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/

Pregnancy and massage therapy: When is massage safe?

By: Cailey Schaffler, RMT

Cailey has extensive training in pre- and post-natal massage as well as with issues such as breastfeeding techniques, mastitis, and many post-partum concerns

 


You can start prenatal massage at any point in a healthy pregnancy!

Prenatal massage often evokes a mistaken response of, ‘it’s not safe to have during the first trimester because it can cause a miscarriage.’ Miscarriages most commonly occur in the first trimester, but research does not show that massage therapy has ever caused a miscarriage. As long as you seek out a massage therapist with proper Pregnancy massage - ottawa massage blogtraining and experience, as well as consult with your physician, obstetrician, or midwife, prenatal massage can be initiated at any point throughout your pregnancy (0–40+ weeks)! Below you will find lists of both the benefits and risks of massage during pregnancy.

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The effects of stress – and how massage can help

By: Katherine Pugliese, RYT, RMT

Katherine is passionate about relieving stress through massage and through self-care, which for her includes writing and drawing


Anxiety and depression represent two of the leading health concerns in our society today (Kreitzer, M.J. (2016), “Anxiety and Depression”). Many of us face daily demands and what at times can seem to be overwhelming challenges that cause uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, fear and sadness.

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Running Pains: Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome

Genevieve Ward 2015By: Genevieve Ward
Genevieve is a registered massage therapist at Body Poets who mixes other activities with running to keep her IT band happy.


If you run, cycle, or walk for exercise, you know about the iliotibial band, or ITB, on the outside of the thigh, and during exercise you might have suffered from pain at the knee that is known as Iliotibial Band Friction Syndrome or ITBS.

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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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To be touched

To be touched is something so profound,

It goes deeper than your skin.

To be touched is to be present,

Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson

present in someone else’s hands, someone else’s life, someone else’s care.

To give touch is something so complex,

It must come from within.

To give touch is to be available,

available to react, to nurture, to support.

To go without touch is something so destructive,

It can be compared to sin.

To go without touch is to isolate,

Isolate yourself away from your peers, from your body, from yourself.

The art of touch is something so essential,

it goes deeper than your skin.