Writing at the intersection of psychotherapy, fitness and nutrition for clients and practitioners

Yoga: An Effective Yet Underrated Treatment For Injuries And Chronic Pain

Yoga: An Effective Yet Underrated Treatment For Injuries And Chronic Pain

When we’re injured we want answers. We want someone to tell us what is wrong and what to do about it. Yet all too often, people in pain find themselves on the medical merry-go-round. They go to multiple doctors and other providers only to find that their pain remains unchanged or worsens. And because pain causes not just physical but also emotional suffering (hopelessness, despair, and frustration), sometimes people stop trying to find new ways to heal.
The good news is that yoga, though familiar to many in our culture but rarely viewed as a viable modality to treat and manage injuries and pain, may be just what the doctor didn’t order!

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The Key to Safe and Effective Fitness Programming for 40-60 Year Olds (and everyone else!): Physical Literacy and Mindset

The Key to Safe and Effective Fitness Programming for 40-60 Year Olds (and everyone else!): Physical Literacy and Mindset

The number of options when deciding what to include in your exercise program can get overwhelming: functional movement, body weight exercises, strength training, cardio, yoga, pilates, crossfit… As a result, it can be challenging to devise a fitness program that’s safe, effective, and maintains your interest long-term.
In this episode of The Total Self Considered, Jeff Fine interviews Vincent Metzo, Dean of the Advanced Personal Training Program at the Swedish Institute, Director of Education of Kettlebell Concepts, and licensed massage therapist.  As Vincent and Jeff discuss how to help build a healthy fitness program for 40-60 year-old “weekend warrior” types, they delve into the history of physical education programs in the US, what’s lacking in current fitness and exercise trends, and how important it is for people to have “physical literacy”. They encourage people to shift their mindset from “exercise” to a lifetime model of physical activity that includes locomotion skills, body management skills, and object manipulation skills.

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The Anatomy of a Couple’s Fight: Triggers, Perceptions, Actions, and the Unspoken Softer Feelings Underneath

The Anatomy of a Couple’s Fight: Triggers, Perceptions, Actions, and the Unspoken Softer Feelings Underneath

Why do so many couples fight about the same things over and over? What are the obstacles to sending clear emotional signals that allow partners to respond to each other with empathy and compassion? How can partners learn to work together to defeat the common enemy in their relationship, the negative cycle?

In this episode of The Total Self Considered, Jeff Fine interviews Wendy Tomkiel, a certified EFT therapist and supervisor who is also trained in AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy), and ISTDP (Intensive Short Term Dynamic Therapy). Wendy and Jeff breakdown the anatomy of a couple’s fight, by explaining the primal wiring that all humans have, and the ways attachment needs shape our reactions to each other. Through typical examples of negative cycles, they pinpoint how EFT helps couples slow down enough to see their own movements in a cycle, and access more options when they start to fall into old patterns.

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Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Practical Solutions (podcast)

Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes, Practical Solutions (podcast)

In this episode of the TotalSelf Considered, Jeff Fine interviews Erika Muraski, physical therapist extra-ordinaire. Erika was a competitive ice-skater until she had a career ending injury. She had always wanted to be a physical therapist and the experience of getting hurt and having to give up the sport she loved has made her highly attuned and compassionate to the needs of her patients.

Jeff and Erika discuss back pain and treatment approaches from multiple perspectives: first, Erika explains the physical structure of the spine and surrounding soft tissue, and the related “mechanical” issues or imbalances that can lead to back pain. After going over the symptoms of various types of back pain, and when one should seek medical attention, Jeff and Erika delve into the impact of lifestyle factors, particularly the role that our sedentary lifestyles and stress have for so many of us experiencing back pain.

There’s an overwhelming amount of recommendations out there to reduce back pain – core strengthening, zero drop shoes, standing desks, stretching, ice, heat, doing more, doing less, laser therapy – but which of these actually help? Listen to the episode to find out.

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True or false: “Taking psychiatric medication means you’re mentally ill.” (podcast)

True or false: “Taking psychiatric medication means you’re mentally ill.” (podcast)

In this episode of The Total Self Considered, Jeff Fine interviews Dr Scott Hirsch, a clinical associate professor in the Departments of both Neurology and Psychiatry, as well as Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone. Dr Hirsch shares his insights on our current understanding of mental illness and medications used for treatment, including medical marijuana. As a practitioner who has been exploring the mind-body connection for many years, Jeff is very interested in how Dr Hirsch integrates psychiatry and neurology in his practice. They discuss the distinction between neurologically based disorders and other conditions, how the brain and mind interact, how medications work in treating epilepsy, depression, anxiety and other issues, and the role medical marijuana can play in treating certain disorders and opioid addiction.

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