My Top Six – Massage & Sports Performance

 

Happy New Year, beautiful bodies!

Back again, and this time I want to share with you what I consider to be the top six reasons that explain why massage and sports performance go so well together.

Let’s jump straight in!

M a s s a g e  B e n e f i t s

  • Helps Remove Toxins
  • Increases Flexibility & Range of Motion
  • Helps to Correct Imbalances
  • Aids Injury Rehabilitation
  • Improves Sleep
  • Increases the Production of Happy Hormones

That’s an impressive list! Let’s break this down in to more digestible pieces.

The Removal of Toxins

During massage, waste products are removed from tissue and oxygen flow increases. This can help speed up the recovery and repair process of muscle tissue and is especially useful for recovery time from exercise, cutting back on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Added to the removal of what is no longer needed, massage also improves blood flow, allowing nutrition to access the muscles quicker and makes the absorption of nutrition more effective.

! ! ! N E R D Y   F A C T ! ! !

DOMS, although different to a lactic acid build up, the temporary burn experienced during intense exercise, can be pretty unpleasant. Although not a huge amount is understood about what causes this reaction, it’s believed that the repairing of micro muscular damage causes inflammation, leading to increased muscle tenderness, a decrease in range of motion and a loss of strength, often setting in between 24 and 72 hours post exercise.

 Improving Range Of Motion

Improving flexibility and increasing the range of motion within a joint can allow you not only to function more easily in your daily activities, but it could help you get the more out of your training!

A treatment that looks at the releasing of tight hip flexors and includes focus stretches of glute and hamstring muscles for example, can help a you to achieve a greater range of motion, meaning a better depth can be gained during a squat. Having access to a fuller range of movement means better stability can be built up throughout the whole length of the muscle, making your movements more explosive and effective.

The Correction of Imbalances

The some of the most common causes for imbalance comes from occupational and environmental posture habits or chronic pain.

Imbalance can have a huge effect on everyday movement; it can disrupt sleep and can become an incredibly draining experience.

Massage techniques such as trigger point therapy and myofasical release, used to release adhesions in shortened muscles, help to create space within joints, often easing life long pain and allowing freedom in movement to be regained.

Aiding Injury Rehabilitation

Acute injury can hugely benefit from massage. Combining techniques used to reduce inflammation and the treatment of myofasical and muscular adhesions, allow movement to feel more comfortable, enabling the continual use of an injured site.

Research has shown that using the muscles involved in minor strains and sprains during the healing process and aids better recovery.

! ! ! N E R D Y  F A C T ! ! !

The previously recommended strain & sprain injury protocol R . I . C . E, has had a mnemonic upgrade. Doctors and other practitioners now recommend you initiate (some little grey) M . I . C . E

M o t i o n

I c e

C o m p r e s s i o n

E l e v a t i o n

Improving Sleep

Believe it or not, muscle growth doesn’t actually happen while you’re in the gym. Oh no, hypertrophy (muscle growth) happens in the rest period.

Sleep is so important to muscle growth, in fact, that getting a full 7-8 hour average each night should be up there with your meal prep.

Shiatsu massage and Craniosacral therapy calms the sympathetic nervous system, which has shown to improve sleep. It also encourages the production of serotonin, which as you will read below has a magical part to play when you body prepares for sleep.

! ! ! N E R D Y F A C T ! ! !

Research shows that recovery and repair happens during REM sleep, which typically makes up 15-25% of our sleep phase.

Those Happy Hormones!

That’s right, massage is responsible for releasing more of the happy hormones, serotonin and dopamine! These two awesome guys are responsible for countless functions and processes in your body, from telling you when to sleep to controlling your metabolism.

Having just read about how important sleep is for recovery, I’m sure you will be delighted to hear that one of Serotonin’s jobs is to help in the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone!

And Dopamine, associated with our motivation and reward systems, is highly beneficial when it come to exercise, especially the goal setting side of things. Dopamine makes it easier to stick to something and makes the process of achieving it enjoyable.

 

And there it is, your top six! I think it makes massage sound pretty fricking great, but of course I would say that.

It’s been a pleasure guys, as always. I’ll catch you next time for more chats and facts.

Book a consultation and start to see great improvement to your overall health and sporting goals! Email hello@georgierock.com or send me a message here.

There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change

“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus

We are forever in a state of change, we are not the same as we were just seconds ago, we are always transitioning.

Most people in this world, including you, has experienced big change of some description.
It might be an alteration in family dynamic, loss of a loved one, uprooting your habitat, turbulent times within a relationship, taking on new job responsibilities or even loss of a job, most, if not all, of which have been widely documented as being some of the most stressful things a person has to go through and I’m sure you can tell me a story pr two of how that has been the truth of your experience.

But, what if it didn’t have to be?

It’s incredibly easy become overwhelmed when big change surrounds us, but what if you had the ability to stop your boat from rocking?

The great thing about being you, is that you are in charge of your thoughts. Your thoughts create your feelings and your feelings create your action.

If you believe that an event or situation is going to overwhelm you, then it most likely is.
That little voice pipes up with a chorus of –
“I can’t cope…”
“This is bigger than me…”
“I’m not good enough…”
“It’s all too much…”

Thing is, as we have just establish, your thoughts, ultimately create your actions. Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? 😏

What if you were able to change your thoughts? You could alter the feelings you have, which in turn, will change your actions and fundamentally your outcome.

So it’s time to learn a new song, little voice!

I am stronger than I know.

I am more than good enough.

I absolutely have this.

For more information on how teach your little voice some new tunes, email hello@georgierock.com or contact me here .

Such A Pain In The Back

Hello, lovely bodies! How have you been?!

After a little time away from my clinic to study and gather knowledge I’m back! And I am beyond excited to be working with you all again, helping you out of pain and getting you back to doing all the things you love!

It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to decide what to centre this first blog post around; I have so much I want to chat about! But to kick things off I figured I would keep it simple and something I knew so many of you could relate to, lower back pain!

Lower back pain is something I see a lot in my clinic and if you have ever suffered from it, I’m sure you would agree that it sucks! Literally, sometimes it can feel as if it sucks everything from you, strips you of your independence and leaves you feeling pretty grim.

Symptoms usually present as a dull, achy pain across the lower back with restricted movement but also with some fruity extra’s such as numbness and tingling down one leg, pain deep into the glutes, often referred to as sciatica, muscles spasms, tightness in the hips and pelvis, and even pain that travels through to the abdomen. It affects your ability to move, stops you from lifting, stops you exercising, it can affect your sleep, your ability to sit without discomfort, stand for long periods of time or even walk without pain.

Ok, Let’s stop here for a second and take a breath before I open this vast subject matter up too much and start writing a blog that would take about a week to read.

I’m going to focus our chat down a bit.

There are lots of muscles that are commonly involved in lower back pain, some that cause local pain and some radiate pain, these include, Quadratus Lumborum, Erector Spinae, Piriformis, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Hamstrings and even your Psoas (runs deep within your core that helps flex the hip, just one of it’s very useful functions).

You may have read reports that sitting down all day is really bad for your overall health, you may have also heard that sitting down from long periods of time isn’t that great for the health of your spine either, but has anyone explain more about why that might be?

Our bodies are pretty clever; in fact, they are experts when it comes to adapting to fit out lifestyles.

When we stand, our hamstrings are working with our quads to help keep our legs stable enough to keep us upright, it might not feel like it, but those guys are busy!

If you spend a lot of time sitting down, your body starts to believe that these muscles are no longer important, as they are kept in a slackened position and are seemly “off duty”.

This means that when you stand up, your hamstrings are being stretched to places they had long forgotten about.

Muscles are made up of kind of elastic like tissue; and similar to a balloon or an elastic band, it works at its best after its been warmed up a bit first, had some movement and become a bit more supple. I mean, how much easier is it to blow up a balloon after stretching the neck out a few times? Right?

But what does that have to do with your back?

Well, hamstrings attach deep in the hip, so when these tighten it can pull and lead to increased stress on your lumbar spine (it’s all connected) often causing lower back pain and sciatic type symptoms, added to that, other supporting muscles around your hips and pelvis have to work over time for the trouble caused by these muscles underperforming…. BOOM! There you have it, lower back pain.

So what can you do about it?

It’s not always possible to spend your day standing up, especially if your job requires you to sit, but there are plenty of ways you can help ease your symptoms. Taking regular walking breaks is a great places to start, even if its just a few steps, making sure you are getting up from your desk or work station whenever possible get your hamstrings moving can help intercept the muscle deactivating.

Of course, booking in to see a massage therapist would be a great shout!

I use advanced clinical massage techniques to target the main culprits and aim to get your out of pain within 1-6 treatments.

  • Trigger Point Therapy
  • Thai Stretching
  • Acupressure
  • Myofascial Release

For more information on treatments or to book an appointment click here.

Implementing regular stretching and mobility exercises will make a huge difference. Aim for 2 – 3 times a week if you can. It doesn’t have to take over you life, it could be as simple as adding a few extra stretches to your gym session, doing a few stretching in front of the TV of an evening or joining a local yoga or pilates class, doing it with other people can be a great motivator.

To get you started I’ve elegantly demonstrated a simple static hamstring stretch with an optional progression below.

Laying on your back, stretch both legs out, flexing at the ankle so that your toes are pointing up.

Lift one leg, being sure to keep your hips engaged with the floor.

Straighten out your raised leg with your heel directed towards the ceiling, hold just above or below your knee.

Hold this stretch up to 30 seconds then relax your leg down to the ground

Repeat 3-4 times on each leg

To increase the intensity, bring your toes your nose or grab a yoga belt to hook it round your foot giving you the ability to gentling bring your foot closer to you.

Be sure that your leg is straight and that your hips stay engaged to the ground, if you find that your hips are lifting up, reduce the stretch back and work into it slowly, if your hips are raising, your hamstrings are no longing the ones getting the stretch ;)

Happy Stretching!

!!NERDY FACT!!

Now get ready for this, I’m about to blow your mind with a bonus fact… it’s not actually possible to lengthen a muscle, or shorten it for that matter. It’s just an illusion, your muscle is the length it is, and that’s that. So you may not be able to make it longer or shorter but what you can do is improve its capability and help it realise it’s potential by guiding it to it’s current end point and teaching your body, through repetition, that its ok to push those boundaries and when you do so, you can increase the control, tone, flexibly and range of motion of that muscle.

For additional guidance on stretching, to book an appointment or for recommendations of local yoga and pilates classes, keep coming back for future blog posts or send me a message here.

Welcome!

Hey!

Welcome to the first instalment of my blog!

Why am I writing a blog? Well, quite simply, I wanted to build a little space that allows me to communicate with you guys! I want you to get to know me and get to know more about what it is that I do and more importantly why I do it.

I want to discuss the principles and techniques I use within my bodywork, sharing research, chewing ideas over but also doing a bit of learning myself! And I want to do that because why wouldn’t I want to share my passion with others? So, it is going to be factual but it’s also going to be casually done, there are no real rules here, just me, my laptop and a space to ramble. It might hold something of interest to someone, could ignite the fire of another unknowning therapist, now that would be cool! but it might also only ever be read by my mum and you know what, that’s also cool.

I will be most talking about massage, of course, I will be sharing the science bit, having a look at what massage is actually doing to your muscles, because lets face it, things are way more fun and relatable when you have the what, how and why’s in your hands! I will be discussing eastern medicine as well; I’m talking meridian lines, Qi and deep stretching, all that good stuff. I will look at different cultures and how massage has been used throughout history, it’s purpose, how it has evolved and what has been constant. But I will also share with you the things I have learnt as a personal trainer, I want to talk about other disciplines such as yoga, pilates and even weight training, there will be food related posts, maybe some wise words from a friendly philosopher or two, and the odd celebration of the natural resources that surround us.

My dream is that you may open up this blog from time to time, perhaps on a lazy Sunday with a mug of warm tea, and maybe read something that sparks a thought, opens a discussion with a friend, or answers a question you didn’t know you were asking.

Please enjoy the sweet nuggets I place here, gobble them up and take from them whatever nutrients you feel you need.

 

“There is no wealth like knowledge, and no poverty like ignorance.” – Buddha