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Mar 15, 2016

NHI Graduate, Chip Semplinski, Leads Stretching Principles Workshop

Chip Semplinski, NHI Graduate 

I wrote this post in lieu of a stretching principles workshop that I lead for my fellow NHI graduates. The workshop looked at stretching from the perspective of common movement principles rather than detailed instruction and the needs of the individual rather than a fixed program.



Moving better always makes me happier, but nothing quite matches the experience of helping others move better. The opening exercise focused on improving head forward posture with very little work and instruction. One of the video clips that I shared was a brief talk by Ido Portal about overuse and injuries. He explains  that overuse is a specialists disease, and that many of our modern problems stem from narrow and highly specialized practice, and not from a general overuse of the organism. He shares that the secret to longevity is diversity and variety in movement practice which is the exact opposite of what sports, fitness, and some artistic disciplines are promoting. Portal suggests that we must shift our focus from being the best at one sport or another and instead being the best you that you can be with your unique mixture and variety. With this perspective, he advises widening your horizons, and practicing good general movement. I adopted Portal’s mentality while leading this workshop.

For our opening exercise we focused on improving head forward posture by rolling, rocking and crawling. You can check out the video clip to see exactly what we did to improve our posture. Our results were positive, those who had head forward posture saw substantial improvements within 5 minutes of movements.

Our next set of movements addressed those who struggle to touch their toes. Again, we accomplished this with little effort and had successful results. One participant went from being 4 inches above his toes to touching his toes in five minutes. The toe touch progression is a simple exercise to improve body awareness for deep squatting and hip hinging, it teaches the relaxation of the tension in the lower back and how to shift weight from the heels to the toes in a smooth and consistent fashion. You can follow the simple step by step process for the toe touch progression and experience the results for yourself.

Finally we focused on how to improve your technique while squatting. During this part of the workshop we used a few exercises created by Pavel Tsatsouline. After performing the exercise attendee’s learned how to use good spinal articulation to improve their squats.

Thanks to all who attended the event! NHI has tons of sample classes where you can get first hand experience learning some of the principles of massage therapy. Find the campus nearest you and RSVP to an upcoming complimentary event:

  1. NHI Emervyille: Thai Massage Sampler Class & Meet & Greet Plus Pizza – March 16th, 2016
  2. NHI Petaluma: Massage Therapy Ambassador Q&A Panel – March 19th, 2016
  3. NHI Sacramento: Hands-On Intro to Sports Massage Sampler – March 19th, 2016
  4. NHI San Francisco: Energy Massage Sampler Class – April 7, 2016
  5. NHI Santa Ana: Hot Stone Massage Class & Lunch – March 16th, 2016

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