Monthly Archives: February 2016

Mel Collie | Wonders of the Universe

Mel Collie | Wonders of the Universe

The universe is an amazing thing. Well over a billion light years away. In less than a 10th of a second. 2 black holes – one was 29 times the mass of the sun, the other was 36 times the mass of the sun. Its ridiculous. Its an amazing time to be alive.
This is exactly how my other half, who has a degree in Cosmology, described this finding to me…as amazing as it is, I do think I glazed over at some point in the conversation and started to think about anatomy and how amazing our own bodies are …being made from star stuff, our own skin, organs, muscles, bones..such a complicated system we still don’t fully understand how our own brain functions or how to use them completely, some of us don’t even know we have a brain ..
We are a wonder
We are amazing
Yet we get stuck in judgements, thoughts of the past, hatred, killing, trying to make others follow the religion WE think is right.
Not eating enough Lemon Drizzle Cake!
Be kinder
Chocolate (90% Lindt for me please..thanks)
Wonders of the universe on your doorstep

Enjoy every second for you only get one go at it..allegedly!

Mel Collie | Plantar Fascitis?

Look at it another way – when you have Plantar Fasciitis, you probably are rolling a ball under your foot, stretching it out, trying to get some relief, and thats what I used to tell people to do too…and thats ok, because it just might work for you.

Now though…look at it this way..Plantar Fasciitis is a you know why its like that, what the cause is?

Would you rather treat the cause and have it go away rather than just treat the symptom?


Your body has a line of connective tissue called Fascia, in this picture its in blue, its not like that in real life though šŸ™‚

Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes
Plantar Fascia, Calves, Glutes

Your plantar fascia also connects to the calves and glutes! your body is so amazing!

So thats why I look to the calves and the glutes..

Heres what I did to a client who volunteered for me to have a look at their Plantar Fasciitis issue

I tested the strength of their calf muscles

Then I tested their gluteal muscle

Turns out the calf was tender in some areas, I released that, got the glutes functioning again to release the pain under the foot.

Of course they have home exercises to do everyday, and come back and see me to retest everything within 7 – 14 days, as I don’t want any of my clients wandering around with pain thats been unresolved

That makes me feel like I’ve not done my job properly

I don’t like that

I am hoping that you wouldn’t like me to be that unprofessional either!




Mel Collie | Fat Kids, Thin Kids

Mel Collie | Fat Kids, Thin Kids

In a very popular newspaper this week theres been articles about fat kids, thin kids, schools that tell kids off for being fat, stories about how that makes their parents feel..and each article is so scant with detail that it doesn’t really tell you anything.

Don’t know about you but that leave me feeling like I’ve just had some of my brain cells stolen for nothing in return. I feel frustrated that the paper leaves the reader…thats me..a feeling of blaming the system, that the system is failing the kids and that the fat kids are to blame.

Are they saying the kids should be weighed more? How much more?What do they do with those figures? What words do they choose to say to the kids that are being weighed. Do the kids truly understand why they are being weighed?

Do they understand the consequences of being over or under weight? Do they understand what food is? Do they get what energy is?

Do they know what carbs, protein and fibre are? Do you?

Do they understand that metabolism changes all the time? Do you?

Do they like moving, playing, running, skipping, jumping, climbing, swimming, games? Do you?

Are they made to do sports in the rain that they hate? (I loved tennis, hated netball…I was very lucky to have the opportunity to play tennis in secondary school, but hated netball when I was in first school…top tp – you cant play tennis in the rain, but you can play netball, Im a fair weather sports girl..Pilates was around but not as much when I was growing up. It only came to the UK in the 1970’s, and Yoga was just for hippies back then, but so was peanut butter and health food shops. )

How is their self esteem?How is yours?

How often do you weigh yourself?

Daily? Weekly? Monthly?

How do those numbers leave YOU feeling?

Like they STOLE a piece of your happiness?

Transfer that feeling to the kids now…

A feeling of failure, not being good enough, hating themselves.

Some of those kids, with the right support and mindset, will use that as fuel to better themselves.

Many of those kids will use the information to go further into themselves, ironically turn to comfort eating, keep walking around in circles, chasing their tales. Crying out for help from the inside.

These stories are becoming more common, and they make me sad to see them

We label everything.

We tell our kids that they are fat or thin.

We do that

They learn from us

We are their example

We feed them

We buy the food, we cook the food, we serve it up on the table….or on laps in front of the Telly box, or as they look at their mobiles/ipads/whatever distracts them.

We buy what we see, and how these things make us feel.

Adverts influence us, theres usually an emotion attached – does the music in an advert create a feeling in you?

If we are feeling like we need comfort from the world we live in, we turn to food that isn’t nourishing us. We eat cake (I do, I love a slice of Lemon Drizzle !)

We comfort eat

We emotionally eat to fill a void.

Could be that you are in a job thats getting you down.

Maybe your relationship isn’t as fulfilling as you would like.

Maybe your financial situation isn’t as rosy as you hoped.

Maybe you don’t believe in yourself. Maybe you don’t like yourself very much.

What helps short term?


What helps long term?


Adults are starting to “get”mindset, understand it more.

Now, when I was a kid, I hated veg. I NEVER ate any veg on my plate.

Mum would buy a chicken pie for dinner and I would pick out the peas and carrots, leave them on the side. This isn’t unusual!

Sunday lunch was left to go cold, I didn’t like roast dinners.

Now, though, I adore food, roast potatoes… veg..gorgeous..

Theres more choice than than when I was a kid.

However, what changed for me was my health

When I went through an early menopause I was put on hormone replacement therapy, which left me feeling very depressed and tearful

I came off it after 4 weeks Ā and bought a book on natural hormone therapy which leads to change my diet.

I stopped eating white bread and pasta

I started eating green veggies like kale/cauliflower/cabbage/brocolli , lean meat like chicken, turkey, a little red meat like mince(cottage pie!), sweet potatoes, rice, fruit, avocados (make great cakes!)

I became excited about food, I ate a lot more food.

I felt better by changing my diet, I wanted to have more energy. I love afternoon naps but not when I have to work and feel sluggish, relying on coffee to perk me up then having trouble sleeping at night because of the caffeine.

I was going around in circles!

Educating myself changed everything.

Taking responsibility for my health changed everything.

Kids don’t know how to do this unless we guide them, help them, educate them, and if schools are cutting down on classes like cooking then they are going to be lost.

Have we lost the passion to cook at home, are we really too busy?

Can an hour at the weekend be set aside to prepare food for the week ahead so we don’t stress about whats for dinner after we get home from work.

Freezing dishes like shepherds pie, soups, mince for spaghetti bolognese/lasagna, curries.

Trying fruit and veg smoothies as a way of consuming more nutrients.

However, the biggest takeaway (ha! excuse the pun!) from all, this is to have more, much much more:







When you take responsibility for yourself, like yourself more and accept who you are with all your amazing uniqueness, it opens a whole world of possibilities.

Food choices Ā then become secondary, because you are out there having way too much fun to even bother thinking about calories, fat, sugar etc. Put down the information overload , put Google away and get outside.

Love Life

Love Yourself








Mel Collie | Stretching Your Thighs?

Mel Collie | Stretching Your Thighs?

I sit here at my laptop studying, reading, writing, and I do exactly what we shouldn’t be doing. Crossing my legs, tilting the pelvis, shortening the quads – rectus femurs mainly – front of the thigh.

You know what though?

Theres no perfect seated posture! yay!! Stop sitting up straight!

I’m so happy about that because I can be such a fidget. I hate sitting still, well, for too long anyway. I will sit still when I am meditating, or watching a really good movie.

I sat still watching About Time last week, such a sad movie, a bit cheesy, but I adore Bill Nighy! He’s a great actor, but I also love that he is very rarely in the celebrity limelight. He is just himself.

So, anyway, back to those hips – which Bill sways quite nicely in the film by the way when he does a little dance, but also when he’s playing Table tennis.

Tightness, and restriction in your hips can create tightness in the lumber spine, and further up the chain, affecting the head position too. No hip sway, more lower back and shoulder compensation.

So when you stretch the thigh, what happens?

The thigh muscles, the quadriceps – theres 4 of them – one of them attaches at the knee and runs up the front of the thigh to your hip bone. Hip flexor and hip extender.

It can affect the knee as well, but thats for another post as theres other things that can affect the knee like limited ankle mobility and side thigh muscles like Tensor Fascia Lata .

Tightness can affect the knee and pelvis when walking, running, walking up and down stairs.

It can also inhibit the hamstrings from doing their thing and compress the hip joint which can in turn inhibit the glutes.

Pretty amazing muscles then aren’t they?


If you are used to stretching it by holding the ankle, have a look in the mirror and see whatyou do this what happens to the rest of your body

Shoulder must be level

Hips must be level

Knees must also be level


Common issues are that the shoulders change position

The ribs lift

The breathing changes, usually gets held

The knees change position, usually the knee thats being stretched moves forward.


Use a band around the bottom of the leg to assist you until you feel you can stretch the quads without affecting any compensational movement patterns in your body, the first picture is how not to do it, and how I see it done often though.

Standing Rec Fem stretch when knees aren't together, missing the stretch of the hip and affecting shoulder levels
Standing Rec Fem stretch when knees aren’t together, missing the stretch of the hip and affecting shoulder levels








Stretch of Rec Fem using the band, keeping knees level.
Stretch of Rec Fem using the band, keeping knees level.







Heres what I mean lying down on your front- as long as you keep your pelvic bone ON the floor, if you don’t, your pelvis will be arching and your lower back gets tight. Don’t hold your breath as you stretch. When you lie on your front you can use the surface as feedback for your breath, breathe in press the belly out into the floor/mat, exhale as you gently draw it in.

Rec Fem Stretch Prone.
Stretching the Rectus Femurs on your front – prone – with a band.









Melanie Collie is an anatomist and movement therapist who specialise in helping clients out of pain and back into a life of loving movement again. Her studio is where you usually find her with her bands, balls, and circles, mats, circles, weights and TRX. She calls it her torture chamber, her clients call it their little haven.

Mel Collie | Groin of Steel ?

Mel Collie | Groin of Steel ?

Groin strain – a very common issue in footballers lives..and heres why!

Groin of Steel!

My client wont mind telling you that when he toldĀ me thatĀ his groin muscles were like steel, I though ooooohhh, how exciting! But being an anatomy geek I was thinking – Ā Psoas & Rec Fem …

So I tested them

Because I don’t guess, I assess…it could have been just the thats where I went first

Psoas tested unorganised.

I tested the relationship between Pectinous and Psoas, and turns out his Pectineous was helping his Psoas be a hip flexor.

The same when I tested his Rectus Femurs, another hip flexor, and part of the quadriceps.

Thats a small muscle doing the work of 2 larger muscles.

Magic!NO wonder it feels like steel! Groin of Steel! Should be a new show on TV!

So gave him some home exercises to do.

Its all about patterns, and when they are unorganised, finding the organised muscle in that pattern, if its hypertonic or painful, releasing that to strengthen the unorganised muscle.

Complicated? A little bit yes!

But when you see the patterns and what does what, unorganised patterns reveal themselves.

The human body is a little miracle. NKT is also a little miracle. If you seriously want to know how to get a client out of pain, this is the course to do.


Pattern Detective