Let your surfaces slide with Jill Miller
We're going to take this notion of sliding surfaces. So we just did muscle dynamics on our load. And our systems. And the next system that we're working on is sliding surface. And what we're talking about is how the tissues are organizing around themselves. How the skin relates to the skin underneath it. Right? How the connective tissue is a layer of frosting between the muscle and the skin. How the bone slides underneath the muscle or how the muscle slides underneath the bone. How does the muscle fascia, the contractile bundle kind of relate to the ones around it? What we're seein' and this even relates to how nerves are running through nerve tunnels is that you are a very, very complex sliding dynamic system and you need to be able to slide. For example if Jill bends over and touches her toes. Go ahead. And tucks her chin around your back. Do the whole round of flexing. All the way as far as you can. Her spinal column has got an upwards of 15 centimeters longer from her spine all the...
way to her head. 15 centimeters. Nine to 15 centimeters. It's remarkable. Do you think her nervous system stretches? Not at all. So what happens is that nervous tissue has to be able to slide and redistribute tension to the whole system. And if she happens to be tact down in one of those phases then basically what she ends up doing is pulling her brain out of her skull because that's the only place where she can get slack. So what's nice is that we work on does the body sliding glide? And what we're really talking about is the image here that I want you to keep in mind is that you should be like layers of cold silk sliding over steel springs. That nice? And if you're like a wet grilled cheese sandwich it's not as good.
How would you warm silk?
Warm silk fine.
Rather than cold silk.
I just like the sparks. That's what I'm sayin'. Warm silk.
Cause you are warm, right?
And that actually that heat is part of what helps to keep things flowing in you.
You mean that's why I feel better after a hot tub? Oh weird. You're right. I'll concede. I'll concede. That's fine. Like a tepid glass of lemon water, warm silk. Is that what you mean? Just kidding that was a yoga joke. Alright here we go.
With a little cayenne.
That's right. Alright. Here we go. So we're gonna talk about sliding surfaces and I'm gonna turn this over to Jill. Because one of the things we're going to do at a caveat here is that we're gonna show some video that is a little bit disturbing for the first time if you've never seen the beautiful, beautiful human body. These are videos put out and produced by Doctor Gil Hedley. He was a super-genius and by his graciousness they are out and now part of the public domain. We highly encourage you to go check them out. And he's one of your teachers right?
Gil is my anatomy guru. He's my anatomy mentor and I've had the privilege of doing several anatomy labs with him and he's just put up on the internet eight hours of cadaver dissection that are impeccable and they're sensitive and they're very conscientious. And he has honored us with actually being able to show a few of the clips on the show today.
So remember the goal here is to give you some theory more of the why, 'member otherwise you can go ahead and grab a ball and go to town. Instead of press and guess let's make a little bit more of an educated discussion. So I'm gonna turn the reins over to the lovely Jill.
Thank you. I just want to start by saying I heard some of you all, the feedback this morning things that happen to you in practice and things that happen to you overnight some of the viewers. I'm so happy to hear that there was less pain. There was more breathing. There was more relaxation in context of exercise and sleep. Those are really, really good things. That means that the little, the few things that we did yesterday are working. I can't stand to see people in pain. As a pain abolitionist I fancy myself a pain abolitionist. One of my missions is to help people get out of pain. And after the session yesterday I checked my phone messages and let me just give you some background on that. Growing up I had a Mother who suffered from severe asthma. And there is nothing scarier than being a little girl being around your Mother who can't breathe and getting rushed to the emergency room two or three times a year. It is terrifying. And I think that created a primal drive in me to, first of all, learn about breathing. Learn about how to help people get out of pain. Because really what I want to do is help my Momma. And so when I check my messages yesterday the first message was from my Mother and she said, Baby, I saw you I jumped up out of my seat and I tried to touch my diaphragm. Getting that call from her was like I'm done. Mission accomplished. Thank you Creative Live for creating a platform where my Mother finally got it. And I love you, Mom. And I hope you're watching. I think you are. Right now.
You better be, Mom.
And there's so much more. We have only begun. And all of you have just begun. Because this is also for your Mommas. It's for your Papas. And it's for you. Those of you who are coaches you shouldn't stand to see your students in pain. Those of you who are yoga teachers, fitness professionals, Pilates, that we know how to fix it. Focus today right?
Yeah - [Jill] And the 98%
That's right. - [Jill] Is fixable.
And if you're the one that's in pain you shouldn't stand for it yourself. It's unacceptable. And this piece today this fascia piece is literally going to give you the power back it's gonna put, you're gonna take the reins back of your own health. I wanted to tell you how I came to even know what the term fascia is or what is fascia. So I started doing yoga when I was 11 years old 11, 12 years old. I grew up off the grid in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And just I played with myself all the time. And I came across yoga videos, and magazines, and books, and that's how I first started actually practicing was through media. I really believe in media as an educational platform.
Did you live in a Earthship?
No, but it was a solar home. Yeah, full on. We sometimes had to melt snow to flush the toilets because our well would freeze up. How cool is that? I'm a pioneer. Now I'm a body pioneer. So. Back to I started practicing yoga when I was 11 or 12. Kept me entertained. And then I met my mentor Glenn Black when I was 19 years old. And Glenn is always with me. He got under my skin at a very early age. We honor our teachers. And Glenn is a masterful, hands on, body therapist. He does this type of body work called body tuning. And it's very much around connective tissue, joint mobility, it deals with all of the layers. He's also an unbelievable yoga practitioner and a human movement specialist. So he took me under his wing at that early age and know I was being underwing took. But when we would practice he would be very, very strict very disciplined, Kelly. You have no discipline. You need a lot of discipline. Would be disgusted with the way we were performing poses. Disgusted. And even express that disgust by throwing us down on the floor and doing body toning on us in the context of the classroom. So that we could feel the tissues that he wanted us to connect with. And then he'd make us do it on each other. And then we'd have to get up and feel for the awakenings that were just manifest. Now that's what I do now in my yoga tune-up classes with the yoga tune-up balls. So it's a, for me, body work treatment and exercise is a seamless flow. There is no separation. Your movement is your medicine. Your motion is your lotion as Kelly says. And on-the-spot treatments within the context of your exercise are actually necessary so you can better execute what it is you need to do. And so if you come across within the context of your movement flow that you're not moving so well, that your squats that you're not able to get the knees out well then maybe you actually need to do a little tuning to help make those tissues come to life so that you can utilize them. So Glenn was always talking about the connections and corrections that we could make. And that is the connective tissue system. The extra-soft tissue. So here's my definition of fascia. And I've written many and rewritten and rewritten and I've refined it to this for now. And I'm sure it's gonna change as the greater fascia researchers in the world also continue to modify what is this extra-soft tissue that we're talking about. Fascia is a fibrous and gelatinous bodywide web that forms the living seams. Living seams, really important term there. Living seams, structures, protection and repair system for your body. It is the soft tissue scaffolding that give your body its form and shape. It links muscular proteins and other connective tissue structures like bones, ligaments, and tendons to one another. In short, your fascia is the aqueous knitting fabric of your body.
Yeah. Knitting fabric. Any by the way. I moon wrote, I have a clinical doctorate. This is the best working definition of fascia I've ever come up with, and how, that I've ever come up with and Jill, is that right, I've ever seen. And you just, you kinda just put this together like this?
Well I've been cobbling it together from all of the research that I've done. I had the privilege of presenting a case study at the Fascia Research Congress in Vancouver back in March and was exposed to hundreds of scientists, pioneers, in this space. And there are some writings just enter on Google, fascia, and just start to to run down. Gil Hedley is a pioneer. Dr. Robert Schleip who has organized these congresses. Thomas Myers. There's a lot of people out there, a lot meaning very few, but actually they're getting more vocal and this is very good for people who are interested in pain sciences, for improving pain sciences, pain help, and also training really comes into what you're doing in the gym. Or in classes. So this is a very famous fascia. You've probably seen this anatomy just for the Gray's Anatomy drawing. And what I wanna draw your attention to is this white-ish diamond thing in the middle of this guy's back. This is all commonly called the thoracolumbar fascia. But what it is, is it's the connective tissue attachment site for multiple back muscles and veins as they hook into one another here. What's missing in this drawing is that the reality is that there's still tons of this white-ish stuff all over the place but because the muscle has been elevated in it's, you know like, oh, muscles are so important. But the stuff that interpenetrates connects and makes the continuities occur is less important visually for now. We're looking at the red stuff as more important than the white stuff and that's not necessarily true. And by the way your connective tissue is translucent when it's in a fixed cadaver it looks white. But in your body it's just this, in your body, as soon as you open it up air hits it and it turns white but if you were to be in there with your, how do I say that? You're blind in your body.
It's in there.
Not light. Okay. It's in there. So we're actually going to rub that out in a little bit. Is that exciting? Alright so we're gonna talk about two different. Actually wanna just go over a couple of properties of fascia So your fascia is rich with sensory nerve endings. It's one of the tissue layers that has tons and tons of proprioceptors. And so again this helps us to locate ourselves. Helps to give us body sense and when we're using the yoga tune-up balls or other treatments one of the things that arousing these proprioceptors does is it, number one, it gives you a sense of place but it also helps with global relaxation. It sedates the nervous system and it can also give us a momentary reprieve from pain. So there's certain techniques that I like to use that give me what I call an Advil moment where I'm literally suppressing the pain response so that I can actually get to work and make corrections in my tissues and we're going to be doing that with the balls later.
And keep in mind that we're having a conversation largely about painless function right now because that's what a lot of us say hey, take the pain away, how do I deal with this? This thing's ruining my life. But what's great about this conversation it's the same conversation that's talking about performance. Tissues that are optimized in terms of their sliding capacities, In terms of the way that you know this is a mechanical system we're trying to effect.
This aqueous knitting fabric
That's right but this fabric is one of the things that gives me oompf and allows me to express good body mechanics. And I'm when I'm tact down I don't move well and we can express that one to one. It's like driving with the handbrake on as we said yesterday.
Not a good idea. - [Kelly] Both. it's a two for one. Not only are you gonna be awesome but you'll be pain free and awesome.
Pain free and awesome. I can't stand to see people in pain. Here's your fascia's respond to load. Just like your bones do. Your bones are constantly remodeling. Jim Zeem was talking about it takes seven years for bones to remodel. Your fascias actually remodel takes about two years for total remodeling. That's why this is a process. You're in a process of changing. You're in constantly in a process. So that what you start now. Remodeling yourself. There's gonna be a huge pay off tonight. There was a pay off for somebody overnight. They slept better. The pay off there's all types of pay offs along the way. But it really takes two years to really make a almost total body overhaul of your fascias. In terms of responding to load those of you who are runners you're probably really familiar with one of the most loaded extra thick fascias on the outside of your thigh called the? Iliotibial band. And actually if you take your hand right now.
I'll just say that, IT band is how everyone knows this, right? And when you dissect it, it's thick.
Oh, it's super thick. It's like extra thick strapping tape.
And if I recall someone tried to stretch it recently and they were able to stretch it 3% before it broke. Is that right? So when I stretch my IT band is that even correct?
We'll get there.
So actually touch yourself. Let's touch ourselves. Never be afraid to touch yourself in public. And so you probably can feel that there's actually a difference. It's softer when I'm on, say we go to this quadrant. This should be softer and as soon as you hit the side it's going to get thicker and literally bandier. Yeah you guys feeling that in yours? Your's is like boom. My arm just pops right off it it's so elastic. And that's because of the way we load our bodies. But and Dr. Robert Schleip pointed this out in a lecture I went to a few weeks ago if you're riding horses all the time you would be and loading that area and gripping your horse all the time you would actually develop thickened fascias and literally an IT band a gracilis band or something on the inside of your thigh. So it responds to load and it changes. Also by the way it responds to this load too. Yes? Don't look like a vulture all the time 'cause your tissues will remodel and you will be a vulture. And that's not very culture-ish. Most injuries involve fascia. I mean this goes without saying. Because it's knitting all the way through your body so you tear something, you sprain something, you strain something, it's also gonna involve the things that are holding everything together. So fascia injuries, it just goes par for the course. So. Superficial fascia. So we're gonna look at a couple of videos. And as as Kelly mentioned I want to make sure to honor Gil Gil Hedley you can find him on the web and you can find these videos on his YouTube channel. If you have any hesitation about seeing a body being dissected please take a few minutes go get a coffee and then come back because for some people this is very, very sensitive. It's intense to see. The man who we're about to look at and we're gonna watch two one minute clips and one 30 second clip he donated his body to educate others. So it's a huge gift that he's given us and that we're getting to share with so many people. And you can do that too in your own you know at your end of days. So what we're gonna look at first is a superficial fascia. Your superficial fascia basically it's what's in-between the skin and your muscle. So you can go ahead and grab this fatty layer. This is a spongy, springy, fluffy layer and it has varying density all over the body. You go to the inside of your wrist it's much thinner. It's a much thinner fatty layer there. Collagen, elastin, and fat molecules comply the bulk of it. You go to your abdomen it's gonna be thicker. It's gonna have a different texture here on your rump. It's gonna have a different texture and thickness on your ear. So it has varying thicknesses all over the body and the collagen are specialized for different areas and of course they're also responding to load. So let's take a look at what Gil has to say about the superficial fascia.
This is superficial fascia in depth. This is it in cross sections. You can have a large person they have a large skin. Well the superficial fascia is even larger usually. Even in this skinny depth it's gonna be heavier than the skin. It's tough but it's fluffy at the same time. It has elasticity to it because it bends and moves with us. And then when we lift it up and view the deep fascia underneath we see the relationship between the two. Now the relationship between the skin and the superficial fascia is very intimate. We got that cantaloupe pattern on the skin that we took note of. But here it's a looser relationship. There's still these tough threads connecting it. Oh this is a beautiful shot. There's still these loose threads connecting it. These ones and then there's this fuzz and I can get in-between them. So we're kinda going between a perforating vessel here and then we're going to get into a little innervation of the superficial fascia. It's a live vibrant organ. Okay now if I pull up on it I'm pulling up on the deep fascia there too. Excellent. You see how it lifts up the bag underneath. I'm actually lifting up the bag of the deep fascia over the musculature. Because this is the anterior rectocele here. That's what we're lookin' at. This is a little blood vessel.
Questions? No. We can't go anywhere for a question. Pretty awesome, isn't it? To see that. That's just, we were rolling on our abdomen yesterday with the sponge ball and he's tugging on the superficial fascia. You were doing that manually with the ball yesterday. Isn't that cool? And you were tryin' to effect this almost the kind of the same movement that he's doing on the cadaver but of course in your living body.
It's hard to do this to yourself. You have to pay someone a lot to cut you open.
Well hopefully we'll get to it. We may. We may do that today. But without scalpels we're gonna use grippy rubber balls instead. On our backside. So the next clip that I want to show you let me make sure I have this is clear The next clip that I'm gonna show you is deep fascia. So again we contemplated this IT band. So but the deep fascia that we're about to see is not quite as thick as the IT band. Now when you look at deep fascia it doesn't have the when you look at superficial fascia it's kinda got a willy-nilly organization the way the collagen fibers are it's like a giant cobweb. But when you look at deep fascia it does look like strapping tape. But it's not really a parallel line. If you look closely at deep fascia and I don't think we have a shot of it. But your deep fascia has has crimp it has a wave formation to it. And that wave formation allows you to have springs literally built into your entire body. So it's able to descend and actually to return to shape. That's the beauty. You usually return to your own shape after you've lengthened, don't you? That's like part of the amazing thing about your connective tissue. One of the illustrations Carl Paoli used yesterday I almost said Dr. Paoli. He's so amazing. Is he was, somebody was sitting down he was talking about the hammock.
Yeah, elastic hammock. And that's exactly that's exactly that spring loaded sensation you can train yourself to feel for that spring loaded sensation. Now when you stretch beyond your spring you get a tear and as a yogini who's overstretched herself believe me tearing yourself to bits because you want to continue to go deeper and stretch more is really stupid. You gotta listen to that just sensibility and that it really does take a lot of deep listening to get a sense of that. So just keep in mind this spring thing 'cause I'm sure you're gonna wanna integrate that into some of what you're talking about and let's look at what Gil has to say about the deep fascia.
What we have here is this fuzzy relationship of the deep fascia to the muscleluva. This is really pretty. And the light is picking up nicely on the fibers and I lift these and more I'm actually lifting the emphamecium off of some of the muscle fibers below as I yank on the deep fascia. So you get a real sense here I hope of the intimate relationship of the deep fascia to the tissue beneath it. And that when I create a singular plane out of the deep fascia I'm doing so as an anatomist. As someone creating abstract realities from fiscal realities. Because the tissue in fact is not a plane. It's multi-dimensional, multi-directional.
One of the things that he's implying here and one of the messages Gil has is that you're an integrated system and you don't actually get fascia unless you cut it away from everything that it's connected to. You don't get a muscle unless you sever it from it's other relationships. You don't get nerve unless you tear it away from the other things that it's connected to. So it's really, really important for us to think of ourselves as an integrated whole in the way we approach our training. You're not just two separate elements. I want to help you understand this image a little bit more. Before we watch look at the third clip. To understand really what is the structure of a muscle and how do fascias really interpenetrate that system.
And in this deep connective tissue we talk about sometimes we're like that fuzziness between that deep layer and that muscle is where we start to see a lot of stiffness in the tissue system. And one of the things that happens is during intense exercises is very, very hard kind of adaptation response is that we can actually lay down some of that extra fuzz as a way of protecting the muscle as it rebuilds itself. One of the reasons the yogis started for example even the suncelatation model was that if you're not moving for long periods of time those layers, the deep layers start to get sticky and just jumping up out of bed right away and just starting to unglue those things is why a cat will just stretch right away when it gets up.
Because this stuff responds to load. If your load is I don't move at all your body is gonna form to that form. You're gonna conform to whatever form you decide you wanna become. So can I have two volunteers? Alex would you come up here? And I need somebody else with fingers.
CJ, you're up. You have fingers, CJ.
Big yoga ladies. So what I'd like you to do is we're actually going to make a muscle. We're going to make a quadricep. You can have this. Your fingers right now are muscle cells. Each one of them is a muscle fiber and a muscle cell. So I want you to start with this Dyna-Band this is just a model folk. And you wanna weave one layer of let's call this fascia around your muscle cell. Alright so just one layer of weaving. One layer of weaving. This is called the endomecium. This is the fascias that are swirling around individual muscle cells. Now if these muscle cells get clumped together, which they do, I have another layer of connective tissues around that clump. It's called paramecium and this is what we call a fascicle. So it's a bundle of muscle cells. Yeah and just one wrap is good. These aren't that long. And then actually ladies come over here to this side you come over here. If we put these together let's bring all of our fascicles together. Actually we now have a muscle but the muscle is wrapped further with even more fascias and this is called and let's maple this together is called emphamecium Yes excellent. Now we actually have a muscle. But this emphamecium, this paramecium, this endomecium, plus all the muscle cells that are inside are wrapped in another layer called deep fascia. Kelly would you grab this
And some of that stuff in the beginning we were talking about around the fingers isn't that marbling in a steak?
Just in case you have to eat someone just sayin'. Where do you wanna go?
Although the thickness of, and this is important actually for training, the thickness of the superficial fascia which is the fascia around the bundles of muscle cells at the paramecial level is different from muscle to muscle in your body.
Yesterday we doing the upper trapezius with the yoga tune-up ball and I said this is a tough muscle it's got really thick paramecium. Your thous has very thin paramecium right? When you cut into it there's not a lot of obstruction in it, a thous, there's not a lot of connective, thick connective tissue very thin. Alright so then we have to continue our model. Here would be the deep fascia right? So this is actually a thicker more crimpy, more organized type So I'm wrapping this and now this is this is my rectus femoris. This is my the top of my quad. I need you to open your elbow and help me come down. So imagine this is my I've got jacked I have like huge quads but all of these fascias all of these fascias that had been wrapping around multiple cells I'm trying to pull out here muscle cells, muscle bundles plus the deep fascia they swirled together. And this becomes, my friends, this becomes release some of your fascias, ladies, so I can get more than just mine out here. This becomes
Release the fascia (screams)
This is called fascia release. It's just mine coming out. It's like a magic snake. Alright this becomes the tendon. So all of these fascias swirled together and they connect to, well the skin of the bone is a patella. And this is what we call a tendon. All of those fascias bind together. But then it doesn't just stop there because then those soft tissues bloom. That soft tissue scaffolding blooms. And we get ansers to the aus over here and then we have peroneus over here. And this is how this upstream downstream concept works is that when I'm working in one area say I'm working with my foot I might actually get a deep stretch or more movement happening up here because of the way those fascias mechanically are related to one another. Isn't that cool?
And it is. It's so amazing and it's an important reason why you can go crazy when you see someone do something that looks like it changes something and it changes something else. Like I was changing my foot and all of a sudden I can touch my toes more effectively. But we want to demystify that and say hey you're a big connective integrated system of course if I drop in a rock and it creates a ripple it's a ripple through the whole body.
Correct. Yeah, it's an amazing analogy. And that's it you are so aqueous it really is an apt analogy because you are a liquid form. And then but like if I cut you, you leak. Right?
I have a little knife.
Alright so the last video that we're gonna look at (group laughing)
But I would never, you're amazing. This last video that we're gonna look at is the thoracolumbar fascia. Do you remember we saw that image earlier? So now we're actually look at it in a form. And so you're getting to see there's the white there's that diamond shape, yes? And there's the diamond shape. But look at all the other white stuff on top of the lat. Look at the white stuff on top of the trapezius. And he's going in closer and closer. Maybe he'll get close enough for us to see crimps but I'm not quite sure that we're gonna see crimps. But again closer and closer this white-ish stuff that we take for granted 'cause we're like oh, there's the muscle chart oh, there's where the white is. There's where the red is. I don't know what any of it means but I wanna see muscles. So we know have a little here you can see a little bit of the crimson here. So thank you very much, Gil. Thank you for letting us use these.
And there's that image again. So what I'd like us to do is spend some time rolling out the thoracolumbar fascia and then going if we're able to to go one layer deeper and excavate the quadratus lumborum which is this deep low back muscle that connects the 12th rib to the top of the ilium. To the top of the pelvic bone.
And why are we starting with the spine? Spine first and it's that chief prioritization can we create a stable construct more than we move through the rest of the world. Right? This is really where we seek? Are you organized? How you going to win if you ain't right within? So let's get started on the inner sides first and then we can work our way out.
And we did the front side of this yesterday. And so now we're doing the back sides.
Here are key concepts just because we're not gonna go ahead and smash, smash, push on every single surface of the body doesn't mean that the techniques we're doing can immediately be applied to anywhere you have pain. And that's what's great about understanding the theory. If we can teach you how to fish, boom, you can fish anywhere through your body. So if you can understand some of these basic techniques you can start applying them and become sort of a keeper of your own mode.
And also because when you work with pain local area with your connective tissue it effects it globally. So it does help to turn down your arousal. It turns down that sympathetic response so you're able to actually enter into a healing mode even if you're just working a little tiny space in your body.
So the place that we're gonna go is the quadratus lumborum. And we showed this yesterday with the elastic. And I turned him around today so it's super, super clear. That quadratus lumborum starts at the 12th rib and attaches to the crest of the pelvic bone here. So I'd like us to touch that on ourselves.
And let me just jump in for a second because I got an e-mail last night from a strongman friend of ours Who said, Hey Kel, my QL is cooked. And can you help me? And I was like, well sure we can do some very good QL things comma why's your QL cooked all the time? And that's the question where we need to go day one as we talked about being these organized principles of movement. Moving more efficiently. It's not an accident that these tissues sort of end up stiff and fibrotic and matted down. It happened for a reason. And if I'm standing, I'm gonna bust you right there, don't move go ahead and pan over there. Can you see our? We're gonna break the wall. Turn around. Guy in the green there it is. And how is he standing? He's like, oh no you didn't! And what ends up happening is you can start to program these patterns into yourself inadvertently. Right? You're standing you got your man belly engaged. Not 20% on. You're hangin' on your junk. And you know it's cool. You look jacked but uh. What we ask is why are these tissues tight in the first place? That's the second layer. I still need to fix the problem as I resolve the symptoms of the problem.
Yeah. Never disrespect your spine like that ever again. (group laughs) Ever.
I see you.
We will hunt you down. But actually your body is gonna hunt you down first.
That's right. - [Jill] Right? And then you send us the MRI. Alright so. I'm sorry. The way it goes. It really is.
By the way, don't send me your MRI on Facebook. That was creepy.
No that's creepy. Alright so. Kel, can you just hold this real quick? So what's so cool about where we're working going into the quadratus lumborum. So the quandratus is hooking into the sides of these low back vertebras. Each of the it's called a transverse processes. But it has a neighbor. It has lots of neighbors. But the neighbor that you're probably going to feel the most is the neighbor that's directly in front of it and attaching to, let's revolve ourselves and Nigel. Attaching to the front of the lumbar spine and it's discs and hooking into the lesser drocanar what did we call this yesterday? The thous. Yes. There's nothing in-between the thous and the QL. There's no other muscle in-between them. But what is in-between them is the connective tissue of the fascias that connect them. The only way you can separate a thous from a QL is with your scalpel. Severing the fascias in-between them. So these muscles are always reacting or acting upon each other. But the reason I'm telling you this is that when we take the yoga tune-up therapy balls and bring them to this tendon. Many of you are actually going to feel a very strange pull in your inner thigh. Some of you might feel a very strange pull like right in here right in the front of your pelvic bone because you have a muscle there called the iliaca. And what you're feeling is when you're stretching the QL it's creating a mechanical stretch down to it's neighboring muscle's friend's attachment. So that it actually means oh, I'm on the right place. But if you're feeling that it also might mean I might have too much tension.
Over-tension in that area. Alright so let's touch ourselves.
Let's get on it.
So I just need you guys to find this first. And we're gonna help you find it.
Yeah, absolutely. Grab that microphone. And then we wanna get it, get in to working for us.
Yeah we gotta get rollin'.
Just real quick. Wonderin' about the fascias as it compares to other connective tissue, ligaments, and tendons and being kind of classically lowly innervated and vascularized. Does the rolling help with that?
Well it's classically not lowly innervated. It's highly vascularized and it's highly innervated. Your ligaments in terms of your connective tissue is the least vascularized of all of them and tendons and fascias have plenty.
And if we look at stretch properties. Ligament don't stretch. Tendons don't really much stretch that much. They shouldn't stretch that much. It's mechanical. And this is fascia is dynamic.
Yeah. Fascia also has it's own cell, it has cells. It has contractual elements. There's lot of stuff. But let's get into our touch and I'll try to add more of that context as we're rolling. How's that? So to find your QL. You need to, you don't have to expose yourself. I'm exposing myself again 'cause I just like to. You're gonna bring your hands. You bring your hands to your waist.
This is like that television show where we do the weather and it's all happening. Live TV baby.
Bring your hands to your waist and actually we're gonna drop the right hand. Keep your left hand in place and then just bend to the left. And when you bend to the left your hand is gonna get sandwiched between your 12th rib and the top of your pelvic bone. And this is my fingers folks. So my fingers are actually blading their way in. And then I want you to turn your hand. Not the right one but the left one the one that's touching. Turn your hand and sweep it towards your spine. And as you move it toward your spine. You're actually gonna get caught on the QL tendon. Now there's other stuff in the way. Your lats are in the way. Your obliques. Take a deep breath and go slack in order to do this. Yes and then you can actually elevate that pelvic bone. That's the, one of the actions of the quadratus is to pull the pelvic bone up not to pull those ribs down. And make a little saw. People are touching themselves at home I hope. Finding your QL tendon. Yeah we're above the mom jeans pocket we're not in our front pockets above the mom jean pocket. I think you guys have found it. So that's it. We're gonna go there. Come onto the mat. And you have options here. You can actually keep the yoga tune-up balls in the tote or you can untote them. Keeping them in the tote will sort of keep them together and untoting them will allow the balls to travel around the thoracolumbar fascia with a little bit more play. So I like to untote them here.
I'm gonna jump down here, Jill.
Yes please. You're gonna come here?
Yeah that's fine. I'll come here on the concrete. So the first thing that I want you all to do, let's just shift this out of the way, is to take the two balls and place them together in the middle of your lower back and you'll come on to your elbows. And I didn't mention anything about breathing but it would be nice to do a little bit of abdominal breathing. Then from here all you're going to do is create a rolling pin action taking the balls from the sacrum, which is the bone between your two buttocks, up to the mid-lower back. If it feels like a ball is hitting your kidney it is and you don't want to do that so don't go up so high. Now as you go up and down the balls are going to separate from time to time. Then you just tap them back together. If this hurts your shoulder to be in this position 'cause sometimes even just getting into massage positions can be uncomfortable. You wanna take the balls and make them vertical like vertebra and then you'll place them on your mid-lower back that thoracolumbar fascia and you'll move from side to side. Let me stand up so you guys can see what that looks like. Like a squeegee.
Here's the deal. Remember just like we wanted to not just come in and pound the tissues. What we've done is we want you workin' at a level where you're not just freaking out and contracting. Jill's balls here are a little bit softer in an initial way to start having access to those tissues without just putting them under a freakish amount of compression. We can do this absolutely with a LaCrosse ball. But you're gonna have to probably go a little bit slower. The surface is a lot harder. Probably may not be ready for it. But they're ubiquitous, they're everywhere we wanted to initiate a conversation. So slow enough. You're going so fast that you're bouncing over the problem. Slow down and do we have a way of getting into some vulnerable tissues? What can we do?
Contract relax. You already have this skill set. You used this skill set yesterday with the diaphragm. We also used the skill set for getting into the musculature when I just resist that position. So if you're finding an ugly, ugly spot that you're noticing that you can't restore that sliding on. You can go ahead and pause there. Contract them back and stiff. Release and come through.
So go ahead and do the option two make them vertical like vertebra and move from side to side. Because your thoracolumbar fascia has many different angulations and we wanna try to iron out, go along the grain, go against the grain, go at a weak grain, that many of these planes of tissues as possible. Like layers of silk or I like to say like layers of mica. Although silk is maybe, silk has more fluidity than mica. Right? Mica's just a dry mineral and I don't want you to have crispy back muscles, I want you to have fluid back muscles. So scratch at it, move from side to side and this is just for the thoracolumbar fascia. Let's have a temporary recheck. Take the balls out. We didn't do a test. So we're gonna have a retest right now. You're gonna feel a difference in your lower back then you did moments ago. Just stay on your back though.
Is anyone noticing discomfort back there? Are you tight?
So the balls are detecting a little sensitivity in your back. Yeah. And again just like yesterday it is uncomfortable when you first start tapping in to where you have discomfort. That pain has been hiding there and now we're bringing it to light and doing something about it. You guys feel warm? Isn't that cool? So it's like you just put on a hot water bag underneath your lower back. That heat is good. We need our tissues to be pliable before we go for the deep. You never want to go all the way deep quickly just like you don't want to go for a deep stretch right away. You need to warm up your tissues so that there is more fluid. There's more hydration. And that we are able to get to the depth. So we just pre-warmed our tissues and now we're gonna go in with the ball like a rubber scalpel to rub out the QL. I need to say a warning here. If you know you have constant low back pain you need to do this up against the wall leaning against the wall with the ball in the same position that I'm gonna show you on the floor on the brick. An intermediate step is to do it on the floor without the brick. And then the deepest penetration is on a little platform like a brick. So I'll show you how we do this. Is this the best place to show here? In the middle? Okay. So remember where we touched our quadratus lumborum right above that crest of the pelvic bone. You'll start on your back. Lift your tush up. Take the ball and place it exactly where you were thumbing yourself or fingering yourself before. Then you'll have to pivot your knees toward the side and as you do that the ball is going to go up the rainbow shape of that pelvic bone. Now there's a few things you can do here. One is you can be in what I call the tased position which is that you do nothing and you allow stretch to occur. Two, you can go across the fibers of the connective tissue and tendons of that QL by moving from side to side. And that feels awesome. Three, you can do contract relax. Which is hiking that pelvic bone up towards the ribs and releasing it. Hiking it up. And releasing. You can also be more creative than any of those things that I just showed you. When you come out and we'll do both sides first. You'll lift up then set the block down and set your body down delicately. You don't wanna rush out. Like I'm not gonna pop up right now 'cause I need to restore, I need to recover. That was really deep.
Remember that squat when you filled out took a second and be like whoa, I'm not gonna squat? It's the same idea. Alright? These are all postural muscles. Now can I ask you a serious question?
You were tased?
The tased position. Yeah, you know, like you got tased?
I don't know. (group laughs) Don't tase me, bro. Alright let's go. Can we do this?
So, yeah, let's get into it. Lay on your back.
Let me just re-emphasize if you have back pain we're working on the tissues upstream and downstream of the back. This is simple. These tissues need to be supple dynamic. Right? If you know that that back is tight we saw those changes. The tissue gets short. That's gonna impact the way you initiate all of your spinal mechanics for all of your basic movements. Times a million iterations. Right? You take 10,000 steps in a day. That's just the steps that you're taking. This functional tissue is influencing the way you're moving all the time. These same techniques can be used anywhere. I can get on the ball. I can contract relax. I can go slowly side to side. I can pivot down and do some movement. All of these techniques that Jill just laid out are all valid across any technique or surface. Across any ball surface and on any ball. So suddenly you're having access to this. If you have a softball at home, use it. Right? The set up may not be perfect. We talked yesterday about selecting lots of different iterations of kind of therapy balls or balls at home to roll on. I always travel with a couple different balls. They occupy the bottom of my backpack and I always get pinged at security. Always because I'm smuggling dangerous items across the the sky. What are you noticin' there? Pain. What are you noticin' about your breathin'? It's that to focus on it. I better be breathin' into some good positions here. Can you take a big breath? Do you think you wanna rush out of this? No. Can you see why we impose that certain two minute idea that I need to give this enough time to make change. Making this about quality. Not making this about quantity is really where this goes. Is that, hey I'm gonna just talk to my little back tonight. I haven't done so in a while. Why? Maybe I just ran a marathon. Maybe I just carried my kids. Maybe I'm just sittin' in a cop car for long periods of time. These static body positions that I've been adopting non-stop. You know we get this conversation all the time. What if I'm forced to sit for my work? Well now we're starting to give you a template to be able to address that. The seated position you guys puts those tissue on a constant tension the entire time and that what we're doing is just restoring that. Question from the Virgels.
I'm just wondering if you could clarify for people the question is from Craig New Zeland, rolling on or across the spine or only off to each side?
You know it's really interesting people are terrified of touching their bones. It's like, oh, bones are off limits you can't touch a bone. But every night you brush your bone. Right? Your bones have connective tissue. Did you guys all switch sides? I'm not having them go directly on the bone. But it's not illegal to touch bone. It's not illegal to touch anywhere on yourself. And we do this. We compartmentalize our own bodies and say, okay this part's for this doctor, this part's for this doctor, this type of pain is for. You're not off limits to yourself so stop siphoning areas and giving them away. You need to own them and integrate them. So when you start playing with yourself and you start going through these different processes that Kelly and Carl and Jim that we're offering you, you're gonna start to claim that stuff for yourself. Because if you don't claim it, somebody else is going to do it, they're going to do it with a needle and a scalpel and you're gonna pay a lot of money and it's going to cause even more pain down the road.
So their issue is, if I put this therapy ball on my spine, I may not, nothing may happen. Right? Like physically, I may not have made any change. And what's so interesting is our test retest ethic drives the filting. Am I in the right place? Am I doing the technique? Well I know because I'm giving it enough time. I'm getting immediate feedback about it. And I test and retest. So if you think you're going to do damage to yourself. Respect that. We trust you. You're an adult. And initiate a conversation with yourself. If you're worried about putting it near the spine put it off to the side of the spine and start there. It's a very reasonable way.
Jill, I do have one other question. For people who do have that lower back issues that you were suggesting doing it against the wall. H Bomb 9000 wondering, how do you relax when you're on the wall? How does the recovery part of that look?
So what's interesting is, if I'm standing up I'm already in a contract position. I'm in more of a contractive position. So I'm able to control the pressure a little bit more carefully and more preciously. So using that contract relax is really important. And against the wall you're going to always have that 20% of tension on and that's just a safer option for those people who you're still going to get a pay off.
Absolutely. And you know when we ask people out in the audience to go ahead and get a LaCrosse ball for this. This is only for a person with no LaCrosse ball. What you can do is modulate the surface. So if you jump on a rug, that ball disappears a little bit.
That's right. Or a mattress. Did you guys come off the block? You're totally diggin' this, Henry. You're like I found my thrill.
Alright. Now go ahead and come off and let's check back in. So put your feet on the floor. Close your eyes. First of all, are you getting a sense of your lower back now? Has it increased your proprioceptive awareness? Your sense of location.
And when we say tact down, matted down, zulu warrior princess, now you understand.
Yeah. - [Kelly] Right?
Those tissues are stiff and if they're not stiff they don't give a good input.
They don't give you a sense of sense.
Secondly, can you take a deep abdominal breath? Like we did yesterday that ballooning. And what is your access to that now? You all feel like you can breathe better? Now yesterday I showed you the relationship between the diaphragm and the quadratus lumborum. Did you think we just affected our breathing muscles by putting the ball in one spot on the lower back? Heck yeah. That was a massive breathing overhaul that you all just did. So well done.
Now let's do this. Let's go ahead and spin this up. Roll onto your sides carefully. Be cool. Roll onto your side. Come stand up. Let's do something like our basic squat position. And tell me if you don't have a different experience when your low back isn't all tight and jacked after sitting all day. Is that better, same, or worse? You notice a difference? What do you notice? In what way? You notice a difference? I feel like I can. Ah! That's right.
That's legit. And look, I mean look at this position. Feet straight, knees out, back ramrod straight. Basic archetypal shapes and mechanic. And what you're seeing is what we guess we'll do? We just worked on your hip down below, below the system. And now Jill just took you on a soft tissue adventure above the pelvis And you know of course that's going to effect my spinal mechanics and my sense of pain and these tissues. But also of course it's gonna influence the thing that matters the most which is my day to day movement. Fantastic. Stand up everybody, that's enough. Or you can hang out in the paleo chair. We do, we call this the paleo chair.
This is your self treatment for back pain.
Let's spin this up for a second. Imagine I'm having horrific shoulder pain. Is there anything connected back here that may cause some of this discomfort in my shoulder? And what we find is, oh hey, I just worked upstream of where I'm having the pain and discomfort and look what happened? I have all of these techniques. If something is stiff in there I can contract and relax and get through it. I can pin that down. I can floss back and forth. I can go slow deep rolling. And I can vary my input. I can have a softer ball. I can have a harder ball. I can, ah, now suddenly I have a model for changing that connective tissues in my whole body.
And I was gonna say is in terms of acute pain 'cause we need to address that. You get an injury. You fall. You made a mistake at the gym. You know, you dropped something. You never wanna roll directly on inflamed tissue. You don't wanna put a lot of deep pressure on inflamed tissue. And what I like to do is I call it perimetering the tissue, I'm gonna go around the tissue. Because you do want to help, to help draw out some of that inflammation. So, 'cause that question always comes up. Well, I just tweaked my neck, should I put the ball right on my tweaked neck? No, go downtown or downstream of where that is, or go slightly upstream and that will help to actually create an environment where that injury can have better profusion and healing.
You can see now why we started this day with a conversation about lifestyle. Measuring lifestyle. Because if your tissues aren't right because we have some fundamental error going on underneath and my body's chemistry and it sets up a precondition where I start to see. I'm stiff. I'm not drinking enough water. I'm chronically inflamed. You can imagine what those tissues look like. And how will they work if we don't set the preconditions for them to be able to slide. You start to see. Oh, I have a picture of what I'm trying to impact and then I have some very, very simple tools to work on this thing. Remember what does this look like in real practice? Maybe I've got 15 minutes. Hey, I haven't talked to my little back. I've been on the airplane. Boom, balls come out. In your hotel room with your feet up. And let's start to get some work done. Watchin' some TV, I'm talking to my kids, I'm rollin' out my back. And it doesn't have to be this gigantic deal. It just integrates neatly into your daily life and when you start to integrate that concept into this body practice and body awareness as I get the work done. Does it have to be 15 consecutive minutes? No way man. I'll drop down, I'm tight. That's right. I just happened to train really hard before I left. I got out of the airplane I was like. So I spent four minutes last night or it was the night before just kind of smashing it out, opened my hip, I'm good to go.
No side effects. No side effects. These don't create cellular damage the way other painkillers do. Right? So two of these, two minutes, call me in the morning.
Love it. Love it. We do create sound effects because people steal your balls. And that pisses me off. Don't be stealin' my ball. Don't steal my ball. So in our gym, what we do is we have a bucket full of LaCrosse balls, you buy 'em by the caseload and people take them. And I'm like, you know, they're like can I have this I'm like no. You can have two and how dare you try to cheat yourself not here in the sacred gym time. 'Cause the gym time is the sacred time where we need to get some work done. Jill's my teacher. I want to be able to come ready for Jill's instruction. Which means I'm doing the necessary prep and work so that I can be ready for her instruction. And if I'm a tact down body and she's like what are you doin'? Are you not taking my time seriously? Just 15 minutes a day is revolutionary in terms of how it's impact can have on your body. It aggregates into hours and hours and hours in a month and put that into that two year cycle and literally you're like, wow, I feel great.
You got a new body.
You got a new body. You guys, Jill Miller. (class applauds) Thank you so much.