Benefits of massage for the 0ver 60’s

As we grow older, our bodies can start to slow down as we begin experiencing some of the pain and stiffness that come with aging. You may start to find it more difficult to stay involved with your physical activities you enjoy due to chronic conditions like osteoarthritis or ailements like Parkinsons and Alzheimers. However staying physically active is vital, regular exercise helps maintain your mobility and mental health.

Massage therapy can be an effective, non invasive way to alleviate some of the symptoms of many age related conditions. With regular massage you can experience improved quality of life, increased energy levels and just feel healthier overall.

Massage offers numerous benefits to the entire body. It helps ease joint and muscle pain and can even help with increased stress levels that can sometimes come with aging as you may start to find some activities or tasks harder or taking longer.

A typical massage would last about 40 minutes,using light strokes to aid circulation and relieve muscle tension while relaxing the body and mind.

Massage can have a positive effect on the like of

  • Osteoarthritis – reducing pain and stiffness and improving physical function.
  • Sleeping habits – improved sleep patterns resulting in overall feeling of better health. Sleep is the time for the body to repair and replenish.
  • Agitation due to alzheimer’s – can ease the mind and muscle soreness from the stress of the disease.
  • Alleviate depression – touch can provide comfort and help improve mental health.
  • Relaxation – reducing the stress hormone build up allowing rest and rejuventation.
  • Improve healing – keeps the muscles, connective tissue, joints, tendons and ligaments more fluid which helps keep you mobile.

Why not try giving massage a go and make it a vital part of your healthcare routine to see what benefits and relief you begin to experience.

We are here to help keep you active

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Not Just Sports

Here at Pro-Am we don’t just treat sports injuries we help many clients to just stay active and enjoy their hobbies and make daily life feel a little easier.

A monthly massage can help many conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and just general aches and pains. Maybe your job is quite stressful or physiscial and your left fatigued and feeling constant niggles. Stress is a big cause of most peoples muscular aches, there is no such thing as bad or good stress, its the amount of stress that can lead to the body feeling drained. Your job maybe mentally stressful with deadlines and then you go and do a hiit workout which is physical stress. Both add up and take its toll on your body. You can’t run on survival mode all the time. Massage gives you a time out and all the feel good benefits of an exercise session would give you.

So why not swap one of your exercise sessions for a massage. Give a little something back to the muscles which allow you to do everyday tasks.

What to wear for a Massage

A very common question I get asked when somebody books in who is new to my services is what do I need to wear? This is a very valid and appropriate question as different therapists will have their preferences depending on the type of treatments they are trained in. Here at Pro-Am it is ultimately down to what is comfortable for YOU.

As a manual therapist we are trained to adapt our techniques to suit your needs. In the UK you should never be expected to lie on a table in the buff exposed, this is not acceptable practice, you will keep under garments on and there should always be towels provided for modesty and also warmth. Most of the time only one area will be exposed to treat, for example an arm, leg or back.

We will always explain what we are going to do as we go through the treatment so you can give consent for us to go ahead. You have control and can say No Stop at anytime.

What is best?

At Pro-Am if it is your first visit to us for an injury consult then just make sure you wear comfy clothes you can move in. Sometimes we may need to expose the area we are assessing to be able to see how it moves or look for signs of injury like swelling, redness and bruising. For example if you have a knee injury wearing shorts or having shorts to change into is helpful to the therapist. If it is for the shoulder or back then removing your top can be helpful, again to assess movement. Females will never be asked to remove their bra for any assessment purposes. If you are uncomfortable unclothing, do let us know, we can still assess your injury fully clothed. You have come to us because you are in pain and we want you to feel safe and comfortable.

Sports massage/soft tissue treatments may require you to disrobe to your under garments. We will always provide towels for you to keep covered and only the specific area we treat will be exposed, unless it is the glutes then we work always through the towel. If we want to finish with some exercises like stretching then we will ask if you want to get clothed first, as some positions can make you feel a bit exposed.

The reason we ask you to disrobe and expose the area to be treated for massage is so we can visually see what we are treating and so we can use oil/wax, this helps us use more gliding type techniques which can have a soothing effect on the body and help warm up the tissue before we go into deeper techniques, if required. A therapists hands should never work underneath clothing or towelling, the therapists hands should always be visible. For more deeper techniques, we tend not to use oil/wax and quite regularly apply through towelling, we may just expose the site to get a sighting of specific landmarks to where we need to treat.

Groin injuries are the one injury most will put off seeing a specialist for, it is a sensitive area for obvious reasons. We would never ask you to expose your genitals. Wearing shorts or big knickers/pants is ideal but we can work through trousers, it can just be harder to find our anatomy reference points to make sure we are palpating specific and appropriate structures. When dealing with males we may ask you to cup and scoop sensitive areas out the way either with your own hands or provide a towel to make sure we do not come into contact with anything we should not. No palpation should ever go below the pubic bone. If this is uncomfortable for you then we can ask and direct you on what muscles/tendons/bones/ligaments to palpate. Palpation is used to find specific pain sites but it is not compulsory for diagnosis or treatment. We will always explain what we are going to do so we can ask permission for consent to go ahead. If you find it uncomfortable, tell us and we can try another position or skip it all together. We have other techniques to use if hand position in the groin area is not right for you.

If you feel at all uncomfortable during your treatment please do let us know, as we can change and adapt our treatment approach to suit you.

So if you come to us for an injury consult or massage then we do not expect you to disrobe if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Just let us know how you feel so we can make your treatment approach specific to your needs and comfort.

If the therapist finds your behaviour inappropriate at any stage they also have the right to stop your treatment and ask you to leave.

Exercise and Massage

Professional athletes training programmes have cycles of increasing volume and intensity and then decreasing back down to aid repair and recovery. Our bodies can not be pushed continually, this is when it starts to break, combine this with massage to flush the system and they feel fresh for there next block of training. Massage is part of every professional athletes training program but we also work just as hard in our jobs/exercise/hobbies and life so why don’t more people take advantage of what massage has to offer. You get your hair cut which helps keep it in good condition, why not a massage for your muscles which help you get around?

We are all told that exercise is important for the body to stay mobile and strong and it is but sometimes our daily stresses make us feel less inclined to exercise as we feel tired and achy. During these times exercise can actually add to that stress and tip our nervous system into survival mode which can then affect our sleep, hormones and our systems can become sluggish which can lead to an increase in toxins in the body. How do you remedy this, one, you can decrease the volume and intensity of your exercise (yin yoga or yoga with twists for detox) or you can have a massage.

The effects of massage have that feel good factor exercise gives you without you having g to get a sweat on or put any effort in. I am not saying to ditch exercise but once a month having a massage to help re-charge the bodies systems, can stop the build up of toxins by helping our circulation and lymphatic system.

Just like a machine our response times can slow, things may miscommunicate and get cluttered. What do we do with a printer not wanting to print, we power down and reset it. Massage can do this for the body.

However just like exercise those first few sessions may make you feel a little heavy and sluggish as your systems needs time to adjust. Massage is more beneficial if you have one regularly. Maintainance is far easier if kept on top of than it is to ignore and then only attend to it when damaged.

Many of my clients say that there first few sessions were a little uncomfortable but then they soon quickly became really relaxing and really notice the difference when they have to delay an appointment (we have seen alot of this due to covid).

So if you find your self out of balance, not sleeping well finding exercise harder than usual maybe its time for a re-set.

A monthly massage that can re-charge your body is the best approach. Here at Pro-Am we have some great health scheme offers to help keep you committed to your health and well being. Get signed up before 20th December for a fresh start in 2022 and before our prices go up.

Special Offers for November/December. Why not give someone the gift of health.

Anxiety, stress and depression. How can massage help?

We can all suffer from anxiety, stress and or depression from time to time. Stress can be good for you but repeatedly pressing the stress response button can start to negatively effect the body. Finding the cause of your anxiety, stress and or depression is very important. Everybody has different triggers and will require different approaches to manage the effects these conditions have on the body. Our advice is to always be open and willing to try different strategies whether it is meditation, yoga, bootcamp, cold water swimming, running, crafting or under guidance of your doctor cognitive behavioral therapy, counselling or medication. Sometimes we are our worst enemy in that we have an excuse for not trying things like I don’t have time, its just part of my job, I don’t want to let anybody down, its our willpower or lack of. This is not the article to go into this but if you want a really great read about willpower and why we make the choices we do and how to change your approach, Kelly Mcgonigal ‘how to master the new science of self control – maximum willpower’ is a great start.

Below is a table showing just some of the symptoms related to anxiety, stress and depression.

Anxiety StressDepression
Physical symptoms
Feeling irritableGrinding teeth, clenched jawLack of energy
Problems with sleepHeadachesUnexplained aches and pains
Feeling of dread, panic or impending doomIndigestion or acid reflux symptomsChanges in appetite
Racing thoughtsDizziness or general feeling of ‘being out of it’Moving or speaking more slowly than usual
Difficulty concentratingMuscle tension in neck, face or shoulders.Disturbed sleep

The above table is just a very simple example and you can have anxiety, stress and depression seperately but you can have all 3. Sypmtoms can be very similar for all 3 which is why it is always best to speak to a medical professional to work out your cause and triggers and how to manage it the best way for you.

Massage can be effective to treat some symptoms of mild, short term cases by helping with muscle tension, decreasing pain, helping sleep etc. It can also be very useful for severe chronic cases but must be part of a treatment strategy as it will not work on its own.

Massage helps to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) and muscle tension by eliciting feelings of calm and deep relaxation. Massage increases localised blood flow which helps the travel of positive hormones like endorphins, serotonin and dopamine to areas of high stress and give a sense of well being. Massage can also reduce feelings of stiffness by increasing tissue elasticity by rising muscle temperature. Very similar effects to exercise.

When booking a massage to help with your stress and anxiety management notify the therapist of why you want the treatment. This way they can create the right environment for you to be able to relax. Asking the therapist to not talk during your treatment is absolutely fine. We are here to help.

Christmas Opening Hours

Saturday 24th Open 10am-2pm

Sunday 25th-Tuesday 27th Closed

Wednesday 28th-Friday 30th Open 9am-8pm

Saturday 31st Open 10am-2pm

Sunday 1st – Monday 2nd Closed

Tuesday 3rd Back to normal hours

We also have Christmas gift vouchers available £35 the receiver can use if for any service they want (1hr). That means they can use it for an injury, sports massage or just for relaxation.

We also have some super stocking fillers of reusable cold/hot pack £3 and exercise bands/kits starting from £3. If you want any pillows tape or foam rollers you need to order before 5th Dec.

 

 

Myths about tendons

As a Sports Therapist it is vital to keep up to date with the latest research and thanks to technology and the development of blogs and webinars it has become a lot easier to find out what is being studied and the results.

One blog I follow is by Dr Peter Malliaras (Tendinopathy Rehabilitation). I was lucky to go on one of his courses a few years ago but even now things are moving on. His latest post was updating his own most popular blog post 9 tendinopathy truths that you MUST know.

In short for those suffering with Tendonipathy, here are the truths

1) Tendinopathy does not improve with rest

2) Tendinopathy is not considered to have a classic inflammatory response, no need for anti-inflammatories.

3) Tendinopathy can be caused by many different risk factors, not just related to activity changes.

4) Exercise is the most evidence based treatment for Tendinopathy.

5) Modifying load is important in settling tendon pain.

6) Pathology on imaging is NOT equal to pain

7) Tendinopathy rarely improves long term with passive treatments such as massage, therapeutic ultrasound, injections, shock wave therapy etc.

8) Exercise needs to be individualised.

9) Tendinopathy responds slowly to exercise. You have to have patience.

Conclusion

There are no short cuts is recovering from Tendinopath, exercises have to be adjusted to pain and function and progressive loading applied to enable restoration. Seeking out a therapist to discuss and talk through your Tendinopathy is recommended. Usually only a few appointments are needed to explain and advance the rehabilitation process with continued minimal contact with the therapist to monitor and discuss progress (mainly via phone, email)

If you are a clinician for more in depth information on Tendinopathy I recommend you check out Tendinopathy Rehabilitation

 

Back pain breaking the myths

Back pain is the most common area of pain I treat in the clinic. Everybody at some point will have an episode of back pain and for those unlucky few ongoing recurrent problems.

The approach to back pain has changed a lot and challenges many widespread beliefs about the condition. Here is what I have found out throughout my 10yrs of experience.

1. Back pain is common and normal.

Most back pain is due to strains and sprains and usually resolves within 6 weeks. Only a very small percentage go on to develop long standing disabling problems and many of these may improve with the right help.

2. Scans are rarely needed. You would think that a picture of the spine would explain why you are in pain but it is not that simple. The scans will often show up things that are poorly linked with pain. Many people who have no pain are shown to have bulging discs, degenerated discs, arthritic changes etc. If you are told you have these problems it can lead to further distress and avoidance of activity.

3. Back pain is not caused by something being out of place. Many people may feel better after manipulations/mobilisations but this is mainly down to short term reduction of pain, muscle tone/tension and fear. As therapists we use these techniques to help get you moving better not to realign you.

4. Bed rest is not helpful. This can create stiffness, muscle de-conditioning and fear. Stiffness itself is painful and treatment and exercises will be painful to get movement back again.

5. Increased back pain does not mean more damage.

6. Surgery is rarely needed. Many people who have back surgery still have pain after because they have not taken a multi factoral approach to getting better. No one treatment will work on its own.

7. There is no perfect sitting posture. It is about moving and altering posture instead of maintaining posture that is important. The body will never like being stuck in one position for any length of time.

8. Lifting and bending are safe. Yes it may cause a strain in the back but should never be avoided as it is good strength work for the back and body. And yes there are bad techniques that can lead to injury, just remember you have a pair of legs to help you. Don’t lift silly amounts of weight, be smart. The length of the activity also has an influence break it up into smaller manageable amounts.

9. Avoiding painful activities is not the way forward. Fear of pain can heighten your senses of back pain and increase stress on the back due to an altered movement pattern.

10. Poor sleep, stress, low mood and worry all influence the back.

11. Exercise is good and safe and persistent back pain CAN get better with it.

Long standing back pain has to have a whole body and psychological approach. Manual therapy can help but exercise is very important as well. So is general health, looking after you weight, healthy diet, good sleeping pattern and knowing how to cope with stress. Everyone is different so what works for one person will not work for the next.

 

 

 

401 Challenge

Today I got to meet and give a well deserved treatment to a very inspirational guy, Ben Smith.

He has set himself an incredible challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 days, today was number 174. Scarborough Athletics club helped to set the route and many of the runners kept Ben company along the route.

http://www.the401challenge.co.uk/marathons/marathon-174-scarborough

It is all for a good cause, well 2 goods causes, all money raised will go towards “Kidscape” and “Stonewall” and you can donate here you can also follow him on Facebook