Blog

Carrying the world on your shoulders

Have you heard the saying?
“Carrying the whole world on our shoulders” 53844232_643904122718942_3608530302604935168_n


Without realising it we hold our bodies in tense alert pose day after day. The buildup continues as the tensions repeat, as time goes on the muscles get shorter & shorter.

The muscles & fascia become so tight often resulting in pain, tension & movement restriction. The shoulders are raised & breathing is often shallow. 


Immediate relief for tense muscles comes from lengthening its fibres and getting blood flow to clear out the metabolites. The best ways to do this are massage, heat pads, gentle stretches and exercise. 


Having a regular massage along with stretching allows you to connect with your deep self & encourages the release of the trapped emotions & tension. Allowing you to breathe once again.

Quick check.. Do a body scan, Are your shoulders relaxed down away from your ears?
Is your face relaxed, are your brows furrowed, lips pursed?
Is your chin tipped up, tucked down or parallel to the ground?
Do a quick posture check, notice how your spine is positioned and the relationship of your head to your shoulders.

Simply becoming aware of your own postural habits is the first step to making important changes that can lead to lasting relief.
TIP
If you feel you are holding tension or tightness anywhere in your body, take a deep abdominal breath & invite exhalation to help you release any tension you feel.

So what is Dry Cupping anyway?

Dry Cupping is a term applied to a technique that uses small cups or bamboo jars as suction devices that are placed on the skin to disperse and break up stagnation & congestion by creating a vacuum to the surface of the skin, it helps create more space between the tissue layers to get rid of cellular debris & excess fluids.

There are also various cupping techniques that practitioners can choose from, including wet cupping, dry cupping, and flash cupping. “Dry cupping is the most popular,” One way to think about cupping is that it is the inverse of massage. Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue, and muscles upward.

Dry Cupping is one of the best deep tissue therapies available.  It is thought to affect up to 4 inches deep from the external skin.  This modality provides a unique approach to fascia helping clear fascial restrictions and increasing the range of motion. Helping remove toxins from the body whilst relieving tense tight muscles & joint pain.

The negative pressure that is experienced during the cupping session helps to soften the muscles & lift the connective tissue. It aids in increasing the blood flow to the treated areas and drain excess fluids & toxins. It also encourages the bodies natural healing process which is why this method is often utilized as a form of alternate physical therapy.

You usually will feel a tight sensation in the area of the cup. Often, this sensation is relaxing and soothing. Depending on your comfort and assessment of the problem, cups may be moved around or left in place. They may remain on your body briefly or for longer amounts of time. Each treatment is unique to you on that particular day. One very common area to be cupped is the back, although cups work well on other areas, too — particularly on fleshy sections of the body.

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Some of the benefits of Dry Cupping Therapy

  • Restoring Qi (energy)
  • Boosts Circulation
  • Improves immunity by increasing lymphatic output
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Back Pain
  • Muscle & Joint Pain
  • Knee Pain
  • Neck & Shoulder Pain
  • Loosen restrictions and adhesions in the tissue
  • Cellulite Reduction
  • Improves skin tone
  • Sports Injuries & Sports Performance
  • Calm the nervous system
  • Improve overall wellbeing 
  • Provide relaxation
  • Helps to clear congestion in the chest which can occur from colds or flu

Cupping causes the skin to temporarily turn red, blue or purple, especially if there is an injury or energetic blockage under the area that was cupped. The skin discoloration can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks but is rarely painful. Once the marks have cleared, the procedure can be repeated until the condition or ailment is resolved.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you soon xx

 

 

Gua Sha

 

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Stress has a negative impact because the ‘fight or flight’ response diverts blood away from the skin and into the muscles. This process results in less oxygen and vital nutrients passing into the skin, muscle tension, inflexible fascia and stagnant lymph.

Other signs of ageing we dread such as fine lines, dryness and sagging skin are also worsened by stress. For example, sagging skin is the result of decreased blood flow and dehydration where the stress response has leached vitamins, blood and moisture from the skin and diverted it to the muscles.

Stress is also a key element in inflammatory skin conditions such as Roseaca which is exacerbated if you deal with stress by using alcohol, especially red wine, which increases the likelihood of Rosacea and broken capillaries.

Our skin has a protective barrier formed of healthy oils known as lipids. Stress reduces this barrier, causing lipids to evaporate and resulting in fine lines and dry skin. Even with the best skincare, this rich, moist barrier is hard to replace.

How can Gua Sha help me?

Gua Sha is revered across Asia for its beauty benefits. What sets it apart as a beauty treatment is its unique ability to engage with the circulation under the skin to draw in nutrients. In addition to applying an oil to the surface of your skin, you are also activating your own body to do the work from the inside.

Proven in studies to increase microcirculation by 400%. This restores blood flow to the area boosting collagen and elastin, improves the elasticity of the skin and manipulates areas of tension to stimulate and regenerate cells. It also reduces fine lines, pigmentation, sagging skin and uneven skin tone and promotes lymphatic drainage, which eliminates toxins and helps to reduce congestion and puffiness.

What we see as puffiness in the face is fluid retention, specifically lymphatic fluid. For optimal health of the skin, the immune system, and the entire body we want lymph to circulating freely.  When lymph is draining and refreshing optimally, puffiness goes down. In addition, the proper circulation removes toxins from the skin, which helps to clarify the complexion, and rejuvenates skin cells for a healthy glow.

The main causes of fluid retention are inflammation in the body, lack of movement, or too much salt. Inflammation can have so many causes, but some common ones are poor diet; foods such as sugar, gluten or dairy; too much alcohol; illness; and chronic illness. The lymph system relies on external movement for its circulation, so exercise or massage help to move the fluid, and being sedentary, or being stationed behind a computer all day, contribute to stagnation—this is why we’re usually puffiest in the morning after we’ve been lying in bed all night.

One of the most promising benefits of gua sha is its effect on the immune system. When this treatment is performed, the immune system is activated, allowing the body to speed up its natural healing process. In Asian culture, gua sha is often used in the case of illness to “let the sickness escape”

With gentle pressure, in the correct directions, we encourage the lymphatic fluid to move along its pathways and drain into the body. Using Gua Sha made of pure Jade which is a cooling and cleansing stone this has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries to aid the body’s filtration organs and lymph system to expel toxins.

Give yourself a glow & book in for treatment!

  • Smooth fine lines and wrinkles
  • Tighten skin
  • Decrease puffiness under the eyes
  • Plump skin to give it a youthful glow

 

Sciatica Pain

Sciatica is a term that describes symptoms of pain, numbness & or weakness that radiates along the sciatic nerve from the lower back to the buttocks, the medical term for Sciatica is Lumbar Radiculopathy.sciatic-nerve-pain

The sciatic nerve is the longest & largest nerve in the human body running from the lower back, through the back of the legs & down to the toes and is as thick as a man’s thumb at its largest point. The sciatic nerve supplies sensation and strength to the leg as well as the reflexes of the leg. It connects the spinal cord with the outside of the thigh, the hamstring muscles in the back of the thighs, and muscles in the lower leg and feet. As such, when the sciatic nerve is impaired, it can lead to muscle weakness and/or numbness or tingling in the leg, ankle, foot, and/or toes.

The complex anatomy of the sciatic nerve means that symptoms of sciatica can vary depending on where the irritation occurs, certain conditions of the lower back can irritate the sciatic nerve, causing pain to radiate along the nerve, these symptoms are called sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy.

Treatment for sciatica

Non-surgical remedies & regular exercise will go a long way towards relieving the pain most people experience. For others when the pain is severe or does not get better a more structured treatment approach, possibly surgery may be the best option.  Always seek the medical advice of your GP.

The goals of non-surgical sciatica treatment to relieve pain & any neurological symptoms caused by a compressed nerve root.  There is a broad range of options available for sciatica treatment, one or more treatments below are recommended in conjunctions with specific exercises.

 

Alternative sciatica treatment

Heat/Ice

Support & Posture

Chiropractic/manual manipulation

Acupuncture

Massage Therapy

Exercise

Stretching Techniques

It is always advisable to have a qualified medical proffessional oversee any type of sciatica treatment.

Immediate action is required with regards to sciatica to prevent it causing any other problems and prevent it from worsening. Massage can help reduce tightness and muscles spasms which may be affecting the position of the vertebrae. It can also aid the diagnosis by distinguishing between muscular and spinal related sciatica.

Massage can help sciatica in numerous different ways, for many it can be used to manage pain and reduce inflammation. Massage stimulates circulation which will help bring fresh blood into tight muscles which helps improve the quality of the muscle, therefore helping the muscles to do their job properly. Massage also stimulates the lymphatic system this helps the body flush out toxins and remove excess fluid and white blood cells from inflamed areas. Massage will relax tight muscles and can increase muscle quality and tone muscles that are being underused.

Often with muscular related sciatica, bad posture is one of the main causes, overusing and underusing certain muscles to stabilise, lift and generally moving will cause certain muscles to tighten and therefore can lead to the sciatic nerve roots being pinched either by the muscles themselves or by pulling a vertebrae slightly out of place. By loosening these muscles and improving the quality and tone of others can help improve posture, therefore, sciatic pain.

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If you’re ready to get back to your life with less pain, it’s time to talk to a pain specialist. They’ll be able to advise you on the best massage options, as well as other ways to control your symptoms of sciatica. Sciatica massage can be a valuable part of your treatment plan. The first step is to get a diagnosis and isolate the cause of your pain.

Massage-for-Sciatica-Nerve-Pain-1

Healthy Bacteria

We are all familiar with “gut feelings”, “gut reactions” and “gut instincts”, but how much do we really know or care about our guts? As we become increasingly more aware of what we put in our stomachs, it’s striking how ignorant we remain of what takes place in our intestines. And it turns out there is an awful lot going on down there.

Gut bacteria , gut flora, microbiome. Bacteria inside the small intestine, concept, representation. 3D illustration.

Microbiologists have made some startling advances in revealing our innermost secrets. It turns out that there is a complex ecosystem deep within us that is home to a fantastic diversity of life – of which very little belongs to our species.

The fact is, there are about 100 trillion organisms living in the gut. If you put them all together they would be about the size of a football. The gut microbiome is a vast ecosystem of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi, viruses and protozoans that live in our digestive pipes, which collectively weigh up to 2kg (heavier than the average brain). It is increasingly treated by scientists as an organ in its own right. Each gut contains about 100tn bacteria, many of which are vital, breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and training our immune system.

Though it sounds totally gross and even unhealthy, gut bacteria have many very important functions in the body, including supporting the immune system, producing the feel-good brain chemical serotonin, making energy available to the body from the food we eat, and discarding of foreign substances and toxins, though we always have a mixture of good and bad bacteria, sometimes the bad guys get the upper hand, causing an imbalance in gut bacteria, which can play a role in a number of health conditions.

Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, and heartburn are classic symptoms of problems in the gut. Gastrointestinal discomfort—especially after eating carbohydrate-rich meals—can be the result of poor digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.  Reflux, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease, and colitis have all been linked to an imbalance in the microbiome.

Craving sweets and sugar can mean you may have an imbalance of gut bacteria. If there’s an overgrowth of yeast in the system, which might happen after a course or two of antibiotics where you wipe out all the good bacteria, then that overgrowth of yeast can actually cause you to crave more sugar.

Roughly 80 to 90 percent of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that affects mood, social behaviour, sleep, appetite, memory, and even libido, is produced in the gut. When less serotonin is produced, it can negatively impact mood.

Skin rashes and eczema, a chronic condition characterized by inflamed and itchy red blotches on the skin, can also develop when there is an imbalance in gut bacteria.

Gut health 2

Eating right is the first step in improving your microbiome. In fact, the types of foods we eat can change our gut bacteria in as little as 24 hours. To feed your good bacteria and starve the less desirable bacteria, swap out processed foods, bread, and pasta for more plants, fruits, seeds, and nuts. And consider adding fermented foods to your diet, including yoghurt, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir, which contain natural bacteria or healthy bacteria. It’s also a great idea to fill up on prebiotic foods, which actually feed the good bacteria. Try pistachios, bananas, garlic, onion, wheat, and oats, plus ancient grains such as quinoa, millet, or chia. Try to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics as this knocks off the healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.  If you must take antibiotics, consider taking a probiotic supplement to recreate a healthy bacterial community in your gut.

 

Gut health