Be your own Marvellous Therapist!
Well you are! Every single last one of you has made it this far!
I bet you miss your massage treatments though! I do! Especially when it is such an amazing way of managing your stress and supporting your immunity. Anyway, enough exclamation marks!!
It is well known that massage supports eradicating your accumulated tension, general aches, pains and niggles. These may be muscular such as stress related tension, long-term postural issues or diseases like fibromyalgia. With many of us being more sedentary, using our computers more for work, staying connected and even our social life, it’s no wonder we end up with niggles we may never have had before, or maybe you have lived with pain and it is now exacerbated.
Your ouchy bits can also be a result of joint issues such as arthritis, rheumatism or other inflammatory conditions including bursitis (housemaid’s knee) or tennis elbow – oh and you don’t have to play tennis to develop this condition.
Well, what can you do to manage these conditions at home? How about becoming your own therapist? After all what is a therapist but a person who has become skilled in the ability to correct or treat deficiencies in health and you are the expert in you after all. Here are 6 top tips you can build on and can pass on to your loved ones:
- Stretch & Move Don’t sit hunched up over your laptop for hours on end. Get up & move every 20minutes and do some stretches to suit you. Generally, stretches to oppose the stress you have put on your body are a good idea. Animals do it instinctively and so can you if you listen to your needs. Move during meetings whether work or social. It makes for more interesting viewing (haha!) and encourages others to follow your healthy example. For easy workstation exercises see this useful link from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy: Desk-based exercises (csp.org.uk)
- Use balms & creams to help manage your issues. As you may know, I use essential oils in my clinic, but you can use them at home with great effect too. Warming “OOH AH! Sports & Muscle Rub” can be applied up to 4 times a day to your ouchy parts and it’s especially effective after a warm bath or shower. You can purchase yours here: OOH AH! Sports & Muscle Rub – Little Massage Clinic (thelittlemassageclinic.co.uk) or if you live locally, save money, get in touch and qualify for free delivery.
- Tone up! Use your daily exercise time to get out and about. It helps keep you connected with your community and nature. There is also a huge choice of online fitness and wellbeing classes from Joe Wickes and YouTube to regular interactive pilates, yoga and Qi Gong lessons to name a few. Here are some links of great teachers in Cornwall : Dave Sowden – YouTube Claire Cochrane Pilates – Pilates, Pilates, Fitness, Home Workout
- Keep Hydrated because dehydration creates or exacerbates aches, pains and stiffness. Fluids help your body keep moving on the inside with your circulatory system supplying oxygen and nutrients efficiently throughout you and transporting toxins away rather than building up in your muscles. It makes sense that dehydrated muscles and joints become more crunchy and inflexible and blood circulation becomes more sluggish. Aim for 3-5 pints of water or herbal (not fruity) teas each day to improve fluidity and flexibility.
- Hot Stuff! Or no … Heat in the form of a bath, hot compress or heat-bag can also help bring you ease. This is especially effective when you use along with a balm such as my “OOH AH!” in my second tip. You may find cold is more suited to you such as a cold compress (peas, ice in a bag & wrapped in a cloth are suitable or even an ice pack) or a cold swim. Cold dips are great for your mental health and supporting immunity too hence the rise of the Blue Tits swimmers in Cornwall (search that up if you haven’t heard of them before). Personally, I prefer a soak in a hot bath with a good book and my favourite playlist, but it really is about what works for you.
- Be the therapist. If you live with someone else maybe you could ask them to rub on some warming balm & reciprocate the act. It is a wonderful nurturing act that helps you build bonds, smooth your stress away, soothe away differences and releases your feelgood chemistry.
As well as these tips, there are plenty of other things you can do but if you are finding it hard to get motivated for a bit of self-therapy, these simple steps can help you improve things a lot very quickly. You may find you need additional specialist help & this is where other health professionals come in. Your GP, physiotherapist or osteopath may be more appropriate or may be needed in conjunction with your regular therapy, self-administered or otherwise. Some services like the physiotherapy service at Camborne and Redruth Community Hospital take self-referrals unless you have a back issue in which case they ask you to consult with your GP first in case another service is more appropriate.
Remember self-care or self-therapy is not selfish, it is vital for your well-being. By taking time to care for yourself you nurture others too as you feel more able to give of yourself.
So really … take self-care, be your own marvellous therapist.
Warmest wishes to you right down to your superhero wiggly toes, Nicolle
“Your Health at Heart”