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

As a child, were you¬†told ‚ÄúStand up straight!‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt slouch!‚ÄĚ. 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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúprops‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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

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 ‚Äėnormal life‚Äô 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 ‚Äėemergency‚Äô 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‚Äôt bind
    • Hold stretches long enough (20-30 seconds) to allow muscles or joints to release.
    • Repeat the stretch, generally 5 ‚Äď 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‚ÄĒChin 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‚ÄĒEar 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 ‚ÄėReverse Breathe‚Äô. 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 ‚Äėproperly‚Äô 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 ‚Äėbaddie‚Äô, however it’s vital to our health and general well-being acting as our ‚Äėnatural tranquilliser‚Äô

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 ‚Äėforce‚Äô a deeper inhalation, but¬†this really won‚Äôt help! Allow your body to find its natural rate, I‚Äôm 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

Can massage and specific stretches improve your golf game? The answer is simply YES!! Efficient conditioning of your muscles permits greater control and allows you to increase the speed of the golf head.  In short, If you want to improve your game and prevent injuries this article is written just for you! You may or may not be aware that the golf swing has four phases: the back swing, downswing, ball strike and follow-through. The back swing stretches the muscles in preparation for the powerful forward release. The forward swing segment of the drive releases the full power of the swing and determines the distance the ball is hit. The follow-through completes the proper swing. The forward portion of the swing incorporates 22 separate muscles! Muscle groups involved in the golf swing include:

    • Core muscles used in¬†generating torque and increasing club head speed
    • Forearm muscles for¬†controlling the golf club and supporting the wrists
    • Hamstring muscles essential¬†to maintaining proper posture and stabilizing the lower back
    • Muscles of the wrists and¬†fingers
    • Quadriceps used in flexing¬†the knees
    • Shoulder muscles¬†(particularly, the rotator cuffs), used to position the upper body and¬†generate speed
    • Upper back muscles assisting¬†in rotation during the backswing and maintaining an erect spine

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect the way that you play.

Most Common Golf Injuries

The golf swing requires a combination of shoulder movement through a wide range of motion at high speed, and strong rotation of the trunk. Both movements produce risk of  injury, as do other aspects of the game. A variety of golfing injuries fall into two broad categories, cumulative (usually the result of overuse) and acute or traumatic injuries. Back injuries are common in golf and generally involve muscle or ligament strains. Such injuries tend to be self-healing within a few weeks, provided proper rest and appropriate treatment is received.

Back injuries include:

  • Muscle strains- in which¬†muscles, particularly in the lower back are either fully overstretched¬†or in some cases, torn.
  • Backaches – due to overuse¬†and stress.
  • Herniated disks – in which¬†the soft core within a vertebral disk is forced through the fibrous outer¬†layer of the vertebrae. These more severe injuries may require serious¬†medical attention.

Shoulder injuries include:

  • Shoulder Tendonitis,¬†Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome – These conditions are similar and¬†result from inflammation, irritation and swelling of the rotator cuff and¬†bursa. As a result, these structures may be pinched in the shoulder joint resulting in acute¬†pain.
  • Torn Rotator Cuff – a common¬†traumatic injury, characterized by aching and weakness in the shoulder¬†when the arm is lifted overhead.
  • Rotator Cuff Tendonitis –¬†Irritation, swelling and inflammation of the tendons of the shoulder.

Elbow injuries include:

  • Golfers Elbow (Medial¬†Epicondylitis), Elbow Bursitis and Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis) –¬†each resulting from repetitive stress to muscles of the arm and forearm.

Wrist and hand injuries include:

  • Carpel Tunnel Syndrome: a¬†painful, repetitive stress disorder affecting nerves of the hands.
  • DeQuervain’s Tendonitis –¬†caused by an inflammation of the tendons controlling the thumb.
  • Fracture of the hamate – a¬†small bone on the outside of the wrist, sometimes fractured during the¬†golf swing.
  • Trigger Finger – caused by¬†pressure or inhibition on the flexor tendon sheath which encases the¬†tendon. The condition causes the finger to lock up.

Injuries To the knee include:

  • Arthritis of the knee¬†(osteoarthritis), a torn meniscus or kneecap pain (chondromalacia).

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your performance. Need assistance?

REMEMBER, MAGA THERAPY WORKS!

Injury Prevention

Many injuries occur early in the season. Such injuries may affect tendons, muscles and ligaments, as well as the joints of the upper body, (including back, elbow, wrist and shoulder). Massage and stretching is a great way to avoid injuries, as is your technique. Attention¬†to your technique is critical to avoid injury, a poor technique¬†can result from over-swinging, twisting the spine, an incorrect grip or hitting the ground during the forward swing. I’d like to gently remind you that if you already have tension issues due to your day-to-day lifestyle and don’t have a regular therapeutic treatment you are already at a higher risk of injury.¬† Read¬† more about Tips To Improve Your Posture…..

To avoid  back injury:

  • Rotate the shoulder and hip¬†about the same degree during the backswing.
  • Keep the spine vertical¬†during the follow-through, avoiding any hyperextension of the spine.

To avoid shoulder and elbow injury:

  • Shorten the length of the¬†back-swing, ending with the club head at a 1 o’clock rather than 3 o’clock¬†position.
  • Strengthen rotator cuff and¬†scapular muscles to prevent overuse or tearing injuries.
  • Strengthen muscles of the¬†chest and back, which generate the power of the swing.
  • Study the mechanics of¬†proper swing with a pro.
  • Slow the velocity of the¬†swing in order to produce less shock to the arm when the ball is struck.

To avoid hand, wrist and elbow injuries:

  • Graphite shafts can lessen¬†vibration
  • Select irons with larger¬†heads and lower vibration
  • Select larger and softer¬†club grips
  • Select the correct club¬†length
  • Strengthen forearm muscles¬†through exercise
  • Use a neutral grip to hold¬†the club

Physical conditioning and a regular sports massage to the appropriate muscles along with careful attention to correct technique tends to limit golfing injury, and improve your game.

Remember that muscular tension or joint misalignment will affect your game.

Hitting practice balls with shorter irons is a good means of loosening the muscles and avoiding strains. Additionally, proper rest, a consistent warm-up routine and core-strengthening exercises should be part of an overall approach to an injury-free game.

muscle tension

Are you overtraining?

Suffering from pain, fatigue or simply not achieving your personal bests?

If you’ve been over-training and want to fix your body, your first priority is to put your feet up and take a rest! If not, lets not beat around the bush here there will be a point when your body will object so much you may end up having to stop your sport.

How much time will it take?

Obvious that depends on the severity, but start by taking 3 to 5 days rest. It is important to have a massage treatment and receive target, bespoke stretch advice to turbo boost (and maintain) your recovery. Try to get as much sleep and relaxation as possible. Go to bed early and catch a nap when you can. Make sure you increase your intake of highly nutritious foods and take an extra dose of vitamins and minerals….. Read More.

The hardest part for any keen sports participant is the psychological side of rest, but I’d like to invite you to focus on how much better your performance will be post-rest. Your body’s condition will be greatly enhanced.

In fact I would go as far to say that there’s no point in beating yourself up mentally over losing a few days exercise, and I would like to particularly ask you to consider the point that you don‚Äôt have to work so hard to achieve even better results! Please try not to underestimate the benefits of a good rest and a decent deep-tissue¬†/ sport specific massage

After the initial 3 to 5 days rest you can gradually get back into your normal exercise routine, but start off slowly. Most research suggests that you can return with the same intensity and time of exercise but you must cut back on the frequency. So if you would normally exercise 3 or 4 times a week, cut that back to only twice a week for the next week or two. After that you can build towards your normal training regime.

The Benefits Of Stretching

Stretching is a great recovery tool, and you should be using stretching exercises during your normal exercise routine both to assist in recovery and to prevent injury. For more about stretching click HERE

 

BOOK YOUR DEEP TISSUE | SPORT SPECIFIC MASSAGE TREATMENT HERE

Have you experienced Reiki? It may well seem to be ‘mumbo jumbo’, but read what Ralph who has a been a scientist for his entire working life had to say in May 2011.

This is the exact email I received from Ralph, following a Reiki session with me.

A year or so ago I was having back and neck pain and was recommended to Dawn.  Expecting treatment to those parts of my body where the pain was, I was surprised when Dawn started work on my leg which was apparently the source of the problem.

After a period of massage I relaxed whilst Dawn very gently held my foot as I lay on the massage bench. This was when I experienced two very strange feelings.  First my knee cap felt as if it was moving up and down despite the fact that there was no apparent reason for it to be doing so. Dawn continued to gently hold my foot but did not move her hand in any way РI was watching  totally intrigued.. There was then the extremely strange feeling of something moving up and down my leg from my foot to my groin and back again.  It felt as if there were bubbles of something moving inside the leg up and  down for three or four minutes Рa weird feeling unlike anything I had ever experienced before.  The movements then stopped and I have had no repeat of the pain or of the strange movements.

Wow!! I wanted to probe a little deeper here. This is the email I sent Ralph:

Thank you very much…..¬† I wonder can you give me an additional¬† line or two, from a perspective of logic and your deep understanding of science,¬† and consider that I believe (and you experienced) that it is somehow possible, using your hands whether on the client or off, (although I find it much ‘stonger’ if I am working hands on!) you can move ‘energy’ around the body to re-balance (the pain), and you can feel it and you know its happening you can’t see it even though you should be able to because it obvious!! And afterwards it feels much better, and that relief lasts…

I strongly believe there is something there and its just not been figured out yet. When someone experiences it it is quite incredible, it helps an individual in a very unique and beneficial way. I’m sure somehow it kick starts a ‘circuit’ somewhere that needs a tweak, that that little boost gets it up and running again and it puts ‘it’ right, whatever ‘it’ might be…. that’s the only scientific’ish’ way I can describe it, and if I write that people may well think I’m bonkers (!!) so Ralph, what do think, how would you possibly describe Reiki?¬† Dawn

This was his reply:

Amongst other topics I have worked on during my half century as a scientist is energy in its many forms. I fully comprehend the concepts of energy conservation, the different forms in which energy can manifest itself and the ways in which energy can flow from one point in space to another.

I am certain that there was some flow of something in my leg whilst Dawn was holding it and this something had an effect.  I think I must have experieced a flow of energy  in some form which I am unable to identify. What it was, how it started to flow and how it affected my body are all facts that are incomprehensible to me

Maybe somebody sometime will have an explanation that either fits conventional science thinking or does not.  РRalph.

A question I have often been asked is how does Maga Therapy relieve the symptons of stress?

Long term stress can affect you in many ways as I previously noted (Read more…)¬†With symptoms including headaches, migraines, asthma, skin conditions e.g. eczema, heart-burn, IBS, tension, aches and pains you can very easily feel anxious or depressed (also classic symptoms of stress) and wonder if there is anything that will actually help.
 
I have to explain the just how Maga Therapy can help you, and HAS to be my number one on the stress busting list!
 
It’s not just a case that someone does something ‘nice’ to you for an hour or so, nor that you were able to schedule an hour into your busy routine, there are more powerful ‘forces’ at work which actually decrease the stress levels and (albeit temporarily) will neutralise the effects (obviously, the more regularly you have one the better your body will respond and ‘learn’ to relax.
Basically (as jargon free as I can make it) the stopping what you are doing and doing nothing allows your body to produce less stress hormones (you will remember the fight or flight ones from your adrenal system from school I am sure).

Excessive amounts of¬†stress hormones¬†cause of the problems we suffer physically.Stress hormones are produced in the Adrenal Galnds (Read more here) and are in a ‘normal’ day to day situation useful, making us more alert or having better memory etc, however, prolonged pumping the hormones will actually prove harmful long term.

For example, indigestion and stomach ulcers can be directly linked to the over production of stress hormones because the hormones affect the digestive system, it becomes sluggish and we break food down much slower than we should, as well as having excess acids produced which in time can affect the lining and cause it to ulcerate. Of course, for all of us who have had stressful periods of life, how easy is it to skip meals and survive on coffee and cigarettes (most of us have done it!!)
 
The muscles are helped greatly by the release of tension and tightness. Fatigue in muscle tissue is reduced by removing lactic acid, this helps prevent the formation of fibrositis (inflammation within the muscle fibres), thus, muscles work at maximum efficiency!

Our skeleton is affected by Maga Therapy (MT) too! Massage warms joints, reduces pain and increases production of synovial fluid which protects bone ends.

Our heart receives the very positive assistance from MT too! It increases blood circulation bringing oxygen to muscles and removing waste products such as lactic acid, helps heat up cold extremities, e.g. hands and feet, generally increases heart function.

Our lymphatic system (this is where many waste products are removed)is enhanced by MT resulting in reduction of excess fluid in tissues (oedema) and toxins.

Our breathing becomes slower and deeper. Lung efficiency is increased so more oxygen taken in and more carbon dioxide expelled, our body relaxes when our breather becomes deeper, slower and more efficient.

Our urinary system is kick started and there is an increase of the production of urine, removal of waste products and toxins.

Our digestive system starts to work more effective thus helps prevent constipation (or if IBS an issue, it balances it and slows gut action down)

The action on the endocrine system itself is very important, MT aids circulation of hormones around the body, it can assist depression by helping the uptake of the hormone Serotonin, and relieves stress by decreasing the levels of Adrenaline.
 
So you see,¬†Maga Therapy¬†HAS to be the best (and immediately effective) thing you can do.¬† But, that’s only a small wedge of the pie.¬† What else?? So this time I am thinking for most of us stopping and doing nothing for 10-15 mins is an impossible task, but consider how mad that actually sound 10-15 mins THAT’S ALL!

How to¬†prolong or ‘learn’ to relax?
 
You will notice I burn either oil or incense when treating. There are many reasons for this but the main one is that¬† you can recreate a relaxing ambience at home,light a candle, burn some relaxing oil, put a relaxing CD to play and your body will respond and ‘release’¬†your tension.

So, you have the MT treatment rationale, now you know about the music, next the lovely odours. A¬† few drops of¬†your favourite essential oil¬†in water on the burner¬† will create a relaxing ambiance and help you chill out, dim the lights if you can and just stop……………turn off the phone (or put it on silent with no vibrate,),¬† it won’t matter for a few mins to not be ready to take a call!

Do nothing at all for 10 mins. Breathe deeply (many believe breathing is the key to success when it comes to stress busting!) Breathe deeply creating a Buddha belly, this will ensure you use all of your lung as opposed to a half or so of it!

Personal Note From Dawn Symons:

One CD which is widely available is’ Sleep’ by a company called Solitudes- this CD has been designed with the alpha waves wound throughout which actually causes you to relax and sends you to sleep!

Read more stress busting tips here

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