Did you know that your mental well-being/stress levels can have a physical effect on your body?
We all have a physical-mental connection even if we don’t know it or recognise it.
The physiological responses to stress (“fight and flight”) can include:
- Your muscles tense up ready for action
- Your breathing and heart rate quicken to pump blood and oxygen around your body quicker
- Your digestive system will slow down; digestion isn’t a top priority for your body if you need to run away from danger
- Your pupils dilate
- Sweat glands activate
- Blood is redirected away from your skin so you may look pale
- You may get a dry mouth – again digestion isn’t a priority when you are stressed
- Your immune system is supressed
Massage can have a de-stressing effect and reverse these actions. It can offer relief to people who are in physical pain or who have emotional stress and tension in their lives and bodies.
It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday 11th March 2018.
If you would like to give your lovely Mum a gift voucher for a massage then please follow this secure link…
If you spend a lot of time in a seated position (i.e desk job/driving) then it’s quite likely that you will have tight hip flexors.
These are the muscles responsible for bending at the thigh/hip. So if you are constantly sat with your hips bent these muscles will constantly be in a contracted and shortened position, so of course they will be tight!
I would recommend taking regular breaks and having a walk around and a stretch in an attempt to remedy this tightness, along with a regular massage of course!
The bottom picture below shows what a hip flexor stretch looks like.
In the top picture the models knee is line with her hip. If you have extremely tight hip flexors you may feel some stretch in this position, but as this is the position your hips would be in when you are standing you probably won’t be stretching your hip flexors very much.
It may remind you of the more commonly seen quad stretch, which is similar, but done in a standing position.
Only one of the quadriceps muscles crosses the hip joint (the rectus femoris) and this is why simply doing a quad stretch won’t quite target the correct area.
If you really want to target the hip flexors you must move your hip in front of your knee. This then takes your hips into extension, which is the position to best feel the stretch.
You can deepen this by lunging forward onto your front leg, pushing your hips forward and leaning backwards (from the hips) slightly. You can also intensify this by squeezing your bum muscles (gluteals).
Your gluteals are functionally opposite to your hip flexors and when one muscle contracts the opposing muscle must relax. This is called reciprocal inhibition.
If you would like further information regarding stretches I can provide this as part of the aftercare you receive at the end of a massage treatment.
Check your footprints in the snow!
If your prints are particularly turned out (i.e. you walk like a duck!) it could indicate that you have a tight piriformis muscle.
Tightness in the piriformis muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve, which can cause back, buttock and leg pain. But, not to worry! A massage and a few stretches should help to remedy that!
Valentines Day is on its way!
If you would like to treat your partner to the gift of relaxation, pain relief and stress relief then I’d highly recommend a gift voucher.
Please follow this link to buy online https://dashboard.giftupapp.com/place-order/31f0f4d2-847f-42c6-a8cf-6fab0385cbfd
Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year when a lot of people begin a new year’s resolution. Do you have one this year?
Some typical resolutions may include losing weight, eating healthier, getting fit, etc. I’m just writing a little reminder about looking after your body. If you are undergoing a new fitness routine then you may find yourself a little sore and achy over the coming weeks. Massage is great for reducing the stiffness and soreness that can come along after exercising.
Massage can also have emotional benefits. A few of us will unfortunately fail to keep up with our resolutions, this can cause feelings of stress, perhaps disappointment or feeling like you’ve ‘failed again’. Instead of berating yourself please give yourself a break. Understand that changing habits is hard work. Give yourself a treat by taking time out to look after your body, small rewards along the way, such as a massage, may help to keep your will power, motivation and determination levels a bit higher. It may even give you that mental, and physical, boost that you need to keep going a bit longer.
Plus massage can bring you a little joy in the dark, cold January days – beat those SAD blues!
Sometimes when I have an enquiry for a massage appointment the client will be in such pain that they are at the end of their tether, they are desperate to see me and they feel they cannot wait for more than a day for a massage.
If I cannot fit them in at such notice they may look for another therapist, however if they are willing to wait and I can fit them in then quite often when they appear for their appointment, perhaps even a week later, and I ask how they are feeling I sometimes get this response.
“I’m feeling a bit better actually”
“It’s not as bad as it was”
I believe this is a psychological effect of booking a massage appointment. Perhaps they’ve put off coming for a massage for quite a while, perhaps they’ve been injured, or perhaps they’ve been under a lot of stress recently, whatever the reason may be, they’ve reached their breaking point. They’ve realised that they can’t take anymore, they need to stop, they need to do something to look after themselves.
Having that realisation and acknowledging that something needs to change can be very powerful. The brain-body connection may have been ignored for a while, but it is now being heard very clearly. And then even making the phone call and anticipating a massage can have a relaxing and pain relieving effect. It such a powerful act of self-care that the body knows it is being given permission to slow down, stop, relax. So by the time I get to meet the person they may have already begun some of the body and mind healing that is needed. Hence why they already feel a bit better!