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Soothing Self-Massage for Shoulder Pain

Sore shoulders make me want to run and get a massage more than anything else! Tightness spreading across your shoulders, feeling knots (AKA “adhesions”) – not fun for anyone at any time

But, not everyone can just hop over to a brilliant massage therapist as we please (sad, but true). So, what is the best option to work through shoulder pain and get relief from aches and pains?

Thankfully, there are some great options for shoulder pain remedies that you can do in the comfort of your own home. I actually developed an entire course based around self-massage techniques (check out Issues In Your Tissues if you’re interested in even more amazingly easy home massage methods) and have included the entire shoulder myofascial self-massage section right here for you! 

Myofascial you say? Sounds…complex and otherworldly? 

I promise you, it is a very simple concept that has been proven to work wonders in maintaining muscular health and wellness. Myofascial release is a form of therapy used to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain. The treatment works by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles and muscle groups. 

And while myofascial release and therapy are used in Physical Therapy offices around the globe, there are luckily a lot of myofascial techniques that you can do right at home, starting with this one. Designed to help you release shoulder tension and overcome pain, this self-massage is easy and requires zero props or tools. Perfection! 

Give it a try right now and soothe those shoulders!

Useful for:

  • Stiff, tight or painful upper shoulder musculature.
  • Can help to decrease adhesions (“knots”) in the upper shoulders.
  • May decrease upper shoulder pain and discomfort.
  • Before and after workouts or sports activities.
  • After prolonged sitting, frequent overhead reaching, or holding the neck in one position for a long period of time or very frequently.

Instructions:

  • Can be used every other day.  You want the tissues to rest a day in between.
  • Can be performed lying down (more pressure) or against a wall (less pressure).
  • Apply deep, SLOW pressure. (It’s going to be very tender!)
  • Can be applied for up to 5 minutes at a time.
  • Back off on pressure if too tender or uncomfortable (it will start off this way until the tissues are used to it!)
  • If you experience tingling, burning, or sharp shooting pain, please discontinue.  I advise you to seek evaluation from a healthcare provider should you experience these symptoms.

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

6 Tips To Naturally Rebalance Your Chakras To Relieve Neck + Shoulder Pain

The heart chakra (Anahata) is the area of energy in your body that is related to love, care, and compassion – both for yourself and others. The throat chakra (Vishuddha) is the area of energy in your body related to feeling heard, communicating with others, and honestly vocalizing your needs. When these centers of energy are out of balance, encumbered by stress or other emotional factors, you can actually carry those feelings of imbalance as tension in your body. 

This naturally can contribute to aches and pains in your neck and shoulders, right where those energy centers are found. Because the throat and heart chakras are next to each other, many rebalancing methods for one also benefit the other. So convenient! 

Remember that sometimes a chakra might be either blocked or overactive. Either way, these easy tips will help to rebalance your heart and throat chakras if and when they are out of sorts and imbalanced. 

  1. Speak Your Mind! Sometimes the throat chakra can feel blocked when you feel unable to express yourself. If there is something you’ve been meaning to get off your chest, do so in a gentle, honest, and mindful way. You deserve to feel heard!
  2. Go Green! (or Blue) The color associated with your heart chakra is green – specifically, emerald green, while the throat chakra is all about blue. Try surrounding yourself with these hues, or wearing something in these colors to lift and unblock those chakras.
  3. Give Thanks! For the people in your life who you couldn’t live without – let them know how thankful you are! Show your appreciation and support to those who support you – even if it’s just a quick hello, text, or email to let them know you love ‘em. Acts such as this will allow your heart chakra to really radiate. Your throat chakra is all about vocalizing and communicating, and positive words to those you care about can lift your mood and open up your throat chakra in a powerful way.
  4. Yoga It Up! Do some yoga! I love a good cat-cow sequence for healing the throat chakra. For some poses (asanas) that will target both your heart and throat chakras, join me for my Heart Reset Flow, suitable for every skill level.
  5. Turn It Upside Down! Other quick yoga-based practices for opening up the throat and heart chakras include inversions, which help stimulate the blood flow to your head, neck, and chest. Pop into a quick, gentle downward facing dog to relieve those blocked chakras and get the energy flowing. My 7 DAY CHAKRA CLEANSE is perfect for getting things realigned using physical therapy-based mobility and yoga techniques!
  6. Pamper Your Heart! Practice some self-care to help open your heart chakra. Whether it’s snuggling in to watch your favorite movie, taking some time to settle down with a face mask, or preparing your favorite healthy meal, showing yourself some love will help rebalance your chakras and get some much-needed relaxation.

Looking for more neck + shoulder remedies? Try the NEW SPINAL RESET FOR NECK + SHOULDER PAIN.  Get all my secret tips + tricks for instantly improving pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders…you won’t find them anywhere else!

3 simple ways to stay committed to living your best life in 2020

It’s a new decade (wow, excuse me, whaaat??), a new year, and OMG a brand new you, too?! 

The new year is such an empowering time. People are into their health and wellness goals, feeling hopeful, have had a lovely festive time and then…what happens again…?

Oh, yeah. Life happens. So how can you stay committed to living your best life, even in spite of, ya know, normal life things happening all around you? Here are some tips that I have long advised patients, clients, and students on to guide them to successful habit shifting and killer, killer results on their journey. 

Sustainability = Success 

Regardless of your best intentions, it’s really hard to go from 0 to 100 real, real quick. If yoga, working out, and mobility training are new to you, that’s okay! But, be sure you are setting a reasonable goal for yourself. 

Life is already a lot to handle. So many random struggles and annoying things — Can I get an AMEN? You really do not need to make your life harder. This is why I have structured my courses and free videos with a realistic progression to help you build new habits that you can easily stick with. Not diving in with an hour per day, every day. That’s too much (and honestly, who has the time?!) 

You want to think in terms of what is sustainable for you, your life, and your schedule, not make a plan around what sounds good in theory, but will actually make your life difficult. 

Rest Up

Truthfully, your body really does need rest. If you tucker yourself out and exhaust yourself doing 3 hour workouts every day two weeks you are going to:

  1. A) hurt yourself and 
  2. B) need a full week to recover from that crazy “training.” 

This is not a healthy option, nor is it sustainable. Make sure that you are resting and recharging, especially if you are working out and activating new muscles. We do not need to go hard every day of the week. 

Just Keep Moving

No matter what your health and wellness goals are if you want to improve your comfort, quality of life, range of motion, and mobility you need to keep moving. Even if you’re not doing a full workout every day, you can always do something quick like this Heart Reset Flow to keep your joints and muscles from getting stiff or cramped. 

Desk jobs, long commutes, and more may be keeping you somewhat immobile, but you want mobility and decreased tension so do the grapevine in the hallway, moonwalk to the water cooler, get creative! 

Do whatever it takes to keep active and move a little more each and every day. Soon, it will be habitual to make sure your body is grooving daily. 

And of course, don’t forget about the incredible BOGO SPECIAL I’m offering this month:

When you purchase my 30 Day Total Body Makeover you will also receive the 7 Day Chakra Cleanse (a $197 Value) completely free!  

Suitable for any and all levels of skill, these two courses will 100 percent launch a new YOU this new year!  These are my two favorite courses EVER and I want to see you ROCK your 2020 EDITION BADASS SELF!  YASSS!

GET ON IT!  SALE ENDS JANUARY 7, 2020!

As we get ready to rock 2020, the best New Year’s gift you can give me is to say hello on Instagram and let me know how I can help you live your best life! I’m here for you and completely committed to helping you succeed, and I can’t wait to see the amazing progress you will make in 2020!

Happy New Year and cheers to YOU!

How to Fix Your Tension Headache Fast 

Hmmm, maybe your house is really loud right about now? Or maybe your holiday travel or jetlag left you with a headache?

Whatever the reason, having a headache is decidedly not a great way to enjoy the holidays. 

So, let’s fix that tension headache of yours and let’s do it quickly!

First, grab a soothing essential oil (if you have some – the doTERRA brand is my fav right now). Lavender oil works really well and has a wonderfully relaxing scent. Eucalyptus and peppermint are also great for muscle relaxation and tension relief, in addition to having stronger smells that can work to clear out your sinuses. Smelling the essential oils, rubbing a few diluted drops on your scalp, and even placing a bit above your ears (avoid your eyes) close to your temples, can have an immediate calming and cooling effect. Note: Always dilute your oils with a carrier oil to protect the skin!

Hear me out on this one…I know it’s not an essential oil, but if you have Tiger Balm lying around, rub a tiny bit on the area just behind your temples, being careful to not get it anywhere near your eye (or on any pillows or clothes – it can stain). 

Get out of direct light if you can. Cover your eyes comfortably, turn down the lights, and take a few deep, slow breaths. Turning down the lights will help ease your headache if it is causing you to feel sensitive to light, and avoiding your computer and phone screens will help decrease the straining of your eyes. Slowing down the pace of your breath can help soothe the nervous system, making it easier for your body to be more receptive to decompressing and relaxing. 

Your shoulders and suboccipital muscles all tie into the base of the skull, so when there is long-term tension, pressure, twisting, and unnatural strain, you may feel shooting pain around or behind your eyes or near the back and side of your head.

Do this easy, breezy, super soothing tension headache fix with me and in under 15 minutes you will be well on your way to feeling back to your old self. No more stabbing or shooting pains in your head, neck, or behind your eyes!  Note: Feel free to turn the brightness down on your screen when you watch. This definitely helps!

I invite you to circle back to this tension headache fix each and every time you start feeling any sort of headache creeping up on you, and share with anyone you know you may be dealing with similar discomfort. There is no reason to keep suffering! 

If you’re suffering from chronic neck pain, tension, eyestrain, fatigue, and low energy, try out my Text Neck mini-course before you invest tons of time and money going to countless physical therapy appointments. Get The Text Neck Fix and start healing safely and immediately (71% off for a limited time)!

Try these effective tension headache treatments whenever you’re facing that painful, nagging ache and please be sure to check in with me and let me know what worked best for you!

Stay well, free of tension headaches, and enjoy your holidays!

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Content provided above is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease, injury, or other medical issues. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Tristan, Tristan Gatto, his heirs, beneficiaries, associations and partnerships from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Tristan’s negligence.

The 4 Most Effective Methods for Tension Relief 

Tension can strike at any time of year, am I right? Any time, any season, any given day your body may feel tight and tense, leaving you uncomfortable. Maybe you’re finding its worse during the winter or even just during this hectic holiday season. Whenever you’re feeling tense, put these methods to good use to experience some fast-acting relief for all your tension symptoms!

Stretch It Out

As a Physical Therapist Assistant over the last 7 years,  I have always told all my patients to take the time to stretch, no matter when or where. And now, I am telling you! Push whatever fears or concerns about looking awkward aside and get down to business by stretching anywhere and anytime you feel necessary.

You can make stretching look good, I swear. Honestly, whoever has the pleasure of seeing you will probably just assume you’re an athletic person, doing normal things that athletic people do. So go for it! I always celebrate anyone I see on the street stretching and releasing discomfort. Stretching is something everyone needs in order to stay healthy and maintain their best mobility. 

Sip, Sip

Sipping on a soothing beverage has powerful benefits for both mind and body. Mint, lavender, or chamomile are all teas that are well known for their calming properties and relaxing scents, but one of my personal favorites is rooibos. I love rooibos for it’s delicious, warming, fragrant qualities, but also because it is beneficial for blood pressure and circulation.

A lot of tension and inflammation problems can be caused or worsened by poor circulation, and oftentimes when you feel super stressed you’re blood pressure and heart rate are probably higher than normal. Rooibos works to lower blood pressure, helping relieve problematic manifestations of tension and stress in the body. My favorite rooibos blends are from Tea Sparrow; they come up with the most inventive, healthy, and delicious flavor pairings each and every month. 

Turn Up The Heat

Heat can be a great way to combat tension throughout various muscle groups in the body. If you have access to a sauna or steam room, those are great options, but you can also achieve the same results by taking a warm, luxurious shower or bath. You can even heat things up internally by doing a quick, energetic yoga sequence (with me)! 

Special Neck-nique 

Sometimes tension that originates in the neck will be symptomatic as pain in your shoulders and head. Nowadays with everyone straining their necks working at computers and looking at their phones, it is so important to address neck pain quickly and consistently. Letting neck pain linger can cause chronic headaches and migraines as well as knots and prolonged tension in your shoulders and back. 

I’ve observed this evolving trend of increasing neck trouble throughout my career, and love teaching people new techniques to get their necks right.

Try this in just three easy steps:

  1. Sitting on a chair or on the ground, stretch your left arm down by your side
  2. Then, tilt your head to the right until you feel a nice, gentle stretch along the left side of your neck
  3. Hold for 20 seconds or more, and then switch and do the other side

Super, simple stretches like this have a tremendous benefit when done consistently. To really get to the root of tension extending from your neck, get The Text Neck Fix, which I created as a tool you can use literally anywhere to quickly and effectively relieve neck pain and improve your posture (mega bonus -it’s currently on sale, because I love you all so, so much)!

Looking for more safe and effective methods to combat tension, increase mobility, and sleigh all day? Take a look at today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram to learn more!

 

When You Get That Feeling, You Need…Hamstring Healing

How many times in my career have I heard about unbearable, tight, fatigued hamstrings? Literally countless. 

The group of muscles in your upper thigh, particularly your hamstring, can be so easy to strain and so difficult to properly heal. Releasing the tension in your hamstrings is a way to bring mobility and comfort back to that area of your leg and ease much of the discomfort associated with long-term tension.

The hamstrings are part of the superficial back line of fascia, which means they are built with more endurance muscle fibers. Endurance muscle fibers, also known as slow-twitch fibers, are meant to be more resilient and durable. These fibers that make up our hamstrings do not fatigue easily and provide us with necessary support and stability for posture. So, naturally, there will always be some tightness in your hamstrings to help you hold yourself upright and help propel your body forward while you walk.   

The problem is when they get too tight, causing hamstring strains, general discomfort, and decreased mobility. Sometimes the hamstring will get so tight it will actually pull your pelvis down and into a backward tilted position. This creates too much strain on the lower back and can be the cause of a lot of chronic discomfort or pain. 

Does any of this sound familiar…?

I would venture to guess it probably does.  So, how do you actually loosen up those super tight hamstrings that plague so many of us?

One simple yoga pose you can try is called “legs up the wall” or “waterfall pose.” This pose I find just straight up relaxing, in addition to helping stretch out the legs. Try it in three simple steps to feel a nice stretch:

  1. Scootch your booty so it is flush with a stable wall
  2. Climb your legs up the wall until they are flat against it, or modify as needed by bending your knees to ensure you are comfortable
  3. Hang out here for a minute or more, breathing and relaxing into the pose, feeling a comfortable stretch in the back of your thighs

One of the best things you can do, weekly if possible, is to devote some time to targeted hamstring release techniques. Targeting and really thoroughly stretching your hamstrings at least once each week will ensure you are making progress over time and seeing results in the form of decreased pain, lower back, and pelvic alignment, and much less leg fatigue. Set aside a minute to really get some solid work in, stretch with me, and get loosey-goosey hamstrings in under 20 minutes! I’ll guide you through every step to ensure you are maximizing the benefit of each movement throughout this sequence. 

Last but not least, check out today’s Fix Yourself Fridays on my Instagram for another super-fast method for stretching those hamstrings. Let me know if you have any questions about effectively opening up your hammies, or if there are any other muscle groups you’d like to learn more about releasing from tension!