Tight Hip Flexors

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.

Advertisements

Footprints In The Snow…

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!

Sciatic Nerve

This is your sciatic nerve!


It is the largest nerve in the body.
Sciatic pain can be caused from a variety of reasons. Perhaps an injury has damaged the nerve, or perhaps wear and tear means a bulging spinal disc is pressing on the nerve.
However sciatic pain may also be caused by muscle tension. The piriformis muscle, located in the buttocks, lies over the top of the nerve, so any knots or restrictions in the muscle fibres may put pressure on the nerve, triggering the pain.


The nerve runs all the way down your leg, so muscle tension anywhere along the path of the nerve could also contribute to sciatica.


Luckily muscle tension can be easily remedied with a massage!

Sports & Remedial Massage

Sports & Remedial massage, Kington, Herefordshire.

I have decided to increase the tools in my ‘massage toolbox’ by taking the level 5 sports & remedial massage diploma.

I began in January and will finish in November 2016, when I shall be qualified to treat sporting injuries and along the way I shall learn such things as postural analysis, muscle energy techniques, neuromuscular therapy and proprioceptive neuromuscular technique to name a few!

I will have to produce some client study groups as part of this qualification and so I will have to provide copies of some massage notes to my tutor to review. All copies of the massage notes will be anonymous and remain confidential, and the course tutor will be the only person to view these. I will ask each client individually for their permission before doing so, and if you do not want me to use your notes then you are allowed to say no!

I may also ask you to fill in a feedback sheet at the end of your massage session to accompany the notes, again this will be anonymous, confidential and only seen by the course tutor.

I’m really excited to be learning again and am looking forward to getting started with all of the homework!

 

Different Strokes for Different Folks

I love being a holistic massage therapist. It means that no two massages are ever the same, each client brings a different set of likes and dislikes, which enables me to use a whole range of different massage strokes and techniques.

Some clients like a deeper, harder massage, almost like a sports massage to really get into those knots and work them out.

Some prefer a general all over relaxing massage, which I would say is more like a Swedish massage, nothing too technical, just nice and relaxing, however even this style can be performed differently each time, going deeper or lighter, working on different areas, whatever the client prefers at that time.

Some need me to take care of a particular pain or condition, perhaps more similar to a remedial massage, this usually makes use of my knowledge of anatomy and physiology and can more technical, but no reason for it not to be just as relaxing as any other massage.

Other clients like a more energy based massage, almost likened to reiki, working with auras, chakras and energy fields.

Some clients may want a massage to help them with processing emotions that have been held deep within the body, receiving a trusting touch can be extremely healing.

And of course, any of these massages can be altered at any time depending on how the client may be feeling that day, the massage can become deeply relaxing or invigorating and energizing. Everybody has different needs, likes and dislikes, and these may alter over a long time, or even during the course of the massage.

Clients ask me to work through their clothes so they don’t have to undress, others like to be completely naked; some like me to use oil, others don’t; some like music on, others prefer silence; some clients have room for a massage table, some don’t; some like the use of cushion or bolsters for supports, others don’t; there are so many options!

There really is no typical day for me and I love the variety of my job. The beauty of the individual massage is that it really is as individual as the person receiving it.