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Resources, discussions and information produced by Charlotte Lattin - Level 5 Sports, Remedial and Holistic Massage and Soft Tissue Therapist, Movement Coach, Psychologist, Runner, Swimmer, Yoga practitioner, Lover of Outdoors, Mum to 4 children, Owner of a crazy dog (and a couple of other dogs) and fascinated by all things to do with how our bodies and minds work...
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Summer holidays...a time of some conflicting feelings if you're a parent (and probably a less stressful commute if you're not). They are also a time when we maybe relax and get into less positive habits in terms of health and fitness but more about that one next week...
Entertaining kids can be hard and expensive but this summer holiday I have learnt quite a lot about the simple pleasures of childhood which have inspired me to be more like a kid (if that was possible!). And the reason for this? The fact that one of my daughters can do handstand press-ups and handstands with one arm (she's 6 by the way). Not only am I super-impressed with this (and dare I say it incredibly jealous as whilst I can do handstand press-ups I do them VERY close to a wall and with a lot less ease) I realised some of the key things that holds us as adults back from trying things out and stops us from being as physical as we could be in day to day life (which helps us to keep our bodies healthy and mobile).
1) FEAR! - I for one am a bit scared of falling on my face doing handstands (especially lifting one arm up!!) but not only fear of falling is to blame here. How many of us are scared of looking silly when trying new things? Or of not being good enough? Take a tip from the kids and just give it a go, whatever it is you fancy (handstands, skipping, making balloon animals..) and remember that if it goes wrong no-one cares...and if it goes right you will feel great! You may even have fun along the way and will at least get out of your usual routine.
2) Clothing - now this might sounds silly but how many spontaneous opportunities to mess about involve potentially getting a bit grubby? DO kids care about this (I would suggest that some mine but not mine!) With this in mind I have taken to making sure I can do an impromptu beach handstand should the need arise (whilst hopefully not looking completely slovenly) and yes, I do include stretchy skinny jeans in that.
So, today's message is don't let mental or physical barriers stop you trying out new activities and running about having fun - embrace your inner child (and you're welcome to an ice-cream (or even a more grown-up reward) if you have a go.
And, of course, if you happen to need a massage after your handstands then I'll be on hand :)
I have recently returned from my trip to France where I learnt a lot about many things...the constant strive by nature to reassert its control/chaos on cultivated land, hard physical work and the role that gentle running and yoga (as well as massage) can play in helping the body to stay strong and flexible (these are not mutually exclusive - a common misconception in many sports/fitness areas).
So to the first and second of these aspects - many of you may work on the land - landscape gardeners/tree surgeons/builders etc. - you may know how relentlessly nature works to reclaim any land we have tried to tame. I certainly found this out when helping my parents on their land in France, clearing the edges of the fields back to allow the electric fences to work so that the horses could be in that area. This was further complicated by the lack of a working strimmer and hence took us back to a more primitive mode of farming/gardening. This was hard work but quite rewarding (in a meditative kind of way) and the efforts certainly left their mark in the form of blisters, stings and my personal favourite - stinging nettles trapped down a welly (not recommended). This is a far cry from my usual town dwelling existence and did make me think about our relationship with nature and how good contact with nature is on a spiritual level.
To return from my slightly hippy-ish drift there were other more obvious revelations - manual labour is good exercise! Abs and thighs were well worked out after the first week and I felt physically good, but with aches and pains of constant bending and repetitive motions - something many of you will be familiar with whether from manual work or from repetitive mouse clicking. I worked through a combination of stretches in yoga to help ease any tension and found a gentle jog after work really helped to just loosen anything that had got over-worked.
Adding massage (actually this was less me than my fellow workers who benefitted from this naturally) really meant that despite the hard work I came away tired but not in pain. Sadly I don't have a massage therapist to work on me when I am away but you can use massage and yoga combined for yourself (as I suggest to clients in my stretching and aftercare advice).
So really my main learning points were that you can be strong and flexible - I have certainly come back feeling a bit more of both. To find out more about how this could apply to you book a massage slot and we can discuss this further.
So sorry for the delay in posting my blog - not due to being overcome by festival craziness (more coming up in a minute) but rather that I have since been away in rural France with no internet access. This means you may get another post come through fairly quickly as I am playing catch up!
To get back on track I had a pretty eventful weekend a couple of weeks ago doing massage for the lovely Weleda ladies at Port Eliot Festival. What a beautiful setting and a really tranquil area in the woods with yoga, gongs and super-healthy food.
Not only that but the massage was fantastic...a holistic massage treatment had been put together specially for the festival so this got me back to my roots of pampering holistic massage which I really enjoyed...so if you fancy a massage that is less remedial than my usual but still remarkably effective and relaxing then give me a shout. There are slots available at UTC and also the opportunity for me to come to you and you can then float gently back to earth in your own time and place!
If you want to know more about the delicious and sumptuous Weleda oils I was using then let me know.
But overall I came away thinking festivals..possibly not for me. I realised I may be a bit different to the usual festival-goers as I went for a walk and riverside meditation at 5.45am and strolled past many people still partying. They were cheerful and clearly having a great time!
The festival was beautiful but hard work for me...worth it though seeing some folk visibly relax after their treatments (including one who fell asleep). I certainly went away feeling refreshed and invigorated in terms of my skills in providing relaxing, soothing and recharging massage...which is lucky as when I went to France these skills were called for...more next time!