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Found 39 results

  1. Here's a clip Cherie filmed a while back. It's of her great take on the 'rolled towel' neck relaxation exercise. Cher goes into a lot of detail about the whole process: from rolling the towel properly (she is the master of all things folding!); positioning and micro-movements.
  2. Here's a Hanging Pec Minor and 'Arm Line/Lung meridian' stretch I have been playing with of late: I'm really loving the solo and partner versions of the hanging stretches at the moment; more to come. I'm hopefully going to be filming some of the variants of this stretch around Easter time.
  3. This is the Day one recording; I will add the others as time permits (there will be seven in all). Downloading instructions: Control + Click (Mac) or Right Click (PC) on either of the links below to bring up the menu; select Download Linked File (or, if you are a Mac user and want to import straight into iTubes, select Import into iTunes from the same menu. These are .MP3 files, so will be recognised by any mp3 player, iPhone, iPod, or i-device. DAY 1: The setup instruction are the first link (about 10’ long; worth listening to if you have not done this practice before): https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day1_extended_setup.mp3 The relaxation script itself (about 28 minutes long): https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day1_First_lying_relaxation_28_mins.mp3 There is no more powerful health-promoting practise than this: you simply have to put aside 20-30 minute a day, listen, and relax, deeply. DAY 2: Here's the briefer setup instructions for day two: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day2_Shorter_setup_instructions.mp3 The recording itself ("finding the Elements") https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/lying-relaxation-scripts/2014-GV_day2_Finding_the_Elements_32mins.mp3 More to come
  4. Hello all, Kit here. Posted full description on my blog HERE, and full text from blog below for convenience. YT clip (promo): Full blog text: Stretch Therapy for Gymnastics Strength Training (“GST”, but the one we like) This two-day intensive workshop is purpose-designed for all men and women pursuing strength training following men’s gymnastics' strength training protocols. We will present solo and partner versions of most exercises. We will cover all necessary partial poses, progressions, and associated techniques (like fascial releases) to be able to do: pike pancake full squat full back bend (the bridge) shoulder extension, and flexion full hip mobility Achieving a full pike and a full pancake requires stretching the calf muscles (including the often-neglected posterior fascial line), all three hamstrings, all adductors, and a small muscle in the hip called piriformis which is a surprisingly common (but often unsuspected) limiter of these fundamental movements. Practising the pike and pancake by themselves is relatively inefficient, in terms of results gained for time spent—there are better ways. The techniques we will use to achieve the pike and the pancake are all partial poses and/or fascial techniques. The core method used is the Contract–Relax technique, as developed by our team over the last 25 years. We will also use innovative agonist–antagonist moving stretching techniques which will actively assist flatter pikes and pancakes, by activating the hip flexors and TFL in their maximally shortened positions—this provides needed strength in the fully contracted position as well as provides the brain with a novel stretch sensation. Fascial releases on gracilis and the inner hamstrings will be done on all attendees, where needed. The full squat requires considerable ankle flexibility and hip mobility and we will show you a range of exercises that will allow you to do this movement with good foot alignment, preserved arches in the feet, and no support. On most workshops when we begin, only about half the room has a decent full squat, but by the end almost everybody does. We will cover assistance techniques for hip internal rotation (this will complement the external rotation exercises that work piriformis, above, too). We will practise all partial poses leading up to a full back bend. To this end we will show you effective partner stick stretches that will open the chest and shoulders, in preparation for full dislocate movements, and then add the hip flexor/quadriceps, passive back bends over supports, and rib-cage mobilisation exercises so that the body is prepared for the full back bend. Solo alternatives will be taught as well. In addition, fascial releases for the diaphragm and rectus abdominis will be done for all attendees. In the process of going through these partial poses, you will learn exactly which structures are limiting your present movement patterns, so future practise becomes very time efficient. Often, only a small muscle or narrow line of fascia is the restriction—finding and changing these are the keys to unlocking your body. Experience has shown us that adults following gymnastic strength training regimens frequently injure themselves. We will practise a range of extremely effective rehabilitation–treatment exercises to address these kinds of problems. As well, there are a number of stretching exercise that actively assist in recovery and we will do these, too. I will add that if you want to attend the first one, planned for Italy (a lovely town named Piacenza, in northern Italy, 15-16 November, then you'd better book it ASAP; we expect this will be a rapid sellout. If there's enough interest, we can add two more this year. All details will be on kitlaughlin.com/.
  5. Final product title, and how workshops will be offered in 2011 I have copied and edited a post from my BLOG today; I shall be very interested in comments here, too. After much discussion, I have decided that this will be the new title and sub-title: Stretch Therapy™ How to attain ease in the body and graceful movement I will be grateful for final comments on the name. To remind readers, this title is for the new book/video product (it will be both downloadable, with embedded video) and Print On Demand ('POD"), the book and images only version. Future workshops will flow from this decision, too. There are three ST workshops, and everyone begins with the first one, immediately below: Intro. to Stretch The very first experience any new person will have of the ST method, this three-day workshop will be completely practical/experiential, and will include a relaxation session each day. Anyone, whether an individual wanting to have a 'body sabbatical', or someone wanting to become a Stretch Teacher or a Stretch Practitioner (Therapist in some jurisdictions) will need to begin with this workshop. Someone who has done Intro. to Stretch may choose to go on to the Stretch Teacher or Stretch Practitioner streams. Stretch Teacher An additional three-day workshop will focus on teaching the attendees how to teach a decent stretch class: this includes all the staples such as essential functional anatomy, how to teach multiple variations of the same exercise at the same time, how to structure a class, and how to correct a student's form. The additional three-day workshop may be done any time after the Intro. Completion of the six days entitles an attendee to attend a Stretch Teacher Certification examination, too. Stretch Practitioner (Therapist) A Stretch Practitioner will begin with the Intro. to Stretch, then takes a second, different, three-day workshop that focusses on how to treat common problems like neck and back pain, in the one-on-one rehab. or clinic situation. This includes the latest research into these problems, tests on how to distinguish structural from functional leg-length differences, the critical exercises to relieve low back and neck pain, and more. Completion of the SP six days allows an attendee to call themselves a Level One Stretch Practitioner. Level Two Stretch Practitioner (Therapist) This additional two-day workshop focusses on neural repatterning, muscle activation, and a full revision of all the key stretching and strengthening exercises. In addition, Level Two includes how to test and treat shoulder and arm problems, including RSI. On completion, an attendee may call themselves a Level Two Stretch Practitioner. We are in the process of designing and implement an SP certification scheme, too, but this has not been finalised. Please subscribe to our occasional newsletter to be kept informed of developments, HERE. The ST system requires teachers and practitioners to engage in regular refresh and upskilling. This can be done every three years by attending any of the three-day workshops above. Heavy discounts apply to anyone repeating any workshop or attending the other stream's workshops: we want you to be as good a teacher or practitioner as you can be. See the main site for detail. We feel that making the first experience of the work all-practical can only help everyone. As well, on the SP side, many past attendees have said that we have tried to pack too much into the six-day format, and hence the additional days. What do you think?
  6. Hi Every body, is a video I filmed of a variant of the bolster hip flexor I was playing around with today, that targetted the deep hip flexor (psoas), in me at least.. Some others felt not so much in the psoas (mainly rectus femoris), so I thought I would put it up for people to try - it works really well for me.As I explain in the video, it does not use the standard contract-relax approach, but more a modulation of the tension in different muscles and a sequential contraction style stretch. It uses movement above the site of stretch to get the actually stretch (as the psoas is kept contracted, so that you don't lose the sensation-contraction). Let me know what you think. D p.s thank you to Graeme for the initial inspiration for this stretch!
  7. Some background. My body of work is presently known as "Stretch Therapy™"; it has a number of streams, including Stretch Teacher, Stretch Therapist, and the Monkey Gym. A full list of the present workshops on offer (plus a YT video, where I speak abut the different workshops) can be found HERE on my main site. As a side note, you may have seen that this site has inherited the name we were bestowed 26 years ago, and that has been a difficulty in positioning and branding our work, too. In recent years, a large number of people have attended the Stretch Teacher workshop, in particular, just to do intensive work on themselves, for a variety of reasons, including rehab all the way to simply giving their bodies a deep rest and to experience what true deep relaxation feels like in the body/mind. Accordingly, a number of hosts have commented that the present name of these workshops (Stretch Teacher) is a barrier to these people wanting to do these workshops because (completely reasonably) the term 'teacher' implies the purpose. Another piece of the puzzle is the title of my new book (a multi-media product, but still a book to me) is Stretching Mindfully. As well, I have registered two new URLs with this in mind (stretching-mindfully.com, and moving-mindfully.com), the latter to make explicit the third dimension I wrote about earlier this week. My inclination is to keep "Stretch Therapist": its message seems clear and unambiguous. As well, the Monkey Gym workshops similarly seem relatively easy to understand. What are your reactions to calling the third stream, the one presently called "Stretch Teacher", by the name of the new product, Stretching Mindfully, and open it up explicitly to the widest possible audience, and add a lying relaxation module to each day? If we had these three streams, anyone wanting to teach this system would enrol in the Stretching Mindfully workshop along with the people who want a body/mind "sabbatical" (and this would give the potential teachers very useful 'ordinary' bodies to practise with, too). The reason for raising this is that we are now in the "post ANU" phase of the system's unfolding: we can change anything we want and this is the best time to do it. I am going to repost this over at the Stretch Therapy Forums, and make a YouTube clip on this too. My goal is simply to get this work out there as widely as possible, and to teach this system to teachers who can carry this work forward. What are your thoughts?
  8. Hi all, I'm keen to hear how fellow ST's are describing ST to the masses. I'm finding it's a great talking point (i.e describing it as 'ST' or even simply just 'stretching') as the most common response is 'Oh! So that's like Yoga or Pilates, right?' - expecting a 'Yes, just like that!'. I'm interested to hear how you are describing ST in a simple, straight forward way that is easily understood by the masses and can be done in under 60 seconds. The ideas that come through can then be used by all to make a standard response and help spread the word about the benefits of ST. NB: I had a flick through the previous forums and couldn't find a similar topic so apologies if this has already been covered). I look forward to your replies! Cheers, Holly
  9. In preparation for the forthcoming book 'Stretching for Every Body', Kit has asked me to post the recommended reading for the larger body of work, known as Stretch Therapy. These texts provide relevant fine details for practitioners, and make fascinating reading for the interested layman. Kit Wrote: "All of the references mentioned here have helped me to understand what happens to us as we stretch. Some readers may be surprised by the age of the books mentioned in this list, as there is a widespread tendency to place greater reliance on more recent publications, on the assumption that the scientific enterprise moves forwards continually. In my experience, however, the earliest possible sources are often the best, even if subsequent work reveals errors of various kinds. Innovators create fields of enquiry; subsequent researchers plough the same ground and—if effective—provide refinement of detail. Both kinds of enquiry are necessary to fuller understanding. The big ideas usually appear in earlier works. Achterberg, J., 1985. Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine. New Science Library, Boston and London. A very readable introduction to psychoneuroimmunology, the study of the interactions between mind and body, and an analysis that will change your understanding of the patient-practitioner relationship forever. Albrecht, K., 1979. Stress and the Manager: making it work for you. Simon & Schuster, New York, Touchstone edition, 1986. Foreword by Hans Selye. One of the earliest texts in the field of occupational stress; relevant and practical. Contains a good relaxation script. Alter, M. J., 1988. Science of Stretching. Human Kinetics Books, Champaign, Illinois. A wealth of scientific detail underlying the practical dimensions of stretching. Benson, H., 1976. The Relaxation Response. Collins, London. This very small book is a minor gem, condensing a great deal of technical research into meditation recommendations and related practices. Chiba, S., Ishibashi, Y., and Kasai, T., 1994. Perforation of dorsal branches of the sacral nerve plexus through the piriformis muscle and its relation to changes of segmental arrangements of the vertebral column and others. Kaibogaku Zasshi (Acta Anatomica Nippon). Damasio, A. R., 1994. Descartes’ Error: emotion, reason and the human brain. Macmillan, London, Papermac edition, 1996. The most influential book I read in 1997, and which provides a deep understanding of the relation between what we call the ‘mind’ and the ‘body’. My sincere hope is that Stretching for Every Body can provide some of the tools to alter the perception of, experience of, and the function of, this dualism (which distinction is motivated, as G. Spencer-Brown would say). Foss, L., and Rothenberg, K., 1987. The Second Medical Revolution: From Biomedicine to Infomedicine. Shambala, New Science Library, Boston & London. The 'infomedical' model locates the human being in an ecological, social and psychological framework with important implications for treatment of illness and analysis of cause - especially the degenerative diseases of our time - while preserving the deep insights into process provided by the scientific world view. The model is fairly described as revolutionary in the Kuhnian sense. Jerome, J., 1987. Staying Supple: the bountiful pleasures of stretching. Bantam Books, New York. The ‘Unnumbered lesson’ in my "Stretching & Flexibility" derives much from this slim but rich publication. I had extolled the pleasure of stretching long before I found this book, but Jerome made me think again about how the points between the cardinal points on our stretching compass need to be explored. His insistence on the necessity of listening to what the body is trying to tell you cannot be overemphasised in achieving the goal of flexibility. Are you listening? Johnson, M., 1987. The Body in the Mind: the bodily basis of meaning, imagination, and reason. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. This brilliant book examines the ways in which our body and its movement through time and space is constitutive of thought, from basic awareness to abstract concepts, via image schemata and metaphor. Although Johnson’s focus is different, his insights are compatible with Damasio’s. Perhaps the negative prejudice accorded the body (in comparison with the mind) explains why Johnson’s ideas are not more central to mainstream philosophy today. Juhan, D., 1987. Job’s Body: A Handbook for Bodywork. Station Hill Press, New York. Foreword by Ken Dychtwald. I read this wonderful book many years before Damasio’s; when I read the latter I was reminded of the many insights Juhan had achieved without the new biochemical and neurological evidence presented in Descartes’ Error. The understanding provided by direct experience, and acts of imagination constrained by this experience, can be far-reaching indeed. Juhan’s book should be read by all who describe themselves as body workers. Kapandji, I. A., 1974. The Physiology of the Joints. Volumes I–III. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh. This is the first and finest exposition of the anatomy and physiology of the bones and muscles of the body, presented from an engineering and Newtonian physics perspective. The sheer comprehensiveness of these texts is humbling and they are beautifully and innovatively illustrated. Kapandji’s capacity to draw the fundamental physical principles involved in joint movement in a simple, though anything but simplistic, way is an inspiration. This is a must-have set of books for anyone interested in exercise or rehabilitation. Keleman, S., 1985. Emotional Anatomy: the structure of experience. Center Press, Berkeley. Keleman argues persuasively that one’s own body shape is a dynamic interaction between one’s genetic inheritance and one’s personal emotional history. His work is a considerable elaboration of Reich’s insights (see below) into character armoring. Of particular interest is his analysis of the internal implications of this history, and its effect on organ function, the musculoskeletal dimension, and the emotional choices that are made as a result, all of which constrain options for future adaptation. Remarks made above in relation to Damasio’s work are relevant here, too. Kendall, H. O., Kendall, F .P., and Wadsworth, G. P., 1971. Muscles, Testing and Function. Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, 2nd edition. Again, the original and, in many ways, the best. A newer revised edition is available. Knott, M., and Voss, D. E., 1968. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation. Harper & Row, New York. The first of its kind; two subsequent editions have been released. Kurz, T., 1994. Stretching Scientifically: a guide to flexibility training. Stadion, Island Pond, Vermont, USA, revised 3rd edition. Kurz’s book has some useful ideas on developing dynamic flexibility; athletes in sports requiring this kind of flexibility would do well to read it. He is critical of partner stretching, though: too dangerous and inefficient, on his account. His theory chapter is brief and excellent. Laughlin, K., 1998. Overcome Neck & Back Pain, first published 1995, by BodyPress, Canberra; second edition Simon & Schuster, Sydney; revised third edition, Simon & Schuster, New York; full rewrite fourth edition, Simon & Schuster, Sydney, 2007. All relevant details of how we approach the treatment of neck and back problems will be found here, as will the references on which the approach draws. For example, the Chiba et al. research that revealed the high percentage of the general population whose piriformis muscle is pierced by the sciatic nerve will be found here. This reference is included, above. Laughlin, K., 1999. Stretching & Flexibility. My initial attempt to present a lesson-based approach to improving flexibility, much of this remains relevant today. As the world has moved, though, from a logo-centric perspective to an image-based one, I realised that I needed to rewrite this from top to bottom. Hence the present work. I have précised (if there is such a word) much of the technical explanations of that original here in recognition of this change, so you may care to find an old copy and see what I was thinking then. All remains relevant, and the lesson plans are still operative. Reich, W., 1989. The Function of the Orgasm. Souvenir Press, London. First published in English, 1942, as The Discovery of the Orgone, Volume I: the function of the orgasm, Orgone Institute Press. Through his insistence that ‘muscular attitudes and character attitudes have the same function in the psychic mechanism ... they cannot be separated ... [and] are identical in their function’, Reich gave modern voice to what are now called schools of body work. Selye, H., 1976. The Stress of Life. McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York. Revised edition 1976, paperback edition 1978. This book, first published in 1956, spawned a major field of research and remains relevant today. Selye’s insights are one of the longest-lasting major revisions in modern medicine and the full weight of his research is yet to be felt, in my view. Travell, J. G., and Simons, D. G., Volume 1, 1983; Volume 2, 1992. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the trigger point manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore. Another monument of scholarship, Travell and Simons’s two volumes are, in my experience, owned by many but understood by few. Like Kapandji, these books repay constant revisiting, and one cannot help feeling awed by the sheer hard work involved in their preparation. The illustrations of muscles and bones by Barbara Cummings are the best I have ever seen."
  10. Hello there, everybody, Before I begin, I thank Carol (Dr Wenzel, on a return, cameo appearance!) who came to Vancouver from Kamloops to take pictures of this new, three-day, workshop. In the three galleries, there are nearly 400 photographs, which show the various stretches and strengthening exercises we did. As well, we would not have been able to run this workshop had we not met Chris Harrison, the owner of the Vancouver CrossFit Lions; this is a brilliant facility that has literally everything you will ever need, training wise (including three heavy-duty York hyperextension machines that I used for ten intensive minutes last night); these are one of the few machines I recommend for training. And as you go through the photos, you can see the excellent "cage" and bar systems (and the best wooden rings I have ever used; they are Rogue Fitness rings, from memory) and lots of them, too. Sincere thanks to Chris, and please check out his place if you are a local. The galleries are arranged by day, and the thumbnails let you quickly review the activities of each. All parts of all exercises are shown, so you can follow the sequence and reminds yourself of the all-essential cues. Intro. to Stretch Therapyis a new workshop offering: in the three days, the attendees were exposed to most of the full range of our workshop offerings. As well, we begin mid-morning on the Friday, so people can travel on that day; a longer day on the Saturday, and a mid-afternoon finish on the Sunday, to facilitate travel—this way, the entire workshop can be fit in to busy schedules. Day one was most of the BIG stretches, starting with (what else?) the hip flexors. This was practised in partner, solo, standing and floor versions. Here are the images from day one: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day1/ Day two was all Monkey Gym—beginning with a feet-awakening sequence, and progressing to the Bodyline series. If you have not had exposure to Coach Sommer's excellent work, this is the place to start. You can download a PDF of the wrist mobility, Bodyline, and handstand sequence that Miss O and I made earlier this year (we shot some of the images at Robert Schleip's workshop, held at the Gold Coast, Queensland). Because this was an introduction workshop, we only held each position, once learned, for 30", and only one cycle. We are leaving the handstand work until September, 2012; more on this below. And you can download the foundation skills of the Monkey Gym, too, by clicking the highlighted link. All the images of Day two show the progressions we used—including single leg squats that everyone could do. I have already received emails telling me of the sore glutes... http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day2/ And the last day began with a class, and ended with some much-needed neck stretches, and includes a long passive back-bend over supports in between; all the images will be viewable here: http://kitlaughlin.c...-workshop_day3/ What an incredible three days! Linda, Chris and I have decided that we will be offering a full three-day Monkey Gym only workshop end September this year. We will email the dates to all the attendees, and when this is confirmed, all the details including registration forms will be available from the Home page on my main site (left-hand column, under Events). We hope to see you there! Cheers to all, Kit ***All links updated and galleries reloaded*** Friday 31 Jan
  11. Coach Sommer asked me to add a few comments to the "Correcting flat feet" question on this thread on his site; thanks Coach for the opportunity to offer a suggestion or two. Slizzardman's exercises sound excellent, as well, if you go back to the OP on Coach Sommer's site. We have had many students start our classes (stretching and strengthening) with 'flat feet' and most have had the form and function of the feet improved significantly. One young man had ankles that pronated so much that he had developed bunions (painfully enlarged joints of both big toes), and the big toes had deviated over 45 degrees away from the midline of the body. Now, three years later (using Five Fingers and a lot of kettlebell work), he now has perfect arches, the swelling and enlargement of the joints has diminished, and he has run two 10km fun runs on asphalt and concrete in his Five Fingers. His feet are perfectly aligned; his arches are developed and supple, and all his toes separate voluntarily. An aside: most people who have been identified (or "diagnosed") with "flat feet" really have pronating ankles, and not the medial displacement of any of the bones of the feet (talus and navicular, usually that the term properly applies to). True flat feet are rare. When most people (and too many experts, IMHO) use the term, they mean pronating ankles: the whole leg has internally rotated in the hip joint; as this happens, the arch of any foot will flatten, and some collapse. Speaking generally, the pronated ankle is a lower energy configuration of the foot, and this is why exercising barefoot (or in FFs) on gravel or similar sharp surfaces has such a strong effect on foot placement: the body is doing all it can to unweight the sole of the foot—and creating the arch is part of what happens when the weight is spread from the inside border of the foot (pronation) to the whole of the foot (good alignment. What follows is the first drill: If you stand, and close your eyes, ask yourself 'where do I feel the weight going through my feet?' If you are like most people, most of the weight goes through the big toe side of the foot, and the heel. Now, lift the toes off the floor, and deliberately put a bit more weight on the outside of the front of the foot, and look down at your feet: notice how the ankle and arch are better aligned? And notice how that realignment takes no muscular effort? Now stand in front of a mirror and repeat the exercise (adding weight to the outside of the foot, and follow that with letting the foot roll in. If you watch, you will see that this is a whole-leg movement, mediated by the external rotators of the hip joint and the movement does not come from the foot itself. In fact, as you externally rotate your thighs, the weight moves to the outside of the foot, and the arch forms. If you have pronating ankles, somewhere in the past, the body has made a choice about where to position the foot (on the internally–externally rotated axis); and the foot adapts to this. The main reasons for the body to make this positional choice (alignment of the femur in the hip joint) are two: tight hip flexors and insufficient stimulation of the soles of the feet during childhood and adolescence. All babies have flat feet; most adults have some pronation, especially under load; and if the pronation is controlled well by the body, it is part of the shock-absorbing mechanism we need for walking and running, as well as the critical mechanism for weight distribution (and obstacle avoiding!). So: step two is to stretch the hip flexors—not easy to do on your own. We recommend a partner exercise, to begin with: And step three, last for today, is to do a foot-strengthening/hip–leg alignment exercise. All you need is bare feet and a set of stairs: put the ball of one foot on the edge of the step, place the other behind this leg, and hold a rail. Straighten the supporting leg's knee. Slowly let the heel move below the level of the stair tread (so, a soleus and gastrocnemius stretch). If your calf muscles are tight, then do small contractions with the calf muscles, and then press the heel lower as you relax and breathe. This is part one. Part two is the strengthening–realigning part: this time as you lower, deliberately let the ankle pronate. Feel where the weight is going through your foot: all on the inside, and under the joint of the big toe. Now, as you press the ball of the foot into the tread to lift the body, transfer some weight to the the outside of the foot so that as you pass the neutral point (normal standing position for the foot and leg): now the ankle will be perfectly alighted, with weight evenly spread across the front of the foot. Pause. Then, as you rise, transfer slightly more weight to the outside (this activated the peroneal tibialis posterior (thanks to slizzardman from Coach Sommer's forums for the correction) muscles strongly, in addition to the two calf muscles). At the top, plantar flexed, position, hold, and feel where the weight is: more will be on the outside than the inside (but don't exaggerate this); and press harder until the muscles spasm momentarily, then lower the heel to stretch that cramp out. Just shot the video today: The suggestion to let the muscles cramp might sound a bit intense, but an involuntary cramp activates the largest numbers of the involved fibres, and the strengthening/realigning effect is maximised. You only need a few repetitions. Once you have done both legs, walk around on a surface that gives you feedback (I like gravel!); you will immediately feel that the feet are contacting the floor differently. This is enough to go on with, and if there's interest, I will add some intrinsic foot muscle–toe spreading drills, too. Regards KL
  12. Folks, please read this NY Times article. Some of the therapists here will recall that I make this very point in my ST workshops: until the July 1994 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, no one in research or practise had tested the null hypothesis: what proportion of the non back pain suffering population has pathology? Turns out that well over half (67% to be precise, in the study mentioned) that population had pathology "so severe", the researchers claimed, "that had any of these people been sent to us or an MRI to identify the cause of their back pain, what we describe as pathology here would have been assumed to have been the cause." Yet the 97 people comprising the sample tested had never had back pain. As I wrote in 1985, pathology is 'normal' in the statistical sense. Way back then I wrote that, as now, any pathology identified as a possible cause needs to be tied to the symptoms causally—and that means other physical tests to establish the causal pathway. Very often, other causes are the source of the pain and, also often, these other causes can be treated by our techniques. There have been some 11 peer-reviewed articles since then, looking at the lumbar spine, thoracic spine, and the cervical spine. In these analyses, pathology has been found in between 45—70% of all populations surveyed. When we add the piriformis syndrome suffering population to that perspective, a condition that can mimic disk-induced sciatica, is it any surprise that the prognosis for back operations as a means of relieving back pain (and sciatica) so poor? Add to that the fact that the vast majority of people who come down with low back pain are completely well within two months, and knowing that pathology does not change significantly in this time frame, does that not compel us to use conservative approaches? Comments, please. I will make this a sticky post. my thanks to Professor Goldfield for drawing this article to my attention. Updated: Justin pointed out a referencing error. The New Eng J. of Med. article was July 1994, not 1995. Thanks Justin C.
  13. This post belongs as much in the Stretch Therapy thread as here, but placed it here because it's easy to teach, and students like it. It is amazing how difficult these movements re, IF you pay attention to the direction to maintain whatever full flexion or extension is recommended while performing the second, concurrent actions. On recent workshops, I taught the basic movements Cory recommends, but added ulna and radius deviation additions. You will be surprised at how difficult these movements are. We have long asserted that the more novel a stretch is, the fast the brain is remapped (via the somatosensory cortex). The same is true of movements like these. What's happening in these movements below is that we are using the flexor tendons to stretch the extensor tendons—and just like when we use an agonist to stretch an antagonist, the remapping is both strong and long lasting (in comparison to using gravity or a partner). As well, using your own muscles/ligaments/neural system to work a part of the body seems to affect the fascia very strongly (I will write more on fascia as my work with Dr Robert Schleip and Jeffrey Maitland progresses). .Let us know what you think; I think they're great, and I have subscribed to Forward Motion PT's channel (Cory Blinkenstaff, Vancouver, Washington), too.
  14. Hello all, Kit here Finally, we have 'resurrected' the Discussion Boards (or, "DBs") after a looooong absence. It's been too long, everyone would agree. It is my hope that this will become a genuinely useful resource for information, as well as a place to discuss anything related to using Stretch Therapy ("ST") with patients and clients, AND a place to have fun. Please feel free to post on any subject of interest to you that is related to being a Stretch Therapist, and using Stretch Therapy. Feel free to link to YouTube ("YT") or Vimeo clips, upload image that will help to illustrate what you are talking about, and (this is for a special member) do not worry about spelling! My philosophy is simple: "do some good, have some fun, make some money" (and in that order, too!). Please contact (admin@kitlaughlin.com) me if you experience any problems. Kit
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