Clinic Rebranding

ElixirLogo1113Thanks to all my regular clients for your patience while the clinic has been refurbished. The work is very nearly done now and Therapy to Take Away has become Elixir. The clinic and shop are looking lovely, inside and out and the new double glazed windows will make for a warmer, quieter clinic experience.

As a thank you to regular and welcome to new clients there will be lots of special offers during the official launch week 2nd-7th December 2013 including 50% off all clinic treatments and goody bags worth £30 for shop purchases. For more information and up-to-the-minute news on the Elixir launch, click on the Elixir logo (above)

Sore Muscles after Exercise? 2

When is the best time for a post event massage?

It’s frustrating that even though millions of professional and amateur athletes atKneadingtest to training, performing and recovering better with massage as part of their training regime, any medical research that supports the theory still comes with the “may help” tag.
It is difficult to assess the quality of the research commented on in the WebMD article as they don’t cite references to the original study. It is true that there have been a number of studies that have failed to prove the link between massage and faster recovery times, but Oleg Bouimer former Massage Therapist to the Russian Olympic team states that it is all down to timing. The Russian protocol was developed in a trial and error kind of way, but once they hit on the right recipe, they used it to great effect for decades. So, the magic number? 2-2.5 hours after exercise. This approach has since been corroborated by a scientific study published in 1994. If you would like to read up on some juicy cell biology follow this link to the original research:,type.2/article_detail.asp
But It’s not just massage at the right time that works, it also needs to be the right sort of massage.
A true post event massage is all about encouraging fluid exchange and should consist of roughly 50% kneading, all well within the comfort parameters of the person on the couch. Post event massage does not treat any new or existing aches and pains, is not uncomfortable and is not a replacement for a cool down regime.
So, now you know, you can start planning your massages to slot in with your training/event regime and bounce back from ‘the big push’ quicker than ever before.

Sore muscles after exercise?

Swedish massageA recent article published on WebMD gives a basic introduction to some recent research which maps how exactly massage affects muscles.
As a massage therapist I am often asked, why? Most people assume that science has all the answers already; but more is being discovered about the human body all the time. Studies are made, articles are published, the studies are then pulled apart and criticised for what they don’t prove.
This particular article sparked some interesting debate on Sports Therapist forums. I’ll share some other points of view and industry secrets soon. Watch this space!

Ever Tried Qi Gong?

Self help for chronic shoulder conditions or general wellbeing.
Do you suffer with persistent shoulder tension?
Do your tense shoulders result in neck pain or headaches?
Do you know you need to improve your posture but haven’t quite found a route?
Well you’re certainly not alone!
I decided to investigate Qi gong (most usually pronounced chi gung) as several clients have expressed a deep gratitude for this form of Tai Chi.
The link here is for the first of a pair of you-tube videos, made in a US Hepitius C clinic, but no less relevant for that. The second in the set should appear in the righthand side bar. There is quite a lot of explanation throughout the 2 clips (about 20 mins in total) to assist in getting the most out of the movements shown and the releasing breaths are really effective! Have a watch, have a go, tell me what you think.

£5 off all Hot Thai Herb treatments and gift vouchers ~ throughout June 2013

The Orient Express ~ 30 minute tropical treatments ~ now £25
2 small herbal compresses treat the Face, Hands and Feet
2 large herbal compresses treat the Back

Orchid Hours ~ 60 minute tropical treatments ~ now £45
2 large herbal compresses treat the Back, Arms and Legs
1 large herbal compress treats the back
& 2 small herbal compresses treat the Face, Hands and Feet

Slow boat to Bangkok ~ 90 minute tropical treatments
2 large compresses treat the Back, Arms, Hands, Legs and Feet ~ now £60
2 large herbal compresses treat the Back, Arms and Legs
& 2 small herbal compresses treat the Face, Hands and Feet ~ now £65

Click on the Hot Thai Herb tab for more details.
Read a review of this treatment @
Call or email to make an appointment or purchase a gift voucher for this treatment.
Gift vouchers from Leamington Massage Therapy are valid for 3 calendar months.

Save £10 on Deep Tissue Massage with MET ~ May 2013

Muscle Energy Techniques (MET) are a set of skills which use muscle contractions followed by a period of relaxation/stretch, which can turn a rock hard muscle into marshmallow within a couple of minutes. There are many different interpretations of MET, Mandy prefers to use the most gentle form, as her experience is that these provide the best results. Low amplitude contractions provide an opportunity for the neuro-muscular system to reset and give lasting relief.

Depending on what you would like to get out of your treatment, MET combined with deep tissue massage can provide either a truly satisfying full body experience or a focused release for a troublesome area of the body.

Try it today, or if you already have, tell your friends!

Each appointment is for 90 mins:
10-20 mins consultation,
at least 1 hour on the couch,
optional 10 mins to demonstrate stretches for home care.
Total cost £45

Love Massage? Hate Oil?

Leamington Massage Therapy has the answer!
If you’re anything like me, the last thing you want at the end of a massage is to slide off the couch looking for something to wipe the grease off with.
As a therapist, I find oil far too slippery to work with. Instead I use an organic cream which provides the perfect combination of glide (to move comfortably across the skin) and friction (to get into those deeper layers).  The cream is completely absorbed by the time I’ve finished working on an area, leaving the skin soft and smooth.

For those of you that have asked where you can purchase your own cream to use as a moisturiser, here’s the link: Biotone Pure Touch Organics


Pinole~Superfuel food for runners

I have previously waxed lyrical about the delights and surprises hidden within the pages of Christopher McDougall’s book Born To Run. I’m re-reading it at the moment to refresh my memory and possibly even get the inspiration to take my wonky body running ….? It really is a fascinating read, even if you don’t run.

I decided to look up the superfood that is mentioned in the text, with almost magical properties and found this very comprehensive link There are lots more accolades to the book itself, some simple recipes and a link to a whole cookbook for those who want more.

Happy reading and running!

How Does Sports Massage Help My Running?

Sports massage improves the condition and balance of muscles which can increase your run time, decrease post-exercise stiffness and soreness and eliminate stresses on the joints (knees, hip, ankles and feet).

What Makes Muscles Sore?
There are a variety of reasons why a muscle, or group of muscles may become stiff or sore. Posture, foot mechanics, old injuries may all contribute, however the results are the same, it just depends on the scale.

Muscle Injury
When muscles are working hard for long periods normal blood and lymph flow is reduced, this means that waste products are not removed efficiently and the muscle fibres and fascia become dehydrated and a bit sticky. As more load is added to these muscles, the lack of glide and slide increases the chances of tearing; whether just a few fibres or a full-blown strain. Often we ignore a degree of soreness, we might do a bit of self massage, we might stretch the muscle out as the soreness fades. But, if we don’t stretch the actual site of the injury it can lie in wait as a potential site for an even bigger injury next time we work that muscle hard as explained below.

The Healing Process
As muscle tears mend, new fibres are laid down in a higgledy piggledy fashion as the body literally knits itself back together. Because these fibres are not parallel like the rest of the muscle they present a weak, inelastic spot within the muscles, which is much more likely to tear when it is next put under load. With the right stimulation, these muddled fibres can reorder into a parallel formation and massage helps this process by locating the injury sites and applying stimulus to re-educate the fibres.

Sports Massage and Pain
It is a commonly held belief that sports massage is painful and it is true that many practitioners have been trained in quite aggressive techniques. There is an approach to the remodelling of fibres discussed above, that believes one needs to re-injure the fibres in order to get them to mend in better alignment. I do not subscribe to this way of working.
Discomfort is certainly used as a marker, to discover where the work needs to happen, but the intensity stops short of pain. This is essential to send signals to the part of the nervous system responsible for relaxation and repair. It is impossible to predict what level of intensity an individual might experience, some people have a really high pain threshold, others are highly sensitised and the lightest touch can produce powerful sensation. This is why it is so important to communicate with your therapist about what you are experiencing as the massage progresses. There are also lots of different ways to achieve a similar and in my clinical experience, the gentlest are the most effective.

The Outcome
Well hydrated (clear of scar tissue), well balanced (both in it’s fibres and within it’s muscle group) elastic muscles work efficiently, increasing speed, endurance and protecting from injury; which all adds up to happy running!

£15 off Sports Massage April 2013

This offer has now expired.

Are you registered for the 10k Recency Run?

Bring proof of registration for this race and get a pre-event or post-event massage for £30 saving £15.

Improve your run with a Pre Event Massage: improve muscle condition and balance, repair microinjuries and adhesions, start your run in the best possible shape.

Recover from your run with a Post-Event Massage: natural detox for hard working muscles, restore flexibilty to stiff or sore muscles, ensure that any injury or microinjuries repair well leaving you fit to run again!