Hygge (And How To Not Electrocute Yourself In The Bathtub)

I do a lot of computer work in the bathtub. (Full battery, no charger connection.) As a matter of fact that's where I am right now. Why do I spend so much time in the bath?  If you are a regular clients of ours you know it's because of Epsom Salts. But also:

Hygge

While I should have been tidying our books and updating staff bios, I was actually perusing our Facebook feed (what do you guys do at work??) and came across a New Yorker story about Hygge. The danish idea of a feeling of coziness is exactly what got me into this bath and like the writer of the story who orders 3 new blankets online because hers is too bumpy, can't find the right scent of candle, and leaves the heat on in her apartment with the window open, I'm struggling with how to execute it.

I think I first came across the idea from a documentary that also mentioned the feeling of flow increasing your overall happiness . I'd link to it but I don't have time to go back and watch the whole thing to make sure I'm citing it correctly so y'all just have to trust me. (As a side note, Happy is a really inspiring film.) My takeaway:

Flow + Hygge = Happiness

Well I've got the flow part down. That's my job! In massage school there's a little evaluation sheet after each clinic shift and Flow is one of the main criteria you'll be judged on. Of course, flow as an intention toward happiness is a little more involved but I really do feel I experience it on a daily basis. Basically, if you can move through your day easily, understanding the expectations and demands and it's within your capabilities to meet them, that's flow. I feel great about the work I do! I do feel like I can meet the expectations and demands of each of my clients and I always leave my sessions feeling refreshed, solid, and like we did GOOD work in there. 

That leaves Hygge.

I understand it to mean feeling cozy and comforted always. So I submerge myself in warm water while I do all my computer work. #AmIDoingItRight? I have no idea.

What I know is that we have very cozy rooms, table warmers at the ready, soft heavy blankets, and excellent Flow ratings on all of our evaluations in massage school. So while I may have to bring my computer in to the Apple store for water damage tomorrow, you can come experience Flow+Hygge in any of our massage rooms, anytime. We've got your perfect equation for happiness.

 

Drunk Anatomy

Hey y'all! Before we get started, can I just tell you how glad I am that I came around to "y'all"? I was really against it at first because I moved to Texas when I was seventeen and to me it was a signifier of the differences between the South and the North so I wanted no part of it. In fact, I treated that word with some majorly unwarranted disgust. Because I was a snot. A teenage dirtbag as we all were and if you weren't, keep that to yourself. Also, you will probably go through a phase in your adulthood to make up for not being a pile of garbage in your adolescence, which is what it's for. So. Watch out. 

ANYWAY, now I embrace y'all because it's easier to say than "you guys" and it's gender inclusive. What more could you ask for from an informal plural pronoun? Not much!

So, how are? How is everything? What do you think of the new website layout? Are you excited about the grand opening of our SoCo location, which will occur in the coming weeks at a to be announced date? Let us know in the comments! If you don't, I will be forced to make the blanket assumption that you are not excited for us and, not only that, wish us harm. (Like teenage me with "y'all." Callback!) I'd like to think otherwise, but when you refuse to interact, you're kind of forcing my hand, y'know?

Unrelated: the muscle of the week is the splenius capitis!

That was actually the only part that was related.

Mmm, debatable.

The splenius capitis is not near your spleen as one might expect. In fact, it's not anywhere near your spleen. It's in the back of your neck! A betrayal of trust, no? I'd certainly say so!

The splenius capitis is located in the back of the neck, stretching diagonally from the base of your skull (near the ear) to your spine (above the shoulders, not super far down). It's involved in head movements, so, with that in mind, you use your splenius capitis when you: turn your head dramatically to look off into the distance; whip your hair back and forth; tilt your head in confusion like a pupperoni; shake your head to silently communicate with someone behind a third party's back; bobbing your head to music because you can't dance and/or have limited mobility; look up at the stars or clouds or signs or anything above your head, really; and also other instances, probably.

Those were actual instances of movement this time!

Thank you for noticing! I anticipated much grumbling and frowning and eye squinting if I didn't come through on this one. I just want you to be satisfied with your Drunk Anatomy experience. Onto the home care portion of this post!

I'd like to preface this by saying, our therapists will work out your splenius capitis better than some loser stretch could ever hope to imagine. Seriously, they've worked on mine and it's like being a dog grabbed by the scruff of the neck except there's massaging and it's therapeutic instead of demeaning.

The super easy stretches for the splenius capitis go as follows: bring your chin to your collar bone, hold it. Or tilt your head down and to the side so your ear is trying to listen to your armpit, hold it.

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

S'up nerds! What are you up to? Okay, that's nice, moving on because no one cares and I can't hear you-- I AM WRITING THIS FROM THE PAST; WE CANNOT INTERACT. (But if you really want, you can leave a comment and I might notice. I don't get notifications so it's a gamble!)

I'm going to take a giant leap and assume you're curioso about what's going on with me. Well, yesterday I exercised my civil duty to keep a certain white supremacist out of office and early voted. I went to a courthouse in Oakland and walked around the entire circumference of the building and then once I managed to make my way indoors, I then asked three people for directions. I know, I just glide through life. And today I'm waiting for maintenance to replace my fridge because it's been leaking intermittently. Such Glamour. Glamore! Glamorati!

Look, it's been a long day.

The muscle of the week is the corrugator supercilii!

Glamore and Glamorati are not words.

You! Are! No! Fun! Also, I have an English degree from a reputable university--I know what words are! Ooh, that was real sassy and even more classicist. Forgive me.

Alright, so the corrugator supercilii sounds like some layer terminology. Like, if the corroborating evidence was so absurd that it challenged the severity of a case or made it difficult for the jury to sustain their collective belief. Oh, sorry, are you not all living with lawyers in training? Just me? Okay, never mind, it sounds like a muscle and I just need to get out more.

The corrugator supercilii is located under the eyebrow from the start of your brow (near the nose) to the arch (I'm sorry if you don't have a natural arch, that must be tough.)

Is it underneath your eyebrow as in like south of it or underneath as in layered underneath your eyebrow hairs?

The latter! In terms of layering, it goes the corrugator supercilii, then skin, then eyebrow hairs.

That was a good, relevant question! Well done, my-projection-of-the-reader!

As far as function goes, this may blindside some of you, but the corrugator supercilii is in fact involved in brow furrowing. This is the muscle to thank for the wrinkles on your forehead and between your brows. You use your corrugator supercilii when looking at someone who makes poor life choices; squinting against the sun; squinting against the scent of tea tree oil; feeling e-mo-tion-al; concentrating on something dull; trying to look busy and occupied; grimacing; and other times when you scrunch up your face!

You basically just described emotional responses, not really actions.

You tell me what actions your eyebrows take! Go on, I'm listening. Yeah, I didn't think so.

Due to its location, you can't stretch the corrugator supercilii, but you can delicately massage it. Massage therapists, however, who are licensed in the practice of massage, would be better at massaging your corrugator supercilii than you could ever hope to be.

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

This very special Drunk Anatomy coincides with a very special Mantis Massage announcement: we're opening a very special second location! Unbeknownst to y'all, this has been in the works for YEARS. First as an idea, then a goal, and now a reality! It's a very exciting time in the Mantis Massage family and just like the rest of you, I can't wait to see what happens. I bet it'll be cute. I bet there will be string lights and a similar color pallet and MASSAGES.

Okay, that's quite enough sincerity and speculation! Let's move onto some rambling and incomprehensible jokes!

The muscle of the week is...the quadratus lumborum!

A second location! That's cool! Where is it going to be?

Thank you for asking me a question instead of being a jerk and making me feel self-conscious as per usual! The second location will be in SoCo (Where do we stand on that abbreviation? Do we hate it? What's the consensus?) at 2700 South Congress! Can you handle it???

So. The quadratus lumborum. I'm surprised I didn't cover this back when I first started Drunk Anatomy and I was checking off all the obvious muscles. Sure, I started off pretty good with the latissimus dorsi, but shortly thereafter it was like, the pecs and glutes- muscles literally every human being knows. How nouveau anatomy blogger can you get? Ugh, I'm embarrassed for my previous self.

This is a muscle that gets bandied about in our office and after sessions like every day because it's a problem child. It's what we in the medical field call a Jan Brady.

The quadratus lumborum is a bit of a conundrum. It's widely considered to be a low back muscle when it in actuality is just the deepest abdominal muscle. But where does the abdomen stop and the back begin? Is this just a way for us to draw arbitrary muscle lines in the anatomy sand and keep our disgusting body parts separated? Aren't we all just one muscle, the human muscle?

Um, no? We're multiple muscles making up one human?

Open your eyes! Open your heart! Open your torso!

No, don't do that. Everything inside of us is gross and hidden beneath our skin for a reason.

The quadratus lumborum is in the low back and I don't know about you, but I don't really think of the low back as being a particularly active feature. Like, it's not a hopping place. And despite the longstanding tradition of me being wrong and talking at length about things I don't understand, I actually am correct this time!

It helps to stabilize the spine and pelvis, but I cannot for the life of me think of a specific instance or movement. This is going to be the first Drunk Anatomy in history without a list of examples and for that, and only that, I apologize about what happened here today. (And I apologize for nothing else ever. Don't get greedy.)

You're not even going to try?

Look, all I can think of as potentially an example is how Rihanna dances in the "Work" videos, that's all I got.

Now onto the home care portion of this blog! Despite the fact that the quadratus lumborum doesn't really DO anything, there's no shortage of stretches centered around it.

Let me back up just to say that I know that the quadratus lumborum serves a purpose, I get that, but it seems like it does that ALL THE TIME and not just when you, like, do a handstand or something.

Anyway, a stretch! For this one, lay down on the floor and stretch your arms out like you are crushed under the weight of life, feeling like insignificant garbage and you cannot bear to hold yourself up against gravity for another second. Perfect!

Next, keeping your shoulders flat, twist at the hips so that one leg is crossed and laying over the other. It should be draped so much that is passes the bottom leg. Once you've artistically draped your leg, take comfort in the steady presence of the floor underneath you. And then switch legs.

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

So this is kind of personal. Kind of sensitive, but I feel that we've reached a rapport and, call me emotionally inept, I trust you, Internet strangers. Just because I know nothing about any of you and you've accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about me from the odds and ends in each blog post, doesn't mean that I don't sense the goodness inside of you. With that in mind, I'd like to share with you the most important, cherished, sacred part of my life.

This thing! Look at how his ears are! Look at how he looks like a little fox/seal! Look at his face! Look at his elegant limbs! Isn't he wonderful? (Say yes. Say yes or I'll find you and mess you up.)

His eyes aren't usually like that, I think he was just blissed out from being at Zilker.

Hey, I think you're confused about this being your diary. It's not, it's an anatomy blog. When is the anatomy going to come into play?

Hold your horses! Wrap your hands around their reins and gently hold them.

The muscle of the week is the peroneus longus! I thought I had done this one already, but apparently not. I get confused about what I've covered because (well, alcohol tbh) a lot of muscles have very similar sounding names.

This muscle, this peroneus longus--if that's even your real name--it is, it 100% is--goes straight up and down in your calves! So you have two of them in your body provided that you have two calves.

It's smack dab in the middle as far as depth goes, but is positioned closer to the knee.

What's your dog's name anyway? Does he have something to do with this muscle? Is that why you intro'd with him?

His name is Hunx! He has nothing to do with the peroneus longus whatsoever. He probably has them if they're in dogs, but I can't be bothered to Google and verify that. The reason I opened with him is because I couldn't think of anything to start off with and I could talk about that little fox for days. He's a very special, very pushy lil guy; there's a lot to say.

Okay, this isn't the Lindsay-talks-about-how-much-she-loves-her-dog portion of the blog, it's the function and examples section!

Despite being inside the calves, the peroneus longus is really there for foot movement stuff and balancing the leg on the foot. Keeping that in mind, you use your peroneus longus to: stand; squat; drop it like it's hot; hullahoop; lunge; tap dance; slide into the splits; nervously shift your weight from foot to foot.

What? That was hardly any examples!

Look, you get the picture! You can imagine from that list when it's being used and, frankly, I don't know of any good feet stabilizing/moving things at the moment so. Just accept what's happening!

To stretch your peroneus longus, first of all, take a load off in a chair. Next, rest your ankle on your opposite knee. Then, take a moment to reflect on your life and how it's not measuring up to what you thought it would be. Once you've thought about that for a solid seven minutes, grasp your foot a bit below your toes and pull it toward the center of your body. Now, as you're stretching and feeling the effects, remind yourself that you're doing a good job of keeping yourself alive day after day and that there's still time. So much time. Whether or not that is comforting is entirely up to your disposition!

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Why do people drink things that aren't Bloody Mary's? Why are we still paling around with other drinks when savory and kind of healthy Bloody Mary's exist? I don't care if I sound like a dad in a Tommy Bahama shirt (that's my dream aesthetic tbfh), they are superior to all other alcoholic beverages. Beer? Who are you fooling? Wine? Why would I want sour grape juice? Other common cocktails? Who needs ya, beat it!

Know what I like but seems too TIMELY to purchase? Silk/satin embroidered bomber jackets. They're so cool looking but they're so RIGHT NOW, does that make sense? I hold onto clothes until they stop being usable (tears, sweat stains, I'm a delight) so I can just hear all the "Oh, is it 2016?" if I'm wearing one a year or two down the line.

WHAT DOES THIS HAVE to do with anyTHING?

The muscle of the week is the plantaris!

That was possibly the least relevant intro of all time.

Oh, I'm sure I'll manage to make it even less relevant in the future. Have some faith.

Plantaris doesn't sound like a muscle, right? It sounds like a class of distinction like genus or phylum, don't you think? Let me know in the comments how wrong you think I am!

What's interesting about the plantaris is that something like 10% of the population is missing it! It can't be terribly important if that many people don't have it and probably don't even know that they're missing something. It's like when you fall in love after being single for a long time and never even noticed how empty your life was but here it's with muscles and not intimacy.

Information: the plantaris is a long, skinny muscle and tendon in the back of the knee/calf.

That was 10% information and 90% rambling.

Is that not the ratio we're aiming for? Are you actually here to get as much information on the plantaris muscle as possible? Or are you just here for some general knowledge? If it's the former then we've had a miscommunication about the nature of this blog.

Let me know in the comments if you think I've been unclear about what your expectations should be!

The plantaris helps with flexing the ankle and knee, but sources indicate that it does so just barely and your other muscles could take care of it without contribution from the plantaris.

Times when you use your plantaris but could def still do these actions without: high kicks; pointing your toes; pilates; Tae Bo; the moonwalk; most dancing; strutting; sauntering; swaggering; walking in a normal way that doesn't start with an 's'; jumping jacks; jumping; swimming; trying on a pair of shoes and extending your legs to examine how they look; and other instances!

Let me know in the comments what instances you're outraged that I've forgotten!

No one's going to leave you a comment.

You think I don't know that?

There aren't any stretches that focus solely on the plantaris because as we all know, it's small and relatively useless. If you have a tight plantaris, you probably wouldn't know that specifically--just that your calve is sore. A calve stretch you can do, that you probably learned in P.E., can be done either with a stair or curb. You put your toe on the curb/stair/heightened elevation mechanism and pull your heel down towards the ground.

Voila! You have stretched calves and by extension, stretched your plantaris.

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Hours keep slipping away today and I can't concentrate to save my life! This is probably going to be very scattered! There, I warned you so now you can't be mad at me. Don't come crawling into my comment section about a lack of "coherency" and "logic," okay? You have been forewarned! (I'm kidding, I would love feedback as long as it's constructive. One time someone called this here blog "worthless crap" and I felt like a soggy shoe. I mean, don't pity me because I get paid to write these and that's amazing, but, like, what is that supposed to do other than make me feel bad? TL; DR: I am fortunate but also vulnerable like a young starlet. Jeezy Creezy, this is so self-indulgent, why aren't MORE of you mean to me??)

The muscle of the week is the anconeus muscle! It sounds like a stone or something, right? Like something your counter top could be made out of? Well, it's not and I wish you would take this seriously for once.

That was basically entrapment.

You need to brush up on your legal jargon because that is not the case--pun intended, deal with it. The anconeus muscle is a teeny little strip of a muscle located on the top of the elbow joint going into the forearm.

Some people, who are wrong, think it's part of the triceps brachi, but, again, they are wrong. Some other people, who, you guessed it, are also wrong, think it's a part of a pack of forearm muscles, which is completely disregarding its function and the very existence of the elbow!

Just because it's not as flashy as the hand or as bumpy as the biceps doesn't mean it's not worthwhile!

Your arm wouldn't be the arm you know and love? Tolerate? Are accustomed to? if you were sans elbow and elbow joint.

Do you over identify with this muscle or something? Is that why you're so defensive rn?

Do I over identify with something small whose identity is often erased? You bet your ass I do!

The anconeus muscle helps to extend the elbow, which should come as no surprise because it's in the elbow and not the biceps or forearm. You're using your anconeus muscle when you play tennis; do some choreo; hold your arms out to allow someone to jump into them; when you shoot hoops; when you pretend to be a mummy for Halloween because all you have is toilet paper and no imagination; when you drive; when you're reaching; when you're doing certain swim strokes, techniques or whatever you call them; and then also other times but you get the idea!

It seems like you've been having a hard time coming up with examples these past few weeks.

Maybe I have and maybe I HAVE.

Now you know I'm going to hint at getting a massage for any anconeus and elbow tension you feel, but I want to extra hint at that because our prices will be increasing on September 6th (2016- IDK when you're reading this) so now's a good time to make an appointment! I believe we still have openings before then!

Here's a stretch you can do from home if you just can't wait: fully extend your arm and with your opposite hand pull down your palm so your fingers are pointing to the ground or sky. You can turn your arm either way and it'll hit different muscles, but again, go get a massage!

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

So. So. Sooooooooo. So. So so so so so. That doesn't look like a word anymore. It doesn't sound like a word anymore. It's weird how words are words just because we decided that a collection of squiggles and sounds means a thing. It's a good thing I'm alive now (hmm, debatable) and not when systems were developing because I would've halted all progress by acting like some sophomore philosophy major, all, "What does this even mean?" about everything. Like language is such a complex, nuanced thing and a bunch of randoes we don't even KNOW put a bunch of noises together and that's how talking works! And we adhere to it every day of our lives! What even is that!

Hey, where are you going? Don't leave! I'll stop, I promise! I was just about to get to anatomy!

The muscle of the week is the quadratus plantae muscle!

You seem like you would've been a really annoying person to go to college with.

I can assure you, I'm a really annoying person to go anywhere with. So the quadratus plantae, first of all, sounds like a plant with four enormous leaves and nothing like a muscle in your foot, which is what it somehow actually is. It's hard to get past this betrayal of expectations, but we have to do it. We have to move on and let go so that we can move forward and get to something beautiful. This blog post is v revealing of my current mental state, huh?

The quadratus plantae muscle is in the middle of your foot, both in terms of layers and geographical location. It's two long strips, which are initially separated by a ligament but come together and attach to (or the proper term "insert at") the flexor digitorum longus.

But...what does it do? Why am I here?

Why are any of us here? Random chance, an accident, no real reason at all??? Oh my god, get me out of this headspace! This is an anxiety nightmare!

The quadratus plantae is in your foot and helps to flex your second and pinky toes. I can't think of that many examples due to the crushing awareness of the gravity of everything around me and also because feet don't do a lot of stuff, right? Anyway, the quadratus plantae is in play when you do ballet and you're standing on your toes LIKE A WITCH; when you stretch your legs and point your toesies; when, if you're like my darling sister Sasha, you wave your pinky toes at people who recoil in horror; when you grip stuff with your toes; when you're running and do that pre-run crouch lunge on the ground; and maybe other times, IDK!

Maybe when you're walking? That's a time that you use your plantar quadratus?

I mean, yeah, if you want to be obvious about it. Pfft, amateur.

Something the owner of Mantis Massage said about feet one time was very illuminating! She said to always work on a client's feet unless they ask you specifically not to (she said this to some therapists, not me, I never have massaged anyone and I never will) because they're holding you up all the time, supporting your weight, and so, guaranteed, they need the work--all of this is true provided that you do stand on your feet and are not in a wheelchair, for example. Understanding all of that, I highly recommend getting a massage and asking for foot work because chances are you need it.

If you can't come in or can't stand the idea of someone touching your feet (girl, same), then get a tennis ball and roll your foot on it. It's a good time.

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

 

Drunk Anatomy

S'up, beaches? How's it going? You get turned up this weekend? I had a pretty gnarly weekend myself-- I walked for 8 mother loving hours and now my legs are wrecked. WRECKED.

You may be wondering why I'm talking (Would 'writing' be more apt here? I mean, I feel like we're just gabbing but technicalities and such.) in this cringe-worthy manner and if you're not, I'm a little offended that you would think this is how I always sound.

Well, I'm just getting in character for the muscle of the week because its name has some serious vibes attached to it. Until recently I'm sure it was just a normal name, but now! Now it's a whole different story.

The muscle of the week is the supinator!

Is that not the most bro-y muscle you've ever heard of? Supinator! Jabroni! Dudemiester! Sick kegstand, man! You killed that!

Whoever named/discovered this muscle wants to rise from the grave to straight up murder me and I don't blame them.

So let's get into it!

What's this muscle's deal?

What isn't this muscle's deal, more like! A lot things, actually. Muscles generally only do like 1-2 things, tops. But those 1-2 things they do, they do 'em really well (in most cases).

First, let's talk about where the supinator can be found--outside of a fraternity, of course. The supinator is a short and stout muscle that wraps around the radius in the upper portion of the forearm. Wow, I explained that really well.

Eh, I've seen better explanations.

Oh, yeah? Name one time! I'll wait right here.

No, I won't.

The supinator, when it's not too busy playing beer pong, is used to rotate the arm so that your palm is facing the world at large. Do you want some examples? No? Too bad!

You use your supinator when you grip the sides of a keg to do a kegstand; when you shoot hoops; when you take off your backwards snapback and/or fluorescent plastic shades; when you raise the roof; when you do an overly complicated handshake with a bro as a symbol of how much you love your bro but only in a purely platonic bro way; when you pull on your boat shoes that you wear under non-boating conditions; when you dance by, like, flexing your arms and just kind of rocking side to side; when you're doing some crude hand gesture that is truly the peak of humor; and other ways, both bro-y and not!

Do you actually know any bros or is this all based off of media interpretations?

I have known bros in my time and I have also seen a lot of movies and TV shows so I am well-versed in bro-dom, okay?

This is the home care portion of the blog post and just because the supinator overcompensates with hyper masculinity and can't admit to any vulnerabilities doesn't mean it never gets strained. It does. And it happens every day right under our collective noses.

To stretch your supinator, extend your arm at the forearm- you can bend your arm at the elbow but make sure your forearm is parallel to the ground and your hand is out like you're going to shake someone's hand. Then turn your hand so it's flat with the palm facing the ground and with your other hand, hold your extended hand and turn it inwards. Hold that position for like 30 seconds and voila! A stretched supinator.

If that seems like too much work, you can always book a massage with us and ask for some forearm work!

 

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

You know those mornings where you're like, "It's been a long day"? Today is one of those days! It's been a long day since I woke up and it will continue to be a long day after I stop being conscious. For me, anyway. Maybe today has been great for you, which oh, hmm, that's so nice, I definitely don't immediately resent you because of that---when am I going to get to anatomy?!

Now! We're doing this now! And I am not going to make a Bill O'Reilly "We'll do it live!" reference because he is a monster and I am better than that. Except I kind of just did so I guess I'm not.

Alright. Anatomy. Muscles. Fibers.

Here is the thing. The thing about bodies. They are disgusting and there's not enough (hypothetical) alcohol in the world to get me to pretend otherwise. Maybe the alcohol--again, purely hypothetical--is making it worse? I'll have to look into that.

Get to the muscles already, lady!

Don't rush me! I will turn this blog post around!

Now--and I'm doing this because I was already going to tell you, not because I feel pressured--the muscle of the week/day/blog post herein is the pronator teres! I'm going to go out on a limb (heh) and guess that it pronates. JUST AN EDUCATED GUESS FROM A REASONABLY INTELLIGENT YOUNG WOMAN WHO'S WRITTEN A NUMBER OF ANATOMY BLOGS IN HER TIME.

The pronator teres is located in the forearm where it connects to the elbow and continues across to the other side of the forearm. It has two heads, which I don't like because I never understand where they're going and where they came from so I definitely can't tell y'all about it! Man, muscles are so inconsiderate of people who blog about them.

What I can tell you is this: the median nerve is between the two heads of the pronator teres, which is why I picked this muscle. Sometimes, when my forearms are sore and my fingers spasm, it's because my median nerve is acting like a jerk. Or maybe it's not a jerk. Maybe it's just ~misunderstood~ or something.

Are you suggesting a nerve is acting out like a teenager living in an unstable environment?

I'm not saying that because that would be ridiculous, but I'm also not opposed to it if that's how you want to look at this. Follow your dreams! Challenge your preconceived notions of nerves! Let's drop this line of thought and focus on the function of the muscle!

The pronator teres does indeed pronate the forearm and maybe that'll teach you to doubt me. (Pronating, btw, is a complicated word for "turning" because anatomy people want to make sure we all know how EDUCATED they are.) Pronating the forearm means turning it so that the back of the hand is displayed instead of the palm.

You would use your pronator teres when you do the Single Ladies dance; when you do 'talk to the hand' and are transplanted back into the 1990s; when you swat something out of your vicinity; when you get your palm read by a very encouraging psychic who does not seem at all invested in your future; when you're gesturing grandly; and also other times!

That's not that many examples.

Sometimes I can rattle off a bunch of examples, but sometimes, like today, I can only think expansively about a few. Anyway, you get it.

Let's talk maintenance! Obviously, get a gosh darn massage from us if you have the time, means, and a strained pronator teres, but I've got a stretch in case you don't.

Stretches for the pronator teres are super simple, you probably do them without knowing that they are classic stretches and not just something that feels good. You stretch both arms in front of you and then with one hand, grasp the fingers of your other hand and pull so that they're pointing to the ground. Hold that for, I don't know, like twenty seconds? Or more if you want/need/have the time and inclination for.

That's all the information I have to offer and this is a really long post so okay bye now!

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Okay, y'all, I'm not sure if this is the right way to do this, but the time has come so here we go. *Deep breath* I, Lindsay Elise Zooey Bendig, am no longer the Office Superhero at this here deep tissue massage therapy clinic, Mantis Massage. But, look, just because I'm not managing this business or living in Austin (I'm, uh, moving to Berkeley in...24 hours so...tomorrow) doesn't mean we won't see each other. I'm still going to be here, researching and not really articulating stuff, putting out newsletters, and I'll be around every day on Twitter. It'll be like I never left! You won't even notice the difference!

(Wouldn't it be weird if my tone completely transformed once I move out to Cali? Like, I'd become super zen and chill and forthright about my feelings and talk about, I don't know, surfing all the time? Ha!)

Also, I feel I should note that it's not like no one is managing/taking care of Mantis anymore! I trained my replacement Caitlin for months so I didn't abandon the therapists, I just left and gave them to someone else.

That doesn't sound great.

You might be overestimating how attached people are to you.

Yeah, probably I am! But maybe, like, two of you are bummed and I want to HONOR those feelings. Those feelings are VALID if they do indeed exist. And maybe this is more directed at me than any of you, maybe I'm projecting, whatever, feelings are feelings and they are a thing and that is normal.

Know what's not normal? Feeling nothing about a gigantic change. So maybe you're the weird one!

You haven't even said what muscle you'll be talking about and it's been like six paragraphs.

Let's get down to brass anatomy tacks. We are learning about the masseter muscle today! Alliteration is so satisfying! The masseter is a two-headed muscle located in the corner of your jaw. The masseter has a deep head and a superficial head, which is bigger and conceals the deep head--girl, same. I've read about insertions and extensions and what have you and I truly do not understand any of it. Something about a mandible? IDK and I don't want to K.

The masseter is one of the "muscles of mastication," which I'm assuming  is where it got its boring name. Mastication is a fancy word for chewing for all of those who were unaware! (I was also unaware, but there's this thing called Google and it's a lifesaver.) It works with other muscles located in the jaw to help you move your jaw so you can grind up food and then swallow that food for sustenance.

Other times you use your masseter is when you're chewing gum, but not swallowing because that's a bad idea; when you chew on your tongue as a nervous habit for your entire life--oh, that's just me apparently; when you clench your jaw from a super healthy, nothing-to-be-concerned-about amount of stress; when you talk; and probably more!

You used to always separate the sections where you talk about the muscle's location/function and then give examples. Guess you already have changed.

That is not a sign that I'm different! That's a sign that I blathered on for too long earlier and I am trying to stay on topic!

You never used to try and stay on topic before.

That is not true! I always tried, just not very hard and I would basically always fail.

This is the stretching/home care portion of the blog, this is what's happening now, this is where we're at, no more comparisons to previous posts.

My jaw is sore a lot to all of the time because I do all of the examples listed above and I can tell you from experience that jaw massages from a Mantis Massage therapist are both wonderful and terrible. They release a lot of tension and it hurts so much you'll want to jump off the table. They're a blessing and a curse. It's complicated.

If that scared you off, dragging your knuckles up and down your jaw makes you look like a weirdo, but it helps!

That is a wrap on the masseter, see you next week! Love ya kinda!

Lindsay is the Communications Maven at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

You know, I've been doing Drunk Anatomy for quite some time now and there's something that I've learned that I want to share with you. The thing about bodies is that they are categorically gross. Just like the most off-putting things to see inside of. Your innards are not beautiful. They are not aesthetically pleasing. They look MESSED UP. There's so much moisture and like alien-looking pieces all clustered together. And the blood! Oh my god, the blood. Blechhhhhhhhhhh. You see muscles and stuff when you buy meat at the grocery store but it's just not an accurate depiction of what's going on inside us at all times.

TL; DR: Do not look at pictures of actual muscles. Stick with the cartoons, they will not put you off eating for hours on end.

With this very positive attitude towards bodies, let's go in-depth about anatomy!

We will be learning about and loving the opponens pollicis this week.

Loving? We'll be loving this muscle?

Yes, LOVING just like I love you and you love me.

I wouldn't go that far. That's a bit much. Scale it back a bit.

Fine, message received. The opponens pollicis, which sounds like a journalism award, is a small muscle located in the hand because your hand is small and it can't go around with gigantic muscles, now can it? It lies deep in the palm underneath the abductor pollicis brevis muscle and beside the flexor pollicis brevis muscle. Those two are the opponens pollicis's best friends. They're its trio, its girl gang, its raison d'être, and together they are the thenar eminence muscles. Doesn't that also sound like a journalism award?

Do you know what journalism awards are usually called?

Somewhat, I mean, my knowledge of journalism awards isn't necessarily rooted in FACTS per say, but more of a general understanding of the nuanced complexity that is journalism awards and their names and by extension the naming process thereof--we're getting off track here!

The opponens pollicis muscle is tasked with moving the thumb laterally, in a way that is described as "opposition of the thumb," but that does more to confuse than clarify, IMO.

You use your handy dandy opponens pollicis when you touch your thumb to each of your fingers five times each so that you can relax; when you hold something in your hand without putting your fingers to work; when you move your thumb to be the mouth in the face you've drawn on the side of your hand; when you touch your thumb to each finger just one more TO BE SURE, of what I don't know, but I do know that if I don't do it, I'll start squirming like a restless toddler; when you hold a pen, pencil, or any utensil; when you pick something up between your thumb and pointer finger because the thing is gross and you want to touch it the least amount possible; and MORE!

Your sentences are super long and rambly this week, what's the deal?

I am feeling restless! And agitated! And I am having difficulty concentrating on one thought unless that thought is completely irrelevant to what I should be thinking about/doing! There's an eyelash in my eye!

Unlike our more recent Drunk Anatomy muscles, the opponens pollicis has a super easy stretch you can do! You just keep your fingers pressed together and then push your thumb out as far away from them as you can. You can also squeeze that meaty bit of muscle between your thumb and index finger to loosen it up.

Or get a massage! A Mantis Massage massage to be exact!

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Good time of day at which you are reading this, Drunk Anatomy-ers! As you might've guessed from that sentence, my ability to say things that make sense to other people is not really in full force today, which means this is going to be a very confusing Drunk Anatomy.

All Drunk Anatomy posts are confusing. Isn't that the point?

Pfft, no! The point is for me to shed a microscopic amount of light onto the life of a muscle and also to make me feel like I'm funny--duh.

The muscle that we will be shedding light on today is the mentalis and, yes, I did pick it because it sounded like the CBS serial crime drama The Mentalist. Now, I have never actually watched a single episode of that show because I had no interest in the premise and the dude wasn't hot enough for me to give it a shot despite that--real talk, white men are never as attractive as we are made to believe.

What was I saying? Oh, right, the mentalis! It's a muscle that solves crimes by noticing things--nope, that's not it. It's a muscle located in the upper chin. It's a small V-shaped muscle and I have to wonder, are pronounced mentalises butt chins?

(Did I sound like Carrie Bradshaw there? I do a better Samantha Jones, but it didn't really fit. I genuinely don't even like that show; it's just such a common reference point.)

Why do you keep talking about things you don't like? Why do you know so much about things that you don't like? What's your deal?

I don't know, it's who I am!

The mentalis has a cutesy, revealing nickname: "the pouting muscle." I'm not entirely convinced that this is something other people call it and not just what the mentalis wishes it were called.

It is involved in chin and lower lip movements such as pouting to get your way; frowning exaggeratedly; when you press your lips together in quiet disconcertment; pouting to manipulate someone; when you ugly cry and your chin quivers and dimples; frowning in genuine displeasure; also pouting and other mouth stuff. Like talking!

Hmm, you must use your mentalis pretty incessantly then, huh?

Hey! Not nice! Not strictly ballroom untrue, but still not nice!

While I don't think my chin has ever been sore, regardless of how much I use my mentalis, there's no harm in stretching it! Unfortunately, much like most face muscles, you can't do some contrived gesture to stretch it out. You can, however, dig and drag your knuckles up and down your chin.

And there was another thing. What was it? What was the other thing you could do for your mentalis? Oh yeah, get a massage!

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Disclaimer: I AM HAVING AN EMOTION TODAY SO PLEASE BEAR WITH ME DURING THIS MAUDLIN DRUNK ANATOMY. Explanation: I finished reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and I am incredibly fragile about it. Fragile like a lone flower that is most def going to get stepped on. By life.

Have you read it? If you haven't and you like YA LGBT novels, check it out! If you're snobbing at me rn THERE IS VERY LITTLE MEDIA WHERE PPL LIKE ME GET TO BE ALIVE AND NOT MISERABLE SO, YEAH, WHATEVER, I READ BOOKS INTENDED FOR TEENS. Off topic: Do you ever feel like you could burst into tears at any given moment? Cool, cool, same, me neither.

Let's suppress our emotions with a little anatomy lesson, shall we?

This time we're taking a look at the orbicularis oculi, which sounds like some wizard world nonsense.

Are you sure you're in the right place emotionally to be writing this blog?

Ha! I am literally never in the right place emotionally to do anything, but thank you for the concern.

Avid readers of this here blog/mental garbage dump will recall that last week when we were learning about the orbicularis oris,  I thought it should be an eye muscle, but it wasn't. So I looked for an eye muscle and it's almost the exact same name??? They (the Anatomy Namers) just switched out the second word, which seems monumentally lazy. (In Latin, orbicularis is derived from "orbis" so I guess it's a circle thing, but they still should've done more to differentiate it. Righteous indignation!)

The orbicularis oculi, which is what we're here to talk about, no matter how many tangents we go on, is a circular muscle surrounding the eye. It looks like a pair of goggles. Really creepy flesh goggles that might haunt my dreams... And yours, too!

What a nightmare.

Thanks for sharing that.

The main reason for the orbicularis oculi's existence is to close the eyelids, which is both noble and somehow enormously sad to me. Can you imagine if all you were ever good for was to close an eyelid? Devastating. I'm glad we're sentient humans and not just singular muscles doing menial tasks-- OH WAIT THAT'S BASICALLY WHAT WE ALL ARE.

Am I really going to list off ways that you close your eyes? You bet I am!

You use your orbicularis oculi to blink; to sleep perchance to dream; to WINK; to flutter your eyelashes all, "Who, me?"; when you squint at someone to make them feel very not with it, which is mean, please be kind to one another; when you're trying to get something out of your eye; when you're protecting yourself from the probing touch of an optometrist; and I genuinely have no idea anymore.

Let me know when you use your orbicularis oculi in the comments!

Do people actually leave you comments?

One person did one time! It was kind of gratifying, but mostly confusing.

Our fantastic, knowledgeable, wondrous lead therapist Monica actually told me a little about taking care of this muscle (at least I think this is what she was talking about). She said you LIGHTLY trace along it and it helps to relieve eyestrain, headaches, can improve your vision, reupholster your furniture, and sometimes fix dyslexia! Can you believe that? So lightly trace your orbicularis oculi and see what happens. And then let me know in the comments.

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Image courtesy of thewellnessdigest.com.

Drunk Anatomy

You thought I was gone, didn't you? You thought I forgot and dropped the ball, huh? Well, eat some humble pie and enjoy that egg on your face, Wrong-o of Wrongington, because I had the week off but now I'm back and more confused than ever.

So let's get into some Drunk Anatomy!

This week/today/this individual blog post, we will be discovering some truths about ourselves and the orbicularis oris. (Allow me to get this off my chest: what is with these naaaaaames?)

Don't let the stuffy, overly-complicated name fool you, this muscle has some intrigue attached to it. The orbicularis oris is, in some dark, juvenile corners of the world, known as "the kissing muscle."

How did you know where to find that gif?

Maybe I have a Tumblr, it's whatever, let's move on, don't make eye contact with me. In the olden anatomy times, anatomists--anatomers? anatomologists?--thought this muscle was a circle but they were wrong. Dead wrong. It's not just one ring to rule them all, it's a bunch of muscle fibers overlapping and working together to move your mouth and I think that's beautiful. Maybe "a bunch of muscle fibers overlapping and working together" can be our "always."

Wait, did I even cover that the orbicularis oris is in the lips? I did not. Ugh, I had one job to do! Not really, I have like a million, but still, REMORSE.

Okay, to recap: the kissing muscle, in the lips, not just one continuous circular muscle.

This Drunk Anatomy is surprisingly anatomy-oriented.

Thank you for noticing! I do my darnedest to bring you informative content, though admittedly not consistently. Based on the nicknamification, we know the orbicularis oris is involved in smooching, but what else?

Side bar: based on the spelling and how it looks like binocular, did anyone else think it was near the eyes? (I have a mild form of self-diagnosed dyslexia so maybe I'm wrong, but that is a very rare occurrence and you can bet your sweet tuckus that I would rather die than admit it.) Anyway, let me know in the comments if you thought so, too! I'm trying this new thing where I engage the readers; it's not really yielding anything as of yet.

Other times your orbicularis oris is in play: when you're lip-syncing for your life; when you're drinking out of a straw, which is the superior way to consume beverages; when you're playing an instrument that involves a mouthpiece; when you're talking endlessly at a rapid-fire pace like you're one of those Gilmore Girls; when you're pursing your lips in a selfie; when you frown; when you smile; when you peel your lip back in disgust; and so many more instances!

It seems like the stretches for the orbicularis oris would range from really weird to nonexistent. And, yes, it does look like the word "binocular."

Thank you and also agreed, babe! Man, you are being so supportive today. (I pronounce "babe" as "beb," just so you are aware and hearing it in your head that way.) I wonder if the orbicularis oris ever gets sore? No, right? In my experience, it's not a thing but who knows? And I suppose to stretch it out you could open your mouth super wide like you're at the dentist except without the mind-numbing fear, let it go slack, and just wiggle your lips around as much as you can to shake out whatever tension you manage to have stored in there.

This may come as a surprise to you--maybe not, I don't know your life--but our therapists can massage your face! I don't know how great the Biotone Advanced Therapy Massage Creme is for your face skin, but it's worth it! Face/jaw massages hurt SO MUCH, I can't even tell you. I've never had them work on my mouth but I'm sure they'd do it, even if they were grossed out about it because customer service. 

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

 Image courtesy of giphy.com.

 

Drunk Anatomy

Welcome to the latest and most adequate edition of Drunk Anatomy, the blog series where I mostly ramble and then kind of talk about muscles.

How's your life going? Any different since we last saw each other? I know we haven't seen each other with our eyeballs but I like to think we've seen each other with our spirits, which is the most visible kind of seeing when you think about it. Anyway, my life's okay; it could be MUCH worse, but it could also be better--literally anyone could say the same...but would they dare? Yeah, for sure, without question. It's not a provocative stance I'm taking here. No one is ever fully satisfied with their lot because that's how being a human is. C'est la vie. (Did you know I took (in total) four years of French? What an enormous waste of time!)

SEEMS LIKE I'M AN INTROSPECTIVE BRAND OF TIPSY TODAY.

Without much further ado--actually, hold up they don't love you I love you, one more ado for you: Buy E•MO•TION on iTunes. It will change your life and it's what I'm listening to as I write this; get on my level! Okay, onto the blog.

The muscle of the week is............................................................

.....................................................................................................

.....................................................................................................

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...........................................the omohyoid muscle!

What...is....that...?

Good question! Very #relatable. It is 1). a muscle, 2). misunderstood, and 3). important in its own way, which is to say that I think we could survive without it. But it's in our bodies so I guess we gotta talk about it? (UNRELATED/NOT INTERESTING TO ANYONE BUT ME: the word count right now is reading 644??? How?? What? That can't be true. Word Count, go home. You're drunk.) The location of this teensy weeny muscle is the neck, of course, because let me tell you, the neck is packed full of skinny muscles with minor functions.

You're right, that wasn't interesting to anyone but you.

Way harsh, Ty. Let's get into the nitty gritty of what this muscle does. The omohyoid muscle pushes the hyoid down. The hyoid is a bone in the front your throat. If you touch your throat right now, you'll feel some very delicate cylindrical bones and cartilage. It's in there, your hyoid bone. All along and we had no idea until I wrote this blog post. I am doing some very important work.

Enough with the anatomy mumbo jumbo. Spell this thing out for me.

You got it! The omohyoid muscle is in use when you scream into your pillow because you don't know how to express your feelings. When you gulp dramatically as if to say "Uh-oh" with just your throat. When you swallow food because you require sustenance to sustain yourself. When you drink things for whatever the reason, no judgement. When you say words and your voice box moves. When you sing along to E•MO•TION by Carly Slay Jepsen but then you hear how awful your voice sounds so you very abruptly stop. And maybe there are other times! Probably there are!

Would you even be able to tell if your omohyoid muscle was strained?

Probs not! If you have a stiff neck or if you can't extend your neck all the way then some of your neck muscles are strained, but there's no way us mere mortals could discern which neck muscles are the problem middle child.

Unless...they were a massage therapist. Yes, a massage therapist who specializes in deep tissue and works at a clinic in East Austin would surely be able to diagnose which muscles are giving you a hard time. They would know and tell you and also be able to get into the muscles to make your neck less awful. Wow, it would probably be very beneficial to see such a massage therapist maybe during the week in the mornings because there's more availability at that time.

To stretch your omohyoid muscle, tilt your head back and to the side. Rub your throat as you do so like you're force feeding a pill to your pet but in a way that is much less traumatizing and without them struggling in your arms.

Okay, that's it. Goodbye, I love you. I'll never forget you.

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Hey buddy o'pals, how are things? What are you up to? I'm sweating because Austin decided to do something a little different this year and be super flippin' humid like every other city in my life. Anyway, now that everyone knows I'm putting my Dove Clinical Protection Cool Essentials Antiperspirant Deodorant™ to work, let's talk anatomy!

This week, we will be taking a hard, unflinching look at the serratus anterior. It is, in fact, a muscle and not a room full of knives and other assorted cutlery as one might expect.

This is an anatomy blog. I don't think anyone thought it was a "room full of knives."

Circled in red on this photograph is the muscle in question.

As you can see and cringe at, the serratus anterior is located below your armpits on your side via the ribs. I'm going to take a GIANT leap and assume this muscle's name and beefed up appearance is the reason for buff bods being referred to as "shredded." Truly the bod pictured above is shredded and it's a worrisome sight to behold. (Mine does not look like that, though, does anyone who is not a bodybuilder have one that defined? Let me know in the comments!)

There are three parts of the muscle (the three strips as seen on the dude bro's body) which are the serratus anterior superior (the highest, a little uppity tbh), the serratus anterior intermediate (the middle, very level-headed), and the serratus anterior inferior (the lowest, lots of self worth issues).

Wow, maybe don't body shame that guy for being so shredded.

Okay, you can't body shame men for being too muscular? That's not a thing? No man has ever experienced systemic marginalization due to being ripped?

Based on the location and size of the serratus anterior, it doesn't seem like this muscle does much of importance.

It's there to affix the scapula to its rightful place- yeesh, how dramatically did I phrase that one? According to my sources, the serratus anterior is responsible for frontal arm movements as well as pulling the scapula to the front around the ribs.

If that was a big, "Uh, wha?" for you, too, don't worry. Here are some examples to illustrate these movements: punching someone in the face, doing a push-up, punching someone in the arm, putting books on your head, punching someone in the stomach, swinging a golf club, punching someone in the neck, holding your jacket above your and your crush's heads in the rain.

You used the same example like five times.

Nope, only four! This seems like a difficult to impossible muscle to stretch. Let's find out if my preconceived notions of stretchability align with reality, shall we?

They don't! There are some very simple stretches for the serratus anterior. But how would you know if it was sore? That's the real question. Your therapist could very easily tell you, I guess, so that's not really a stumper. Man, I am over or under estimating everything today.

Okay, stretch time. Behind your back, with one hand hold the opposite wrist. With the hand that is grasping, pull the grasped wrist/arm toward the grasping hand. THIS IS THE WORST EXPLANATION IN THE WORLD, BLAHHHH. And hold that until you feel a release.

Also get a Mantis Massage massage.

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Outside of random trivia, she has retained nothing from talking with the therapists re: anatomy. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Drunk Anatomy

Welcome back to Drunk Anatomy! Nope, no acknowledgement of how long it's been since this series updated--that's not what you're here for! If you are, in fact, here, which I am dubious about. Know what I'm not dubious about? Anatomy! Okay, that's a lie and basically the opposite of the premise of these posts. Whatever, let's get into it!

This week we will be learning about the levator scapulae. Hmm, yes, well, what an interesting choice.  I KNOW AND ALSO THANK YOU. First things first, I eat your brains let's tackle pronunciation. If you're anything like me, and god help you if you are, you're saying it wrong.

Looking at "levator," you'd think it's an unnecessary to the degree of pointless shortening of elevator, right? Except it's not, it's a muscle, but it is pronounced as thought it were. Maybe this is an unnecessary clarification, but I was saying it "lev-uh-tore" until like a month ago so I'm not about to assume who knows how to say what.

So...you're not going to explain why you haven't update in, like, a thousand years?

Nope! The levator scapulae is located in the neck, attached to the vertebrae there, and runs down to the shoulder blade. It's there not just for funnies, but to raise the scapula. Anyone else need a refresher on what the scapula is? No? Just me? FINE, but this is my blog post so you're going to sit through it regardless. The scapula is the shoulder blade, which is also called the shoulder girdle and I 5000% understand why no one says that ever.

Judging by the number of times I've seen this muscle listed when entering massage notes (that's right, I know all your secrets for the minute that I'm typing them and then I instantly forget), it's an issue for a lot of people.

You know, it's been over a year. I think that warrants some kind of explanation.

I don't not disagree! Knowing what we know about knowing that the levator exists to raise the shoulder blade--sorry to reduce you down to one thing, levator--we can pretty much guess when we use it. I'm assuming there are some readers who are not terribly imaginative, so let's run through some examples!

You use your levator when you shrug one shoulder at someone because what/whoever you're gesturing at isn't worth a double shoulder raise; when you pin your cell phone between your shoulder and your ear; when you hike up your shoulders to your ears because you handle stress by clenching your body; when it turns out that what/whoever you were shrugging at actually is worth a double shoulder shrug; when you raise a glass to toast someone; typing; when you desperately grip onto those overhead bars on the bus for stability; when you clap your hand onto the shoulder of someone who is taller than you because you want to seem extra condescending and words just won't do it; when you hold a case of beer on your shoulder so everyone knows you're a burly strong straight man; and even more examples that would take up too much space on this here blog post!

Right, but the ones you listed already took up a lot of space so like...? Also, you haven't even apologized for abandoning us and then trying to pick right back up like nothing happened.

That brings us to the stretching instruction portion! Regular massages and at-home stretches are the best way to keep your muscles from exacting their revenge in the form of you not being able to move your body. I can't/won't/will never do anything for you about the massage part, but here is a stretch that will alleviate tightness and get your ROM* back.

Gently place your hand on the back of your hand. Now, even gentler, pull your head out and away from the source of tension so that it's pointed toward your opposite foot. Gentlest of all, hold for 15-30 seconds. I find it really helps a stretch if you breath in deeply, then as you exhale, stretch further or massage the muscle in question while you stretch it.

Now, go forth and be limber and knowledgeable!

*ROM = range of motion. Just a little LMT shorthand for ya.

Lindsay is the Office Superhero (check the business cards) at Mantis Massage. She knows essentially zilch about massage therapy other than that it feels real nice. Outside of random trivia, she has retained nothing from talking with the therapists re: anatomy. Lindsay might maybe possibly definitely be inebriated for these discussions, but who's to say?

Area Woman Hates Everything, Tries Jogging

No one has time for anything—we barely have time to write this blog post—so when it comes to exercising, it’s understandable that it falls to the wayside. You’re married to your smartphone, you’re bending over backwards to be available, you have one thousand familial obligations to deal with, a never-ending list of errands plagues your days, and you and sleep have what could generously be called “a tumultuous relationship”: when exactly would you have time to run a 5k?

Unfortunately, all that stress sweat and overextending yourself that leaves you exhausted doesn’t count as an active lifestyle. You can be busy and engaged constantly but still technically be sedentary. We know, it’s a bunch of Grade-A garbage, but it’s true. This lack of on purpose exercise style moving and grooving is literally deadly.

Allow us to explain this in the form of horrifying statistics: Millions of people die each year from diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity and certain forms of cancer that can, in many cases, be prevented. In the U.S. alone, $3 trillion were spent last year on health care. 75% of these costs go toward treating preventable diseases, while only 3% is being spent on preventative initiatives and programs. If that isn’t scary enough, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. There has never been a more important time than RIGHT NOW to bring physical activity back into our lives.

Speaking of right now, registration is open at Million Mile Month! Million Mile Month is a one month virtual fitness event that happens each April. The good people at non-profit HealthCode™, challenge the Million Mile Month community to complete one million miles of physical activity, together as one community, during the month of April. The program encourages people to exercise and log their activity to track personal stats and contribute to the community wide goal of 1 million miles. During Million Mile Month 2015, 20,000+ participants from 13 countries logged over one million miles and 35 million minutes of activity. For the 2016 event, we think it'd be pretty neat if participation expanded. Health Code is hoping to reach over 30k+ participants and hit the 1.5 or even 2 million mile mark- how cool would that be?

Registration for the event at http://millionmilemonth.org ranges from FREE to $50, and each level comes with different race perks! To make the event even more awesome, Million Mile Month has super cool prizes like new shoes, a bike, gift cards, and fitness accessories, that are given away as a celebration when the community passes MILEstones like 100,000 miles, 200,000 miles, etc. Who doesn’t love free things?

This April, we at Mantis a Massage encourage you to join us in taking on the Million Mile Month challenge. This is an awesome time to stand up against the nation’s health crisis and make a change for good. Register NOW!

Luci's Got a Playlist!

Set in Motion - Yuck feat. Sebastian Fors

Swing Lo Magellan - Dirty Projectors

Anemone - The Brian Jonestown Massacre

Reflections After Jane - The Clientele

Hybrid Moments - Helvetia

Ocean (Outake Version) - The Velvet Underground

True Blue - Dirty Beaches

I'll Be Around - Yo La Tengo

Paradise Circus - Massive Attack

Love Songs for Robots - Patrick Watson

Untitled - Interpol

Out of Tune - Real Estate

So Good at Being In Trouble - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Lance Jr - Courtney Barnett

Check out Luci's playlist here! It's great for a relaxing, deep tissue massage peppered with some light conversation but also could go really well with some porch sitting, just putting that out there.