Clients rarely show up in your studio because they feel great. They come to you because they are trying to find their way out of pain. The easiest, most obvious approach is to address the site of the discomfort, but often we have to dig deeper and turn our approach upside-down, or inside-out as the case may be. Sometimes it’s the simple, more subtle exercises that work best—particularly ones that encourage deep breathing. Without breath, the tissues can’t move and pain cannot be released.

My clients who complain most about pain are, coincidentally, the ones who breathe most shallowly. After years of directly addressing specific sites of pain with little long-lasting relief, I now start clients having chronic pain issues with YTU Therapy Ball work on their quadratus lumborum followed by a  sequence of leg lifts with arms overhead on a wall. The ball work softens up the QLs while the leg lifts give the psoas a massive eccentric stretch which helps release the respiratory diaphragm. Make no mistake, while this is a simple exercise, it is a challenging one for most people. Jaws clench, eyes bulge and torsos quiver—clients think they are getting the core workout of their lives. From there we do some uddihyana bandha to stretch the  diaphragm and down-regulate the central nervous system.

Once clients start breathing more freely, they start moving and feeling better. And those pain complaints start to fade. I’ve attached a video clip below of some YTU Ball Therapy work for the lower back so you can get going on your own pain relief.

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Read more about the quadratus lumborum

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