Who should do 1:1 Pilates?

It’s for everyone from athletes over desk workers to golden agers. Whether you have a current injury, had a recent surgery, are suffering from chronic or recurrent pain, are pregnant or have had a baby, are riding the emotional rollercoaster of menopause, or haven’t you exercised for a while and want to get group class ready again? It’s for everyone who wants to improve their strength, flexibility, and body awareness, for everyone who wants to be healthier and happier.

1:1 Pilates session are a good way to discover the way your body moves and the way it doesn’t like to move so much and to work on balancing and improving areas that may be restricted or weak. Having a 1:1 session means that you have the undivided attention, and you’ll work at the level and pace that’s right for you. it’s all about YOU and to help maximize your progression. By considering your medical history, lifestyle and activity level, the class is structured to your personal needs and goals whether they are keeping up with your grandchildren, getting relief from chronic pain or training for your first marathon.

If you feel like to get stronger and more mobile or to reduce stress and anxiety or if you like to feel healthier and happier, reach out and book in your 1:1 session. 

Don’t let back pain control your life.

Lower back pain is a common condition. Nearly everyone is affected by it at some time. Many people only suffer for a short period of time, and they can soon return to their normal activities. Sometimes, however, the pain persists longer, and it is difficult to find relief. Often there is no specific cause or source of pain, making diagnosis and treatment difficult. They pain in our back interferes with our daily live: Everyday tasks become tedious, we’re not in the mood for doing exercise or joining training, and our social life begins to suffer as well.

If you are looking for an alternative to painkillers and a method that brings you back on track, remedial massage is a great way to start with. It helps relieve muscle spasms and tension, increase mobility, improve circulation, reduce the healing time of strained tissues, and most importantly, relieve pain. Releasing tension and improving movement and function allows the start of a rehabilitation program to strengthen muscles and increase mobility, and this in turn allows a quicker return to normal activities. 

Being more mobile and getting more mobile is the best way to help your body cope with the stresses of everyday life and sports activities. Give remedial massage a try and add some specific exercises to your daily routine to strengthen your body. A great and proven combination to enable you to enjoy being active again. As a certified Soft Tissue Therapist and Pilates instructor, I can help you with both. Control your pain before it takes over your life. Get in touch and book an appointment today.

What is Pilates, anyway?

“The Pilates method teaches you how to be in control of your body and not at its mercy” Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a method of low-impact exercise that consists of mobility, flexibility, muscular strength, and endurance movements. Pilates emphasizes postural alignment, core strength and muscle balance. The Pilates method evolved from Joseph Pilates Contrology technique, developed in the 1920s. He believed that physical and mental health were interrelated, and the body is working as a “whole”

Soon the dance community, physiotherapists and rehabilitation specialists discovered the benefits of Pilates and adapted the original exercises to their needs and wants. Through this new diversity the method gained popularity among a wide range of people. With the new variety of exercises, it’s possible for everyone to experience movement in many different and safe ways. 

Practiced with consistency, Pilates improves mobility, builds strengths, and develops control and endurance in the entire body. It focuses on alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving coordination and balance. The control and precision emphasized in Pilates improves the efficiency of body movements in general and awakes body awareness. That is not only beneficial for sporty people, but it helps everyone in everyday life. For instance, you step on a rock and start to roll your ankle, or trip over your kid’s toy and start to fall forward. With enough control and precision training, you may be able to self-correct in these moments and alter your movements before you get hurt.

And like every exercise method, Pilates has a lot of mental benefits. Among other things you’ll feel refreshed and energized after a session, ready to conquer the world.

I’m a huge fan of the Pilates method and its benefits and practice it myself since years. Pilates has helped me in so many ways and I wanted to pass that on to others. Therefore, I have decided to train to become an Pilates Instructor with APPI the Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute. I’m excited to announce that I’ll offer 1:1 session here at Ammann Bodywork in Linton and at PhysioBaB in Cambridge beginning of next month. I’m a certified APPI Pilates Matwork Instructor with additional certification in Ante/Post Natal and Menopause. I’ll update the website and booking system soon. In the meantime, please reach out for any inquiry.

Take a stress break!

There is a certain amount of stress that is actually considered a healthy and necessary component for optimal health. Stress is what puts our body and mind alert. It can help us to complete a task efficiently and effectively that we wouldn’t have mastered as successfully without the extra boost of cortisol. On the other hand, too much stress can impair our ability to perform and think, making even the simplest situations seem like life or death. If stress has you on the edge, soft tissue therapy can assist you in restoring healthy stress levels.

It is important to understand our body’s stress response to understand why massage is so effective in relieving stress. Stress begins when demands are placed on you. In your mind, you evaluate whether or not those demands are threatening in some way. When your brain decides that there is a possibility of harm, it triggers a stress response. This response is also known as the “fight or flight” response because it produces the same physical changes that enabled our ancient ancestors to fight or flee from predators.

All of the physiological changes that occur in your body during this response happen for one reason: to prepare your body for physical action. Your muscles tense, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Your digestive and reproductive systems shut down to conserve energy. Hormones are released to keep you awake and alert. Fats and sugars are released into your bloodstream for energy.

Unfortunately, fighting or fleeing are rarely helpful in dealing with most of the stresses we face these days, such as money worries, relationship problems, or work issues. And if you don’t have a physical outlet, stress builds up in your body and it becomes increasingly difficult to get rid of it.

Over time, you get caught in a stress cycle where you find it harder and harder to slow down and relax. Tension can turn into chronic headache or perhaps neck, shoulder, and back pain. You may not be able to sleep well, you never seem to feel rested. You have little energy to deal effectively with problems and it becomes increasingly difficult to cope with even small stresses. 

If you are under severe or chronic stress, massage can be a quick and effective way to break the stress cycle. Massage triggers a relaxation response that counteracts the stress response and helps your body restore its balance. Your breathing begins to deepen, your heart rate and blood pressure decrease, and muscles begin to relax. Painful sensations gradually subside and your mind calms down too, feelings of anxiety are reduced, and your mood improves.

Massage also enhances your body awareness, allowing you to notice first signs of stress and tension faster. Pay attention to the early warning signs gives you the ability to control stress before it takes over your life. Book your stress break today or reach out with any further questions, I’m happy to help.

Kinesio Tapes

Ever since it started gaining visibility on the bodies of Olympic and professional athletes, many people have been curious about the possible benefits of this colorful straps called kinesiology tape, or kinesio tape for short.

The Kinesio Taping technique was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan more than 25 years ago. Dr. Kase began searching for a sports taping method which could assist in the healing of traumatized tissue and muscles. The idea:

With the tapes the top layer of skin should be lifted a little. This allows blood to flow more quickly to the injured area of the body, which helps it to heal faster.
Today, Kinesio Tapes have become an indispensable part of the everyday life of athletes and therapists. The colored tapes are hip, but do they really deliver what they promise?

The tapes can – properly applied – achieve good effects. Depending on the technique, you can achieve more joint stability, muscle relaxation, pain relief, and support movement and increase confidence. However, tape alone is usually not enough to resolve complaints: Sometimes you have to additionally treat a joint, stretch muscles or mobilize nerves. And most important: tape is not a substitute for proper injury treatment and thorough rehab.

The popularity of kinesiology tape grew and spread worldwide because of its clinical effectiveness for pain relief and performance enhancement, not because of scientific evidence, which are still rather vague. But grandmother’s honey milk has not really scientific evidence either and has been helping us sleep for years.

If you would like to try out these colorful tapes please contact me, I’m RockDoc certified, and I am also happy to help with a thorough rehab of musculoskeletal issues.

Healthy lifestyle: how to start with?

When it comes to a healthier lifestyle, most of us believe in order to become healthier we need to cut things we love out and do things instead we don’t really like. No crisps and beer anymore, instead an abundant number of veggies. No Dancing with the Stars on the cozy sofa, sneakers instead and a run along the canal. Not really what we want, right? And often the reason why so many good resolutions fail before we have even started.

What about if you reverse this thinking and focus on adding something good to improve your health? Do something for your body every day that will help it function better and last longer. Add something healthy to your diet. Do something for your mind every day to practice gratitude instead of focusing on negative thoughts. This is how we can bring about relevant, lasting change. 

Here some add on’s that a massage could contribute to your healthy routine:
– promotes relaxation
– reduces anxiety
– manages low-back pain
– reduces muscle tension
– relieves tension headaches
– improves your night sleep
– enhances exercise performance
– eases symptom of depression
– relieves stress
– lowers blood pressure
– increases range of motion
– helps with chronic pain

A massage is an addition that can make an enormous difference to your health and daily well-being. Give it a try and book your appointment today or contact me for any further questions.

Back pain? Try Soft Tissue Therapy.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability across the globe. For some, it may be temporary, while many others are living with chronic back pain. If you’re looking for an alternative to pain medication, then massage could be the solution. 

Thankfully, few things feel better than a healing touch, and massage has benefits that go beyond just releasing tight muscles. 

Massage manipulates and releases the soft tissues of the body. The goal of this manipulation is to promote relaxation and stress relief while easing pain. And furthermore, massage stimulates and promotes balance in the nervous system, often linked with chronic pain. The result is an overall feeling of well-being.

A systematic review of studies shows that massage for pain management is strongly recommended. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4925170/) This review examined 60 high-quality studies and found massage effective in treating both pain and the anxiety that accompanied it. 

If you suffer from back pain, then why not give massage therapy a try? Please reach out for any further Information or book your appointment online.

Soft Tissue Therapy – not just for sporty people!

Soft Tissue Therapy refers to a range of hands-on massage techniques that are applied in a rhythmic, deep, and manipulative fashion. Yes, it can be used to prepare athletes prior to an event, promote recovery afterwards or support rehabilitation after an injury. BUT Soft Tissue Therapy is also beneficial to maintain muscular health, reduce pain and muscular tension and improve flexibility and range of movement. Regardless of whether you are a competitive athlete, a gym member, a charity marathon hero, a weekend cycling warrior, a stressed-out office worker, a mum on the go, a meadow dog walker, or an ordinary human being.

Massage generates heat and that makes the tissue more supple. This increases blood circulation and improves fluid exchange to the tissues. Various massage techniques stretch the muscles both transversely and longitudinally, which loosens and breaks down adhesions and scar tissue. And that in return helps with muscle repair as well as releasing muscle tension and improving range of motion. Massage can also be beneficial as a natural remedy for pain by reducing nerve compression.

Soft Tissue Therapy helps everyone with relieving muscle aches, and tension, restoring range of motion, reducing stress, relaxation, improving sleep quality, relieving headaches, improving general performance, 

Please contact me for any questions or book your appointment today.  

Get your neck pain sorted.

Working on computers and staring down at our smartphones for hours each day can lead to a stiff neck and pain. A stiff neck is usually the result of postural issues that have tired the neck muscles over time. Weakened, or unbalanced, muscle strength can place additional stress on your spinal joints and lead to changes in how you move, how you sleep, affecting your overall well-being.

Soft tissue therapy is actually successful in releasing tension and chronic pain. This method uses deeper pressure to reach all layers of the muscles and connective tissues. Releasing tension is the first step to get rid of your stiff neck, mobility and strengthening exercises you can do at home will support you further. 

Tips to relieve your stiff neck:
Move: shrug and rotate your shoulders regularly. Rotate your head slowly, bring your chin to the chest, your ears to the shoulders and tilt your chin up to the ceiling.
Drink enough water: our body needs water to lubricate movements 
Have regularly breaks: try to get a short break every hour and combine movement and drinking water
Have a hot bath or use a heat pack or hot water bottle: heat increases blood circulation and relaxes tight muscles 
Stretch: think about cats or dogs, they stretch every time when they get up, without plan or timer. If it feels nice – they carry on. If it hurts, they stop.
Book a soft massage appointment! 

If neck pain is getting in the way of you enjoying your life, book your appointment today or give me a call for more information. I’m here to help!

Top 5 Recovery Tips

Are you in training for you first or fifteenth marathon? Or are you competing in the London to Brighton cycle challenge, tackle the three peak challenge, working hard for the next bumps race or trying to improve your time at the next park run? Either way, I’m sure you’re working hard, giving your best and will have an amazing day. 

After you crossed the finish line or simply after a training session too, please don’t forget to take care of your most important piece of equipment: your body!

1. Hydrate well
I’m sure you already know this! It’s super important to drink enough WATER before, if possible, during and after your activity. Regardless of if it’s hot or cold, fluid loss is a major factor in any sport activity. Stay hydrated especially now during the summer months!

2. Cool down and stretch
Even though it’s time to celebrate and all your mates are at the pub already, take a couple of minutes to cool down and give your body time to reset. Make sure you stretch the major muscle groups and allow your breath to calm down. Make this to a habit after every sport activity, believe me it will pay off!

3. Refuel 
Take an after-race snack even if you don’t feel like eating and then a proper meal that contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fats between 1 to 2 hours after the activity. Like this you give your body the nutrients it needs to replenish and refuel.

4.Take a bath
Cold or hot? This topic is highly controversial and begs enough material for a post of its own. Cold can reduce inflammation and swelling, ease pain and speed up recovery. On the other hand, heat loosens and relaxes muscles, increases circulation, and relaxes the whole body. Try out what works best for you and if you’re unsure: put your legs in an ice bucket or take a cold shower after racing and finally relax in a warm bath before going to bed.

5. Last but not least: get a massage!
Massage is not just a luxury for top athletes but support everyone to be their best! Massage increases blood flow, it releases tight and overworked muscles, it restores joint mobility, reduces tension in general, and promotes relaxation. Only to mention some benefits. If you would like further information or book an appointment: www.ammannbodywor.com