Tag Archives: neck pain

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 | 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 | 3 Ways To Relax

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Successfully Relax

Relax your shoulders.

What just happened then?

Did they drop, were you more aware that your shoulders were up by your ears?

Or did it not change anything at all, which is ok, there is no wrong or right.

Some of us are visual learners, some kinesthetic, some auditory, and some of us are a mixture of all of those.

Which is why, if you have ever been to a fitness class, pilates or yoga session, and were told to relax by the instructor and you found that you couldn’t, it could be that you just aren’t an auditory learner.

Maybe a light touch to your shoulders would help, maybe a cue you can imagine feeling “imagine your armpits are feeling heavy, dropping down to meet your hips”, maybe you would love to see it happen I another person and the penny would drop, you would the get it, and follow along.

If you knew how to relax you would do it, right?

 

Why would you choose to be tense, wound up tight like a spring?

Yet day to day we continue to be tight, tense, clenched jaw, tight hips, lifted shoulders.

Here are 3 ways you can un coil yourself, un wind and let go of that tension

  1. Place your hands on your lower belly, and breath in, push into the hands, push that belly out as much as you can. Pause. Then breathe out as much as you can, as the belly comes away from the hands, and towards your spine. Repeat 10 times, 4 times a day. (not only does it calm your brain, it also helps switch on your deep core muscles, a bonus!)
  2. Give yourself permission to have a walk today. Not just to work or home again, but a walk somewhere different. Maybe to the park, to the woods, to the beach, somewhere where there are trees, flowers, plants, water, somewhere you can see and feel nature. Just a few moments here. That’s all you need. If your time is short, take a different way to work or home, rather than rushing and not seeing anything,, look up, look around, take note of the tress and the sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, the wind, the leaves. There are many studies carried out in Japan on the benefits of relieving stress by using a technique they call “Tree Bathing”, which is just walking in nature, to help reduce stress, to help manage the stresses of modern life.
  3. Sleep . Switching off the laptop/mobile/i-pad an hour before you are going to bed makes a lot of difference. It helps your brain unwind, your eyes relax, your body can begin to relax and get ready for sleep. Having a bath, reading a book, meditating for 10 minutes, all help relax the mind, which helps relax the muscles in the body.

These days we work out, we train, we push ourselves, which is good for the body and we love the results working out brings.

When we understand that working out is also a stress on the body, we can overdo training on top of an already stressed out body, we place relaxation close to the bottom of the list of things to do.

Which is a shame as we are missing out on a trick here.

Doing less, relaxing more, giving ourselves permission to have more happiness, a calmer brain actually helps us find more strength, reduce body fat and have a healthier nervous system.

Starting with the boss of your body, your brain, can be the novel way to look at working out, giving you the edge, giving you inner strength, which always shows on the outside.

Melanie Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mel Collie |Why Is Posture Important

Mel Collie | Why Is Posture Important & should you care?

I’m called a the posture geek, by friends as well as clients, so its without doubt I’m going to say yes, posture is important, but why is that and what happens when it isn’t, is it hard to put right?

1. Wonky spines – we’ve all got them, if you sit a lot, stand a lot (mechanics, nurses for example) then your spine is going to be a bit wonky.. You will have issues with health, as the body is out of alignment. Its not about being perfect, its about being healthy and having a life that ts without pain, but better health, a bit like having the car well tuned and noticing how well it runs afterwards, has that happened to you? Happens to me when I put air in the tyres, feels like a whole new car driving experience. The issues on our health can range from the obvious back pain, neck pain, knee pain, to digestive issues, skin disorders, headaches.

2. Knees, back and hip pain can occur when they overwork because other muscles arent doing their job. This could be because the upper middle back has been stretched by sitting at the desk, standing over the car (mechanics. standing over patients (nurses and Dr), standing a lot (postman carrying heavy post bags, shop workers) Your body needs to keep moving, the brain will find another muscle to do the job if the ones that should be helping you, aren’t working as they should. That sound a bit weird doesn’t it? I though so too, after all, if the muscles are in the body and all attached then why aren’t they getting the signal? Well, that signal to act can be disrupted by things like injury(even from an injury when you were little) over training, under training,not doing the right exercises for example.

3. Its not hard to put right, but it takes effort, like anything else in life, if you want results, you have to out in effort, there is no magic pill, unfortunately, but would life be dull if there was… However, using the nervous system is a short cut to getting good and fast results.

Something as simple as lack of rotation in the mid body can mean the knees, hips and lower back over work to replicate that movement.

How can you measure where you are right now with your lack of rotation (if you have any that is) is this link of little old me showing you something you can do everyday.

Use it before and after you train, work, run, ski, surf, climb, roller skate..it tells you that the activity you’ve been doing has affected your movement, has it reduced or increased?

For example, during a 1:1 training session, the nervous system takes a pounding as you exercise, and if you are already stressed through work worries, home worries, shallow fast breathing,  dehydrated or digestive system is affected, then you may find your muscles react, posture changes, pain happens.

If you are about to set off and do a training session, check your nervous system before (Use that video link!), during and again after. This way you can see what is and what isnt working for you,. not what someone else expects you to do, but what you can do, what your tolerance levels are for that day.

You are different everyday.

Treat yourself with the respect that you deserve, use that wisdom to have a stronger, flexible, healthier skeleton. A stronger spine with a life of less pain, more stamina and better movement.

Mel Collie

Sign up here – http://eepurl.com/zpgYf –  to get all my up to date “Stronger Spine” news. Videos, blogs, recipes, cutting edge research on how to feed your spine to make it stronger for life.

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk

Mel Collie | Stick Your Neck Out

Mel Collie | Stick Your Neck Out

Since moving to Wales, my hair has grown so fast, it needed cutting, the fringe was really driving me crazy, getting in the way, and when my hair gets too long, it bunches out at the sides, hate that look…

Anyway, besides the fact that the heaves opened on may way back from the hairdressers, so I walked home in a massive hailstorm, it was a lesson for me about me neck.

Reminded me about this little video, a simple way someone taught me on how to prevent neck pain, as when you are in the hairdressers, you move our head this way and that, but then keep it still for a moment , as you sit there patiently, trying not to fidget like a little kid

Here is the link, have a watch, only takes up 2 minutes of your time, and best done at the laptop or mobile, as your head is in a weird position right now as well.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

www.posturegeek.co.uk