Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

So your left shoulder hurts, you think thats the problem and so you have it looked at, do exercises, but it still hurts.

Do something different, change what you are doing, a bit like changing your diet if its not working for you, you change a few things, tweak it.

A little suggestion for your left shoulder – look at your right shoulder.

What do you do with your right wrist, elbows, shoulder position when you are at the laptop, when you type, when you rest it on the table, when you hold your mobile, when you try a text. By doing corrective exercise on the side that hurts can work for a while, but you could find that after time, the original pain get worse or comes back, it can be called impingement of the shoulder for example.

When you are working on the painful left side, what happens is that you are sending messages up the nerves to the left side of your brain – the cerebellum area to the right cortex, which will improve pain if you have it in your right side.

So in a nutshelll, look at the other side to improve the neural connection to the side that does hurt.

Sounds wonky doesn’t it, its the kind of difference in my Corrective Exercise Program

If you are a little further afield and can’t make it to my posture studio for a different, neurological way of looking at your posture and “fixing” pain, then download your copy of my program.

Mel Collie




Mel Collie |Why Is Posture Important

Mel Collie | Why Is Posture Important & should you care?

I’m called a the posture geek, by friends as well as clients, so its without doubt I’m going to say yes, posture is important, but why is that and what happens when it isn’t, is it hard to put right?

1. Wonky spines – we’ve all got them, if you sit a lot, stand a lot (mechanics, nurses for example) then your spine is going to be a bit wonky.. You will have issues with health, as the body is out of alignment. Its not about being perfect, its about being healthy and having a life that ts without pain, but better health, a bit like having the car well tuned and noticing how well it runs afterwards, has that happened to you? Happens to me when I put air in the tyres, feels like a whole new car driving experience. The issues on our health can range from the obvious back pain, neck pain, knee pain, to digestive issues, skin disorders, headaches.

2. Knees, back and hip pain can occur when they overwork because other muscles arent doing their job. This could be because the upper middle back has been stretched by sitting at the desk, standing over the car (mechanics. standing over patients (nurses and Dr), standing a lot (postman carrying heavy post bags, shop workers) Your body needs to keep moving, the brain will find another muscle to do the job if the ones that should be helping you, aren’t working as they should. That sound a bit weird doesn’t it? I though so too, after all, if the muscles are in the body and all attached then why aren’t they getting the signal? Well, that signal to act can be disrupted by things like injury(even from an injury when you were little) over training, under training,not doing the right exercises for example.

3. Its not hard to put right, but it takes effort, like anything else in life, if you want results, you have to out in effort, there is no magic pill, unfortunately, but would life be dull if there was… However, using the nervous system is a short cut to getting good and fast results.

Something as simple as lack of rotation in the mid body can mean the knees, hips and lower back over work to replicate that movement.

How can you measure where you are right now with your lack of rotation (if you have any that is) is this link of little old me showing you something you can do everyday.

Use it before and after you train, work, run, ski, surf, climb, roller tells you that the activity you’ve been doing has affected your movement, has it reduced or increased?

For example, during a 1:1 training session, the nervous system takes a pounding as you exercise, and if you are already stressed through work worries, home worries, shallow fast breathing,  dehydrated or digestive system is affected, then you may find your muscles react, posture changes, pain happens.

If you are about to set off and do a training session, check your nervous system before (Use that video link!), during and again after. This way you can see what is and what isnt working for you,. not what someone else expects you to do, but what you can do, what your tolerance levels are for that day.

You are different everyday.

Treat yourself with the respect that you deserve, use that wisdom to have a stronger, flexible, healthier skeleton. A stronger spine with a life of less pain, more stamina and better movement.

Mel Collie

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Mel Collie | True Self

Mel Collie | Are you Good Enough?

Mel Collie | Are you Good Enough?

Diaries, I’ve had many over the years, but now I’m 50, I look back and realise the last time I wrote a diary was in my 20’s.

Haven’t blogs taken over now as peoples way of keeping a momento of their day to day adventures? Or is it Facebook?

One of my reasons for still being on facebook is the reason I started an account in the first place, to keep in touch with my sister in Indonesia.

Its easy to get swept away and watch what others are doing, reading status updates and compare your life to theirs, your family, money, success, health, body shape, and worry that we arent keeping up.

Things like these can either make or break us, is we allow it to.
You are in charge
You are in the driving seat
No one else in in charge of your life

Using energy to help out others in their struggles rather than using energy to judge ourselves, beat ourselves up about not being strong enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, rich enough…

Its exhausting trying to be perfect.

When Chris & I created the SOB online program, it was with this in mind, not to bully anyone into thinking they werent enough already, because you are, we all are, but to open eyes and realise just that.

Then accept it.
You are enough
As you are right now.
Acceptance of that fact is as hard as you make it because it brings with it all those little negative voices that you’ve heard over the years that you believe you cant do it , aren’t good enough

but you are

right now

The online program helps steer you through all the noise on Facebook and other social networking sites that can overtake, if you allow it to.

Action steps, accountability and a map to help guide you through the rocky sections of the path to accepting you as you are.

Now go look in that mirror and tell your reflection you are the best, amazing, fabulous. You dont need anyone else to tell you that, you just believe it.

But the most powerful thing is, that you are possibly going to listen to the negative voices in your own head, because thats where you live.

So, when you hear those voices that you are listening to ask yourself


Are they true?

Is it true that you arent good enough, will fail, will look stupid, wont be liked, are too overweight, arent perfect enough etc etc

Is it true?

How do you know it is (if your answer was a big fat YES , like those big fat YES the judges award in Britains Got talent…what does a big fat YES look like anyway?)

Question yourself.

Is it true

How do you know for sure

Are you being true to yourself or pleasing someone else

Then watch what happens as you go about your day.

Mel Collie & Chris Tuck

Have you tried meditating? Does it have a darker side?

Have you tried meditating? Does it have a darker side?

I’ve just read an article in New Scientist about the darker side of meditation.

Its surprising to learn that for some, meditation can mean depression, mania, hallucinations, terror, psychotic breakdowns.

On long meditation retreats, the outcome can be distressing for some, but blissful for others. David Shapiro of California University found that 7% experienced profoundly adverse effects, including panic and depression. Apparently is doesn’t matter if you are an experienced meditator or not.

After a relationship breakdown a few years ago, I went on a 3 day silent meditation in Dorset, and although I cried and let go of a load of baggage on the first day, I found a lot of peace, and continued to meditate when I got home, although the car drive back was a nightmare, because of the noise, the madness of the traffic, the pressure of driving, almost negated the whole 3 day experience.
Also,  I used to meditate for 30 – 45 minutes every morning with a friend in the village. I was usually away with the fairies and in a state of bliss, she , however, seemed quite distressed at times, because it was hard to relax the mind and feel happier and serene.
My take away from the article that relates to life, fitness, wellness and your self esteem is this – mindfulness can be a stressful thing. Trying to focus on your awareness om what you are feeling and thinking can be demanding on the brain.

When the “bad stuff” arises, it can be hard to negotiate with those memories and thoughts, and its this side of meditation that is the darker side of it.

So, if you are considering meditating, have an awareness of the effects, of what may happen, that it might not be the blissful stress free experience that you are seeking, but then again, it might, this all depends on you and what has happened in your lifetime.

Theres also an article on wellness, and the issues with the wellness industry, Ive got my thoughts on that too, thats for next time.

But for now, I want to thank everyone who has bought their Phase I of the corrective exercise project, and have received great feedback, helping a couple of guys with tight hamstrings , and a woman with long term back pain to name but a few, thanks, keep your good comments and questions coming though to

Mel Collie
Want a copy? Go here  and click the corrective exercise tab at the top.

Mel Collie | Dont Let The Scales Steal Your Smiles

 Mel Collie | Dont Let The Scales Steal Your Smiles

Uh Oh…no doubt you’ve seen the adverts to use protein powder or increase exercise to get flat abs for the summer..

And maybe thats what you are thinking too…must be skinny for that summer beach body..I’ve been there and done that, I have taught Bootcamp classes and been in a few tone up your abs in 21 days (or less) . I could even tell you I learned my Bootcamp skills from the Bootcamp King himself Paul Mort (google that name, he is now a marketing genius with inspiring daily emails) and Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect.(creator of the brilliant rest based training ) and the awesome Dax Moy for his Elimination Diet coaching (understanding the endocrine system – basically, your liver is the organ that helps you lose fat)

And yes, Bootcamps work, and yes I love some of the sessions, and the results, and having been through them, researched how the brain and body connect, the ONE most important element in all of my lessons learned was…(actualy theres 2…but heres the first one..)

Don’t go by the scales, but go by how you feel….love yourself as you are right now, regardless of your size.

This one can go on forever, because it encompasses your emotions, how you feel about yourself, your reflection, how you feel in your clothes, how vulnerable you feel without putting on your best outfit or your make up, how you feel before opening the kitchen cupboard and looking to see if you can find foods to make you fill that hole that drove you to open it in the first place, how you feel when you are exercising (is it punishing or rewarding?)
How you feel when you weigh yourself..

During one Bootcamp session, we weighed before class, one girl had put on 2 llbs in a week, she burst into tears, because she had been “good” all week…denying herself chocolate, working out every day, sometimes twice a day…and she looked great, but was tired, so what happened?

Well, her happiness was set on the number on the scales.

Muscle builds, fat goes (muscle tissue is great at eating up fat) but the weight can stay the same or increase. What changes is your clothes size , use that as a guide.

If you train too much it can be counterproductive, sleep can be an issue, stress can increase stress hormonal release which increases belly fat – or makes it very stubborn to lose no matter how much you train.

These are crucial to your success. Mindset is everything.
Find something that works for you, that you enjoy, don’t over do it, recovery is key, love yourself as you are from the inside (that can be a hard one that requires daily reminders for some of us, including me) be kind to yourself, chocolate isnt the “baddie” – have a hot chocolate (as organic as possible with no added sugar) every day (made with water or almond milk is a bonus), this helps reduce cravings, boosts magnesium, helps the body “balance”.

Don’t watch the scales, have fun instead, you find that you might just enjoy life and not be obsessed by a number.
Oh, and the second lesson was…choose your health as the reason to change your nutrition, training and lifestyle.

It seems that reason to choose good food and movement lasts a lifetime.

Mel Collie

Mel Collie | Its not a hamstring stretch..but it works…

Mel Collie | Its not a hamstring stretch..but it works…

I hate forward bends, always have. I cant touch my toes, you would think I could really, being a Pilates teacher and all that. However, my mind also works over time, I’m always reading, learning new things, have an inquiring mind, also prone to stress and worry. This affects my muscles, fascia and structure, breathing and worry lines :)

So I have to watch it, and have learned to look out for my signals. Now, because Im a busy chick, \i like results, fast, and thats why I love this little magic trick on the fascia, however, breathing slowly and deeply also helps you relax and “stretch” hamstrings, it also helps prevent groin strains too believe it or not (true story!)

Although this isnt a stretch, it does release the tightness in the back of the legs. It works by doing a fascial release technique on the superficial back line which runs from the top of the head down the back, down the legs and under the feet.
You can have tight hamstrings from sitting, being stressed, always on the move, being a runner, having tight hips,shallow breathing and an anxious mind…even something like a low self esteem or lack of confidence can affect tightness in muscle.
I’ve also put this video in my new Corrective Exercise project, you can download Phase I now here from my website. There will be 3 phases, the first phase is all about inner range holds and how to use your vestibular and proprioceptive system to help you have more stamina and strength.I also talk about changing a few things in your diet to help your joints feel a lot less stiff.
Phase II is all about the vision, and more dynamic exercises using a stability ball I also talk about the hierarchy of threats to the brain. Phase III is all about taking all those moves and going a bit further with strength and balance as you progress.

Heres the hamstring video link…remember, it only works if you practice it often.

Happy hamstrings :)


Mel Collie | Your Brain Tells a Story

Mel Collie | Your Brain Tells a Story

Most of us have a mobile, laptop, i-pad or something similar. Not that Im going to give you a lecture on posture, though I do help fix peoples posture and bad backs, I am going to shine some light on using the computer and our past stories.

When we are looking at the screen our eyes, narrow, our inner corners of our eyes become stronger, telling our brain that our world is only as wide as the screen. This reduces our movement and range. Our brain believes what our eyes are telling it, it has to, it relies on the messages the eyes send back in order to ensure that you don’t over do a real with your arms or you might hurt your shoulders.

Does that make sense?

So, your brain creates limitations around what it is used to, and this shows in the way you move and feel. Your joint mobility, flexibility and strength.

A child from an unhappy home harbours those memories as they grow up. The brain is like a computer, it doesn’t forget anything that it believes is a threat to your survival.
It remembers the “don’t do that” or the “you are too stupid do do that” or the ” you will never be good enough” or the ” keep out of my way”.
Without even realising it, as an adult, your responses to people around you will be affected because your brain remembers.
It creates the story and plays it over and over.
The amygdala is the alarm bell, it holds the stories, as your brain sees it, its recalling them to keep you from doing any damage, from threatening your survival, thats why we can lose strength and feel like curling up when stressed.

Your brain is like velcro for bad news, and teflon for good news, its hard wired for suffering. So much so that its how we live our lives, barely seeing the happiness in every moment we have, always looking for the next new shiny object to make us happy, when the happiness can only happen when we look inside of ourselves.

So, be more aware when you are next anxious, in pain, feeling depressed. Your brain is uncertain of the future, of whats going to happen next, its searching (its searching Google if you like!) for all the past experiences that it can relate to. Its slowing you down ultimately, so you find it hard to find a solution, stops you from getting out from under the duvet and living life to the full.
Nowadays we numb it, through food, alcohol, Facebook.
Im not going to tell you to read positive quotes, but instead Im going to do what is so simple, I think Ive emailed you about it before

Thats it
Just breathe into your lower belly for 1 minutes a day x 10.
the oxygen will tell your brain its not under threat, and will calm down the nervous system.
We need oxygen to function, and its reduced when we are anxious, we breathe into the upper chest then, its shall breathing, our brain worries we are under threat of survival, it closes you down, slows you down.

Its part of our survival programme we created for survivors of abuse to boost self esteem, wellness, fitness, a holistic approach. You can find out more about this amazing programme here.

Mel Collie

Mel Collie | Esther Rantzen & My MOT

Mel Collie | Esther Rantzen & My MOT

My car had to be fixed, or there was no car, no mot no driving.

It made me realise that even though life chucks you all the crappy stuff its down to you to react how you choose.

You can have a tantrum and throw the toys out the pram, stamp the feet, have a screaming rant, have a few drinks and a whinge.

They all raise the blood pressure, increase a hormone called Cortisol which increases belly fat and increases sensitivity to pain, so joint pain, back pain can also increase at times of stress, worry, anxiety. Many years ago, stress was the thing that kept us alive, running from the lions and tigers, hunting them down for something to eat. These days its the opposite and is slowly making us sick and tired. Stress can come from the memories we harbour and relive, opening a gas bill, from a demanding job or heavy training regime, lack of sleep, dehydration, a poor diet, constant negative thoughts, poor posture. (and many more!)
Stress is a big buzz word these days.

Its easy for me to say “step back and see it for what it is, accept it, realise and release it” but all of that can take time, some people never release worries and fears, old beliefs, because they don’t realise how stuck they are, or that their beliefs are the very things holding them back.
My “realisation” or little spiritualisation/break down happened a few years ago when a relationship broke down and I was heartbroken enough to have a long weekend away in a silent meditation retreat, it was pure heaven, loved every minute…after spending the whole of the first morning in tears. (silent ones…)

I learned the value of silence, breathing, relaxation and looking after myself, so I could be there for others, but, above all, I could be strong enough for me.

One thing you can do right now that won’t cost you a thing (don’t panic, we aren’t going to meditate, though we will talk about that in another email ) is this(you are pretty switched on so maybe you’ve done this already) Start a diary, or , in the one you already use, write 3 things you are happy about, 3 things you have around you that you are grateful for.
My 3 would be..happy I had the ways and means to pay for the MOT, happy that the guy who did the MOT has a bad back and will now be a client of mine ( I help people with back pain too..) Im happy that the sun was shining, the blossom tree next to the garage was in full bloom and I could see those colours.

Simple things we see and do everyday we take for granted are those very things we don’t see anymore. Does that make sense?
As human beings we live our lives, we gauge our life by suffering and pain, its how we have evolved. We tell each other about the crappy day we had at work rather than the great things that happened, because we gossip, chatter, judge each other, but how different it would be if we did the opposite.
I can’t see that changing in my lifetime, but I can make little changes to my mindset, which changes my day and how other people speak and act towards me, which helps shape my life.

What are your first 3 things? Would you make a new list everyday? Try it for 7 days.
Let me know how it goes, if you notice any mindset changes.

Mel Collie

Mel Collie | Do you tell your kids to stop being a fidget?

Mel Collie | Do you tell your kids to stop being a fidget?

Im sure you’ve lost count how many time you were told to sit still as a kid, do you now say it to your kids ? Maybe your nieces or nephews too?

Ok, stop it now…

Break the habit and the old belief that kids should not fidget, they will spend many years sitting at a computer, just like you are now, don’t steal their mobility just yet.

As for you, move as much as you can during the day, especially when you are at that desk, stand up, walk about,jump about, swing your arms about your body, tap your joints all over, jiggle your booty, rub your feet, shake your hands as if you have water on them, move your fingers around in circles. Move the computer position, dont sit feet up on the sofa with the laptop every night as you watch the tv – move positions often if you do this certain kind of sofa training :)

Make proper use of Microsoft outlook if you have it, or post it notes, and create a reminder service on your laptop to remind you to get up and move every 30 minutes, its going to do you no harm at all.

Be a fidget, and enjoy it, its what your body loves the most.


Mel Collie | Do you Really have One leg Shorter?

Mel Collie | Do you Really have One leg Shorter?…

Most people do have one leg shorter than the other…true story! And standing on one leg will tell you why that is. Well, one of the reasons..
Its called the Trendelburg ( Described by german surgeon Friedrich Trendelenburg in 1895) sign,  heres a picture for all you visionary learners.

Try it –  lift your left leg, does your pelvis shifts out towards the right side, so your right hip pushes out, you would find it tricky to keep a straight leg.
The opposite on the other leg too, so try it by standing on your left leg and lifting the right one.
This means that when you lift that left leg, for example, and your hips sway out on the right, your glutes arent helping you stay in a neutral pelvic position. They are a little bit weaker on that side.
This will be noticeable when you walk.
Now, when walking,  you push the body forward in walking pattern,from the ball of the back foot the knee and hip flex as the leg comes through, the pelvis is supported, but when it isnt because the glutes and TFL are weak and the flexion in the hip isnt as it should be, your pelvis shifts and drops.
Because everything affects everything, your upper body will also shift across too, affecting shoulders and head, ribs and breathing.
Try this simple 1 leg balance test, what happens to your pelvis?