Myofascial Release

If you view the YouTube video and skip past the grapefruit part to 1:27 you can see what our fascia looks like.
Fascia is a large web of connective tissue fibres that joins our whole body together, including skin, nerves, organs, muscles, bones, veins and arteries. Fascia can become stuck if it isn’t regularly moved and stretched, or restrictions can occur from a trauma or operation.
This can present itself as pain in your body. Fascia doesn’t show up on standard tests (X-rays, CAT scans, etc.) and so a lot of people who are in pain because of restricted fascia will go undiagnosed.
Myofascial release techniques can be used as part of your massage treatment to re-introduce movement to your fascia, to help it become un-stuck and to hopefully give some relief from any pain you may be experiencing.
Fascia-nating!!

Levator Scapulae Stretch

This is one of my favourite stretches!

It targets the levator scapulae muscle; which is one of the muscles involved in elevating your shoulder blade. A lot of people have tension in this muscle so it’s great to stretch it out throughout the day.
If you put your ear towards your shoulder you should feel a stretch down the opposite side of your neck, that is your upper trapezius. Now if you turn your head so your nose goes towards your shoulder, the stretch will move backwards to your levator scapulae.
I think it feels great, try it out and let me know what you think!

Levator Scapulae & Stretch

Massage to Music

I’ve been thinking lately about massaging to music. I’m not just talking about having a massage with some music on in the background, I’m talking about massaging to the music, with the music, as if a dance was taking place.

On our last weekend in college with did a ‘5 rhythms massage’. 5 rhythms is to put the body in motion in order to still the mind, as said by Gabrielle Roth. The five rhythms (in order) are flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical, and stillness. The five rhythms, when danced in sequence, are known as a “Wave.” A typical Wave takes about an hour to dance and the rules are – there are no rules! Basically your body is in charge and can move how it wants to with the music. For more information on 5 rhythms check out the website: http://www.5rhythms.com/

Basically it was a massage that none of us had ever experienced before, both the giving and receiving were wonderfully new and extremely eye opening. After then session I felt quite energized and fascinated by the idea of doing this 5 rhythms massage, or at least massaging to music, as a different kind of treatment for my clients.

I know that some people use music as a kind of therapy and getting lost in a piece of music can be as powerful as getting lost in meditation or lost in your massage session.

If anybody would be interested in experiencing this new massage idea then please contact me and let me know. It’d be great to give it a go. Obviously the music choice would be up to you. If it was a certain piece of music then I think I would need to hear it at least once before massaging to it, but if it is something like the 5rhythms music, then I think it’s ok to just press play and let the wave (and massage) flow.

But also equally if you have a favourite piece of music that you would like to just have on in the background and not ‘massaged to’ then that it is just fine as well! That’s one more benefit of mobile massage, as it’s in your own home you can have whatever you want on in the background!

Core Strength

I believe that a strong core is essential to protect yourself against injuries, improve your posture, reduce back pain and to protect your vital internal organs and your central nervous system. It also creates a slimmer waistline as well, which is something I’m sure most of us wouldn’t complain about!

Your core muscles include all of the abdominals, all of the muscles in the hips and all of the muscles that run up and down the back. There are lots of difference exercises to help with increasing core strength; including the plank!

Core-Strength-1

There are also many variations to the plank, so if this version gets to easy you can always mix it up to increase the difficulty and challenge your body further. Variations can include lifting one foot or one hand off the floor, or one foot AND one hand at the same time, you can elevate your feet, elevate your feet onto an unsteady surface, such as an exercise ball, you can even try a side plank.

sideplank

And again, this also has many variations, including lifting the top leg, going higher on your supporting arm, elevating your feet, elevating your feet on an unsteady surface, such as a suspension trainer (a great piece of equipment!).

These plank variations are great for challenging your core muscles and therefore increasing the strength of them. You can also try adding in dynamic variations, which include doing a movement for a set number of repetitions whilst in the plank position.

A great way to start off is to try and hold a plank for 30 seconds. If you need to take a break in the middle then do so. Keep your abs tight and your spine long, make sure your body is in line, keep your head down and don’t let your bottom stick up in the air. If you feel any back pain at all then come out of it. If you can manage to hold it for 30 seconds then take a short break and do another 30 seconds.

So in less then 2 minutes per day, 2 or 3 times per week, you’ll be on the right path to a stronger core, which will help your body no end with your day to day tasks, every day things such as lifting something, pulling, pushing, sitting up, walking taller. There are no ends to the benefits of a stronger core!

If you have existing injuries or medical conditions then please seek medical advice before trying any new workouts or exercises.

MTI Annual Conference

Yesterday was the Annual MTI Conference, this year it was held in Solihull and I was up bright and early to get there on time.

The opening speech was from Ruth Duncan of Myofascial Release UK. The story of her massage journey gave us some laughs, but also a timely and relevant message at the end about believing in yourself.

My first workshop was about fibromyalgia. Ruth showed us a couple of myofascial release techniques, one called rebounding, which may help to release restricted or tightened fascia in clients, and also a standing technique which could be used to ‘reset’ the body from bad posture habits. I found the workshop so interesting and will certainly be buying Ruth’s book to read up on some more of the techniques. They can be worked into a normal massage session fairly easily and although clients with fibromyalgia seem to respond particularly well to these techniques they are not just reserved for those with the condition, they can benefit everyone!

Ruth pointed out that fascia doesn’t show up on MRI scans or x-rays and that this could be where clients with fibromyalgia are feeling the pain. So if that is the case then it makes sense that someone with fibromyalgia would respond well to myofascial release techniques.

Currently the treatment for fibromyalgia is to control the symptoms, rather than treat the cause, this usually involves taking pain killers and in some cases a mild anti-depressant to improve the quality of sleep. However rest, heat, relaxation, gentle exercise, a balanced, healthy diet, a positive frame of mind and reducing stress also seem to be quite successful. And of course we all know a brilliant method of relaxation don’t we? (Hint: book yourself a massage!)

Lunch was a delicious buffet sponsored by Balens Insurance (who I have my insurance with with!), my favourites were the divine sweet potato fries and gorgeous cupcakes amongst other things. I shall have to do some research into those fries, mine never turn out like that!

The afternoon workshop was about soft tissue release, which involved going over a ‘pin and stretch’ technique which can be used to release any tightness in muscles that normal stretching just doesn’t seem to reach. By applying pressure to different areas of the muscle the stretch can be deepened and move along the entire length of the muscle, rather than just one area. This seemed more like revision for me as I had learnt this technique in the professional diploma course last year and have also been a recipient of it during several massages from other therapists.

The day also gave me a chance to catch up with a few of my class mates from last year and to meet some new faces as well. Next year’s conference will be held in Cardiff and I’m looking forward to it already!

 

I’m Updating My Website!

I am currently in the process of updating my website.

It’s a big learning curve for me as I’m trying to do it all myself. Hopefully everything will run smoothly!

But in the meantime if there are any technical glitches then I’ll try to get things sorted and back to normal as quickly as I can.

If you have any queries or would like to book a massage then please do call or text on 07792 743 894, or you can e-mail me on elly.ingram@live.com

Speak soon

Elly

x

You deserve to feel amazing every single day.

So many people think of health in terms of diet or exercise, but we need to take a look at all areas of our life to improve our overall well being.

Holistic means ‘whole’, or in this case your whole body, all of our bodily systems and functions are connected and intertwined, a holistic massage treats the whole person, not just a symptom, giving your body the energy and resources it needs to heal itself, helping you to feel happier, have more energy and just feel amazing!

Welcome to my blog!

Hi everyone, Welcome to my blog!

I will try to remember to publish something every now and then, just to let you know what I’m getting up to, or if I find something that you may find interesting in the world of holistic massage!

I was out in the rain yesterday dropping off some business cards to various places in Kington, trying to spread the word about my new massage business. I got quite wet, but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

I also have some adverts coming out in the next month, in two local parish magazines and the Kington Chronicle (http://www.kingtonchronicle.co.uk/), so keep an eye out for those!

That’s all I have to say at the moment!

Other than if you’d like to book yourself in for a massage then please do contact me (http://www.ellyingram.co.uk)!

Hope to speak soon! Elly x