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about me
Penny has been practising massage since 1987 and Herbal Medicine since 1996. She has also taught massage since 1989.
Penny's commitment to you is to make a difference to your health and wellbeing.

This is the Xmas edition of the newsletter. In this edition there are articles on desk posture, lower back issues, and how to help your back with exercises for those long Xmas road or plane trips. Also, suggested Xmas gifts for those who have everything!


Many of you will know I have been studying and practising orthobionomy, a very gentle type of massage. I recently did an orthobionomy self care  exercise course. I consider these exercises very useful  to do in between treatments in order to :

  • reduce stress, pain and tension
  • strengthen various areas
  • re-educate the lower back and the nervous system for better functioning.

In this blog I will focus on the lower back. In future blogs I will focus on the shoulders, necks and ribs.

Exercise 1

To release tension in the lower back and hip flexors

Having an acute lower back flare up is not much fun! You are quite likely to be stressed and this involves the hip flexors too. The Psoas muscle in particular found in the groin area gets very tight, and as it attaches to the lumbar discs and last rib it needs to be released to reduce the pain. 

Any twisting as in lifting pot plants, shovelling soil, mulch, building materials is the worst movement for lower backs and can leave you vulnerable to disc injuries. So stretching the spine is good here to allow the discs to reorganise.

The following exercise is great to do to release tension in the lower back, diaphragm and lower ribs. it actually shortens the length of time to recover from a very acute back. That has to be good! This exercise is also great if you have a spondylolisthesis, where L5 slips forward of S1.


  • Lie on the floor on your back with the knees bent, feet on floor.
  • Begin to breath deeply into the belly, then exhale long, slow and relaxed.
  • Visualise the breath being exhaled through the lower back and sacrum.
  • Whilst exhaling visualise large hands pushing down on the buttocks, drawing the sacrum towards towards the feet.

This is also an excellent exercise for breathing and anxiety issues. Do 5-10 of these tilts and relax. For acute and chronic backs do 5-10 tilts and repeat for 5-10 minutes.


a) Sitting too long

If we sit too long the springiness goes out of the sacro-iliac joint, it freezes up and we get lower back pain. There is an exercise to increase the springiness. You do this exercise on the floor. I call it 'the cockroach' because you are literally facing down on the floor waving your legs around in all directions.

b) Sitting on your sit bones a the desk

If you sit for long enough it is very easy to slump. This can be at the desk, in the car, at the theatre or in a plane. When you slump you are sitting on your sacrum. This forces pressure up your spine and you get lower back problems. It also restricts spinal fluid flow between the skull and the sacrum. So what can you do about this?

i) Walk on your sit bones exercise

Either on the floor or seated. A great exercise. This will strengthen the deep back muscles and pelvic ligaments. It also lubricates the sacro-iliac joint. Excellent for fatigue, the 3pm energy slump, low immunity and lymphatic  movement.

ii) Move around

If on the computer move around every 35 minutes and have a 1-5 min break. 

iii) Position

Position the knees and wrists below the hips and wrists respectively. Eyes at mid monitor level.


It is sometimes difficult to buy for that person who has all. I have a few gifts that may be useful.

  • Gift vouchers for massage or herbal medicine. $75 for one hour that will benefit your health greatly.
  • Lumbar rolls - $28. Very useful for long trips or at work, so that you keep the lumbar curve and as a result have less lower back pain.
  • Socks - all colours and aromatherapy smells. Very comfortable especially if you are on your feet a lot or walk a lot. Mens and womens sizing, crew and anklet styles. $11 a pair.
  • Jewellery - I sell Emma Page costume jewellery. Beautiful, good quality costume jewellery.The latest styles. I have a catalogue you can look at.


'We must take time to treat each person we meet as a  special individual - not just part of the blurred mass we rush past every day '- Sara Henderson, Outback Wisdom.

Have a wonderful Xmas, safe travelling and a Happy New Year.

Kind Regards

Penny Wade

P.S. I will be working between Xmas and New Year and through January.