I find it very refreshing that the awareness is coming to fruition with knowledge of the foods we eat, exercise, meditation, yoga and varying exercises. I do believe that holistic ways of healing ourselves and staying healthy without conventional medicine is the answer. Massage Therapy is so, so important and is no longer a frill we need it! Here is The self help part that we all need to know and do so…. get ready to take action! As a massage therapist and holistic practitioner of 20 years I would like to share tools for self help, that help us maintain a pain-free body.
I find that even though there is greater awareness we wait until our pain gets to a chronic condition then we might take action. I find the steps usually start with a Doctor’s visit that may include pain meds, muscle relaxers, steroid shots or the xray… followed by an MRI. Then we bounce around to Physical Therapists whom never seem to mention finding a good massage therapist. Hummmmm? We then move to specialists of the back or whatever the issue is. I say, “what about the rest of my body attached to that back”? I just get mind Boggled! Then I get the phone call that usually will start with, “All of the sudden I started getting the sharp pain” or “You are my last resort, nothing else worked”, can I see you NOW! What I see is ignoring our bodies that are giving us subtle warnings, then the warnings get louder and we still ignore the warning and surprise, we can’t move our necks or get out of bed. Then we go to “THE DOCTOR”. That is all well and good. I think Doctors should be used to rule out major issues from not listening to our bodies.
The answer for me most of the time is very holistic and simple solutions, if I am open minded and really want the solution to the problem. I’m writing this article in hopes that we can learn to take action before getting into chronic pain or chronic anything. Through these 20 years of being a therapeutic massage therapist / healer I see the importance of eating right, exercise, yoga, meditation, therapeutic massage from Suzanne Newman (ME) :), acupuncture from Mimi Baker, owner of Princeton Day Spa, chiropractic adjustments from Dr. Ari Cohn of Princeton Chiropractic and Wellness Center, the best of the best personal trainer Beth Kais who finds the imbalances in your body and helps you to learn how to correct them. Beth comes directly to your home and gives 100% of her talent! Nicole Breitman a talented health coach, who helped me with a liver , gallbladder cleanse and I could not believe the amount of gallstones I passed it truly was amazing and so is Nicole! She has so much important health information to share please connect with her and stay healthy!
Dr Warner Hoff of Ewing Chiropractic another talent Chiropractor who not only works his magic on us humans but, saves the lives of cats, dogs, horses and any other animal that needs adjustments. We tend to think that animals don’t have the same problems as humans well it is even worse and I have witnessed it with my cats compressed neck from jumping off of high places. Dogs over doing it causing hip problems. Not only was my cat, Tia’s neck compressed but this also caused an ear blockage which, was treated by vets with tons of antibiotics and nothing! Doctor Hoff adjusted her neck for a period of time and the ear problem was gone! My pug, as we know pugs have breathing problems and issues with their back legs due to being bowlegged and most pugs I see are horribly over because of their owners! He tells it like it is and your pet has a great chance of adding many years to its life. Thank you Doc I love you! Here are some traffic people who will help you in so many ways so breathing deeply, be mindful, surround yourself with good friends, great healers and lots of hard core laughter.
Okay let us take a look at the average person sits for at least eight hours in their offices, then drive for up to an 2 hour getting to and from home. What most people don’t realize is that low back pain is usually caused by tight glutes, (your butt go into spasm). The shoulders and neck are also area’s that become chronic with my clients. This comes also sitting for extended periods of time, stress, driving and not breathing deeply enough. We tighten ourselves up and do not realize it. What we are going to here is look at what you can do to help these issues in between getting massage therapy.
I am going to show a list of pictures of the items I use, links of where you can buy these items and how to use them. We will start first with the feet. I think we underestimate the toll we take on her feet. One good way of stretching out the tendons is using a golf ball. This is done by statically standing on the golf ball with one foot and pressing down into the golf ball. Then moving the ball to another area of the bottom of the foot. The tends to be painful but once you do one foot you will see how much better that what feels in comparison to the foot that hasn’t been worked on. This is especially good for runners and people stand on their feet all day. Another great product is The Yamuna Foot Savers. I LOVE these! https://yamunabodyrolling.com/store/body_focus/feet/?show_item=24
Most of us spent up to eight hours or more sitting. First of all we are not made to sit all day. This puts tremendous pressure on the spine. What makes it even worse are the chairs that most people sit in all day. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to get an ergonomically correct chair, especially important at work because of the long hours. There are also computer desks that are made for standing up while you are working. I spent close to $600 on a chair myself and my shoulders no longer get as tight and I feel much less compression in my back and neck.
It is those long hours sitting in driving that tighten up the gluteal muscles (your butt). Doing this day after day, week after week, lower back pain starts. Please do not wait until it becomes chronic. Get yourself a lacrosse ball or a tennis ball. I prefer a lacrosse ball, I feel that it goes a lot deeper into the glutes and hip flexors. All you need is a yoga mat and your ball. You lie on your side, in a low side arm plank position and lower yourself onto the ball all along each side of your butt and up along the hip area.
Please pay attention to gradually go into the ball using once again static pressure. Do not roll the ball. Lift yourself up and move your body onto the ball all around the glutes/butt and hip area. This is going to hurt because you’re going into trigger points. What is a trigger point?
Trigger Point / Myotherapy Definition: Trigger point myotherapy also known as neuromuscular therapy or sometimes massage therapy consists of alternating levels of concentrated pressure on the areas of muscle spasm. Pressure is applied with the fingers, knuckles, and/or elbow in ten to thirty second intervals to effectively alleviate the muscle spasm. Neuromuscular therapy works by relaxing the muscle in order to release stored lactic acid and encourage blood and oxygen circulation to the muscle to avoid the production of more lactic acid. The therapeutic pressure and massage typically produces initial soreness and “good pain” in muscle tissue. http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/trigger-point-myotherapy
The Posture Curve
One of my favorite gadgets. This is a product I can’t live without it gets into the Quadratus Lumborum. The Glute trigger points and more. What is the QL please click on the below link. http://www.triggerpointtherapist.com/blog/quadratus-lumborum-trigger-points/ql-trigger-points-masters-low-back-pain/ Links for Information on The Posture Curve which I have for sale in my office. http://www.intracell.info/documents/PC-Supine.pdf http://www.intracell.info/documents/PC_Brochure.pdf
I can not live with out this on my car seat and at home. We sit far to much and with this wonderful Tush Cush we can take the compression of chairs and car seats off of our spine. We do not sell things that do not work. This is a must have for long commuting and office work chairs if you already do not have a standing desk, which I think is a MUST have to save our backs and compressing our diaphragm. We also have this at the office! http://www.tushcush.com/html/faq.html
The AB WHEEL
I’ve read several reviews here with people being confused or disappointed, but I think perhaps expectations were different. First off, I’m not a trained professional, but I’ve been exercising for years and I pay close attention to proper form for the most effective effort. I’ll try to explain how this works and what to expect.
— CORE MUSCLES WORKED WITH AN AB WHEEL: Shoulders, arms, upper and lower back, abs (all sections)
— WHAT TO EXPECT ON QUALITY: The quality on these things doesn’t have to be fancy – it has a simple use and just has to be functional. Two wheels are better than one, however. The wheels are solid plastic/rubber and the grips are similar. Are the grips terribly comfortable? No, but they’re not bad either and you aren’t using it for hours at a time -just minutes. Wrap some tennis racquet grip around them for added comfort if you want more, but it’s really not needed. This is a basic tool and doesn’t need to be made of expensive materials. The bar through the middle is solid metal (not sure if there is a weight limit but I’d guess at about 200lbs).
— PUTTING IT TOGETHER: It arrives in a box as two separate wheels, a metal bar, two rubber handles and a single sheet of instructions. Place the bar through the wheels and center them as best as you can. Then slide/wiggle/twist one handle all the way onto one end of the bar (I didn’t need grease – it went on pretty easily, yet snug). Then try to line up the grip of the other handle and slide that onto the other side of the bar with the wheels in the middle. Push on the ends of the handles to make sure they’re on all the way. You will be able to twist the grips a little to line them up perfectly. Putting it together took me only a couple of minutes.
— USING IT (BASIC): Using the Ab Wheel is simple, but really works the abs if done correctly. This simple devise helps create the line down the middle of your abs for that nice six pack! Kneel on the floor with one hand on each handle and the wheel positioned on the floor, centered before you. Without arching your back (keep it straight and keep your head straight too – don’t look up or drop your head down) slowly roll the wheel away from your knees in a straight line before you. Your body moves forward with the wheel, away from your knees
— this is KEY to making this move effective! Your weight is supported via your hands on the bar and by your knees (and a straight back). The further you can stretch your arms out before you and the further you can lean away from your knees the more you will work the core muscles in your abs. When you’ve rolled out as far as you safely can, reverse and roll back up to the starting position (this should be hard!).
Line your body up facing a wall (knees 2-3 ft from the wall) and roll out toward the wall if you want something there to help you stop rolling. Line up further and further away as you get stronger. You may not be able roll out more than 2-3 feet at first but that’s okay. (When I stop my abs/hips are about 10-12 inches from the floor. You want to aim for about a 45 degree angle from your knees to your hips and then a countering 45 degree angle from your hands on the ab wheel to your shoulders.
Think of making a bridge with your body where your knees are one support on one side of the water and the wheel is the other support on the other side of the river/body of water. Again, the farther you can stretch out, the more difficult the workout, but be careful and don’t push too hard too fast or you’ll tear something! Use your head and be conservative at first. Beginners should probably start with 1-2 sets of 5-10 reps and work on rolling out further as you become stronger. I’m trying 2 sets of 10 reps and my abs are SORE after 2 days of this!! 🙂
It’s IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT and to not arch it as you roll out. You can hurt yourself if you do this move incorrectly. The wheel comes with some basic instructions that show you the proper form. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS! http://www.livestrong.com/video/1000248-use-rolling-wheel-knees-abs/
The Foam Roller
I would only buy Trigger Point Products others wear out quickly! These foam rollers by far are the best. This is for in-between Sports Massages from me, not a replacement by any means! I also sell these at the office. This is one of the most important products you can buy, the results are amazing. If there is one of all the above beside massage this is the one I would pick as being the most important if I had to, but they all are all so, so helpful. Here is a great YouTube video. This is what I show my clients and know you can watch it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1VRTv-GJs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkqu_WQrfKg
Then my all time favorite that I will not live without because of a failed fusion in my neck and the chronic pain I have is The Thera-therm Digital Moist Heating Pad. You need to buy the largest size and I promise you will not regret it! They will be available at the Princeton Day Spa soon to purchase! Enjoy the information and stay flexible and Breathe!
” The Real Suzanne Newman “