Using A Ball For Upper Back & Neck Tension

Upper back and neck tension is one of the most common issues a Myotherapist will see in the treatment room. Whether it be from office work, overuse during physical activity or stress related, these simple techniques can be used to help alleviate some of that tension.

All you need is a ball and a towel. Preferably a fairly firm ball around the size of a lacrosse ball.

Use these videos as a guide only. If you want to know whether these videos will be helpful for you. Please consult a Myotherapist to see if these techniques are suitable for you.

Videos

  1. Upper Traps
  2. Rhomboids (in between shoulder blades)
  3. Pecs (chest)
  4. Sub Occipital (base of skull)

Upper Back, Neck Stiffness & Tension Headaches.Your upper Traps can often feel really tense and tender in these situations.Here is a really simple but effective way to self treat your upper traps. All you need is a ball and towel.What do you think?

Posted by Geelong Myotherapy and Wellness Centre on Tuesday, 5 May 2020

 

 

 

Do It Yourself Rhomboid TreatmentEasy technique to ease tension and discomfort inbetween your shoulder blades.

Posted by Geelong Myotherapy and Wellness Centre on Sunday, 17 May 2020

 

 

 

Don't forget about your pecs!Self Treat Pec (chest) TensionA nice simple technique to help with tension in your pecs. Managing tension in this area can help with anterior (front) shoulder pain.

Posted by Geelong Myotherapy and Wellness Centre on Monday, 18 May 2020

 

Neck and Base of Skull Self TreatmentSimple but effective technique to manage tension in the neck and base of the skull.

Posted by Geelong Myotherapy and Wellness Centre on Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Lower back pain is in the top two musculoskeletal issues that come through the doors at the Centre. Myotherapy can help with both the acute and chronic phases of this common problem. I was 18mths into my new career as a Myotherapist and it was going really well. Then I hurt my lower back. Luckily for me I had the knowledge on what was happening and how to go about overcoming it. Here is the journey that I went through, what I think was contributing and what I did to overcome it. Hopefully someone in a similar position can gain some hope from my experience.

It was six months into our very tiresome journey of our first dependant. This was nothing like we expected. Fiona and I openly admit to not really enjoying the first six months of parenthood. We had a very head strong girl that was crying a lot and it was wearing us down.

As a new age hands on Dad, I was getting my hands dirty in the middle of the night changing nappies and doing some feeds with the bottle. After months of being very tired, I started to change our little girl on the bed in the middle of the night. It didn’t take long for me to start feeling a fatigue sensation in my lower back from successive nights, bleary eyed, bending over and changing nappies on our low bed.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to a chilly Sunday afternoon at the hockey field. It was in the warm up where I bent forward and twisted slightly and I felt like something had given way in my lower back and experienced pain immediately in the right sacroiliac joint (where your spine and pelvis meets) region. Nothing too bad but something was definitely not right.

I have played hockey for over 32 years, it is my outlet, the thing that I love to do to take my mind off everything else. I hadn’t been able to really get the body moving in weeks, so I played most of the game.  Definitely not the smartest thing to do but I really needed to keep my mental health in check.

Once I cooled down after the game I knew it wasn’t good. I struggled to get out of the car when I arrived home and had to roll myself out of bed the next morning. For those of you who have been through lower back pain, you know exactly what I mean.

Being a Myotherapist I took it upon myself to self treat and see if the advice that I give to people nearly every day would hold true. Here’s how my recovery unfolded.

At this stage in my professional development, I was only just starting to delve into Pain Science. Why we experience pain, where it comes from, what influences it. Which allowed me to really understand what was going on and to not be so afraid of pain and movement.

It took me a about three weeks of heat packs, gentle movement, self massage, stretching, muscle cream and positive thinking to get me to a point where I was confident in ramping up the exercises. In this three week period I had bad days and better days. I was quickly finding out that recovery is never linear.

The exercises that I found really helped me the most in the beginning were Pilates based exercises (see below) like clamshells, toe taps and lateral leg lifts. As well as some single leg standing, standing knee to chest stretches, assisted squat stretches.

After the five week mark I was feeling more confident in my day to day activities and exercise so I wanted to test it out a bit. I was very keen to get back to playing hockey so 2-3 times per day I would mimic movements in hockey to gradually expose my body back into playing. After two weeks of  this (again some days good, some better) I played my first game of hockey since the injury. I only played half a game and took my warm up very seriously with the possibility of flaring it up again and being back to the start.

I can’t remember if we won the game that day but I was just happy to be with my teammates having fun and not feeling so restricted both physically and mentally. To my surprise my back had some tightness but it was a different feeling. It was a feeling of muscles that had done a hard workout not one of pain.

It took about a year for me to be in a position where I wasn’t getting little reminders (clients have often refer to them as twinges) from my back that something had happened to it. Even 4yrs later I still get an awareness in my lower back when I have really pushed it.

I am aware that my experience is no where near as bad as what it can be for some people. I am thankful that I had the knowledge to deal with it. It is easy to see how this kind of situation can really get on top of people. If I was unable to get back into hockey I am sure it would have been a lot harder.

So here are my key takeaways from my experience:

  1. Learn about Pain, why we feel it, what influences it and what tools/services you can use to manage/overcome it.
  2. Relate that same Pain information to your situation, arm yourself with knowledge rather than being afraid of it.
  3. The Psycho and Social factors were definitely a big part of my recovery. Getting back into doing something I loved and being around teammates helped.
  4. Pain doesn’t equal tissue damage
  5. Don’t be afraid to move. I felt a lot of pain in the early stages of trying to keep my back moving. As long as the pain didn’t feel like I was making it worse, I felt better the next day or soon after the exercises.
  6. Gradually expose your body to movement that is going to be relevant to things you want to get back to doing
  7. Flare ups don’t always mean you have re-injured your back. They can be your body saying, OK we found our threshold for today.
  8. Sometimes it’s really shit and you wonder what is it going to take to recover.
  9. You need to make your recovery/rehab fun or in a way that is going to keep you interested.
  10. Goals are important, as a measuring stick for where you are in recovery but also as a motivator
  11. Take note of all the little improvements, not just pain levels but functionally and mentally.
  12. Myotherapy/self treatment helped me to perform my exercises to a greater capacity

Here are the exercises that I used in my early stages of recovery. Use these as a guide and consult a Myotherapist to see if these are right for you.

 

Clamshells

Setup

Lying on the side with the knees bent, feet back in line with the body, arm extended long under the head, head relaxed on the arm. One long line between the hand, hip and feet. Hips stacked one on top of each other. Create a small gap between the waist and the floor, neutral spine.

Breathing and Movement

INHALE, T-Zone, squeeze the heels together and squeeze the top buttock

EXHALE, open the top knee up toward the ceiling, keeping the feet together

Concentration Points

Only raise the knee as high as you can without rolling backward

Activate T-Zone to prevent hips from rocking

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you***

Description: Studio Pilates

 

Single Leg Stance

Movement

Standing on your right leg, slightly bend at the knee and hip.

Hands in front of you to balance if needed.

Slightly drop you left hip below level.

Contract your right glute to bring your L hip up to level and hold that position/contraction for 30-40 secs.

Then switch sides if needed.

Concentration Points

You should feel this in the upper-back portion of your gluteus medius.

If not you might need to play around with the amount of bend in your knee and hip.

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you***

 

Lateral Leg Lifts

Breathing and Movement

Laying on your side with your feet, ankles and knees together (and slightly bent). Straighten your top leg in line with your body.

INHALE, activate your T-Zone

EXHALE as you lift your top leg to the ceiling and slightly back to really engage your gluteus medius.

Making sure you don’t roll your body back or side bend with the movement.

Control the movement as you inhale and bring your leg back to the starting position.

Concentration Points

Only lift your leg as high is available to you without compromising your position.

T-Zone activation will reduce hips rocking

Make it Easier/Harder

Lift your leg higher to make it harder and lower to make it easier. Use your top hand gently on the floor to balance if needed. Do not push through your hand.

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you.***

 

Standing Knee To Chest Stretches

Movement
Standing, lift your right knee towards your chest.
Grabbing onto your knee with both hands pull your knee towards your chest.
Hold for 20secs the gently lower your leg back to the starting position.
Do the same with the left leg.

Stretch
You should feel this in the lower back if there is some restriction

Tip
Focus on one spot to help keep your balance.
If you are unable to do this stretch standing you can do it on the floor on your back.

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you***

 

Assisted Squat Stretches

Movement

Keep your feet flat on the floor and only go as deep as is tolerable.

Holding onto something will allow you to go deeper into the squat than usual.

Alternate dropping your knees inwards to gain further movement in your hips and lower back.

Tip

It’s OK if you feels some discomfort in your lower back. As long as it’s not making it worse.

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you***

 

Modified Side Bend

Movement

To stretch the left side, step the left foot back, keep your toes pointing forward on both feet.

Rest your right forearm on your right thigh.

Put the majority of your weight on your right forearm as you reach over your head with your left arm.

Reach your left arm and fingers as far as you can.

Repeat on the other side

Stretch

You should be feeling this down the left side of your body through your lats and possibly into the side of your hip if you have some restriction.

You can turn your upper body so your shoulders are more parallel with the ground to move the stretch more to your lower back.

Concentration Points Putting the majority of your weight on your forearm will allow you to relax your back muscles a little more.

With each exhale try and reach your fingers a little further each time.

Tip

If you can anchor yourself onto something like a door handle, you can make this a really nice deep stretch.

While anchored shift your weight backwards and try to relax your side/back as much as possible.

***Always seek advice from a Health Professional to see if this exercise is right for you***

We all sometimes feel down as the weight of time, relationship and financial pressures along with a busy lifestyle take their toll.

This can result in feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, overwhelmed and even pessimistic. None of which is pleasant to live with!

As a naturopath l see many clients struggling with a range of emotions that take a toll not only on their happiness but also their physical health.

While at the foundation of any treatment plan is a combination of lifestyle and nutrition advice, there are a couple of other ways l support clients to help them find peace and contentment once more.

Herbal Medicine

Herbal medicine can have a profoundly positive impact on both a person’s physical and mental health. Herbs are selected based on the person as a whole, taking into account all signs and symptoms.

For example Matricaria recutita commonly known as Chamomile, is a wonderful herb for those who experience stress that impacts their digestion resulting in symptoms like bloating or nervous dyspepsia. It is also excellent for when someone is feeling anxious or restless.

A personal favourite is the herb Withania somnifera, this herb is excellent for supporting someone going through a stressful time as it acts as an adaptogen, meaning it helps to improve the body’s stress response to physical, emotional or biological stressors and supports healthy physiological function.
This herb is particularly useful for when the stress results in fatigue, insomnia or lowers the body’s immune response.

Australian Bush Flower Essences

I also find that the bush essences are an excellent way to help a person move through the challenging emotions that arise when under stress.
The essences are said to improve a person’s health by bringing a person into emotional, spiritual and mental harmony.

Examples of some of the bush essences l find are clinically most relevant include:

Crowea: This is the essence for those who tend to worry and who feel ‘not quite right’. It brings about a sense of peace and calm and helps to bring clarity to one’s feelings.

Wild potato bush: This essence is for when someone feels weighed down, is feeling encumbered and brings about the ability to move on in life and renews enthusiasm.

Sunshine Wattle is for when life feels like a struggle and the future is seen as grim. It brings about a sense of optimism, the ability to be joyful in the present and open to a bright future.

Please know that when the stressors of everyday life become too much and they rob you of the physical and emotional health that you desire and deserve, that as a naturopath l have additional resources to help you find your sense of inner peace, energy, vitality and optimism once more.

The beginning of a new year is often clouded by temptations to start a new diet or set a new year’s resolution to get healthier, fitter or trimmer.

Yet so many of us have found that diets just like new years resolutions don’t actually last, work or have us feeling the way we want to feel…energized, fulfilled, satisfied, peaceful, confident…

I am trying something new this year and l would like to offer this practice as something for you to consider trying too.

I suggest creating a list of all the things that have supported your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing over the past 12 months. Place it somewhere you will see it often.

This list will serve as a foundation for creating lasting health for this year and beyond.

This list will grow, evolve and change over time as will you. But it is comforting to have a list to refer back to should you need to reconnect with what you know works for you and feels good.

My list will inevitably look different to yours, although there is likely to be some common practices and perhaps some inspiration.
My list included meditation, yoga, spending time in nature, reading for pleasure, journaling, quality sleep, learning something new, trying out new recipes, eating foods that make me feel good and having a daily laugh plus lots more.

I hope your list helps you to connect with all the ways you too show up for yourself on a daily basis and inspires you to explore additional ways to have a year filled with positivity and health.

Courtney Baker – Naturopath

Christmas is a special time of year filled with many social gatherings, where delicious food and wonderful conversations are shared with family and friends.

For some however Christmas can also be a challenging time, where the demands that come with this busy time of year can feel overwhelming.

It is a particularly difficult time for those who are grieving the loss of a loved who has passed away recently or missing someone who has passed away many years ago.

Australian bush flower essences are a simple yet profound remedy, that work to bring about emotional wellbeing, improving the quality of your life.

I often prescribed with great success Australian bush flower essences to help my clients move through difficult emotions such as grief, overwhelm, worry, loneliness and sadness.

To bring forth positive emotions such as inner peace, a sense of belonging, confidence, joy and optimism.

Traditional medicine philosophies such as Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine from India, believe that as much as 90-95% of our physical health conditions, stem from emotional imbalances.

I regularly see evidence of this in clinic. Physical symptoms often follow an emotionally challenging or stressful time. Fatigue, digestive issues and sleep problems are the most common examples. Therefore, addressing emotions through an Australian bush flower essence remedy can have a profound impact on both your emotional, mental and physical wellbeing.

I offer Australian bush flower essence consultations for those who would like assistance with releasing emotions that are no longer serving them and bringing forth positive emotions that improve overall wellbeing.

Remedies are developed and prescribed according to your individual needs. Please feel free to contact me for further details if you would like this type of appointment to help you embrace the festive season or at any point throughout the year.

Courtney Baker – Naturopath

https://courtney-paige-baker.cliniko.com/bookings

Spotlight on Men’s Health

In the coming weeks you may see a friend of mine walking around with a bright pink moustache!
Sure, he is a jokester but the reason for putting himself in the spotlight runs much deeper than that.

The month of November is becoming fondly referred to as Movember. As men grow a moustache to highlight men’s health issues and raise money for research.
The founders behind Movember stand for tackling prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and suicide prevention, noting that statistically men die on average 6 years younger than women.

As a naturopath l see men coming into the clinic for a wide range of health concerns.
Most recently it has been for gout, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, improved recovery from injury, fatigue, mental health and muscular aches and pains.

As a naturopath l treat the whole person, not just the physical body.

So, it is inevitable that these men also talk about grief, childhood trauma, relationship challenges, low mood, feelings of worry, overwhelm and their fears as we dive deeper into all aspects of their physical, mental and emotional health.

This is where as a naturopath l feel l can really make a difference.

By treating the person as a whole through the use of herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, diet and lifestyle advice, along with Australian bush flower essences to address emotions, l am able to help restore each individual’s health from a range of angles.

There is no shortage of health advice available now thanks to the internet and social media.
However, nothing replaces a combination of being heard and seen for the individual you are and the need for personalised health care is as relevant today as it always has been.

I encourage men to seek support from a wide range of health professionals, for any health concerns they may have and the woman who care about these men to also encourage them to speak up and seek help.

Seeking professional help is empowering and can make all the difference in improving both short term and long-term health outcomes.

Oh and that friend of mine, has been set the challenge to wear a matching pink tutu to complement his mo for a whole day at work, if he raises a $1000 before the end of the month!

Now in my mind, that makes him one absolute legend, going above and beyond to do his bit to raise awareness for men’s health.

If you too would like to get behind Movember, you can find out more information and make a donation here: https://au.movember.com/

 

Written by Courtney Baker – Naturopath

Instagram – @courtneybakernaturopath

Facebook – @courtneypaigebaker

Debbie Walker
Originally trained as a Hatha and Viniyoga teacher, my style of yoga is generally very organic and tailored to suit the individual needs of the students, every individual student in fact.

I prefer to teach yoga that is not overly dynamic but a style which flows smoothly in accordance with the breath providing each person with a chance to “feel” their way into a pose. Each movement is planned so as to enable a flow without moving too quickly from one pose to another to allow time to connect with, and to unify the breath and body.

These classes are purely restorative, a meditative, gentle approach to yoga. The primary aim is to relax, unwind, connect with the deeper part of your inner self, and to allow the body to heal. We finish up with a 15 minute guided relaxation at the end of each class to take you into a deeper state of relaxation, calm, and inner peace.

Everyone is welcome and can be catered for in these classes. It’s a chance to completely let go!

Mondays 6 to 7 pm               6 week term will start on Monday 22 July.
Yogi Loyalty Discount rate: $110 x 6 wks.
Tuesdays 2 to 3.15 pm          7 week term starting on 16 July – Yogi Loyalty Discount rate: $132 x 7 wks.

$22 Casual rate for both classes.

Bookings are essential and can be made online here or by calling 0417 556 175 .

Are you looking for a slower pace of Yoga?There are so many different types of Yoga that are beneficial in their own way.We are lucky to have the amazing Debbie Walker from Seaire Yoga in the Centre offering her restorative style.It is all about putting people in a state of relaxation. Using props to find the most comfortable position during poses. Fantastic if you are looking to de-stress, restore and rejuvenate.Anxiety, depression and trauma are some of the things that this type of Yoga can help with.Further enquiries and bookings can be made at the below link or call Debbie on 0417 556 175.https://www.seaire.com.au/classes

Posted by Geelong Myotherapy and Wellness Centre on Monday, 26 August 2019

Qualifications
200 hr RYT Certificate (Santosha Yoga)
70 hr Primary Level Insight Yoga Teacher – Essential Teachings on Yin, Mindfulness and Sequencing Yang and Yin Poses (Sarah Powers)
50 hr Flowchild Yoga Teacher (Flowchild Yoga)
20 hr Wellness Yoga and Healthy Movement Education Training Foundation Level (Wellness Yoga)
8 hr Functional Anatomy for Yoga Teachers (Kay Tribe)
2018 Matrix Therapist and Archetypal Life Coach (Evolve Now)

Member of Yoga Alliance International

Is Yoga something you have always wanted to try but were fearful and intimidated to take the next step and attend a class?

Have you attended multiple Yoga classes before and struggled to keep up with the pace, process and intention?

Do you simply have a desire to deepen your understanding of What is Yoga?

If any of these questions resonate with you, it may be worth considering our 5 week specialised Beginner Foundation Yoga Courses.

A weekly 75-minute class, dedicated to developing a sound understanding of the foundations of Yoga practice, breaking down traditional Asana’s (poses) and Alignment points, an introduction to Mediation and breathing techniques whilst encouraging students to feel comfortable and supported as they embark on their Yoga journey with like-minded companions.

A special and exciting addition in Week 4 as we welcome Laura Luca, author of the book and blog ‘Simblissity’ to guide an introduction to Mediation and share her blissful perspective on ‘Simple Living’.

A perfect course for Absolute beginners to assist in the transition to regular weekly classes with more confidence or those with previous experience to complement their weekly practice, both on and off the mat!

An upfront fee of $125.00 for the 5-week Program. Yoga mats and props provided. (please supply your own mat if you feel more comfortable)

When is the next 5wk Course?

Start Date: Tuesday 23rd July

Time: 6:00 – 7:15pm

Teacher: Fiona Luca-Kingsbury

To sign up for the next 5wk course or to find out when the next one is running, you can email health@geelongmyowell.com.au , call 03 5248 7321 or purchase it at geelongmyowell.com.au .

 

 

 

WELLNESS CENTRE OPEN DAY – FREE CLASSES!

To kick off the opening of the clinic we are holding an open day. There will be 3 free classes so you can get to know the other staff and what they are going to offer.

Below are the class times. All you need to bring is your lovely selves.

 

You can book in by emailing or calling us on the below details.

E: health@geelongmyowell.com.au

P: 03 5248 7321

 

Schedule for the Open Day is:

  
8:00am – 8:45am Mat Pilates (Emily Payne)

 

9:15am – 10:00am – Yoga (Lexi Keeton)

 

10:30am – 11:15am – Roll & Rejuvenate (George Fallaw – Foam roller and stretching class)

 

Be The Best Version Of Yourself.

5 Easy and Effective Neck Stretches

Myotherapist: “Why did you make today’s appointment?”

Client: “I have been getting a tight neck and shoulders for the last few
months. Headaches are becoming more frequent. I think it is from sitting
at my desk all day. My workload has been crazy recently.”

This is one of the more common conversations that I have with people in
the clinic. When you get busy in front of a computer it is like you get
sucked into a time warp and all of a sudden you have been sitting there
for 6hrs straight!

I have, without a doubt, been guilty of being in this same situation in my
previous career. Even though we know we should be having movement breaks
intermittently sometimes it just doesn’t happen. So I thought I would
share with you the 5 stretches that I not only prescribe to clients but
also use myself. These are very beneficial for people working at a desk for long
periods.

THESE STRETCHES ARE COMPLIMENTARY TO THE MOVEMENT YOU ARE DOING THROUGHOUT THE DAY, NOT A SUBSTITUTE!

Front Of Neck

To stretch the right muscle, turn your head to the left. Put the heel of
your left thumb (thenar eminence) at the attachment of your right sternocleidomastoid (SCM). This is where your collar bone and sternum meet.
Put your right hand on top of your left to apply extra pressure. Keeping
your head turned to the left lean your head back. You should then feel a
nice strong stretch in your SCM. Turn your head to the right and repeat the process for your left one.

Side Bend

Move your right ear towards your right shoulder. With your right hand, pull your head further gently into the side bend. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat for the other side.

Forward Bend

Put your chin towards your chest. With either hand, pull your head gently further down creating a stronger stretch. Hold for 20secs.

Forward Angle Bend

Turn your head to the right. Put your right hand over the back left hand side of your head and gently pull your head down towards the ground. Hold for 20secs. Turn your head to the left and repeat the process.

Inbetween Shoulder Blades

Interlock your fingers (palm facing in) at chest height.
Move your hands away from your chest trying to create as much space between your chest and palms as possible.
Put your chin on your chest and turn your head from left to right with your chin down.

As a Myotherapist, these are simple and effective neck stretches that I give to clients almost daily. Whether you are an office worker or you just woke up with a stiff neck, stretches like these can be a safe and easy way to ease neck tension.

Take note of the text in bold above, these neck stretches are in addition to any other movement you are doing through out the day. Always consult a health professional to make sure you these stretches are suitable for your situation.

If you are having issues with headaches or your neck, BOOK AN APPOINTMENT to see if we can help.