A Novel Treatment For Shoulder Pain

My Mission Is To Help You Live Pain-Free 

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

Happy Valentine’s Day

Healthy HeartWhen I lived up north, February was the worst month of the winter – cold, gloomy, and while it’s only 28 days long, it seemed endless.  If you’re in the cold weather, I hope you stay nice and warm, and that you also find some fun outdoor activities to help this month end quickly.

Here in Florida, this is one of our best months!  No humidity, no rain, no bugs, and lots of sunshine.  We love February!

February is also thought of as a month to show love for another (it should be every month, but we’ll leave that alone for now).  Lovers go out to special dinners, sometimes buying expensive gifts or flowers. And many people send sweet cards to friends and family.

But the actual origination of Valentine’s Day isn’t such a loving story.  The day is named after St. Valentine, a Christian martyr who was executed in ancient Rome on February 14th in the 3rd century A.D. There was also a pagan ritual that had to do with fertility, and where women put their names into an urn for bachelors to pick from. Somehow the two merged over the years and brought St. Valentine’s Day into the more romantic sphere.

In any case, it’s now a multi billion dollar business that has nothing to do with anything religious but can be fun for loving couples to celebrate.

A Letter From A Reader

Subclavius MuscleThis past week I received an email from a reader of this newsletter.  I’ve asked people to send me a message if they have any aches or pains that they would like for me to discuss.  This is a topic I’ve never discussed before, and since it’s causing this woman distress, I decided it’s the perfect discussion for the month.

Suzie was feeling pain across the front of her shoulder, and she had painful points along the bottom of her clavicle (collarbone).  The subclavius muscle is a short muscle that originates on your 1st rib and inserts into the underside of your clavicle. You can look at it on Wikipedia (https://bit.ly/2KV7lT8) if you’d like to see how tiny it is and where to find it when you are self-treating for pain.

As shown in the graphic above, it is interesting to think that such a small muscle can cause so much pain in the front of your shoulder, and down your biceps to your inner elbow.  Even more interesting is that most people aren’t aware of this muscle, so they search other places when they are feeling pain across the front of their shoulder.  As a result, they don’t get relief, and they may even turn to pain medications.

A Novel Treatment For Shoulder Pain

If your pain starts in the front of your shoulder and radiates down your bicep, the pain may be caused by your subclavius muscle. If, you are in luck. The treatment for this muscle is so simple you can do it any place and at any time.Treatment For Subclavius Muscle Pain

Simply press your fingertips as shown in this picture.  If that exact point isn’t painful, move your fingertips a bit to one side or the other.

It will probably feel like a sharp pain, and you may even feel the tiny bump that is caused by the spasm.

Hold the pressure for a minute or so….

Release the pressure (but don’t move your finger off the point)…

Press deeply again and hold.

Do this several times until it doesn’t hurt to press on the point.

I have been working with people suffering from chronic pain and/or sports injuries since 1989. One thing I have found is that while I can find and successfully treat the muscles causing pain when people come into my office, it’s vital for them to continue their treatment at home.

A phenomenon called “muscle memory” will cause the muscle to begin to shorten as soon as we finish our therapy session.  Left untreated the muscle will tighten again in as short as 2-3 days, and you’ll have pain again.  However, if you self-treat the muscle you will continue to bring it back to its proper length, and ultimately it will stay, and the pain will be eliminated

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

A New Year’s Gift For You

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert
Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

Welcome To 2021

celebrationIt seems like only a few weeks ago that we were getting ready to greet 2020. And in another way, it seems like it was an eternity ago because so much has happened during the past year. Personally, I am glad 2020 is over and I am visualizing a HEALTHY New Year for everyone!

But before we throw 2020 on the trash heap, let’s focus for a minute on the good things that happened in 2020. Yes, you heard me right – the good things!

Recently I was talking to a group of people, safely on Zoom, and someone asked us to discuss all the GOOD things that happened this year. What good things happened as a direct result of COVID-19?

For me, my therapy practice melted away and gave me many empty hours in my day. Like so many of us, the shift in income was scary. But, again, like so many of us, I decided to focus on what I could accomplish, and ignore the rest as best as I could.

If you come here to my office, you know that my therapy techniques are quite different than most of my colleagues in the massage world. I call my techniques “the Julstro Method of Osteopathic Muscular Therapy,” because early in my career I had the good fortune to be trained by a retired osteopathic physician. He taught me many osteopathic techniques that aren’t normally taught to massage therapists, and it has served me well. Even better, it has served my clients well, helping thousands of people who were at a loss for finding solutions to pain.

With my extra time, I asked myself how I could help even more people with my massage therapy techniques.

Lots Of Good Things Happened To Me In 2020

I have dabbled at training other massage therapists for several years, but COVID-19 put that training into hyperdrive! Suddenly I was creating instructional videos to teach others my techniques. A BIG shout out to Sherri Proctor for being the most talented, and patient, videographer in the world. Sherri is awesome and if you live here in the Sarasota vicinity and you need a videographer/photographer, I can’t recommend her highly enough.

We began with a series of videos demonstrating every self-treatment that are in my books, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living and The Pain-Free Athlete.

I want to thank Barbara Shelby and Greg Hurst for being my models and making what could have been a difficult task become an easy one. I wanted videos (now in flash drive format and MP4 format) so people could easily follow how to do the Julstro self-treatments. Sherri did hours and hours of editing, again doing a fantastic job. She no sooner finished one project, and I was off to a new one.

Our next project was taking the videos I use when teaching massage therapists live, in a school setting. Sherri videoed me doing all the talking/teaching I do before and after each video. This was a monumental task, and Sherri did a great job.

My goal is to make these videos available to the world, so everyone can learn easy techniques that will help them achieve pain-free living. It is a big goal, but I hope to accomplish it this year. Check on my website (https://julstromethod.com) periodically to see when those videos become available.

One More Good Thing In 2020!

In early December I was interviewed on a podcast, “Be Healthy in a Hurry.” The interview went live on Dec. 29th (https://behealthyinahurry.libsyn.com/our-first-in-between-season-show-7-julie-donnelly-internationally-known-pain-relief-expert-and-tedx-speaker), so if you enjoy podcasts, I hope you will listen to it. Just click on the link and scroll down the page until you find my podcast.

What Good Things Have Happened To You In 2020?

This month I have spent a lot of time rehashing 2020 because I think it is important to look at the bright side of this unusual year. What good things have happened to you because of COVID? Write them down, I believe you will be amazed at how many things you have to be thankful for as 2020 draws to a close.

Let’s count our blessings!

A New Year’s Gift For You

Now that the holidays are over and 2021 is here, we all need to take a breath and relax. At least that is the goal. So, with that in mind, my New Year’s gift is meant for you to release tension from your body.

A little background on this New Year’s gift. About 30 years ago I was working as a massage therapist on a cruise ship. It was fantastic! The most consistent fun I ever had in my life.

On the ship we all had multiple jobs, and one of mine was to do a relaxing meditation the first morning of the cruise. That was the seeds of the MP3 that I am sending you this month. It worked so well that people started asking me to record it. It was funny how I managed to do that when you remember that I was on a cruise ship and it was before we had cell phones or fancy recording equipment. But I got it done well enough that people were able to leave with a cassette tape they could use at home.

Fast forward to my office in New York in the mid-late 1990’s. I would talk clients through the relaxation techniques, changing them as I went along so they would address each individual’s specific problems. Then a client offered to professionally record it for me. Wonderful!

I decided to make this recording beneficial for everyone, focusing on multiple problems that can cause people to suffer from painful, and in some cases, life-threatening conditions. I am happy to say that many people have been able to get relief and turn their health around by using the relaxing techniques in this MP3. The title is “Mental Massage – Relaxing into a Perfect Body ( https://we.tl/t-HVpMxtbBTB)”. I hope you will enjoy it!

Help Me Help You

I want this newsletter to help you live a Pain-Free Life. With that said, please send me an email (Julie@JulieDonnelly.com) and let me know what you would like me to discuss. Muscles cause pain all over the body and cause the same symptoms as arthritis, bursitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, headaches, and so much more. If you have a problem, please let me know and it will be the topic for one of these newsletters.

In the future I won’t be writing one of these articles every month, but I will respond to your questions and your needs. Please help me help you by sending in your questions.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 

Relief From Sinus Pain

Are Spring Allergies Ruining Your Time Outdoors?

spring flowersThe lovely month of May!  The air is warm, the breezes are soft, and the flowers are blooming.  We’re surrounded by nature coming alive as animal’s pair-up to again start the circle of life, and it’s all beautiful!

Hopefully, you are having the opportunity to go out and enjoy this wonderful time of year.

So many of us have been forced into inactivity due to all that is happening around the world, and not only does that add to your stress level, it also doesn’t benefit your body.  Hopefully, you are doing some type of purposeful movement at home.  My recommendation is:

  • Step 1: Exercise at home. There are many exercise programs on the internet so you can move along with the instructor.
  • Step 2: Self-treat the muscles you just exercised. Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living or The Pain-Free Athlete books are perfect to show you exactly where to find the knots that are putting a strain on your joints.  Find the shaded area where you feel tension/pain and then do the self-treatment to untie the knots in the muscle.
  • Step 3: Finish your exercise session off with stretching to release the tension in the muscle. There is a perfect safe-stretching routine taught in Focused Flexibility Training. It’s self-treatment of each muscle you’re going to stretch, followed by a 30-minute yoga routine.

Movement is important for the proper functioning of so many systems in your body, including your circulation, digestion, and your immune system.

Are Spring Allergies Ruining Your Time Outdoors?

This is a wonderful time of year to enjoy the great outdoors. It is a time to enjoy spring flowers, plant your gardens, and enjoy long walks, perhaps with your dog(s). But if you have sinus problems because of spring allergies, the outdoors is no fun. You may have sinus headaches. You may have sinus pressure that feels like you have a vice around your skull, pressing into your eyes and temples. You may even have a challenge keeping your eyes open.

I received several emails about sinus problems, most likely caused by spring pollen.  As a result, I figured it would help the most people by talking about how to ease the pressure in your sinuses this month. I want you to be able to enjoy the outdoors this spring without worrying about sinus problems.

Relief From Sinus Pain

To relieve sinus pain, take your three middle fingers and put them onto your cheeks as shown in this picture.  Your back teeth should be under your fingertips.

Press UP onto your cheekbones, as if you were trying to push your fingers into your eyes and the bone is in the way.

Alternate sides so you press up on your left side, hold for 5 seconds, then release while you are pressing up on your right side.  Keep going back and forth.

You can move along your cheekbone, going all the way next to your nostrils.  Then press the same way into the bone on both sides of your nose.

Finally, press into your eyebrows, close to midline, so you can be adding pressure onto the sinus cavities directly underneath your fingertips.

It will help if your head is tilted back a little so your sinuses can start to drain. Visualize pressing and squeezing your sinus cavities as that is exactly what you are actually doing!

By the way, this has also helped people who have a sinus infection because it enables the sinuses to drain, and then I always use a sinus rinse mixture and a squeeze bottle to wash the pollen out of my sinuses.

Trigger-Point Yoga And Focused Flexibility Training Update

Like so many people who are stuck indoors, I’m finding all kinds of projects that have been neglected for a long time.  One that has been on my mind, but never had enough time to do anything about, is a wonderful safe-stretching program that was developed back around 2010.

It was actually put together by an incredible yoga instructor named Ana.  Ana had a calf pain that wasn’t being resolved with yoga, so she finally searched online, and she found me.  She bought my book, Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living,” and she also had a telephone consultation with me (I didn’t do any online meetings yet) to discuss her situation.  I told her which treatments to do and she was shocked that in just two days her pain and stiffness was gone.

The missing piece in yoga is stretching the muscle fibers without first untying the knots (spasms) that put a strain on the joints.  Yet, doing some simple techniques releases the knots and you can stretch without overstretching the muscle fibers.

Ana looked into the self-treatments for her hips and she was surprised to find multiple spasms. After treating them her yoga got better. That inspired her to do the self-treatments for her shoulders and sure enough, she had spasms that she treated, and her yoga got even better.  She knew this was something that needed to be shared with yoga-lovers everywhere.

After we met by telephone, she shared her ideas with me and Trigger-Point Yoga (TPY) was born.  Ana did an amazing job putting the program together.  I was filmed teaching an athlete named Scott how to do all the treatments taught in my book, which we called “The Foundation.”  Then Ana designed and filmed two sessions, one for the upper body and one for the lower body. Each session starts with 15 minutes of self-treating the muscles that will be stretched, and then 30 minutes of yoga stretching.

I found that athletes didn’t want to take a yoga class, but when I changed the name to Focused Flexibility Training, they were excited to do the program.

If you would like to stretch safely, without potentially tearing tight muscle fibers, I suggest you bring Trigger-Point Yoga into your home. For only $67 you can do the entire thing in your living room or den and feel more flexible than you have in a long time!

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Relieve Stress Headaches Naturally

What Causes Stress Headaches?

Stress is an unfortunate byproduct of the festivities of the holiday season. The holidays are supposed to be fun. But you are adding all the festive gatherings, Christmas shopping, and family drama to an already crowded schedule.

Then the New Year comes. This should be a time you can relax. But no, the holiday bills start rolling in, and you have the stress of figuring out how to pay them. Then, there are New Year’s resolutions. You know you should be making resolutions, but you also know you’ve never successfully kept them in the past. Now, that is real stress.

 

 

 

 

 

That stress often shows up as tight muscles and muscle spasms that can cause headache pain. If you already have one of my books, especially either Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living, or The Pain-Free Athlete, you have the tools necessary to get relief.  You can look at the colorful charts and find the area where you are feeling pain or stiffness. Then look for the muscle name that is in the same color as the shaded area of your discomfort. Then, follow the arrow and it will bring you directly to the spasm(s) that cause the pain. The figures above show some of the muscles that can cause headache pain when stress causes them to get tight and spasm.

Relief From Stress Headaches

As you see in the charts above there are multiple places where spasms will cause headaches.  Actually, there are a lot more than this, but that’s why I wrote my “Pain-Free Living” book. It’s just too much for a newsletter.

Each of the spasms noted in these two charts can be treated by applying direct pressure onto the spasm and then holding it for 15-30 seconds.  Use as much pressure as you can, but it must always be in the tolerable range, this is NOT a “no pain-no gain” situation.  It is going to hurt because you are forcing toxins out of the muscle fibers, and the toxin is an acid (from lactic acid) so it burns. However, you’ll find that as you continue holding the pressure it will lessen.

After 30 seconds, keep your fingers in the same place but take off the pressure. Wait for 5 seconds and then re-apply the pressure.  It won’t hurt as much this time because blood has filled the void and it’s already starting to heal the muscle.

Keep doing this until you don’t feel pain anymore, and then look for another point.  I call these points “hot spots” because that’s exactly what they remind me of.

Feel around your head, your neck, and your shoulders and apply pressure on each painful point.  You’ll be pleased when you feel the results! If it’s stress related, your headache pain will be gone.

Health Tips From The Professor