Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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A royal pain in the neck

Pain in the neck and shoulder areas can be, pardon the pun, a real pain in the neck.

If you experience neck and shoulder pain, you’re not alone. Neck and shoulder pain are among the most common physical ailments adults suffer from these days – and with reason. Most of us spend our days enduring high stress levels, in sustained positions at the computer, while exhibiting poor posture. Unfortunately, these factors put us on the fast track to neck and shoulder tension.

The pain can be debilitating, but we can easily reverse the problem with proper training and focus. Pilates offers the essential tools to help eliminate neck and shoulder strain.

Poor posture

Most neck pain is attributable to poor posture. Many of us regularly spend hours sitting in front of a computer or driving. When we are in those sustained positions, we aren’t usually thinking about using good posture.

Poor posture can cause excessive fatigue in the neck muscles. Pilates can help to improve posture in a very engaging way by stretching and elongating the muscles surrounding the neck and spine. By stabilizing and improving endurance of the upper back muscles, we can improve posture and reduce pain in the neck and shoulders. Once these muscles are recruited and regularly engaged, proper posture becomes second nature.

The Pilates focus on engaging the core is another helpful way to get the neck and shoulder muscles to relax. Weakness in the deep muscles surrounding the core often results in leaning forward, thereby causing the neck and shoulder musculature to overwork. This compensation goes unnoticed until you build an awareness of your core muscles to restore proper muscle balance. By engaging your core and strengthening the deep abdominal muscles, you can effectively reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.

If you have taken Pilates classes, you are likely familiar with one of the biggest Pilates cues – tucking in your chin to make your neck long in the back. When your body is trained to maintain this position, you dramatically reduce the strain in your neck and shoulders. This exercise of neck lengthening helps to keep the deep neck muscles engaged, which is critical for proper muscle balance.

The muscles that surround the shoulder blades are a key part of this process. By dropping your shoulders down and back and making your neck long, your neck and shoulder muscles effectively rebalance. This positioning is essential for reducing strain and eliminating neck and shoulder pain.

Reducing the strain on the neck and shoulders is all about building awareness of the right muscles. We can easily eliminate the problem by gaining knowledge and learning how to recruit the muscles properly. Pilates prompts this level of awareness, allowing one to maintain long-term relief in the neck and shoulders and enjoy a pain-free existence.

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at PhysioFit Physical Therapy and Wellness in Los Altos. For more information, call 947-8500 or visit physiofitpt.com.

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