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Treat the Cause, Not the Symptom

I’ve heard a saying regarding pain in the body, “the victim screams while the criminal is silent.”

When Tom Myers, internationally known fascia expert and author of Anatomy Trains, said this he was referring to the interconnected relationships between the soft tissues in the body. The pain is not always, and actually not often, being generated where it hurts, but rather is in response to an imbalance somewhere else.

For example, consider pain on the top of your shoulders. You know the spot, where you have those annoying, chronic knots that hurt like crazy when you apply pressure. Why do you have that tightness? Is there something wrong with those muscles? A problem in your shoulders? Your neck? Maybe. . . Or perhaps, the tightness signals a compensation in those muscles for something else going on in the body. The upper back/neck muscles are the victims screaming, while the real perpetrators—a hip disparity, lower back dysfunction or weakness in the core is silent.

Modern medicine is symptom-oriented, focused on relieving the pain often without looking deeper to find out WHY the pain is occurring. Medical professionals have become very good at treating painful symptoms. Unfortunately, these dedicated healers often overlook or lack the time needed to investigate the cause of the pain. This leads to an unending cycle of symptoms and invasive procedures.

You’ve probably heard stories of people who have had multiple joints replaced or repeated back surgeries. Chronic pain and joint degeneration is caused by stress within the body. If the cause of this stress (e.g. muscles imbalances) is not addressed the stress will just be redirected to other joints and soft tissues.

Misaligned Posture Was the Cause of My Chronic Symptoms

When I had my third knee surgery, on the same knee, I told the doctor I felt like there was something bigger to these injuries. The majority of my surgeries were to repair “wear and tear” issues that developed slowly over time. I didn’t understand WHY I was having these problems while my competitors, who probably logged more bike miles than me continued to pedal pain free.

It wasn’t until starting posture therapy and seeing my position that I realized the knee wasn’t the problem. The cause was the position of my spine! Too much forward rounding in my upper back and shoulders which was balanced by an equally exaggerated curve in my lower back in the opposite direction.

This position increased the forward tilt of my pelvis and changed the orientation of my hips that internally rotated my knees. Not long after my last knee surgery, I had hip surgery, again on the same side. The knee and hip were the victims being damaged to the point of needing repair while my curved back and shoulders didn’t make a sound.

After my final knee surgery I had not taken action to find and correct the cause of my pain so the cycle continued damaging my hip. Only by reducing the dramatic curves of my back, which created a positive chain reaction on the alignment of my hips and knees did my frequent trips to the operating room end. Now I am hot on the trail of the criminals, which is silencing the victims.

Join Jessica for her upcoming webinar on this topic: Posture: The Undiagnosed Cause of Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Article originally printed on thepfathlete.com. Reprinted with permission.

Coach, author, and former professional athlete, Jessica Kisiel, MS, is passionate about helping people who are in chronic pain maintain an active lifestyle. She has overcome many injuries herself, including severe hip osteoarthritis. Using her professional knowledge and personal experience, Jessica has guided hundreds of clients out of pain and back to activity and competitive sports.

During her healing, she discovered Posture Therapy, which turned out to be the missing piece in her recovery from hip, back and neck pain. When she was a patient, she began the certification process for The Egoscue Method® and continued her posture training to receive credentialing from the Postural Restoration Institute® (PRI). Unique in holding both these designations, Jessica is sought out by people worldwide in search of answers to their pain. Jessica’s story, and much of what she gained through her recovery process, is explained in her book, “Winning The Injury Game”. 

Young beautiful brunette sportswoman wearing sportswoman training over white background confuse and wonder about question. Uncertain with doubt, thinking with hand on head. Pensive concept.

Eight Exercises to do to Have the Body You Want

I’m going to be honest – there’s a lot of hype in the exercise market today. It almost feels like whoever can do the most creative exercises wins some kind of award. But the truth is…that’s not a good use of your time because it’s not going to get you the results you probably desire – a lean, defined, healthy body that enables you to perform daily life functions and that will allow you to age gracefully.


“You want a what?”: A Story for Our Times

Imagine you’re house hunting and at last you’ve found what might be the perfect home. Like all home buyers, you are eager to see the kitchen. Mostly, you’re looking for quality appliances. When you arrive, everything looks great, with one glaring exception. There’s no refrigerator. There’s a gaping hole where the refrigerator should be. And when you ask the realtor, you’re astounded to hear him say, “Hmmm. You want a what?”

“A refrigerator,” you reply.

“What’s that?” he asks. You laugh nervously, because his question sounded sincere, and then you explain what a refrigerator is.  “

Yeah, no,” he replies, “You don’t want one of those. They’re dangerous.”

“How are refrigerators dangerous?” you ask.

The realtor pauses for a few seconds, then replies, “They… um… they explode!”

This is what happens when a well-informed patient asks their doctor about DHEA. More than 2 million people have read one of Stephen Cherniske’s books and articles that describe why DHEA is an essential part of any healthcare plan. Millions more have seen him interviewed on national TV, or read about him in Time, Newsweek and Oprah. They understood Cherniske’s simple graphic showing that health is a see-saw of damage and repair, and how DHEA is the most important factor driving repair in every tissue of the human body. They were impressed with the author’s scientific credentials and the mountain of evidence published in biomedical journals.

But when they ask their doctor about this critically important factor that literally determines how fast they age, they are shocked to hear that many physicians have no real understanding of the hormone. Even worse, many doctors disregard the question, essentially saying “Yeah, no. You don’t want one of those. They’re dangerous.” And when asked exactly why DHEA is dangerous, they reply with something they heard 25 years ago that has been soundly debunked.

Join Stephen Cherniske for his upcoming webinar, The Case for DHEA, to learn more about this topic. He’ll review the metabolic model of aging and show how DHEA plays a key role in tissue repair, neuroprotection, metabolism, cardiovascular health, mood and memory.


Stephen Cherniske, MSc is a biochemist with more than 50 years of academic, clinical and research experience. He taught university clinical nutrition, directed the nation’s first FDA-licensed clinical lab specializing in nutrition and immunology, and served on the faculty of the American College of Sports Medicine. His book “The DHEA Breakthrough” was an international best-seller that helped launch the anti-aging movement worldwide. Cherniske is considered to be the chief architect of the metabolic model of aging – now the predominant model used in research protocols throughout the world.


Can Exercise help treat women with postpartum depression?

According to several studies, exercise has been proven as an effective method of treating and preventing depression. Some studies suggest that physical activity may be as powerful as anti-depressants for treating mild to moderate depression over time. The same is true for women experiencing mild to moderate postpartum depression. It’s important to note that there are different levels of postpartum depression and screening is available through hospitals and doctors’ offices if PPD is suspected. Both the Edinburgh Postnatal depression scale questionnaire and a PAR-Q medical history questionnaire will help give insight to healthcare practitioner and patient on treatment methods.


Expand Your Career! Become a Multiple Sclerosis Fitness Specialist

The health/fitness industry is constantly evolving with new scientific research and education released on a regular basis. Currently, the medical fitness track is on the precipice of explosion and expansion. Therefore, obtaining your personal training or group exercise instructor certification is only the beginning for launching your professional health and fitness career. One area of health/fitness specialization that is gaining attention is with the multiple sclerosis (MS) community. There is a huge need and demand for qualified health/fitness professionals to provide proper programming for those with MS. The National MS Society states that the MS population is more than double what was previously recorded with over one million people diagnosed in the United States alone. Health/fitness professionals can effectively work with those who have MS, providing them with a better quality of life, hope for the future and continued improvement. Education and specialization on the part of the professional is key to the success of the professional and the client through proper exercise programs, nutritional guidance and mindset training specifically for those with MS.


Three Incredibly Simple Ways to Maintain a Strong Immune System

During the COVID-19 pandemic, taking steps to protect yourself from contracting the virus is essential. That means you need to prioritize boosting your immune system. Although a strong immune system always plays a crucial role in your health, right now, it’s particularly important.

Strengthening your immune response is also fairly easy. While you should remember that none of these tips are substitutes for seeking medical care if you believe you have COVID-19 or are in danger of contracting it, you should consider the following ways – from cooking healthy recipes to getting enough sleep – that you can keep your immune system strong during a pandemic.


The Naturopathic Chef: Southwest Green Goddess Dressing

The fresh, herbacious flavor of the original Green Goddess dressing inspired a Southwest version I used for my cafe menu. Today, it remains a client favorite. Perfect for a veggie platter and grilled seafood. The dressing is pictured here on a Southwest Caesar with grilled Mahi.

Summertime is the season for fresh herbs. If you don’t like cilantro, flat-leaf parsley works well.


  • ¾ c Grapeseed Oil Mayo
  • ¼ c Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 clove Garlic, peeled, trimmed, and smashed
  • 2 Tbls Pumpkin Seeds
  • 2 Tbls Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbls Cotija Cheese
  • 1 freshly roasted Anaheim Chili, peeled and seeded, or two tablespoons of canned mild chilies
  • 1 bunch Cilantro, cleaned and stemmed
  • ½ tsp each Salt and Pepper (Cotija Cheese is salty, be sure to taste along the way)

Place all ingredients up to cilantro into a blender. Process until smooth. Add cilantro in thirds to keep the bright color. Over-processing heats the dressing and can cause the herbs to lose their vibrancy.

Phyte Facts

You may read negative commentary about Grapeseed oil. It is high in polyunsaturated fats making it susceptible to over oxidization. In other words: don’t deep fry with Grapeseed oil. However, cold-pressed GSO is beneficial due to a very little known polyunsaturated fact. When the PUFAs are ingested, our immune function goes to sleep for a short period (I know this sounds bad but…) this allows a very special heart mending action to take place. Once the “work” is done, our immune function wakes up and everything resumes. GSO also assists in the removal of plaque built up in the arteries. It’s higher in vitamin E, than Olive Oil, and binds the water we drink to our tissue keeping us thoroughly hydrated.

All veggie oils are processed and should be kept to a minimum. A little goes a long way!

The remainder of the ingredients are definitely Delicious Medicine, with Cilantro heading up the foods with phyte. Apigenin will someday be the cure for Ovarian Cancer, says Harvard School of Medicine. This phytonutrient is also a major player in the reduction of inflammation and anti-aging science.


Get more great recipes from Tina Martini — her book, Delicious Medicine: The Healing Power of Food is available to purchase on Amazon. More than a cookbook, combining 20+ years of experience, along with her love of coaching, cooking and teaching, Tina offers unexpected insights into the history and healing power of clean eating, along with recipes to help reduce your risk of disease and improve overall wellness so you can enjoy life!

Affectionately referred to as The Walking Encyclopedia of Human Wellness, Fitness Coach, Strength Competitor and Powerlifting pioneer, Tina “The Medicine Chef” Martini is an internationally recognized Naturopathic Chef and star of the cooking show, Tina’s Ageless Kitchen. Tina’s cooking and lifestyle show has reached millions of food and fitness lovers all over the globe. Over the last 30 years, Tina has assisted celebrities, gold-medal athletes and over-scheduled executives naturally achieve radiant health using The Pyramid of Power: balancing Healthy Nutrition and the healing power of food, with Active Fitness and Body Alignment techniques. Working with those who have late-stage cancer, advanced diabetes, cardiovascular and other illnesses, Tina’s clients are astounded at the ease and speed with which they are able to restore their radiant health. Tina believes that maintaining balance in our diet, physical activity, and in our work and spiritual life is the key to our good health, happiness and overall well being. Visit her website, themedicinechef.com