Monday, February 28, 2011

Buy This Apartment

I made a quick video tour of our apartment which goes up for sale on March 1.
It’s just a quick video; nothing fancy.  You really need to come by and see it to get a feeling for how charming it is.

A penthouse duplex in an elevator building with a security door that requires a secret code for entry after 11pm. The listing price is $645,000.
One thing I neglected to show in the video is the spectacular view of Manhattan.  From the living room and from the roof-deck you’re facing uptown and have a skyline view of the AOL/Time Warner Center, the Hearst Building, World Wide Plaza Buildings, The New Times Building and many other prominent skyscrapers. 

From the privacy of the roof deck, you can see the changing colors on the Empire State Building, watch fireworks over Central Park or over the Hudson River, and see the ball drop and the confetti rise up over Times Square. 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Energy Flow Vibration Exercises

Your brain is your key to health. These exercises are meant to be practiced with a mental focus on your body’s energy. This is truly a mind-body connection exercise. 
Energy Flow Vibration uncovers your tremendous natural power to create, to heal and to love. Health is created by enhancing energy flow in the body. Here are some basic exercises you can do at home to improve your brain health.  These are just meant to be a sample of the types of things you can do. Feel free to come up with your own or to spend a lot more time on the ones I’m showing. 
Practice them with mindful and grand intentions that you are transforming yourself. Don’t just go through the motions of the exercises. Without this mindset, they won’t be as effective. Hold a very detailed picture in your mind, of “Yourself As You Would Like To Be.”
Everyone’s mind is a little bit different, so you’ll eventually find the groove that works best for you, but follow these guidelines to get you started:
Bigger Isn’t Always Better - the energy is the focus, not the movement.
Practice Anytime, For As Long As You Want - recommended daily: ten sessions of ten minutes each. But whatever you can do and whenever you can do it, is appropriate. 
Be Aware Of Your Surroundings - notice that you get different effects in different environments. 
Be Confident - focus on yourself and you will be right
Use Music If You Want - but beware of letting the music drive the beat. Your body’s energy should set the beat. 
Send a Positive Message To Yourself - focus on and/or repeat a healing thought
Sometimes as your physical blockages are tapped into, it may release bad energy in the form of body aches or colds or heaviness or fatigue. This is not unusual. It is temporary and should not be discouraging. 
Follow this sequence in all of the movements in your practice:
Deliberately Make Vibrations in Your Body - imagine that you are shaking off all of your life’s complications and releasing tension in your body. 
Let Your Whole Body Ride the Rhythm - Allow the vibration to be subtle and spread throughout your body. You may start making spontaneous, healing movements
Follow The Flow of Energy - At some point you will notice a renewed burst of vigor and your movements will become bigger and more free. Your body’s healing process has just been unleashed and you will notice that you start to assume healing postures unique for your needs.
Maintain Healthy Brain Waves - similar to meditation and biofeedback, medically beneficial Alpha and Theta waves
Manage Stress
Activate All Parts of Your Brain
Develop Positive Habits - this practice can assist your brain in remaining pliable and open to change
Create Happiness - you’ll return to a simple state of being
Restore a Healthy Energy Flow in the Body 
Expand Your Awareness - of yourself and of the universe

Like a surfer rides the ocean, so you should approach the work of your Energy Flow. He must wipe out a hundred times to get that one good ride. But each wipe out is a lesson about balance and each lesson brings him one step closer to mastery. This is how you approach the work of living in and exploring and healing your body. 

This work was inspired during the time I spent as a Body Tuning apprentice with Dr Shmuel Tatz, creator of Body Tuning. One day he handed me a book that one of his patients had lent to him. He asked me to look at it and tell him if I saw anything in it that would be useful to us as Body Tuners. 
There was enough good information from the book about how our minds control our bodies and how techniques that relax the mind will also ease pain and tension from the body. And there were enough exercises in the book that I could make a short demonstrational video. 
But there was nothing in the book that I could bring back to the doctor.  There was nothing in the book that a Body Tuner isn’t already using. Body Tuning draws from everything. It is not a ‘technique.’  The concept of technique is limiting in and of itself. It binds the practitioner to a certain way of practicing. A Body Tuner listens to the body and responds to its needs; whatever that may be.  
If you go to a chiropractor, you can bet you’re going to get chiropractic care. Just as you would expect to be Rolfed if you went to a Rolfer or operated on if you sought the advice of a surgeon. But if you visit a Body Tuner, you will only get what is right for your body at the time. 
You may have three consecutive visits to a Body Tuner for the same issue, but have three completely different treatments. The treatments depend on your current condition, which is hopefully changing with each visit.
The reason Body Tuning is so effective, is also a major reason why it is so hard to describe.  Because there is no method. 


Thursday, February 24, 2011

JAGfit Transformation Program

I have created a home-study program designed to help you transform into having a healthy lifestyle.

Watch this video that explains a little bit about where it came from and how it works, then click below to get started with your transformation.

This program will teach you...

- exactly how much water you should be drinking.

- a fun way to get a variety of nutritious foods in your diet (without counting calories)

- many techniques for relaxation and dealing with stress

- a few breathing techniques for a variety of purposes

- how to get better quality sleep

- how to walk properly

- a simple way to address kinks, aches and pains in your body

- a thorough explanation of the 'best exercise you can do'

and many other tips and guidance towards your healthy lifestyle.

This is a 90 day home study program that includes an email each day.  Each email contains another step towards implementing your healthy lifestyle.  If you tried to do it all at once, it would be overwhelming, but this step-by-step approach is so painless that you won't even realize your life is changing until people start to ask you what you've been doing because you look great.  You'll also feel great.  Most people report that they have more energy after only the first week of the program.

You are supported along the way.  The whole time you're in the program you can contact me for personal assistance.  If any email doesn't make sense, or if you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of the program you are free to email me and I'll respond within 24 hours.

You have access to one-on-one coaching for three months for less than the cost of a single private session with me.

To get started, click the Buy Now button below.  As soon as we receive your $99 payment, you'll get your first email and you'll be off and running towards your new Healthy Lifestyle.

90 Day Program

Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Being Strong and Healthy While Doing Housework

I’ve been spending this entire week doing repairs and improvements around the house. Doing all of this manual labor has gotten me thinking.  I’m lucky I know how to use my body properly or I may be making myself sore from all of this.
I hear all the time from people who hurt their backs while doing manual labor.  It doesn’t happen as much to people who do it for a living as compared to people who don’t.  Because when people who don’t move that much set out to do something physical, they may not have good habits established and may not be practiced in the best ways to move.
I’ve made a little video here to get you started thinking about ways you can move your body while doing simple household chores.
The main emphasis is to protect your back while moving around the house, but these principles can also be applied to having proper body mechanics when exercising or doing anything physical.
Notice that the movements apply to things that don’t even seem to be strenuous. Many back injuries occur from simple things like bending over, when there is no attention to the details of ergonomic movement.  By adding this attention to detail you can help to ensure you have a strong healthy back for your entire life.
And of course this is not a complete, comprehensive list of all the ways to properly use your body, it’s just a small sampling.  But I hope this inspires you to take these tenets and apply them to the rest of your life.
Ok, I better get back to my chores.  Enjoy this...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Preparing the Apartment to Sell

I’m spending this week getting the apartment ready to show.
The plan is to be able to put the place on the market on March 1. So, I’m spending all of my time this week getting rid of clutter, cleaning up all the nooks and crannies and fixing those little things like loose handles, patches that need some touch-up paint, and little improvements geared towards appealing to a buyer’s eyes.
So, since I don’t have a lot of time to make videos this week, I’m just going to post this really brief one. 
I’m demonstrating a great stretch for the torso that emphasizes ‘lateral stretch of the spine.”  
This type of stretch is really good for anyone with tightness in their lower back.  Very often, the lateral stretch is perfect because it addresses the obliques and the quadratus lumborum--two muscle groups that are often tight, often overlooked and are often a direct cause of lack of mobility and of lower back pain and discomfort.
So, watch this video and use it to free up the tension in your back.  

I’ll be back after this week to make more videos and write more health-related entries on the blog.
Ok, back to scrubbing the shower stall.   Ugh.  Wish me luck

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Worm - A Body Tuning Exercise

I’ve been getting requests to make another video.  So...
In this video I’m demonstrating a movement I learned from Shmuel Tatz.  He teaches it to people who have lower back pain and/or tension.  Use this movement whenever you want to free up your back.  You can do it every day, or as often as you like.
Avoid the common mistake of moving quickly.  The movement should be done with awareness and sensitivity. The purpose of the movement is to change the state of your back muscles from tight and stiff to loose and comfortable.
Let me know how you like the movement I call The Worm.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Knees, She Is Yours.

I've now been studying Body Tuning with Shmuel Tatz for four months.  I’m not following a protocol or any kind of formal training.  I’m just observing and absorbing the Body Tuning concepts and approach. In the beginning of my apprenticeship, I had faith, but wasn’t sure I was going to be able to learn anything this way.  And in fact, just about a month ago, I was getting down on myself and thinking I wasn’t going to be able to pick up this ‘art’ at all. 
I thought, this is just a natural gift that you have or you don’t have.  How can I learn to be artistic and intuitive??
But Yesterday as I was doing my usual observations, lunchtime started to roll around.  As Shmuel was putting on his jacket to head out to lunch, I heard him say something in Russian to his colleague, Valarie, which included the word “Jason” so my ears perked up.
Valarie nodded and motioned for me to come and watch what he was doing on his patient.  I don’t usually watch Valarie because he doesn’t do Body Tuning.  He’s a very skilled massage therapist.  Shmuel works with many massage therapists.  I’ve noticed when a patient is in need of a lot of straight-forward massage, he’ll have one of his assistants, Valarie, Viktor or Robert, do that work. 
So, I stood and watched Valarie work.  His work is very cool.  He’s very strong and aggressive and, if you can take his style, it really makes your body feel like it’s been worked over; in a good way.
I watched him work the patient over almost completely, with special attention to the hips, lower back and thighs.  He gave some attention to shoulder and upper back, too, before he looked at me and smiled. And in his adorable broken English, he said to me, “The knees, she is yours!” and he left the room.
I was taken aback.  But he quickly exited and left me standing in the room with the patient, as I called out.  “What am I supposed to do to his knees?”
No answer. He was gone.
So, I did what I know a Body Tuner would do; I touched his knees.  I placed my hands on them and felt around for what might be wrong. I also asked the patient what his main complaint was.  He told me that when he went down stairs he felt a pain in his knee.
So, I kept on feeling his knees.  Now Dr. Tatz has such a refined touch that he can lay his hands on a body and immediately know what is wrong and where. But my sense is much less refined and I listen more slowly.  I have to feel around a lot.  
But since I had no idea what to do, I had no choice but to continue to feel around.  Until finally, I landed on something.  In the back of his knee and down the lower leg, some of the muscles there felt very tense.  I touched them and gave them a bit of pressure in the direction that they seemed to be calling out for.
The patient winced, and when I asked what was wrong, he answered, “That’s the same pain I feel when I go down the stairs.”  So I knew I was onto something.  I moved his leg around a bit in a Body Tuning way and I worked on massaging that area using many of the strokes and technique that I've seen Shmuel Tatz using over these four months. 
While I was working, the patient said, “Valarie has never worked on that part of my leg before.”  
“Really?!” I asked.  I was surprised.
"Yeah, not like that. He would mostly work on my thighs." He asked, “Do you think I should tell him to work there?”
“Absolutely!” I answered. “I think this is the main source of your problem.”  I continued to work until I felt that, as Shmuel would describe it, I made something change.  By the time I was done, it had been about twenty minutes, and the muscles in that area were much more loose and felt softer.  And when I pressed on them, the patient didn’t report as much pain. He seemed very pleased and was excited to tell Valarie about our discovery.
I’m so thrilled that I’ve been working with Shmuel Tatz for only four months and I already seem to be thinking and working like a Body Tuner.  If I were to have learned and practiced a routine, like I wanted to do from the beginning, I don’t think I would have found this problem in his calf.  I may have, like Valerie, just gone through my paces and wondered why I couldn’t help this patient with his problem.
But Body Tuning, with its unique, inquisitive approach, once again gets results.  


Tennis, anyone?

The other day, I was talking with Viktor; a massage therapist who works at the Body Tuning studio. I was telling him about how frustrated I was that ever since my injury, I’ve been asymmetrical. I blogged about that here.
He told me that in days of yore, the warriors and gladiators all had one side of their upper bodies that was a lot bigger and stronger than the other.  He explained how they’d use one arm for the shield and the other to wield the weapon.  The side with the weapon would be a lot more muscular, and therefore that look was revered as being extremely virile.
I didn’t know what to say.  I had been calling myself a Warrior for years. And I didn’t know this about the warriors.  So maybe I’m just fulfilling my own prophecy. 
But it got me thinking about ways to better develop my right side.  The workouts that I’ve been doing mostly are balanced and aren’t really helpful in addressing the imbalance I have.  
Then I remembered that when I was young, my family was very into tennis and we were all encouraged to play.  I played for years on a very regular basis.  But I stopped playing when I started to notice that I was developing my body unevenly.  I was mostly using my right side for the game and it was showing in my muscular development.
So I stopped playing tennis and kept doing things like swimming, wrestling and aerobics; things that were balanced.
Now, I may have come full circle and it may be time to take the advice of my mother and father when they told me I was meant to play tennis.  
I’m thinking I should take up the sport once again and see if it helps me to redevelop my right side.  Then, maybe, once I’m even again, I can go back to swimming. 
So does anyone want to play tennis with me?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Transformation 2011 - Before and After

Today is exactly one month from the day I made the resolve to get back into shape.
I made a video on that first day.  In it, I stood up and showed my body and pointed out what I wanted to change about it.  Then I went to the kitchen and gave an example of the type of eating I was going to be doing to achieve my goals. And then I went into the living room, where I demonstrated some of the types of movements I would be using to take care of my body.
So today I made another video, similar to that one I made on the first day.  I’ll first show my body and we can look at how it has changed in the month.  And then I’ll go into the kitchen for another demo of my style of eating, and finally back into the living room for a demo of some more of my movements. 
Check out the original video if you want a more in depth comparison than what I show on this video  I’m happy with the shape I’ve gotten myself into. Not that I was in bad shape thirty days ago, but I knew I could be in better shape, and you can watch the video and see what you think.
I’d love to hear your comments.
Thanks for watching.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Transformation 2011 - Day 30

I woke up today with lots of energy, so I did my moderate workout first thing.

Since it was only a moderate and not an intense workout, and also since it was the first time for doing these movements, I took it pretty easy, going through the motions.  I was sure to give my body time to adjust to the movements for this month.  There’s plenty of time to add the intensity later.  Better safe than sorry.
My workout felt great.  Then I took a shower and made breakfast.
Breakfast today was some leftover sliced steak from last night and some steamed cauliflower cooked with a couple of eggs.
Then at around 1:30 I had most of a whole rotisserie chicken with a few red and yellow potatoes and some marinated artichoke hearts.
Because of a time crunch, I didn’t have time to eat dinner as planned after my Nia class, so I just grabbed a handful each of pecans, cashews and blueberries and ate them on the way to the theater.
Then, when I got home at 11pm, I heated up some BBQ’d chicken breast and black beans.  Then I had a bowl of yogurt with mango, bananas and blueberries, pecans, chia seeds and acai smoothie mix.

Tomorrow is my last day of recording my transformation.  I'll make another video and show you my results.  I'm excited to see them myself.


Robin's Body Tuning Story

Robin had been doing yoga for many years. She loved it. And she often found that it helped her get relief from time to time when she had little pains or tight spots.  But about six months ago, she hurt her neck doing a headstand.
At first, she thought it would get better, so she kept going back to yoga, but after a while she realized she was going to need more attention. She stopped doing yoga and tried physical therapy and acupuncture. 
The physical therapist would give her some exercises to do and some elementary mobilizations, but she didn’t see a lot of results. And the physical therapist was really only committed to the extent of her insurance coverage. Once her insurance ran out, her treatments were over.  And she felt no better.
At the acupuncturist, her experience was different.  She did some cupping techniques and the needles, but Robin thought her manner was too anxious and found it hard to relax. She thought she might be getting some relief, so she didn’t want to stop going, but also wasn’t really satisfied that she was getting better.
Finally, she heard about Shmuel Tatz from some parents at her kid’s school. He had helped fix the bodies of two different people and both of them spoke of his unique methods and amazingly fast results. 
So, after months of suffering and trying numerous other avenues, she saw Shmuel for one visit and felt more relief than she ever had sine the problem started. 
She knows that she’s going to be seeing Shmuel for a while, because her problems  have such a long history in her body.  But she says that for the first time, she feels like the person treating her is actually understanding her. She says that Shmuel puts his hands on just the right spot in just the right way that isn’t forceful nor simple, but he goes after the problem with precision and from a variety of approaches.
She’s looking forward until the next time one of her friends tells her that they are in pain, so she can tell them about Shmuel Tatz and Body Tuning. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Transformation 2011 - Day 29

Today is day 29 of my 30 day transformation.  It is a flow day, so I’ll do some sort of Flow workout, which is very low intensity.  And since today is February 1 and a new month, I’ll change all of my workouts.  For the entire month of January, I’ve been using the same movements throughout.  Of course, I’ve been tweaking them in minor ways to either improve my body alignment if something didn’t feel right or to increase the sophistication if I needed more of a challenge.  This gives me a chance to get familiar  with the movements so I can really blast out some serious intensity on Intense Workout Days, and to spend my energy on Moderate Workout Days developing my skills and honing my movements throughout the month.
But then, by changing my movements up each month, I prevent myself from developing my body in any one particular shape.  Because I keep the movements changing up, I get the benefit of multiple directions of movement and different stresses placed on my body.  
It’s always interesting to notice how much my execution of the movements improves over the course of a month.  In the beginning, I’m more halting and awkward, but by the end of the month, I’m really flowing and integrated. 
I woke up today and my legs were sore.  Which was weird because I did no physical activity yesterday.  They must be still recovering from my Sunday workout.  I did a lot of activity on Sunday, including teaching a Nia class, performing in my show with a big dance number, and my intense workout. Even though I usually experience my muscle soreness the next day, it is not unheard of to experience exercise induced muscle soreness for as long as 48 hours after the activity.
The delayed onset muscle soreness is one of the main reasons for Rest & Recovery Day and the stiffness that often results from the lack of activity on R&R Day, is smoothed out during my Flow Day (today).  So, I’m right on track. 
I started off the day with a couple of eggs cooked into the last of the leftover chicken breast in peanut sauce.  That was about nine am.
Then when I got home from the Body Tuning studio, I had a salmon fillet with steamed mixed vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes.
Then, about five o’clock, I did my flow for today. It being a new month, I wanted to change up my routine, so I rolled around and moved in and out of some yoga poses and variations of poses to stretch and stimulate my body. Afterwards, I felt really good, but I wasn’t really sore or anything to start with.  
I had dinner around eight. I made some chicken breast marinated in milk and then coated with ground flax seed and sauteed in a mixture of butter and coconut oil. I served it with cauliflower and carrots sauteed in the same pan glazed with red wine, and I mixed an avocado with black beans and salsa and called it “frijole guacamole.”
About an hour before bed, I wanted a snack, so I made a plate of walnuts and goji berries and drizzled it with honey.  It was actually really good; it reminded me of a healthy version of peanut brittle.

Transformation 2011 - Day 28

I started this morning with two big glasses of water. I usually only do one.

But for many reasons, I decided to do two today.  One reason was that I’ve noticed the color of my urine has been really dark the past day or so.  Another is the fact that I was really dry-mouthed and not sweating as much as usual during my workout. And thirdly, was that I woke up feeling thirsty. I don’t wake up feeling thirsty, usually. But I do still start my day with a big glass of water out of habit. 
After my water, I had my coffee and made my breakfast:

three fried eggs mixed with a cup of garbanzo beans and topped with half an avocado
For lunch I had a modest banana and handful of cashews, which left me hungry after just a couple of hours. 
So, at around quarter to five I heated up some leftover steamed butternut squash with the leftover thai peanut chicken breast and had that with the rest of the avocado from this morning.
After class I came home and made a sirloin butt steak with sweet potatoes roasted in coconut oil and a salad made of romaine and fennel and pepper jack cheese with an olive oil balsamic vinaigrette. 
A bit later I had a bunch of walnuts with honey and a handful of mixed seeds with raisins. 
No exercise today. It was a rest day. I don’t feel bad after my intense workout, either.  I feel pretty good today.  No aches, no pains. Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a good Flow.

Maggie's Body Tuning Story

This is the story of Maggie (not her real name).
Back in the 1990’s Maggie got into a car accident that resulted in a lot of pain in her knee. She went to see many specialists, including physical therapists, acupuncturists and medical doctors, but no one was able to offer her any lasting results.
Mostly they would manually manipulate her knee for about five minutes and then put her on some kind of machine. They didn’t tell her anything more could be done to help her.  Her leg muscles were atrophying (wasting away) at an alarming rate. The only thing that gave her a modicum of help was acupuncture, which helped her regain her muscle tone, but didn’t offer relief from the pain.
Finally, her friend told her about Shmuel Tatz.  “This is the guy who can help you,” he said.  Maggie went in to see Dr Tatz, who after touching her knee for no more than five minutes, reported, “This is jammed.  I can help you in two sessions per week and it will take ten or twelve weeks.”
Ten weeks later, as he predicted, she was better.  To her amazement, Shmuel was working on her knee for thirty minutes straight.  His technique involves listening to the body and responding to what it’s asking for, so he is never at a loss for what to do to help make a body move better. Maggie says she remembers how surprised she was that she not only got a confident answer, but that the answer was “Yes, I can help you!” And she was further surprised to learn that his prediction was exactly accurate; she was much better within ten weeks of beginning Body Tuning.
Many years later, Maggie finds herself back at the Body Tuning studio.  This time she hurt her back lifting a heavy bag of cement after a long day of manual labor.  She no longer lives in the city and now, in order to see Shmuel she has about a three-hour-long drive each direction. 
Her first reaction was to take her injury to a doctor, who strongly suggested she have surgery, and was mentally preparing her for accepting the reality that she needed surgery and only surgery.  But Maggie, being a smart and educated woman, did some research and what she found out about this particular surgery was very interesting. In the studies, it was shown that of the people who had back pain, the same percentage of people got better, whether they had the surgery or were part of the control group that didn’t get the surgery. The results were statistically the same whether they had the surgery or didn’t. At her surgeon’s urgent recommendation and insistence that she would only get better through surgery, she opted to have the surgery--and it didn’t help in the least.
Since she no longer lived in New York City, and didn’t have easy access to Shmuel Tatz, she would have to drive an average of three hours in for her treatment and then drive another three hours back home afterwards, which would effectively eliminate most of the benefits of the treatment.  She was distressed by not having access to the one person she felt could give her relief.
After about four years of suffering, her situation changed so that she would be able to spend a few nights in NYC, so she immediately called and made multiple appointments for Body Tuning. 
I spoke to Maggie after her third of four treatments in the past two weeks, and she is reporting that her back already feels much better and she is finally getting relief from her constant pain.
This story ends on a sad note.  Maggie knows that these four sessions, although they are doing her a great deal of good, won’t be enough to completely help her.  Her inability to have regular access to Shmuel Tatz and Body Tuning is going to prevent her from getting the proper care and rehabilitation she needs for her back to heal.

If she lived in New York and had better access to Dr Tatz, or if more people practiced the art of Body Tuning, and someone near her could tune her body regularly, she may find herself recovered in another ten weeks.