Time for a Spring Tonic    


May 2012

The word tonic comes from the Greek words tonikos and tonos, which refer to stretching. Another meaning for tonic first emerged in the 18th century, when people referred to a medicine's healthy restorative properties as tonic.

My tonic is knowing summer is just around the corner, daydreaming about being outside in the warm fresh air, getting more active, boosting my physical and mental tone by walking, biking, swimming, fishing, and escaping from the winter doldrums.

It's anticipating running around the lakes, combining a moderate pace with sprints to get the juices flowing again, enjoying the scenery and fresh air, staying on the soft grass when possible, limiting my workouts to 30-45 minutes, and finishing with a cool-down swim. It's good medicine for me.

My passion for long distance road biking has waned the past two years, dwindled from riding several week-long tours in the Rocky Mountains, averaging 90 miles a day, climbing most days, at least one major mountain pass daily, to an occasional 1-2 hour local ride. This summer, for a change of pace, I'm going to ride some of the local trails, like the seniors do. What's your spring tonic?

In This Issue
frequently Asked Questions
A New View of Physical Activity
Muscle Balance & Injury Prevention
A Powerful Healthcare Regime
Home Self Care
Enjoy A Spring Tonic Tea

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why does musculoskeletal pain seem to be so widespread and common nowadays?  As our home and work environments have become more and more automated, we're not spending as much of our free time engaged in physical activity, and research indicates that decreased activity may lead to muscular dysfunction and, ultimately injury. 

  2. What is the most common sports related injury? Ankle sprains. A lateral ankle sprain can develop into chronic ankle instability and hip weakness..  

  3. How often should I get bodywork? I've changed my thinking somewhat, from--only coming in when you need it for a particular body dysfunction and/or pain, usually from injury, overuse, muscle imbalance or a movement deficiency to--it might be a good idea to come in every so often for an assessment and tune-up to decrease the risk of injury..  

A New View of Physical Activity

The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion reports, from decades of research, its major findings:
  • Usually inactive people can improve their health and well-being by becoming even moderately active on a regular basis.
  • Physical activity need not be strenuous to achieve health benefits.
  • Greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount (duration, frequency, or intensity) of physical activity.
  •  Daily physical activity reduces the risk of developing or dying from some of the leading causes of illness and death in the USA, and improves health in the following ways:                          
Physical activity helps to build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, controls weight, and promotes psychological well-being, reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer.


Muscle Balance and Injury Prevention

Most soft tissue pain and musculoskeletal dysfunctions of the neck, shoulders, upper & lower back, hips, knees, feet, etc. are caused by muscle imbalance.

Our major muscle groups work in pairs, and need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. For example, our bicep muscle bends our elbow up to our body during contraction in a biceps curl. The triceps muscle works in opposition to the biceps, and lengthens during the biceps curl to bend the elbow fully.

The biceps which are usually used more, overpowers the opposing weaker triceps, and our corrective protocol to achieve muscle balance around the joint, is to stretch the shortened biceps and strengthen the weaker triceps.
Structural Cranial

A Powerful Health-care Regime 


Research has shown the benefits of massage & bodywork for relieving and eliminating soft tissue pain, body dysfunctions, and tension from stress. In addition, there are many other advantages of receiving bodywork regularly that is truly an investment in your health:
  • Increases immunity

  • Increases joint flexibility

  • Relaxes overused muscles

  • Eliminates headaches

  • Releases endorphins, the body's natural painkiller

  • Improves circulation

  • Enhances quality of sleep

  • Reduces fatigue

  • Increases energy

  • Lowers blood pressure

More and more of my clients are scheduling regular treatments to suit their specific needs and consider our sessions an essential component of their health and wellness plan.


Home Self-care---Stretching & Strengthening
My clients are encouraged to follow-up our sessions with specific stretches and exercises to maintain the new muscle balance, stretching the tight overactive muscle fibers we lengthened during treatment, and strengthening the opposing muscle group that has been overpowered and is weak.

There are a variety of home self-care tools available for assisting in lengthening and releasing tension in the pertinent fascia and tight muscle fibers: foam rollers, the TheraCane, soft tissue mobilizers, percussion devices, softballs, medicine balls, lacrosse balls, Swiss balls, golf balls, etc.

To achieve maximum results, it is best not to overdo your home-care sessions, limiting manual pressure on a tender area to roughly 30 seconds at maximum pain tolerance, 90 seconds for lower intensity areas, and limit the number of sessions per day to your specific needs and within your limitations.  

Enjoy a Spring Tonic Tea
Spring is a great time to invigorate our bodies with a tonic tea. Not all herbs are tonic herbs; some have an overall affect on several bodily systems, while others address a narrow range of processes.

Tonics can be taken in many forms, including tinctures, extracts, capsules--but teas are easy to prepare and nurturing to sip. Use organic herbs for tonic teas whenever possible.

2 parts burdock root
1 part dandelion leaf
2 parts echinacea c/s
1 part ginger root c/s
1 part licorice root c/s
1 part nettle leaf c/s
2 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts sarsaparilla

Combine herbs and mix well. Use two teaspoons herb blend per cup of water, steep for 5-7 minutes and strain. Drink up to four cups per day as a spring tonic. 

Special Offer Through May


Receive a complimentary Zero Balancing session for scheduling an assessment and 1/2 hour tune-up session for only $50.    

Spring Has Sprung  


"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall." 
Nadine Stair 

"The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month." 
Henry Van Dyke 
[Was Henry from Minnesota?] 

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Eden Prairie, MN  55344

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