Mobility and Range of Motion in the Spine

For the Love of Your Back

Could your chronic neck or back pain be from lack of mobility?
Have you ever wondered how much work your spine does for you?
Have you ever pondered getting a tune-up on the spine?
Your spine starts at the base of your skull and runs into your hips. It is a thirty-three-bone-pillar that holds you erect and walking.
You go to the dentist, you get your haircut, but when was the last time you made an appointment to check your spine mobility?

Joint Mobility and Chronic Pain

Does your spine feel stiff?
Do you lack a range of motion with side bending in your torso?
Your thoracic spine is directly connected to your cervical spine (located at the neck). Because of the close link between the two, you can see how a lack of joint mobility in the thoracic spine could potentially contribute to disorders in the neck.1
In fact, a direct association has been found between people with decreased mobility in the thoracic spine who also complain of neck pain.2

1.) Cleland J, et al. Development of a clinical prediction rule for guiding treatment of a subgroup of patients with neck pain: use of thoracic spine manipulation, exercise, and patient education. Phys Ther. 2007;87(1):9-23.
2.) Norlander S, Nordgren B. Clinical symptoms related to musculoskeletal neck-shoulder pain and mobility in the spine. Scand J Rehabil Med. 1998;30:243-251

For the Love of Your Spine Special

Between now and February 28, 2019, come in for a 45-minute spinal treatment for only $50 (normally $75). Gift Certificates available for this special rate as well.

“Every time I have anything from tightness to acute pain anywhere on my body, I come into Elizabeth and have this work done and I feel relief. Because of my active lifestyle, being a welder, bodybuilder, and doing other physical activities, I often have areas that become so uncomfortable I can’t sleep comfortably at night. After coming to see Elizabeth, those problems seem to disappear, and not only do I feel better, I move much better as well.”
C.M. Santa Rosa, CA

The Month of Love

February usually conjures thoughts of chocolates and flowers. But what if February becomes a moment of deep reflection and caring for your spine? The part of your body that holds you up through thick and thin. Maybe it’s time to appreciate it.

Please forward this to any friends or family who may need help with their neck or back. I hope to be a resource to help you and your loved ones keep healthy.

Elizabeth Lakin CCHH, CCSP, NTS

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The Lingering Mystery Pains…muscle and ligament tears

Muscle and Ligament Tears

As I was reckless in my past as an athlete, I have many issues still lingering in my muscles and ligaments. I’m currently dealing with 14 muscle and ligament tears from old injuries. Most of these tears, some as old as 20 years, I have discovered due to re-injury in current day.

Muscle injuries are frequent in high demand sports, accounting for 10% to 55% of all acute sports injuries.1 In the U.S. alone, tendon, ligament, and joint capsular injuries account for 45% of the 32 million musculoskeletal injuries each year. 2

The good news is that these lingering injuries can easily be found and healed with kinetic taping and LED light therapy.

1.) Acute muscle strain injuries: a proposed new classification system. Chan O, Del Buono A, Best TM, Maffulli N, Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2012 Nov; 20(11):2356-62.[PubMed]

2.) Functional efficacy of tendon repair processes. Butler DL, Juncosa N, Dressler MR, Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2004; 6():303-29.[PubMed]

Finding Tears and Taping 

Using kinetic tape is both an art and a science. It first takes assessing the area that has an unstable joint resulting from over-stretched ligaments or finding the indentation, or dent in a muscle to see the damage of severity of the tear.

How does one know they have a tear? The classic sensation of a tear is shooting, sharp pain. It can also feel like a tingling sensation. The pain can radiate up or down to another part of the body. And sadly, it can also be painless even though one has “never been well” since this injury happened.

A ligament or muscle tear will heal partially, but not completely, without the use of kinetic tape. The tape allows the muscle or ligament to “take a break” and rest.  The kinetic tape acts as an artificial muscle or ligament.

The addition of using an LED light will dramatically speed up recovery. I only recommend this 8000 megawatt light which is on sale for January. Here is a video about using the LED light.

The size of the muscle tear and the severity of the ligament tear will dictate how long it will take to heal.

The tape without medicinal properties is water-resistant and can remain on the skin for 3 to 5 days.1 Taping is easy and effective for helping one relieve pain.

In a study for myofascial pain control, significant improvement in pain and disability was noted in the taping group after one to two weeks.1

1.) The Kinesio Taping Method for Myofascial Pain Control. Wei-Ting Wu, Chang-Zern Hong, Li-Wei Chou, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Hindawi, 8 March 2015.

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Freedom from Neck Pain

The Lingering Neck Pain

   When clients come into my office for a bodywork session, they commonly tell me their neck is bothering them. The demands on the body from a sedentary life are taxing. Texting on phones and looking down at small electrical devices, working long hours on the computer and lack of exercise has created new strain patterns the world didn’t see 20 years ago. “Although most acute episodes of neck pain resolve spontaneously, more than a third of affected people still have low grade symptoms or recurrences more than one year later.”1

1.) Cohen SP, Hotten WM. Advances in the diagnosis & management  of neck pain. 2017 Aug 14;358:j3221. [PubMed]

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Holidays with Ease

‘Tis the season….

For many people, this is a joyous celebration of holy days. For others, this can be a really challenging time of year. There is great pressure to spend a lot of money to show people how much we love them. At times, we buy things our loved ones don’t really need or want.

The stress of the season takes a toll on our nervous system.  It could be the changing of the weather or the deep reflection of the kind of year it has been.

I want to give the gift of one of my most useful passive practices, the mediation of yoga nidra.  This ancient practice can reduce tension, anxiety and rejuvenate the body. Yoga nidra is an art of deeply relaxing the body. There is a part in the mediation to create what is called a “resolve” or an affirmation.

When you are so relaxed you will be in an open, receptive and intuitive space. Being this relaxed creates a fertile ground where this new seed thought can be planted, to manifest anything.

Here is a research paper of the health benefits yoga nidra…

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Fires, Particulates & Freeing The Lymphatic System

Breathing in Fire Compounds

“That fire [Camp Fire from Paradise, CA] is causing the worst air pollution in history for the Bay Area and northern California, says John Balmes, a physician at the University of California, Berkeley, who sits on the California Air Resources Board.” 1

“Longer-term impacts of such exposure, meanwhile, are little understood. Few studies have been conducted to track the health of people months, and years, after they have been exposed to high concentrations of ‘particulate’ pollution. The emissions are similar to the toxic particles released with the burning of fossil fuels. But fire fumes could pose an additional risk, because they include chemicals released when homes and cars — and their attendant insulation, plastics and metals — burn.” 2

” ‘This is not good for our lungs,’ says Dr. Gopal Allada, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Oregon Health & Science University, ‘When you inhale these really small particles, smaller than a few microns, they can land in your lungs and cause respiratory symptoms.’ They can even pass into your bloodstream.” 3

“For people who have underlying heart conditions or respiratory illnesses — such as asthma or chronic lung disease — exposure to wildfire smoke can be serious. Other high-risk groups include people over 65, children (whose lungs are still developing) and pregnant women, because of the risk to the fetus.” 3

1.) Coren, M, J. (2018, Nov 17). California’s air was among the world’s worst this week. Climate change will make it the new normal. Retreived from
2.) Rainey, J. (2018, Nov 23). Bad air from California’s Camp Fire makes people sick, but for how long? NBC News. Retrieved from
3.) Greenhalgh, J. (2017, Sept 11). Is All That Wildfire Smoke Damaging My Lungs? NPR news. Retrieved from

Susceptibility & the Lymphatic System 

These fires will affect each person differently depending on our current state of health and our inherited susceptibility. As a homeopath, I have noticed that our weakest link in our health can be triggered. Looking at the whole system is a key to bringing our vital energy to the best place it can be when faced with toxic environmental issues.I highly recommend coming in for a cranial lymphatic session. It is very relaxing and helps the body purge toxicity that is bound up in the lungs and the lymphatic system, which is our immune system. I have also been using an 8,000 mW of red and infrared LED light on each clients lungs. This past week, I got the pleasure of giving 45 minute lymphatic sessions to two young children.
Other ways to stimulate the lymphatic system are salt scrubs, dry brushing or jumping on a rebounder.
For those who are really suffering, I suggest a personalized constitutional homeopathic remedy for you.
Here is a client’s transformational process of her life-changing experience being on professional homeopathic care.
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Strength and Flexibility

Strength and Flexibity

Many people think that flexibility is the key to getting out of back pain. I have found in my own body and clients that strength is what needs to be built first in our backs prior to flexibility. Many clients have weak core abdominal muscles and back muscles.  It has been a pleasure to look at each client’s structure and see what is exactly going on in their body. Where is the back weak? Where is the back too tight or too flexible?

Exercise is the only meaningful way to increase functional capacity.4 What home exercises can I give to help create lasting change in the body? One exercise is plank pose in the picture above and many other exercises to strength the back and core muscles. Exercises will take a minute out of your life and help completely change patterns in your body. Home care and the correct exercises are a big piece of keeping one’s back working well.

“The majority of back pain is the result of muscle and ligament strain or weakness, and can often be prevented by developing core strength and proper posture,” said Dr. Daniel Mazanec, associate director of the Center for Spine Health at the Cleveland Clinic.

4. Bortz WM 2nd. Redefining human aging. J Am Geriatr Soc. 1989 Nov;37(11):1092–1096.  [PubMed]

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Mobilization the Key to Freedom

Mobilization is the Key

After 24 years of working with my own chronic pain, I am solving problems I once thought I would have to live with forever. It has been quite the journey to get me to this present moment.

My drive to solve the chronic pain in my body has consumed my life. My history of competing in college sports, backpacking as a botanist, farming organically laboriously by hand, encountering accidents and countless head injuries, and generally being ruthless to my body, all cumulated in unbearable pain. Ultimately, I have learned a lot about how to understand the source of pain, and I bring this knowledge to my clients.

Hands down, the key to a pain-free body is mobilization. How mobile is your body? Pain can be caused by either having too much mobilization, or little to no mobilization.

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Oh, Your Back Pain

Oh, Your Back Pain

There is so much that can be done to help someone gain mobility and release tightness in their back. Sadly, many people neglect their back pain until it is a chronic or a debilitating problem. My suggestion is preventative care in the neck, back and pelvis. Everyone has an area that is vulnerable in their spine. Why not look at these issues now? I can help alleviate your pain. You’re not alone in your suffering.
  • In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.1
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year. 2
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. 3
1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 994; 331: 69-116.
2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985;11: 1-98.

3. Rubin Dl. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Spine Pain. Neurol Clin. 2007; May;25(2):353-71.
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Celebrating 20 Years of Bodywork

20 Years of Bodywork and Entering a New Phase

After 20 years of practicing bodywork this July, I am still asking questions and refining what is working and what isn’t. After the last 10 years of primarily offering subtle cranial work, I am moving into integrating more physical bodywork to help clients get out of pain faster.

I have been fortunate to have so many master teachers in my life. In January, I began studying with a master teacher who is cutting edge in bodywork, Curtis Turchin D.C.

For years in my practice, I was seeing patterns in people’s bodies. For example, I observed that most people’s sacrum was anterior on the right side. There are some classic patterns that many people suffer with in body symmetry. And then you add injury into the stew and things get rather complex pretty quickly.

The key is mobilization.

It is brilliant to use the innate movement of the client’s muscles to unglue areas of one’s body that feel like cement. I am able to facilitate mobility for the client in a rather short amount of time. By watching what is moving or testing joints, I can access what exercises to send one home with to keep the movement forward into a pain-free life.

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Healthy Micro biome = Prebiotics & Probiotics

Our body is home to about 100 trillion bacteria and other microbes, collectively known as our micro biome.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, while prebiotics are food that will feed these good bacteria. Foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha drinks, yogurt and fermented vegetables are good source of probiotics.

Probiotics can be like an expensive supplement that can pass right through your system if prebiotics are not included into your diet. This is the key to keep our healthy flora in our body and have a balanced micro biome.

When one takes antibiotics, it can take a year to rebuild your micro biome. Other things can compromise your micro biome like: fluoride, chlorine, pesticides, GMO crops, white sugar and chemical cleaners and soaps.

A Healthy Gut = Healthy Immune System

Our whole digestive system from mouth to rectum is 30 feet long when stretched out. We have 3-5 pounds of bacteria living in our gut and 85% has to be beneficial bacteria in order to maintain balanced micro biome. This will protect you from the harmful bacteria and fungi. Micro biome produce nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin K. They assist in the digestion of food and elimination of waste. And they help to regulate hormones and aid in detoxification.

Here are some prebiotic foods to integrate into your diet, always choose organic – raw honey, garlic, onion, artichoke, carrot, chicory, asparagus, banana, mango, beet, carrot, cucumber, dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, ginger root, coconut flour, hemp seeds, quinoa, radish, jicama, sun chokes, cabbage, sweet potatoes, dandelion greens, leeks, apples, beans, berries, barley, oats, burdock root, flaxseeds, yacon root, wheat bran, seaweed, ancient wheat’s (like durum, Kamut® Khorasan). It is the undigested fibers that the probiotics feed off in these foods.

A healthy micro biome sends out signals to your immune system and helps regulate inflammation. Symptoms of an imbalance in the body include being addicted to sugar and processed foods, struggling with your weight, a poor immune system, brain fog, memory issues, lack of focus and concentration, sensitivity to foods and a wide variety of inflammatory health conditions for example allergies, MS & depression.

Unfortunately, modern diets high in sugar, refined grains, additives and preservatives, along with chlorinated water, pesticides and antibiotics support the growth of hostile bacteria.

The key to healthy micro biome garden is a diversity of prebiotics foods in your body and moderate supplementation of probiotic foods.

Bodywork has an amazing quality to repair our damaged digestive system by reducing levels of stress and chronic inflammation.

Inflammation = Pain in Body

I had the pleasure of going to the Body Worlds Exhibit in Amsterdam, this April during my last homeopathic seminar trip. I spent a lot of time geeking out on the imbalances caused by diet and injury and how to initiate healing in the body.

Are you suffering from chronic pain? Do you have injuries that haven’t resolved themselves? Inflammation can be caused by so many different reasons. After 20 years of doing bodywork, I have seen clients that are out of alignment from injuries and poor lifestyle choices which causes major inflammation. It is never to late to deal with something that has caused you pain.
There is brilliance in the body to find balance even when it seems impossible. Relieving people of pain is my greatest joy. Choose health as your gift to yourself.

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