Transformation, Yoga

What’s the Deal with Energy Healing?

Energy Healing is no longer just a hot topic in metaphysics, “new age” philosophy and followers of alchemy or pagan beliefs. It is “entering” the yoga field too. More and more yoga studios are offering Reiki training as well. We see places around town carrying crystal and stone for healing, even be retail is getting on the energy healing train carrying necklaces and earrings that carry real or artificial versions of this all natural way of living. 

Two points I really want to cover here are 1. Energy healing is a huge part of yoga, not the classic American yoga but of the ancient natural healing that has been around for over 5,000 years and many other practices as well – this isn’t “new age” this is old age stuff and it shows up almost every religion. 2. The process of energy healing is not that the crystals heal you or another person heals you – its that they help you in the healing process, if you don’t allow the healing to happen (which means you have to participate at a certain level) then it typically won’t happen. 

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Within Yoga, energy is addressed as chakras and pranayama, that there is energy within us, energy blockages, energy building with yoga postures (like tai chi builds and gets your energy flowing), energy calming with restorative. We now tie a lot of this with stress management. What is stress in the body or mind but negative energy? This is why yoga (and other empowering practices) focuses on having the person themselves pushing through the [energy] change. You are moving your body to transform the negative energy into calm, fire or regulation. These can also be described with the four elements of Earth, Water, Air & Fire. 

Many religions refer to the light within. Growing your light, Sharing your light. Pictures of holy figures with light at their hands, surrounding their body or head. Often text refer to light and love interchangeably and ask you to let the light of you or someone else (referring to a loving or wise future) to guide you. 

You have light within you. Some of our inner candles may need more oil, but it is there and you can ask for help and guidance, you just have to open the door and trust your own lamp and light. So often we reach for crystals and other objects or people because we don’t have the confidence in our own ability to heal. Be sure that it is because you want help and you need someone to hold your hand and walk beside you, not that you want to play follow the leader. A healer is a guide, someone who has done an intense amount of healing on themselves and is committed to guiding to and sharing the light.

Know that you are so much more than you think. You are an energetic being having a human experience. 

Step into your own light. 

Your Coach & Yoga Therapist,

Izzy Nalley

Anatomy, Fitness, Yoga

Hamstring Relief

Get relief in your hamstrings with these releasing stretches.

I want to emphasis the word RELEASING on the stretches because you could do more damage than benefit if you push yourself into a stretch and work on the pain of stretching. Yes, you will feel a little discomfort when trying to stretch a tight hamstring but discomfort is and should be different than pain.

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When we force a stretch it tightens a muscle and activates – we then are trying to stretch an activated muscle which then pulls on tendons and connective tissues. Therefore we should try to RELAX into the stretch to create a releasing sensation that typically shows up after 30 seconds of deep breathing within the elongation of the muscle.

Get to Know your Hamstrings and how to Move them before stretching.

Dynamic Stretching – Moving Rhythmically in and within the the stretch will sooth the nervous system and help with the releasing.

  1. One Leg Hamstring Fold – Arms can be up or Hands on Hips. You might even have a chair or wall next to you to steady yourself. – Move up and down while keeping the extended leg strain but not locked. *Try to keep the hips even and notice if you are swaying a little to one side more than the other, remember there are 3 Hamstring muscles and 1 might be tighter than another.

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2. Forward Fold – You do not have to be able to touch your toes to take a forward fold. For a STANDING forward fold you can utilize a chair, yoga blocks or hang and release to the ground. Remember we don’t want to overstress them so feel free to add support or props – you are not cheating if you do, you are being smart and supportive to you body.

You can also take a seated forward fold. With a chair for your hands for support.

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These two are great ways to stretch or extend the hamstring muscle, but to truly release the hamstrings is not to go from one extreme to the other. Relaxation is also needed.

  1. Try laying on your belly with the top of your feet elevated on a pillow and just breath – try to let your hamstrings relax. No tensing, activating or stretching.
  2. You might even try some heat therapy for really tense hamstrings by either a hot epsom salt bath OR a heating pad followed by an ice pack (hot/cold therapy).

Anatomy, Fitness, Yoga

Get to Know Your Hamstrings

You might be surprised to know that tight hamstrings could be causing you low back pain, pulling on your knee and causing mobility problems with your hips and glutes.

Let me introduce you to your hamstrings in this post and then learn how to Move Your Hamstrings followed by how to restore & stretches to help loosen the tightness and heal your body to help prevent future injuries.

Location: Posterior (back side) of body between the Hip and just below the Knee

Muscles: Consists of 3 muscles: from medial to lateral: semimembranosus, semitendinosus and biceps femoris.

(Image1 Ref 2)

Nerves: branch of Sciatica Nerves

Actions: Flexion (bend) of the knee joint and extension (straighten) of the hip joint.

“The hamstrings play a crucial role in many daily activities such as walking, running, jumping, and controlling some movement in the gluteus.”

Injuries: The hamstrings are quite susceptible to injury.

“At the hip, the hamstrings play a role in a posture condition known as flat low back. This is because the result of their contraction at this location is a pulling down of the pelvis in back, a move also known as a posterior pelvic tilt. The posterior pelvic tilt, in turn, tends to elongate the natural low back curve, overstretching and/or weakening the muscles in that area and possibly predisposing you to disc injury. Tight hamstrings may also play a role in sacroiliac dysfunction.” 2

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Hamstring injury risk factors include:

Prior hamstring injury. After you’ve had one hamstring injury, you’re more likely to have another one, especially if you try to resume all your activities at pre-injury levels of intensity before your muscles have time to heal and rebuild strength.

Poor flexibility. If you have poor flexibility, your muscles may not be able to bear the full force of the action required during certain activities.

Muscle imbalance. A muscle imbalance may lead to hamstring injury. When the muscles along the front of your thigh — the quadriceps — become stronger and more developed than your hamstring muscles, you may be more likely to injure your hamstring muscles.

Sports that require sprinting or running, or other activities such as dancing that might require extreme stretching, make a hamstring injury more likely.” 1

Injury Prevention:

“As part of an overall physical conditioning program, regular stretching and strengthening exercises can help minimize your risk of hamstring injury. Try to be in shape to play your sport; don’t play your sport to get in shape.” 1

References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hamstring-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20372985

  2. https://www.verywellhealth.com/hamstring-muscles-296481

  3. http://www.aspirechirodfw.com/important-posture/

Yoga

5 Tips to Prevent Tech Neck Pain

Looking down at your phone, tablet, or laptop can cause ongoing neck pain. When you hold this tilted, head-forward posture for long periods of time, you may develop a repetitive stress injury or muscle strain.

5 Tips to Prevent Tech Neck Pain

This ailment is commonly referred to as tech neck (sometimes called text neck) and can be avoided by changing a few habits. Here are 5 simple steps you can take to prevent the pain:

1. Raise your screen higher

Hold your phone or tablet up close to eye level to avoid sloping your head forward or bending your neck down. If your arms get tired from holding the screen higher, buy a holder to elevate your device, or rest your elbows on a tabletop to prop your arms up comfortably. If you work on a laptop, get a second monitor and adjust the height.

2. Take breaks often

If you have to look at a screen for an extended period of time, take breaks. Develop a habit of taking a 2- or 3-minute break every half hour, and set an alarm on your phone to remind you. Use these breaks to change your posture and move around, keeping your muscles loose and spine aligned. Try this quick stretch on break: tuck your chin down, then slowly raise it upward. Then gently turn your head over one shoulder, then the other.

3. Sit in a chair with a headrest

The ergonomics of your chair can help you maintain correct posture and avoid tech neck. Switch to a chair that has a headrest and keep the back of your head flush against the headrest while you use your screen. Holding your head in this position will prevent you from looking down with your neck flexed forward.

4. Strengthen and stretch your muscles

Strengthening and stretching your chest, neck, and upper back can help to prevent muscle imbalances caused by forward head posture. 

Over time, muscle imbalances can develop due to long-term forward head posture. To prevent these imbalances, it helps to strengthen and stretch your chest, neck, and upper back muscles. Keeping these muscles in good shape helps support the weight of your head and minimize strain on your cervical spine.

You can also perform exercises that target your abdominals and lower back. While it may seem counterintuitive to work out this part of your body to prevent tech neck, these muscle groups play a role in supporting your upper body, including your neck.

5. Use pain as a warning sign

If you experience pain in your neck, between the shoulder blades, numbness or tingling in the arms, or frequent headaches, there may be a more serious issue going on. Pay attention to these warning signs and act quickly to make changes to reduce or eliminate any head-forward posture straining your neck.

See What Is Cervical Radiculopathy?

Try all or some of the above methods and see which ones work for you. If your neck pain symptoms don’t improve, it may be time to seek help from a qualified health professional.

Learn more:

Workplace Ergonomics and Neck Pain

Forward Head Posture’s Effect on Neck Muscles

 

original post: https://www.spine-health.com/blog/5-tips-prevent-tech-neck-pain

 

Uncategorized

Do You Have Tech Neck?

Do you text a lot? Looking down at text whether digital or print?

Students and Desk Jobs can create headaches, neck pain and more.

This unnatural, forward positioning of the head and cervical spine places additional stress on the intervertebral discs, vertebrae, and facet joints, which may exacerbate or accelerate spinal degeneration. Additionally, as the bottom the cervical spine hyperflexes forward and the top of the cervical spine hyperextends in the opposite direction, the spinal canal lengthens through the neck, which increases stretching and tension on the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots.

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Most cases of neck pain have a postural component as part of the underlying problem. In such cases, recognizing and understanding poor posture can play an important role in finding neck pain relief.

Common Symptoms Associated with Text Neck

Text neck symptoms commonly include one or more of the following:

    • Pain in the neck, upper back, and/or shoulder. This pain may be located in one specific spot and feel intense or stabbing, or it may be a general achiness and soreness that covers a broader region, such as spanning from the bottom of the neck and into the shoulder(s).
    • Forward head posture and rounded shoulders. Muscles in the neck, chest, and upper back can become deconditioned and imbalanced due to prolonged forward head posture. This deconditioning can make it difficult to maintain good posture with the ears directly over the shoulders.
    • Reduced mobility. The neck, upper back, and shoulders may all experience some tightness and reduced mobility.
    • Headache. Muscles at the base of the neck could go into spasm and become painful, or pain could also be referred from the neck up into the head. Excessive amounts of time looking at screens, regardless of posture, may also increase the risk for eyestrain and headache.

Increased pain when neck flexion.

     Text neck symptoms tend to worsen when the neck is flexed forward into the position that originally caused the problem, such as while looking down and texting.

Where and how pain is felt can vary from case to case. For example, someone who primarily looks at a phone screen while using both hands (or no hands if it is lying on a table or lap) may be more susceptible to having pain evenly distributed on both sides of the neck and/or upper back, whereas someone who uses one hand may have more pain on one side due to using or straining those muscles more.

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The Difference Between Good and Poor Posture

Medical illustration of proper head posture and forward head posture

Normal head posture vs forward tilt

Good posture, as it relates to the neck, is commonly considered when the ears are positioned directly above the shoulders with the chest open and shoulders back. In this neutral position, also called normal head posture, stress on the neck is minimized because the head’s weight is naturally balanced on the cervical spine.

Forward head posture occurs when the neck slants forward, placing the head further in front of the shoulders rather than directly above. This head position can lead to several problems:

  • Increased stress on the cervical spine. As the head is held forward in poor posture, the cervical spine must support increasing amounts of weight. One rule of thumb is that for every inch that the head is held forward in poor posture, an additional 10 pounds of weight is felt on the cervical spine.1 So if the average head weighs between 10 and 12 pounds, just 1 or 2 inches of forward head posture can double or triple the load on the cervical spine.
  • See Cervical Spine Anatomy and Neck Pain

  • Hyperflexion and hyperextension. The lower cervical spine goes into hyperflexion with the vertebrae tilting too far forward. The upper cervical spine, however, does the opposite and goes into hyperextension as the brain automatically keeps the head up so the eyes can look straight ahead. This alteration of the cervical spine’s curve lengthens the spinal canal distance from the base of the skull to the base of the neck, causing the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots to become somewhat stretched.
  • Muscle overload. Some muscles in the neck and upper back must continually overwork to counterbalance the pull of gravity on the forward head. As a result, muscles become more susceptible to painful strains and spasms.
  • Watch: Neck Strains and Sprains Video

  • Hunched upper back. Forward head posture is often accompanied by forward shoulders and a rounded upper back, which can lead to more pain in the neck, upper back, and/or shoulders.

The longer that poor posture is continued—such as being hunched over a computer or slouching on the couch—the more likely that neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms may develop.

 

 

Original Post Source: https://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/how-poor-posture-causes-neck-pain