Massage therapy is a nourishing, healing and wise self-care tool to utilize throughout the stages of life and benefiting the female body, and mind in many ways. It releases hormones and neurotransmitters like oxytocin, serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, into the system. These chemical messengers relieve stress and anxiety, promote healthy sleep, growth and healing, boost the immune system and give us a sense of peace and overall well being. Massage increases circulation which can be very helpful for PMS, PCOS, supporting fertility (abdominal massage specifically brings blood-flow to the reproductive organs, stimulating ovulation and regulating menstruation), and pregnancy (for baby and mommy) and as we age by bringing oxygen and nutrients into the tissues, and supporting the removal of toxins through the lymphatic system. Ethical bodywork with a skilled practitioner is one of the only places where we can fully receive, without anyone wanting or needing anything from us. I often feel a skillful massage is akin to being held in motherly arms where I can hand over the pressures of life and simply let go.
How would you rate your core game? If you have ever done an online workout chances are that you have done a lot of mountain climbers, but not everyone even knows it’s primarily a core exercise. So are you getting that fantastic core engagement you have always wanted or do you just run out of air? Done right, mountain climbers primarily focus the core and shoulders and create the much needed strength for rock climbing, weightlifting just to name a few.
Now if you just want to flail around by no means am I here to stop you (especially since I make my living off sports injuries), but since we can all use a stronger core here are the common mistakes to watch out for:
- Start your climbers off with a solid plank. Sticking your butt up is a big mistake, so if you forget everything else int he heat of the moment, just remember: You are a straight line from feet to head.
- Keep that core tight, but don’t hold your breath. Using your diaphragm to breath is core 101, so check out our Deadbug post if you are unsure how to do this.
- Pay attention to your shoulders by keeping them tight and over your hands. This can be the hardest bit for some, so try to minimize shoulder movement.
If you do these regularly you will be creating a healthy, functional base that will take your core game to a whole different level, not to mention create much needed shoulder stability. If you still feel that you aren’t engaging, try going back to basics with a plank and slowly challenge it with movement.
Most of the people coming through the office get this wonderful exercise yet so often I see it done wrong at gyms and fitness studios. The dead bug is one of the best core exercises because it teaches the most important lesson about proper core engagement: how to keep your spine stable as your limbs are moving. In other words, if you want to be able to transfer the energy from your feet into your hands when throwing a punch or a ball or swinging a bat, then proper core exercises are for you.
Before I go into any details about the exercise I need to say something you are inevitably going to ignore: Don’t stop breathing! If you’re holding your diaphragm tight while doing this exercise guess what you’re using… your diaphragm, silly! And that’s not even the best way to train the diaphragm so don’t do it.
Alright let’s get into it. Start by lying down on your back and bracing your core tight. Really tight. Really, really tight because that’s the whole point of the exercise. Now check in with yourself and see if you’re still breathing from the diaphragm, if you are – good, you’re ready for the next step. Lift your arms in front of your shoulders and your knees in front of your hips. Is that belly still tight? Good. Now as you gently exhale send your opposite arm away from your body and on your inhale bring them back to where they were. You should be back at the dead bug position before you do the other side. Now send the other arm and leg away from the body and repeat about 6 times, take a 1 second break and gently building up to more reps.
The Theory Behind it
The reason this exercise is so wonderful is that it teaches you how to control that bubble inside you. What bubble you ask? If you look at the picture of the skeleton you can clearly see how the core is a bubble. It has the side walls which are formed by your abs and back muscles and the tip and bottom are your diaphragm and pelvic floor respectively. Actions like arching our back (second image from the left) too much can “distort” the bubble preventing us from engaging our core properly, so always keep that bubble tight.
To properly maintain that bubble, you have to keep your pelvis neutral and your low back flat on the floor when you do this exercise. I put together a few pictures to help illustrate this point and show some common mistakes people do when they think they’re getting their best core engagement, but in fact are leaking tons of energy out of their system. You must feel in control of your movement and not just tagging along for the ride. Notice that my belly is flat and not bunched up, which is the other very common mistake and means that you are not using your deeper muscles.
Alright, feeling like you learned a bunch? Good! While there is more to a good, healthy and efficient core, this is everything we at Onsight feel you need to know to get the most out of your deadbug exercise. Still feel like you are missing that feeling of a strong and stable center, why not sign up for an exam with one of our doctors to see what you may be missing.
Spending a lot of time in front of the computer? Aren’t we all and chances are you take small breaks like me just to look at your phone. Well there is a realistic chance that just like many of us you have begun to develop forward head posture or as we call it in the industry – tech neck.
Tech neck is horrible for so many reasons: It can create headaches, makes you look unattractive (don’t believe me stick your chin out and look in the mirror) and can even result in jaw pain. Fret not because Onsight has a couple of exercises to help you out on YouTube.
- Chin retractions: This one is as simple as pulling in your chin as far back as you can while looking straight forward. Do these while driving your car by pushing back against the headrest and do as many as you can.
- Deep neck flexor training: Lying on your back, bring your chin in and pretend like you are scraping your chest with your chin. Make sure your shoulders stay down for the entire duration of the exercise. This one is more advanced and can leave you sore so stick to about 10 reps.
Contact Dr. Nick Predtechensky if you have questions or comments: DrNick@onsightchiro.com
20% off during February from Onsight, guidance from Dr. Johanna Lelke
What people say about THIS 21-day cleanse:
“I feel awesome. I have so much energy and I am the leanest I’ve been in 5 years; at least strongest and body fat percentage. This is a BIG deal. I don’t have the healthiest genes coming into 25 years of type 1 diabetes and just over 2 years with a low thyroid. Weight comes off like molasses, and after doing this program, it seems easy. I better be careful, I am going to be jinxed for saying that!” -Kelly Schmidt, RD (read her blog)
“I quite honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to survive 11 days without protein, but I did it. The protein that was found in the powder was enough to get me through my 6+ hour college classes, work days, and workouts daily. With setting my mentality was able to get through the program with no problems or complaints, just some willpower.” -Dr. John Beretta
“My husband, an endurance athlete, and I have done this cleanse three times together. It helps when you’re on the same meal routine as your spouse! Confession, we’ve given ourselves small leniencies like allowing for a daily tea or coffee. We’ve always felt enormously lighter (shedding a few pounds each) and more energetic during the cleanse. Afterward, we’re primed to eat even more mindfully. It takes 3 weeks to form a habit, right?!” – Dr. Johanna Lelke
“The 21-day Standard Process Purification Program isn’t just a cleanse diet. It’s a structured program that brings healthy lifestyle habits into focus. It’s designed to purify, nourish and help patients maintain a healthy body weight by eating whole foods, exercising, drinking nutritious shakes and taking supplements made with whole food and other ingredients. The menu includes a varied abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits for the first 10 days, with select proteins added on day 11. The supplements support the body’s ability to remove naturally occurring toxins. This promotes a state that allows for toxin release.” -Standard Process
Want to get started? Email Health@Onsightchiro.com to purchase.
Explicit cleanse directions will be sent to each customer, or upon request, by Dr. Johanna. Guidelines and recipes are also found in the purification guide, and when you sign up for the online challenge at www.standardprocess.com/challenge. Please email DrJohanna@Onsightchiro.com with any questions or concerns before deciding to do the cleanse yourself this winter.
Standard Process (SP) items to purchase per person (all are vegetarian and gluten-free):
1. SP 21-day purification program guide
2. 2 containers of SP Complete Vanilla or SP Complete Dairy Free protein powder
3. 1 bottle SP Cleanse capsule supplements (150 caps)
4. 2 bottles Whole Food Fiber (7oz bottles)
5. 1 bottle SP Green Food (150 caps)
For our February sale, Onsight customers receive a 20% promotional discount* on the SP 21-day cleanse: $210 per person [instead of $262.50] + tax and $13 shipping or free in-office pick-up.
*Our rates are much lower than on Amazon because Dr. Johanna is a medical professional distributor with SP. Standard Process’ and MediHerb’s entire line of 360+ supplements are always discounted by 10% for Onsight customers.