THE PROBLEM WITH SITTING
Years of sitting with poor posture allow the trunk and abdominal muscles to weaken and fatigue rapidly. Also the hip flexors can shorten. When you then stand up your hip flexors are tight, tilting the pelvis forward and so exaggerating the lumbar curve. The hamstrings must counter this curvature tilting your pelvis backwards leading to a flat back posture, shoulders hunched forward. The glut muscles don’t activate well – an important component in hip stability. The combination of all these imbalances can lead to back pain,knee problems, foot problems.If your day consists of sitting in the car, then sitting at a desk for 7 hours, true hip extension may be difficult. Amatsu can assess whether you have tight hip flexors and then release them. Also hip extension exercises are going to help.
STRESS AND THE GUT
Life can be stressful and the demands we face can feel unrelenting. If we are experiencing on -going stress, we may not have consciously admitted it to ourselves. Instead we start developing physical symptoms. One way the stress response can show itself in the body is through gut symptoms such as reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, belching. There is a close neural link between the gut and the brain called the gut-brain axis. This is the two way communication between our gut and our brain transported via the Vagus nerve. The Vagus nerve plays a crucial role in breathing, heart rate, immune response and digestion. This emotional connection between the gut and the brain is expressed in every day phrases such as “I’ve got a gut feeling” or “I can’t stomach that behaviour”. When stressed, the nervous system goes into the into fight or flight mode increasing our heart rate, making breathing more shallow and constricting the muscles of the digestive tract. The small intestine, large intestine, gall bladder, or the valves which separate the areas of the digestive tract can become restricted effecting functioning of that organ or surrounding structures. If this is the root cause of your gut symptoms then looking to dietary changes alone may have only partial success. A therapy called Visceral Manipulation can be effective for common gut problems. Visceral Manipulation has been developed over the last 40 years by a French osteopath called Jean Pierre Barral. Barral and his team of international instructors train health professionals all over the world through the Barral Institute. www.barralinstitute.co.uk. It is based on the premise that every organ of the body needs motion. It is a very gentle but precise hands on external manipulation of the organs of the body in order to return normal motion. Treatment helps circulation and nerve supply in the abdomen and calms down the stress response. This means it encourages the “rest and digest” response which is the opposite the “fight or flight” response. So not, only do you feel mores relaxed and less stressed but the gut symptoms subside.