NECK & CRANIOFACIAL

This page was created to provide you with routines that will help improve craniofacial issues, such as TMJ, tension headaches, jaw clinging, cranial neuralgia, etc. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me. Enjoy!

- an Osteopathic approach to lifestyle -

My Daily Routine

The purpose of this webpage is to assist you in the process of creating and nourishing more appropriate posture and movement habits. Scroll down and hover on the boxes. Adapt this daily routine to your unique lifestyle and specific requirements (you should have received your Home Routines via email). 

 

Finally, I highly recommend you visit the Basic Concepts webpage. There, you will find useful information, explanations regarding the healing process and on the importance of practicing your Home Routines on a regular basis.

   

Enjoy! 

  

Jaz Ibarra

BSc in Osteopathy, BFA, DMT

TPI-Level 3 Certified Medical Professional (Golf Therapy)

MORNING ROUTINE

Enjoy!

Sunrise on Nature

  • HEATING PAD: On the back of the neck, wrapping around the shoulders. Leave it on for at least 3-5 minutes. In the meantime, drink some warm water or tea and start your breakfast routine.

  • RELEASING: Take the heating pad off and release any excessive tension in the neck area. Go to your Home Routines or refer to Neck-Pecs (Releasing & Stretching) webpage.

  • BREAKFAST ROUTINE: While you are having your breakfast, practice the following:

ON YOUR WAY TO WORK

Mindfulness above all.

People Walking


  • If you are walking, position and move mindfully. Release iliopsoas from time to time (you may use the standing version of the iliopsoas release). Activate The Thread & The J, our goal is an effortless, longer stride.

  • If you are taking the bus, sit or stand mindfully while waiting for the bus.

  • If you are cycling, check your knees. Is one or both of them "flaring out"? Address any imbalances and excessive tension by releasing your hip flexors while coasting ;). 

 

Note: Relax while using The Thread and The J. Avoid excessive, unnecessary muscle activation. Let's nurture body efficiency. This is extremely important.

Depending on your condition, we may suggest to include the following modalities into your session.​

  • Exercises for Breathing Functionality.

  • Joint mobilizations (spinal, hips, etc.).

  • Muscle releasing & Trigger point techniques.

  • Neuromuscular techniques such as PNF and MET, stretches and other soft-tissue techniques.​

  

These techniques do not cause pain when applied on healthy tissues. However, pain or discomfort may be experienced when conditions such as muscle "tightness", myofascial adhesions, restricted blood flow (ischemia), nerve compression, and tissue injury are present.

   

Let us know if you are simply looking to have a relaxing & introspective experience.

We can certainly leave the non-relaxing techniques for a following session ;)

 

AT WORK

Efficiency and productivity starts within us.

Co-working space

  • TAKING BREAKS: Take a 2-5 min break every hour or half hour. Stand with The Thread, walk mindfully, do your supported hanging w/diaphragmatic breathing, hydrate, release a few tight spots, do a few Tai Chi moves...

  • RELEASING: Release your forearms, iliopsoas, pecs, neck and under the jaw while you are reading your emails, talking on the phone, or looking at the computer. You may slightly stretch right after. 

  • SUPPORTED HANGING: Hanging Progression. Do this whenever it is possible, perhaps there is a monkey bar at a playground close from work that you can use during lunch time? 

  • MINDFUL SITTING: Sit mindfully, using The Thread.

  • MINDFUL BREATHING: Mindful breathing is powerful. Take advantage of its benefits.

  • OPTIMAL WORK STATION: Do everything to have an ergonomic work station. If you need help with this, contact me.

  • POSITIVE THOUGHTS: A positive, peaceful and focused mind contributes to work efficiency and reduces unnecessary muscle tension. A peaceful state allows for more appropriate posture and movement, promoting healing and tissue restoration.

AFTER WORK

What really matters is

not so much WHAT you do, but HOW you do it.

Skateboarding

  • PHYSICAL ACTIVITY 

Any level of physical activity is better than nothing! Walking, cycling, Yoga, dancing, gardening... Even cleaning the house counts! Be mindful of posture and movements and please, please, follow the WARM UP - ACTIVITY - COOL DOWN steps. In other words, don't forget to release! This is extremely important. Refer to Releasing vs Stretching.

  • PHONE/iPAD time

If you are right-handed hold your phone with the left hand.

Don't "bend" the neck. Instead, raise your phone. Eyes should look down instead of the neck excessively bending forward.

Use The Thread. Head up, shoulders relaxed and low, chest "open", mindful sitting/standing.

Breathe! Do not "junk breathe".

  • MINDFUL BAKING or COOKING

If you are right-handed try kneading the dough with your left hand. This fun challenge helps improve musculoskeletal balance and alignment.

While cooking and washing the dishes: be mindful of your posture, try to lessen any excessive curvature of the spine by using The Thread. Look down instead of hunching over.

While the chicken or cookies are in the oven, practice a releasing routine, some supported hanging, mindful breathing, Tai Chi moves...

  • TV or MOVIE time

Place your buttocks as far back as possible, against the back of the couch (a firmer couch is preferable.)

If your thighs are shorter than the couch seat, place your feet on a stool or sit with your knees crossed. Do not allow your buttocks to slide forward, that will cause you to seat on your sacrum. We want to avoid that.

Release pecs, neck, under the jaw, forearms.

If you are crossing your knees, you may take advantage and release any muscle knots on the front aspect of your thighs (upper quads). You may also release your adductors in this position.

EVENING

Welcoming a restorative night.

Sunset Martial Arts

  • BEAUTY & PEACEFULNESS​:
    Allow some beauty and peacefulness to permeate into your body and mind. Enjoy a song, a poem, a sunset, do some meditation or practice some Tai Chi moves... Let's fill our heart with joy and peacefulness.
    Be 100% in the moment. I know it's hard, but let's try not to think about things we cannot control or change. If you are listening to music, close your eyes to enjoy every bit of sound and appreciate the silence supporting the sound. Listen from your ears, skin, guts and heart. 

  • MINDFUL BREATHING​:
    Let's savour every breath. Am I breathing? Or, Am I "junk breathing"? Refer to Baby Steps into Diaphragmatic Breathing.

  • RELEASING & STRETCHING​:

    • HEATING PAD: 5-15 min before bed time. You may brush your teeth and start your releasing routine with the heating pad on.

    • Release from bottom to top, depending on your condition. Check your Home Routines. Suggested order: 
      Calves and/or Tibialis anterior.
      Quads, IT Band and/or Hamstrings.
      Piriformis, glutes and/or TFL.
      Iliopsoas and/or other hip flexors.
      Iliac crest and rib cage.

    • Thoracic spine.

    • Shoulders and upper extremities.

    • Base of neck, neck, base of skull.

    • Cranium and face.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Practice your Home Routines as if your healing and recovery depended on it, because it does.

  • Integrate your Home Routines into your daily activities, rather than having to stop your activities to do your Home Routines.

  • After your initial visit, give yourself a week or two, then book an appointment (it can be a short one) to show me how well you are practicing and integrating your Home Routines into your busy life. Perhaps you are trying too hard and The Thread is causing your neck or shoulders to tighten? Perhaps you are "digging" in the wrong place with the tennis ball? Sometimes, it is necessary to adjust or perfect your position or the way you are proceeding/practicing your Home Routines. We want to make sure that you are doing things correctly and your time and efforts are worth it.

  • If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me via email. Often, it is possible to clarify your questions via email, without the need of booking a session.

  • Last but not least:

May The Thread be with you all the time. Unless you are sleeping.

Aha moments!

     I started noticing this foot pain after a ballet-barre practice. Gradually, the pain became more insidious. I could feel it during and after my practice, going up and down stairs, even during my regular walks! Eventually, I had to give up on my ballet-barre practice.

     The Osteopathic assessment revealed significant asymmetric posture and muscle activation. My first homework included muscle releasing - stretching - strengthening plus body awareness and mindfulness. I have to say that releasing was quite painful the first few days. After a week or so, the pain improved and muscle releasing started to feel "good". But I was still experiencing foot pain during weight bearing activities.

     One day, during my walk, I decided to move my focus away from the site of pain and instead, focus on activating "The J - Thread" (more seriously, this time). All my intention, all my attention was directed towards The J and The Thread.

     What followed, was a wonderful series of events. First, I felt one inch taller (and this was effortless). Then, I started to feel a "stronger" core and a nice stretch in the groin area at the end of each stride. I was thinking to myself: So, this is what a "Mindful Walk" feels likeI was surprised when I realized that the foot pain was not there anymore. When did it happen? No idea, since I was busy focusing on trying to "walk mindfully". I was planning for a 15 min walk but instead, I decided to keep going. No pain after half an hour and no pain all the way back home. Same thing the day after. That was amazing!

     At present, I understand the importance of practicing my Home Routines for maintenance and preventative purposes. The foot pain is extremely rare. But now, I am grateful for it. I know this pain carries a message: A significant loss of core stability and body alignment. This message is a reminder for me to become more aware of my body and pay more attention to "The J - Thread" activation. As soon as I do that, the pain goes away, like magic.

- C.A.

     My experience in the pool was nourishing on so many levels, not only physical, but mental, emotional and dare I say, spiritual. I have already noticed huge improvements in body alignment, range of motion and comfort in my neck; and awareness of how habitual ways of holding my body affect it, and my well-being. Yay! I am so Happy!

     The posture techniques are also fabulous! I am looking forward to turning The Thread into my "new normal". Thank you, Jaz, for your expertise and for offering this powerful modality. I am floating in a sea of gratitude!

- R.M.

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