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

Migraines, Art & Soft Tissue Therapy

We’ve recently discovered the world of Migraine art – and spent quite a while searching the images on the internet – the image below grabbed Lynne’s attention, and really reflects how migraines feel for her: Have you found an image that reflects your migraines? Post your image on our facebook page and leave a comment explaining how migraines affect you. While there are common symptoms associated with migraines, your experience and discomfort is as unique as you are. It can be comforting to hear what other people experience, so please do share your story with us. We have both experienced the debilitating nature … Continue reading

Olympic Dreams for Andy Turner and Ice Climbing

It’s amazing to think that 18 months ago Tim and I were working at the 2012 London Olympics, and now we’re in the midst of the 2014 Winter Olympics. We’re having a great time watching the winter sports over in Sochi, and even more exciting, one of our regular clients is on his way to Russia right now. Andy Turner set up the Great Britain Ice Climbing Team, and as well as climbing for the team he also coaches other climbers. We saw Andy on Tuesday for his final session of soft tissue therapy before flying out to Sochi. Over in … Continue reading

X is for Xiphoid Process

The Xiphoid Process is a small piece of cartilage which is located at the very bottom of your sternum – the breast bone. Although technically a joint, the cartilage and bone of the sternum become fused together in adults, so it really is just a small protrusion. But, it is important, because your diaphragm, rectus abdominal and transversus thoracis muscles attach onto it. As massage therapists we frequently treat muscles associated with breathing – which includes the diaphragm. Any point where a muscle attaches is a potential area for tightness, adhesions or scar tissue to develop and soft tissue therapy … Continue reading

S is for Stretching

We’re asked many times about stretching so here’s a summary of the most frequent questions we hear: Why do I need to stretch? First ask yourself what you want to achieve from stretching, then you’ll be closer to knowing why. Here’s a quick summary of the key benefits: Better range of movement Better force production throughout that range of movement (power) More efficient blood flow (and nutrient flow) to the muscles More efficient removal of metabolic waste – both of these mean more efficient muscular recovery from aerobic AND anaerobic activity Better proprioception – knowing exactly where your body is … Continue reading

O is for Overbreathing

“Proper breathing at all times is important. If breathing is not effective, the ability to exercise is compromised. Breathing patterns, both functional and dysfunctional, are a direct link to … mood, feelings, and behaviour. Especially when working with athletes, the breathing function may be a causal factor in many soft tissue symptoms.” Sports & Exercise Massage, Sandy Fritz. With dysfunctional breathing, the muscles which attach onto the ribs will frequently become shortened, and incorrect upper chest breathing patterns result. The outcome of this can be chronic overbreathing and overbreathing pattern syndrome symptoms. Which, as Sandy Fritz states so well in … Continue reading