Tag Archives: pilates llanberis

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


Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

Mel Collie | What to do when your left shoulder hurts

So your left shoulder hurts, you think thats the problem and so you have it looked at, do exercises, but it still hurts.

Do something different, change what you are doing, a bit like changing your diet if its not working for you, you change a few things, tweak it.

A little suggestion for your left shoulder – look at your right shoulder.

What do you do with your right wrist, elbows, shoulder position when you are at the laptop, when you type, when you rest it on the table, when you hold your mobile, when you try a text. By doing corrective exercise on the side that hurts can work for a while, but you could find that after time, the original pain get worse or comes back, it can be called impingement of the shoulder for example.

When you are working on the painful left side, what happens is that you are sending messages up the nerves to the left side of your brain – the cerebellum area to the right cortex, which will improve pain if you have it in your right side.

So in a nutshelll, look at the other side to improve the neural connection to the side that does hurt.

Sounds wonky doesn’t it, its the kind of difference in my Corrective Exercise Program

If you are a little further afield and can’t make it to my posture studio for a different, neurological way of looking at your posture and “fixing” pain, then download your copy of my program.

Mel Collie




Mel Collie | Check your own posture

Mel Collie | Check your own posture

This very simple exercise to help you check your spine, ribs, shoulders and pelvis is the bird dog or the Superman, its known as both of these, and can be made really hard if you put a wooden dowelling rod on your back so it touches the back of your head, the middle of your back (bra line for girls, heart line for guys)and the sacrum and tailbone. The only gaps are at the neck and the lower back.
As you move you keep the post on this line, you will realise if your hips move, the post will fall off…so focus and connect traction on how you move and what is moving will be highlighted.
Don’t forget to breathe and smile, your face tells a story of what you are doing to your brain.
Visualise that you are lengthening your spine through your fingers and toes as you lift them and reach.
Its not how high you are going with the limbs, but what you use to get there, so start small before you jump in and think you can do the whole thing and have to start agin. When you train with bad posture, your brain remembers this and will repeat it, so start as you mean to go on.

Mel Collie
Pilates & Level 4 Kinetic Chain Assessor

Mel Collie | She just wanted to be stronger…

Ouch… Older and wiser yet more tight and stiff when moving is a common story.

Getting up from the sofa and feeling stiff in your lower back was my client, Dianes, story, getting in and out of the car was a problem, feeling tight in the lower back after walking to dog too. She came to me wanting to have more flexibility and feel younger again, have more spring in her step like Tigger!

So, what did we do, well, we released her joints, and it didn’t take that much time either. and in doing so, her lower back pain went.

Released her knees, ankles, hips, shoulders and helped her breathe and feel free in her body. It wasn’t quite like this, but this is a great video from Dr Eric Cobb from Z Health showing how joint compression can inhibit movement, and yes, it really can be that simple, and is just one of the things I include in a posture and movement analysis from my home practice in Llanberis, Snowdonia.

These simple releases can help your movement, mobility, flexibility, release old injuries, even as far back as to twisting an ankle at the age of two, which is just one of the injuries Diane discussed in her injury history, and yes, we discuss your injury history too.

She has homework to do, 10 minutes a day, and she tracks her responses, her brain feels secure and happy, allowing her to move more freely.

One way you can help your shoulders move more freely is to release your wrists Shake out your hands as if you had water on your fingers. Push your arms away from you, and your hands, as if you were pushing a wall, hold that position. With your little fingers draw circles away from each other x 5 and towards each other x 5 Then do the same but with your index fingers.

Really feel the movement with this fingers. Make it work for you. Repeat 5 times today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

Simple wrists releases help shoulder strength, really useful if you are exercising and doing push ups, for example, as that position can create compression the wrist, a simple release can help your strength, rather than decrease it, which means you have more power and better form, and we all know the body releases more energy when the skeleton is in alignment.

Who doesn’t want that?

Mel Collie

Posture & Movement Correction Specialist



Mel Collie | How Can Your Eyes Improve Your Press Up?

Mel Collie | How Can Your Eyes Improve Your Press Up?

The press up, you either love it or hate it. personally I love them, mainly because we rarely do many pushing moves these days, unless your chosen sport includes a lot of pouching, the average office worker will be sat at a keyboard for 8 – 10 hours a day, and usually the only thing they will be pushing day to day will be opening a door.

In your body, your nervous system runs the show. That being the case, the position of your cervical spine, your neck, will change how you execute a press up.

Think about a squat, for example, if you are in a gym, lifting a weight, using the squat technique, the neck usually compresses back, closing the gap between the base of the scull and the upper back. But thats only part of the story, as when we do that, the eyes follow. Why is that a big deal?

Eye positioning can decrease strength. Think about it…

There are small nerve endings around the eyes that give the brain & spinal cord proprioceptive feedback that go towards guiding movement, creating full body muscular responses.

Why? well, mainly to aid the vestibular system, the inner ear and the eyes work together.

How does that help you?

Well, when you look up with the eyes, just the eyes, keep the head still, those nerve endings in the muscles around the eyes, facilitate the extensor  muscles and inhibit the extensors – the muscles opposite the flexors.

The same is true the other way around, so if you are flexing the elbow in a press up for example, using the eyes to look down creates more strengthen the flexors and inhibit the extensors.

So next time you do a press up, don’t move the head, keep it neutral, and just move the eyes. The same is true of any movement, like a squat for example.


So, make it simple next time you are training, eyes down when flexing, eyes up for extensors with a neutral neck position.


Mel Collie is a Corrective & Performance Exercise Specialist Working in Llanberis, Snowdonia. She currently has daily postural assessments from her home posture studio, where she combines neurological science and kinetic chain assessments to keep clients out of [pain and improve their performance.