Emma Simpson | Low Mood & Depression - physical effects

The Physical Effects of Low Mood and Depression

{This was originally published one year ago…}

Depression is a very prevalent mental disorder affecting 340 million people globally and is projected to become the leading cause of disability and the second leading contributor to the global burden of disease by the year 2020.

(And here we are amidst a global pandemic #Covid19… wow, just WOW!!!)

While we think of depression as more a mental health issue, it also affects your physical health and well-being – in more ways than you can probably imagine!

Having experienced depression myself in the past, I can attest to the fact that it’s a full-body experience. Interestingly, living with chronic anxiety and depression is what actually got me into remedial massage, yoga, and holistic & functional movement as a profession as I personally experienced the healing powers of these “touch therapies” myself.  

Let’s learn more about some of the most common symptoms of depression, including how it can affect your entire body, especially if left untreated.

Please remember that if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression — you are not alone, there is nothing “wrong” with you, and there IS support for you!

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Function of fascia | Emma Simpson | Structural Integration

What the Fascia?!

In terms of physical anatomy, we’re all likely very familiar with the skeletal system, circulatory system, immune system, digestive system as well as muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

But, what if I told you that an entire body system (that affects virtually every other system) – has been left off that list?!

THE FASCIAL SYSTEM.

The term fascia is from the Latin word meaning “band” or “bandage”, and it is the biological fabric or infrastructure that holds us together.

Essentially, it is our complex network of connective tissue and can be likened to a spider web of fibrous, glue-like proteins that binds all of the other systems together in their proper places.


 

“Each organ, each muscle, each artery, each vein, each nerve — there is not one single structure in the whole body that is not connected with fascia or not enveloped by fascia.”
– Andreas Haas, Manus Fascia Center, Austria

 

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Good Posture & Mental Health | Emma Simpson

What Does Posture Have to Do With My Mental Health?

Here’s what Social Psychologist, Amy Cuddy had to say about this in her 2012 TedTalk “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”

“Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Power posing — that is, standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.”

That is so… POWERFUL!

Interestingly, Amy’s research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions – and perhaps even our own body chemistry, simply by changing body positions.

Doesn’t it make you feel more confident when you just stand a little taller, and not slumped forward with your eyes looking toward the ground?

I sure do! I feel like freakin’ Wonder Woman, in fact!

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Stress response - how stress affects health | Emma Simpson

The Stress Response: How to Curb the Destruction of Health!

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on STRESS and how it impacts your health, body, AND your mind…

Being chronically stressed (as in being in a state of nonstop, unrelenting stress!), as so many of us are these days – you might think that it only affects your nervous system.

After all, that’s where you perceive it to be in abundance – because it’s quite literally is unnerving!

But, the truth of the matter is that stress can also compromise most of your major body systems, including:

  • the digestive system
  • the immune system
  • the reproductive system
  • other major organs
  • even your posture and alignment
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How To Treat Frozen Shoulder | Emma Simpson

How to Thaw Out Your Frozen Shoulder

What if one day you woke up and you weren’t able to lift your arm above your head? No matter how hard you tried, it just won’t move.

And to make matters worse, your shoulder is swollen and you’re in a lot of pain.

These are just a few of many symptoms of a condition commonly known as Frozen Shoulder. As the medical folk like to call it — Adhesive Capsulitis. (See, that’s why most people prefer to just say ‘frozen shoulder’!)

Frozen Shoulder is a condition in which the shoulder joint experiences an extremely limited range of motion. In some severe cases, an individual with the condition will have difficulty performing basic daily tasks like getting dressed or brushing their teeth.

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Wiggly Pelvis & SI Joint Pain | Emma Simpson

SI Joint Pain and a Wiggly Pelvis: Could This Be The Cause of Your Low Back Pain Too?

I recently had a new client in my clinic who was experiencing pain in her lower back. “Lisa” had just leaned down to pick up her toddler son, turned to grab something, and… BOOM. The searing pain stopped her in her tracks.

She immediately gave me a call so we could start treating the problem and she could get back to her busy life.

After a few evaluations, I was able to determine the cause of the problem: SI Joint Dysfunction caused by Pelvic Girdle Instability.

So, my pelvis is wiggly, and could be the cause of my SI joint pain?!

In simple terms, Lisa’s pelvis moves all over the place when she walks and therefore is unable to support her lower back and torso. And Lisa is not alone in this.

An unstable Pelvic Girdle (just think wiggly pelvis) is extremely common, especially among women who have given birth OR are currently pregnant — AND HERE’S WHY…

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Emma Simpson | Hips - Emotions Connection

Hips That Have Heart: The Powerful Connection Between Your Hips and Your Emotions

What if I told you that that tight feeling you have across your hips (better known as cranky hips!) had more to do with your feelings than your daily activities or an old injury?

Sure, our lifestyles these days are a contributing factor:

– We sit a lot.

– We drive in cars a lot.

– We spend time hunched over tech devices…A LOT.

And, yes these things can all cause tightness through the front of your body, including your hips.

But sometimes there’s more to the story… literally.

What if I told you that your hips are tight because of your emotions?

You might think I’m crazy, but read on! I promise you’ll learn that there’s actually a HUGE connection between our emotional wellbeing and those chronically tight spots in your (seemingly cranky) hips.

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Emma Simpson | Functional Movement

Is ‘Functional Movement’ Just Another Trendy Term? (or should you be doing it?!)

We’ve only got one body — so why not treat it well in everything we do, including moving it?

When we walk, run, play sports, lift weights, or just sit in front of the computer (umm, all day, every day), we should be tuning in to how we use our muscles — for optimal functioning in healthy, efficient and pain-free movement.

CONSIDER THIS: if any part of your body is experiencing pain, it’s pretty likely that some element of your body’s functional movement system (which I refer to as myofascial slings) has been compromised.

This may manifest as:

  • weakness/decreased strength
  • muscle imbalance
  • poor functioning joint
  • decreased flexibility

And it doesn’t matter whether one or more of these show up in your ankles, hips, pelvis, knees, back, shoulders, neck or the classic “pain in the butt”…the whole body has been cleverly designed like a complex chain link system that works for you to move with biomechanical efficiency.

(At least that’s the idea!)

That’s why the term ‘functional movement’ – which I prefer to expand that to holistic and functional movement isn’t just a trendy exercise term du jour.

It’s a body movement concept that everyone needs in their everyday repertoire!

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Emma Simpson | Stretches for Chronic Pain

Best Stretches for Chronic Pain – 7 of Them!

I have my limitations… we all do!

I love that I can help people achieve pain-free routines, and sustain active healthy lives. When a client comes to see me, I consider it a sincere privilege to help them find relief and more simply – to move better.

Truthbomb: as a Structural Integrator & Myofascial Bodyworker, there’s only so much I can do.

There are only so many times I can treat each individual client each week. Not to mention that I can’t follow them around all the time in between appointments to make sure they’re minding their posture or lifting that big heavy object properly.

Pain management, especially for long-standing, chronic pain – is a joint venture between the patient and practitioner. When my clients do their homework, so to speak, their results are much more effective and long-lasting.

This is why I frequently assign clients take-home strengthening exercises and stretching routines. These exercises are intended to help them manage their discomfort in between appointments AND to minimize the likelihood of an injury recurring.

Some of the most common issues I treat as a specialised Bodyworker:

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Emma Simpson | No Pain No Gain Concept is Complete Crap!

Why the No Pain, No Gain Concept is Complete Crap!

My client was in to see me recently and told me about some knee pain she experienced in her last run.

While she was running, she felt a sharp twinge toward the outside of her knee. The twinge turned into a burn and by the time she saw me — a stabbing pain.

“Did you stop?” I asked her.

“No way. I’m training for a marathon, so I can’t. No pain, no gain, right?” she said.

I hated to differ with her, but no… wrong. All wrong.

We’ve been conditioned to think we need to push through pain in order to be successful – in so many areas of our life and of our health.

And while it’s normal to experience some strain and discomfort during exercise or even in our day-to-day life, pain should never be ignored.

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