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By West Norwood Therapies Team, May 9 2017 08:00AM

West Norwood Therapies' founder and massage therapist Jennie Duck shares how a recent injury that has put her out of action has encouraged her to reflect on looking after herself in the same way she advises her clients.

I am a big advocate for regular treatments to help maintain healthy wellbeing and I encourage my clients to consider having massage or other therapies as a matter of course rather than waiting for an injury. In promoting sports massage in particular, the message is that if you take care of your body and condition it for what you are expecting it to do then the chance of injury is greatly reduced. In sports training this can be obvious – you know you have worked your legs with that run and those squats, so it makes sense to have them massaged to help stretch the muscles and boost circulation. But what about the impact of spending 8 hours at a desk? Or, as in my case, the impact of carrying, bouncing, lifting, breastfeeding and snuggling a growing baby…

Well, it turns out the impact can be fierce! I have developed an injury called De Quervains – inflammation of the tendon sheath of the tendons connecting my thumb to my wrist, which manifests as intense pain on pretty much all movement of my right wrist and thumb (I’m right-handed). it is a condition that tends to affect new mums whose ligaments are still lax and who are using their bodies in new, relentless ways – breastfeeding, rocking, bouncing, cuddling protectively, carrying in a sling, bending and lifting, wrestling squirmy crawlers to get nappies changed…all of this while more tired than you’ve ever been and with less sleep to build the strength and resilience to cope with the new demands on your body.

So, I wish what I had chosen to do was to have treatments every couple of weeks to help myself counter some of this impact. The other benefit, as well as the immediate physical boost, is the help to “tune-in” to your body that a treatment gives. Have you ever had a massage where you’ve said to your therapist “I didn’t even realise I was tense there” when they worked on a specific point on your body? Well that process is helping you to get a feel for your body and to get more of a sense of how it is absorbing strain. Often the parts that we are aware of hurting are the final cogs in the chain, yet it’s the earlier cogs that have led us to this point of pain.

I knew I had some niggles – my lower back was permanently aching, my shoulders were stiff and I had some pains in my elbow after particularly restless nights. But I somehow – despite this being my vocation and livelihood – subconsciously decided that regular treatment was an extravagance with my reduction in working hours and tight schedule with family and work.

So I didn’t do as I would advise anyone to do and listen to those niggles. And the upshot is that now I have had to stop massaging – and any self-employed person will attest that cutting off your main income stream is a tough call to make. So all that ‘saving’ from the ‘extravagance’ of having regular treatment is now upended by my loss of income. Added to which I now need more treatment to help it heal! (I will write another blog soon about my treatment, which has been great - acupuncture is really helping the inflammation, osteopathy is helping me get everything back in order with some massage providing relief too)

Lesson learned! And I will stick to my advice to clients to look after yourself and maintain wellbeing when you have it. Injuries are painful, frustrating, time consuming and costly – please do practice what I preach!!!

By West Norwood Therapies Team, May 4 2016 01:00PM

Our aroma-sports fusion massage therapist Jennie Duck is off on maternity leave so here is her recommendation of who to see in her absence depending on what you usually see her for

My massage treatments work along a sliding scale of 1-5, from a purely relaxing focus to a more vigourous sports and remedial focus. The majority of my treatments fall somewhere in the middle and I know that a lot of my clients enjoy having elements of different styles in their massages.

And now I am off on maternity leave for the remainder of the year I want my clients to feel comfortable seeing someone else for massage. I have a fantastic team of trusted colleagues and to a degree it comes down to who you 'click' with best, so you may want to try more than one to find the right fit - we all understand this and work collaboratively. so don't worry about offending anyone!

Here is a rough guide to help you choose, based on the fusion scale pictured above:

No.1 or No.2 Relaxing massage with soothing to medium pressure and/or aromatherapy - see Veronica or Melinda

No.2 or No.3 If you like a pretty relaxing massage but would like a bit of firmness then Erika is a good option, she does more deep tissue work, and Melinda does too. You could also see Veronica if more on the no.2 side

No.4 If you're more at the firm end of the spectrum then see Erika, Tessa or Jenny. Erika works deeply and will be more focussed on relaxation too, while Tessa and Jenny have a sportier, more clinical approach (but can still throw in some more relaxing work if you ask them :-)

No.5 If you want the full sporty experience then go with Tessa or Jenny (and if you have an injury or need some diagnosis then see our osteopath Yinka - she does a lot of soft tissue work and is a safe pair of hands for assessment and diagnosis)

Pregnancy massage Everyone can treat pregnant women (indeed I've had treatments from them all - lucky ducky that I am ;-) so you can still be guided by the above. Veronica and Melinda have a special interest in pregnancy and use lovely aromatherapy oils as well

Other pregnancy treatments

Acupuncuture with Philippa can help with all aspects from fertility and conception through to natural induction

Osteopathy with Yinka can help if you experience any pelvic pain or back pain (good to get to this early and try to avert longer term issues)

Nutritional therapy with Rebecca can help with a lot of hormonal and digestive aspects

And he's a good friend of the WNT team rather than a member, but Matthew Atwell is a great resource for pre and post-natal pilates

So I hope this helps and you enjoy the treatments you receive in my absence. It's good to see different therapists, and can be helpful to get a fresh take on things. I'll be back in the new year so see you then :-)

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jun 5 2015 09:43AM

We are very excited to be launching our new blog which will give the West Norwood Therapies team a place to share tips and advice, suggestions for healthy living, news and articles that may be of interest to clients and followers.

It also gives us an opportunity to give you more details about who we are and what we offer. As a team of complementary healthcare professionals we have a broad base of experience and approaches to health, wellbeing and pain management.

Read more about our team and how we work in our blog We are West Norwood Therapies.

Welcome to our blog where we share tips, advice and thoughts from our fantastic team of experienced practitioners

Historic blogs can be found on practitioner profile pages - they are a great way to get to know us!

NB some old social media links bring you to this page, so please use tags or profile pages to find older blogs