Bladder and Bowel Basics Course
Tuesday, August 14th at 10:30am

Talking about bowel and bladder function can be tricky. Many women never discuss these sensitive topics with friends. Even the medical community often falls short when discussing such personal issues.  We at CTS specialize in all things bowel and bladder and have your most personal questions answered. 

Have you ever wondered if your bathroom habits are normal and healthy? Maybe you are interested in learning more about how your body functions.

If so, join us for our Bladder and Bowel Basics Course. This 45 minute course is geared towards women of all ages and will dive into pelvic anatomy, physiology, and norms. Knowledge is power. 

Themed healthy snacks to be provided. Space is limited.

Join us for our next meeting on Saturday, August 11th at 10am.

We are a group of women who meet in a private and confidential environment to discuss sensitive women's health issues related to vulvodynia.

To RSVP, please contact Nicole Maas at 760-908-1684, or click to email below. 

CTS welcomes massage therapist, Jessica Luna!


Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Luna. I'm from Sacramento, Go Kings! I've been massaging now for five years going on my sixth. I pursued a career in massage therapy because I was in a car accident that resulted in two years of care seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, massage therapist and a neurologist; to put it simply, my back was really messed up. After getting care and seeing my progress and how these amazing professionals helped and guided me back to recovery, I knew I wanted to help others in the same way. Almost immediately after finishing treatment, I enrolled at Arizona School of Massage Therapy and moved to Phoenix, AZ where I completed my massage training. After finishing massage school, I moved back to Sacramento and began working for the chiropractor that treated me after my car accident. It was and continues to be an amazing and very rewarding career to be able to provide quality care like I received after my accident.

Ultimately my goal is to become a physical therapist. A large part of why I moved here was to attend school, but the beaches and culture are a great bonus. I'm excited to get to know all of you and for you all to get to know me. Some extracurricular activities I enjoy are bike riding and hiking. I love crafting so I DIY almost everything for any parties I organize. I used to own a bakery in Sacramento, so baking is another one of my passions. I have the cutest pup named Boonie, a Dachshund mix I adopted from a shelter in Phoenix. He's around 7 years old. Boonie has been loving SD and all the dog parks and beaches. Looking forward to meeting everyone!

The concept of barefoot - or use of minimalist footwear - has been a controversial topic among the athletic population, especially runners. Does training barefoot -or with a shoe that provides very little support - decrease one's risk of injury? After all, humans were meant to be barefoot, right? Although this concept may be true, most of us have spent most of our lives wearing supportive, cushioned, and often narrow footwear that reduces the work all of those tiny muscles in our feet and ankles have to do to support our arches and absorb shock. These weak foot and ankle muscles can definitely lead to injuries and pain due to impaired biomechanics. Narrowed footwear can contribute to deformities, such as bunions, and injuries by inhibiting a wide foot splay with landing (part of our natural shock-absorbing mechanism). This can lead to problems later on down the road.

As an injured runner for many years I tried every shoe and orthotic, convinced that my bunion ridden feet just needed the right shoe to absorb all of the shock ricocheting up my legs. As soon as I heard of the barefoot running fad I quickly jumped on board.

Convinced that my body would run with the proper mechanics it needed, to my surprise I quickly sustained a stress fracture in my leg.

What I did not realize at the time was that my body: my feet, my ankles, and my hips were very weak from years of running with overly-supportive and cushioned shoes. I simply was not strong enough to run without the external support shoes and orthotics had provided me for so long.

Taking a step backwards, I began to focus on building a strong foundation for my feet.

There are 26 bones in the foot with ligaments and muscles connected to each one. This complex network makes up 33 joints that are built to propel us forward, absorb the stresses movement, and help us to maintain our balance. In a research article that looked at the effects of different footwear on gait and balance in healthy older adults, they found that people who wore minimalist shoes or went barefoot demonstrated a faster cadence, shorter step length, and shorter stance time (time spent standing on 1 leg) than those who wore standard Asics athletic shoe. 1 Other research studies on runners have found that faster cadence 2 and shorter step length 3 are associated with decreased running related injury. So basically, going barefoot or using minimalist shoes may help alter how you are walking in a way that has been supported to decreased injuries. Again, this is just a general concept that needs more research going forward.

My favorite training tool for my feet has been a long pvc pipe that I purchased from a hardware store and a lacrosse ball.

I have been using the long pipe as a balance beam, practicing on it only 5-10 minutes each day. The lacrosse ball is great for mobilizing the joints and massaging the muscles of my feet. This ingenious, inexpensive balance beam has a curved surface that helps to mobilize the joints in the feet, but also improve foot, ankle, and hip strength and balance reactions.

A company called The Foot Collective, 4 a group of physical therapists from Canada, uses these barefoot training concepts to restore natural foot integrity to all types of athletes. You can visit their Instagram or website account to access informative photos and videos to see different types of balance, strength, and mobilization exercises you can do for your feet. Here are just a few:

Photo credit: 
The Foot Collective
These photos depict more advanced balance footwork. For safety and success, start by balancing next to a wall, counter top, or other firm surface for support. Your feet with still get a workout, and you won't be falling off every 3 seconds (yes, when you start you may lose your balance that often). After a few weeks, you may notice that it becomes easier and easier to balance, so you can play with lifting 1 or both hands from the supportive surface.

Although I don't run barefoot or with minimalist footwear (at least not yet), I do use footwear with a wide toe-box so that my feet can splay wide to better absorb shock. My daily 5-minute training on the balance beam has definitely strengthened my feet and balance and altered my running form. I have started to land on my forefoot, rather than my heels, which helps encourage my feet to splay wide and distribute the shock absorption up through my legs.

And for the first time in years I am running injury-free.

This article does not support any one type of footwear or training technique for patients with lower extremity impairments. Rather, this article hopes to simply bring to light a unique option for balance, mobilization, and strengthening of the legs that may be a beneficial adjunct to training in whatever sport you participate in or whichever shoe type you may wear. Always consult with your doctor before beginning a new training program, as each patient has a unique history and varying requirements.

  1. Broscheid K-C. Zech A. Influence of Barefoot, Minimalist, and Standard Footwear Conditions on Gait and Balance in Healthy Older Adults. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2016.
  2. Schubert A. Kempf J. Heiderscheit B. Influence of Stride Frequency and Length on Running Mechanics. Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach 2013.
  3. Edwards W. Taylor D. et al. Effects of Stride Length and Running Mileage on a Probabilistic Stress Fracture Model. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2009.
  4. The Foot Collective. http://www.thefootcollective.com/barefoot/. 2017.
Emmy Cozine, PT, DPT
Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman's life during which there is a tremendous amount of physical and emotional change happening. During this time, the mother's physical and emotional health are of vital importance not only for her own well being, but for the well being of the growing baby as well. At this incredible time of growth and development, the baby is very sensitive to external influences such as drugs, pollutants, infections, and even the mother's emotional stress. For this reason, standard medical care even advises pregnant women to steer clear of many types of over the counter medicine.

Finding relief for many of the common symptoms that come along with pregnancy can seem challenging, but there are healthy alternatives out there. Acupuncture, the insertion of fine, tiny hair like needles into the body, is an effective, natural approach to treating many of of the issues that may arise during this time.

Acupuncture is one part of the whole healing practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and within this system, equal importance is placed on physical and emotional health. While there are common issues that come up for many during pregnancy, every woman experiences this transitional period in their own unique way.

With TCM treatment, each woman is given customized treatment addressing not only the symptoms she is experiencing, but also her constitution.

Constitutional imbalances are often the cause of the symptoms to begin with and this is exactly why every person experiences pregnancy in their own way. During treatment your practitioner will address your main complaints, diet, and general lifestyle to advise on maintaining the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Since it's best to begin pregnancy at your healthiest, the best time to start treatment is a few months prior to conception. From the perspective of Chinese medicine, health during pregnancy is very much determined by the health of the parents at the time of conception. Making sure the mother has a healthy cycle, regulated hormones, a strong digestive system, and enough strength and vitality to begin with, will bring her into pregnancy with her best foot forward. Despite the best efforts, however, pregnancy can be full of surprises and it's challenging to know what will be an issue for you.

Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms acupuncture can help with during pregnancy:
  • nausea / vomiting
  • constipation
  • aches / pains (abdominal, back, pelvic pain)
  • leg cramps
  • dizziness
  • fatigue
  • breech baby
In addition to these common ailments, acupuncture can also be very effective in the management of emotional stress during pregnancy . Bouts of anxiety, stress, and depression, while not often spoken about, are all emotions that can come up during pregnancy, not just in the postpartum period. While the surge of pregnancy hormones produced by the body can have a big effect on mood, it is also important to acknowledge that this a major time of transition in a woman's life, and therefore some emotional stress is very normal. One study cited by The Center for Women's Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital shows that consistent acupuncture treatment during pregnancy may even protect women from later developing postpartum depression.

Prioritizing self care is always important and during pregnancy even more so as there is another being that depends on the mother's health and well being. If you would like more information on how acupuncture and TCM might help, you can visit www.elizabethkominami.com.

  1. Maciocia, G. (1998). Obstetrics & Gynecology in Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone Publishing, United Kingdom.
  2. Brewer, Sarah. (2011). The Pregnant Body Book. DK Publishing, New York, NY.
  3. http://www.womensmentalhealth.org Acupuncture For Depression During Pregnancy: A Randomized Control Study. Obstet Gynecol, 2010 Mar;115(3):511-20.PMID:20177281
Elizabeth Kominami, LAc