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Cassandra McCoy Physical Health Uncategorized

Dry Needling: What is it, Who it can help you, Why you should consider it, and What happens during a session

by Cassandra McCoy MAT, LAT, ATC, RYT

 

Dry needling is a unique recovery technique used by many osteo/rehab professionals around the world. If you have never heard of it, or aren’t familiar with the technique, let’s break down what dry needling is, what it does, and why YOU should try it out!

What is it?

Dry needling, also referred to as a myofascial needling, is a technique used to treat pain and soreness in the soft tissues of the body. Practitioners use a very thin “Dry” needle, no fluid or medications involved, to stimulate the body’s healing processes within the targeted tissue. Think of it kind of like a spotlight, shining on the issues in the tissues so the body can get to work.

 

Its well known older brother, acupuncture, is a bit different from dry needling in several ways. Dry needling is based more on western methods, myofascial tissue and Western scientific research versus acupuncture is based on an Eastern Traditional technique. Acupuncture can help with allergies, headaches, disorders and more, whereas dry needling focuses more on soft tissue pathology.

So why should you consider dry needling as a treatment option for recovering from injury or sport?

Let’s break down a few highlights:

It is a minimally invasive treatment

It is not a steroid, NSAID or other medication that can have side effects

It is a great addition to physical therapy techniques such as cupping, IASTM etc

It helps to speed up the process of getting off pain medications

Most see improvement in pain after first 2 treatments

Average appointments needed ranges from 4 to 6

 

Who can benefit from dry needling?

Someone suffering from:

  • Muscle tightness,
  • Pulled muscles, ankle sprains, chronic upper back/shoulder tension,
  • Muscle fatigue,
  • Muscle, tendon or ligament injury
  • Chronic pain

What should you expect to happen during a dry needling session? 

 

Once your practitioner determines dry needling would help you, the areas that he or she tends to dry needle will be prepped and cleaned. Remember, this might be at the site of injury or a point else that affects that is connected to the area!

Dry needling uses tiny needles, the same used in acupuncture treatments, that go deep into the tissues. Your provider might leave them in for a few moments or up to 15 minutes depending on the goal or style used.

                         After the tissue has released, or the practitioner is done with the needle, he or she will draw it out and place the used needle in a biohazard container to be safely discarded.

If you have any questions or comments, please seek out your local rehabilitation professional such as a licensed athletic trainer, physical therapist or osteo doctor. Also, contact Positively Balanced and Cassandra McCoy MAT, LAT, ATC, RYT if you are local to Skiatook, OK for this great therapy. Book sessions here or send questions to our email at info@positivelybalancedllc.com.

 

 

*This is not medical advice and purely for educational use, please see your provider to determine this is method is right for you.

 

About Cassandra:

Hi friend. I’m Cassandra. I’m an athletic trainer who is trained in soft tissue techniques for injury and prevention and treatment based in Tulsa and Skiatook, Oklahoma. I hold a Bachelors degree in Health Education and Exercise Science and a Masters degree in Athletic Training. I help people overcome injury and pain, so they can continue the workouts and fitness classes they enjoy. 

 

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, you are not your diagnosis, pain, or injury and there is always a way to get back to what you love. 

 

Some of the things that I can help you with include 

 

  • Safely pursuing fitness classes while addressing post-pregnancy related issues diastasis, prolapse, or incontinence.
  • Creating personalized post-rehab or injury prevention programs, so you can troubleshoot hip, knee, low back, or shoulder pain while continuing the activities that you enjoy.
  • Reducing joint pain and discomfort through specialized manual therapy techniques, including cupping, rock tape, and instrument assisted massage.
  • Assessing your form and offering feedback, so you can squat, lunge, and deadlift without pain.

When I’m not working with clients, I can be found playing with my son and husband outside, gardening, cooking, and teaching movement classes. To connect with me visit my website positivelybalancedllc.com or say hello on Instagram @womenshealthathletictrainer.

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Cassandra McCoy Physical Health Uncategorized

Incontinence Happens: Here’s What You Need to Know & What You Can Do

by Cassandra McCoy MAT, LAT, ATC, RYT

Why do I pee myself when I sneeze, cough, run, stand up or can’t make it to the bathroom in time?

Have you Googled a question like one of these before?

Maybe you were chasing your toddler around the living room and you felt something strange. Maybe you were out for your first run postpartum and you couldn’t make it around the block without needing to swing back by the house. Maybe you weren’t even trying to run, you just were walking and all of the sudden (maybe without even realizing it), your panties were wet.

You might have thought “What in the world is wrong with me?” or “I must be broken”. Maybe you think that this is your new normal so you start wearing pads while you are out “just in case”.

I am here to tell you that you are NOT BROKEN and this is NOT YOUR NEW NORMAL.

This involuntary leaking of urine is called incontinence.

don t panic text on toilet paper
Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Incontinence Happens.

You are not weird.  You are not broken. We have kept this conversation taboo and hush hush for too long. You do not have to suffer alone and you DO NOT need to wear Depends for the rest of your life.

woman in white underwear holding red rose in a menstrual cup
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

If you are experiencing symptoms, it is your body’s way of telling you there is a bit of work to do to reoptimize your pelvic floor and ovary system. You can get back to the activities you love.

It is COMMON to have incontinence. Not NORMAL. But when it does happen to you, don’t feel lesser, like a failure, or that something is WRONG with you. It is information that you can take and know. It does not equate to your worth or value as a woman. You aren’t broken, you are powerful and you are able to start taking the opportunity to understand what is going on in your body. 

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There are different types.

Did you know that there are different types of incontinence?

It’s true!

Here is a page straight out of my book “The Starting Line Postpartum”:

When you speak with your women’s health practitioner (of any profession) about your symptoms, make sure they are asking questions that will help ID your type of incontinence.  This ensures you are getting the appropriate care, guidance and solutions.

These questions might include:

When do you notice the leaking occur?

Do you leak when you run, laugh or cough?

Do you leak when you can’t make it to the bathroom in time?

How often do you feel the urge to go?

Has there been any change in your diet recently?

If your health professional is asking these questions,  it will lead to you getting the solutions you need.

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Why does it happen?

It can be one factor or several components combined. Pregnancy, labor, injury, prolapse or weak/tight pelvic floor muscles can all cause incontinence. Also, we need to be aware of diet and environmental irritants that can aggravate the bladder and lead to incontinence symptoms.

Age doesn’t matter.

Incontinence doesn’t discriminate. No one gets a pass.

You can be in your 20s, no kids, super active and get incontinence. You can be in your 40s, no kids and have incontinence. You can be 32, with 3 kids and have incontinence.

New studies are currently in the works that I am watching very closely. They look at young women’s risk factors that influence her incontinence, as well as, results of sticking to a rehab program put in place by the researchers. The results could tell us a lot more about the physiology and the psychological behind incontinence.

Current systematic reviews and meta analysis show that many women suffer from incontinence in their 20s, 30s, and 40s and the statistical differences between the age groups are not significant. This tells us that this problem we once thought was just common in older women, is actually common across the lifespan. Only now, we know it is not NORMAL and that there is something we can do to fix it!

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The Fittest Don’t Get a Pass.

Something no one wants to talk about. Athletes, the ones who are the fittest of the fit, experience incontinence. It doesn’t mean they are weak. It means we have one more piece of their training puzzle to optimize in order to enhance their performance.

woman in white tank top standing on concrete surface
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Cassandra discusses incontinence in active women a bit more here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=759949624792414

Incontinence is a message. 

We usually don’t think of it this way.

smiling ethnic woman with blank poster in empty flat
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

We think of it as an annoyance. A bother. Embarrassing. I’m right there with you, so I get it.

However, what if we started thinking of it as a message about our training and our bodies? Just like if a specific body part was sore or hurting after a workout, we would say we needed to strengthen those muscles or find out if there was an injury there.

Same rules with incontinence. Are we experiencing symptoms?  That must mean we need to check out our system and optimize so that we can improve our performance and function.

You are not broken. You are strong. You are tuning into your body and the messages it proves. Don’t suffer in silence, be seen and BE HEaRd.

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Good afternoon ladies! Are you ready for our next challenge?

This one’s going to be a ran a little bit differently!

Here are the details:

Begins November 1st.🎁 Any woman can participate. Mamas, teens, single ladies, retired, etc you get the idea, join in on the fun! I will make an EXCLUSIVE group just for us where all of your fellow challenge members will be connecting, supporting and motivating each other!🎁$20 buy in that keeps you keyed in AND goes towards the Winners Pot (more about that in a sec). Paid via Paypal or CashApp.🎁You will have a score card that will be based on the honors system. 1 points per activity/workout/video participated in.🎁Weekly activities include: ❄ 1 15 to 30 min workout accessible to all levels ❄ 1 healthy eating recipe 🎁 Weekly check ins are not required, however, they are preferred to keep you motivated as well as motivate your follow participants! Cassandra. They help to serve as a tie breaker just in case.🎁 Now for the good stuff: PRIZES ($200+ value!) Winner will be the person will the most points and if there’s a tie, the most check ins! 🎀 75% OF THE POT (money taken in via signups) 🎀 Free tank top ($15 value) 🎀 Free New Year 45 minute consult with Cassandra McCoy MAT, ATC, LAT ($80 value) 🎀 Free ticket into our yearly 8 week mini course Back to Basics where we talk about the different health dimensions and how you can implement them into your life in easy ways in the new year 2021! ($100 dollar value)

HOW FUN IS THAT!?! ARE YOU IN?! Sign up via form here: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f90922c359e8b26ffb760f0.

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Jayme Taylor Physical Health Social Health Sophia Pollalis

The Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020: What it is and how you can do your part to stop the spread.

Written by Sophia Pollalis ATC, LAT and Jayme Taylor MSN, APRN-CNP, FNP-BC, CSOWM, DIPACLM


What is coronavirus?

COVID-19, which stands for Corona Virus Disease 2019, is a strain of coronavirus that was discovered in late 2019 not previously identified in humans. The coronavirus is a family of viruses that were first discovered in 1965 when it was noted that the corona virus had a similar structure to viruses seen in animals1. They had a crown-like structure, hence “corona.”

Coronaviruses are common and generally present as upper respiratory tract infections. There are seven known strains of coronaviruses that can infect humans. Four are very common and have not produced worldwide panic and precaution; three of them, including the most recent COVID-19, have produced significant response in recent years2. These include SARS3 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in the early 2000’s and the MERS4 (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) in 2012. In the cases of SARS, MERS, and COVID-19, the source of the coronavirus were animals5. Coronaviruses are also common in different species of animals, such as camels, cattle, cats, and bats; in rare cases they can infect humans.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 is characterized by fever, cough, and shortness of breath as it is an upper respiratory tract infection5. These symptoms can show up as early as 2 days after exposure, running up to 14 days based on the previous outbreaks of MERS and current trends, however we don’t know how long the actual incubation period is because it is new5,6.

 How does it spread?

While COVID-19 originally came from an animal-human contact, the pandemic risk spreads very easily from person-to-person5. Transmission can occur through droplets in the air, like if someone sneezes and you happen to inhale the droplets, or by touching the same surfaces as someone else, like shaking hands or touching doorknobs. Because we don’t know a whole lot about COVID-19, experts are referring to the known infection transmission of MERS, SARS, and animal coronaviruses7. These experts postulate that, at room temperature, human coronaviruses can survive up to 9 days on inanimate surfaces. A preliminary study led by researchers at Princeton, UCLA, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the virus can survive up to 3 days on non-pourous surfaces, up to 24 hours on pourous surfaces like cardboard, and possibly be able to survive suspended in a mist for 3 hours8. This information does have to be taken with a grain of salt, as these are just preliminary tests in a laboratory setting and won’t be the same as conditions in your home, on the bus, or in a store5,8.

How can I protect myself and others from the virus?

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after being in public places, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or if your hands are physically dirty. Hand sanitizer can also be used, but washing your hands is king5. Check out our article here on how hand washing gets rid of bacteria and viruses.
  • Avoid touching your face5. If you weren’t before, you are going to be so aware of how many times you touch your face. Your skin is a protective barrier to the body, but germs can get in through the useful openings we have in them, like our eyes, nose, and mouth. We can also take germs from our faces and transmit them to others by touching our faces.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces likely to transmit the disease, especially doorknobs, light switches, your steering wheel, keyboards, and sinks5. If surfaces are physically dirty, clean them with soap and water or another detergent first, then sanitize after. Bleach and alcohol solutions work well. Make sure your disinfectant is appropriate for the surface your are cleaning and your follow manufacturer instructions. If it says leave on the surface for 5 minutes, they really mean that.
  • Stay home from work and other social gatherings if you feel sick EXCEPT to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or into your elbow when you sneeze or cough. Your droplets can travel almost 20 feet when you cough and 26 feet when you sneeze9!
  • If you are sick and going to be sharing a space with another person, wear a face mask. If you are NOT sick, there is no reason for you to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick, or the person that is sick can’t wear one5.

Why is social distancing important?

On March 11, 2020, the WHO characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic10. This is the first coronavirus to spark a pandemic, as we typically see pandemics with the flu or other diseases. What that means for the US is widespread transmission in the coming months5. Most of the population will be exposed to the virus, but not all will show symptoms and some will only show minimal symptoms. If we compare COVID-19 to the yearly flu, its current hospitalization rate is significantly lower. According to the CDC, the United State sees between 9 million and 45 million cases of influenza each year, resulting in 1.5 to 2% hospitalizations11.  The current trend in China and Italy shows a 15% or greater rate of hospitalization12. This is a problem for the US because we have about 2.8 hospital beds per 1000 people and around 100,000 ventilators total in the country13. If the coronavirus follows the trajectory of what has happened in China and Italy, healthcare workers would be forced to choose which patient gets a bed or which patient gets a ventilator. Our healthcare system would not be able to handle the strain of a mass outbreak. Limiting our exposure by closing schools, cancelling sporting events and seasons, not going to birthday parties, and not running to the store unless you have to, we can flatten the curve and allow our healthcare system to do its job, preserving lives that don’t have to be lost.

A note from Jayme Taylor, Positively Balanced contributor and Nurse Practitioner on the front lines:

“The symptoms of the coronavirus are very similar to influenza, and because we are in the middle of the flu season right now our only real way to distinguish risk of coronavirus vs flu is to assess for potential exposure. We triage every patient that calls with “flu-like symptoms” to see if they have been out of the country or in contact with someone who has recently been out of the country, traveled to a high risk state, etc. So not taking adequate precautions to limit community spread and exposure actually complicates the diagnostic process. It is also a burden on the healthcare system to be seeing mild cases of upper respiratory illnesses in healthy people because they are afraid it could be the coronavirus. It is important to stress that like flu, the coronavirus is a virus and treatment is supportive. Those at risk like elderly, young children, and the immunocompromised should take extra precautions to limit risk of exposure. However, mild cases in otherwise healthy people will likely resolve on their own without complication. Limiting spread of this virus protects those high risk patients from exposure. So if someone is sick they should stay home, regardless of viral cause; if symptoms worsen and they have uncontrollable fever, shortness of breath or other severe symptoms then they should seek medical attention.”

Sources

1.       https://journals.lww.com/pidj/fulltext/2005/11001/history_and_recent_advances_in_coronavirus.12.aspx

2.       https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html

3.       https://www.cdc.gov/about/history/sars/timeline.htm

4.       https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/about/index.html

5.       https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

6.       https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-resource-center#COVID

7.       https://www.journalofhospitalinfection.com/article/S0195-6701(20)30046-3/fulltext

8.       https://abcnews.go.com/Health/covid19-days-surfaces-experiment-findings/story?id=69569397

9.       https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/how-far-do-coughs-and-sneezes-travel/

10.   https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—11-march-2020

11.   https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/index.html

12.   https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/

13.   https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/14/815675678/as-the-pandemic-spreads-will-there-be-enough-ventilators

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Cassandra McCoy Financial Health Intellectual Health Mental Health Occupational Health Physical Health Sexual Health Social Health Spiritual Health

The Origin Story

by Cassandra McCoy MS, ATC, LAT

Everyone loves a good origin story, right? From superheroes, world leaders, actors, and to all the influencers of old, we can always trace their history back. So, here’s a Positively Balanced Origin Story:  Why we are here today, and how we are bridging the gap in women’s health. 

Positively Balanced was founded right when I graduated from undergraduate school.  I knew I wanted to create something that meant we aren’t going to be positive all the time, but we can be hopeful for better days.   I also wanted a statement that highlighted the aspect of balance in our lives that isn’t always perfectly balanced. 

So Positively Balanced was born.  For 3 years it was a way for me to share my position of health, fitness, education, class schedule and events. However, I knew Positively Balanced would be something bigger, I just didn’t know quite what it was yet. 

A few events started to cause a shift in the direction of Positively Balanced.  A friend came to me in search of information on infertility, another with questions about menopause, and then another about postpartum exercise and lifestyle. Each time, I had the same answer: “I’m not sure, but let me do some research on who might know and also how I can help. So my love for women’s health began. I enrolled in and attended courses and seminars.  I read books and did the research. 

As I did my deep dive into the works of women’s health, I began to notice a significant lack of knowledge, education, and resources for women.

There were some resources and some research; however there are still huge gaps in so many areas and aspects.  

Then, I found out I was going to be having a baby and it took my love to new heights. I began to experience first hand the lack of support, lack of resources and knowledge and the consequences of such.   It was like adding fuel to a fire. 

This past year, I became so passionate, I shut my business down for 6 months just to focus on what it was I could actually do to make a difference.  I graduated with my master’s degree and began working as a women’s health athletic trainer specializing in pre and postpartum health, as well as rehab performance exercise. I saw all types of patients, but my focus and study took me into the women’s health realm.

I realized that women’s  health was the evolution that Positively Balanced was meant for, the work had to be done.  I remember telling my good friend about these crazy ideas I had during one of our walks. After I babbled for a good while, she looked at me and said “Well then, why don’t you do it?!”

The Be HEaRd Women’s Health Platform was formed. I only remember posting about searching for contributors twice on social media.   Within a week, I had so much interest I knew we were destined for greatness.

Starting in January 2020, you will have over 20 founding contributors (we call ourselves HEaRd), writing to you along with a few special guests popping in here and there. We will provide you with honest, current, and relevant articles that cover a variety of dimensions of health.

Our goal is to “Bridge the Gap” in Women’s Health. The gap between generations, research and application,  The gap between the phases of life, and so much more.

Women’s health platform is starting the conversations, empowering women with knowledge and supporting you with a wonderful community! 

(The dimensions of health is something we will discuss in the Founder’s Note each month, and if you are interested in learning more sign up to be placed on a preorder list of my short ebook coming out soon.)

PS: Stay tuned for more information on and WHY we are HEaRd!

Thanks for joining us on this adventure,

Cassandra McCoy MS, ATC, LAT
Founder of Positively Balanced LLC