Tag Archives: Piano Playing

Where did our summer go? Seems like we are in the fall already! While I won’t complain about the mild weather, I remember that years ago it stayed hot through the first couple of weeks in September. We called it “Indian Summer, but it seems we don’t get that anymore.

I spent the weekend helping my young cousin Remy Anne move into her new student apartment in Boston. She will be taking courses at Northeastern University (my Alma Mater). Time passes very quickly these days. It seems like only yesterday when she arrived in Boston with her folks for the first time, ready to begin studying dance at Boston Ballet!

Now I get prime seats along with her parents to watch her perform on the stage, which is
Very cool!

#~#~#

After one of her performances at the Boston Ballet, I noticed my cousin Remy had this long plastic cylinder under her arm. When I asked her what it was, she told me it was a “foam roller.”

I know what they are, in fact I have one myself, but her’s was hollow unlike my own. I hadn’t seen the newer ones so it kinda threw me off a bit. Anyway…seeing her reminded me that I needed to use mine more often. Foam rollers are cylinders made of hard plastic foam that you literately roll over to loosen tight muscles.

For those of you who cannot afford frequent massage therapy treatments,  foam roller can be just the thing to keep you more flexible and supple. You can get them online and they are relatively cheap.

I would recommend them highly as one of the most cost effective therapies available to the average person. The link below is to the model that I bought, and one I found works really well for me.

http://www.age-better.info/foam-roller

Nothing special about this one, pretty plain, but as I say relatively inexpensive for the benefits you can get from it. You don’t have to purchase any particular model, just so long as it is hard foam.

There are newer designs with knobs and protrusions on the surface. I can’t say whether these are better, because I have never used them, but they might be worth a shot. The idea is to put pressure on the tender areas because those are where the adhesions in the muscle are.

Adhesions are the result of scar tissue from what we call “micro traumas.” These are little tears in the muscle that when they heal, they often adhere to what’s called the “fascia.” Fascia is the protective sleeve or sheath around your muscles.

The muscles need to move smoothly beneath the fascia, and if they don’t because if these adhesions, then you get pain and restriction of movement. The foam roller tends to break up this scar tissue and free the adhesions, thus making you more supple.

You just basically get on the floor with the muscle you want to work resting on the foam roller. You roll over the roller until you find a spot that really hurts when you roll over it. At that point you just keep rolling back and forth across that sore spot until the pain subsides. When the pain subsides, that would be an indication that the adhesion has been freed.

Please keep in mind that this is NOT a substitute for proper medical care! If you have acute (really sharp) pain in an area that does not go away, your safest bet is to see a doctor, such as an orthopedic practitioner. They can either confirm or rule out anything serious.

The foam roller is really for long term stiffness or tenderness in an area that is the result of accumulated micro trauma from sports or exercise that happens over time. As far as learning HOW to use the foam roller, go to Youtube and search on foam roller, or foam roller exercise and you can choose any one of a number of instructional video clips.

Use of a foam roller is one of THE BEST things you can do to feel more flexible, supple, and lose that constant tightness that you may be feeling as a result of age, exercise, or trauma!

Here is the Amazon link again:    http://www.age-better.info/foam-roller

Happy rolling!

#~#~#

For my money, Tori Amos is one of THE most electrifying performers in popular music. Her vocal performances are always captivating. I think for many people, including myself, her music is an acquired taste, but well worth trying.

Combine her darkly beautiful piano playing with the wonderful backing of the Metropole Orchestra of Amsterdam Holland and you have one truly magical performance as this Youtube video will attest!

The song is “Winter Winter”

Enjoy…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvUlPozYhg8

This concert was apparently videotaped in Rotterdam Netherlands. There’s a whole lot of wonderful pop music being made all over the world, not just in the USA.

#~#~#

This newsletter is read by people all over the world, so if you have something that you would like me to share such as music from your country or culture with the other readers, please let me know.

#~#~#

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Audrey Hepburn

Where did our summer go? Seems like we are in the fall already! While I won’t complain about the mild weather, I remember that years ago it stayed hot through the first couple of weeks in September. We called it “Indian Summer, but it seems we don’t get that anymore.

I spent the weekend helping my young cousin Remy Anne move into her new student apartment in Boston. She will be taking courses at Northeastern University (my Alma Mater). Time passes very quickly these days. It seems like only yesterday when she arrived in Boston with her folks for the first time, ready to begin studying dance at Boston Ballet!

Now I get prime seats along with her parents to watch her perform on the stage, which is
Very cool!

#~#~#

After one of her performances at the Boston Ballet, I noticed my cousin Remy had this long plastic cylinder under her arm. When I asked her what it was, she told me it was a “foam roller.”

I know what they are, in fact I have one myself, but her’s was hollow unlike my own. I hadn’t seen the newer ones so it kinda threw me off a bit. Anyway…seeing her reminded me that I needed to use mine more often. Foam rollers are cylinders made of hard plastic foam that you literately roll over to loosen tight muscles.

For those of you who cannot afford frequent massage therapy treatments,  foam roller can be just the thing to keep you more flexible and supple. You can get them online and they are relatively cheap.

I would recommend them highly as one of the most cost effective therapies available to the average person. The link below is to the model that I bought, and one I found works really well for me.

http://www.age-better.info/foam-roller

Nothing special about this one, pretty plain, but as I say relatively inexpensive for the benefits you can get from it. You don’t have to purchase any particular model, just so long as it is hard foam.

There are newer designs with knobs and protrusions on the surface. I can’t say whether these are better, because I have never used them, but they might be worth a shot. The idea is to put pressure on the tender areas because those are where the adhesions in the muscle are.

Adhesions are the result of scar tissue from what we call “micro traumas.” These are little tears in the muscle that when they heal, they often adhere to what’s called the “fascia.” Fascia is the protective sleeve or sheath around your muscles.

The muscles need to move smoothly beneath the fascia, and if they don’t because if these adhesions, then you get pain and restriction of movement. The foam roller tends to break up this scar tissue and free the adhesions, thus making you more supple.

You just basically get on the floor with the muscle you want to work resting on the foam roller. You roll over the roller until you find a spot that really hurts when you roll over it. At that point you just keep rolling back and forth across that sore spot until the pain subsides. When the pain subsides, that would be an indication that the adhesion has been freed.

Please keep in mind that this is NOT a substitute for proper medical care! If you have acute (really sharp) pain in an area that does not go away, your safest bet is to see a doctor, such as an orthopedic practitioner. They can either confirm or rule out anything serious.

The foam roller is really for long term stiffness or tenderness in an area that is the result of accumulated micro trauma from sports or exercise that happens over time. As far as learning HOW to use the foam roller, go to Youtube and search on foam roller, or foam roller exercise and you can choose any one of a number of instructional video clips.

Use of a foam roller is one of THE BEST things you can do to feel more flexible, supple, and lose that constant tightness that you may be feeling as a result of age, exercise, or trauma!

Here is the Amazon link again:  http://www.age-better.info/foam-roller

Happy rolling!

#~#~#

For my money, Tori Amos is one of THE most electrifying performers in popular music. Her vocal performances are always captivating. I think for many people, including myself, her music is an acquired taste, but well worth trying.

Combine her darkly beautiful piano playing with the wonderful backing of the Metropole Orchestra of Amsterdam Holland and you have one truly magical performance as this Youtube video will attest!

The song is “Winter Winter”

Enjoy…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvUlPozYhg8

This concert was apparently videotaped in Rotterdam Netherlands. There’s a whole lot of wonderful pop music being made all over the world, not just in the USA.

#~#~#

This newsletter is read by people all over the world, so if you have something that you would like me to share such as music from your country or culture with the other readers, please let me know.

#~#~#

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

Audrey Hepburn

Age Better #28 – What are bad estrogens?

The Affordable Care Act is in the news again, and it looks like this
health care law has still has quite a rocky road ahead of it. It is shaping
up to be far more expensive than it’s backers claimed, AND it may be headed
for another Supreme Court challenge as well.

Personally I don’t want to see it implemented, because I see it for what it
really is, a massive new entitlement based on “pharmaceutical medicine”
not real health care reform. With that said, my advice would be to learn to
optimize your own health.

Government involvement in health care is always problematic, because
everything that government does it first and foremost politically
motivated. That’s just the nature of government bureaucracy, but it does
not lead to good health for us as individuals.

But your health, shouldn’t be a matter of politics or the profits of
giant corporations. It should be about what’s in YOUR best interests, and
that’s the reason I urge you to learn about your own body and seek ways to
better your own health, not depend on so called “government health
authorities” for the answers.

Our health care system is based on a “one size fits all” mass produced
solution that treats everyone the same and refuses to recognize the
validity of anything other than “drug base d medicine.”  We can do
better than that. We MUST do better than that.

Do your own research! There are many great resources out there for health
and wellness, that will help you get and stay healthy. I try in this
newsletter to expose you to some of these antiaging and wellness concepts
but you need to explore them on your own as well.

#~#~#

On of the biggest threats to your health today are something called
“xenoestrogens” or “endocrine disruptors.” These are man made
chemicals that are similar to estrogens, but that have harmful effects on
your body.

These environmental estrogens can cause breast cancer in women and prostate
cancer in men. They can cause weight gain in both men and women, and they
can also cause depression and impotence in men by lowering
testosterone.

If you want to look and feel good, and be healthy, you have to rid yourself
of these chemicals. You can do this by avoiding foods and household
products that contain estrogens, and by using nutritional supplements that
support estrogen clearing through the liver.

Israeli author Ori Hoffmeckler has written an excellent guide to estrogen
detoxification called “The Anti-Estrogenic Diet.” This excellent book
covers exercise, diet, nutritional supplements, and has meal plans and
recipes to help you avoid bad estrogens in your diet.

http://www.age-better.info/anti-estrogenic-diet

Environmental estrogens can cause many problems in your body, some
eventually life threatening. Start protecting your health from the threat
of xenoestrogens with “The Anti-Estrogenic Diet!”

#~#~#

For those of you who like “Westerns” you might want to check out a film
called “Tombstone.” This is the story of Wyatt Earp and the famous
gunfight at the OK Corral.

What’s interesting is that the gunfight started over a town ordinance
against wearing guns in town, that the Earp brothers and Doc Holiday tried
to enforce.

“Tombstone” was well acted and shot, and I really loved the musical
score. Great performances by Kurt Russell, and great supporting roles by
Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, and Isabella Rossellini as “big nosed
Kate,” Doc Holliday’s common law wife.

If you like the Western action genre, check out this film in it’s entirely
on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t-nWlQNefQ&NR=1&feature=endscreen

#~#~#

This week’s musical performance is by Tori Amos. She is not exactly a
household word, but she IS an electrifying performer, as this Youtube clip
will show.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWmETxWM0h0

Being a piano player myself, I am just blown away by her keyboard artistry
in addition to her vocal style. The combination of seductive darkness and
delicate beauty in her piano playing has always captivated me.

#~#~#

This newsletter is read by people all over the world, so if you have
something that you would like me to share such as music from your country
or culture with the other readers, please let me know.

#~#~#

Great people often had to struggle sometimes to get through adversity. We
mistakenly think that they were always successful or that their success
came easy because they are somehow “different” than us.

The “difference”is that when they hit an obstacle that would stop other
people they keep going. This is the REAL “secret” to success, found in
this quote by Michael Jordan.

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn
around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work
around it.” – Michael Jordan

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Age Better #18: The “Killer Gene” and how you can stop it

We just got hammered here in Boston with over 2 feet of snow, and we’re
still digging out. If there’s a silver lining about big snowstorms it’s that
everything closes down and there’s not much else to do but relax and
spend time with your family and friends.

The storm hit us Friday and we are still under a snow emergency because
I’ve heard there is more on the way. Fortunately the groundhog predicted
an early spring this year, so I know warmer weather is just around the
corner.

As we head into spring, there will be a new addition to my extended family.
My oldest nephew Andrew and his wife are having a baby boy, so I will be
a “great uncle” once again! It wasn’t so long ago that he was just a
baby himself.

Maybe it’s just my imagination, but the time seems to be rushing by faster
and faster. It makes me hope that the world becomes a better place for the
generation that’s just  coming into it.

I guess it’s up to all of us to make it so…

#~#~#

I was doing some updates to my website and happened on my page about
the MTHFR gene. I thought this was a good time to talk about this gene
defect that can wreak so much havoc in the body, and how it can be tamed!

This is probably THE most important health issue I have written about so
far!

MTHFR is short for “Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase.” In the
subject line for this weeks newsletter I called it the “killer gene” and that’s
exactly what it can do if it’s not controlled!

This gene regulates a process in the body called “methylation” that
converts certain amino acids to their “reduced” forms. This process is
necessary to detoxify your body and protect your DNA from damage.

When this gene is malfunctioning, this “methylation” process does not
complete properly so toxic levels of homocysteine can build up which
causes increased inflammation.

It also prevents you from detoxifying heavy metals like mercury and lead,
which is a huge issue for your health.

Here are some of the problems this gene defect can contribute to:

Heart attacks
Strokes
Fibromyalgia
Autoimmune disease
Alzheimer’s
Cancer
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Depression
Migraines
Miscarriage

The list goes on, but you get the picture that this is a huge problem, and
medical science has only recently become aware of it since the human
genome was mapped. The good news is that it is relatively simple to fix.

There is a medical test you can get for around $150.00 that can tell if you
have this gene defect, but the easiest and cheapest way to tell is to
notice whether your urine has a strong odor after you eat asparagus.

Changes to your diet and the use of a type of nutritional supplement called
a “methyl donor” can actually change how this gene is expressed and
dramatically lower your risk of these diseases, not to mention a big
improvement in how you feel.

The methyl donor supplement I recommend is called “Methylator Support
PX” and it is made by “Poliquin Performance.”

I have used this supplement and found it effective:

http://www.age-better.info/methylator-support-px

I have NO affiliate relationship with Charles Poliquin, so I don’t get any
commissions for recommending it. I do so only because I believe in it’s
quality and I know from personal experience that it works.

Below is a link to my page on the MTHFR gene defect:

http://www.longevity-and-antiaging-secrets.com/MTHFR-mutation.html

Here is an excellent page of resources on MTHFR gene issues by Dr.
Benjamin Lynch:

http://mthfr.net

As always, I am here if you have questions on this stuff…

#~#~#

I LOVE Youtube! Google acquired this site a couple of years ago, and it’s
one of my favorite resources. There’s just so much great stuff on there.
Lots of educational videos, tutorials, ect.

I enjoy the music videos that people post on it too. I’d like to share one
of my favorite musical artists with you. I think I mentioned last time that
music therapy can be very beneficial, especially if it’s music you loved at
a younger age.

This is a video of Julia Fordham, a British singer performing a song called
“Towerblock.” I love the piano playing on this song (being a pianist myself)
and the elegant and classy way she performs it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxxTYQxaFhY

I have been a fan of this woman ever since I saw her videos on VH1 during
the 1980′s. Her style is so unique and her voice is just so expressive. I
could listen to her for hours.

There are a number of songs on Youtube she performs. I think you will
enjoy discovering this wonderful artist.

Let me know what you think…

#~#~#

I think one of the most demotivating ideas is that people successful, are
superior to the rest of us. That’s not the case. We see their successes but
we don’t see the failures they had to go through to get where they are.

Yes some may be smarter or tougher, but for the most part they succeed
because they just keep at it, and refuse to give up. Whatever your dream
or goal, move toward it and don’t stop until you have what you want!

If you just hang in there, you will be successful!

This clip from one of the Rocky films illustrates this wonderfully. In it
he tells his young son that “going that one more round” when you didn’t
think you could, makes all the difference in life!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQB3uebwyMQ

#~#~#