possible”.

 

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This part only by ,  Suzanne Newman, ” ALWAYS BUY THE BLACK FOAM ROLLERS.  THE WHITE ONES DO NOT HOLD UP UNDER WEIGHT FOR LONG! MY FAVORITE ARE, TRIGGERPOINT ROLLERS, IN MY VIEW ARE BY FAR THE BEST”! 

 

Foam rolling is very popular. Athletic trainers use it as a part of the warm-up. Physical therapists use it as part of their treatment strategy, often to improve extensibility of “short” tissues.

There is very limited evidence about what benefit, if any, foam rolling confers. But there are at least a few studies showing that it leads to short term increases in range of motion that are not accompanied by strength loss. (This is interesting because stretching interventions tend to show increased range of motion that are associated with a loss of strength and power.)

The purpose of this article is not to question whether foam rolling is effective for anything. I’m willing to assume that it is effective in some way for some people. It is hard for me to believe that so many intelligent trainers such as Mike Boyle would be singing its praises unless it was good for something. So I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for purposes of this article.

The question that I want to answer in this post is the following: if foam rolling does work to reduce pain or improve mobility, what is the mechanism? I do not find the common explanations very convincing. But there is one (less commonly heard) explanation which I really like. Here’s my critical analysis of the different theories for why foam rolling works, including my favorite one.

1. Does foam rolling “improve tissue quality”? 

This is one you will hear quite frequently, usually without any specifics as to which “qualities” are at issue. I think some people imagine that foam rolling can somehow smooth out bumps or incongruities in their tissues like a rolling pin over pizza dough. Of course, this explanation is usually intended for lay people and not scientists, so perhaps we can cut some slack about the lack of specifics. Perhaps the qualities to be improved involve the presence of fascial adhesions or trigger points. I’ll address those claims specifically below.

2. Does foam rolling lengthen or “melt” fascia? 

For some reason people just tend to assume that foam rolling works by changing the fascia. I honestly have no idea why. A foam roller puts pressure on all the other tissues in the body, and they all communicate with the CNS, which controls how we move and feel. Isn’t the CNS the most obvious place to look for changes after foam rolling?

No, it always has to be the fascia!

But fascia is tough stuff. Sure it has some interesting adaptive properties, but at the end of the day its purpose is to form a solid structure for the body. Is it really plausible that we can significantly change our structure just by leaning on a foam roller a little bit? We must be made of stronger stuff than that. If fascia started to break down, or elongate, or “melt” every time it felt a little sustained pressure, we would be pretty fragile creatures. Like Frosty the Snowman in the hothouse. Every time we went camping without a thermarest we would wake up in the morning with one side longer than the other. So for me the idea that foam rolling lengthens or melts some important structural stuff in our body does not pass the common sense test.

And, more importantly, the research does not support this idea either. There are a few research studies (here and here) which try to determine the degree of pressure necessary to cause permanent deformation in mature human connective tissue. The upshot is that if you want permanent change, you better be prepared (as Paul Ingraham notes) to “get medieval.” Steam roller maybe, foam roller, no. It’s not going to happen in any of the places where the roller is most commonly applied, which are usually the strongest parts of the body – the ITB band, lumbar fascia, plantar fascia, etc.

 3. Does foam rolling break up fascial adhesions?  

Maybe a foam roller can’t lengthen the IT band, which is stronger than steel, but could it break up some little fascial adhesions that prevent sliding between different muscle groups? One of the studies I referenced above show that manual pressure might be enough to deform nasal fascia. Now I don’t see many people foam rolling their nose, but maybe there are tiny little adhesions between large muscles groups that are as weak and deformable as nasal fascia.

Again this seems highly speculative to me. How do we know where these adhesions are, or what angle will help break them? A foam roller is a blunt non specific instrument that delivers force in a diffuse manner into the tissue. Smash! Part of the job of fascia is to diffuse force, so it would be hard to target a specific point here. Also, the angle of pressure is always straight in. Smash! The foam roller would have limited ability to provide the kind of precise oblique force that might be able to slide one layer of tissue with respect to the other.

Another problem I have with the idea that foam rolling breaks up fascial adhesions is that the effects are often temporary. People do some foam rolling, they feel better for a while, and then tomorrow or even later that same day, they feel the need to roll the same area again. If the mechanism of effect is breaking fascial adhesions, then why do we need to repeat the process? Did the fascia knit itself back together again? The temporary nature of the results strongly suggests a nervous system mediated mechanism for efficacy, not a structural one.

3.  Does foam rolling get rid of trigger points?

Many foam rolling proponents explain that proper procedure involves finding a “trigger point” and staying on that point for a while. Is foam rolling a way to treat trigger points?

It should be noted that the term trigger point means different things to different people. For some it just means a sore spot, but for others it refers to a specific pathology. The definition involves several elements such as a hyperirritable nodule within a palpably taut band that elicits a twitching response to snapping palpation. Trigger points are thought to be caused by some sort of metabolic crisis in the muscle cells which causes chemical irritation in the local area and for some unknown reason refer pain to other areas when pressed.

Trigger points are controversial to say the least. There is substantial debate as to whether they even exist. Whether they can be reliably identified is another debate. And whether they can be effectively treated is another. There are many recommended treatments – stretching, post-isometric relaxation, sticking needles into them, pressing on them, etc. I definitely don’t have the time or anything approaching the knowledge to address all these debates.

But given all these uncertainties, I’m disinclined to believe that foam rolling works by getting rid of a trigger point. There are just too many unanswered questions here. The experts in trigger point therapy will tell you that not every sore spot is a trigger point, that not all trigger points are clinically relevant, and that their identification and treatment takes practice and expertise. So I don’t think shotgun fascia smashing with a foam roller is a plausible trigger point treatment (assuming they exist and can be treated with pressure.)

4. Does foam rolling work by proprioceptive stimulation?

I often hear claims that foam rolling works by proprioceptive enhancement – stimulating mechanoreceptors in the muscles and/or fascia, such as golgi tendon organs, or muscle spindle fibers, or ruffinis, or pacinis, or Pacinos or DeNiros. This could have some beneficial effect of encouraging relaxation of muscular or fascial tone, or causing the brain to reorganize its sensory or movement maps in the local area.

I think this is a very plausible explanation and definitely on the right track. But I doubt it is the main mechanism which explains why people like to foam roll. If stimulating these mechanoreceptors explains the claimed benefits of foam rolling, then why wouldn’t you just stretch and move around, and get probably even more stimulation to these organs, but within the context of functional movements? Can the foam roller, which doesn’t really provide that much movement or stretch to the target muscle or fascia, provide more proprioceptive stimulation then functional movements like the squat, lunge or reach? I think not.

Perhaps what foam rolling has to offer over movement is novel proprioceptive stimulation. I think novelty is great and of huge potential benefit. It helps get the brain’s attention, which is what you need to do if you want the brain to change. But here’s something else that you need to do. You need to provide the brain with information that is relevant to something that the brain cares about. The brain cares about how to move your body through functional patterns such as squats, lunges and hip hinges. How is the information derived from foam rolling relevant to these tasks? The brain is not interested in information just because it’s novel. The information must also help it solve movement problems. Why would the nervous system be interested in how it feels to have a lacrosse ball jammed into your butt?

5. Does foam rolling work by diffuse noxious inhibitory control?

The winner! And this is probably the mechanism with which readers will have the least familiarity. Here’s a description of what it is, how it works, and why I think its the major reason for the potential efficacy of foam rolling (and many other forms of manual therapy).

Diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC) is one of several varieties of “descending modulation”, by which the brain adjusts the “volume” on nociception (danger signals which originate in the body). DNIC means that the brain inhibits nociceptive signals from traveling up the spinal cord to the brain.

DNIC is reliably triggered by a sustained nociceptive input, such as immersing your hand in cold water. The inhibition is diffuse – it suppresses nociception not just from the local area, but distant areas as well. In other words, if your leg hurts, and you stick your hand in icewater for a while, the resulting DNIC will cause both the hand and the leg to hurt less. This dynamic of fighting pain in one area by creating it in another likely explains the success of many therapies, and is sometimes called counterirritation. The effect is temporary of course.

How powerful is the effect of DNIC? Very powerful. When a soldier loses a limb in battle, he will often feel no pain so long as the emergency persists, and DNIC is a major reason. David Butler refers to DNIC as the “drug cabinet in the brain.” Here’s a video where he explains this idea in a little more detail, including the fact that some of the drugs in the brain are stronger than morphine.

 

 

There is significant research showing that many chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and TMJ are characterized by relative failure of the DNIC mechanism.

New research shows that the effectiveness of DNIC in suppressing pain is highly dependent on theexpectation that the counterirritant will have an analgesic affect. In this interesting study, researchers immersed the hands of participants in cold water, shocked them with an electric blast to the sural nerve, and then measured the level of nociceptive activity in the spine, as well as the self-reported pain level. Importantly, the participants were divided into two groups. The first group, called the “analgesia group”, was told that the cold water immersion would reduce the amount of pain they felt from the shock. The other group, called the “hyperalgesia group” was told the opposite – that the cold water immersion would make the pain in the leg worse.

The analgesia group experienced 77% less pain, and less spinal cord nociceptive activity than the hyperalgesia group, who experienced almost no reductions in pain or spinal cord nociceptive activity. In other words, expectation of relief is a huge factor in determining whether you will get some DNIC from a painful stimulus.

Pain expert Lorimer Moseley views descending modulation and DNIC as a way for the brain to “second-guess” the periphery about the threat posed by a particular stimulus. For example, if the periphery is communicating information suggesting there is a large amount of mechanical threat in a particular area, the brain, which has access to a wealth of additional information about what is actually going on in the periphery, may decide that the problem is not so serious, and therefore inhibit the transmission of nociceptive signals to the brain.

Now let’s put this all together. DNIC is a powerful but temporary way to reduce pain in one area by creating pain in another. It depends on a decision by the brain to ignore danger signals from the body. Expectation of benefit from the irritating stimulus plays a strong role.

There are several aspects of foam rolling that are very consistent with the hypothesis that its main benefit is achieved by creating DNIC. Rule number one in foam rolling is to find a sore spot and stay on it for some time. You need to create some pain. Of course, the pain is often a “good pain”, which is exactly the type of feeling that would correlate with the brain’s conclusion that the irritation is somehow beneficial – which is what gets DNIC going.

Foam rolling often creates pain relief, not just in the area of pressure, but in other areas as well. People also tend to feel more freedom of motion, which could easily be explained by suppression of nociceptive activity, which tends to create muscle guarding, stiffness, and compensatory patterns of movement.

Further, the results of foam rolling are often temporary and need to be repeated (and often repeated harder the next time- are people becoming addicted to the drug cabinet in the brain?) This suggests a CNS mediated mechanism.

So here is the story I tell about foam rolling. You put a foam roller into your butt and create some significant nociceptive signalling. The brain receives it and says something like: OK the butt is telling me that there is some danger down there right now. But I happen to know that this is a therapeutic situation because Dr. Oz said so. So I’ll send some drugs down the spinal cord to block all this talk about danger. And, we’ll make this feel like a “good” pain not an injury. The drugs reduce pain and thereby improve movement temporarily.

Make sense?

Practical implications 

Now some people will read this and say “well who cares about how it works, all I care about is that it works.” And in some sense that is fine, but this lack of curiosity ignores the potential improvements one might make to a therapeutic regime by understanding the real mechanism of effect.

If foam rolling really works by nothing other than DNIC, then perhaps it would be easier to get the same effect by just pinching yourself or putting your hand in ice water. Or maybe this would mess with expectations, which we know are important to get the effect.

Here’s another interesting question that arises from the consideration that foam rolling may work purely on the basis of DNIC. If the results are only temporary, can there be any progressive benefit? I think the answer is: it depends. Pain relief and improved movement open a window of opportunity that one might climb through. If you are feeling better only for an hour, this provides enough time to train movements that would not normally be accessible, learn new skills, develop new capacities, and reduce the perceived threat associated with certain movements. This could have permanent benefit. But of course if you just sit on the couch, the benefits would probably be temporary.

Here’s another question I have in regard to foam rolling. If the major reason it works is release of the drug cabinet in the brain, then can one become addicted? I have no real evidence of this, but I swear I’ve seen a disturbing pattern. Someone gets relief from a foam roller, and then graduates to the lacrosse ball, and then to the wooden ball, until they are bruising themselves with steel in an effort to get that fix! Avoiding this type of situation is one reason it’s a good idea to know why something works.

Conclusion

Well there’s a lot more to be said here, but I am out of time, and if you have already read this far you are a champion!

I’m sure some of my readers will point out that I missed one or two great explanations for why foam rolling works. If I did, then please post in the comments and I’ll try to address it in a further post.

One way or the other, let me know what you think in the comments. And pass this around!

 

 

    Hello, could you tell me about the type of Massage you do? I injured my calf running. Do you do sports massage? I  respond: Yes, I have for 18 years. Have you worked with calf injuries? Yes, I have and have had great success. I  saw you web-site and I was very impressed what type of Massage do you do. My responses, I do not do generic  Massages, your Massage is geared for your specific needs.I would not just work on your calf. I would work
on the whole lower quadrant body, as a runner this is the area that most of the impact is put on as you run. I will  focus on the pelvis down to your feet. The feet are the most important part of a runner to keep flexible. Not many  people realize all the trigger points in the foot and how the foot gets locked up,it is so important to roll out your feet and use Yamuna body rolling.  http://yamunabodyrolling.com/about/foot_fitness
http://yamunabodyrolling.com/store/body_focus/feet/

Can you tell me about the issue you are having right now? The client explains. I have worked with a lot of people with that issue(depending). Here are somethings to do to help yourself while they are fresh in my mind. What day would you like to come in so I am sure I get you in before I get booked. Tuesday at 3:30 is perfect. I will call you Monday, as a reminder. I am looking very forward to meeting you. Please remember this, it took you awhile to become chronic like this. I strongly suggest Massage as part of your wellness program. We can all afford a Massage at least once a month, go without Starbucks for a week or two. Take care and again I am looking forward to having you as a client. This is why you should be getting Massage Therapy at least once a month!

This is why everyone needs body work. When your muscles are tight for and extended period of time your spine is effected by this tightness. I use the example of the cavity forming in your mouth. You don’t know that the cavity is there but, the damage is getting worse not being treated This similar story applies to our spine. When you muscles are tight or you twist the wrong way or you lift something and you feel that little TWEEK here or there and ignore it. It does not usually go way. What we do not see is where the spine has been pulled (subluxated) out of alignment and the nerves are being impinged or compressed. These nerves travel to the organs in our bodies and without treatment I believe this is the beginning of disease. (dis-ease) When the problem is further ignored pain increases and the disease goes to a more chronic stage and moves deeper into the body.

This calls for calling on your smarts! Be proactive! Get Massages and get Chiropractic adjustments on a regular basis. This ensures you feeling your very best by, eating healthy and mindful, drink plenty of water, exercise and meditate or have some quiet time for yourself.

Call Today to make an appointment 609-647-0049

What Every Runner Should Know

 

As a runner we continually stress our muscles often causing Micro- tears within the muscle fibers as well as a buildup of Lactic acid / waste products. Your Muscles need oxygen to function properly and efficiently, nutrients such as amino acids to repair damaged muscle fibers and lymphatic fluid carry waste away from the muscles. Oxygen, nutrients and lymphatic fluid are transported through your body via the bloodstream. I also so recommend having the 5 one hour treatments of Lymphatic Drainage with the Lymphstar Pro Machine which is amazing! Please call for information on this treatment.

Lymphatic Enhancement Technology, The Lymphstar Pro

Lymphstar Pro System Is To Cause Optimal Flow To The Lymphatic System.

Massage Therapy markedly increases your body’s recovery rate by increasing blood flow within your circulatory system so Oxygen arrives faster to the area in need. Amino acids are delivered quickly and the waste products get moved rapidly away from the muscles.

 

Runner’s muscles are contracted in a relatively shortened range of motion for long periods of time. These tight muscles cause extra strain to be placed on tendons and may result in common injuries like Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Iliotibial Band Syndrome and Shine Splints. Adhesion’s that form within the fascial connective tissue surrounding muscle fibers can also cause tightness.

 

Massage breaks up adhesion’s as well as broadens and lengthens muscle fibers. Freeing up fascia in and around muscles and creating length within muscles which helps prevent injury because it reduces the strain placed on the tendons. Staying healthy and preventing injury threw Massage lead to improved athletic performance increasing range of motion in the hip, knee and ankle joints by releasing and lengthening leg muscles through Massage can increase stride length, which will, in- turn increase running speed and thus improve performance. Weather you run for stress relief, pure enjoyment or in competition, Massage Therapy can be extremely beneficial and will improve athletic performance.

 

Plantar Fasciitis pain, occurs on the bottom of the foot because of tight fascia. A sharp pain occurs at the base of the heal and sometimes the arch. Place both golf ball and or frozen water bottle on the floor and roll the bottom side of your foot back and forth over your Massage tool. Go easy at first and realize this will feel uncomfortable at first because you are breaking up adhesions, so be patient and go easy.

 

What I highly recommend is finding out if you have flat feet. I was shocked to find out how many of my clients did not know that they have flat feet. I always recommend going to The Princeton Running Company, Princeton NJ. They are the only running shoe store that know that know shoes and what shoe is best for your feet, size, build, size and  if you feet pronate or supinate. The right shoe is so, so important. The other thing that is a must is foam rolling. I recommend TRIGGERPOINT Performance Therapy products, the only foam rollers, trigger point balls and thigh and calf rollers I will sell.  Why foam roll? Here is the best reason, if you don’t you will eventually hurt yourself pretty bad I can promise you this if you are a serious runner. I don’t care what stretching you do. If you are a very serious yoga practitioner you’ll be okay but, getting to that iliotibial band is very, very important and foam rolling is the best way to stretch it out correctly.

also recommend getting a foot wheel and using a golf ball barefoot  only use static pressure, do not roll the ball and yes it hurts and yes the bottom of your feet even have trigger points. Try one foot first and then stand back and you will feel such a difference in the foot that you painfully applied pressure all over the bottom of your feet.

 

  •         
  • This was the outcome for me, but it was a hell of a lot more than four sessions in a hell of a lot of money. I have been a massage therapist/body worker for 18 years. I would say close to half of my clients came to me after having no results from physical therapists, and I was there last resort and for a good percentage of the time, I know I helped them more than these PT’s did. Believe me, I know how frustrating that is. It is time consuming, it costs a lot of money, it also wastes insurance money.
  • Here is my advice to you: If you want to get better get massage and go to the The Neurac Institute in Princeton, NJ 800 Bunn Drive Princeton, NJ 08540 (609) 683-1010. One more location in New Jersey is in Hopewell, NJ 83 Princeton Avenue Hopewell, NJ 08525 (609) 466-9004. I have never missed a therapy session without hearing another patient saying how quickly they got to the issue and how much improvement was made!
  • I am more impressed each time I go not only by the technique but, the incredible staff with their kindness, and most importantly, their ability to communicate effectively, and the knowledge. Thank you Neurac Institute for the first time since 2007 I feel like I might be able to soon be an athlete again!
  • Please do yourself a favor and make an appointment today, either at the Princeton office 609-683-1010 or the Hopewell office 609-466-9004
  • Redcord is offering a unique treatment method for musculoskeletal ailments called Neurac® (Neuromuscular Activation).  NEURomuscular Activation (NEURAC)
    Neurac is an abbreviation of Neuromuscular Activation and consists of therapeutic exercises in Redcord slings. The aim of the Neurac Method is to restore pain free movement patterns and improve function. Neurac Treatment challenges the interplay between muscles and is focusing on what is causing the problem – not only the symptoms.Science shows that pain and/or inactivity can disturb signals sent to the muscles from the brain. This disturbance can lead to impaired muscle interaction causing some muscles to be overloaded and painful. The method includes testing procedures, called Neurac Testing, to identify dysfunctions and muscular imbalances. Neurac Testing is systematically examining the body to identify weaknesses in the muscle chains. If a weakness is identified it is called a Weak Link. Neurac Treatment focuses on correcting the Weak Links thereby reducing the strain on the overloaded muscles. Often immediate pain relief and/or improved function can be achieved.
  • Neurac is performed with the Redcord Workstation Professional, ant the treatment consists of especially tailored exercises and techniques. To enhance treatment outcomes vibration can be applied with the patentedRedcord Stimula. Many patients experience additional pain relief when the vibration stimulus is applied. Read more about Neurac treatment – Step by step.Neurac Treatment aims to be pain free and without negative side effects. The treatment requires motivation and concentration from you as a patient. The exercises can be both hard and challenging but should always be performed controlled and with good movement quality. To obtain long term treatment effects individual exercise for maintenance is recommended. Read more about follow-up here.

 

  • Neurac treatment is indicated for musculoskeletal ailments such as:Low back pain and pelvic girdle pain
    Neck pain and neck pain with headache
    Shoulder / arm dysfunction (eg impingement and Tennis Elbow)
     Leg dysfunction (eg patellofemoral pain syndrome)
  • Redcord offers a special course program for therapists, doctors and health professionals.
    Read more about Neurac® (neurac article by Gitle Kirkesola)
  • Please contact us if you want more information of how Redcord can help you achieve better function and less pain!
  • Tyler Joyce, PT
    Owner/CSO Redcord USA
    Owner Neurac Institute for Physical Therapy
    Neurac 1&2 Instructor
    800 Bunn Drive
    Princeton, NJ 08540
    Cell: 609-516-2663
    Work: 609-683-1010
    Redcord: 609-683-1110
    Email: tyler@redcord.us
    Email: tylerdjoyce@gmail.com
    Website: NeuracPT.com
    Website: Redcord.us

Join the Neuromuscular Revolution

Redcord stands as a resolute and innovative leader in corrective exercise and neuromuscular activation techniques for rehabilitation, fitness, and sports performance. Redcord’s patented suspension equipment, scientific training methods, and accredited educational courses are centered on the clinical foundation and therapeutic approach in treating neuromuscular dysfunction with the Neurac™ (NEURomuscular ACtivation) treatment method. We believe that repetitive injury should not be tolerated; that a decrease in function should not be accepted; and that you should strive for nothing less than your full potential. We believe this because a comprehensive knowledge of physical medicine and exercise science are at the core of everything we do. And we don’t mind taking a leading stance on this view. Redcord is leading the Neuromuscular Revolution. Join us for the beginning.

Redcord is offering a unique treatment method for musculoskeletal ailments called Neurac® (Neuromuscular Activation).  NEURomuscular Activation (NEURAC)

It is thought by many cultures that the process of breathing is the essence of being. A rhythmic process of expansion and contraction, breathing is one example of the consistent polarity we see in nature such as night and day, wake and sleep, seasonal growth and decay and ultimately life and death. In yoga, the breath is known as prana or a universal energy that can be used to find a balance between the body-mind, the conscious – unconscious, and the sympathetic-parasympathetic nervous system. Unlike other bodily functions, the breath is easily used to communicate between these systems, which give us an excellent tool to help facilitate positive change. It is the only bodily function that we do both voluntarily and involuntarily. We can consciously use breathing to influence the involuntary (sympathetic nervous system) that regulates blood pressure, heart rate, circulation, digestion and many other bodily functions. Pranayama is a yoga practice that literally means the control of life or energy. It uses breathing techniques to change subtle energies within the body for health and well-being. Breathing exercises can act as a bridge into those functions of the body of which we generally do not have conscious control.

An example of how life affects physiology:

  During times of emotional stress our sympathetic nervous system is stimulated and affects a number of physical responses. Our heart rate rises, we perspire, our muscles tense and our breathing become rapid and shallow. If this process happens over a long period of time, the sympatric nervous system becomes over stimulated leading to an imbalance that can affect our physical health resulting in inflammation, high blood pressure and muscle pain to name a few. Consciously slowing our heart rate, decreasing perspiration and relaxing muscles are more difficult than simply slowing and deepening breathing. The breath can be used to directly influence these stressful changes causing a direct stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system resulting in relaxation and a reversal of the changes seen with the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. We can see how our bodies know to do this naturally when we take a deep breath or sigh when a stress is relieved.

 

The breathing process can be trained:

  Breathing can be trained for both positive and negative influences on health. Chronic stress can lead to a restriction of the connective and muscular tissue in the chest resulting in a decrease range of motion of the chest wall. Due to rapid more shallow breathing, the chest does not expand as much as it would with slower deeper breaths and much of the air exchange occurs at the top of the lung tissue towards the head. This results in “chest” breathing. You can see if you are a chest breather by placing your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your abdomen. As you breathe, see which hand raises more. If your right hand raises more, you are a chest breather. If your left hand raises more, you are an abdomen breather.

Chest breathing is inefficient because the greatest amount of blood flow occurs in the lower lobes of the lungs, areas that have limited air expansion in chest breathers. This kind of chest breathing which is rapid, shallow, results in less oxygen transfer to the blood and subsequent poor delivery of nutrients to the tissues. The good news is that similar to learning to play an instrument or riding a bike, you can train the body to improve its breathing technique. With regular practice you will breathe from the abdomen most of the time, even while asleep.

Note: Using and learning proper breathing techniques is one of the most beneficial things that can be done for both short and long term physical and emotional health.

 

The benefits of abdominal breathing:

  Abdominal breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing. The diaphragm is a large muscle located between the chest and the abdomen. When it contracts it is forced downward causing the abdomen to expand. This causes a negative pressure within the chest forcing air into the lungs. The negative pressure also pulls blood into the chest improving the venous return to the heart. This leads to improved stamina in both disease and athletic activity. Like blood, the flow of lymph, which is rich in immune cells, is also improved. By expanding the lung’s air pockets and improving the flow of blood and lymph, abdominal breathing also helps prevent infection of the lung and other tissues. But most of all it is an excellent tool to stimulate the relaxation response that results in less tension and an overall sense of well-being.

 

Abdominal Breathing Technique:

  Breathing exercises such as this one should be done twice a day or whenever you find your mind dwelling on upsetting thoughts or when you are experiencing pain.

* Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. When you take a deep breath in, the hand on the abdomen should rise higher than the one on the chest. This insures that the diaphragm is pulling air into the bases of the lungs.

* After exhaling through the mouth, take a slow deep breath in through your nose imagining that you are sucking in all the air in the room and hold it for a count of 7 (or as long as you are able, not exceeding 7)

* Slowly exhale through your mouth for a count of 8. As all the air is released with relaxation, gently contract your abdominal muscles to completely evacuate the remaining air from the lungs. It is important to remember that we deepen respirations not by inhaling more air but through completely exhaling it.

* Repeat the cycle four more times for a total of 5 deep breaths and try to breathe at a rate of one breath every 10 seconds (or 6 breaths per minute). At this rate our heart rate variability increases which has a positive effect on cardiac health.

 

Once you feel comfortable with the above technique, you may want to incorporate words that can enhance the exercise. Examples would be to say to yourself the word, relaxation (with inhalation) and stress or anger (with exhalation). The idea being to bring in the feeling/emotion you want with inhalation and release those you don’t want with exhalation.

In general, exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. The use of the hands on the chest and abdomen are only needed to help you train your breathing. Once you feel comfortable with your ability to breathe into the abdomen, they are no longer needed.

Abdominal breathing is just one of many breathing exercises. But it is the most important one to learn before exploring other techniques. The more it is practiced, the more natural it will become improving the body’s internal rhythm.

 

Using breathing exercises to increase energy:

  If practiced over time, the abdominal breathing exercise can result in improved energy throughout the day, but sometimes we are in need of a quick “pick-up.” The Bellows breathing exercise (also called, the stimulating breath) can be used during times of fatigue that may result from driving over distances or when you need to be revitalized at work. It should not be used in place of abdominal breathing but in addition as a tool to increase energy when needed. This breathing exercise is opposite that of abdominal breathing. Short, fast rhythmic breaths are used to increase energy, which are similar to the “chest” breathing we do when under stress. The bellows breath recreates the adrenal stimulation that occurs with stress and results in the release of energizing chemicals such as epinephrine. Like most bodily functions this serves an active purpose, but overuse results in adverse effects as discussed above.

 

The Bellows Breathing Technique (The Stimulating Breath):

This yogic technique can be used to help stimulate energy when needed. It is a good thing to use before reaching for a cup of coffee.

* Sit in a comfortable up-right position with your spine straight.

* With your mouth gently closed breathe in and out of your nose as fast as possible. To give an idea of how this is done, think of someone using a bicycle pump (a bellows) to quickly pump up a tire. The upstroke is inspiration and the down stroke is exhalation and both are equal in length.

* The rate of breathing is rapid with as many as 2-3 cycles of inspiration/expiration per second.

* While doing the exercise, you should feel effort at the base of the neck, chest and abdomen. The muscles in these areas will increase in strength the more this technique is practiced. This is truly an exercise.

* Do this for no longer than 15 seconds when first starting. With practice, slowly increase the length of the exercise by 5 seconds each time. Do it as long as you are comfortably able, not exceeding one full minute.

* There is a risk for hyperventilation that can result in loss of consciousness if this exercise is done too much in the beginning. For this reason, it should be practiced in a safe place such as a bed or chair.

This exercise can be used each morning upon awakening or when needed for an energy boost.

I would like to tell you about an incredible pelvic floor physical therapist, Dr. Kathleen Sumner. Kathleen is located at Penns Court, South Main Street, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I went to her after having to have a hysterectomy. I was having some problems with bladder leakage due to having a hypertonic pelvic floor,  after three sessions  with Dr. Sumner  the problem was gone.  I don’t think most people realize how simple this is to cure for the most part. Dr. Kathleen Sumner’s contact is 1.215.348.3260. Her website is http://www.centralbuckspt.com  I cannot thank her enough!

 

Statistics state that as many as 1 in 5 Americans of every age suffer from some type of pelvic floor dysfunction during their life time (Stein 2010).  When counseling a client with chronic, non-specific low back pain, groin pain, hip/pelvic pain after injury, surgery or athletic participation practitioners address the spine, hips and surrounding musculature omitting the base of support for all these structures – the pelvic floor.  It’s proximity to the sex organs and impact on bodily functions makes it embarrassing for clients to discuss.  However, it’s location in the lower bowl of the abdomen makes it an essential member of the core stabilizing lumbopelvic cylinder.  Failure to address pelvic floor dysfunction after injury, surgery or repetitive athletic participation can result in continued spine and hip instability causing chronic back and pelvic pain and predisposition to additional spine, hip, neck, shoulder and lower limb injuries as well as impaired breathing and disruption of organ function.

The anatomy of the lumbopelvic cylinder consists of muscles and bones. It begins just below the lungs with the diaphragm.  It descends along the front and side of the torso with the transversus abdominis supported by segmental attachments to the psoas and abdominal muscles.  It descends along the back of the torso with the spinal column supported by the segmental attachments of the lumbar multifidus.  It ends in the bowl of the pelvis with the pelvic floor (Chaitow & Lovegrove 2012).

Abnormal pelvic floor function negatively impacts spinal stability, intra-abdominal pressure, respiration, sexual function, continence and pelvic organ support (Chaitow & Lovegrove 2012) resulting in global instability, chronic joint pain and predisposition to injury.  The pelvic floor as the most essential arch in the body providing the base of stability for all lower limb and foot joints (Dalcourt 2012).  Integrity of the trunk is essential to maintain joint position, respond to perturbations, avoid low back pain/injury, insure proper proprioception, and develop power and strength (Landow 2010).

Pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD) occurs after injury, sports participation or surgery.  Examples of injury include a hard fall or blow to the sacrum or tail bone as in falling on ice or off a horse or telescoping femoral injuries when landing on the feet after a long fall as in sky diving.  Sports associated with PFD also report frequent groin injuries from kicking, quick multi-directional lateral changes or pelvic rotation during axial loading as in soccer, running, golf, ice hockey, figure skating, football, baseball, ballet, martial arts and gymnastics (Chaitow & Jones 2012).  The reported incidence of groin pain and injury as a result of sports participation is as follows:  cycling – 22 to 91%, running – 70%, football – 22% and ice hockey 13 to 30% (Chaitow 2012).  Any lower abdominal surgery may result in the abnormal pinning of deep fascia to muscle (Dalton & Hedley 2012) causing PFD.

Additional causes of PFD include hernia, infection, cancer or sexually transmitted disease.  Special considerations for women include endometriosis, pregnancy (large baby, twins), difficult delivery or cesarean and multiple pregnancies.  Sexual violence is another cause with greater physical and psychological implications.  Treatment of the victims of sexual violence should include other medical professionals to ensure a successful outcome.

The pelvic floor identifies a consortium of muscles.  The deepest muscle, the levator ani, is often referred to as the pelvic diaphragm and is divided into two parts – the pubovisceral and iliococcygeal muscles.  The superficial muscle, the pereneal membrane or urogenital diaphragm, sits above the levator ani (Chaitow & Jones 2012). These muscles consist of both smooth and striated muscles of which approximately two thirds are type 1 and innervated by the pudenal nerve through direct branches from sacral nerves S3-S4.  The pelvic floor contracts or relaxes as a whole but may also contract or relax in segments (Chaithow & Jones 2012).

The pelvic floor, like all muscles, can become hypotonic or hypertonic after injury, sports participation or child birth.  Corrective exercises specific to strengthening a hypotonic pelvic floor include Kegels (pelvic contractions stopping and restarting urination).  Kegel exercises, in the absence of proper breathing and appropriate deep abdominal wall activation and strength, cannot resolve lumbopelvic cylinder dysfunction, gait abnormalities and trunk instability.  To ensure a full recovery from a hypotonic pelvic floor the practitioner should evaluate the strength and function of the entire lumbopelvic cylinder and instruct the client in proper breathing techniques and appropriate core/limb coordination exercise.

A hypertonic pelvic floor restricts the ability of the diaphragm to expand and transversus abdominis to contract during respiration.  This leads to hyperventilation syndrome (HS) and altered breathing pattern disorders (BPD) (Chaitow 2004). Over time HS and BPD alters mood (constant fight/flight breathing), changes body chemistry (respiratory alkalosis), and hypercapnoea (increased levels of CO2) which compromises key core stabilizer by reducing or eliminating the postural (tonic) and phasic contractions of muscles necessary for spinal stability (Chaitow, Breathing Pattern Disorders, motor control and low back pain, Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004; 7(1): 34-41).

The hypertonic pelvic floor does not respond to Kegel exercises but does respond to trigger point therapy.  In a study of 56 continent physiotherapists (51 women and 5 men age 23 to 56) all tested positive for a hypertonic pelvic floor with some of the cases demonstrating clear differences in tonicity from one side to the other.  Trigger point therapy was administered and tonicity returned and pain resolved after approximately two to five breaths (Carrire & Feldt 2006).

Individuals can administer their own trigger point therapy by sitting on a tennis ball placed between the coccyx and vaginal opening or just inside the coccyx and breathing deeply (Chaitow 2008).  More sensitive or difficult cases may require clinical instruction on Thiele Massage.  Again, to ensure a full recovery from a hypertonic pelvic floor the practitioner should evaluate the strength and function of the entire lumbopelvic cylinder and instruct the client in proper breathing techniques and appropriate core/limb coordination exercise.

Chronic PFD as a result of injury, sports participation or child birth may result in the presence of altered concomitant muscle contractions and scar tissue extending from the pelvic floor to other pelvic muscles.  The opposite also holds true and an injury to another pelvic muscle may result in scar tissue that extends to and entraps the pelvic floor.  Susceptible muscles include but are not limited to: psoas major, iliacus, tensor fasciae latae, pectinius, gracilis, and adductor magnus, brevis, longus (Chaitow 2012).  Symptoms of this disordered relationship include repeat groin strains, non-specific hip or pelvic pain, lower limb and low back pain that does not respond to traditional manual therapies, stretching of the susceptible muscles or core conditioning.  Normal hip and spine range of motion may exist despite this disordered relationship.

Susceptible muscles resulting in posterior pelvic tilt attach to the sacrum and coccyx pulling it forward (Weiss 2012).  These muscles include piriformis, quadrates femoris,  and gluteus maximus. Symptoms of this disordered relationship include restricted sacral counternutation, chronic L5/S1 strain, deep pelvic and sacral pain, lower limb and low back pain that does not respond to traditional manual therapies, stretching of the susceptible muscles or core conditioning.  Abnormal hip and spine range of motion usually accompanies this disordered relationship.

Chronic PFD, groin strains and low back pain does not respond to traditional manual therapies for a variety of reasons. Therapists specializing in PFD only treat the pelvic floor and frequently do not address the disordered breathing or lack of core conditioning and faulty muscle patterns.  For manual therapists and exercise specialists the pelvic floor sits in the industry ‘no fly’ zone where touch is forbidden at best and a law suit at worst.  Additionally, the client may be reluctant to discuss the other symptoms of PFD including urinary incontinence, drip or leakage after urination, genital pain, pain during and after sex, pain during orgasm, complete avoidance of sex, hemorrhoids and bowel incontinence.  The client also might not connect these symptoms to their injury and PFD.

In the case of chronic PFD as a result of a hypertonic pelvic floor the client demonstrates core development to a point and no further or returns to instability randomly despite lengthy and otherwise proper training.  A hypertonic floor increases the pressure in the lumbopelvic cylinder which then increases the pressure on the internal organs.  The body resists any further organ compression by reducing the range of motion in the diaphragm and transversus abdominis.  When contracting a fully functioning diaphragm and transversus abdominis the body responds by destabilizing or moving the spine, intermittently shutting down the transversus abdominis, and reducing or eliminating the breath.

Individuals can administer their own trigger point therapy using a tennis ball or OPTP “little pinky” ball in the bikini or ‘tighty whitey’ area.  This region encompasses the lower abdomen, gluteals, intersection of the ilotibial band/TFL/Glute med-min and the pelvic floor – basically any area a bikini bottom or brief underwear covers.  Place special emphasis on incision scars and take care to avoid sensitive nerves.  The femoral nerve sits outside the bikini area and should be avoided.  Pressure should be tolerable, mildly uncomfortable, and held until the trigger point becomes comfortable (approximately 2 to 5 relaxing breaths) before moving on to the next trigger point.  Breathing should remain consistent and relatively deep throughout.  Rib or shallow breathing, as in mild hyperventilation, indicate the pressure is too deep and should be adjusted downward until breathing returns to normal.

Individuals unable to perform the trigger point release may relax the pelvic muscles by lying face down on a rolled bath towel.  Place the towel on the lower abdomen below the navel, above the pubic bone and inside the hips.  The towel should be a comfortable height and allow deep and relaxing breathing.  Place the head/neck in a comfortable position as well.  Remain until fully relaxed and then roll off the side of the towel and onto the back.

Successful stretching for PFD occurs along the deep front line (Myers, p. 192) in a closed chain and includes the torso muscles.  Lateral lunges with opposite arm reach over head and multidirectional lunges with opposite arm reach over head stretch this line as an entire, functional complex (aka the “Saturday Night Fever” stretch).  Minimal discomfort should occur as the client holds the stretch for 2 to 5 easy breaths. Again, breathing should remain consistent and relatively deep throughout.  Rib or shallow breathing, as in mild hyperventilation, indicate the stretch is too deep and the range of motion should be adjusted downward until breathing returns to normal.

Returning to optimal performance begins with the health of the lumbopelvic cylinder and the pelvic floor.  Its location in the ‘no fly’ zone and embarrassing symptoms make it difficult to discuss and treat.  Its contribution to chronic groin, low back and lower limb injuries make it essential to address.  Kegel exercises strengthen a hypotonic pelvic floor while trigger point therapy and deep front line stretching releases a hypertonic floor.  Successful results occur in the presence of a normal breathing pattern and fully functioning transversus abdominis.  Strength, power and performance improve only when the lumbopelvic cylinder functions.

 Beth Kais is by far “THE BEST” Personal Trainer I have worked with.  She is the only trainer who does muscle testing in order to know what muscles you need to strengthen. There is no way anyone knows what type of work out to do unless they know where they are weak. Her work out is incredible and you get better in just about any issue you have. She is by far the most intelligent women I have met with knowledge of balance of the body. There are far to many ” personal trainer’s, who for most part do not know what they are doing. Please contact me for Beth’s contact number. I promise you will thank you me as my Princeton University Athlete’s have!

Thank you Beth for all your help!

Suzanne Newman

 

 

 

 

References:

Stein, Amy, MPT.  Pelvic Floor Dysfunction & Pelvic Pain, 2010, www.beyondbasicphysicaltherapy.com

Chaitow, Leon and Jones, Ruth Lovegrove  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 34.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 33.

Dalcourt, Michol, 2012. Footwear and Function – Views on Barefoot Training, 1/11/12, NSCA webinar.

Landow, Loren 2010. Trunk Training for Performance.  9/15/10, NSCA webinar.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 101.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 115-120.

Dalton, Eric et al 2012.  Dynamic Body.  USA, Freedom From Pain Institute, p. 69.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 34.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 41.

Chaitow, L. 2004.  Breathing pattern disorders, motor control, and low back pain.  Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, 2004; 7(1): 34-41, p. 36.

Carriere, Beate, Feldt, Cynthia Markel 2006.  The Pelvic Floor.  New York, Thieme, p. 107.

Chaitow, L. 2008. The Pelvic Floor Paradox.  Naturpathy Digest.  www.naturpathydigest.com.

Chaitow, L. and Jones, R. L.  2012. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Dysfunction. England, Churchill Livingstone, p. 102.

Weiss, David 2012.  Prostatitis or Pelvic Myoneuropathy.  www.chronicprostatitis.com.

www.chronicprostatitis.com/myoneuropathy.html

http://www.sheilatrecartin.com

Sheila Trecartin I have been meaning to write this somewhat short story for a wonderful woman who helped me more than I can put into words. Sheila was my angel several years ago and still is. It would try to make this story short and sweet even though it was not short and parts were not sweet at all.

In June of 2008 I received a call from a neighbor on one of the hottest days in June about a mother cat bringing her two kittens across a busy highway into our apartment complex to drink the water that I just by chance set outside the night before for some strange reason. I intuitively knew something was wrong. I went out in the backyard of the complex and walked across the busy road to the development to the sparsely wooded area by the homes to try to find this mother cat and her kittens…

I had no idea where the cat and kittens could possibly be. I walked through the woods and with the gift that I have of intuitiveness I found her with the kittens in some ones back yard. . The next thought was what am I going to do? I knew she was feral and I knew these kittens would not survive it through the summer. I also knew that if Gray was not caught she would continue breeding and not only that she would probably die too.

I was never the person to walk away from injustice or to ever give up. Animals have always been the greatest love of mine since I was a little girl. This situation with Gray and her five kittens was something I could not turn my back on. I knew some people in my community that focused mainly on cats as far as rescuing neutering and spanning, finding homes for kittens and re-releasing the adult cats. I am very torn about the trap, neuter and release way of thinking. The reason being is I know that feral cats is a generic name for a cat that has been abandoned, born in the wild from an abandoned cat and frightened to death. Their intelligence, ability to adapt is amazing to me and I will tell you why as I go along with Gray’s story.

So from June 3, 2008 to approximately July 8th my rescue began and ended. Each morning I would set the trap and I would check it three times a day and then I would lock it open during the evenings because, I did not want to kittens hurting themselves by spending too many hours frantically trying to get out of the cage for hours overnight. I fed Gray and the kittens and made sure they had water twice a day. I also made sure Gray had colostrum because she was pretty run down and underfed and had to keep her strength up to be able to recuperate from nursing the kittens. I think that they were still nursing a bit from her and had just begun eating food when I had found them.

It was upsetting, nerve-racking and exhausting each and every day. I was frightened to death because she had moved the kittens I had no idea where she could have taken them. Then my special little gift kicked in and intuitively told me to walk in a certain direction through another area of woods. I saw in my mind was an old run down deck with steps, the kittens and gray with them. I continued to walk and followed my instincts and I still get chills as I write this as I stepped out of the woods there in front of my eyes was that beat up old deck with the steps, five kittens and there dark gray, mother cat. That was the day I named her “Gray”. What an incredible mother, it was amazing to watch her with them. She always had the kitten close by her. I remember one morning walking into the backyard and there was a bit of a clearing by an old dead, hollow tree, the kittens were playing, This happened on early morning in the morning mist it almost appeared as if they were dancing to the sounds of the birds and the beautiful noises from the woods. I can still picture that moment in my mind and there lie gray very close by watching them.

I would sit where Gray and the kittens where the broken deck was with the holes just big enough for Gray and the kittens to have shelter and protection from the rain. It just so happened that the people who lived there were away for a month, there are no coincidences. Plus jumping further a head after I caught everyone I took a friend to show him where I found and trapped them and the deck had been completely rebuilt which meant the cat and kittens would have lost another home.

I would sit in the yard where they all where and Gray would lay maybe 20 feet away from me always but she came every time I came there and called her. She made sure the kittens where out of sight, I would see them often because I would put their food down and hide on the side of the house and peek around the corner and one by one would come out. There was this deep soul connection between Gray and I that I have not felt with an animal since I found my childhood dog, Sheba, was a pure bred German Shepherd that we thought was born in the woods that became my best friend and never to ever be replaced until now,

I think my main worry was that I so desperately wanted to catch the kittens first but, that Gray may leave and the whole cycle would begin again with more kittens. One by one the kittens were caught and placed in a non-kill shelter where they took finally all the kittens and Gray, made sure they were healthy, neutered and spayed for a fee of $350. That shelter was a disaster but, they did place all six of the kittens but, the way they handled Gray was the most upsetting thing I ever saw in front of my own two eyes, when I brought her in to be check out and neutered. Let’s put it this way I would never go there again unless I was getting an animal out of “SAVE” in Princeton, NJ. They do not know how to handle or take good care of cats at all!!!

It was the last kitten that I was terribly worried about. It was gray and the last kitten that I named Bear left to be caught. I tried and tried to catch the kitten before Gray, but I couldn’t so I trapped Gray, leaving her last kitten alone. I had a hard time sleeping at night. It took about a week to catch her/him. She was very light in weight so, I finally decided to put a small bottle of water only slightly filled on the trip of the trap and that was the answer. That night after I was so exhausted I caught the last kitten. The funny thing is I checked every kitten before I would put them in a small cage with food and all that was needed in my cage that was in the complex basement. It was the only place I could keep them because I have two cats of my own and I didn’t know if the kittens were healthy or not. Anyway I would check every kitten to make sure they weren’t injured. Well, the last kitten, Bear was frightened by the group of people that were with me who couldn’t seem to be quiet and took a chunk out of my finger and three nice gashes in the palm of my right hand. Not a good thing to happen to a massage therapist.

I had decided after Gray had been fixed and had her ear tipped that there was no way I could release her back into those woods. I knew it was going to be difficult taming an adult feral cat that was definitely born in the wild but, the only other option was to have her put to sleep. A friend allowed me to keep Gray at her home in a large Labrador crate until I was able to set up what ended up to be three crates put together where Gray lived in my apartment while I trained her to be able to be integrated into my home. Keep in mind I have two cats of my own. I also live in a one-bedroom apartment. This contraption that I put together was almost like a Matisse painting with my grandmother’s mink fur that I couldn’t part with but, could never wear as a top to the cage. There was a purple yoga mat running down the side where she slept. At the far end a liter pan was set up and then in the middle and carry case with a bed in it and the soft cushion on top.

Day after day I would sit and sing to her and play with a toy I called furry on a stick. I sat as close to the cage as I could when it came to feeding time. This went on for ever it seemed. She would go inside the little cat carry case where she sleep on a comfy bed I made her that was inside the Lab crate that she lived in every time I walked in the room. I would try to get my hand close to her in the carrier to give her a treat and she would hiss telling me that’s to close. I backed off and sat it in front of her. I will never forget the first night I touched her. I always had classical music playing in the room. That one night Julie Andrews came on the radio with the song, ‘Getting to know you”. Well I sang the whole song to her and as I reached my hand in the cage she came out and rubbed up against my hand. Please keep in mind I was touching her with furry stick a lot because she was never touched by human hands before. Well I cried for about 10 minutes as I went down stairs in my friend’s house to tell her what had happened. I have to be honest with you that was the first time I experienced the purest joy ever.

I knew I was going to need help because, I never knew anyone that tamed a two-year-old feral ( A cat born in the wild and never touched by human hands.) It also live in an apartment complex, which is one-bedroom and already have two cats and now also own a pug. The thought came to my mind to try to find an animal communicator. There was no doubt in my mind about animal communicators with my own intuitiveness and psychic abilities there had to be someone out there that could help me. I also I’ve always believed the animals very, very special one of the biggest gifts we have. I began my search of course with goggle and came across Sheila. It’s always important for me to see a picture of a person because I always been exceptional with what I call, that feeling! Well, for me I just had the seashore’s picture and I knew she would help me.

I contacted Sheila then set up an appointment. She asked only for pictures of my two cats and my feral cat ,Gray. There were no other questions about the cats, I just set up an appointment with Sheila. It was great to because I could pay through PayPal.

The day came and I always record sessions that are important to me because having ADHD I forget things very quickly. I asked I could tape the session and that was fine. I don’t think I could ever put into words what an amazing experience that first session was. There was no way that Sheila could have known the things that these animal telling her, after all she was in Canada, I was in New Jersey, we were talking on the phone and animals don’t look right?

The animals explained in detail the surroundings in my apartment. They described their interactions with each other and how they felt about each other. Please understand I only have animals. I live alone and I am very aware about my animals. The information that was being given to me by Sheila from my cats telepathically was profound, exact and truly amazing, in fact I truly believe animals are far, far more intelligent and we are. I felt that way about animals before but, this experience with Sheila made it far more clear to me. The beautiful fact is animals live in the moment, nowhere else but the president! We need to learn this from them!

She suggested Bach flower remedies to be used for the cats and myself. The flower remedies help release issued and trust me they work! In fact I now own every Bach flower remedy there is. I have made up some tinctures for friends and neighbors for their animals and they have told me they worked for them too!

Sheila also did some long-distance healing which is called Reiki. I know this works because I took a course and hopefully will continue. The reason I mention this is I am also in the healing profession and I know a good healer when I meet one. I am about to do for another session with Sheila and I just want to say to all of you that, the little, tipped eared once a feral cat is the most loving, special gift I have ever received.

I would’ve never believed that it was possible to tame a two-year-old feral cat. I wish everyone could experienced what I did with Sheila’s help with my little, sweet, gray mother cat. I do not recommend anyone trying to tame a feral cat unless know a lot about cats and have a lot of time and most important the patience of a saint!

Thank you Sheila, thank you so very much. I am glad that I have met such a gifted healer. I can not thank you for what you did for my little Gray! I know there will come a time when I have to put my animals to sleep. I can only hope I still know you and that they can tell you the things I need to know and you can tell them how much they made my life worth living. I know that’s a long way away though, but I will be talking to you soon to hear what my animals would like me to know about them and myself!

All my love, Suzanne Newman and my Mrs Gray