Ice delays recovery, prevents inflammation and delays healing
PEACE and LOVE your injury
If you can limit putting any weight through it, this is the REST portion so that you can minimise bleeding, or further tissue injury.
The aim here is to give a bit of respite but not too much. So look to unload within those first 1-3 days, and then you can gently start to put weight through. Use pain as your guide. Prolonged rest is no longer advisable. Get in and see us for an evaluation under ACC so we can guide you back to better movement and comfort. Our osteopaths can also work in conjunction with your physio to help reduce your pain whilst you are undertaking a rehab programme.
This one stays - elevation helps with swelling. If practical, place your affected area above the heart as often as possible. This improves the drainage of the injury and aids in clearing excess fluid from the area. If you cannot place the affected area above the heart, getting it as high as possible will still do the job.
Really gentle movements are helpful in the early stages of your injury to help with decreasing the swelling, but use pain as a guide, keeping it pain free. If your swelling isn't budging, or you are in too much pain, our team can assist until you can do the movements yourself. Our massage therapists specialise in flushing out stubborn fluid retention using very gentle techniques.
Anti-inflammatories is in the name; they prevent inflammation. Inflammation after an injury, although painful and uncomfortable, has a role in getting you better. Signs of inflammation mean the body is healing and repairing your injury. So if high doses of anti-inflammatories are taken, this will delay your healing long term.
Compression, along with elevation are helpful tools to use. Using taping or compression bandages helps to limit the swelling AND helps support any damage to the tissue and reduces bleeding. Win-Win. It also feels better to be supported as much as possible.
Ok, so this is where we come in. Regardless of your injury, coming in and getting it checked can get you on the right path quicker. It may seem like a small situation, you may not have even been injured, instead...nearly fallen or nearly rolled an ankle. Getting checked makes sure nothing else went into spasm or is contributing to your situation.
If you have been referred by your GP to a physio and you are on the right path with a rehab exercise/stretch plan, we can assist with your pain and discomfort with our hands on treatment. No one likes to do things that hurt! We can help alleviate that discomfort so you can do that rehab plan. If you have not been referred to a physio, we can do this for you! Our assessments and treatments will ensure you are on the right path to a full recovery.
Our approach is to treat you and your injury.....not just your injury.
We do this by following the LOVE protocol below.
We see a lot of people who have been given stretches/exercises that don't work or can't be done............yet.
Our job is to get you to a place where you are able to start moving your injury; appropriately. This will promote repair, tissue healing and restores your capacity to tolerate movements. Because the body responds positively to appropriate movement, we need to find out where you are at and what movements we can give you to help rehab you back to pre-injury.
This again falls on us to make sure that you understand the problem, how long it will take and what you need to do, in conjunction with our treatments. The reality is, our aim is to get you back to being as self-sufficient as possible, so you no longer need our help. When you know what to do, then you feel much better and in control of your recovery - feeling confident in your post-injury journey is a non-negotiable.
Under our guidance, pain-free cardiovascular exercise is advised as part of your rehab to optimise your blood flow within your body, and to and from the injured site. Done right, this type of exercise also helps to provide pain relief: you can do more, move better and it can reduce any dependence on pain medication. We will work with you to discover what form of exercise is possible. We may suggest after 3-4 days low impact exercises such as using the pool, walking, cross-trainer, rower or using a stationery bike.
This really sums up everything that we have discussed above. The exercises we want to provide you with are all the ones specific to your injury. Ones that help provide you with increased strength, better movement, and greater awareness for a better recovery. Our recovery management must work with you to provide specific exercises and stretches according to where you are at and what you are able to do.
Our explanation will also look into WHY this might have happened in the first place. For example, if you have sprained an ankle, and you are prone to ankle sprains, we would also look at how we can prevent this from occurring again for you long term.
We hope this information has been helpful and you will give PEACE a chance, because perhaps all soft tissue injuries need is LOVE. ✌️ 💕
Dubois B, Esculier J. (2020). Soft-tissue injuries simply need PEACE and LOVE. British Journal of Sports Medicine;54:72-73.
It’s no surprise that changing up and down through levels can bring with it low motivation, often we find it hard to realign or adapt and getting out of this rut can be challenging. It's an especially important message this week, but I've spoken to a massive amount of my clients over the last little while about how to naturally finding your way back to a better place. Motivation is key to remaining productive - being focused, achieving and accomplishing tasks in our daily lives.
How do you know if you are lacking in motivation?
Did you answer 'yes' to one or more to the above statements? Then let me introduce you to a key player - dopamine. Dopamine lives within our brain as a messenger (neurotransmitter) and it is also a 'happy hormone'.
When we have low levels of this hormone, we can feel fatigued, lack empathy, unfocused, forgetful, moody, you can’t concentrate, you can’t sleep, crave sugar and of course, become low in motivation. Sounds familiar?
The go-getters of life, look for ways to get that dopamine fix, which can bring a ton of unhealthy choices - smoking, caffeine, sugary and fatty foods. Eventually, these addictive behaviours make us even more deficient in our natural levels of dopamine - especially in the long term.
So, if you have identified with some of these symptoms or are a go-getter, what can you do to naturally boost your dopamine levels?
1. Eat foods rich in Tyrosine. In order to make dopamine, your body needs tyrosine which can be found in almonds, bananas, avocados, eggs, beans, fish, and chicken. If you don't eat these foods you can also seek out a supplement from your local pharmacy.
2. Exercise regularly. In general, physical exercise is one of the best things you can do for your brain. It increases the production of new brain cells, slows down brain cell aging, can increase your levels of dopamine. Exercise has also been associated with improved mood and overall a better outlook on life.
3. Learn to meditate. The overall health benefits of meditation have been demonstrated through hundreds of research studies. Many of those have shown that meditation increases dopamine leading to improved focus and concentration. Even if you’re new to meditation, there are many helpful guided meditations for beginners to help you get started.
4. Get a massage. It has long been suggested that one way to keep dopamine levels high is to avoid stress, which is nearly impossible in this day and age. To counter the effects of stress, research has demonstrated that massage therapy increases dopamine levels by nearly 30% while decreasing cortisol (a stress hormone) levels.
5. Sleep. To ensure that your brain increases dopamine naturally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. This includes setting aside time before bed away from the computer or TV screen. Sleep helps all the cells in the body repair and renew. It gives the brain a chance to wash away toxins that build up during the day and helps keep the nerve cell connections and pathways active and constantly self-renewing. Lack of sleep has been shown to reduce concentrations of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, and their receptors.
6. Listen to music. It is no surprise that listening to calming music can increase pleasurable feelings, improve mood, reduce stress, and help with focus and concentration. Research has demonstrated that much of this is achieved due to an increase in dopamine levels.
In the military, we learnt that teamwork is crucial to weathering the storm. That you're only as good as your team. And in this environment, I am privileged to lead our awesome team through these level changes. And by golly, I have learnt a lot.
Apple might have needed Steve Jobs to rejuvenate it and send it soaring as a company again, but he didn’t do it all himself. Winston Churchill encouraged England to hang-tough during the terrible experiences of World War II, but if people hadn’t rallied behind him, believed in him, his encouragement might not have been enough.
Top Notch is consistently being supported by you, our loyal clients who rally behind us when we are able to get back up and treating, this is not only a massive sigh of relief to our team but also provides confidence that we have your support. Together we are stronger.
In the early days of my military career, we were handed a large heavy log between five personnel who of which were newly formed. We were one of ten groups. We were told to hold the log up above our heads and then after sometime lower it down. Everyone was bloody miserable and we were struggling - we were all just working for ourselves; we were individuals trying to keep a log up and down. That was HARD. It was messy.
After probably 20 mins with this log (it actually felt like HOURS..), we could see (and hear) that as a group we were finding this all too much, we started falling behind the other teams. One by one we started to yell out to each other to keep going and to push through. We all dug deep and eventually realised that if we chanted out together when we would raise the log and lower the log it made the struggle that much easier. Our motivation to keep going was high and we got out in front - winning the task. That was my first dose of teamwork.
You could call that log - COVID.
I am absolutely proud that as a team, with the news delivered of a lockdown, we are still pulling together and providing each other support amongst our team. Because together we are stronger and we just could not fathom not doing this work. And I want to extend this support out to you.
HOW ARE YOU GOING?
If you are feeling a bit anxious, scared, worried or unsure - please know this is completely normal, really uncomfortable but normal. It is ok, not to be ok.
Something (Level 3) has happened that is out of our control and that's bound to give you a feeling of doubt, anger, upset and all the emotions in between.
It's tough. These lockdowns affect each and every one of us differently - we are all swimming in the same COVID ocean but just on different boats. Some are paddling hard against the wind and in the choppy seas and some have motors cruising towards the sunset.
If you are paddling hard, we have a few tips for you.
Breathing strategies are a really quick way to attempt to bring down these feelings.
Inhale through the nose for a count of four seconds then hold for two seconds and then exhale out for four seconds. Do this six times. Really focus on counting the breath to help distract your mind from your worries.
GET IT DOWN ON A PIECE OF PAPER
Write things down. It seems everyone is so “busy” nowadays and unfortunately, busy-ness leads to stress, anxiety, and even more serious health problems. In fact, according to the American Medical Association, stress is the basic cause of more than 60% of all human illness and disease. Fortunately, writing things down is one way to help significantly reduce all of that. Putting your emotions down to writing makes it easier to process your thoughts and feelings at a much deeper level than simply thinking about it. You can also write a list of jobs or things to do each day so you can see it in plain black and white. This helps clear the mind, even if you have not done anything yet!
CALL YOUR FAMILY / FRIENDS
Reaching out to family and friends - even like some of our team sharing how they are feeling about this lockdown on our chat. It's so beneficial just to talk, where someone will listen. It does help.
Reflect on what you could do within L3 rules. Please do get outside and talk a walk, ride your bike, get an online gym sesh in. Sweat! Get the heart rate up! Try something new - cook something you have never cooked. Play some tunes you can sing and dance too. Put on a comedy! Laughter is amazing for changing perspective. Get back to basics - SLEEP, EAT AND MOVE.
Speak to someone trained that you can talk to in confidence could help, with peer support, you can talk with someone who has been through distress themselves. There are also other resources you can find here.
WE CAN HELP YOU
We have access to our primary health professionals who can help you with your injury, accident or long term pain, we could also suggest or facilitate connecting you with further resources if you need them.
To see one of our team you can book online here.
Take it easy on yourself this lockdown and please reach out if you need.
Anj and the team x
Wave goodbye to winter! Down on the farm Mum said the baby calves and lambs are playing all over the place!
In the urbs at my place, flowers are in full bloom ☀️🐣🐑.
I Love Daylight savings. Gives that extra bit of light to play with.
Not so ideal circumstances - that C word has put a spanner in the exercise department and so, we have a tip!
When we ease into our exercise and give the body time to become accustomed (adapt) to what we are asking of it injuries can STAY AWAY.
John* had been out for a few runs post the 'c' word, and found he was trying to do the same distance he was doing back in Feb. John is used to running 5kms, several times a week, at a strong pace and was quick. Now, five months later with the time off, his sciatica came back with vengeance within a week of running. John was frustrated as he knows he used to run this distance and at a quicker pace with no issues before.
We had a chat about his running and found that John went straight back into it.
Do you struggle with the same thing and battle with mind ready vs body ready !
Yes, the mind wants you to get back into it, but more importantly we need to understand where our body is CURRENTLY at. When we run, our body (muscles, bones, discs, tendons and ligaments) is putting up with forces 5-7 times our bodyweight.
With any substantial period of time off from running, the body will have lost fitness, strength and power. Coming back into exercising, we need to ease into it gradually, so that the body has time to adapt, otherwise we become susceptible to injury or in John’s case - sciatica.
For John, we looked at modifying his run to just 2 kms with a 3km walk - as he really wanted to keep with the 5kms. John is using this approach for at least 2 weeks and then slowly he will add 500- 1km onto his run for another 2 weeks and repeat, until he gets to the 5kms. This is giving John's body time to adapt and better cope with the stresses when running. John could then look at either adding more distance or working on his speed.
If you're a bit like John and trying to exercise just like you used too after a period of time off and things are playing up we can help and get you going in the right direction.
*please seek professional guidance on your individual circumstances.
Remember. To. Breathe.
Remember to breathe.
Sounds so simple right? But under stress, we often forget to breathe.
It's an especially important message this week, but I've spoken to a massive amount of my clients over the last little while about breathwork.
Breathing wrong (yep we can do it wrong), compresses on your nerves and can be a cause of RSI. Shallow breathing in the chest causes you to use the muscles in your neck so it can cause neck and rib issues. Pins and needles. Numbness. Suppression of the immune system. And it can set us up for fight or flight - the better-known term for the stress response in our body that helps get us through challenging situations.
When that stress response starts to occur for our regular day to day activities and situations, there can be a ton of health problems that comes with it.
Who would have thought, right. So where do we start?
You may have been wondering what Covid-19 means for our clinics now that the World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.
The status update doesn't change what New Zealand is doing to respond to coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health has been working through its pandemic plan since January. You will also know the Government has already implemented a range of measures to minimise the impact on New Zealand. This includes border restrictions, a requirement to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand from China, Iran, Italy and the Republic of Korea and immediate and detailed contact tracing of any confirmed cases. It's essential to note those four countries account for more than 90% of cases globally, and China and the Republic of Korea have significantly declining numbers of new cases.
As at the time of writing this, there are 5 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand, and it is pleasing to know they are all doing well and are at home. While we expect more cases, the Ministry of Health says that with continued vigilance the chance of widespread community outbreak should stay low in New Zealand.
As you could expect from us at anytime, we continue to focus on good hygiene practices. Hand washing and good cough etiquette are important tools in preventing the spread of illness including colds, flu and COVID-19.
You can read more about our hygiene practices under our FAQ's.
We can all be vigilant about our own health and the health of our families and staff. I will be encouraging our therapists to stay away from work if they show signs of illness such as coughs and colds. I ask that you please do the same and reschedule bookings with our clinics if needed. By staying away, seeking medical attention and practising good hygiene, we can all keep any spread of illness to a minimum.
Everyone talks about strengthening your pelvic floor or doing your kegel exercises. But do you know what that means and how to do it?
Squats. Are you cringing or are you at one with them?
Squats are something you can do to help prepare for labour and the extra pressure your body is under during pregnancy. So we're big advocates for squats around here.
Last year I had to get our clients some quality magnesium!
Many of our clients were taking a magnesium product, it was not working for them and many were experiencing gastrointestinal upset (constipation) due to taking a blended product with high oxide content.
So out of all the rubbish on the shelves I've finally found it!
Even better it was 100% natural and was provided by the main supplement provider of many athletes under High Performance Sports such as Lisa Carrington and Dame Valerie Adams. It had evidence behind it.
So far clients we have provided it too are loving it and one client after trying it for one night, had the best night sleep and bought six more!
I'm already taking a magnesium supplement?
Great! This magnesium offers the most effective solution to optimising both uptake and retention of a client’s magnesium levels, does yours?
It's not about how much mg it boosts, it's about how much mg your body absorbs! With this product you absorb 100%.
What flash about this one, how is it different?
It consists of a trio of citrate, bisglycinate and taurate, all in their ‘fully reacted’ forms (not ‘blended’ or ‘buffered’, this means your body will absorb 100%. Other supplements added magnesium oxide to artificially boost elemental label claims leaving some supplements only delivering 4% of mg to be absorbed by your body. This product has no side effects - Yes - NO constipation!!!!!
What can Mg help me with?
This is what this Triple Complex Magnesium can help you with!
You may not be getting enough - 75% of the population are not meeting a daily adequate intake of 300mg magnesium.
With this magnesium supplement you take 3 tablets per day, or you could take one in the morning and two at night.
Ha! I've tried Mg and it doesn't work
Whilst choosing this quality supplements is paramount for effectiveness, it is also important to acknowledge factors affecting an individual’s magnesium levels.
You may be taking common drugs that interfere with magnesium absorption such as:
Cimetidine. Ranitidine (Zantac™, Peptisoothe™), Famotidine (Pepzan™) that are H2 antihistamines.
Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Pantoprazole that are proton pump inhibitors.
Laxatives that enhance excretion either via the GI tract (such as laxatives) or by renal loss (such as diuretics).
If you are taking drugs for pre-existing health conditions such as:
The medication can further compromise magnesium status as they interfere with magnesium absorption and retention.
If you want to try it - email Anj at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your therapist today
Have you got pain between the shoulder blades?
Do you have an area of soreness that you feel in-between your shoulder blades or even lower?
It could be coming from that area or perhaps it's coming from the front?
Your shoulder joint is so movable and even though the joint has a similar configuration to the hip joint being a ball and socket joint, the shoulder joint moves much more freely and that is what makes the shoulder such a COMPLEX joint.
The shoulder joint has super strong ligaments and so many muscles holding the joint in place and did you know to get that much movement this joint is like a basketball sitting on a teacup.
One muscle in particular could be causing your issues you are feeling in the back and this muscle is called the Pectoralis Minor muscle. The pec minor’s is on your chest under a bigger pectoralis muscle and its job is to pull the shoulder blade down – almost tipping the top of the shoulder blade forward.
So, when this muscle shortens due to altered posture overtime, the muscle can keep the shoulder blade pulled forward, and cause issues between the shoulder blades.
What we like to do is address both the back of the shoulders and upper back as well as the front to alleviate any tightness that the pectoralis muscle might be contributing too.
The advice we give is between sessions to stretch out like this and also to use a tennis ball – which can be done up against the wall or simply used to rub over the top of the muscle with the ball in the opposite hand.
If you are having any issues regarding your shoulder or upper back book in with one of our senior therapists at Massey or Hobsonville and let us take a look at that for you.
If you are unsure of what is going on with your body and are a bit confused on what action to take please do not hesitate to give Anj a call or send an email and together we can discuss some options that might be right for you.
Massage Therapy alleviates pain, fatigue and improves your performance!
You've challenged yourself, pushed a little bit harder - and now your paying for it.
You've gone and got yo'self DOMS!
Let's break it down - Delayed onset muscle soreness - which is delayed onset occurs within the first 24 hours after strenuous or exhaustive exercise and gawd do you feel it when it peaks between that 24 -72 hour period! (Guo, 2017).
DOMS comes with
- muscle swelling and reduction in performance ( (Kargarfard et al., 2016; De Marchi et al., 2017)
- decreased range of motion (Cheung et al., 2003; Lavender and Nosaka, 2006)
Why it happens? It's unclear. The most accepted theory is that there is mechanical damage induced by exercise, which creates inflammation (to heal the damage). Which then results in your achy symptoms.
Therapeutic massage therapy has been around for thousands of years, world wide and is used to alleviate the symptoms of DOMS.
Massage Therapy aids in:
This results in great physical benefits such as:
There is also psychological benefits:
Robust evidence shows Massage Therapy is effective for alleviating DOMS, as well as increasing muscle performance. Especially after 48 hours post exercise. (Gou, 2017)
Cheung K., Hume P., Maxwell L. (2003). Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Sports Med. 33, 145–164. 10.2165/00007256-200333020-00005De Marchi T., Schmitt V. M., da Silva Fabro D. C., da Silva L. L., Sene J., Tairova O., et al. . (2017). Phototherapy for improvement of performance and exercise recovery: comparison of 3 commercially available devices. J. Athl. Train. 52, 429–438. 10.4085/1062-6050-52.2.09
Guo, J., Li, L., Gong, Y., Zhu, R., Xu, J., Zou, J., & Chen, X. (2017). Massage Alleviates Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness after Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 747. http://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00747
Kargarfard M., Lam E. T., Shariat A., Shaw I., Shaw B. S., Tamrin S. B. (2016). Efficacy of massage on muscle soreness, perceived recovery, physiological restoration and physical performance in male bodybuilders. J. Sports Sci. 34, 959–965. 10.1080/02640414.2015.1081264
Lavender A. P., Nosaka K. (2006). Changes in fluctuation of isometric force following eccentric and concentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 96, 235–240. 10.1007/s00421-005-0069-5
New Blends have hit Top Notch this month! To combine with our organic virgin coconut oil, we have been working with a Clinical Aromascience Practitioner in bringing more quality to our essential oil blends we have been using.
Sports and Remedial Massage
This blend will help with tired aching muscles, it is stimulating and warms the muscles, will
relieve stiffness, tightness, over worked muscles. The blend is also mildly anti-depressant and
uplifting. May assist in the healing of damaged nerves if used regularly on a particular problematic
area of the body (i.e.: joint injury, back injury etc.)
The benefits are anti-inflammatory, helps with poor circulation, gently diuretic, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, immune builder, anti-rheumatic, gently anti-depressant, uplifting.
This blend is very balancing to mood and hormones, it is strongly anti-depressant as well as
uplifting but also very calming. It will assist to relieve stress & anxiety, hyper-ness & panic. The
blend also has muscle relaxing properties.
The benefits are antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), gentle stimulant, immune builder, anti-inflammatory, restorative, antiviral, antiseptic, calming, muscle relaxant.
This blend is very uplifting and refreshing, it is great to relieve irritability, it will also assist
in relieving aches & pains, is a great tonic to the skin too. It should promote a great sleep the night
of the day the massage is given.
The benefits antidepressant, antispasmodic, analgesic (pain relief), gentle stimulant, immune builder, anti-
inflammatory, restorative, antiviral, antiseptic.
Massage during and after pregnancy is quite popular with us at Top Notch Massage Therapy, this due to the growing evidence towards the mental and physical rewards it provides.
We do get a lot of questions by a lot of mum's, including their husbands, partners, friends and family uncertain if pregnancy massage is beneficial and how it may help, especially if they are someone who does not receive regular massage therapy.
Some people can be nervous about getting massages, especially when we are pregnant. So I am here to alleviate some of those concerns.
I’m going to talk through a few questions that we often get.
The first one is how safe are pregnancy massages?
We have a lot of women seeking massage and asking this question because they are unsure whether they should have a massage in pregnancy. At Top Notch Massage, all of the team who deliver pregnancy massage have been professionally trained in New Zealand to a high standard, by a pregnancy massage specialist to deliver pregnancy massages. Here at Top Notch, we have therapists who can treat from conception right through to birth.
Our therapists frequently see a lot of women coming in presenting with various discomforts in pregnancy, and it is so important that you are getting someone who is specialised in supporting you through that process, and that you are in safe, nurturing hands to get the most benefit out of your treatment - which is very very important for our mum's.
For example, if you are or have experienced terrible lower back pain, you will know especially as you get closer and closer to your due date, it can become very sore and you probably would not want anyone to come near you.
So why would pregnancy massage help you?
With the discomfort of the lower back scenario, you would have seen your LMC and discussed this with them, and then be coming into us knowing confidently that if there is any changes in your pregnancy that we understand the language that is used in pregnancy and we know how to treat you.
This is due to our therapists scope of professionalism and training which really helps. We are guided by what you need and what you have told us. We are here to really support you, so you no longer have to be in pain in your pregnancy.
Is movement important during pregnancy?
We do advocate remaining active during pregnancy - so if you caught our post about maintaining activity during pregnancy there are many benefits such as
I’ve discussed pain and discomfort, but you don’t have to be experiencing pain or discomfort to get a pregnancy massage either.
If you think about the stresses and anxiety that pregnancy can bring on for some mums, so they can feel that they need just some "time out". Almost like ‘mindfulness massage’ - just that "mum time", time for her to just re-energise, be more in tune and in connection with her baby and your pregnancy.
So if you have friends or family who would benefit from a pregnancy massage please tag them in or share this with them.
If you would like to contact us with more information please send us a message! We are only too happy to help!
Well it's been nearly one month since we started and we are now ready to open!
Massey Clinic has relocated to 4/402 Don Buck Road, Massey from 30th January 2018.
I'd like to say a massive thanks and appreciation to the following group of people who have helped and supported us along the way:
Jim, Sue and Mum, my brothers - your encouragement, support and understanding has been amazing.
To our little apprentices, thanks for being patient and keeping full at the Massey Bakery daily!
Lorella and Troy - Without your help with the painting and the mural, it would have been a massive feat. Thanks for taking the kids often!
To my team - Annette, Miku, Jacqui, Tamara, Julianne, Caitlyn, Cat, Jade and Jun. Thank you for your support and team work to allow us to concentrate on this project.
We are very grateful to work alongside Joe and his team from A2Z Impact Electrical, Pete and Mikala from ABM Flooring, Ian and his team at Heat and Cool (and we really needed some cool up in there!). Even though we didn't use them a big shout out to Budget Carpets and Vinyl.
Keith and Dan, your hard work (as you can see in the video) has paid off and it looks absolutely amazing.
I hope you enjoy this "quick and dirty" video of where we have got today, and if you want to see it all finished, then you can book in with us! Seriously, we would love you to visit so pop in anytime and have a squizz, we are now OPEN!!
Below is a video that shows the progress we have made. BUT if you want to see what it now looks like? Head over to our facebook page to see the video and pictures we took last night!
Jacqui has been an integral part of Top Notch since 2014, achieving Top Student as part of her certificate course and she has never looked back since!
After three and a half years, I am sure you can agree that Jacqui really does bring that special element to her sessions with her caring nature and the way she delivers her massage therapy is like no other!
Jacqui has been a certified therapist with us for three years and we believe Jacqui's value is at a senior therapist level given her knowledge and experience in massage therapy.
Jacqui will be at the senior therapist rate for all new clients from the 3rd of January 2018.
On the home front and very exciting Jacqui has also successfully completed her Bachelor of Counselling with Wellington Institution of Technology, Jacqui will be set to graduate early 2018. Jacqui on behalf of the team here at Top Notch you are an outstanding team member and we all thank you for your guidance and especially what you bring to your massage sessions! We are all so proud of you.
There is nothing worse than knowing you have a headache coming on – especially ones that are caused by Tension-type headaches (TTH), which feel like a dull or heavy, non-pulsating band of pain; usually on both sides of the head. The name comes from an erroneous belief that overly tight muscles are the main reason for the headache.
Tension-type headaches can literally stop you in your tracks, and are the most common headache; even more common than migraines. This is where massage therapy can assist you, to reduce your tension headaches, and it has zero side effects in comparison to recommended medications.
Massage or Massage Therapy – What’s the difference?
Is there a difference within the massage profession of what type of massage you will get? Most definitely!
A fully trained therapist, approaches your massage with a completely different outlook, compared to say a mall or spa massage.
Massage has been typically defined as a movement which follows a pattern and manipulates your muscles, fascia and ligaments using fingers, hands, forearms, elbows and in some massage sessions knees and or feet. Massage uses oil, heat or cold and sometimes tools. All these factors create therapeutic change.
All our therapists at Top Notch perform ‘massage therapy’. This is where we take the above and combine it with discussing how we can help you to obtain better health. We also explain what is may be going on for you and together we will discuss any self-care such as stretches or activities.
So, you can see as your massage therapist, I’m taking a lot more into consideration than manipulation of soft tissues. Rather than walking in and plonking yourself down on a chair, we are considering your needs for massage therapy from:
Massage therapy, has a deliberate pattern, a purpose and therapeutic intention to manipulating your tissues. Essentially the ingredients that go into what we deliver as part of our massage therapy is both hands on and hands off.
Importance placed on health and wellness
In addition to your massage, our top priority is your health and wellness. After your session, we discuss ways in which to improve your own self-care outside of the massage session; this can range from postural awareness, breathing patterns, messages about mindfulness, and helpful stretches (if required). I think by not discussing this, it would not serve you well. Becoming an active part of your health is essential to getting better.
In contrast to a walk in ‘massage’, these aspects of your treatment are likely to be missed - you end up receiving a massage that doesn’t address the root cause of your symptoms. It will definitely make you feel better, but for how long?
Environment of Massage Therapy
In order for massage therapy treatment to be effective, the environment requires you to feel safe and relaxed in order to be in the right state of mind emotionally or psychologically, otherwise this limits your ability to receive the outcome you desire. The lighting, the sound and the temperature of the room all play a pivotal role with the therapeutic touch that you receive. Placing phones on silent really ensures you can get the full benefit, so you can switch the mind off from the outside world for the duration of your session.
Safety in Massage Therapy
Safety is a central component in massage therapy. Most harm is caused by therapists who are unqualified. This is because they lack the appropriate training and anatomy knowledge, so they are not aware of particular areas to avoid with deep pressure, for example. This can become extremely unsafe to you as the client. Professionally trained massage therapists have this knowledge and experience. You may not realise this, but every tertiary trained massage therapist are trained in personal safety where we are taught boundaries and adopt a high standard of ethics. At Top Notch we pride ourselves on the fact that all our therapists have tertiary qualifications in Massage Therapy - if you haven’t been to us before book an appointment to experience the difference!
The answer is absolutely 100%.
Booking in for a pregnancy massage is a very sensible option for pain relief and relaxation throughout the whole journey of your pregnancy.
Now you may have seen or been told that the first trimester is not a good time to get one however that myth has slowly drifted off into the sunset (thank goodness). But it still lingers among the profession with some massage therapists still urging caution.
Let's look at what you, as a pregnant women, might do in a day - you might go for a walk, run, or do yoga; lift numerous things (heavy toddler alert), bend and twist, do school runs, oh yeah and you'll clamber up the bench to clean the top cupboard in the kitchen with no ladder – the list goes on. Now compare this to a massage, where you lie still.
Which one do you think is going to be the least strenuous? You got it...massage because a typical pregnancy massage will require you lie in a position which is relaxing - psssst it's similar to sleeping. So there should be no cause for concern unless you are under the care of a specialist, or your condition is not suitable for massage regardless if you are pregnant or not, as we will touch on below.
Why should I get a pregnancy massage?
Massage is beneficial for everyone and pregnancy is no exception. For exactly the same reasons you would choose to relieve aches and pains, or any emotional stress. Massage is a natural, safe and drug free alternative for pain relief.
The common discomforts experienced during pregnancy are
Our massage therapy sessions will focus on your needs, because your experience of pregnancy is very different from the next. We start with your pelvis, hips, lower back and we then move up between the shoulder blades and around the upper shoulders and neck. We can also do a full body session where your arms, legs and feet also get attention.
What is the safest position to be massaged in?
All positions used in massage therapy are safe, however, the position we advocate for and use at Top Notch Massage is side lying. For some of you, this position is how you sleep at night and we often hear our mum's breathe a sigh of comfort as they snuggle under the blankets. Side lying is very beneficial for accessing all of the areas you may be experiencing issues with.
We use approved bolsters such as the Mumanu™ pregnancy pillow (see video below) which helps to keep your posture correct and relaxed to avoid placing stress on the lower back and pelvis, ensuring maximum comfort. Designed by a Pregnancy Massage Specialist and the only pillow endorsed by the Osteopathic Society of New Zealand and BirthWorks International, the Mumanu is the best pregnancy pillow / low back pain pillow on the market.
[And yes! We are as gutted as you are that Mumanu pillows are no longer in stock!]
Why are my ankles are swollen?
It is normal to have swelling in the ankles and feet, especially in the third trimester because you are retaining more water. Sometimes it is just pure genetics that you will have it. What you need to be aware of is ‘sudden swelling’ which can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis, preeclampsia or cellulitis. Massage therapy can sometimes assist with fluid retention, however, outside of your massage session it is more beneficial to go for walks and keep active. The muscles in your legs (and around your chest) will act as a natural pump mechanism which assists with drainage of the fluid in your tissues, and also helps to return the blood in your veins back to your heart.
I’ve heard that I should not get massaged around certain points like my 'ankles' or up near my shoulders?
There is much misinformation out about pregnancy and prenatal massage. It’s really distressing to me as a therapist to hear these ‘myths’, because some of it is downright harmful and incorrect. In some countries, pregnancy women traverse sweltering, endless deserts; rugged, arid mountains; and frigid, unforgiving tundras and nothing happens.……but if we rub a specific area this is bad? Hmmmm, so OK let’s talk about these areas.
Here is an example - Your ten weeks pregnant and in a session, your therapist has told you they will avoid massaging your ankles because you are still in your first trimester and this may cause you to have a miscarriage. Ok, so then a couple of weeks later you experience the misfortune of a miscarriage but then you later remember when you had an itch and scratched around your ankle, or your ankles were aching, so you got your partner to rub them, or you you rubbed them. This gets you thinking, by touching those areas based on what that therapist told me, did I cause the miscarriage. Which is utterly rubbish and a horrible thing to even fathom.
If this was true then you should also avoid wearing socks and shoes for the fear of triggering these pressure points. There is no physiological reason to think any such reflex points cause miscarriage - it is just unfortunately around the time when a miscarriage may occur, due to many unidentified reasons such as genetic, uterine or hormonal abnormalities; tissue rejection; reproductive tract infections; but not because of massage therapy.
Yes, there are supposed to be reflex points in the body and they are everywhere - in the ankles, feet, hands, back (both upper and lower), tongue and ears. But if massaging these areas caused miscarriages (or induced labor), then we would not be able to massage pregnant women at all and the human species would not have thrived as it has. And if I could be so bold as to say there would be absolutely no requirements for anyone to use Family Planning clinics or need to be medically induced.
Why do I need to get clearance if my pregnancy is considered high risk?
There are of course a few things we like to keep an eye on. In New Zealand, pregnancies are usually managed between you and your leading maternity carer, or you will be referred to and managed by a specialist. At Top Notch, we like to know about who is managing your pregnancy and whether you are under specialist care, especially if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, any organ dysfunction (kidney or cardiac etc) or pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, syndromes, or neurological signs and symptoms’. This is so we can accurately assess whether massage is right for you, or that we have you booked in with the right therapist who has had the right training and expertise to understand your condition.
Take some time out for you
As a mum or 'mum to be' you tend to give so much and sometimes your needs get put on a back burner, so we feel that it’s such a gift to be able to give you the emotional support and a nurturing touch during this amazing time of your life!
If you know of anyone who is having difficulty managing their pregnancy and you want to send them to someone you can trust, let them know about us or share this link with them.
If your loved one really needs some TLC then book them in, or perhaps get them a voucher. Whatever your choice, we will be excited for their arrival.
Anj Young - BAHSc (Human Biology), RMT
Video demonstrating how we use the Mumanu pregnancy pillow in our sessions. Please note, we also use the Memory Foam Contour Pregnancy Pillow Wedge to provide a neutral position for your belly (baby) to rest on.
It used to be said that getting a sports massage will help to flush out your 'lactic acid build up' in your muscles”.
Well, I am here to tell you that, this statement should have left our mouths years ago and in fact, everyone should all think of lactic acid as our ‘back up’ fuel source.
If we look at basic physiology, massage is unable to squeeze out the lactic acid from our muscles because lactic acid is recycled within our bodies as part of an important energy process called glycolysis.
Let’s look at an example. Say you raced your friend to the car.
Due to the speed you run, your muscles would be screaming out for oxygen to help keep up with the energy demand, but because your body could not get enough oxygen in – lactic acid was produced.
Where does lactic acid come from?
On a cellular level, there is a process called glycolysis, which helps to convert glucose into energy. Glucose will turn into pyruvate acid. If no oxygen is available pyruvate acid ferments and converts to lactic acid - called anaerobic metabolism. This lactic acid is your ‘back up’ fuel system. When you first start to sprint within 6 seconds, any energy stored in the muscle depletes, a 10 seconds window where muscle will use any available creatine to make energy and then around 30-40 seconds glucose stored in the muscles will be broken down into pyruvate and due to the lack of oxygen, it will undergo fermentation and be converted into lactic acid which will provide you with a couple of minutes more of energy to get you there quicker than your friend.
When the sprint ended and you go to the car, you would have found your body trying to get as much oxygen in as possible - this is called EPOC - Excess Postexercise oxygen consumption - aka I NEED OXYGEN! Once the oxygen becomes replenished in your muscles, your breathing rate slows down and then repayment begins.
What happens to lactic acid?
Any lactic acid circulating in the blood which was not used for energy is readily then converted back to pyruvate acid in the muscles and enter the pay as you go system - the aerobic pathway, where tonnes of energy is produced for body function. Even typing this I am using this pathway.
You can now see that lactic acid does not linger in our muscles and that in fact it gets recycled back into pyruvate to enter the aerobic pathway where there is plenty of oxygen or the liver may convert it back to be stored as glycogen, only to be release if blood sugar levels are low.
How can relaxation massage help with anxiety and stress?
I’m sure we all know the flight or fight response – (technically it's a sympathetic nervous system that jumps into action). Your body provides a bit (or a lot) of adrenaline which gets your heart rate going a bit faster; sometimes we may sweat, and we become more alert and at the ready. This inbuilt protection mechanism is valid for reacting to dangerous situations such as getting out of the way of an oncoming bus quick smart. But we sometimes keep in this state - this dis-ease of being busy – is it becoming the 'norm’?
Continuous circles of stress to situations such as; I must have this in by this deadline; I have emails I have yet to respond to; whoops there goes the phone; arrghhh I am late for the school run/doctors/work; the baby keeps crying and I can’t do anything to help; or my mind can’t slow down and I am constantly onto the next thing. What if your doing too much training and your performance is beginning to decline?