Valentine Gift Ideas - Massage Gift Voucher – 3 Reasons Why

Treat yourself and your partner to a gift that communicates love, affection and good health like no other: Massage Therapy. 

  1. Stress relief - Stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind when thinking of massage therapy. It's also a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Research has shown that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, calms the nervous system and increase the production of endorphins, your body's natural "feel good" chemical. Serotonin and dopamine are also released through massage. 

  2. Reduce pain and discomfort - Massage affects the activity of certain genes, directly reducing inflammation in muscles — the same result you’d get by taking aspirin or ibuprofen and boosting their ability to recover from exercise. Massage makes your body feel better by increasing circulation, improving flexibility and releasing those knots and crinkles that can seem rooted in muscles. Massage has been shown to reduce back pain, neck pain and headache, and to be effective for chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia and arthritis.  

  3. RelaxationMany live their demanding lives day to day without taking any time out just for themselves. Everyone deserves a time out moment of relaxation and a soothing hour of pampering is just right for that. Massage will relax your mind and your body, it has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of well-being. The length of the massage will depend on how long you would like it to last. You can have an hour, an hour and a half, or two hours if you wish.

Is your posture causing your headaches?

Do you sit or stand all day? Would you say you sit up straight or do you feel you slump most of the day? This slumping could be the cause of your bodies aches and pains, especially headaches and neck pain.

The classic office posture involves hunching the shoulders up and slumping forward. When this happens the head naturally tilts backwards as the chin comes forward.

This posture then places a lot of load on the muscles that support your head and shoulders. The main muscles that become overused and then painful are the Upper Trapezius, Sternocleidomastoid, Sub-Occipitals, Levator Scapulae and the neck extensor muscles. Most of these muscles have trigger points that will then refer pain into the head. So the pain in your head is only being perceived in the head but the actual irritation to the soft tissues is in the neck and shoulders.

This irritation and overuse to the soft tissues is a gradual process. The pain may appear to be acute but it has actually been building up over time. It is always happening, sitting on the bus, slumping on the lounge, sleeping at night in a bad position. These small repetitions over a long period of time will gradually turn into a much larger problem.

In this posture the posterior soft tissues of the neck are compressed and the anterior tissues are lengthened. Greater pressure is placed on the posterior aspect of intervertebral discs than on the anterior, and the orientation of the facet joints changes. There is also compression of the fascia and skin on the posterior aspect of the neck. A bump can form at the back of the lower neck, sometimes referred to as dowager's hump, which can indicate tension in tissues of the chest.

So what can you do?

Well the first thing to do is to sit up straight. There is no magic exercise you can do or expensive chair you can buy to fix your posture. Posture involves awareness and breaking patterns that have been held for years. It sounds simple but noticing your posture and then changing it will be reprogramming your body/mind to actually change.

 Exercises that can be beneficial include:

- Chin Tucks to strengthen the opposing muscles in the front of the neck and also to stretch out the back of the head/neck.

-Stretching the chest and the upper trapezius will help to release the tightened muscle tissue.

-Thoracic foam rolling to open the chest can reverse the curved, slumped posture.

For more information or to have an assessment and treatment contact us on 07711 943615 or email info@wellnessmassagetherapy.co.uk

Repetitive strain, it’s a pain

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) and overuse syndrome is extremely common, affecting people in many occupations including chefs, hairdressers, office and trade workers. 

A repetitive strain injury happens from the repetitive actions and over use of a certain body part. RSI commonly presents itself as injuries such as carpel tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow, tendonitis, lumbago, headaches and migraines. However, these conditions are all preventable, so long as you listen to the body's signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of RSI and Over Use Syndrome:

  • persistent aches and pain
  • muscle stiffness or muscle weakness, clumsiness
  • fatigue and difficulty performing normal tasks, like turning on the tap
  • tingling or numbing sensations, burning sensations or shooting pain in small restricted areas like the forearms or fingertips

The first signs of an impending RSI or over use injury may present as soreness, tingling or discomfort in the arms, neck, shoulders, lower back or legs. The symptoms may come on when you perform an action or afterwards. The symptoms may disappear when you stop the action, or they may take a few hours or even days to ease up. Over time though, if left untreated, the symptoms can become chronic.

The most important factor in preventing this type of injury from developing into a chronic condition is to listen to your body and take action. Notice the symptoms and warning signs. Stretch daily and take regular breaks each hour to momentarily rest those body parts affected. And receive regular Remedial Massage Treatments.

Should you crack your joints?

Do you crack your joints? If so you’ve probably wondered if it is good for you. It usually gives you a satisfying pop or crack so it can't be that bad right. If you don't crack your joints then you probably find it horrifying that people do it.

What is cracking?

Cracking or popping of a joint is basically moving the two ends of a joint away from each other (cavitation) which will then release the nitrogen gas within it. The release of this gas creates the popping sound. It can be hard to believe that this sometimes loud sound can come from a simple gas release but you could liken it to pulling a suction cup off a piece of glass.

Is cracking good for me?

Well, the short answer is we don't really no. There is no definitive proof either way. The understanding that science has as to what happens when we crack a joint appears to be very safe. Releasing of gas from a joint appears to be a natural and normal part of everyday life. The old idea that it was the bones of the joint rubbing against each other that caused the sound is not correct. If you have osteoarthritis in a joint then it would be advisable not to crack the joints as it may cause pain, it may also release tension so this would be on a case by case basis. The reason osteoarthritis may be aggravated by cracking will be that the joint won't have cartilage to protect the bone ends so they may actually rub against each other.

What about Chiropractors?

From a Chiropractors perspective they usually advise you not to crack your own joints, especially the neck, as this can over stretch the ligaments in the joint which will make them looser and crack even more. You can then get hyper mobile joints that move too much.

While we are talking Chiros we could add that the idea of putting a joint back in or that a joint can be “out” is a bit of an outdated idea. The reality of what is happening when they “adjust” a joint is just releasing gas or tension from a joint. Once you pop a joint, you will be able to pop it again approximately 20 mins later as the gas has had time to build up in the joint. It’s like cracking your knuckles. If you crack them right now, you won't be able to crack them again straight away. Our knuckles don't crack because they are out of alignment they crack because there is a gas build up in the joint which is a natural process and by product of a synovial joint.

So there you have it if you're a joint cracker and love it then there is no real proof that it is dangerous, just be careful in the neck not to over stretch it.

Our Updated Massage Menu

Remedial Massage

Our Remedial massages involve assessment, treatment and often include homework (stretches and exercises). Sessions can include a combination of Myofascial Release, Deep tissue & Trigger Point massage and stretching.

Sports Massage

Our sports massage focuses on recovery, rehabilitation and prevention for events and training sessions. Massage sessions include assessment and treatment.

Therapeutic Massage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Our Therapeutic massages are recommended for those who enjoy regular massage. This massage walks the line between Relaxation and Remedial. Some parts will be beautifully relaxing while others, like you're "being fixed".

Relaxation Massage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Our Relaxation massages use slow and gentle strokes to help you drift off to your happy place as the stresses of life are gently massaged out of your physical body.

Hot Stones Massage                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Our hot stones massage is a rejuvenating treatment option that uses heated stones to encourage blood flow throughout your body. This can relieve chronic pain, help de-stress your mind and body and encourage deep relaxation.                                                                                                                                       

Kinesio Taping For Aiding Injury Recovery And Posture Improvement

Designed by chiropractor Dr Kenzo Kase in the 1970s, Kinesio Tape has seenan increase in popularity following its presence at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kinesio Tape (KT) is an elastic adhesive tape used for the treatment of sport injuries and a variety of other conditions including posture realignment. The tape is claimed to stretch 120 to 140 per cent of its original length and then subsequently recoil to its original length following application, thus exerting a proposed pulling force on the skin. It is suggested that KT allows a greater range of motion (ROM) than conventional tape and can be worn for longer periods of time without the need for reapplication.

In the sporting context, KT has been used to modulate pain, increase ROM, increase strength, improve proprioception  and increase muscle activity. The proposed mechanism of athletic benefits include:

Facilitating joint and muscle realignment by strengthening weakened muscles

Improving circulation of blood and lymph by increasing the interstitial space between the skin and underlying connective tissues (allowing for increased circulation of both venous and lymphatic fluid)

Decreasing pain through the reduction in pressure on nociceptors

Repositioning subluxated joints by relieving abnormal muscle tension, helping to return the function of fascia and muscle

Increasing proprioception through the stimulation of cutaneous mechanoreceptors

The most commonly researched areas for KT application include the shoulder, neck, back, knee, ankle and forearm. It is common for KT to be applied for the management of whiplash-related disorders, lower back pain, subacromial impingement, grip weakness and patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS).  Non-athletic uses of KT include the management of lymphoedema, cerebral palsy and stroke patients.

Contact us for more information and assessment of your suitability for this treatment. 

How Do I Know If I'm About To Be Injured

Sports medicine professionals are now placing a much greater emphasis on preventing injuries rather just treating them, and as the saying goes prevention is better than cure! We’re in the early stages of learning what contributes to sports injuries, but here’s a list of things that you can use to assess whether an injury is looming.

Look for specific tightness and restriction

The body is quite clever. When an area is irritated or injured the nervous system usually switches on the muscles around the region to help brace or splint the region to protect it. If you’ve ever had a wry-neck you know what I mean. This increase in muscle tone can be picked up (sometimes) before you feel any pain, and it’s usually specific to one area. So if one calf starts getting tight or you’re finding hard to stretch your lower back to the left but not the right get things checked out.

Pain is not your friend

Nature gave us pain for a reason. There is a difference between working hard and feeling a bit sore after a session and a pathological pain. Use the 3-day rule: if it’s not better after a few days there might be something going on.

Changing training, routine, or technique

Change your training gradually. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, when your body is exposed to a new physical stress it takes time for your system to adapt. And it’s not only your sports activity that you need to take into consideration. That business trip you did last week where you were in meetings all week, or painting the baby’s nursery all weekend may play a part. If you’ve changed your physical routine, pay attention to the other points in this article.

Old injuries playing up

One thing we do know from research into sports injuries is that old injuries generally have a risk of recurring, and incomplete recovery or rehabilitation can play a major role. Be honest with yourself – did I finish off everything I was supposed to do after my hamstring tear or knee operation? If not, better late than never. And if you don’t know, get a health professional to check you over.

Gaining weight

Whether you’ve eaten too much or bulked up in the gym, weight gain can be a problem. Obviously the heavier you are, the more stress is placed on your legs in particular. If you have gained weight pay attention to any niggles and try and get your weight down by eating well and low impact exercise such as cycling and swimming.

If you have any questions on this or any of my articles please do not hesitate to contact me.

Rick Southcott

 

Sports Massage is added to FHT’s independently accredited register for complementary healthcare therapists

Wellness Massage Therapy is pleased to announce that Sports Massage has been added to the FHT’s Accredited Register, which is independently approved by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, a body accountable to Parliament.

FHT members (including Rick Southcott of Wellness Massage Therapy) who hold a qualification in Sports Massage, accepted by the FHT for membership and insurance purposes, will now be automatically listed on the FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, under Sports Massage.

Furthermore, the FHT’s Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register is the only Accredited Register to list Sports Massage as a standalone modality.

Practitioners listed on the FHT’s Accredited Register are part of a government-backed scheme to protect the public, which helps potential clients, employers and health and care commissioners to choose a therapist with confidence.

FHT’s President, Jennifer Wayte, says: ‘While Body Massage and Sports Therapy already appear on the FHT’s Accredited Register, we’re delighted to now add Sports Massage to the list. Not only will this offer more choice to those looking for practitioners on an Accredited Register, we hope it will also bring therapists offering this modality further recognition for their role in health and care.

‘Sports Massage has many health and well-being benefits to offer, and not just to those taking part in sporting activities’, Jennifer adds. ‘For instance, many people experience minor aches and pains as a result of their work or hobbies – from painting and decorating, to gardening and fishing. Sports Massage, alongside conventional medical care, can be an excellent way to help people address these day-to-day challenges. It can also be an effective form of preventative health care.’

For more information about the FHT’s Accredited Register, visit http://www.fht.org.uk/register

Massaging the hip area to relieve low back pain

My regular clients know so well that I tend to spend quite a bit of time on the hip area, when the reason they come to see me is lower back pain, sciatica or leg pain. Trigger points or muscle knots in the gluteus medius and minimus in the hip are a common cause of stubborn and strange aches and pains both locally, as well as referring pain to surrounding muscles, and yet they are often under-diagnosed.

What is Hip Pain?

Hip pain is a common symptom that can indicate a number of different underlying conditions that may affect the joint and its surrounding structures. Because of where the hip bone is located, it’s a common place for injury and trauma to occur that can lead to several different and occasionally long lasting problems above in the lower back and below into the legs.

With so much stress placed on the hip by the body in everyday situations, the area sometimes never gets the chance to heal, meaning that symptoms can continue to present themselves for weeks or months without treatment. If you’re suffering from hip pain and it doesn’t show any sign of relenting, ascertaining the cause is crucial to helping your body recover.

The Cause of Hip Pain

Arthritis, injury, over exertion through physical activity or poor posture are the most common causes of hip pain, each affecting the joint and surrounding area in a different way. Identifying the reason for your pain is the first step to correcting and healing the problem.

Hip Pain Relief

Hip pain can start off as a dull annoyance but, if left untreated, can become a serious problem leading to a loss of mobility and severe pain. Knowing the underlying cause of your pain is the crucial first step to correcting and healing the joint.

Massage therapy is the perfect way to loosen the muscles and alleviate pain in the short term. Strengthening the area through exercise and a focus on physical fitness and wellbeing can help prevent injury from recurring and is an important final step to eliminating pain permanently.If your hip pain is persistent and affecting the way you want to lead your life, visit me and let me help you to break free from pain. I’m not just interested in short-term fixes; I’ll identify your condition and provide the appropriate care to ease your suffering permanently.

Correct – Relax – Strengthen

I believe in supporting good health and providing permanent solutions rather than temporary fixes. Through addressing muscular imbalance and dysfunction with a mix of advanced massage therapies to relax and stretch tight and painful muscles alongside a strong focus on strength and fitness training to help strengthen the body and prevent pain from returning. You will experience improved posture, an ease of suffering and achieve a healthier lifestyle. 

Contact me for a holistic approach to your well-being and break free from pain.