Monthly Archives: January 2016

Mel Collie |Back Pain & Your Cheating Core

Mel Collie |Back Pain & Your Cheating Core

Its not nice when you get back pain, it can really take over your life and be so debilitating.

Its also not nice to be told that the reason your back hurts could be that your core isn’t stabilising, its not switching on quick enough to be able to do its job.

You cheat

You compensate

You find other ways

The main way, I’ve found through doing some pattern testing on some willing volunteers,  is holding the breath

We then find that the back holds, but at the costs of compensating through the diaphragm and the hip flexor- Psoas – as it has fibres that connect to the diaphragm.Then these get tired, and complain.

Those complaints are felt as pain. So pain is a friend, sometimes, its knocking on your door, telling you to do something about your cheating core.

Is breathing important?

You betcha back pain it is!

Breathe well and you’ve got great core ability, great connection with your abs and Psoas.

I do a simple Psoas test, Transversus and Rectus Abs test, to see if its your breath holding is compensating for your lower back.

It’s one of my favourite pattern detective tests.

I’m now onto the hands and fingers…these I find complicated, interesting though, because as we spend more time on mobiles, laptops and computers, we spend more time with bent fingers, so the flexion muscles of the fingers become more hypertonic, and the extension muscles become sub optimal.

Testing each finger on an extension against a low pressure from my own hands, reveals which fingers are the weakest, on an extension pattern.

We may also see compensation in the breath , holding it to stabilise, also in the shoulder lifting , which creates tightness in the upper Trapezius and Scalene muscles, and if both scalene muscles are tight, this can be lead back to the core again, as a de stabilised core can lead to stabilisation in the neck, on both sides.

So, for all you texting bunnies out there, those finger tests are very revealing!

Texting is a repetitive movement, as is tapping your keyboard, that repetitive movement has to show up somewhere along the pattern of movement , and if you see the fascia picture of the arm lines, you can follow the line back to the upper skeletal frame.

Pain usually is the site of a tight , hypertonic muscle, doesn’t mean is weak, it can be strong, thats the beauty of the patterning tests, to see if the muscles are weak or strong, which ones are working and which ones aren’t, so when you do homework your doing the right home exercises that release the tight first, but strengthen the weaker ones second.

Trick is knowing which muscles are doing what, without assessing, you are , well, guessing I suppose.

Assessing can take a couple of hours, thats why your first appointment asks that you allow 120 minutes, to help take time to reveal the story your body is telling.

This photo is of the Arm Anatomy Trains . If you google Thomas Myers, Anatomy Trains, you will come up with a load of great stuff, his videos on fascia dissection are very interesting, just don’t watch them whilst eating your dinner….

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Pattern Detective in Training!

www.neurokinetictherapy.com

 

Anatomy Trains - Arm Lines. Are you a texting bunny? Why do your hands hurt?
Anatomy Trains – Arm Lines. Are you a texting bunny? Why do your hands hurt?

 

 

Mel Collie | Sacroiliac Pain

Mel Collie | Sacroiliac Pain

Have you ever had SI Joint pain? Painful stuff!

So, as part of becoming a pattern detective with a certificate to put on my wall, I’ve asked in a Facebook group for the village I live in, for some guinea pigs with SIJ pain, and was inundated with replies! Theres a lot of it around it seems, who knew?!

So, after doing some homework, I’ve studied the core relationship, but am also aware that it can be as far away as the lower leg, so Im hoping its the core and we can resolve it.

If the core is inhibited, the SI will compress. leading to some pain in that area.

If your body lacks stability at its core, it will fight for that stability elsewhere.

That elsewhere could be at the SIJ.

Commonly found also , along with inhibited glutes and core muscles are facilitated quadratus lumborum (yes, the James Bond of muscles, my favourite!) iliac and erector spinae.

All of theses, along with some others, will be tested, by me, as if Im not uncovering the whole story, the finest details, then Im not doing my client a service, I want them to skip off the massage therapy table and do their specific holding homework.

Homework is crucial here, home exercises that help groove the correct movement pattern in the brain can take 3,000 reps to learn, so doing the new movement pattern as many times a day as possible helps, but at first, we say at least twice a day.

Thats why you come back for further visits as per the package details in my Assessment package, you wont get very far by coming here just once and then doing nothing.

Its not about stretching tight muscles, its about re-learning a new movement pattern. That takes commitment, time , dedication and a connection with your most amazing brain.

Its a bit like Midsomer Murders! Sometimes when they think they have the bad guy, yet another villager dies (where do they all come from??) and they are back to the drawing board.

Dont do that! Use your most amazingly amazing brain, you’ve only got one, aren’t you lucky! Its such an amazing thing, it can work wonders for you!

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in training!

http://neurokinetictherapy.com

 

Mel Collie | Abdominal Strength – How Is Yours?

Mel Collie | Abdominal Strength – How Is Yours?

As part of being a pattern detective, I’ve been practicing abdominal reaction , abdominal strength.

The tests – theres 5 of them I have practiced – test the deep transversus abs and the more superficial rectus abs (the 6 pack!) as well as 3 other pattern tests.

Even someone with a 6 pack can have abs that don’t meet the core test protocol, which is fascinating right?

We are so conditioned to work on core strength yet we seem to be missing it completely.

Instead, our brain compensates and uses other stuff to get its stabilisation – the neck is a good one, as is the jaw.

Get your core assessed if you find you have neck tightness, back pain or even knee pain.

Assessment by a NKT specialist is kind of like a shortcut to delving into your body without being sliced open to reveal the workings , your patterns, of movement.

Injuries, scar tissue, compensations – can equal pain, dysfunction in the system, and it may not be as text book as it makes out to be. There are many pattern compensations, a pattern detective tests, assesses and gives homework for the findings from your unique body and its story. What works for you may not work for another.

So next time in your core workout session,, remember, ribs to hips if yours are flexible enough to allow this movement.

Lie on your back, bend the knees, feet on the floor, place a small towel under your lower ribs, keep the lower ribs into the towel so it cant be pulled away as you take the arms up to the ceiling and overhead, maintain the towel and rib connection.

Increasing core stability for your shoulder mobility is priceless. It decreases tension in your lower back and increases shoulder mobility and core stability.

When you try to reach for stuff on the top shelf you can do it by using your thoracic extension, not your lower back.

More functional than doing 100’s of sit ups for a better body for the future of your movement quality…

if thats what you are investing in…

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Pattern Detective in Training in Snowdonia

Find a therapist here: http://neurokinetictherapy.com

 

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain isn’t quite what it seems!

Mel Collie | Low Back Pain isn’t quite what it seems!

Pattern Detective checking in !

Yesterdays top pattern detectivinism (is that a word?) was my other half having constant right low back sensitivity by the last rib.

As I have to do 3 case studies and a 30 minute session to earn my Level 1 NKT certificate, the findings of his pain was going to be just one of my NKT case studies.

I touched his low back and found the site of sensitivity, he nearly jumped off the table

I check the synergists and antagonists for the muscle in this area – Quadrates Lumborum (love that name…sounds like a villain in James Bond)

This is where you place your ego aside, and listen to the body. Not what you THINK should be happening.

Turns out the TFL (on the outside of his opposite leg) was not as great as it should be, it wasn’t stepping up to the plate, his low back was doing the work to stabilise it. Weird huh!! ??

When we went back to check the sensitive area, it had, more  of less, gone..of course, he has the homework to do, thats a given to ensure the result sticks, the brain has a new path to carve, accept and stay on.

Magic

But being honest with the work

Accept the reality and go with it, be prepared to allow it to blow your mind  …there are no absolutes..

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in Training!

Mel Collie | How to Stretch a tight Psoas

Mel Collie | How to Stretch a tight Psoas

Have you got a tight Psoas ? Most of us do, but as we are all different, some of us have a tight Psoas and some of us have a weaker one, but..how do you know? You can tell by the tilt of your pelvis, however, the tricky bit is that if your pelvis is tilted forward, your Psoas may well be tight, but it could also be weak too, so if you do stretch it, you could find that is the last thing it wants, and end up with a whole host o other compensations, and a very pissed off hip flexor.

So, enough of this anatomy speak, where is it that pesky Psoas anyway?

At the base of your ribs where they meet the lumbar spine, so thats T12 (the 12th rib of your thoracic spine) , all the way down to L5, thats the last vertebrae of your lumbar spine.Heres a lovely picture for all you visual people, (thats me!)

It then attaches to a little notch at the inside top end of the femur, thats called the Lesser Trochanter, because its small than the Greater Trochanter which is on the outer edge of the femur , clever eh! Some smart cookie knew what to call that bit of the thigh bone.

The Psoas attaches the upper body to the lower body. Flexes the femur, thats your thigh bone,the  longest bone in the body, at the hip joint.You are flexing your thigh when you are bending your knee. Some of us lose this skill and tend to use the lower back instead, thats when we can get problems with lower back pain. Too much lower back, not enough hip stuff going on.

Psoas - is it tight? Does it need stretching?
Psoas – is it tight? Does it need stretching?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stretching that long Psoas can create an imbalance in a structure thats tight for a reason. Even if you’ve been told you have a weak Psoas, it can also be strong…weird isn’t it, but true.Took me a while to get m head around that one, and I still spend time thinking on how that actually works…

So, maybe its holding on, as in its tight, because something else in the pattern of your movement isn’t awake, isn’t doing its job, thats called inhibition, a muscle thats not doing its job is inhibited, its shying away from standing up to its responsibility.

If the Psoas has been diagnosed as being tight, it may be inhibited, but it may also be facilitated, that means it has high tone, it may just be overworking to stabilise a structure.

As a pattern detective, I look for the relationship of the Psoas to other muscles in its surrounding group it belong to.

The abdominals

The diaphragm

The neck

The glutes

The quadrates lumborum (what a GREAT name! I LOVE that name!)

The hamstrings

 

Pattern detectiveness (is that a word? is now!) means I look for a relationship between Psoas and other muscles, to see how they work together.

Its fun, surprising and humbling.

It means I leave my “oh, it should be doing that!” head at home, and have an open mind, listen to the body and hear what its telling me.

Uniqueness is a beauty

The body is a creative genius!

So, in answer to the question thats the title of this blog post, how to stretch a tight Psoas…you don’t!

I am a real meanie in the eyes of other fitness instructors, because Im going against the grain, and I will not teach a Psoas stretch to a client or in a Pilates/Fitness class, until I know that is what it needs, and that means you have to be assessed. Sorry fitness peeps out there! I actually want my clients to get great results and have no pain, that means working the right muscles in the right way!

Stop stretching it, and get your patterns detected by an NKT specialist. Im in training for level 1 right now, what a voyage of discovery it is too my friend.

http://neurokinetictherapy.com

Mel Collie

Pattern Detective in Training!