Friday, October 28, 2011

Solid Foundations

I'm going to issue a challenge to you...

at the end, silly...

My good friend, Mario, over at Crossfit on the Square posted an interesting question and image on Monday, along with the workout of the day.  The image is of the effects to the lower leg and the body when wearing high heels - particularly if you wear them on a daily basis.  I want to expand upon this concept a little, because it's not just high heels, and it's not just the feet - it's any sort of foundation within our body, and it's a 2-way street.

Here's the image Mario shared:

If you look at the top right corner of that image, you can see how the altered foot position in high heels creates postural compensations throughout the entire body.  These postural compensations can develop into postural deviations that last well after removing the shoes, if you wear them habitually.  When you're out of alignment, you are also at greater risk for injury (as Mario mentioned).

Postural deviations can begin almost anywhere the body, but especially occur in areas I consider "foundations," such as the hips/pelvis and the shoulder girdle/neck area.  If you sit on a wallet, or on a desk chair with an improperly positioned seat or back, if you twist a little to see your computer can develop postural deviations.

While the lower foundations tend to have more of an effect on the structures atop them, this transfer of imbalance can work in both directions.  An imbalance in your shoulders may create an abnormal pull (and pain) as your back tries to correct the imbalance.  As muscles and the fascia of the back connect to and around the hips, they can transfer that pull into the hips, which can then become painful and possibly even continue the transfer down into the knees and feet.  As I mentioned in the TMJ post, the jaw is directly connected to the neck and shoulders.  You can see how improper footwear and your jaw pain might be somehow related.

So, my challenge to you: figure out what in your life might be creating a postural deviation for you.  Is it the wallet, monitor position, shoes, chair....?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Myofascial release....Myo-whaaaaa?

I'm going to try to type this entry up with no specific references, no agenda, no outline of where I want the post to go.  Will I wind up tying it up into a nice little package or will I wind up in a long rambling rant?  Or perhaps I'll wind up typing it all up, then going back and proofreading it, editing it and publish something completely different than I began with.  In all likelihood, it means this one will be epic, since I like to explain things too thoroughly...

Whatever it is, I promise that what you will wind up reading will develop organically this time around.  I couldn't tell you why I decided that I want this entry to develop that way, except that maybe I feel that it should unfold in a similar way as a session of myofascial release ("myo" = muscle ; "fascia" = the web of connective soft tissue found all throughout the body, surrounding muscles, tendons, bones, organs, ligaments...).  At least one approach to myofascial release (the John Barnes approach), allows for a session to play out intuitively, through the therapist's ability to empathize and intuit the client's needs, as well as read physical cues.  The combination of cues and intuition can lead therapists to apply their myofascial "holds" in ways that are remarkably relevant to clients' often unspoken physical needs.  I have been on both ends of this process, and it is

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One of my favorite things

I know I said I was only going to post once every 2 weeks, but I just had to post a little something about this wonderful little gadget, the Thera Cane. If you are a member of the CFSQ family, you may have noticed that Mario has recently added one to the box of goodies for self-care (along with the lacrosse balls, peanuts and rollers).  This has rekindled my affection for this little dear.  If you haven't already played with it, do so the next time you're in and have an "owy."

The Thera Cane gives you a unique way to do self massage on specific areas of the body with a good deal of pressure.  The highlight is that it lets you work hard-to-reach areas like the back, with a good deal of pressure. It even comes with a handy instruction manual to help you figure out what all those li'l nubbins can do!

Nothing's as good as having someone else do the work, but this thing is a close second!