Think Pink!

By Riva Preil

October marks National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and this is an appropriate time for us to review important health care information.  In my opinion, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure, and fortunately, the American Cancer Society has established guidelines for us to follow.  Women over 40 years of age should have annual mammograms and clinical breast exams (CBE).  Women in their 20s and 30s should also have CBEs every three years.  All women should perform a monthly breast self-exam (BSE)- refer to attached link for further details.

Furthermore, starting at age 50, both men and women should participate in colorectal cancer and polyp tests, including flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, colonoscopy every ten years, double contrast barium enema every five years, or CT colonography (also called virtual colonoscopy) every five years.  Endometrial (uterine) cancer and prostate cancer should also be screened appropriately. Please speak with your primary care physician regarding further details.

Prevention also includes maintaining proper general health care.  This includes avoiding cigarettes, limiting alcohol consumption, maintaining a healthy weight, participating in regular exercises, eating healthy foods (ex. fruits and vegetables), and regular medical check-ups.  May we all celebrate this year’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the best of health!

Click here for even more information from

Tablet Takeover?

Though there’s a continuing presence of mobile devices like iPhones and iPads, we’re not really paying attention to the way our bodies our responding to them. In reality, they can hurt our necks and our backs if we don’t use them properly. Here’s an article in the Harvard Health Blog offering some tips so you can get your mobile on pain-free!


A little bit about Joe

By Denise Vidal

Joseph Pilates was born in a small town in Germany in 1880. The son of a
gymnast and naturopath, Pilates’s early years were filled with various forms of exercises and holistic treatments. It was this upbringing as well as his talent for boxing that influenced his interest in health and physical fitness.

While living in England during the first world war, Pilates was interned in a prison camp for enemy aliens. It was here that his vision began to take shape. He taught other German nationals different exercises to help maintain their mental and physical strength while they were interned. He called his method Controlology to emphasize the method’s ability to give one a sense of control over their bodies. The movement principles of Contrology were: whole body movement, breathing, balanced muscle development, concentration, control, centering, precision and rhythm. The corresponding exercises were adaptable to everyone, including the bedridden and those suffering from diseases. In addition, it has been said that the effects of his regimen allowed his followers to
withstand an influenza outbreak that affected the camp.

There are various stories that attempt to explain how Pilates came to the United States in 1925. However, it is agreed that once he arrived in New York, he worked tirelessly to try and promote his method. Pilates eventually gained a following amongst members of the dance community, including George Balanchine and Martha Graham. Unfortunately, though, Pilates never lived to see his work become the phenomenon that it is today.

The Pilates method, as it is now known, maintains the fundamental elements of Pilates’ Controlology, and the idea that his exercises can benefit everyone regardless of their condition.

If you’re interested in giving The Pilates Method a try, I am at Beyond Basics every Thursday morning from 8am-12pm. Just give the office a call to set up an appointment!

Consider Endometriosis: An Educational Event Recap

On September 29, Amy Stein participated in the Endometriosis Foundation of America (EFA)’s Second Annual Lunch and Learn with Padma Lakshmi.  The event entitled “Consider Endometriosis: Tools for Nurses to Recognize Symptoms, Behavioral Patterns, and Emotional Repercussions of the Disease in Young Women and Girls” educated school nurses and nurse practitioners in early detection of endometriosis (see previous blog for details).

Padma Lakshmi, co-founder of EFA, shared her story with the approximate 100 audience members.  Ms. Lakshmi herself suffered from endometriosis since adolescence, and she was unfortunately misdiagnosed for many years.  One of the primary symptoms of endometriosis, severe menstrual cramping, is often overlooked by many health care providers as one of the inevitable and unfortunate realities of womanhood.  Despite the fact that she had access to top quality doctors and wonderful insurance benefits, it was years before Ms. Lakshmi was properly diagnosed and treated with endometriosis.  Her main message to the audience was to consider the possibility of endometriosis, especially because early diagnose can lead to prompt treatment which prevents years of needless suffering.

Our very own Amy Stein presented the physical therapy component to endometriosis. Amy explained to the nurses and nurse practitioners that endometriosis is perceived as a threat by the pelvic floor muscles.  Therefore individuals who suffer from endometriosis may experience secondary musculoskeletal related tightness, pain, and protective guarding.  Individuals who fit this description would benefit from pelvic floor physical therapy to address the resulting pelvic floor muscle dysfunction.

Myofascial Release for Pelvic Floor Pain

What is Myofascial Release, and what does it do for Pelvic Floor Pain?

By Mary Hughes

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a holistic, therapeutic approach to manual therapy, popularized by John Barnes, PT, LMT, NCTMB. MFR offers a comprehensive approach for the evaluation and treatment of the myofascial system, the system of tissues and muscles in the body.

This technique is designed to release restrictions such a trigger points, muscle tightness, and dysfunctions in soft tissue that may cause pain and limit motion in all parts of the body. It has shown success in decreasing pain and increasing mobility.1

J. Barnes’ MFR techniques have been used to treat the following:

  • Pelvic Floor Pain & Dysfunction
  • Vulvodynia
  • Mastectomy Pain
  • Endometriosis
  • Interstitial Cystitis
  • Lymphedema
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Painful Scars
  • Menstrual Problems
  • Painful Intercourse
  • Adhesions
  • Coccygeal Pain
  • Problematic Breast Implant/Reduction Scars
  • Urinary Incontinence, Urgency and/or Frequency
  • Episiotomy Scars
  • Infertility Problems

In a study by fitzgerald et. Al. they found the response rate from Myofascial physical therapy was significantly higher than Global therapeutic massage among patients diagnoses with urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes.

1. Dutton, Mark. Orthopaedic examination, evaluation, & intervention. New York : McGraw-Hill, c2004 pages 331-332, 1218

2. John Barnes’ Courses completed MFR I, MFR 2, Myofascial Unwinding, Myofascial Soft Tissue Mobilization workshop, The Fascial Pelvis and The Women’s Health Seminar.

3. FitzGerald MP, Anderson RU, Potts J, et al. Randomized multicenter feasibility trial of myofascial physical therapy for the treatment of urological chronic pelvic pain syndromes. J Urol 2009; 182:570.



Patient Testimonial I

At BBPT, we love to love our patients, and they love to love us! Here is a patient testimonial from Michele C. in New York, NY:

“For me, doing Pilates with Dania has made a huge difference in my life.  My chronic back problems can flare up my bladder issues at any time.  Years of Pilates with a teacher who was not aware set me up for further back and bladder complications.  Having Dania means that Pilates has gone a long way towards stabilizing my back.  She has tailored my workouts to my issues.  She is able to address symptoms as they arise either by adapting our workout or converting our session into a PT session.  Finally, she personally reflects the qualities of the whole staff, professional, caring, and… we laugh a lot.  Always good medicine.”

Thank you so much, Michele!

The Hundred Challenge, Part II

Proceed with this added challenge only if you feel completely comfortable with the breath from the previous blog.

To add the upper and lower body element to the hundred’s breath, stabilize your pelvis by hugging your abdominal sphere. Keep the stability of your pelvis as you take your feet off the floor one at a time.  This position alone can be challenging, so, if you feel any pressure on your abdominals or low back, you can leave your feet on the floor or rest your lifted feet against the wall. We want to maintain our focus on the core and not add any stress to the low back. Less is more.

If you feel comfortable to continue, put your hands behind your head and lift your head on your next breath. Continue to narrow your abdominals around the sphere.

If you want a deeper challenge, add the hundred’s breath, inhaling for the count of five and the exhaling for the count of five in this position.

Be sure to keep the abdominals narrowing around the sphere. If at any time your abdominals start to bulge out or harden, keep your feet on the floor and go back to only focusing on the breath. Even though this is a modification, it can be very challenging. If you feel any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult your physical therapist or Pilates instructor.