Yoga for health

What is yoga?


Yoga, once primarily a spiritual pursuit, has blossomed into a joyous path for nurturing both physical health and mental health. Many lovingly refer to yoga as a harmonious dance of the mind and body, and this description captures its essence beautifully. With boundless enthusiasm, practitioners wholeheartedly explore a vibrant tapestry of yoga styles, including Iyengar, Bikram, Yin, vinyasa, ashtanga, kundalini, viniyoga, Sivananda, restorative, hatha, and the invigorating world of hot yoga.

What do you need to know about yoga~

Yoga generally offers a safe form of physical activity for healthy individuals when they perform it properly and receive guidance from a qualified instructor. However, as with other physical activities, injuries can still occur. The most common injuries typically involve sprains and strains, and they usually affect the knee or lower leg. Serious injuries remain rare, and the risk of getting injured through yoga tends to be lower compared to higher-impact physical activities.

Encouraging older adults to approach yoga with care is vital! It’s worth noting that individuals aged 65 and beyond sometimes experience even more enthusiasm for yoga, but it’s important to be mindful as they might have a slightly higher rate of yoga-related injuries treated in emergency departments when compared to their younger counterparts.


To minimize the risk of injury while practicing yoga, consider the following precautions:

  1. Enlist the guidance of a qualified instructor when you practice yoga. Attempting to learn yoga without proper supervision has been associated with an increased risk of injury.
  2. If you’re new to yoga, it’s wise to avoid extreme practices, such as headstands, shoulder stands, the lotus position, and forceful breathing techniques.
  3. Keep in mind that hot yoga poses special risks related to overheating and dehydration, so exercise caution when participating in such classes.
  4. Pregnant women, older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions should consult their healthcare providers and engage in open communication with their yoga instructors about their specific needs. They may need to steer clear of certain yoga poses and make adjustments to their practice. Health conditions that might call for modifications include preexisting injuries (like knee or hip injuries), lumbar spine disease, severe high blood pressure, balance issues, and glaucoma

What are the benefits of yoga?

  • Embrace a holistic approach to well-being that brings joy to your life by reducing stress, promoting healthy habits, nurturing your mental and emotional health, enhancing your sleep, and restoring balance.
  • Discover relief from common discomforts like neck pain, migraines, tension-type headaches, and knee osteoarthritis-related pain. It may even offer a modest improvement for those dealing with occasional low-back discomfort.
  • Achieve your weight loss goals with added cheerfulness, especially if you’re on a journey towards a healthier weight and body when combined with mindful practices.
  • Celebrate newfound strength in quitting smoking, knowing that wellness practices can provide essential support on your smoke-free journey.
  • Experience a brighter outlook by effectively managing symptoms of anxiety and depression through holistic well-being practices.
  • Sail through the transition of menopause with more comfort and ease, thanks to wellness strategies that can alleviate troublesome symptoms.
  • Find valuable assistance in your journey to overcome substance use disorders, as wellness practices become an empowering addition to your treatment program.
  • For individuals managing chronic diseases, embrace a more joyful and improved quality of life with wellness practices that help alleviate symptoms and enhance overall well-being.
Make an appointment

Experience the vibrant world of Attuned Vitality Chiropractic and Wellness center, where we not only provide exceptional wellness services but also offer invigorating yoga classes. Feel free to reach out to us at 503-6402800 for class schedules and inquiries. If you have any questions about yoga or need more information, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wendy. Your journey to well-being begins here!

Essential oils: Uses and benefit

essential oil

Essential oils are like nature’s treasure trove, capturing the aromatic and healing essence of plants. These concentrated extracts, often obtained through steam distillation, cold pressing, or solvent extraction, have been cherished for millennia. They’re versatile, serving purposes in traditional medicine, aromatherapy, cosmetics, perfumes, and countless other applications, offering a world of benefits.

The benefits:

  • Aromatherapy: Inhaling the delightful fragrances of essential oils can uplift your spirits and enhance your emotional well-being.
  • Stress and anxiety reduction: Experience the soothing magic of essential oils like lavender, bergamot, and ylang-ylang in aromatherapy to effortlessly melt away stress, reduce anxiety, and bring relaxation and tranquility to your day.
  • Improved sleep: Elevate your sleep to new heights of tranquility by incorporating the calming scents of lavender and vetiver essential oils. Whether diffused or gently applied in diluted form before bedtime, these fragrant elixirs promise a night of peaceful, rejuvenating slumber.
  • Pain relief and Respiratory Support: Experience the dual benefits of essential oils in pain relief and respiratory support. Harnessing the natural power such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and chamomile can effectively alleviate headaches, ease muscle soreness, and provide comforting relief for minor aches. Moreover, these aromatic marvels possess decongestant and expectorant properties, making them a trusted remedy for soothing the discomfort associated with cold and flu symptoms.
  • Skin Care: Unlock the potential of essential oils to promote skin health through their remarkable antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory attributes. Notably, tea tree oil stands out for its prowess in addressing acne and skin infections, additionally, also offering a radiant complexion.
  • Improved focus and concentration: Enjoy the uplifting scents of rosemary and lemon essential oils for enhanced focus and concentration.
  • Natural cleaning and pest repellent: Some essential oils are natural cleaners with antimicrobial properties, while citronella and lemongrass oils work wonders as insect repellents.
  • Massage and relaxation: Elevate your massage experience with the soothing essence helps create a wonderfully therapeutic ambiance while gently melting away muscle tension for profound relaxation.
essential oil

Have more question?

For individuals with unique health considerations or specific medical conditions, Leilani, with her specialized knowledge, is here to craft a personalized blend designed to cater to your individual requirements. Please reach out to us without hesitation for the support you need.

What is Piriformis Syndrome?

Piriformis syndrome makes its appearance when the sciatic nerve gets caught up around the ischial tuberosity “also known as the sitting bone” – that bony prominence in your hip. Now, while there’s a whole mix of things that can throw this syndrome into action, the way it shows up is pretty consistent. Imagine this: folks often talk about a real pain in the gluteal region that feels like it’s shooting, burning, or just nagging down the back of their leg. And that’s not all – numbness decides to join the party in the buttocks, while tingling sensations run wild along the sciatic nerve’s pathway. It’s like a sci-fi adventure playing out in your own body!

The sciatic nerve and the piriformis muscle are like neighbors, living right next to each other in your hip. Now, the piriformis muscle’s job is to make your hip rotate outward. But here’s the twist – when this muscle gets all cranky and inflamed, it starts bothering its neighbor, the sciatic nerve. The result? It’s like having a sneak preview of sciatica – with all that nerve pain shooting down your leg.

Now, here’s the catch – diagnosing piriformis syndrome isn’t a walk in the park. Doctors have to put on their detective hats and rely on your clinical history and how you present your symptoms. And here’s the plot twist – there are other conditions that can pull off the same act and mimic the symptoms of piriformis syndrome. Think lumbar canal stenosis, disc inflammation, or issues in your pelvic area. It’s like a mystery novel where the clues aren’t always what they seem!


How do you identify piriformis syndrome symptoms?

Piriformis syndrome can be easily misdiagnosed as herniated disc, sciatica, a proximal hamstring strain (also known as high hamstring tendinitis), or a lower back issue. Here are several primary symptoms that can aid in identifying whether the piriformis muscle is the origin of your discomfort:

  • Hurts to sit or pain in the buttock: 
  • Difficulty sitting for Long periods of time
  • Numbness and tingling in the buttock and down the leg
  • Weakness or difficulty moving the leg

Less Common symptoms may include:

Bilateral Piriformis Syndrome: – research suggests that people with Piriformis syndrome can occur in the right and left buttocks and both legs at the same time. 

Alternating Symptoms: – Piriformis may alternate between both legs, this may suggest the presence of degenerate problems in the SI Joint coexisting with Piriformis syndrome. 

Symptoms that start after Pregnancy: –  Piriformis syndrome may develop months after pregnancy due to the elongation and strain of gluteal muscles in the pelvis.

Groin pain and numbness: – Piriformis syndrome may cause groin pain and numbness due to the impingement of the pudendal nerve, a sensory and motor nerve that passes below the piriformis muscle and supplies the groin area.

How we can help you:

First Dr. Wendy Brackeen, will assess your range of motion, and your flexibility. Dr. Wendy will assess your mobility and Between a combination of spinal and extremity adjustments, chiropractic care can help to take the pressure of overly tight areas, realign your body, and keep your nervous system functioning properly.

Massage therapy helps to ease and relax muscle tension, releasing the lumbar, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and the piriformis. Soft tissue release can help to remove adhesions, scar tissue, and can help to realign the tissues.

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment; let’s work together to address this issue and help you get back on track to better health.

Tens Unit

What is a tens unit?
TENS machines are commonly used to alleviate pain, especially for conditions like muscle or joint pain, arthritis, and certain nerve-related conditions. The electrical impulses generated by the TENS unit can help to disrupt pain signals to the brain, providing relief and reducing discomfort in the treated area.

TENS units are available in both battery-operated and plug-in versions, allowing for flexibility in usage and portability. It’s essential to use TENS devices under the guidance of a healthcare professional, as they can provide effective pain management when used correctly and safely.

tens unit

How does a tens unit work?
TENS therapy involves delivering small electrical impulses to specific areas of the body, typically where pain is experienced. These electrical impulses aim to reduce the transmission of pain signals to the spinal cord, which can lead to a decrease in the perception of pain. Additionally, TENS can promote muscle relaxation, further contributing to pain relief and overall comfort.

By using TENS, individuals experiencing various types of pain, such as muscle or joint pain, neuropathic pain, or chronic pain conditions, may find relief and improved quality of life. Consult with Dr. Wendy Brackeen before using a TENS device to ensure it is appropriate for your specific condition and to receive proper guidance on how to use the device effectively and safely.

How can a tens unit benefit you?
Indeed, research has demonstrated that Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) can have positive effects on reducing inflammation, decreasing swelling, and enhancing circulation, which can contribute to improved tissue healing.

By using electrical impulses to stimulate the affected areas, TENS can help to reduce inflammation by promoting blood flow and increasing the release of certain substances that aid in the body’s natural healing processes. This increased circulation can facilitate the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the injured or inflamed tissues, supporting their recovery.

Moreover, TENS can also stimulate the production of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals produced by the body. The release of endorphins can further help in reducing pain and discomfort, allowing the affected tissues to heal more effectively. However, while TENS can be a beneficial adjunct to other treatments in promoting tissue healing, it’s essential to note that it may not be a standalone solution for all conditions. As with any medical intervention, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate and effective treatment plan for your specific needs and condition.

What happens during a tens unit session?
TENS therapy is one of the treatments offered at our office, and it may also be included in your personalized physical therapy treatment plan. While you have the option to purchase a TENS unit at a local pharmacy, we recommend consulting with Dr. Wendy Brackeen first to ensure you find the most suitable device or treatment plan for your specific needs.

When administering TENS therapy, our pain management specialists will determine the appropriate placement of the electrodes and adjust the voltage settings to achieve the best pain relief for you. We have found that patients experience the most significant benefits from TENS therapy when used in conjunction with physical therapy.

It’s important to note that some patients may become accustomed to using a TENS unit, and as a result, the effectiveness of the treatment may diminish over time. In such cases, it’s crucial to discuss your experience with Dr. Wendy Brackeen, as she can help assess whether TENS therapy continues to be a beneficial option for you or if alternative treatments should be considered.

By collaborating with Dr. Wendy Brackeen and our pain management specialists, you can receive the most appropriate and effective treatment to address your specific pain management needs and promote your overall well-being.

Rest Requires Respect

rest with feet up

People often neglect sleep and in many cases, even look down upon it. For in todays society, it is not advantageous to rest. Working is what gets things done, and resting is just a hinderance after all. Ever heard, “Sleep is the cousin of death”? This is a sentiment shared by many. It seems everywhere you look, people are bragging about how much they are accomplishing but never how much they are resting.

But if rest were truly not important, why do we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping? Wouldn’t we be better off skipping the recommended 8 hours of sleep and staying awake 24 hours a day instead? As you have probably guessed, this is not how things work. Even if all of this did sound good to you, your body instinctively knows that it requires rest.

Rest Tips

You may be wondering how you can incorporate more rest into your busy schedule. Here is a quick list of ways that you can recover throughout the day:

  • Mediate for 10 minutes intervals. If you can’t spare 10 minutes, try to squeeze a 5 minute session in.
  • Take 20-30 minute power naps. This can leave you feeling charged up for a few hours, which may just be enough to help get you through a busy day. However, be sure to not sleep too long.
  • Listen to calm music. For example, ocean sounds, rain drops, and birds chirping work great at relaxing your mind and body.
  • Go for a short walk outside.
  • Do some yoga and other stretches.
  • Focus on your breathing.

If you want to learn more, please make an appointment with Dr. Wendy and she would be happy to have a consultation with you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.

Stretch for Hip Flexor

stretch for the hip flexors

As its name implies, the hip flexors are a group of muscles that are primarily responsible for flexing the hip. However, their role in your overall health and well-being extend far beyond just that. If you suffer from lower back pain, it is possible that your hip flexors are the culprit behind those symptoms. How can the hip flexors contribute to lower back pain, you ask? Tight hip flexors often result from long periods of sitting, which ultimately shorten your hip flexors and pull your hips out of alignment. This leads to extra strain being placed on your lower back that will never go away until the actual source of the problem (the hip flexor) is addressed. One of the best aways of alleviating tight hip flexors is with the kneeling hip flexor stretch.

Beginner Stretch

Here is how you can perform a variation of this stretch if you are really tight or new to stretching:

  1. On a soft and steady surface (i.e. a yoga mat or carpeted flooring), kneel on both knees, then place one foot forward into a lunge position.
    • There should be no knee pain present in your back leg when performed correctly. Ensure that you are resting your back leg on the femur and not the patella.
  2. Strive to create a 90 degree angle at the hip and knee while keeping your torso upright.
    • If a 90 degree angle is too intense, listen to your body and perform within the flexibility range that you are capable of. Overtime, slowly strive to increase the stretch you apply.
    • When performed correctly, the majority of the stretch should be felt in the hip flexor of the back leg.
  3. Hold this position for 20-45 seconds, then rest. Perform on both hip flexors 1-3 times. Ideally, try to perform this routine 1-3 times per day.

For Intermediates

If you are looking to take this stretch to the next level, you may want to try increasing the difficulty by:

  • Going beyond 90 degrees
  • Holding the position for 1-3 minutes, then resting.
  • Performing the stretch 2-5 times per day.

Advanced Variations

At the advanced level, you can challenge yourself by:

  • Holding your back leg up with your hand
  • Propping your back leg up on a chair
  • Increasing the time you stretch

If you are interested in learning more, please make an appointment with Dr. Wendy and she would be happy to have a consultation with you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.

Training Principle

training with dumbbell

There are many ways to live an active and healthy lifestyle. Whether you choose to walk around the park, play a game of basketball, go out for a swim, or lift some weights, these are all forms of exercise that help to keep your body strong. Regardless of the activity that you choose, there are certain training principles that you want to consider. These training principles are applicable to any endeavor you choose to pursue, and will help keep you on the right track as you go through your fitness journey.

#1: Overload your Training

Ever heard the term progressive overload? This refers to the concept that as you get stronger, the stimulus you are working with also needs to increase. For example, although performing 5 pushups may be challenging at first, you may quickly find that overtime this becomes easier and easier. While 5 pushups may be a good goal to reach for some, it is important to remember that you will not get much stronger if you don’t continue to push yourself in some capacity.

Do be mindful to not push yourself too much. Going from 5 pushups to 50 pushups may be too lofty of a goal which could result in injuries. Instead, focus on creating short, medium, and long term goals. So maybe you want to reach 10 pushups in a month, then 25 pushups by 6 months, then 50 pushups after a year.

Overloading your training can be applied to any goal you set out for yourself. Whether you want to work your way up to a marathon or win a swimming competition, first identify your current level of fitness then slowly increase the difficulty of each workout. Overtime, you will progress and eventually reach your goals.

#2: Frequency of your Training

Another part of training to consider is the frequency of your training. This refers to the amount of work you put into your training. Frequency is relative and can be measured by how much expenditure you exert within each individual workout, within each week, month, and even year of training. Depending on your goals, you want to make sure that your are exercising the optimal amount.

Although most people understand that training too little can hinder progress, more is also not always better. This can lead to overtraining and an increased risk of injury. Instead, you want to workout just enough to be making progress but also allowing your body enough time to recover and recuperate.

#3: Reversibility

This principle can be boiled down to “use it or lose it”. Just as you can build muscle, so to can you lose it. The process of building muscle is termed hypertrophy, and the process of losing muscle is atrophy. If you don’t want to lose the progress you’ve made, simply keep exercising.

There may come a day that you decide you don’t want to keep pushing yourself. Maybe squatting 100lbs was your goal and you have no interest in going heavier than this. We all have our own goals and it is perfectly acceptable to just want to maintain the strength you have. In this case, you could structure your workouts without any progressive overload and not lose any strength.

On the other hand, if you choose to stop working out entirely, you will most likely lose your gains. However, there is a caveat to this. As a result of overloading your training, your body will build additional myonuclei in your muscles. Essentially, this means that although you may lose muscle mass and strength, these myonuclei will remain. If you ever decide to go back to training in the future, you will progress much faster back to your level of strength because of these myonuclei as compared to being a complete beginner.

#4: Variance

The last training principle to consider is the principle of variance. This refers to the idea that it is preferable if you include some variety in your training. Now some athletes may be thinking, “But what about specificity of training?” This is another training concept that states whatever you are working towards, your training should be as specific and conducive to your goal as possible. An extreme example of this would be telling a basketball player to train like a soccer player. While this athlete will get some athletic benefits from training in this capacity, it most likely will not make him a strong basketball player. Instead, this athlete would benefit from focusing on exercises and drills specific to strengthening his performance at basketball.

So where does variance fit into all of this? Well believe it or not, being too specific with your training is not a great thing either. Like most things in life, it all boils down to balance. Although the bulk of this basketball athlete’s training should revolve around sports specific workouts, doing some supplemental cardio and strength work will also help them perform better at basketball and make them a better overall athlete. How this may look like for you is first you pick a goal, such as running 3 miles. Most of your training will be specific to this goal, such as jogging, sprinting, and running workouts. However, you can also incorporate some strength training sessions to build the overall strength in your legs.

If you are interested in more strength training advice, please make an appointment with Dr. Wendy and she would be happy to have a consultation with you. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.

Do you struggle finding the right running shoes?

running shoes

Finding the right pair of running shoes is essential for a comfortable and injury-free running experience. Here are some steps to help you find the right running shoes:

Understand your foot type:

1. Unearth Your Foot Type: There are three secret agents in the world of foot types: Neutral, Overpronation, and Underpronation (Supination). Knowing which one is your partner in crime is crucial for finding the right shoes.

2. The Shoe Detective Agency: You’ve got two ways to crack the case. You can either make a pit stop at a specialty running store where they’ll do some fancy analysis of your foot’s every move and whisper its secrets to you, or you can be a DIY detective with the Wet Foot Test.

3. The Wet Foot Test: It’s like a foot inkblot test. Here’s the scoop: Wet the sole of your foot and then step onto a piece of paper. What emerges is the key to your foot’s true identity.

Time to become a foot detective and decode your foot type!

foot print test

Ask away and do some research!

  • Consult a trainer or a doctor to asses your running gait: Reach out to a knowledgeable trainer or even better, a foot specialist, aka a doctor. They’re like the Sherlock Holmes of feet and can analyze your running gait with the precision of a detective solving a case.
  • Arch Support: Got high, medium, or low arches? No problem! Seek out those shoes that cater to your unique arch needs. It’s like finding the perfect dance partner – they should provide the right support for your moves.
  • Your Running Surface: Think about the surfaces you’ll be running on most frequently. Different shoes are designed for road running, trail running, or a mix of both. Therefore, you should choose running shoes that are appropriate for the surfaces you’ll be running on.
  • Replace Old Shoes: Running shoes have a shelf life, just like your favorite snacks (only less tasty). Remember, it’s generally time for a shoe swap every 300-500 miles, or when your lightweight kicks hit the 250-300 mile mark. It’s time to say goodbye when they’re showing signs of wear and tear or have about as much cushioning as a pancake.
  • Listen to Your Body: Your body is your best advisor. It doesn’t lie! If a shoe feels like a medieval torture device during your test run, ditch it. Your feet deserve the royal treatment. Comfort is king (or queen) when it comes to choosing your perfect pair.

Lastly, go shoe hunting!

  • Visit a Running Specialty Store: It’s highly recommended to visit a specialty running store where knowledgeable staff can analyze your gait and foot type. They can recommend shoes that provide the right amount of support and cushioning for your needs. Additionally, these stores often have treadmills and equipment that can help analyze your running style.
  • Try Different Brands and Models: Once you’ve determined your foot type and the specific support you require, experiment with various running shoe brands and models. Be mindful that each brand may offer a slightly different fit, so it’s crucial to locate a shoe that provides a comfortable feel for your feet.
  • Size and Fit: Running shoes should fit snugly but not tightly. There should be about a thumbnail’s width of space between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. Make sure your heel doesn’t slip and that the shoe doesn’t feel too tight across the widest part of your foot. Each part of the running shoe has a specific purpose and is designed to fit the foot a certain way. Even the slightest differentiation may affect your experience. 
  • Test the Shoes: Don’t just stand there – strut your stuff! Walk and jog around the store like it’s your personal runway. Feel those shoes hug your feet and pay attention to every sensation. Notice any discomfort or funky pressure points? These shoes might not be your Cinderella fit.
  • Replace Old Shoes: Running shoes, similar to your beloved snacks (though less delicious), come with an expiration date. Keep in mind that it’s typically advisable to replace your footwear every 300-500 miles of use, especially when your lightweight sneakers reach around 250-300 miles. Moreover, if they exhibit wear and tear or offer as much support as a pancake, it’s best to bid them farewell. You can also prolong the lifespan of your shoes by practicing shoe rotation, alternating between several pairs of running shoes if you own multiple.

So there you have it, shoe shopping with style and a dash of pizzazz! 🌟 Happy hunting!

Lacrosse Ball Relief

Benefits of using a lacrosse massage ball
A lacrosse massage ball is a small, dense ball typically made of rubber or silicone that is used for self-myofascial release and targeted muscle massage. It’s often utilized in self-massage techniques to alleviate muscle tension, improve circulation, and enhance flexibility. Here are some benefits of using a lacrosse massage ball:

  • Muscle Tension Relief: The pressure applied by the lacrosse massage ball helps release knots and tension in muscles, reducing soreness and discomfort. It can be particularly effective for areas that are hard to reach with traditional foam rollers.
  • Myofascial Release: The ball can be rolled over soft tissue to target trigger points and fascial restrictions. This can help improve the flexibility and elasticity of muscles and connective tissues.
  • Increased Blood Flow: Using the ball stimulates blood flow to the targeted area. Improved circulation can aid in nutrient and oxygen delivery to muscles, promoting recovery and reducing muscle fatigue.
  • Improved Range of Motion: Regular use of a lacrosse massage ball can help improve joint mobility and range of motion by breaking up adhesions and scar tissue that can restrict movement.
  • Pain Reduction: The pressure from the ball can trigger the release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals in the body. This can lead to temporary pain reduction and relaxation.
  • Convenience and Portability: Lacrosse massage balls are compact and easy to carry, making them convenient for use at home, the gym, or even while traveling. They can target specific areas of discomfort without requiring a large space.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to professional massages or other massage tools, lacrosse massage balls are relatively inexpensive. They offer a cost-effective way to achieve similar benefits without recurring expenses.
  • Customizable Pressure: You can control the amount of pressure applied by adjusting your body weight on the ball. This allows you to tailor the massage to your comfort level and specific needs.
  • Self-Care and Empowerment: Using a lacrosse massage ball empowers individuals to take charge of their own muscle health and recovery. It can be integrated into a regular self-care routine for ongoing maintenance of muscular health.
  • Preventive Maintenance: Regular use of a lacrosse massage ball can help prevent the development of muscle imbalances, tightness, and discomfort, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

Remember that while a lacrosse massage ball can offer numerous benefits, it’s important to use it properly and listen to your body. Applying too much pressure or using the ball too aggressively could lead to discomfort or injury. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or concerns, it’s a good idea to consult with Dr. Wendy before incorporating a lacrosse massage ball or any other self-massage tool into your routine.

lacrosse ball

Releasing tension in the glute muscles can indeed have a positive impact on the overall mobility and comfort of the hips and lower back. The interconnectedness of muscles and fascia in the body means that tightness or tension in one area can have repercussions in other areas.

  • Positioning: Stand with your back against a wall. Place the lacrosse ball between the wall and the meaty part of your glutes (buttocks).
  • Exploration: Gently move your body up and down and side to side while keeping the ball pressed against your glutes. This movement helps you locate any tender or tight spots in the muscles.
  • Pressure Application: Once you identify a tender spot, relax your body weight into the wall, allowing the lacrosse ball to apply pressure to that specific area. The pressure helps release tension and alleviate discomfort.
  • Hold and Breathe: Maintain the pressure on the tender spot for about 30 seconds. As you hold the pressure, take slow and deep breaths to help relax the muscles and promote further relief.
  • Release: After about 30 seconds or when you feel the discomfort subsiding, slowly release the pressure and remove the lacrosse ball from that area.
  • Repeat on Other Side: Perform the same technique on the other glute muscle to ensure both sides receive equal attention.
lacrosse ball

Tight hamstrings are a common issue among adults, often stemming from prolonged periods of sitting. This tightness can have far-reaching effects on the body, contributing to various types of discomfort and limitations. Here’s a breakdown of the steps of potential benefits. If you’re still unsure, please reach out to Dr. Wendy for consult. 

  • Setup: Find a hard chair or table that’s elevated enough to allow your legs to hang freely. Sit on the chair or table’s edge, with your legs extended and your feet not touching the ground.
  • Positioning the Ball: Place a lacrosse ball under your thigh, where your hamstring muscles are located. Gently move the ball around until you identify a tender or tight spot.
  • Applying Pressure: Lean your upper body forward, using your arm and body weight to apply pressure onto the lacrosse ball, which is targeting the tight area of your hamstring.
  • Dynamic Stretching: Slowly extend your knee by straightening your leg and then bend it back again. This movement dynamically stretches the hamstrings while the ball applies pressure to the tender spot.
  • Hold and Repeat: Maintain this movement—extending and bending your knee—for about 30 seconds. Move the lacrosse ball as needed to target different areas of the hamstring. Repeat the process a few times.
lacrosse ball class=

Upper back and Shoulders
The trapezius is a large, triangular muscle that extends from the base of the skull down to the middle of the back and out to the shoulders. Due to its extensive coverage and its role in supporting the head and shoulders, it’s commonly prone to tension and discomfort.

  • Positioning: Stand with your back against a wall. Place a lacrosse ball between your upper back and the wall. Position the ball on one side of your spine.
  • Exploration: Move your upper body around in various directions (up, down, side to side) while keeping the ball pressed against your upper back. This movement helps you locate tender or tight spots in the muscles.
  • Pressure Application: Once you identify a tender spot, relax your body weight into the wall, allowing the lacrosse ball to apply pressure to that specific area.
  • Hands Crossed: Cross your hands over your chest, keeping your elbows open, to avoid straining your neck or shoulders.
  • Gentle Movement: Slowly move your body up and down, allowing the lacrosse ball to massage the muscles alongside your spine. Focus on areas with knots or tension.
  • Repeat on Both Sides: After massaging one side, move the lacrosse ball to the other side of your spine and repeat the process.

Healthcare professionals like Dr. Wendy can provide personalized assessments, recommendations, and treatment plans tailored to an individual’s specific needs and conditions. If someone is experiencing persistent pain, discomfort, or any other health-related concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider for accurate guidance and appropriate solutions.

lacrosse ball

Chest and Shoulders
Tight chest muscles can indeed have a negative impact on posture and contribute to discomfort in the neck and back. Using a lacrosse ball for self-massage can be an effective method to release tension in the chest muscles and promote better posture and mobility. Here’s how this technique works and the potential benefits:

  • Positioning: Stand facing a wall, and hold a lacrosse ball in one hand.
  • Target Muscle: Find a flat surface, like a wall, and position the lacrosse ball against it. Place the ball between your chest and the wall, targeting the area where the tightness is felt.
  • Pressure Application: Gently press your chest against the ball and the wall, allowing the ball to apply pressure to the tight muscles.
  • Movement: Move your body slowly and gently from side to side, up and down, or in circular motions. This movement helps the ball target different areas within the chest muscles.
  • Breathing: Focus on taking slow, deep breaths as you perform the movement. This can help relax the muscles and enhance the effectiveness of the technique.
  • Duration: Spend a few minutes performing these movements, paying attention to any areas of particular tightness or discomfort.
lacrosse ball

If you’re keen on including a Lacrosse Ball or any massage device in your regimen, kindly contact our team and give Dr. Wendy an opportunity to showcase the correct techniques that can safely benefit you. We offer Lacrosse Balls specifically crafted to provide the pain relief you’re searching for; they’re available at the front desk. Reach out today to arrange an appointment with Dr. Wendy or one of our massage therapists.

Caloric Machine

varioair vestibular caloric machine

Here at Attuned Vitality, our Functional Neurologist offers many different treatment modalities. One such modality is the caloric machine. The caloric machine can both test and treat the vestibular organ by means of air. Its extremely precise temperature and airflow control ensures that the transferred air remains constant throughout the duration of the therapy.

But how does the caloric machine work?

There are a few things that you need to know before understanding how the caloric machine works.

  • While people commonly associate the term calorie with food, a calorie is fundamentally a unit of heat. Therefore, a caloric machine is a machine capable of regulating temperature. Our caloric machine, the Atmos Varioair 3, can produce both warm and cool air depending on the therapeutic needs of the patient.
  • The vestibular system refers to the area in you ear that is responsible for your sense of balance. Hence, damage to your vestibular system can result in dizziness, vertigo, and other balance problems. Examples of injuries are concussions, Parkinson’s disease, BPPV, POTS, Meniere’s disease, and orthostatic hypotension.

The warm air that emits from the caloric machine influences the fluid in the vestibular system, resulting in subtle movements of the eyes called nystagmus. As a clinical tool, the presence of any abnormalities in the eyes can indicate damage to the brain and the vestibular system. Hence, this allows the healthcare practitioner to diagnose and evaluate different forms of dizziness and vertigo.

Dizziness is a common complaint in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Caloric testing serves as a valuable clinical tool for evaluating dizziness, enabling the assessment and quantification of individual vestibular system functionality. By utilizing the vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR), caloric testing helps identify unilateral peripheral deficits as potential causes of the patient’s symptoms. Additionally, due to its reliance on an intact brainstem, this testing method can also evaluate brainstem function, particularly in comatose patients. The following outlines the indications, contraindications, techniques, and clinical relevance of caloric testing.


  • Hearing Loss Caused by Antibiotic Use
  • Vertigo (Dizziness)
  • Brain Damage in Comatose Individuals


Before conducting caloric testing, the health care provider ensures the normalcy of the ear, especially the eardrum.


  1. The testing is conducted on one ear at a time.
  2. Warm air goes into the ear canal, causing an involuntary eye movement called nystagmus.
  3. The process is repeated for the other ear.

Clinical Relevance:

Caloric stimulation offers the advantage of precise and reproducible results due to adjustable stimulus duration and temperatures ranging from 20°C to 47°C. It finds utility in various medical settings, including ENT outpatient departments, diagnostics rooms, and medical practices. This compact device facilitates thermal testing of the vestibular organ without requiring a water connection.

Therapeutic Treatment:

If the Functional Neurologist determines that your therapeutic plan should involve the caloric machine, you can expect the following process to take place:

  • Inserting warm air into the ear canals.
  • Monitoring eye activity throughout the session to determine optimal sets and durations.
  • Administering mild discomfort, potentially leading to brief vertigo and nausea. At this point, we will terminate therapy.
  • Progressing from 3 to 15-second durations depending on patient response.
  • Using VOG goggles for real-time monitoring of eye movements in darkness.
  • Combining other therapeutic modalities if necessary, such as class I laser, carotid massage, head movements, and breathing exercises.
  • Performing the test in a seated position throughout.

In summary:

Caloric testing offers a non-invasive method to assess vestibular function, potentially aiding in managing conditions related to balance, hearing, and brainstem function.

If you have any questions, please make an appointment with Dr. Funk. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date on our business.