Why Does a Head Massage Feel So Good?

I was in the shower this morning; washing my hair and giving myself the best head massage. Oh the power of touch! I came across some of points on my head that were a little tender, as i continued to investigate i found that others were a little itchy. I was working on my neurovascular reflex points. These places on our heads that increase circulation and communication with muscles, organs, and glands in our body.

nv pts

Originally discovered by Terrance Bennett in the 1930’s these points are the basis of my head massage. You know that lovely few moments at the end of a massage; it never seems long enough does it; some of my patients even prefer to start with a head massage. I like to cover all the points on the head when I treat even if it takes a few more minutes.

There is a lot of information about these points. Some people call them a bridge between the meridians and the nervous system. There are even emotional re patterning techniques that use these points while bringing up difficult emotions. Holding the points until the emotions pass.

Lets Jump in! As we touch some of these place remember that you need only a tiny amount of pressure; less is more! Breathing is essential! after all everything starts with the breath. Start this exercise by noticing where you are at. how does your body feel, is there any tension? what places are you feeling? These points are located on both sides of the head ( bilaterally) start by treating all the points on one side of the head and then compare that side of the body to the other.

The Points

nv pt 1234

  1. This point is on the forehead above the eye. There is a bony prominence you can feel around for it once you have landed there just pause. This is a great point for stress. Bringing the blood into the fore-brain and out of the fight or flight response. Have you ever noticed anyone doing this? This point is also for the small muscles around the base (lumbar spine) near the sacrum. Notice your low back; what sensations do you feel? cool? warm? expanding? These points are also related to the outside of the lower leg (peronials). For me personally i feel a cool fluid flowing down from the just below the lateral knee to the outside of my ankle. How does it feel to you?
  2. The second point is in line with the first just behind the hair line. You might notice your fingers fall into a divot here. This point is related to the muscles between your shoulder blades (Rhomboids). It is also a great spot to hold if you are experiencing some premenstrual cramps.
  3. Point #3 is on the side of your head. Follow the cheek bone back toward your ear and fall off just above it. Just in front of the ear and in line with the TMJ joint you will find this muscle. It is related to the top of your shoulders (upper fibre Trapezius) and the front of your chest (pectoral muscles). Using the hand from the opposite side may help you to feel what is going on. Notice how your shoulders feel.
  4. Point 4 can be found on the jaw (mandible) just above the point of your jaw. The muscles related to this point can be found in the front of the neck travelling from just below your ear to the middle of your collar bone; Sterno-cleido-mastoid (SCM). I feel a lovely warm feeling running down my neck when i touch here. What do you feel?nv pt 5
  5. Point #5 can by found on the mid-line of the head near the back. Some people have a flat spot in this area, keep in mind it is above the “bump” (external occipital protuberance) in the back of your head. This point is related to the back of your thighs (hamstrings) as well as the middle and lower fibres of the trapezius muscle just below the shoulder blades. What sensations are you feeling? is it warm or cool?

Compare the side you have just treated to the side that did not get touched. Is there a difference between them? repeat the holding or touch on the opposite side.

Play with this exercise. There are many more neurovascular points to be discovered, these are just a few to get you started. If you are not feeling anything as you move from point to point remember that practice makes perfect! and if it all seems a bit much to remember then just indulge in a great head massage either in the shower or the next time you visit your RMT

 

 

5 Minute Refocus

home office

I was called to action this week on Social Media. A good friend of mine challenged me to give  a few Tips and Techniques for all the people working from Home. I too have caught myself sitting at the computer for hours this week, research, reading and learning. Somewhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours I loose my focus and have to get up and get back into my body. Here are the tools that have helped me re energize and keep my physical body happy!

  1. Close the Computer or turn off the screen. The computer screen emits a light; light has a frequency and our brains have a frequency following response. So we are like moths to the flame. Turn it off and enjoy
  2. Have a drink of water. I just find this so grounding. We have all been told to drink more water “many studies have shown that even mild dehydration affects mood, memory and brain function”. Another tip is something non plastic; for me it is all about the right vessel. Something you like to hold, has a good lip and makes it easy to swallow.
  3. Essential Oils. If you have the tools why not use them! Peppermint, Wild Orange anything citrus actually, have an uplifting and stimulating effect on the brain. We forget just how important smell is;  The olfactory nerves are literally the shortest path to the brain.
  4. A Conscious breath. There are hundreds of ways to take a breath. Some for heating up the body, some for cooling it down, cleaning breath, single nostril breath, open the mouth….Choose one that works for you or use my favourite.     In, pause, out, pause. Close your eyes, Breathe in try letting the air in through the cheek bones and follow the air down the front of your spine all the way to the seat bones; feel for the movement as they move apart from each other. Pause here for 3 seconds. Try not to hold your breath think of stopping it for a moment. Feel all of those sensations. Breath it out with control think of blowing it out through a straw for 3 seconds. Now pause and open your eyes. Take a look around the room and notice something green you haven’t seen in a while…. How does it feel?
  5. Arm Raise. Slide your chair back and make sure you have some room. Bring your arms out to the side keeping the thumb on the top. This protects the supraspinatus muscle.  Raise them in a big arc over your head reaching for the space just beyond your fingertips. When they meet in the middle above your head slowly lower them down and repeat a few times. Avoid anything that hurts we want to keep this pain free. This Range of motion exercise for the shoulder joint(glenohumeral joint) will help to lubricate the joint space. Don’t be afraid if you hear some snap crackle pop it may just be the ligaments sliding over the bone.
  6. Activate the Muscles. With your arms straight out at the side(Thumbs on top) pause here and resist gravity. Feel for the strength and balance in the arms. This can be held for 20 to 30 seconds. Play is always encouraged here. What does it feel like if you rotate your palm up and down? With your palms down can you feel other muscles working? Try pulling your pinkys back in this position; do you get more of a stretch? exhale and relax your arms at the sides.
  7. Stomp the feet. I personally like to do a mini foot massage first…. bring your right ankle up and place it on your left knee or thigh. If this is not possible never fear; using a yoga tune up ball or tennis ball or dog toy to roll out your feet is just as juicy. Sit up straight by lifting the sternum(breastbone) and give those feet some love! When you have finished place both feet on the floor and stomp right then left. Speed it up for some more fun. This really gets the juices flowing. Added benefit here is we are waking up and toning the quadriceps! pause for a moment when it feels good. Just feel into your body. Is it awake? is it Alive?
  8. Cross body pull. This little ditty I picked up from Donna Eden. Squeeze the left trap with the right hand, breathe in. As you exhale drag your hand across your body to the right hip crease. Repeat it on the other side Left hand on the right shoulder and drag it across to the left hip. Repeat this 2 or 3 times. The action of crossing the body physically challenges the motor cortex(your big brain) The brain will follow and the right and the left hemispheres connect and coordinate.
  9. 5 minute dance party! Do what feels good.Some days I just put on  music and have a 5 minute dance party. Best done on a video call with a friend! and highly recommended…

At this point get up walk around take 5. Find something to be grateful for! If you feel like stretching please do! remember that the therapeutic dose for stretching is 2 minutes!

 

Mind Your Mind-Braintapping

Tips and Tools-Meditations for stress

Yesterday I listened to Justin Trudeau give his daily update on Covid 19 I heard alot of things… Some of them gave me reassurance. The one thing that resonated with me was the mention of our mental health. The Stress of not knowing and the grief that is hidden under the inability to choose.

My life line this week has been Patrick Porters Braintap. I am going to be honest and tell you that his voice puts me to sleep in minutes. I actually know I`m a little off balance if I stay awake to the end of the 20 minute meditation.

bt15

Dr Tim Houlton at the King City Natural Health Center was the first person to introduce me to the “Braintap” a guided meditation device that uses binural beats, isochronic tones and blue light delivered through a visor and headphones to guide the brain through the different waves. From Beta waves that are high functioning, wide awake or present during stress. Alpha waves are that dreamy place right before you fall asleep or just when you wake up, this is where we are more creative. Theta is the first part of sleep where we often dream and delta is the deep sleep wave, the only time our brain can begin to detox. I chose a meditation on putting future events into perspective. I did wake up as the lights and sounds brought me back into alpha state at the end of the session.. I was happy… I was so happy and i felt like myself again.

BrainTap_logo_registered_color-1024x204

check it out here

What tools are you using today Daily? This week? for your mental health?

Online Consultations- my self care tools

Click to find out more about Online Consultations

Yesterday was tough for me; I was pulled into the uncertainty and became, hungry anxious, irritable, isolated… I shed some tears(it was very helpful) and after a few calls to my friends and family (they can always make me laugh) I realized that community is just so important. In the book The Blue Zones, 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest by Dan Buettner community was a common theme to longevity.

My community; They, were able to help me shift from the Emotion to Logic. As took a deep breath i began to squeeze the tops of my shoulders, stretch my forearms, turn my wrists, and pinch the ends of my fingers…. it Felt so good… i was arriving back in my body. I stomped my feet, i thumped my chest, i gently brushed my face with my finger pads…

My Mind began to recall all of the tools i have for self care…. from self massage to stretching, muscle activation techniques, tapping, tracing meridians and more

How are you moving? 

What can i do to help has been the question floating around in my head all week…  I Have all this knowledge in my head and I want to share it… how can i reach out to people and share it? How can we shift from fight or flight to rest and digest?

How have you reached out to your community? what can you do to support them?

After some mediation and brainstorming i was able to find a way to share with my community. I’ve created an page for online consultations. A place where i can help people with their individual massage needs. With 30 minute Live Conference via Zoom, Whatsapp, Facebook we will build a program for you using a visual assessment, a review of your range of motion to create an individual self massage and stretching plan. Check it out here

The giver gets

Service to others is so important at this moment in time. We may be isolated physically but this too shall pass. Imagine what your life would be like if you called 3 people to check and see how they were? How would that feel? How would that change your day? How would it change theirs? How would it change your life?

Peace and Love. M

 

Cold and Flu? My Tool Box

101 Things I’ve Learned From my Massage Therapist- Day 10

I am so grateful and happy to have a little time to spring clean my house, finish paperwork and projects that i have been putting on the shelf, read, walk, plan, create and most of all explore my garden.

What are you grateful for today?

This week my inbox has been flooded with emails and hacks and fear and marketing to improve my immune health. I read through some, laughed at some of them and shook my head at others. However, once my patients started calling to ask about what to make of all this; seeking tools to deal with isolation and immune support, I was called to examine my own tool box.

This is my personal story. I am not a doctor. Make sure you check with the professionals especially if you are taking other medications.

1. Self Massage

As a massage therapist i always have to remember to fill my cup first. When i rise out of bed i open the tool box… some times its a foot massage sometimes i just squeeze the tops of my shoulders. We can hold alot of tension in our arms too. try stretching out the forearms (keeping your elbows straight) while you brush your teeth.

2. Vitamins- D and C

I usually follow the craving, this week i juiced some oranges and began to salivate at the smell. (I usually add a piece of the orange peel due to the limonene), or eat these little sour gems whole.  I also use Clemintine oil from doterra in a pinch.oranges

Soak up the Sun.. There are lots of ways to get Vitamin D. Do your research and find what works best for you or what your health care professional recommend. I prefer getting that sun on my face and day dreaming about a sunny beach!sun bathing

3. Zinc

I started taking Zinc for my hair and nails. Its just one of those trace elements that support healthy immune function. According to the European Journal of Immunology the human body needs zinc to activate T lymphocytes. I use a supplement and look for excipient free brands. The lozenges are also great!  You can get Zinc from food like red meat and shellfish or for my vegan tribe hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, garlic, lentils and chickpeas are also great options!

4. Antioxidents

Pomegranates don’t grow on trees in our yard here in Canada, so look for a good organic pressed juice without added sugar.

Cherry juice is a lovely alternative. I dry the fruit in the summer and keep it through the winters to add to exlixers and tea. If your not a crazy plant lady like me Purium has a great organic tart cherry drink. sourced from Italy. Drinking this drink before bed can help with free radicals and melatonin (the sleepy time hormone) production. click here for the research. 

5. Probiotics

This is a big can of worms to open up. you can do your own research.. I encourage you to look at gut health research as it relates to your immune system. I like to think about it from a few different angles; what am i feeding my good bacteria? Some foods support gut health more than others. If you know me at all you can be sure we are going to give a big shout out to CABBAGE! Its my Polish heart i can’t help it.

What are you eating for your gut health?

Recent Research has pointed up to the idea of changing up our probiotics to get a more robust culture.

5. Most importantly…. how are your stress levels?

Is your Brain a bully? start by turning off the phone radio and tv!

A pillar of health is our emotional and mental state. How do we care for our BRAIN the governing body of our cells?

Breath? Prayer? Meditation? Movement? Yoga? Sleep? Play? Dance? Music? Food?

Yes to all!

The truth is we have so many tools available to us. Its more about our own personal daily practice. But what if you don’t have a practice and you don’t know where to start? there are some great apps, and technology. One of the greatest tools i have in my life and in my daily practice is the BrainTap by Patrick Porter.

BrainTap_logo_registered_color-1024x204

We have a wellness room in the Clinic where patients can “reset” and unplug either pre or post treatment or just during a stressful time; it is a quick and easy way to relax, reboot, optimize your brains peek potential.

Lets all have a look at our tool box this week. Lets embrace the idea of what is possible.

Peace and Love. M

 

 

Rise and Shine; A Morning Ritual

101 Things I’ve Learned from my Massage Therapist-Day 9

As I opened my eyes this morning a smile crossed my face; I wasn’t being pushed by a schedule or the traffic. There was no rush to have a coffee, pack a lunch and get my sheets folded for the day ahead. There was this silence, an ease to my Rising. I though about how happy and grateful I am to be healthy, alive and free.

coffeeMy Alarm goes off at 5 am every day, it is followed by 3 reminders that are set 20 minutes apart on a repeat daily schedule. Sweat, Learn, Gratitude; an exercise i took from the book 5AM Club: Own your Morning. Elevate your Life by Robin Sharma. No matter what I rise and answer this beckon call. This practice allows me to get centred, no matter what mountain of a list i have to climb or the current state of affairs in the world. This is my time and i rarely compromise the joy of it.

After i get into my body its time to break-the-fast. I have this personal rule about the first food past the gait. Something to set the tone for the day. If its sugar, my body will crave this, if its nourishing, i carry this all day. (I mean sometimes the carrot cake from last night calls my name) but this attitude helps me to make a good decision for my cells.

This reminds me of a memory from childhood rising early in the morning before day break to find my dad heating up pork chops in the oven. We sat and ate together in silence as we prepped for our day…

Here are my favourite tools to Rise and Shine.

Sweat- Breathe, A walk, A run, the Gym, Stand anything goes here.

Some mornings I only have time to fold my sheets. As I lift my arms i can feel gravity working helping me to strengthen the deltoids. Some mornings I only have 5 minutes, and I stand up tall and straight and strong; Mountain Pose for some, in this moment i like to feel the Light on The Mountain and often just say Thank you. However; most days i make it to the mat to meet myself. Some may prefer to call this “moan and groan”.

Yoga with Adrienne. This quick little ditty helped my through the first 60 days. (Yes contrary to popular belief it takes 60ish days to form a new habbit or pattern). Today I peruse her site to choose a video; sometimes a long one, sometimes short ditty. There are tones of great videos with clear direction and i like her honesty.

Learn- Be your own teacher.

I love to learn, I always have a book or 2 on the go. Something related to my profession or a skill i would like to apply to my life. Currently I am plowing through a book on Craniosacral Therapy and Donna Edens Energy Medicine-Balancing your bodies Energies for Optimal Health. I have to be honest I usually end up massaging my “Wellsping of Life Points” on the bottoms of my feet.wellsping of life points

Mindvalley is a great learning platform for personal devolpment. The Extraordinary-by-Design quest allows me to examine my life. Based on the 12 area of Life that are highlighted in the “Lifebook” by Jon and Missy Butcher. I use the exercises daily to do some free form writing and it if one of the best resources i have to Rise and Shine.  So I will take a page from Vishen and ask you….

What EXPERIENCES do you want to have? How do you want to GROW? and How will you CONTRIBUTE?458359

code of an extrodinary mind

If you would rather have a teacher there are so many email lists and courses available. Last month I went through a mini course from UDEMY. A Simple Online platform with lots of courses and classes. I brushed up on my meditation facilitation skills. The world is really your oyster. If you are curious i encourage you to follow that desire.

Gratitude- More than a good suggestion

The Science is there. You can have a look at any number of research papers on Pubmed, If your not into scientific language and boring study results just pay attention to the feeling. Think of 1 or 2 or 10 people you really care about. See them with your minds eye. Give thanks for their place and purpose in your life…. How does that feel? if it an expanding feeling or a contracting feeling? For me its a light expanding feeling that permeates all the cells in my body. I hear that when we get really good at this we can start to practice it on people we dont know, dont care for and the entire planet. Play with it… See how it goes… baby steps. When i first began i had a pen and paper and a simple goal to write 5 things i was grateful for each day…

Once i have nourished my body mind and soul. I Nourish my cells!

Breaking the Fast

Everyone has their own ritual for Breaking the Fast (Breakfast). Im not here to tell you anything about nutrition…(however that might be the next course or book i dive into).

I’m using Purium. Good organic products that deliver super clean sustainable energy to my body and cells, boost the immune system, clean out the garbage.

purium am

What is your breakfast ritual?   How will you start you day? What are you grateful for?

Fluid Bones

101 Things I’ve learned from my Massage Therapist- Day 8

Imagery is such an amazing tool; as a man thinks so he is. This week I have been writing a presentation for students of massage therapy. I was called to share my gratitude with them. How lucky are we to know the muscles and bones of the body. To understand what is going on physically seems to help reduce my stress response after an injury and  the pain scale. To know where the muscles start and end, what bones they are connected to, understanding fascia and how it can limit movement; are all gifts.  We should revisit the brain is a bully lecture from one of my previous posts. to look at how stress can freeze our response to healing,check out the Scientific Study from PubMed.  You can read about the relationship between stress and healing here. however instead of a scare tactic lets apply a little love to the situation..

emoto water crystals

The first time I watched the water experiment by Masaru Emoto  I burst into tears at the beauty and possibility. The Images are taken from his book “The Hidden Messages in Water”. Take a few minutes to watch it here

The Hidden Messages in Water by Masaru Emoto

I heard a guided meditation recently that asked us to breath into our cells; What if we started breathing into the water in our bodies? in our cells? would it move? how would that feel? If our bones were made of water balloons how would it feel to move?

Deane Juhan(1987) , instructor and author or Job’s Body, describes the human body as a water filled balloon. “Our cylinder does not really need an internal skeleton in order to remain upright: in fact, a skeleton could even be suspended inside the cylinder from the top, with out its toes touching the bottom, supported solely by the tension of the pressurized walls of the bag” (pg81)

Eric Frankin also references water one of my favorite pelvic powerhouse exercises is from his book “Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery”. Think of the pelvis as the source of a powerful geyser. can you feel the tensile strength in the bones and the suppleness though the pelvis floor muscles?

Try lifting your arms above your head and feeling water flowing off the scapulae(shoulder blade) and down the back

The shoulder complex is another beautiful place to apply the fluid in our bones. If you have a recent shoulder injury you may want to sit this one out. With your arms at your sides and your thumbs on the top begin to move your arms in an arc until they meet at the top above your head. Around 120 degrees some of us feel a pinch, a restriction a tightness. Now touch your collar bone image it as a fluid instead of a bone. Think of a flowing brook or babbling creek or what about a strong current in a  river; Start at the middle around the breast bone(Sternum) and slide your fingers out over the shoulder and down the arm. Repeat the arm raise. Was it easier? was it more fluid? Play with this exercise it can be really fun. Your body and your bones will thank you.

 

 

 

My Plantar Fasciitis

101 Things I’ve Learned from my Massage Therapist-Day 7

This week my patients are once again dictating the education. I found my self clarifying the difference between plantar fascia and plantar faciitis. After all our thoughts create our reality. In the book “The Genie in your Genes by Dawson Church, PHD we are reminded that our emotional landscape creates our physiological  health.

Smile

True it is a troublesome little piece of connective tissue that is often a victim to that great pair of shoes or our winter boots here in Canada; however, lets find some footing and unpack the “itis” so we can restore that inner landscape.

Webster dictionary defines “itis” as inflammation or disease. So you can have inflammation in your plantar fascia (fasciitis) or inflammation in your bursa (bursitis) or inflammation in your tendon (tendonitis). Any time we have inflammation we make friends with the ice pack. How to use ice is a whole different story but good to remember that after about 5 minutes of cold your body goes into protective mode and creates more inflammation to protect the tissue; so less is really more.

The plantar fascia is a dense connective tissue that supports the arch on the bottom of your foot. It starts at the medial tubercle of the calcaneus ( inside of the heel) and travels to  the base of each toe (metatarsal heads). It commonly feels tight at “the great” big toe. PF-PlantarDesign

The most remarkable sign that you have the “itis” is pain with walking when you get out of bed in the morning especially the first few steps. The other thing to remember about plantar fasciitis is that once the inflamation is gone; so is the “itis”. You might still have some adhesions that need to be addressed with manual therapy or massage. There may also be a heel spur that will need to be addressed by a physician, physiotherapist or osteopath. Tight calf muscles can also play a role in foot pain. Trigger points in soleus also refer into the heel. See for yourself

So what can we do.

  1. keep the calf muscles stretched. Remember that soleus does not attach above the knee. To isolate this muscle try bending your knee.soleus stretch
  2.  Eric Franklin would remind us to Imagine your foot as a tripod. The  heel, the base of the big toe and the base of the pinky toe. Think of these points as having a bright vibration. feel them melt and slide apart from each other.
  3. Yoga with Adrienne always talk about thinking of the foot as having 4 corners, and pushing into all 4 corners of the feet.
  4. Listen to my mother and find Good Shoes that fit!
  5. Some self massage for the feet at the end of the day is really just so yummy.

Click here for a how to!

      6. If inflammation does occur and your plantar fascia is grumpy try freezing a            water bottle and rolling it on the bottom of your foot for 5 minutes 3 times a day.

Try them all; especially 5.

Peace and Love.

M

Day 7- The 3 Brothers

101 Things I have Learned from my Massage Therapist

I was really trying to talk about the body from head to toe as i worked through these posts. However, after teaching my patients how to stretch and strengthen gluteus medius every day this week; I realized that the universe has another plan.

When i conduct an initial interview with my patients and hear knee pain i always ask where is the pain. if it is in the hip or the knee it can often  be a referral from the 3 brothers; gluteus maximus, medius and minimus. Theses muscles do a lot of work to stabilize the pelvis during the swing phase of gait. Try it out, stand on one foot ( hold on to something if you need). If you are not feeling anything try lifting the knee a little higher. Can you feel how the weight transfers to the leg you are standing on. Place one hand on the side of your hip, Can you feel the muscle activate? Say Hello to gluteus medius and the little brother minimus.

glute med

These work horses are attached to Gluteus Maximus ( big Brother) and the illium (the top and outside edges of the hip bone) they narrows at the base and attach to the greater trochanter of the femur; both resembling open fans. Gluteus minimus is located roughly underneath medius

Greater_sciatic_notch_02_lateral_view_(Right_hip_bone)

So what does this have to do with the knee?

The trigger point referral from gluteus maximus and medius can be a real pain in the butt; however little brother gluteus minimus has a referral that travels all the way to the knee and lower leg. If the medius is weak the burden of balancing the hips when we walk falls on the little brother.

So what can we do?

  1. stretch! seated on a chair or laying on your back; bring your right ankle to your left knee. For me this is almost enough stretch… allow the right knee to get heavy and drop toward the floor. Most people will try to lean forward to really get a stretch; however i like to think of closing the hip angle and lifting up through the sternum.
  2. Strengthening gluteus medius- (I usually recommend doing this exercise when you brush you teeth; association with an activity of daily living seems to have the greatest follow through results). Stand on one foot and feel for the muscles to activate on the opposite side. keeping the hips level will help with this.
  3. The Clam-this is a common exercise done laying on your side. Bend the knees or keep the legs straight dealers choice, now begin to open them. The key here is to only open them 15%. Move slowly so you can feel the small nuances. After 15% other muscles begin to take over try doing it correctly and incorrectly to feel for the difference.
  4. Lunges- I almost never give this exercise because it is difficult for most people to do correctly. I think the big key here is to keep the knee directly over the ankle, and to move really slowly through it.  Try exhaling as you rise from one knee.
  5. little kick backs for gluteus maximus- Again a difficult exercise to feel. Stand next to a table or hold on to something. keep the foot parallel to the ground and kick back. try to imagine lifting a swinging motion like a pendulum from the hip. The key to this exercise is to only go 5 degrees.

Try them all!  Do your own research; reading, watching videos and looking at images will help …enjoy getting to know the 3 brothers gluteus.

Peace and Love. M

Day 6- H.A.L.T (Hungry Angry Lonely Trapezius)

Trapezius commonly referred to as the traps, are really just hungry for some love. Most of us think of this muscle as the “Hulk”, or a small triangle that runs from the side of our neck to the shoulder. You probably know this muscle well; feel like your walking around with your shoulders hunched up to your ears? Ever tried rubbing your shoulder trying to get some relief?what about headaches? have trouble lifting your arms when your folding sheets? You definitely know the Angry side of traps.

But wait……

trapezius heart 1

The trapezius muscle is so much more! Shaped like a beautiful diamond that covers our heart in the back of the body; it is attached to the back of the skull, the ligaments and spine all the way to the last thoracic vertebrae at about the height of the last rib, it wraps it self up and over the shoulder and attaches at the lateral edge of the collar bone.

The action of the trapezius is to move the shoulder blade (scapula); up (elevation) down (depression) it brings the shoulder blades together(retraction) and helps to rotate the shoulder blade when we lift our arm. I found a great video that shows the amazing ways the traps work click here to watch . If I had all those jobs i would be tired too.

Take a minute to let all of that sink in. Touch your shoulder and feel it, try tracing the shape on a friend.

So what can we do…

  1. Activate and Elevate: Breath in and bring your shoulders up to your ears hold for 3 seconds and let them fall as you exhale. Repeat this 3 times. Can you feel a difference? ( I highly recommend doing this in front of the mirror)
  2.  Sit and Draw: Seated in front of a desk place the palms of your hands under the desk and resist. Now picture a pencil on the end of your nose and draw a beautiful line to form an “i”.
  3. Sponge: It feels so good to squeeze the upper fibres of the trapezius muscle. Imagine a sponge that you are squeezing the water out of and then allow it to fill back up with water.
  4. Lastly from my good friend Eric Franklin a little spine polishing. This reminds me of a fun dance move if nothing else. Enjoy!

 

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