It pays off to do something about it now to prevent serious spinal damage and other acute back conditions.
Is your desk job casuing you back pain?
Fatigue from repetitive strain and bad posture can cause muscles to ache and hurt. Poor lifestyle choices today see many of us sitting stationary for long periods of time. This can putt strain on certain muscle groups like the hamstrings, pecs and hip flexors causing them to spasm and ache as a result – the perfect recipe for back pain and other postural related ailments.
What is pain?
Pain can be experienced as an unpleasant emotional or sensory response that most of us would best agree to stay away from. As a sensory response, pain can be the result of actual or impending muscle tissue damage that could be felt as:
Pain that is often severe, of sudden onset and lasts a relatively short time. It may result from an injury or an infection and resolves once healed.
Pain that continues for a long period of time, medically defined as greater than 3 months.
Pain felt in a different part of the body from its cause.
Neck and shoulder pain, sciatica and back pain are conditions I treat on a regular basis in my experience assisting office based workers, folk-lift drivers, taxi drivers and long distance drivers. Some individuals and employers have invested in ergonomic furnishing and props to help reduce the impact that sedentary lifestyles have on the body.
This method of self-help does not guarantee long-term postural correction for the lumbar, thoracic and cervical portions of the spine because back pain is a common result of a “muscular imbalance”. Muscular imbalances occur when muscles are not working well together. This can cause pain and discomfort in the affected areas putting stress on our joints. It has recently been reported that back pain is an important public health issue today and affects more than 16 million people in the UK alone.
Approximately 80% of the adult population will experience back pain at some time in their life (Gordon and Bloxham, 2016) (Phillips et al, 1992). These statistics could be linked to the rapid development of modern technology which can affect our lifestyle and occupation (Li and Haslegrave, 1999).
How does a sedentary lifestyle affect the body?
When we are sat down, certain group of muscles tense and contract to support movement, stability and grip. Take for example the rib cage muscles… when these muscles contract and shorten, the rib cage compresses downwards while the muscles of upper back perform an opposing action, pulling and rounding the back of the neck and shoulders. This can form a tightness in the chest and shoulders from a hunched neck and back. The opposing action between muscles engaged when sedentary also affect hip flexors and hamstrings – these muscles give support to the pelvis and so can be linked to lower back pain where there are imbalances.
Kuo, Tully and Galea (2009) found that older adults (over 60 years) demonstrated significantly increased thoracic kyphosis and decreased lumbar spine flexion in a study about changes in sagittal spinal posture of healthy older adults.
This suggests that these particular individuals need specific attention to help improve their posture alignment. It is important to note here that sedentary lifestyles raise the risk of chronic back pain; a study by Celik and Mutlu (2013) states that prolonged postural activities such as prolonged desk work like computer typing could contribute to the formation or propagation of a myofascial trigger point as a result of back pain.
Spinal Curvature Examples
What is a Myofascial trigger point (MTrP) ?
If you can imagine the fibres of a muscle… they normally run alongside each other, parallel, neat and tidy. A trigger point causes the fibres to wind and form into what’s called a “muscle knot”. Now imagine a section of those muscle fibres replicating spaghetti all tangled up. Consistent use of the affected muscle could cause muscular stress and a manifestation discomfort or pain.
The stress impacting these muscle is particularly irritating on the muscle which makes it hyper-tonic and hyperactive. The body’s natural reaction to this is to form a trigger point which creates patches of poor circulation in and around the affected muscle. A lack of proper circulation can create pockets of metabolic wastes with high acidity that can cause the affected muscle group to perpetuate at a vicious cycle. (Gerwin, Dommerholt and Shah 2004, pp. 468-475).
Many advanced techniques used in massage therapy can help untangle and distress affected massage through;
- a reduction in physical and psychological stress.
- an improvement to sleep quality and quantity.
- a reduction in muscle pain, tension and discomfort.
- a decrease in toxin and waste buildup.
- a decrease in muscle and joint soreness after exercise and physical activity.
- an increase in muscle flexibility and range of joint motion.
- an enhancement in muscle performance.
- an improvement to recovery time post injury.
Massage therapy is an effective hands-on way for managing physical pain, and is to be encouraged as part of a healthy lifestyle. If you are in pain or discomfort and perhaps relying on short-term remedies like painkillers, consider a sports massage for long-term pain management. Sports massage lends itself as a soft tissue therapy for acute pain relief where your GP might be unable to assist.
During a sports massage appointment, your posture and movement will be examined and assessed to identify weak dysfunctional muscles and other problem areas. This enables your therapist to recommend suitable aftercare and exercises.
We advise that you schedule an appointment for an assessment if you experience frequent back pain and other upper body pain that lasts longer than a week.
Author: Michael Webb-Wood, Sports Massage Therapist.
When it comes to protecting and nourishing dry, brittle hair, hot oil treatments are a popular option. This is why we have added Naturallythinking’s Organic Hair Shots to our Indian head massage treatments, in light of providing you with a well-rounded therapeutic treatment.
What are Naturallythinking Organic Hair Shots?
These powerful hair shots are 100% natural chemical free hair treatment oils formulated with an infusion of botanical extracts to help boost shine, manageability and vitality of your hair. Naturallythinking Hair Shots are designed to be heated and applied directly. Doing this on a weekly basis will restore balance and vitality to hair – here are the blends we have available:
- Argan & Sesame Organic Lush Hair Shot – For shiny hair
- Babassu & Carrot Organic Dry Hair Shot Revive – For dry hair
- Sage & Coconut Hair De-Greasing Hair Shot – For oily hair
At the start of your Indian head massage treatment, your therapist will present a selection of 3 hair shots to choose from that will be applied to your scalp and pulled through your hair strands. Your hair shot will be heated then applied to your hair during your scalp massage to stimulate and encourage healthy hair growth.
Why not treat yourself or loved one to a head massage at home?
Pick up your Naturallythinking Hair Shots on your next visit to us, or simply order them online. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to perform a head massage using a Hair Shot at home:
- Shampoo hair to remove any residue and towel dry.
- Heat your hair shot in a small bowl of very hot water for 3 minutes.
- Gradually work the oil across your scalp massaging thoroughly for 3 – 5 minutes. Work in small circles around hairline and into temples pinching and lifting the scalp from your skull.
- Work the oil outwards to the tips of your hair.
- Cover hair a shower cap and a hot towel to warm and open hair follicles.
- Remove the towel when it is cold and leave the shower cap on for a further 30 minutes.
- Rinse hair with clean warm water to re-activate the oil giving it an extra boost of shine.
- Cool the water down and shampoo your hair
- Let your hair air dry for as long as possible to prevent heat damage from blow drying. Repeat weekly to maintain optimum condition.
Hair Removal – Pros and Cons
Hair Removal is a widely popular service, not only in the beauty world but also across different cultures and professions with a plethora of benefits to be experienced.
Hair removal techniques today are available in many forms offering temporary or permanent hair removal, to include,
- Depilatory waxing and machines
- Depilatory creams
- Abrasive mitts
- Plucking or tweezing
- Electrical current methods like Intensed Pulsed Light (IPL) and laser hair removal, to name a few.
Hair Removal Across the World
Forms of hair removal are practised for various and mostly cultural, sexual, medical or religious reasons – here are some we managed to dig up:
- Culture – In Middle Eastern societies, removal of the female body hair has been considered proper hygiene, necessitated by local customs, for many centuries. An increase in women wearing shorter dresses and swimsuits over the years has raised the practice of women removing unwanted body hair, such as on legs, underarms and elsewhere. People also remove some or all of their pubic hair for aesthetic or sexual reasons. Many men in Western cultures shave or wax their facial hair to achieve a clean-shaven or hairless look. Some men shave or wax because they cannot grow a “full” beard (generally defined as an even density from cheeks to neck) because their beard colour is different from their scalp hair colour, or because their facial hair grows in many directions, making a groomed look difficult. Some men shave or wax because their beards are very coarse, causing itchiness and irritation. Some men are known to eliminate or trim pubic hair, a practice that is referred to as “manscaping” (a portmanteau expression for male-specific grooming); this custom can be motivated by reasons of potentially increased cleanliness and hygiene, heightened enjoyment during fellatio and analingus, and/or the desire to take on a more youthful appearance.
- For professional footballers, road cyclists and swimmers – The absence of the leg hair means the injuries (usually skin rash or scarring) can be cleaned up more efficiently, and treatment is not impeded in the case of a crash or tackle. Professional cyclists, as well as professional footballers also receive regular leg massages, and the absence of hair reduces the friction and increases their comfort and effectiveness. It is also common for competitive swimmers to shave hair off their legs, arms, and torsos, to reduce drag and provide a heightened “feel” for the water by removing the exterior layer of skin along with the body hair.
- In the military – A close-cropped or completely shaven haircut is common in military organisations preventing the infestation of lice, ticks, and fleas. It is also more difficult for an enemy to grab hold of a soldier’s hair in hand-to-hand combat. In addition, short hair makes fitting gas masks and helmets easier. The practice also serves to cultivate a group-oriented environment through the process of removing exterior signs of individuality. In many military, head-shaving is mandatory for males when beginning their training. Armies may also require males to maintain clean-shaven faces as facial hair can prevent an air-tight seal between the face and breathing or safety equipment, such as a pilot’s oxygen mask, a diver’s mask, or a soldier’s gas mask.
- Medical reasons – Surgical patients are required to have no hair in areas to be treated before surgery in attempts to eradicate lice and minimise body odour due to accumulation of odour-causing micro-organisms in hair. It is common for cancer patients to shave their heads even before starting chemotherapy as it often causes severe and irregular hair loss. In extreme situations people may need to remove all body hair to prevent or combat infestation by lice, fleas and other parasites. Such a practice was used, for example, in Ancient Egypt. Waxing offers expectant mothers an excellent hair removal method that acts as a preparatory step before child-birth with results that last for weeks after for peace-of-mind.
With permanent hair removal methods, regular visits are encouraged to effectively destroy the hair roots which are responsible for the growth of the hairs in the treated areas. Although permanent hair removal treatments like IPL provide faster permanent hair results, a course of treatments is usually recommended and can be quite expensive however competitively priced, with some salons and dermatologists requiring that hair is shaved or shortened in the areas to be treated.
Temporary hair removal treatments such as waxing and threading are the most widely available services on the high street offering cost effective treatments and convenience of use. Waxing and threading treatments remove hairs at their roots so the regrowth is of completely new hairs with soft, fine-tapered tips. Regrowth of hair can be expected again between 4-5 weeks.
Waxing and threading can also appear to reduce the quantity of hair growth due to the natural cyclical regrowth of the hair – this only means that the hair will not all grow back at the same time. Certain bodily changes such as ageing can result in permanent hair removal with waxing and threading.
We, at Endulge Therapy, aim to make your waxing experience as natural, and as pleasant as possible. We use award-winning Outback Organics products for all our threading and waxing treatments, not only for their efforts in supporting the Australian Indigenous people but because their entire product range is free from parabens, mineral oils, artificial fragrances, animal by-products and other harmful chemicals. We use the deliciously scented plum-based Opal peelable wax when waxing the face, smaller areas of the body, and for the hair down under. Freshly scented True blue gel wax is used when waxing larger areas of the body for speedy and clean waxing results.
Shavers, depilatory creams and abrasive mitts come in a variety of forms offering other cost-effective methods of temporary hair removal that can be performed at home. These methods of hair removal involve the removal of unwanted hairs at the surface of the skin.
When using depilatory creams at home, we recommend not to use these on sensitive areas, like the groin and underarms as these creams are usually heavily alkaline based which can result in an instability of the natural pH level of the skin, giving rise to severe breakouts and skin discoloration. If you have thick course hairs in these sensitive parts, we strongly advise against shaving in these areas as you are most prone to suffering with these conditions as a result from friction to the areas – consider waxing instead please and be kind to your skin!
Receiving a wax for the first time can be a little daunting and painful at the beginning but becomes less painful when you keep up with your appointments. It is useful to know that some slight soreness, small bumps and redness are common and perfectly normal temporary reactions, especially if this is your first wax experience.
These symptoms usually subside over the 24-48 hours following your treatment. We advise that you get in touch with us if you experience any persistent redness or irritation. We usually advise that you allow at least one week, preferably two, between any home shaving or other depilatory service to let the hairs grow to a length sufficient to be waxed.
A woman’s pain threshold is at its lowest immediately before and during her period as the hormones which stimulate the regrowth of hair are also at there most active during this period. For these reasons, we advise to avoid waxing at this time if possible.
Preparation before a wax is of the utmost importance! Exfoliating your skin before your wax treatment also ensures that any trapped hairs are exposed for a better wax. Dead skin cells are also removed from your skin, promoting better hydration levels for your skin. Book in for a Shaping Body Peel treatment before your wax appointment for an invigorating yet relaxing skin smoothing body treat with an added anti-ageing effect.
Other gentle ways to exfoliate at home are by using exfoliating mitts or gloves up to 3 times a week prior to your waxing appointment. For a 2 in 1 wash and skin exfoliator, Outback Organics do a great Face and Body creamy scrub, enriched with Bergamot orange, sandalwood, patchouli, rose and organic cucumber extract combined with jojoba micro-beads to give a gentle yet effective exfoliation that leaves your skin soft, hydrated and deeply cleansed.
If you use retin-A products or are taking a course of tetracycline medication, we advise that you wait at least a month before after to attend a waxing appointment as these products are known to cause more sensitivity to the skin making it more prone to irritation and tear.
On the day of your wax appointment, we recommend that you wear loose fitting clothes to prevent friction and allow for proper circulation and healing for the areas to be waxed – this means no sport, gym or other vigorous exercises after your appointment! It is also important to keep the waxed areas clean, avoiding heat from hot baths or showers, saunas or hot tubs, and tanning of any kind.
To cool and calm the skin after a wax treatment, we recommend the use of Aloe Vera or Outback Organics Post Wax Spray to the legs, arms, chest and back twice daily for 5 days. For sensitive areas such as the face, underarms and bikini area, we recommend using a small amount of Outback Organics Bush Balm 2-3 times a day until all redness and soreness has subsided – don’t let us leave you without your complimentary Bush Balm sample after your underarm and intimate wax treatment!
Showering daily using an antiseptic skin wash such as Outback Organics Tea Tree Skin Wash is a perfect way to cleanse the pores, helping to eliminate bacteria that cause spots without stripping or drying the skin. This skin wash double-up as an excellent facial wash for anyone who prefers using a facial wash than a cream cleanser; oily skin is controlled and vitality is restored revealing fresher and more vibrant skin without leaving it feeling taught and dry.
A great wax is never complete without some added moisture! Follow-up your wax with a good moisturiser enriched with vitamin E such as Outback Organics Hand and Body Lotion. This lotion is rich in anisata and macadamia oil that acts to quench and sooth dry, itchy skin even after hair removal leaving the skin silky soft, supple and deeply hydrated enabling the new hairs to grow through easily.
You may notice a small amount of regrowth after a week or so; please bare in mind that it can take up to 4 treatments for the hair to get on a cycle that gives the best results. In some cases, an angled follicle may cause the hair to break off at the angle during waxing which also causes hairs to reappear at the skin’s surface within a few days of a wax treatment.
This can result to the regrowth of hairs to be frizzy or curled where previously they were straight. We advise that you avoid shaving, tweezing or use of hair removal creams between appointments as this interrupts the hairs removal growth cycle. To maintain your smooth appearance, we recommend regular waxing treatments every 4-6 weeks.
Take advantage of our 3 for 2 waxing special offer and save money on your waxing treatments with us throughout June! To book your wax appointment, or for more advise on our waxing services, call us on 02380 111 621.
Sources: Wikipedia, Beauty Therapy – The Foundations (The Official Guide to Level 2 5e) Lorraine Nordmann, Outback Organics.
Rosacea is a common rash, usually occurring on the face, which predominantly affects middle-aged (age range 40 to 60 years old) and fair-skinned people. It is more common in women but tends to be more severe in men. It is a chronic condition and, in any individual, the severity tends to come and go. Rosacea tends to affect the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose and is characterised by flushing and redness, dilated blood vessels, sensitivity, tightness, bulbous nose (severe rosacea – rhinophyma), small red bumps and pus-filled spots (sometimes these may only be visible with a magnifying glass). There may also be uncomfortable inflammation of the surface of the eyes and eyelids.
The cause of rosacea is unknown, but the factors that trigger rosacea cause inflammation and readiness of the blood vessels in the skin of the face to dilate. Rosacea non-contagious with a variety of trigger factors that may make rosacea worse. These include alcohol, strenuous exercise, high and very low temperatures, hot drinks, spicy foods and stress. Rosacea can also be worsened by overexposure to natural sunlight.
How to Control Rosacea
In most cases, rosacea and other extremely sensitive skin conditions result from a deficiency of essential fatty acids causing the skin to lose moisture to an extreme degree as a result of a weakened skin protective lipid layer. The skin becomes increasingly dry as a result making it easy for bacteria and other irritants to penetrate the thin, brittle skin. Sufferers tend to scratch their skin, which only exacerbates the itching and causes the skin to react in an increasingly sensitive manner, with growing dryness – the start of a self-perpetuating cycle.
BABOR labs have developed a very gentle active combination of microsilver, neuroxyl and gamma-linolenic acid to break this self-perpetuating cycle, easing the symptoms of neuro-sensitive skin:
Fights bacteria by releasing silver ions.
Desensitizes nerve ending receptors.
Restores the skin’s protective lipid layer by stimulating the skin’s natural production of ceramides.
The DOCTOR BABOR NEURO SENSITIVE CELLULAR skincare range effectively regenerates the skin’s protective lipid layer and restores its normal balance of lipids and moisture. The products intensively strengthen the skin’s natural defences, lowering the risk of bacterial skin reactions and reducing irritation and redness significantly, with long-lasting effects. Uncomfortable sensations of tightness and itching are relieved immediately. The skin recovers more quickly and takes on a smooth, soft and supple appearance.
For maximum gentleness to the skin, all NEURO SENSITIVE CELLULAR products are made without preservatives, mineral oils, fragrances and synthetic colourants. The products are produced in sterile conditions, using a special production method that completely eliminates the need for preservatives.
Self Care – What to do
- Wear a sunblock with an SFP of at least 30 on your face every day. We recommend REPAIR CELLULAR Ultimate Protecting Balm SPF50.
- Do not rub or scrub your face as this can make rosacea worse.
- Do not use perfumed face wash or soap as this can make rosacea worse. We recommend NEURO SENSITIVE CELLULAR Intensive Calming Cleanser.
- Use an unperfumed moisturiser such as NEURO SENSITIVE CELLULAR Intensive Calming Cream on a regular basis if your skin is dry or sensitive.
- Consider the lifestyle factors that can worsen rosacea (listed above).
- Learn which upset your rosacea and avoid them; a written record of your flare-ups may help.
- Cosmetics can often cover up rosacea effectively, and some rosacea patients may benefit from the use of skin camouflage. Opt for mineral powders or foundations as these work particularly well on sensitive skin. We recommend AGE ID Mineral Powder Foundation to help conceal any excessive redness.
- It may be best to avoid some treatments for acne unless they are recommended by your GP as they can irritate skin that is prone to rosacea.
- Do not use topical preparations containing corticosteroids, unless
specifically recommended by your GP, as these may make rosacea worse in the long run.
- If your eyes are giving problems, do not ignore them – consult your GP.
- Some drugs can aggravate blushing, and your doctor may make appropriate changes to your medication.
Book yourself in for a DOCTOR BABOR Ultimate Calming facial treatment by 07/05/17 and we’ll gift you with a 7-day course of NEURO SENSITIVE CELLULAR Microsilver Concentrate Ampoules (rrp £40.00). Discover calmer hydrated skin with a healthy complexion. All products mentioned in this article are available for purchase from us. Speak to us about suitable products for use at home to minimize and control the appearance of rosacea.
Sources: British Association of
Dermatologists, BABOR UK.
Would you like fabulous nails for your wedding? For a manicure that captures all the glitter and excitement of your special day, try a GELeration manicure with Swarovski crystals for a longer lasting shine.
SPECIAL OFFER: The One for Valentine’s! Jazz-up your Playboy wax with The Bejewelled Playboy Betty for this Valentine’s Day, for a flamboyant Betty.
We dare you to get 2 or more of your girlfriends to have a Bejewelled Playboy Betty party – yours will be absolutely free!! Treatments available for only £30.00 until February 13th 2016 (normally £45.00).
Mon – Fri: 10 AM – 8 PM
Saturday: 10 AM – 6 PM
Tel: 02380 330 283