Friday, September 30, 2005


“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.”
-- Voltaire

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Let's Shake On That!

The next time someone wants to shake your hand, you might want to think about whether or not that person has washed his hands after using the toilet.

If it's a guy, chances are that he has not washed his hands. You can feel more comfortable when shaking that woman's hand--she probably has washed it.

During an observational study published this month by the American Society of Microbiology, researchers lingered in public restrooms while ostensibly combing their hair or putting on makeup, etc. Secretly, they were counting how many people washed their hands after using the facilities.

They observed 6,336 individuals at six public attractions in four major cities: Atlanta (Turner Field); Chicago (Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium); New York City (Grand Central Station, Penn Station); And San Francisco (Ferry Terminal Farmers Market).

Although an August 2005 Harris Poll reported that 97% of women and 96% of men say they wash their hands after using a public restroom, direct observation showed a different story. The researchers found that, in fact, "Ninety percent of the women observed washed their hands, compared with 75 percent of men."

Atlanta's sports fans had the worst record:16% of the women and 37% of the men did not wash their hands before leaving the restroom. Women at the train station in New York seem to be a lot more careful than the men; with only 8% of them not washing their hands compared with 36% of the men not washing. The other two cities in the study seem to have cleaner people there, but they still did not even come close to what they reported in the Harris polls.

Children who develop bad hygiene habits usually carry those habits into adulthood. Studies show that children who wash their hand regularly miss less school due to illness than those who don't (and their parents miss less work).

Some good links that encourage children, in a fun way, to wash their hands; and for parents trying to train their children:

Free Downloadable Posters

Henry the


And just remember: the next time you use that public restroom, someone really might be watching!

Why can't you tickle yourself?

In the newsletter that just went out, I asked for responses to the question: "Why can't you tickle yourself?", and I asked people to respond in the Forum.

"Acrobat" (who chose not to sign her post, so I won't reveal her true identity) always cracks me up! She responded with three reasons:

A. Your sensory humory nerve is impaired.

B. You can't reach your funny bone.

Her third reason referred to the "Gate Theory" (usually associated with pain). I like the first two reasons a lot (although the question is still very much open for discussion). I disagreed with her third reason; please see the Forum for my reasoning.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

September Newsletter

Well, it got out while it's still September, but just barely!

The only way to get the newsletter is to sign up for it. We don't sell your e-mail address, or use it for any purpose other than sending out the newsletter. We don't even advertise, unless you call a plug for our seminars advertising.

The are excellent stories about therapy trends and fairly current issues in the research literature. The new issue (September 2005) has a fabulous piece of audio on it, that you really don't want to miss. You also find links to a lot of good health resources and organizations.

You will, of course, find the newsletter a bit less free-wheeling than this blog; as it should be.

Join the Oak Tree PT newsletter mailing list

Monday, September 26, 2005


I do apologize for this post on two counts:

1. It's exceptionally immature (I just can't help myself!).
2. The quality of the drawing is definitely substandard. I did it on the "Diddle Bug" application on my Treo, and anyway; I'm no artist.

I think you'll get the idea, though, and I hope you will get at least a small chuckle out of it.

So, what is it? (Answer below):

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Oak Tree PT Forums

Join the new Oak Tree PT Forums discussions on topics related to:

1) Our seminar subjects
2) Therapy-related subjects in the research literature
3) Clinical anecdotal experiences

Our first topic focuses on the energy cost of walking according to an Eastern model versus the Western model of ambulation.

A "controlled fall", as the center of mass moves forward of the base of support (while always moving onto a dynamic, unstable base of support).

A "controlled weight-shift": ALWAYS keeping the center of mass within the base of support (while always moving onto a static, stable base of support).

I say that the Eastern model is inherently safer; that it is possible to perform consistently during everyday ambulation (without looking like a goofball); and that the energy cost is NOT higher than the energy expenditure of the Western model.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Oak Tree PT Toolbar

NEW!!! Download the Oak Tree PT Toolbar . It contains links to search engines, our website and seminar page, this blog, and radio stations.

It's free, with no spyware or viruses, does not open pop-ups or hijack your searches, and no personal information is required. It installs to your web browser, and it you can customize it to your own needs and tastes.

Sunday, September 18, 2005



Sorry about the lack of posts during the past few weeks:

I was traveling in the midwest teaching "Improving Balance and Decreasing Fall Risk Using T'ai Chi", then I was on vacation for a week, then I was traveling in Texas teaching the class. Updates and posts from these trips to follow (this week, I hope).

I am also working on getting a new e-mail newsletter out (after about a year going unpublished)--I am just putting the finishing touches on the last article, which I began on the plane to San Antonio, TX.

These definitions of the various "isms" seem to fit pretty well:

Socialism: You have two cows and you give one to your neighbor.
Communism: You have two cows, the government takes both and gives you some milk.
Fascism: You have two cows, the government takes both and sells you the milk.
Nazism: You have two cows, the government takes both and shoots you.
Bureaucratism: You have two cows, the government takes both, shoots one, milks the other and throws the milk away.
Capitalism: You have two cows, you sell one and buy a bull.