Dec 4 2017
Last month, we featured the psoas (hip flexor) muscle and some of its’ mysteries. If the psoas muscle goes into spasm frequently enough, over time the muscle will take on a shortened position. A shortened psoas will not extend or lengthen to accommodate changes in position and movement. This pattern of muscular shortening can be experienced as hip or back pain often during the transition from sitting to standing or from standing to walking.
Here are some psoas stretches from several different disciplines. Always stay inside the pain free range.
- Hip Circles – This Yi Jin Jing Qigong exercise is a wonderful hip opener and stretches all the muscles of the hip including the psoas.
- Stand erect with the feet apart and parallel.
- Choose a point ahead of you to focus upon.
- Place the palm of your hands on the small of your back and with the middle finger tips touching.
- Bring the pelvis forward (12 o’clock and move counter clockwise through the clock until you’ve made a complete circle.
- As you circle, breath in as you move your hips back and breath out as you move your hips forwards.
- Repeat up to 12 times, than reverse to a clockwise motion.
Nov 10 2017
Often, a short psoas contributes to LB, hip or pelvic pain.
Where is it? What does it do? Why is the psoas so complicated?
Rolfing and the mystery of the psoas
Henry, a new patient complains of a shooting pain in his low back every time he rises from sitting. He states that it has been several weeks since the onset, and it has been getting worse. After walking around for a few moments it goes away. Henry asks us to explain what is wrong with his back. In fact, the problem is with his hip flexor muscle, not his back. We explain to him that often a short psoas contributes to low back, hip or pelvic pain.
The psoas is a core muscle. It lies deep within the body, directly in front of the spine. The psoas originates on the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae, travels the front of the spine and attaches on the inside of the thigh bone at a protuberance called the lesser trochanter. The psoas muscle joins with the iliacus muscle in the sides of the pelvis. Together these two muscles are called the iliopsoas and are hip flexors.
The psoas is has many roles:
- The psoas contracts, shortens and brings the knee upwards and forward as we walk.
- The psoas stretches/lengthens to allow the hip to extend when we walk and when we rise from a chair.
- The psoas helps to stabilize the spine, support the lumbar curve and support upright posture.
- The psoas helps to create span and length in the body.
This is a tricky but important concept. When the body is working well, it maintains length as we move. Fred Astaire’s grace was partly do to his ability to lengthen his body as he danced. Read More
Oct 2 2017
Mainstream medicine offers limited relief for the pain and exhaustion that accompanies fibromyalgia. Sometimes antidepressants and counseling are prescribed. Patients are advised to pace themselves and restrict activities to keep their symptoms in check. Additionally, many physicians are suggesting that their patients explore complimentary medical approaches such as Rolfing and acupuncture.
Fibromyalgia symptoms include:
- Widespread pain throughout body that is frequently experienced as constant dull ache.
- Trouble focusing and concentrating on mental tasks.
- Anxiety and depression.
Chronic fatigue symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue that gets worse with physical
and mental activity, but does not improve with rest.
- Loss of memory or concentration.
- Sore throat.
- Unexplained muscle pain.
While chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have similar symptoms, pain is the dominant factor with fibromyalgia, while exhaustion is the greatest challenge with chronic fatigue. Both are chronic in nature and have no definitive cure. Conventional treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome focus on symptom relief.
Rolfing and acupuncture draw upon the body’s innate ability for self healing. At first glance, Rolfing and acupuncture are very different healing modalities. Rolfing uses deep pressure to create balance in the physical structure while acupuncture uses needles to balance energy. Read More
Sep 4 2017
Did you know that sitting posture and work habits play an important role in exacerbating or preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)? In a previous article “Does Rolfing Help Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?” we explored what Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is and how Rolfing can help you recover from this problem. This article will explore the role that sitting posture has on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and how Rolfing can help you to achieve and maintain good posture.
What does sitting posture have to do with hand and wrist pain?
Aug 1 2017
In 1958 rockabilly artist Eddie Cochran recorded a smash hit called “Summertime Blues.” So, what are exactly are the summertime blues? Is there a cure for them?
Many of you are familiar with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) where sufferers experience a lack of energy and depression in response to winter’s cold weather and absence of light. To accommodate to longer nights, the body produces higher levels of melatonin over an extended period of time. Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep. If you are producing too much melatonin, you may have trouble waking up. Additionally, winter’s darkness reduces serotonin, a neurotransmitter produced in the pineal gland that is associated with feelings of wellbeing.
Summertime depression or Summertime Season Affective Disorder is a different matter. If the onset of summer marks the beginning of insomnia, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite and interest in food, weight loss and an uptick in feelings of anxiety, agitation and inappropriate anger, you could be suffering from summertime depression or summertime SAD. A hallmark of this disorder is the return of symptoms every year in the late spring or early summer. Read More