Here’s a little self-massage technique for all of you with tight hamstrings. I use a therapy ball, but you can use a tennis ball or Yamuna rolling ball as well. Start up at the origin of the hamstrings, in the tissue distal to the ischial tuberosity and move downwards, spending more time on the areas of the muscle that feel the most tight and sensation-rich!
Did you catch Empower Massage Therapy on News Center Maine this past week?! If you missed it, check out the link below to view this informative segment!
Got tight hip flexors? If so, it’s worth considering that the hip flexor group includes a diverse cast of characters. The muscles in this group have various attachment sites and fiber directions, which affect how they move the joint. While they all produce hip flexion, they affect the joint in slightly different ways. So if you’re trying to stretch your tight hip flexors, try playing around with adding other movements like external rotation of the hip, knee flexion, and posterior pelvic tilt of the pelvis.
This self-massage technique is a good one for those who favor one hip. Your gluteus medius muscle helps to depress the pelvis on the standing leg side, which means it may be hyper-contracted on the side that bears more of your weight. If this technique feels like a necessary one for you, try to also build awareness around equalizing your body weight in both feet as you stand and walk.
Have you been walking in bad shoes, on hard surfaces, have arch problems or recently intensified your workout routine? If so, you might be prone to shin splints and pain through the anterior compartment of your lower leg! Due to the fascial connections between the lower leg muscles and periosteum of the shin bones, this pain can feel very deep and intense! Always make sure to ice first if there’s inflammation in the area. Once that’s subsided, try this quick and easy self-massage technique!
Here’s a little self-release technique for the pec major, aimed at increasing shoulder mobility and decreasing tension. The basic routine is: range of motion, release with movement, repeat range of motion. You can apply this to many joints in the body using either your hand or a self-release tool. Enjoy and hope you feel some increased mobility!
Did you know that your scapula (aka shoulder blade) can rotate? In fact, the scapula must upwardly rotate in order to allow the shoulder to abduct to 180 degrees. Without scapular rotation, everything from making snow angels to doing jumping jacks would be a whole lot harder...and potentially painful!
I had a blast presenting to the ladies of the Girls Are leadership camp in Westbrook today! We talked about developing body awareness, identifying stressors, building self-care strategies, and we even learned some self-massage techniques! I was so impressed by their curiosity and engagement. It’s never too early to start discussing the brain-body connection with kids! Regardless of our age, we all have stressors that impact our health, and we can all benefit from stress-relieving self-care habits!
Girls Are empowers young women to be critical thinkers, compassionate citizens, and inspired leaders. Check them out on Facebook and spread the word! They are located at the Walker Memorial Library in Westbrook
Got opposite hip and shoulder pain? You may have dysfunction in your anterior oblique or posterior oblique sling! Our muscles and myofascial structures work together in slings or subsystems to create dynamic, rotational movement. We see these slings at work in movement patterns like walking, throwing a ball, swinging a tennis racket, and even crawling on the ground! Because the structures in these slings require cohesive effort, a weakness in one part of the sling could cause another part to overwork. The basic sling composition is:
Posterior oblique sling:
Opposite Latissimus Dorsi
Anterior oblique sling:
Behind every big, efficient, powerful joint movement is a set of muscles designed for power (phasic muscles) and a set of muscles designed for stabilization (postural muscles). The difference between these muscles lies in their muscles fibers. Postural muscles are composed of a higher percentage of red, slow-twitch fibers, which create slow, long-lasting contractions. While our phasic muscles are composed of a higher percentage of white, fast-twitch fibers, which create fast, powerful, short-lived contractions. You can’t have large movement without stabilization and still expect to move with efficiency and ease Methods like Pilates are built on strengthening stabilizing muscles in order to make larger movements more efficient and powerful.
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