Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
As many of you may know, most of my work is done in a rehabilitative fashion. I help those who have ailments, whether they be injuries, recent surgeries, or diseases to empower them to move and heal. I am very fortunate this way. I began my career under the tutelage of an amazing physical therapist and then worked in another amazing environment for 8 years thereafter... a chiropractic office with everything from physical therapy to massage, to chiropractic care and more. Another way I feel fortunate.
SO, not to digress, I do love telling stories :) I am writing today about the fact that I have a couple of clients that do not indeed have the above hinderances AT ALL... they simply need the rehabilitative movement therapy because they have everyday ordinary tightness and weakness in their bodies from computers, offices, cars, you name it!
This morning a mid-fifties, male client I've seen for a few years doing mostly high intensity interval training after rehabbing his post op hip replacement came in and asked, "Ginger, can I learn more about the foam roller today? I saw a trainer at the gym using it and I want to loosen and stretch my muscles." I said, "OF COURSE."
The foam roller is a wonderful tool for loosening the myofascial tissue that serves as connective tissue throughout your body to provide support to your muscles and bones. It is also an amazing tool for exercises that involve lengthening muscles through your body and activating the core muscles. Here is a great exercise for opening the shoulder girdle and getting in touch with your core muscles:
Lay lengthwise on the foam roller with both your tailbone and your head on it, aligning it with your spine. Feel your shoulder blades open around the foam and keep your knees bent, feet flat. Take anywhere from 1-8 pound weights in your hands (my client uses 8 pounds as he is strong and has big muscles) and straighten your arms so that you can see them over your chest. With an inhale, press your shoulders up to the ceiling and then exhale, shrugging them down around the foam. Try to keep your arms fairly straight the whole time. This opens the chest and shoulder girdle. Do this for 10 reps and then place the weights by your side, letting them go. Open your arms onto the floor and roll to the outside edge of one shoulder, allowing your head to fall that direction and then change. This releases the myofascial tissue that lays on top of your muscles and bones. Finally, center your body and draw your legs up into a table top position, knees over hips and feel your spine in a neutral position. Take an inhale through the nose and as your exhale through the mouth, draw your belly button down to your spine. You will see how tricky the balance is in this position.
My client this evening who is a 37 year old male came in with a tight psoas. Since I discussed that a couple of weeks ago, (see previous blog) I will tell you another technique in loosening this connective tissue that surrounds this deep muscle. I have a Coregeous ball that I got from Yoga Tune Up and I use it for loosening fascia.
Lay on your back and bend your knees, feet flat and bridge your hips into the air until you can take the ball and put it under your back, just above your lower lumbar area on either side of your psoas muscles. It is a soft medium sized ball, so allow your body to sink into it. Slowly straighten one leg and then the other, allowing the weight of your legs to drop into the floor and allowing your hips to release downward into the floor. This can be a bit tense and discomforting if you are not used to using balls and such so GO SLOW. Slowly then allow the front of your abdomen to relax and open, allowing the fronts of your hips to drop and lengthen through your feet. Your back is also releasing into the ball. When you want to stop, which by the way, this should not be held for more than 1 minute, slowly bend your knees, feet flat and bridge again, removing the ball. STAY IN THE BRIDGE and sequentially role down onto the floor through your spine. Hug your knees into your chest and gently rock side to side. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW:)
Nutrition Tip Of The Week...
Eating For Your Muscles
So I eat mostly vegetarian as you might have guessed, BUT I love seafood. Salmon in particular is great for anti inflammation. Here is a great meal that is full of antioxidants and anti inflammatory ingredients.
A "Ginger" Dinner Recipe:
Wild salmon pan seared in olive oil with rosemary and garlic wrapped in kelp with a side of broccoli. It's easy to find kelp at health food stores and wrap it around the salmon after cooking. This is all about feeding your body goodness....
Follow it with a cup of blueberries sprinkled with cinnamon... I do love sweets so I get the dessert thing, but I try to have fruit when possible. Blueberries are an amazing source of antioxidants with anti inflammatory properties and cinnamon helps to balance your insulin levels.
REMEMBER: You are in control of what you do with your body and what you put into it. You have the ability to make it feel good all the time by simply LOVING YOURSELF and providing yourself with movement and nutrition that allows goodness into your being. Of course you can be decadent on occasion and have your favorite food, or lay down and watch your favorite program as long as you supplement your body MOST of the time with adequate LOVE in the form of MOVING AND EATING GOOD STUFF.
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