POUND Your Way Fit

Pure Fitness 4 You is owned and managed by Brenda Jane Crass, wife and mother of two. “Owning a fitness studio is an amazing opportunity for me to share my love of health and fitness with others and to be a role model,” she says. Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but

Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but Crass adds, “If you ever come to class and have questions about moves, just ask as there are always ways to make the moves work for each individual ability level.”

Crass seeks to make Pure Fitness 4 You stand out in the community. “Pure Fitness 4 You offers unique to-the-area classes and really goes all out with the personal touch of letting our members know we are here! Once you’ve stepped into the doors at Pure Fitness 4 You, you become family!” Crass notes. One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a

One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a head to-toe workout. Crass assures, “It’s low impact but high intensity, so you’ll burn calories having a blast!” It’s new to the Chippewa Valley and is taking a lot of places, like New York City, by storm. So far there has been a lot of interest in POUND, and Crass says her regulars are addicted to it. She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.” Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!” Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You,

She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.”

Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!”

Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You, Crass exclaims, “If you are looking for an amazing atmosphere to work out in, Pure Fitness 4 You is it! We make you a part of a family, and everyone will have your back each step of the way.”

For more information, see www.purefitness4you.com, call 715-456-1182, or visit them at 1423 South Hastings Way, in Eau Claire.

Photo by Angi Randall Photography.

The Need for the Proper Form of Folate in Chronically Ill People

by Heidi Toy, NTP

In my practice, I meet with some clients with who are chronically unresponsive to medical treatments who have been very sick for a very long time. Some medical professionals around the area see me as clients and they also refer their patients to me. One of the primary items I see in chronically ill people that doctors often miss is the person’s need for the proper form of Vitamin B9 or folate. Let’s explore why this nutrient is so important and how we can avoid missing it.

First, the term folic acid refers to the synthetic form used in some supplements and in food fortification. Folic acid is in an oxidized form and must be converted by the body to the reduced form called folate. When we take a synthetic form of folic acid either as a stand-alone or in a multivitamin, we are not doing ourselves any favors. Be very cautious of buying drug store vitamins or anything fortified with folic acid rather than folate, simply because the body doesn’t know what to do with this synthetic form, and you could be blocking your cell’s receptor sites for the natural form 5-MTHF.

In the body, folate is converted to dihydrofolate then into tetrahydrofolate then into methylene tetrahydrofolate and finally into the 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF. Or very simply, Folate  →  5- MTHF.

It may seem a little technical, but having a practitioner who understands this conversion and if the person can properly make the conversion is crucial. The inability to make the conversion in some folks is because they have what is called a mutation on their genetic personality or more technically known as a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP, which is pronounced “snip.”

In the very simplest genetics explanation, we know that every living person has their own genetic code and that they got this DNA from their parents. One half of our DNA came from our mom and one half came from our dad. Along the DNA strand are alleles, which means “one member of a pair.” Alleles will be either negative (-) or positive (+), and if we received two positive alleles (+/+) one from each of our parents on the SNP known as C677T, then we have the most severe mutation and a decreased ability to convert folate to 5-MTHF.

About 40 percent of the population, myself included, has a mutation on this SNP (C677T). And while a person could have zero symptoms at all, they could also have increased homocysteine, pro inflammatory immune reaction resulting in hundreds of disorders including heart disease, progressive neurological disorders, or cancer. Moreover, folate is essential for vitamin B12 metabolism as well as in the functioning of the central nervous system and the immune system. It also means that the body has impaired ability to detox.

We have had these mutations on our SNPs since the beginning of man; however, we live in a very toxic world and our bodies’ ability to rid themselves of the toxins we encounter daily is crucial for health and wellbeing. Consider the facts of toxins in our immediate world for one minute.

Nearly 80,000 new synthetic chemicals have been released into the environment. Over 350 different pesticides are used on the food we eat. Roughly 300 known harmful substances can be found in most blood samples. Newborn babies typically contain 50 to 70 dangerous toxins at birth. The average home contains 3 to 10 gallons of hazardous materials. In the United States alone, over 4 billion pounds of pesticides are used every year. There are at least 5,000 chemical ingredients in cosmetics. Prescription medications are now showing up in our water supply. And to add insult to injury, certain medications referred to as “drug muggers” actually steal vitamin B9/folate from the body.

These staggering toxicity exposure statistics coupled with the fact that over one third of the world’s population lacks the ability to adequately convert folate to 5-MTHF has set us up for what I refer to as the perfect storm. No wonder we are chronically ill as are our children.

Finding out if you have a SNP mutation is easy. It also arms you with the knowledge of what you need to do to get, and stay, healthy in our ever-increasing world of toxicity. I offer a free fifteen-minute discovery consult call to new clients where you can find out the right course of action for you to take charge of your health today.

Heidi Toy is a functional medicine nutritional therapist, and the owner of Educated Nutrition, located in Altoona, Wisconsin. Her focus is helping people heal holistically, with an emphasis on digestion, weight loss, depression, female hormone issues, and fatigue. 

The Yoga Room

By Wendy Oberg, Owner & Teacher, The Yoga Room

The Yoga Room is brand-new business featuring some of Eau Claire’s long-time yoga teachers.  We kicked off our first class on Sunday, November 27, with a sold-out class. We are in the location of the former Orange Leaf (by Festival Foods). There are two studios: one is non-heated and the other is our HOT studio. The excitement and support has been amazing!

This space has sixteen dynamic and unique yoga teachers all in one easy-to-find location. Finding where the area teachers are has been challenging for people, so The Yoga Room was born out of the necessity to make it easier to find a class at pretty much any time of the day in one location. Yoga is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. It comes in a variety of ways and flavors. Yoga is something very different to everyone. Some people find their yoga while moving through the postures in a 100-degree room, building physical strength, balance, and flexibility, while another finds it in a seated meditation with calming poses. The intention with The Yoga Room is to create a space where people can practice a wide variety of yoga styles with a unique variety of yoga teachers. This enables the students to find a class and a teacher that works for them. We have fifty-two classes a week on the regular schedule. We have some signature classes called the YogaRoom Flow, and we have several specialty classes, including Prenatal, Yoga Sculpt, Yoga for Runners, Easy Does It (for seniors), Yin, Tantra, AcroYoga, kids, and Power, to name a few.

Finding Balance and Peace
Yoga is a science of linking breath and body movements (yoga poses) to create a positive change. The best part of a yoga practice is the only thing you have to do to start seeing the changes is simply show up! The yoga will do everything else. Harvard has a recent study showing how yoga helps rebuild your brain’s gray matter. There is a reason that yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. It works!

What If I Am a Beginner?
Yoga is the MOST accepting practice. We were all beginners at one point, and what is hard today will be easy tomorrow. You will actually start to feel and see the changes very fast. You are never meant to do anything perfect in yoga. It’s all about the process.
My favorite quote about starting a practice is from T.K.V Desikachar in The Heart of Yoga: “We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.”

How Often Is Needed to Get the Benefits?
One yoga class can change your life. That sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but it’s true! Just like anything, once you make a commitment to something, you will reap the greatest benefits. If you can make it to your mat two times a week, you WILL feel the difference.

Trained, Experienced Teachers
The tribe of teachers at The Yoga Room is simply unbelievable, and the experience they bring to this space is a dream come true for yogis. All the teachers are at least 200-hour trained through accredited Yoga Alliance schools. Several have additional specialty certifications and training. They also have deep backgrounds in areas outside of yoga that complement their understanding of the body and allow for a richer yoga experience in a safely guided class setting. The Yoga Room tribe is made up of several teachers, including massage therapists, nurses, physicians, and occupational and physical therapists. It is a kind-hearted group of teachers committed to bringing more joy to people.

Advice for Yoga as a New Year’s Resolution
Keep your goals bite-size. They are easier to stick with than the really big ones. I feel that two classes a week is a perfect place to start. Be kind to yourself and just keep showing up, even if it’s been “too long” since your last class.  Every time you get on the mat, it’s your chance to reinvent yourself, wipe the slate clean, and start over.

Our Mission
We have one very solid mission at The Yoga Room. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to practice yoga. The Yoga Room . . . Room for Everyone. Be Happy, Be Healthy, Do Yoga!

For more information visit theyogaroomec.com.

Use Chiropractic to Stay Healthy This Winter

By Lisa Arkowski, DC at  Gonstead, Stangl & Arkowski Gonstead, Stangl & Arkowski

Once again, cold and flu season is upon us. There’s an endless list of things that we can do to keep ourselves healthy this time of year. Maintaining good sleep, drinking water, and keeping sugar intake and stress levels down are all things we often know we should be doing. Making sure we’re eating our veggies and possibly adding some supplements can all help us stay healthy through the winter season.

But could chiropractic play a role in this too? Chiropractic care is often thought of when your back “goes out,” when you sleep funny, get a headache, or if your hands or feet start to tingle. But how can it help you get through the winter season? This time of year we tend to go into hibernation mode—we’re inside more, outside less. We bundle up when we go outside (and sometimes inside), and often we just start to feel tight all over just from the thought of the first snowfall. Spending hours in the kitchen cooking big meals for large family gatherings, sitting in the car to drive to see the ones you love, or even just sleeping in a different bed than usual are all activities that are necessary to see the friends and family we care dearly about. Unfortunately they can also lead to their own aches and pains down the line.

Sugar and stress often take more of a toll than we realize, leading to inflammation in the body. This in turn may make us more susceptible to both those holiday aches and pains as well as the more acute neck and back pain injuries.

Once the holidays are over we still don’t get off easy. The snow keeps falling and you have to put it somewhere. Icy sidewalks and parking lots create a slippery surface that creates extra work just to keep yourself up on your feet. Even those winter illnesses lead to more problems. Starting to get that cough going around the office? After a little while you may start straining your ribs and back, and you’ll get a quick reminder of just how many muscles and parts of your spine are involved in something as simple as a cough.

Chiropractic care can have a large impact on how comfortably you make it through this season. Chiropractors address the body as a whole, which leads to improved function, alleviated pain, and support for the body’s natural ability to heal itself. They evaluate the body and spine to see what’s working, and more importantly, what isn’t. In addition, chiropractors can teach you ergonomics so you’re moving right when you’re clearing those snow piles and skidding across those icy patches. They can give advice on what to do with all the driving and travel. Many chiropractors have additional training in nutritional counseling so they can help you get your body what it needs to stay healthy. They can help you address your health top to bottom, inside out.

Whether it’s staying proactive and taking care of yourself before those holiday aches and pain set in, or after you get through those activities and your body starts to tell you how much you’ve put it through, chiropractic can help you feel your best so you can focus on enjoying the season. Which is what it’s all supposed to be about anyway!

Massage for Special Needs: Communication Is Key

By Katie Meyer, LMT, CFT, Sans Souci Massage

Techniques the massage therapist might use with neurological impairments, geriatric and palliative care, and oncology massage include the following:

► Manual lymph drainage (MLD) indirectly stimulates circulation in the body, stimulates immune system, and stimulates parasympathetic system (relaxation, reducing pain, and muscles spasms). The lymphatic system basically acts as a waste drainage system with nodes that are filters for the body. The lymphatic system is not self-propelled; it relies on muscular contraction in order to keep it flowing.When muscles are inactive, this creates stagnation and therefore weakens the immune system. When the lymphatic system is not working correctly edema (swelling) can occur.

► Non-circulatory massage is to provide a massage that does not promote circulation of blood or lymph flow. This will be the choice if the individual is on strong medications (chemotherapy, cancer treatments, steroids), if there is a disruption in their fluid balance due to medication, or when an organ such as the spleen, liver, kidney, or heart are compromised. This can be a full-body massage with holding, light pressure massage (slight movement of the skin and superficial adipose tissue), limited compressions, passive movement of joints may be done gently, and hand/foot massage.

► Low-impact massage is usually a shorter session (thirty minutes maximum) with the client in a side-lying and/or supine (face up) position. Use bolsters helps make the client comfortable.  Light to gentle pressure is used for the strokes. Full hand contact is maintained with slow even rhythms.

► Oncology massage is safe if performed by a skilled therapist. Benefits include: decreased anxiety before surgery or chemotherapy treatment, and help with relaxation, which in turn promotes better sleep, decrease in pain, etc. Your therapist will develop a care plan that is designed specifically for you after learning what type of cancer you have or have had, the treatment you have received, and the state of health you are in that day. Things the therapist will take into consideration are: the tumor site, bone metastasis, risk of DVT (deep vein thrombosis), risk of lymphedema, if vital organs are involved, if the individual has any restrictions on activity, and how the individual feels typically and on the day of the session. Therapists trained in oncology massage will use precautions so they do no harm.  I recently attended a thirty-two-hour continuing education course on oncology massage. I was so surprised how therapeutic this massage was. I typically like deep tissue massage, and I was astonished at my enjoyment and the deep connection that was made between therapist and client during this training. I am grateful for learning these new techniques and look forward to helping special needs clients soon.

► Neurological Impairments such as spinal cord injuries require the client to communicate to the therapist about their impairment and if they have any complications due to the paralysis. Clients who are bedridden or wheelchair bound can still benefit from massage. Because of the loss of sensation, a therapist has to be very careful about using the right techniques with these individuals.

► Cerebral palsy (CP) describes an injury to the brain that occurred prenatally or in early infancy. Individuals with CP benefit most from indirectly affecting the muscle through low-impact massage, non-circulatory massage, gentle rocking, or energy or craniosacral work.  Massage will help this individual with better sleep, unbinding of postural distortions, ease with breathing, and increase of relaxation. Communication is key in finding the correct technique that will work with each case.  It is good to talk with the caregiver and the individual client to find out what the client is specifically looking for.

► Geriatric and palliative care clients might have different medical devices that the therapist must work around (feeding tubes, ventilators, tracheostomies, catheter bags, colostomy bags, etc.) Benefits include: increased circulation,stimulation of their parasympathetic system (rest and digest), decreased joint stiffness, decreased pain, decreased anxiety and depression, and more restful sleep. The techniques used can be performed in the side-lying or in the supine position to make it easier for them. The massage can be provided on a massage table or hospital bed, or they can sit in a recliner and still enjoy a full massage without the stress of trying to get on and off the table. I have worked on clients in homes, assisted living facilities, memory care facilities, and hospitals.

There are many reasons a therapist must change the normal massage routine for individuals. Everyone has special circumstances that require adjustments; so open communication between the client and the therapist is a must. However, each individual is different, and the stage of the condition they are in will dramatically change the care they receive at that particular time.

Katie is a co-owner of Sans Souci Massage. Visit Sans Souci Massage to set up an appointment. If you are interested in an out-call, then you will need to call 715-830-9890 to discuss this with Katie or email sanssoucimassage@yahoo.com the details of the appointment you are searching for.