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Advice from a Massage Therapist during 'Lock-Down'...

With all of us trying to coming to terms with the overwhelming reality of the COVID-19 virus, and the impact it has in our daily lives, April Maques (Massage Therapist at The Wellness Centre (Castle Quay)) has the following advice for us all during the ‘lock-down’.

April Marques - Massage Therapist

April Marques – Massage Therapist

“Despite the fact that we cannot technically get “hands on” with our clients, here are some self-care tips that we can all do easily at home”  - April

  1. Exercise Daily – Poor posture and sitting for too long can lead to various back problems. This is even more prevalent whilst working from home as most of us do not have the correct ‘ergonomic’ facilities at hand. Some of these problems can however be avoided by doing some simple stretches and exercises regularly throughout the day.

By using the stairs at home you can easily stretch both hamstrings (back of thigh) and calves effectively. Or you may want to try to do a few squats to strengthen and activate your thigh muscles and your glutes, which tends to de-activate while sitting too long. Additionally, by frequently changing your position whilst working, you can avoid some of the stiffness that often results from sitting for too long. You can do this by sitting back or forwards in your chair, and if your chair is height adjustable, change the height of the chair occasionally to help to open up your hips.

  1. Eat Well – Eating green vegetables and fruits improves your immune system and reduces muscle soreness. Berries help to reduce DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), leafy greens aid in muscle repair and turmeric is known to be a natural anti-inflammatory (should be taken with black pepper to increase absorption in the body). A 2018 study found that patients who suffer from osteoarthritis reported turmeric to be as effective as taking general pain medication.
  1. Mindful Breathing  – Breathing is something all of us take for granted, but something many of us do very poorly. When you are stressed, or sitting for too long, you often get into the habit of ‘shallow breathing’. This will cause tension in the upper back and neck and often increase your feelings of anxiety. The 1:4:2 breathing method has been strongly advocated by performance coach Tony Robbins, who advice everyone to try this several times per day.

1:4:2 in action:

  1. Inhale for five seconds
  2. Hold the breath in for 20 seconds
  3. Exhale for 10 seconds.

If you find that this is too much, you can always adjust the number of seconds providing you stick to the same ratio.

So, take a deep breathe in and slowly breathe out. Repeat again and again! Breathing deeply and controlled reduces your muscle tension and assists with the oxygen intake to your body and at the same time helps you to focus and relax.

  1. Whilst it is important to stay informed and up to date with the latest news, please be mindful that over indulging in it (however tempting it may be) can lead you down a darker path that is not helpful for our mental wellbeing. Try to set limits for how often you check the news e.g. (twice per day, am and pm), and stick to credible news sources to make sure that you have the correct information you need in order to keep yourself, your family and your community safe.

Above all stay safe, take care of yourselves and your families, and keep smiling. As a massage therapist I can’t wait to return to normal life and to be able to see all my lovely clients again!

There is no point in worrying. If you can do something about a situation then no need to worry. And if you can’t do something about a situation then also no need to worry” –Dalai Lama

April Marques – Massage Therapist @ The Wellness Centre (Castle Quay)

For more information about April and the wonderful services she offer her clients, please click Here

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