Category Archives: Massage

Meet Your Psoas.

The Psoas: Is it the most important postural muscle?

Posted: 24 May 2012 07:37 AM PDT

[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Nadine Fawell who blogs at Yoga with Nadine. Check it out!]

Well, I think it is anyway. There are many, many reasons I think this: I could practically write a BOOK about the psoas.

But here’s something to think about.

When we went from walking on four legs to walking on two, we had to find a way to hold our upper bodies, well, up.

In four-legged creatures, the spine is happily suspended between front and back ends. In our case, it pokes up into the air. Our back muscles and belly muscles, and most especially our buttocks muscles had to get a whole lot stronger to hold us up that way.

We developed a gluteus maximus on each side of our butt (that muscle is just called gluteus superficialis in four legged animals). Its main job?

To hold us upright by bringing our hips into extension (backbending). That’s why it’s so big. It has to be, to defy gravity.

See, in this picture:

I am bending backwards and you can see my, erm, gluteus maximus, is working, yes?

I only look so happy, though, because I know I can contract my psoas muscles in the front of my hips to oppose the action of my butt and return me to an upright position.

The psoas is a deep muscle in the front of our hips, which hooks our spines to our thighbones.

Without the psoas, whose main job is to bring the hip into flexion (i.e., thigh closer to belly), those big-ass butt muscles would make it impossible for us to use our arms the way we do now.

Imagine doing a backbend like I am in the photo, and trying to read this post. Or do anything at your computer.

Or drive.

Or eat.

Or walk.

That’s right, if you didn’t have a psoas (also known as a hip flexor) on each side, you wouldn’t be able to bend your leg up against gravity, and the action of your glutes, and take a step.

This shows up in yoga postures too, of course – a tight psoas would make bending backwards like I am doing in the photo really difficult.

Plus, if you couldn’t contract your psoas to lift your leg against gravity, how else would you do Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (aka Extended Hand to Big-Toe Pose)?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the first reason I think the psoas is the most important postural muscle. There are others, involving magic links and its action on the spine. But opposing our glutes and keeping us upright? Pretty important.


Nadine Fawell teaches yoga, drinks coffee, and looks at too many cat pictures. You can find her at, on facebook and twitter.


Warm Stone Massage

Massage is thousands of years old, dating back to ancient China, Japan, India, Egypt, Greece and Rome. Native Americans added a more modern twist by first putting basalt stones, heated by fire, on bodies to heal. Since then, the technique has evolved and now we heat the stones with water and use a variety of differently shaped basalt stones for a deep tissue massage.

Placing and kneading hot stones over muscles helps increase an area’s circulation and blood flow to stimulate healing to painful or damaged muscles. The deep tissue massage and heat of the stones also aid in the ability to move toxins and waste through the body. Massage also promotes relaxation, eases stress and anxiety, as well as alleviates muscle aches and back pain.

A Warm Stone Massage utilizes hot basalt stones, generally that are heated in 120 to 150 degree F water. I will then massage oils into the skin utilizing Swedish and various other massage techniques I have learned in my travels. This relaxes and makes it easier for the body to absorb heat from the stones. I will then place a variety of stones at focal parts of the body and gently massage your muscles with them.  The stones release heat and where they calm and relax the muscles. When stones cool, they are replaced with another heated one during the duration of the massage. A nice way to create a “Spahhhh Day is to follow a Warm Stone Massage with a traditional massage.

During a heated stone massage, the body undergoes numerous physiological and physical changes. This can include an increase in heart rate temperature and rate of breathing. This elevation in the body will rise and dip as the stones are working to heal the body, and it may even continue to do so long after an individual finishes with their massage. This reaction is normal, as the body is reacting and adapting to the effect of the heat on the body.

A heated stone massage is believed to have numerous healing properties and go beyond the traditional massage. The heat can help relieve muscle tension and allow the body to relax and be at ease. A hot stone massage can also help with inflammation, injury, back pain, poor circulation, osteoarthritis, arthritis pain, stress, insomnia, calm nervous system, and help with depression and anxiety.

Contraindicated for individuals with: High blood pressure, circulatory disorders, heart issues.  Not recommended for soon-to-be Mommies.

The Science of Chakras – What the Chakra, Indeed @ YogaGlo


The Science of Chakras – What the Chakra, Indeed


Posted on April 24th, 2012 Alice G. Walton 2 comments

Beginning a yoga practice can feel a little like entering a play already in progress. You can pick up the general storyline pretty quickly, but there are some integral plot details you really need to go back for in order to get the full experience.

By the same token, there are terms used in yoga classes which are a little bit elusive to the beginner. Namastes and Ohms are easier understood, but there is a wealth of vocabulary that reflects trickier concepts. The idea of chakras is one that can be harder to grasp, especially for Westerners (or for me, at least). I’ve kind of avoided delving into the chakra question, but figured I should give it a go, since clearly, having been around for millennia, it isn’t going anywhere. Understanding chakras in the most sciency way was, of course, my goal, since this is generally what makes things tangible and come alive.

What I found in my search, however, surprised me. Of the many people I polled, from doctors to researchers and everyone in between, not many wanted to comment. Some said there was too little research, some said the question was too large to get into quickly, and some just declined to comment. Scientific literature searches didn’t reveal much.

A couple of people did volunteer to “go there.” One was Jeff Migdow, MD, who has taught yoga and headed teacher trainings at Kripalu. He first explained that chakras are typically thought of as “swirling spheres, or spinning vortices of energy. The faster they spin, the more energy is sucked into energy body.”

I told him that I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around that. I wanted to know how they can exist in the physical body – if you could measure them with equipment, or if they were more philosophical in nature.

The Science of Chakras Part I - What the Chakra, Indeed

Migdow suggested that while the concept of chakras is an ancient one, there are some biological links that have been suggested more recently, which may help Western minds feel a little less skeptical. One idea is that each of the chakras corresponds to a nerve plexus in the body – points where nerve bundles branch off to innervate different parts of the body. For example, the root chakra might correspond to the coccygeal plexus, the heart chakra to the heart plexus. Another theory is that the chakras correspond to the endocrine glands of the body: the crown chakra to the pituitary gland, third eye chakra to the pineal gland, the root chakra to the adrenal glands, and so on. Communication within the nerve fibers or fluctuations in the endocrine (hormone) system might correspond to the shifts in energy that some experience as chakras.

While these theories seem logical on some level, they seem to be just that – theories. In the end, I’m not sure there is much empirical Western evidence that the chakras exist physically. But I’m also not so sure that this matters much. It may be more about subtler changes or movements of other particles throughout our bodies. Even more, it may be about how we choose to conceptualize chakras for ourselves that’s the real evidence. As I discovered from researching further, their existence is, quite possibly, larger than the literal.

Stay tuned for more on chakras. In the meantime, please tell us your own thoughts: How do you conceptualize chakras? How do you feel them, experience them, and relate to them, both in class and outside of it?

Alice G. Walton, PhD is a health and science writer, and began practicing (and falling in love with) yoga last year. She is the Associate Editor at and a Contributor at Alice will be exploring yoga’s different styles, history, and philosophy, and sharing what she learns here on the YogaGlo blog. You can follow Alice on Twitter @AliceWalton and Facebook at

Want to learn more about chakras through asana and meditation? Our seven week What the Chakra program allows you to explore the First Chakra, Second Chakra, Third Chakra, Fourth Chakra, Fifth Chakra, Sixth Chakra and Seventh Chakra in two very different ways.


Sweat Science » The incredible unaging triathlete

The incredible unaging triathlete

January 14th, 2012

Here’s a pretty graphic illustration, from a recent paper by Dr. Vonda Wright and her colleagues (hat tip to Laura McIntyre for the forward), of the importance of lifelong physical activity:

It’s from a new study freely available at The Physician and Sportsmedicine that took detailed measurements of 40 masters athletes between the ages of 40 and 81, and found a surprising lack of age-related muscle loss:

This study contradicts the common observation that muscle mass and strength decline as a function of aging alone. Instead, these declines may signal the effect of chronic disuse rather than muscle aging.

Muscle Weaknesses

Adopted from Men’s Journal.

Take a test:

Overhead Squat

  1. Stand barefoot in front of a mirror with you feet shoulder width apart and your arms extended overhead.  Squat down to chair height and then return to upright position.  Repeat 3 times.
  2. If your feet turn outward as you  squat, you probably have tight outer calves and weak  inner calves.
  3. If your knees cave inward you may have weak glutes and tight adductors.
  4.  If your lower back arches, you may have tight hip flexors, erector spinae muscles and, you may  weak abs and glutes.
  5.  If your arms fall forward you may have tight lat and pec muscles and weak scapular muscles or rotator cuff muscles.

Single Leg Squat

  1. Stand barefoot on one foot facing a mirror wit hands on hips. Squat to a comfortable level and return to upright position.  Repeat 3 times.  Switch feet and do three more squats.
  2. If your knees move inward you may have tight groin muscles and weak glutes

Get Rid of GERD

Get rid of heartburn and GERD forever in three simple step

April 16, 2010 in GERD, Myths & Truths | 192 comments

kiss health goodnightNote: this is the sixth and final article in a series about heartburn and GERD. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to read Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IVa, and Part IVb before reading this article.

In this final article of the series, we’re going to discuss three steps to treating heartburn and GERD without drugs. These same three steps will also prevent these conditions from developing in the first place, and keep them from returning once they’re gone.

To review, heartburn and GERD are not caused by too much stomach acid. They are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. Therefore successful treatment is based on restoring adequate stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.

This can be accomplished by following the “three Rs” of treating heartburn and GERD naturally:

  1. Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid.
  2. Replace stomach acid, enzymes and nutrients that aid digestion and are necessary for health.
  3. Restore beneficial bacteria and a healthy mucosal lining in the gut.
  • Reduce factors that promote bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid


As we saw in Part II and Part III, a high carbohydrate diet promotes bacterial overgrowth. Bacterial overgrowth – in particular H. pylori – can suppress stomach acid. This creates a vicious cycle where bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid reinforce each other in a continuous decline of digestive function.

It follows, then, that a low-carb (LC) diet would reduce bacterial overgrowth. To my knowledge there have only been two small studies done to test this hypothesis. The results in both studies were overwhelmingly positive.

The first study was performed by Professor Yancy and colleagues at Duke University. They enrolled five patients with severe GERD that also had a variety of other medical problems, such as diabetes. Each of these patients had failed several conventional GERD treatments before being enrolled in the study. In spite of the fact that some of these patients continued to drink, smoke and engage in other GERD-unfriendly habits, in every case the symptoms of GERD were completely eliminated within one week of adopting a very low carbohydrate (VLC) (<20 grams/day) diet! The patients were able to stop all antacids and prescription stomach medicines and this improvement continued even after they liberalized their carbohydrate intake to a more tolerable 70 grams per day.

The second study (PDF) was performed by Yancy and colleagues a few years later. This time they examined the effects of a VLC diet on eight obese subjects with severe GERD. They measured the esophageal pH of the subjects at baseline before the study began using something called the Johnson-DeMeester score. This is a measurement of how much acid is getting back up into the esophagus, and thus an objective marker of how much reflux is occurring. They also used a self-administered questionnaire called the GSAS-ds to evaluate the frequency and severity of 15 GERD-related symptoms within the previous week.

At the beginning of the diet, five of eight subjects had abnormal Johnson-DeMeester scores. All five of these patients showed a substantial decrease in their Johnson-DeMeester score (meaning less acid in the esophagus). Most remarkably, the magnitude of the decrease in Johnson-DeMeester scores is similar to what is reported with PPI treatment. In other words, in these five subjects a very low carbohydrate diet was just as effective as powerful acid suppressing drugs in keeping acid out of the esophagus.

All eight individuals had evident improvement in their GSAS-ds scores. The GSAS-ds scores decreased from 1.28 prior to the diet to 0.72 after initiation of the diet. What these numbers mean is that the patients all reported significant improvement in their GERD related symptoms. Therefore, there was both objective (Johnson-DeMeester) and subjective (GSAS-ds) improvement in this study.

It’s important to note that obesity is an independent risk factor for GERD, because it increases intra-abdominal pressure and causes dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The advantage to a low-carb diet as a treatment for GERD for those who are overweight is that LC diets are also very effective for promoting weight loss.

I don’t recommend VLC diets for extended periods of time, as they are unnecessary for most people. Once you have recovered your digestive function, a diet low to moderate in carbohydrates should be adequate to prevent a recurrence of symptoms.

An alternative to a VLC is something called a “specific carbohydrate diet” (SCD), or the GAPS diet. In these two approaches it is not the amount of carbohydrates that is important, but the type of carbohydrates. The theory is that the longer chain carbohydrates (disaccharides and polysacharides) are the ones that feed bad bacteria in our guts, while short chain carbohydrates (monosacharides) don’t pose a problem. In practice what this means is that all grains, legumes and starchy vegetables should be eliminated, but fruits and certain non-starchy root vegetables (winter squash, rutabaga, turnips, celery root) can be eaten. These are not “low-carb” diets, per se, but there is reason to believe that they may be just as effective in treating heartburn and GERD. See the resources section below for books and websites about these diets, which have been used with dramatic success to treat everything from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to Crohn’s disease.

Be careful to avoid the processed low-carb foods sold in supermarkets. Instead, I suggest what is known as a “paleolithic” or “primal” approach to nutrition. Mark’s Daily Apple is a great online resource for this approach, and his book “Primal Blueprint” is a good summary of the principles.

Fructose and artificial sweeteners

As I pointed out in Part II, fructose and artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase bacterial overgrowth. Artificial sweeteners should be completely eliminated, and fructose (in processed form especially) should be reduced.


High fiber diets and bacterial overgrowth are a particularly dangerous mix. Remember, Almost all of the fiber and approximately 15-20% of the starch we consume escape absorption. Carbohydrates that escape digestion become food for intestinal bacteria.

Prebiotics, which can be helpful in re-establishing a healthy bacterial balance in some patients, should probably be avoided in patients with heartburn and GERD. Several studies show that fructo-oligosaccharides (prebiotics) increase the amount of gas produced in the gut.

The other problem with fiber is that it can bind with nutrients and remove them from the body before they have a chance to be absorbed. This is particularly problematic in GERD sufferers, who may already be deficient in key nutrients due to long term hypochlorydria (low stomach acid).

H. pylori

In Part III we looked at the possible relationship between H. pylori and GERD. While I think it’s a contributing factor in some cases, the question of whether and how to treat it is less clear. There is some evidence that H. pylori is a normal resident on the human digestive tract, and even plays some protective and health-promoting roles. If this is true, complete eradication of H. pylori may not be desirable. Instead, a LC or specific carbohydrate diet is probably a better choice as it will simply reduce the bacterial load and bring the gut flora back into a state of relative balance.

The exception to this may be in serious or long-standing cases of GERD that aren’t responding to a VLC or LC diet. In this situation, it may be worthwhile to get tested for H. pylori and treat it more aggressively.

Dr. Wright, author of Why Stomach Acid is Good For You, suggests using mastic (a resin from a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern variety of pistachio tree) to treat H. pylori. A 1998 in vitro study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that mastic killed several strains of H. pylori, including some that were resistant to conventional antibiotics. Studies since then, including in vivo experiments, have shown mixed results. Mastic may be a good first-line therapy for H. pylori, with antibiotics as a second choice if the mastic treatment isn’t successful.

  • Replace stomach acid, enzymes and nutrients that aid digestion and are necessary for health

HCL with Pepsin

If you have an open-minded doctor, or one that is aware of the connection between low stomach acid and GERD, ask her to test your stomach acid levels. The test is quite simple. A device called a Heidelberg capsule, which consists of a tiny pH sensor and radio transmitter compressed into something resembling a vitamin capsule, is lowered into the stomach. When swallowed, the sensors in the capsule measure the pH of the stomach contents and relay the findings via radio signal to a receiver located outside the body.

In cases of mild to moderate heartburn, actual testing for stomach acid production at Dr. Wright’s Tahoma clinic shows that hypochlorydria occurs in over 90 percent of thousands tested since 1976. In these cases, replacing stomach acid with HCL supplements is almost always successful.

Although testing actual stomach acid levels is preferable, it is not strictly necessary. There is a reasonably reliable, “low-tech” method that can be performed at home to determine whether HCL supplementation will provide a benefit. To do this test, pick up some HCL capsules that contain pepsin. HCL should always be taken with pepsin because it is likely that if the stomach is not producing enough HCL, it is also not producing enough pepsin.

Note: HCL should never be taken (and this test should not be performed) by anyone who is also using any kind of anti-inflammatory medication such as corticosteroids (e.g. predisone), aspirin, Indocin, ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil, etc.) or other NSAIDS. These drugs can damage the GI lining that supplementary HCL might aggravate, increasing the risk of gastric bleeding or ulcer.

To minimize side effects, start with one 650 mg capsule of HCL w/pepsin in the early part of each meal. If there are no problems after two or three days, increase the dose to two capsules at the beginning of meals. Then after another two days increase to three capsules. Increase the dose gradually in this stepwise fashion until you feel a mild burning sensation. At that point, reduce the dosage to the previous number of capsules you were taking before you experienced burning and stay at that dosage. Over time you may find that you can continue to reduce the dosage, or you may also find that you may need to increase the dosage.

In Dr. Wright’s clinic, most patients end up at a dose of 5-7 650 mg capsules. In my more limited experience, 3-4 capsules is the norm.


Another way to stimulate acid production in the stomach is by taking bitter herbs. “Bitters” have been used in traditional cultures for thousands of years to stimulate and improve digestion. More recently, studies have confirmed the ability of bitters to increase the flow of digestive juices, including HCL, bile, pepsin, gastrin and pancreatic enzymes. 1

Unsurprisingly, there aren’t many clinical studies evaluating the therapeutic potential of unpatentable and therefore unprofitable bitters. However, in one uncontrolled study in Germany, where a high percentage of doctors prescribe herbal medicine, gentian root capsules provided dramatic relief of GI symptoms in 205 patients.

The following is a list of bitter herbs commonly used in Western and Chinese herbology:

  • Barberry bark
  • Caraway
  • Dandelion
  • Fennel
  • Gentian root
  • Ginger
  • Globe artichoke
  • Goldenseal root
  • Hops
  • Milk thistle
  • Peppermint
  • Wormwood
  • Yellow dock

Bitters are normally taken in very small doses – just enough to evoke a strong taste of bitterness. Kerry Bone, a respected Western herbalist, suggests 5 to 10 drops of a 1:5 tincture of the above herbs taken in 20 mL of water.

An even better option is to see a licensed herbalist who can prescribe a formula containing several of the herbs above as appropriate for your particular condition.

Apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, raw (unpasteurized) sauerkraut and pickles are other time-tested, traditional remedies that often relieve the symptoms of heartburn and GERD. However, although these remedies may resolve symptoms, they do not increase nutrient absorption and assimilation to the extent that HCL supplements do. This may be important for those who have been taking acid suppressing drugs for a long period.

It is also important to avoid consuming liquid during meals. Water is especially problematic, because it literally dilutes the concentration of stomach acid. A few sips of wine is probably fine, and may even be helpful.

Finally, for those who have been taking acid stopping drugs for several years, it may be necessary to replace the nutrients that are not absorbed without sufficient stomach acid. These include B12, folic acid, calcium, iron and zinc. It’s best to get your levels tested by a qualified medical practitioner, who can then help you replace them through nutritional changes and/or supplementation.

  • Restore beneficial bacteria and a healthy mucosal lining in the gut


Because bacterial overgrowth is a major factor in heartburn and GERD, restoring a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria is an important aspect of treatment. Along with performing several other functions essential to digestive health, beneficial bacteria (probiotics) protect against potential pathogens through “competitive inhibition” (i.e. competing for resources).

While I haven’t seen any specific research on probiotics in the treatment of GERD, numerous studies have demonstrated their effectiveness in treating a variety of G.I. conditions.

Researchers in Australia have shown that probiotics are effective in reducing bacterial overgrowth and altering fermentation patterns in the small bowel in patients with IBS. Probiotics have also been shown to be effective in treating Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and other digestive conditions.

I am often asked what type of probiotics I recommend. First, I am not a big believer in supplements. I think we should always attempt to get the nutrients we need from food. This is also true for probiotics. Fermented foods have been consumed for their probiotic effects for thousands of years. What’s more, contrary to popular belief and the marketing of commercial probiotic manufacturers, foods like yogurt and kefir generally have a much higher concentration of beneficial microorganisms than probiotic supplements do.

For example, even the most potent commercial probiotics claim to contain somewhere between one and five billion microorganisms per serving. (I say “claim” to contain because independent verification studies have shown that most commercial probiotics do not contain the amount of microorganisms they claim to.) Contrast that with a glass of homemade kefir, a fermented milk product, contains as many as 5 trillion beneficial microorganisms!

What’s more, fermented milk products like kefir and yogurt offer more benefits than beneficial bacteria alone, including minerals, vitamins, protein, amino acids, L-carnitine, fats, CLA, and antimicrobial agents. Studies have even shown that fermented milk products can improve the eradication rates of H. pylori by 5-15%.

The problem with fermented milk products in the treatment of heartburn and GERD, however, is that milk is relatively high in carbohydrates. This may present a problem for people with severe bacterial overgrowth. However, relatively small amounts of kefir and yogurt are therapeutic and may be well tolerated. It’s best to make kefir and yogurt at home, because the microorganism count will be much higher. Lucy’s Kitchen Shop sells a good home yogurt maker, and Dom’s Kefir site has exhaustive information on all things kefir. If you do buy the home yogurt maker, I suggest you also buy the glass jar that Lucy’s sells to make it in (rather than using the plastic jar it comes with).

Another option is to eat non-dairy (and thus lower-carb) unpasteurized (raw) sauerkraut and pickles and/or drink a beverage called kombucha. Raw sauerkraut can easily be made at home, or sometimes found at farmer’s markets. Bubbies brand raw pickles are sold at health food stores, as is kombucha, but both of these can also be made quite easily at home.

If you do choose to take capsules, make sure the brand you choose is reputable and the viability of their product has been independently verified. Natren is such a brand in the US.

Bone broth and DGL

Restoring a healthy gut lining is another important part of recovering from heartburn and GERD. Chronic stress, bacterial overgrowth, and certain medications such as steroids, NSAIDs and aspirin can damage the lining of the stomach. Since it is the mucosal lining of the stomach that protects it from its own acid, a damaged stomach lining can cause irritation, pain and ultimately, ulcers.

Homemade bone broth soups are effective in restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach. Bone broth is rich in collagen and gelatin, which have been shown to benefit people with ulcers. It’s also high in proline, a non-essential amino acid that is an important precursor for the formation of collagen. Bone broth also contains glutamine, an important metabolic fuel for intestinal cells that has been shown to benefit the gut lining in animal studies. See this article and this one for more information about the healing power of bone broth, and how to make it.

Although I’m not big on supplements, as I explained above, I’m not averse to using them when they can be helpful – especially for short periods. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) has been shown to be effective in treating gastric and duodenal ulcers, and works as well in this regard as Tagamet or Zantac, with far fewer side effects and no undesirable acid suppression. In animal studies, DGL has even been shown to protect the stomach lining against damage caused by aspirin and other NSAIDs.

DGL works by raising the concentration of compounds called prostaglandins, which promote mucous secretion, stabilize cell membranes, and stimulate new cell growth – all of which contributes to a healthy gut lining. Both chronic stress and use of NSAIDs suppress prostaglandin production, so it is vital for anyone dealing with any type of digestive problem (including GERD) to find ways to manage their stress and avoid the use of NSAIDs as much as possible.

When natural treatments may not be enough

There may be some cases when an entirely natural approach is not enough. When there is tissue damage in the esophagus, for example, a surgical procedure called “gastroplication” which repairs the LES valve may be necessary. These procedures don’t have the potential to create nutrient deficiencies and disease the way acid blockers do. It is advisable for anyone suffering from a severe case of GERD to consult with a knowledgeable physician.


The mainstream medical approach to treating heartburn and GERD involves taking acid stopping drugs for as long as these problems occur. Unfortunately, because these drugs not only don’t address the underlying cause of these problems but may make it worse, this means that people who start taking antacid drugs end up taking them for the rest of their lives.

This is a serious problem because acid stopping drugs promote bacterial overgrowth, weaken our resistance to infection, reduce absorption of essential nutrients, and increase the likelihood of developing IBS, other digestive disorders, and cancer. The manufacturers of these drugs have always been aware of these problems. When acid-stopping drugs were first introduced, it was recommended that they not be taken for more than six weeks. Clearly this prudent advice has been discarded, as it is not uncommon today to encounter people who have been on these drugs for decades – not weeks.

What is especially disturbing about this is that heartburn and GERD are easily prevented and cured by making simple dietary and lifestyle changes, as I have outlined in this final article.

Unfortunately, the corruption of our “disease-care” system by the financial interests of the pharmaceutical companies virtually guarantees that this crucial information will remain obscure. Drug companies make more than $7 billion a year selling acid suppressing medications. The last thing they want is for doctors and their patients to learn how to treat heartburn and GERD without these drugs. And since 2/3 of all medical research is sponsored by drug companies, it’s virtually guaranteed that we won’t see any large studies on the effects of a low-carb diet on acid reflux and GERD.

So once again it’s up to us to discover the truth and be our own advocates. I hope this series of articles has served you in that goal.

I have created a “myth busing report” page for heartburn and GERD which contains an index of these articles, as well links to books and other offsite resources. If anyone you know is suffering from heartburn and GERD, please direct them to

  1. Wright, Jonathan M.D. Why Stomach Acid is Good For You. M Evans 2001. p.142

Office Ergonomics

So you either need to improve your ergonomics while sitting at a desk all day, or maybe you want to subtly improve your core strength; here are the solutions!

Here’s the necessary balance ball chair:

Gaiam Balance Ball Chair


Best Price $61.99
or Buy New $70.99

And here’s the kneeling chair:

Kneeling Office Chair with Wood Fram…

Flash Furniture

Best Price $71.50
or Buy New $80.99

Either is a great choice for improving core strength.




I love this word.

The dictionary says, “any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.”

This is how I feel about my tools.  If I was living in the 1600’s, I’d probably be burnt at the stake for all my lotions, potions, herbs and remedies.  I am always happy when mixing up new scents and foundations for my massage and bodywork practice.

I received a massage session today.  And one on Monday.  Two very different modalities.  Two very healing and heavenly trips to Nirvana.  I totally lose myself in a session, because that is exactly what I want my clients to do.  As I am getting massaged, I realize what a gift it is to be able to help someone lose themselves in space and time.  What a gift it is that I am capable of doing this.  The only thing better than giving that special gift to someone is having a massage myself.


The dictionary says,

“the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature.”

The desired effect being to transport to another realm, another natural plane, just for a little while.

A rest.

A recovery.


Massage + Alchemy = Magic.

Thank you Suzanne and Leah for reminding me of everything I already know.

Debbie Forbes, LMT

Massage Therapy is a very specialized service.  You are special and uniquely you!  My Massage Background is varied and I’ve been to Hawaii, the Bahamas and all over the continental United States studying various forms and modalities.  I like to say I have many different techniques in my “Doctor’s Bag”. I was licensed by the state of Florida in 1993 (MA16310). I am also a certified personal trainer.

In each massage session with me you will receive a therapy session for who you are today.  We may use deep tissue, Lomi Lomi and neuromuscular techniques.  Perhaps on another visit there may be some Thai Yoga Massage thrown in for good measure.  The most important part is that you feel vibrant and ready to take on the world when you leave my cocoon.

Price List

60 minute Massage Session:  $65

90 minute Massage Session $95

If you really use your body, athletically or because of lifestyle, you know regular massage sessions will keep you moving and grooving!  To that end, special pricing is available.

Series Pricing:

Three 60 minute massages:  $175  ($58.30 each)

Three 90 minute massages:  $260 ($86.60 each)

Series expire after One year.

Home Visits:

$95 for the first hour, $60 each following hour.

Purchase a gift certificate for a loved one, friend or family member by contacting me and I will send the gift certificate to them and an invoice to you.  Easy Peasy!