For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am quite open in talking about my struggle with anorexia. I was underweight, anxious, and living under my self-imposed restrictions for a good 2-3 years in my early twenties. As I recovered mentally and physically, I learned how my disorder was rooted in mental and emotional stressors, which I had not yet dealt with. The anger, pain, and sadness that I'd tried hard to repress, could not be controlled or pushed to the side. I hadn't sought counseling, hadn't asked for help, hadn't process through things, and I didn't know how much I needed all that. I didn't deal with those emotions, and so they resurfaced in the form of an eating disorder. Our mental state can have a powerful impact over our physical state--through hormones, neurotransmitters, muscular contractions, blood flow, and respiration--our bodies will react to what our brains are processing. So take a tip from my book, and make sure you are honest with your feelings, honest with your mental state, take time to process your memories, and take time to really feel your emotions. You deserve it :)
The temporalis muscle elevates the jaw (aka clench!) Treating these muscles (one on each side of the head) can help with headaches and tension related to jaw tightness. So if you are a jaw clencher or just stressed this holiday season, the temporalis is a great muscle to know about!
Did you know...there are about 16 muscle attachments on each shoulder blade?!
Forward bending. We all do it. But do we all do it in a safe and healthy way? If you bend at your waist, you're putting yourself at risk of back injury because you're relying on a few meek vertebrae to complete what should be a natural, full body movement. Try bending at the hips versus the waist to feel the difference. You should feel that bending at the hips feels more natural and saves you from back pain. It's a coordinated effort between anterior and posterior muscles that facilitates the natural movement of your pelvis.
Empowerment beyond the massage table...
As a bodyworker and teacher, I love helping to educate people about their bodies. I think our relationship to our bodies is vitally important to our mental health. This blog features a few tools, articles, and fun facts to help you empower your body :) -Emily