Hi, my daughter has been feeling good release from the neck massage and legs were going further with more ease and less hamstring tension although she is starting the programme with alot of tightness in hips. The programme arrived at the weekend and we went through it once but after she felt alot of tightness behind the knees - a bit stiff a bit caught like she used to feel before we started the neck massages - is there a reason for this - what should we do to help release this ? We went through the programme again today and it did not help the knees release at all. Help ! She is feeling discouraged by this.
If your daughter has a lot of tension around the hips try removing these releases from the program. You have already noted that as she already quite tight in the hips, it is explained in the program that this can contribute a lot to neural tension down the back of the legs. As she is very young she may be applying too much pressure and may not have yet the awareness of internally letting go of the muscles and so may be aggravating her neural tension.
Lisa suggests focusing on the neck and upper back releases as well as gentle massage work into the calves. It is important to monitor her carefully during the program to make sure that she is going through the exercises slowly and carefully as young children tend to rush things. With this style of program understanding the mechanism behind how it works is essential as is conscious relaxation during any of the stretches. Many young students push too deeply into stretches which can cause as reflex contraction of the very muscles they are trying to release.
Try dropping back to just the neck releases and gradually add in one new exercises at a time so that you can work out which exercise it is exactly that is causing the aggravation as Lisa explains in the program, everyone has a different pattern of restriction and part of the beauty of the program is in discovering what works best for you.
Please also have a read of this article that Lisa has previously written about younger dancers starting the program and she makes further suggestions as to which releases and exercises are most suitable for her age group.