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Thursday, June 09th, 2011

In honor of National Men’s Health Month, our Human Touch® Wellness Council Member and U.S. Olympian Jeff Galloway shares a few helpful wellness tips for men and talks about why it’s ideal to back off of an exercise when there is inflammation and how a Human Touch® massage chair is just the trick.

Human Touch’s Wellness Council is committed to educating professionals, sports-enthusiasts, back pain sufferers and consumers alike on the importance and benefits of taking control of their daily lives, maintaining a healthy balance of mind, body and spirit and maximizing their overall health and wellness lifestyle by incorporating regular massage into their “wellness” routine through the use of personal massage products.

Each Human Touch Wellness Council Member serves as an ambassador for the importance of daily massage, communicating their key wellness messages through online and offline media, community events and public forums.

“My mission is to help people improve the quality of their lives through physical activity, body care, and eating energizing foods of quality. The right wellness program is one that includes a balance of activities to empower the individual every day.”

Fitness Tips For Men-Women Take Notice

June is National Men’s Health Month. But since women influence men’s health habits more than any other source, let’s work together to help the male population live longer and feel better.

1. Regular, gentle exercise improves attitude, vitality, and extends lifespan. I’ve found nothing that brings together body, mind and spirit better than a gentle walk or run, at least every other day. Even ten minutes of gentle walking will release stress, trigger the release of positive attitude hormones and make you feel better.

2. Exercising with a spouse or significant other can enhance the relationship. There’s a special communication between couples who walk, run or exercise together. Schedule your exercise “dates” on your calendar.

3. Eat more vegetables, fruit, and lean protein. The body runs better when burning quality fuel. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with phyto nutrients that unlock healthy processes all over the body. About 25% of the daily calorie consumption in lean protein foods can provide the building blocks to repair cells and keep the body running to capacity.

4. Get a step counter and shoot for 10,000 steps a day. Instead of sitting around, waiting for a meeting, kids, etc, WALK! Even walking for a minute or two, several times a day will improve energy level, increase blood flow, and stimulate the conscious mind.

5. Take care of sore or potentially damaged muscles before they are injured. Back off of an exercise when there is inflammation, loss of function or pain. Treat tendon irritation with an ice massage of 15 minutes. Massage is the best way I’ve found to stimulate the repair of damaged muscles. After using ice, the Human Touch massage chair is my major recovery activity. I always feel better after a Human Touch massage. If wellness is important to you, I highly recommend trying out one of their many chairs to see which one fits best with your livingroom or office and lifestyle.

Jeff Galloway
U.S. Olympian

Tuesday, June 07th, 2011

Explaining Fibromyalgia to Others by: Felicia Fibro

I remember the first time a doctor mentioned the word fibromyalgia to me. That doctor admittedly did not know too much about the condition, but he knew enough to think I might have it. I had never heard of fibromyalgia and neither had any of my family or friends. For years afterward I would mention having it and the response would always be, “What is that?” Nowadays when I mention it I usually get a response of, “I know someone who has that.” From further discussions with those who know someone with fibromyalgia I have found that most don’t really know what Fibromyalgia is or what the person they know experiences.

Felicia Fibro, Human Touch's Friend in Wellness will be stopping by to share her stories about fibromyalgia, tips and inspiration. She will also share how massage has helped her ease pain and discomfort from fibromyalgia. Felica is a proud owner of the Human Touch HT-1341 CirQlation® Foot & Calf massager

So, how should we explain fibromyalgia to others? I usually start off by asking the person I’m talking to if they know the all-over body aching with completely no energy feeling they have when they have the flu. When they say they do I tell them that having fibromyalgia feels like that every single day, except add in shooting shocks of pain and sometimes extreme dull, radiating pain. Sometimes I mention that the shooting shocks of pain feel the same as when a dentist hits a nerve while working in your mouth. I hope that by explaining what fibromyalgia feels like the person will have something to relate the information I’m giving them to without being confused with medical terms and processes they’ve never heard of before. If I continue on about mental aspects I also say there is this thing called Fibro Fog which makes it hard to recall words and keep trains of thought. I usually don’t go into further details unless the person asks for them. I know this is not an all-encompassing description, but it covers a lot in basic terms that I hope they will remember. I hope my explanation will raise awareness and enhance their relationship with those who have fibromyalgia – including me!

There are two good analogies that explain the amount of pressure that can cause pain in people with fibromyalgia. They both explain what 4 kg of pressure, the amount doctors apply to pressure points when diagnosing fibromyalgia, feels like. The first analogy is the amount of pressure used to close a Ziploc bag. The second analogy is the amount of pressure that will cause your nail to turn white when you push your thumb and another finger together.

What is your approach to explaining fibromyalgia to others?
Felicia Fibro

Thursday, June 02nd, 2011

3 Unique Ways For Men To Stay Healthy

In this article I’ll detail the three most important things for a man to stay healthy. Make sure you read until the end – the last tip won’t be what you expect.

1. Exercise Your PC Muscle

Forget bicep curls, bench presses and lat pulls – but don’t forget to do this one. On a daily basis, exercise your pubococcygeus or “PC” muscle. It’s a muscle that stretches from the pubic bone to the coccyx, or the same muscle that allows you to stop your pee mid-stream.

You may have heard your female counterparts refer to the contraction and tightening of this muscle as Kegels, which is essentially the same thing in men and women. If you’ve done yoga, it’s called the tightening of the root bandha or mula bandha. Whatever name you give it, remember to exercise it as consistently as you flex your triceps.

The best way to train this muscle is on your down time. Sitting in a chair, taking a shower, or even going to urinate and trying to stop the flow 2-3 times during the process. Try it out the next time you’re in public bathroom – you’re sure to get entertaining, quizzical looks. Regardless of the place, try 20-30 quick contractions, each time attempting to hold it tight for as long as you can.

The benefits are many. Mastering the contraction of PC muscle improves sexual function, decreases chances of prostate issues, and increases core strength. It’s the master muscle, one we never see, but always use.

Alvin Tam, Human Touch Wellness Council Member: “I am part of Human Touch’s Wellness Council. As a member, I post helpful information about health and wellness with a focus on strength, training, the benefits of massage, martial arts, acrobatics and more. I have found my advice and direction to be helpful and sometimes eye-opening for our readers. I have helped many to achieve their own wellness goals.”

2. Combine Plyometrics With Isometric Movement

Since I come from an acrobatic background, I’ve noticed aspects of my training that I don’t find in most fitness systems. Much of what I’ve done in the acrobatic world is a combination of highly explosive plyometrics – movement where you burst forward, upward, sideways, backward rapidly – and isometrics – static movements that require strength and endurance but produce no movement.

For example, a squat jump is plyometric while a horse stance is isometric. Both work you in different ways, and each has great benefits for your health and for improving your athletic ability.

Try combining both types of movement dynamic into your training. The system I created, teach, and certify instructors in Las Vegas is called Acrofit. Acrofit combines explosive moves with totally static balance postures, so it’s almost like combining a yoga class with a bootcamp style training.

Static isometrics is excellent for slow endurance moves. Explosive plyometrics is great for fast twitch, high response type sports. In reality you need both. So try combining squat jumps with 30 seconds of static horse stance, or clapping push ups with a core-strengthening plank position.

3. Stay At Your Edge

I believe the number one reason a man gets lazy and overweight is because he has mentally lost his edge. An edge for a man means tempting various physical, mental and emotional challenges that are consistently slightly beyond his comfort zone. When a man settles into a routine and becomes comfortable with his workout, his health, enthusiasm, energy levels, and ability to grow begin to decline. He must search out challenges that take him slightly into a zone of discomfort – always.

There are times when you may need to rest, recharge, and recover from a long bout of intense physical challenges, like triathlons, races. In my case, I was recovering from years of hard core training – after I completed my run with Cirque du Soleil at the end of 2007, I took an informal sabbatical from acrobatic training for nearly one and half years. I needed it.

Once you’ve determined however that you are done with your break, or that maybe you never really needed one to begin with, then it’s time to live at your edge, particularly for men. Search your mind for an activity, sport, or exercise that would make you shiver at the thought of going through with it. As I told my students once, it could be something as overlooked as going home tonight and emptying your cabinets and fridge of anything that contains sugar or white flour. Sounds scary doesn’t it?

I want to end with why massage should definitely be a part of every man’s life. It’s a great investment to reduce stress and take that needed break. I find using my Human Touch massage chair helps me to relax in ways I could not before. Please be sure to join Human Touch this month as they celebrate National Men’s Health Month on Facebook. Click this link to become a part of their online community, meet other men, get wellness tips and meet a few experts in health and wellness.

Live at your edge, aim for growth through challenge, and know that a man only best evolves when there’s just a little bit of fear in his heart.

Happy training,

Alvin Tam, Founder Acrofit,
Alvin Tam, Designer
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