As a practitioner with over a decade of targeted specialist treatments it’s tough to say that I am very good at what I do (I do not wish to appear big-headed or arrogant) so to I thought I’d share a selection of the feedback/ reviews left by customers in the last 12 months…

Whether its migraine/ headache or jaw problem, achy, stiff back, neck or shoulder problem, a pain or stiffness developed after sports or an accident or you are having a difficult pregnancy and need help. I believe that I can help you. Call me to discuss your individual case on 07790774239

“Excellent deep tissue massage. Dawn has extensive knowledge and experience. She is thorough and strong enough to not only find any body issues you may have, but also to help sort them out! If you are looking for deep tissue, therapeutic or sports massage, stop looking right now, you won’t find anyone better than this. Call Dawn right now!” Susan King

“Dawn is a miracle worker! After 6 months of Chiro on my back i thought it was never going to get better. A friend put me in touch with Dawn and After just 3 sessions I felt brand new! Not only did Dawn free up my lower back and make me feel back to normal, talking to her really changed my way of thinking towards looking after my back. We are genuinely blessed to have Dawn here in Cornwall! My mums been off work for 6 weeks with a bad back, and now after 1 sessions she’s back at work! Session 2 tomorrow!If you have any aches and pains you think you’re stuck with You must go and see Dawn! You’ll be so glad you did!” James Bright

“An exceptional, professional massage. Deep tissue with hot stone. My kind of treatment. Highly recommend.” M Jessop

“No matter what state I turn up to see Dawn in, she never fails to quickly understand what’s going on, what’s caused any pain I’m in and to fix me with her magic fingers. It’s not just a quick fix either – I suffered with hip pain for 10 years… all gone in one session and it’s never returned. She’s a healing marvel.” Kirsten Whiting

“Dawn is an exceptional massage therapist. She has a great knowledge of how the body functions. Using good pressure (which not all therapists are able to do), she adapts various massage techniques to help you heal. I highly recommend her. Thanks Dawn…looking forward to seeing you again xx” Sandrine Lee

“Such a warm and wonderful reiki session, Dawn completely understood and helped me hugely with my back pain in just one session! Very knowledgeable and gave me some exercises to help keep my future well-being. Would highly recommend her to anyone! Thank you so much Dawn xx” Felecia Jepson

“I had an amazing treatment with Dawn today which was build specifically to fit my body’s ailments. I didn’t realise how tight and problematic my shoulders (in particular my left (dominant side) had become. I also discovered that I have severe tightness in my left hip and at the base of the back of my skull (which had been contributing to the frequent headaches I had been getting). Dawn spent the hour long treatment working in depth on these areas and when she had finished I felt like a new woman. Her attention to detail and care was fantastic. I felt that she totally unde rstood my body and treatment needs and knew how to care for me. This was the best treatment I have had in many years. Thank you Dawn. I can’t wait to come back for my next treatment.” Lisa Harrow

“I can’t recommend Dawn highly enough, after only two sessions with her, (and about to book my next one) I feel like a new person, I stand straighter, and walk taller, and years old pains and niggles I thought I’d have to live with, are starting to fade. Not only can Dawn deal with current issues you may have with your body, but help you prevent further pain by helping you learn to listen to your own body. I can’t wait to return.” Claire Murray

“I had a ‘pregnancy massage’ with Dawn this morning and can’t recommend her highly enough. I felt safe in Dawn’s knowledge and experience in treating me whilst pregnant and cannot wait for my next one next week on my due date! Absolutely loved it, thank you.” Emily Bennetts

“I love Dawn. She is amazing. I’ve had terrible pains with my pregnancy and feel amazing whenever I leave. Highly recommended” Lore Bowman

“I saw Dawn today with a back spasm. All I can say is Wow, I feel about 10 inches taller and am walking with the best posture I’ve had in years. Thanks Dawn”. Victoria Colliver.

Reflexology is amazing, so much more than a foot massage! Reflexology can reduce your anxiety; aid your sleep, relieves  foot pain or tension or the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, improve your sports performance.  I am an ITEC qualified and CTHA insured reflexologist (since 2004).

What is reflexology?

Reflexology is a relaxing, non-invasive, complementary therapy which uses massage and shiatsu and acupressure to optimise you’re your physical health and emotional well-being. The principles of reflexology are that specific points on your feet (or face or hands) directly link to specific areas in your body – every system, organ and gland.

Reflexology is good for your health.

In a nut shell…Stress impacts your body causing pain, fatigue and illness. Reflexology is an effective balancing, relaxing and healing treatment.

An increasing number of people suffer from stress-related conditions such as high blood pressure, headaches/ migraines, stomach pains, fatigue, burnout to name a few.  Prolonged stress is debilitating and as the nervous system becomes run down, the immune system becomes weakened a whole host of immune deficient illnesses may present themselves such as ME which are now becoming more prevalent.

Reflexology is bliss during pregnancy!

I use prenatal – maternity-reflexology to reduce swollen feet, tackle insomnia, reduce stress and promote deep relaxation, calm. I’ve even used reflexology to bring on labour!

Reflexology is whole body healing.

Rather than short list the benefits, I have addressed (below) the balancing effects of reflexology on each body system. If you have any questions about how I can help you please Email Me or call 07790774239.

The Respiratory System.

Working the respiratory system reflexes will help the whole body, ensuring that oxygen gets into cells and carbon dioxide is removed. Working the circulatory, nervous and muscular systems will also benefit the respiratory system. According to Chinese medicine the skin & lungs are linked, therefore people with eczema may also suffer from asthma.
The Chinese medicine system also says that the lungs are affected by both anxiety and grief- if you are suffering from either of these emotions I pay particular attention to your lung reflexes.

  • Working the diaphragm can have a deeply relaxing effect on the whole body
  • It helps unblock sinuses and reduces inflammation therefore helping such conditions such as sinusitis.
  • It improves the condition of the lungs by increasing blood circulation to the lung tissue.

The Reproductive System

Working the reproductive system is particularly important if you  are trying to conceive; also it helps prevent infections and menstrual/ menopausal problems. Reflexology to the corresponding breast area (on the feet) will help improve lymph drainage and help reduce fluid retention particularly around time of menstruation.

  • Increases blood flow to reproductive organs therefore improving their health.
  • Reflexology can help regulate your menstrual cycle

The Endocrine System.

Working the endocrine system benefits the whole body, improving the hormone production and their subsequent functions. This system enables humans reproduce.

  • When the body is under stress the adrenal gland is stimulated. Reflexology can help reduce the amount of stress hormones released as it helps reduce stress and promote relaxation in the body.
  • Reflexology helps to balance the output of hormones so will be helpful for many hormone related conditions.

The Digestive System.

Working the digestive reflexes encourages an efficient digestive system, which prevents fatigue, constipation and stomach problems. According to Chinese medicine the liver & gall bladder are associated with anger, therefore sensitivity in this area could mean that your anger is impacting your body physically as well as emotionally.

  • Reflexology on the abdomen area helps stimulate peristalsis and promote movement of waste matter.
  • It helps to relieve flatulence and constipation.
  • Reflexology can help sooth nerves and relieve intestinal spasm associated with IBS.

The Urinary System

Working the urinary system encourages efficient waste removal and prevents infections and problems with the kidneys & bladder.  If you have is a blue shadow under the eyes there may be excessive stress in the kidneys. Reflexology will assist you by improving the efficiency of your kidneys.

  • The increased lymphatic flow may cause more urine to pass into the bladder
  • It helps improve the kidney & bladder functioning.

The Nervous System

One of the main benefits is inducing relaxation thus slowing down the bodies reactions to stress signals. It also improves the voluntary functions by improving the speed and function of the communication network. There are approximately 7000 nerve endings in the feet making them particularly sensitive and helpful for accessing the whole body.

  • It helps soothe pain as endorphins are released
  • Working the brain will affect the whole nervous system
  • Working the solar plexus may improve the function of main organs
  • It helps balance the actions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

The Lymphatic  System

Working the lymphatic system benefits the whole body and encourages better fluid drainage from tissues & cells thereby boosting the immune system. Chinese medicine states that the spleen is associated with worry, they believe excessive worry & contemplation damages the spleen. Making time for regular reflexology treatments will help you to  relax deeply.

  • It speeds up the flow of lymph helping to detoxify & improve immunity.
  • Can reduce or prevent oedema.

Venue & Bookings

Whether you would like a relaxing, therapeutic reflexology treatment or need help with reflexology for conception pregnancy or labour contact me either by EMAIL  or call and leave me a message on 07790774239.

My reflexology treatments are available at The Walsingham Clinic, Truro and The Seymour Practice in London W1.

Mobile treatments are also available in mid Cornwall.

 

My journey from Stress to Peace.

I know pain.

Your pain – During the last 30 years, I have been working in the clinical and private treatment of both physical and emotional ailments, ranging from conception/birth difficulties through to end-of-life palliative care and all stages in between.

My pain – During those same 30 years, I have burned out 3 times.

I have spent endless hours planning and working on overdrive to achieve my goals. This unintentionally created dissatisfaction with my life, by focusing on what I don’t have, and relentless chasing of these goals left me constantly stressed and exhausted. And so I would come up with a plan to solve that problem, and chase that goal – not realising that I was still perpetuating a vicious circle. Hence burning out 3 times.

What’s wrong?

During all of this time, I had a nagging feeling that the existing techniques for dealing with stress, burnout and related physical ailments were somehow…not enough.

The psychology approach to stress management can help for a while, but the problems often return. And the same is true for physical treatment of stress-related pain/injury/fatigue, etc.

The trouble, as I see it, is that none of the current approaches deal with the cause of stress. Because I believe stress is not caused by what happens in your life.

At least, not mainly. Allow me to explain, using a common example of what happens in our lives.

It’s early morning. Your children bustle down to the breakfast table, shouting at each other. Which emotion does this make you feel?

a) Irritation. Why do they have to make so much noise, all the time, every day?

b) Love. You are obviously raising energetic, lively, confident children.

How can the same event cause two such contrasting feelings? Because it is not the children that cause your feelings, at all. It is your attitude to them, and to life in general, that dictates your feelings. A positive outlook tends to encourage positive feelings about what happens in your life, while a negative outlook will more often foster negative feelings.

This is a useful realisation for us, but the Optimal Default setting goes much, much further than that. In fact, the Optimal Default Setting can make the things that happen in your life powerless to cause you stress (if you practice using it enough).

The Optimal Default Setting

If you let outside events influence your thoughts, then your related emotions/feelings will be, to a certain extent, at the mercy of random life events (further moderated positively or negatively by your attitude/outlook at the time). For many of us, this often means stressful feelings.

However, there is no need for our feelings to be at the mercy of life events.

In the developed world, we tend to face relatively few stressful situations that are truly life-essential, such as avoiding a car crash, putting out a fire, etc. Our common causes of stress, such as a criticism from your boss, an argument with your partner, an unexpected cost that will put you in the red this month – we regularly and routinely deal with these issues and move on with life. There is actually almost no need for them to cause us stress, but we let them anyway.

But I repeat – with only a few life-necessary exceptions, there is no need for our feelings to be at the mercy of life events. And the Optimal Default Setting demonstrates why.

The Thought Cloud

In 2009, scientists at Stanford University stated that we have up to 90,000 thoughts daily. Since then, it has been suggested by others that we are actually more likely to experience 250,000 thoughts daily.

All of these thoughts have the potential to influence our feelings. If we latch onto a negative thought, it can make us unhappy/angry/jealous, etc. But if we then latch onto another of these thousands of available thoughts, our feeling can suddenly change. We have all experienced this.

The key to the Optimal Default Setting is realising that only very few of our thoughts (and related feelings) are caused by outside life events. Far, far more of our thoughts (and potential related feelings) are just part of the thought cloud that all humans live in.

And here is the most beautiful part of the Optimal Default Setting – it doesn’t require any effort. You don’t have to keep monitoring your thoughts and actively decide to focus on something positive when a negative thought occurs. You don’t have to do anything at all. Just by realising that each thought (and related feeling) is only one of a cast cloud of thoughts (and potential related feelings) is enough to ease the stress. And the more we live with this realisation and let it become our natural ‘optimal’ default setting (hence the name), the more we feel our stress eased.

When I first had my Optimal Default Setting idea firmly in place, I found that right there in the moment, I had clarity and peace. My mind fog, created by an over-drive of thinking, cleared instantly, as I realised that I was responsible for myself and my thinking. This allowed me freedom, direction and purposeful, stress-free flowing thought.

Going back to what I said at the start, I have burned out 3 times. And I know pain. But this new way of thinking has brought me a level of peace which I had not previously experienced. And that peace has not gone away.

I hope it will do the same for you.

 “Dawn is an intuitive therapist who gives practical, credible and creative advice in relaxation and battling the pressures of the office and life.” – Eve Baldwin, Vice President of Human Resources, Personal Care Division, Unilever.
“Dawn is an incredible therapist. Her technical expertise& credentials are excellent, but she is more than a great masseuse (& she IS the best masseuse I’ve ever come across!) Dawn has a true gift for healing & understanding what an individual’s body needs at that moment.” – Wendy Powell, Founder + CEO, MuTu System Limited | Post-Partum Exercise Specialist.

If you would like to understand your body and learn how to turn life from Stress to Bliss BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT HERE

My 10 top tips for improved posture and the health of your back

As a child, were you told “Stand up straight!” or “Don’t slouch!”. It turns out that whoever said it, they were right all along! Having poor posture when walking, sitting, working or driving can have a negative impact on your life including:

  • Pain in your back and shoulders.
  • Shallow breathing.
  • The appearance of lacking self confidence.

Click HERE to book your bespoke Back Pain Reducing Realignment treatment

What is posture?

Posture is defined as the way the body is carried. Good posture means carrying your body in a way that puts the least strain on muscles and ligaments. Poor posture can cause pain in the neck and back, and can sometimes lead to injury. Making changes to your posture is a great way of improving your overall appearance as well as your health.

Many of the reasons for bad posture can be fixed and others, like pregnancy, go away in time. Some of the reasons are:

  • Poor habits – sitting and standing incorrectly
  • Weakened muscles
  • Obesity – The extra pounds add strain to your skeleton and muscles.
  • Pregnancy
  • Ill-fitting shoes (like high heels)
  • Reduced muscle and joint flexibility (this can happen with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis)

Why Is Good Posture Important?

Good posture is good for your health in a number of ways. Standing and sitting with correct posture prevents strain and overuse of neck and back muscles, it helps the muscles work more efficiently

Good posture also has other more subtle benefits. When you stand properly, the body tends to look taller and slimmer. Good posture can also make you look more confident. And, we all know, when you look confident, you feel confident.

As most of us are seated at desks for most of the day, it is very important to have correct posture while seated.

The combination of regular stretching and massage help to improve and maintain your posture .

Are There Warning Signs Of Back Pain Caused By Poor Posture?

Back pain may be the result of poor posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week. If you experience back pain at certain times of the week, but not at the weekend, this may be the problem.

Click HERE to book your bespoke Back Pain Reducing Realignment treatment

The signs to be aware of are:

  • sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car
  • pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back and extremities and pain that goes away after changing positions while sitting or standing.

Keep active

As muscles get tired, slouching, slumping, and other poor posture positions occur. This then puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, switch positions frequently. Take a two-minute break from your desk every hour to stretch your limbs.

Keep the body in alignment while sitting at your desk and standing

  • Distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet while standing.
  • While sitting in at your desk, take advantage of the chair’s features.
  • Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line.
  • Any single position, even a position with good posture, will tire your muscles. Leaning forward with a straight back can alternate with sitting back, using the back support of the office chair to take some of the strain from your muscles.
  • Also be aware of (and avoid) unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders and craning the neck.

Use Posture-Friendly Props & Ergonomic Chairs When Sitting

  • Supportive ergonomic “props” can help to take the strain and load off the spine.
  • Lumbar Rolls or pillows offer great support to the lower back when seated at a desk.

Increase Your General Awareness For Great Posture

Being aware of posture at work, at home, and at play is a vitally important step towards instilling good posture techniques. This includes making conscious connections between incidents of back pain and what position you were in at the time.

Use Exercise To Help Prevent Injury & Promote Great Posture

Regular physical exercise such as walking, swimming and cycling will help the body stay in good condition, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong.

There are also specific exercises that will help maintain good posture. A balance of trunk strength with back muscles about 30% stronger than abdominal muscles is essential to help support the upper body and maintain good posture.

Wear Supportive Footwear When Standing

Avoid regularly wearing high heels, which can affect the body’s center of gravity and change the alignment of the entire body, affecting back support and posture.

Be Aware Of Your Posture When Moving Or Stationary

Walking, talking on the phone, and typing are all moving activities that require attention to posture. It is important to maintain good posture even while moving to avoid injury. Back injuries are especially common while twisting and/or lifting and often occur because of awkward movement and control of the upper body weight alone.

Do re-check your posture whenever you think of it! I often find myself reverting to old habits particularly when using laptops!!

Create The ‘Right’ Environment & Workspace Conducive To You

It does require a bit of time but the results will be well worth it. Undue strain will be placed on the spine unless your office chair, desk, keyboard, and computer screen are in the correct position.

Avoid The ‘Over-Protecting’ Posture

Remember that it is important to maintain an overall relaxed posture to avoid restricting movements by tensing muscles and adopting a stiff posture.

For people who already have some back pain, it is a natural tendency to try to limit movements to avoid the potential pain associated with movement. But, unless there is a fracture or other serious problem, the spine is designed for movement and any limitation in motion over a long period of time creates more pain and will make the overall situation worse.

You can always spot someone in pain when they walk ahead of you in the street… so take a look at yourself. If you are frightened of pain you walk in an unusual manor. It tends to be a stiff, tense and unnatural poise.

The way to change this is to relax. Hold your head up so it is horizontal to the floor,ensure your jaw is not tense, check your breathing and walk (picking your feet up properly).

I completely believe it is possible not only to eradicate most if not all of the chronic aches and pains of a bad back. Why, because I’ve done it myself!

I really have been there and done it all with my bad back, including back surgery! For those of you who are about to switch off at the point of surgery, please allow me to continue…

Back Surgery Was Really Not The Answer!

That just took away the ‘result’ of the problem without ever addressing the cause. It’s taken me 10 years after my op to have put it together in a package to help fellow sufferers.

  • I had to address the physical aspect of the back pain and Sciatica.
  • I had to adjust many aspects of my lifestyle (mostly silly things if I’m honest)
  • I had to address the fear of the re-occurrence of pain, the ‘knowing’ when it was going to ‘go’
  • I needed prevention strategies that were easy and worked
  • I had to address the impact of my bad back and the fear of its re-occurrence because it affected me in so many ways. My back impacted on my work. My work impacted on my finances. My finances impacted on my home life and family.

I’m sure you resonate with this on some or many of these levels! I just wanted you to know that I’ve contended with the lot, and just like you I struggled.

But that is in the past now, even when I do something that in the past would have debilitated me for days if not weeks, I am in a position that I am able to do most things and indeed partake in a far more active lifestyle than I would ever have imagined, probably moreso than before in many ways!

Click HERE to book your bespoke Back Pain Reducing Realignment treatment

To avoid sports burnout you need to change your nutritional intake, otherwise you can create the symptoms of burnout whether you are a keen sports person or couch potato!

How can you avoid Sports Burnout?

Regular exercise has countless health benefits, but it can mean you need to check and ‘tweak’ your nutritional intake. The correct balance will help you maintain your energy levels and protect you from ‘burn out’ and injury.

It is crucial to keep an eye on ‘Vitamin B Complex’, this is because their group combined role is the release of energy from food and help prevent burnout. If you have an active lifestyle and partake regularly in sports you will probably require slightly higher amounts of Vitamins B1, B3 & B5.

What should you be taking?

Click on the individual below links to find out more:

Calcium

Zinc

Iron

Vitamin B complex:

Vitamin C

Remember, exercise generates free radicals and can take its toll on your immune system especially if you have a stressed  & busy lifestyle. Vitamin C has a key role for all sports participants.

Vitamin E

How can I help with your back pain?

Many people face horrendous pain either acute (swift onset) or chronic (long term) and often one leads to another following the initial eposide. As we know this can lead to a serious intrusion on your ‘normal life’ and activities, or worse still leave you considering surgery as an option. However in most cases (some people claim 90%) surgery is merely treating the symptom and not the cause.

In 2002 I had an ‘emergency’ back op to remove a herniated disc. I was instantly pain free, and the numbness felt throughout my entire right leg and foot (starting in my buttock running the entire length of sciatic nerve) reduced over the next couple of years, now I have one tiny area behind my knee which is numb, the rest is perfect.

Back pain- where Do you Start?

Almost everyone can benefit from massage and the stretching of soft tissues in the back, legs, buttock, and around the spine. Realignment is key…

Click HERE to book your bespoke back treatment

The spinal column and its contiguous muscles, ligaments and tendons are all designed to move, and limitations in this motion can make back pain worse.

If you suffer from chronic back pain you may find it takes weeks or even months of stretching and other back exercises to mobilize the spine and soft tissues, but the pain will be relieved and mobilization will improve, at this point it is time to mention preventative measures.

Preventative measures such as lifestyle changes will also need to be made, however, I believe it is better to start at the beginning and work through the initial stages.

Keep the following in mind when starting a stretching routine as part of a program of back exercises:

    • Move into the stretch slowly and avoid bouncing, which may actually tear muscles
    • Stretch on a clean, flat surface that is large enough to move freely
    • Stretching should be pain free; do not force the body into difficult positions
    • Wear comfortable clothes that won’t bind
    • Hold stretches long enough (20-30 seconds) to allow muscles or joints to release.
    • Repeat the stretch, generally 5 – 10 times.

Click HERE to book your bespoke  back treatment

Important Note:

If you already have low back pain or neck pain, I recommend you consult with your GP or consultant before starting any exercise.

Practical Note:

Just 5 to 10 minutes of stretching in the morning and at night can provide significant lower back pain relief.

Neck and Shoulder Stretches

Back pain is often accompanied by neck pain due to muscular imbalances so I always recommend stretching your neck as well as your back and legs.

Flexion Stretch—Chin to Chest.

While standing or sitting, gently bend the head forward while bringing the chin toward the chest until a stretch is felt in the back of neck.

Lateral Flexion—Ear to Shoulder

This exercise stretches the neck area below the ears as well as the top of the shoulder. To begin, gently bend the neck to one side as if to touch the ear to the shoulder until a stretch is felt in the side of the neck. Switch to stretch the other side.

Back Exercise Stretches

Many back pain patients know the feeling of tension in the back, especially first thing in the morning. These stretching back exercises can help bring back some suppleness and increase mobility, decreasing back pain and discomfort.

Back flexion exercise

Lie on your back, pull both knees to the chest while simultaneously flexing the head forward until a comfortable stretch is felt in a balled-up position.

Knee to Chest Stretch

Whilst lying on the back with the knees bent and both heels on the floor, place both hands behind one knee and bring it to the chest (can be done side on- great for sciatica relief)Please contact me directly to find out more stretches and how I can help you….. (link at the bottom of this article)

Hips and Glut Stretches

The hips and bottom (where the gluteus muscles are) support the lower back. Stretching these muscle groups plays a critical role in maintaining spine flexibility.

Hip stretch

  • While standing with feet shoulder-width apart, take a half-step back with the right foot, bend the left knee and shift weight back to the right hip.
  • While keeping the right leg straight, bend forward more and reach down the right leg until a stretch in the outer hip is felt.

Piriformis muscle stretch

The piriformis muscle runs through the buttock & can contribute to back pain or leg pain.
To stretch the this muscle, lie on the back and cross one leg over the other and gently pull the other knee toward the chest until a stretch is felt in the buttock area.

Click HERE to book your bespoke Back treatment

Many of us simply forget that efficient breathing enhances your fitness performance AND reduces stress.  As something we do naturally, it seems crazy to find myself writing about breathing. However, I’ve noted that many of my clients ‘Reverse Breathe’. Additionally, I have noted when breathing patterns are corrected that there are very obvious and dramatic results both immediately and long term.

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

What is Reverse breathing?

Naturally we breathe using our diaphragm. If you watch a baby breathing you will see what I mean. However poor posture, stress, anxiety, and general tension all affect our capacity to breathe ‘properly’ Upper chest breathing causes you to expel excessive amounts of Carbon Dioxide (therefore depleting your carbon Dioxide stores). This causes you to feel tense, agitated, breathless, and can cause your nervous system to go into overdrive. In extreme cases this can result in pins and needles/ tingling in hands, a tingling feeling in the lips, metallic taste in the mouth, and cramping of the feet or hands.

Carbon Dioxide is often seen as the ‘baddie’, however it’s vital to our health and general well-being acting as our ‘natural tranquilliser’

Re-learning to use your diaphragm in breathing and to reduce your rate of breathing is an important first step in managing the symptoms of anxiety, anger, panic, AND increasing your physical activities, clearing training plateaus etc.

How Does Reverse Breathing Affect You?

I have noted that with my clients (who are keen Sports participants) the effect of reverse breathing can lead to plateauing, as well as less energy and a longer recovery period, whilst my non-sporty clients, many of whom have very stressed, busy lifestyles, feel more stressed and even more lethargic!!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

Check YOUR Breathing Pattern

  • Rest one hand on your upper chest and the other over your navel area
  • Breathe normally for a minute or so
  • Notice which hand rises first when you inhale

Results:

  •  If the upper hand rises first you are reverse breathing
  • If the lower hand rises first you are breathing with your diaphragm
  • If both move at the same time you are using a mix of both

Breathing Exercise To Reduce Stress & Normalise Breathing

Sit in an upright position looking straight ahead. (You can close your eyes if it helps). Put one palm on your upper chest and the other over your navel. (The aim is to have the lower hand rise first when you breathe in.) Breathe out gently and effortlessly. Now wait for a second or two until the body spontaneously begins the inhalation. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale slowly.

I find it helps if you count slowly as you breathe in…. i.e. breathe in to the count of 6 (lets say) hold for 2 seconds, breathe out for 7.  Also, I find it beneficial to increase the duration of the inhale/ exhale increase when comfortable (easy), i,e Breathe in (and out) to 7, 8, 9 etc.

You may be tempted at this point to ‘force’ a deeper inhalation, but this really won’t help! Allow your body to find its natural rate, I’m certain that as you try this you will already be feeling your body automatically relax! Continue doing this for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Your New Breathing Pattern

Your new slow, relaxed, method of breathing may take a little time to get used to particularly if you have been desk-slumped or experiencing stress for a long time, but don’t despair, it gets easier and easier to change this pattern!

Feedback using this technique has been varied….from the reduction of ‘plateau’ when training to personal bests*, to ease of training, an instant calming solution and even enhanced orgasms (really!). Breathing this way also helps relieve (and alleviate)  tension between the shoulder blades!

*Please note: Whilst breathing ‘properly’ enhances many aspects of your life, muscle tension/ lack of flexibility will affect the outcome. Did you know excessive amounts of Oxygen (relative to the level of Carbon Dioxide) in our system causes us to feel agitated and jumpy. Whereas too much Carbon Dioxide (relative to the level of oxygen) can leave us feeling sluggish, sleepy and tired!

Click HERE to book your Stress Busting | sport specific treatment

What Is Ilio-Tibial Band syndrome (IT Band friction syndrome)?

ITB Syndrome is a common cause of knee pain and hip pain in sports participants. Knee pain is most commonly felt along the outside (lateral) knee and the lower thigh. ITB syndrome may also result in a nagging or acute pain on the outside of the hip.

Click HERE to book your bespoke treatment

What Causes IT Band Syndrome?

ITB syndrome is typically caused by inflammation of the iliotibial band and is a common injury in runners or other athletes that run for training or during their sports. The IT band acts primarily as a stabilizer during running and may become irritated from overuse.

The pain is typically felt on the outside (lateral) aspect of the knee or lower thigh, but may be felt near the hip, and is often more intense when descending stairs, or getting up from a chair.

IT band syndrome is common in runners who perform unbalanced, repetitive exercise such as running only on one side of a crowned road, or only running one way around a track. Most roads slope off to the sides and running along the edge causes to the outside foot to be lower than the inside foot. This in turn causes the pelvis to tilt to one side and stresses the IT band.

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What can help prevent ITB syndrome?

  • Always have adequate rest/ repair time between training days
  • Regular Maga sports treatments for maintenance
  • Avoid over-training
  • If you train on an uneven road alternate directions daily to create balance.
  • Replace your old trainers
  • Run backwards- as mad as this sounds this will correct muscle imbalance & reduce pressure on the knees
  • Run on a soft, level surface
  • Stretch regularly
  • Use the correct training shoes for your sport
  • Visit a podiatrist to check your foot structure, use orthotics or inserts as necessary

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Discover what causes and how to prevent muscle cramp  here!

 What is a Muscle Cramp and Spasm?

Muscle cramp and muscle spasms are  annoying conditions that involves a sudden, involuntary contraction and tightening of a muscle that will not immediately relax. Cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to over 15 minutes and can often be seen visibly.

Muscle cramp and spasms can involve one muscle or the whole group. Although a spasm or cramp can occur in just about any muscle, the most common muscle groups affected are:

    • The lower leg and calf muscles.
    • The upper leg (hams & quads)
    • The feet and hands.

I uses a combination of techniques to provide effective solutions to both treat and prevent Cramp.

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Muscle cramps and spasms can range in intensity from a slight twitch to a severe, agonizing contraction.

People who are at the greatest risk of muscle cramps are:

  • Those who take drugs or certain medications
  • Live or work in excessive heat and humidity
  • Its common among endurance athletes
  • People over 65 years of age who perform strenuous physical activity.

What Causes Muscle Cramp and Spasm?

There are several causes, the main ones being:

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte and mineral depletion.
  • Muscle fatigue and overuse
  • Poor flexibility and tight muscles

A number of other factors include

  • Excessive use of alcohol, drugs and medication.
  • Inadequate blood supply to area
  • Injury or muscle strain
  • Working or exercising in high heat and humidity

Treating Muscle Cramp and Spasm

Muscle cramps and spasms will usually go away on their own but there are a few important steps you can take to decrease the severity and duration of them.

  1. Stop the activity that triggered the cramp in the first place.
  2. Gently stretch the effected muscle or muscle group.
  3. Keep the effected areas moving with light activity and gentle massage.
  4. Continue to apply heat and massage to help promote blood flow.

Preventing Muscle Cramp and Spasm

A great place to start is to improve your general health and fitness. Improving your cardiovascular fitness will improve the delivery of blood to your muscles, which will ensure that they have adequate amounts of oxygen and nutrients to function properly.

Another key activity that will help to prevent muscle cramp and spasms is Stretching. Read More About Stretching

Keeping your muscles loose and flexible will help prevent them from cramping. Be sure to warm up and cool down after ALL physical activity.

 

Training for a triathlon? I can help you to improve your performance and prevent injuries.

The competition level of a triathlon is so intense that there is very little of the body that is spared. However, whether its swimming, cycling or running, the majority of the punishment and stress is focused on your legs and arms.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Click HERE to book your Deep Tissue | Sport Specific Treatment

Common Triathlon Injuries

Training for, and competing in a triathlon requires hours of rigorous exercise and practice. One of the most common problems associated with the sport of triathlon is overtraining; or not giving your body the rest it requires to stay fit, healthy and injury free. Another major concern, during training and competition is dehydration and exhaustion. It is far too easy to tire out, and forget to keep yourself hydrated, because there are no real rest breaks during the race, simply transitions from one phase to another. You are literally going from one race to another with very little time to catch your breath, let alone be able to drink enough water to keep you safely hydrated. That being said, common injuries include muscle strains, muscle cramps, torn ACL, repetitive strain injuries like rotator cuff tears, sprained ankles, and fall-related breaks, cuts and sbruises. If you are suffering from heat exhaustion, your balance and vision may be affected, and you can easily trip or stumble while running, or fall off of your cycle. A triathlon is hands-down the most strenuous sport in the world, and the list of potential injuries reflects that.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Click HERE to book your Deep Tissue | Sport Specific Treatment

Injury Prevention Strategies

The best prevention tip of all is to be as fit, flexible and strong as you can possibly be, before even beginning to train for this type of competition. Strength training for endurance purposes, combined with aerobic and cardiovascular training is also recommended.At some point in your training, it is recommended that you add sprint training in all three phases of the competition, to build up strength endurance in swimming, cycling and running. Top tips to reduce the risk of injuries during triathlon training and competition.

    • Cool Down: Allow an adequate cool-down period and perform after training or competition stretching.
    • Footwear: The majority of the punishment during the running phase of the race will fall on your feet, and the proper footwear can often mean the difference between running injury free or annoying lower leg injuries. Read More About Footwear
    • Gear: You simply have to have the proper gear for every phase of the sport, including a quality cycle helmet and protective eye wear. The importance of maintaining your bike must also be a priority.
    • Rest: After training, you need rest, period. Making sure that you get enough “down-time” and sleep every day, not only on training days, will ensure that your body will adapt to the physical training quicker, and reduces the risk of injuring yourself before you get the chance to compete.
    • Stay Hydrated: Stay well hydrated by drinking water every 20-30 minutes even if you do not feel thirsty. Dehydration leads to fatigue, nausea, and disorientation, all factors that can result in falls and spills.
    • Strength & Conditioning: Strength training leads to reduced potential for injury as it increases the strength of the muscles as well as that of the supporting joints and tendons. Agility training is particularly helpful to the triathlete as it works to improve the ability of the body to quickly adapt to a change in direction, motion and velocity.
    • Stretching: Stiff joints and muscles will ultimately lead to injured joints and muscles so improving the flexibility of the body will also work to decrease the likelihood of injury. Stretching is a key ingredient to any warm up routine and plays an important role in improving flexibility as it increases the range of motion in joints and the elasticity of muscles.
    • Training Aids: Braces and supports can be very beneficial if you have a history of repetitive injuries. Any known weak area of your body should be protected and supported throughout training and competition, especially the joints.
    • Warm Up: Always warm-up properly prior to training and especially competition.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Click HERE to book your Deep Tissue | Sport Specific Treatment

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