Body Talk

By Hannah Wallace October 1, 2010


Laser That Pain

These days, medical lasers are used for more than incisions and eye surgery: The high-powered class 4 laser can penetrate well below the skin to treat neuro-musculoskeletal pain. "For our patients at IMG Academy who have shoulder and knee pain, or seniors with spinal stenosis and diabetic neuropathy, laser has worked remarkably well," says Dr. Pamela Shackley, a Sarasota chiropractic sports physician. And, adds Shackley, there are zero side effects; patients feel little more than a warming sensation during the 10-minute procedure. The therapy has already taken hold in many professional sports teams. Locally, class 4 laser treatments are offered at a handful of practices, including Shackley’s own Laser Therapy of Sarasota.

Oh, the Suspense!

TRX Suspension Training has fitness buffs across the country swinging from the rafters—and flocking to the Sarasota YMCA’s new TRX classes. "The first week we set up three classes," says YMCA trainer David Green. "No advertisements other than word of mouth. We had upwards of 30 people showing up." This summer, the Berlin branch’s Friday-night TRX classes, led by mixed-martial artist (and wounded combat veteran) Steve Kelley, topped 50 attendees.

Developed by a Navy SEAL, the TRX system consists of nylon straps anchored to a single point about seven feet up. Exercises use

your own body weight for resistance and can be adjusted to suit anyone from competitive athletes to injured retirees. "Parents come with their kids [ages 10 and up], and we have adults upwards of 70," says Green.

And because the straps swing freely, each TRX exercise works the whole body to improve not only strength but cardiovascular endurance and balance. "If you’re doing triceps, your abs and your calves are engaged, too," says Green. But best of all, Green adds, is the camaraderie that comes from such an intense workout: "The music will be pumping and everybody’s sweating. It’s hard to explain how much fun it is." Go to for class schedules.


Start in a push-up position with your feet suspended in the TRX straps, so that your body is horizontal to the floor. Do a push-up, then draw your knees forward to your chest, and then back to the starting position.

Sweet Treatment

When it comes to your skin, honey is golden. It turns out the all-natural sweetener boasts triple-antibiotic qualities, making it the latest trend in treating slow-to-heal wounds, burns and even acne. Applied topically, honey releases small amounts of antiseptic hydrogen peroxide, produces antibacterial enzymes and encourages the body’s lymphocytes. Plus, according to Sarasota dermatologist Dr. Morgan O’Donoghue, "Honey seems to be very effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria—even a strain of staph that’s resistant to almost all oral antibiotics that we have."

But don’t go running to your pantry the next time you scrape your knee: Doctors use sterile, medical-grade honey in creams or patches. Talk to your dermatologist for details.


Listen up!

"Everybody knows whole grain is healthier than white when it comes to pasta, cereal and breads. But whole grain has calories, too—sometimes more than the white equivalent. Read labels and measure to make sure you’re getting enough, but not too much!" Heather Anderson, RD, licensed dietitian/nutritionist, Sarasota


Rest Wishes

Still feel sluggish after eight hours of sleep? Check out The Power of Rest: Why Sleep Alone is Not Enough ($25.99, Harper Collins) by Dr. Matthew Edlund, head of Sarasota’s Center for Circadian Medicine. In his latest book, Edlund emphasizes "active rest" as an important (and oft-overlooked) part of renewing the body—everything from mental exercises to where, when and how to take a walk to the importance of sex as a form of "social rest." The book outlines many techniques as part of a 30-day plan "to reset your body."


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