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|Posted on November 27, 2015 at 11:57 PM||comments ()|
I am a concerned mother. I am a concerned massage therapist. And as a therapist for children, I am very concerned over the posture habits already being exhibited by young kids and teenagers. The habitual use and the associated poor postures associated with sitting hunched over modern day devices is literally sending more and more young people into doctors offices, chiropractic and physical therapy clinics, and massage therapist's offices such as mine complaining of neck pain, headaches, etc.
What can we do as parents? These are just a few tips to at least minimize the long-term damage on necks and spines. Parents take note...these apply to you as well!
#1. Limit time spent on the device.
Sounds simple, but is it? Yes. No of course not. Kids want to play and surf the web but children do not need to be on these devices for lengths of time. Children need to know how to appropriately socialize among peers and their elders. Children need to interact with their parents without the a phone or tablet distracting them. Have children earn time on the device and keep the usage to maybe 10-30 minutes at a time.
#2. Play close attention to how the child holds their head and sits with the device.
Dr. James Carter, a leading Australian chiropractor has warned that ‘text neck’ which is a condition often brought on by bending over phone and tablets for several hours at a time is becoming a global epidemic. He warns that the condition can lead to anxiety and depression as well as spinal damage. The head is tilted forward, front neck muscles become chronically tight, as well as the jaw, while the muscles in the back of neck become over stretched, weakened. This mixture inevitably leads to things like neck pain, migraines, jaw pain/soreness, chronic mouth breathing, stiffness throughout the upper body, and could possibly be creating permanent damage to the spine, during a crucial time when kids and teens are learning bad habits while continuing to go through growth spurts.
In addition to limiting time spent on the device, remind them (constantly if you have to) to sit up straight. It's an old saying, right? Remember when our parents used to constantly correct us? It's okay to do that. In fact, it's a must. Use a pillow or other prop to bring the device higher so that the head isn't forced to look so far down. Use any props you can think of! Ideally, one's head should be able to look straight ahead with shoulders in a relaxed position and elbows bent at 90 degrees. This can be challenging when playing games or surfing the web for hours. Again, limiting time is key!
4. Learn, teach and exhibit good postural habits now.
Adults and kids alike can benefit from working with a good personal trainer, physical therapist, structural or orthopedic massage specialist, etc, to learn proper posture techniques. There is so much great info out on the web regarding the subject. One of my favorite analogies comes from Dr. Erik Dalton in his article, The 42 Lb. Head. Here is a quick excerpt:
"According to research, every inch the head moves forward of the shoulders, weight is amplified by 10 pounds. As a result, a 12 pound head held 3 inches forward causes the cervical extensors (semispinalis, splenii, longissimus, upper traps, etc.) to isometrically battle 42 pounds against the relentless force of gravity. Forward Head Postures such as the Upper Crossed Syndrome (Fig. 1) evolve from poor sleeping positions, driving stress, computer neck, whiplash, and faulty breathing habits. Resulting pain syndromes can often be traced to muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis, pinched nerves and 'dural-drag' from an overstretched or impinged spinal cord.
If your child complains of neck pain, this could be one possibility. Watch him or her and observe and make adjustments. If they complain of pain, pediatric massage therapy is one way to help. Do not allow your children to achieve a kyphotic spine in their youth. It will age them beyond their years and pain will ensue. They will surely thank you for it some day!
|Posted on December 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM||comments ()|
|Posted on August 20, 2013 at 12:13 PM||comments ()|
There are several muscles that play a part of your low back pain, however, one group in particular makes the cut as one of the biggest culprits.
Before we get there, allow me to say that a common assumption of low back pain is that it must be caused by a structural issue in the lumbar spine, such as arthritis, a herniated disk, compressed nerve, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, etc. While these are common conditions that need ruling out (usually with diagnostic evidence), it is just as important to rule out a common soft tissue malady. You could possibly save time, money, and hassle trying to find structural issues when the problem could be a result of muscular trigger points referring the pain.
Trigger points in the GLUTEUS MEDIUS muscles, are commonly felt in the low back just above and below the belt line and often extends into the buttocks and hips. Gluteus medius trigger points can make walking painful and can make it hard to find comfortable sleeping position, especially on the side of the hips. Afflicted gluteus medius muscles pull the rim of the pelvis down, stiffening and flattening the lower back, adding to the problem.
The gluteus medius muscle is a very strong and thick muscle, lying underneath the larger gluteus maximus. Its primary function is to allow you to walk upright. With each step you take, the gluteus medius muscles take turns supporting the pelvis and supporting the entire weight of the upper body.
Due to their leverage at the hip, the gluteus medius muscles must generate a force equal to more than twice the body weight. That's right, more than double the body weight! Any additional demands placed on the gluteus medius will only compound the load that they must carry with each and every step.
Carrying extra weight, whether it be in an overweight individual or a pregnant woman, for example, often times results in the 'waddle' walk. This is the body's way of trying to maintain good body mechanics under the circumstances of overloading.
Here are other potential causes of gluteus medius trigger points:
-habitual weight bearing on one side of body (such as carrying a baby on one hip)
-standing or sitting still for long periods of time
-lifting heavy items without properly supporting with both legs
-*weak gluteal muscles
- and more.
So the next time you suffer from lower back pain or hip pain, consider these important muscles. Are you an active individual? Does your job entail sitting or standing for long periods? Are you carrying extra weight?
These are things to consider when dealing with lower back pain. If you have not tried an experienced massage session, focusing on the gluteals, now is the time. Pain relief can come sooner than you think.
To schedule online, visit
*See gluteal strengthening videos now:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA-0qiNgcpk)
|Posted on February 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM||comments ()|
Have you connected with nature lately?
No matter how hard we may try, our to-do lists pile up. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with have-to-dos...loads of laundry to be done, refrigerator needs stocking, and those bathrooms won't clean themselves. Our family needs attention, too. What about those files piling up and bills needing to be paid?
Where does taking care of yourself fit in to that hectic list of things to do? The answer is...you must schedule care for yourself now. Take a break. I find that getting outdoors for a little while really puts things in perspective. The minute, little things that have surmounted themselves in your head, suddenly become less important once you connect with nature again. It's truly a beautiful feeling!
One can make all kinds of excuses not to get outside, or not to exercise, or not to even get out of bed. If you live with chronic pain this can be especially difficult. But let me say this, even if you sit in a park for 15 minutes your mood will improve. The earth, the vast sky, sounds of nature, and even people-watching are greatly therapeutic to the soul, mind, and body. If it's a sunny day, let the sun's natural vitamin D boost energy and immunity levels. Look up and allow the great weight of everyday worries drift up into the sky! Take your shoes off and ground yourself to the earth. Perhaps go for a brisk walk, run, bicycle, or spend time with kids and go exploring for nature's treasures. Children find fascination in everything, and just being around them can boost your mood.
If you find yourself getting frequently frustrated, depressed, short-tempered and boggled down with life's daily stressors, than perhaps it's time to get outside. Connect with your feelings and be mindful of the present. Journal your feelings or even draw what you see in nature. These are just a few examples, but the point being, 'life is too short to sweat the small stuff'.
For an all natural mood boost, plan your visit with mother nature as often as you possibly can. She welcomes the company!
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