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Self-treatment - (Massage Ball, Trigger Point Therapy)

As with foam rollers, when used correctly (see foam roller article), the use of massage balls for self trigger-point therapy can produce some good results. In fact, massage balls and foam rollers can prove an extremely beneficial addition to ones self-massage and self-maintenance routine. However, massage balls and foam rollers work on different massage principles. Unfortunately, not all of those people using or instructing in the use of foam rollers, massage balls or trigger point therapy techniques have any form of massage training and in some cases little to no training in anatomy or physiology.  Hence, it is common to see the incorrect use of foam rollers and massage balls, based on the massage techniques these tools attempt to replicate.  Although, self-massage methods can be quite useful they will never be as good as or replace the effectiveness of a good massage therapist. Furthermore, it is not possible to effectively self-treat all areas of the body, due to the limitations of…
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Basic Running Injury Preventive Measures

Well, it is that time of the year again, and the first British Airways Run Gatwick Half Marathon is fast approaching, all 13.1 Miles of it. Hopefully, the weather will be better than for this year's (2018) Sage Reading Half Marathon, fingers crossed. The last thing that anybody wants during preparation for, or while attempting a Half, Full, or Ultra Marathon is the “stress” of a running-related injury. Such, injuries can occur for a whole range of reasons including:-
OvertrainingPrevious unresolved injuries, affecting joints, tissues and structures within the kinetic chainInadequate warm up or cool downFailure to adequately stretch tissuesLack of hydrationOther medical conditionsAccidentsIllness and more… Tissue Adaption and Injuries
That said there are things that one can do to help prevent an injury and understanding a little about how injuries can occur can help. In simple terms, tissues and structures within the body can adapt. However, the ability to change depends on many facto…

Stress, the Individual, Wellbeing, Performance and the Workplace (Part One)

Historically, there has always been a view that there is a link between physical and mental well-being and vice versa. A great deal of research has been carried out into the relationships between various aspects of health including physical and psychological well-being over the years. There is an ever-increasing evidence base from multiple areas of research suggesting that physical and mental well-being are inextricably linked. However, there are numerous factors affecting health, and one could argue that there are multiple types of health or wellness. These can broadly be categorised as:-
Physical, Mental, Emotional, Social, Environmental and Spiritual

All of these types of health and well-being are interrelated, and the relationships are far from being fully understood.  "Stressors" can take many forms and effect each type of health and thus overall health. Research has demonstrated significant links between various aspects of health. Hence, a pure BioPsychoSocial model of h…

Foam roller self-massage, the right way

A large proportion of the active and even inactive population have no doubt either come across or used a foam roller as a form of self-massage. Results can often vary significantly between individuals and in some cases, symptoms can be made worse. In order, to get the best out of your foam roller, it is essential know a little about the principles behind the massage techniques the roller attempts to replicate. It is equally useful to know a little about anatomy, physiology, and types of injury.

An American Physical Therapist, Sean Gallagher is commonly referred to as the originator of the foam roller, as used for self-myofascial release. The use of foam rollers for self-massage appears to date back to the early to mid 1980’s. The foam roller industry has grown hugely in the last 5-10 years, and there are all kinds of videos and books of people happily (smiling) while foam rolling various parts of their body. That said there are many health and fitness products advertised with people ha…