Under the Influence

We’ve all been shaped by the influencers in our lives and the reality is that the accumulated gifts, talents, and abilities we possess are a combination of the time, energy, and resources of those that have faithfully invested in us coupled with our own discipline and dedication. In terms of my development as a flute player, those that have had a significant influence on me include Jean Pierre Rampal, Hubert laws, James Galway, Herbie Mann, Ian Anderson, Robert Webb, and my flute mentor/private teacher Johnny Haws. I remember early on in my flute journey having private teachers as well as band instructors, with the best of intentions, doing all they could to get me to change my embouchure. The embouchure has to do with the position and contact of the lips and mouth on the mouthpiece of the flute. According to proper textbook technique, the opening in the mouth while playing the flute should be directly centered in the middle of lips. Mine was not. I had developed the habit of playing out of the corner of my mouth and was able as a very young beginning flutist to produce good tone this way. While I attempted to change this at the urging of my instructors, the “correct” embouchure according to them was not working for me. This became a source of challenge and conflict for both myself and my instructors. It was not until I had the distinct honor of attending a master class conducted by Jean Pierre Rampal (arguably the most influential and accomplished flutist on the planet at that time) in Denver, Colorado, in 1970 that I was once and for all freed from this conflict. While listening to and critiquing the performance of one of the flute players in attendance, Rampal addressed this issue of the embouchure in a way that forever changed my playing. Quite simply, he told the students in attendance that as long as good tone was being produced, one’s embouchure did not have to change and any attempts by teachers to insist on conformity was misguided. This is by no means to say that even those instructors who were attempting to change my embouchure did not also contribute very positive influences in my development as a flute player, however the reality is that sometimes unconventional means of accomplishing your goals are just as legitimate even if they are in contrast to established norms. Another very interesting and potentially negative influence in my formative years as a flute player occurred during junior high when I faced relentless teasing and mockery by some of the male band members for playing an instrument that in their view was clearly meant for only girls to play! So grateful am I that I did not cave to the peer pressure at that time. So what is the takeaway from all of this?

If we are to be successful in those areas we are passionate about, we must incorporate critical thinking when evaluating these comments and recommendations from our influencers. More importantly, we must be sure that those within our sphere of influence that are impacted by our opinions and biases are receiving nurture, encouragement, and support in those areas they are passionate about and gifted in!

Please take time to listen to the song below entitled Rejoicing Together. I am playing both the flute and Penny Whistle on this selection. This song was composed, arranged, and orchestrated by my good friend and extremely talented musician, Steve Millikan, and is the title cut on the second solo CD I had the opportunity to record - Ceremony & Celebration.

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich.

My Musical Journey

At the age of 5 while sitting in Mrs. Sargent’s kindergarten class at Whiteman elementary school in Denver, Colorado, I remember vividly being given one of the most significant gifts of my life! While I do not recall the name of the 6th grade student that came to our class that day, I do remember distinctly knowing that at the very moment I heard her play the flute, I too wanted to play the instrument! So profound was the impact of this experience that I also remember asking my mother later that same day if I could begin learning to play the flute. I was told that this was not possible and that I would need to wait until I was in the fifth grade.

Five years later as a 10-year-old fifth grader I once again made my request known. This time, the time was right and my mother found a used, fifty-dollar student model, Bundy flute located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, which was subsequently sent to us on a Greyhound bus arriving in Downtown Denver, Colorado. I can still remember the bus driver unloading numerous bags and boxes and finally handing me a small cardboard box that contained the flute. The clarity of this memory remains vivid to this day! To say I was thrilled to receive my “new” flute would be an understatement! As I reflect back now with over five decades of history and experience playing this wonderful instrument, I am reminded that for me the gift I was given that day was one of desire and passion for the instrument and music in general! The ability to make something sounding remotely like music come out of the instrument was, as is always the case for any skills we develop, the result of persistent practice and discipline.

The gift of desire to learn, however, was truly God-given and remains intact and growing to this day. We are all given gifts and opportunities to develop skills in this life and we should never underestimate the powerful impact that these early experiences have on shaping our futures. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle or simply an influencer in some other young person’s life, take the opportunity to invest time and energy in those precious souls by helping them develop their giftedness.

We recently had the distinct joy of having our daughter Elly and grandson Remy home for a very special visit. I had not done a very good job of preparing our house for the onslaught of perhaps the most inquisitive and energetic 17 month old on the planet! Throughout the week more and more of our kitchen cabinets and drawers were being imprisoned by an ever expanding a labyrinth of twine and thick rubber bands to prevent the inevitable & methodical dismantling of our kitchen. I also discovered early on that both my guitar and ukulele were on his highly sophisticated radar system and, regardless of my attempts to place them safely concealed in my closet, Remy‘s finely tuned sonar system inevitably led him to the objects of his intrigue.

We had some very special time together with Remy sitting on Gaga’s (Remy’s version of Grampa’s) lap as he explored the variety of sounds his chubby little fingers and hands could make on that small stringed instrument. Since the ukulele was really not something he could play without close supervision, my wife, also affectionately referred to as Gaga, bought him a small synthesized electric guitar. The remaining few days of our visit, Remy continued to explore his new found passion with the gracefulness of a Sumo wrestler and the determination of a marathon runner! I obviously cannot predict whether Remy will rise to the musical status the likes of Carlos Santana or Andre Segovia, but this one thing I am certain of, I will continue to support and nurture him in the positive pursuits of his life!

I am forever grateful for the numerous individuals God has so creatively used in my life as influencers. It is my great joy to give back to others the expressed gift of my musical desires. Throughout the weeks and months ahead I plan to share stories of my musical influences and experiences. In addition, I will also be sharing with those interested in listening some of the recordings I have had the privilege of being a part of.

Please click on the link below for a jazz rendition of one of my favorite hymns entitled: “This Is My Fathers World”.

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: My Journey to CBD | Part 2

Which CBD Product Should I Use?

In the interest of full disclosure I am more than happy to share that I am a brand ambassador for the Nutraceutical Company Zilis which produces and markets the UltraCell® full spectrum Hemp derived CBD oil. I have included below a link to my website which can give you lots more information about the company and the multiple products that are offered.

With the numerous choices out there for CBD products I will attempt to share some of the important things to look for in a high-quality product.

Full Spectrum
First of all, it is critical to make sure that you are using a CBD oil that is truly, ”Full Spectrum”. There are many CBD oil‘s that simply use isolates from the hemp and mix it with other ingredients and market the oil as CBD. The Full Spectrum Hemp derived oil which has CBD in it also has over 400 other components including vital micro nutrients, flavonoids, terpenes, minerals, fatty acids, omega 3‘s and 6’s, as well as all the B vitamins. These work together synergistically to provide what we know of as the entourage effect. Make certain you are buying Full Spectrum Hemp derived CBD oil.

Organically Sourced
It is also critical to make sure that the CBID you are taking is sourced from hemp that is grown in certified organic soil. Hemp has the amazing capacity to be a soil accumulator meaning that it will not only soak up the good nutrients found in the soil, but it can also accumulate toxins if grown in contaminated soil. Be certain that the source is certified organic by the FDA as well as the specific Department of Agriculture from the state it is grown in.

Independent Laboratory Testing
Reputable companies will be able to provide specific certification that independent laboratory testing has been performed to ensure that the Hemp oil and the CBD contained therein meets the current federal standards of having no more than 0.3% THC (0.003mg/ml) and less than 5% CBD by weight. While I am certain there is much to learn about the possible variations in concentrations which may be even more beneficial, we currently do need to work within the present laws and standards. As more research is conducted there may be a changing of these standards somewhat over time.

Water Solubility
Assuming the three major components of high quality Hemp derived CBD oil are met as described above, I think this is by far the most significant difference between the UltraCell® CBD oil and the vast majority of the other oils in the marketplace. One simple way to determine if the CBD you have purchased or are considering purchasing oil based or water soluble is to place a drop of the CBD oil in a cup of water. What will happen with the strictly oil based products is a floating on the surface of the oil and a clear distinctive separation between the oil and the water. Even the foods that we eat that contain oils and fatty acids must first be broken down by the bile released from our gallbladders to be emulsified in a form that can be efficiently absorbed through our G.I. tract. Intestinal absorption and bio availability is overwhelmingly enhanced when those substances we ingest are water-soluble.

The Mayo Clinic performed a study specifically on the UltraCell® CBD oil product and confirmed between a 90 to 94% bioavailability of the orally administered UltraCell® CBD. This stands in stark contrast to the other CBD oil’s on the market that are not water-soluble. I have spoken with individuals who use oil based products and have assured me that they are getting benefit from the CBD oil they are using. I am quite certain that even a small amount of CBD when ingested and absorbed into the system of someone who has significant deficiencies in their own Endocannabinoid system will receive some benefit. The problem is the oil based drops have a very limited absorption capacity or bioavailability as clinical research confirms anywhere from only 6 to 20% depending upon the route of administration. The reality is that for the oil based products there is significantly more wasted than is absorbed. This is not so for the UltraCell® brand of Full Spectrum, Certified Organic, Independently Tested, Water Soluble Hemp derived CBD Oil.

Finally…
So the question has been asked, “Which CBD product should I buy”?

“The one I sell of course”!

In all seriousness, I would be honored to entertain any questions you may still have as well as directing you towards the current research available regarding this remarkable supplement. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions on my Facebook page. You may also call or email me directly. 

email: tpwingard@gmail.com
cell: 812-322-1840

Enjoy.Enrich.Engage.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: My Journey to CBD | Part 1

In the fall of 2016 after a routine annual exam and ordered blood tests by my physician, I was referred to a urologist to follow up on an extremely elevated PSA blood level. As most of us experience with medical appointments, it can take an inordinate amount of time to be seen by a specialist. Following the return from an absolutely transformational trip my wife and I took to Israel in January of 2017, I was finally able to get into see the Urologist a month later. A biopsy was scheduled and subsequently performed. Within a couple of weeks, my wife and I were sitting in the Urologist’s office to hear the news, which we both quite honestly had suspected, although were doing our best to not fixate on. 

Although we both knew intellectually that prostate cancer is one of the more curable of the cancers, hearing the diagnosis spoken aloud felt like a physical blow to the chest that took our breath away. The treatment options were well articulated and in light of the numeric rating of the cancer, surgery was determined to be the best treatment option.  

I am so thankful to share that my surgery approximately a month after the diagnosis resulted in a “cancer free” declaration! In addition to a number of the predictable postoperative side effects from surgery, I was quite surprised at how much my sleep was negatively impacted and the resulting low energy levels throughout my day. So what does all of this have to do with CBD you’re probably asking? Approximately six months after my surgery a good friend of mine, Dr. Gary Gettlefinger, a pain management physician and interventional anesthesiologist here in Bloomington, Indiana, introduced me to the CBD product. 

I can honestly say that the morning he pulled me aside in one of the hallways at our church and began sharing with me how incorporating the CBD into his practice had been making a significant impact in the lives of many of his patients, I was initially skeptical. He elaborated on how many of his patients who were dealing with multiple issues including chronic pain, spinal disorders, fibromyalgia, and excessive opioid use, were reporting significant benefits. My reaction, as has been the case of many of the people I have shared with over the last year and a half, was not only one of skepticism but one of a clear misunderstanding between the CBD originating from the hemp plant versus what many mistakenly think of as medical marijuana. I was certainly operating from a misunderstanding of the two distinctive species of cannabis and needed to be educated myself on the distinctive differences. 

Once I understood that the CBD derived from the hemp plant had virtually no measurable THC in it (the primary psychoactive component of marijuana) I felt comfortable in exploring the potential medical and health related benefits associated with this remarkable plant. Needless to say having a trusted friend such as Gary who is also highly skilled and knowledgeable in his medical practice was of great benefit in helping me to embrace the Hemp derived CBD oil as a viable nutritional supplement with proven health supportive benefits. For this I will be forever grateful to my good friend! 

When I started using the Hemp derived CBD oil, I experienced a radical transformation in my restorative sleep and consequently a dramatic increase in my energy level throughout the day! I have also personally experienced a decrease in some of the spine related radicular pain I’ve had as well as some lowering of my blood pressure. While I certainly make no claims that the Hemp derived CBD oil can cure, heal, or diagnose disease, I can without question say I have appreciated very significant health supportive benefits from taking this supplement on a daily basis for the last 17 months. So much so in fact that soon after experiencing for myself it’s benefits, I decided to become a brand ambassador enabling me to distribute the CBD oil. This has opened up the opportunity for me to share this supplement with numerous friends, family members, colleagues, and patients. While I remain delighted when I hear positive feedback of how the CBD has helped so many people, I am no longer surprised as this has become the norm. 

You may be asking yourself with so many different brands and varieties of CBD in the marketplace, which is the best one to use? A little over a week ago from Thursday through Sunday as a vendor at the Bloomington Indiana Homebuilders Show I spent nearly 24 hours both being asked and responding numerous times to this question. I could honestly have answered quite simply by saying, “The one that I sell of course”! However I am so appreciative of the sincere interest that people have in asking these questions and their desire to be more educated about CBD, that a simplistic answer like that would certainly seem self-serving and obviously inadequate. In part two of this blog, I will do my best to answer this question.

Enjoy.Enrich.Engage.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: SMART Goals

So, how are your New Year’s resolutions coming along? With just over 6 weeks into this new year, you may be reflecting on those well-intentioned promises you made to yourself and others regarding areas in your life you wanted to change or improve. Like most of us, you may be struggling with a bit of guilt in feeling as though you’re coming up short. Sometimes guilt can actually result in much needed change, however more often than not, actions born out of guilt rarely produce sustainable positive results. Rather than resolutions, may I suggest you begin incorporating tangible goals into your life to make positive and lasting change. Unlike New Year’s resolutions, the formation of useful goals can be implemented at any time throughout the year.

A few well-crafted goals combined with tangible action on your part has the capacity to influence positive change for 2019. You must however start with SMART goals! If each of the components below are incorporated into your written goals for 2019, I guarantee you the opportunity to successfully achieve your goals will be greatly enhanced! Remember your goals must be SMART!

Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Relevant
Time-bound

At this point whether you are listening to the podcast or reading the text, may I suggest that you stop and take this opportunity to re-visit just a few of the resolutions you made in early January and re-write them using the SMART format.



Now, let’s take a look at a common New Year’s resolution which can be easily put into a SMART goal format…Weight Loss!

What do Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s share in common? The seemingly unavoidable and progressive increase in the consumption of empty calories which ultimately results in increased body fat and weight gain after 2 months of indulgence! Have you ever noticed how clever the timing is for weight loss commercials, whether they are marketing the newest fad diet or latest and greatest piece of exercise equipment? The basic message is always the same: If you buy this machine or purchase this new diet approach or supplement, you will no doubt end up looking just like the beautiful bodied people you see on the television screen. So what do we do in this weakened and vulnerable state after having made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, we make the purchase for only $9.99 a month for 999 months believing that we indeed will inevitably end up looking like these Greek gods and goddesses we see on our flat screens! Don’t get me wrong, in over 30 years of practice as a physical therapist I am convinced there are some excellent pieces of exercise equipment that can be very useful in a wholistic approach to improving our health and wellness. I am also convinced that we are often times very deficient in our nutritional habits and there is no doubt that appropriate dieting strategies as well as some supplements can be of great help in achieving our weight loss and wellness goals. The real issue, however, is that of discipline.

May I suggest that if you have not already done so, purchase a high-quality pair of walking shoes and commit to a regular daily walking program which is by far the most sustainable form of exercise over the lifespan. Unlike the expensive exercise equipment (which often times can be purchased at a substantial reduction in the spring and summer at garage or yard sales), the money spent on your shoes combined with a well disciplined walking schedule will definitely produce tangible improvements in your overall health! There’s so much more to discuss on this topic but let’s get back to transforming our resolutions into functional goals. Since weight-loss is a very common concern for many of us, let’s explore the often articulated resolution of ”Losing Weight” through the filter of a SMART goal.

In 2019, I will commit to improving my health and wellness by decreasing my overall body fat and increasing my lean muscle mass through regular exercise and improving my diet (Specific) resulting in a reduction in my body weight of 30 pounds. (Measurable). Measured bodyweight will confirm a reduction at a minimum of 1-2 pounds per week. (Attainable) Overall loss of body fat will enable me to comfortably fit into previously worn clothes and provide the opportunity to purchase a new wardrobe. (Relevant & Rewarding) My overall weight loss goal of 30 pounds will be achieved within 6 to 9 months and will be maintained thereafter. (Time-bound)

Although the above goal certainly requires more work to establish then simply “Losing Weight”, adherence to this specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goal has a much greater chance of succeeding!

I encourage you now to apply these principles to the formulation of other relational, financial, or educational goals you desire to achieve this year.

Redeem the time!

Enjoy. Enrich. Engage.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: Walk Like A Bear

I suspect if I asked 100 people if they have ever fallen in their life I would get 100 yes responses to that question! While falling is an inevitable part of the human experience, the majority of falls are preventable. When considering the impact and negative consequences of falls resulting in serious injury, the consequences can be devastating. Did you know that falls are the leading cause of premature death in the elderly. Often times it is not the initial fall itself that results in a fatality but the subsequent and predictable decline in functional independence which ultimately takes years off of one’s life. Interestingly, research has proven that the fear of falling actually increases the risk and incidence of falling. One of the reasons this is so is that people become less fluid in their gait pattern and may rely on unsafe compensations while walking. There are many environmental factors which can increase the risk of falling and perhaps one that is familiar to all of us is that of icy & slippery conditions during these winter months. One simple strategy can make all the difference between falling or remaining upright.

Walk like a bear! What????

Yes, walk like a bear. You see, when a bear walks they walk flat footed. This flat foot position increases the surface area making contact with the ground. So consider the last time you slept or fell on a icy surface. Most likely it occurred when you were moving your leg out in front of you and your heel made contact slipping forward or perhaps when you were pushing off with your leg to advance your step. At both of these times there is a very small amount of surface contact between your foot and the ground increasing the likelihood of a slip and fall. So take a lesson from the bear when you encounter these surfaces, walk flat footed until you advance beyond the slippery surface.

For more information on fall prevention strategies, visit the links below:

CDC Falls

Coalition on Aging Falls PDF

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: Cheers

Elly about to cross the finish line at the 2019 Miami Marathon.

Elly about to cross the finish line at the 2019 Miami Marathon.

Cheers

My wife and I recently returned from Miami Florida where we had the incredible experience and privilege of watching our daughter Elly complete the Miami marathon. Let me assure you that as a doctor of physical therapy I understand what the body must endure to complete 26.2 miles of running. It is not only the demands of the race day that takes its toll on the body but also the weeks and months of training leading up to such an endeavor.

There are so many incredible life lessons observed and learned as a result of this experience but I believe the most profound one was that of cheers! Yes cheers! You see our daughter Elly had the support of numerous friends and family members cheering her on throughout this entire process. In addition to my wife and I, Elly‘s husband David, her son Remy, and our daughter Kate were in attendance at the race. Numerous others were offering their encouragement and support through texts and phone calls. The morning started quite chilly for southern Florida and extremely wet with a soaking rain. Kate and I accompanied Elly very early to her starting corral in preparation for making it to the starting line.

Prayers, cheers, and encouragement were offered and then the starting signal for her group came! Over the course of the next 4+ hours we strategically placed ourselves at various intervals along the marathon route offering encouragement, hugs, water and nutrition. By far the most exciting part of the race was to see Elly approach the finish line as we offered cheers loud enough to embarrass our children under normal circumstances. These were not normal circumstances however! The expression on her face was priceless! In spite of the grueling demands of the 26.2 miles she had run, she had the biggest smile I think I’ve ever seen! It seemed to get bigger and more animated the closer she got to the sounds of our cheers and the approaching the finish line!

So what was my big take away from this you ask? On this very challenging journey we all face called life, it is of significantly greater necessity that we surround ourselves with those that are cheering us on then paying any attention to our detractors!

Cheers my friends!

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich.

Wingard Wellness & Therapy Services: Introduction to Series


Greetings friends, I hope that this new year has gotten off to a wonderful start for all of you! My name is Tobin Wingard and I am a doctor of physical therapy living and practicing primarily in Bloomington Indiana. It has been my distinct honor to serve my patients and students over the last 30 years of my practice. I’ve discovered that when one embarks on a journey of life long learning, the opportunities for growth are immeasurable. It is the numerous patients, friends, and family members who have contributed to my development to which I owe a debt of gratitude.

One of my goals for 2019 is to give back in a tangible way some of those lessons that I have learned. My plan is to provide a weekly podcast which I hope will be of benefit to the hearers. I would also request that for those who choose to listen and have specific topics or questions you would like to have addressed related to health, wellness, physical therapy, and yes even music, you would put your requests in the comments space provided below. I look forward to the dialogue and future conversations I know I will be privileged to have with those of you that engage during the course of this next year. I know I have much to learn from all of you!

Blessings my friends!

Enjoy. Engage. Enrich