Here's another hero of mine.
Dr Ben Kim.
This guy is a chiropractor and acupuncturist living and working in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
he has a website where he publishes wonderfully written, no-nonsense articles on achieving good health for the mind and body. More importantly, the emphasis is on prevention and not cure.
He pulls no punches when he thinks that mainstream medicine has got it wrong and he lets us know how to do it right. And he responds personally to any questions we have.
And, yes, he's selling things too, but it's only all the healthy stuff he buys in for his own family and he sells it cheaper than most so that's good enough for me.
Anyway, I digress.
About a year ago, I was searching on the net for ideas to help with a terrible pain I had in my right hip. I'd been suffering for a few weeks and it was getting so bad that I was thinking I'd have to go and see the doctor - surely I was too young to get this sort of pain?
Fortunately, though, I came across this Ben Kim article about foam rolling your IT band (muscle) in your leg and I gave it a go. And the hip pain went away after 3 minutes of rolling and after 2 more goes, it didn't come back.
So after that I was hooked. I followed other muscle exercises he recommended - because he's a chiropractor, he sees a lot of aches and pains caused by lack of care for our body muscles. So he tells us what to do to avoid all the common problems.
For example - did you know that headaches and lower back pain can be caused by tight hamstrings? Stretching these muscles can cause instant relief.
Dr Kim spends about 30 minutes every night stretching and rolling his muscles to ensure he doesn't end up like his patients and we can follow his routines from brilliant videos he's made.
I then read about trigger point therapy via this Dr Kim article and decided to buy the workbook by Clair Davis he recommended. Well that was by far the best tenner or so that I've ever spent! This book is absolutely amazing (just read the reviews) and if you can possibly afford it, then get it. If not, sell something, then get it.
The book shows us how to deal with just about any pain we have anywhere in your body. Most pain that we put down to "getting older" or "overwork" is caused by little knots in our muscles called "trigger points". These can be released by gentle massage pressure a few times a day - it really hurts when we're doing it, but it's a "good" pain because it tells us it's working.
It's so easy - we can cure your pain ourselves, at home, drug free. Just us and a tennis ball!
It's life changing stuff. I'm working my way through the book and finding trigger points everywhere. I then work on them and slowly release them and move on to the next. And when any pain comes in the future, I know where to press and get instant relief. Ron didn't escape either, but it did get rid of his 20 year old knee pain when we were floor tiling so he's pretty impressed too.
I've gone and got all evangelical about this therapy now and am known to grab someone's shoulder and give it a pinch if they need it! I have passed on tips from the book to friends and therapists alike and they've then bought the book to help others as well as themselves.
I just wish I could buy one for every schoolkid in the world. We need to teach this stuff to our young'uns so they can prevent such pain from ever occurring.
So, anyway, back to Ben Kim, it's worth signing up for emails of his latest articles and recipes. Here are a few tasters from the past:
Don't stress about blood pressure or cholesterol levels - read these articles and get informed before taking any medication.
I now take vitamin D supplements in Winter and make sure I get enough sun at other times of the year after reading this excellent article.
This one really hit a chord - I think I was suffering from obsessive healthy eating and this article held a mirror up to me, helped me relax my views and live more and stress less about food.
Made me laugh, this one. Helps you get our head straight when people don't thank us.
A hard subject to cover, but he doesn't avoid any issue if it can help someone.
And so as I stare out of the window to a stunning sunset and pink clouds over the Pyrenees, I wish us all good health wherever we are.
"... outstanding in the field of self-help ..."
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