August 5, 2014

Mo Farah at the Commonwealth Games

Mo Farah at the Commonwealth Games / Credit: Dave Thompson/PA

Runners – The sun is out, you feel a good stretching out of stuck joints would be a good idea – enliven yourselves, so to speak. So you decide to venture outdoors and take up the spade, jump on the bike, pull on a pair of hiking boots to climb a mountain or two or simply change your Louboutins for an equally expensive pair of trainers and hit the streets for a run.

All is well until suddenly you feel a twinge in the calf, or a joint in the foot or worse still, the back.  Talking to yourself, like all respectable sportspeople do, you convince yourself that it is just laziness on your body’s part, your mental determination will soon whip it into shape.  If you have an interest in the science of your body, perhaps you might extend this to understanding that new muscles are being stressed and need time to acclimatise, like a mountaineer does at high altitude.  In any case you keep running, hoping your body catches up with your mind soon.

Granted, for some, this determined attitude might well happen. Unfortunately, for many it simply won’t.

The reason? Poor technique.

No matter how much ‘running’ time you give your body, if you are using it incorrectly as a result of poor technique, you will simply compound the injury until you cannot run anymore.  Christopher McDougall’s was one such runner: he travelled to Mexico to find an answer to the question ‘why does my foot hurt?’ and found the fantastic bare foot ultra-marathon runners of the Tarahumara tribe.  His account in Born to Run is fascinating.

Mexico might be a tad too far but fear not, help is available locally: Carys Matthews’ article in the Guardian today is informative.

Some tips to maintain good posture and prevent injury:

  1. A decent pair of trainers: unfortunately this is a time and, potentially money consuming process.  Best to go to a reputed shop and not the internet, unless you are simply ordering more of the same but even then, your foot structure could have changed which means it needs a different type of trainer.
  2. Some warming up and stretching: I like simplicity and humour so try these.
  3. Running gait analysis: this needs to be a comprehensive analysis and not just of the lower limbs – ask fellow runners who they would recommend, otherwise try the Drummond Clinic in Maidenhead.
  4. Bodyform: everyone needs to look after their bodies to ensure optimal performance in all walks of life, which for sports people, also includes injury prevention. So a monthly massage and realignment is a must.

Enjoy your running…….

Stress makes strokes imminent…

January 26, 2011

Research published this month by the Stroke Association shows that adults in Britain are under extreme risk of strokes because of rising stress levels. Over 7 million could be at risk: being stressed now takes on a completely different meaning and we need to address this immediately.

But why is it so? I don’t recall our parents’ generation suffering with stress. They had other problems, smoking and eating rich food to name two. They took weekends off and maybe a week’s holiday and they were content. Now we need two and often three weeks to unwind and de-stress…. Whatever is happening????

Stress is a term that came into vogue in the 1980s, until then, ‘tired’ sufficed. The effects of stress are wide ranging and insidious: from insomnia, to headaches, to raised blood pressure and now strokes. If we are not careful we could be heading for destruction. The root of the problem is our incredibly fast paced, demanding and unhealthy lifestyles. Everything is urgent and no longer just important; we have too much choice, from cereals to holidays; alcohol consumption is high – folks drink to unwind but excessive alcohol has a depressing effect; whilst some of us do have membership of gyms and spas, by the time we get home after their 12hr day, tiredness hits us hard and we don’t get to these establishments. This research showed that nearly 15% of adults in Britain consider themselves extremely stressed coming into 2011.

So what can be done? We could start by reassessing our lifestyles – the demands of our jobs, now even more than the past; our diets; relaxation and of course exercise. All these are difficult things to do, especially during the recession but if we want to live longer we have no choice but to address the stress levels in our lives.

Read full article here:

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is by having regular massages – one executive client of mine told me that he looked forward to his hour’s massage session with me because he didn’t have to think about anything: he could totally switch off and leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed…no stress to be felt.  In addition to the ‘feel good factor’ of massages, it works the muscles and re-energises them, improves blood circulation, removes toxins.


Experience the wonderful stress reducing properties of massage:  an hour’s massage session for £45.
Offer is valid till the end of February, contact me now to book your appointment quoting “Massage Offer”.
Federation of Holistic Therapists The Institute of Sport & Remedial Massage Complementary & Natural Healthcare Council The Charity for Healthier Backs