For BACK CARE
Treat your own back
We invite you to try our technique so that you can treat your own back at home every day. Designed by a physiotherapist, the Buttafly is simple to use and provides fast and effective relief from back pain.
In daily life, we often spend much of our time doing the same things, and, whatever these activities are, it tends to be our back that takes the brunt of them. Standing or sitting on long commutes, bending over our desk or other work station; teachers looking after young ones, sitting on low stools; mechanics bending over car bonnets; dentists, twisting and reaching; the list goes on.
Any of these look familiar?
The Buttafly Effect
The Buttafly can be used to help the spine to recover from poor postural habits and activities that involve repetitive movements. Spending just 5-10’ minutes a day lying down with a Standard Buttafly carefully positioned under the pelvis can provide just the right kind of support for the deep muscles of the trunk to relax and facilitate the spine release, unravel and lengthen as you literally lie back and unwind.
This can be particularly helpful at the end of the day and also, in the morning. Lying down on our back in bed, the bulk of the weight of our belly and lower trunk rests on the sacrum – the triangular bone at the base of the spine. In effect, this “fixes” the spine – the softer the mattress, the more the spine is held in place.
Lying down with a Buttafly placed low down under the pelvis minimises direct pressure on the base of the spine, and provides a gentle inversion, where pelvis resting slightly higher than the shoulder girdle.
It can take a bit of practice to get the position just right the first time and we encourage everyone to watch the video all the way through for full instructions and helpful hints.
The Buttafly helps you unwind
"It was amazing how quickly I could feel the difference!"
“I find as a keyboard-based worker that my back often gets achy towards the end of the day, and that’s how it was when I went to see TillyLou to check out the Buttafly. After a quick look at me in standing, she soon had me lying on the floor with the Buttafly positioned in a comfortable position so that my back was tilted up away from the floor. I laid there for around four minutes but even within a minute or so I could start to feel my back settling into a more comfortable profile, and the tension easing.
“It was amazing how quickly I could feel the difference as my body adjusted deeply to the new alignment. After the Buttafly was taken away I laid back flat on the floor and could feel how much my shape had changed. It was even more obvious when I stood up, as you can see from the photos. It’s amazing how having the right support can adjust your posture.”
How does it work?
Lying down on our back especially on a hard surface like the floor, most of us can get a sense of how much of our weight is taken through the triangular bone at the base of the spine – known as the sacrum.
Taking the same position with a Buttafly placed low down under the pelvis effectively offloads the sacrum – leaving the base of the spine and low back free to respond to gravity and release.
As the spine releases, this has a knock-on effect throughout the whole skeleton and is especially noticeable in the hips. For anyone with arthritis of the hips, this can give welcome relief.
This involves being upside down or lying at an inverted angle principally with the idea of achieving spinal traction. Many NHS Physiotherapy departments continue to use traction beds and for home use there are inversion table and gravity boots.
The supine positioning with the Buttafly offers what we believe to be the most gentle and yet effective traction available.
Using the Buttafly
Who can use the Buttafly for back care?
The Buttafly is being used effectively by people of all ages and abilities; the most common uses are to improve their posture, give relief from back pain, and increase ease and freedom of movement of their spine.
Many of them fall into the category of suffering from “non-specific back pain” – this is where no cause of pain has been identified. Other customers present with an occasional backache but are more concerned by their habitual poor posture.
The Buttafly Effect is also favoured by sportsmen and women who find great advantage in the very specific release of their deep trunk muscles and hip flexors. Our customers include weight-lifters, long-distance cyclists and runners, and rowers, and those who sports dominate one side of the body, e.g. golfers and tennis players.
People with the following problems have also tried it with benefits:
– Week-old whiplash affecting neck and back
– Hip pain/ arthritis of the hip
– Chronic pelvic pain
– Multiple sclerosis and using a rollater for walking
– Parkinson’s disease
– Post-spinal surgery including discectomy and spinal decompression
– Following removal of metalwork for scoliosis
– Those with metalwork still in situ for scoliosis
– Postural low back pain
– Non specific low back pain
– Facet joint syndrome
– Sacroiliac joint pain
Who should not use the Buttafly
Those with the following symptoms:
– Acute back pain
– Some cases of sciatica
– Pins and needles, numbness or tingling of the lower limbs / between the legs
– Recent changes in bladder or bowel habits (including loss of control or retention)
Anyone under treatment is advised to consult with their medical practitioner.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]In the same way that no one exercise or treatment will work for everyone, there is no guarantee that the Buttafly will work for you.
The most important factor is that it must be used correctly and the position MUST feel comfortable – only then can you relax and fully let go.
You may experience some general discomfort as you get used to the position, and if you already were experiencing some pain, this may not disappear straight away.
We recommend for best results, you should not experience any increase in symptoms or new pain – if you do, we suggest you discontinue the exercise and try it another day.
How often and for how long should you use the Buttafly?
Start off with 5 minutes at least once every day. It generally takes a few minutes to fully relax, and in our experience, the body often releases layer by layer. Think of it like brushing your teeth – a quick brush will rinse off the remains of your last meal but you will need to use a bit more toothpaste and probably floss too, to reach the deeper layers. Those who suffer from back problems and who know their posture to be poor will likely benefit for 15-20 minutes. It’s ideal to work out for yourself what is the optimum time, working up in 5 minute increments.
Nick Edge, Teacher of Yoga and meditation, Mandala Ashram, UK
How to position the Buttafly in supine
Come into a low bridge, place the palm of one hand on the sacrum, middle finger pointing down towards the tailbone.
Use the other hand to position a Standard Buttafly with the high end towards the feet under the pelvis so that the sacrum can fall away in the indent. Straighten out the legs one by one and make minor adjustments so that you are comfortable and the pelvis is resting in neutral and the low back is neither arching away from the floor nor dropping towards it. You will want the buttock flesh to be cushioned in between the sit bones and the Buttafly to avoid compression around the sacrum.
If you place the Buttafly to high under the buttocks, the pelvis will be dragged into an anterior pelvic tilt and cause an increase in the lumbar lordosis.
If the Buttafly is placed too low under the buttocks, the pelvis will drop back into a posterior pelvic tilt and cause a reversal of the normal lumbar curve.
Take the time then to find the “sweet spot” where the pelvis is in neutral. Once here, if there is any discomfort at all, try placing a support under the ankles to bring the feet up to the same height as the hips, shown here using a Standard Buttafly under each ankle.
If the discomfort persists for any more than a few minutes then abandon this position and perhaps try another time.
For people who are fit and without any symptoms, a Tall Buttafly may be used in place of a Standard Buttafly. The inversion will be greater and unless you use a support under the ankles, there will be a stretch over the front of the hips.
Please note, the objective of this exercise is intended as general back care and while it may be included in therapeutic programs, for your safety, please consult with a licensed practitioner first.
Are you an allied health professional or a teacher of yoga or meditation?
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