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Tucson, Arizona 85704

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The Pulse - June 2016 Newsletter

Get Ahead of Your Health Seminar Series

BodyBasics and MDVIP doctor, Dr. Thomas Griffin, will join together to put on a four part progressive lecture series, Feeling Good For Life.  This interactive series is based on Dr. Griffin’s book “The Physician’s Blueprint for Feeling Good for Life”.  The workshops will focus on simple and effective components that are the building blocks for a strong foundation to keep you healthy.  BodyBasics will teach exercises that are easy to do and will help keep your body strong and in optimal health.  Please wear comfortable clothes that will allow for class participation.  Participants will receive a copy of the “Feeling Good for Life” book along with a workbook.  Workshops are complementary and will be offered:

June 23rd, July 27th, August 25th and September 29th

Workshops will be held at the El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Club in the Sunset Banquet Room from 5:30pm-7pm.

RSVP by calling Dr. Griffin at 520-544-7644 or

BodyBasics at 520-498-0359

Article – Roll Away Your Joint Pain!

This morning as the 6 a.m. Fitness Fusion group warmed up for their workout one of the participants told me about this crazy dream she’d had that night. In it, a PT that we had referred her to, in real life, told her to stop foam rolling because the whole thing was stupid and a waste of time. Now you have to understand two things right away. First, the PT who appeared in her dream is very much a believer in foam rolling He has even been to the studio and presented to our team on the subject. Second, our client who had the dream is also very faithful about foam rolling after experiencing firsthand how therapeutic it was and continues to be for addressing her knee pain post-runs. You will not see her leave a workout without rolling some part of her body first.

So, is foam rolling stupid and a waste of time? If I’m being completely honest, my opinion on the subject has changed quite a bit over the years. Understand first that when I started exercising some 30 plus years ago, you could not find a foam roller anywhere. They did not exist in the general fitness world. No, instead I stretched and even that was a step above the norm as most people I trained with or alongside did not do much of that either. It wasn’t until 2005 at a particular continuing education conference up in Phoenix that I got my first exposure to the concept of self-administered massage. That was when my exercise world was dramatically impacted by then pioneering functional movement specialist and physical therapist, Gray Cook. If you’ve done a functional movement screen at BodyBasics, you can thank him for that influence. I do all of the time. He was discussing the concept of joint mobility with us and helping us to appreciate how different styles of self-administered rolling and pressure can often dramatically improve joint mobility as tissues hydrate and begin to slide with more ease. My mind was opened up to a whole new perspective on movement and movement quality. I went home from that event and started right away with self-practice. I also started experimenting with different strategies with clients. I even took a rolling pin from home and started testing the waters with it. Thank you Marge!

Fast forward to today and my own answer to my question posed is a very confident no. Foam rolling is not stupid and it is definitely not a waste of time either. If done correctly, foam rolling is an extremely effective strategy for freeing up restricted movement. I should know. I’ve personally eliminated a left sided chronic knee pain that I would get when standing for long periods of time and feel anytime I warmed up to do squats. I’ve also freed up a left shoulder that used to bother me when I would reach behind my back. Outside of my own successes with rolling I’ve also seen similar improvements in countless clients. Clients have eliminated, or at the least greatly reduced, joint pain at literally all sites on the body.

Realizing the benefits that I and numerous others have with foam rolling is very easy. You simply need three things: a foam roller, the proper understanding for how to use it, and the time to do so. I’m going to entrust you with figuring out how to get one and also where you’re going to position the time to use it. You can count on me for the knowledge part.

The most important part of foam rolling is the pressure. If you apply too much pressure your body will tense up reactively to protect itself. You can combat this effectively by purchasing a foam roller that is soft enough to support your bodyweight while you can still breathe in a semi-relaxed manner. There are different densities of foam roller for this very reason. If you’re not sure what to get always start with a softer foam roller. You can always progress in density from there but if you start with something too intense on your body you will most likely give up altogether.

After you’ve determined the foam roller with the right density for you, it’s now time to start using it. A good first rule of thumb is to dedicate a window of between 5 – 10 minutes per day and invest some time every single day exploring your body’s tissue quality through rolling. You can certainly dedicate more than 5 – 10 minutes each day but in my experience if someone starts with a lot of time they end up foam rolling less frequently. When it comes to improving your tissue quality, frequency in addressing it is very important so heed my advice and start with less time. As you start to experience results and also develop your routine you can then determine whether you’d like to add more time or not.

For at least the first month you start rolling routinely pick a part of your body and simply explore. Start at a point furthest from your heart, say your lower leg at the junction of your ankle and calve muscle. Slowly roll towards your heart. The rolling direction is important because when you’re applying pressure to your body that impacts not only your muscles but also your circulation. It is imperative that circulation continues to be directed toward your heart instead of away. Otherwise you risk damaging vessels and impairing both your circulatory and lymphatic systems.

You will note that I said to slowly roll. The reason I want you to slowly roll has everything to do with depth of pressure. This is extremely important and so often overlooked. It is the combination of depth and pressure that improves joint mobility. Simply rolling along with no thought to either of these essential ingredients will not do much for you. So, to maximize your experience every session roll slow enough to feel the foam roller “melt” into whatever part of you that you decide to address.

As you roll along slowly with the appropriate direction and depth note what you feel. Listen through the sensation your body communicates to you. When you find a point that is in need of more attention you’ll know because you’ll suddenly have discomfort. When this happens change your strategy from slow rolling to direct pressure and hold the spot for at least 2 minutes. If, during that time, you are experiencing an increase in discomfort, a change in your ability to breathe comfortably, or an increase in muscle tension, get off of the direct spot and instead go to either side of it or somewhere above or below it. Hang at one of these spots that are more manageable to sustain pressure on for a couple of minutes and then return to the original spot to determine if you created an improvement. Repeat this process on whatever part of your body you want to address for your allotted amount of time.

Bear in mind, the different postures we place ourselves in on a daily basis are why we have muscle tension that contributes to joint pains in the first place. So, as an aside, practice good posture habits as much as you can. Also important to share is that rolling can be quite uncomfortable even with a very low density foam roller. If you experience this I suggest seeking a professional massage therapist who is licensed to address your delicate tissue. I practice both good posture habits and routine rolling and still see a massage therapist at least twice a month.

If you’re like me, you want to age on your terms. You want to live a life without restriction, be that joint or otherwise. I implore you to take at least a month and implement the process I laid out for you today. I promise you more energy, better sleep quality, and less joint pain.

If you would like more information about how to foam roll effectively, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to assist. Also, for those of you who love to read as much as I do, I highly recommend the book, The Roll Model, by Jill Miller. I read this book recently and I think it is the most user-friendly yet comprehensive book I’ve seen to date for understanding the concept of rolling. Here’s a spoiler alert also. She does not use foam rollers.

Client Spotlight – Denise RoepkeIMG_1450 (1)

This month’s client spotlight is Denise Roepke. Denise started coming to BodyBasics several years ago seeking a way to minimize her chronic arthritic pain. Years of carrying stress both physically and emotionally amounted to excessive weight gain and joints that hurt all the time. She had tried other weight loss and exercise programs in the past. Unfortunately none had produced the outcome she was after. After researching various local gyms on the internet, Denise chose to check out BodyBasics. She liked the vibe right away and committed to twice weekly group workouts. It wasn’t long before Denise was really starting to find her groove. Her form was solid. Her mood was lifting. She was feeling pretty darn good. Unfortunately, as life can sometimes do, her best laid plan was detoured about two years in when she had to stop her training for about a year due to financial constraints.  Fortunately, she’s been able to resume her sessions again and at this point is really charging ahead toward realizing her best overall health and fitness in quite some time.

Denise is a great example of the power we can attain when our mind is in the right place. The Denise you talk to now is so different from the Denise of three years ago. That Denise was committed to the exercise portion but not much more than that. She was still eating unhealthy, had poor sleeping habits, and could be easily sidetracked away from taking care of herself outside of her training sessions. Today’s Denise has found a groove, and a home away from home, by committing to three group sessions each week and a cardio session five times each week. She has addressed her sleeping and she is also gaining steam on the nutrition front participating in twice monthly nutrition coaching sessions with Chris. Most recently she achieved a once never thought possible goal of being below 200 pounds! To date she’s eliminated 23 pounds and will tell you that her arthritis pain is greatly minimized, even to the point of non-existent on some days.

In Her Words: “I chose BodyBasics because they truly care about my health and wellbeing. Even if I falter they are right there to pick me back up and encourage me to move on.”

Yoga is Back!

Due to the positive response from those clients who participated in the Yoga class we have added additional classes in June.

June 21st at 8AM

June 30th at 5:45PM

You may sign up on line or just let us know and we can sign you up.  Classes are kept to a maximum of 8 participants and are $20 each.

Welcome New and Returning Clients

The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!

Bruce DesChamps referred by Dee Fletcher!

Sandy Northcutt found us driving by!

Jerry Olson found us driving by!

Juliana Osinchuk referred by Vivian Kaplan!

Angela Roche, welcome back!

“Shout Outs”

Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.

Marcia Halligan – For swinging her arms with gusto and perfecting her full squat to BOSU cable rows!

John Swift – For taking charge of his health both nutritionally and physically resulting in dramatic reductions in both body fat and back pain!

Rick Weiss – For his ongoing personal commitment toward maximizing his movement quality through consistent nutrition and exercise!

Amy Maharry – For continuing to demonstrate how tiny habits incorporated slowly can lead to massive change!

Marjorie Wack – For teaching us yet again that age does not by itself have to limit what we can do after zip lining for the first time in her life at 88 years young!

Recipe – Peanut Butter Energy BitesEnergy Bites

This simple, satisfying snack is ready and minutes and packs some great nutrition!


1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

3/4 cup mini-semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/3 cup honey

2 TBSP chia seeds

1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Stir all ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Then roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Sprinkle with additional chocolate chips, walnuts and honey, if desired.

Store in airtight container up to one week.

Serves 14 (serving size: 2 balls)

Nutrition Facts:

Calories 116; Fat 12g (sat 2.8g, mono 5.2g, poly 4g); Protein 8g; Carb 30g; Fiber 4mg;


Video – Rolling 101


Team BodyBasics

Chris, Kris,  Myrya, Michele, Kristian

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