Functional assessment and dynamic, informed treatment. It’s healthcare, for your muscles.

    Four Ways to Make the Holiday Season Less Stressful

    It’s already December, and the Holiday Season is here! Here are some tips to help you stay calm and centered this holiday season.

    1. Get Organized

    Whether you are an old fashioned list writer or electronic calendar fun, set aside some time to get clear about everything you need to complete this holiday season. Try breaking each item into smaller tasks with realistic due dates.

    2. Schedule Self Care 
    Often the times when we are our busiest are the times we need self care the most, so be proactive and schedule your self care in advance! Register for a yoga class, book a massage and put it in your schedule the way you would any other task you need to complete. Massage releases stress fighting hormones, and will help you return to your to-do list more grounded.

    3. Practice Kindness

    The holidays are a tough time for many people – see if there is a way for you to give back or do a kind gesture for someone this holiday season. Don’t forget to be kind with yourself too!

    4. Try to keep a Healthy Balance

    The holidays are typically a time to indulge. Make sure you eat at least one healthy meal each day, drink enough water and rest enough to help keep your body healthy over the holidays!

    What are your favorite ways to stay grounded over the holiday season?

    Stand Up! (Massage Therapy Awareness Week)

    Some people compare sitting to smoking in terms of how it is for your health. It may not necessarily be that bad; however, it’s also not harmless.

    Many people who work office jobs are sitting for the majority of their day, which may cause neck and lower back pain along with other musculoskeletal  discomfort. There are many ways you are able to reduce the strain on your body, including adjusting the height of your chair and monitor, adjusting the arms on your chair and taking breaks! Taking breaks to stand up and stretch will also help reduce fatigue. It may be helpful to set a timer for every 30 minutes reminding you to get up move around for a minute.

    Ergonomic Desk Set Up

     

    Massage can help if you’re already experiencing pain related to sitting too much.  In a recent study, individuals with back pain who received massage therapy had less pain and were better able to perform daily activities than those who didn’t receive massage. Your range of motion may be increased, which will allow you to perform your daily tasks with a lot more ease and comfort.

     

    Seated Calf Stretch

    The strong muscles of the calf can be quite tight, especially after prolonged standing or walking, and for many athletes whose sport of choice involves running or jumping.  To best stretch these muscles, grab a bolster or pillow and have a seat; start with both feet extended out in front of you with the pillow under your knees so that they’re slightly bent.  Flex your ankle back so that your toes are toward the ceiling.  Using your hand — or a belt if you can’t reach — pull back slowly on the arch or ball of your foot until a stretch is felt in the lower calf.  Hold until the stretch sensation diminishes.  Remove the pillow and repeat the stretch; this time the sensation of pull may travel all the way behind the knee.

    For best results, stretch one calf at a time and repeat the stretch two or three times per leg.  Be patient, as the calf muscles can take a while to relax.  Once the initial stretch sensation lessens, you can deepen the stretch by pulling back a little more on the ball of the foot.

    Standing Calf Stretch

    Tight calf muscles are prone to cramping: the dreaded “charlie horse” that wakes you up in the middle of the night or attacks as you move from sitting to standing.  The large muscles in the back of the lower leg are the soleus and gastrocnemius, both of which attach into the Achilles tendon and run vertically along the back of the lower leg. The soleus attaches to the lower leg bones, and the ‘gastrocs’ attach just above the knee on either side of the femur.  Because only one of these two muscles (collectively referred to as the Triceps Surae) passes the knee, to effectively stretch them both, you must stretch twice: with the knee bent to stretch the soleus, and with it flexed to stretch the gastrocs.

    Stand facing a wall, close enough that you can rest the ball of your foot against it while your heel stays on the ground.  Your opposite leg should be a step behind you for balance.  Place your hands against the wall and lean forward toward the wall, keeping your knee straight, until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your leg.  Hold this position for about 30 seconds or until the stretch sensation lessens.  Slowly bend the knee by lowering your body a bit toward the ground, until a stretch is felt.  This time, the stretch sensation will be closer to the Achilles.  Hold until the sensation lessens, and then repeat on the opposite leg.

    Biceps Floss Stretch

    This stretch targets the biceps muscles of the upper arm that bend the elbow and flex the arm forward at the shoulder joint.  These strong muscles run alongside  nerves that stem from the neck and run into the arm, and when tight or swollen, they can restrict the nerves and cause pain, weakness, or pins and needles.   The biceps also play a strong role in posture; short biceps roll the shoulders forward and down, increasing strain on the triceps and upper back muscles.

    Stand with one arm against a wall, extending it back behind you at shoulder height, fingers spread wide.  Maintaining contact with the your hand and the wall, turn your body away until a gentle stretch is felt along the upper arm or inside surface of the elbow.  Slowly side-bend your neck away from the side you’re stretching to increase the stretch further.  Hold for 30 seconds, then slowly relax your neck back to neutral and release your arm. Repeat on the opposite side.

    Runner’s Lunge Hip Flexor Stretch

    An absolute must for runners and lovers of high-heels.  Stand with feet at hip width.  While the leg you want to stretch stays in place, take a large step forward with the opposite leg, bending the knee so that it is directly above the ankle.  Lower the back leg so the knee comes toward the ground, increasing the stretch across the front of the hip and thigh.  Keep your torso straight and your tailbone tucked, so that your hands or arms are resting on your forward leg.

    Alycia Duff-Bergeron, Founder and Clinic Director

    When I opened Anatomica in 2013 as my private practice, I was committed to offering an unsurpassed level of service and care to every client.  Today I have the pleasure of working with a skillful team of therapists and administrative staff that are equally committed to raising the bar in their fields and providing exceptional treatment. Our therapists are dedicated, professional, and focused on your health. Anatomica proudly offers some of the most effective manual therapy and functional assessment techniques, performed by therapists with several years of practical experience, all of whom demonstrate a considerable effort to further their educations and understanding of current treatment protocols. We invite you to visit Anatomica to experience effective, personalized healthcare in an inclusive space, staffed by practitioners that are setting a new standard of professionalism. We are Anatomica. Welcome.