Saturday, July 27, 2019

From Limping to Pain-Free in Less Than One Hour!

Alice limped into the office holding her back saying, “Oh boy, Chuck had me running around again this weekend and now I need my “Muscle Magician” to put me back together again!!” Sweet Alice always makes me smile when she comes in. It makes you wonder how she ever worked in her younger years as she is one of the most involved retirees you’ll ever meet!! From weekly card games, to volunteering at the local hospital, playing the piano at church, to sewing for a charity--the energy of this 72 year old amazes everyone!! Her husband Chuck is an active senior, playing golf several times per week, and singing in the church choir. They love to go out bird watching together, but lately Alice hasn’t felt up to joining Chuck because of her chronic foot and back pain. “I was able to get to my Water Yoga class last week, but oh boy, did I feel it in my back later that day!! I could barely sit through our grandson’s baseball game because my muscles were screaming at me!! I just wish I could move like I used to when I was younger.” Unfortunately, Alice is not the only one who feels this way. Most of my clients would love to turn back the clock to feel as good as they did in their younger years. 
We got to work assessing Alice’s mobility and she was really locked up with her left hip motion. After activating only 3 muscles, her hip joint moved so much more freely. “Wow! This process never ceases to amaze me! I’m so glad my neighbor told me about your treatments! I was so frustrated with not being able to move like I wanted to, but I thought I was too old and my body was too far gone to be able to make any changes. I reminded Alice about how far she has come in just a few weeks. When we first met, she walked with a cane because of her foot pain but she was able to walk without it after just a few weeks of treatment. Her foot is feeling much better now without the cane, but the pain is not gone completely. Now we are focused on reducing her lower back pain by getting her hips balanced. Alice sat up at the edge of the treatment table and looked around. “My back didn’t hurt when I sat up. I don’t get it...we worked on my hip and my back feels better? How does that work?” I asked Alice if she ever sings “The foot bone’s connected to the leg bone…” song to her grandkids. She smiled. I told her that the hip muscles are attached to the pelvic bone, which is the “foundation” of the spine. When the hip is moving better, the forces throughout the pelvis and back are more evenly balanced so the pain can be minimized. “That makes sense!” As she stood up and walked over to the chair to put her shoes back on she gasped!! “Are you okay, Alice?” I reacted quickly. She excitedly answered, “My hip bone must be connected to my foot bone because that doesn’t hurt anymore either!!” She gave me a big hug and sauntered back out to the waiting area pain free. Chuck stood up from the chair to greet her and he said, “Alice!! I haven’t seen you move like this in months!” She told him, “Emily reconnected my hip bone to my pelvis bone and now my back and foot don’t hurt! Maybe we can take that evening bird hike after all!”  Sweet Alice made my day! 
Are you frustrated by nagging pain or tightness that doesn’t respond to other treatments? It may take a little further investigation to find all of the areas contributing to the problem. To see if your pelvic bone is “connected” to your back bones or hip bones (or any other body parts for that matter) and want to see your pain go away, schedule your session today! 
Be one of the first 3 people to schedule a session before Aug 1 and receive a special $20 discount. 
Text/Call me at (414) 405-3956 between 12-2pm or email me at  to set up your appointment.
Keep moving well! 

Monday, April 29, 2019

Head to Toe Healing in ONLY 20 Movements!

Back, neck, hip, knee and foot pain are the most common challenges faced among Physical Therapy clients of 1212 Bodyworks.  A smaller majority of clients experience issues in their shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Some clients also report feelings of tightness, limited mobility, impaired balance, and weakness. Over the past 2 decades of working with clients to resolve the muscle imbalances at the root of their frustrating symptoms, some common areas of muscle weaknesses have been discovered. As part of the celebration of my 20th Anniversary of being a Physical Therapist, I'm letting you in on my discovery! Below is a comprehensive list of 20 movements to perform for yourself to activate these key areas of weakness. Your whole body will receive a natural boost of energy as you move through these various positions. Remember to listen to your body's signals as you keep your movements within a comfortable range of motion. Tune into the sensations you feel from your right and left sides of the body and take note of the areas that feel different or have less movement available. Take healing into your own hands and KEEP your body moving well from head to toe! 

Begin by lying on your back. 
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing: Draw air into your belly, allowing your shoulders and chest to stay relaxed, as you inhale. Let your breath out slowly as you exhale and relax your body. Repeat as many times as needed to activate the diaphragm muscle below the lungs and allow it to do the work of inspiration that it was designed to do!
2. Ankle Dorsiflexion: Extend the top of your foot and toes toward your nose. Repeat 3 times. 
3. Toe Extension: Reach your toenails up to your shin as you spread the toes out wide, as if putting on a pair of toe "gloves." Repeat 3 times. 
4. Ankle Inversion: Rotate your ankle and foot inward so the bottom/sole of the foot faces the opposite foot. Repeat 3 times. 
5. Knee Flexion: Bend your knee as you slide your heel all the way back toward your hip/buttock. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
6. Hip Internal Rotation: With your knees straight, rotate your thigh bones inward so your knee caps face the midline of the body. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
7. Hip External Rotation: With your knees straight, rotate your thigh bones outward so your knee caps face the outside of the body. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
8. Hip Flexion: Keeping your knee straight, raise your leg up toward the ceiling. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
9. Hip Abduction: Keeping your knee straight, slide your leg out to one side, keeping the knee cap facing the ceiling. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
10. Pelvic Approximation: Bend one knee and place that foot on top of the opposite thigh. Use your lower abdominal muscles to lift the pelvis up and allow the bent knee to reach toward the place where the ceiling meets the wall. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
11. Trunk Sidebend: Bend sideways at your waist as you slide your upper body all the way to the side, as you slide your hand down the side of your thigh toward your knee. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
12. Shoulder Abduction: Keeping elbows straight, reach your arms out to the side and up toward your head as if trying to make a snow angel. Repeat 3 times on each side. 

Now roll over onto your stomach. Place a small rolled towel under your forehead so you can breathe or allow your head to come off the bed with your chin resting against the edge of the mattress. 
14. Shoulder/Scapular Retraction: Squeeze your shoulder blades together toward your spine. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
15. Spinal Extension: Lift your head and shoulders off the bed up toward the ceiling. Repeat 3 times.

Finally, come to a comfortable seated position. 
16. Shoulder/Scapular Depression: Sink your shoulders down away from your ears and feel the shoulder blades slide down the back of the ribcage toward your back pockets. Repeat 3 times on both sides. 
17. Shoulder Flexion: Keeping your elbows straight, raise your arms up toward the ceiling bringing your arms as close to your ears as possible. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
18. Shoulder External Rotation: Bend elbows to at a 90 degree angle, keep elbows next to your side/ribcage and allow your shoulders to rotate outward. Your forearms and hands will reach out to the sides as if pulling an accordion apart. 
19. Cervical Side Bend: Sitting tall, bend your neck so your ear comes down toward your shoulder but keep your face forward without turning your head to look down. Repeat 3 times on each side. 
20. Cervical Rotation: Sitting tall, rotate your head to one side as if you are trying to look over your shoulder and behind your body. Repeat 3 times on each side. 

How do you feel? How fluid or symmetrical are your movements? Is one side of your body more limited in several of the positions? Keep track of the sensations or how far you move so you can maintain your current level of mobility and function. If you begin to notice changes over time as you move into more comfortable range of motion, that is a sign of progress!! If you feel discomfort as you move into a position or throughout different points along the journey that doesn't resolve on its own, you could benefit from some assistance to get to the root of what is contributing to the imbalance or discomfort. Take advantage of 1212 Bodyworks' Complimentary Consultation if you are a new client to share your concerns and learn how I can help you resolve the issues you are experiencing. For current clients, you can take advantage of the 20th Anniversary Special throughout the month of May 2019 and get 20% off of your next treatment package! 

Here's to 20+ more years serving others to help them MOVE, FEEL and LIVE better!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top 3 Tips for Spring Cleaning your Body

After a long cold winter, most of our bodies are ready for some more sunshine to kiss our skin, and more movement and time spent outside, breathing in fresh air. Before you hit the ground running with your Spring activities, consider these "Top 3 Tips for Spring Cleaning your Body" to prepare for this season of renewal! 

1) Water your Internal Garden! 
Hydration is key when increasing your activity level and being outside for longer durations. Not only do we need H2O for all of our cellular processing, but our gut health depends on it for helping to flush out all the toxins from our system. Using a re-usable water bottle is helpful way to transport your water where ever you go. Personally, I use a glass or non-BPA plastic bottle daily and try to keep track of how many times I have filled it up to be sure I am getting the proper amount of hydration in a day. If you need a little flavor to keep you motivated, throw in a slice of lemon, cucumber (or both), or other fruit to liven up your hydration experience. 

2) Walk before you Run!! 
Some of you may be ambitiously planning to participate in a 5K or other type of actual race this year. For others, tackling house cleaning projects or yard work may SEEM as daunting as running a marathon! Regardless of your activities, be sure to actively warm your body up before heading into more strenuous movements. If you are following a "Couch to 5K" program, or working with a coach to train for your races, good for you!! Listen to your body and take breaks as needed as it is much easier to steadily increase the demands on your body than to pick up the pieces after "over-training" injuries may occur! For those of you tackling the home/yard projects, most of them are done in front of the body or "flexed" positions. To counteract all of the sorting, lifting, scrubbing, raking, planting, and pulling positions, be sure to include some Extension activities in your routine: Stand up straight, reaching your leg back behind your body (one leg at a time). Reach your arms all the way up overhead, or out to the sides like you are forming a letter "T" to open your chest and shoulders. These will help to reduce tightness and soreness from the forward flexed postures that are required for your Spring Cleaning tasks. 

3) Wring out your Waists & Wastes!!
Many of you know that our muscles MOVE our bodies from place to place. Did you know that our muscles are also responsible for pumping our Lymphatic Fluids out of the body? The lymphatics are the waste removal system of the body. They rely on the pressure from muscle contractions to serve as pumps for the flow of the waste materials out of the body. Regular movement is required to keep our "pipes" clean. Even more reason to get back in for a session to make sure that ALL of your muscles are functioning efficiently!  Some other ways you can help the lymphatic flow are by dry brushing your skin, or bouncing on a trampoline (also known as rebounding). Since many of our lymph ducts are in our armpits, abdomen and groin, marching in place and bringing your opposite elbow toward your knee will allow your core muscles to massage your internal organs and flush those major lymphatic ducts.  Ask me at your next session to teach you my favorite Lymph blaster, "The Jiggle" as that one is easier to teach (and funnier to watch) in person. Hee hee! :) 

Looking forward to helping you MOVE into Spring and beyond!

Keep Moving Well!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Spring Cleaning for the Issues in your Tissues!!

Is it safe to say that it is officially Spring now??? Upon getting through what seems to be like 3 winters this year, here in Wisconsin we are starting to see the true signs of Spring around us! The birds have been out and have been chirping for weeks now, but they finally seem to be able to stay out and not have to retreat back to their shelters from the cold!! Seeing all of the lawn bags at the foot of the driveways for Yard Waste pick up day actually brings joy to our neighborhood!! It means that we can actually spend time outside to clear away the winter debris and spruce up our yards to make way for the new growth to rise up!! Bring it on!! : ) 

Following the cycles of nature, Winter is all about cozying up inside, staying warm, and resting our bodies to store energy. The Spring season is well known as a time to be more active, clean up our homes, our lives, and cleanse our bodies. This includes moving our bodies more as we are able to enjoy the outdoors once again.  

Have you begun your Spring Cleaning projects? Which projects or tasks are the most enjoyable for you? I'm learning to love yard work (I didn't always love this...) as I do love the outdoors, and enjoy spending time working together with my husband to beautify our surroundings. However, my most favorite task is cleaning out closets and drawers! There is something freeing about "letting go" of the stuff that we've been holding onto but is of use to us, doesn't fit, is not in style, or doesn't bring us JOY! 

Are you participating in a Spring Body Detox or Cleanse this year? This is a wonderful time to do this as our bodies are naturally seeking detoxification at this time of year. Drinking more water, especially with fresh squeezed lemon juice added, is one way to flush out our systems. Today marks Day 1 of my Intermittent Fasting cleanse that I'll be implementing 2x/week for the next month, at least. My plan includes drinking water, broth, and cleansing fluids until 11am or noon, then eating healthy, fresh foods throughout an 8 hour window, until 7 or 8pm. I've done this in the past and it makes me feel amazing!! 

As we cleanse and declutter our physical bodies and surroundings, the idea of sifting through mental clutter often arises. What sorts of thoughts, emotions, beliefs or ideas are no longer serving you? How can you "let go" of some of these negative issues in your life? Have you ever considered what lies at the root of the pain or discomfort you experience in your body? It might be a good time to start to "Spring Clean the Issues in your Tissues!!" 

Through 2 decades of working as a Physical Therapist, I've noticed some common themes as my clients are dealing with pain in certain body parts. When I worked at "Knee Specialists of Wisconsin" 100% of our clients came in with some degree of knee pain. Using the Muscle Activation Techniques  systematic approach to identify and correct each client's unique structural and muscle imbalances contributing to their symptoms was a HUGE part of the healing process on the physical level. Healing on the emotional level was also a large part of helping my clients feel better. One common theme that I noticed with this specific population of clients in their 60's and 70's was a difficulty "moving forward" in life as they were transitioning from a life of working hard to reinventing themselves in retirement. So many of them were frustrated that they had worked so hard throughout their lives, but were now having trouble enjoying their retirement because of knee pain. They were regretful that they seldom took steps to take good care of their bodies or listen to the warning signs along the way, and now that their knees were screaming at them, they felt overwhelmed but were finally doing something about it! Once they identified and embraced these emotions and were prescribed unique exercises to manage their specific muscle imbalances, they were surprised at how much better they felt! Most of our clients were able to avoid knee replacement surgeries with our interventions, and they learned how to take care of themselves to "move forward" with less pain! 

Are you holding onto any unresolved "issues" in your tissues?  Are you overwhelmed with the process of uncovering and then healing from these issues? There are solutions out there if you are willing to take some time and do some "inner" work. 

I just recently finished reading "Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover your Authentic Self" by Denise Linn. It was the perfect way to head into Spring this year! "Soul Coaching is a 4 week program dedicated to an in-depth bearing and cleansing of the different aspects of your life: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual. By following the practical, carefully crafted steps presented here, you'll find that you're able to uncover your authentic self. By utilizing the energy of the elements of nature -Air, Water, Fire, and Earth- this program allows you to clear away old blockages so that you can truly begin to hear the secret messages of your soul." I found it to be an amazing experience, especially since I did it with my great friend, and we had a weekly check in call or in-person chat to discuss our transformations. I'd love to hear how it goes for you too! 

A client and now good friend of mine recommended a book called "Healing Back Pain--The Mind Body Connection" by John E. Sarno. This book discusses his research on "Tension Myositis Syndrome" (TMS) and how patients recognize the emotional roots of their TMS and learn how to sever the connections between the mental and physical pain to resolve their back pain. I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to reading it soon, as I have just ordered it from Amazon. Check it out! 

I wish you all the best as you clear out the old "stuff," both physical and emotional, and make room in your life for fresh new growth on many levels!

Keep Moving Well!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Something Lost...And Something Gained...

Do you take the time at the end of each year to look back and reflect on your highlights, accomplishments and successes? Or do you focus on what goals you have yet to achieve, what you could have done differently, or wish you would have focused on instead? Personally, I used to focus on the latter. However, this year as I look back through the 12 months of 2017, I have decided to take a positive approach and celebrate the successes and achievements that have taken place, and finish off this last month on a good note. This year a common theme that resounded in my personal and professional life was "Something Lost and Something Gained." Of course, loss and gain can offer either good or bad experiences, but the following losses and gains of 2017 were all "good", and have provided profound growth opportunities.  

Something Lost: Judgement
In 2016, the "Well-BALANCED Life" blog post theme was really fun, as a different topic was presented each month that all added up to empowering you to move and live better.  The intention for 2017 was to try something different, with a "SIMPLIFY" theme, and do video blogs. It seemed like a great idea to spend less time sitting and typing, and more time moving and teaching you how to move better with simple, educational movements through exercise videos. You might be thinking, "Where were these video blogs?? Did I miss something?" No, you didn't miss them. I didn't do them. Instead of judging myself for not embracing and overcoming my fear of the camera, letting anyone down, or achieving this goal, I chose to let these judgements go. Instead of jumping to conclusions and judging situations or others' actions, I have also chosen to let those go too, as that feels so much better. 

Something Gained: Freedom 
By shifting the energy and focus to let go of judgement, the emotional and energetic burden caused by judging myself and others was lifted, which allowed a HUGE sense of freedom.  What a much-needed gift this was this year! :)

Something Lost: Hiding place
Throughout the 5 years of renting a small room inside two different Chiropractor's offices, I admired how confident they were with their practice techniques, business directions, and how they both took the initiative to rent their own space and move their missions forward. I've always struggled with confidence so I was content to just "hide out" inside of their space and stay "small" with my business...for a while. I finally reached a point where the time was right to step out of my safe place and move forward with a mission of my own this year!! 

Something Gained: Space to Grow
Moving into a new space has been one of the main professional highlights of this year. The feeling of gratitude I have for all of my clients, family, and friends who have helped 1212 Bodyworks grow into the business it is today is truly overwhelming! :) Having the physical space that now suits the flow of my business will provide wonderful future growth opportunities.  

Something Lost: Weight (15#)
With the help of my personal trainer, Ryan Bloor, and many dietary changes later, I have lost about 15 pounds this year!! Whew!! After recognizing in August of 2016 that I was not only hiding inside of the Chiropractor's office, but also hiding inside baggy or layered clothing because of my gradual weight gain, I knew I needed to make some major changes. I have officially embraced the fact that I need an accountability partner, and those weekly scheduled workouts really helped me honor my priorities. By building muscle, I was able to burn more fat and detoxify my body. In May of 2017, I received the "Hashimoto's Thyroiditis" diagnosis, and thus began the journey of a strict diet known as the "Autoimmune Protocol."  Meat, veggies, and fruit were the only allowed foods, so for 3 months, that is what I stuck to. I slowly, strategically reintroduced foods to find out which ones were triggers for my symptoms and have adjusted my diet accordingly. I am feeling better overall, but am doing what I can to continue to uncover the root of these Autoimmune issues to fully heal from them. 

Something Gained: Height (1/2 inch!!)
At my annual physical this year, I was SHOCKED when the nurse told me that I was 5 ft, 7 inches!!! I have been 5 ft, 6 1/2 inches for the past 15 years at least. I do remember once being 5' 7" back in college, but somehow lost a 1/2 inch over time. I truly believe that the strength training I have done has helped my posture and spinal stability so much, I actually am standing taller!! The physical and emotional weight that I have lost over this past year have also helped me to stand taller with more confidence.

What were some of your biggest losses and gains, and how did these experiences help you grow? I'd love to hear about the highlights of your year and what you are celebrating as you reflect on the past 12 months! Looking forward to sharing our health journeys in 2018. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

8 Key Elements to a Well Balanced Life: "D" is for...

I've been naughty this year. I've been teaching my clients to perform exercises specifically for their unique muscle imbalances, but I haven't done my exercises faithfully. I have all sorts of exercise equipment at home and at my office, but do you think I use them often? No. I haven't been practicing what I preach as much as I should have been this year. However, a good friend of mine once said, "Don't ever "should" on yourself" and I have always appreciated that comment. I have realized that it is important to focus on all of the good things I have done this year instead focusing on what I "should" have done.  

In August, I finally broke down and hired a personal trainer to help keep me accountable for taking care of myself, as I had been focusing on taking care of others and let myself go. I am also making great strides in overcoming leaky gut syndrome and the resultant autoimmune conditions that have created challenges with my health and energy levels by educating myself on  how to use food as medicine. I am helping my family to also improve their health and energy levels so we can keep up with our 5 year old! Prioritizing time with my family and friends has also brought a lot of joy into my life in 2016. I also just formed a "Meet Up" group called "Get Moving Mil-WALK-esha" to get people together for walks around Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties. These good things in 2016 have helped to move me closer to living a well balanced life. 

Over the past 8 months, you have discovered how to live a well-balanced life also through Breathing, being mindful of your body's Alignment, moving around or being "Locomotive", bringing Awareness to your body's sensations and movement limits, eating a Nutritious diet, Circulating your body's important life giving and cleansing fluids, and enhancing your Environment to maximize health and minimize toxins. Finally, as the year draws to a close, you will discover the final key element to a well balanced life. 

The journey toward health and wellness is not an easy one. Pain, tightness, limited movements and mental blocks can all get in the way of our ability to enjoy life. Many of us seem to be wearing many hats and burning the candle at both ends, as they say, and time seems to fly by before our eyes. The final key element in BALANCED is one of the most important elements but can also be one of the most difficult: Dedication to taking care of ourselves and living a healthy life. 

Dedication means taking the time out of your day to breathe. Dedication means taking a moment to look within and be aware of how you are feeling, and then take action to improve upon that feeling if necessary. Dedication means taking the time to plan out, prepare and enjoy nutritious meals, snacks and drinks. Dedication means doing the best you can on any given day, or at any given moment, to commit to your well-being and make the best decisions you possibly can to care for yourself.  

Dedication is NOT perfection. (I have to keep reminding myself of that one.) Dedication means cutting yourself some slack for missing a workout, and getting back on the horse as soon as possible. Dedication means having the right network of family, friends, coaches and helpers to keep you moving toward your goals and truly living a well balanced life. Dedication means taking care of yourself so you can continue to care for others. (I have to remind myself of that one, too!)

Congratulations on your dedication so far along the journey toward your well-balanced life. The journey keeps on going until our time is up on this planet. I'm dedicated to being here for you to support you on your journey as I continue along mine. 

Keep moving well!  

Sunday, November 20, 2016

8 Key Elements to a Well-Balanced Life: "E" is for

We have learned the importance of optimizing how our body works through breathing, being aware of our body's alignment, movement abilities and limits, and fueling our body with nutrient dense foods.  What we put inside our bodies determines how we feel and move throughout our lives. The communication between our nervous and digestive systems greatly impacts our musculo-skeletal health. To boost how our body works to keep us healthy, it is equally important to consider our environment, to maximize the benefits of our surroundings and minimize the stressors that may be impacting our health.

Our natural environment provides us with some of life's greatest necessities including the air we breathe, the food we eat, resources to create energy, and lumber to construct homes and buildings.  We can also turn to our environment for recreation, enjoyment, health and exercise. Our environment provides homes for wildlife, "is responsible for pollution dilution and detoxification, pollination, flood and climate regulation." 
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The sun provides Vitamin D to help us absorb calcium and phosphorus, improve our bone and tooth health, boost our immune system, and prevent many diseases. It is important to find a nice balance with getting enough sunshine to meet your daily requirement of Vitamin D which involves getting outside. As the winter months are fast approaching, it gets more challenging to get outside (especially here in Wisconsin) to get adequate amounts of this important vitamin, so supplementation is necessary. I've been loving an Isotonic Vitamin D supplement that I have been taking lately. I'd be happy to share more details about this product with you if you are interested. 

Our environment also includes with whom we live and with whom we spend the most time. Family, friends and colleagues can fill us with joy but can also create stress in our lives. Maximizing the energy spent on relationships that bring happiness and joy and letting go of those no longer serving us can have a big impact on living a well-balanced life. 

Our environment includes the substances and products we use to keep our homes, belongings, and body clean. My friends use to tease me and call me a hippy for using natural products and not wanting to use chemicals on or around my body.  Luckily, there are more and more people who have also become aware of the dangers and have moved away from using synthetic chemicals and toxic ingredients in commercially available cleaning agents, and personal care products.  The chemicals we use to clean our homes should be made with natural ingredients especially if we have children or pet in our homes. Our skin is our largest organ, and it will absorb chemicals from personal care products that can be harmful to our body. If you haven't already, be sure to check the labels and avoid petroleum based ingredients and other harmful chemicals in your home cleaning and body care products. Click on the following link to find a list of which chemicals to avoid: 
I have been using natural cleaning agents, essential oils, and personal care products for the last 15 years. Let me know if you want more information on which ones are my favorites.  

Our body works best when our environment is full of sunshine, fresh air, natural, healthy food and clean water, and people who fill our hearts with good feelings. Let go of those relationships with people and products who are not benefitting your health and you will feel so much better on many levels. 

Keep Moving Well!