This week we have a feature post, written by one of our very own Vancouver RMTs Char Hunter. Char has some wonderfully helpful tips (Fix Tips) on her website, and we are sharing one with you today. It is called the Spinal Roll which specially targets and provides relief to the Upper Back, Shoulders, and Neck – a common site of tension for many of us! Read on for more details!
The Spinal roll is a relaxing, passive way to re-balance the Upper back, Shoulders, and Neck, decreasing pain and dysfunction, and increasing proper blood flow and nerve function. (This is highly recommended for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome).
Here are the basic principles, please feel free to send me any questions that may arise when using this technique.
– Take a thin sheet, a towel, or double up pillow cases if your sheets and towels are too big.
– First fold the fabric so that the length of the roll is close to the same length as your elbow is to your wrist.
(Anatomically speaking, your Thoracic Spine is the same length as your forearm – elbow to wrist).
– Once you have created the length that you need, roll up the fabric until you have a bolster-type formation. The thickness of this roll is variable and can be anywhere from 2″ – 8″ thick. It is best to start with a roll that is closer to the 2″ width when first using this technique. As you become more comfortable with it, you can make the roll as wide as you find helpful.
– Now that your roll is ready, find a comfortable – moderately firm surface (ie: a yoga mat, or area rug) and place the roll so that your spine sits directly along the roll which ideally will run from mid spine to top of shoulders. Lie down on the mat or rug, making sure that the roll is centered along the spine. NOTE: “you should not feel it encroaching on your low back, or neck,” it is meant to be along the portion of the spine where the ribs are.
– Place a small pillow under your head if you wish, or simply allow your head to rest on the mat.
– Give the roll 1-2 minutes to settle and adjust it if it feels off centre, too low, or too high.
Lie on this for 10-20 mins daily, or every other day as you will feel a big difference in how your shoulders and neck sit back effortlessly and how your chest feels less tight, while your back muscles feel stronger and more able to hold the shoulders back and down where they should be.
I use this technique for a large number of clients that I treat as it is very relaxing after a busy day, shows amazing results directly after use, and you can put it together anywhere (even a t-shirt or sweater works). Here are a few suggested times to use this technique: sitting, standing, carrying heavy bags when traveling, muscle imbalance from the gym or sports, breastfeeding, poor sleeping position, long periods driving, etc.
Broadway Wellness is a friendly and community focused clinic, offering services in the heart of Fairview – near Broadway & Oak. Our Vancouver clinic was established with a strong foundation in Registered Massage Therapy, and has expanded to encompass Naturopathic Medicine and Acupuncture, as a multi-disciplinary clinic.
Vancouver RMT Article of the Week