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      Top 3 spots to self massage – lower body edition

      Top 3 spots to self massage – lower body edition

      Whether its a spiky ball, a lacrosse ball or a borrowed tennis ball from your dog (maybe wash it first?!), they are great for relieving tight muscles all over the body. Due to covid-19 isoloation happening all over the world, todays post will be focused on helping those who are staying at home. Remember more is not better. Max 60 seconds on each spot and max 3 minutes on each muscle. Pro Tip: do a wall supported forward bend and see how far you can go. Try again afterwards to notice how much of a difference these release techniques make to your range of movement.

      Disclaimer: These exercises may not be right for you. We recommend you check with your musculoskeletal health care provider before trying any new exercises or therapies.

      1. Glutes

      A good glute release will leave you feeling ligther in the low back. A lot of our MyoThrive customers have heavy sore backs from sitting so much while in iso at home. Have a break from the desk and try this standing glute release.

      Step 1 – Put the ball between your glute muscle and the wall.

      Step 2 – Find a sore spot, then let it sink in for 30-60 sec until it eases off.

      Step 3 – Try finding a few more spots. Also don’t forget the other side!


      2. Hamstring

      I’m sure a lot of you are feeling tight calves right now from all that sitting, running and squatting! Tight hamstrings can lead to sore knees, hips and low back. Maybe you’ll be able to touch your toes again after this one!

      Step 1 – Sit on the floor and position the ball between your hamstring and a block or book.

      Step 2 – Once you’ve found a spot, bend and straighten your knee until you feel it ease (approx 30-60 sec).

      Step 3 – Find a few more spots and repeat. Stay in the top 2/3rds of the muscle and search to the sides where most of the trigger points lie.


      3. Calves

      Tight calves can cause problems not only locally around the calf, ankle and foot but can also refer tightness into the lower back. Sitting to much can create stagnation in the calf muscles plus if the only exercise you’re able to do right now is walking and running, they are going to need some self massage TLC!

      Step 1 – Sit on the floor and position the ball between your calf and a block or book.

      Step 2 – Once you’ve found a spot, point and flex you foot until you feel it ease (approx 30-60 sec).

      Step 3 – Find a few more spots and repeat. Stay in the top 2/3rds of the calf and search to the sides where most of the trigger points lie.


      Don’t forget to check out our “upper body edition” for neck, shoulders and forearms.

      Subscribe to get the latest or join us on social. We post regularly on instagram and facebook. Look for @myothrive or search for your favourite practitioner.

      Need Supplies or a bit of extra help?

      We can drop ship anything you need straight from our suppliers to your door! Simply email [email protected] with what you need. Some products can be ordered straight from the website. Click on “shop” in the links bar. In addition we are offering online and in clinic consultations for people who need a bit more help. Click here to find a time that suits you best.

      Check out some of our other learning hub posts

      Bending over backwards for back pain(Opens in a new browser tab)

      FAQ Series – Why Focus on Posture?(Opens in a new browser tab)

      Top 3 spots to self massage when working from home – upper body edition

      Top 3 spots to self massage when working from home – upper body edition

      If you already have a self massage ball, you probably know how amazing they are. Whether its a spiky ball, a lacrosse ball or a borrowed cricket ball from your kids, they are great for relieving tight muscles all over the body. Due to covid-19 isoloation happening all over the world, todays post will be focused on helping those who are working from home.

      Disclaimer: These exercises may not be right for you. We recommend you check with your musculoskeletal health care provider before trying any new exercises or therapies.

      1. Forearms

      A lot of our customers have been commenting how sore their arms are getting from going from a ergonomic desk set up to a throw together home office set up. Some of them don’t have the same amount or length of breaks because everything is so handy in a home set up environment. If this is sounding familiar and your arms are starting to feel like dead weights, give this self release technique a go.

      Step 1 – Put the ball on the bench and put your forearm on the ball.

      Step 2 – Hold on the sore spot and then move your wrist back and forth, you can even add a stretch with the other hand which aids the myofascial release. 30-60 seconds on each spot should be plenty.

      Step 3 – Try finding a few more spots. Also try the other side of the forearm.


      2. Between the shoulder blades

      This self massage technique can be done with one ball, but it feels amazing if you have 2. You can also use what’s called a bak ball or a peanut where it’s like they stuck 2 balls together. If you don’t have that you can simply put 2 balls inside a sock to hold them together. The 2 balls in a sock idea actually works better because you can move them further apart for different areas of the spine by tying knots between the balls. Try this technique on the between the shoulder blades first but it may feel nice to try on your neck or other areas of your back. Just remember you are aiming to release muscle, don’t put the balls directly on the spine.

      Step 1 – Lie on your back with the balls underneath you between your shoulder blades. Make sure the balls are going across ways so they don’t press on your spine.

      Step 2 – Hug your elbows and gently circle your arms 5 times in 1 direction and then 5 times in the other direction. It should feel like a nice massage.

      Step 3 – Repeat this process on 2-3 other sore spots you find between the shoulder blades.


      3. Neck

      No doubt that your neck is probably coping most of the home office stress right now. We go from working at the computer in our work time to checking our phone (words with friends is soooo addictive), watching television or reading a book in our down time. All this head forward posture puts a lot of repetitive load on our neck. Try this self massage technique if your neck is feeling stiff or starting to give you headaches!

      Step 1 – Lie on your back and place the ball under the base of your skull.

      Step 2 – roll your head from side to side or do small nodding actions to find a good spot.

      Step 3 – Let it sink in on each sore spot for about 30-60 seconds. Choose 2 or 3 spots, there’s no benefit to over doing it!


      Lower Body Edition Coming soon

      Subscribe to get the latest or join us on social. We post regularly on instagram and facebook. Look for @myothrive or search for your favourite practitioner.

      Need Supplies?

      We stock spiky balls, lacrosse balls and peanuts for all your self massage needs! Simply email [email protected] with what you’re after. If you live local to us we’ll even drop it off to your letter box in iso style! In addition we are offering online and in clinic consultations for people who need a bit more help. Click here to find a time that suits you best.

      Check out some of our other learning hub posts

      Myotherapy & Osteopathy

      Myotherapy & Osteopathy

      I’ve labelled this blog Myotherapy & Osteopathy because they work so well together. I personally get a Osteopath treatment every 1-3 months and I get a Myotherapy session every 2-6 weeks depending on how much training I’m doing and if I have any niggles from old injuries. Many of our current patients use both Myotherapy & Osteopathy for their treatment plan as well; alternating between the two modalities on a month to month basis or more regularly if they have a an acute pain or injury. It’s about figuring out what works for you and listening to your body or trusting your therapist to guide you if you are not yet completely in tune with your body. Here are some of the ways Myotherapy & Osteopathy work so well together.

      Joint and Muscle

      The literal translation of ‘myo’ is muscle and the literal translation of ‘osteo’ is bone so one would think that Myotherapy is more about the treatment of muscles and Osteopathy is more about the treatment of bones or joints. Fortunately the body is a network of connective tissues where muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerve and joint are all somewhat effected by one another which means which ever modality you choose you are going to get some relief. However when you combine the two modalities for an injury, pain or condition it can be even more powerful!

      Traditional Osteopathy is quite gentle and uses various techniques to allow all the muscles and tendons to relax around the joint freeing up movement and reducing pain. They take a whole body approach and look for imbalances in the body to explain why the injury or pain occurred in the first place. Myotherapy overlaid on this technique can reduce trigger point and taut bands of muscle related to the joint. It can look at antagonist muscles (opposite action) and synergist muscles (same action) that might have contributed to the injury or pain and like Osteopathy will look at the full body posture and try to identify if their are imbalances that may have contributed to the problem in the first place. Myotherapists are trained in corrective exercises and will offer some strengthening, stretching or self treatment advice as part of the treatment to help correct the imbalance over time.

      The take home…

      Even though Myotherapists and Osteopaths can positively effect both muscles, joints and all related tissues; Osteopaths have more tools in their toolbox to effect joints where as Myotherapists have more tools in their toolbox to affect muscles. Therefore if you use both techniques and get your Myotherapist and Osteopath communicating your outcomes will be better and quicker!

      Please note all practitioners here at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic and more than happy to work in conjunction with Osteopaths, Chiropractors, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Massage Therapists, Personal Trainers, TCM practitioners and so on! We can correspond with them via phone, email or letter at no extra cost to you.

      Is Myotherapy right for me? 3 Part Quiz

      Is Myotherapy right for me? 3 Part Quiz

      We have recently been involved in a health week with a local business and besides the question of “What is Myotherapy?” the second most popular question was “How do I tell if Myotherapy is right for me?” so today I’m going to provide you with a questionnaire to help you determine if Myotherapy might be of benefit.

      Question One – Pain

      If you answer yes to one or more of the following Myotherapy may be right for you:

      a) Do you experience pain that you or your doctor thinks is from your musculoskeletal system?

      b) Have you recently injured yourself at work, from a recreational activity or overdoing a activity such as spring cleaning or tidying up the garden?

      c) Has another health professional recommended you get some soft tissue work done for your pain or dysfunction?

      d) Have you had surgery which has left you with pain from scar tissue or from lack of mobility during the recovery time?

      e) Do you have an ongoing pain complaint that other practitioners have not been able to relieve? Or it gets better for a little while but then comes back?

      Total number you answered yes to in this section: __

      Question Two – Dysfunction

      If you answer yes to one or more of the following Myotherapy may be right for you:

      a) Do you believe you have bad posture either while standing, sitting or during certain activities?

      b) Has another health professional told you that you need to work on your posture?

      c) When you do stretches does one side feel tighter or more uneasy than the other?

      d) Have you been told you have a leg length difference, a scoliosis, an increased kyphosis or other bony abnormality?

      e) When you move your body do you sometimes feel as though you can’t move as well to one side such as turning your head or your body?

      Total number you answered yes to in this section: __

      Question Three – Stress

      If you answer yes to one or more of the following Myotherapy may be right for you:

      a) Do you ever experience tension in your shoulders or back when you are stressed?

      b) Do you get headaches or migraines that you or your doctor believe could be related to stress?

      c) Do you have a stressful or high pressured job that you think one day might catch up to you?

      d) Do you see a health professional for stress related problems?

      e) Do you now or have you in the past taken medication (natural or pharmaceutical) for a stress related problem?

      Total number you answered yes to in this section: __

      Grand total of all three sections: __

      Yes 0: You might not benefit from Myotherapy at this time, if you think we have missed something or you have a specific question about your problem, please contact us and one of our friendly Myotherapists will get back to you.

      Yes 1-5: There is a strong possibility that Myotherapy will help you especially if you answered yes in multiple sections. If you pain or dysfunction is just in one area you will only need to book a short Initial Consult with us. If you’d like to make a booking click here to go to our online booking service.

      Yes 6-10: There is a strong possibility that Myotherapy will help you especially if you answered yes in multiple sections. It sounds like your pain or dysfunction might be a bit more widespread, if this is the case, make sure you book a standard Initial Consult with us. If you’d like to make a booking click here to go to our online booking service.

      Yes 11-15: Looks like you have quite a bit going on at the moment. Don’t fret; there is still a high possibility that Myotherapy can help you however it is a good idea to check in with your GP about your symptoms if you haven’t already done so. If you feel confident you have had the once over with your doctor click here to book using our online booking service. Please note it may take a little longer during the assessment phase to properly find out how to best treat you.

      If you have any questions for our Myotherapists please fill out our contact form here and we will get back to you as soon as we can. Feel free to share this page with your friends and family if you think they might benefit from Myotherapy treatment.

      Cupping vs Cupping

      Cupping vs Cupping

      Cupping has been plastered all over the media since the Olympics; since many athletes were spotted (pun intended) with the indicative circular bruises on their bodies. I’ve had many patients asking about cupping since then and I’m sure many more are wondering about it. So here is a little bit about why we Myotherapists use cupping vs the traditional use of cupping as seen in Chinese Medicine for example.

      Old School (traditional) Cupping

      Yes I called it old school. In some cultures such as Greek, Chinese and some Middle Eastern and Asian countries cupping was traditionally used to get rid of colds and other respiratory illnesses. Some still use it today. They believe the cups move ‘stagnant blood’ and get the lymphatic system going and increase the flow of chi or qi (energy). One of my old house mates use to swear by it. He’d always ask me to cup his back when he had a cold, and he’d wake up the next day feeling great. Placebo I’m guessing, but I love placebo, so I’m not about to knock it. He thought is was going to work, and it did. Anyway back to cupping, we can save the placebo chat for another day. The only problem I have with traditional cupping, is many practitioners and people using it at home still use the old method of – alcohol swabbed around the inside of a glass, light it and then stick it to the skins surface which deprives the fire of oxygen, thus the fire goes out and at the same time causes suction. This method is outdated and if done incorrectly it can be dangerous. I have had several patients scared of cupping after ending up with burns and infections that have left scars on their bodies; not cool! There are now plastic and glass cups that you can use together with a suction pump to control the level of suction and best of all, no fire!

      How we use cupping here at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic

      I can’t speak for all Myotherapists, because I have no idea what training they have had or ideals they have formed about cupping so, I am speaking about how we use cupping here at Waverley Myotherapy Clinic. Here we use plastic cups with a suction pump. There is 2 ways we will use cupping. Stationary and Active Cupping.

      Active cupping is where we apply oil first, put some suction into the cup and move it around over the painful area. We use this when the overlying fascia is restricting us getting into the muscle efficiently. Fascia seems to responds better to suction over pressure. I have seen some theories on this about the fascia lifting up away from the muscle and breaking any adhesion between the 2 layers; other than some really cool YouTube clips I don’t think this has been researched yet.

      Static cupping is where we put a cup on and leave it for approximately 30-60 seconds. We may passively move a body part in conjunction with this to create a stretching sensation. We use this method when active cupping is too painful or on certain areas where moving the cup won’t work because the body area is too small or too awkward to move a cup around.

      Final Thoughts

      From my continually developing understanding of the nervous system I’d say the effect of both methods actually has more to do with the interaction between the sensations and the nervous system than anything occurring at a local tissue level. I now believe that cupping is another method in which a practitioner can create ‘safe’ signals between the brain and the local tissues. The brain decides that everything is okay and instructs the nervous system to relax the tissues around the area. Have you ever experienced holding a stretch for a lengthened period of time and then all of a sudden it gives in and you can move a little further into the stretch? This is a similar response. Our brains are in control of everything! Research around the area of neuro-plasticity and how big of a role the brain and nervous system play in pain is steaming ahead so watch this space!

      What on earth is a Body Back Buddy?!

      What on earth is a Body Back Buddy?!

      The Body Back Buddy is amazing! It is one of the most versatile self trigger pointing tools you will ever own! Have you ever tried to spiky ball the top of your shoulder? Really really difficult right?! Even harder if you have an injury or pain to maneuver your body over a spiky ball or foam roller. Here are 3 areas that are much easier to treat with the Body Back Buddy.

      1. Top of shoulder

        As mentioned above, it is really tough to get into this upper trapezius trigger point at home. If you own golf clubs your in luck as you can loop your 9 iron over the shoulder onto the trigger point and gently pull down for 60 seconds or less until you feelBody-Back-Buddy-Classic-Trigger-Point-05 the pain ease off. If you don’t have golf clubs then the Body Back Buddy is a great tool to have. You loop the pointed end of the S over the shoulder onto the trigger point and then use the handle and the bottom of the S to gently pull down and forward. If your clothes are too slippery put a slip mat over your shoulder or use the Body Back Buddy on bare skin. Once you find the exact centre of the sore spot hold it for 60 seconds or less until it releases. This is great for people who experience headaches related to this upper trapezius trigger point which usually refers to the base of the skull and into the temporal area.

      2. Back of neck

        The only other tool that can get into this area are the peanut shaped balls such as the BakBall but you have to be able to get down on the floor and lie on yourbackbuddy-04_1 back, and because the neck area doesn’t have much weight in it, it’s hard to get it to work effectively. With the Body Back Buddy you simply put the 2 close together knobs at the back of the neck over the area to be treated then hold the end of the S and gently pull forward and down. You can try moving it up or down until you find the exact right spot. This is great for people who work at computers or people who are doing a lot of upper body work at the gym, also good for people in gymnastics or acrobatics.

      3. Lower back

        The Quadratus Lumborum (QL) or lower back flank muscles are very hard to self trigger point with any other tool. The nearest would be a spiky ball or lacrossebodybackbuddylowback ball but even then you are probably more releasing the overlying erector spinae muscle. The beauty of the Body Back Buddy is that it’s more like a therapists thumb, you can maneuver it under the border of other muscles to hit just the right spot! To get the QL spot hold the Body Back Buddy with the point on the spot and the S coming across your body in front of you. Push inwards with the hand closest to the side being treated and pull away from your body with the other. There should be no strain or struggle. If this is not enough pressure you can place the area of the Body Back Buddy you are pushing on against a wall with a slip mat and gently push into the wall while pulling the other end, just make sure to hold and guide to avoid slipping!

        Other areas you can self treat…

        There are over 11 points you can get into with the Body Back Buddy including the bottom of the foot, the glute, the thigh and the ones mentioned above. Once you get more confident you can also try the pec and the lat muscles. Keep an eye out for upcoming workshops on how to get the most out of your Body Back Buddy! As usual we would love to hear your success stories, please feel free to comment here or write us an email at [email protected]

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