I find how human beings connect a fascinating thing – most of us are people watchers, I know I am. But how do myofascial therapists like Jane and Myself connect with you, the client? I’d love to share with you how I connect.For me, massage is about transformation. You come to me seeking change, and I meet you with an open mind and heart and a curiosity about how I can help this be achieved.I very much believe that your body holds its truth and that my role is to help it be heard. There are stories entwined between where your pain sits and where it starts – often they’re very different places.Therapists in my experience use their senses differently. I have spent years honing the alternative, expanded ability of my senses. I see you through my finger tips, I hear you with my eyes, I feel you through my ears.Anyone who has ever worked with me will notice that I ask a lot of questions, at times they can seem a little odd: why would I be interested in how much dental work you’ve had, or which leg you broke as a teenager, or on which hip you carry your child?Questions, questions….These questions help me to get a feel for where you stand in the world. Both physically and metaphorically. When I hear your answers, I get to know a little more about how you feel about your body: if you’re hopeful of change; whether you feel stressed or sad, or frustrated or determined. I choose not to make assumptions or judgements, my job is to hold space for you so you can be seen and heard and have your life’s experiences respected. Then we can bring our efforts together to create sustained change in your body.Jokingly, I used to refer to myself as a crap Columbo, like a 70’s detective with maverick tendencies and oddball questions, riffling through the myriad possibilities, endeavouring to hone in on what’s really going on. You may have noticed that I’m interested in your scars, your posture, the differences in how you are when you’re stood up and laid down (good old gravity!) all of this information helps me to do better body work.Sometimes a client will see me manoeuvring my body to get a sense of how your body feels. I ask myself “where is the glitch?”, “If this muscle is switched ‘off’, what has to work harder?”And all this, dear reader, is my process of connection before I put hands on.With hands on comes assessment. I’m curious about the length of your legs, the tightness of the muscles, the stickiness of the fascia, how gnarled up you feel through the front of your pelvis – and that’s just the start. I connect into the tissue of your body, the very fabric of your being with the gentlest of pressure. I learnt many years ago that stealth trumps force when it comes to long lasting effects. You don’t come to be because you want to feel better for the walk back to your car do you? You come to me because things are intolerable, and life needs to be better and that starts with your body feeling better.And I do use terms like We and Us – because this is transformation by team work, there is an element of trust that gets built up that is so important to getting you pain free. When trust and knowing exists it becomes so much easier for You to guide me and me to guide you. That’s why connection is important before the work even begins.I truly believe that this is the way it is for the therapists at Thrive Clinic & Studio and it’s one of the reasons why Myofascial Release is such an amazing, effective and different way of reducing pain and discomfort. If this appeals to you, and you’d like to have a chat with Jane or Myself, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.Photo credit: Joseph Barrientos @jbcreate
It’s been a while hasn’t it!?!
So, some of you may have noticed that we’ve been busy bees at Thrive. Like Swallows we have migrated to warmer climes (although in our case not just for the winter) to our new snuggly treatment rooms downstairs and they’re pretty dandy.
One of my favourite things about the treatment room I now inhabit is the geode shelf: Forty four sparkling, twinkling beauties. The geodes were a happy and serendipitous arrival, I happened to mention to a friend that I was looking for twinklies and here husband just happened to have a flock of them waiting to be rehomed.
Now, whilst a lot of those crystals did end up in my studio, Hugh (for it is he) has so many of them that I asked if he would be interested in coming along to Sharrow Vale Market so you too can find a crystalline friend to take home too.
So that’s what’s happening my friends!
This Sunday the 10th December, from 11ish, there will be geodes and crystals galore to choose from- pointy ones, clusters, little egg sized ones, ones as big as you palm, amethysts, citrines, quartz types. Oh yes!
If you’re at the Christmas market come say hi and take home a high vibe gift 🙂
Oh it feels like it’s taken forever! But new studio spaces will be open next week (I have a small amount of work to do before then ahem…)
Today I’m talking about a really, super easy technique that you can do before you go to sleep, or anytime you have space to lie on the floor and wiggle around. Rebounding is an ace MFR technique that helps you identify where your body glitches. Have a play and let me know in the comments where you get stuck and need to find your fascial freedom.
Today I have a new nemesis, well maybe nemesis is too strong a word, but I definitely found a contender that needs to be conquered. My bladder.
We’re all friends here right? This is a safe space we’ve created. So shouldn’t we just stop holding it in (figuratively mostly) and talk about the problems of the pelvis, after all it’s the bowl of humanity. It holds life, but then It’s got to go on functioning way further than birth.
Now, for a while I’ve seen this lurking on the horizon. Having to stop and sneeze whilst walking because well, sneezing and walking and activating my pelvic floor has all been one challenge two many. Yes I can do two out of three- but three out of three? Turns out it’s a big ask…
So today, I took my little Bear out to one of those great big huge trampoline parks. I blimming love them, and whilst I have on occasion taken the precaution of a panty liner due to my pelvic floor not being happy when I have a cold (silly pelvic floor) I’m generally A Ok. Not bloody today though, totally not bloody A bloody OK. Jumping up- fine. Landing- well, too much information perhaps but y’know…
And I hear this all the time from Mums and women over 40, all looking at those damn garden trampolines in distain, muttering under their collective breathes “not bloody likely”. But I WANT a garden trampoline, and so does the Bear and gosh damn it, if I’m getting one for her I want to be able to play on it myself.
The irony is, sorting problems like this is my job and my intellectual passion. The double irony is, after a 30 hour labour, a shoddy episiotomy, a back to back baby and an over exuberant obstetrician, I thought I’d already put in the work to sort out the ‘bladder stuff’ months after Bear was born. But now, three years on and it’s lurking again.
What went wrong I hear you cry? For me, as I said before there were warning signs, all indicating that my pelvis was on the wonk: Historic knee pain recurring; that sneeze pee; the definite feeling that one leg is longer than the other. Dammit, dammit, dammit! Add to this recent mental stress and emotional family upset, driving long distances on a more than usual basis and working a physical job and really I should have taken more care of myself.
But what am I going to do? Give up on fun? Grow older gracefully? No way, uh uhh! I will be booking mŷself in for Myofascial release sessions- I owe that to myself and to the good folk who own those fantastic trampoline warehouses. Self care will help along the way too, but I have a deep feeling that it’s time I put myself in the hands of other caring compassionate therapists and let them work deeply into the restrictions. If previous experience with my wonky pelvis stands up, then it shouldn’t take too much treatment to put the bounce back into my pelvic floor (and the pressure off my bladder!)
If any of my ramblings resonate with you, that’s great and you should know that we are really not alone. I did a survey of my American tribe (how British is that, if you want to know about a taboo ask someone who doesn’t live in your country!) Anyways, I asked various questions about children, age, incontinency, discomfort during intercourse etc and the results were surprising. Over 60% of the sample (of around 20 women) reported back with sneaky pee issues and pelvic floor unruliness. Does that surprise you? SIXTY PERCENT!!
Even if we don’t shout out loud about it, maybe we should at least have a quiet chat…because there is life to be lived and fun to be had to the fullest of our potential and wouldn’t it be shame if we stop doing due to something so solvable?
… also known as coping when the shit hits the fan.
At the moment my family is experiencing a moment of death/not death, my mum is dying…or is she?? Prolonged illness is agony, I can’t even start to fully imagine how it must feel to be living in a bodily system that is failing. The thought of my functions shutting down around me whilst my brain is fully dancing still, the anger and frustration of being stuck inside a non compliant shell, makes me feel all the sadness that I ever knew existed and then a new level, followed by the grateful selfish sense of I am so lucky to be fully alive and fully here to enjoy all this.
For us family, we are on a roller coaster, that we did not willingly buy a ticket for and quite frankly want to get off. Watching my mum muster up all her tenacity, her dignity and strength to fight off infection caused by a ‘future proofing’ operation, being aware that some days she looks like the closest to death on the ward, followed by the miracle of her looking chipper, improving, better. We went from hour to hour, dreading phone calls, to day to day, worrying about her future, to week to week knowing that the hour to hour and the day to day may only be moments away. We can go from Everything is bad, her body is unable to cope with the peg feeding tube, to nope, s’okay! turns out it was just gas in the turn of an afternoon.
These are compelling moments in life, all of us will experience them to some degree or another. Not just death, our careers, our relationships- the shit can hit the fan in myriad ways. The question is, when you don’t know how long the haul is, how do you cope?
Stress can make your concentration span very short, so advice such as meditating for an hour isn’t going to cut it. It’s not the kind of situation that makes swanning off to the spa for the day conducive for many. In fact in times of direness, being with others can be overwhelming, when you are already processing so much, the thought of rehashing it over and over again to an audience can feel isolating.
In times like these short hits of respite are required. Nothing tough to do, just simple stuff. These are a few that I call on when the going gets tough and my brain takes a walk:
Meditate or listen to music with headphones, it brings your attention closer to you. If you drift out, it’s easier to redirect your focus back to something that is there in your ears right now.
Take off shoes and socks and get your feet on the ground. Having different textures, temperatures and sensations can fell amazingly grounding. Put your senses in the soles of your feet, it takes the weight off your brain and can be wonderfully distracting. There is something about being outside in the air that helps clear your head, and if the grass underfoot is warm, so much the better.
Stress requires breath. You may not be able to fully attend to a long breathing meditation, nor may you want to, but here’s the joy of it: simply breathing fully and deeply into your belly stimulates a thing called the vagus nerve. When this is switched on, your brain receives signals that it has to obey- these signals tell the brain to stop pumping adrenaline around your body (the hormone responsible for the stress response) and starts to produce a calming hormone, noradrenaline. Take a deep breath everything the thought enters your mind. Better still, set ups reminder on your phone that goes off a couple of times a day.
Take a walk, even if it’s just ten minutes, take a walk around the block, or to the shop but go the long way. Make sure your head is up,and take stock of your surroundings. Too often she we are overwhelmed we stare at the pavement as we move, once we are looking around at our environment is forces us out of our heads and back into our bodies.
Drink water, please drink water, be kind to yourself and drink more water. It will help you retain clarity of thought, boost important systems such as your immune system and help you flush out stress.
Watch funny films, kids cartoons, listen to comedy, surround your senses with laughter and brightness. Maybe stop watching g the news for awhile- especially if you tend to shout at it.
If you experience anxiety or panic attacks, it can really help if you find someone to talk through the feelings that go with these. If there is no one to talk to, write about it, the very act of writing (not typing, but by hand, cursively) can help you examine when the logic lies and where the rationality is lacking.
All in all, in times of stress, acknowledge that you still need to care for yourself. No matter what the situation is, you can help others better when you attend to your needs first.
Sometimes, the best option is to put yourself in someone else’s hands. Massage is so incredibly helpful in these times. To be treated and nurtured, with no necessity for you to converse or interact is bliss. An hour in a warm soft room is a fantastically balancing thing.
I would love to hear about your methods when times get tough- would you share them in the comments below?