Dr. Russell has more opinions
My clients have been contacting me about three recent New York Times articles -- on high heels, fat and yoga.
1. A Scientific Look at the Dangers of High Heels (Jan 25) http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/25/scientists-look-at-the-dangers-of-high-heels/
I understand that it's part of a series with the articles "Science
Says Humans Need Air to Breathe, Die Without It" and "Scientists at the
University of California at Davis Predict that Cher Will Make A
Comeback". I mean, PEOPLE. Did this really need to be
toes push the earth back, and your heels grab it in front of
you. Without toes to push back (because the joint is already
bent back by the shoe) you'll step shorter and harder. Most of us
who wear high heels (I sure don't -- to me it's the Cirque du Soleil
of Western clothing) know that they shorten your calves, push your
hips forward, arch your low back and make your shoulders slope.
If you don't know it intellectually, you certainly feel it... not to
mention the effects on your actual feet.
| 2. How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body (Jan 5). |
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine/how-yoga-can-wreck-your-body.html?pagewanted=all This is the worst kind of article: it contains deep truths about yoga in America that would be great to take in -- if the author didn't make them sound like the 10 o'clock news rather than the New York Times. To
read an elegant, beautifully written response by Joan Arnold, a yoga
and Alexander Technique teacher with whom I collaborate, click
here. http://www.georgerusselldc.com/joanarnold/ . How does Joan manage to write so well? Is it the high heels, or the yoga?.
3. The Fat Trap (Jan 1) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/01/magazine/tara-parker-pope-fat-trap.html?pagewanted=all is
a much more balanced and nuanced article about research suggesting
that many fat people will have incredible difficulty getting thin (Who
knew? OMG for real?) The findings are fascinating, and the topic is
so loaded that it's good to discuss it a little more. Read this list of bullet points, almost all of which come directly from the article.
- Genetics plays a big role in how big your body will be, including bones, muscle and fat.
- Research suggests that people who have been overweight and lose weight are often more prone to gain weight than other people.
- Most diets don't work.
the genetics and biochemistry of fat can help people to look, feel
and weigh their best. Sometimes they will need professional help.
fat people who want to be thin may need to be vigilant (and hungry)
for the rest of their lives, because being thin may not be "natural"
research doesn't prove that you can't get thin, but it's true that you
might not be able to get thin. They're not the same thing.
- Fat people are not to blame.
overweight can be unhealthy. Or not. Health is a function of
fitness, blood chemistry, diet, attitude, choices, faith, genetics
and toxins. There are terribly unhealthy thin people. These folks are doing all the "wrong things" but they look healthy because genetics keeps them thin.
you already know most of that stuff? Did you notice that seeing it
"ratified" by science and the Times still scared the living crap out
of you? Read on:
- Science investigates the edges of mystery. Be careful not to turn research into dogma, because more will be revealed.
farming began about 9000 years ago, most of our species migrated
(that means "walked") constantly, ate much less, and slept and
relaxed more. Those that didn't die in infancy or from a
virulent disease lived as long as the longest-living people do
now. I suspect they were hungry most of the time (at least when
compared with modern appetites) and they were thinking about food a
lot because they couldn't store it.
- Longevity is directly linked to very few things, but one of them is how little food you eat.
Our culture (and the culture of our "tolerant" city) loathes and
fears fat. We persecute fat people. We also persecute ourselves for
having even a tiny amount of fat.
seen people tell fat people what to eat and how to live - as if the
obese hadn't noticed how they look and have no idea how they "should"
behave to not be disgusting fatsos.
people can lose weight, prevent illness, and feel better if they eat
better. Anti-inflammatory and alkaline ways of eating seem to me to
be best. For nutritional counseling see a nutritionist or naturopath. Feel free to call me for a referral.
are healthy, attractive and fit people who are overweight, and many
people for whom weight is not a factor in the people they find
attractive. A super-handsome guy I knew, who had a
healthy body, healthy belly, and a healthy sense of humor, used to
say: "I DO have a six pack abdomen. It's just deeply
majority of us have a negative and distorted body image. In general,
women tend to think they're too heavy in every way, and men tend to
think they're not strong enough in every way. Most of us need to talk
about how we regard our bodies with somebody who's trustworthy. If
you want to talk to me, call. If you want a referral to someone else,
I'll give you one.
- Don't give up. The miracle you're looking for may be a change in perspective.
|Jaw Podcasts |
I made two jaw podcasts: one for bodyworkers, one for sufferers. Have a listen.
New Exercise VideoI'm in a new video with one minute of exercise! Jordan Smith, my resident actor/writer/director/secretary,
wrote it and costars. Of course it's funny, especially the outtake
we left in, and it teaches easy, sneaky exercises for the workplace. Click here to see it
|Classes with my Office Mate Nora Braverman |
Here's a schedule of classes taught by Nora Braverman, PT and yoga teacher extraordinaire. Check them out!
Ayurveda: The Science of Health and Healing
February 21st, 2012 6-8pm
Pranayama: Revitalize Your Body and Mind With Breathing
March 13th, 2012
Nora also teaches Yoga classes, for more info:
your work involve training or touching the body? Check out the
new organization I formed with Aviva Geismar, Ericka Clinton and James
Nicholson. It's called Getting Better, the center for bodywork
and movement. Our blog is http://gettingbetterbodywork.tumblr.com/.|