Friday, July 3, 2015

Nina Dobrev and Conan O'Brien Do The Splits

I got the Lisa Howell newsletter today about the "over" splits leading to possible injuries. I am so glad she's written about this.

Honestly, for years I've viewed the 'beyond' split position and I don't find it that aesthetic.

In Classical Ballet the straight 180 degree splits line in a grand jete or penche is a beautiful line.

Just my opinion, but in Swan Lake or Giselle, and many other classics, the 180 isn't needed - but can look fantastic.

Anything beyond that starts to look like a circus.

Having sat in on many auditions in a professional ballet school, I've seen the heart break on the face of very expressive young dancers who don't make the grade when the assistants get up and stretch them for the onlooking panel.

But I get it - if they can't do a split or a deep back bend - why lead a hopeful on?

On the other hand, if you have a child who is  almost like a contortionist - how easy will it be for them to conquer classical ballet technique? Without injury?

I've worked with chiropractors for many years, including a couple of kinesiologists.

Many patients have come in with injuries due to lax ligaments.  They are just born that way. And they have supplements recommended for them - specifically to tighten up lax ligaments.

In dance, "tighten up" is a bad phrase. But let's keep things in perspective.

If you can do the splits, I say - hooray. Now you can concentrate on other technical weaknesses you may have (everybody has some) and become better than good.

When I see the you tube videos of young dancers demonstrating their "waaaaay" over-split, legs bowing up onto chairs while their pelvis sits on the floor, I feel slightly nauseated.

Am I old-fashioned? I know I was deemed fairly picky as a ballet teacher - and I can't get used to this circus-like flexibility that is spun as a wanted quality for dance.

I understand that a high degree of flexibility is needed to train.

But the dancer who succeeds - is the dancer you can't help watching. And it's not about the splits.

Beyond splits - is more for the circus.

And for the dancer who can do that, it'a about a lot of extra exercises so she/he doesn't get injured.

I am glad Lisa Howell asks the questions: why; and how to prevent injury.

O.K., this was a bit of a rant so I'll lighten up with this funny video of Nina Dobrev and Conan O'Brien doing the splits.
Only relevant for a few seconds between :24 - 28.

But the 180 is enough, I know right?


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Could Pointe Shoes Have Sensors Like Soccer Players Do?


I was just reading an article about how soccer players can wear headbands with high tech!

These head bands relay, in real time, the impact of hits the players receive, on their heads during a game.

There is a point at which a player could be pulled from the game if a hit impact is hard enough to give them a concussion.

I wondered - could a sensor be made for ballet dancers in pointe shoes? It could measure how they come up and down off point.

It could also measure how they take off and land from jumps - which means men in ballet could use them too.

These toe shoes sensors could keep track of:

  • are the dancers' weight distributed evenly over the “tripod” of big toes, little toes and heels
  • do they pronate (roll inwards at the ankle joint(s)) when they push off
  • do they lift their heels before they push off
  • do they push from their plie then fail to push with their forefoot or feet
  • do they land controlling their sole of foot muscles or let their heels impact the floor

These are important moments in pointe work or allegro.

For example, if the ankle(s) roll in on take off or landing, it's setting the dancer up for both sprained ankles or a knee injury.

If there is no strength in the forefeet, an Achilles Tendon injury can be easily forecast.

If the heel pops on take off and the forefeet do all the work, an Achilles Tendon injury may be imminent.Not to mention foot sprains.

Well, just my thoughts today...Quick and fluid ballet footwork is lovely to watch, but tense plies (heels up) and usually more so in pointe shoes, are the obvious weaknesses. 

There are many nit-picky issues that a good teacher will nag you about. 


I wonder if you know all the ballet tips in this book! Get the best technique you can!
The Pointe Book for good ballet footwork

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Positive Self Talk Handouts


Ballet and success can go hand in hand - and riches are relative.

 Positive self talk handouts - in video. Search "brad yates eft youtube".


I was just watching a video (one of a large series) about success and riches.



He demonstrates and puts up a lot of videos about the Emotional Freedom Technique.

(link goes to video explaining EFT).

So who the heck gets rich in ballet, among the successful?

Riches are relative of course. A successful Wall Street broker would snort at the ballerina's pay.

And even Karen Kain, who was my room mate in school, is a completely anonymous individual in "the world at large". The world ballet dancers do not throw a glance to!

It is all relative.


Yet, your world counts. You, the aspiring child, teen or adult ballet beginner.

You have a muse who invites you to dance. That muse is You!

And maybe you're a recreational dancer. Or a hopeful for dance competitions. Or a ballet student in a professional program.

Believe me, I know even the latter is not bereft of overwhelming anxiety and self doubts!

And I don't know where the science stands on EFT - it is related to acupuncture.

But you certainly can pick up many positive self talk quotes!

Yet, having viewed videos about the emotional freedom technique tapping points I don't think this is useless.

Have a look and see if this might be of some use to help you or another eliminate self talk.


See what you think. 

" In partnership with Dr. David Feinstein, Dr. Church has been able to confirm that tapping on specific meridian points has a positive effect on cortisol levels. Cortisol, known as the "stress hormone," is integral to our body's "fight or flight" response." Huffington Post an article by Nick Ortner, posted:

http://www.eftfree.net/latest-scientific-research/  - more about

emotional freedom technique tapping points.






Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sound Machines For Sleeping


So you've got a good nutritional diet plan!


There is one way you can sabotage it and wonder why it's not working as well as "hers".

Lack of good sound sleep will affect a good diet every time.


Even if you're not on a weight loss diet - if you start to gain weight or feel a big appetite increase, reflect on how you've been sleeping lately.

Lack of sleep creates a hormone imbalance that results in hunger, and lack of satisfaction with the meals we're used to.

It also creates other havoc - exhaustion will increase our stress hormone cortisol - which then in turn decreases the quality of our sleep even more.


There is so much for a teen dancer to keep track of!


  • school work
  • extra stretching
  • extra foot exercises
  • sewing pointe shoes
  • clean ballet wear ready
  • social time (what is that again? lol)

And you may lie at wake worrying about all these things, the competition, family arguments and much more!

I totally love sound machines for sleeping! 


Without sound sleep that diet plan will not work so well.

Here's one that comes with a sound card pre-loadedwith soothing sleep sounds - and you can stream your own favorites from a Bluetooth enabled device.
Sound Oasis Blue Tooth Sound Therapy System


There is a variety of these white noise type of machines for sleep.

Get a good night's sleep every night - and get the most out of your good nutritional diet plan.






Friday, June 19, 2015

Easy Tips - Lose Weight


Symptoms - Hormone Deficiency


One of the symptoms of hormone deficiency is bad sleep.

And also hormone deficiencies cause bad sleep.

That is why the word "balance" is key!

One of the best easy tips for losing weight is sleeping well.


Recently Dr. Mercola author of "Effortless Healing" wrote an article "How To Stay Thin For Life". Yeah right that's so easy!

Many of us know it's not.

And his article was about sleep. Good sleep = good body weight!

I believe this and I'll tell you why - recently I started Intermittent Fasting -which I talked about here.

I lost four pounds suddenly but then slept quite badly one night - and the next morning had gained three.

But 2 mornings later after 2 good night's sleep - I had lost six pounds since the start of the Intermittent Fasting.

Dancers often suffer from aching muscles - and that's a deep ache!

About 300 to 400 mg magnesium will help relax muscles. Yet it's good to add some potassium and B6 since these vitamins act in concert - yup they have their own choreography in those muscles!

In extreme cases of insomnia ask your doctor about melatonin and do your own search. Some medical doctors shy away from it because it's a hormone. But if you're not sleeping...well it's a late night brain released hormone that cleanses your brain.And helps you sleep, deeply.

Melatonin can be deficient for different reasons. Lack of sunlight. Or simply a personal deficiency.

I wear Amber tinted glasses when I'm on the computer in the evening. That eliminates the blue-light brightness that stimulates the brain. The UV spectrum.

In fact I'm yawning now - so I'll say - g'night and sleep well! Time to go take my melatonin and keep losing weight!

Here's a short video with some more easy tips to sleep well and lose weight.


 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Teen Diet Plans Research Overload


I decided to start a second Kindle book (first one done but not published yet) called Teen Diet Plans - tentative working title.

Talk about overload! I couldn't avoid the issue of grass fed meats, dairy and wild caught fish. And organic vegetables.

Because the conventional GMO or pesticide/herbicide laden foods mess with our hormones.

As I've written here  I grew up with a progesterone deficiency which plagued me all my life.

I struggled with staying thin having no clue about stress hormones or estrogen dominance (which can lead to cancers).

And now that I'm looking at the latest research on what's in our foods - it's a horror story!

As an example - a few years ago it became illegal in the US to feed cows cow products. This was to prevent the spread of Mad Cow Disease. But chickens don't get that so they get fed cow “products” - usually blood, bone meal and unmarketable parts that don't go into hot dogs.

But it is legal to feed cattle “chicken litter” which is chicken poop, feathers and other unmarketable bits and pieces. So it is still possible for cows to eat recycled cow products with a chance that Mad Cow disease could be passed on.

We also eat cows fed chicken poop.

But the good thing is:

You can vote with your dollars! Even if you're not a voter.


Because of the persistence of consumers buying organic and grass fed foods, the prices have dropped. Availability has spread.

Yet the yuk factor of what I now feel obliged to put in this short guide book on healthy teen meals (mostly “fast food” Nutri Bullet drinks made at home) has increased.

BPA's, flame retardents, household cleansers, antibiotics...and more! All estrogen mimickers or endocrine disruptors.

Which disrupt what would have been a teen's normal weight, given the growth/hormone spurts and lulls.

But we can still beat this thing!

"The Meatrix" - the first 3 minutes address the situation.

I really don't want to get political. I just want to provide info about healthy fat burning meal plans. 

Simply spending your dollars on the healthy foods is all one has to do.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Didn't Mean To Lose Four Pounds!


Honestly I didn't - a few days ago I started reading up on hormonal balance and wrote  "My Own Teen Weight Gain Story".

I picked up a Kindle version of Dr. Joseph Mercola's "Effortless Healing". I bought it a couple of months ago and had read it and put it down a few times.

Dr. Mercola Effortless Healing Book


He recommends the usual sensible eating habits as well as "intermittent fasting" to re-train one's body for fat burning instead of sugar burning, for energy.

I had read a couple of his newsletter articles about this but had never thought I could do it.

I have the symptoms of insulin and leptin resistance. My body has forgotten how to burn fat even though I have rarely eaten grains for five years. This means:

  • no sugar
  • no breads
  • no crackers
  • no cookies
  • no rice

As grim as that sounds I eat well and am pretty healthy.

I also gave up chips of all kinds, and popcorn.

Exceptions would be at other people's dinners. I would enjoy some mashed potatoes or baked, or some chips on occasion.


I still did not lose weight no matter what.


So last Sunday evening I decided I would try the Intermittent Fasting. It looked easier once I did the math. Which is:

Fast for 16 hours a day.


I decided to eat breakfast at 10:30am, lunch whenever I next got hungry, and dinner before 6:30 pm. So my meals are within an 8 hour period. After dinner I drank water or herbal tea.

This was almost what I was doing anyway! 

Plus, I cheat a bit because I make coffee as soon as I get up and I put cream in it. I know from experience slow change works best.

By Wednesday I had lost 1 pound. Cool! I wasn't expecting more than that.

On Friday I was wearing heavier shoes and when I got on the scale I expected to see an additional pound because of the shoes.

And I was 4 pounds down from the previous week! Huh?

I am going to keep at this and will be happy with a pound a week loss.

The factor of hormone balance is related to fat (and not sugar) burning as well as slowing down the aging process.

I have to recommend this for any retired athlete especially if you have a desk job. Ihave no medical problems so I just went ahead and did it. But if you have any health issues take stock of them and maybe consult a health practitioner.

This isn't a diet however. It's simply grouping your meals differently. And its success is related to overall healthy habits, like anything else. Everything is connected.

The "Effortless Healing" book is a great reference for all kinds of health issues.

And really good if you're a teen with a weight gain story!