Text Neck? Yikes.

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Do you ever check your phone for a quick message and twenty minutes seemingly disappear? 

Studies are showing that long term use of smart phones is linked to spinal damage.

According to a study in Surgical Technology International, slouching over time can lead to the loss of the natural curve of the neck. The increased stress on the neck contributes to neck pain and degeneration.  1-2 hours of phone use won't do much, but daily use adds up to 750 hours a year.  "According to the study’s authors, it is possible that a high school student may spend an extra 5,000 hours in poor posture due to cell phone and computer use... Other studies have shown that good posture even elevates serotonin and testosterone levels while reducing cortisol, a hormone associated with stress."   1

Thank gosh for Pilates and Yoga! 

Both help to improve posture through strengthening, stretching and the practice of body awareness. You can more readily catch yourself starting to slouch and correct yourself. 

With respect to the Pilates system, long before cell phones existed, Joe Pilates said the following himself:
“Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.”

Try Pilates at Angela Simpson Physiotherapy, Whistler Pilates and Meadow Park. Try yoga at Kula Wellness Centre and Meadow Park.

1. "A new Epidemic? Study Links Text Neck to Spine Damage"

Resilience, Fascia and Pilates; what's the connection? 

Resilience. 
My favourite word for new moms.

What is Resilience?
The ability to return back to your centre.  

Mentally, it can be defined as 'the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties'.
Physically, it is 'the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity. ' ~Google Dictionary

The Pilates system has been my answer to developing physical resilience.

The Pilates system is a whole body workout including both mat and apparatus practice. Apparatus includes reformers, cadillacs, chairs, barrels and more. Apparatus have springs. The springs train your inner-spring system, your fascial system, to be resilient. Fascia is a hot topic in the yoga and fitness industry these days. We are learning how fascia is central to strength, flexibility and overall health. Fascia is the structure within which all of our organs including muscles and other connective tissues reside. Fascia is not only a home but a connection path between our body's tissues; no wonder fascia is so integral to our wellbeing.

Put it this way, I get up and down off the ground all day and in all ways with my kids, and I feel like a bouncy ball; it's fantastic! 

And I wish to share this with you, so we are offering semi private (2 people) Pilates on apparatus at Angela Simpson Physiotherapy, at an introductory rate of $175 per person for 5 sessions. 

Contact me to book dates and times!

P.S. Meditation and Yoga has been my answer to mental resilience. 
Join me for Stretch and Restore Yoga at Kula Monday nights 7:15 pm :) 

Photos courtesy of Polek Rybczyski.

Self-Practice during Pregnancy

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One of the beautiful things about pregnancy is that intuition tends to be heightened. 

If you are pregnant, take this opportunity to listen to your body. Observe how your practice feels different each day as your body changes. Explore what feels good and omit anything that doesn't feel right. The uniqueness of pregnancy allows for unique and interesting self-practice. It can also be an opportunity to let go of aspects of your practice that may not be serving you anymore. You may feel inclined to do less asana, leaving more time for meditation, or you may flow slower through postures, creating space for you to be more mindful and present to the sensations. 

Everyone is different in terms of how their practice evolves through pregnancy, and what they may or may not be able to do.

Two things I  recommend avoiding:

-"hanging out in your ligaments", which would include some yin style postures. You can still practice yin yoga, but either only stay in the pose for about 5 breaths or support yourself via muscle engagement or props.

- strong abdominal work postures such as Navasana (boat pose) and plank to chaturanga. This is the time to shift your goal of a "strong" core to a goal of "functional firing of appropriate core muscles" 

Find out what I mean by this at one of my workshops or classes.   

Two things I recommend doing:

-Positive self-talk. Shift fear thoughts to love thoughts. You can do so by saying a simple mantra to yourself, such as "I trust myself.", "I love you baby.", "Everything is awesome." or "I am ok."

-See a pelvic floor physiotherapist. They can provide exercises to practice and/or avoid based on your unique prenatal body. 

Put these tips and more into practice at my prenatal yoga classes! Register here.

 

What is Pilates?

Are you wondering what this new equipment is at the Angela Simpson Physiotherapy clinic? 

It’s the apparatus used in Pilates. Almost 100 years ago Joseph Pilates, a professional boxer, self-defence trainer, circus performer, yoga and animal-movement scholar, invented interesting pieces of equipment. He used bedsprings, barrels and other creative things. His equipment, called apparatus, was designed to strengthen and support organic movement of the body. 

“You are only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Pilates

He dedicated the rest of his life developing this apparatus and refining what is now known as the Pilates System, a whole body exercise regime. 

Joe Pilates strongly believed that one’s quality of life is largely dependant on physical health and posture. 

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.
Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.” ~Pilates

The Pilates exercise system teaches one how to move from their centre, building a balance of strength and flexibility, mental focus and control. 

“The mind, when housed within a healthful body, possesses a glorious sense of power.” ~Pilates

From Joe’s time to today, Pilates attracts many populations including business people, athletes and people seeking rehabilitation from injury. With regular practice, the benefits of Pilates can be reaped by all. 

“You will feel better in ten sessions, look better in twenty sessions, and have a completely new body in thirty sessions.” ~Pilates

From my experience, this is true. After giving birth to my first child, I suffered from back pain, weak abdominals and mental exhaustion. The Pilates system progressively brought my body and mind back into balance, in fact, I am now much stronger that I was before! 

“Pilates is my happy hour!” ~anonymous

One hour of Pilates one to three times a week is all you need to support you in your endeavours. Building core postural strength, agility of the spine, proper breathing and mental concentration is useful for every program. Whether you are a mom, athlete, yogi, businessperson or simply interested in living a quality happy life, come out and try Pilates! 

“Change happens through movement and movement heals.” ~Pilates

Come and try out the new equipment with me, the Pilates instructor at Angela Simpson Physiotherapy, in Pemberton, B.C.  You can look at the online booking system for rates and availability.