If we have immobility in one of the three segments of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar) we can develop a compensation pattern that overworks on one segment to compensate for another. In this video, we look at my own dysfunctional rotation pattern and identify how that can (and has!) lead to pain. I use Neurokinetic therapy in my office to identify patterns like this and reset the body's dysfunctions.
Time to take a little break and give a little love and attention to the hardworking muscles of your face! Join me as we do self-massage for 4 major facial muscles: the frontalis, temporalis, orbicularis occuli, and masseter. Enjoy!
A client of mine recently came in with debilitating knee pain. He couldn't straighten his knee without pain. The pain distracted him during his work day and affected him at night when he tried to sleep.
When he came into my office we looked at his posture and gait. His left leg was knock-kneed as if his knee was collapsing inwards. When he walked, he couldn't externally rotate his hip. He even told me when he did hip extensions at the gym, his right leg did all the work. It was clear to me that his knee pain was related to an underlying hip issue.
So we began with Neurokinetic Therapy--a system of muscle tests that looks for muscle compensation patterns and seeks to reset those patterns in the Motor Control Center of the brain.
Our tests showed that his popliteus muscle, a small but mighty knee muscle, was overworking for a weakened Gluteus Maximus muscle. Both muscles work together along with other muscles in the posterior kinetic chain, to extend the hip during gait. When one is weak, another will take over the work.
After our session, my client sent me a note saying "Thank you for doing what you did today. I was able to actually plant three trees and push down with my left leg on shovel."
There's nothing quite like finding the root cause of pain!!! More to come of my offerings in Neurokinetic therapy!
As unorthodox as it may look, using our heads to carry objects can help us achieve a more balanced spine! According to Esther Gokhale, creator of the Gokhale Method, cultures in which people carry things on their heads, have far less incidences of lower back pain and degenerative spine problems. You can see a wonderful post from her blog here: https://gokhalemethod.com/blog/63167 I'm going to try this head carrying thing for a week and see how I feel!
Our bodies need more than just stretching to loosen up. In this video, I'll show you how to use heat, self-massage, body rolling, and stretching to affect tissue. Enjoy!
Summertime is an active and adventurous time for many of us, and it can leave our bodies feeling beat. I made this meditation video for all of you who've been feeling achy and tense with your many exciting activities and travels. Take some time out of your day to decompress to this joint opening mediation practice. Enjoy!
As someone who works on her feet for many hours a day, I like to find my balance at the beginning of the day. Whether it's through yoga, meditation or balance exercises, I like to start the day feeling grounded and stable! Here is one of my new go-to balance exercises that releases tight foot muscles and ignites muscles to stabilize and ground the body. Since our feet are our body's foundation for vertical posture and movement, it makes sense for us to build stability starting at the feet. Enjoy and feel free to try it at home :)
We all have chronically tight muscles that are resistant to plain old stretching. So...we need to take a different approach. In this video, I discuss post-isometric relaxation (PIR), which is a technique that works with the sensory receptors in the joints, muscles and fascia. Learn more by watching the video and try it out at home!
I recently crafted this towel stretch series as a warm up before and after my massage sessions. It works really well to open my chest, neck and back, and engage my core as I move. Grab a towel and try it out! Remember to go at your own pace and respect your body's limitations :)
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