BLOG, INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
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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The last couple of weeks my body has made its presence felt and forced me slow down a bit so this week I'll be writing a bit about the importance of looking after your body inside and out as well as scheduling in regular maintenance to make sure that your systems (even the ones on the inside) are working at their best.
We are very good at listening to the acute signals from the body like a torn muscle (seen a few of those this week!) or the tension in our shoulders as stress causes tension to mount but it is easy to ignore some of the signs that your body is working too hard that can come in the form of tiredness and the internal impact of stress on your hormones and regulation systems but try to remember that it all works together!
Getting the balance right between working hard and staying fit and avoiding over-training and putting additional stress on the body is tough (says someone who knows from experience!) but there are a few things that you can do to keep your body working well, whether you are a sports addict or not...
1) Make sure that you eat the right foods and often - getting enough healthy, unprocessed food can give your body a real kick in the right direction whether you are injured, active, inactive or working on becoming healthier! Making sure that you get enough good, clean, unprocessed food and avoiding too much in the way of chemicals and sugar can help to keep you body healthy. Making sure that you eat regularly and avoid blood sugar spikes and dips can really help with general functioning too.
2) Make sure you have enough 'down' time - whatever you do to relax make sure you do some. Don't try to burn the candle at both ends and try to make sure that the intensity of any exercise is taking into account how you are feeling and any stress you are under. Using exercise as a coping mechanism needs to be thought through carefully as can add pressure to a stressed body! Think about adding a less intense session to your training a couple of times a week if you're a bit under par.
3) Get enough sleep - sleep is your go-to healer...eating a snack of oats - porridge! ) before bed can help with insomnia, and avoiding too much caffeine late in the day also helps. Turn off the TV and phone at least 30 minutes before sleep to allow your body to 'wind down'.
4) Massage - of course you knew this was coming. Remedial massage can help to get rid of any tension that you have already but massage, remedial or holistic also helps to work with the internal systems, soothing lymphatic systems and helping the body to regulate hormones.
5) Check in with your body - think about how you are feeling...massage can be a good time to think about this and scheduling one every 4-6 weeks can help to keep on top of (or notice any) issues in the muscles and internal systems.
I'm booking a massage now! Why not book in and see if this helps you? Also make sure you keep an eye out for Facebook posts this week (Charlotte Lattin Massage) to see some common injuries and how to help yourself with them.
Myofascial release is a technique and term currently popular in the world of massage - it's very effective and even utilised by those using foam rollers (though you might not have realised this). So what is this 'fascia'? And why is it important?
The fascia is the web of tissue that covers all of your muscles and organs. It's a bit like a stringy plastic bag (though not actually plastic!) that holds tissues together. This is a simplistic description but helps when we come to why it's important...if this gets twisted or rucked up (which happens frequently when muscles get tense and joints are out of alignment) then tissues are pulled out of place. Ever wondered why a sore shoulder and hip happen at the same time? Part of this is due to this film of fascia being pulled and in turn pulling on other body parts. There are connective tissues from the head down to the toes in places!
So, that's great but why should we care? Well, sometimes this needs stretching back out to enable the joints and muscles to return to their rightful places - and so eliminating pain. This is where gentle massage can come in, stretching out the tissue. This myofascial release can be incorporated into massage and also given as stretching and foam roller techniques to try at home.
Now this term seems fairly new but some of the ideas are not - this is part of some of the underlying success of yoga techniques (particularly restorative yoga poses) that allow the body to slowly move back into alignment and stretch gently. It's also linked to acupressure and acupuncture points, as well as some of the lymphatic drainage system key points and the eastern meridians used in eastern massage.
Are you keen to find out a bit more and see how this could help you? Book in for a treatment or block of treatments and we can discuss how this might relate to your specific case and decide on some stretches that may be appropriate to you - you may learn to love a foam roller and feel the benefits of more free movement!