Climbing Wales


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...

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Mel Collie | Computer Says…


Posted on Feb 27, 2016

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 –...

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Mel Collie |Back Pain & Your Cheating Core Its really not nice when you get back pain, it can 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. Your brain finds compensation Its finds other ways It cheats. The main compensation I’ve found through doing some pattern testing on some willing clients,  is holding the breath. At the costs of compensating the diaphragm and the hip flexor- Psoas – gets tired,  they start to complain. Those complaints are felt as pain. Pain, however, can be a friend. Sometimes, its knocking on your door, telling you to do something about your compensation patterns. Is breathing important? You betcha back pain it is! The breathing pattern I start with on my clients is this: Hands on lower belly Breathe into the hands so the belly pushed into the hands. Exhale through the mouth without clenching the jaw, and make sure you exhale completely. That may sound weird but a few clients don’t realise they hold their breath on an exhale. If you aren’t sure, count to four in your head as you breathe in, and then count to 6 as you exhale. Belly breathing is only the beginning as then I would go on to help you breathe into your ribs and chest, so you aren’t then just a test breather or just a belly breather. Breathe well and you are on your way to having great core stability, connection with your abs and Psoas. Hence in each NKT therapy session, I practice a simple Psoas , Transversus and Rectus Abs test, to see if your breath holding is compensating for your lower back pain. It’s one of my favourite pattern detective tests, as a result it can seem like magic when core muscles test strong again. Shoulder pain as well? The same thing can be going on in your shoulders. 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. This can affect the arm all the way up to the shoulder and neck. Testing each finger in an extension pattern reveals which fingers are the weakest. We may also see compensation in the breath , holding it to stabilise. Also in shoulder lifting , which creates tightness in the upper Trapezius and Scalene muscles. If both scalene muscles are tight, this can be lead...

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Mel Collie | Sacroiliac Pain


Posted on Jan 24, 2016

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...

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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...

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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.                   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...

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