Book Review: ZenDOG: Music and Massage for a Stress-Free Pet

Like many people, I have a dog with some small behavioral issues. Smiley was a stray who adopted us, and her previous owner abandoned her and left her outside and on her own. She has severe separation anxiety as a result, and will howl and bark in the house for hours after I leave to go shopping or anywhere other than a normal workday. She is smart enough to recognize different clothing and demeanor. When we travel I have to take Smiley to the dog boarder two days in advance lest she freak out when she sees us packing suitcases!

So when I saw Janet Marlow‘s ZenDOG kit of a book, a relaxation music for dogs CD, and a dog massage instructional DVD with massage brush, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. Janet Marlow is a pioneer in the field of dog relaxation music, actually recording music specifically composed to a dog’s hearing range that is still relaxing for human ears as well.

I was skeptical at first but I must say that Smiley loves the music! I now put the CD on repeat when I am getting ready to leave the house and Smiley doesn’t freak out as much. I have also started using the massage instructions and talking to Smiley more (yes, barking, howling, and generally making silly dog sounds) and she is responding. I almost feel like we have entire conversations even though I have no idea what we are discussing.

If you have a dog with behavioral issues, separation anxiety, irrational fears — or just want to learn more about how to lovingly bond with your dog — I highly recommend Marlow’s products. She even has an iPhone Pet Acoustics App to keep you and your pet connected where and whenever you need.

Great Pilates Ring and Roller Audio Workout

My friend and fellow Pilates teacher Anne Samoilov took the time out of her busy life to try a workout with my Pilates with Ring & Roller mp3 Workout and she just posted her review on her blog,

Rainy Day Pilates with Lynda Lippin

Once again the audio received a rave review, with Anne commenting on the clarity of my voice and cuing, the value for the price, and the efficacy of the 30 minute workout. I am thrilled!

Scoliosis & Pilates

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In my years of teaching Pilates I have worked with many many clients with scoliosis. Some had full spinal fusions with Harrington rods, and some just managed on their own. Some where professional dancers and athletes who really had to work on their back and core strength in oredr to continue working, and then I also had just regular folks who discovered that Pilates kept them fit, safe, and in less pain.

Curves, Twists and Bends: A Practical Guide to Pilates for Scoliosis is a short introduction to Pilates/pre-Pilates exercises geared to non-exercisers with scoliosis. It is written by a scoliosis patient and her Pilates teacher, the UK based Alan Herdman. While very clear, basic, and simple, the exercises in this book are easy to grasp and easy to perform. They may be small and low impact, but will impact your body in a profound way, especially if you tend to shy away from exercise.

Note that this book is not a comprehensive guide to Pilates for scoliosis. It does not address more advanced Pilates mat and equipment exercises, and is not necessarily geared towards athletes and teacher/trainers. However, if you want a good understanding of scoliosis, it’s physical and psychological effects on the individual, and a good quick basic self care program, this book provides all that and more.

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Reiki for Orthodox Jews

There has been much written recently about Reiki and christianity, with the Catholic church coming out strongly against Reiki (smacks of the witch burnings, if you ask me). But while I know many Jews who practice reiki I haven’t seen much discussion of the practice amongst Orthodox Jews. The I found this Hocus POcus post on an Orthodox Jewish woman’s (Hannah Sarah’s) blog discussing her mother’s practice of Reiki and an interesting discussion in the comments about whether Reiki is an acceptable practice or avoda zara.

My mother was telling me about auras and all that stuff. As I’m inclined to believe my mom, I listened to what she had to say. Apparently, a healthy person has a large egg shaped aura evenly spread all over their whole body. My mother said that she was once working on 2 ladies (physical therapy- at 2 different times) and felt that their aura was large in most places but over their breast it was quite small. My mother suggested they check out to make sure everything is ok with their breast, and one ended up having a massive breast infection in that breast, and the other discovered she had cancer in that breast.
Creepy. Totally.

I don’t know yet that I’m a complete believer in energy healing, but I won’t dismiss it completely like I used to… I used to have my husband put his hands on my stomach when i had bad morning sickness and it helped the way a hot pack would…

Regarding Reiki’s status…

A good friend of mine (Billie) who is a doctor of Chinese medicine, asked a big rov in NY, and she got a ruling that it was NOT avoda zara, so take it for what it’s worth. She knows that any energy she uses is a gift directly from Hashem, and that she is just a pipeline for that energy. She takes no credit for her abilities whatsoever, and makes sure that all of her patients know that.

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My Pilates Audio for Golfers

My fabulous Twitter pal @golferpaul, aka Class A PGA Golf Professional Paul Hobart, recently won my Pilates for Neck & Shoulder Pain audio in a Twitter contest. Here is his feedback, which I just love!

I recently had the opportunity to try Lynda’s Pilates program for neck and shoulders, and I was little skeptical. As a PGA Golf Professional, instructor, and competitive player, I figured that my quick pre-round stretches and practice swings were getting me ready to play. I wasn’t real sure what “Pilates” was, and what it had to do with my golf game.

2 minutes into the program, I knew that I had found something great. As I listened to Lynda’s simple instructions, I worked my way through the movements. I found a few sore spots, and a couple tight areas, but they quickly melted away as I combined the movements, relaxation, and breathing. My entire upper body had a feeling of being released and relaxed into a light and energized state.

After the program ended, (which seemed really fast!) I grabbed a club and began making some swings. I felt an unusual amount of freedom in my swing, and it felt as though the club was actually swinging faster without much effort. Some of the restrictions I have typically felt in my swing had disappeared.

Can’t wait to share this with my golf students…

Paul Hobart

Check it out!

Reiki-What Every Clinician Needs to Know

Cover of "Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide"Cover of Reiki: A Comprehensive Guide

When I was in New York I had a fabulous lunch with Pamela Miles, a brilliant, beautiful, and witty Reiki Master teacher, practitioner, and author.

Last year Pamela gave some presentations along with Dr. James Dillard to Intergrative health care professionals, and the audio is now available for free at I highly recommend listening!