Just breathe…

Personally, I find as a therapist that once we get you back in charge of your breath you are in a much better place to deal with pain, advance your healing and generally go forward in the world. 

Here is a little thing on diaphragm breathing from my self treatment section on http://www.thrivesheffield.co.uk that can help you. 

Diaphragm Breathing stimulates the vagus nerve that switches you across from running on adrenaline to being calm and relaxed. 

Low Back Pain?

If you are living with a grumpy lower back, applying heat packs and popping pills on a regular basis, may I suggest that you turn your attention to the front of the body.

I know, that just sounds plain silly huh?!?

Want to know why? Well, the two most important low back stabilisers: the Psoas and the Iliacus are most easily accessed from the front of the body.

The Psoas attaches to the little arms(transverse processes) and body of each spinal vertebrae from the last rib to the bottom of the low curve of your back- we call these T12 (last thoracic rib) to L5 (that includes the four other lumbar vertebrae). The Iliacus attaches into the deep dish that is the front of your pelvis( you might know it better as your hip bone). They both end up attaching to the top of your long thigh bone, the femur. The job of both of these muscles is to bring your knee to your chest or chest to knee, rotate your leg out (as though you were getting on a bike or over a fence) and they also work to bring your legs back to together (adduction).

When either of these muscles are short and tight they pull everything out of position at the back of your body. The Psoas is such a powerful muscle is can also be responsible for causing your lower spinal discs to bulge.

If you have low back pain and only get massage into your back ‘where it hurts’ you will never get to the root cause of what’s actually causing your pain.

If this sounds familiar, I wholeheartedly recommend that you book in with a therapist who KNOWS the Psoas and the Iliacus – if they can’t explain its job, they really aren’t the therapist you are looking for.

Alternatively, give Thrive Clinic & Studio a call and we’ll not only do the work you need but show you how you can treat it yourself.
Illustration courtesy of Trail Guide To The Body, Books of Discovery

Goodbye Summer

It’s official, we tried to out run it for a couple of weeks, but the Autumn Equinox is upon us and Summer is officially over for another year. How was yours?

For me Autumn has always been a time for excitement – new things start here! I guess that’s a throw back from school years, followed by university years, and then as a younger adult Autumn was the time to plan winter adventures in the snow and trips to explore exotic climes.

As I look out of the window at the studio I can see the Virginia Creeper that covers the walls of the pub garden next door. It’s beginning it’s yearly Technicolor show, red and gold and glorious. There was a bite in the air even though the sun shines brightly and all of this together poses the question “What now?”

As the year gathers pace what is there to do? I want to breathe it all in, enjoy the shortening of the days, pack in as much New as possible. The leaves falling from the trees isn’t the end, it’s the beginning, the beginning of the gestation of newness. It’s a time to act upon the plans that I drew up in July (why July is such a good planning month I’ll never be sure, but I think it’s something to do with riots of colour and the abundance around me that pulls me into the excitement of planning things to flourish in the future – for some folk it’s Spring, but for me it will always be early Summer)

There are courses to book and take in the shortest days and a reconnection with my body and movement that has been backburnered too long. September, October and November are a feast for the senses, the brain and the body and long may they always be.

So tell me below in the comments, what will you do with your Autumn, which well laid plans will you hatch?