The Studio Durham House Blog | Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose — Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (SAY-too BAHN-duh shar-vahn-GAHS-uh-na) — is a beginning backbend that helps to open the chest and stretch the thighs. When you’re in the pose, your arms and legs create a “locked bridge” with your body. This pose can be used as preparation for deeper backbends or practiced with a block as a restorative pose.

Bridge Pose opens the chest, heart, and shoulders. It stretches the spine, the back of the neck, the thighs, and the hip flexors (front hip joints). Because your heart is higher than your head in this pose, it is considered a mild inversion (less strenuous than other inversions, such as Headstand) and holds all the benefits of inversions: Relief from stress, fatigue, anxiety, headaches, insomnia, and mild depression.

Bridge Pose also calms the mind and is known to be therapeutic for individuals with high blood pressure. Because it opens the chest, it increases lung capacity, which is therapeutic for those with asthma.

Bridge Pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and thyroid glands, which improves digestion and helps to regulate metabolism. Because it revitalizes the legs and stretches the shoulders, it can be a particularly rejuvenating pose for those who spend the day sitting in front of a computer or driving.

Do not perform this pose if you have a neck or shoulder injury. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.

Instructions

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your arms along the floor, palms flat.
  • Press your feet and arms firmly into the floor. Exhale as you lift your hips toward the ceiling.
  • Draw your tailbone toward your pubic bone, holding your buttocks off the floor. Do not squeeze your glutes or flex your buttocks.
  • Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body. Clasp your hands and extend your arms along the floor beneath your pelvis. Straighten your arms as much as possible, pressing your forearms into the mat. Reach your knuckles toward your heels.
  • Keep your thighs and feet parallel — do not roll to the outer edges of your feet or let your knees drop together. Press your weight evenly across all four corners of both feet. Lengthen your tailbone toward the backs of your knees.
  • Hold for up to one minute. To release, unclasp your hands and place them palms-down alongside your body. Exhale as you slowly roll your spine along the floor, vertebra by vertebra. Allow your knees to drop together.

If you’re having trouble keeping your hips lifted or to create a restorative version of the pose, place a block or bolster under your sacrum — the spot on your lower back directly above your tailbone — to support your pelvis. Allow your weight to rest on the block.

If your shoulders are very tight, keep your hands alongside the body with your palms pressing into the mat rather than clasping your hands beneath your torso.

When you are in the full version of the pose, do not force your shoulders away from your ears by tugging too hard or turn your head to the right or left when you’re in the pose. Doing so can cause neck injury.

Keep your shoulder blades drawn together as you extend your arms beneath your torso.

 To find out more about Yoga at the Studio Durham House Farnham, click here

The Studio Durham House Blog | The Benefit of BARRE on the prevention and rehabilitation back injuries

BARRE Pilates

Whether you are trying to prevent lower back injuries or recover from a recent injury, regular practice of the BARRE concept method has many benefits that work alongside regular chiropractic or sports massage.

Barre-based fitness classes have risen in popularity over the past few years due to the positive feelings many of our members experience, as well as the results. The best part is, you do not need to be a prima ballerina to discover the benefits.

What is BARRE Pilates?

BARRE

Barre fitness is a hybrid workout class – combining ballet-inspired moves with elements of Pilates, dance, yoga and strength training. Most classes incorporate a ballet barre and use classic dance moves such as plies, alongside static stretches. Barre also focuses on high reps of small range movements.

But the real difference between barre and other workouts are the isometric movements you usually perform – holding your body still while you contract specific muscles, until you shake and feel the burn! Many barre classes can also be modified so they are a safe workout option for pre or post-natal clients. Barre workouts are also a good cross-training option to pair with other exercise like running, weightlifting or cycling, because they strengthen the muscles needed for these exercises without being too stressful on the body.

How does BARRE support your back?

Firstly, if you are trying to prevent lower back injury, regular attendance at BARRE can have a huge impact on your core strength. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. In addition, the barre method also offers quick results. Barre helps strengthen and tone your muscles without increasing bulk, and it improves your posture. It also increases cardiovascular endurance and metabolism, which helps to quickly burn calories.

BARRE for injury rehabilitation

The most common issue that clients come in with is back pain that usually stems from weak core muscles and hours spent sitting at the computer. As you strengthen your core, you will notice that you can sit and stand taller and your lower back will take less stress and tension throughout the day.

In addition, if you are recovering from back injury, BARRE can be a nice step from guided physiotherapy or chiropractic to help fully rehabilitate you from your injury. The use of some equipment helps support the back while you are exercising, and this helps loosen and work the muscles in a safe, controlled way.  Regular attendance can increase your core stability and increase your flexibility.

The Studio Durham House Blog | Yoga poses for spinal health

Health Ustrasana (ooh-STRAHS-a-na)

HOW YOGA CAN KEEP YOUR SPINE HEALTHY

Spinal health is essential. Our spine supports our bodies, protecting the nerves and enabling us to move. Each cell in our bodies is controlled by our central nervous system. If problems with our spine means it is unable to support the central nervous system, issues can rear their head.

Maintaining spinal health is therefore vital.

One of the myriad of benefits of yoga includes improving and maintaining healthy movement and strength of the spine.

Yoga expands the different motions of the spine. By improving the agility and flexibility of the spine, yoga can help reduce the chances of spinal injuries. The different yoga poses encourage the muscles which support the spine to be in alignment with the deep core muscles and the abdomen.

Today we discuss the first in a series of poses that are great for spinal health.

Ustrasana (ooh-STRAHS-a-na)

Ustrasana (ooh-STRAHS-a-na)  — Camel pose is a backbend that stretches the whole front of the body particularly the chest, abdomen, quadriceps, and hip flexors. It improves spinal flexibility, while also strengthening the back muscles and improving posture. This pose creates space in the chest and lungs, increasing breathing capacity and helping to relieve respiratory ailments. Ustrasana also stimulates the kidneys, which improves digestion. This pose energizes the body and helps to reduce anxiety and fatigue.

It is often used as preparation for deeper backbends. Practicing Ustrasana daily can be a great way to relieve neck and back pain caused by slouching in front of a computer or driving.

Ustrasana can be an energizing way to gain spinal flexibility. However, it’s important to learn how to do it correctly to avoid injury and strain.

When practicing backbends, it is crucial to create length between your vertebrae, being careful not to collapse or crunch into the pose. Keep your pelvis stable as you lift and lengthen your sternum toward the sky.
Take the pose slowly, only going as deep as your body will allow without pain.
Gently draw your tailbone forward while pressing the front of your thighs back. This counter-action will stabilize your pelvis as you lift and lengthen your spine, instead of compressing your spine when you lean back.
Be careful not to bring your head so far back that you strain your neck. Keep your neck extended and comfortable throughout the pose.

Remember never to force your body into the pose. Practice a modified version until you have gained the amount of flexibility and strength you need to safely go deeper.

To find out more about Yoga at the Studio Durham House click here 

Durham House Chiropractic Blog | The history of Chiropractic

Galin Clearly Durham House Chiropractic
The beginning of Chiropractic

It has been suggested that Chiropractic as a profession began in 1895 when its founder, Daniel David Palmer, “adjusted” the spine of a deaf janitor and claimed to restore his hearing.

Spinal manipulation was not an unknown treatment in 1895, and Palmer had suggested that it appeared to have been used for maybe hundred or even thousands of years. In fact, Hippocrates was reported to have once said, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases.” However, up until the late 19th century no one had developed a philosophical or scientific rationale to explain the effects of spinal manipulation.

Palmer soon discovered that adjustments could relieve patients’ pain and other symptoms. These problems with vertebrae have been called chiropractic subluxations. He began to use these “hand treatments” to treat a variety of ailments, including sciatica, migraine headaches, stomach complaints, epilepsy, and heart trouble. In 1898, he opened the Palmer School & Infirmary of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, and began teaching his chiropractic techniques to others.

Chiropractic in the 21st century

Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.

Chiropractic treatment involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle.

Chiropractic at Durham House.

Chiropractic treatment can benefit you in ways you might never expect. And while most people pop into their chiropractor’s office for the first time to relieve pain in their back or neck, they keep returning even after the pain is gone because of the amazing benefits.

A healthy immune system should be able to fight off most of the bacteria and viruses that it comes into contact with, with only minimal assistance from antibiotics or other drugs. Because the nervous system controls the functions of cells, organs and tissues of the body, a misalignment has been found to reduce the ability of the immune system. Chiropractic care can realign the spine, freeing up the immune system to fight off intruders. Studies show that people who practice chiropractic maintenance have fewer colds than others.

The nerves that run through the spine also control your stomach and its functions. If the vertebrae in this area are improperly aligned, the nerves can begin signaling a need for more acid production, resulting in gas,  heartburn, and acid reflux. A chiropractic adjustment is believe to help the nerves in the thoracic spine work properly; the end result is frequently the elimination of stomach problems.

In addition, Chiropractic adjustments have been found to help increase your energy. It’s able to do this in two ways: by reducing tension in the spine and by freeing the nerves to work more effectively. Many times we’ve been sore and tense for so long that we don’t even notice it. Pain becomes normal to us. As our bodies struggle with muscle aches and pains and an ineffective nervous system, we find ourselves feeling run down and tired. Chiropractic adjustments remove all the pressure, freeing the body to run as it was designed to.

In addition, a study performed by WebMD concluded that a chiropractic adjustment that specifically targets the nerves in the upper neck is as effective as taking a double dose of blood pressure medications. This specific manipulation is referred to in chiropractic circles as the “Atlas adjustment,” and is known to have stabilizing effects on blood pressure.

Finally, it has been suggested to help you breathe better. The lungs are just like every other part of the body in that they rely on nerve function to travel unimpeded from the brain to the spiral cord. A misalignment in the thoracic and mid-cervical regions of the spine can lead to lung abnormalities like asthma. Correcting subluxations can help reduce inflammation in the lungs and increase our ability to breathe properly.

The Era of Opportunity for Chiropractic Care.

Just within the last few years, spinal manipulation and/or chiropractic care has been recommended as the first line of defense in pain management by the American College of Physicians guideline on low back pain, the FDA’s Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain, and The Joint Commission’s new and revised pain assessment and management standards for its accredited hospitals.

In addition, it is becoming more and more common for our sports heroes to mention that value they place on chiropractic care. Doctors of chiropractic are now regularly included as treating physicians at the Olympic games,

Furthermore, Chiropractic stands to be seen as both preventative and reactive as we encourage more and more of the population to seek regular check ups on their spine.

The team at Durham House are highly qualified and work with patients to increase overall spinal health.  If you are interested in relieving stress, increasing posture or mood, or having better sleep, find out more via www.durhamhousechiropractic.co.uk and book your free chiropractic exam and diagnosis.