Tue01272015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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