Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mel Collie | Why is Sitting Bad For You?

Mel Collie | Why is Sitting Bad For You?

Is sitting the new smoking? Should you feel bad about it?

The bad news is yes, it is the new smoking and is bad for your back, but…if you are a fidget then you are in great company because so am I and I sit a lot!

I write articles, I research, I read books, I always sitting..but I am a fidget, I get up I move I shift weight from wide to side, I move my feet, I wiggle my toes, I tap my face, I move my head, I look away, I do eye movements….all goes to help your brain realise that the screen isn’t your worlds space right now.

Ever heard about your hip flexors, the Psoas, pronounced So – Az ?

It a big muscle !

It crosses 3 joints, yep, 3 ! Thats a super highway!!

When a muscle crosses 2 joints it generally gets weak/inhibited against other muscles in its general locality, and even further

The Psoas can be inhibited in most people

It can stop working and be a bit lazy, because we sit so much.

Other things take over, even tiny tiny muscles, because you are AMAZING!

Your brain will re organise the pattern to make sure you keep moving, even if it means you are in pain, its only looking out for you!

So when you get pain, seek help from an NKT person who can check your funky little Psoas against those tighter muscles and see what is compensating for it.

You could be in for a surprise!

I sure was when I had mine tested and I had NO idea, now I’m super hot in my Psoas, she is smoking and I can do way more stuff than I used to do, especially when I get into the back of the Landcover to get the shopping bags out of the boot, I used to go in on my knees because I couldn’t push myself up on my feet, believing my legs to be weak…uh oh..it was my Psoas…Im also climbing and scrambling those mountains a whole lot easier too, more stamina, thanks to NKT…I got assessed.

Nice

Saved me loads of time in searching!

Up to you though!

Mel

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Should You be Doing Pilates For Your Core?

Mel Collie | Should You be Doing Pilates For Your Core?

In answer to my core question which was “Are you happy doing this kind of training, do you actually like it ?”(because if you are doing something you loathe, you probably won’t stick at it for long…) she replied…”Well, I know I really should be doing Pilates for my core, shouldn’t I ? ”

She is currently doing 3 sessions a week of 15 – 20 minute strength training.

That means moves like squats, lunges, shoulder bridges (this isn’t an exclusive Pilates exercise), push ups , running on the spot, rows, rotational moves, arm strength moves like bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep kick backs, lat raises.

Does all of that mean she is NOT using her core?

Doubt it..

Where is your core?

…is it just your belly?

Well, many of us do believe it is, but its way more than that!

It also includes(not exclusively…) your spine, your lower back and upper back, your shoulders, your neck, your pelvis, your upper legs, your inner thighs, your bum, your knees, and especially your foot positioning…

When the feedback from your feet to your brain gets messed up the resulting movement pattern will be unorganised.

However, Pilates is very much touted as the go to exercise for your core

For some people who adore pilates, it is just that, which is great…for them..

But please, lets stop the touting ( usually by Pilates instructors , and I am one of them!) that its the only way to train your core

It isn’t

Thats a lie

I’ve seen many Pilates people have no core at all and using neck muscles instead (that was me!)

You can do as many core exercises as you like, but still have – possibly – weak Psoas as you use obliques instead to compensate, weak Psoas as you use the neck to compensate, weak TVA( a major “core” muscle) as you use breath holding and/or neck muscles to compensate.

And there could be other compensations along the line, because you are unique! Your movement patterns are yours, not off the shelf.

What can you do? Get tested.

An NKT specialist will help you “find” your core, and use it effectively, to recognise compensations, how to release them and get these unorganised patterns organised, so you an be effective in whatever training you chose to do to work your core, Pilates, Yoga, Weights, Cross Fit, HiiT, Swimming, Surfing, Running, Rowing, Climbing, Boxing..the list goes on.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Computer Says…

Mel Collie | Computer Says…

Uh Oh…Ive just been completely bored out of my tiny mind by doing one of those Facebook personality tests thats come up in your Facebook feed..

What a waste of time

However, what gets me more is that so many people believe them

Everything we read on the internet has a source

Theres loads of information out there in inter web land

Diets. Exercises. Meditation. Coaching. Stretches. How to do anything …and how to self diagnose

I’m guilty of putting information out there in the past on my blog

But now?

I’ll write about stuff that gets your brain thinking

Wondering

Searching for answers

But I won’t give you the answers, because I don’t know you personally

If you are searching for the perfect stretch of your hip flexors, your quads, your neck…I will post stuff, useful information, things that will get you thinking , but I wont tell you that its the perfect and only answer for you

Because it won’t

You are unique

Your painful hip may not need stretching, it may be pissed off because some other muscle in its group isn’t pulling its weight, its telling you, but you are still stretching the hell out of it, weakening it, and it keeps coming back telling you off.

If it isn’t working, why are you still doing it?

Do you drive down the wrong road every day expecting it to take you to your destination

Do you eat cake and donuts everyday and never exercise but expect to have the perfect body

Do you never drink water because its boring and wonder why your body refuses to work well for you

Do you stretch your hamstrings and wonder why you are always stretching them

Do you believe the results of the Facebook (other social media sites are also available..) personality tests, even though they have never ever met you or even give a monkeys who you really are?

You have way more intelligence than that

If you don’t, you can change that.

Stop doing Facebook tests and spend that time doing stuff that enriches you

I’m not going to tell you what that is, but I will bore you with what that is for me:

…spend time with my beloved other half

…be nice to myself (and that can be along the lines of going to bed earlier, read a book that teaches me something or helps me switch off from the noise of social media, go for a walk, have a relaxing bath, massage my feet and do my nails, have a facial, do a gentle mobility exercise or two – after all, we say we have no time for ourselves…)

..be generous to others by giving more and expecting less

..slow down

After all, we tend to expect so much of ourselves and beat ourselves up when we don’t succeed. expecting more from ourselves by pouring more fuel onto the fire…more on that in my next post on what happened when I got stuck on an easy climb yesterday afternoon..yes, I was rubbish, and what that taught me.

Have fun !

Mel

x

www.melcollie.com

 

 

 

Mel Collie | Necking It

Heres what I used to do for my tight neck muscles – get them stretched…

Did they need stretching often ? yes…were they always tight? yes…

Why? Computer..stress..anxiety…forward head posture, clenched jaw..all that stuff means tight upper neck muscles.

Was I fed up with it..not really, after all it was my own fault right?   I knew what to stretch though, so I stretched them, I just told myself off for spending too much time on that computer

Is that you too? Hell yes I bet it is!

Years and years later…still stretching?

Here we go – the tight muscles are telling you a story, and you’ve just read it in a different language.

For all that time…

Remember the yellow fish in Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy?

I got me one of those fish when I started to understand the WHY

I began to understand the language

I stopped chasing the pain and looked elsewhere

What was that pain telling me? Tight muscles, overworking, tired, fed up, pissed off neck muscles.

Why?

Switched off core muscles…even though I’m a Pilates instructor, my abs were NOT working in a correct pattern.

When tested using NKT (www.neurokinetictherapy.com) my Psoas (hip flexor) TA (Transversus Abs) and Rectus Abs were unorganised…thats my polite way of saying they were inhibited. Their pattern of working was all jumbled up.

My left shoulder hikes up when I’m stressed, its been like that forever, it gets tight, I’m aware of it but I wasn’t aware those muscles were working to stabilise my core as well.

As soon as they were released and my Psoas and TA strengthened, stuff changed.

As soon as my Scalenes were released after testing to find they were facilitated (left more than right) and the left ones released (ouch! ) my diaphragm went whooosshhh…and my breathing was lighter.

Oh yes, the diaphragm is a commonly facilitated muscle too, you can practice deep breathing , but for some of us, it wont “let go” if its compensating.

I love testing core muscles when a client compensates by clinching jaw or breath holding, its a common cheat, and tells a story – do you do core work at the gym or in your Pilates class with a clenched jaw and no breathing for those tricky repetitions?

Want to stop that and do the same exercises with good form (check your neck position, if you need a towel under your head to keep it neutral, then use one or you are using your neck to stabilise , not your core)and breathe out with your mouth open, and eyes open, don’t close those eyes, that just means you are searching the brain for answers when it cant find your core muscles to do the work. Bet you are clenching the jaw and toes too …

Get yourself assessed to find out whats inhibited and facilitated, what patterns are unorganised , you will get homework to do thats specific for your unique patterning, which will involve a stretch or a massage with a ball in a tender/tight area, but what you do that follows that release is crucial to allow that “stretch” to hold, for the brain to relearn the new pattern.

It can take up to 3,000 reps for the brain to cement a new pattern of learning…thats a LOT of reps.

Its a lot of wrong reps if you are treating the wrong pattern. Guys thats why I was stretching for years and nothing changed. I was stretching the tight and not strengthening the weak. I didn’t know my patterns were unorganised.

So yes, there you go, get assessed, you can search NKT on You Tube too, to get an idea of how it works..

You will save a lot of years of stretching and chasing pain, you are unique, find out whats working..and whats not.

Phew…

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | Posture Update Week 3

Well, the beginning of week 3 is here, testing out my pattern defectiveness with NKT on my wonderful volunteer case study

This week was pretty much the same homework for her, as she had seen great results from the gluteal, pec minor and Psoas home exercises, reporting a much reduced pain level and more movement in her shoulder which she noticed in her Yoga class this week.

One unorganised relationship to look at next is tightness in the Pectinous which seems to do the work of the Rectus Femoris and Psoas, which are much bigger hip flexors. She notices a tightness in her upper inner thigh area when she cycles, but as she’s not cycling at the moment, we decided to not challenge this for now, but to focus on the original issue of the SI Joint compression and the unorganised relationship with the glutes.

So the homework for this week remains the same as last week.

Looking good though!

Mel

 

NKT Week 3