Our Team










Contact Us

creating a morning stretch routine
Image courtesy of Nike
As one of the giants of the sports and fitness industry, Nike carries a lot of clout when it comes to health and wellness tips. So when Dina Cheney reached out to me for my views on creating an effective morning stretch routine, I was glad to offer my insights as a licensed Physical Therapist. Here are some excerpts from the article interspersed with my own commentary, along with a link to the full article at the Nike website.

Debbie Dy, DPT

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Morning Stretch Routine?

It's part of our nature as mammals to feel the urge to stretch when first waking up. Lions, bears, and squirrels all do it too! It gets the blood flowing and helps erase the cobwebs that seem to gather when we're in a deep slumber. So it only makes sense to follow what our bodies are telling us by making a good stretching regimen part of waking up each day.

And as the article says,

Flowing through some gentle movements at the start of your day will not only help to prepare your body for movement — of any kind — but it may also help improve flexibility over time."

To begin, once you have decided how much time you have and pinpointed which areas need attention, you should try to pick compound movements that target major muscle groups. Compound movements are important to take into consideration so you can recruit several muscles in just one movement rather than having to do multiple isolated ones.

If you don't have time to go to a morning yoga class, no problem — there are plenty of movements you can do on your own right at home to relieve tension. Please note that there are full instructions for each move in the Nike article. 

Try the following sequence of moves, performing each stretch for two to four repetitions of 30 seconds each to increase flexibility:


This pose provides relief to the neck and back and engages the core, strengthening the abdominal muscles.

2.Child’s Pose

With this movement, you’ll open the hips, increase blood flow to the head and neck, focus on the spine and relax the back muscles and hips.

3.Thread the Needle

To stretch and open the shoulders, chest, arms, upper back and neck, try this pose.

4.Seated Side Stretch

Add this movement, which stretches and strengthens the muscles between the ribs, to your routine as it ultimately helps to facilitate deeper breathing.

5.Upper Trap Stretch

This pose helps to reduce tightness in the neck.

6.Shoulder Rolls

With this pose, you stretch the muscles and tendons and promote joint lubrication in the shoulders, helping to reduce tension.

7.Standing Forward Fold

Choose this pose to help stretch the spinal column, backs of the legs and back muscles.

Perhaps the biggest boon of adopting a stretching routine is that it helps to reduce the risk of injury. Everyday activities, like sitting for long periods of time, can cause muscles to tense and spasm, for instance. When this occurs, muscles may not respond the way you need them to, making them more prone to damage and injury.

Other topics in the Nike article include:

  • How Often Should You Engage in a Morning Stretch Routine?
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching: What’s the Difference?
  • Should You Modify Your Morning Stretch Routine Over Time?
  • Consider Incorporating an Evening Stretch Routine, as Well
  • Consider adding a stretch routine right before bed. Since the goal of this type of practice is to relax the muscles before bedtime, Daugherty recommended engaging in slower static movements.

To get the full lowdown on creating a morning stretch routine go here to the full article at Nike's website. And go here if you're ready to make an appointment with myself or any of our licensed physical therapists.

Featured on InstaGram

What Our Patients Have to Say


Testimonial by Mary L.

I started seeing Heather to treat my Interstitial Cystitis in November 2016. At this time, I was extremely miserable, in constant pain, and felt as though no one was listening or understood what was going on with my body. I have just finished my last appointment and I can honestly say that my life has completely changed for the better because of Heather and her team of PTs! I live almost completely pain free, and when I do have flare ups, I am able to treat them at home on my own. I am so grateful that this office was recommended to me a honestly cannot recommend them enough!

Read more: Testimonial by Mary L.

Testimonial by Alexandra B.

Heather is without exaggerating AMAZING! After years of trouble with a certain part of my body, in no time, she made everything change back to equilibrium and to what would be considered normal. She explains everything in detail and therefore gives you a better understanding of why things are the way they are, and how you can work towards turning things around. I would highly recommend Heather for any type of Physical Therapy. She has created her own "Method/Therapy" through years of studying (with some of the greatest practitioners), practice and breaking down the issues of her past patients, enabling her to fine tune her own system. I'm so thankful to have found her, and I'm especially grateful for the quick recovery I've achieved, after years of distress. If you cannot afford her, I recommend you purchase her book. Although it may not be Heather in person, it can still help you to get on the right path to recovery!

-- Alexandra B., 5/20/2015 via Yelp!

Testimonial by P.M.

I was hopeful but frankly skeptical when the doctor treating me for Interstitial Cystitis recommended that I go to Heather for physical therapy. Medication and diet helped control my IC symptoms, but I had never heard of physical therapy being used to treat IC. The education and treatment I received from Heather was a revelation. She explained that the pain I experienced with IC had helped create a cycle of muscle guarding which affected the entire pelvic area. I had no idea of the amount of tension being held there. No wonder my husband and I had not been able to have sexual intercourse for years!

Read more: Testimonial by P.M.

Testimonial by Fritzette H.

I went to Heather after the birth of my third child. It was lucky, really, that I was referred to her, because my doctor had referred me to a surgeon for a possible hysterectomy or pelvic wall rebuild. Thankfully, I went to Heather before undergoing either surgery, she was able to fix the problem. She has studied extensively in women's health--even written a book about it--and was able to diagnose my problem, suggest a course of treatment (6 weeks), and then follow through with said treatment. By the end, as she said, I was as good as gold. Boy, was it worth it! Though uncomfortable to talk about, much less write about, it is worth getting the word out there. If you have painful intercourse, especially after birth or other trauma, the treatment may be as simple as Physical Therapy (with Heather, of course). I highly recommend her.

-- Fritzette H., 3/24/16 via Yelp!

Testimonial by T.C.

While pregnant with my twins, Heather took care with keeping me on my feet and pain free. She saved my back, my sanity and the holidays! I would recommend her to every “mom” looking to stay on her feet during pregnancy and post-partum.

-- T.C.

Testimonial by A.B.

Before I was referred to Heather Jeffcoat I was living in a nightmare. I had been married to my husband for three years and I was suffering from Vaginismus. That all changed when I visited my OBGYN and she said she knew of someone with a great success rate. To be honest I was hesitant at first because my first doctor had already told me that all I needed to do was order dilators from the internet and I should overcome my problem. She was wrong because I had followed the book on how to use the dilators with absolutely no advancements in my condition. However, that all changed when I went in for my first visit and Heather took the time to explain my condition and how we were going to work together to overcome it.

I remember leaving her office with a glimmer of hope that I could live a normal life. As my sessions continued I began to see immediate results. With only four sessions and a strict dedication to my home programs I was cured of Vaginismus. In the beginning of this process I was made aware that my health insurance company might not cover the costs, which was disappointing but today I can say one hundred percent that it was the best money I ever spent. Now thanks to Heather I am finally enjoying my life to the fullest with my husband. Thank you Heather, I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate all that you have done for me. I will never forget it. Those who are suffering from these types of conditions don’t be afraid because she makes you feel so comfortable and the end result is worth it. Good luck to you all and I hope you experience the success I have.
-- A.B.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get access to our free downloads and a 15% discount on Heather's book "Sex Without Pain"!
I agree with the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy policy