“Pain is one of our many protective mechanisms. It is modulated by any evidence that implies danger.
When you have pain for a long time, the brain cells that produce pain get better and better at making pain. They become more and more sensitive.
Once you’re sensitized, the threat doesn’t have to be about your body part. It just has to be a threat to you as a person.”
~ Professor Lorimer Moseley
world’s leading pain researcher
These last few weeks have been more than challenging for most of us.
Whether or not your house and belongings are affected, the trauma and devastation caused by wildfires are heartbreaking, and everyone is on edge.
Smoke-filled skies affect us all – physically, mentally, and emotionally – because we can see and smell the threat of danger all around us. This causes our natural protection mechanisms to shift into overdrive, turning the pre-existing pain and anxiety a few notches up.
My first instinct was to write about coping strategies for these trying times, but then the rain finally came! So here are – as promised last week – notes on the new gentle yet super-charged poses instead.
Half Bow Pose with Isometric Release
This modified version of the Bow Pose – along with a few carefully executed movements – hydrates and gently lengthens muscles at the front of the hip joint, including those often tight and constricted hip flexors.
When practised with care and attention, the Half Bow will lengthen and decompress the lumbar spine, release a compressed SI joint, and might even relieve sciatic pain. This pose is a perfect setting for a femoral nerve slider, offering a welcome relief for pain and discomfort in the front thigh, hip and groin.
A Reclined Side-Bend Variation – Balancing Quadratum Lamborum
While most of us are at least aware of the hip flexor muscles, we usually don’t know or worry much about the QLs – quadratus lamborum.
QL are the deep muscles on either side of the lumbar spine. They attach to the top of the hip bone, the transverse processes of the L1- L4 (lumbar vertebrae) and the twelfth rib (your last rib). Essentially they connect the hip to the lumbar spine and the lowest part of the rib cage.
Reclined Side Bend pose gently lengthens and decompresses the lumbar spine, releasing chronic shortness and tension and balancing the two sides of the low back. This pose brings greater awareness to muscles on the sides of the body, reducing postural guarding and allowing for fuller breathing and better stability.
Reclined Side Bend is a natural compliment to the Half Bow pose, and using these two poses together will amplify the benefits they offer.
Spinal Release on The Chair
The crowning touch of this 3-pose practice, the Spinal Release, elongates the spine in a neutral and supported position, helping to realign asymmetrical imbalances and provide gentle traction.
This pose also profoundly affects the upper body, gently releasing the tight areas on the sides of the ribs and armpits.
Try one of these poses or the whole 3-point practice on your own.
You can also join a class for a guided and more detailed version. A new set of classes starts June 5th. And, as usual, enjoy full-body breathing.
Hey, my name is Julia
Living with chronic pain has taught me to look for solutions in unlikely places – places where most people see only problems.
Over the years I’ve gotten to be pretty good at this problem-solving and silver-lining finding thing.
So good that I felt compelled to share what I’ve learned and help others to find their sea legs while navigating, living, and winning their battle with chronic pain.