Interviewer: We talked about starting an exercise program a little earlier and many people have good intentions to do it, but don't stick with it. What are some of the biggest mistakes people make that end them back up on the couch.
Tonka Cascais: The most important thing that I always, always, always communicate with the people that I work with is what brings them to me and what is it that motivates them. Because motivation is short-term. People can get motivated, you know, to go to a wedding or go to a high school reunion. What happens when they hit that goal? The motivation is gone. So whatever they've achieved at that point, it kind like goes down the drain. So the most important thing for people is commitment and the commitment has to be to their health. Not to anything else because if you think about all these reasons that people come up with to start an exercise program, they don't change their lifestyle. Oh yeah, they increase exercise, but they still eat the same, the still are in the same amount of stress, they still don't sleep enough, they still don't rest enough, they go through exercise regimens where they challenge their body to aggressively and the body gets inflamed. So they cannot really achieve the results they want to achieve and they eventually at one point they collapse. So the main idea behind achieving your goals with exercise is your commitment and being committed to the right goal and to the right idea. Which is ultimately your health.
Interviewer: What are some of the more common conditions that you see in your practice and how successful can those conditions be treated?
Tonka Cascais: I have seen really, really a lot of different injuries and different conditions. We see a lot of people with spinal injuries. It's very interesting how little attention anybody pays to the mechanics of movement, mechanics of posture because a lot of times people come to me and they are like, "Oh my God. I have a prolapsed disc. Or have a herniated disc. I've never been in a car accident. I've never had an injury, but I have this happening to me." And they go to the doctor. The doctor says, "Well, you have to have spinal surgery." And nobody down this chain addresses how they're nutritioning [sp] because, I mean, here's the thing, you know, high sugar based diet is going to create inflammation in the body. That inflammation in the body overall is going to create weakness in the tissue. And then they sit on their chair all day long and here is the injury happening in the body. I see a lot of people also coming to me with fibromyalgia. That is another one that is so strictly food related. A lot of allergies to diary or gluten that are not detected. And you know, people ache and hurt all over and they're put on medication and they cycle just starts to really spiral down. And when somebody like that comes to me, I cannot start them on an exercise program because they are already inflamed. So me creating a program for them will create even further inflammation. So this is where it's kind of like let's address what happens in the body first and then first and then start from there. Another interesting issue that I see a lot is joint replacements. And how a lot of times people feel like, "Oh yeah, I had the knee replaced so I can go and do whatever I want to now." There's a limitation there. You know, that joint is deficient now. There will be structural limitations that we just have to respect. And that's all it is. We have to respect the body's ability to do things. But it's really interesting work. To be able to work with all these different conditions and help people.