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.

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.

 

Alleviate Migraines Naturally with Myotherapy

Migraine Myotherapy

From the common “text neck” and wry neck to other incredibly increasing lifestyle induced pain symptoms, we have found many of our clients come to us not knowing how to reverse such triggers beyond just treatment alone.

The secret to empowering these clients long term, has often been in the self care education we provide, applicable to the unique individual and what is causing their pain.

Our clients tend to inform us that the ultimate “difference maker” is the knowing what to do, how to take care of their own body, and why the pain originally developed.

Persistent, recurring pain such as migraines, headaches and neck pain is largely triggered by activities of daily living which a thorough assessment will uncover. Reversing such habits and correcting the posture to reduce and alleviate this pain is our focus at Advanced Myotherapy. We believe this is exactly why people are referred to us for such pain. Read below to find out what just a few of our clients have experienced from Myotherapy for migraines…


“After over a decade of pain and countless practitioners I finally found Matt at Advanced Myotherapy. In 3 sessions I have learnt so much about what is causing my problems, have been given so many techniques for managing my back problem and my monthly migraine for the first time was only a mild headache and that was only after 3 sessions! I am looking forward to the future which Matt tells me will be migraine and back pain free. Thank you Advanced Myotherapy Angels!!!” Kimberley


“Matthew at Advanced myotherapy helped me become migraine free! I was having several migraines a month and had to take strong painkillers, leave work abruptly and shut myself in the dark for 24hrs. Matthew found an issue with my neck which was causing the problem. He also taught me to self manage and I now know how to recognise symptoms and care for my health much better! THANKS ADVANCED MYOTHERAPY! :)” – Elle Martin


“I have been going to Advanced Myotherapy for 8 years and with all of my chronic neck issues, related to the work I do on computers, I understand what causes it to worsen and how to reduce the pain naturally without using drugs. Understanding it has made the world of difference as when it flairs up, I know not only what to do but also where to go.” Sean Ryan

5 Signs you should try Myotherapy

5 Signs you may be due for another tune up
  1. You have chronic neck and back pain…

Spinal restriction placing pressure on the nervous system causes pain. Tight muscles and fascia along the spine (erector spinae) is the leading cause of this pain.

Often people say they visit various therapists for spinal adjustments without lasting results. The reason for this is due to the fact that tight muscles are the origin of the condition, not the resulting spinal and neural pressure that comes with pain.

2. You’re getting frequent headaches and migraines…

Addressing the root cause of symptoms, often originating from poor postural habits, we combine treatment with self care education which has a lasting impact. Treating the neck alone without addressing the habitual causes often result in only temporary relief from pain. 

3. Old injuries still stop you from being able to do what you used to…

Injuries from years ago even still today, are stopping you from certain activities you once loved. Myotherapy breaks up scar tissue around trauma areas that haven’t yet healed properly, from deep tissue release work to dry needling trigger points to rid you of any residual muscle memory of old injuries. 

4. You are noticing your own bad posture and shallow breathing…

Shallow breathing is a symptom of bad posture resulting from internally rotating shoulders, especially common in side or stomach sleepers and office workers. Noticing your own bad posture is a sign you’ve left treatment too long. Maintaining muscular balance is essential for spinal health and will prevent a multitude of ailments from herniated discs to even worse – spinal nerve root compression.

5. Your usual shopping centre massages are not working…

The random rub downs miss all the key points, fail to warm up the muscles and while you generally walk in on the spot, they simply missed all the spots! You even tried pain killers and they only masked the stress, leading you to soldier on and make things worse! Feeling like a visit? BOOK NOW

 

Our Self Care & Posture Correction classes target specific musculo-skeletal imbalances to address individual weakness and restriction causing pain. The small class sizes offer intimate one on one focus to instil correct posture for individually targeted realignment.

ClicBOOK NOW or call us to ask about our 2 for 1 intro offer.

Stand taller with our therapist run Self Care alignment classes specific to your needs. Book any time online and gain far more benefits from the individual focus you wont get from large fitness, Yoga or Pilates classes.

 

Foam Rolling for Pain

Foam rolling for ‪ myofascial‬ release and posture correction‬ to bring the ‪‎shoulders‬ back can help relieve many pain symptom in the body. From headaches and neck and shoulder pain, foam rolling can reduce a range of physical complaints from muscular imbalance.

Myotherapy incorporates a holistic approach in educating clients in self care for long term results. Office workers and trades people often have roFoam roller carltonunded shoulders as a result of their working habits. Myotherapists call this the activities of daily living, which are a strong focus of our work, to instill corrective care to counter balance any repetitive strain potential for future or repeated injury prone vulnerabilities. 

We use a range of different tools including Trigger Point Foam Rollers to encourage our clients to use effective techniques to gain the most out of there personal goals for either maintenance or recovery. Laying on or self massage with the use of a trigger point foam roller is a fantastic way of recovering from debilitating pain, be it from overuse in sports and endurance activities or simple pain, tension and stiffness.

Allowing the spine and muscles to reverse themselves into a balanced and corrected alignment, using a foam roller can fast track posture correction where treatment alone would not compete.

We encourage our clients to take an active role in their muscular maintenance so as to not only “make our job easier” but to ensure more of a longer term balance that can be incorporated to prevent ongoing and persistent pain symptoms.

Natural Neck Pain Solutions

The leading causes of neck pain include:

  1. Misaligned shoulders that are typically rounded, which lead to:
  2. A poorly aligned neck (forward tilting), which leads to:
  3. Tremendous strain on the neck muscles, which leads to:
  4. Chronic pain, build up of strain, with potential long term effects (migraines and headaches, etc.)

Postural imbalance resulting in rounded shoulders and neck pain is also a common source of headaches!

Below we share a few exercises that are effective as home self care for the improvement of posture to reduce upper back, shoulder and neck pain.

power posture myotherapy

Foam rolling or laying on a tightly rolled towel and placing it under the spine – is a wonderful way to relax the shoulders back, opening the chest and pectoral muscles to reduce strain on the upper back and dramatically improve posture.

Doing so for up to 10 minutes to reverse poor posture at the end of each day is an ideal way to prevent pain from stiffness also effecting our overnight muscular balance long term.

To lengthen the muscles of the neck bring your ear to the shoulder, place your hand on the ear and gently guide your head to the shoulder to deepen the stretch. Hold for a minute each side.

 

 

 


Self care exercises are great way to maintain and often prevent restrictions although finding and addressing the cause of the problem is essential to long term results.

At Advanced Myotherapy we can help by assessing your lifestyle to find the cause of the restrictions which may be caused by things such as your sleeping position or posture at work.

Depending on the origin of the restriction, you will be given more specific self care exercises which can be done at home that will target specific muscles to further relieve restrictions and maintain normal muscle range of motion.