POOR POSTURE HAS MANY SIDE EFFECTS

Posture workshop Sat May 16, 9:30 at Flowood YMCA.  Make plans to be there.  Posture picture will be taken, a few stretches/exercises will be given and some decompression breathing will be taught.  You can be on your way to reducing pain issues and improving your health.  Feel free to bring anyone who could benefit.

Cost: 20.00 for Y members.    30.00 for non members.       

   We are often commanded to “stop slouching” and understand this to be a bad habit. But do you know why?

 Poor posture creates several repercussions – both physically and mentally. In this article, I aim to shed some light on the topic and explain why we should pay attention to our posture and how to reverse the slouch.

 

 

Poor Posture Is Exhausting

Our brain is busy making sense of the data it collects in our over-stimulating environments. Lights, sounds, smells, terrain all require a part of our brain to process and guide our actions. Mental stimulation has benefits, but too much is taxing on both our brain and postural alignment.

 

Applying muscular strength to sit or stand tall and lengthen upward with our torso requires both mental and physical energy. Without adequate mental downtime, our muscles fatigue. This compromises alignment and postural integrity. When we are well rested, strong and flexible, we remain more upright, with good spinal extension. Our ribcage broadens, torso lengthens and taking deep, full breaths becomes easier without the weighty restrictions of anterior collapse compressing into our lungs.

 

The Anatomy of Poor Posture

When we slouch, our head juts forward and tilts down, flexing anterior neck muscles and over stretching trapezius, splenius, and longissimus. Blood, nerve innervation, and airflow become labored. Vertebrae can be easily pulled out of alignment, creating curvature imbalances along the spine and in some cases causing nerve impingement.

 

“Nerves in our neck, collarbones, torso, between the ribs, and through our core can become impinged, lessening their ability to relay signals between our brain and body.”

The pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, subclavius, and sternalis muscles become hypertonic (excessively strong) and pull shoulder blades forward with an anterior rotation in the upper arm bones. This causes the sternum and chest to pull inward toward the front spine and down toward the pelvis. This adds more pressure on the diaphragm and inhibits its ability for an unrestricted inhalation.

 

Nerves in our neck, collarbones, torso, between the ribs, and through our core can become impinged, lessening their ability to relay signals between our brain and body. The phrenic nerve is an important nerve branching off the spinal cord between the third and fifth cervical vertebrae. It runs along the neck and branches off to areas around the heart, pericardium, lungs, and diaphragm. It is the only nerve that supplies signals for our diaphragm to function.

 

                                                                                                                                                       


POSTURE

Friday 4/24/15

The month of May is NATIONAL POSTURE MONTH!  I will be spending a lot of time talking about posture and ways to work on improving posture in order to improve balance, strength, frame, movement and overall health.

I will be at the FLOWOOD YMCA – SAT MAY 16 @ 9:30 for a workshop on posture.  If you would like to have your posture looked at and learn a few tips on how to improve your posture come to this event.  Cost is 20.00 for YMCA members and 30.00 for non members.  

Poor posture leads to pain issues!  Trust me…most of us have been in poor posture most of our lives.  Poor posture causes poor mechanics between the muscles and bones.  In others words, we move improperly.  Just becoming aware of your own body and how you use it to move will be eye opening…”awareness” leads to the ability to change.

Read the article below for some suggestions.  

Please message me if you plan to come to the posture workshop on Sat May 16.  

Have a great day.

Sciatica Pain

Sun.4/1915:

Thought I would share this article from MIND BODY GREEN on stretches for sciatic pain. If you get pain in the buttock that radiates down the leg you most likely have sciatica.  I do these stretches all the time to help prevent and back/sciatic problems.  Of course, I primarily do Foundation Training to keep my body strong, flexible and balanced muscularly to ward off pain issues.  These are good stretches that help and feel good.  The more tools in the box the better!

Sciatica is more than just a literal pain in the butt (and back and legs). When it strikes, it can cause misery and debilitating pain, instantly putting a damper on your life. 

The sciatic nerve runs right through the piriformis, a tiny but powerful muscle deep in your glutes that helps laterally rotate your hips. If it gets too tight, it can impinge the sciatic nerve that runs through or under it, causing tremendous pain, tingling and numbness in your lower extremities. 

If you find yourself the victim of sciatica (especially if it’s caused by a sedentary lifestyle), Or from to much sitting try these for stretches to help relieve the pain:

1. Piriformis Stretch

Laying on your back, place both feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Rest your right ankle over the left knee and pull the left thigh toward your chest.  As you gently pull the left thigh toward you-gently push the left knee away…be gentle because it really gets into the hip joint area.

Hold stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Remember to keep the top foot flexed to protect your knee.


2. Seated Hip Stretch 

While in a seated position, cross your right leg over your straightened left leg.

Hug your right knee with your left arm, making sure to keep your back straight.  Back must stay straight…no twisting from the lumbar.

Hold this stretch for 30-60 seconds, and then repeat on the opposite side.


3. Pigeon Pose

Start in Downward-Facing Dog pose with your feet together. 

Draw your right knee forward and turn it out to the right so your right leg is bent and your left leg is extended straight behind you. Slowly lower both legs.

Hold the position for five to ten breaths, then switch to the other side.


4. Self-Trigger Point Therapy

Performing self trigger-point therapy using a lacrosse or tennis ball can be very effective at delivering sciatica pain relief.

All you have to do is find a painful spot in the glutes, place the ball at that location and then relax your body into the ball.

Hold this position for 30-60 seconds or until you notice a significant reduction in pain. Move to the next painful spot. The total time spent on this exercise should be between 5-10 minutes. 

Practicing these four exercises once or twice a day can definitely bring you much needed sciatica pain relief.  You have to actually practice these often in order for them to work…don’t wait for a sciatic attack and think these exercises will make it go away.

FOUNDATION TRAINING

Friday 4/17/15:

The most common “ailment” in today’s society is Back Pain!  A whopping 80% of the population have some form of back pain.  Back Pain develops for many reasons.  Poor Posture, sitting to much, standing to much, being overweight, weak muscles, tight muscles, overpronation in the foot, to much anterior tilt in the pelvis, to much posterior tilt in the pelvis….the list goes on and on.

The good news is “most back pain” can be treated without medication, surgery or other major procedures.  The bad news is so many people are not willing to do a little work and change a few bad habits.  Most people go to the doctor and actually believe the medication that is prescribed will fix their back pain.  This just is not true and never will be.

First and foremost everyone needs to buy into the fact that humans are made to move.  I do not mean move from the chair to refrigerator, or from your desk to your car to your big easy chair at home.  I mean “ALL HUMANS” are meant to move all day long.  Our muscles need to be lengthened thru the day.  Our joints need to bear weight properly aligned through out the day.  Our muscles and joints need to be taken through their full range of motion through out the day.  We all need to learn how to breathe better using our lungs and diaphragm to a fuller capacity.  

It is a fact that people in far away countries with far less than we Americans have are healthier than us.  They work in the fields, on the fishing boats, doing manual labor.  They sit in a squat position to rest.  They sit on the ground in general.  We sit in big, curvy comfortable chairs…never getting that hip joint to close down any further. Hard to believe with all that we have here in the states that our society is so overweight, over medicated, lazy, and unhealthy.

If you want to feel better, manage your body pain without medication, improve how your body works…you better start changing your poor habits.  Our bodies are machines that need their full range of motion. 

FOUNDATION TRAINING will set you on the path to better body awareness and health.

TAKE “FT” BREAKS DAILY

Mon April 6,2015

How many of you go to your office each day and sit in chair?  How many of you have to travel for a living…wether it be by car or plane?  How many of you stand all day on a hard surface…factory workers come to mind.  How many of you do manual labor…heavy lifting?  How many of you go home so tired all you can do is shower, eat and sit in the most comfortable chair in the house?  How many of you go home with back aches, stiff necks, swollen tire feet, bad moods because you ache and are tired?

For a large number of people this is what daily life is.  Repeating our daily routine! Doing the same thing over and over until we retire.  Doing the same movement over and over.  Wether the movement is typing or ditch digging.  Wether the movement is performing open heart surgery or standing on an assembly line.  When we do the same movements over and over we are going to create over use issues, imbalance issues and malalignment issues.  The realization is most people do not realize the problems they are creating just from going to work everyday.

Factor in that most people do not exercise and most people gain weight each and every year of their life only accentuates the imbalance problems.  Even those who do exercise…they exercise wrong.  They go to the gym and do the same exercises over and over.  Some like that chest to look big…so they do not work the back much.  Some are trying to get a 6 pack, so they are on the floor pounding out the crunches…when all they are doing is flexing their spine.  Some get on those machines with the seat set improperly, or they are lifting to much.  You see all kinds of things in the gym.

Enter FOUNDATION TRAINING!  If people would learn Foundation Training they would start gaining control over their body again.

The first thing FT is going to do for a person is create awareness.  That desk worker is going to start adjusting their posture at the keyboard.  That surgeon is going to feel the strain in his neck from looking down all the time and adjust his shoulder blades.  The factory worker is going throw in some hip hinging while working or cut his adductors on.  A school teacher may get her whole class to take a decompression breathing break.

The principals and exercises of FOUNDATION TRAINING are “body saving”!  We all have to go to work and do what we do everyday.  Apply a little FT thru the day and your body will feel better!  Take a FT break during the day.  Get into posture at your desk or the water cooler and take 5 decompression breaths!  Before lunch do a lunch stretch on each side to stretch the hip flexors…this will take 1 minute if you do 30 seconds per side.  After lunch do 10 hip hinges to stretch your hamstrings a little…again this will take all of 30-60 seconds.  

FOUNDATION TRAINING will help stretch those shortened muscles groups, help you take in more oxygen, help you learn to breathe better, create body awareness, help even out imbalances, energize you and just make your body feel better.

Contact me to set up your FT session!

INFLAMMMATION IN THE BODY

Wed. 4/1/15:

Found this recepe on facebook…so I will share.

So many people suffer with inflammation in the body for various reasons.  Ginger and turmeric have been proven to help with inflammation in the body.  They are both herbs and most people do not use them…mainly because they do not know how.  Try this tea recepe.  

Turmeric and ginger are botanically related to each other and have both been used for centuries as spices in cooking and as medicinal herbs. These herbs are recommended for treating gastrointestinal problems, inflammatory conditions and several other conditions. I’ve written in the past about how inflammation is created in the body and about the damage it causes, and you can read more about it here. Ginger and turmeric are two of the best herbs to relieve joint pain and are mentioned in my article about the best herbs to relieve joint pain.
The strong anti-inflammatory properties of ginger are excellent for dealing with muscle and arthritic pain. Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory substances called gingerols. These have been tested in various research of rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The participants in the research reported a gradual reduction of pain, improving agility and movement and reduction in swelling when using ginger regularly. The anti-inflammatory properties of ginger also promote digestion and soothes colic, relieve nausea and intestinal gas, and also as a treatment for colds and other respiratory conditions. I have already written a very detailed post in the past on how to use ginger as a medicine for great health.
Studies have shown that turmeric is more effective at easing pain than aspirin and other similar chemical medications. It is a great help in the relieving of chronic arthritis and joint pain, as well as relieve symptoms of ulcerative colitis and osteoarthritis, which are two other inflammatory conditions. One of the active ingredients in turmeric is called curcumin, and is used in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis. It is claimed that turmeric reduces arthritis joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness related to arthritis. Turmeric also has a good effect on the digestive system as well. If you are interested to learn more about the amazing health benefits of turmeric then you can read a previous post about all the reasons to eat more turmeric.


For 1 cup of water use 1 teaspoon each of fresh grated turmeric and ginger roots. If you use ground turmeric and ginger, use 1/3 teaspoon each. Add raw honey to taste, and a slice of lemon if you want.

Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Turmeric Tea Recipe

In order to increase turmeric absorption in the body (studies have revealed that turmeric has low absorption and rapid metabolism that lead to relatively low bioavailability in the body) you need to add a little bit of fat to the tea, such as a teaspoon of coconut oil or flaxseed oil for example. Another option is to add a little bit (1/4-1/2 tsp) of black pepper that contains piperine which aids the absorption of curcumin. You can read more about turmeric absorption in my previous article How to Optimize Turmeric Absorption for Super Boosted Benefits.
Preparation
In a small saucepan, bring water to boil. Add fresh grated turmeric and ginger, reduce heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. If using ground turmeric and ginger, boil for 7 minutes. Then strain the tea and add the honey and lemon to taste. Add the coconut oil or black pepper to increase turmeric absorption.
How much and how often
There are no official dosing instructions exist for ginger and turmeric tea. You can drink 1 cup of it on days you feel extra achy.
Side effects
Although these herbs are considered safe and without significant side effects when used appropriately by adults, each may interact with certain prescription medications. For example both may not be safe if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning drugs. Therefore talk with your doctor before deciding if one or both herbs might be useful for your situation. Also taking these herbs by mouth in medicinal amounts is likely unsafe in pregnant and breastfeeding women.