Tag Archives: brain

Mel Collie | Effective abdominal exercise you probably aren’t doing…

Mel Collie | Effective abdominal exercise you probably aren’t doing…

Sit ups are popular if you are after an abdominal exercise, and thats ok, as long as your lower back and neck aren’t doing the actual sit up work for you and you are also doing other stuff as well, like rotational exercises for example, power lives in rotation if its a great midsection you are after…however, the most repetitive exercise you do, every day, is breathing, the overlooked muscles, the diaphragm, is a major part of your core, and if your aren’t breathing well, you are using your neck muscles, which means your inner core stabilising system is well and truly on holiday…

How to use your breath effectively

Practice – lie on your front, gently allow the lower belly to press into the floor as you breathe in

This can be very tricky for some of us, as we are told to pull our bellies in all the time to create a look of having a flatter belly, when in fact what this does it to encourage breathing into the neck and chest…I’m guessing they are tight enough from sitting at a computer all day or driving for a living, or watching TV most evenings. Your shoulders don’t need any more tension.

So, when you exhale, the lower belly will come back by its own elasticity.

You may feel light headed and dizzy. The brain may not be used to having as much oxygen as you are now taking in, because you have been a shallow breather for a while. You may also find that your blood pressure and heartbeat come back to a normal range for a human being.

How does that diaphragm move?

When you exhale, it relaxes upwards, like an umbrella, pushing out the used air into the lungs, this is why, an exhalation, when lobber than the inhalation, allows oxygen to be pushed into the blood supple.

When you inhale, the diaphragm contracts, it collapses downwards.

If this is the first time you are practicing this with awareness, its better done lying down, so you don’t also have to consider posture as well. Practice it for one repetition before you get out of bed,and before you go to sleep

Just 1 rep?

Yes…just one – if I ask you to try it for a minute x 4 a day, you might do that for a couple of days, then forget, because life takes over and practicing breathing may not seem so important to you when the kids are screaming and you’ve got the shopping to do , the dinner to cook and the house to clean.

1 rep is doable.

Then it becomes a habit.

You will naturally do a few more when the times right.

The benefits, apart from a healthier heart, better nourishment from your nutrition, reduced anxiety and stress, better abdominal connection which can help pelvic floor and ab tone, reduced back pain and better movement in the ribs…are many..

But you know what..its up to you. I’ve realised that you can’t tell someone to do something, but you can help someone who asks, who wants to change, who changes by trying something out themselves.




Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter

Mel Collie | How To Feel Lighter

When was the last time you felt light?

I don’t mean lighter as in weight, so don’t go jumping on the scales…they are for dieters and we all know restriction leads to your body going completely in the other direction..

I actually mean lighter in your life

When was that?

When did you last feel bubbly inside, like those Vitamin tablets that dissolve in a  glass of water , bubbles fizzing away, when did you last do something that left you feel like that, all effervescent

inside , interested, curious,excited.

What were or are those little patches of light or sparkle?

What was the last thing you were curious about, that you wondered about.

It could be such a small thing, its almost not even worth bothering about, in fact you probably ignore it altogether.

I have one right now

I have a curiosity about macro photography. Everyone I follow on Twitter has been doing grand landscapes..but some are doing different stuff, I’m fascinated by ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) and Multiple Exposures, shots that makes you think and you remember, not photos that tell you what is there already with pretty colours and stuff and you forget a second later…Im curious about macro shots, small stuff, detail, microscopic photography, I have a patch of light about it, a sparkle or interest. I spent hours researching it yesterday afternoon..its sparked my curiosity

Now what not to do is to tell yourself its silly, its nothing grand and wont win you the lottery or make you ££££, because thats a sure fire way too kill ideas before they have even had a chance, its a sur fire way to kill any passion..

But , what if you just to followed it

See where it lead you..

You have no clue why you feel these little patches of light

But they just feel good

It feels right

If you don’t follow it, if you don’t listen to it, then you may just be depriving the world a glimpse of the human being that is you. Even if it touches one person.

Even if that person is just you

If you were not afraid of anything, nothing, not afraid of other peoples judgements or of your own (and that can be huge!) then what would you do for a living?

What excites you, what grabs your curiosity…what do you wonder about?

It my just be those little sparks of light that are you, become meaningful, become your passion..which could just change your happiness , wellness and even your life, without you even trying to steer the ship

You are following your sparks of light.




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.


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 | I’ve got tight hips though

Mel Collie | I’ve got tight hips though..she said..

Don’t think of a pink elephant


Did you just think of a pink elephant?

Now look around you for something blue, just blue. Take a few seconds.

Did you see something?

Now look around you in the same area you looked before, for something red.

Did you find something? Did you notice the red object when you were looking for the blue object?

Now tell your back its tight and stiff. Move, rotate, look over your shoulder, how does the back feel when you tell yourself its tight and stiff?

Now tell your back its loose, free, can move like its just been oiled, it has no muscles, its just the ribs which float around the spine.

The words other people tell us about ourselves , are powerful.

We listen, take them on board, and become them.

an image of a herniated disc can create more pain

an image of tight muscles can create more pain and tightness than we actually have

Our brains are remarkable

However, tissues and muscles have no pain. None. Its the brain that creates that pain.

Through words, memories.

So the next time you say you cant do something because you have tight hips, you are sending and reinforcing the message to your brain that you really do have tight hips, it will ensure that you move less, because it is only interested in your survival, in ensuing that you survive the next moment.

If that means it has to slow you down, it will. Even if that leaves your frustrated. It doesn’t care.

So, watch the words you use.

You will have danger words – like tight, stiff, rusty, inflexible, hot, too bendy

Or money, debt, diet, restriction, deadlines at work, meetings, budgets(yes, even every day words like those can create pain in the body)

Sometimes it can take a while to dig deep and notice what your danger words are, because they have become a habit over the last few years.

Scientists now agree that pain happens when the credible evidence of DANGER to your body is greater than the credible evidence of SAFETY to your body.

Safety words create pleasing images that help calm us, release tension and relax, which allows our bodies to move freely with less pain – the words are different for everyone – Oh, you want to know what are mine?







Chocolate cake

Lemon drizzle cake (mmmmmmmmm)




Light blue


Manchego Cheese & Serrano Ham



Simple words like these, and theres a few more in my head, can help create a feeling of comfort, happiness, wellbeing, which creates good vibes, which heal and help movement.

Feeling frustrated, angry and tight…well…doesnt..let go of your danger words, and see what changes.

Do you get it?

Now try it yourself






Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

Mel Collie | Does Your Brain Have A Day Off?

One of my favourite habits is falling asleep on the sofa, but last night, we watched an awesome move “Snowpiercer” I was all set o nod off until it got nasty, that woke me up, the character played by Tilda Swinton kept me awake, she was seriously a sick woman.

Anyway, this morning I was reading a book by David Butler on the Sensitive Nervous System, and particularly loved the phrase ” Your brain is turned on all the time”…read that again…ALL the time.

Its not something thats activated when you are doing something you find interesting. Cells are always active.

Take this moment right now, as you are reading this, now pay attention to your right hand, what is it touching, what colour are your socks, now pay attention to your left hand, whats it touching, whats the colour of your hair, how warm are you, how thirsty are you, what position are you feet in, how long have they been in that position?

Thats just a few little things that you are doing but don’t always feel, as we have many many inputs, they aren’t always turned on, or we would be bombarded with so many input, but the brain computes all of them, it just decides which ones you are responding to right now.

Your brain is continually looking for information, all the time. One of the phrases you will have heard is to “use it or lose it”. This is always said in the fitness industry referring to your muscles and levels of stamina. However, its also relevant to your brain.

When we have pain, we move less, in anticipation its going to hurt us even more, but in tuen , that ensure we do have more pain as we stiffen up and do less, variety and quality of movement is gold dust for a healthy and switched on brain, whatever age you are.

Loving what you do in your life, and helping others, makes an impact too.

So, to conclude for a healthier body as we age


  1. Move more
  2. Feed your brain with movement, good lung function
  3.  Love what you do for increased wellness and mental agility.

A healthy spine is a young spoke, you are only as old as your feel, use it or lose it..all of those saying mean something.

What one thing could you change today to help your future self, as its what you are doing now that shapes it.

Mel Collie


Need some help and accountability? Come to a class. I run 5 a week, so theres a time you can make.

Classes in North Wales October 2015. Book here:  https://v1.bookwhen.com/melcollie