Male Pelvic Support Group

Tuesday, February 19 at 6pm

CTS - 5677 Oberlin Drive, Suite 106, San Diego, CA 92121

1 in 12 men suffer from pelvic pain and most suffer in silence.

Let's gather together and share our experience and resources. Together we can heal & help others get on the road to recovery. For more information, contact Milan at milan@comprehensivetherapy.com or 858-457-8419. Click to Learn More ยป

Fiber is good stuff.

Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and the majority of Americans are not getting enough in our diets. Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains contain fiber which is a carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. Adequate fiber in the diet helps keep bowel movements regular, prevents constipation and hemorrhoids, lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, and can help with weight management. The American Dietetics Association recommends a daily intake of 25-38 grams of dietary fiber from food, not supplements. However, most people eat less than 15 grams per day, which is only about half of the recommended amount. There are two types of fiber--soluble and insoluble--and it's important to eat a balance of both types.

Soluble Fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel which slows down digestion. Essentially, it acts like a sponge in the gut. Soluble fiber helps you feel full longer, can help lower cholesterol, and also helps prevent spikes and drops in blood sugar because it slows how fast food is digested. It also creates volume in your digestive tract, and adding more soluble fiber will help add "bulk" to the stool. Aim to eat 6-8 grams of soluble fiber per day.

Good sources of soluble fiber: oats, oat bran, chia seeds, flax seeds, barley, dried beans and peas and certain vegetables and fruits, such as applesauce, strawberries, potatoes, citrus, prunes and berries.

Insoluble Fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through the digestive tract mostly intact. This speeds up movement in your digestive system. Adding more insoluble fiber will keep bowel movements regular and prevents constipation by helping stool pass through the system more quickly.

Good sources of insoluble fiber: fruits and vegetables with skins, uncooked vegetables, nuts, legumes, brown rice, whole-grain flours, and psyllium (a common fiber supplement)

Tips to Increase Dietary Fiber.

You don't have to completely overhaul your diet to get the fiber you need. In fact, making small changes and substitutions over time is a more effective way to make fiber part of your regular diet and routine.

Grains and Cereals

* Choose whole grain bread, tortillas, crackers and cereal. Look for at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.

* Use whole-wheat flour when possible in cooking and baking.

* Choose brown rice instead of white rice, and whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. If the switch is hard to make, start by mixing them together.

* Keep a jar of oat bran or wheat germ handy. Sprinkle over salad, soup, breakfast cereals and yogurt.

Legumes and Beans

* Add kidney beans, garbanzos or other bean varieties to your salads. Each 1/2 cup serving is approximately 7 to 8 grams of fiber.

* Substitute legumes for meat 2-3 times per week in chili and soups

Fruits and Vegetables

* Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eat the peel whenever possible.

* Eat whole fruits instead of drinking juices. Juices don't have fiber.

* Add sliced banana, peach or other fruit to your cereal.

* Grate carrots on salads. Add shredded veggies into muffins or other baked goods.

* Add fresh or frozen fruit or veggies to a breakfast smoothie, or have fresh fruit for dessert.

Adjusting to a High-Fiber Diet.

Remember that the digestive system takes time to adjust to increases in dietary fiber, so be sure to increase your intake gradually! It can take a month or more to successfully transition to a fiber-rich diet. And too much fiber, too fast can result in gas, bloating and extra trips to the bathroom, all of which can discourage healthy diet changes. So take it slow, and follow the tips below for best results:

* Add no more than 5 grams of fiber to your diet every 3 days or so. Listen to your body and work toward a goal of 25-38 total grams per day.

* Eat a balance of insoluble and soluble fiber. About 80% of fiber intake should be insoluble.

* Drink plenty of water. Soluble fiber absorbs water, so drink extra to prevent constipation.

* Chew slowly and avoid carbonated drinks and gum.

* Reduce high fat and fried foods.

* Consider taking a probiotic.

* Exercise. This helps increase intestinal speed and helps alleviate gas.
Jen Fasching, PT, DPT

The Mind/Body Connection

Over the years, I have treated a lot of patients with chronic pain disorders. They are scared. They are trying to "fix it" and get out of pain. This is understandable. They have seen everyone - Doctors, Therapists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists and Acupuncturists, and they have tried every drug and endured every test.

My heart goes out to these patients. Their stories are heartbreaking, and my initial reaction, stemming from my research-based doctorate training, is that I can help "fix" them and get them out of pain. I'm sure every other well-intentioned healthcare provider would feel the same way. But is this serving the patient? Should we see them as broken and in need of being "fixed," or would it serve them better to see them as perfect?

I talk a lot with my patients about their thoughts. I can understand that they are caught up in pain, in what they can and can't do, and in what they are going to do or try next to get out of pain. It consumes their whole world.

I have been in the same cycle of pain with a nerve entrapment/stretch injury. Every muscle in my body was guarding around this nerve, and I thought that it would never go away. This happened to me 3 weeks before my husband and I took our 2 small children on an adventure to Peru. I did everything to get out of pain: Physical Therapy, Chiropractics, drugs, and acupuncture. Nothing helped. I got on a plane to South America with 10 needles stuck into my back and on pain medication every 6 hours. The thought of sitting on a plane for 10 hours was unthinkable, but, there I found myself, in a coach seat with a child passed out on my lap, and I couldn't do anything about my pain. I had to just "Let Go" and stop trying so hard to fix it.

Two days later, my pain disappeared.

That process of "Letting Go" was the starting point for what became a sequence of events that led me to where I am now. I realized that the label we put on disease or dysfunction, and the fearful thoughts about what we think about that label, are all just part of the problem of keeping us stuck in pain and dysfunction. The pain I experienced taught me how to profoundly get into my body with acute awareness, drop the judgment about what I felt, and allow it to "just be." That pain also taught me, as a therapist, to see the patient as perfect and facilitate healing rather than be the fixer of their pain. Their pain might be trying to tell them something. Maybe it is trying to show them how to let go, like it showed me.

After I returned from Peru, my nerve pain came back during certain activities and another layer of letting-go began. I started meditating in a position of lying down. I would then start at my feet and profoundly feel what my left foot felt like, and then my right foot. What my left calf felt like, then my right calf. What did my left hip feel like, then my right? I put all of my focus and attention on what each part of my body felt like, and I took note of where things felt different, painful or stuck. I didn't label it good or bad, I just observed what I was feeling. If it was painful, that is what it was. I let go of what pain meant. I maintained all my focus on an area that caught my attention and noticed that my body was trying to do something. I could feel all sorts of things happening right there in my left hip, and I would feel releases in other parts of my body as well. My body was healing itself. This is just one of many ways to "get into" our bodies and allow the process of healing to begin.

Your body has an innate ability to heal itself. It takes some focus, letting go, and allowing the rest to just happen.

I frequently tell clients, "The bigger picture wins." The resistance, the fight to fix, the thoughts of negativity and dysfunction will all win if that is what is most prevalent. The bigger picture wins! So why not create a new bigger picture? Think what is right about your body and your life and keep thinking it until it is the bigger picture. If you find yourself falling back into the pattern of thoughts, which we all do, catch yourself and say "cancel." Say it out loud or say it to yourself: "Cancel. This does not apply to me. What applies to me is what I hold in my mind, and I know I am well." This may sound "Airy Fairy", but why not give it a go? I think this mind/body connection is part of the missing link to treating chronic pain. What we hold in our mind is what we are living. If you don't like parts of your life, check out what your thoughts are saying about it. Maybe your body is just trying to tell you something, or show you something. Like how to let go. Or, maybe, it is trying to teach you how perfect you already are. Just Be.
Kim Zevin, DPT