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healthwholeness

News From Around the Block - May 2011

New Videos Want to know more about our services before trying them out, or maybe just want to see some eye-candy working out hard?  Follow us on Facebook where we will be releasing a new video every few days for the next month.  Here's where you can see the first one. Scheduling And Payment Software Starting next week clients will be able to see their trainer’s available appointments online and put in a request for a specific time.  Also, for your convenience you’ll be able to purchase sessions right on our website.  Try it out.  We’d love to have your feedback. New Trainer We are proud to welcome Leslie Ann Quillen to our team!  In addition to being a Personal Trainer, Leslie Ann brings a strong background in Martial Arts and Group Exercise to the team.  We’re lucky to have her.  Say hello when you see her around the studios and get in her schedule before it fills up.  Look for her bio on our website soon.   Pilates in the Park Pilates in the Park mat class ended Saturday, May 7th with a fantastic picnic!  To ensure that this great cost efficient option will continue on Saturday, May 21st @9AM, register with Heather by Wednesday, May 18th!  You can get five Pilates mat classes for only $100! Purple Heart Pilates Many people have heard of Pilates, but few are aware that the man who started it, Joseph Pilates, did so as a service to rehabilitate wounded soldiers who fought in World War 1.  Purple Heart Pilates is a new initiative Heather and her husband have started through his non-profit where Purple Heart military veterans can receive personalized Pilates training at no-cost.  We are so excited to be able to offer this!  Check out Purple Heart Pilates' Facebook page for more info and click "Like".  We would appreciate your help to spread the word! Martial Arts Special Offer This month only, your first two personalized, one-on-one Martial Arts lessons are half off – an $85 value. Christian’s Book In case you missed it last month, Christian began posting the rough draft of his book to our blog.  Give it a read and you may find that health never made so much sense.  Three posts are in, with more to come soon.  Check back often. Next Boot Camp Our next outdoor boot camp starts May 30th.  12 awesome, outdoor workout for only $240.  If you're looking for great, economical way to get/stay fit this summer boot camp may be just the kick in the pants you need.  Check out our website for more details.

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Digging for Answer to Sobering Health Statistics - Part 1

So where do we look to find hope amidst health declines statistics this sobering? Knowing that the pursuit of happiness is so intimately tied to our health, it would make sense that we would be very interested in health.  Yet in light of the statistics we just looked at, to someone observing our culture from the outside it might seem like Americans today are really not all that interested in vitality.  Heck, judging by the statistics alone, we must either be the most apathetic people on the planet, or there is some massive outbreak we have yet to discover.  After all, Americans as a whole are not only the most obese nation in the world, even those who are not obese, often wrestle with aches and pains and the, “extra 10 pounds”, and find it next to impossible to maintain an ideal weight.  Why? It’s pretty obvious that health declines of this proportion are not created in a vacuum.  They have to be coming from somewhere, but where?  Perhaps a good place to start searching for answers is by looking for assumptions we make about the ways things are.  The two easiest places to look are our cultural and our mindset.  Both of these are somewhat like what water is to a fish.  It’s all around us, and it’s not uncommon to have a hard time looking at our culture and mindset from an outside perspective.  Stepping outside it as best we can, through a brief look at relevant history can help us see how we’ve come to think a certain way.  Since the health declines we are talking about were not created in a vacuum it is safe to say that our current mindset toward health was not created in a vacuum either.  Our mindset developed from somewhere too.  It makes sense that if we are going to change our health, we might first need to take a look how we’ve come to think about health. I submit to you that much of the way most Americans think about health today stems from thinking of a few hundred years ago to an era in history known as the “Enlightenment”.  The Enlightenment is known as the “Age of Reason”, and was marked by the belief that reason was the ultimate authority.  Through logic, that is to say, reducing complex problems to explainable variables, it was believed we could discern ultimate truth and explain most of the mysteries of life.  An overflowing confidence in reason developed because during this period of history science and technology were beginning to make exponential gains.  Science helped us develop an understanding of sanitation, gravity, physics, electricity, combustion, and countless other topics.  Concurrently, there was probably no invention more influential at shaping modern thinking about life in general, and health in particular, than the invention of the microscope. Although it’s debated who should get credit for the invention of the microscope, it is not debated that it allowed us to begin to understand the natural world in ways we never had before.  Through the help of the microscope we came to realize that big things (us) are made up of smaller things (cells), and that other small things (microbes) can actually affect our health.  Thus, it made sense that the way to understand health was to study the small parts of what make us who we are.  As new discoveries were made that exposed just how complicated the natural world is, science began to fragment into more and more specific disciplines to help us uncover more about the natural world.  We shall soon discuss the ramifications this has for medical science and other areas of health. Perhaps the simultaneously greatest and worst thing the microscope allowed to do was to expand our understanding of chemistry.  Chemistry helped us explain so many previously mysterious facets of nature; at the same time it also empowered human curiosity and our (more admittedly male) tendency toward conquering things.  In essence, chemistry allowed us to “tinker” with nature.  We realized we could create molecules that never existed before in all of history.  We realized we could create microscopic changes that had huge ramifications (see the atomic bomb).  In a sense, through chemistry, we could match wits with, and conquer, nature.  Since science was often effective at making the natural world appear to bend to our wishes we tended to develop a confidence, or perhaps an arrogance, that we knew better than nature and that science would show us how to make the world better. During the Enlightenment, science made the subtle shift from being something that helped us understand and work with nature, to also being a tool to manipulate nature.  For good and bad, since science was often exceedingly effective at offering rational explanations to complex subjects, in so doing it was able to uproot many long held beliefs and traditions.  For instance, instead of disease being seen as a lack of favor with God, it could now be seen as a problem of microbes or chemical dysfunction—and we can attack those problems with science.  Instead of plants being seen whole entities they were now seen as carriers of chemical components that we can extract and manipulate.  The understanding of living things as biochemical organisms with chemistry that could be manipulated made it a short step to viewing living beings as little more than machines—something with swappable (or removable) parts and chemistry to be tinkered with.  For both good and bad, by giving logical explanations to what was a previously a mysterious phenomenon, and by opening the Pandora's box of organic chemistry, science began shifting the public’s confidence away from various traditions and toward the scientific method as the only credible tool with which to approach nature. Stay tuned for more next post...

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Health Treands 100 Years Apart

If you’ve spent much time looking at statistics you know they can be quite mind-numbing reading.  That said, once in a while they are absolutely compelling, especially when you comparing statistics looked at over the course of 100 years.  Looking back to 1900 and seeing the health trends it is amazing how different things were back then as compared to 100 years later.  Check out these numbers and see if you don’t agree. In 1900
  • 3% of all U.S. deaths were from cancer and breast cancer is virtually unheard of.
  • Diabetes affects half of one percent (.5%) of the US population.
  • Heart Disease is virtually unheard of (In 1930, 3000 people die of heart disease - Population 123 million)
  • Asthma and auto-immune conditions are virtually non-existent
  • No more than 20 cases of endometriosis have been reported worldwide (Herbert Benson Timeless Healing p. 279)
In 2000
  • 20% of all U.S. deaths are from cancer and 1 in 3 women develop breast cancer
  • Diabetes affects roughly 20% of the US population
  • Heart Disease is the #1 cause of death. (In 1997, 727,000 people die of heart disease - Population 248 million.)
  • 150 million people suffer from Auto-Immune diseases worldwide
  • 20 percent of all women suffer from endometriosis
Just looking at this brief survey it’s obvious something has dramatic must have changed.   Being the nation of overachievers that we are you’d think we would rank better than 46th in terms of life expectancy…but that’s exactly where we are according to a report in Newsweek.  I don’t know about you but being 46th at anything, particularly my health is not an appealing idea to me. “Ah” you say “but isn’t all this because we are living longer and have time to develop more diseases?”  Good guess but absolutely not.  Consider this: Half a century worth of data collected on cancer by researchers at the University of Massachusetts concluded the following: “From 1950 to 2001 the incidence of all types of cancer rose by 85%, and that was the age adjusted rate, which means the increase has nothing to do with people living longer. The fastest growing rate of cancer for any age group over the past two decades has been children, who cannot be accused of having smoked, or partied, or worked, or stressed themselves into a diseases state.” In other words, something is drastically different so much so that the children of today are the first generation predicted to have a shorter life-expectancy than their parents.  All this begs the question “What the heck has happened in the last 110+ years that got us to this point?"  Well, searching for the answers to that is for the next few posts.  Stay tuned.

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News From Around the Block - April 2011

Christian’s First Book! For the last year or more Christian has been working on his first book.  It’s not finished yet, but this spring he has decided to put parts of it into blog form and he welcomes any feedback you all have to help shape it into something even better.  He is still working on a title so if you have any good ideas pass them along.  The book is a reflection of our health journey over the last 8 years and how we came to be the health nuts that we are.  His writing will be equal parts philosophical as it is practical and will present you with what are probably some of the most well-argued and intelligent health strategies you will find anywhere.  This endeavor makes him think one person might really be able to make a difference.  Happy reading. New Scheduling Software We have finally moved into the 21st century and gone paperless with our scheduling.  Soon we will be able to offer our clients the potential to go online and book and pay for services.   Stay tuned for more details. Studio Rearrange If you’ve not been in Studio C in the last couple weeks then you might not have seen our new more spacious set up.  Come check it out! Spring Boot Camp The next Boot Camp session start April 25th and it’s finally time to go back outside.  Check out our website or call Nina (571.242.4775) for more details.  NEW TOYS: This spring will mark the first appearance of tractor tires and sledgehammers at our boot camp.  Can’t wait to show our campers some fun new exercises! 2 New Pilates Offerings
  • Pilates in the Park: Come enjoy some springtime weather with an outdoor, not-too-early (9:00am) Saturday morning workout.  If you’ve never tried Pilates before now is your chance to do it for cheap—6 workouts for $100.
  • Pilates Introductory Offer: Experience Pilates in all of its grandeur.  Try out the fancy Pilates machines and feel your muscles working like never before.  We are offering a 30-minute consultation and 3 hour long, private one-on-one Pilates sessions for only $150.   Offer good for this month only.  Call Heather today to set up a time.  571 309-9434.

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Intro to Christian's Book!

Hello All, To get me into the writing habit, I've decided to start putting the rough draft of parts of my book into blog form with the hopes of getting some feedback to shape this venture into something better.  I am so excited to begin a written expression of the ideas I have been passing along in some form or other over the past several year.  Below is a rough introduction to what I hope will be a life-changing book, a book years ahead of its time, and a book that can help facilitate change not just in the small choices we make everyday, but I hope the ideas in this book reverberate so loudly with wisdom and common sense that it shakes the foundation of the way our society has come to think about health in the last two or more centuries.   It's an admittedly grandiose goal, but I like a challenge.  Welcome to my writing journey.  I can't wait to hear from you. Introduction: Health, Vitality, Quality of Life: There are few things as fundamental to our ability to pursue happiness as our physical well-being.  Put simply, if you don’t have your health, the rest of life is not much fun.  Since you only get one body to live in, your knowledge of it and determination to care for it will ultimately determine a large measure of the happiness you will, or will not enjoy.  In my line of work I've had the opportunity to meet people at very different ends of the health the spectrum.  I've met and talked with sickly people (young and old), exceptionally fit people (young and "old"), I've seen people lost in the hopelessness of illness and obesity, some bitter about life, and some in love with life, and one thing I can tell you that good health is precious.  It’s personal, and no one on the planet is uninterested in having it.  No one enjoys disease and dysfunction, yet either of these can happen to any of us if the situation is right.  In that light, discussing the topic of health puts us all on more of less the same level…the human level.  So maybe, in a quest to make the world a better place, coming to understand health, is a good place to start. So, where do we start this quest?  I suppose there are lots of places we could start but I like a quote by the World Health Organization.  I think it summaries the modern quest for vitality quite well.  It says: “There are two obstacles to vibrant health and longevity: Ignorance and Complacency.” What may be most interesting about this quote is what they did not say.  Curiously they did not mention genetics, economic status, or lack of access to medical care as obstacles to vibrant health and longevity.  No, instead they mentioned the two things that we as individuals have the most control over: Our knowledge, and our attitude.  At least on this topic, ignorance is not bliss, and apathy leads us to an early demise. To be sure, there are other factors that affect our health besides these two, but it is our decision to educate ourselves and take personal responsibility that will ultimately build our health.  What wonderful news. That said, if you’ve spent any time trying to build knowledge about health, you’ve probably found that there is a lot of confusing, conflicting, and sometimes downright wrong information on the subject.  In a world with so many competing voices, how do we know who or what to believe? It sure would be nice if we came out of the womb with an up-to-date, 100% accurate owner’s manual.  Since we don’t, perhaps the best place to start when seeking to build a solid foundation of knowledge is to learn a bit about the ways things were set up before we were born.  By zooming out and looking at health in its historical context perhaps we could find a bit of bedrock from which to make informed decisions.  Since every era of history has its challenges, maybe by finding out what challenges are unique to this era we could be better equipped to know who to listen to, and thus, how to live. What I will attempt to do with this book, with a strong dose of humility, is to present you with what I hope will be seen as an instruction manual for how to live a vibrant life in this era of history, and in particular in a western culture.  The idea for this book developed over several years as part of my efforts to affect genuine change in my own life and that of my clients.  The knowledge presented in these pages is the hard won wisdom from years of study and thousands of hours working one-on-one with people. To summarize this book in one sentence would be to say that achieving vibrant health is rarely about finding a missing link, but rather it’s really all about synergy. So, if you’ve ever been frustrated by a lack of results when it comes to making positive changes in your health, this book is for you.  If you’ve ever watched someone else get great results with a given health measure yet wondered why the same thing did little for you, this book will likely uncover what you’ve been missing.  If you are wrestling with a life-threatening condition, a chronic health challenge, a congenital or genetic challenge, or obesity, this book will supply ample amounts of hope.  If you simply have “a few extra pounds,” or a couple “parts” that don’t work as well as you’d like them to, or, if you are among those fortunate enough to currently enjoy great health, you will find this book can give you the confidence to navigate around most of the rampant illness of today. Something you might like to know at the outset is that I am not attached to defending any particular institution or way of thinking.  My attachment is to you being empowered with knowledge, and I find this work to be endlessly rewarding and worth the effort.  The first three chapters of this work will be dedicated to coming to a solid understanding of the how we as a society have come to think about health, the reality of our current health situation and trends, and how we are currently seeking to deal with them.  The next seven (or so) chapters will be all about the hard won secrets of the healthiest people on the planet.  We will explore all the foundational components of great health and discuss how you can make any and all of them a part of your life.  So I hope you enjoy, and I look forward to hearing your stories.  Put on your thinking caps, but leave a hole in the top so you can keep an open mind.  Also, realize that health is a journey, a journey that is rarely linear.  A new part of your journey starts today.  Let’s begin.

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