How-to: Chin tucks

Head forward posture - Ottawa massage blogMany of us have a posture that massage therapists describe as “forward head carriage”, and that is now also frequently called “text neck”. Computer use and texting are two common reasons for this head position that strains the neck and shoulders, and can contribute to headaches, muscle aches, jaw problems, internally rotated shoulders, and bony changes in the neck and spine.

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. (Otherwise described as having the mastoid process in line with the acromion.)

Correct Neck Posture - Ottawa Massage Blog

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.

If you see yourself more like the first picture, try daily chin tucks to help strengthen your neck muscles and bring your head back into proper position. Here is how to perform them:

Chin tuck - Ottawa Massage Blog

1. Lie down on the floor, your bed, or a massage table.

2. Tuck your chin in towards the spine.

3. Lift your head a few inches off the floor, gazing at the horizon.

4. Hold until fatigue. Rest, and repeat tomorrow.

A strong neck can hold the posture for 45 or more seconds without shaking and without the chin un-tucking.

If you have a weaker neck, do this once a day, every day, and see how fast your strength can improve.

Try it yourself! How long can you hold it?

 

Bonus exercise: Here’s a video with a short and easy series of self-care tricks from our friends at Heritage Fitness in Carleton Place! https://www.facebook.com/HeritageFitCP/videos/1768751226503236/

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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‘Barefoot’ running is saving my soles — Almonte Massage Therapy by Body Poets

By Ellen Symons, RMT Ellen used to be a recalcitrant runner who felt as if she were carrying a refrigerator on her back, but in her minimalist shoes she feels lithe as a gazelle. She doesn’t know if minimalist running is for everyone, but she’s sure enjoying her runs much more these days. Initially […]

via ‘Barefoot’ running is saving my soles — Almonte Massage Therapy by Body Poets

Please try this at home!

Ellen Symons 2015By: Ellen Symons, RMT
Ellen is an RMT and owner of Body Poets. Her pyjamas look a lot like her running clothes.

Ellen’s Super-easy Self-care Tips

Tip #1 – Wear leggings and sleeves at night

So you just completed your first 5k. Or, you started a new cardio-step class … wearing a 25-pound backpack. Or, you spent the afternoon trimming raspberries and deadheading echinacea.

Whatever it was, all you know is that your quads are achy, your forearms are weary, and the thought of tomorrow’s stiffness looms over you like a cloud.

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A dry-brush a day, Part 2!

Ellen Symons 2015

By: Ellen Symons
Ellen is a registered massage therapist, the owner of Body Poets and a dedicated daily dry-brusher.

Three years ago, after taking a workshop that persuaded me of the benefits, I started a daily dry brushing habit. Mainly, at the time, I wanted to improve my immune system and to have softer, less dry skin in winter. My shins were flaky and itchy, my arms were rough, and as a friend once said about himself, “I didn’t think at 50 I’d have to deal with grey hair AND acne!”

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End-of-year openings

Once again, we’ve spent a year growing in leaps and bounds. We’ve welcomed new therapists, new clients, and a new office manager to the clinic, and opened a new location in Almonte, Ontario, and the result has been nothing short of amazing. We’ve had record increases in bookings for the past two months, and as usual, December promises to be our busiest month of the past twelve.

Additionally, we are one of three Ottawa massage therapy clinics nominated for a Top Choice Award as Top Massage Therapist 2016 in Ottawa. This is just thrilling! To vote for us before February 1, 2016, click here!

Some therapists are fully booked now until the end of 2015; others still have some availability. Please check our online booking tool for specific schedules at both our Ottawa and Almonte locations, or call the office at 613-222-0465 to inquire.

Holiday closing dates:

  • December 25 – closed
  • December 26 – 9-4 (two RMTs) at our downtown Ottawa location
  • January 1 – closed

Thank you for helping us make this our best year yet. We are happy to be part of your approach to health care, and we look forward to working with you in the months ahead. See you soon, and may you enjoy a restorative end of the year and start 2016 with a sense of excitement and optimism!

Scar Rehabilitation: More Than Skin Deep

Emilie McKay, RMT - ottawa massage blog
By: Emilie McKay, RMT
Emilie is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who specializes in scar rehabilitation.  Along with publishing an award-winning case study based on scar rehabilitation, Emilie has taught scar rehabilitation to students and RMTs.

A wounded body requires repair. The body has the ability to heal wounds and once the healing is complete, a scar remains. A scar can be as powerful as the force that created it. There are various ways scars are created: trauma, surgery, or burns. But they all leave a message behind.

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