How to Prep your Youth Athletes for the Spring Season

Even though we are only a month into Winter, Spring will be here before we know. If you are a Spring sport athlete, the preparation for your season should begin 6-8 weeks before your first full practice. That date typically falls somewhere around mid January. While there is no replacement for a well thought out exercise program designed specifically for athletic performance, there are some key areas you can focus on to help prepare for the upcoming season. Here is a breakdown of 2 important aspects that will help you prep for the Spring season:

Shoulder Health
A healthy set of shoulders may be the most important part of any spring sport. The majority of spring sports are either overhead sports or involve a heavy amount of shoulder activity. Two exercises stick out as vital to a healthy and strong shoulder complex: The double arm carry and the band wall slide.

To perform the double arm carry, simply grab two weights, one in each hand, and walk. Don’t allow the weights to touch your legs and keep as your posture as upright as possible. It may not feel like a whole lot is going on, but you are essentially performing a walking plank, working grip strength, and getting all the small rotator cuff muscles in your shoulder to fire.

To perform the Mini Band Wall Slide you’ll need a small loop band. Place it around your forearms and head to a wall. Place your forearms on the wall and stretch the band a bit. Slide your arms up, pushing from your shoulders and upper back, then back down again. This exercise works the necessary ability to protract your shoulder blades. In a healthy shoulder small muscles will fire and allow your shoulder blade to glide over your rib cage. When this does not happen we commonly end up with tennis elbow or other nagging arm injuries.

Defined as a reduction in speed or rate, this is usually the missing link to being considered “fast”. Coaches and trainers often focus too much on the acceleration portion of speed training. Think sprints, agility drills, or jump training. Everything done is focused on acceleration or force production. The ability to go fast or jump high is nothing without the ability to absorb and redirect force. Imagine having a fast car with brakes off a golf cart, it probably isn’t going to end well.

Perform these two very easy drills to work on deceleration: The Box Drop and an Up 2, Back 1 Cone Drill.

For the Box drop, start by standing on a 12 inch box. Hop off of the box and land on the ground with both feet contacting the ground at the same time. You should land in a ready position, accepting the force of the fall. A good way to know if you landed correctly is by freezing and asking if you were to jump from that position, would you have to move at all. If you decide yes, you aren’t bending enough.

The Up 2, Back 1 drill is a very simple one. Set up 3 cones in a straight line with about 5 yards between each cone. Start at cone 1 and sprint to cone 3. Once you near the cone begin to decelerate and at the cone reverse direction into a backpedal until you pass cone 2. Transition from the backpedal to a sprint back to cone 3. The focus should be placed on a smooth breakdown at cone 3 and an aggressive transition from backpedal to sprint. Drive your knees and extend as you transition into the sprint.

These drills and exercises are simple enough to implement on your own and will help to get you physically prepared for the spring season. If you are looking for further guidance and complete programming, consider one of our Sports Performance Institute programs or our upcoming Spring Camp!

Written By:
Matt Pudvah
SPI Head Strength Coach



1/1 – 1/17: $20.19 join fee + FREE GIFT when you sign up! Available at all three locations.


New Adult Tennis intro classes are running this New Year – what better time to start! Contact Chrissy to find out how
Pickleball: Weeknight and weekend times available. Contact Claudine to find out more:
JDP Tennis: We have space for all kids! Contact Jess to find out what days your player can come and try it for free!
Manchester Prep is accepting students for our online schooling support program. We have an unbelievable staff in place and we are accepting all students – not just tennis players! Contact Claudine Prokopis, Academic Service Director,


2019 Summer Camp Registration is now open! Check out our brochure and all the fun we have planned. Summer will be here before we know it!


NEW! Violet is teaching water aerobics on Mondays at 11:30 AM!


– Foam Rolling Workshop with Dr. Demarco at 10:00 AM – “How to Perform Corrective Exercises to Improve Posture & Anterior Pelvic Tilt” with Dr. Joe DeMarco
– 10 Week Session of TAI Qi / QiGong begins.
1/13: Yoga Basics Workshop at 4:00 PM
– Ditch the new year’s fitness resolutions and fad diets, and learn to live balanced!
– Participants can expect to lose weight, learn new exercises and gain confidence!
– “It’s a program everyone should do. It’s something that will teach you a balanced and healthy way of living for life.” – Rory
– “My blood sugar and cholesterol went down, my heart rate and blood pressure went down. I feel so much better and cant wait to get back to the club!” – Carol
– Small group training program starting 1/9/19
– Gentle Barre is specifically created for the member who wants to build long, lean, flexible muscles, but desires to learn Barre at a reduced pace and gentle approach.
– By the end of the class, members will know safe, functional exercises to maintain/increase balance, flexibility and strength, as well as how to track their progress along the way!
RUN FIT with Marnie and Nan –
– RunFit successfully brings participants to a new level of cardiovascular fitness through a challenging 1-hour workout on the treadmill.
– NEW sessions starting in January: Tuesday/Thursday 5:00 AM, Monday/Wednesday 6:00 AM, Tuesday/Thursday 10:00 AM
– Most clients lose between 15-30 lbs within the 90 days and experience a notable increase in strength!
– Some clients have lost between 8-10 lbs within the first 2 weeks!
Sports Performance Institute with Matt –
– View Winter schedule HERE
– Designed for girls ages 8-12
– Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, hip-hop, strength training, TRX & stretching
– Free for iXL members!
BoSoma Dance – register with Jess:
– Next session starting 1/22/19
– This program is designed to help you gain confidence in the gym, learn proper technique, get stronger, build muscle and burn body fat in a sustainable way!
– NEW! Nutrition add-on option: Learn how to eat based on your goals and how to fuel your body to perform. Lose body fat and gain muscle mass.


Introducing: Dermaplanning! A mechanical exfoliation that removes up to three weeks of cell buildup and vellus hair growth. Reduce hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles. Get that instant “WOW” factor! CALL TO INQUIRE: (978)-526-8900 x259
Save on self-care with prepaid packages! Prepay for any 6 or 12 $80 spa services and use them any way you’d like! Save 5% on 6 packs and 10% on 12 packs!


MOVIE NIGHT – Now all ages, all the time!
– 5:30 – 8:00 PM every Friday
– $10 per child
– Pizza and a snack provided


– Smoothie Special: “New Year, New You”: $4.50

– NEW! MAC Coffee: $1.50
– FREE Yoga for all new members in January!


Wednesday, January, 16, 2019
5:00 – 7:00 PM
MAC Manchester Cafe
Open to the public!
Cash bar – Light appetizers – Door prizes



We get it… the gym can be scary.

We all know the feeling: You know what you want to do, but you have no idea how to start. Whether your doctor has recommended being more active, you want to get in shape for a vacation, or you’re just looking to gain strength – it can be scary to commitment to making a healthy change. Going to the gym and working out seems like a simple task – but so many of us have no idea what to do, or how to accomplish our goals. The idea of working out around other people can be intimidating – so much so that some people avoid it altogether! But it doesn’t have to be scary, it doesn’t have to be intimidating, and it CAN be fun!

Whether we want to start a new career, learn a new language, or join a gym, it is natural for us to battle with ourselves over making a change. It takes persistence, resilience and time, but we are all capable of accomplishing our fitness goals when we commit to making them part of our daily lives. Getting back into shape isn’t all about running a mile, doing 50 push ups, or eating kale for every meal. Getting into shape is about knowing where you are now, where you want to be, and most importantly, knowing what you can do today to get a little bit closer to your long term goals. It is about being consistent and understanding that not every workout will be your best, but every workout will bring you that much closer to where you want to be.

This year, and every year, we want to help you not only reach your fitness goals, but exceed them. We challenge you to think of your larger, long term goals, even if they seem unrealistic to you now, and write them down. Under that, jot down a few things that you can do today to help you reach those goals. Maybe it’s waking up a little bit earlier, drinking more water, or walking somewhere instead of driving – however marginal or incremental, they all matter! Next – come see us! Once you have a better idea of your goals, we can help point you in the right direction. Even if you can’t pinpoint your health and fitness goals, we have professionals here that will set you up for success in 2019. Remember that a small change you make today can go a long way, and the entire MAC Family is here to support you and guide you.

Are any of these goals on your list?

  • I want to eat healthier, but I don’t want to completely cut out the things I love.
    • Our 80/20 BALANCE program is perfect for you!
  • I want someone to tell me exactly what to do to get the body I want.
    • Our trainers will give you personalized attention to help you reach your goals!
  • I want to lose the extra weight and fit back into my swimsuit this summer.
    • Join our FIT90 program and you WILL see results!
  • I want to improve my run time and gain endurance.
    • RUNFIT will help you get there!
  • I want to gain strength and learn to lift weights properly.
    • Try our women’s only lifting program: WomenStrong!
  • I want to get in shape but I don’t want to pay extra for programs or training.
    • We have over 100 group fitness classes every week that are FREE with your membership!

Cheers to NEW YEARS and new opportunities to be the healthiest, happiest version of YOU!

The New Frontier of Healthcare and the Endocannabinoid System


I recently attended a webinar with Laura Lagano MS, RD, and CDN. Laura holds a Master of Science degree from Columbia University where she is currently a doctoral candidate in the field of Nutrition and Health Education. Laura’s area of expertise is the endocannabinoid system and her research explores how cannabis and cannabinol (CBD) can be integrated with other holistic modalities to optimize health and wellness.

The Endocannabinoid System is a system of receptors throughout the body called CB1 and CB2. This is a 600 million year old system that is now regarded as the most important physiological process for establishing and maintaining human health. The system is named after the cannabis plant that led to its discovery.CB1 is expressed in the central nervous system, connective tissue, heart, lung, GI system, muscles, joints and skin. CB2 is expressed in the immune system, bones and spleen. These two key receptors regulate gut health, pain, women’s health, mood, memory, insomnia and immune function.

Cannabis has been used as a medicinal herb for over 10,000 years. It is especially effective with epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, pain management, Multiple Sclerosis, PTSD, depression, ADHD and gut issues to name a few. CBD is a potent anti-inflammatory and fortunately our medical paradigm is shifting away from the use of opiates to a more holistic model that includes CBD and medical marijuana. CBD has been hailed as a miracle, in fact; the US government currently has a patent on cannabis as an anti-inflammatory.

The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System has little to do with the psychoactive component of marijuana and THC and more to do with compounds that our bodies make, as well as, factors in food and medicinal plants. This system is a master conductor, sending chemical messages and triggering biological actions throughout the body that are critical to health and wellbeing.

Nutritionally you can support the Endocannabinoid System by following the Mediterranean Diet which includes lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, legumes, Omega 6 fatty acids, such as olive oil, avocados, salmon, walnuts, as well as a high quality Omega 3 fish oil. In addition, minimize your consumption of animal protein, processed foods, dairy, pasta and bread. Reducing stress levels and participating in a regular exercise program will also help to regulate the Endocannabinoid System.

As many of you know, we carry“CBD Clinic” oils in our Spa. These products have been flying off the shelf and with good reason, they work! CBD is a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory. All of the products are organically grown and are of the highest quality. CBD works topically, via the peripheral nervous system and therefore the ingredients do not enter the bloodstream.

If you have any questions or concerns, please free to email me with your questions. If you are currently suffering from chronic pain and inflammation, I encourage you to try our new product line.

Written by:
Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness at MAC
Holistic Wellness Coach

Customized Pain Management at MAC!

acu woman on table

Written by: Marlene Dickinson

Many of us live with chronic pain, tennis elbow, fibromyalgia, lower back pain and knee problems to name a few . I recently completed a continuing education class called” Exploring Pain” A Mind Body Approach with Matt Erb PT. According to Matt, the fear of pain is often worse than the pain itself. I have also found this to be true with many of my clients here at MAC who experience chronic pain. It is the unpredictable patterns of pain that are most challenging, one never knows from one day to the next when the pain will surface. Matt and his group of researchers have also found that “pain is less painful when we are confident that we are safe.” We are delighted to introduce our newest offering here at MAC: our Customized Pain Management Program, a “safe” mind body approach to pain management.

Pain researchers are proposing an expanded definition of pain. Pain is an unpleasant, aversive, distressing experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage with sensory, emotional, cognitive, and social components. The experience of pain is an integrative experience of the mind, body, spirit. An imbalance between the sympathic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system is considered to play a role in chronic pain conditions such as fibromyalgia, RA, headaches, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

The mind body approach to pain includes meditation and mindfulness, body awareness, biofeedback, movement, Yoga, Qigong, nutrition, breath work, posture and body language. When we acquire these self-awareness tools, this leads to self-regulation, self-expression, and ultimately self-care!

Our Mac Customized Pain Program offers a combination of the mind body approach to pain, and includes many of the modalities listed. Mindful movement with the guidance of a personal trainer, acupuncture for ongoing pain management, meditation techniques that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, and massage as a form of healing touch. This program will teach you how to regulate your pain cycles and reduce stress levels.

Therapeutic massage achieves structural changes within the body and offers health benefits such as increased circulation, pain relief, increased immunity, reduced joint pain, decreased muscle fatigue, reduced stress and anxiety, and better posture. Our CDB Clinic Analgesic ointments and creams provide our pain specialists with a new class of products for safe and rapid relief from acute and chronic musculoskeletal  and joint pain. These analgesic compounds penetrate to pain receptors in the body via the Endocannabinoid system to interrupt pain signaling. You will receive a 15% discount on any CBD product when you sign up for this program!

Acupuncture is one of the most ancient forms of healing. Our acupuncturist, Kate Zeigler, is licensed in both Chinese and Japanese styles of acupuncture. Japanese acupuncture is a gentler, but highly effective form, using smaller needles. This style is effective for first time patients and children. Acupuncture treats a variety of conditions but is especially effective in pain management. Acupuncture treats digestive issues, musculosketal pain, anxiety, depression, stress, women’s health, allergies, headaches, and autoimmune disorders.

The human body holds infinite wisdom. Come join us as we explore ways to tap into that wisdom and harness it as a tool against pain!

Marlene Dickinson

Director of Wellness
Holistic Wellness Coach
BA Psychology/Sports Nutrition
978 526-8900 x 362

Meet Kristen Harte

KRISTEN HARTEDid you know that we have a new nurse practitioner on our wellness team? Kristen Harte specializes in Women’s Health; she is also a Reiki Master, a certified Acutonics practitioner and is certified in Body Feedback with essential oils and Raindrop Therapy.

I want to introduce you to two modalities that Kristen offers at our Spa,  Acutonics and Raindrop Therapy. Acutonics is an ancient oriental healing method that uses calibrated tuning forks to create a balance in mind, body and spirit. Acuntonics works with vibrational energy created through sound. It is extremely helpful with muscle pain, tension, anxiety, depression and sports injuries. I personally found this treatment to be extremely effective for  pain management, I was new to acutonics and did not know what to expect; I found the treatment both relaxing and left the session pain free!

Raindrop Therapy was developed by Dr. Gary Young, an expert in aroma therapy. This technique involves dropping essential oils, first along the soles of the feet and then onto the spine; which stimulates energy impulses and disperses the oils along the nervous system and throughout the body. This method helps to reduce spinal inflammation and kills viruses that hibernate along the spinal column.  It is also effective in reducing physical symptoms of spinal curvatures and aides the body in restoring balance by clearing and realigning the chakras. Even though the massage only last an hour, the oils can work for up to a week or more in the body.

It would be difficult for me to know where to begin to describe this wonderful modality. The touch is very gentle and nurturing, the results were profound. I felt a complete sense of calm and wellbeing after my session and  when I stepped outside, I felt a level of joy that I had not experienced in a long time.

Take some time out of your busy life to book an appointment with Kristen, you will be glad that you did!

Kristen Harte (978) 526-8900 x 259

Best Wishes,
Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness
Holistic Wellness Coach

The Benefits of Cupping and Lymphatic Massage

JCP_10_18_17__MG_2376Did you know that all of our massage therapists are certified in cupping massage? This ancient form of alternative medicine treats a variety of conditions with minimal discomfort. The technique involves placing several cups on various parts of the body to create suction. It draws inflammation out of the tissues which allows for increased blood supply to the muscles, while at the same time; it allows toxins to be released via the lymphatic system!

Cupping treats a variety of conditions such as plantar fasciitis, chronic pain, restrictions in the fascia, and it is deeply effective post surgery to break up scar tissue. Cupping also impacts the nervous system, creating a deep state of relaxation. This modality has beneficial effects for people with high blood pressure, anxiety, insomnia, chronic fatigue, headaches, fibromyalgia and neuralgia.

Deidre Keady, who recently joined our staff; offers lymphatic massage. There are very few practitioners who offer this type of massage and we are delighted to have Deidre on our team. Lymphatic massage can benefit just about anyone, it is a gentle form of massage and is well tolerated for clients with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and post-surgery involving lymph node removal and breast cancer surgery.

So how does it work? After a sports injury or surgery, lymph vessels can become overwhelmed causing the tissues to swell. When tissues are swollen, lymphatic massage is the treatment of choice because it helps the body remove proteins and waste products from the affected area and reduce swelling.

70% of the lymph vessels are found just below the skin, these fragile vessels work to pick up fluids between the cell spaces. The therapist uses very light pressure in a rhythmic, circular pattern which helps the lymph system work more efficiently and move lymph fluids back to the heart.

We are very fortunate to have such a talented team of massage therapists on our team at the Mac, book your appointment today and discover what it is like to be pain free!

Check out all of our spa options on our website!

Marlene Dickinson
Director of Wellness
Holistic Wellness Coach/Consultant