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.

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

 

The Pelvic Floor Muscles

The pelvic floor is the base of the group of muscles referred to as your ‘core'. These muscles are located in your pelvis, and stretch like a trampoline or hammock from the pubic bone (at the front) to the coccyx or tail-bone (at the back) and from side to side. 

The pelvic floor muscles work with your deep abdominal (tummy) and deep back muscles and diaphragm to stabilise and support your spine. They also help control the pressure inside your abdomen to deal with the pushing down force when you lift or strain - such as during exercise.

Pelvic floor muscles support the bladder and bowel in men, and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. They also help maintain bladder and bowel control and play an important role in sexual sensation and function.

Working your Pelvic Floor Muscles

Although it is hidden from view, your pelvic floor muscles can be consciously controlled and therefore trained, much like your arm, leg or abdominal (tummy) muscles. Strengthening your pelvic floor muscles will help you to actively support your bladder and bowel. This improves bladder and bowel control and reduce the likelihood of accidentally leaking from your bladder or bowel. Like other muscles in your body, your pelvic floor muscles will become stronger with a regular exercise program. This is important for both men and women, especially for improved recovery from childbirth and gynaecological surgery .

Contact us for more advice, 121 and small group sessions available for exercise instruction and programme design. 

What is Hot Stone Massage?

Evidence of stone massage dates back to before written history, in fact to over 3000 years. Ancient civilizations believed that hot stones were beneficial for cleansing the body, relaxing the heart, grounding the soul and soothing the mind.

The treatment originates in ancient India and China and more recently, the North American Indians living in the southwest states. The traditions and healing rituals, in which the stones were used, including laying the stones in patterns on the body, carrying or wearing stones for health and protection, using stones in the diagnosis and treatment of disease or during ceremonies such as sweat lodges or in medicine wheels. Some native healers used heated stones to ease the discomforts experienced during menstruation, or applied cold stones to impede blood flow after giving birth.

The Roman Empire was noted for their creation of Roman baths. Many of these rituals still exist today in the form of hydrotherapy practices and the use of saunas, hot immersion baths and marble stone / cold pools. More recently, it is thriving today in many healing centres and spas throughout the world.

How does it work? 

Hot stone massage combines the benefits of Hydrotherapy and "Thermalism" or "Thermotherapy" (the use of heat applications) with massage strokes using stones to create a deep, relaxing and healing treatment.

Using the heat of the stones to warm the skin allows the skin to absorb moisturizing and therapeutic oils, while at the same time preparing the musculature of the body so the therapist can work into deeper muscle layers.

It is generally accepted that one stroke of a heated basalt stone is equivalent to 5-10 strokes of the therapist's hand.

Benefits of Thermotherapy include:

  • Increased local circulation
  • Improved blood flow to surrounding tissues
  • Greater ability to transport toxins and waste products from the area
  • Hot stones provide a fantastic tool creating a sense of depth to the massage.

Massage Gift Vouchers - Now Available

Whether it’s a relaxing hot stone massage for someone who has been under stress lately, or rarely takes time out for themselves, or deep therapeutic work to alleviate specific pain or injury, a Wellness Massage Therapy gift voucher makes for a thoughtful gift.

We offer a range of professional treatments from our well-equipped treatment room in Eltham, South-East London. Vouchers are valid for 3 months and may be used as full payment for 1 hour treatments including: Deep Tissue Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Sports Massage and Swedish Massage.

How to Purchase

Massage gift vouchers are £40 and can purchased by contacting us Payments can be made in person with cash or via BACS. Once we’ve received payment we’ll post the voucher, specifically designed gift card and personalized message to the address of your choosing. Gift vouchers will be sent out by Royal Mail. Please allow 2-3 days for delivery. If you require them by a set date such as Christmas or a birthday, then please let us know. Gift Vouchers are non-refundable.

Massage Therapy for a Healthier Winter

Having a Massage during the winter is probably more important than it is in the summer periods. Whatever the season and whether you’re an athlete or an office worker, we all should take to the table at least once a month.

As we approach winter, our immune system starts to slow with the drop in temperature, increasing the chances of catching a virus or cold. Many exercise less as the winter months decrease the opportunities to do our favourite activities.

Having a regular Massage combined with a healthy diet, can help reduce muscle aches and pains, particularly during winter as our muscles tend to stiffen up and blood flow doesn’t work as well.  Having a strong immune system during the winter not only fights of infection and keeps us well and healthy, it also maintains a strong system for continued physical activity throughout the colder months.

Some benefits of a massage during winter….

Keep that circulation flowing
Cold weather can bring on many discomforts, aches, pains and arthritis. Massage Therapy plays a crucial role in increasing circulation and providing stress and pain relief. Improved circulation increases body warmth, provides healthier blood pressure levels, and increases the flow of oxygen throughout the body

Keep the winter blues at bay
Massage Therapy creates positive changes in the endocrine system where hormones are formed. Hormones affect mood, desire, depression, alertness, sleep, hunger, sense of touch and sex drive; the balance of which are very important for the well-being. After receiving massage, cortisol levels are decreased (the hormone responsible for stress), and oxytocin levels are raised (the happy, contentment hormone)

Immune boosting
Massage Therapy increases lymph flow which is packed with white blood cells or “killer cells”. These cells fight off infections and bacteria, boosting your immune system. Your body is more prepared to defend itself during this time of year when many of us get sick.

Get a better night’s sleep

Massage Therapy can help with sleeping patterns meaning that the you can recover from activities much better, you're also less likely to have stress interfering with your sleep. People who have sleep disorders typically don't get rested when they sleep, during a massage, they go into a deep state of relaxation, and rest, which can positively affect the body similar to sleep.

Live close to Eltham, Blackheath, Greenwich? Don’t forget to book your massage this winter.

If you have any questions about Massage Treatments, please feel free to contact me.

Rick Southcott

Massage Therapist