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Updated: Sep 8, 2022

The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. This in turn, inspires me to learn more, and share new knowledge with others. The educational content I share here are all resources I have used to learn and grow, and feel would be of great value to my clients in their process of growth and freedom from pain.

For the books I share, I leave out links to book stores, as I don't want to promote any one retail outlet. To purchase the book or audio book, you will need to do your own search for it.


Pain is normal, living in pain is not. Chronic pain is commonly due to an extra-sensitive nervous system and how the brain processes information from the nerves. Understanding more about the neuroscience of pain has been shown to allow patients to hurt less, exercise more and regain control of their lives.

Why Do I Hurt? teaches patients the science of pain in approachable language with metaphors, examples and images.

Written by physical therapist and clinical neuroscience researcher Adriaan Louw, PT, PhD.

What can illusions teach us about pain? Is what we see, hear, and feel as simple as it appears to be? The modern science of perception has unearthed new ways to think about pain – as an experience that has multi-sensory and multi-factorial underpinnings. Leading pain researchers, Dan Harvie and Lorimer Moseley, walk us through this science by interacting with illusions that challenge our assumptions on how perception actually works. A visually stunning, fun and accessible read to help anyone better understand and respond to pain.

Here is what you can expect to learn:

  • What illusions tell us about our perceptions

  • Pain and perception are personal, but always real

  • Perception involves assumptions to fill gaps

  • Pain and perception depend on everything going on in and around you

  • With pain and perception, what you get is influenced by what you expect to get

  • Changing our perspective can change our perceptions

No matter what you eat, how much you exercise, how skinny or young or wise you are, none of it matters if you're not breathing properly.

There is nothing more essential to our health and well-being than breathing: take air in, let it out, repeat twenty-five thousand times a day. Yet, as a species, humans have lost the ability to breathe correctly, with grave consequences.

Journalist James Nestor travels the world to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. The answers aren't found in pulmonology labs, as we might expect, but in the muddy digs of ancient burial sites, secret Soviet facilities, New Jersey choir schools, and the smoggy streets of Sao Paulo. Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the hidden science behind ancient breathing practices like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary tinkerers to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe.

Modern research is showing us that making even slight adjustments to the way we inhale and exhale can jump-start athletic performance; rejuvenate internal organs; halt snoring, asthma, and autoimmune disease; and even straighten scoliotic spines. None of this should be possible, and yet it is.

Walker answers important questions about sleep: how do caffeine and alcohol affect sleep? What really happens during REM sleep? Why do our sleep patterns change across a lifetime? How do common sleep aids affect us and can they do long-term damage? Charting cutting-edge scientific breakthroughs, and synthesizing decades of research and clinical practice, Walker explains how we can harness sleep to improve learning, mood, and energy levels; regulate hormones; prevent cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes; slow the effects of aging; increase longevity; enhance the education and lifespan of our children, and boost the efficiency, success, and productivity of our businesses. Clear-eyed, fascinating, and immensely accessible, Why We Sleep is the crucial account on sleep that will forever change listeners' minds on the subject.

" The New York Times bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. In The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge described the most important breakthrough in our understanding of the brain in four hundred years: the discovery that the brain can change its own structure and function in response to mental experience-what we call neuroplasticity. His revolutionary new book shows, for the first time, how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. It describes natural, non-invasive avenues into the brain provided by the forms of energy around us-light, sound, vibration, movement-which pass through our senses and our bodies to awaken the brain's own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated years of chronic pain or recovered from debilitating strokes or accidents; children on the autistic spectrum or with learning disorders normalizing; symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and cerebral palsy radically improved, and other near-miracle recoveries. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia with simple approaches anyone can use. For centuries it was believed that the brain's complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain's Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain's performance and health"-- NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Musculoskeletal pain disorders have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, with most doctors failing to recognize their underlying cause. In this acclaimed volume, Dr. Sarno reveals how many painful conditions-including most neck and back pain, migraine, repetitive stress injuries, whiplash, and tendinitises are rooted in repressed emotions, and shows how they can be successfully treated without drugs, physical measures, or surgery.

Active Isolated Stretching as taught by Aaron Mattes is a highly effective and intelligent way of stretching that I use during sessions with clients. His book, Specific Stretching for everyone, is the book I recommend to clients so they can develop a fully body stretching routine, and have a reliable resource to reference when needed. To purchase, or learn more about Active Isolated Stretching, please go here,

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  • Writer's pictureBob Holzman LMT

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

Over the past decade, I have noticed exponential growth in the self-massage tool industry. Tools now range from variations of small massage balls, foam rollers, canes, electric power massage tools to things that I don’t know what to call. Big picture wise, I believe this is a good thing, but it is not without a potentially dangerous downside. Today I want to focus on tools that are designed to work specifically on two of our major hip flexor muscles, the psoas major and the iliacus.

What makes self-massage with these tools potentially dangerous is the location of these muscles and the anatomy that you have to avoid damaging to get to them. If you look at images A & B, you will see that the psoas major and the iliacus (highlighted orange) are the deepest layer of muscle in the front of the spine and hip. In order to access those muscles, you have to make your way around the small (S) and large (C) intestines, which you can see in image C. These tools (image H & I) are designed to be placed into the abdomen with you laying face down; you will most certainly be pressing directly on these organs in that position. This leaves us open to potential injury, especially if there are any issues with poor digestion or bowel movement, both of which are common.

Image A: psoas major

Image B: iliacus

Image C: small (S) and large (C) intestines

The next layer down for hazards after the intestines are the abdominal aorta (red) and inferior vena cava (blue), which you can see in image D. These are two major blood vessels that you should not press on due to potential damage or blood flow restriction. Next, we have the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve (image E), the genitofemoral nerve (image F), and our ureters (image G). Now, as far as the nerves go, you will typically know when you are on them by the often sharp electrical pain, but you likely won’t know that you on a ureter until the damage is done and your self-massage session is finished. And, last but not least, there is the very real possibility of giving yourself an abdominal hernia, by going too deep too fast, or massaging a cyst or tumor when you think it is just a tight muscle.

Image D: abdominal aorta & inferior vena cava

Image E: lateral femoral cutaneous nerve

Image F: genitofemoral nerve

Image G: ureters

Image H: self-massage tool

Image I: self-massage tool

Doing safe massage of the psoas major and iliacus is an advanced skill. It requires formal training in anatomy and physiology and advanced palpation skills that take years to develop. Although it was something I learned in school by experienced teachers who were seasoned providers, I feel it could have been taught better.

I recognized early in my career that this was a skill that would require consistent practice and ongoing education to do safely and effectively. I have heard numerous stories of seasoned providers injuring their patients, such as causing an abdominal hernia, and there are countless licensed massage therapists that won’t work on these muscles because they are not comfortable with it. I mention these things to make the following point, if highly trained professionals can injure their patients, or are not comfortable doing this work, do you really think you should be doing it to yourself, even if advised to do so by your provider?

I understand that these tools are becoming more and more popular, and even some famous people have shared their positive experience with using them. It is my hope that you feel a little more educated now, and will give some serious pause and consideration if you are still interested in these tools.

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  • Writer's pictureBob Holzman LMT

I'm not sure if you remember, but at the beginning of December, I mentioned that I would donate 3% of my December income to Family of New Paltz. Well, here we are, December 31st, New Year's Eve, and I've finished my December finances. I'm very excited to say that 3% of my NET income for this month allows me to donate $175.00 to Family of New Paltz / Family of Woodstock. I chose to donate to Family because of the necessary and profound impact it has on the community, year after year.

I would not have been able to make a donation of this size without everyone that came in to see me this month to get on my table, in addition to purchasing gift certificates. For that, I feel a tremendous amount of gratitude. As I look toward tomorrow and the new year ahead, I continue to reflect on a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” This quote is a question, reflection and inspiration to me, every single day. If it is something that resonates with you, I invite you to hold it in your mind and heart, into 2018 and beyond.

May 2018 bring you authentic happiness beyond your deepest imagination, and challenges that test you to the core of your existence (only if you haven't already had your fill of that). In 2018, I wish for you to see things that you see every day, through the eyes of someone who has never seen it before. May you find new inspiration, and inspire the people in your lives, as well as perfect strangers, to be a positive force in this amazing and challenging thing we call life.

“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”      ~ Prince Gautama Siddharta

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