Hamstring Stretches

One of the biggest hurdles that individuals with degenerative disc disease and/or herniated discs encounter is the ability to stretch their hamstrings and calves without spinal flexion.  It is usually not recommended that spinal flexion of any extent be done by those with these specific lumbar issues. However there are alternative ways to get the leg stretching without forward folding.  Here are two: 1.) Prone hamstring stretch:  Lie on the ground with the left leg bent at the knee, foot (read more...)

Three Poses with a Yoga Strap

Yoga straps or ties are terrific tools for practitioners who want to either deepen a stretch in their legs or soften the strain of stretching on their back.  By using a strap, you can grab for your feet without compromising the upper or lower back, neck, or shoulders.  For individuals with herniated discs, a yoga strap can bring back a relationship with stretching hamstrings that may have been halted due to contraindicated forward folding.  If you do not have a yoga strap at home, any long, strong, (read more...)

The West Wing’s Michael Hastings on Fibromyalgia Part III

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Hastings, a former West Wing actor. Michael suffers from fibromyalgia, and was kind enough to share some of his experiences and stories with us. This is third part of a three-part series. Q: What can you tell us about your FM DVD? A: Much of the material for my first film will be from my website (www.captainhastings.com) and it will be basic practical things that will help fibro folk in the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, etc. Supplements (read more...)

The West Wing’s Michael Hastings on Fibromyalgia Part II

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Hastings, a former West Wing actor. Michael suffers from fibromyalgia, and was kind enough to share some of his experiences and stories with us. This is second part of a three-part series. Q: How did you get into acting? How have you dealt with fibromyalgia while on set? A: I was a school teacher for approximately 10 years and had to go on early retirement at age 35 because of FM. I actually had taken a pharmaceutical drug which accelerated (read more...)

The West Wing’s Michael Hastings on Fibromyalgia Part I

We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Michael Hastings, a former West Wing actor. Michael suffers from fibromyalgia, and was kind enough to share some of his experiences and stories with us. This is the first part of a three-part series. Q: Fibromyalgia isn’t as common in men. Can you talk about your experience with being diagnosed? A: I was first diagnosed with fibro back in the mid-90s by a Naturopathic Doctor. I had been to 20 medical doctors and they had no idea what was going (read more...)

Beginner Poses Supported by Yoga Blocks

In this second part of my series on restorative yoga poses you will find three uses for a single yoga block.  Yoga blocks are great tools for support and softness in poses. They also to allow you to gain access to poses that were otherwise unattainable due to your body architecture.  They are invaluable props to have for any level of yoga practitioner.  Here are three poses that utilize yoga blocks: 1.)   Supported Hipstand:  Hipstand is an inversion; a pose where a part of your body (read more...)

The Benefits of Psychological Treatment for Chronic Back Pain

Photo Credit: www.digitaldrugs.info This guest post features Dr. Tali Shenfield, Clinical Psychologist Recent research has demonstrated that there is more to pain relief than masking pain with medication. The treatment of pain by psychological means is a promising new field of research. Although that research is still in its infancy and research samples are small, there is enough evidence to show that the psychological treatment of pain is not only possible; it is very effective under (read more...)

Supported Yoga Poses

One of the best ways to change your approach to a yoga pose or your practice in general is to add yoga props. Props range from blocks to straps and bolsters with many other options.  Yoga props can provide support for compromised parts of your body (i.e. the neck or back) and can make yoga poses available which were previously inaccessible due to structural aspects of the yoga practitioner’s body. In this post, the first of a series, we will be showing you traditional yoga poses done in a more (read more...)

Finding the Right Chair to Relieve Back Pain

Back pain is something that countless people have to live with every day. According to the American Chiropractic Association, eight out of ten people will experience it at some point during their lives. In some cases, back pain is caused by serious illnesses and conditions, but most of the time; it's triggered by: Lack of activity Diet or weight issues Lack of stretching before strenuous activity Improper lifting techniques Bad posture Bad posture is one of the leading causes of back (read more...)

Back Pain: Can Massage Help?

Back pain is a common condition. It can interfere with many ordinary activities, and people routinely use pain medication, hydrotherapy and heat packs for relief. Massage is another option, but its effectiveness is still being debated in the field of medicine. Although most people report that massage brings relief, and some doctors still recommend this to back pain patients, getting this covered by insurance can be tricky. Types of Massage There are many styles of massage therapy, and they are (read more...)