Author Archives: Massage by Ron

The SKIN


[mobility]

When you think of mobility you think of your joints and muscles but not often do we consider the skin in terms of movement. The skin is the largest organ in the body and it has the capacity to move apart similar to muscles and fascia. –

If you have a formation of scars and injuries this will also impact the amount of mobility skin has. WHY⁉️ the scars protective response is to pull things together resulting in tighter skin.

How high heels affect the body: 


A women’s body will attempt to compensate for the off kilter balance heels cause by flexing or forward bending the hips and spine. 

To maintain balance the calf, hip and back muscles become tense. This makes for excess muscle fatigue and strain. 

Over a period of time, wearing high heels can also cause the calf muscle to cramp and bulge. 

Spine don’t?


Wheels need to be aligned, not our spines 😊We don’t need spinal manipulations to “re-align” the spine.

The spine is strong and robust, vertebrae don’t just pop out of place.

We don’t have to fear our back and think that the back is vulnerable and needs to be protected. 

Our body is designed to move, also our spine! 😊

Skipping for runners 🏃


👣 Skipping is a great way to train the Achilles’ tendons to buffer impact forces. It helps train your foot, Achilles, and ankle to land softly and absorb shock when done with a purpose. It also helps build tissue tolerance and resilience in the Achilles and ankle.

👣 The big thing to focus on is letting your heel come fully down and actually contacting the ground…but with control. Allow the Achilles to buffer the impact and soften enough to control the ankle as it comes down to the ground, and aim for the heel to just barely make contact. This is a tip I picked up from @iamunscared, and I have been using with some of the runners I see

👣 Running is all about being efficient and making use of your body’s natural shock absorption. This will show you how to be more efficient when striking the ground, so that less impact is sent through your body

🔑Use this drill as a warmup primer exercise before a run or as a drill to add into your training. Pay attention to the way you land when you are running, as there is good crossover benefits when skipping mindfully

The hip hinge will save you ✅


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🔑 A big problem we see in clinic is people not being able to hip hinge effectively (or at all). Not using the hips is a recipe for disaster.

🔑 Not using the hips means overusing the knees and low back. The hips are means to do a major part of the work when bending over, lifting, squatting etc

🔑 A big reason why people’s hips shut down is sitting. It causes a lot of restriction and stiffness around the hip and leads to a lot of muscle imbalances around the hip. Feeding these imbalances with poor movement will lead to wear and tear where we don’t want it

🔑 Learn to hinge, it will save and preserve your joints ✅

Pain Modulation


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Why do so many different interventions work in the treatment of pain⁉️

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Because if you decrease perceived threat, you usually decrease pain. The pain experience is highly driven by a number of factors including our beliefs and expectations. If we believe an intervention will alleviate our symptoms, then it is highly likely that it will have a positive impact simply because the brain’s perceived level of danger has lessened.

PAIN ‼️ Understanding the basics of it will help you get out of it ✔️


🔑The field of pain science has taught us a lot about pain. One of the first things I do as a clinician is educate people on the basics of pain and what it actually is. This can help people reframe their pain and give them a greater sense of control over it to prevent the feeling of helplessness

🔑 Pain is an action signal. It is like an engine light in a vehicle. It is based on PERCEIVED threat or danger, therefore is is experienced completely differently by different people (even the exact same thing can be completely painless or painful depending on the person and how their nervous system perceives it)

🔑 Pain is influenced by many factors. These include past experiences with pain, general mood, level of anxiety or stress etc., which can all lead to ramped up pain responses

🔑 Pain is there to motivate protective behaviours. It tells you that you are currently doing something or experiencing something that your body doesn’t like and doesn’t want

🔑 Sometimes pain is meaningless, such as when we are getting a deep massage. Some people love massages, and some people hate them and think that they are excruciating and Terrible experiences. Either way, no damage or threat is actually occurring…our nervous system just perceives that the body is being threatened. Reframe pain and it will help you get through it ✅

“The gluteals are the ‘command central’ of our center of gravity, balance, and power” 


🔹 The glutes act to control motion in all 3 planes. They act as stabilizers and balancers, as well as power producers

🔹 The pelvis is the body’s centre of gravity, and it is very important that there is an ideal balance of muscles influencing it. Myofascial imbalances around the pelvis have the potential to create dysfunction anywhere in the body, from head to toe

🔹 The glutes are the most important muscle group in this region, and are also the most inhibited, weak, and dysfunctional. Hint: sitting all day does not help the cause.

🔹 Wake your glutes up by addressing muscle imbalances around the pelvis, get them strong, and use them often ✔️

Habits and daily positions determine your posture

✅ Be mindful of how you hold yourself day to day. Check your work environment and desk setup to see if you can improve it…you likely can

✅ Make the transition to a standup workstation, and spend less overall time sitting. When you are sitting, be mindful of your position

✅ Do the self maintenance work necessary to offset poor positions. This can be tissue work/positional stretching/active mobility work…anything to offset the muscle and tissue imbalances that happen from adopting static postures over time. You can’t just ‘force’ a good posture if your tissues have all adapted to poor postures…you must free them up first

✅ Remember that your body is highly adaptable and mouldable. This is a good thing, but can also be a bad thing. If you are always in poor postures and positions, your structure and tissues will adapt and become those positions. Choose to prioritize your body, maintain your body, and hold yourself better.

Chronic Stress and Pain Sensitivity


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“Stress can contribute to nerve sensitivity or pain system sensitivity. Stress lives in the brain, and therefore the experience of people with chronic pain often is that their pain increases as they become more stressed” 

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Cortisol is an important neuroendocrine hormone that is released in response to stressful situations. This response is very helpful as cortisol is a potent anti-inflammatory agent that works to mobilize glucose and get the body ready for action.

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However, when stress is present for sustained periods, the body may secrete less cortisol and/or become less sensitive to it’s effects leading to widespread inflammation and pain. Hypocortisolism has been linked to low back pain, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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If you suffer from chronic pain or fatigue, make sure your healthcare practitioner spends time investigating how stress may be influencing your overall health and potentially contributing to your current symptoms.

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