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July 19, 2019

I often ask my clients who are runners to try to run in lighter, more flexible shoes to avoid developing a lazy foot which can lead to so many different running injuries and performance issues!

2 ways to go lighter:

👟 Every time you are needing to buy a new pair of sneakers, get something a little lighter and slightly less supportive than what you currently have.

👟 If switching from stability shoes right to minimalist shoes make certain you have an efficient running form (170+ cadence and no heavy heel strike) and make the switch very gradually. You may only tolerate a few minutes in the new shoes! With some clients I’ll actually get them to carry their shoes with them and then switch shortly into the run. They’ll then run longer and longer in the minimalists until they have completely transitioned over.

4 aspects that are important when minimalist shoe shopping (see pics below):

👟 You can twist the shoe.
👟 You can fold the shoe in half.
👟 You have little to no heel.
👟 The shoe itself is lightweight.

Test out your own shoes to see how flexible they are!

If you’d like to discuss your running performance, whether you’re a seasoned vet or completely new to the sport, don’t hesitate to contact myself or the clinic. We’d love to set you up with a running assessment!

See you out there!

 

 

Posted in Physiotherapy, Wellness Spotlight by Pat Moore
July 18, 2019

Hi ladies and gents, Cory here.

I’m happy to say that I’m now a fully certified Graston technique provider!  Some of you may be wondering..

What is The Graston Technique?

The Graston Technique was developed over 20 years ago when a patient was not satisfied with the rehabilitation regimen suggested to him following surgery.  Recovery was taking too long and was not providing him with the range of motion he was looking for. In search for a better option, he began researching and consulting with a number of medical industry professionals. Through this process, he established a set of stainless steel tools to help break down the scar tissue that was limiting his mobility. He created six different instruments, all uniquely designed for specific areas of the body to encourage faster and more effective healing. The techniques used to apply these tools promotes overall health and wellness, and is now known as The Graston Technique. It is an excellent, evidence-based, non-invasive healing method for those wishing to reduce acute, chronic, and post-surgical pain.

 

When you suffer from a strained muscle, or a pulled ligament or tendon, the soft tissues experience trauma. This can result in scar tissue developing around these structures, which then causes restrictions and reduced mobility as the surrounding fascia tightens up. Therefore, the focus of The Graston Technique is to break down this scar tissue and fascia and ultimately freeing everything up to move the way it was designed. When applied correctly, patients see a notable difference in reduced pain and increased function.

One of the unique elements of The Graston instruments is that they enhance the clinician’s ability to detect adhesions, scar tissue, and/or restrictions in the affected areas. An initial step to the technique is to run one of the tools over the area. During this process, it “catches” on fibrotic tissue. As the restricted areas immediately appear red in colour relative to the other surrounding areas, the practitioner knows that those areas are what need attention. Once the practitioner identifies the proper location, he/she uses the specific instrument(s) for that area to break up the scar tissue, which the body then absorbs. What makes The Graston Technique so effective is that it treats the area from multiple directions to accommodate for any irregular formation of scar tissue.  During this process, temporary inflammation in triggered, which is incredibly beneficial for the injury, as it increases the rate and amount of blood flow, and initiates the healing process of the affected tissues.  Therefore, when applied correctly, The Graston Technique promotes the body to heal itself.  So not only is it a fantastic treatment for decreasing pain and improving mobilization for acute and chronic muscle tightness, it also improves your range of motion and decreases delayed muscle soreness, making it the preferred treatment for many major sports teams.

 

As just mentioned, The Graston Technique can treat multiple types of pain, in both acute and chronic stages. Patients with the following diagnoses make excellent candidates for this type of treatment:

  • Tendinopathies (all the conditions that end in -osis or -itis, such as Achilles tendinitis, medial/lateral epicondylitis and greater trochanteric bursitis)
  • Fascial syndromes (such as trigger finger, plantar fasciitis, ITB syndrome)
  • Ligament pain syndromes (such as ankle sprains or other types of sprains)
  • Edema/swelling reduction
  • Post-surgical or traumatic scars/adhesions
  • Entrapment syndromes (carpal/tarsal tunnel, ulnar entrapment, thoracic outlet).

Benefits of The Graston Technique include:

  • Breaks up and releases any adhesions, resulting in decreased pain
  • Reduced scar tissue
  • Increased mobility
  • Decreased back & neck pain
  • Sports injury relief
  • Repetitive work injury relief
  • Decreases migraines & headaches

Possible risks and complications are quite minimal when using this technique, and the side effects generally only last for1-2 days, but most patients experience the following in the treated areas:

  • Bruising
  • Soreness
  • Redness

Over the 20 years since its discovery, The Graston Technique has become one of the most sought after treatments for all individuals. Regardless of the type and severity of the pain experienced, this approach is so effective that patients rarely walk away without noticing significant benefits. If pain is something you are currently experiencing, or have been experiencing for some time now, this treatment could be the answer you are looking for.

 

Cory Boyd, RMT
Graston Technique Provider

Posted in Massage Therapy by Cory Boyd | Tags: , ,
July 15, 2019

Who’s Hal?

Hal Hughes is a former MMA fighter who has served his province as a police officer for the last fifteen years. Over the course of his career, he sustained two separate severe traumatic brain injuries, five years apart. These combined incidents would lead to diagnoses of PTSD and Bipolar Disorder, as well as seeing “Officer” Hal fighting with addiction. In his keynote speeches, Hal explains how he rebuilt himself from a suicidal recluse into to a leader who helps other first responders and military personnel deal with trauma and reclaim their lives. In addition to being a husband and father of four, Hal is also a member of Mensa, and is currently completing graduate work in psychology.

 

Anything but ordinary, “Officer” Hal does not simply stand and deliver a keynote address. He creates an engaging experience for the audience whereby he infuses energy, insights, and emotion into the room. His candid revelations about himself and his experiences as a police officer, combined with a brutally honest delivery, always evoke both laughter and tears from his audiences.

Emotional Resiliency 

Success in our all of our lives and relationships is based on our mental and emotional resilience. Very little training is ever offered on how we create our emotional states, or the perspectives needed to rise up stronger from the inevitable struggles we face in life.

Building resilience is an essential tool required in our mental toolbox more so now than ever in today’s world.  The ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress, can help not only us but our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that we will not experience difficulty or distress. But it does offer an opportunity to cope, deal with, or process that distress.

The beauty of resilience is that while it’s partly about your personality and your genetic makeup, there are also some very learnable skills. Hal’s resilience practices and techniques are something that each and every one of us can implement into our everyday lives.

 

Whole Therapy is proud to present and host

“Up Yours” – An Emotional Resiliency Workshop

With Hal Hughes

Anyone looking to increase their resilience to life’s stressors (trauma, divorce, mental illness, disease) and the hardships of life in general should definitely consider this a can’t-miss afternoon. Nobody teaches us in high school how to move forward in life when the going gets tough, or worse. The skills and habits learned during this workshop are designed for just that purpose. Life can be a battle: arm yourself for success. Why settle for just getting by when we were truly meant to flourish!

Take home from this engaging seminar a very specific set of perspectives, principals, and habits. All designed to help steer you towards finding your happiness as well as assisting you to refocus on your true purpose and finding meaning in your life!

Topics Include

  • Mastering Emotions: How we create every emotion we feel in our lives, and how to start creating better ones.
  • Principals of Resilience: Specific tactics and perspectives for engaging with the world in a way that leads to more positive emotions and relationships.
  • Habits of Resilience: A very specific and dynamic set of daily habits which are guaranteed to impact one’s life.
  • Carpe Momento Meditation: A warrior based meditation; simple, practical, and effective for those engaged in the battle of life.

Check out a snippet here of Hal in action! 

 

Workshop Details

When: Saturday October 5th – 1 pm To 5 pm
Where: Whole Therapy – 212-2650 Queensview Drive
How much: $65.00 plus HST
Why: Because you deserve to be the best version of yourself as possible!

Contact Whole Therapy
613.599.2311 or info@wholetherapyottawa.com to reserve your spot today!!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore
June 28, 2019

Have you ever considered run commuting? I started shortly after moving to Ottawa last summer and am hooked! Here are my top 5 reasons to consider running to and/or from work:

1. Beat the traffic! I don’t know how many times over the past 9 months I have actually ran past backed up vehicles who are slowly crawling along.

2. If you have a desk job like most people do, this is a fantastic way to start and/or finish your day! If you are sitting for 8 hours/day at work it’s great if you can avoid spending even more time sitting in a car to get to and from your job.

3. It’s cheap! Because I run to work our family only needs one vehicle. We also save money on gas every time I run in. And with regards to equipment all you need is a comfortable pair of running shoes and a running back pack.

4. You get to spend time outside breathing in the fresh air! I’m in an office building all day long so I love my commute in where I get to be outside, whether it’s a beautiful sunny day, raining or even snowing. It’s just nice to get out!

5. You can get your daily exercise in without having to find or make time early in the morning or in the evening after work. This is definitely the main reason I run commute! I have a toddler at home so when I get off I like to spend my evenings with her. Then when she goes to bed I’m usually in lazy mode and I don’t have the motivation to grab my running shoes and head outside. I get my workout in as part of my daily routine which means I don’t have to make time for it later. (I also don’t have the chance to make excuses for all the reasons I can’t run if it’s my mode of transportation!)

And if you start run commuting why stop there? If you forgot something at the grocery store and it’s within your running distance why not strap on your backpack and run there? It’s nice to make running a part of your lifestyle!

June 27, 2019

Hi! My name is Dylan and I’m addicted to school.  Ok not really, but I did recently graduate from my third post-secondary institution. Apart from gaining two degrees and an advanced diploma, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge along the way.

Johnston Hall – University of Guelph

I attended the University of Guelph, where I completed my B.Sc in Human Kinetics. There, I learned about the human body and had the opportunity to study in the cadaver lab, giving me a real-life glimpse of the human body and the ability to actually SEE what the muscles are doing during movement. I also learned that I LOVED physics. Imagine my surprise when I found out biomechanics was a thing and it was essentially physics for the human body!! I also wanted to give back to the community, so I became a volunteer exercise assistant at a health centre, where I assisted with exercises for older adults. Moreover, during my last year at Guelph, I did a fourth-year project where I researched fall prevention and older adults. My volunteering and my project fueled my passion for research and hands-on learning even more.

After my four years in Guelph, I wanted to research some more into the world of biomechanics. The next stop on my educational journey was completing my M. Sc at the University of Ottawa.  My research was focused on looking at older adults and how they adjust to sit-to-stands at varying levels of fatigue. But I learned so much more than that. During my time at U of O, I learned perseverance, accountability and initiative. I preserved from writing through all the different edits of my thesis, I was held accountable for my research when it was not going as planned, and I took initiative to reach out and contact those who could help me. I may have gained a degree from that school, but more importantly, I grew as a person there. And I discovered, post-graduate degrees were not for me. To my family’s relief, I was not planning on doing my PhD- Thanks to all my family and friends that I made walk up 7 plus flights of stairs to make my thesis happen!

Apart from completing my Masters, I believed it was a good idea to become a Registered Kinesiologist (R. Kin.) as well. So, I spent one winter studying for the registration exam, reading endless textbooks and memorizing the attachment points of muscles – Again!  I became a R. Kin. in the summer of 2015 and was lucky enough to have found a job working as one!  In that role, I was able to use my research in a practical setting. I was able to help people pre and post orthopaedic surgery, help patients manage pain, and help decrease arthritic flare-ups, all through the power of movement and exercise! Helping these patients, just through exercise, made me want to do more and that’s when I went back to school, for the third time, to become a Registered Massage Therapist.

I  have recently graduated from Algonquin College in the Massage therapy program, and the things I learned there were amazing. Apart from learning how to massage, I learned time management skills and the importance of maintaining boundaries. I learned that college was a different kind of hard. Almost like a fun challenge that made you also want to pull all your hair out.  Maybe most importantly, I learned  that I was going down the correct career path and I’m ecstatic on how well massage compliments my skills as a kinesiologist.

So, what does this all mean? Whole Therapy is lucky to have gained a (soon-to-be) RMT and a Registered Kinesiologist, who has years of experience in the fields of movement and exercise. Not only will my RMT touch help to ease pain and increase range of motion of a joint, but my R. Kin. eyes will be able to look at your movements as a human being and come close to pin pointing what needs to be worked on.

 

My name is Dylan, and I’m a life-long learner and a two-for-one therapist.

Dylan Crake
Registered Kinesiologist
and soon to be Registered Massage Therapist!

June 20, 2019

Internally, everyone has a web-like band of connective tissue found beneath our skin that consists primarily of collagen. This tissue that is also known as fascia, attaches, stabilizes, encloses, and separates muscles, internal organs, tendons, bones, and joints, and has distinct pathways that run along the back, front and sides of the body. Fascia is responsible for ensuring that our highly complex structure remains contained and positioned appropriately throughout the body. Although we cannot see it, it has everything to do with how well our bodies function.

When fascia is fluid and moving properly, as you can imagine, you are moving properly as well. However, given that it literally surrounds every internal aspect of our bodies, if something happens causing it to harden or constrict, that is where you will start to experience either reduced mobility, altered movement, or even pain. Three main events with fascia result in these side effects, some of which occur over time, while others in situations that are more acute. You could experience an injury or over-stretched fascia, the fascia around your joints could become compressed over time, and/or you could develop adhesions when collagen fibres bond together and form harder, less flexible areas. If you experience any or all of these circumstances, you are likely dealing with side effects of overcompensation by muscle groups, pain in the joints, decreased movement, and/or overall soreness due to restriction.

What is Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is a unique type of stretching that goes beyond just the muscles to target the fascia as well, while remaining cognisant of the fascial pathways and connections. Understanding these pathways allows one to connect the location of pain with the cause. Most often, where you experience pain/discomfort is not actually the area that needs released. For example, you have a fascial line that runs from the back of your skull all the way down your back, right through to your calfs and ankles, and ends at the base of your feet. Therefore, if you have any restricted fascia in your lower body, you could actually experience pain in your upper body/neck. Alternately, poor posture in your upper body and a tight lower body put tension on the fascia and can result in back pain. Thus, understanding the flow of these pathways and addressing the complete system is critical for obtaining results that last.

Another extremely beneficial aspect of Fascial stretch is that it targets the entire joint and joint capsule. As previously mentioned, fascia is located throughout the joints as well.  In a sense, when this fascia becomes tight it essentially results in “fusing” of the joint, decreased mobility, overcompensation by the muscles, and ultimately aches and pains. With Fascial Stretch, the use of traction removes these restrictions and stimulates lubrication within the joint.

Fascial Stretch is an incredibly gentle and passive technique that allows you and your body to relax completely while still getting full benefit of the treatment. In a smooth and slow motion, the practitioner guides each joint in the body through varying planes of movement to restore maximum range of motion. There is no pain, not even discomfort. While therapeutic results remain highly individualized and depend on each case, research demonstrates that it significantly helps those who did not respond to other treatments.

Who Would Benefit From Fascial Stretch?

Fascial Stretch is beneficial for absolutely everyone. Whether you train hard, sit for long periods, or have gradually developed changes in movement over time, fascial stretch can help. In combination with massage, it lengthens and loosens tension and is a fantastic compliment that drastically speeds up results. Alternatively, applying this technique as a stand-alone treatment for the entire session will have you walking away feeling less restricted, with reduced pain, and moving in ways you forgot you could.

Cory Boyd

Registered Massage Therapist
Personal Trainer
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

cory.wholetherapy@gmail.com

June 12, 2019

People often ask me, “Do I need to fuel during a long run?”

Here’s some things to consider:

If you are exercising for more than 60 minutes at a moderate-high intensity, consuming carbohydrates during your workout can help delay fatigue and enable you to perform at a higher intensity, it may also help you to continue exercising when your muscle glycogen stores are depleted.

What should I eat during a long activity?

It makes sense that the carbohydrates you consume during activities should be easily digested and absorbed.  You need it to raise your blood sugar level and reach your exercising muscle rapidly. Whether you choose solid of liquid carbohydrate makes little difference to your performance, provided you drink water with solid carbohydrates. Liquid forms are more convenient as they provide fluid as well as fuel, which reduce dehydration and fatigue.

FUEL EXAMPLES

For exercise lasting longer than 60 mins: Carbohydrates only (easily digested and converted into energy)

 

NOTE: Practicing & experimenting with various foods is recommended during training.  DO NOT try a new fuel on race day.

Raw Maple Ginger Sport Gel Recipe

Ingredients

15 ml pure maple syrup
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of fresh ginger

Combine all the ingredients into a gel flask.  Consume 15 ml every 45-60 mins into your run or ride!

Posted in Nutrition by Carole Woodstock | Tags: , ,
June 12, 2019

The word Osteopathy usually comes with a question mark after it. Although well recognized in Europe, Osteopathy is not as well known here in Ontario (The fact that Osteopaths have a hard time defining Osteopathy doesn’t help in that regard).
In this short article I will try to describe and define Osteopathy to the best of my ability, as a first-year student of Osteopathy.

The History

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still

Osteopathy began with Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, born in 1828 from Kirksville, Missouri. Despite being a medical doctor, he lost three of his children to spinal meningitis. This was at a time in our history when medicine was still far from advanced. These deaths were the catalyst that led the determined Dr. Still to seek alternative health solutions. 

The Principles

After studying the anatomy of the human body in great depth, Dr. Sill created three principles that would become the base of modern-day Osteopathy:

  1. The body is a functional unit. This means that the parts of the body do not work in isolation, but in cooperation. For example, when we have pain in the wrist, we often find that there are problems in the elbow, shoulder, neck, etc.
  1. Secondly, the body’s form (structure) and function (activity) are interrelated. This means that by helping the body’s function, one can improve the structure.

For example, when we get an injury to the wrist (damage to the structure) as a result of overuse of the hand, we can correct the function of that wrist through manual therapy. This, in turn, will help to correct and repair the strain in that structure. As a result, the body will be able to slowly repair the injury and hence the structure will change.

  1. The body has self-healing properties. Sometimes, these properties are dormant and just need to be reawakened. In this case, the Osteopath’s role is not to heal, but to facilitate healing.

Going back to the example of the wrist, often the body will try to compensate for the lack of function in the wrist, which will create more problems. But compensating means that the body is allowing for the wrist condition: it will not necessarily get better.  Mobilizing that wrist, and related structures (elbow, shoulder, neck etc) sends a message to the nervous system that the condition that the wrist is in right now is not optimal and that healing is needed.  

How Osteopathy has Changed

As Osteopathy spread throughout the world, it has gone through significant changes and has been subject to much interpretation. As a result, there are now as many definitions of osteopathy as there are osteopaths (ok not really but still, lots!)

The style of Osteopathy that I am learning is known as Clinical Osteopathy, which means that first and foremost we address the client’s immediate symptoms. Carpal tunnel in the wrist, for example, we look at the immediate environment. (ie hand, wrist, arm).

Secondly, we then address the bigger picture. What happened in the shoulder? What happened in the neck? What happened in the back? How can we remove the strain from the system as a whole so that the injury will heal, but also so that this problem will be less likely to occur in the future?

What can an Osteopath Treat?

An Osteopath can address joints and bones, they can help with nerve tension, ligaments, fluid stagnation, muscles tightness, energy, and more. The methods used vary and depend on the goals, condition, and needs of the client.

The more I learn about Osteopathy and manual therapy, the more amazed I’ve become at how much can be done to help people that are in pain and in distress. While I can’t promise to make miracles happen through Osteopathy, I am definitely encouraged at the possibilities it presents in terms of helping people get better. A big part of the healing process depends on the client’s lifestyle and willingness to change what causes problems in their body, I’m really looking forward to working in partnership with clients, armed with plenty of new tools inspired by Osteopathy!

An Ongoing Process

To develop the skills of an Osteopath takes many years and I’m just now making my first steps. I’m humbled by the depth of the skills shown by many therapists that I’ve been treated by already, and I aspire to arrive at that level of skill and finesse one day!

As a student of Osteopathy and as a Registered Massage Therapist, it’s also very important to know what I can not do, I cannot cure arthritis in the joint, unfortunately, I cannot cure cancer.

What I can do is help with increasing your mobility, reducing you pains in various muscles and joints throughout your body. I can help with the overall relaxation of your body, which in turn can boost your immune system. I can help with headaches, jaw pain and lower back pain as well.  As an Osteopath, I’ll be able to help with digestion to some degree and helping people get better sleep! (Looking forward to that!)

What About The Science?

To be completely honest, not all techniques that Osteopaths use can be proven scientifically; this is due partially to the fact that Osteopathy came in to the world at a time when the methodologies were not fully developed, and partially because we are still so far from fully understanding the human body and all of its intricacies. As a keen investigator of the human body, I don’t take everything that Osteopathy teaches as a fact, but rather test it and question it to see what works.


I feel very fortunate to be able to work with such a variety of excellent therapists at Whole Therapy; we are always doing our best to learn from each other regardless of the modality being used. We all believe we have plenty to learn and teach each other!

Most of all I’m trying to learn from my clients to see what works and what doesn’t. That feedback is the most important information of all!

To sum it up, I believe that a big component of the therapy is the client / therapist relationship. As long as we keep an open line of communication during treatment, that feedback, along with my skills as an RMT as well as the tools I’m developing through Osteopathy will go a long way in helping me get you back on your path to health and wellness!

 

Roy Cohen is a Registered Massage Therapist at Whole Therapy who is currently studying Osteopathy. Although he currently does not practice as an Osteopath, his Massage practice reflects his learning on the subject.

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore
May 30, 2019

Stage fright and fear of public speaking are some of the most common powerful fears in our society. Why would this be? In almost every case, logically there’s nothing to fear. We’re not going to be physically harmed, people aren’t likely to throw tomatoes at us, so why such visceral fear and avoidance?

Every negative feeling arises from one of two roots. Fear of loss of safety and fear of loss of love, which includes social standing, respect and the opinions of friends, family and the public.  The subconscious mind has more than a million times the neurological processing power of our conscious mind. Every word, action, tone of voice and body language experienced when young, informs the developing perceptions of our world and the degree of security and acceptability we feel within it. Core beliefs are formed by the age of six and become our “operating system”. These matter deeply because it’s estimated ninety five percent of our conscious thoughts, decisions and perceptions are shaped by these early subconscious programs (i.e. beliefs).

When it comes to working with stage fright and fear of public speaking, I’ve found Emotional Freedom Techniques including Picture Tapping Techniques to be so powerful I warrant the results. So how does it work? Stage fright is a big powerful “thing” for many. It seems too big to get a handle on. But every big “thing” is made up of smaller parts. By starting with a small manageable piece which is at the top of the pile, we can allow the conscious and subconscious minds to collaborate in figuring out the whole story attached to that feeling or belief.

Specific patterns of acupressure tapping keep the fight/flight/freeze part of the brain busy while this examination is under way. In some cases we’re starting with a specific element of fear, in others it may be the physical sensations felt at the thought of performing or speaking.

I remember a brilliant doctor who found the thought of lecturing to be extremely stressful. As we followed the pieces, we uncovered his subconscious train of thought. “I don’t understand or trust technology -> I can’t rely on it to work for me -> If it fails, I’ll be trapped and helpless -> Hmm, I suppose there will be a sound technician there, here could fix the issue -> I could print out a copy of my slides so if the worst came to the worst, I could use my own copies to keep me on track. I really do know my stuff. The slides are just a convenience. -> Actually the audience won’t be judging me for the tech failure. They’ll just be very happy they’re not the person in that position. They’ll be on my side, have compassion for me and respect me for not falling apart in this circumstance.

For another doctor, his biggest underlying concern was that someone would ask him a question he couldn’t answer and the audience would judge him as incompetent. As we worked through the beliefs wrapped around that, every part of him came to realize his peers would have total respect for “we don’t yet know” or some such reply. Intellectually they’d always known these things, but the old programs laid down in the subconscious were whispering a different and paralyzing story.

The search for perfection is paralyzing. Striving for excellence is inspiring.

For performers such as singers, the subconscious is trying to keep them safe the best way it know how with the programming laid down since they were young. Often there’s an underlying catastrophizing process going on. “If I’m not perfect, I’ll be horrible and everyone will be disappointed in me or judge me” Re-processing and rewriting the old subconscious programming attached to these feeling  sets them free to be in them moment and take pleasure in striving for excellence.

During the course of this work, clients begin to develop real self-compassion. Understanding at every level that being human is both a great and a challenging reality.

We all do the best we know how, with the tools we have at the time. It’s never too late to get better tools. No matter what our earlier childhood programming and experiences, we all have the opportunity to learn to become warm encouraging, nurturing mentors to our inner child. We don’t have to worry about how good we are at it at any time, because he or she isn’t going anywhere. We can go back as often as we need to, to gently educate, reassure and heal hurtful, fearful or limiting beliefs; without trauma.

To learn more about these techniques, set up an initial interview with David Gilbert. Our gifted Integrative Therapist. He can be reached directly @ 613-747-5458 or wellness@david-gilbert.com . Offering work so powerful it’s guaranteed.

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore
May 22, 2019

Springtime is the start of golfing season, which is the time of year to pull out those clubs and take advantage of the warmer weather. In this article, I am going to talk specifics by explaining how flexibility helps you reduce injury and achieve a more powerful swing, as well as how to maintain that flexibility to ensure you have the most enjoyable experience.

We all know that flexibility is important. We throw the word around all the time, but often do not know why it is so important, specifically with golf. Flexibility as a whole refers to all the soft tissues within the body moving freely and without restriction. When this is sufficient, you are able to obtain full range of motion without having to compensate elsewhere. This is important for two main reasons; it avoids unnecessary injury and improves the power of your swing. Let us look at these points in more detail.

There is nothing more disappointing than getting out for the first golf game and walking away in pain, or even injured. Unfortunately, this is all too common because over the winter months, our muscles stiffen up with the lack of activity. This has some serious implications for proper posture, resulting in injuries to the neck, shoulders, back, hips, knees and ankles – the most common golf injuries that result from lack of flexibility.

To understand why unrestricted movement is so important, we need to first dissect the swing. As previously mentioned, posture is critical. To make successful contact, you must rotate your body while keeping your shoulders square and your eyes on the ball. If you have limited flexibility in any area, what starts happening is that you struggle to get the rotation (shoulder turn) you need to drive the ball. This shoulder turn not only keeps the club on the proper path, but is entirely responsible for the power behind your drive as well. Therefore, unrestricted movement allows for a wider and more controlled shoulder turn, greater core rotation, direct vision of the ball at all times, a direct path for your club, and ultimately more power and distance upon contact.

On the reverse side, when there is restriction in your torso, arms, hips, legs, etc., this interrupts the smooth coordination between these movements. Unfortunately, as a human, you are very smart and very stubborn, so you still find a way to hit the ball. In this circumstance, your body instantly starts figuring out a way to complete the task regardless of your restricted movements. So imagine this, with your eyes on the ball, you go to rotate your body backwards to wind up your swing. Unfortunately, at a certain point during that rotation, your body literally stops because of restrictions you have from tight muscles. From that point, in order to complete the task you now need to compensate using other parts of your body. So what happens? Well, you have reduced rotation in your core and your shoulders. Thus, the only other option is to use your arms instead of your trunk to complete the task. You are now driving your swing almost entirely by your arms as opposed to benefiting from proper posture, and the power of your core and shoulder rotation. In sum, you have significantly less power, a disappointing shot, and more often than not walk away with pain and/or injury from the overcompensation.

At this point, the importance of having proper flexibility when golfing should be clear. So let us touch on the proper way to work on this before diving into your game. First and foremost, always remember to warm up before you stretch. And no, this does not mean a walk from your car to the driving range. I am talking about a good, thorough warm up that gets your blood pumping.  Athletes everywhere call it a warm up for a reason – because of the overall sense of warmth you experience throughout your body. You should often feel a light sweat coming on as well. So, be sure to use these two bodily responses gauges to whether you have done it correctly.

As previously mentioned, walking from the car to the range does not tend to provide the proper warm up needed for the game. Therefore, here are some very simple options that are highly effective, quick, and require no equipment:

 

  1. Side steps 
  1. Marching in Place 

Once nicely warmed up, the next step is to start stretching. One very important thing to consider while doing so is that you always need to keep the stretch in a pain free range. Move gently with your body and do not try to force the stretch. If you find yourself going outside of that comfort zone, back off slightly, take a deep breath, relax, and let your body guide you.

If you are just starting and not sure what and/or how you should be stretching, these following stretches are by far a couple of the most amazing for golfers looking to improve their game. The Backswing Stretch touches on all the critical flexibility points necessary for a proper drive, and the Latissimus Dorsi Stretch really allows for that full rotation by stretching out the shoulders. Complete the following steps for incredible stretches that will loosen everything up in all the right places.

Backswing Stretch: 

  1. Take a wide grip on the golf club with one hand at either end.
  2. While holding onto both ends, rotate backwards in a slow, smooth, and controlled fashion (same motion as during your swing). Again, do not rotate so far as to cause pain.
  3. Come back to center.
  4. Slowly rotate to the other side.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 alternating from side-to-side until you feel little remaining restriction.

 

Latissimus Dorsi Stretch

  1. Stand your club upright in a vertical position.
  2. Place both hands on top of the club.
  3. Drive your hips back as you drop your head between your arms, feeling a nice stretch through your shoulders and down your sides.
  4. Hold for at least 15 seconds, release the stretch, and repeat.
  5. Increased stretch – while still bent over in the stretch, bend your left knee and very slightly rotate to the right (right should towards the sky) – this should increase the stretch in your left shoulder.
  6. Hold for 15 seconds, and then switch to your left side by slightly bending your right knee and slightly rotating to the left (left shoulder to the sky).
  7. Continue rotating from side-to-side, holding for 15 seconds each side until you feel your shoulders loosen up.

NOTE: You can also do this stretch one arm at a time if preferred. Simply place one hand on the club and follow the same steps.

   

Cory Boyd

Registered Massage Therapist
Personal Trainer
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized by Pat Moore