5 Pregnancy Problems That Massage Can Ease

Jennifer SymeBlog, massage, pregnancy

Being Pregnant Pregnancy is a wonderful time for many women. A time to wonder at how amazing nature is, and at the things our bodies can do. But it is also a time when our bodies are under a great deal of strain, as they develop this whole new human. In my massage practice, I see a whole range of pregnancy related issues. I’ve written about the myths surrounding pregnancy massage before, and also some of the general benefits. But today, I want to look at some of the main issues which Massage can help with. I’ve helped many women find relief from these pregnancy problems, with resulting improved sleep, easier days, and generally a less stressed out mum-to-be. Which is good for the mum, and baby. Top 5 Issues of Pregnancy- Backache – Most women I see during pregnancy have some degree of backache. Usually in the lower back, but depending on their job, upper back issues can also play up. This is simply due to the strain on the back with the developing baby and bump. Postural factors can also play a part as can lack of appropriate exercise (before and during pregnancy). Women that are regular yoga or Pilates people, generally have less issues as their core and back muscles are in better condition to deal with the strain. I recommend most of my ladies attend a suitable pregnancy yoga or Pilates class. A massage treatment can ease the sore muscles and tightness whether it is low … Read More

How to Avoid Common Running Injuries

Jennifer SymeBlog, running

Don’t let injury Ruin Your Running Season Do you dream of being that runner where every step of every mile is 100% pain free? No running injuries, no aches, no twinges or niggles, no lingering soreness from yesterday’s session? Well, you are not alone; research shows that as many as 79% of runners get injured at least once during the year. Wait. What! That’s nearly 8 out of every 10 runners. Think about how many runners you know. As ever, there is a spectrum of running injuries and associated pain. At one end you have severe, full-blown injuries, we’ll name that the red zone, which includes stress fractures that require time off. The other end, where you’re in top form, we’ll call the green zone. Mild, transient aches that bug you one day and disappear the next sit closer to the green end. However, the most common place for runners is the yellow zone. That point where you are not 100% pain free, but nor are you fully injured. Your ability to stay in the green zone depends largely on how you react to that first stab of pain. A little bit of prevention – a little rest, or reduction in training mileage/intensity, along with some soft tissue treatment, can prevent a longer period of enforced time off later. Developing a proactive long-term injury-prevention strategy, such as strength training, stretching, regular massage and foam-rolling can help keep you in the ‘green.’ It may seem boring to do daily stretches, or … Read More

How to Treat TMJ Pain

Jennifer SymeBlog

What is Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ). Well for starters it’s a bit of a mouthful! We usually refer to it as TMJ pain. It is often linked with dental issues, teeth grinding, headaches,migraine, ear disorders and neck pain. I see it a lot in my clinic although people are usually there about their neck or back pain. So when I ask them about headaches, and pain in the jaw they often look surprised and nod their head. Yes they do have that kind of pain, but they hadn’t thought it was linked. One thing you quickly learn as a massage therapist or any type f body work, is that pretty much every thing is linked! Like any constant pain TMJ can be very debilitating. People can struggle to eat, talk and sleep, which really takes it’s toll on their quality of life. What Causes TMJ? It’s usually caused by chronic tension, gritting or grinding of teeth, and generally linked with stress and anxiety. The muscles around the jaw are very strong. Just think about the pressure needed to bite into food, how often have you been unable to peel something or tear something and you’ve done it with your teeth? Constant pressure on those same muscles will cause some serious issues over the long term, and pain and discomfort in the shorter term. What can you do about it? You can speak to your dentist as sometimes using a mouth guard at night can help. Or, there might be an … Read More

Top Tips for a Healthy and happy Pregnancy

Jennifer SymeBlog, massage, pregnancy, Therapies

Look after you and your bump! Pregnancy is a time when people seem to think that they can a) touch your tummy, and b) tell you advice even if you didn’t ask for it. Unfortunately a lot of the advice can be outdated or conflicting. It’s often based on one persons experience, usually a not so good one. That can lead women, especially first time mums-to-be, into a world of worry about whether they are doing things ‘right’. In my pregnancy massage clients I see women who are chilled, happy and not worrying, then I see the others who are anxious, not sleeping, stressing over everything they do, eat, how they sit/lie. It just goes on. They are certainly not enjoying their pregnancy. Which is a shame, as most of the time they are doing fine, and both they and the baby are well, apart from their constant anxiety! The myths! I’ve heard lots of ‘facts’ from pregnant ladies. Facts that their granny told them or their friends, or ‘someone’ at work. The top one I hear, naturally, is that you can’t have a massage while you’re pregnant, or at least not before 12 weeks, or after 36 weeks, or after the due date, or for 3 months after the birth. Or you can’t have a deep tissue/remedial massage, or you have to be sitting up, or…the list goes on. Other things people have been told are that you mustn’t exercise at all, or just very gentle. You can’t garden … Read More

Being Active Every Day with RED January

Jennifer SymeBlog, fitness, Therapies

January is a month where people often undertake a challenge. These month challenges seem to have replaced ‘New Year Resolutions’ and cover everything from not drinking alcohol, not eating meat, going vegan, and probably anything else people want to set a challenge for. In my Facebook groups I’ve seen a press-up challenge, one to do a daily yoga practise, and of course the one I’m talking about – RED January. These monthly challenges are a great way to get inspired, find support and perhaps try something new. You are more likely to stick to something longer term if you can keep at it for a month. That old ‘habits are built in 28 days’ (at least) idea. Studies have also shown that you are more likely to stick to a new habit if you have a buddy. Also having a group or a place to share both your wins and your not so good days helps motivation. A Challenge Doesn’t Mean Pressure The monthly challenges are often aimed at wellbeing. The goals are usually to lose weight, run a certain distance, or to cut out food or drink. Red January is a bit different as it isn’t saying you need to achieve a specific amount of anything. It’s aimed more at the mental health aspect of being active. Which means getting outside, and yes, challenging yourself a little bit, even if that is just to walk to the end of the garden. It’s linked to the mental health charity MIND, … Read More

Run Every Day – How to Challenge Yourself This October

Jennifer SymeBlog

Run Every Day – Challenge Accepted? Month challenges are a real thing these days, aren’t they? Veganuary, Stoptober, Movember, NaNoWriMo, Run Every Day….seems whether you want to stop something, start something or do more/less of something, there is a challenge for you to sign up to. Hashtags, selfies, social media likes, kudos and shares. I’ve taken part in writing challenges before, it’s how I wrote a good chunk of my novel’s first draft, but never a fitness one. I always felt that I wouldn’t stick to it. Basically it sounded like hard work! But, here I am all signed up for Ronhill’s October RunEveryDay challenge. Apparently, Ron Hill has run every day for over 50 years. He’s 80! So, surely I can do it for a month. I broke two toes earlier in the summer in a wee incident involving me and my bike against a stupidly steep and gravelly slope. So I haven’t been running and it has made me feel sluggish and fed up. I’ve missed going to my running group and building on my 10k achievement in June. However, I wasn’t sure how to go about running every day. Is there a special way to approach it? What if the weather is really really bad.? I don’t have access to a treadmill. I usually run 2-3 times a week plus group session on a Sunday, but this past year or two has been a bit stop/start. There is always the worry of injury as well. Maybe my body … Read More

You Can Have A Massage When You Are Pregnant – Busting the Myths

Jennifer SymeBlog

Having a Massage During Pregnancy There are lots of myths around massage. I hear them all the time, sometimes people ask a question, other times they state it as fact. One of the main things I hear is that ‘you can’t have a massage in pregnancy’, or ‘ you can only have a seated massage’ or ‘it’s a risk to the baby’, or it will bring on a miscarriage if its before 12 weeks. I have a Diploma in Pregnancy massage. It took 6 months, involved 5 days intense practical training, a practical exam (with a real live pregnant woman), and then 6 case studies and a project.  Not every therapist that does pregnancy work has such a diploma, many have a 1-2 day workshop, and some don’t have any proper qualification at all. I have had ladies come to me for pregnancy work that have told me some horror stories of previous experiences with obviously under/unqualified therapists. One had been asked to lie on her tummy at 26 weeks, one had been made to sit up the whole time despite her large bump meaning that she couldn’t rest her head on the support. Others had felt it was too light and had felt that the therapist was terrified of doing something wrong which hadn’t made the woman feel very relaxed! Other people had only been ‘allowed’ to have their head and neck massaged, when their aches were all in the lower back. I could go on! So let’s look … Read More

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Massage

Jennifer SymeBlog

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Massage   The majority of adults don’t have regular massage or other complementary therapies. In America only 32% of adult had a massage in the past 5 years and even fewer get massage regularly. So it’s not surprising that most people don’t know much about massage. So, here are some fun facts to build your knowledge: 1) Massage can help you sleep better. (Even if you don’t nap during the actual massage.) 2) When your back hurts, that might not be the only area that needs massage. Sometimes back pain comes from the hip, legs or even the abdomen. 3) Likewise, sometimes hand and arm pain is caused by dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. The body is so crazy and weird and fascinating! 4) You can stop a massage session at any time. You have not given up control of your body. At any time during a massage you can say “no”, “stop”, or even “can you just work on my neck for the rest of the time and skip everything else?” If you are uncomfortable, cold, or if you just feel like you have to pee, sneeze or cough. You can take a pee break at anytime! 5) Massage can help your mood. It’s been shown to be helpful in treating both anxiety and depression. 6) Even small therapists can provide deeeeep pressure. It’s not about size, it’s about the techniques we use! Although if you are a massive rugby player type … Read More