Muscle Magik

Muscle Magik post image

The 100% pure plant oils used in Muscle Magik are well known* for their analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties that can relieve pain and inflammation while calming spasms and muscle cramps.

This proprietary blend uses the natural oils from peppermint, clove, lemon grass, wintergreen, spruce, marjoram, balsam fir and black pepper.

Muscle Magik is ALL NATURAL and is often used instead of drugs and other synthetic, unhealthy pain killers. Plus, Muscle Magic actually promotes HEALING, unlike other products that simply block pain and temporarily relieve inflammation in one area, but cause it elsewhere, i.e. liver and stomach.

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Muscle Magik started as a blend of very different oils from what it is now. Over the years of trial and error with myself and the feedback from many clients, I finally have created the perfect blend, 10 years later!

The blend consists of a special ratio of  peppermint, wintergreen, black pepper, marjoram, clove, spruce, lemon grass and balsam fir.

It is considered the perfect blend by many because the ratio and choice of the oils in Muscle Magik cause it to penetrate deep into the muscles, while leaving a superficial heat across the surface that eases aches and pains.

“I love Muscle Magik! It sinks in and makes my soreness and achiness just dissipate, and it works for several hours! I like the smell and the warmth it provides my muscles!”

~CJ

This perfect blend went through many different trials however. At first it didn’t have enough heat, i.e. black pepper and peppermint oil, next it didn’t penetrate deep enough,  and then it had too much heat, OUCH.

After a lot of feedback from clients and friends, Muscle Magik has morphed into an oil that works extremely well for people who like to feel their painful and achy muscles heat up from deep within and then feel the warmth rise to the surface.

Satisfaction_guaranteed

ARE ESSENTIAL OILS SAFE? Yes, but these precautions are necessary to take.

Muscle Magik was never intended to be mass produced or sold anywhere besides my office, but after all of the favorable feedback and incredible stories of it helping people and getting them to switch from pain medication to Muscle Magik, I decided it would be best for everyone if this oil was accessible online and at stores.

That is the main goal for Muscle Magik – to introduce holistic and natural ways of healing and pain management for the general population to promote optimum health.

Check out the most FAQ’s.

I hope you will enjoy Muscle Magik and benefit as much as everyone else has on their way to finding all natural ways to manage aches, pains and health.

 PLEASE READ THE DISCLAIMER

* Unfortunately, the FDA and government agencies have not approved these findings yet, due to insufficient, large double blind studies – read more about the science of these oils here.

Therefore, we will rely on our AMAZING TESTIMONIALS (stay tuned for the collection) to tell you what these oils have done for people and what they could do for you.

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Back Pain

Also check out 5 Tips for Relieving Back Pain.

Unfortunately, one of my nicknames is “last resort Chris.” I seem to attract people who have tried “everything” to help their pain, especially low back pain. Then they hear about me and come to see me as a last resort so they can avoid surgery or because nobody is left to try. And you know what? With a very simple evaluation of muscle function and posture, I constantly help people INSTANTLY relieve their pain that has been there for years.

Sounds impossible I know. But that is the beauty of muscle issues. While they can cause a lot of pain, they also can be relieved sometimes instantly with the simplest of strategies. Most of which I will show you throughout blog posts here.

Poor diagnosis of muscular issues by physicians and the medical world is partially responsible for this back pain epidemic we have. Their main treatment plan right now for muscular issues is drugs and rest, both of which are proven to actually prolong the healing process!

Is that because they don’t care? No of course not. It is because they don’t know how to assess your muscular system for imbalances and therefore cannot create a treatment program based on what will actually help you and prevent future problems.

I plan on showing you things here that you can do yourself for relieving your own back pain and become stronger than you ever imagined, PAIN FREE too.

Facts

  • Doctors and physicians are not well-trained in evaluating muscular imbalances or designing programs that bring balance to the muscles in the low back.
  • The most common treatment plans of pain killers and anti-inflammatories do not heal, they actually slow the healing process.
  • We are trained to work with your diagnosis and show you how to relieve your pain with specific exercises tailored for your type of low back disorder.
  • Although most cases of back pain resolve themselves, if nothing is done to improve the supporting muscles, then the recurrence of pain is up to 12 times as high compared to those who do specific exercises for the spinal muscles and core.
  • Endurance is more important than strength in the spinal muscles.
  • Pain does not necessarily mean damage. Severe low back pain is often from trigger points in the muscles.
  • Pain caused by muscles can persist for years and even indefinitely.
  • It is possible to get rid of low back pain by balancing the muscles that support the spine.

Myths

  • Rest is best.
  • The pain will always be there and I have to learn to live with it
  • The pain is all in my head
  • An MRI or high-tech imaging test can always identify the cause of pain.
  • I will never be able to do some of my favorite activities ever again, such as hiking, swimming, running, gardening, etc.
  • An MRI is necessary to diagnose back pain.
  • It is usually one incident that causes the pain.
  • There is a standard cure for low back pain.
  • The spine is delicate and easily injured.
  • If I have a herniated disc then I need surgery.
  • My herniated disc must be causing my symptoms.

There is no such thing as magic exercises that cure back pain. The magic is in what you do daily and most importantly what you DON’T do daily.

Stretching & Body Awareness are the Missing Link to Becoming an Elite Athlete.

I say “Link” singular because stretching and body awareness are one, which is why stretching is so important. What stretching provides in the form of body awareness and control gives all who practice it a big-time edge on the competition who don’t. This enhanced body awareness is the missing link for most people trying to achieve elite, physical performance and it puts a new spin on why people should spend more quality time stretching.

Please keep in mind that I train athletes of all ages, sports and abilities, not to mention being one myself for over 20 years while reaching a junior Olympic level in two different sports; so this info is based on proven techniques and successful results, time and time again.

There is a common theme among ELITE athletes of all ages (past age 14), sports and gender that sets them apart from the non elites – STRETCHING and body awareness. This is not to be confused with natural flexibility which takes no additional time to practice and therefore does not create an advanced muscle-brain relationship while the muscle is in its lengthened position. Ummmmm what?

Let’s just say that I have seen kids and adults who are at a very high level for their sport although not quite elite and despite their great coordination and ability within their sport,  their overall body awareness is absolutely terrible. Do you know what all of them have in common? They don’t stretch much at all. And if they do, it is half-hearted or inappropriate. This leads to a body awareness that is lacking compared to those who do spend the time stretching and getting to know their body.

Yes this “body awareness” thing that yoga people talk about sounds a little hokey, until you see it day after day affect people who don’t have it. It is virtually impossible to find an elite athlete who has poor body awareness, and invariably these athletes ALL spend quality time stretching.

What I mean by this awareness is that if I ask someone who doesn’t stretch properly to perform a certain exercise that they have never done before, they have very little coordination to do it. The elite athlete can pick up the same exercise instantly with no hesitation and has amazing form, even though they have never done it before. So what does this mean?

It means that a person who spends enough time stretching properly will improve their brain’s relationship with the muscles and joints (especially in a lengthened position) and its ability to monitor every receptor and reflex involved with muscular coordination and function. This gives new hope for all those people who are not natural athletes.

The word stretching as used above is referring to a specific act of stretching, which does not include simply going through the motions to get it over with, as most people do. Instead, it consists of:

  • Proper breathing techniques
  • Relaxation, patience and enjoying the process
  • Knowing when to back off and when to relax into a position
  • Clearing one’s mind and focusing solely on the task at hand…stretching and body awareness
  • Practicing body awareness by listening to when a muscle is tensing up and then easing up exactly enough so that the muscle can stay relaxed in the lengthened position and improve to a new and longer length
  • Letting go of tension, not creating more
  • Using proper posture while stretching and not slouching or sagging – stretching should utilize proper core activation and encourage efficiency against gravity and joint stability at all times, otherwise it is useless flexibility
  • Making sure a muscle actually needs to be stretched – some muscles should first be strengthened to maximize joint stability

This affects everybody, not just the elite.

Why? Because it allows the brain to control and experience what is too much tension in the muscles and what are dangerous positions. Only patience and practice of proper techniques can teach these lessons.

What follows are the nuts and bolts of stretching. What you just read above is why stretching is so important for athletes and everyday people.   

The Physical Aspect of Stretching

Thinking about it energetically, the brain sends impulses to the muscle telling it to move; receptors in the muscle are constantly sending impulses back to the brain informing it about the muscle’s position, speed of movement, length, and tension.1,2  Receptors in the muscle also send signals back to the spinal cord that shoot right back to the muscle, totally bypassing the brain. These are reflex arcs, the simplest being the stretch reflex.1,2

The stretch reflex increases tension in the muscle being lengthened and has a static and dynamic component.3,5 So as long as the muscle is moving, it will have some tension in it that interferes with its passive stretch potential. This tension will increase proportionally with the speed of the stretch.3,5  Therefore, a slow stretch should be applied to inhibit tension in the muscle (autogenic inhibition) and facilitate its elongation.4 Also holding the stretch for at least twenty seconds will stimulate the golgi tendon reflex and inhibit the muscle spindle’s stretch reflex, which will create an adaptation in the muscle spindles and allow the muscle to stretch further without initiating the stretch reflex.5

These reflexes help the body function on a daily basis (maintaining posture and muscle tone) 1,2 but can limit stretching if they are not understood. If the reflexes are not taken advantage of, then stretching is just like any other movement; it will move the muscle without any affect on its long term length.

Experience leads me to believe that the reflex arcs are hypersensitive when the mind is busy, therefore allowing a smaller stimulus to activate the reflex and decrease the muscle’s stretch potential. In order to best override the stretch reflex, the mind must be relaxed. When the mind is focused on body awareness the muscles can relax along with the reflex arcs, allowing for a maximal stretch. Injuries and sharp pains are exceptions; even if they can be tuned out, they shouldn’t.

While relaxation is often a goal of stretching, the rest of the body should not be limp during the stretch. For instance, while stretching the low back it is often beneficial to activate the abdominal muscles in order to stabilize the intervertebral segments against excessive motion.

The Mental Aspect of Stretching

Stretching is best done with a quiet mind and some knowledge of how the muscles respond to lengthening. The mind and body are always communicating, and when the mind is busy their connection is weakened. What one did and what one has to do are thoughts that often cause a level of anxiety; undetectable to a busy brain but are enough to interfere with the reflex arcs.

Stretching can act as a time out from the daily routine and unite the physical with the mental. Instead of the muscles reacting to the brain (stress), the brain should interact with the muscles when stretching. For instance, during a stretch if it becomes uncomfortable, one can back off, breath through it, or hold it anyway while gritting the teeth and hardly breathing (yes you). This last technique usually adds more stress than it takes away.

Instead, interact with the muscle by breathing smoothly and clearing the mind. This takes practice. Then it is possible to feel the muscle and each tightness surrounding it. Without reacting to the tightness the breath can be used to soothe the muscles and establish a new and improved length that wasn’t possible with the old reflex arc, not to mention increase circulation and body awareness.

This doesn’t have to be an enlightening experience, rather a timeout from the outside world and a union with the inside. This moment should be enjoyed; it’s a great thing to be able to improve health just by breathing and paying attention to the body. Without this “timeout”, stretching is just another movement that can add stress to the body.

This is of course an ideal way to stretch that is not always possible, but time should be taken to have ideal sessions whenever possible. 

~In general, if stretching is not the mind’s focus and enjoyable, then it will not fully benefit the body. ~

 

Types of Flexibility

Non-dynamic

Passive, self-myofascial release, active, isometric, and active assisted stretching techniques are all non-dynamic. This type of flexibility is less complex and usually achieved in one movement plane, sometimes two, and is best used to correct posture imbalances and elongate muscles because of its relatively simple methods. It does not transfer very well into dynamic or multi-planar flexibility because it lacks the neuromuscular coordination. Non-dynamic flexibility is the foundation of stretching and should be the first goal of any novice or injured person.

Dynamic

Dynamic techniques, like yoga movements, are the only way to achieve dynamic flexibility. This type of flexibility is controlled by the neuromuscular system and allows the muscles to elongate while controlling the body’s speed, direction, balance, and coordination. Therefore, coordination is required to avoid injury. All three planes of movement should be challenged in a way that prepares the body for real life situations, such as reaching behind the washing machine to pick up fallen clothing. Dynamic flexibility cannot be totally converted into non-dynamic flexibility because the maximum length allowed by the muscle is rarely reached in a dynamic stretch.

  • Both types are needed for overall flexibility.

Example: An athlete has a daily routine of non-dynamic stretching for the entire body and can pass every basic ROM test there is but he/she does not do any dynamic stretching. If they are blessed with great coordination and flexibility it is possible to escape wear and tear or clumsy injuries. But if they are like most people, they will need to practice dynamic flexibility otherwise a situation will eventually occur that puts the body into a position it has neither the strength, flexibility, or coordination to control, all of which could have been trained through dynamic stretching.

 

How far is enough to get a good stretch?

The goal isn’t to go as far as one can, rather as far as one should. The end-feel of a stretch is the best guide to how far and even if stretching should be done. If the end-feel is a structural blockage or sharp pain, then stretching can do more harm than good. But if the end-feel is a leathery restriction, like muscle, then stretching should help the limitation.

Stretch the muscle to the barrier (first point of moderate tension), hold until the muscle “let’s go” which is usually about 20-30 seconds, then relax it or gently stretch it to the next point of noticeable tension.  More is not always better when it comes to twisting, bending, pulling, pushing, and everything else that is possible to do to the body. It can be a fine line between injury and improvement depending on the condition of the surrounding tissues and the stretching techniques used.

Stretching to the limit will often create instability in the involved joint(s) due to surpassing the ability of the antagonistic muscle to stabilize the joint(s). A great way to prevent overstretching is to stretch slowly and smoothly, get the muscles warm, and make sure the surrounding muscles (especially the antagonist) can support the joint in that position.

Breathing

If breathing isn’t relaxed and synchronized with the stretch, then results will be poor. The exhalation helps relax the muscle and is most beneficial during the elongation phase. While holding a stretch for the appropriate time, the inhalation should be similar to the exhalation in force and duration (3-5 seconds in, 3-5 seconds out, with a pause in between). This isn’t always possible at the beginning of a difficult stretch but by the last few seconds a rhythm should be achieved, otherwise the muscles won’t completely relax and accept the new length. At first it will seem impossible to relax in some of the new positions, but by focusing on proper breathing it is possible to reach the muscle’s greatest stretch potential.

Summary

Stretching is good for you: DO IT.

References

  1. Sherwood, Lauralee. Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems, ed. 2. West Publishing Company, Minneapolis/St. Paul. 1993
  2. Marieb, Elaine. Human Anatomy and Physiology, ed. 3. The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc.,California. 1995
  3. Alter MJ. Science of Flexibility, ed. 2. Human Kinetics. 1996
  4. Basmajian JV. Therapeutic Exercise ed. 3. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore. 1978
  5. Clark,MA. Integrated Flexibility Training.NationalAcademyof Sports Medicine (Publishers).Thousand Oaks, CA. 2000

5 Tips for Relieving Back Pain

  1. If you have been sitting for longer than 5 minutes, make sure you do some back extension movements before you lift things, i.e. boxes, kids, groceries. This will help push the discs away from the spinal cord and create space for safer movement.
  2. Prop yourself up on your elbows while lying on your stomach a few times per day to relocate the disc back to a more natural position. When we sit the discs are forced backwards towards the spinal cord and nerves and therefore can cause painful symptoms.
  3. Use a lumbar support when you sit. This will keep the natural curve going and prevent the spaces that hold nerves from narrowing.
  4. Use arm rests when you are at the desk. They now will take the weight of the arms instead of the low back. That could be 10-20 pounds!
  5. Create length throughout your spine as often as possible. You can do this simply by trying to make yourself taller/longer in just about any position you are in. Keep your abdominals active to support spinal stability and lengthen through the back of your neck.

Back Pain Lesson #1

Please note that these are not just general opinion’s on low back pain (LBP). Everything here is based on clinical evidence and facts you can find in my book, Exercise Progression for Low Back Disorders – A Professional’s Manual, over 18 years of experience dealing with low back pain, and over 12 years of working in clinics and seeing clients for low back pain. This stuff is proven to work! References have been left out so as to not fill up space, but please inquire about any facts I have stated that you would like further research on.

Today’s lesson: Low back pain does NOT  improve from exercise  faster than nature’s healing course. In other words, it will heal itself just as fast as any exercise program we have ever documented. That being said, exercise and daily activity modifications (D.A.M.’s) are essential in preventing further incidences, increasing general function,  and reducing the intensity of recurrences.  Due to the wide variety of disorders and therefore great many solutions, we will stick to general concepts here. Please feel free to contact chris@exerciseprogression.com for specific questions about your situation.

In general:

  • It’s not what you DO, it’s what you DON’T do that helps LBP. You can do all the right exercises and stretches in the world, but if you bend at your back instead of your legs and hips when you; do laundry, pick up the kids, groceries, vacuum, toilet seat, water jug, suitcase, dog, cat…get the picture? Life is the gym! I will post videos and pictures later about the proper form for daily activities. The beauty of proper form is that once you do it all the time, life becomes a workout and you hardly need to exercise unless you desire specific results for sports and cardio.
  • Don’t try to stretch yourself out of pain. It won’t work, trust me. It didn’t work for me and it hasn’t worked for any of the 1000’s of clients I’ve seen. In fact it usually makes things WORSE. Keep it simple and subtle. Don’t stretch as far as you can, rather as far as you should (it’s a fine line I know and only practice will teach you). It may feel great as you’re doing it, but inflammation in the spine can take up to 3 days to show up and therefore seem a mystery once it appears.
  • Find positions of relief and assume them as often as possible. In general, sitting, flexing, forward bends and the like are BAD for the spine. It prefers to be vertical and extended (low back). The low back is naturally extended about 35 degrees and sitting tends to flex it and add a lot of stress to all the local tissues (discs, ligaments, joints, etc.), so in general, positions such as the following are great for relief*; 1. lying on stomach propped up on elbows 2. hip flexor stretches (see below) 3. walking 4. anything vertical and weightbearing. *Exceptions are stenosis and spondylolisthesis and other unique instances which prefer flexed positions.  

Hip Flexor Stretch

Hip Flexor Stretch 2

  •  Sit-ups, crunches, and the like are ABSOLUTELY AWFUL for LBP!  Please observe how the human body works in daily life so you can be armed with knowledge the next time someone tells you to do crunches to help your LBP. I can’t remember the last time any of my clients or I needed to lay on our backs and repetitively crunch up and down. It just doesn’t happen in real life. Not to mention the huge amounts of stress it puts on the spine (here’s that flexion force again…BAD!). The key is to keep stress low in the spine and strengthen it in ways that transfer directly over to daily life, such as standing lifts and twists using the stomach and hips as the power, not the back.

Please stay tuned for the next lesson; “Exercises for the Chair Jockey” and how to reverse the effects of sitting.

Visit us at WWW.EXERCISEPROGRESSION.COM

Back Pain Lesson #2 – SITTING

One of the biggest contributers to low back pain (LBP) is prolonged and repetitive sitting. Lesson 2 offers a simple remedy to prevent and improve LBP. Just follow these easy tips, stretches and movements to a life with much less pain and even increased energy from a more efficient body.

Meet the Chair Jockey

A chair jockey is someone who spends too much time sitting on a daily basis. Prolonged sitting causes “deloading” of the tissues, which occurs from lack of gravity stress on the body and results in a weakening of the stabilizing muscles. This deloading reduces the body’s ability to resist gravity during sports or simply standing, and works on the following principles;

 Sitting = non-weight bearing = poor muscle recruitment & posture = ↓ energy/productivity = ↑ injuries

 Standing = weight bearing = ↑ leg and spine strength = ↑ energy & mental capacity = ↓ pain & injuries

 The Chair Jockey Workout is designed to be simple and time efficient. It can be used throughout the day in the office or at home to keep the body’s stabilizing muscles strong and activated. This routine improves posture and reduces stress at the precise areas needed to reverse the harmful effects of sitting and repetitive movements, which add up at the end of the day and week and cause dull aches or even pain in the low back, neck, and shoulders. It is the best answer to a busy schedule of sitting and a life full of aches and pains.

It should take no more than 6 or 7 minutes each time and should be done in the order shown. They can be repeated throughout the day to break up the constant strain of non-gravity induced poor posture. These exercises are also ideal for traveling because they can be done in a hotel room without any equipment, although exercise tubing is good to have.

 Exercise Descriptions

  • Hold all stretches for 20-30 seconds with relaxed breathing

 

#1 - Squats

 #1 – Squats

  • Squats can be done with the arms pointing upward or straight in front of the chest. 
  • Suck in the stomach, squat down, and stick the hips backwards as if sitting into a chair.
  • Don’t let the knees go past the toes. 
  • Move slowly and pause at the bottom, stretching the arms away from the body.
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed and the head in-line with the spine (pointing downward)
  • Repeat as many as time or effort permits. 

 

IMG_5430 copy

 #2 – Front Thigh Stretch

  • This stretch can also be done with the back knee on the ground.
  • Suck in the stomach and squeeze the buttocks on the side of the leg in back.
  • Reach upward, don’t arch the low back, and slightly twist the torso away from the front leg.       

 Chest Stretch

#3 – Chest Stretch

  • Stand tall, stomach sucked in slightly, and relax the rest of the body.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold 5-10 seconds, continue breathing. Repeat 5-10 times.

 

A

 #4 - Thoracic Spine Extension

B

#4 - Upper Spine Extension
#4 – Upper Spine Extension
 
  •  Kneeling on a pad, suck in the stomach and brace the upper body with hands on knees. 
  • Slouch forward to assume the rest position. 
  • Keeping the lower back stationary and stable, use the vertical muscles along the spine to push the chest outward (extending the mid/upper back). 
  • Keep the head in line with the spine. 
  • Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 5-10 times.  

 

Toe Raises

#5 – Toe Raises

  • Using 1 or 2 legs, (reaching upward is optional), raise yourself up onto the ball of your foot and repeat up and down slowly 15-30 times.
  • Keep the stomach sucked in and stay on the inside of the ball of the foot.     
 
 
Front Thigh Stretch 
 
#6 – Front Thigh Stretch
  • See # 2, but use a chair.  
 
Calve Stretch 
B

IMG_4907 copy1

 #7 – Push-up/Calve Stretch

  • Starting in the calve stretch, try to push the heels into the floor and the chest towards the thighs.
  • Keep the stomach sucked in with relaxed breathing.
  • Transition into a push-up position (on knees or straight legs), and move up and down as slow as possible in order to work the back also.
  • Do as many as time or effort permits.

   Rotator Cuff

#8 – Rotator Cuff Strengthening

  • Tubing is optional, but optimal.
  • Keeping the elbows at your side, start with the hands in front of the belly button and rotate the arms so that the fists go away from the body.
  • Hold at the end point for a few seconds and repeat slowly 15-30 times.

 Shoulder Blade Squeeze

      # 9 –  Shoulder blade squeezes

  • Tubing is optional, but optimal.
  • Palms can face up or down.
  • Keeping the stomach sucked in with upright, yet relaxed posture, start with the arms in front of the chest and squeeze the shoulder blades together and bring the arms backwards, posture should not change.
  • Hold at the end point for a few seconds and repeat 10-15 times slowly.

 

One Leg Balance 

     #10 – One leg balance

  • Keeping the hips level, stand on 1 leg for 30-60 seconds, progressing to eyes closed.
  • Focus on good body and foot posture.

 

Posterior leg Stretch

     #11 – Leg stretch

  • This can be done facing (not shown) and or twisting away from the chair.
  • Place the foot up on a chair, keep the spine upright and slightly lean towards the foot.
  • Stretch the foot up and down to add a stretch to the calves.
  • Keep the stomach sucked in and don’t slouch the low back.

 

One Leg Flying 

     #12 – Spine/Back exercise

  • Keeping the stomach sucked in without slouching the low back, squeeze both glutes and raise one leg.
  • Hold the arms outward by squeezing the shoulder blades together.
  • Keep the head in line with spine.
  • Push the raised leg and arms out and away from the body. Hold for 15-30 seconds each side.

Relaxing Head Rub Neck Stretch

                    A                                                        B

    #13 – Neck stretching and facial relaxation

  • Sitting, gently tug on the back of the head in all directions searching for tight spots in the neck muscles.
  • Hold each tight spot for 20-30 seconds and focus on breathing.
  • The other hand can be used to massage the area being stretched.
  • After the neck is stretched, massage the temples while making every possible facial expression in order to energize and relax tension in the head.
  • Lastly, focus the eyes on something distant to relax them.

 

#14 – Neck stability pushes & temple rubs

There are 4 main directions that the neck moves; rotation, side bending, forward flexion and extension, plus left and right adds two more. Your goal is to lightly activate the neck muscles by pushing your head in each direction, 10 reps at a time, into your hand. The hand will resist your head so it doesn’t actually move, it just pushes in the direction.

  • Keep the pushes light, don’t strain.
  • Do 10 reps of 3-5 second pushes in each direction.
  • The palm of your hand is on the front of your head for forward flexion, the back of head for extension, the temple for rotation, and the side of the head for side bending.
  • This exercise often results in instant relief of head and neck pain because it activates the small muscles needed to hold the head properly.
  
  
Sitting and Low Back Pain

Tips for Sitting

  1. ALWAYS use a lumbar support for the low back.
  2. Shift position constantly to distribute stress to various areas.
  3. When picking something off the floor or bending down, place one hand on a knee and slightly lift up the buttocks while maintain an arched low back.
  4. Don’t twist. Always face whatever task is at hand by turning the body as a unit.
  5. Don’t read papers that are flat on the desk. Prop them up so the head isn’t flexed all the way forward and down.
  6. Have the keyboard and mouse at the same level as the elbows when they are naturally hanging at your side. Also keep them at a forearms distance away from your body so that no reaching occurs.
  7. Use arm rests to take pressure off the low back.
  8. Keep the monitor about 18 inches from your eyes and make sure lighting is sufficient so that they are more relaxed.
  9. If you are on the phone a lot, support your “phone arm” with an elbow on the desk and switch sides often.

     10.  Posture is an attitude that creates a physical state. Be aware of deadlines and stress weighing down the body into poor posture. Use relaxed breathing and thoughts of what you are grateful for           to  improve posture and reduce stress.

     11.  Take frequent breaks to introduce movement to the body and keep its systems working efficiently, i.e. The Chair Jockey Workout.

     12.  Drink plenty of water.

     13.  Do the following exercises at the end of the day to reverse some of the damages caused by sitting.

Leg Elevation

Leg Elevation on Wall

  •  Laying on a flat surface, scoot the buttocks as close as possible to a wall and prop the legs up.
  • Lay in this position for 5-10 minutes to facilitate circulation of stagnant blood. 

 

Wall Posture Practice 

Standing Wall Posture Exercise

  • Standing with feet 3 inches from wall, keep the entire spine, back, and neck touching the wall by using the lower abdominals to “tuck in your tail”.
  • Hold for 3 minutes in a natural manner.