Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Protect Your Peripheral Nerves | Top 5 Supplements for Optimal Foot Function

We all know that keeping our feet strong is key to proper posture, optimal movement patterns and staying pain-free as we age.   In my workshops I’m a huge advocate of Barefoot BabyBoomers and keeping barefoot stimulation a key part of our lifestyle.   However to truly stay #barefootstrong as we age we need to do a little more than simply train sans footwear.

Biohacking Your Barefeet 

With changing nutritional values, toxins in our food and combating everyday stress we no longer can rely on diet and exercise to ensure our youngest, healthiest selves.   This is where I advise my patients to turn to vitamin supplementation and simple ways to #biohackthebody.

Below are some of my favorite supplements that are all designed to enhance nerve function, reduce inflammation and combat free radicals before they damage our peripheral nerves and fascial network.

Supplement #1 – Wild Blueberry Extract 

IMG_4214You may have heard that blueberries are brain food.    What makes blueberries so beneficial is that they are packed with polyphenols or compounds unique to plants.   Polyphenols which can also be found in coffee, dark chocolate and spices carry some of the strongest anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 2004 study by Youdim et al. found that wild blueberry supplementation enhanced neurogenesis in the aging brain with their flavonoids being able to cross the blood brain barrier.  Now you may have been told that we do not grow new brain cells or our peripheral nerves cannot regenerate – this is not true!   The research in the field of  neurogenesis is a super exciting area of medicine and is showing some exciting advances in aging, neuropathy and neurodegenerative diseases.

To maximize the benefits of blueberry polyphenols I recommend taking wild blueberry extract daily to avoid the excess sugars of eating so many blueberries daily.   Also make sure the blueberries are *wild* as these contain the highest levels of polyphenols!

Recommended Life Extension Wild Blueberry Extract

Supplement #2 – Krill Oil 

krillThis is one of my newest fav supplements for my patients.   Krill oil is similar to fish oil supplements in that they are packed with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA & EPA).  However unlike fish oils, krill oil phospholipids have a special carotenoid called astaxanthin attached to it.   Astaxanthin is an extremely powerful antioxidant that – get this – can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB)!   This makes Krill Oil so powerful to maintaining nerve function.

In addition to crossing the BBB omega 3’s have such a powerful anti-inflammatory benefit that they make a great replacement or alternative to traditional NSAIDs such as Advil, Aspirin or Aleve.    These anti-inflammatory benefits have shown to reduce arthritis pain, nerve inflammation and connective tissue pain.

Recommended Dr Mercola Antartica Krill Oil 

Supplement #3 – R-Lipoic Acid

This was one of my favorite supplements when I was going through medical school and was a big forerunner when it came to anti-aging supplements.   It’s great to see that it is still one of the strongest anti-oxidants on the market – and has actually been formulated to be even more powerful when taken in its sodium-R-lipoate form!

Neuropathy has a oxidative stress theory which means that to keep the nerves of the feet (and hands) healthy we need to keep our oxidative stress low!   Super R-Lipoic Acid is more bioavailable, stable, and potent, achieving 10–30 times higher peak blood levels than pure R-lipoic acid.

I also recommend taking R-lipoic acid with the next supplement and nerve-protective powerhouse ALC!

Recommended Life Extension Super R-Lipoic Acid 

Supplement # 4 – Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALC) 

ALC is another favorite supplement when I was going through medical school and doing research in diabetic peripheral neuropathy.    Again super excited to see it’s still one of the best nerve-protective supplements on the market.

ALC like all of the above supplements has the unique ability to cross the BBB which means it’s crucial to nervous system health.   Studies have shown that ALC may have potential in exerting unique neuroprotective, neuromodulatory and neurotrophic properties that are not limited to just the central nervous system.   Study after study has shown great effects of ALC on peripheral neuropathy patients.

Recommended Life Extension Acetyl-L-Carnitine

Supplement #5 – L-Cittruline (Watermelon) 

aterWatermelon is one of my favorite pre-workout drinks due to its effect on vasodilation and circulation!  The vasodilation effect of watermelon is found in the amino acid L-Citruline which is a precursor to nitric oxide (think Viagra!).

Nitric oxide is integral to relaxing blood vessels which is necessary for healthy blood flow to the heart, muscles, nerves and throughout the entire body.  Nitric oxide helps the blood vessels maintain their flexibility so that blood flow is unrestricted – even to the smallest vessels to the peripheral nerves.

To get enough L-Citrulline for optimal circulation you’d need to eat 6 cups of watermelon or you can cut out the sugar and take a supplement.    Amino acids are always recommended to take on an empty stomach for maximum absorption.

Recommended Source Naturals L-Citrulline 

To learn more about how to protect your nervous system from inflammation and oxidation and how to #biohackyourbody please visit http://www.dremilysplichal.com

Stay #barefootstrong !

Dr Emily Splichal

 

 

 

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

From Primal to Bipedal | Why we need to get off the ground and walk more!

Before you start throwing stones at me assuming that I’m bashing or discrediting any of the primal movement programs out there – please hear me out.    Anything I’m about to say does not mean I do not value the role primal movements and ground work has on restoring optimal movement patterns.   However, where these programs fall short is that ultimately we need to GET UP and being able to navigate the world of ground and gravity.   We need to be able to optimize the coordination required to load and unload impact forces, stabilize on a single leg and get from point A to point B.

When we look at the evolution of the human neuromuscular system, fascial lines and the skeleton we can see that the primary purpose behind human movement is WALKING.

From the medial rotation of the ilium creating the lateral fascial line and allowing single leg stance to the abduction of the foot’s 1st ray creating the spiral fascial line and lateral fascial line allowing the stability for a rigid lever – everything – I repeat everything favors locomotion – and we need to train the body as such.

When was the last time you walked?    I mean REALLY walked?  

walkingI’ve been blessed with the opportunity to evaluate the gait of thousands of people from all over the world and there are a few key compensations that I see in too many people.    So many people have lost the rotational element of gait.   I’m talking locked up t-spines, restricted triplanar motion of the pelvis, tight ankles and even tighter subtalar joints.

Rotational loading and unloading of the fascial system is how we transfer impact forces and the potential energy of gait.   If we lose this rotational element of gait the entire movement efficiency pattern breaks down and restrictions, compensations and connective tissue fatigue results.

So what’s causing this restriction in rotation?

Sitting, a sedentary lifestyle, driving, injury, compensation – there’s a lot of things that cause a restriction in rotation.   However there is a KEY one that is missed so often and cannot be addressed through rolling, crawling and being on the ground.

This driver of restricted rotation is so important that it is what leads me to say GET OFF OF THE GROUND AND JUST WALK!   What is it?   Short strides!

The impact of shortened stride length!

Think of the type of walking you, your clients, your family does in a typical day.    You walk around your home.   You walk around the office.   You walk around the store.    This type of walking is not the walking EVOLUTION intended.

These small stacotic steps are insufficient to optimally 1) hydrate your fascia  2) load rotational forces in the body  3) stimulate the neuromuscular system.

To maintain an optimal gait you need to STIMULATE your gait.   You need to tap into all the fascial systems with each step you take – a process that can only be achieved and a long enough stride length.

The Optimal Stride for Fascial Fitness

walk

To better understand this let’s take a look at the point in gait in which the optimal stride is happening.

One foot is initiated heel contact with the ankle dorsiflexed, hip flexed, pelvis medially rotated and posteriorly tilted.   With the foot, leg and pelvis in this position the posterior fascial line is tightened, locking the SI joint and preparing for ground contact.

Meanwhile the opposite leg is in 1st MPJ dorsiflexion ankle plantarflexion, hip extension, pelvis lateral rotation and anteriorly tilted.   With the foot, leg and pelvis in this position the psoas, plantar fascia and functional fascial lines are primed to release elastic energy upon swing phase.

Now the SHORTER the stride you take you tighten your rotations of the t-spine, pelvis and foot eventually leading to fascial tightness and compensations.

Since walking is THE most functional movement we do every day with the average adult taking 5,000 – 8,000 steps per day – improper stride length is what’s f’ing up your body.

These small steps we take to our cars, around the office or at home are killing our fascial system.    It is a cycle that can only be temporarily alleviated by rolling and crawling on the ground.

Imagine this.    You take your client through all the rolling patterns, dynamic bodyweight movements, foam rolling – all which are so great for the body – and then they leave the session and go back to waking small steps and in insufficient stride length.    They just REVERSED all the work you did.

The solution?

Walk.    And I mean really walk.   Put on your favorite shoes, grab your earbuds and walk.   Do not go on the treadmill, I need you to walk outside.   Find the pace that feeds into a momentous state.   You will feel when your body has switched and is now flowing in your fascial.   It is an effortless gait that is working WITH the ground and impact forces, not against it.

And then just walk.

Want to learn more about human locomotion, the evolution of gait and how to optimize rotations through walking.   Become a Barefoot Training Specialist with EBFA!    We are the Leaders in Barefoot Education and #fromthegroundup programming.

http://www.ebfafitness.com

Say #barefootstrong

Dr Emily Splichal

 

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Foot Function & Fascial Lines Series

Emotion Meet Motion at the 3rd Annual Barefoot Training Summit

For those who follow EBFA you know that recently I’ve been speaking a lot about INTEROCEPTION and the emotional side of movement and fitness.    When it comes to movement and mental health, they are so deeply connected that we as an industry need to start focusing on this connection.

We need to say goodbye to the days of categorizing programming as “mind body” vs. general group fitness.    We need to start to appreciate how ALL movement influences the emotional state of our clients and members, and then USE this information to better create programming that respects the body mind connection.

I’m excited to announce that the 3rd Annual Barefoot Training Summit we will be dedicated to how we can use MOTION to control our EMOTION.    From fascial fitness programming to breathing and flow-based programming you will leave this event feeling empowered and equipped with a deeper understanding of how to positively influence emotional states.

Presenter Line-Up

Jenny Burrell Headshot

     Jenny Burrell, United Kingdom 

Jenny Burrell is the head of Burrell Education one of the UK’s leading-edge educators in the field of modern Pregnancy, Post Baby, 3rd Age (Peri-to Post-Menopause) and Female Fitness, Wellness, Massage + Bodywork Therapies.

Burrell Education the UK’s only Endorsed, Accredited and Licensed Education Provider solely dedicated to education for these very special populations.

Learn more about Jenny & Burrell Education 

Chris Flores, New Jersey  

Chris Flores has over 17 years of experience in the fitness industry, and is the Head Athletic Trainer at Westfield High School, in NJ.  He is an Adjunct Professor at Kean University and a Clinical Instructor in Athletic Training for Kean, Montclair State and Seton Hall Universities.  He is a founding member of Next Generation Fitness Pros, a group dedicated to educating and networking for the fitness professional. As the owner / operator of FLO FITNESS, a people first gym, Chris’ passion is in helping high school athletes reach their goals.  Most recently, Chris achieved Master Instructor status in the Animal Flow® program, and travels globally giving courses.

Learn more about Chris Flo & Rooted Rehab

Chris Flo Headshot

Summer Headshot

 

Summer Huntington, Washington 

Summer has woven her understanding of anatomy, kinesiology and human movement & performance into practical workshops for the public. She has taught educational seminars in Clubbell Yoga worldwide since she founded it in 2012, and serves as a Head Coach for RMAX International, a company leading the functional fitness revolution for the last 18 years.

Her teaching approach is to make learning easily accessible to people from all walks of life and help them apply this knowledge to their own bodies right away, regardless of level of athleticism. Her personal training clients stay with her for years, and make drastic changes not only in physique but in body intelligence and awareness.

Learn more about Summer Huntingon & Clubbell Yoga

Lois Laynee Headshot

 

Lois Laynee, Arizona 

Lois is a dynamic, disciplined professional who has developed a wellness paradigm based upon the essential component of oxygen.

She is passionate about educating all communities of the significance of the oxygen content in their brains as well as the rest of the body.  Most importantly, she focuses on developing each person’s ability to impact their own physiology for themselves.  In essence, her goal is to design airways for breathing.

Learn more about Lois Laynee & Restorative Breathing

Splichal headshot professional

 

 

Dr Emily Splichal, New York City  

Dr Emily Splichal, Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of the Evidence Based Fitness Academy, Creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist®, BarefootRx® and BARE® Workout Certifications and Inventor of Naboso Technology.

With over 16 years in the fitness industry, Dr Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science and foot to core sequencing.

Learn more about Dr Emily & Naboso Technology
Stick Mobility Team

Stick Mobility Team, California 

Take your health and performance training to the next level with Stick Mobility. From CrossFit to the Weekend Warrior, Strength Training to Post Rehab, Desk Jockey to Longevity, Stick Mobility is a force multiplier to get to you to the next level of movement and performance.

This revolutionary new training system benefits everyone through a progressive approach to fitness, mobility, and muscle activation, regardless of age or level of performance.  Simple, fun and effective.  Stick Mobility will unlock the inhibited movements that prevent optimal function and health.

Learn more about Stick Mobility 

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Learn more about the Barefoot Training Summit

September 23 – 24, 2017  |  New York City 

Registration Fee:  $399 USD 

Barefoot Strong Training Summits 2017 Flyer

http://www.barefootstrongsummit.com

 

 

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