Easter Greetings!

It’s hard for me to believe we are already into Spring! Here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where Bill and I live the greens, pinks, and yellows are popping out all around us. For many people this month of April is a holy month, celebrated in different ways by different faiths.

Egg wreath with cross and palm.
Our living room mantle, decorated for Holy Week 2023. The egg wreath (no, they’re not real eggs) has been there and I added the palm and cross that we received in church Sunday in celebration of Palm Sunday. Picture by Colleen Whiteford.
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Recorded Webinar: Urinary Incontinence & Other Bladder Issues

Image of webinar on urinary incontinence
This is the recording of a webinar I presented in March 2023 for the Fascial Manipulation Association.
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Back to Italy!

It was with excitement and nervousness that I returned to Italy just after the 2023 New Year holiday. Excitement surrounding travel to Europe. Nervousness as I was invited to help teach at the Stecco’s Fascial Manipulation Institute in Padova, Italy. The course was nothing new to me – Fascial Manipulation Level 1, a course I have taught multiple times here in the US. What was different was that this was the International School, and the first time in English. Additionally, I would be working with giants in the organization: Antonio and Carla Stecco.

The Fascial Manipulation International School Padova, Italy January 2023
I was honored to be invited to assist with the first Fascial Manipulation International School in English. Here we are posing in front of the Institute in Padova, Italy. This is a remarkable gathering of clinicians from all over the world who commit to a robust three year curriculum aimed at honing their skills in the Fascial Manipulation-Stecco® method. Of course, there’s a story about those barefoot individuals! Photo by Noemi Nicolucci.
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Holiday Blessings!

It’s hard to beat the holidays and kids! Their excitement and joy is contagious, even if they do overload the Christmas cookies with sprinkles and decorations! I remember doing the same, and Mom repeatedly admonishing us, “Not so much!!!”

Whiteford's Grandkids
Our special kids enjoying the holidays. On the left we have our grandson Jake in the back and his younger brother Hudson in front posing with Santa. We did a Polar Express train ride with them in Bryson City, North Carolina. On the right are the California granddaughters posing with the Grinch. Rebecca is on the left and her younger sister, Ellie, is on the right.
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Gifts of Health & Wellness Part 3

I’ve always loved reading! So it’s no surprise that, in this 3rd segment on sharing seasonal gifts that respect our health, I am recommending two of my favorite books. They are both listed on this site under the Books section of the Resources tab. I’m kind of getting the cart before the horse by recommending one that I haven’t yet written a post about, but I can’t get to that in time to be feasible for this holiday season.

Books: A Minute of Margin and Being Mortal
Both of these books are amazing, and have been very influential on my thinking and approach to life. Available at https://www.amazon.com/
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Gifts of Health and Wellness Part 2: A Gift of Guidance

As I began this post the words of a song came to my mind. It’s a 1999 Amy Grant song entitled Christmas Lullaby (I Will Lead You Home) and here’s the part that popped into my head: “Are you far away from home + This dark and lonely night + Tell me what best would help + To ease your mind + Someone to give direction for this unfamiliar road + Or one who says, “Follow me and + I will lead you home.”

Amy Grant A Christmas To Remember CD cover
Christmas Lullaby (I Will Lead You Home) is one of many wonderful songs on this Christmas , collection, one of my favorites. Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-s9D97UAZw.
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Gift of Health & Wellness Part 1

Sometimes at the holidays you have to come up with a gift to give. More often (hopefully!), it’s a situation where you want to give a gift. Sometimes we get to drop hints or blatantly tell someone a gift we would like to receive. In any case, most of us would rather give or receive something that is going to be genuinely appreciated, useful, and enjoyable. A lot of things can fit that bill, but I’d like to suggest something of lasting value: a gift that will promote health.

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Thanksgiving Blessings to All!

I bet I’m not the only one saying, “I can’t believe it’s already this time of year again!” For my husband, Bill and me it’s been a busy year filled with personal and professional happenings. Forefront in my mind are two major events: First, Bill, after 47 years of patient care, finally stopped evaluating and treating patients and now focuses on overseeing the operations of all four APT offices – not really retirement but it’s a start. Secondly, perhaps in anticipation of a bit more free time for hobbies such as hunting, Bill became the proud owner of Lizzie, a wirehaired pointing griffon. Bill loves developing her natural instincts to point and retrieve. I love that she doesn’t shed.

Lizzie, our wirehaired pointing griffon
Lizzie, our wirehaired pointing griffon, posing by the fireplace and a Fall arrangement. Bill has really enjoyed having a puppy to train, and she loves working with him! Photo by Colleen Whiteford.
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Fascia, Anatomy, & Canada!

I was thrilled to recently attend the 6th International Fascia Research Congress held in Montreal, Canada. This was my second time attending this event, which is held every three years in different parts of the world. I had been to one prior Congress held in Reston, Virginia in 2015. Considering I live only 1.5 hours away from Reston it seemed like a must to at least try. So glad I did! I found the people, topics, energy, and events were perfectly aligned with my philosophy and personality. Practically every country in the world was present, as well as all health care disciplines – not just physical therapists – which I find stimulating. I returned home and couldn’t stop talking about it to my tolerant and supportive husband, Bill. I knew I had to go again, so I did!

Gross anatomy class McGill University
The gross anatomy dissection class at historic McGill University was part of the programming I attended for the 2022 Fascia Research Congress. People came from all over the world including Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, all parts of Canada, as well as all over the US. Disciplines represented included physical therapists, authors, researchers, physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, massage therapists, body workers, and acupuncturists. Our instructors (front step in blue), Dr. Carla Stecco and Dr. Gabriel Venne, demonstrated incredible knowledge, skill, and respect for the connective tissues that are so often disregarded. Thanks to all my classmates and teachers for an incredible weekend! Photo by a kind passerby that we snagged.
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Bladder Problems Part 2

Recall that a healthy fascial environment consists of tissue layers that are elastic, adaptable, and free to slide on each other. This is especially true in the trunk, which shelters organs, some of them hollow with constantly changing volumes – like the bladder. If the fascia looses this adaptability through the development of fascial densifications, then symptoms may arise that seem to be stemming from the organ. In the case of the bladder problems (BP), it may be urinary daytime/nighttime frequency, urgency, incontinence, pain/burning with urination, bladder/kidney stones, and much more. Often tests focused on the bladder are negative because the problem is the fascial environment surrounding the organ – not the organ itself.

Fascial densification in the trunk affecting the bladder, like a rubber band around a water balloon.
This is a great example of rigidity in the trunk fascia affecting the underlying organ. Imagine that this water balloon depicts the bladder. Certainly the volume of fluid in the bladder varies greatly. Ordinarily the bladder can accommodate such fluctuation as long as the fascia investing into it and inserting it to the trunk wall is elastic. But in the presence of a loss of slide in the fascial layers, as depicted by the rubber band around the balloon, the bladder will not be free to vary in volume without generating an abnormal signal – like frequency, urgency, incontinence. Photos used with permission of Dr. Carla Stecco, MD.
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