More than just a yoga block...

The revolutionary seat and prop for Yoga and Meditation

Treat your own back and realign your spine

Treat your own back and realign your spine

Treat your own back and realign your spine

previous arrow
next arrow

Treat your own back

We are not very kind to our backs, often spending much of our time doing the same things. Whether this means us sitting or standing all day or doing activities that involve repetitive movements like bending, twisting or lifting, it tends to be our back that takes the brunt of it.

Spending 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, surprisingly perhaps, in to the morning too.

There is something very specific in the technique that avoids all pressure on the base of the spine and introduces a very gentle inversion, since the position means that the pelvis rests higher than the shoulder girdle.

It can take a bit of practice to get the position just right first time and we encourage everyone to watch the videos all the way through for full the full instructions and helpful hints.

“It was amazing how quickly I could feel the difference!”

Rob’s story:

“I find as a keyboard based worker that my back often gets achey 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.”

Any of these look familiar?

The Buttafly helps you unwind

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 Standard Buttafly placed low down under the pelvis effectively “floats” the sacrum – the sacrum and low back are now off-loaded and free to move gently aided by gravity.

New interpretation – old concepts

Off-loading the spine is something Physiotherapists have worked with through the ages and at one time “traction beds”  were routine equipment found in clinics and hospitals.  Likewise, changing the body’s relationship with gravity is not a new concept and inversion tables and gravity boots (which are used to hang upside down like a bat) have been around for decades.

Using the Buttafly

Who can use the Buttafly for back care?

Hundreds of people have tried lying on the Buttafly with an astonishingly high percentage reporting significant changes in their posture, a feeling of ease and freedom of movement.

Many of them fall  into the category of suffering from “non-specific” back pain; others present with no specific symptoms except self-confessed “poor posture”. In addition sportsmen and women from various sports including weight-lifters, long-distance cyclists and runners and those where one side of the body dominates, e.g. golfers and tennis players have reported new-found benefits.

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
– Scoliosis
– 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
– Sciatica
– Pins and needles, numbness or tingling
– Recent changes in bladder and bowel habits

Anyone under treatment is advised to discuss with their medical practitioner.

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.

There must NOT be any back pain or discomfort of any description. This is NOT a “no pain, no gain” situation.

How long should you lie on the Buttafly?

Start off with 5 minutes – it takes a few minutes to fully relax. Those who complain of niggles from time to time 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.

" What impressed, and surprised, me most were the effects of using Buttafly in different places along the back when in a lying position. In a spare 20 minutes at the recent British Wheel of Yoga Congress, Louise placed the blocks in certain positions under my body. In one such position I could feel almost immediately that something quite powerful was happening. More than one person commented on the immediate change in my posture and there was a pronounced realignment of the muscles either side of my spine. As a result I have no doubt that Buttafly could be a very valuable tool in the releasing of deeply held tightness and tension in the body, mind and emotions. ”
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.

Positioned too high under the buttocks, the Buttafly causes the pelvis to be taken into an anterior tilt

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.

Placing the Buttafly too low will cause the pelvis will drop back into a posterior pelvic tilt

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.

Supine lying with a Tall Buttafly under the pelvis

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 a teacher of Yoga or meditation, or a Yoga therapist?

We invite you to join our Buttafly Affiliate Programme. As a member of our affiliate scheme, you will be given a unique code that your students can use to enjoy a 5% discount off the Buttafly plus you will benefit from a 5% commission on each sale made!