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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Kinesiology taping during pregnancy


Pregnancy can sometimes come with its own unique physical issues for a mum to be. I have been working with clients who have conditions ranging from Sciatica, Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti)  to  pelvic girdle pain (PGP) also known as symphysis pubis. Massage can help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by these conditions and kinesiology taping can play and important supporting  and pain relieving role  during pregnancy.

Here is an illustration of some of the taping methods used.
kinesiology tape for abdominal support during pregnancy

Kinesiology taping for lower back and pelvis support during pregnancy 

This client as Diastasis Recti and PGP so i have taped to support the abdominal muscles at the front of the body and to help stabilise the lower back and pelvis.

Here is some information based on the questions I am frequently asked .

Why use Kinesiology Tape?
Kinesiology tape is used in  rehabilitation and is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints. It is a stretchy tape and so does not restricting the body’s range of motion. The tape will not restrict the babies development when used correctly . I prefer to use Rocktape and I am a certified RocDoc.

Tell me about the tape and how to wear it ?
The tape  of 97% organic cotton and 3% nylon 6/12.
The adhesive is a hypo-allergenic acrylic based adhesive and contains no latex.
Rocktape contains no active chemicals or drugs.
The tape is sweat and water resistant so you can shower in it without worrying
Its wearable for up to 5-7 days depending on body part
If you dont like it you can peel it off
When RockTape is applied with more stretch it can be used to support areas where tissue has been strained, torn, weakened or lengthened..

How does the tape work for pregnancy and pain relief
A lot of pain felt when moving or contracting a muscle is generated by nerve endings in the space between the skin and muscle. As tape decompresses this space there is less pressure on these nerve endings so is reduced or stopped completely at its source.
Having elastic tape stuck to your skin is also believed to stimulate receptors within the skin called Mechanoreceptors. These receptors play a part in our movement awareness (proprioception),  one of the helpful effects of applying RockTape is to improve our Proprioception, which can both decrease pain and improve the way we move.  The tape may act as a reminder to improve posture. Good posture during pregnancy can help with some of the problems caused by changes in the ligaments.


Diastasis Recti  will I always be like this?

Not if you follow the correct post natal recovery advice and kinesiology tape can help with restoring you abdominal alignment.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Self massage equipment

Massage Information as shown at my self-massage workshops

If you have a disability it often can mean suffering with muscular pain.  This is worsening as we get older . Massage and other physical therapies, yoga and Pilates can often help and may be used in addition to, or instead of pain killers.

If  massage therapy is to expansive an option or you have difficulty getting out and about I have found these simple inexpensive self massage tools helpful to relieve muscle pain and restore movement function. There are many example of how to use them on Youtube channels so have a look around.
Be careful, used incorrectly or for too long at anyone session they can cause harm. Get some professional advice n how to use them at home from a sport therapist or physiotherapist.


Find a remedial massage therapist at Sports Massage Association

Self massage equipment 

These simple massage tools will help you if you wake with tight muscles or when you cannot get to a massage therapist.  Using massage tools can allow you to relax the muscles and improve circulation.


Use these products when wearing one layer of clothing to protect the skin.  Use for no more than 5 minutes at a time.

Spiky Balls
Available in different sizes for different muscles. 
10cm blue ball is for use on the back,
8cm yellow ball for the arms and lower legs
6cm orange  ball for massaging the hands and feet.

Place between shoulder blades, under bottom muscles under feet, and roll back and forth, when you feel a tight spot push slowly and hold for a few seconds and the muscle may relax


 From £1.99




Foam rollering



Foam Rollers -  If you find these difficult to use for self massage, use two foam rollers to support the back.
Foam roller with a disability

The basic white foam rollers are all you need £9.95


Blackroll double ball roller, great for relaxing muscles in the arm to help with wrist pain and to relieve tired arm muscles from wheelchair work strain £15.00


Blackroll double ball

Massage chairs
Sit down and relax and let the electronic massage relax your back muscle.

We like the Homedics brand available on Amazon, look out for their special offers.   Use every day to keep aches and pain at bay.
back massage chair




Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS

Living life inevitably brings along stressful situations whether caused by a major life change: moving house, a loved ones illness or death, relationship strains. Stress can also be caused by problems at work. pressure in sport and health concerns.

Stress sends messages to the autonomic nervous system in our bodies. This part of the nervous system is not under our conscious control and is divided into two parts: the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic. 

The Sympathetic Nervous System when activated by stress increases the heart rate, speeds breathing, secretes adrenaline and decreases digestion,  Stress is necessary and normal but continued strain on your body from chronic stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses.

The counterbalance to stress is the activation of the parasympathetic fibers of the "rest and rejuvenation"  nervous system. as these fibers become active the heart rate decreases, the breath rate decreases and digestion increases.

Living life inevitably brings along stressful situations whether caused by a major life change: moving house, a loved one's illness or death, relationship strains. Stress can also be caused by problems at work. pressure in sport and health concerns.

Stress sends messages to the autonomic nervous system in our bodies. This part of the nervous system is not under our conscious control and is divided into two parts: the Sympathetic and the Parasympathetic.

The Sympathetic Nervous System when activated by stress increases the heart rate, speeds breathing, secretes adrenaline and decreases digestion, . Stress is necessary and normal but continued strain on your body from chronic stress may lead to serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, anxiety disorder, and other illnesses.

The counterbalance to stress is the activation of the parasympathetic fibers of the "rest and rejuvenation"  nervous system. as these fibers become active the heart rate decreases, the breath rate decreases and digestion increases. 

Take time to get these two parts of your body's nervous system back  into balance

Here are 10 things you can do to help reduce stress levels.


1. Take time out to sit down and think about what is causing you to feel stressed, in some cases it may be obvious but often you can convince yourself that something is not a problem when it actually is.

2. Assess signs of your body's response to stress, you may have difficulty sleeping, your alcohol intake may have increased along with substance use, Are you easily angered? Do you feel depressed, and having low energy. If you are a woman you're periods may be affected. Do you have muscular pain? Becoming self aware of the negative impacts of stress on your body may motivate you to take steps to change things

3. Unaddressed health concerns can raise stress levels, if you are worried about your health make time to see proper health care for existing or new health problems

4. While you are in a state of stress overload learn to say NO to new task. Look at your to do list and put in order of priority.  Decide what must get done and what can wait.  getting the list out of your head and on to paper may help relax your mind.

5. Set realistic goals to aim for to accomplish tasks, not too many in one day. Note what you have accomplished at the end of the day, not what you have been unable to do.

6. Make time for you, plan regular times for health and relaxation. Include focused mind and body classes such as yoga or tai chi.

7. For a practical reduction of stress levels get a massage. Massage provided with medium pressure has been shown to increases parasympathetic nerve response helping to restore balance between the two systems.

8. Exercise regularly-just 30 minutes per day of gentle walking can help boost mood and reduce stress.

9. Talk about it: communicate with people who can provide emotional and other support. Ask for help from friends, family, work colleagues and any relevant community organisation  to help reduce stress due to work burdens or family issues, such as caring for a loved one.

10. Stress can cause feeling of being overwhelmed, of not being able to cope, possibly having suicidal thoughts, it may lead to using drugs or alcohol as a false support. If you are having these feeling it is important to seek help from a qualified mental health care provider.

Stress can be reduce and body balance restored, the benefits are well worth the efforts involved.



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Massage of the Neck using Feet

Many people come to my clinic presenting with shoulder and back pain, after talking in more detail about their general health I often find the client suffered from regular headaches. At this point I tried to find out whereabouts the headaches occur in the head.

There are large muscles in the head and they work with muscles  of the neck muscles so it is important when treating head and neck pain to look at both parts of the body.

The neck muscles work hard all day adjusting the posture and position of the head which weighs between  4.5 and 5kg, constituting around 8% of the whole body mass. The neck muscles  control the gross motor movement in the muscular system of the head and neck.

Neck pain and headaches can often be caused by incorrect posture, neck muscles that have to support the heavy weight of the head at certain angles over a long period of time, often  using computers or tablets can become shortened, and give a feeling of tightness.

By relaxing those muscles such as the trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid muscles that attach to the base of the skull, the therapist enables the muscles to rebalance  allowing the head to realign.

Here is a short video demonstrating some of the techniques that can be aplied to the nexk and head muscles using feet.
Applying pressure to the base of the skull at the occiput with the toes the therapist can feel muscle imbalance, This may often causes pain at the front of the head and in the back. Massaging occipitalis muscles just above the base of the skull can be very effective in the reduction of headaches for the receiver .
neck massage by feet

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Disability and "drug free" options for musculoskeletal pain



Many people are reluctant to take pain medication. Muscular pain for disabled people can be more debilitating than the physical impairment itself and it appears to be on the increase as we age. If you are thinking of how you can maintain and possibly improve your health and you don't know where to start then here is a list of recognised alternative treatments, with links to their professional associations. Make sure you check with your Doctor that you are a suitable candidate for these type of therapies. I do no recommend any particular treatment, This blog just is an information base, a place to start to explore.

I have provided where possible UK associations for these therapies. Many therapist work with disabled athletes and the association should be able to assist you in finding a therapist who has experience with disability and its additional demands so it is worth checking with them to see if there is anyone in your area.

Exercise - One of the NHS top tips for pain management is exercise. "Simple, everyday activity like walking, swimming, gardening and dancing can ease some of the pain directly by blocking pain signals to the brain. Activity also helps to stretch stiff and tense muscles, ligaments and joints, which can lessen pain"


"It’s natural to be hesitant if exercise is painful and you’re worried about doing more damage. But if you become more active gradually, it's unlikely you will cause any damage or harm. The pain you feel when you start gentle exercise is because the muscles and joints are getting fitter"

Avoiding exercise completely could lead to other problems like stiff joints, weight gain, heart disease, osteoporosis, poor balance and falls.

 In recent years, studies have shown that regular physical activity also has benefits for mental health. Exercise can help people recover from depression and prevent them from becoming depressed in the first place. Please see the section on psychology for further details.

If you need some help, think about investing in your health and employ a Personal Trainer to guide and motivate you. Have a look at The Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) this is a model that supports the fitness industry to become more inclusive to both disabled and non-disabled people. 

Working within the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) nearly 400 IFI Mark accredited facilities, accreditation consists of three levels; Provisional, Registered and Excellent. These venues support and lead the way in providing accessible physical activity and in increasing participation amongst disabled people.


The IFI model addresses inclusion holistically through the following areas:-

• Accessible facilities in terms of physical access and accessible service provision
• Inclusive fitness equipment
• Staff training; customer service and adaptive exercise programming
• Marketing and local partnership development within the local community
• Wider accessible sport and social activities

When visiting an IFI Mark facility you should find accessible facilities, equipment that is appropriate for the vast majority of disabled people, a positive culture and staff attitude and a facility that understands the value of a diverse and inclusive customer base.

To find your nearest IFI Mark facility ring 01509 227750 or email ifi@efds.co.uk

or visit
http://www.efds.co.uk/inclusive_fitness

Physiotherapy - is a type of therapy that can help ill, injured or disabled people recover movement and function to their full potential. Physiotherapy covers a broad and varied range of work which involves working with people to promote their own health and well being. they may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound and exercise as well as advice about posture and lifestyle. 

Specialist physiotherapist work in many areas including neurology (including stroke) men's and women's health (including incontinence),recovery after major surgery, orthopaedics and trauma, sports and workplace health.

You can access physiotherapy through the NHS or private practitioners. It is also sometimes possible to access physiotherapy treatment through other routes, such as charities and the voluntary sector. In some areas, 'self-referral' systems are in place that allow you to access physiotherapy directly. If you acquire an injury it can be beneficial to use your health care grant to access private therapist quickly.

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)
http://www.csp.org.uk/


Osteopathy - is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together.


To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance, where possible without the use of drugs or surgery. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension, to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, and to help your body’s own healing mechanisms. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.

 The General Osteopathic Council
http://www.osteopathy.org.uk/

Registered Dieticians (RDs) are uniquely qualified to translate scientific information about food into practical dietary advice. As well as providing impartial advice about nutrition and health, dieticians also advise about food related problems and treat disease and ill health. Many dieticians work in the National Health Service (NHS) and may work in one or more specialist areas e.g. diabetes, children's health, cancer, whilst others work with people in the community, often visiting them in their own homes. 

The British Dietetic Association
http://www.bda.uk.com/


Psychology - is the scientific study of people, the mind and behaviour. Tackling depression without drugs is possible. Many GP surgeries across the country prescribe exercise as a treatment for a range of conditions, including depression.

Exercise on prescription - If you haven’t exercised for a long time or are concerned about the effects of exercise on your health, ask your GP about the exercise on prescription programme.

Your GP will refer you to a local active health team for a fixed number of sessions under the supervision of a qualified trainer.

You decide with your GP and the active health team what type of activity will suit you. Depending on your circumstances and what’s available locally, the exercise programme may be offered free or at a reduced cost
. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Exercise-for-depression.aspx

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) Some beneficiaries have found helpful and it is recommended on the NHS web site. CBT has been shown to be particularly helpful at tackling problems such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), eating disorders and drug misuse.

Unlike other types of talking treatments, such as psychotherapy, CBT deals with your current problems, rather than focusing on issues from your past. It looks for practical ways to improve your state of mind on a daily basis.

CBT can also be used to treat people with long-term health conditions, such as arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). CBT cannot cure the physical symptoms of these health conditions, but can help people cope better with them.

The British Psychological Society is the representative body for psychology and psychologists in the UK. The British Psychological Society
http://www.bps.org.uk/


Pilates is a form of exercise designed to elongate, developed by Joseph Pilates, which emphasizes the balanced development of the body through core strength, ie your abdominal and pelvic muscles, developing flexibility, and awareness in order to support your back and strengthen and restore the body to balance. Pilates builds on your body's core strength and improves your posture through a series of low repetition low impact stretching and conditioning exercises. 

Pilates goes far beyond your core muscles however and not only provides a complete body workout you will be working muscles you didn't even know you had!, but also helps you develop an awareness of how your body works, helping your mind and body to work in harmony. Pilates can be beneficial for just about everyone, regardless of age and fitness level.

Pilates is an Adaptable Method Modification is the key to Pilates exercise success with a variety of populations. All exercises are developed with modifications that can make a workout safe and challenging for everyone.

Sports Massage - is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, ligaments and tendons. The therapist can physically enable the disabled body to stretch in a way that is not possible to do on its own.

Some of the reported benefits of Sports Massage include: Improve circulation & lymphatic flow, sedate or stimulate nerve endings, Increase or decrease muscle tone Increase or decrease muscle length, and remodel scar tissue when required. To benefit from a sports massage you do not need to be a sports performer. There are many practitioners that work with a great range of clients. The benefits above can also help relieve many day to day problems that everyone experiences. Look for a SMA LEVEL 4 or above accredited practitioner, these practitioners have a higher level of qualification in anatomy and physiology. Try and find someone who has experience within disability sport.

Sports Massage Association
http://www.thesma.org/



Acupuncture - Based on traditional belief, acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques that have been developed and refined for centuries. The focus is on the individual, not their illness, and all the symptoms are seen in relation to each other. Each patient is unique; two people with the same western diagnosis may well receive different acupuncture treatments.

 Traditional acupuncturists believe that the underlying principle of treatment is that illness and pain occur when the body's qi, or vital energy, cannot flow freely. There can be many reasons for this; emotional and physical stress, poor nutrition, infection or injury are among the most common. By inserting ultra-fine sterile needles into specific acupuncture points, a traditional acupuncturist seeks to re-establish the free flow of qi to restore balance and trigger the body's natural healing response.

 The British Acupuncture Council
http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/

 Yoga - offers a holistic approach to body, mind and spirit, which can provide us with the ‘tools’ to cope with the challenges of daily life. Yoga can also complement medical science and therapy for specific conditions. Everyone can practice yoga, regardless of age, sex or ability. Different types of Yoga will suit different people, you might need to try a few teachers

Active self help treatments are not to be overlooked because some of our body parts are differently formed. A good Yoga or Pilates teacher will design a program to suit your needs even if you are working from a wheel chair, using exercises that integrate the whole body to re-educate and restore it to optimum muscular and skeletal function. A private lesson might be a great way to start with one to one attention the teacher can focus in on your requirements and potential. 

British Wheel of Yoga teachers are trained to modify yoga positions for individuals with medical conditions ranging from pregnancy to arthritis.
http://www.bwy.org.uk/


The Alexander technique - is a way of learning how you can get rid of harmful tension in your body, a way of learning to move mindfully through life. The Alexander process shines a light on inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension, which interferes with our innate ability to move easily and according to how we are designed. It’s a simple yet powerful approach that offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process, because it’s not a series of passive treatments but an active exploration that changes the way one thinks and responds in activity.

What to expect - Alexander lessons are not painful. There is nothing physically aggressive about the work. On the contrary, it is a process of allowing the pupil to release tension and the harmful habits that were responsible for it - at the pace that suits him or her, individually. This is a clothes-on therapy, as table work often forms part of the lesson, women pupils usually feel more comfortable wearing slacks, or jeans, rather than a skirt. 

During the lesson your teacher will be observing your posture and movement patterns. She will also supplement the visual information in a very important way by using her hands, gently placing them on your neck, shoulders, back and so on. The teacher is using her hands in order to get more refined information about your patterns of breathing and moving.

Teachers vary somewhat in their approaches to teaching. This is not a cheap or quick fix; 24 sessions Alexander technique are needed or 6 sessions Alexander technique plus seeing a personal trainer. For further information

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/08August/Pages/BackpainandAlexandertechnique.aspx -


Find a therapist
http://www.alexandertechnique.com/teacher/


 

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

How to give a pedicure

This pedicure can be administered to your own feet or to someone else’s.

A full detailed visual pedicure demonstration of what i descible below is avalaible for £17.50 including P&P from http://www.enjoyfeet.co.uk/dvd.html

To prepare the feet for a pedicure soak in warm water for 5 minutes, use essential oils for added benefit.
The receiver should be sitting comfortably.
Start by cutting the toes nails preferably using nail clippers.
Cut the nail in as straight a line as possible. The little toes can often have a horny build up that makes them slightly more difficult to cut.
Use am emery board file to remove any coarse edges from the cut nails, file in a side to side movement.
Apply cuticle softener to soften and dissolve excess dry skin on the nail plate.
Use a hoof stick with a gentle but firm rotating movement on each nail, gently pressing back the cuticle on each toe nail helping to lift the cuticle away from the nail and expose more of the nail, making it easier and providing a greater surface area when applying nail varnish.
With cuticle clippers trim away any loose skin, pay particular attention to areas of the feet affected by footwear, unsightly pieces of skin can be carefully snipped off. The little toe is often a problem area that regular pedicures can easily improve.
Massage the excess cuticle cream into the nail.
Now using a pumice or dry skin remover gently rub over the hard skin areas of the feet to reduce and soften the build up of hard skin.
After preparing the toe nails and removing hard skin apply a rich softening moisturiser to the feet and lower legs, start by stroking the lower leg and foot gently but firmly in an upward motion, sliding back down towards the toes. Use thumb pressure in between the metatarsals, (the area between the toes and ankles).
Pulling and squeezing of each toe improved circulation and individual joint toe flexibility.
Finish the massage with effeurage.
Massage of the feet help to improve poor circulation, encouraged hard skin removal and helps to soften and moisturise the overall texture of the skin.
Next use nail varnish remover to wipe over the surface of the nail to remove excess oil and give a clean surface for application of nail varnish.
Use a toe separator for ease of nail varnish application.
Apply a base coat to the nail, base coat provides some protection from varnish induced discolouration of nails and gives a smooth foundation. Allow 2-3 minutes for it to dry.
Apply the chosen nail varnish colour starting with the big toe and finishing at the little toe. Place the brush at the base of the toe nail and end at the tip of the nail, try to apply the varnish in as few strokes as possible for a smooth finish. A first coat may appear slightly blotchy, this with even out on the application of the second coat. Allow 3 minutes to dry.
The second coat of nail varnish will give a smooth and more even appearance.
Try to avoid getting any nail varnish on the surrounding skin, however if this happens use a cotton bud dipped in nail varnish remover to get rid of it. Allow the nail varnish to dry for 3 minutes.
Finally use a top coat, this is a clear finish and protects the nail varnish from chipping. Allow to dry for as long as possible. I recommend an hour at least before putting socks or stockings over the nails
Now Enjoyfeet! http://www.enjoyfeet.co.uk/dvd.html


video

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Abdominal Massage using Feet by Enjoyfeet

Abdominal massage or stomach massage using feet is an easy way to massage and very relaxing for the receiver.

Here is a clip from my how to massage using feet DVD that was shown on u-tube but has been removed for some reason. It had over 40,000 hits and was appreciated by many people.

Many people have upper limb disabilities or upper body weekness that prevents them from using their hands, this method of massage does not strain the massage therapist in any way, it is a real no hands massage technique. Check out my other blogs for more DVD clips and technical advice. enjoyfeet..thats what they are there for!

For further information visit http://www.enjoyfeet.co.uk

video