Just Breathe…

Just Breathe… 308 163 Jennifer Lane

When I instruct people on how to exercise properly, I always talk about breathing. Why? Because the diaphragm (the key muscle used to take a deep breath) is an important part of our core muscles. Deep breathing also can help mobilize the spine and calm the nervous system.

Here’s how that works…

The main muscle that allows us to breathe is the diaphragm. It lives right under our ribs and is one of the core muscles. Breathing “through” an exercise helps you engage your core muscles. As you inflate your lungs with a deep breath, your rib cage also expands helping to keep the mid back moving. As you take a deep breath repeatedly you also calm the nervous system down. Deep breathing cues the body that it is ready to rest and digest, so if you find yourself in a stressful situation, stop and take a few deep breaths. It’s amazing how much it can help!

Here are some ways that you can improve your breathing. Take a deep inhale through your nose and exhale through an open mouth like you are fogging up a mirror. Lay on your back with your arms in a “cactus position” opening through your chest. Breathe with emphasis on feeling your rib cage expand. You could also try lying on your back resting one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. As you breathe deeply focus on feeling movement under both hands.

Try one of these deep breathing techniques and note how you feel. You might alleviate some pain in your mid back or relax from a stressful day. When you work out next, think about breathing throughout your routine. Try not to hold your breath but keep a constant rhythm to your exhalation and inhalation. Try it out!

Common Running Injuries

Common Running Injuries 1920 661 Jennifer Lane

Running is such an accessible way to get a great workout. You need a pair of sneakers, and some motivation and off you go! But as a physical therapist, I see a lot of injuries that arise from running or jogging and they all tend to be over-use injuries. Hamstring strains, groin pulls, knee, hip or back pain are the most common that I treat and can side-line the most committed of runners.

So, what do you do if you are dealing with pain and you can’t run anymore? Can PT help you recover? Yes! I will go over a couple of the most common injuries that I see and how PT can facilitate the healing process.

First, let’s look at the physical therapy evaluation. A Physical Therapist evaluates muscular balance surrounding ankles, knees, hips and the back. When muscles are healthy, they are both flexible and strong. When running there is a specific pattern of recruitment and timing of muscle activity that helps you be an efficient and strong athlete. If there is dysfunction in the firing of muscles or the timing of recruitment, it can lead to pain. Let’s look at 2 common complaints to better understand this…

A hamstring strain, which may present as pain in the back of the thigh or right under the buttock is a common running injury. It hurts when your first start running, may feel better after a mile but really gets flared up running hills or long distances. This is usually due to the hamstrings being over-utilized while the glutes (butt muscles) are not doing their job. The glutes are a powerhouse muscle that helps support your leg in single leg stance and they extend the leg (bring the leg behind your in your stride). The hamstring’s main job is to bend the knee but with dysfunctional patterning, it can also extend the hip. When it does this instead of the glutes, it gets strained, over-used and fatigued, leading to pain and possible tearing. PT addresses this problem through proper stretching, hands-on manual therapy to reduce pain and then specific exercises to re-balance muscle activity.

Knee pain is the single biggest complaint I hear from runners. There are many different reasons for it but I’m going to look at one. Patello-femoral syndrome or Chondromalacia Patella is a dysfunction that causes pain under and around the knee cap. Pain increases with prolonged running, running downhill or walking down stairs. It can be due to tight muscles on the outside or lateral aspect of the knee, and under-firing muscles on the medial (inside) aspect of the knee joint. There is also usually significant weakness in the lateral hip muscles, the gluteus medius and minimus, that creates poor alignment at the knee, especially in single leg stance. Treatment involves loosening tight muscles, re-activating the “lazy” ones, strengthening the hip musculature and mobilizing the knee caps.

Techniques I like to use and have found very effective in getting people back to running include manual therapy (hands-on techniques to muscles and joints), neuro-muscular re-education, functional dry needling and therapeutic exercise prescription. Homework includes dynamic and static stretching, balance work and running-specific exercise.

So, don’t give up on your running program if you have pain. See a PT to get properly evaluated and start your return to running ASAP!

For a list of Running Races in the Denver Area, Click Here.

To make an appointment at Holistic PT, Click Here.

Return to Running Protocol

Return to Running Protocol 1920 661 Jennifer Lane

It’s that season… weather is getting nicer, days are getting longer and you are motivated to get in shape, so you set a goal of doing a 1/2 marathon, marathon or triathlon. Training is off to a good start but then you develop knee pain. What now? You rest, it feels better and then you return to running again and the pain comes back. Going up and down stairs has also become painful. You don’t know what you should do because, well, you already paid the entry fee for the race and, in the past you have just been able to work through the pain. But what if something more is going on? Do you need to see an orthopedic specialist? Are you going to do permanent damage to your joints if you ignore the pain?

My suggestion is always… go see a Physical Therapist! No expensive MRI required. PT’s are able to use diagnostic testing to determine whether ligaments, meniscus, joint or soft tissue is the problem. Once the cause of the pain is determined, how fast can you get back to running, biking, training? Physical therapy is an excellent resource to help reduce pain, restore normal tissue function and help create better muscular balance. In addition to these hands-on techniques, I have used a Return to Running Protocol from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts for a number of years. This is for those people who are serious about resuming their running after knee pain has gotten in their way. Follow this link to see the whole protocol. Return to Running Protocol.

And call Holistic PT today to make an appointment!

Healthy Bladder Habits

Healthy Bladder Habits 416 416 Jennifer Lane

To understand what a healthy bladder is, you can start with thinking about what an unhealthy bladder looks like. Do you have severe urgency throughout the day? Do you find yourself always knowing where bathrooms are, calculating how long you will be away from home or avoiding activities that may take you away from easy access to a bathroom? Do you wear pads, panty liners or do you change your underwear or pants regularly due to leakage? No matter how many pregnancies you’ve had, abdominal surgeries, or years of dealing with these issues, there is always room for improvement and pelvic therapy can really help!

Here are some healthy bladder habits:

  1. Space fluid intake throughout the day (sip on water all day long)
  2. No “just in case” peeing. You are leaving your house and you think “Do I really need to pee or am I going just in case? This is not good for your bladder as it can re-teach your brain and bladder to have bad habits. It can also irritate pelvic floor muscles.
  3. When emptying a full bladder, you should be able to count at least “8 mississippis”. Anything less than that indicates that you did not have a full bladder.
  4. Do you pee in a straight line or does it pull to the right or left or spray all over the toilet bowl? If urine does not fall in a straight line, you may have tight pelvic floor muscles causing dysfunction.

How much water is enough?

A quick and easy way to calculate how much water you should drink is to take your weight and divide by 2. This is the amount in ounces that you should drink per day. For example, if you weigh 200 lbs, you should drink 100 oz of fluid per day. 2/3 of this fluid intake should be water.

Having problems with your bladder? Pelvic therapy can help. Contact Holistic PT to schedule an appointment today!

Checking in on New Year’s Resolutions

Checking in on New Year’s Resolutions 806 596 Jennifer Lane

We are 7 weeks into 2019. How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? If you are like me, you’ve been successful with some, parts of some or have missed the mark all together. It’s never too late to re-group and get re-focused on your resolutions. Remember, it’s your health that is at stake!

Here’s how I’ve done with my resolutions. I’ve spent time with friends, family and with myself unwinding, having fun, seeing new places. I skied at Snowmass with my family and a great group of friends and neighbors, I went to Akumal, Mexico with 25 fabulous women for fitness and relaxation and I have made time to have lunch with people important to me.  Have I kept every Friday free and clear of patient care? No… but I’ve been about 80% good about that though. Which is a start! Have I drunk 70 oz of water per day? No, but I’m trying and I’m definitely better than before. I have been journaling most days, writing about what I’m grateful for and what my daily goals are. I forget some days to do this but then I pick it right back up.

My point in sharing this is that resolutions are not easy for anyone. We set them with our best intentions in mind and then we fail. But I think the real point of making resolutions is to engage in the process of change. You may not achieve the end result, but you have set out on a journey to change something in your life that is holding you back. So, keep after those resolutions, keep thinking about what you can do to make those changes that you want. I will do the same.

Trigger Point Dry Needling

Trigger Point Dry Needling 575 383 Jennifer Lane

I will be certified in trigger point dry needling (TDN) as of December 9th. What is TDN and what does it treat? Dry Needling is a technique physical therapists use (where allowed by state law) for the treatment of pain and movement impairments.   The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted through the skin into areas of the muscle. The needle acts as an extension of the finger, being able to access muscles much deeper.

Other terms commonly used to describe dry needling, include trigger point dry needling, and intramuscular manual therapy.

Dry needling is not acupuncture, a practice based on traditional Chinese medicine and performed by acupuncturists. Dry needling is a part of modern Western medicine principles and supported by research. Learn more about dry needling.

Can you get PT for free? Yes!

Can you get PT for free? Yes! 1200 800 Jennifer Lane

Have you Met Your Insurance Deductible this Year?

Do you have a family insurance plan? Have you had surgery this year? Have you used your insurance more than usual? If you answered yes, you are more likely to have a $0 balance remaining on your out-of-pocket expenses. This means the cost could be minimal or completely covered by your insurance plan.

Do you have unused money on your HSA account? Close to having met your insurance deductible for the year? Now is the time to come in for physical therapy! Are you feeling aches & pains? Need to work on your core? Les us help you get a head start going into 2019, before your deductible renews again.

See Jenn Lane, PT at Holistic PT for:

  • Pelvic Therapy
  • Vestibular Rehab
  • Manual Orthopedic Therapy
  • Post-op/Post-Injury Rehab
  • Wellness Consultation


Frankincense: The King of Oils

Frankincense: The King of Oils 241 360 Jennifer Lane

I want to tell you about Frankincense, it’s history, how to use it and how you can get it for free! You may be familiar with the smell of frankincense if you have spent any time in church. Frankincense and Myrrh were diffused during the hoidays, swung around by the priest in a vessel while he walked up and down the aisles. But did you know that frankincense is a powerful essential oil that can help improve your complexion, boost your immune system, support your nervous system, and eliminate headaches? This is why it is called the King of Oils. If you use essential oils in your daily routine, then you know Frankincense can be used for almost anything. Here are just 10 uses for this amazing oil…

  1. Relieves Stress
  2. Promotes Good Sleep
  3. Boosts Immunity
  4. Reduces Inflammation
  5. Fights Oral Infections
  6. Nourishes Skin and Reduces Acne
  7. Relieves Digestive Issues
  8. Alleviates Respiratory Problems
  9. Balances Hormone Levels
  10. Kills Harmful Germs and Bacteria

In ancient times, it was considered “Liquid Gold” and was one of the most valued essential oils in the world. It has been used worldwide in religious ceremonies, during meditation and for overall wellness for many years. DoTerra incorporates it into most of its skin care line and it is consistently one of the most popular oils.

This December, you can get it for free! When you place a 200 PV order with doTerra, they will send you a 15mL bottle for free. It is regularly priced $69.75 (wholesale). This year, give the gift of good health and get your holiday shopping done all at once with doTerra products, and buy something nice for yourself. You deserve it! Need help placing an order? Contact me directly. I am here to help! For more information and uses of frankincense, click here.


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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.

Bladder Health

Bladder Health 520 250 Jennifer Lane

As a pelvic therapist, one of the most common diagnoses I see is urinary incontinence. This sometimes can be called Over-Active Bladder Syndrome (incorrectly). One job of pelvic floor muscles is to be able to close the urethra (the tube that leads from bladder to outside the body) when you are not peeing. We need strong and healthy pelvic floor muscles so that you can jump and hop and sneeze and cough without leaking urine. We also need control of pelvic floor muscles so that we can avoid running to the bathroom with severe urgency. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are struggling with urinary incontinence.

First of all, you do not need to deal with urinary leakage. Just because you had a baby, doesn’t mean you have to deal with leakage. Just because you are a woman older than 60 doesn’t mean you should be leaking. Kegels are not the only answer to gaining strength in pelvic floor muscles. Relaxation of these muscles is important too!

Restricting your water intake will not make you leak less! You should be drinking water all day, not coffee, not tea, not juice, but water. To figure out how much, take your weight and divide in half. Replace pounds with ounces and this is how much you should drink each day. For instance, If you way 140 lbs, divide by 2 for 70 lbs, change to 70 ounces. The inside of the bladder is lined with a mucus membrane. It likes to be awash with water, not acidic drinks or food like soda or coffee.

The bladder takes 2-4 hours to fill up. Are you peeing every 30-60 minutes? Then you are peeing too frequently. When you pee, is it only for a few seconds? A full bladder will take about 10 seconds or more to empty. Try counting next time! I give all of my clients a Daily Voiding Log to fill out. This tool helps reveal bad habits and patterns and it helps focus the therapy.

Many clients ask me, can incontinence be fixed. And the answer is “YES”. As long as you do your exercises, make modifications to your fluid intake and change your behavior surrounding frequent urination. Still have more questions? Make an appointment today with a pelvic floor specialist!

Reducing the Toxic Load in your Home and your Body

Reducing the Toxic Load in your Home and your Body 275 183 Jennifer Lane

Every week I go to the local market and buy organic fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and eggs. My family and I eat most meals at home, cooking with healthy fats, and balanced nutrition. Recently, I started thinking about all the other products I buy for the household. As needed, I run down to Target to re-stock the kids and my husband and I on deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, facial cleanser and lotion, to name just a few. It dawned on me that the products that we put in our bodies should also be organic, healthy and plant-based. The chemicals listed on these product bottles was mind-boggling. And I kept thinking, “We are putting these chemicals on our bodies everyday”. It was time to make a drastic change. I pulled out all these products that I have bought and started trying to figure out ways to replace them. Luckily for me, I was able to find an entire product line from one company, DoTerra to replace all the products that my family and I had been using. So I placed my order and we all started using the new products.

I wasn’t convinced that they were going to be as effective as what we were using. Lots of all-natural products don’t seem to last as long, work as well, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised! Not only was I blown away by the quality of the products, we all started seeing secondary benefits to using them. After using the Shampoo and Conditioner for a month, my hair felt thicker, fuller and healthier. The deodorant did not leave any heavy residue on our clothes and the lotion was deeply moisturizing and healing to small skin irritations.

I continue to replace products in my house. Next project will be the cleaning cupboard but for now I feel really good about how I have reduced the toxic load on my family and myself!

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