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Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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Pilates: great medicine for scoliosis


courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
Pilates can serve as more than just a tool for those seeking to improve their fitness. The discipline can also help patients suffering from scoliosis achieve a pain-free life.

One might think of Pilates as a modern-day exercise program geared toward the athletic type – the person seeking strength, endurance and overall body health. Pilates does accomplish all of these goals, but its applications go far beyond general fitness.

In fact, some of the most challenging body dysfunctions can be treated with a Pilates-based rehabilitation program. Scoliosis is one such condition that can be effectively managed by the healing power of Pilates.

Scoliosis causes a “C” or “S” curvature of the spine, making it rotate and twist to one side. Most cases are mild, but severe curvature may cause significant malalignment of the shoulders, hips, pelvis and spine, as well as breathing problems due to spinal compression. While these problems can be debilitating, scoliosis need not alter the quality of one’s life.

The Pilates focus on alignment and centering makes it an effective tool to manage the symptoms associated with scoliosis. By rebalancing muscles in the back, elongating the spine, improving breathing capacity and realigning the hips, Pilates-based techniques can help patients with scoliosis enjoy an active, pain-free existence.

Malalignment from a curvature can be managed most effectively by rebalancing the use of muscles around the spine. By better engaging the underused weak muscles, the overused muscles can relax, thereby creating a more symmetrical alignment. This rebalancing of the muscles can be achieved via simultaneous strengthening and stretching – a concept that Pilates helps to manage quite well. Once the muscles are rebalanced with these Pilates-based techniques, improved alignment of the spine allows for more efficient, pain-free movement.

The compression and reduced lung capacity associated with scoliosis can be addressed with elongation of the spine – a basic concept in Pilates rehabilitative exercise. Decompressing the spine is accomplished through correct use of the abdominal, hip and back muscles. There are many Pilates mat and apparatus exercises that target these muscle groups, thereby building an awareness of posture and spinal elongation. In addition, Pilates helps patients mobilize the rib cage and breathe deeply, which maximizes breathing function and lung capacity.

Scoliosis often results in asymmetrical hip alignment that can cause pain and impede function. Building an awareness of even hip height can help patients better manage the condition. Pilates exercises train patients to align their hips by recruiting the right muscles around their pelvis and spine. When the proper muscles are engaged, patients can correct the hip rotation and twisting associated with scoliosis.

Pilates is more than an avenue to fitness. It is often the best medicine for body dysfunction, and that includes managing any functional loss associated with scoliosis. Although no exercise or physical therapy can straighten or stop scoliosis, rehabilitative Pilates can successfully improve functional management of the condition.

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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