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 Finding fitness, specializing in athletic health care.

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Who Needs A Multi Vitamin?

Posted on November 27, 2016 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (1193)

I suppose as a sales person, I should say "Why, of course you do!".  But here is the scoop and what is involved in a vitamin.

Most people, if they are eating a variety of whole foods (especially home grown or farmer's market) and exercising regularly should be getting vitamins and minerals from their food.  However, not everyone fits into this category.  If you are working on weight loss, it is important to create a calorie deficit.  By moving more and eating smart, you will start to lose weight.  Until you reach your maintenance goal, you will need to fill in the nutritional gaps with a supplement.  

Growning children also require time,energy and lots of nutrients.  It can be difficult to keep up with the needs of a growing child and to fill the gaps supplement will be needed.

If you are very active or an athlete, you deplete nutrients more quickly and will need a multivitamin to fill in any gaps you may have.

Please remember that not all supplements are created equal.  One of the biggest issues I see with supplements is the ability to be absorbed and utilized by the body.  Often times companies cut corners to save money.  This causes the supplement to be either broken down at an improper time, not at all or with improper dosages.  With nutrients not being absorbed at the right time, in the right place, your money literally gets flushed down the toilet.

Dotfit provides every person with a screening process as well as a product guide so there is access to all your supplement questions.  By using scientific testing, all products can be used together with out over lapping or canceling out any supplements.  Random vitamins and minerals are not crammed into one pill with hope for the best.  No, they know what works well and what does not via scientific testing so that you get the most out of your supplement.  Also, most of Dotfit products are third party tested.  This not only means that what is on the label is exactly what is in the bottle, but also means that they are tested to be free of contaminants and banned substances.

While getting your vitamins and minerals from whole foods is always your best choice, there are also several reasons you may also have a nutritional gap to fill.  Fill this gap with a quality product specifically designed to do what it says, in the dosages and potency required.  Cheaper does not always mean better.  Shop dotFit!

Movement Series #1 Posture

Posted on August 11, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (361)

I have already had a few blog posts regarding posture. But with this new movement series, I strongly feel that it's the best place to start. Everything begins and ends with posture resulting in overall strength, range of motion, joint mechanics and possible injury (or injury prevention). Initially when thinking about posture, think of being stacked like blocks. Head held high, ear over shoulder, shoulder over hip, hip over knee, knee over ankle. Basically one big straight line. At rest this allows even tension on each joint as well as the muscles firing synergistically and working well together.



So this is all well and good, but what happens when you add in life? Sitting at the computer, fixing vehicles, washing dishes, caring for children and even sports all put people in a position of repetition in the same motions causing some muscles to over time become over stimulated while others are under stimulated. In addition, our bodies are created for motion. So if our day does not require much motion such as sitting at a desk all day, driving for long periods, etc. trigger points (and other tender points) set into the muscles causing pain and dysfunction.



Try to create an awareness in your environment. Place things further away in your office space so that you have to get up to get supplies /throw away trash or adjust your rear view mirror in your vehicle so that you can only see out of it when you are sitting in good posture. When starting a walking program, make sure you add in posture walking. Pull your head up high, stack your major joints and do not forget to engage your core. This is always the best starting place and I don’t think that everyone realizes how much our everyday lives factor into our posture and that in a domino effect poor posture can result in dysfunction, pain and injury. How are you stacking up?

Campbell County Fair

Posted on July 29, 2016 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (204)

Its fair week!  My kids have their 4-H projects ready to go.  Fair food, animal shows and exibits are just a few of the wonderful things the fair has to offer.  This year I have also added a trade show booth and am very excitied to be an active part of the Campbell County Fair.  I will be there August 5, 6 & 7th.

Come stop by the booth. 

  • Register to win prizes
  • Get a free movement assessment
  • Sign up for programs such as on line or injury prevention
  • Check out new nutritional products
Hope to see you there! 

4-H Health Leadership

Posted on June 14, 2016 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (2215)

I am so excited to become more involved with our county 4-H!  I grew up being a 4-H member and leader.  Now my children are active members and becoming strong leaders.  I have become the leader for the health project.  While this is a very vast topic, I completely feel like a kid in a candy store.  I love shareing my knowlege to those that want to know.

Friday, June 17, 2016 we will be learning how to put together first aid kits.  I will not be certifying any students on first aid, just going over basics and what is appropriate to have on hand and what to consider for other situations if they should need to create a more specific kit.

Providing Event Massage Therapy

Posted on March 23, 2016 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (950)

For a few years, I was an active member of the American Massage Therapy Association’s sports massage team. I loved it! We traveled all over Minnesota and provided post event massages to athletes of all levels (and health conditions). We met so many wonderful people who traveled the country to stay active and support their cause. I learned so much from that team. At the time, I was young and had all the pieces I needed to be a good event therapist, but really didn’t know how to put all those pieces together to create what the athlete needed. So I thought I’d pass on some of the helpful tips they gave me and provide a" target="_blank"> printable checklist of things you need to bring with you. This way it will be easy to find and you can print one out for every event.


Event massage is very different from clinical massage that you practice in your office. Most often these massages are provided outdoors, post event. The athletes are dressed, sweaty and usually dirty depending on both the event and the weather conditions. I always bring my massage cream, but never use it. Long, slow strokes are not used at this time. If the athletes would like to make an appointment with you at your place of business at a later time for something more relaxing that is fine. However, at this time it does not work to accomplish what we need. Short, rhythmic strokes, petrissage, tapotement, wringing and stretching will be focused on.


Time is an issue. Last year at Grandma’s Marathon there were 6077 finishers. That is why they need a lot of volunteers! Your line gets long. Make sure you give each athlete the attention they need, but they are not going to get an hour and half clinic setting session. Approximately 10-15 minutes per person. Also, this means you have to pay attention to yourself. It is very easy to get caught up in what you are doing, seeing all those athletes and keep on a goin’. Many of these events are during the summer when it is hot and sunny. You need to take a break. Eat. Rest. Drink plenty of water (and of course take a potty break). I know it sounds silly, but we are not the ones they want to see in the medical tent!


We may not be the medical tent, but often we may be seeing the athletes first, who should be in the medical tent instead. Many of the events that need massage therapists are those trying to raise money for a medical group. MS Bikathon in Sundance is a good example. But there are also many “race for the cure” type events as well. These are passionate people. They literally travel around the country raising money and awareness for their cause. Always ask about prior/current injury. But also ask about their health status. Do they have cancer? Do they have MS? What are their symptoms today? Is that new? These are strong people that do amazing things and can often push their bodies to do amazing things. When you consider they have a medical condition, are performing in wind, heat, cold or rain--they DO NOT tell their family and friends that they lost feeling in an extremity or most of their vision hours ago. They just keep going. The other thing I came across working at Grandma’s Marathon that is a little more difficult to detect is, are they coherent? There was a man who had just finished the race and wanted a nice massage after. He didn’t appear dizzy or out of place. He was very friendly and full of conversation. However, he was talking about his children. Once his wife heard him, she immediately spoke up and they rushed him to the medical tent, as they had no children.


Always check with the event you are volunteering at about their expectations. Many of these events are fundraisers for a cause. Most of the time the massage services are free to all competitors. A tip jar can be put out for donations. Some events are just happy you showed up, so if you don’t donate it back that is your choice. Some events want a percentage of what is donated and sometimes it is expected that you donate all of it since it was a fundraiser. I think it is most common to donate at least 50% back to the event, but each event is different.


I have attached a printable list of things to bring with you to your sport event. These are things probably not normally found in your clinic unless you regularly provide massage at a sport event. You will need a plastic fitted sheet. In the past I was always able to get them at Walmart or Kmart without issue, but I have not found them in stores recently.  You may need to buy a plastic sheet online.  You need to have a plastic sheet on your table to protect it from grease, grime, sweat, chalk and actual dirt. You will need something on your table that is easy to clean and sanitize between each athlete. Remember the athletes are dressed so you don’t have to worry about draping. Also, with hundreds of athletes, even at the smaller events you are not going to have enough sheets or time to change them.


Next you need 4 wood blocks. About 4x4 square to put under each table leg. This will prevent your table from sinking into the ground and leaving you wondering how your table got so short without an adjustment. You don’t want that dirt getting into your table.


Bring lots of cleaner! You need hand sanitizer for your hands between each athlete. You will also need cleaner for your table. I have used clorox wipes but you can also order hospital grade Cavicide wipes if you prefer. Paper towels are useful if you are using a spray cleaner or need disposable face cradle covers.


Bring a tip jar. A sturdy one that can handle Wyoming type weather. Sometimes people forget that part and end up using a paper or plastic bag---they blow away in the wind and are generally not a good choice.


Please volunteer to work a sporting event in your area. The athletes not only need it, but really appreciate it. The people you will meet will be remarkable. It is so worth your time.  If you have any trouble accessing the printable link I provided, please message me and I can email it to you.


What tools are in your toolbox?

Posted on March 14, 2016 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (698)

It has come to my attention that when we need medical help or advice there are not always enough options.  If you have questions about something in an area that is not your expertise, where do you go?  And how do you weed out fact from fiction?

Going through school we were always taught (regardless if it was AT school, massage therapy school or grad school) to have a full tool box.  This meant that if I only had a hammer in my tool box I would only have the hammer to, yes, pound nails, but also to tighten screws, lug nuts and allen bolts.  A hammer might be useful for those nails, but perhaps a few other tools might come in handy for those other jobs.  We were always eager to learn and become effecient at new techniques!

Now, as excited as we are to learn new things there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  There is no one person that has every tool in their tool box.  There are just too many.  Most health care providers find their nitch and stick with it.  So if you ask a surgeon, he will provide you a surgical solution.  If you see a nutritionist, he will provide you a nutritional solution.  If you seek advice from a chiropractor, he will provide a chiropractic solution.  You get the idea.  That is what we study and what we promote.  Not to mention that per profession, we need to stay within our own circles due to scope of practice laws.  As an athletic trainer I can diagnose and treat athletic injuries, but I cannot provide chiropractic care, prescribe medications or provide accupuncture, just to name a few.  However, it is my job to understand how other providers and services or even techniques that I am not certified in, can enhance my athletes' health and recovery.  I do provide massage therapy services in a variety of settings.  It has been found to enhance chiropractic treatment, accupuncture treatments, physical therapy treatments, as well as improve recovery time from injury including surgical procedures.


When looking for a provider, look for:
  • Experience
  • Open mindedness
  • Possibly certified in other areas
  • Don't ever be afraid to ask for a second opinion
As a professional:
  • Learn to network with other providers
  • Stay up to date on several treatment types in order to provide healthy options for patients, clients and athletes
  • Remember you provide your service well.  Referring to another provider will enhance your service and only make you look better.
We are many parts, but only one body.  We need to be treated as a whole person.  It may take one provider, it may take a team who can work together.  Always know all of your options and don't be afraid to speak up and ask questions.  If your provider only has a hammer in his tool box and its not getting the job done, it does not mean you are untreatable.  It means you have not found the right tool yet.


To Tape Or Not To Tape

Posted on February 16, 2016 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (357)

To tape or not to tape? That is the question. Athletes come in preparing for competition and want a magical tape job on the joint of choice. There was a time I even taped the water boy’s wrist only because it made him feel included, part of the team. And while circumstance made that o.k., there are several taping requests that I have denied. So here is the scoop.


Just for clarity, there are several kinds of tape, all with separate purposes and techniques. This particular article is specifically on the use of athletic tape, its purpose and best use. So many athletes, coaches and parents are under the impression that athletic tape is for stability. It sort of is, indirectly. Those asking for the tape usually feel the tighter the better and that if they can’t move, then they have a much smaller chance of injury or reinjury. This is completely untrue. Injury prevention is specifically about maintaining proper joint mobility, joint arthrokinematics (function) and muscle balance/recruitment. If any joint has been stretched beyond its normal limit and become lax, athletic taping may be an option. However, not because the tape is tight and restricts normal motion.


Athletic tape is cotton tape that has a strong adhesive on the back. There is no elastic quality about this tape. Several studies have been done regarding the stability and how exactly this technique works. When regarding the ankle, it has been shown that athletic tape does not provide stability, as in lack of range of motion. The tape, however, does provide some kinesthetic awareness. It allows receptors to determine where our body is in space, reducing the chance of the joint to go beyond its normal motion. Plus the actual feeling on the skin, gives a feeling of support, which many people like. This tape, when worn will loosen with motion and possibly when warmed with body heat.

The criteria I use when choosing to use athletic tape:

It must be a small joint. This seems a little restrictive, but I do not tape for knee ACL, PCL or MCL, shoulder dysfunction and elbows are iffy. Our muscles are strong, long and mobile. Joint dysfunction or powerful trauma is often the cause of injury. These joints are more powerful than a bit of tape. Often times even using a strong metal brace is not enough to prevent a ligamentous injury in these larger joints. Tape just is no match. I will tape fingers, wrists, hands, feet and ankles.

It must be able to maintain normal motion.  While we hope to reduce excessive motion, we do still need to maintain normal motion.  Running or jumping would be hindered if you could not plantar flex your ankle.  Taping a finger into extension without having any flexion is an injury waiting to happen because it would leave the joint(s) vulnerable not only to possibly poking someone or  getting jammed, but if it got caught on anything you may not only end up with a finger injury, but a hand injury as well.  Everything needs to remain functional.

It must be a joint. Now of course if I need to I will use it to cover a wound/bandaid so that play can continue without blood. In this case I use it loosely. Often only half way around the extremity at a time, until it is secure. There was a time when we were taught to use athletic tape (or other barbaric methods such as plastic wrap) to prevent the pulling away of muscle from the bone during medial shin splints. This, however, causes a physiological issue for the muscle tissue (and other soft tissues), as it does not stop the muscle from pulling away from the bone. Now the muscle does not have the space it needs to contract, but gets compressed (athletic tape is does not have an elastic componet to it), often times causing more damage to the muscle tissue.

The joint must be ready for competition. Swelling, bruising, range of motion, strength and balance must all be in check. The athlete needs to be able to show that athletic tasks can be performed without compensation (such as limping, for example).  Please note that applying athletic tape does not provide healing or reduce the injury you have already sustained.  It just helps keep things in check, a little protection.


If you are covering a game and not regularly working with the team everyday, taping of the smaller joints probably won’t hurt anyone. However, when you have a team that is getting consistent treatment, it is very important to treat the dysfunction. Injury prevention is about maintaining normal joint motion, proper muscle recruitment and improved posture of every joint.  Please feel free to check out these studies regarding ankle tape for stability.


Food--Keep it Simple

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (1273)

I love the research and finding what's all the buzz in the fitness world.  But WHOA! There is so much out there.  I love to try new things and new recipes, but overwhelming is an understatement.

When it comes to food, I have grown it, cooked it, eaten it.  I have had classes, continueing education and participated with athletes on different diets.  So what's the best?  Mediterrainian, Paleo, grapefruit, yes carbs, no carbs, vegitarian, vegan?  I had to remind myself, this blog is not about complex counting, picking and choosing.  It does not matter what name you choose to give your diet, you just have to keep it simple.

  • Eat real food.--When you shop, buy whole food from the produce and meat departments.
  • Cook your own food.--This may sound daunting to some, but some of the best food you will ever eat are super simple recipes that you make yourself.
  • Read labels & pay attention to what you are eating.--Once you start realizing the things that make you feel bad after you eat them, you will want to make sure you don't eat them as often.  Comparing things like total calories, protein, carbs and sodium will help you make better overall choices.
  • Remember that protein, carbohydrates and fats are all nutrients that keep your body running in tip top shape.  Please do not choose to eliminate any of them from your diet.  They have a specific function that is important to your health.  If you are checking out different diet plans and one says to stay away from any of these nutrients, it is time to raise the red flag.  Most programs will recommend 40% protein, 40% carbs and 20% fat.  However, high level athletic goals may require some tweaking to reach max performance.  Some people will prefer a little more protein while others may need a few more carbs.  Regardless of your goals, your program will vary around this percentage system without cutting nutrients out.

By keeping things simple you can eat, you can snack and you can do it without much thought or effort, while maintaining your health.

How Can I Treat Minor Sports Injuries

Posted on January 15, 2016 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (592)

Every sport has an element of risk to it that can lead to an injury.  When there is minimal swelling and bruising it is recommended to use the R.I.C.E principle.  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  The sooner this can be implemented, the sooner healing can start and in theroy--minimize the damage.

Rest     Resting an injury is important to prevent further injury.  Stop doing what you are doing and take it easy.  This may mean not walking if a lower extremity is causing a limp or to avoid activities that cause pain to an upper extremity.

Ice     Ice is recommended as it is an analgesic to reduce the pain.  It will also decrease the swelling.  Keep in mind that swelling causes pain, so by reducing the swelling we are reducing the pain twice with this one.  Heat has a tendency to bring in swelling, so for the first 78 hours after injury, do not heat the injury.

Compression      Providing some gentle compression will assist in decreasing the swelling and pain.  You can use an ace wrap or a compression sleeve.  Always remember to make sure it is even across the skin so that you don't get pockets of swelling.  Make sure that it is not too tight (a compression wrap should be pulled about 50% of its tension) so that you do not hinder good blood flow to the area.

Elevation     Raising an extremeity above the heart will slow down the swelling and keep it from throbbing.

Depending on the injury this is great to do immediately.  Always make sure that any injury is properly assessed by a professional to make sure nothing serious has occured and been overlooked.

For other great tips and to see how my anwsers stack up with other health care providers check out our answers here.

Happy New Year

Posted on January 4, 2016 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (411)

Happy New Year to you!   I have enjoyed the last year and all it had to bring.  This is a great time to let me know what's on your mind.  I like to blog about things are important to you.

In the comment section (or just contact me) let me know what questions you have, strength gains, nutrition, sport specific training, injuries.  I love to hear from you.

Now that the new year is here, its time to get back to the grind and make 2016 IMPRESSIVE!