Being a massage therapist I belong to a number of associations and bodies, governing bodies that is, which can help give assurance to clients. As a therapist who is registered, you can be confident that I have been assessed and meet the national standards of competence and practice and thereby enhance your safety. The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council was set up with government support to regulate not only massage therapy, but all complimentary therapies.
The heating is finally on, there have been ground frosts outside London and children are wrapped up in thick coats on their walk to school. It’s cold, its autumn and winter is fast approaching – the season of colds, flu and unwanted virus’s.
If you find yourself suffering from cold symptoms or virus aches and pains in the body it is not advisable to have a massage, if you have already got one booked – please let me know as soon as possible and I will rearrange the appointment for when you are feeling well again. When suffering from a cold or flu, a massage will not provide any relief to achy muscles but instead speed up the virus in the body and actually make you feel worse. Myself, or any other massage therapist would not want to catch your cold either!
Last week we looked at how both short-term and long-term stress can have detrimental effects on the body. Booking in for regular massages can certainly help relieve symptoms of stress and improve your overall health as well as boosting the immune system. Massage has been shown to reduce the levels of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) in the body as well as increasing our feel-good hormones such as oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine.
But what if you do not have the time or the money for regular massages? Today we are going to look at some self-massage techniques that you may find useful in releasing tension; and although helpful, do not replace a full body massage.
We all feel stress at certain times in our lives, some of us being able to deal with stress more easily than others. Many of us recognise the feeling of stress; say when a deadline is drawing near, exam time, death or illness of someone close in your life or having financial worries. Stress can come in many forms with the sufferer showing symptoms of some, or all of the following:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Stiff neck and shoulders
- Lower back pain
- Fast breathing
- Upset digestive system
A number of years ago, whilst working with The Royal Ballet at the Royal Opera House, I had the opportunity to train with Ms Leena Koskinen – the founder of Voice Massage Therapy. This was an ideal way to develop my career as a Massage Therapist to those in the entertainment industry, as well as deepen my understanding of singing and the voice, which is a great passion of mine.
I trained in my home country, Finland, in a beautiful place called Kuopio. The training was intensive, thorough and ground-breaking. I really began to understand how this form of massage could make a difference to actors, singers and teachers, in fact anyone who uses their voice on a regular basis. Voice massage is a treatment which facilitates all muscle groups related to the voice as well as breathing.