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Advanced Bodywork & Massage Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy What are trigger points and how did I get them?

[03/05/15]   What Really is the Difference between Polarity Therapy and Reiki?
What is the difference between Polarity and Reiki?
The main difference is intention; with Reiki the practitioner allows things to happen and the treatment to flow, and generally there is a set sequence. Polarity treatments are unique and there are no set sequences, but rather the practitioner works with what the client tells them is going on and what is presented by the client.
Both therapies work with the subtle energies of the body that underlie its form and functions, and both require hands-on positions (although Reiki can be performed at a distance).
Reiki involves tuning into the energy in the room and channeling it to others through their hands to unblock problem areas and keep the energy flowing evenly throughout the body. Polarity utilizes techniques that connect the positive, neutral and negatively charged energy forces to enhance the life force within a problem area (whether mental, emotional, physical or spiritual). This creates a free flow of energy. Polarity is more anatomically and physiologically specific.
Choosing which holistic treatment is right for you is a matter of personal choice – some resonate with Reiki and others with Polarity. I would recommend trying out both at some point to see how you react to each treatment - you can’t go wrong as both treatments leave you feeling clear, relaxed, and rejuvenated.

[03/05/15]   Taking bookings for my sunday session. Two hour special 25.00

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[03/04/15]   Deep Tissue Massage vs. Sports Massage

Massage therapy involves the manual stimulation and manipulation of your muscles and skin. However, there are several massage types available depending upon your health and your goals for massage. Two common massage types that have some similarities are deep tissue and sports massage. Knowing the difference between these two massage types can help you determine the best option for you.

Assess/Prevent Injury Risk
Sports massage therapists should be well-versed when it comes to treating common injuries and muscular woes of athletes, such as hamstring strains or shin splints. Sports massage therapists can identify areas in which you experience muscle tightness or determine muscle abnormalities that could potentially lead to injury if left untreated. While a deep-tissue massage can identify areas of muscle weakness, the therapist might not be targeting sport-specific injury areas. However, deep-tissue massages can be used to treat some injuries, including whiplash or back strain.

Strokes and Movements
One area of commonality between deep-tissue massage and sports massage is that each massage type uses similar strokes. This includes kneading, circular movements, tapping and vibrations. Sports massage uses similar methods of manipulating the skin, yet tends to be more focused on sports-related areas of pain.

[03/03/15]   What is therapeutic massage?

Massage is an ancient therapy which dates back to Egyptian times and beyond. It is an effective yet very safe therapy which can help to ease pain, release tension and thus induce relaxation and promote a feeling of wellbeing. By working on the soft tissues massage can stimulate the muscular and nervous systems, and improve the blood circulation and lymphatic flow. This enables fresh oxygenated blood to repair the body tissues and metabolic waste products and toxins to be eliminated. This in turn allows the body to function more efficiently and counteracts the debilitating effects of stressful modern day living.

How does sports massage differ from therapeutic massage?

Sports massage therapy is a deeper form of soft tissue massage which uses specific techniques to treat physically active individuals, who may be more vulnerable to injury because of the stresses placed on the body by their sport.

The sports massage therapist may also advise on stretching or strengthening exercises as appropriate to work in conjunction with treatment.

How can sports massage help me?

Sports massage is particularly effective in treating minor soft tissue problems, relieving niggling aches and pains before they develop into more serious overuse injuries. It is also great in the pre-event situation, whether your needs are for your relaxation or stimulation, and in post-event relaxation and recovery. Finally, it is good for the general relief of stress and tension and for fatigue, whether this is occupational, recreational or sporting!

What are its benefits?

Sports massage offers individually tailored treatment and advice to:

help relieve the stress and tension which hinders the achievement of optimum performance
reduce the likelihood of injury during exercise
speed up the recovery process and aid rehabilitation after injury
ensure full range of joint movement and increase muscle flexibility
improve postural and general body awareness
Who can benefit from sports massage?

You don’t have to be a sportsperson to feel the benefits! Muscular tension, stress and fatigue can affect all of us, whether we are competitive or recreational athletes, D-I-Y fanatics, gardeners, busy housewives, or stressed executives. Active or sedentary – you should find massage relaxing and therapeutic.

Many people appreciate the deep treatment offered by a sports massage therapist as they can really feel those knots being “ironed out”. They also start to become aware of how their bodies react and tense up under stress, and by heeding those warning signs, they can then take early action to reduce their stress levels and relax.

What happens during a treatment?

A brief medical history will need to be taken prior to the massage. During the massage, which may last for an hour if you require a full body treatment, a blend of essential oils may be used. This normally sinks into the skin quite quickly – but we ask you to wear casual clothes, just in case there are still traces of oil on your skin. You may occasionally feel some post-treatment soreness but this will normally disappear after a day or two. Don’t worry about this- it is usually a sign that the treatment is having a positive effect!

How often should I have a massage?

As often as you like (provided that you are not suffering from any condition for which massage is contra-indicated – ask your therapist if in doubt). Some people find that a weekly massage helps to control their stress levels, while others find that a maintenance treatment every few weeks works well.

[03/03/15]   Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a systemic rheumatic disease, meaning it affects the entire body. Approximately 90% of people with AS express the HLA-B27 genotype, meaning there is a strong genetic association. 1-2% of individuals with the HLA-B27 genotype contract the disease.[1] Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF α) and IL-1 are also implicated in ankylosing spondylitis. Autoantibodies specific for AS have not been identified. Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) are associated with AS, but do not correlate with disease severity.[citation needed]
The association of AS with HLA-B27 suggests the condition involves CD8 T cells, which interact with HLA-B.[citation needed] This interaction is not proven to involve a self antigen, and at least in the related reactive arthritis, which follows infections, the antigens involved are likely to be derived from intracellular microorganisms.[citation needed] There is, however, a possibility that CD4+ T lymphocytes are involved in an aberrant way, since HLA-B27 appears to have a number of unusual properties, including possibly an ability to interact with T cell receptors in association with CD4 (usually CD8+ cytotoxic T cell with HLAB antigen as it is a MHC class 1 antigen).
T1-weighted MRI with fat suppression after administration of gadolinium contrast showing sacroiliitis in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis
X-ray showing bamboo spine in a person with ankylosing spondylitis.
CT scan showing Bamboo spine in ankylosing spondylitis
There is no direct test to diagnose AS. The Schober's test is a useful clinical measure of flexion of the lumbar spine performed during the physical examination.[6] Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and X-ray studies of the spine, which show characteristic spinal changes and inflammation of the sacroiliac joint, combined with a genetic marker blood test are the major diagnostic tools.
Radiographic features[edit]
The earliest changes in the sacroiliac joints demonstrable by plain x–ray shows erosions and sclerosis.
Progression of the erosions leads to pseudo widening of the joint space and bony ankylosis.
X-ray spine can reveal squaring of vertebae with spine ossification with fibrous band run longitudinally called syndesmophyte while produce bamboo spine appearance.
A drawback of X-ray diagnosis is the signs and symptoms of AS have usually been established as long as 8–10 years prior to X-ray-evident changes occurring on a plain film X-ray, which means a delay of as long as 10 years before adequate therapies can be introduced. Options for earlier diagnosis are tomography and MRI of the sacroiliac joints, but the reliability of these tests is still unclear.
Blood parameters[edit]
During acute inflammatory periods, people with AS may show an increase in the blood concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) and an increase in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), but there are many with AS whose CRP and ESR rates do not increase, so normal CRP and ESR results do not always correspond with the amount of inflammation that is actually present. In other words, some people with AS have normal levels of CRP and ESR, despite experiencing a significant amount of inflammation in their bodies.
Genetic testing[edit]
Variations of the HLA-B gene increase the risk of developing ankylosing spondylitis, although it is not a diagnostic test. Those with the HLA-B27 variant are at a higher risk than the general population of developing the disorder. HLA-B27, demonstrated in a blood test, can occasionally help with diagnosis, but in itself is not diagnostic of AS in a person with back pain. Over 95% of people that have been diagnosed with AS are HLA-B27 positive, although this ratio varies from population to population (about 50% of African Americans with AS possess HLA-B27 in contrast to the figure of 80% among those with AS who are of Mediterranean descent). In early onset disease HLA-B7/B*2705 heterozygotes exhibited the highest risk for disease.[7]
The Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), developed in Bath (UK), is an index designed to detect the inflammatory burden of active disease. The BASDAI can help to establish a diagnosis of AS in the presence of other factors such as HLA-B27 positivity, persistent buttock pain which resolves with exercise, and X-ray or MRI evident involvement of the sacroiliac joints. (See: "Diagnostic Tools", below)[8] It can be easily calculated and accurately assesses the need for additional therapy; a person with AS with a score of four out of a possible 10 points while on adequate NSAID therapy is usually considered a good candidate for biologic therapy.
The Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) is a functional index which can accurately assess functional impairment due to the disease, as well as improvements following therapy. (See: "Diagnostic Tools", below)[9] The BASFI is not usually used as a diagnostic tool, but rather as a tool to establish a current baseline and subsequent response to therapy.
There is no cure for AS, although treatments and medications can reduce symptoms and pain.[10][11]
The major types of medications used to treat ankylosing spondylitis are pain-relievers and drugs aimed at stopping or slowing the progression of the disease. Pain-relieving drugs come in two major classes:
The mainstay of therapy in all seronegative spondyloarthropathies are anti-inflammatory drugs, which include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, phenylbutazone, diclofenac, indomethacin, naproxen and COX-2 inhibitors, which reduce inflammation and pain. Indomethacin is a drug of choice. 2012 research showed that those with AS and elevated levels of acute phase reactants seem to benefit most from continuous treatment with NSAIDs.[12]
Opioid painkillers
Medications used to treat the progression of the disease include the following:
Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as sulfasalazine can be used in people with peripheral arthritis. For axial involvement, evidence does not support sulfasalazine.[13] Other DMARDS, such as methotrexate did not have enough evidence to prove their effect. Generally, systemic corticosteroids were not used due to lack of evidence. Local injection with corticosteroid can be used for certain people with peripheral arthritis.[14][15]
Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) blockers (antagonists), such as the biologics etanercept, infliximab, golimumab and adalimumab, have shown good short-term effectiveness in the form of profound and sustained reduction in all clinical and laboratory measures of disease activity. Trials are ongoing to determine their long-term effectiveness and safety.[16] The major drawback is the cost.
Anti-interleukin-6 inhibitors such as tocilizumab, currently approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis,[17] and rituximab, a monoclonal antibody against CD20, are also undergoing trials.[18]
In severe cases of AS, surgery can be an option in the form of joint replacements, particularly in the knees and hips. Surgical correction is also possible for those with severe flexion deformities (severe downward curvature) of the spine, particularly in the neck, although this procedure is considered very risky.
In addition, AS can have some manifestations which make anesthesia more complex. Changes in the upper airway can lead to difficulties in intubating the airway, spinal and epidural anaesthesia may be difficult owing to calcification of ligaments, and a small number of people have aortic insufficiency. The stiffness of the thoracic ribs results in ventilation being mainly diaphragm-driven, so there may also be a decrease in pulmonary function.
Physical therapy[edit]
Though physical therapy remedies have been scarcely documented, some therapeutic exercises are used to help manage lower back, neck, knee, and shoulder pain. Some therapeutic exercises include:[19][20]
Low intensity aerobic exercise
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)
Exercise programs, either at home or supervised, are better than not having an exercise program;
Group exercises are better than home exercises;
Extending regular group exercises with few weeks exercising at a spa resort is better than group exercises alone.
Low intensity aerobic exercises have shown to have profound positive effects regarding pulmonary function, quality of life, and functional capacity.[21]
Spa treatments utilizing thermal baths coupled with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNF) have shown a long-term improvement in those with AS.[22] Spa treatments coupled with TNF inhibitors have no disease relapse among those with AS.[22]
Moderate-to-high impact exercises like jogging are generally not recommended or recommended with restrictions due to the jarring of affected vertebrae that can worsen pain and stiffness in some with AS.

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