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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So this is perhaps an odd post but I've made the decision to come off social media.
Is this a crazy decision based on the fact that I am a small business and we are constantly told that we NEED to be on social media? I'm not sure but I'm giving it a go.
I often talk about not liking our reliance on social media and technology and I'm usually pretty negative about it. I have carried out some research (yes, the geeky psychologist side is coming through) and just don't think it's that great for us.
In line with my goal to make small changes that make me feel like I am following the values that I think are important I thought I had better give this a go...I'll keep you updated but here are some of the reasons:
1. I kind of like people - REAL people that I can interact with. Whilst I like to see what people are up to I do bemoan the lack of proper communication, both inside the home and outside.
2. It's bad for the brain. This is backed up by many studies but I know I can't concentrate easily when I've been flicking from one thing to the next without really paying attention.
3. I have seen quite a few physical issues caused by overuse of neck muscles (looking down) and the old scrolling down can lead to wrist pain.
4. I'd quite like to feel that the time I have is used INTENTIONALLY...how many hours have you lost to mindless drifting online?!
5. I don't want my kids to be on social media all the time. This is a big one and probably the real driver. It's not great for attention and I'm not sure the filters on life are helpful to those growing up. I know this is our life now but I for one want to cut down my reliance on it and be able to say it without feeling too hypocritical!
I'm not suggesting you guys do this and it may turn out to be hard - I'll let you know - but if you can't get hold of me in the usual way this is why (I haven't mass blocked you!)
I do still want to see you all and welcome new clients so feel free to share my email address and website details if you know someone who 'kneads' (haha) a massage or constantly complains of aches and pains.
Though I could be talking about your daily routine (and that may or may not be boring - perhaps worth thinking about too!) I'm talking about your stretching routine (erm, what stretching routine I hear you say..)
Stretching has a pretty bad rap if I am to believe a large percentage of those people I see on a regular basis. The number of times I hear people say 'Stretching is boring so I skip it' despite them knowing that it is great for injury prevention and overall physical (and sometimes mental) wellbeing.
And you know the worst thing? IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DULL - I love stretching because you can mix it up and it makes you feel a whole lot better. I think a large issue is that people only know a few things to do to stretch and think you need to spend hours doing it or sit in a hall with people doing yoga but that is not the case. You can do a bit of fun stretching in your pyjamas with your favourite tunes blasting out if needs be and it can be a 5 minute routine or a few times a day quick fix if needed (or a longer session).
Myth number two is that you need to be flexible to do it - NOOOO - you can increase flexibility but it isn't about getting your leg over your head or being able to do the splits, it's about helping your body to work better and avoid getting in pain.
Dynamic stretching is more 'fun' than static stretching and the guys at www.gmb.io have some great ideas and guides that you might want to check out.
Yoga can be fun and there are loads of kinds (if you think it's all about easy stretching check out a hot yoga class!) but you can make up your own stretching plan by figuring out which areas you need to work on and having a bit of an internet browse for ideas and trying things out.
Stick mobility is an option that works well for some people too but it is worth trying to find a few ideas as this can really help you to feel the best you can with not much effort - you can find 10 minutes a day I reckon.
Let me know how you get on or ask me for some ideas on stretches you can do for your specific issues/niggles.
Is it time for you to make a change?
There have been a few changes on the website this week to reflect my pledge to make some small changes to change my impact on the world (hopefully to make it a better one!) This includes a commitment to using Natrue-certified, ethically sourced and produced Weleda products in ALL my treatments ALL the time. This is of benefit to you as it means you'll smell great whilst knowing that you're getting only the good stuff on and in your skin AND you're supporting ethical and biodynamic farming and production.
You can also come and have a browse of some of the goodies in the studio, including make-up and sunscreen.
Other changes include updates to simplify the Massage Membership Club and I'm afraid to inform you all of a slight increase in prices (first price rise in 3 years).
If you want to know more about the changes I'm making, products I'm using or you want to book in for a treatment please do get in touch - www.charlottelattinmassage.com or call 07725 334604.
Looking to schedule regular time for yourself? Not sure how to do it? Think you might run out of steam and put yourself and your body back to the end of the list?
Why not sign up for regular monthly massage treatments with the ease of a direct debit to encourage you to prioritise yourself. Access to discounts and exclusive benefits is available by joining the Massage Membership Club at www.charlottelattinmassage.com.
Whether you're looking for regular sports massage to keep you injury free, a monthly pampering session or want to commit to really looking after yourself with a weekly session there are options for all and you can set it all up in advance and book your sessions online.
Sounds good to me...if it sounds good to you too then check it out and make sure that you keep this year's resolution to look after yourself better (and keep it all year)!!
It's a New Year...and coming up for the big 4-0 for me so naturally I've been having a bit of a reflection on life and what's important and I've got some ideas that you might want to consider (and no, they don't involve changing yourself or signing up to some crazy non-achievable diet/hobby/training/life plan).
I watched this TED talk - its beautiful - and it spurred me on to think about gratitude and what is great about my life (largely the people (and animals) in it but other things too). Have a watch and see what you think:
Follow the link or click the button:
So I'm actually feeling grateful for getting older (I know...sounds crazy) because it feels like there is less pressure to be out there doing 'fun' stuff. I can be a bit more comfortable in my skin and in the fact that I'm a bit of an anti-social homebod! So in a way I'm feeling grateful about being who I am, and maybe being a bit kinder to myself - and that's where my thoughts might be relevant to you: How about, instead of trying to change who you are by getting thinner or fitter, or filling your time with more things to do, how about working out what you like about you (here it might be worth asking your friends what's great about you if you're struggling) and building on that.
In my case I'm working on being kinder - and more patient (probably a necessary one) because those are the values that I want to develop more in myself. And this includes being kind to myself...If you're anything like me you are probably quite capable of beating yourself up - how about trying to catch yourself doing this and stop!
If you need help with this 'thought catching' I recommend Headspace (a non-hippyish meditation app) or just giving yourself some time to breathe and put down that phone!
Remember that building on what you have is much easier than scrapping it all and starting again!! Another benefit of being kinder to yourself is having a bit more to give back to others (which does feel nice too!)
Building a 'better' you can be about giving yourself more time and more love (obviously I think booking yourself a massage is a good start!) but it can also be about working on what you're doing. I'm lucky enough to love my job but not everyone does. Trying to find a way of making a job you don't love more rewarding might be about looking at the rest of your time and being grateful and present for the time you have with others or for yourself. Or it might be time to talk to people about what you might do instead. There's no right answer but listening to yourself and what matters to you is a start.
Start being kinder to yourself today - book in!
The weather outside is frightful, but in my studio it's delightful..!! Excuse the altered song lyrics but it had to be done!
So the studio is up and running, treatments are getting booked in and new treatments are available - now offering Facials, Indian Head Massage and Pregnancy Massage along with the Holistic and Sports Massage so get yourself booked in to try them out! You can also give the gift of treatments by ordering a gift card (either for a specific treatment or for a value) so get in touch if you are looking for a gift (or of course want to treat yourself!!)
With it being Christmas the obligatory Christmas Competition is running - go to Facebook and like and share my page Charlotte Lattin Massage to be in with a chance of winning a FREE 1 hour holistic massage in the New Year (worth £50). The winner will be announced on 23rd December on Facebook.
If you're looking for other gifts this season then here a few ideas:
1. Natural and deliciously scented Weleda goodies - to browse the full range visit:
2. Gift vouchers (of course) email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. How about a lovely Yoga Mat? A full review of the best to buy can be found at:
4. The gift of meditation: visit www.headspace.com for more information on gift subscriptions
5. Motivation - check out the options for you or your loved ones wanting to make some changes in the New Year at http://www.vivaciousmelphotography.com/i-am-my-change/
And if all this is too much just get yourself down to the studio for some relaxation!
Opening hours over Christmas:
Closed 12pm 23rd December to 27th December
Open 28th and 29th December
Closed for New Year
Re-opening 2nd January
Check out the new space in the photos below
It has been on the agenda for a while to find a space that works for me to carry out both sports/remedial massage and holistic, pampering treatments whilst being close to home. Finally the new project is coming...it will be a space for relaxation and wellbeing - a perfect space for daytime and evening treatments based at the end of the garden in a purpose-built steel and glass 'pod'. For more details follow the progress on Facebook (Charlotte Lattin Massage) and Instagram (@charlottelattinmassage).
The new space will be being installed next week and up and running from 27th November. I've been busy making sure that it will be a calm, restorative and cosy place for all types of treatments (which means I've been shopping for nice bits and bobs!!).
I am updating opening times for treatments from the 27th November now so book your slot and come and be one of the first to try it out!
I'd be interested to know what feature you would like to see in your ideal treatment room so post a comment to have a chance of getting your ideal treatment room too!
So, breathing...simple right? Well, maybe not. We take breathing for granted much of the time but the impact of breathing can be felt across the body and enable more efficient movement if done effectively. Pilates and Yoga both emphasise the importance of breath but take slightly different takes no how and why to do this. From my perspective on how breathing into the upper ribcage can loosen up the thoracic spine and enable more free movement throughout the spinal column, decreasing the stress on those areas that are more prone to tension (the over-worked lower back and neck/shoulders...you know which is your weak spot!) recent training in Pilates has helped me to develop my knowledge so here are some techniques to try to allow your breathing to improve your posture and movement and to work your abs.
In Pilates, several breathing techniques can be used but one method is emphasized: lateral breathing.
Joseph Pilates stated that exercisers should breathe fully, taking advantage of every breath cycle to draw in lots of fresh air and subsequently rid the lungs of every bit of stale air. The goal is to oxygenate the blood, increase the overall circulation, and experience the rejuvenating sensation that a full, deep breath delivers.
As one of the six original Pilates principles, the breath is a foundation of Pilates movement. Exercises in Pilates are designed to co-ordinate with the breath, using the inhale and exhale pattern. The breath is the point of focus to initiate and support movement. Learning the specific lateral breathing technique will not only establish good form for beginners but also enhance and improve results for more advanced-level practitioners.
Pilates is well known as a multi-tasking exercise method and learning lateral breathing will be no different. Keeping the abdominal muscles pulled inward and upward and also taking a great big inhale at the same time can feel like an exercise in advanced coordination. But that's exactly what will happen and you'll be an expert in no time at all.
What Not to Do
'Normal' breathing typically looks like this:
1. Place your hands on your low belly. Take a deep breath and let your abdominals expand outward into your hands.
2. Now exhale and empty the air watching your hands draw into the waist.
3. Take a few more breaths just to feel the natural rise and fall of the belly.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this breathing pattern, but now that you've reviewed a normal regular style of breath control, let's move on to the lateral breathing technique.
What to Do
In this technique, we draw the breath upward and out of the low belly and focus on redirecting the breath into the back of the body and the sides of the ribcage.
1. Move your hands from the low belly in the prior exercise to the sides of the body around the rib cage for this next exercise.
2. Take a deep breath into the sides and back of the body. Remember that your lungs sit inside your torso and your ribs can expand with each breath. Feel your ribs pushing your hands outward as you inhale.
3. On the exhale your ribs will contract and the hands will draw back towards each other. Repeat this breathing pattern several times until you feel the ribs expanding and contracting.
Taking it further: Add the Abs and a Band
When the abs are pulled in properly, they protect the spine and act like a supportive corset for the whole trunk. Knowing how to breathe well while keeping the abs contracted gives us extra support throughout an exercise. As you practice lateral breathing, you will find that you are able to perform Pilates exercises (and maybe just move!) with greater ease. It helps make the scoop of abs easier and enhances the sense of lengthening the spine with the breath.
This exercise will help you feel the lateral expansion of the ribcage with the breath:
Diaphragmatic breathing, with a natural extension of the belly on an inhale, is still the healthiest way to breathe regularly. Adding lateral breath to your diaphragmatic breathing will increase your overall breathing capacity.
Have a go at breathing and take this further as a postural exercise - once you have got the hang of it see how this affects the position of the pelvis and the shoulders...you might then see what the fuss is about!
For a massage, postural assessment and assistance with rehabilitation exercises (or assistance with breathing techniques!) get in touch at email@example.com, book online via www.charlottelattinmassage.com or call me on 07725 334604.
Hopefully the summer has been a good one (and not yet over!) but with thoughts about back to school maybe it's time to get your fitness plans back on track too. Get back into the swing of things - starting Friday!!
Classes start again this week after a summer break (and following my broken leg!) and have been altered slightly - hopefully you can come along, it would be great to see you all there:
Powerwalk for Positive Mood - Tuesdays at 10:30am meeting outside UTC Oxfordshire
A powerwalk class for all levels of fitness to get you out and about and to meet up with others - supportive and fun group that is open to all and encourages those with anxiety or depression to come and join! Children are welcome to come if they are able to remain in a buggy or scoot around Great Western Park as we powerwalk our way to fitness and positive mood! £5 per session
Lunchtime Yoga - Fridays 12:30-13:30 @ Northern Neighbourhood Community Centre, Great Western Park
Relaxing and restorative gentle yoga flow that will work on flexibility, strength and leave you ready to relax into the weekend! £5 per session
Classes are both bookable online via the website or you can contact me or just turn up.
Those in need of a massage after the holidays book in quick - slots are filling up fast and evening slots are limited. Give me a shout and get yourself booked in for a de-stressing session.
I'll be starting a series of information blogs over the next few weeks so if there's something you want to know more about let me know and I'll put it on the blog slot - quite a few of you are keen on some simple runners stretches so first blog will focus on that but ideas welcomed!
Hope to see you all soon when we get back to class! :)
Those of you who keep up to date with my social media may have noticed that I sustained an injury last week...that should teach me to climb walls (or more likely to try not to fall of them!). I'm still waiting to find out what exactly I have done by dislocating my fibula (don't worry, it's back in place but waiting to see if there is a fracture there too) and this time can be frustrating for those with injuries (me included!!) in terms of knowing how much rest is a good thing so here's a quick guide:
If there is a definite break go straight to hospital...otherwise:
1. Make sure that you are not going to injure yourself further, ensure the area and location are safe
2.Ice -get some ice on the area 10-20 minutes then leave the area un-iced for an hour before re-icing (cover the ice to avoid burning the skin)
3. Elevate the area that is injured, raise it above your heart if you can as this will help reduce blood flow to the area
4. Rest...don't try to put weight on the area for the first 24-72 hours as this is the acute phase and you can do more harm as the body works on recovery and swelling goes down, take painkillers if needed. You do however need to keep things moving so depending on the area a wiggle of the fingers or toes is a good thing. After the initial period you will likely be advised to try to begin to add movement.
Avoiding movement for too long can hinder recovery, leading to muscle wasting and poor alignment so make sure that you get advise from a professional for your injury so as to avoid this. The main thing is to keep fitness and muscle tone if you can so get advice and don't go too easy!
That said don't overdo it. If like me you get a little stir-crazy without exercise then try to see if there is something that you can do, it may be swimming, yoga or some gym exercises (maybe working on your core...) so that you keep that healthy body healthy mind connection!!
Another key factor in recovery is diet - getting the right nutrients can help to speed your recovery so try to avoid using down time as pig-out time!
Got a question about a specific injury or need to adapt your training? Get in touch! I would say try to avoid getting injured but sometimes you can't avoid it (and trying things out sometimes means getting them wrong). The body is resilient but the right advice can go a long way to avoiding a long recovery time and a weakness that lasts a long time so make sure you ask for advice if needed (and it could be worth seeking advice about an old weakness to see if we can work to help get you back on track with your posture and mobility, even if it's been a few years!!)