Self massage to relieve neck & shoulder tension.

Check out this short video I did a while ago, its rough & ready, however gives you a few ways to help relieve tension in your face, neck & shoulders! Please excuse the music blaring in the background! I may have been doing some ‘kitchen dancing’ and forgot to turn it down!

 

 

 

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Pain in the neck? It could be coming from your jaw!

Temporomandibular Joint (in short TMJ!)

PAIN IN THE NECK? IT MAY BE CONNECTED TO YOUR JAW!

We all suffer from neck pain from time to time. For some of us it is a regular problem & others it can be intensified when we are feeling stressed.

Let’s take a look at the anatomy of our neck and face:

neck-face-tilted-view

I love an anatomy diagram! Isn’t it amazing! Look at all of the muscles in the neck! Can you spot the ‘anterior temporalis muscle’ and the ‘TMJ capsule’? These can get tight and hold tension. Why not see how yours feels? Use the pads of your fingertips, massage slowly around your temple area. Does that feel good? Releasing some tension? Whilst having a shower, take a few moments to massage your scalp too (see if you can get your scalp to move, like you are itching a wig!!) Do the same in the temple area. Nice?!

So what is the TMJ and what significance does it have? This joint is basically responsible for moving our jaw, talking, eating, laughing etc. Move your jaw from side to side? You will look like a camel chewing his lunch! Does that make a clicking sound? Feel like its pulling behind your ear area? See if you can feel where the joint is moving, just below where the bottom on your ears are attached to your face. Found it? GENTLY apply some pressure both sides at once….oooff! A bit tender? Just applying a small amount of pressure can help ease that feeling. The TMJ can also hold lots of tension if we are anxious, worried or generally just trying to keep up with the hectic lifestyles we lead! I have an awful habit of jutting my lower jaw out when I am concentrating! I have to consciously put my top and bottom jaws back in the right place! Gives me a headache! Always signals my time to log off and go off and do something restorative!

Teeth grinding while we sleep will also put a strain on our TMJ. If it’s a real problem for you, go and see your dentist as they can suggest various treatments.

tmj1

 

Next muscle to have a poke around for is the superficial masseter muscle (2 on the photo above), this muscle supports the lower jaw as well as other functions. Relax your jaw as much as you can, feel around your cheekbone, start at the side of your face by your ear and use 2 fingertips to feel all the way down to the lower jaw. Feel anything? It can be an odd sensation! This is SUCH a fab exercise to do to make your jaw area feel more relaxed.

How about adding in all the areas in the photo below? That is not me by the way!

Whenever I work on these areas with my lovely clients, they describe it as a ‘nice feeling of being a bit uncomfortable!!’ I know what they mean!

Other ideas to keep tension at bay!

Yoga, Pilates, take a walk, sing, be creative, take a 30min nap, practice mindfulness, meet a friend for a gossip, read a trashy magazine, do some gardening and anything that gives you a chance to concentrate on what YOU enjoy for a little while!

http://www.themobilemassagetherapist.co.uk

 

 

Happy clients!

Jo Warboys shooting-44

“Jo is an excellent massage therapist. With her deep knowledge and skill, genuine concern for others’ well-being, and sharp mind picking up patterns, symptoms and potential causes of pain, she has really helped me as I rebuild my mind/body connection, regain some healthy habits and deal with some minor injuries that would have become major had she not addressed them. She focuses in on the important things while taking a holistic approach. I walk away from her massages feeling great – relaxed and put back together, and with some practical advice for what I can do to continue the work we started. Not only does my body feel better, but so does my mindset. She also holds me accountable – in a lovely way – from session to session which is making a real difference! I can see progress in some trouble spots, and working with her is an important part of my overall wellness routine. I feel very lucky Jo has followed her passion to help people in this way!”
Patricia, Twickenham

Bottoms!

Bottoms!

2000-Gladiator-Russell-Crowe-e1396324984840

What has Gladiator Maximus got to do with your bottom, posture, hips and lower back?!

Maximus – meaning largest & most powerful!

Did you know that our bottom muscles are some of the most powerful we have?

3 muscles make up your lovely rear end! Gluteus medius, maximus (I always think of Mr Crowe when I see a reference to gluteus maximus!) and minimus

glutes

(Hurrah! I got an anatomy diagram in again! I love an anatomy diagram!)

The gluteus maximus is the most visible gluteal muscle, but there are two smaller muscles underneath it: the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. The glutes are responsible for hip movements that power all natural whole body movements. Running, jumping, walking, squatting, getting up from a chair, climbing the stairs, picking up heavy objects (kids included!) are all dependant on our booty!

Another role of the glutes is to ensure that your upper leg is in alignment with the spine. In other words if the spine and trunk are vertical – the leg must too. So the thigh is pulled down and back. This extension at the hip is primarily propelled by the muscles you are currently sitting on. Have a go at standing up, place your hand on your bottom as you so, can you feel those muscles working? Stand tall, think about your posture and use bum cheeks to stabilise and strengthen your posture.

Posture

The biggest risk of not using your glutes properly in movements where they are supposed to do most of the work is that when other muscles need to kick in, your body works in an unnatural way. This can result in nearby or even far muscles and joints getting strained or injured.

backpainlifting-300x230

When I massage my lovely clients, one of the areas that holds most tension is the gluteal area. Common exclamations:

“OOO, I can really feel that!”

Ah! That feels good!”

“Didn’t realise I was so tense in my bum!”

The moral of this story is:

Be aware of your bottom muscles!

Know what they are doing!

Use them correctly – they hold the power!

Keep them tension free!

Make sure they are strong!