Archive for Yoga

Sticks, Stones, and Trigger Points

Trigger Points

Sticks, Stones, and Trigger Points!  Trigger points are painful spots in your muscle that hurt like hell when you poke them. The tightly knotted muscles restrict your movement, hinder muscle activation, and flat out hurt. 

DISCLAIMER: I urge you to contact your physical therapist – or use mine. Erik Moen or any of his staff at CaporeSanoPT can assist if you are in the Seattle area. I am not claiming to be a skilled PT — I am merely sharing what tools are working for me. Feel free to try at your own risk.

I’ve discovered the road to lasting results requires daily work. No one but the elite can afford a daily massage. That’s why there is a billion dollar market on home exercise and recovery tools. To make home recovery work for you, it requires discipline, diligence and sticks, stones, and trigger point activation.

My story with chronic pain began 2 years ago. It was becoming debilitating. Simple walking became excruciating. I couldn’t sleep due to agonizing hip pain. Most of  you know me as a highly active lady who loves to move. I tried many things including 9 months of physical therapy. I just got worse.

Sticks and Stones: The right tools for the job make all the difference. Using them correctly helps too.

When Erik Moen, Owner of CaporeSanoPT, offered to help, I was thrilled.
Erik, in his infinite wisdom and kindness, spent an hour with me in his office and we enjoyed a ride later. His guidance is what turned the page for me.  Within 3 months, I enjoyed more mobility, had a sense of control, and could handle activities of daily living without debilitating pain. I’m still on the mend, but after 2 years of increased pain and limiting all activities, this is wonderful.

When it comes to physical therapy, don’t settle for second best. I finally found some videos online by Doctor Jo. 15 minutes on a balance ball, and I was on the road to recovery. If you can’t get to a PT, go to for your specific needs. Jo will answer questions via her Facebook page.

The things I continue to find most beneficial are in my toolkit. I may end up making a video, but for now, this is it.

The ToolKit:

I try to avoid buying tons of stuff. At a minimum, bet yourself a Tiger Tail Massage Stick. It’s a must have for working on legs, quads, shoulders… and it works best if you use it daily.

Erik recommended I use the Tiger Tail stick roller. I already own a stick, but he said this Tiger Tail is much nicer on your muscles. It is. It’s a bit softer but still plenty hard. I roll out my quads, IT Band, and adductors. I can do some sticky point stuff. And I can use it for a lot of other things. This stick is a bit softer, but most importantly, it’s working better.

I just ordered this quad roller after watching a video about how to work on the FAI pain that I have. It’s my hope that this better targets the quad, adductor, and hamstring – especially at the attachement point. We shall see… but it’s here for your consideration. I’ve heard great things.

Tennis Balls, Golf Balls, Lacrosse Balls — or Get the Trigger Point Ball.
I used a couple tennis balls for years. I roll my shoulder and feet on them to gently massage and relax. A yoga teacher told me to use a golf ball. OMG – don’t do it. It hurts too much to sustain a practice with it. In fact, if you want credible help, don’t ask your yoga instructor. They know yoga and they are not educated in recovery. They may have some ideas, but unless trained as a PT, just listen to their yoga teaching and go to the right source. And if you are getting sharp pain, stop. Just stop.
I digress. Here’s the best trigger point balls:

And speaking of Balls, if you don’t have a Balance Ball, Click the image below and get one right now. The key to strong core and flexibility is with this huge ball. I use it daily for hip mobility, core strengthening, and plain fun.

Trigger Point Roller
And then there is the grandaddy of them all. The Trigger Point Core Roller. I think these take getting used to. I’ve had mine for a year.  It is my go to for getting all the kinks out. I’ve recently learned some more efficient and effective applications. Get the harder one from Trigger Point Therapy. The soft foam breaks down and doesn’t always do the trick.

The Balance Pad

Another tool Erik suggested a few years back is still one of my favorites. The Balance Pad by Airex is an easy way to activate the muscles that help your entire leg function well. Small reflex muscles that help you balance are activated by standing on this pad. I had a couple other balance platforms that I’ve since chucked.


And you can find it all here in this Amazon Shop I set up. Will do more later, but for now, this is the best way to shop.


My War with Chronic Pain

It was about 1994.5570_feet_sand_1_0

The term wasn’t popularized and I didn’t care what it was called. I only knew I could barely walk, could barely get through a day. I forget. I don’t even connect with people who have fibro or other immune issues. My pain was different. There was a tangible, obvious, root cause.

BEWARE the Popular Diagnosis?

I’d been in chronic pain for 3 or 4  years following a car accident that affected my entire left side. The pain would start Read More→

Winding Down: Good bye 2013


It’s been a good year for connecting with some wonderful friends, new and old.SailingPS-4458

Through the wonders of the interwebs, I’ve enjoyed connections that never would have happened, friendships deepened,  and yes some were let go. Not exactly smooth sailing, but we made it and we still have faith.

I’ve made new friends. I’ve found old friends.  I’ve connected deeply with the people who mean the most to me. For this, I am most grateful.  It’s been a year! As this year winds up, I’m getting contemplative and internally focused. I always do. It’s that time of reckoning: What did we accomplish. What did we love. What do we need to forgive of ourselves or others. How can we make next year better!!!! That is why we all go through this. How can we make next year better!

My self-claimed purpose again distracted by a very strange road filled with many large part holes. Through it all, I recognize at times that my strength comes from a bigger source. It’s surely not in me because I would have crumbled without the faith and love of something bigger than I. Some call it God, others call it Nature. And some? They just call it Source. Works for me, man!

In my reverie, I suspect some wonder how people get through these kinds of trials. With that, I have to admit I do too. And then I find some little thing to do.

My New Year’s Gift to you. Some random thoughts on what keeps me going. Read More→

Essentials: Do the Essential Oils do more harm than good?

rosesfromrickEssential Oils anyone?

For chemical sensitives and scent wary people, please be ware. These scents are highly concentrated. Even if they are organic, they can wreak havoc on your system. I know. The worst asthma attack of my life came on strong as a fellow yogi entered the studio with what seemed like a bottle of Rose Essential Oil emanating out from him to fill the entire studio with ROSE.  Instant, harsh, and nearly debilitating asthma attack for me.  There is so much more about these oils. It’s not just you they are treating. I came to understand something that only an energy aware person will get. Read More→

Step into a New You

feet_sand_1_790x474Step into a new you in a new year. Don’t let those failed resolutions get you down. No one really gets lasting results unless they make a lifestyle change. I know. I’m an ex-smoker. Year after year, I said: This year is the year I quit for good. This year is the year I quit. Within a day or so, I found all kinds of excuses.

Here’s the deal: You need a better strategy. A workable strategy that takes you from dream to plan to intended results.

Start with a foundation for optimal health. Crowd out the old behaviors by replacing them with better ones.

So you want to be a Vegan? Don’t lose out on your protein needs

Dr. Douillard says! Ok — I never heard of him until the other day, but he is an expert in Ayurvedic medicine, worked for several years with Deepak Chopra, and provides a wealth of information on healthy living. On his website:, I found this article. If you are a vegan, want to become a vegan, or just want to cut back on animal protein — You’ve got to read this:

Coach in Training

Hi friends,

I just heard a speaker say: I’m still a work in progress, and so are you! Absolutely! If we are still alive, we aren’t done yet. My belief that there is no such thing as a finished product when you are the product. We evolve. We change. Our bodies and our minds change.  We move through various transitions and sometimes we need a bit of help – a sponsor, a spotter, a trainer, a friend who encourages us. That’s the beginning of how I envision my coaching program – I”m the person that gives you a lift.

Read More→