by Kim Burns, OTR/L, CLT and Cheryl Albright OTR/L RYT

Some physicians are now prescribing or suggesting yoga for all sorts of medical conditions. That’s appreciated! But now what? Do they have recommendations or will you be left on your own to find one? Most won’t really know how to explain yoga other than to have their patients go for stretching and strengthening. It’s also likely they won’t know where to send them and it’s possible they think all yoga practices are the same. How is the patient supposed to know how to safely treat their body with Yoga if they are not instructed by medical professionals?

The moment someone hears the word Yoga, thoughts of twisting and bending come to mind. If you are in pain and seeking comfort, twisting and bending are not in your visions of healing. Unless you have selected the slow, restorative practice class, walking into a typical Yoga class can be putting your body at high risk for further damage.

If you have never been to a Yoga class before your doctor recommended, it is in your best interest to seek out a medical professional that can provide specific guidelines for your medical need. We would recommend to everyone who enjoys yoga or wants to try Yoga for the first time to also seek out consultation from medical professionals that incorporate Yoga into their practice. It’s not all about stretching. It must be about spine and joint protection.



5 Core Concepts for beginning Yogis

Therapy on the Mat – Private Lessons

5 things beginners should due in yoga class

  1. Know Neutral Spine! Getting the spinal muscles stabilized first is important before beginning to add advanced poses. Maintain neutral as much as possible!
  2. Learn correct breathing: I find yoga classes do a nice job warming up with breath, giving enough time for the participant to breath with a relaxed body yet there are not enough cues to instruct on breathing during exertion and 3 part breath for great detoxing influence through the lymphatic system. Very important to maintain the integrity of the abdominal organs.
  3. Pay attention to placement of your joints. don’t over do any movement, flexion, extension or internal rotation. These put you at risk of stretching ligaments, compressing discs, or blocking blood and lymphatic flow. Wrist, elbow, and neck hyper extension are most common. maintain neutral spine in positions to develop flexibility before compounding the integrity of the joint of placing your body weight over.
  4. Never try to look at the instructor or other participants. If you are unsure of how to continue a pose, back out to a resting position and observe from there. You are already putting your joints in a compromised position, by twisting and turning to look.  I like to look for studios that have mirrored walls. If there were mirrors on the ceiling, even better. It makes checking your alignment better and improves proprioceptive awareness, the way we can ‘feel’ where all our body parts are in relation to each other.  See it in “your mind’s eye
  5. Push to burning not PAIN! Back out slowly! Don’t push into it and its not OK to fall out. You want to teach your muscles how to get back to the place you just took it to!

The next time you head into any studio be it Pilates, Yoga, or Zumba, Think about your own level of flexibility, how your joints are positioned and modify the poses with safety and protection in mind.

Therapy on the Mat is designed as basic guidelines of yoga  for spinal alignment and good technique for joint positioning. Medically relevant information is provided during poses so that you get the most of of your class.  It is safe for those with back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more. Poses are performed at a slower pace to ensure proper spinal alignment and to develop a better understanding of anatomy, posture and intelligent integration of the body. We will explore various breathing techniques and how they influence the lymphatic and nervous system. Modifications are suggested for safe and proper alignment. This class is also appropriate for advance yogis looking to improve core strength and learn alignment principles, biomechanics, breath work and detoxing through yoga. Aromatherapy is also presented as a way to intensify focus and the effects of yoga enhancing your practice.


Renew YOU! Yoga – Exploring Dragon’s Breath

Exploring Dragon’s Breath

Saturdays at The Yoga Hangout SRQ 352 Somerset Ave, Sarasota Fl Located inside the Alchemy Day Spa upstairs! Click HERE to register.

I never thought I would come to really incorporate Dragon Breath into my yoga practice. Ujjayi breath was my friend. I did Ujjayi breath every second I could so that I was always activating my transverse abdominis and lower spine multifidi for perfect pelvic stability during chiropractic care.elongation-998837 (2)


When you get stronger, you naturally just want to break out of that routine and step it up a bit.





That’s where I went! Feeling strong and needing more input to my spine, Dragon Breath came out! I had a little fun with it in different positions and found that in order to reduce the strain it could cause on your neck, it should only be done with arms overhead.woman-1456950 Want to Learn More? Join me  Saturadays from 9:30-10:30 am at The Yoga Hangout SRQ.

Renew YOU! Yoga  is a weekly class is designed as basic guidelines of yoga  for spinal alignment and good technique for joint positioning. Medically relevant information is provided during poses so that you get the most of of your class.  It is safe for those with back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia and more. Poses are performed at a slower pace to ensure proper spinal alignment and to develop a better understanding of anatomy, posture and intelligent integration of the body. We will explore various breathing techniques and how they influence the lymphatic and nervous system. Modifications are suggested for safe and proper alignment. This class is also appropriate for advance yogis looking to improve core strength and learn alignment principles, biomechanics, breath work and detoxing through yoga. Aromatherapy is also presented as a way to intensify focus and the effects of yoga enhancing your practice.

$15 a class


Yoga Teachers can request a workshop class to get Yoga Alliance CE Units!

YA Categories: All workshops will include 3 of the educational categories. 1. Anatomy and Physiology of particular system(s) or body part which is being presented in the workshop to understand why these poses were chosen and how they influence the body. Information on indications and contraindications. 2. Teaching Methodology on how to set up asana sequence for best management of safe joint positioning through set up, visual and environmental aspects. 3. Techniques, Training and Practice will provide cues during poses to gently move deeper into the stretch. Participants will learn techniques to modify poses safely for beginners and advanced students refining their practice. 4. Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics as related to Occupational Therapy Ethics and Practice. Participants will understand the value of teaching yoga as a service and being of service to others through yoga. How to incorporate yoga into daily activities to promote a healthy lifestyle.


Are you a paradoxical breather and didn’t even know it?

Detox Yoga can help!

Are you a paradoxical breather and didn’t even know it?

When things go wrong and nerves in our body and spine do not communicate correctly, our body tries to compensate by bringing in other muscles, recruiting them to help with movement. If there is damage to the chest or spine in the area of the lungs and diaphragm, or anywhere in your body due to use of compensatory patterns, what could occur is called abdominal paradox. The movement is spinal extension, abdominal activation, and chest elevation during inhalation. This can be a very subtle occurrence that you may not even know you are doing. It can occur when your attention is not focused on breath. It may be very damaging to internal organs and muscles.

waist trainerWaist trainers are a new fad developing out there to make you stomach thin or help with posture while weight training. It is thought that by applying the corset like vest and cinching it at your core, hips, and back, your body would mold itself into a slimmer figure. What is really occurring is that you are cramming your floating ribs, drawing your rib cage closer together while influencing alternate breathing patterns. Don’t wear them!

When your breathing pattern is changed for whatever reason, multiple muscles are then recruited to assist in breathing and take over causing the slow twitch muscles of the ribs to no longer be required to perform this breathing act. They then become weak and compressed by the larger fast twitch muscles that have taken over. Weak and compressed muscles then begin to lose blood flow and will struggle to overcome the fast twitch muscles.

Learning correct breathing patterns through yoga is a great piece of knowledge that is easy to learn and share. Managing it on a daily basis takes self-control and restraint yet it also teaches these same principles.

If you want to learn more about how to use breathe in healing yourself and others, please contact me for a complimentary phone consultation to review your specific health needs and learn about how the lymphatic system can support better health. Call or email me today at 215-499-0444 or



Healthcare Advocate

Healthcare Advocate/Consultant – call for special pricing

Do you want to explore treatment  alternatives? Need some guidance through the medical system? Want to learn how to advocate for yourself or a loved one? Call today for a free initial phone consultations. Clients receive a full initial evaluation write up with recommendations and referrals.

Specialized informational programs for Wellness, Disease management, Rotator Cuff injuries, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Lymphedema, Cardiac Conditions, Chronic Pain, Chronic swelling, Weight loss, Pediatrics and Sensory Integration. Healthcare and Advocacy designed around you or your family member’s needs. I make sure my clients are getting the maximum therapy and healthcare needs they are provided through their insurance or private companies. My business background managing a rehabilitation staff of Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and aides allows for in depth understanding of the therapeutic side of healthcare. As a manager and practitioner, I have worked extensively with doctors, nurses, and many other disciplines involved in the healthcare process for patient rights and maximizing independence.

From hot and cold packs to home TENS units and kinesiotaping, learn what techniques and treatments would be best for you and your healthcare needs. Need recommendations of which therapy or or medical practice is best for you? I have a varied medical background with a focus on natural and holistic techniques that work yet many medical practitioners are limited in their knowledge of these great therapeutic practices. Find out which ones are for you! What to make your own Sensory Tool Kit? They are great for adults and kids as well as easy to make out of things you may already have in your home! Use what you have and incorporate it into daily practice.  Communication with current medical team is preferred to maximize your benefits.

Contact me at    or give me a call! 215-499-0444

Bradenton, FL 34207

Yoga Rehab


Yoga Rehab – $75 per private session/$15 Per person group session of 5 or more people in home or office

Learn Yoga Poses that are specifically targeted to your body’s needs. Whether you have been diagnosed with spondylitis, fibromyalgia or rotator cuff tear, custom design your work out to target specific areas to strengthen, stretch or rest. You will learn neutral spine, it’s whole body connection and how to incorporate into a daily practice for disease prevention and management. Yoga is an untapped source for addressing many reflexes from birth that may have not been integrated. Whether you are an adult or child, primitive reflexes can influence incorrect posture and balance which makes Yoga for Kids a great tool for parents! FREE 15 minute In-Office Yoga Break! Call or text 215-499-0444 or email today at for an appointment. Ask about providing gift certificates to your clients as a thank you gift! We also offer 2+ hr workshops for yoga teachers providing CE units approved for Yoga Alliance.

Check out some of the programs with can be customized to fit your personal needs!


Yoga for Neutral Spineforward head
Yoga for Forward Head
Yoga for Immune Support
Yoga for Facial Tightening
Yoga for Office
Yoga for Brides
Yoga for Realtors and more!

Could Starch Free Be The New Gluten Free?

Gluten Free Diet Not Enough?

The gluten free diet is all the rage but what if it’s not enough? I started out 3 years ago on a gluten free plan due to long standing pain and weight issues. While it had significantly helped with my weight and some of my pain, it was not enough. Then came a thyroid diagnosis and natural thyroid medication which again, helped significantly yet still, something was missing. I began looking into the autoimmune gene that I have (HLA-B27) and it opened a whole new food style for me. “Starch Free” is the new Gluten Free! Starch is a polysaccharide which is a long chain carbohydrate usually between 200-2000 monosaccharides long. You could imagine the time your gut has breaking down these substances. It can be found in many whole foods as well as added to processed foods and drinks. What else is starch used for? It is used to stiffen clothing because it can protect the fabric and help remove stains easier. It can also be used to make packing foam. Yummy!

Starch is not easily digested and can remain intact as it travels to the colon where the majority of microbes are. When the bacteria begins to break down this starch into simple sugars, left behind are lipopolysaccharides (a form of sugar) from the outer layer of Gram-negative bacteria. It is both structural and protective to normally benign bacteria. When intestinal permeability is increased due to autoimmunity, infections or poor diet, these toxins can enter your bloodstream causing damage to tissues and joints throughout the body. For those of us with an autoimmune disease, reducing the number of things that attack your body the better off you will be. There is a lot of convincing evidence and personal stories of being able to manage autoimmune reactions through food. Whether or not this new food style is for you is something to ask yourself and your healthcare provider. A Starch Free may be too strict some but knowing that it is an option for managing health gives you the ability to strategize how and when your eat starches!

Low Starch Breakfast Crepe

4 oz softened cream cheese (check labels for starch, I used Philadelphia 1/3 less fat for no starch)
1 philipine mango – cut or mashed
4 large eggs
3/4 cup almond flour (2g starch per 1/4 cup)
1 Packet Stevia (SweetLeaf for pure Stevia)
1/4- 1/2 C milk for preference of thickness ( check labels for starch-I used Horizon Organic for lactose free and no starch)


1 – In a blender, combine cream cheese, eggs, almond flour, sweetener, and milk. Puree until smooth.
2 – Set a 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat.  lightly coat with butter or oil. Once hot, add a few tbsp of batter to the pan and swirl or spread into a thin layer.
3 – Cook until lightly brown on bottom and loosen with a spatula. Work spatula underneath and flip.
4 – Cook on the other side until lightly browned. Remove.
5 – Mix mango and cream cheese, fill, roll and enjoy!

Kimberly Burns, OTR/L, CLT, is an Occupational Therapist with over 14 years’ experience working with clients ranging from infants to the elderly. She has always had passion for wellness and has knowledge of a variety of modalities and techniques for wellness management.   (215) 499.0444 –

Copyright © 2016 Sensory Intuition
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Aerial Yoga: Adult Sensory Integration

Aerial Yoga brought me back to days of working with children and Sensory Integration. Walking into the room with the soft fabric hammock handing down reminded me of the purpose of hanging and swinging. Sensory Integration is a term that refers to the way the nervous system receives messages from the senses and turns them into appropriate motor and behavioral responses. Occupational Therapists working with children with children of all abilities use this theory, “SI”, to provide body sense awareness stimulation to children who need help with processing information and provide the correct responses from their

I couldn’t wait to get started. I have a passion for yoga and love to experiment with all types. One of the benefits I already know I would gain was the use of a support system. I have great difficulty maintaining positions for very long due to a type of arthritis, spondyloarthropathy, that affects my muscles, tendons and/or ligaments where it enter into the bones, making them irritable and shortened like arthritis does. So flexibility is not a strong point of mine! Using a prop helps to keep neutral spine and protect joints. At the beginning of class, I initially thought the hammock was going to be a great support throughout the session but there were draw backs. Especially if it wasn’t positioned correctly at the beginning of the session. When the support is too high or too low, you won’t be able to achieve the neutral spine needed for good alignment. It puts your body at a disadvantage. I saw participants in Savasana on their mat with their ankles in the loop of the hammock and thought about its affects of the knee with hyper-extension and the strain it then would cause on the low back. My own compensation was to open the hammock up to support from the knee down or placing my feet together in the loop as if doing the butterfly pose. I did feel the hammock was a support in some poses yet another aspect of the hammock became an interference with some areas needing protection from injury. 240_F_63616288_ylsKFvnaMcvdzUIrjykdk5SX2Cj1hXzVCompression from the material into your legs, hips or around your wrists could be damaging  sensitive lymphatic and circulatory pathways.  After a painful attempt of trying to sit on the look of the material,the instructor finally gave a modification and called it “the princess and the pea modification”.  The effect of the fabric rolling or shifting can become a tight, painful band and restricts flow of blood and lymph to the area. Not something you want to cut off when you are trying to heal, stretch and strengthen. Brief periods of compression and release will gently stimulate movement of fluids. Too deep or too long can cause damage to systems mean to transport your body’s vital needs.

Another interest of mine when I attend a yoga class is the cues teachers use. Too often improper cues can cause unhealthy loading responses from muscles as well as over extend the joint. Directing the shoulders over the wrists is putting the bones at an angle of over the “normal” range of 70 degrees wrist extension!cat stretch 1 Then you want to put how much body weight on that joint? Definitely not a position you want your wrists to be in if you have carpal tunnel or other wrist, hand and shoulder issues. I also was aware of the amount of elbow hyper-extension in the room. Poor joints! Not a word about neutral spine. But she did sing and say words of meditation. A very gentle healing touch at the end. All great healing influences.

The anti-gravity ability of this yoga practice is amazing. Once you get the right placement of the hammock and positioning of the fabric to support your body appropriately you can begin to reap the benefits! I haven’t done a somersault in years but with the help of aerial yoga, I was able to get my vestibular stimulation and do a somersault without touching the ground.

Ending inside the aerial hammock was like being inside of a Body Sox.  Yes, I have been in one. And  in a tunnel pushing a therapy ball through it with stuffed animals and a kid! Sounds fun, right? These are techniques used to influence the nervous system to a calm state by providing  deep pressure to the skin and muscle receptors. A bit too long in the hammock though caused a little discomfort to my back due to the considerable amount of stress that it puts on the spine. When caring for joints and ligaments, being in spinal flexion, which is where most of us spend our day, and out of neutral with even mild additional force or compression for extended periods of time can harm your spine. 

Overall, I enjoyed my first experience with Aerial Yoga and would go back again to try different sessions!

Comment or email if you like this article! Let me know how you like my reviews!

Bug Be Gone!

Make Your Own Bug Spray Non Toxic!

DEET, Picaridin, indalone, dimethyl phthalate and Rutgers 612. That’s what could be in your bug spray. What are these chemicals and what are they doing to your body? Bugs will not be the only thing to be gone. You will could also lose neurological connections; according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects, as well as the deaths of two adults, have been associated with DEET. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found that DEET causes diffuse brain cell death and behavioral changes in rats. And because your skin is a passage way to your bloodstream, you may have just doused yourself internally with toxins.

Witch Hazel, water, glycerin, and Essential oils Those are the ingredients in my homemade bug spray.  On my journey to inner peace and traveling to Key West for yoga, a stop on the Floating Sea brought bites and nips galore! This was wonderful even though I was itching and scratching like crazy! I could finally try out my concoction and if it worked, well then bugs be gone. If it didn’t work, well lets not talk about that. As we are unloading the van so I can find my magical potion, I know I fed at least 10 of the little guys. After dousing myself in spray using doTERRA TerraShield mix, I bravely headed back out to see what wanted to snack on me now. To my surprise, I was only tasted one time in 3 trips van to boat! My creation worked! At least for the species we were surrounded by and how our particular scents were due to what we ate or applied to ourselves that day. When creating your own potions, one concept stands out for me. After multiple trial and errors, you find out that one recipe is not a cure all. Just because it worked one time doesn’t mean it will always work as everyone exudes different scents or odors.

 Bug Spray Ingredients

  • Essential oil: 30-50 drops TerraShield by doTERRA  or be your own mixologist and use Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
  • Witch Hazel 1/2 cup
  • Boiled Water 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable glycerin 1 TBSP

Combine the above ingredients in a spray bottle and squirt away! Make sure to shake it up before each use as the essential oil can settle.

Other bug repelling ideas are below that have not been tested by me yet are highly recommended by others!

I’ve also read somewhere that effectiveness and duration of plant-based topical repellents improve when they are mixed with vanillin (a primary organic compound in vanilla extract) and/or soybean oil. In my experience, there is power in numbers! Just be sure to research and learn about any ingredient you are going to use. Be aware and understand that even though the ingredients for making a homemade bug spray are non toxic by themselves, there is always a risk of allergy and over exposure.

Have any trusted recipes? Comment and let me know what you think!

Essential Oils for Health and Beauty

dōTERRA – Essential Oils

When you choose dōTERRA®, you are choosing essential oils gently and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. Each dōTERRA essential oil is also carefully and thoroughly tested using the strict CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality protocol. Experienced essential oil users will immediately recognize the superior quality standard for naturally safe, purely effective therapeutic-grade dōTERRA essential oils.

The dōTERRA® collection of single essential oils represents the finest aromatic extracts available in the world today. Each oil provides the living essence of its source, gently distilled from plants that are nurtured and carefully harvested throughout the world. Each oil is subjected to strict standards of purity and potency as well as a battery of thorough testing. A beautiful palate of botanical energies, they can be used individually or blended for personalized essential oil therapies.


Essential Oil Beauty Kit: $30 Value        ON SALE: $25

From Left to Right: Travel Trio, Essential Oil Face and Body Scrubs, Roll on Scents

The Travel Trio includes a great Hand Wash made from Castile soap and your choice of antimicrobial essential oils with a touch of vitamin E. The Hand Softener is your favorite essential oil with the subtle carrier of grapeseed oil. The Hand Sanitizer will refresh your hands with witch hazel and powerful essential oils for fighting bacteria and other microbes! Keep this kit in your purse with a small satchel included.

Body and Face Scrubs are a necessity to exfoliate and remove old skin so the new can flourish! Epsom salts can reduce inflammation, while sulfates flush out toxins, according to the Epsom Salt Council. Himalayan Salt
contains sea minerals that can help to enhance the skin and exfoliate. Essential oils are added for the effects you are looking for like calming, relaxing, cooling and warmth!

Roll Ons for that perfect scent to smell or breath to take. Choose your own essential and carrier oil! Roll a little oil onto fingertips and inhale through your nose for a deep breath. Breath out to while you benefit from possibly using Frankincense to release anxiety, asthma, bronchitis, and coughing. This essential oil is grounding, calming and relaxing. The smell is woody and fresh with hints of spice and fruit. Or maybe you need some immune support, On Guard with it’s wild orange essential oil, combined with clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary offers a fragrant, natural and effective alternative to synthetic options. Deep Blue should be rolled onto a painful area as part of a cooling and comforting massage. Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, Helichrysum, and Osmanthus work together to soothe and cool.

Email or call today for specialy made hand soaps, moisturizers and more!