Archive | January, 2012

James Bond’s Elixir of Life?

18 Jan

“007’s profound state of health may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders.”

If only all prescriptions could be so good.

In our quest to bring to light all the awesome stuff the literary James Bond does that contributes to his kick-ass  daily life, we have to look at his vices as well as his more healthy habits. The character does a hell of a lot of drinking and smoking when compared with what might be considered acceptable in this day and age.

But what if it turned out that those 007 behaviors that we 21st Century folk think of as being detrimental to ones health turned out to actually be good for you?

This article from the British Medical Journal (1999) presents some fascinating research:

“As Mr. Bond is not afflicted by cataracts or cardiovascular disease, an investigation was conducted to determine whether the mode of preparing martinis has an influence on their antioxidant capacity.”

It is concluded that 007’s signature “shaken, not stirred” martini is “more effective in deactivating hydrogen peroxide than the stirred variety…” The H2O2 is a source of free radicals that can contribute to ageing and disease and the martinis are counteracting its negative effects.

So, I’m taking this as evidence that drinking martinis in the James Bond fashion is not only badass but also beneficial to my health.

Thanks, Medical Science!

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The 007 Experiment Bookshelf – Shrublands Edition

2 Jan

The post entitled The Bodyweight Exercise Bookshelf gives the rundown of the primary books we’re using for the exercise part of the 007 Experiment. But Bond’s fitness level isn’t maintained by exercise alone. Yin to that yang – relaxation and recovery from exertion – are the topics of this entry.

In the first chapter of Thunderball, a severely hungover 007 is called to Headquarters to see his boss. There he receives an upbraiding regarding his most recent physical and sent off to the health resort Shrublands for 2 weeks. At the spa Bond receives the injunctions:

“Strict dieting for one week to eliminate the toxins in the blood stream. Massage to tone you up, irrigation, hot and cold sitz baths, osteopathic treatment, and a short course of traction to get rid of the lesions. That should put you right. And complete rest, of course. Just take it easy, Mr. Bond.”

007 comes out of Shrublands feeling like a new man. Then he spends the rest of the novel getting all sorts of jacked up again. And we love him for it.

Rather than hie ourselves off to a spa at the Civil Service’s expense, the 007 Experiment will make do with easy, daily self-treatment. We’ll skip the dieting, the enemas, the sitz baths, and the traction for the time being. Focus here is on massage and “osteopathic treatment.” Wikipedia says osteopathy “emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body and recognizes the body’s ability to heal itself.” We’re going to rid ourselves of lesions in the muscle tissues and we’re doing it with the aid of a rubber ball, gravity and two kick-ass books:

First is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook by Clair Davies with Amber Davies, 2nd Edition, published by New Harbinger Publications (August 1, 2004). Average Amazon.com Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 362 customer reviews.

* #1 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Aging > Chronic Pain

* #9 in Books > Medical Books > Medicine > Internal Medicine

* #11 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Disorders & Diseases

That’s a fine pile of rankings and very well-deserved. I’ve been using the information in this book for my massage therapy clients and for self-treatment since 2004. It’s like a cook book full of the recipes for alleviating pain symptoms, both chronic and acute, with massage. The essence of this type of trigger point treatment is to locate the tender knots in the muscles that contribute to the pain symptoms and massage the pain away. This book is full of trigger point maps, easy to follow treatment details and anecdotes about people who have experienced the benefits of the therapy. That rubber ball mentioned above is for massaging all sorts of body bits. A tennis ball works just as well. Everyone needs a firm ball and this book.

To further enhance the benefits received from trigger point therapy we want to improve our posture.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot by Esther Gokhale, published by Pendo Press on April 1, 2008. Average Amazon.com Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars from 222 customer reviews.

* #1 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Aging > Back Pain

* #2 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Aging > Chronic Pain

* #7 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Exercise & Fitness > Injuries & Rehabilitation

Full of photographs showing examples of folks on both the ‘beautiful’ and the ‘much to improve” ends of the posture spectrum, Gokhale’s (say “GO-clay”) book provides adjustments to sitting, standing, lying horizontally and walking. Where other posture training or back pain relief methods center around 30-45 minutes of daily exercises, Gokhale just teaches you how to do the things you’re already doing in efficient ways. This is THE book for those of us who want to continue moving through life with the supple grace of a jungle cat.

Don’t let the simplicity of these health maintenance methods fool you. This is powerful stuff that can have profound effects.