The newsletter for Mike Ker remedial Massage and Pilates
I had intended to make these newsletters much more frequent, but have found myself so busy this year that I have continually put back the task. I am sorry to have kept you waiting so long.
Pilates classes have fluctuated in the numbers of clients attending; whilst several new clients have joined, others have been hit by the current economic climate and have had to concentrate their energies elsewhere, while others have moved and one became pregnant and has decided not to do a Pilates class for the time being. This is an individual choice because there is no general reason why pregnancy should prevent someone continuing in my small classes (with some adaptations to the exercises) for the majority of the time. Of course, one-to-one Pilates would be preferred. Pilates during pregnancy helps to maintain some core strength and stability making it less likely that back pain should be a problem and recovery of the body after childbirth should be quicker.
Still on Pilates, I recently attended a one day workshop at BCP on the use of the large Pilates, or physio ball. This I found very useful and practical and I shall be incorporating this piece of equipment in my one-to-one sessions, but I don't feel that it is suitable for the class situation as it is too easy for the inexperienced to get it wrong and over challenge themselves and perhaps cause an injury. That being said the ball can be used very effectively and safely, but only with the body in certain positions, for maintaining core stability in pregnancy.
I am available for individual Pilates, either at one of my clinic locations or at the client's home or place of work. I can also teach to small groups at a client's home or other location; fees are by agreement.
If you are interested in class Pilates with me, but my times are not suitable for you, then please feel free to suggest times that would suit, as that will help me to decide where to add further classes to my schedule. Thank you.
I continue to attract a wide range of aches, pains and problems for me to try to sort out, including the usual backs, necks, shoulders and knees. I recently seem to have seen rather a lot of hands and wrists with particular emphasis on thumb pain. I think that much of this pain is driven by trigger points and have had some success. However identifying all the potential trigger points is not easy and results have not always been as good as hoped, but still considerably better than the alternatives so far tried by the patients.
Trigger points are like little knots of intense tightness that generally refer sensation (usually pain) to other locations. They can be as small as a pin head or considerably larger. They are usually very sensitive to touch and tend to give a higher pain response than would be expected from a light pressure. I treat them usually with a combination of direct pressure, relaxation techniques and little stretch movements.
Self treatment tip
Many headaches can be attributed to tightness and trigger points in the muscles of the neck. These can sometimes be self treated. I would suggest that the best method is to lie on your back, with your head supported, and massage the back of the neck with the tips of the fingers of both hands. If you find a painful spot then press into it with enough firmness to cause discomfort, but not so much as to cause you to tense against the pressure. Breathe deeply to help you to relax the tightness that is causing the pain. As you relax the tension you may be able to increase the pressure a little. Once you have released as much tension as you can then you should stretch the back of your neck, where you have been pressing, by drawing your chin down towards your breastbone; repeat with any other painful spots that you can find, particularly those at the top of your neck near the base of your skull. This technique may help you if muscle tightness has not become too severe, but don't keep at it for too long or too often, as you may cause irritation to the skin or underlying tissues.
If headaches persist, as well as possibly seeking the help of a professional remedial massage practitioner please consult your doctor, as the cause may be something other than neck tension or imbalance.
Look forward to more tips over the coming months; I really do intend to get these Newsletters out much more frequently!
One more thing - If you are a runner and like half marathons, then why not enter the Marlow Half (always the first Sunday in November) and come and have a reviving treatment from myself and my team, with most of the proceeds going to charity; click on www.marlowstriders.co.uk to get an entry form. I hope to see you there; its beautiful, challenging and one of the best run races in the country.
Look after your body; it matters