Tag Archive | women

Taking a Twist on Hairbands the Damage Free Twistband

 I received several samples for review.  I was not compensated in any way, all opinions are my own and freely expressed.

image Normally I prefer reviews be just that, my opinion, but honestly there is not too much to say about a hair band, is there?  I will be upfront – hair ties that are tight and rubber band like do give me headaches, they pull on the roots of my hair, I experience breakage, etc.  When I opened the delightful little carton for review I was not that impressed.  When I stepped into a local boutique and saw similar items priced at $14 for 3 I was even less impressed thinking “WOW! How can I put a review together that does not discuss that these are 300 times the cost of hair ties you can pick up at any convenience store, or even *Gasp* the one buck shops?” But then I gave them a try.  I may not personally spend $3 on one hair tie but I can honestly say the Twistband is not your average hair tie.  I would bet that the headbands are also quite nice – not the squeeze your brain out of your ear feel I normally get.  I could even see them being perfect for babies if you go in for adorning your little miss with bows – a flower or bow could easily be sewn on.  The company also offers shoelaces, gifts, customization and limited edition pieces.  These could easily become the new collectible for fashionistas.

Right now they are offering free shipping, loyalty points and even a monthly subscription service. These would make a great gift at baby showers, bridal showers, for the yoga lover in your life, as goody bag stuffers, giveaways and incentives! Check out a little more on how this woman owned company got its start:image

Meet the Founder: Jessica Frandson

Like all great inventions, Twistband was born out of necessity. After having a baby, Jessica Frandson grew tired of having her hair tugged by the little one and quickly learned the least painful hairstyle for a new mom was a ponytail. She made sure to always have her hair up and kept a second band on her wrist as a backup. Traditional hair bands hurt her head and her wrist, so she twisted a soft piece of elastic trim to hold back her hair, thus creating the first Twistband. A few weeks later she was looking to write down a phone number and in the absence of a notepad, she wrote the number onher Twistband, and the custom message Twistband was born. In 2009 she officially launched the Twistband brand and began selling the product at retail stores nationwide. Jessica serves as the president of Twistband, overseeing all aspects of the emerging brand.

All about Twistband

We all remember the days of the hair scrunchy. Easy to wear, enough styles to match any outfit, and they slid comfortably on your wrist between wearings. But as style evolved, our once-beloved scrunchy became a fashion “don’t,” creating the need for a new breed of hair accessories. Elastic bands tug on hair, cause headaches and can leave dents in your hair when you take it down. But with the introduction of the Twistband that is all about to change.
Twistbands are ponybands and headbands made of elastic trim. They stretch to support any hairstyle, yet are slim and sleek enough to wear on your wrist when you want to let your hair down. Twistbands are available in a variety of colors, patterns and fabrics to complement any style. And with prices ranging from $5-12 for a set of three you can have one in every color!
Twistbands are offered in a wide range of styles and collections to suit anyone or any need, including couture and fashion, athletics, toddlers through tweens, and licensed and branded logos and messaging. In addition to the fashion Twistbands sold at retail, the line is also available for corporate and promotional branding. The ponybands and headbands can be printed with logos or messages, making them a perfectly unique and stylish way to spread your word.
Twistbands provide a slew of uses beyond a hair accessory. Wear it as a bracelet; wear a branded Twistband to make a statement; commemorate a bachelorette or birthday party with custom-printed bands … the uses are endless!



Price Range: $3-$12

Better Body Workouts For Women

image Dean Hodgkin and Caroline Pearce team up to bring Better Body Workouts for Women to the market.  This book is chock full of material and that is quite honestly its downfall.  As a fitness professional even I found it hard to read, it was laid out almost like a text book though the charts and text did give way to photos and descriptions of exercises, but you would have to jump around a lot to build a workout plan.  From my experience the average fitness consumer would prefer something boxed and packaged, ready for use.  There is great information in here, but more than the average individual needs to be successful, however; if you are within the fitness profession, grabbing a copy of this book could not hurt.  It is written as well, if not better than a lot of those produced by certifying agencies.

In line with the review of this book I have been provided a great little article from another source, hopefully it steers readers down the right course:

Five Exercises to Avoid

From professional athletes to green gym goers, thousands of people find themselves injured each year when exercising.  To maximize your workout both safely and effectively, Dan Geraci M.S., Head Strength Coach at Hard Pressed, debunks the myths surrounding injury-prone practices.

“Incorrect form when lifting weights is one of the top contributors to sports-related injuries,” says Geraci.  “To prevent pulled muscles and other ailments, it is important to take age and fitness level into account as well as any neck, back or spinal issues you may have.”

Below are five exercises to avoid as well as alternative methods for a safer workout:

  1. Box Jumps:  A compound movement that works the musculature of the hip and knee joints, this method also places excessive pressure on the Achilles Tendon which can lead to a rupture or tear.  Missing the box with an uncoordinated misstep can result in a twisted ankle or scraped shins while the repeated jumps on a hard surface can cause knee pain.
    •  Alternative:  The leg press works these same muscle groups but can create stronger muscles without the negative impact of box jumps.  “The leg press targets the muscles around these joints as well,” says Geraci.  “This produces more explosive and higher jumps, often the reason many turn to box jumps in the first place.”

  1. Dumbbell Chest Fly:  Without a spotter or when using heavier weights, dumbbells can be difficult to control properly which can potentially lead to catastrophic muscle tears.  Furthermore, most individuals use a shortened range of motion (ROM) for chest flys, which misses the mark for the most effective portion of the exercise.
    •  Alternative:  Machine Chest Fly and cables can be much more effective and safe as these alternatives place you in the proper positioning to utilize a full ROM without leaving your muscles and joints vulnerable to free weight errors.

  1. Walking Lunges:  Improper form is the main problem with walking lunges as the majority of people perform them incorrectly.  “Bad form leads to increased stress on the knee and places it in a vulnerable position,” says Geraci.  “Putting excessive force on structural components of the knee such as the Patella Tendon and the Meniscus can lead to injury.”
    • Alternative:  Doing stationary lunges (and having a spotter) will keep the knee in the proper position and allow you to maintain proper form while reaping all the benefits of lunges.

  1. Upright Rows:  This exercise puts the rotator cuff muscles in an extremely pinched space (referred to as the sub-acromial space).  In many individuals the Acromion Muscle is hooked or slightly hooked which leads to increased impingement.
    • Alternative:  To work your traps in a similar method, use the Shrug and Pull technique.  This allows you to target the same muscles while moving the joint in a much more natural way, thus decreasing the chance of injury.

  1. BOSU/ Stability Balls:  The extremely instable platform these balls provide can lead to a myriad of injuries.  They put you in a vulnerable state while performing movements that often times lead to injury when in completely stable environments.  Contrary to popular belief, doing exercises on these balls has no functional purpose outside of training the body to better perform these exercises while on a stability ball.
    •  Alternative:  Perform the exercises in a stable environment rather than on the ball.  You will better target the primary muscles (i.e. chest for chest press) while not leaving your joints, muscles and tendons susceptible to injury.  Then, exercise your core muscles and abdominals separately.  “Working your chest with a chest press movement on a stability ball is a poor attempt at a two-for-one type of deal,” says Geraci.  “While killing two birds with one stone sounds good in theory, if it leads to injury you are worse off than when you started.”

Excuse Me but No One Allows Me to Do Anything With My Body

For years I have sat on the sidelines quietly brooding.  Maybe that isn’t completely true.  For the hundreds of women that I have had in my prenatal yoga classes, fitness classes, and assisted as a doula I have been softly vocal – but never as vocal and to the point as I have felt in my heart.

My first son was born in a hospital when I was a student age 23/4. I was young and full of apprehension about pregnancy, birth and becoming a mom. I was the average woman.  I was aware that I had rights, but not sure of what they were and when I could assert them – or even how. My first birth experience was in a teaching hospital where no less than 10 medical students stuck their hands inside of me to determine my dilation, effacement, and position.  They had no idea what they were doing, I was young and scared, and honestly a few of them hurt me (unintentionally I assume) and I didn’t know I could tell them to go away until the nurse caught me crying and asked why. Without this becoming a full on retelling of my birth journey, there were procedures that now, at this point in my motherhood life, I would never allow to happen again.  I have experienced two wonderful homebirths since and one loss of a pregnancy between them. What has solidified in my mind is the fact that no-one “lets” me do any thing with my body.  I am the captain of this vessel.

I read countless posts online on pregnancy boards, Facebook and prenatal sites from women:

“I’m 39 weeks and my doctor said she will only let me go to 40 weeks before she schedules an induction….”

“I’m 37 weeks and my baby is breech, my doctor wants to schedule my c-section he won’t let me go past 39 weeks…”

“My doctor told me I have to have the gestational diabetes glucose test….”

“I explained my situation and asked him what my options were…he said: “You have no options.  You never wait to go into labor naturally with a breech presentation.  This needs to happen in a controlled environment.  There are too many risks.  You need to schedule the c-section now.  Our policy is to do it at 38 wks”

I’m saddened by these comments and want to write back to all of them letting these women know that no individual has the right to tell you what to do with your body. The last comment was written to me by a client who did fight back and did  have a birth on her own terms, with a healthy outcome.  No-one can make you take steps you don’t want to.  If you feel scared, that the information you are being given is wrong, that is your instinct kicking in, your maternal instinct letting you know what is right for you and your body.  We can’t always listen to those around us for the best advice for ourselves and our babies, sometimes we have to listen to that little voice trapped inside. As women we also have to listen up to what is being told or asked of us.  Informed consent is a joke.  If we truly had informed consent we would be given the pros and cons of a procedure and then asked to decide.  Instead we get, “We’re going to start your c-section now, ok?!?” That isn’t informed and it is hardly consent when you say “yes” since you aren’t really given another option. (Here is when a doula can be helpful in pointing this out.)

What we need to realize is that as families and clients we are paying the bills. If you don’t like what your doctor is advising, get a second opinion, change care providers.  Would you continue to take your car to the same mechanic that did a terrible job? What if that same mechanic tried to tell you that your new car wouldn’t start even when you know, with proof, that it would if he would just give you the keys?

Some doctors do exactly this.  They claim babies just won’t be born without intervention, and this may be true – sometimes they aren’t in position to be born, they aren’t ready yet.  Perhaps intervention is not necessary, maybe patience is what is needed. Strike that, I know patience is what is needed.  I have been to too many births and read too many stories where it is apparent (there is no medical emergency) that patience would have been best. Since these babies are born with all of these interventions they have now become standard place.  There is no apparent damage – so there is no reason for a mother to be upset, or question the outcome.

Except when we look at what kind of birthing society we are becoming and what that means to our children.  The rise in ADHD, autism, and other chronic illnesses – the lowered incidence in breastfeeding – many researchers have drawn correlations between these and our overly medicated, overly intervened births.  The March of Dimes has even started a campaign to advise the public that the best place for baby is in the womb until at least 40 weeks. Evidence and research all support that babies need as much time in utero as possible.  Their brains and lungs need those extra days and weeks to mature.  Even after hundreds of years science still is not sure why and how labor starts – but a new theory suggests that when the lungs are formed enough they secrete an enzyme that signals the uterus to start to contract.  Medicine has its limits, it is – in its own words – not a science (look at any medical release waiver it is there in black and white – or at least the ones I sign).

How then did our rights as birthing mothers become co-opted? Why are we willing to let go of them so quickly at one of the most important times in our families’ lives? How can we get them back? Roe V Wade is one decision I blame.

As a woman I have always thought myself equal to others.  As a woman who has given birth I have demanded that I be given the right to choose.  As a mother who lost a pregnancy I can never imagine a pain more heart wrenching and would never wish it on anyone. Bluntly I am anti-abortion. My mind, body and soul truly know this is not an act I could ever sanction. Let me state more bluntly I am 100% pro-choice.  These are not, as some would have you believe, mutually exclusive beliefs.

The creator, the mother in me and my spiritual being abhors the idea of an abortion. The feminist woman, the political thinker in me knows that we must grant ourselves and other women the right to choice. Between the two we are left to hope that the correct choices are made by each individual. I don’t harbor ill will or feelings towards any woman who has had or will choose an abortion.  As a woman I can’t imagine the circumstances that would force a woman to make that choice. Even before I was a mother, I knew this would never be an option.  I remember learning about D&C in my high school American Problems in the Law class and feeling remorse and sadness as we discussed the procedure in relation to the infamous Roe v Wade.  

Just as we were granted the right to vote so that we may exercise our voice, so that we may take part in helping to mold the opinions of governments – we must uphold our right to choose our own paths and for others to do the same. We need to make sure that no-one, not an individual like a doctor or judge, not an institution such as a hospital, and not the government – takes away our right to decide what happens to our body and when.  The problem is, it isn’t just about abortion rights, there is a larger more pervading influence on our births.  If we take away our right to choose one medical procedure we slowly strip away at all of our rights to choose.

I’m not arguing that abortion is not immoral – that is a debate for religious institutions because that is where morality comes from.  I don’t need a law to tell me not to have an abortion, I never would have one.  Based on our population I would argue most women feel the same

The number of births in the United States reached an all-time high of 4,316,233 in 2007

But I don’t deem to know more about another woman’s plight than she herself knows.  While I am a creator of life, I am not the creator and therefore have no measure to judge her or anyone else by. For those who believe it is their destiny to throw themselves into this mess, to deny women their inalienable rights to govern their body, they should not look to patch the problem, they should look for the source of the problem.  Poor sex education programs, poor protection for women, and poor families are a part of the problem

The Guttmacher Institute, which periodically surveys U.S. abortion providers, reported Tuesday that there were 1.21 million abortions in 2008 and a rate of 19.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44.

Both figures were up slightly from the previous 2005 survey, ending a steady decline since 1990, when U.S. abortions peaked at 1.6 million and the abortion rate was 27.4.

One possible factor was the recession that hit in 2008, altering the financial prospects for many families.

“Abortion numbers go down when the economy is good and go up when the economy is bad, so the stalling may be a function of a weaker economy,” said University of Alabama political science professor Michael New. “If the economy does better, you’ll see numbers trending down again.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/01/10/abortion-rate-stalls-years-decline/#ixzz2HNRZbsyp

With our population unthreatened we can turn back to the discussion of rights. And although you will find argument such as the following,


Advocates of Roe describe it as vital to the preservation of women’s rights, personal freedom, and privacy. Denying the abortion right has been equated to compulsory motherhood, and some scholars (not including any member of the Supreme Court) have argued that abortion bans therefore violate the Thirteenth Amendment:

When women are compelled to carry and bear children, they are subjected to ‘involuntary servitude’ in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment….[E]ven if the woman has stipulated to have consented to the risk of pregnancy, that does not permit the state to force her to remain pregnant.[40]

Advocates of Roe describe it as vital to the preservation of women’s rights, personal freedom, and privacy. Denying the abortion right has been equated to compulsory motherhood, and some scholars (not including any member of the Supreme Court) have argued that abortion bans therefore violate the Thirteenth Amendment:

When women are compelled to carry and bear children, they are subjected to ‘involuntary servitude’ in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment….[E]ven if the woman has stipulated to have consented to the risk of pregnancy, that does not permit the state to force her to remain pregnant.[40]

I disagree. In Roe V Wade I only see the subjugation of women further by the system,

The Court asserted that the government had two competing interests – protecting the mother’s health and protecting the “potentiality of human life”. Following its earlier logic, the Court stated that during the first trimester, when the procedure is more safe than childbirth, the decision to abort must be left to the mother and her physician. The State has the right to intervene prior to fetal viability only to protect the health of the mother, and may regulate the procedure after viability so long as there is always an exception for preserving maternal health. The Court additionally added that the primary right being preserved in the Roe decision was that of the physician’s right to practice medicine freely absent a compelling state interest – not women’s rights in general.[25] The Court explicitly rejected a fetal “right to life” argument.[26]

I have bolded the lines that are key to my argument.  Roe V Wade makes women second class citizens, the wording infantilizes us, makes us a class that needs to be protected instead of giving us the right to protect ourselves and make decisions about our own bodies.  These rights are given to the physicians and the government. This is where our problem lies. Before you get sullen about the situation that same client I mentioned earlier did a great deal of intelligent research before making decisions about her birth path.  She forwarded me an interesting Q&A that I have not been able to find online myself from my resources. I believe this was from ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network):

Q: What if I challenge my care provider and he or she decides to drop me from care?

A: Professional ethical guidelines state that a physician may only drop you from his care after giving you 30 days notice. This means that if you are within 30 days of your likely delivery date, your care provider cannot terminate your care. In addition, if you are pregnant and are outside of that 30 day time frame, your provider must give you a referral and ensure you are transferred to a specific provider. Physicians who fail to meet these guidelines may be charged with patient abandonment, which is grounds for malpractice and constitutes a violation of ethical conduct that could result in loss of licensure.

And that my female compadres (or commadres) should help you sleep a little better.  You are in control.  You are powerful.  You are in charge of your body. You just need to remember this and surround yourself with people who support your control. Why would you settle for anything less?