Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
Hello and Happy Friday!
As I study my nutrition textbook, I am learning about the importance of proper nutrition for people with scoliosis....something that hadn't really occurred to me until now. How wonderful it will be to also incorporate foods that will help others to have stronger curves. You see, one of my longtime clients has scoliosis, or a sideways curvature of her spine and we are continuously working to lengthen the side of her back that is overdeveloped while also strengthening the opposite side. It is important to work on the muscles in this opposing way so that the curve does not get worse over time. The curve that is visible in people with scoliosis looks like an S: a little roundness in the upper back and a slight sway in the lower back which causes one side of the back muscles to dominate. I have always felt that exercises designed to work on balancing this curve so that it does not become more pronounced help the individual to have better posture and in turn more confidence. Confidence within one's own body is created first by developing strong, lean muscles that support and align the bones in your spine. With this confidence comes an invincible attitude that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Here is a great way to work on strengthening and toning your opposing muscles:
Stand with your feet parallel and hip width apart. Slightly bend your knees so they are not locked. In my client's case, her left lower back is weak and underdeveloped so I would have her twist her torso to her right, using her left arm to punch forward with a 1-3 pound weight, then return to center with her body and reach her right arm up over her head, stretching to her left in a side bend in order to lengthen her dominant right side. Repeating this action for 5-10 reps for 3 sets is a great way to attempt to "undo" that S curve. Here is a video illustrating this idea that I shot at Studio U in Marina Del Rey a few months ago... I added a single leg knee lift of the left leg to focus on the hip alignment and get the balance, coordination and core to engage.
Scoliosis and Nutrition Tip of the Week:
Aside from getting enough Vitamin D, found in milk, you can also just eat more fruits and vegetables. This sounds redundant, right? You might think, well EVERYONE should do that and that is correct, BUT people who have scoliosis need to keep their bones and bodies as strong as possible and eating balanced, healthy diets do aid in that endeavor. A great way to incorporate more veggies, especially if you do not particularly like eating veggies is to blend them into a food that you do like. I am choosing wild tuna since it has a great source of omega 3's which also helps your body to absorb more calcium... all you have to do is mix in some celery, onions, jalapeños, grated carrots, garlic and my favorite, broccolini and you are good to go! By the way, using a low fat greek yogurt as a mayonnaise substitute is shockingly good in tuna salad...just food for thought.
Have a great weekend!
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