P is for Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor is a hammock or sling of muscles found in the base of your pelvis. Our pelvic floor supports the bowel, bladder and in women, the uterus, all the while, playing a role in supporting the spine. The combined forces of the pelvic floor muscles form a supporting mechanism for the pelvic viscera from below – imagine interlocked fingers cradling a bowl. This hammock of muscles also interacts with the diaphragm when the abdominal pressure inside changes – as happens when we breathe. Breathing can be affected by a weak pelvic floor, possibly contributing to dysfunctional breathing patterns. We … Continue reading

Y is for…YMCA

The YMCA have been around for a long time (it was founded in 1844). Their strapline is “Helping Young People Build a Future“. I don’t know what your experience of ‘The Y’ is, but I’ve always associated them with activities, some sort of movement in the form of sport or physical activity. My first introduction to them was well over 20 years ago at the local aerobic classes I went to. Later on, in central London, I saw a sports massage therapist who rented a room in their Tottenham Court Road centre. The main thing that I took from the … Continue reading

Therapy Expo 2013

We were most fortunate to be only a half hour train ride from the Therapy Expo – an exhibition for clinical therapists and independent practitioners. Normally these events are held at the far reaches of the country, often making them prohibitively expensive for us because of the travel plus accommodation costs. But not this one, as it was held at Manchester Central. The proximity of this event meant we could catch up with NLSSM (the massage school we graduated from in London) and Rocktape, plus explore new suppliers, CPD courses, training opportunities and other exhibitors. One such exhibitor was IAM … Continue reading

N is for Nerves

Nerves are responsible for transmitting information from the various parts of the body (what we feel as sensations, for example heat or pain) to the brain, in order for an appropriate action to occur. For example, if you hold a very hot object there are signals sent towards your brain to warn you of the potential danger. The reaction might be that you’ll retract your hand to prevent it from being burnt. With this type of reaction the signal may not actually reach the brain, instead automatic responses deal with the situation very quickly – the system is designed this … Continue reading

A is for Adductors

An interesting muscle group that doesn’t really get the attention in a lot of massages – and they should. Found on the inside of your upper leg, they are involved mainly in 2 actions, adduction – pulling your leg toward the midline, and also extension – pulling your leg backwards. (not all of them do this, but bear with me as this isn’t meant to be a physiological tour de force, just an introduction). There are 5 adductors, Pectinius, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Longus, Adductor Magnus and Gracilis. They all start on the lower area of the pelvis and attach in … Continue reading

December Reading – Fascial Release

My book for December’s reading was Fascial Release for Structural Balance by James Earls & Thomas Myers. Tom Myers is well known to me because of his work with integrative structural therapy. His book Anatomy Trains should be in every massage and soft tissue therapists library. This months book is also worthy of a place in the library. James Earls studied with Tom Myers and also follows the anatomy trains approach to bodywork, something we incorporate in our work too. Knowing the authors credentials alone gave me confidence that my book for the month was going to be a good … Continue reading