Category Archives: Uncategorized

The fifth modifiable health behavior

Recently, the Arizona state government was considering whether to refuse to hire smokers.  Smokers are easy to pick on.  The evidence against smoking is so obvious, it is just a bad idea.  But if we are going to penalize people for participating in modifiable health risk behaviors we have to consider that the Centers for Disease Control identified four such key behaviors: smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, and excessive alcohol consumption. (1,2)  Arguably it is just as bad to be inactive and over weight as it is to smoke.

We need to get as worked up about healthy eating and exercise as we do about smoking.  I am regularly amazed by the number of people who are willing to put up with pain, immobility and incredibly inconvenient medical treatment but are resistant to changing a health habit.   Marketing wins. (3)

I propose three steps to improving health in America, and it starts with you.  Rather than pick on the other guy, let’s take care of our own struggles with those four behaviors.

Commit to daily practice of at least one healthful habit.  This is not easy and you may need help with it.  There are groups that use the science of addiction to sell you more cigarettes and more food. (3,4) So if it feels like too much, take advantage of the services we offer to help you develop nurturing habits.

Practice the fifth modifiable health factor: good mental health.  So, I am made up this name, but there is numerous research articles supporting the idea that happiness and a positive attitude has a measurable and positive effect on health.  The fact is, if people took care of their mental health, they would need less medical intervention. (5).  Visit with Judy Dirks, MHC, at the clinic, who will teach you some simple ways to feel good, including managing pain.  You can also visit for some ideas, or for a free online course.

The third step: form a CenesGroup.  Okay, I made that up, too.  Get three our four friends together, and sign up for a free consultation with Judy Simpson or Katie Klute, personal trainers who will help your group form goals to support you make healthy choices together through the year.  By joining forces, you will save money and increase your chances of lasting success.


  2. Eva Martin-Diener, et al. The combined effect on survival of four main behavioural risk factors for non-communicable diseases. Preventive Medicine. Volume 65, August 2014, Pages 148–152 (
  3. Salt Sugar Fat, by Michael Moss, Random House. Feb 2014.

Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia

Jonathon Faix, LAc, has joined the staff of Therapy Solutions.  We are very happy to have him here, and the treatment options he brings.  He is a wealth of knowledge and does an awesome job of putting the practice of acupuncture into understandable terms for the western mind.  He is this weeks guest blogger and provides some insight into the role acupuncture can play for those with fibromyalgia.

The body’s defensive systems are often thought to only include the white blood cells, and the body’s detoxification systems are only limited to certain organs. However, this is not a complete picture. Individual cells have mechanisms to eliminate or neutralize heavy metals and toxic chemicals, and the ability to mount their own defense to invading pathogens.

These defensive and detoxification pathways require mineral and vitamin cofactors to both activate and deactivate. In the case of fibromyalgia these systems are lacking the necessary nutritional components to properly deactivate. What happens is excessive amounts of what’s known as superoxide and nitric oxide is produced, and these two compounds combine forming peroxynitrite. The peroxynitrite irritates and damages the local tissues causing another release of nitric oxide and superoxide to fight off an apparent pathogen or toxin. A lack of antioxidants, chiefly glutathione and superoxide dismutase, means the body is unable to mitigate or turn off the inflammatory pathway. The result is a viscous cycle of inflammation and pain.

As a result of this chronic pain the nervous system treats the painful area as if significant trauma had occurred or a serious infection has taken hold. The result is that the nervous system stimulates the fascia to tighten around capillary beds, reducing blood flow to the area to prevent excessive blood loss or to prevent a perceived infection from spreading. This further compounds the situation resulting in loss of nutrient and oxygen delivery to the tissues.

How Acupuncture Can Help
The definition of health to an acupuncturist is nutrient rich, highly oxygenated blood circulating freely to all tissues of the body. Acupuncture works by stimulating nodes that are composed of dense beds of venule, capillary, arteriol, lymphatic, and related nerve tissue (the acupuncture points). These beds rise off deeper blood vessels (the meridians) and are interrelated through the nervous system. Through physical stimulation of the nodes in one area the nervous system promotes blood flow to areas of the body distal to the stimulation site. This restores or promotes proper blood flow to an area, and with that fascia relaxes, nutrients (called Ying) and Qi (in this context Qi is properly translated as “vital air,” ie. oxygen) are delivered through the blood (called Xue) to the tissue. With this restoration of proper blood circulation any pain is quickly alleviated.

Significant pain relief after the first acupuncture treatment is typical. Successive treatments along with a nutrient supplementation program will keep the pain from coming back. Most experience long-term resolution after six treatments once a week. Those with chronic fatigue, either alone or in conjunction with fibromyalgia, typically need to come in twice a week for at least six treatments followed by six treatments once a week in order for there to be long-term resolution.

Every woman who is pregnant becomes a remembrance of our experience with pregnancy and child birth. It may be common experience, but it is a unique experience for each woman. And the memory of our pregnancies and deliveries last a life time, no matter how they turn out. They are amazing and profound experiences and when we see others in that situation we want to share what we learned. In the end only no one can really prepare us for what Life has to teach us.


Kara shares her experience:

Spending nine months pregnant while providing massage and physical therapy services, I ended up receiving much advice during this time period. I heard all of what I did and possibly did not want to know regarding pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  My first trimester brought on many days of morning sickness symptoms and while working through my symptoms, I was offered much advice from saltine crackers first thing in the morning, sea sickness bands, to peppermint and ginger remedies, and down to my all-time favorite quote, “this too shall pass.” And although this period did pass, I’m not sure it was the encouragement I was looking for.

As pregnancy progressed I had a few patients tell me that I looked “so tiny” (for how far along I was). Being that that could have quite possibly been the first time me and tiny were put together, they just may have gained some extra special treatment that session. I shared this with my husband that night and he tried that line too hoping for me to add some additional working hours as a massage therapist, but I caught onto his scheme.

From my stand point I was able to gain a new perspective and understanding in treatment for my patients especially the pregnant women I treat. I took my experiences of sciatic pain, ligament instability, and other physical limitations with pregnancy and feel now that I can better understand and treat from a whole new perspective. I will tell you that core stabilization is truly the key and even though there is a baby there, you can still contract those abdominals throughout pregnancy.

Towards the end of pregnancy, I had the privilege of hearing numerous women’s own labor and delivery stories that while some provided me with some useful advice, others made me wonder what I was getting myself into.  All in all, I enjoyed my nine months working and allowing others to join me on my journey. There were many patients during this time that gave me strength and inspiration through their advice that I only hope I was able to provide them through therapy.

October 28, Kara joined the ranks of those with an amazing story to tell.

Introducing Katie Klute

I am re-energizing this blog by asking everyone at Therapy Solutions to write about something.  Katie was the first brave soul to step forward and she has in a big way.  Katie Klute is a wellness coach, personal trainer and extraordinary individual.  She joined TS to help make the vision a reality of helping people transform their lives through the experience of good health and wholeness.  I think after reading this you will see that she could help you with your life goals.  Or maybe someone you know.  Your first visit with her is a free consultation, how can you lose?  Please sign up at

I believe my journey to become a Wellness and Nutrition Coach started many, many years ago. It isn’t as though I woke up one day and said ‘today I’m going to become a Wellness Coach.’ If only life’s decisions were that simple right?

At the ripe age of 13 I allowed anorexia to enter my life and at 15 bulimia. I won’t rehash my experience in this article except to say that I was one of the lucky ones. I had years of therapy and then one day decided ‘enough is enough.’ It occurred to me that I was extremely tired, wanted to know what life was like eating right and exercising. The idea of those two additions to my life terrified me but I certainly wasn’t happy where I was. So – I thanked my therapist and took a step forward which quite frankly, was also straight out of my comfort zone.

Now, to be fair and brutally honest, it didn’t happen quite as smoothly as I just made it sound however, eating to nourish my body and including exercise was exactly what my life was missing! I learned that in the midst of self-doubt, I really am strong; physically and mentally and am worth taking care of myself.

I share this with you because I want you to understand I’ve ‘been there and done that before’. I lived a life that was lacking in nourishment and exercise. I never say to a client ‘I know exactly what you mean’ or ‘I know how you feel’ because I don’t – no one does. But I do know what my experience was, how it felt to live within my very unhappy skin; like I was failing at everything I attempted. I know how I felt to step outside of my comfort zone when it came to nutrition and exercise AND most importantly, I do know how it feels to be on the other side! Food is fantastic and exercise makes me feel alive!

When I decided to start the wellness program I did it because I wanted to learn and understand the tools needed to help others. Not only those with eating disorders but the many, many people who truly don’t know how to eat correctly and are terrified of exercise. It also allowed me the opportunity to spend time with my clients establishing their personal goals and how to overcome potential obstacles.

I now get to talk about the importance of nutrition and the really fun part; what does exercise look like to the client? Many people think wellness, nutrition and exercise means eating from a meal plan and requiring a gym membership. Not the case! Wellness is what YOUR life looks like in its happiest state, nutrition is understanding what our bodies need in order to function correctly and to feel good and exercise is what we make it- no gym required (unless that is part of your goals then we’ll certainly include it.)

I love what I do. It offers great opportunities to meet people in various parts of their lives. It continues to challenge me to learn more so I can offer more. Most importantly, it allows me to be a part of another person’s adventures as they step outside of their comfort zone and start living the life they truly deserve and desire.

I look forward to working with you –

Katie Klute

Health, Wellness & Nutrition Coach, IAWP & NAFC

Personal Trainer, ISSA

Things that would put me out of business

1.  Start new activities in a small amount and build up gradually

2.  Keep a regular schedule of sleeping, moderate exercise and healthy anti-inflammatory eating

3.  Poop regularly

4.  Practice mindful breathing and mindful movement

5.  Use your abdominal muscles effectively.

This might actually reduce the health care crisis as well.  Don’t tell anyone, it might hurt the economy……

Consistency for the Inconsistent

Consistency is necessary for results.  However, this is difficult for me. and I think it is a challenge for a lot of people.  So as I restart ‘blogging’, I dedicate my first post to all those who have trouble being consistent.  In order to achieve the outcomes you desire, consider the following:

1. Recognize your default setting and don’t judge.  Recognize that the default setting might be sitting and vegetating, or some such thing.  When you see this happening, don’t judge!  Maybe you need a little time to relax.

2.    A little goes a long way.  Rather than having to do something for a long period of time.  Spend just a few minutes.  Keep it short, whether a workout, a meditation, or any task.  Break them down to bite sizes you can do on a regular basis.  Often we put things off because we don’t think we have the two hour block needed to ‘do it right’.  10 minutes can go a long way for things like fitness and mindfulness.

3.  Establish a minimum baseline of activity.  Have some basic agreements with yourself on what you will get done.  This baseline consists of a few things you want to do on a regular basis to maintain health.

4.  Routine.  Establishing a schedule helps to keep you on track with your baseline activities.  It eliminates the questions, ‘do I want to?, or do I feel like it?’  The answer to these questions for me in regards to the stuff that is good for me is often, no.   On the other hand, if the clock says it is time, it is time.

5.  And not routine.  Doing the same thing every single day does not work for me.  So I have three or four different exercise routines I do and different meditation styles.  By changing it up routinely, I stick with activities longer.

Well, that’s what I have for today!  Much Love, SaraTherefore, my Cenestherapeutics blog will post more regularly, but be short a more a reflection of what is current for me.  And I hope as a result what I hoped to share here will unfold in its own way.

Do we need to drag up the past?

Physical therapy might be thought of as learning to use our body’s like we might learn to own a car, we learn how to drive it, how to take care of the engine, etc.  This is not a complete analogy, because the body has consciousness.  But managing the body consciousness is definitely one of the things you can learn in some physical therapy settings.
The body is like a big recording device.  It remembers everything that has happened to it.  We develop ways of being based on the stimulus our body has received.  When we become conscious of that we can begin to ‘drive’ the body with more finesse.  Adverse childhood experiences can set the tone of how we respond in stressful situation.  Fear can lead to bodily tension that then causes physical strain.  We can perhaps repair the strain, but for long term health it is extremely valuable to recognize the presence of fear and respond at that first level.

So does this mean we have to go back through and resolve all the past events in our life in which we were hurt?  There are many opinions about this.  I think it is valuable and important to reflect on your life and have an understanding of it.  This is the work of psychology.   When we have an understanding of ourselves, we will have a quicker recognition of tension  triggers.  But as it says in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, understanding does not save.  I think the more pertinent question is how will I live today?  When I recognize fear, and how I am physically with fear, I can create a different relationship with it.  One that is more open, accepting and compassionate toward the part of me that is afraid.  This is the development of an observer self that sees the shaking, sees where the tension is held and decides to let it go.  This observer self could be found in the Tan Tien, the center of gravity of our body at about the belly button level.   So today watch from your center, have compassion for what you notice, within and without and then let go of tension!
Much Love!  Sara