STANDING LATERAL SIDE STRETCH

Technique

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and look forward. Keep your body upright and slowly bend to the left or right. Reach down your leg with your hand and do not bend forward.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques.
Secondary muscles: Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Do not lean forward or backward: concentrate on keeping your upper body straight.

ref : Niel Asher Antomey of stretching

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KNEELING REACH-AROUND STRETCH 

Technique

Kneel on your hands and knees and then take one hand and reach around towards your ankle. Keep your back parallel to the ground. 

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques.
Secondary muscles: Iliocostalis lumborum. Intertransversarii. Rotatores. Multifidus. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Keep your thighs vertical, (straight up and down) and your back straight and parallel to the ground. Balance your weight evenly on both your knees and your hand.

Ref Niel Asher Anatomy of stretching 2017

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Shoulder and Neck Relaxer

We often carry tension in our shoulders and neck.

With your arms by your sides, imagine you are carrying a heavy weight in each hand so that your shoulders are pulled towards the floor. Hold for five seconds. Now imagine dropping the weights to the floor and feeling the tension release. Repeat this sequence FIVE times.

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SITTING KNEE-UP ROTATION STRETCH 

Technique

Sit with one leg straight and the other leg crossed over your knee. Turn your shoulders and put your arm onto your raised knee to help rotate your shoulders and back.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. Tensor fasciae latae. Secondary muscles: Semispinalis thoracis. Spinalis thoracis. Longissimus thoracis. Iliocostalis thoracis. Iliocostalis lumborum. Multifidus. Rotatores. Intertransversarii. Interspinales. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques). Iliotibial band syndrome.

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Keep your hips straight and concentrate on rotating your lower back. 

 

ref: Niel Asher Anatomy of Streching 2017

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LYING KNEE ROLL-OVER STRETCH

Technique

Lie on your back, keep your knees together and raise them slightly. Keep your arms out to the side and then let your back and hips rotate with your knees.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Semispinalis thoracis. Spinalis thoracis. Longissimus thoracis. Iliocostalis thoracis. Iliocostalis lumborum. Multifidus. Rotatores. Intertransversarii. Interspinales. Secondary muscles: Gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Iliotibial band syndrome.

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Keep your shoulders on the ground and avoid lifting them during this stretch. Do not throw your legs over to the side; simply let the weight of your legs do most of the stretching for you. 

Ref: Niel Asher Anatomy of stretching 2017

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Hand and Leg Shakes

This is an excellent tension-busting exercise, which you and do almost anywhere.

Shake your hands and arms for one minute and then shake your legs and feet of one minute.

When you stop shaking them your muscle should feel softer and more relaxed.

GIVE IT A TRY!!!

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STANDING REACH-UP BACK ROTATION

Technique

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands above your head while keeping your back and shoulders upright. Slowly rotate your shoulders to one side.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Semispinalis thoracis. Spinalis thoracis. Longissimus thoracis. Iliocostalis thoracis. Iliocostalis lumborum. Multifidus. Rotatores. Intertransversarii. Interspinales. Secondary muscles: Quadratus lumborum. External and internal obliques. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Back muscle strain. Back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Common problems and more information for performing this stretch correctly
Lean back slightly to emphasize the oblique muscles. Do not perform if you suffer from lower back pain. 

 

Ref: Niel Asher Anatomy of stretching 2017

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Strategies For Sleeping Well!!!

  • Make sure your bed is comfortable
  • Bedroom is dark
  • Bedroom is quiet
  • Keep room at a warm temperature of 18ºç to 24ºç
  • Place a few drops of lavender essentials oil on a tissue or handkerchief and tuck it under your pillow

If you can't fall asleep get up and read, listen to the radio or watch some TV for a while then return to bed.

If you find yourself worrying about something, write down all the things on your mind and promise yourself you will deal with them in the MORNING. Then go to bed.

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KNEELING BACK ROTATION STRETCH

Technique

Kneel on the ground and raise one arm. Then rotate your shoulders and middle back while looking upwards.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Semispinalis thoracis. Spinalis thoracis. Longissimus thoracis. Iliocostalis thoracis. Iliocostalis lumborum. Multifidus. Rotatores. Intertransversarii. Interspinales. Secondary muscles: External and internal obliques. Pectoralis major. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Back muscle strain. Back ligament sprain. Abdominal muscle strain (obliques).

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Keep your arm pointing straight upward and follow your hand with your eyes. This will help to further extend the stretch into your neck.

Ref: Niel Asher Anatomy of stretching 2017

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KNEELING BACK-ARCH STRETCH

Technique

Kneel on your hands and knees. Let your head fall forwards and arch your back upwards.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscles: Semispinalis cervicis and thoracis. Spinalis cervicis and thoracis. Longissimus cervicis and thoracis. Splenius cervicis. Iliocostalis cervicis and thoracis. Secondary muscles: Interspinales. Rotatores. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Neck muscle strain. Whiplash (neck sprain). Cervical nerve stretch syndrome. Wryneck (acute torticollis). Back muscle strain. Back ligament sprain.

Common problems and more information for performing this stretch correctly Perform this stretch slowly and deliberately, resting your weight evenly on both your knees and hands. 

 

Ref: Niel Asher Anatomy of Stretching 2017

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LYING DOUBLE KNEE-TO-CHEST STRETCH

Technique

Lie on your back and use your hands to bring both knees into your chest.

Muscles being stretched

Primary muscle: Gluteus maximus. Secondary muscles: Iliocostalis lumborum. Spinalis thoracis. Longissimus thoracis. 

Sports injury where stretch may be useful

Lower back muscle strain. Lower back ligament sprain. Hamstring strain.

Additional information for performing this stretch correctly
Rest your back, head, and neck on the ground and don’t be tempted to raise your head off the ground. 

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The Benefits of Stretching

The Benefits of Stretching

Stretching is a simple and effective activity that helps to enhance athletic performance, decrease the likelihood of injury, and minimise muscle soreness. But how, specifically, is this accomplished? The benefits of stretching are:

1. Improved Range of Movement

By Stretching we are able to increase the length of our muscles. As a result of this, a reduction in general muscle tension is achieved and our normal range of movement is increased.

The benefits of an extended range of movement include increased comfort, a greater ability to move freely, and a lessening of our susceptibility to muscle and tendon strain injuries.

2. Increased Power

By increasing our muscles’ length we are increasing the distance over which they are able to contract. This results in a potential increase to our muscles’ power and therefore increases our athletic ability, while also leading to an improvement in dynamic balance, or the ability to control our muscles.

3. Reduced Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness

Stretching, as part of an effective cool-down, helps to alleviate this soreness by lengthening the individual muscle fibers, increasing blood circulation, and removing waste products.

4. Reduced Fatigue

If the opposing muscles are more flexible, the working muscles do not have to exert as much force against them. Therefore each movement of the working muscles actually takes less effort.

Added Benefits

Along with the benefits listed above, a regular stretching program will also help to improve posture, develop body awareness, improve coordination, promote circulation, increase energy, and improve relaxation and stress relief. 

 

Ref: Niel Asher, the Anatomy of stretching 2nd addition 2017.

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Copy of REGAIN PERSPECTIVE!!


If the same problem keeps coming to the fore and you can think of no new ways to deal with it, try a visualisation exercise to put it into perspective and let it go.

1. Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. In your mind's eye imagine that you are a bird takeing flight. You sweep up into the sky, soaring high above your human self.

2. Look down. What can you see? From the air explore the houses, buildings and streets. People appear as tiny as dots, moving hurriedly from place to place.

3. Fly higher still. Buildings and trees appear to shrink away. Eventually all you can see beneath you is the world as a small, revolving ball hovering in space.

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4. From here try to visualise your problem as a speck of dust on the Earth below you. Think how the wind will pick it up and blow it far away. When you feel ready to do sp, slowly breath out, then open your eyes.

REGAIN PERSPECTIVE!!


If the same problem keeps coming to the fore and you can think of no new ways to deal with it, try a visualisation exercise to put it into perspective and let it go.

1. Sit comfortably, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes. In your mind's eye imagine that you are a bird takeing flight. You sweep up into the sky, soaring high above your human self.

2. Look down. What can you see? From the air explore the houses, buildings and streets. People appear as tiny as dots, moving hurriedly from place to place.

3. Fly higher still. Buildings and trees appear to shrink away. Eventually all you can see beneath you is the world as a small, revolving ball hovering in space.

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4. From here try to visualise your problem as a speck of dust on the Earth below you. Think how the wind will pick it up and blow it far away. When you feel ready to do so, slowly breath out, then open your eyes.

STANDING LEG TUCK HIP STRETCH!!

STANDING LEG TUCK HIP STRETCH!!
Technique
Stand beside a chair or table and place the foot furthest from the object onto the object. Relax your leg, lean forward, and bend your other leg, lowering yourself towards the ground. 

Muscles being stretched
Primary muscles: Piriformis. Gemellus superior and inferior. Obturator internus and externus. Quadratus femoris.�Secondary muscle: Gluteus maximus. 

Sports that benefit from this stretch
Cycling. Hiking. Backpacking. Mountaineering. Orienteering. Ice hockey. Field hockey. Ice- skating. Roller-skating. Inline skating. Martial arts. Running. Track. Cross-country. American football (gridiron). Soccer. Rugby. Snow skiing. Water skiing. Walking. Race walking. 
Sports injury where stretch may be useful
Piriformis syndrome. Snapping hip syndrome. Trochanteric bursitis. 

Common problems and additional information for performing this stretch correctly�Use the leg you are standing on to regulate the intensity of this stretch. The lower you go, the more tension you will feel. 
Full Credit to: Niel Asher, Anatomy of stretching

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10 TIPS TO HELP YOU DE-STRSS YOUR WEEK!!

 

#10 Tips to help you de-stress your week!!

Most of us no what stress feels like 345 emails in the inbox, conference call starts in 5 minutes but I just covered myself in scolding hot coffee, kids have 3 different sports on Saturday in 3 different places…….

But do we really know how to stress less or really relax?

Sure a week away at a resort would calm the nerves and work for most people. But there isn’t always time for tanning, let alone sleeping, eating, or going to the bathroom.

 

I have put together 10 ideas on how to relax or stress less:

 

1.  Feel The Music

One of my favorite thing to do.

Music has been used in hospitals to combat depression and induce sleep in those suffering chronic insomnia. The Royal Melbourne Hospital uses music therapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress, even in palliative cancer patients. "Music offers opportunities for increased expression, positive experiences and an increased sense of meaning," says the hospital's Senior Clinician Emma O'Brien. Take time to listen to some of your favorite music, and your body will thank you for it.

 

2.  Use Your Breath

Is there any simpler way to relax?

We often forget to focus on the simplest, shortest (and one of the most restorative) activities available to us: our breath. Slow, deep breaths can help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Start with 5 Slow, deep breaths and as you do, notice the natural pause between your inhale and exhale, and then between your exhale and your next inhale. Your body has a built-in break — how great is that?!”

3.  Cuddle With A Pet

A boyfriend or girlfriend is okay, but they’re (usually) not furry enough. After a rough day, Snuggle with a pet for an instant slobbery smile, since pets can boost self-esteem and even ease the sting of social rejection. If your pet is anything like my Diesel you will end up with plenty of love and all slobbery for free.

4.  Do Some Yoga

Practicing Yoga is a great way to relax and centre your mind to become calm and collected.  Plus it has many, many benefits to your physical body, too. Learn a few simple Yoga poses, or asanas, and spend a few minutes every day practicing them. If you are happy with the results, you could perhaps take a class and develop your skills even further! Put your feet up—against the wall, of course. The Vipariti Kirani yoga pose involves lying on the floor and resting the legs up against a wall. Not only does it give the body a good stretch, but it helps create peace of mind, too.

5.  Go Outdoors When You Can


This won’t be very practical in the middle of winter when it gets dark by five o’clock, but in the summer, it should still be light when you get home. Take advantage of the remaining light to take a walk or enjoy another outdoor activity. Head outside and “sit on a bench or a blanket and let your mind get quiet” while you engage all your senses,” Kaplin said. Engaging your senses is a powerful way to relax, Lindor said. What do you see, hear and smell?

6.  Play

If exercising feels to much like a chore then how about enjoying some guilt-free time with your friends? In ‘Play it Away’, author Charlie Hoehn explains how spending 30 minutes each day on any outdoor activity with your friends may actually be the key when trying to cure anxiety. He even created a Pinterest board with all sorts of activity ideas you can try out. Play is a wonderful way to unwind, especially for grown-ups. Play is anything that’s purposeless and pleasurable. For instance, in her book, Louden suggests everything from finger-painting to playing tag to watching cartoons to digging in the dirt to throwing a Frisbee to going to the zoo to swinging on the swings at a park.

7.  Laugh


Stressed? Me? Ha! Laughter’s one of the sillier ways to beat stress, but there’s science behind it . A fit of hysterics can increase blood flow and boost immunity. Keep a book of jokes handy in the desk drawer or check out a hilarious YouTube video (maybe a piano-playing pug?) for a quick pick-me-up.

8.  Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball Or Spiky Ball


Leave the clubs at home and just bring the ball. You can get an impromptu relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball, spiky ball or even a tennis ball. Most people who have been for a massage at All About Muscles Massage Therapy know how much I love the uses of spiky ball on your feet or even your back!

9.  Drip Cold Water On Your Wrists


Pass on the perfume and go with water. When stress hits, head for the bathroom and drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

10.  Book your Next Massage.....

 

A relaxation massage helps de-stress and loosen up your body and is great for those who have had a hard working week or feel like treating themselves to some TLC!  It is a pain-free way to relax both your muscles and your mind.

Trapezius Muscle Of The Week!!

Muscle Of The Week

Trapezius

Trapezius is a superficial muscle extending from cervical to thoracic region on the posterior aspect of the neck and trunk. It’s a broad flat muscle that’s divided into 3 parts descending (superior), ascending (inferior), and middle. The trapezius muscle is a postural and active movement muscle, used to tilt and turn the head and neck, shrug, steady the shoulders, and twist the arms. The trapezius elevates, depresses, rotates, and retracts the scapula, or shoulder blade.

 

ORIGIN

Medial third of superior nuchal line of occipital bone. External occipital protuberance. Ligamentum nuchae. Spinous processes and supraspinous ligaments of 7th cervical vertebra (C7) and all thoracic vertebrae (T1–T12).

INSERTION

Posterior border of lateral third of clavicle. Medial border of acromion. Upper border of crest of spine of scapula, and tubercle on this crest.

ACTION

Upper fibers: pull shoulder girdle up (elevation). Helps prevent depression of shoulder girdle when a weight is carried on shoulder or in hand.

Middle fibers: retract (adduct) scapula.Lower fibers: depress scapula, particularly against resistance, as when using hands to get up from a chair.

Upper and lower fibers together: rotate scapula, as in elevating arm above head.Antagonist: serratus anterior.

BASIC FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT

Example (upper and lower fibers working together): painting a ceiling.

REFERRED PAIN PATTERNS

Upper fibers: pain and tenderness, posterior and lateral aspect of upper neck. Temporal region and angle of jaw.

Middle fibers: local pain, radiating medially to spine. Lower fibers: posterior cervical spine, mastoid area, area above spine of scapula. 

 

REF: This information was sourced from Muscles of the body and their trigger points niel asher healthcare as the copyright 2014

Trapezius muscle - Wikipedia. 2017. Trapezius muscle - Wikipedia. [ONLINE] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezius_muscle. [Accessed 19 October 2017]

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Monday Muscle Of The Week

Welcome to Monday muscle of the week this week we are looking at the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor

 

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Pectoralis Minor

The pectoralis minor is a muscle that becomes easily shortened and tight due to many factors, including rounded shoulder posture, glenohumeral joint dysfunction, breathing dysfunction, and a variety of compensation patterns. The pectoralis minor is a downward rotator of the scapula and oftentimes involved in glenohumeral dysfunction. The pectoralis minor is also an internal rotator of the humerus.

 Origin

3rd to 5th ribs near their costal cartilages
 

Insertion: 

Medial border and superior surface of coracoid process of scapula


Action:

Stabilizes scapula by drawing it inferiorly and anteriorly against thoracic wall
The pectoralis minor has two main functions. On one hand, it pulls the scapulaanteriorly and inferiorly toward the ribs (abduction and depression respectively). This leads to a dorsomedial movement of the inferior angle of the scapula. This movement is both helpful when retracting the elevated arm and as well as moving the arm posteriorly behind the back. On the other hand, the pectoralis minor elevates the third to fifth ribs (given a fixed scapula) and expands the ribcage. By those means, it can also serve as an accessory muscle during inspiration.

 

PECTORALIS MAJOR

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Along with the pectoralis minor, the pectoralis major forms the anterior wall of the axilla.

ORIGIN

Clavicular head: medial half or two- thirds of front of clavicle, Sternocostal portion: front of manubrium and body of sternum. Upper six costal cartilages. Rectus sheath.

ACTION

Adducts and medially rotates humerus.Clavicular portion: flexes and medially rotates shoulder joint, and horizontally adducts humerus toward opposite shoulder. Sternocostal portion: obliquely adducts humerus toward opposite hip.

Pectoralis major is one of the main climbing muscles, pulling the body up to the fixed arm.

BASIC FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT

Clavicular portion: brings arm forward and across body, e.g. asin applying deodorant to opposite armpit.Sternocostal portion: pulling something down from above, e.g. a rope in bell ringing.

REFERRED PAIN PATTERNS

Clavicular portion: local pain, radiating to anterior deltoid and long head of biceps brachii area. Sternal portion: “acute” back pain into anterior chest wall in a 10–20 cm patch of diffuse pain around medial border of upper extremity. Stronger pain below medial epicondyle in a 5 cm patch, diffuse pain into 4th and 5th digits.

Costal portion: 5th and 6th ribs leads to severe cardiac referral (even at night). Intense breastpain (10–15 cm patch). Diffuse radiations into axillary tail, and into axilla.

CAUSES

Poor posture while sitting, round- shouldered postures, heavy lifting, chilling of muscle in air conditioning, immobilization of shoulder or arm in cast or sling, anxiety and poor breathing, sports overload (e.g. weight training, rowing, boxing, push-ups).