This week I’ve had multiple clients returning after many cancelled appointments since they graciously stayed away from me to recover from cvid-19 and other maladies sweeping through families and communities right now. It’s no surprise that once you’ve recovered you want a little care from a professional. Step in the RMT! Something I noticed with the return of these clients was that we were not immediately rushing back into the treatment plan we had previously set. Rather my clients we’re tired, frazzled, sore, and hanging their head as they announced they hadn’t been working through their movement drills, or doing much of anything. And I think it is important to say that: it is totally OK! – because as you come back from illness or injury, the body is still in recovery mode from fighting off the invaders and could use additional support to fully reset and resume life as usual. What I have noticed with all these clients, was a generalized fascial tension throughout their body, and they too reported feeling tight and stiff (after laying in bed for days) but specifically was tension and soreness in the neck, shoulders and back ribs. I wanted to highlight what I did with these clients to help them manage the aches and pains they were reporting.
I began with stimulating the lymph nodes in the neck, getting the fluid of the body pumping naturally to flush out stagnant waste. I move down the sternum where fascial tightness and tenderness abounds the chest after days or weeks of coughing; fascial manipulation plus a rocking technique to loosen any restrictions found at the chest plate while shaking the lungs (and loosen any gunk left over in there), fingertip kneading within the spaces of the ribs + fascial stretching across the pec major muscle. At the lowest ribs, I performed a diaphragm release by hooking the underside of the ribs and slowly raking across the ridgeline pausing on any tender points or sticky spots; followed up with gentle abdominal massage to encourage lymph and circulatory flushing aswell as relax the abdominal musculature after spasmodic coughing. From here, I return to the neck and head to gently mobilize the esophagus encouraging it move amongst the SCM muscles + soft tissue techniques to relax the scalene muscles at the ribs on the inside of the collarbone – these guys act as secondary breathing muscles, so with coughing can become overworked from the forces. A Sub-Occiptal hold feels like heaven at the back of the skull as tension gathers here after time stationary in bed, craning the neck to be entertained on your device and the force of coughing endlessly.
My clients all found these treatments to be deeply relaxing and restoring, and we were still able to make headway towards their ultimate goals of pain free activity. This application of Massage Therapy was able to provide them with a chance to reset after collecting new tensions, and before those tensions accumulate and further disrupt their routines. Now they can start to resume their usual activities and get back to regular life feeling more at ease in their body.
I wanted to share this example as a way for you to better understand how your RMT thinks about the body, and what can be achieved with Therapeutic Massage Therapy. If you’ve been sick recently, book in with me and let’s get you back to feeling 100% with an intelligent and therapeutic massage treatment.
It’s JanYOUary! Soon to be FebrYOUary…
Often after a hectic holiday season we make promises to take better care of ourselves. Simple changes in our routines and daily habits to incorporate more self-care and time set aside for yourself.
Allow me to help you with that! Massage Therapy is wonderful tool for self-care. As part of the steps towards a healthy, and more active lifestyle it gives you that time needed to look after your body; this physical vessel that carts you through life, movin’ and groovin’ for you. In the hands of a professional, you can work towards: less pain, better sleep, improved movement patterns, decreased stress, manage chronic conditions, and increase happiness!
Another great thing about JanYOUary is that most benefit cycles have restarted. Make this the year you stay on top of your [self] care. Scheduling regular appointments, massage therapy or others; (dentist, physiotherapy, haircuts, medical checkups), can sometimes prevent injury or cavities, bad hair days, and medical emergencies.
I am able to take on new clients. Scheduling your first appointment is easy online and we can assess your needs to determine the best approach to care for you! It is always a joy to continue seeing my current clients, seeing you improve and helping you achieve your goals.
Take a deep breath, does your chest expand and your shoulders rise up under your ears? You my friend, are not breathing properly…No offense. Why should you care?
The diaphragm is the muscle in the middle of the body, located underneath the rib cage. The diaphragm is the primary muscle used in inspiration (inhalation).
The correct inhale is a 360 degree fill of the waist. In yoga you will hear me cue fill your belly like a balloon, send breath deep into the bowl of the pelvis, fill the room with your ribs; all flowery ways to say: contract your diaphragm. When the diaphragm contracts it descends down into the belly region providing space and a pressure gradient to allow the lungs to fill up and do their gas exchange thing. With every breath there is a special delivery of important nutrients and oxygen to all of your expectant cells. Without full breaths you’re robbing your cells (self) of all the ingredients for life. If you’re not breathing you’re dying.
Breath is also an important core activator. The Core is everything within the cylindrical middle of your body, abdominal muscles but also neck, glutes and pelvic muscles. In yoga and in the gym we often initiate movement on an inhale breath and finish on an exhale. If you are breathing into your chest you are not adequately building pressure within the abdomen and cannot brace; you could injure yourself.
The body is an amazing machine, in our day to day we should be able to count on it to protect us against daily stressors; but how many people do you know who “tweaked” their back doing something mundane like taking out the garbage or getting out of the car? “If you don’t own breathing you don’t own movement” – Karel Lewit, So your body says: “NOPE”.
Everything in our body is connected. The electrical impulse highway from our brain that is our nervous system, the circulatory plumbing from the heart and the fascial safety net that hugs all of our muscles and bones. The diaphragm is connected fascially to many individual muscles that make up our Core including: Psoas, Transverse Abdominus, Obliques, Quadratus Lomborum; which means an ineffective breathing pattern can create an inefficiency in all of these muscles too.
Dr. Perry Nickelston of Stop Chasing Pain has coined the Core as Zone 1 of force production; which means it is highest priority to me and I want you to have access to the Core for your everyday. Come in to see me and we’re likely checking your breathing and working on diaphragm!
Contact Me to put your breath back in charge.
Why do I love working from home?
Because I get to work bare foot!
Why am I sharing this? Not only to justify my feet’s freedom but because from the moment we get out of bed in the morning to the moment we pull the covers over ourselves at night our feet are hard at work. And for a big part of our day they are crammed into immobilizing foot wear #footcages and it is affecting us.
The foot contains 26 bones (each), 33 joints, and 19 muscles and tendons. The foot is dextrous, and Katy Bowman author of Move Your DNA: Restore your health through natural movement, describes the feet as a sensory organ just like your eyes and nose. When we walk through our environment our feet pick up information from the terrain that is communicated to the brain to maintain awareness of your body in space. That input picked up from your feet is used to adjust your body over uneven ground. Years spent in too tight, too supportive, too much heel footwear creates sticky spots within the mobile units of the foot; changing the interaction between your foot and the ground, distorting the information as it is picked up. Ever tripped over your own feet? Yeah, we’ve all been there!
If you have ever seen me for a treatment I may have said the term “sticky” or “adhered” with regards to your muscles and fascia. If your feet are sticky, and your hips are sticky, and places in your back are sticky you are setting off a chain reaction of misguided movement patterns and dysfunction and ultimately pain.
So I say: #freethefeet! Spend more time with your shoes OFF, feel the fresh air between your toes, walk on all kinds of ground: grass, sand, gravel to regain sole sensitivity, retrain the joints for movement, and strengthen the arches and muscles.
Contact Me to book an appointment with me and we can assess the mobility of your feet or other areas within the body and discuss take home exercises you can incorporate into your day to improve foot and overall function.