I have been adding videos to my blog where I demonstrate exercises (scroll to the bottom of this page for the list and links). Most of the exercises are gentle explorations but please note that I would normally give you an exercise after a one-to-one consultation and assessment. When using an exercise from my blog you do so at your own risk so please be self aware and listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right, make it easier or stop and see how you feel a day later.
The exercises include ones I have learnt during JEMS courses (which I am still undertaking). They are about reconnecting with our own facility for ease and efficiency of movement, so you are encouraged to notice what you are feeling and to explore. Put simply, the aim is to help you to get the best result with the least effort and the lowest strain on your body; to move beautifully as this short video explains https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hygGAyFu37s&fbclid=IwAR3wRJrAfe4KdaGatj96EfC-0Z9f0eTL7qYyg8tvybuC1PvS_pRrOriGgMU.
Many of the exercises have a neuromuscular bias as the focus is on allowing your body and mind to find their own optimal solutions when given a suitable prompt. There is also an emphasis on whole body connection. Some of the exercises may seem superficial but when engaged with they can have powerful outcomes as they provide the foundations for movement, sometimes removing a block that we didn’t even know was there. The aim is to optimise balance, posture, timing, anticipation, control and adaptability. You don’t need to be participating in sport to benefit from these exercises in everyday life and they are excellent for addressing niggling issues. They are also an excellent way to 'tune in'; I do the listening foot, full body rotation and thigh slides exercises most days, often several times a day.
The listening foot exercise is an excellent starting point as the foot provides our interface with the ground and feeds back information to the brain; this helps to inform our proprioception. A sensitive, adaptable foot and ankle helps with balance and reaction. Improving the movement of the foot and ankle also helps to take pressure off other areas of the body such as the knee joint. Breathing can have a deep influence on our core stability via the diaphragm so the breathing exercise is valuable for movement as well as relaxation.
Easy movement through the body helps with the efficient and effective generation and transfer of forces and also with protecting our joints. Dissociation is an important part of this: the ability to move different parts of the body independently, for instance being able to rotate the trunk of your body whilst leaving the pelvis facing forward, or lifting a leg up whilst keeping the trunk in place. Quite a few of the exercises focus on this, including thigh slides, vertical hip release, forward bend and leg raises.
Spinal elasticiser will help to loosen up the back and raise body awareness which will in turn help with the exercises. Combined with thigh slides it is an excellent antidote to sitting in one position for extended periods of time.
JEMS also focuses on postural cues to facilitate your body finding its optimal alignment during an activity and the engagement of the relevant muscles.
Most of these exercises are foundations for movement and can be made more challenging; I can explore this with you during a consultation.
Please note that many of the videos were made in my home rather than the 919 Clinic due to the Covid-19 lockdown; please excuse the non-clinical setting!
Where to find the exercises on my blog:
- Listening foot: 08/05/2020 (foot sensitivity and mobility to lay foundation for balance and movement) http://hedgerowremedies.blogspot.com/2020/05/listening-foot-exercise.html
- Breathing exercise: 08/05/2020 (improves movement and stability as well as relaxation)
- Thigh slides back loosener: 10/05/2020 (helps to release back tension and improve mobility)
- Spinal elasticiser back loosener: 10/05/2020 (relaxes and engages the whole back)
- Full body turn: 12/05/2020 (exploring the connections between foot, hip and body when turning). http://hedgerowremedies.blogspot.com/2020/05/connecting-feet-to-body-when-we-turn.html
- Trunk tilt and forward bend to free up movement: 19/05/2020
- Knee lift: flexing at the hip independently of the back: (09/06/2020)
- Rolling the pelvis to free up the back: (10/06/2020) A sacral rock and pelvic clock to relax and mobilise the back and hips, plus a gentle bridge.
- Postural tips and simple exercises for desk workers, or anyone spending a lot of time sedentary: (13/06/2020)
- Heaven and Earth balance and stretch: a lovely exercise to connect the whole body, really effective and simple to do. Great whenever you've been sitting for a few hours.
- Vertical hip release: (04/08/20) this simple movement opens up effective movement and management of forces. Very useful if you suffer from sore knees and quads when going down hills or stairs. Also useful for keeping your balance!
- Hunting in the forest: (21/09/20) explores integrating foot awareness with stepping forwards; the pelvis carries our trunk smoothly over our feet. Great for helping you keep your balance when it's icy or muddy out there, too!
- Swing those shoulders: (02/11/20) builds on the above exercise, integrating torso rotation. All part of freeing up how you walk and run.
- Letting the back relax: (30/11/20) tuning in to allow the back to relax whilst engaging your legs and arms in movement. http://hedgerowremedies.blogspot.com/2020/11/letting-that-back-relax.html