I am SO excited to invite you to the Empowered Body Expo: a celebration of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week! We'll be celebrating this event on Saturday, March 2nd, 2-5pm, at USM's Wishcamper Center, 34 Bedford Street in Portland.
The Empowered Body Expo is about embracing body diversity and creating a safe, positive and creative environment to explore body awareness and build self-compassion. From local resources and body-positive activities to workshops led by local professionals---this event is FREE and welcomes anyone who is committed to changing the conversation around food and body image!
Those of you who know my personal story know that recovery from an eating disorder was my inspiration for becoming a bodyworker. I’ve worked hard to organize this event, in collaboration with the Eating Disorder Association of Maine and the Recovery Oriented Campus Center at USM. Please visit our event Facebook page for more information. I would LOVE to see you there!
This self-massage technique targets the gastrocnemius, a posterior calf muscle that feeds into the plantar fascia of the foot via the calcaneal tendon. This technique helps reduce tension through the muscles and creates a grounded feeling through the feet!
Do you ever find it hard to bring your arms up overhead? If so, a tight latissimus dorsi muscle might have something to do with it. Here’s a little self-release for the lats!
Contract-relax (CR) stretching is a helpful tool for lengthening stubbornly tight muscles. We isometrically contract a muscle against resistance and then relax and proceed with a stretch. It involves a neurological reflex called the Golgi Tendon Reflex. This protective reflex prevents tendon tears by automatically triggering the muscle to relax after a very strong contraction. We take advantage of this reflex in CR stretching. Due to the use of this reflex we get more of a stretch than otherwise possible with regular stretching. I like to use this technique with clients in multiple tight areas including neck, hamstrings and pecs.
Around the knee in 60 seconds! This self massage technique helps you understand just a few of the muscles surrounding the knee joint. I like to do this one to bring awareness and ease to the knee joint, especially after standing, working or driving for an extended time!
Pain is just the messenger...so when I get pain at my medial elbow, I know that my body is trying to telling me—“Emily, you’ve been overworking that hand and wrist girlfriend!” Overworked forearm flexors can cause pain at the tendon attachment on the medial elbow and can also lead to nerve compression, wrist pain, and weakened grip! Always listen to the pain—because it’s often trying to tell you reflect on past behaviors!
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.
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