Running safety tips with Dr. Pulley

Cassie and Braxton at the Midnight Madness Race in 2017, our favorite event to run together.

I didn’t start running until I was in my 30s, as a lifestyle change after a health scare. My friend, Braxton Pulley, DC and owner of East Village Chiropractic, was one of my biggest supporters as I learned how to run safely. He’s also helped me through a few slumps, injuries, and disappointments. With so many of our East Village Spa guests and his chiropractic patients training for races this season, I asked him to share advice to keep you runs safe and fun!

Q: Is running safe? Research seems to disagree.

A: Running is safe within reason. You have to listen to your body and remember that pain is a way for your body to tell you something isn’t right. If you have a persistent problem while running, talk with your health care professional. It could be shoes, mechanics, or prior injuries. It has been my experience that significant safety issues usually arise when people don’t pay attention to their bodies and just try to “walk it off.”

Q: What are the most common injuries you see in your patients who are runners and what can they do to help prevent them or recover from them?

A: Hip pain-focus on stretching your hip rotators, hip flexors, and hamstrings. Knee pain-most knee pain related to running that my patients present with tends to be from the IT band on the outside of the thigh. Massage can help. Plantar fascitis-this primarily stems from lack of stretching the calf. Stretch both the gastrocnemius and the soleus to help reduce likelihood of this injury.

Q: Should I stretch before or after I run?

A: This is the age old question. Recent evidence is showing that there is no benefit to stretching beforehand and some studies show stretching before running can increase the possibility of an injury. I think the entire argument is off-base. Warm up and cool down for your runs, but stretch every single evening, regardless of whether you have worked out that day. It can take a few days for muscles to tighten up, and stretching right after a run won’t do a lot for the soreness you may have 2 days later.

Q: How can someone safely start running?

A: The key is patience and setting a long term goal. It takes awhile to train your muscles and your lungs so be patient and persistent. There are a lot o f programs out there, but I have seen the “Couch to 5k” type program work well with many of our patients.

My first 5k with Dr. Pulley and my husband. I finished with a pace over 12 minute miles, but this accomplishment was as exciting as my first half marathon. In running, every milestone is a victory!

Q: What is your advice for dealing with the setbacks that are inevitable for runners?

A: Setbacks are going to happen. Injuries, weather, motivation, life…they happen. When it comes to running, enjoy the journey. When you can’t run, keep your mind in the game by using other aerobic activities (as tolerated) like swimming, biking, rowing, etc… This will also help keep your lungs engaged. When you are ready to run again, start slowly and work your way back to where you were. I think you’ll find that you recover much quicker than you think!

You can do it!

Whether you’re contemplating starting to walk or jog or you’re a seriously competitive runner, massage therapy and chiropractic care can help you achieve your goals. I’ve been fortunate to have advice and support from Dr. Pulley in my athletic endeavors. If you can’t make your chiropractor your running buddy (which is pretty convenient, I’m not going to lie!) at least turn to them for advice.

To learn more about Dr. Pulley’s services, click here. If you’d like to schedule an athletic massage at East Village Spa to support or reward your training, click here.

The Midnight Madness Run in 2016

East Village Spa’s Top Picks for International Day of Yoga

June 21st is the 2016 International Day of Yoga. Many of our team members and clients benefit from their regular yoga practice.  We wanted to share some of our favorite local yoga instructors and some ideas for experienced and new yogis alike!

groupyoga2Our esthetician, nail technician Hannah recommends Ben Spellman from Good Vibes Yoga, with classes throughout Des Moines and at Shakti Yoga.  She also recommends Brette’s classes at Shakti Yoga.  For a different twist on Yoga, she also suggests trying the acro yoga classes at Power Life led by Brett Aronson and Tiffany Thomas.

Our massage therapists Tiffany, Jamee, Camdine love going to Ofelia Moore’s yoga classes.

If you’re completely new to yoga and find it a bit intimidating, a good place to start is your local YMCA.  The South Suburban YMCA is welcoming with classes for diverse ages and fitness levels including gentle yoga, great for those new to yoga, aging adults, or people with injuries.  The YMCA’s Restorative Yoga classes can are beneficial for athletes and help boost energy levels. Many people are already YMCA members and classes are FREE with your membership so why not?

Not sure where to start? Of course, it is always best to work with an experienced instructor to make sure you’re doing to poses properly to avoid injury, but if you can’t make it to a class or want to see more of what Yoga is about, check out the library of free videos at www.doyogawithme.com.

You can also look into one of the FREE International Day of Yoga events like the Iowa Circus Academy’s free class at the Des Moines Social Club.

yoga

We know there are lots of excellent yoga instructors, studios, and pop-up classes throughout the metro.  We’d love to hear from you, please share your favorites!

Should you try Nia?

When our massage therapist and certified Nia instructor Allison Peterson first approached me about teaching Nia at the spa, I wasn’t sure what to think because it seemed so out of our element, but upon further research, it seems like Nia is the perfect complement to our existing wellness services!

Nia was developed in the 1980s as a way to provide aerobic, stretching, and strength training in a safe, non-impact format.  Nia is set to music and draws from various forms of dance, healing arts, and martial arts.  Nia enthusiasts enjoy that the workout is both energizing and relaxing at the same time.

Alison recently did demonstrations of Nia at a spa event and it was a hit with the attendees!  It was my first sample of the technique and I could pinpoint from the movements she guided us through exactly where my low back aches were stemming from.

Allison Peterson demonstrates Nia to spa party attendees

Allison Peterson demonstrates Nia to spa party attendees

Nia is great for all fitness levels and will serve as a perfect way for people who are seeing our massage therapists to help with pain, balance and flexibility.  Nia is even an appropriate fitness class for people who have Parkinson’s Disease, MS, arthritis and certain musculoskeletal conditions.

For an idea of the kinds of movements that make up a Nia class, watch this great video:

Class size is limited.  We are offering two 8-week sessions of classes. one on Thursday mornings 8:00-9:15 am and one Monday evenings from 5:30-6:15.  We recommend signing up for as many classes as you can, but recognize that life, meetings, and vacations happen so you can sign up for individual classes online here, as opposed to committing to the entire 8-week session!  Individual classes are just $15 and space is limited to 10 per class.

Thursday morning session starts April 2, 2015, Monday evening session starts April 6, 2015.