Feb 282014

Bad Posture leads to Thoracic Kyphosis – symptoms & remedies

I know that for many, losing weight is a primary reason for working out, but I would like to think that exercising is also for maintaining your health and prevention of disease!

During my classes, I always infuse proper technique with an emphasis on posture.

I don’t know about you but I’d like to be able to raise my hands above my head, wash my hair, pull a sweater over my head, and breathe properly in the years to come!!

So, here’s a little about thoracic kyphosis, how it can affect you and what to do about it. Also, prevention is key, so by doing these suggestions now you can admire your wonderful posture for years to come.

What is Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis?

Excessive thoracic kyphosis (ETK) is a disproportional forward rounding or curvature of the middle and upper back. As we round our spine during activities like sitting at our computer or using our handheld electronic devices, reading, making meals, driving etc. we are all affected by this extremely common musculoskeletal imbalance.

If your shoulders are rounding forward, your head jutting forward or your spine is rounding (akin to having a large fish on the end of a flexible fishing rod) then this is leading you to ETK or at the very least thoracic hyphosis.

Or perhaps you overpronate causing your feet to collapse inward causing the ankles to roll in and the legs to rotate toward the midline of your body, therefore the pelvis rotates forward – this causes the lower back to overarch and the middle/upper back to round forward so that the body stays balanced.

You can see the chain effect of your posture and how hip or shoulder etc. pain/problems can be caused from the feet or other body parts out of alignment.  I always love looking for the ROOT cause of problems and not the SYMPTOMS! (Pain medication is not going to fix this problem in the long run!!)

proper posture

Proper Posture

thoracic posture 2

Incorrect Posture – rounded shoulders, head forward

 How it Can affect you

Symptoms of ETK include:

  • Aches and pains
  • Breathing problems
  • Limited function of our arms, shoulders, neck
  • Impaired athletic performance
  • Gastrointestinal upsets
  • Increased mental stress

What can you do to prevent ETK or relieve current symptoms?

Remedies include:

  • Corrective exercises
  • Dietary changes
  • Breathing practices
  • Relaxation
  • Life Coaching

Corrective Exercises

Self myofascial release techniques are very effective for decreasing restrictions in the fascia and for improving posture. During Move Your Body’s Core Conditioning and Pilates classes we use tennis balls and foam rollers for myofascial release!

Tennis Balls on Upper Back – Promotes extension in the thoracic spine

Place each tennis ball on either side of the spine at the bottom of your shoulder blades with a pillow under your head for support. Bring your arms across your chest and hug yourself.  Feel the pressure of the tennis balls working to release the pressure (10-15 seconds), then move the balls to another spot and continue.


Think of how often your fingers and your biceps are flexed (think driving, typing, cooking etc.).  With these muscles shortened (flexed)  and not properly stretched (extended), you may overtime, not be able to fully extend your muscles in your arms therefore causing the forearms to pull the shoulders blades forward causing the rib cage to drop forward leading to thoracic kyphosis.

hand palm down stretch

Palms on Floor Stretch


Kneeling, place your palms face down on the floor with finger tips pointing towards your knees.  Press fingertips into the floor and feel the stretch in the wrist, elbows and shoulders as you lengthen your arms and pull your shoulder blades down on your back. Hold 30-60 seconds.

palms lifted stretch

Palms on Floor Stretch #2

As above, now lift your palms off the floor leaving your fingers extended on the floor and feel the stretch.  You can circle your thumbs both ways 10x then peel your hands off the floor.

Forearm Stretch – all of these exercises will stretch your forearms

palms up stretch

Make a fist and put the back of your fists together then put the back of your hands on the floor maintaining this position.  Place your thumbs on the floor and then flex and extend your fingers whilst keeping your arms extended.

 Adding these 3 simple exercises into your day can make a world of difference to your posture, and increase the flexibility in your shoulders and arms. Not doing them yourself, join the classes at Move Your Body Studio!

Dietary changes

Increase your consumption of vegetables, fruits, and organics to reduce the inflammation in your body. Take probiotics and/or enzymes to improve the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Please see the many blogs I have written on healthy eating.

Here is one dietary change that may work for you if you are a sweet freak like me!

Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

Most of us breath very shallowly so breathing does require some consciousness!  Diaphragmatic breathing helps to mobilize the ribcage, strengthen the diaphragm, supply blood to the organs, promote relaxation and decrease stress!!

Breathing problems can result from this rounded posture because the rib cage becomes restricted and interferes with the diaphragm’s ability to contract and relax.

Lie on your back with your hands on your rib cage and head supported if needed. Breath in and out through your nose focusing on expanding your ribs and pushing your ribs into your hands.  Hold your breath for 5 seconds, and then exhale slowly. Do 10-15 breaths daily.

Life Coaching Techniques

Mental stress can manifest as physical pain, breathing problems, dizziness, head/back aches, skin problems and gastrointestinal issues. Become conscious of any pain that you are feeling and if there is anything that is triggering it. From that point of consciousness, you can begin to rectify the stressors and put effective strategies into place. Become your own detective for what is happening in your life and how it is affecting you.

Need life coaching assistance, email info@moveyourbody.ca and talk with Tanya about a Healthy Life Plan.

In closing

So, applying these few simple exercises/techniques done on a regular basis will help to prevent improper posture and/or to alleviate any current pain that you may be experiencing in your neck, shoulders, arms, hips or perhaps any breathing issues or stress issues that you currently have (or don’t want!- prevention is KEY!)

arms up proper posture

proper posture allows for your arms to reach over your head

improper posture arms overhead

improper posture – rounded shoulders/head forward – arms cannot be lifted above head. Try it out and see for yourself!!

Happy Standing,




Excessive Thoracic Kyphosis by Justin Price MA, IDEA Fitness Journal Jan 2013

Move Your Body’s Core Conditioning and Pilates Classes, see www.moveyourbody.ca click calendar for class dates and times.

Feb 262014

Battle of the Greens – Vitamineral Greens vs Tonic Alchemy 91-1

You’ve seen these in many of my smoothie recipes because they are SUPERFOODS, and our cells love superfoods.

Which one is better?  Check out what both have to offer and see if you can choose.  I can’t pick a winner so I use one and then the other to get the best of both!

Why choose Vitamineral Greens?


  • It is a superior, nutritionally dense, therapeutic green superfood powder which nutritionally supports blood sugar, detoxification, the immune system, liver, kidneys, blood, bones, colon, pancreas, muscles, brain, regularity, circulation, and longevity.* 
  • It contains a full spectrum of naturally occurring, absorbable and non-toxic vitamins, minerals, all the essential amino acids (protein), antioxidants, chlorophyll, soluble and insoluble fibers, tens of thousands of phytonutrients, and a plethora of other synergistically bound, organic nutrients.   
  • It is an ACTUAL food that your cells will recognize 
  • It’s 100 vegan, gluten free & yeast free 
  • It is easy to use.  Mix it in  your smoothies or with a juice and has a slightly green taste.

I met Jameth Sheridan at the Longevity Conference and chatted with him.  He exudes passion for health and longevity. Since our encounter I have consumed anything that he has made.

Hear the passion in this statement from him, “Green foods are perhaps the most healing foods on the planet, and the single most important addition to a diet you can make. They are foundational. For over 26 years, I have deeply and passionately immersed myself full time into providing the best possible foundation. My deepest passion is for the earth and all of its inhabitants to be healed on a core level. Mother Nature gave us the substances we need for healing. It is my life path duty and my great honor to assemble them for you.”

“Compromise is not an option. Hype is Nothing. Substance is Everything. Vitamineral Green™ is the best possible green food that I can offer.”



91-1 Tonic Alchemy



I also had the pleasure of listening to Master Herbalist, Ron Teeguarden speak at the Longevity Conference, and have loved & trusted his products ever since!

Why choose 91-1?

tonic_alchemy_blurb1 Tonic features


  • It’s  a delicious super food blend that offers arguably the best and widest range of nutrition of any super food product in the world. From the highest mountains to the deep oceans, from deserts to jungles, only the finest available ingredients are included in Tonic Alchemy.
  • It’s the ultimate natural alchemical life-enhancing nutritional complex and energy source deliverable in a glass.
  • It is the source of thousands of phyto-nutrients.
  • It contains the 20 greatest super tonic herbs from around the world. Tonic herbs are consumed throughout the world on a daily basis to promote Radiant Health.
  • Tonic Alchemy nourishes the whole body by increasing balanced energy and vitality, supporting detoxification, boosting immune responses, building the blood, increasing activity and quantity of antioxidants, and much more.

Click here to order your ENERGY and VITALITY!!
So, if you want:
An Immune booster
Sustained energy
Promotes muscle relaxation and better sleep
Increases breast milk production
Promotes radiant health
Slows aging
Nourishes the whole body by increasing balanced energy & vitality
Supports detoxification
These are some of my secret ingredients that provide me with GREAT HEALTH, ENERGY and VITALITY!!

 Loving the greens,



http://www.upayanaturals.com/?Click=12847 – search Ron Teeguarden and Health Force Nutritionals. Thank you for using my affiliate code – I truly appreciate it.

These statements have not been evaluated by the F.D.A. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Feb 242014

What is Matcha Green Tea Powder?

Matcha is a fine-ground, powdered, high-quality green tea and not the same as tea powder or green tea powder. The entire leaves are dissolved in water instead of steeped, therefore you get to ingest ALL their anti-oxidant power.

One cup of matcha green tea equals 10 cups of green tea….WOW, that’s worth the switch!

Matcha green tea powder is a:

  • Cancer fighter
  • Fat fighter
  • Enhances metabolism
  • Reduces stress
  • Boosts your immune system
  • Lowers your cholesterol
  • It’s loaded with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants
  • Boosts energy levels and but also has a calming effect.

Continue reading »

Feb 212014

I’ve Learned


“If I’ve learned anything from life, it’s that sometimes, the darkest times can bring us to the brightest places.  I’ve learned that the most toxic people can teach us the most important lessons; that our most painful struggles can grant us the most necessary growth; and that the most heartbreaking losses of friendship and love can make room for the most wonderful people.  I’ve learned that what seems like a curse in the moment can actually be a blessing, and that what seems like the end of the road is actually just the discovery that we are meant to travel down a different path.  I’ve learned that no matter how difficult things seem, there is always hope.  And I’ve learned that no matter how powerless we feel or how horrible things seem, we can’t give up.  We have to keep going.  Even when it’s scary, even when all of our strength seems gone, we have to keep picking ourselves back up and moving forward, because whatever we’re battling in the moment, it will pass, and we will make it through.  We’ve made it this far.  We can make it through whatever comes next.”  by Daniel Koepke



1.  An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.

2.  Frequent attacks of smiling.

3.  Feelings of being connected with others and nature.

4.  Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.

5.  A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experience.

6.  An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

7.  A loss of ability to worry.

8.  A loss of interest in conflict.

9.  A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.

10. A loss of interest in judging others.

11. A loss in interest in judging self.

12.  Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything.

(from Recovery Trade Publications)

Thank you to Marcia for sharing this with me.  I have shared it with my classes and they loved it so I thought I would spread it around some more!



Feb 192014

Sculpted & Sexy Shoulders

Why work your shoulders?

Aside from looking great, your shoulders are involved in just about everything you do so exercising them will make daily functioning that much easier. In addition, your resistance training program should target all of your muscle groups, so make sure your routine is well-rounded. Your shoulder muscles are fairly small, so you may not be able to use as much weight as you can for your chest or your back. 1 In this article I will focus on your medial and posterior deltoids. Continue reading »

Feb 162014

Winter Activities for the Cold Weather

Winter provides a wonderful opportunity to get active and discover the great outdoors…or the great indoors too!

Although many people tend to be less active in the winter that might change if they knew that:

  •  Physical activity actually boosts the immune system
  • Makes it easier to fight colds and the flu.
  • Helps combat depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a form of depression that some people live with, caused by lack of exposure to sunlight during the shorter winter days.
  • Helps maintain a healthy body weight is also easier when you are active.

What really helps people become and stay physically active all winter long is the pure enjoyment of it!

Take a look at some of the winter activities that we have come up with…

 Skiing and Snowboarding

person skiing

Skiing and/or snowboarding are a really great way to stay active this winter!



Tobogganing is one of our great Canadian traditions! Pack up the family and head out to one of your favorite tobogganing hills whether it be in your backyard or a little journey away. Tobogganing can be an excellent way for children to stay active and enjoy the outdoors during the long winter months and will surely thrill both the young and the young at heart!



I love to snowshoe with my dogs! The air is crisp and refreshing and it is a super fun way to get some exercise.  Buddy up with a friend and enjoy your adventure.

Not a fan of the chilly winter weather or don’t live in a place with snow? Why not try out some of these indoor activities to stay active and warm?

Indoor Swimming


Many indoor swimming pools offer a wide variety of different activities for children, adults and families.


Rock climbing

rock climbingThere are many indoor rock climbing facilities up and coming in many areas and is something that can be enjoyed alone, with friends or with family and is equally enjoyable for all ages!


Join a class

Move your body class shots (11)

Find a great fitness class and enjoy the adventure of trying something new.  It really is about finding activities to keep you moving and healthy!!

Don’t let the pound slowly creep up on you this winter…because bathing suit season is not that far away!  Also, winter time is the most common time of the year for cold and flu symptoms so why not boost our immune systems and have some fun! And if you are looking for an extra boost, click HERE for some products to consider this winter season for boosting your immune system.

Here is what I take (any my family during the winter months)

Vitamin D3 drops

Vitamin D bottle

22 Reishis Drops or other immune building natural product such as Spring Dragon Drops

spring dragon drop product

Cell food

cell therapy product

Spirulina, Chlorella, any extra greens!



Happy activities and to strong immunites!!




Feb 142014

Maca Cacao Balls

Maca is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and iron. It increases your energy and supports your immune system.  Macao also is a hormone-balancing adaptogen that helps regulate hormones in both men and women, reduce stress and enhances libido!

finished product

  • 1 ½ raw maca powder or liquid
  • 1 tbsp organic vanilla
  • 1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 8 soft medjol pitted dates
  • ½ cup raw (soaked & dehydrated if possible) almonds
  • ¼ c goji berries (love Heaven Mountain from Upayanaturals)
  • ¼ cup raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)

Continue reading »

Feb 142014

Caring for your breasts with Breast Health Massage Oil


I have been using the Breast Health Massage Oil from Living Libations for almost a year.  I absolutely love that I am taking a simple step to keep my breasts healthy.

By simply applying a few drops to my palms and then massaging around and on my breasts I am stimulating the circulation & lymph drainage thereby regenerating the movement of fluids in and to my breasts.


About your breasts & the massage oil:

ü  Cells in our breasts can regenerate.

ü  The skin on the chest is thin and breast tissue contains a great deal of fat, which readily absorbs the protective blessings of lipophilic essential oils and infused-herbal oils. Working synergistically, these botanicals may

  •  prevent and reverse cysts,
  • rejuvenate cells, and
  • increase immune cell activity.
  • Several essential oils show promise in preventing or reversing imbalances that accumulate in adipose and lymph tissue.

ü  Breasts contain an abundance of lymph vessels that support the circulatory system in maintaining proper fluid balance.

ü  The health of our lymphatic systems is intimately connected to our breast health.

  • Lymphatic flow can be obstructed by tight bras, poor posture, lack of exercise, shallow breathing, and tight neck, shoulder, chest and back muscles.

The Breast Health Oil contains cypress, yarrow and laurel oils which generate the movement of the fluid that removes toxins and supplies fresh nutrition to the cells. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, the author of Advanced Aromatherapy, stated that simply “rubbing a few drops of bay laurel on swollen lymph nodes may have an immediate, noticeable effect.”

Massage encourages the body to:

  • release excess stored estrogen
  • move debris-fluid away from the spaces between cells
  • and return the fluid to the bloodstream to be eliminated.
  • Over time, massaging the breasts may also enhance the elasticity of the ligaments in the chest providing improved breast support.

How to apply Breast Health Oil and Massage your Breasts

  • Our breast tissue extends from the breastbone in the center of the chest to the underarms and from below the collarbone down to the sixth or seventh rib.
  • Put 1-2 drops of Breast Health Oil on each hand and place your hands under the breasts.
  • Massage inward and upward in a circular motion, slowly covering the entire chest.
  • Use this time to become familiar with how your breasts feel.

Breast Health Oil Ingredients: Broccoli Seed Oil, Cumin Seed Oil, Calendula Oil, Saint John’s Wort Blossom Oil infused in Organic Olive Oil, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Rose Otto, Laurel, Cypress, Yarrow, Ylang Ylang, and Chamomile essential oils

Additional healthy breast practices include:

dry brushes

  • dry brushing with Lymph Tonic
  • ensuring sufficient intake of dietary iodine and magnesium
  • creating healthy intestinal flora with fermented foods and probiotics
  • avoiding aluminum
  • eating organic, real food, and only caring for your body with authentic, organic botanicals


For more information on Dry Brushing, please read Tanya’s 5 Beauty Secrets for skin and hair

To order your breast health oil, dry brushes & Lymph Tonic, click here


FYI: Dry Brushing with Lymph+Tonic: Living Libations’ Lymph+Tonic is an undiluted blend of circulating essential oils for generating Lymphatic flow. Used in combination with dry brushing, Lymph+Tonic helps the rivers of the lymphatic system to flow and function optimally. Pour 1-2 drops on the palm of your hand, then, glide a dry brush across your palm, and dry-brush from up from toes to head, always towards the heart. This invigorating tonic may also be used in massages, body oils and baths. Pure Organic and/or Wildcrafted Ingredients: undiluted and circulating oils of cypress, rosemary, laurel, eucalyptus and yarrow.

Thanks again to Nadine from Living Libations for her poetic descriptions & keeping us pure, clean and healthy!!


Feb 122014

What is Fatty Liver Disease and how can you reduce the fat in your liver.

What is a fatty liver?

A fatty liver is the result of the accumulation of excess fat in liver cells. Fatty tissue slowly builds up in the liver when a person’s diet exceeds the amount of fat his or her body can handle. A person has a fatty liver when fat makes up at least 5-10% of the liver. Simple fatty liver can be a completely benign condition and usually does not lead to liver damage. However, once there is a buildup of simple fat, the liver becomes vulnerable to further injury, which may result in inflammation and scarring of the liver.1

What causes fatty liver disease?

The most common cause of fatty liver disease in Canada is obesity. Whereas several decades ago obesity was not very common, according to current statistics more than 50% of Canadians are overweight. It is estimated that 75% of obese individuals are at risk of developing a simple fatty liver. Up to 23% of obese individuals are at risk of developing fatty liver with inflammation.2

Years ago I met Deanna at The Longevity Conference in California and have followed her work since then.  I love implementing her exercises to increase the health of my clients.  Check out her blog below on Fatty Liver Disease and how she melts away the fat.  These exercises are incorporated into classes (Core Conditioning, Pilates and Restorative Pilates) at Move Your Body Studio.

Fatty Liver Disease and Block Therapy


Fatty Liver Disease and Block Therapy

I recently attended a seminar hosted by The Canadian Liver Foundation where I listened to Hepatologist, Dr. Stephen Wong talk about NAFLD non-alcoholic fatty liver disease– and how it is one of the fastest growing concerns among North Americans. It has increased dramatically over the last 30 years. Some reasons for this are that we often eat for convenience rather than health, our portions size has dramatically increased and we have become more sedentary.

NAFLD Fatty Liver Disease

A fatty liver (Fatty Liver Disease) is just that, fat in the liver, which slows down the liver’s ability to do its’ many jobs to keep us healthy. Over time, scar tissue develops which can lead to cirrhosis, where your liver simply can’t function.

I learned from the lecture that there are many drugs out there, but none worth taking as the side effects can actually damage the liver, as well as cause a host of other health related problems. So the message was to change diet and to exercise more with the goal of reducing the fat in the liver.

Block therapy is not only a therapy, it is also an exercise and meditation all in one. So I am going to tell you why this work is so beneficial for your liver.

First of all, when fat is heated it becomes a liquid. Imagine butter at room temperature and butter that melted in the frying pan. It is the application of heat that changes butter from a solid to a liquid. So, we need to heat up the liver to create a melting effect to allow the fats to dissolve.

We do this in 2 ways with block therapy.

When we lay over the block throughout the core as instructed in my video……,
our body weight combined with the force of gravity on the block increases the pressure in the tissue. Pressure over time creates heat. This is one way. Also, we are instructed tobreathe diaphragmatically. The diaphragm is a plate of muscle that moves up and down in the body, acting as an internal engine. It also lives directly above the liver so when we use this muscle to breathe, the liver is receiving a continual massage. This is the second way.

fatty liver disease

Liver disease is something we should be aware of, so we can take steps to manage it if we have it, and prevent it in the first place. Block Therapy provides not only a solution to Fatty Liver Disease if you have it but also helps to prevent it.

Discover your innate potential to heal your body, mind and spirit in
The Power of Conscious Breathing.  Get your free copy today by clicking here


1 & 2 http://www.liver.ca/liver-disease/types/fatty-liver.aspx