Advanced Myotherapy Blog

Active Recovery for Athletes

Preventing Surgery with Corrective Myotherapy

Myotherapy & Fibromyalgia

One of our clients Matt Lynch has been suffering wide-spread pain for a number of years now. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and since the diagnosis has become a regular client at our clinic.
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that is mainly characterised by chronic wide-spread pain, heightened sensitivity to stimuli, sleep  disturbances & fatigue. The cause is unknow, but is thought to be due to a combination of factors leading to increased sensitivity of the nervous system. Recommendations for treatment of the condition involve both pharmacological and non-pharmacological management. As the exact underlying pathophysiology is unclear, a  multidisciplinary approach is extremely important in order to target a range of symptoms that can make this condition so debilitating. Chronic drug use alone will not effectively improve an individual’s physical functioning and quality of life, in addition to the fact that it can have adverse effects that result in other issues within the body.
Exercise to improve physical functioning is one of the recommendations in the management of fibromyalgia. Matt has been attending Myo-Balance Strength classes at our clinic twice a week for the past 2 months. In these classes we target strengthening of postural and joint-stabilising muscles. This can help to maintain joint integrity and to prevent overload on other muscles. A loss of joint integrity can result in incorrect loading on surrounding structures (muscle, bone, bursa, tendons, ligaments) which over time can become a source of pain – e.g. shoulder impingement.
Matt’s progress throughout the past 2 months has been great. Early on we constantly had to regress exercises and reduce the number of reps and sets in order for it to be achievable for him. The weakness throughout many of those stabilising muscles was evident and the pain that accompanied that was greatly impacting on his life. He is now completing far more challenging exercises in the classes, and with greatly improved fluidity and form. He feels as though he is slowly starting to take control of his condition and – with our support – is moving in the right direction for a better future.
Of course with the nature of the condition, some days may be harder than others – but a positive mindset, motivation and determination can help to get through this. Matt’s determination and motivation is clear with his near perfect attendance and participation in classes. As his strength continues to build and his posture continues to correct itself (with his hard work) those tougher days will become less frequent and more manageable. The key to this condition is the correct management. It is not currently possible to treat the source of fibromyalgia, as it is unknown, however learning how to get on top of it and lessen the symptoms is vital in order to improve physical functioning and thus quality of life. Matt’s future is looking brighter every day.

Preventing Pain with Healthy Habits

How & Why You Treat Back Pain

Lower Back Pain Therapy

As a teacher of yoga and a part of the Advanced Myotherapy team, I hear many unique bodily complaints. All are valid and deserve correct care and attention. Lower back pain is a common issue that often stems from multiple factors, which are individual and may be a sign of more serious issues. It is best to seek professional support so that you can fully understand the cause of your pain and eliminate the issue completely. Here I offer you some general tools that can be used in the recovery or avoidance of lower back pain.

You will need

-a comfortable quiet space

-a heated wheat bag

-a large sleeping pillow

-a blanket

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-42-09-pmTo begin I recommend thermal therapy in the form of a large heated wheat bag. Place the wheat bag along the ground and arrange your lower back to lie onto the heat. Lay down on your back, with the head in line with the spine, arms a little away from the body, the knees bent and the feet wider than hip distance apart. The knees can fall into one another here to flatten the lower back and align the spine.The heat will allow the lower back to relax and prepare muscles for lengthening. Close the eyes, breathe deeply into the abdomen and focus on the movement and sensation of your breathing and your body.

(5-10 minutes)

Now that you are centred and the muscles relaxed we can safely work on some stretching and strengthening exercises.

Mula Bandha

The mula bandha, or root lock, plays an important role in the stabilisation and posture of the entire spine. Activating it takes the pressure off the lumbar spine. Here’s how to locate this specific muscle area. Men contract the area between the anus and the testes while women, contract the muscles at the bottom of the pelvic floor, behind the cervix. To begin with contract the whole network of muscles in this region. With practice, guidance and awareness you can get more specific. For now stay in your lying down position, remove your wheat bag, check that you are comfortable and explore the contracting your mula bandha. Work on activating, holding for 5 seconds with steady breath, then releasing for 10 seconds with steady breath. Do this 5 times, or any other amount that is comfortable for you.

(2 minutes)

Pavanamuktasana – wind relieving pose


Keep the spine and back of the head on the ground and draw the knees into the chest, bringing the hands to the knees to squeeze them into the trunk of the body. You can spend some time circling the knees around to massage the lower back on the ground. This pose will help to gently lengthen the spine, relieving tension in the lower back, hips and thighs that can lead to pain and poor alignment.

(2 minutes)

Supta matsyendrasana – reclined spinal twist

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-44-34-pmNow make sure your pillow is close by, place the feet on the ground as close to the buttocks as possible, and let the knees fall over to the right side of your body. The knees are stacked on top of one another and can be supported by a pillow if they don’t comfortably meet the ground. Reach the arms out wide in opposite directions and in line with the shoulders, keeping both of your shoulders in contact with the floor. Then turn the head to gaze over the left, creating a complete gentle spinal twist. When moving into the stretch be mindful of sensation and practice full embodiment – being present in your body.

(3 minutes per side)

Bidalasana – cat cow posture

Consciously move from a supine position into a comfortable table top position. Check the alignment of the joints – wrists (or fists for those with wrist pain) directly below shoulders, knees below hips (maybe a blanket under the knees for knee discomfort) and the feet in line with the legs.  Elongate through the crown of the head and the tailbone in opposite directions. Inhale to drop the belly and draw the tailbone and gaze upwards (cow pose), pause to breathe into the stretch then exhale and arch the back, draw the navel and mula bandha in, reaching the crown of the head towards the tailbone (cat pose). When you are comfortable with the two poses you can move comfortably with your breath deep and slow breath between the two. Inhale to cow, exhale to cat. Maybe close the eyes to focus inwards here. This allows for the expansion of self awareness and prevents injuries by helping you explore and honour your own boundaries.

(3 minutes)

Massage MelbourneBalasana – child’s pose

Open the knees wide, sit the hips back onto the feet and begin to walk the hands and upper body forward until the forehead can rest on the floor (or stacked fists). Arms can be supporting the forehead, stretched forwards in front of the head or down beside the body. Take the support of a cushion under the pelvis and belly if you need. This is one of Yoga’s most restorative postures and will help relieve the stress and tension that often comes with pain as well as the physical tightness in the lower back.

(5 minutes)

Savasana – corpse pose

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-2-47-32-pmFinally lay down on your back, take a cushion under the knees, and cover your body with a blanket. Now extend the legs down hip distance apart and let the feet flop to the sides. Bring the arms a little away from the body with the palms facing upwards and the head in line with the spine. Finally tuck the chin slightly into the chest to lengthen the back of the neck and close your eyes. This is the best way to finish your practice and offers the opportunity to relax on all levels. Focus inwards on your breathing and allow the body to be still, tension free and open to receiving all the benefits of your Yoga practice.  

(5 -10 minutes)

A few tips..

–  Try to practice these postures daily

–  If pain or discomfort is experienced through this sequence discontinue and see myself or one of the therapists at Advanced Myotherapy

–  Your sleeping position is important to get right when it comes to lower back pain. Try adjusting your sleep posture to savasana with a cushion under the knees or a side sleeping position with the spine in a straight line and a cushion between the legs.

– Avoid all unconscious lifting and bending. Always move with a straight spine and when squatting activate the mula bandha and core to project your spine.

–  Learn how you sit, stand, and move in a way that keeps your spine in proper alignment and alleviates strain on your back.

Most importantly, make space in your life for your pain. It is present and means that something needs attention. Don’t numb the pain or try to push through it, honour the pain, adjust your lifestyle and try to allow it for what it is. A chance for healing, an opportunity to build on your self-understanding and self-compassion. The more you look after and love your body, the incredible vessel for your being, the richer your life experience will be.

By Hannah Beggs

Hannah Beggs Yoga CarltonHannah teaches Myo-Balance classes in the Advanced Myotherapy Rehab room and is a Yoga Alliance registered Hatha Yoga instructor. She came to Yoga when she was traveling through Nepal with her family at the age of 16. She has been expanding her understanding of the ancient Indian natural sciences since this time.

After using Yoga and meditation to heal her own physical, mental and spiritual imbalances Hannah decided to study in India to become a teacher and share the practice with those who understand the value of health and wellbeing through alignment.

At the heart of her teaching journey is the love for guiding people back to alignment with their best version of their perfectly unique glorious selves.

 

Get more from your treatment

Side view shot of fitness woman sitting in Vajrasana pose on exercise mat and looking at sunset. Female practicing yoga on the cliff during sunset.

After care is such an essential element of successful body therapy such as Remedial Massage and Myotherapy. At Advanced Myotherapy, our key focus lies in the value of Self Care as a vital aspect of muscle health and pain management solutions.

If you want to get the most out of your visit and treatment at our clinic or for Massage, Myotherapy and body work in general, there are some important things to remember that can make a big difference to how much you get out of the treatment.

Drinking plenty of water is so important because it helps flush out the toxins that are stimulated in treatment to be released. If not enough water is in the body, people can end up feeling “giddy” and not so great, so hydration is vital.

Basically it’s a good idea to refrain from intense workouts for a couple of days after a session, however moderate movement and gentle exercise is a great idea to maintain.

Sometimes you can be sore for a couple of days after a treatment, which is normal however if pain persists or worsens it’s recommended that you discuss this with your therapist so that follow up care and treatment can be arranged.

A hot bath or shower as well as the use of heat therapy (using a wheat bag) will help relax any residual pain and stiffness after a treatment.  You may also self massage therapeutic massage oil into painful areas to assist in relaxing the muscles.

Ask your therapist which products and oils might bet suit your needs. If your pain is posture related, it is important to be aware of posture following treatment. You may also like to ask your therapist for posture shoulder strapping, to help support the upper body, bringing the shoulders back to take pressure off the neck and shoulders.

We offer this as a complimentary service for existing clients who are in either a Maintenance Care Package or 30 Day Posture program.

Upper Back Pain Recovery

Upper back pain can be reversed by aligning the upper body for postural balance. Here are a few simple things you can do yourself at home using things you might have around the house.

Using a rolled up towel and a ball, you can lengthen the muscles of the chest and soften the upper back muscles to bring the shoulders back and take pressure off the spine.

You can also use a doorway which is a stretch we recommend our clients do to reverse poor posture from rounding shoulders, to open the pectoral area. This is a great stretch to help release any tension in the chest to take stress off the shoulders, causing any upper back pain.

How to Train without Pain

Massage CarltonThe 1st and most important aspect of training longevity is to maintain muscles length. Stretching to keep flexibility is so important for training recovery AND preparation. Warming up and cooling down are essential in training and work outs, so remember to give yourself sufficient time to do both each time time you train.

The 2nd key to longevity is the one we are all to happy to help with! You can get way more out of your training and recover faster with regular Massage or Myotherapy sessions.

Our mission is to empower you to maintain mobility and fitness… and body treatments are a wonderful way to maintain balance so that you can keep up your Self Care!

The 3rd and most important Key to Success in training longevity is to SUSTAIN your energy and put in what you take out! When your muscles become depleted, you need to replenish your bodies salts! Including sufficient sea salt (not iodised, there are other ways to get iodine and iodised salts has aluminium as an anti-caking agent which hardens the arteries)…in your diet also assists your body in absorbing nutrients!

And when you train, you need more of them! So please make sure that you are eating plenty of whole plant foods so that your body is able to keep up with your personal fitness and strength goals! It’s all about ENERGY! Who doesn’t want more of it! It’s what life is made of:)