How-to: Chin tucks

Let’s balance our talk of the trapezius muscles on the back of the body with some attention to the deep neck flexors in the front. Here’s a simple daily exercise to improve posture and reduce muscle strain in the neck and shoulders.

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Head forward posture - Ottawa massage blog

How often do we see people walking around like this? How often do you catch yourself in this position!? This is forward head posture. If you have forward head posture, worry no more – we are here to teach you a very simple correcting exercise called chin tucks. Chin tucks are a simple way of strengthening your deep neck flexors, realigning your cervical (neck) spine and reducing forward head posture.

For those who don’t know, forward head posture is an increase in the curve of the cervical spine. This increase in curve can cause many symptoms like neck pain, tension headaches, TMJ dysfunction, and internally rotated shoulders, to name a few.

Then what is correct head posture?  To achieve correct head posture and for your neck to be in neutral, your earlobe should line up with the mid-point of your shoulder. (Mastoid process in line with acromion.) See below.

Correct Neck Posture - Ottawa Massage Blog

If…

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The Trapezius, part 2 – Super posture!

The trapezius muscles are commonly overworked and tense, and cause much of the upper back, shoulder, neck, and headache pain that prompt us to go for massage. Understanding and caring for your traps will reduce your pain and let you feel better. Last week, we looked at the upper traps. This week, we complete the picture with the middle and lower traps.

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Monthly Muscle: Trapezius

Trapezius sections - Ottawa massage blogThe middle and inferior traps fill the space from just below the top of the shoulder blades in a V down to the lower third of the back (the red and pink sections in the diagram to the right). Along with the upper traps, which we saw last week, these two muscles help move and support your shoulder blades and spine.

Middle Trapezius: The posture corrector

Actions – Pulls shoulder blades towards spine

Common pain culprit – Slouching; Internally rotated shoulders

If you work at a computer, wear a back pack or workout your pecs too much, you probably have internally rotated shoulders. With internally rotated shoulders, comes weakness in the middle trapezius. This happens because the internal rotation is drawing the shoulder blades farther from the spine, keeping the middle trapezius in a constant stretch position. Pain arises because the muscle no longer has the…

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The Trapezius – that pain in your neck!

The trapezius muscles are commonly overworked and tense, and cause much of the upper back, shoulder, neck, and headache pain that prompt us to go for massage. Understanding and caring for your traps will reduce your pain and let you feel better.

Body Poets Massage Therapy

Monthly Muscle: Trapezius

The trapezius, often known as the “trap”, is a large muscle that occupies 2/3 of your back.  Divided into three parts, the trapezius muscle has a variety of actions that help move your neck, shoulder blade and spine. This muscle has a tendency to be out of balance due to our typical western posture: hunched over a computer for hours a day. Today we will learn about the upper part of the muscle: what it does, why it hurts, how to help it. Check in soon for the next segment on the middle and lower trapezius!

Trapezius - Ottawa massage blog

Upper Trapezius: That pain in your neck.

Actions – Bends head to side, extends head back, rotates head to opposite side.

Common pain culprit – Head forward posture and hiked-up shoulders.

Neck Pain - Ottawa massage blog

Many clients will exclaim that their shoulders are “hard as rocks”. What you are really feeling are the tensed fibers…

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Vote for us in the 2017 Top Choice Awards

Many of you threw your support behind us in 2016, and we were thrilled to be voted Ottawa’s Top Massage Therapist in 2016.

Voting has opened for the 2017 Top Choice Awards, and we hope we might have your vote as top massage clinic again this year!

Top Choice Award Nominee 2016

Thank you for your continued support and patronage,

The Body Poets Massage Therapy team

The Properly Positioned Pelvis

By: Sarah Million
Sarah Million is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who believes that correcting postural imbalances is key in providing long term pain relief.


Some people may be surprised to realize that the pelvic region is composed of several bones and many muscles.

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It’s not always in your head: Headaches and tension-related head pain

Jesse Albert 2015

By: Jesse Albert
Jesse is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who knows a thing or two about what it is like to find relief from headaches caused by trigger point activity. With an interest in trigger point therapy, Jesse has been able to cultivate further knowledge and experience in how trigger points behave and how they relate to head pain and tension.


Headaches. We’ve all experienced at least one in our lifetime, in one form or another. Most resolve themselves over time or with your standard over-the-counter medication and a big glass of water but sometimes, they require a little more effort to be rid of them.

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