As we get into the swing of the new year, many people will make a resolution to get fit. But if you go about this the wrong way, it can end in an injury that puts you on the sidelines for weeks or even months.
Exercise is amazing for your body and your mind. It boosts mental wellbeing, helps you to manage pain and over the long-term can protect you against injury.
So how can you get back into a fitness regime without hurting yourself? Here are our top tips to minimise your chance of injury.
Start small – even if you used to be a master!
We know from experience that it’s really tempting to go back to doing what you have done in the past. After all, running that fast, lifting those weights or doing Pilates 5 days a week used to be easy!
But whether you’ve been away from exercise because of injury, pregnancy or just that life got on top of you, this is the most common mistake people make.
Over time, your muscles will become less conditioned. If you go back to your old regime, it may be too stressful on your body and lead to an injury.
So don’t just jump in where you were. Instead, go back to the start. Your body will start to remember if you give it time to warm back up to exercise.
Increase your frequency and intensity with time
This goes hand in hand with the first point. It takes time for the body to get back into the swing of things. So give yourself at least a couple of months to get back to where you were before you stopped.
For example, let’s say you used to run 10km 5 times per week. You’ve just had a break for several months due to a new job that took up your time. To get back into it, you might want to pace yourself by doing:
2km gentle jog x 2 for the first week to assess your fitness
5km gentle jog x 2 for 2 weeks
5km run x 3 for 2 weeks
7.5km run x 3 for 2 weeks
7.5km run x 4 for 2 weeks
10km run x 3 for 2 weeks
If you’re feeling good and have had no injuries or flare-ups, then progress back to your 5 x 10km runs.
As you can see, this progression takes 10-12 weeks to get back to your original program. It may take longer if you’ve been off exercise for a longer period of time or had a significant injury. But it will pay off in the long run if you pace yourself!
Make sure you’re getting good nutrition and plenty of sleep
Exercise recovery starts from the moment you stop exercising. There are a lot of factors that contribute to recovery, but nutrition and sleep are two of the most important. Our bodies use nutrients to heal and grow muscles, and most of this healing takes place as we sleep.
For nutrition, our nutritionist buddy Samantha Gemmell recommends eating plenty of wholefoods for a good mix of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support recovery.
When it comes to sleep, Sam says that quality is just as important as quantity. Make sure that your room is completely dark, avoid caffeine after 3pm and minimise your screen time for 30 minutes before bedtime.
Do some gentle stretches after your workout
Exercise is great for your body, but it can lead to muscle tension. Muscle tension can put you at risk of injury. So how do you minimise that risk? One way is to stretch out after a workout.
This doesn’t have to be anything too extensive. If you’ve gone for a run, do some gentle stretching of your legs and hips. If it’s upper body day at the gym, stretch out your shoulders and upper back. 1-2 minutes of stretching after each workout can add up!
Give your body some TLC
Sometimes stretching isn’t enough, and your muscles need a little extra TLC. Many people will get a relaxation massage or remedial massage, but this only addresses one aspect of the muscle tension.
That’s where myotherapy comes in. Myotherapy incorporates massage with other techniques such as dry cupping, needling, trigger point therapy and taping. This combination can be helpful for not only treating exercise-related injury but also preventing it.
Your myotherapist can also assess your muscles and joints to see if any are at significant risk of injury and prescribe exercises to strengthen those areas.
Want to show your body that TLC and reduce your risk of injury? Book in with one of our friendly myotherapists here.
When we make New Years Resolutions, we usually focus on what we want. We want to be fitter, thinner, better organised and able to give up bad habits. But have you ever wondered what resolutions your body might like you to make?
Our head myotherapist and resident body-whisperer Mel has 5 resolutions that your body is begging you to make this year.
Move more throughout the day
Our bodies were not designed to sit at desks for hours every day. They were designed to move constantly in a variety of different ways.
Unfortunately, most of us can’t change jobs just to suit the body’s preferences! But you can find little ways to move more frequently throughout your day.
For example, you could:
When you get up and change position regularly, your body will thank you. Regular movement can also reduce the risk of injury and pain that can occur when you’re physically inactive.
Stretch out regularly
Another important way that your body loves to move is with a good stretch! But when we sit for hours at a time, our muscles can tighten up and leave us feeling sore.
So whether it’s at work, at home or even at the gym, find a way to incorporate a regular stretch. Make sure that you stretch until you can feel the muscle stretching out. But don’t go too far – pushing a stretch too deep too quick can lead to injury.
If you do feel any sharp pain while stretching, you might have just stretched too far. But you might have an underlying injury that needs to be checked by your myotherapist.
Focus on good quality sleep
Our bodies do their best healing work as we sleep every night. So if you’re not getting enough deep and restful sleep, your body can’t maintain itself properly.
A good rest isn’t just about how many hours you sleep. It’s also important to get quality rest, so your body can go into healing mode.
Sleep is particularly important if you experience chronic pain. A poor night of sleep can worsen your pain the following day. But this goes both ways – worse pain during the day can impact on your sleep that night.
Find a healthy way to manage your stress
A lot of the less healthy choices we make can come back to stress. How we eat, move our bodies and unwind in our spare time often reflects how we deal with stress.
But on the flip side, these factors can also make a big difference with how we manage stress. That's why it's a good idea to find a healthy way to manage your stress.
There are plenty of options out there, including:
Take a proactive approach for body care
When it comes to our health, most of us wait until something goes wrong before we actually do anything about it! But if we can switch to a more proactive approach to taking care of our bodies, we can get onto issues early or even prevent them.
Book yourself in for a check-up with your GP, dentist, optometrist and any specialists you see regularly.
When it comes to your muscles and joints, the team at Simple Wellness Myotherapy are here to help. To book in for a tune-up your body would approve of, head to our booking page here.
Whether you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, an injury can set you back when it comes to your exercise goals. How you handle an injury can make a big impact on the recovery process. If you want to speed up your recovery and minimise the risk of injury in the future, this is the guide for you.
What to do immediately after an injury
So you’re reading this right as you’ve hurt yourself. Props to you for Googling the answer!
But on a serious note, it’s good to have the injury assessed by a GP if you suspect a fracture, dislocation or muscle tear. That way, you know right away whether you will need any significant treatment such as surgery or a cast.
In the meantime, start with elevating the injured body part. This helps to reduce fluid retention in the area. It also means you’re not on it, so you’re less likely to keep injuring it!
Rest and elevation are also a good idea for minor injuries such as sprains and twisted ankles. If you have a pre-made support or brace for the injured part, you can pop it on for some stability and compression. If not, you might like to bandage it if compression feels supportive for you.
There is a bit of debate out there about whether heat or ice is best for an injury. Ice is the old-school treatment, and may be useful for reducing pain sensitivity and fluid retention. On the other hand, if there is pain without any swelling, a heat pack or warm bath might help increase blood flow to the area and reduce pain.
Once the swelling has gone down
This is the time when it’s good to see your friendly local myotherapist. We can’t really help if you’ve just done a significant injury such as a break or a muscle tear. But after the first few days, we can put together a treatment plan to get you back to your everyday life ASAP.
Some of the therapies we can offer to help you recover include:
How to support recovery and reduce risk of re-injury
Are you ready to jump back into it after an injury? Here are some tips to maximise recovery and minimise your risk of getting hurt again.
Start slow – I know you want to jump straight back in, but this is a recipe for disaster! When you’ve been injured, your body part often needs time to strengthen and get back to your pre-injury levels. Begin with low impact versions of movement such as yoga and walking, and build up over a period of 4-12 weeks depending on your injury.
Use rest and compression after exercise – if you do find your injured area aching or swelling after exercise, head home to rest and a support or brace. This can minimise the fluid retention and ease any pain you might experience.
If you experience sharp or shooting pain, stop – some aches are common as you get back into movement. But sharp, shooting or severe pain is a sign that something is not ok. Stop whatever you’re doing until your pain has been checked out by a qualified practitioner.
Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods – even if your rehab program is perfect, your body can’t recover without the good nutrients you need for healing. Eating plenty of fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and high-quality is protein is a good start, according to our nutritionist friend Samantha Gemmell.
Work with a myotherapist – a myotherapist can help you with rehab exercises to rebuild strength. But they can also keep you on track with supportive taping and addressing any muscle imbalances.
Are you dealing with an injury? Our myotherapist Emily works with people with sports injuries, particularly muscle tears, joint injuries and rehab. Her goal is to get you back to training, events and everyday life as soon as possible while minimising your risk of re-injury.
To book an appointment with Emily, head to our booking page and select ‘Emily Wells’ as your practitioner.
If you work at a desk for hours on end, you know that it can be uncomfortable at the best of times. Office workers have just as much risk of injury and chronic pain as other more physically strenuous occupations. You may be at risk of issues including back pain, neck pain, repetitive strain injury or RSI and carpal tunnel syndrome.
So how can you minimise your chance of hurting yourself and stay at the top of your game? Our myotherapist Emily shares some of her tips for staying healthy and preventing pain and injury for office workers.
When you’re focused on your work, you often forget to shift position. Unfortunately, our bodies weren’t designed to stay in a position for hours at a time. That’s why the simplest tip is to stretch whenever you feel stiff, sore or fatigued.
Stretching can also help to boost blood flow to the brain, which means you are more focused and productive.
You can simply stretch at your desk if needed – stretch out your neck, shoulders and back, and do some circles with your ankles. But you can also do a standing stretch, which brings us to our next tip.
Set yourself reminders to move
Small amounts of movement throughout the day add up when it comes to preventing office injuries. But when you’re in the zone, you might forget! That’s why it’s useful to set yourself a reminder or alarm on your phone or computer.
Aim for at least 1-2 minutes per hour of movement. This might be standing and stretching, going and getting a glass of water, making yourself a coffee or tea, going to the toilet or just walking around the office to get your muscles and joints moving.
Give a sit/stand desk a try
Desks that can alternate between a seated and standing position have become popular recently. They allow you the best of both worlds – you can sit for a bit, then switch to standing as a break from sitting.
Have a chat to your employer about whether you can trial a sit-stand desk. The good thing is that many people find sit-stand desks boost productivity, so employers are often open to them.
If you work for yourself or you are the boss, you can hire sit-stand desks and other equipment before purchasing.
Make the most of lunchtime
It can be tempting to eat lunch at your desk and power through the to-dos. But your lunch and break times are an opportunity to move around and give your muscles and joints a break as well.
Get up and get moving. Head to a local park to have your lunch if it’s sunny outside. Grab a coffee from the café around the corner. You can even go for a brisk 5-minute walk around the block at the end of your break to wake up your brain and your body. That way, you’ll go back to work feeling refreshed.
Get moving before or after work
Some days you won’t get much time to move at work, so make the most of the hours outside of work. Find a way to get your body moving on a regular basis.
This doesn’t mean you need to slog away at the gym for an hour every day. You can do some yoga stretches at home, walk the dog or go to the playground with your kids.
If you do find yourself too tired to move after work, try getting up 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk around the block before work. It seems counter-intuitive, but exercise actually boosts your energy and relieves fatigue. Even a little bit each day will add up!
Get a regular remedial massage or myotherapy treatment
Your muscles and joints need care, just like every other part of you. That’s why regular treatments can help to prevent injury and pain.
Our desk worker clients find that a treatment every 2-6 weeks helps to relieve tension and pain. Many report that they have fewer headaches, lower stress levels, improved sleep and mood and greater movement in joints and muscles. So if any of those are on your wish list, regular massage and myotherapy might be the answer!
Is regular massage or myotherapy on your to-do list? Our myotherapist Emily is currently open for new clients. You can book with a session with her here.
Have you ever had a massage at a day spa before? If not, you might be wondering whether a massage at a spa is similar to a massage you receive in a clinic setting.
One of our myotherapists, Emily, has experience in both a day spa setting and a clinical setting. So today, she’s sharing with us the similarities and differences, as well as why you might opt for one over the other.
Why you seek out a treatment
For the most part, people who seek out a spa massage treatment want to feel great. They want to enjoy a massage that relaxes them, but usually aren’t looking for any other outcome.
On the other hand, people who seek out the services of a remedial massage therapist or myotherapist are looking for a specific outcome. When you book remedial massage or myotherapy, you generally want to alleviate symptoms such as pain, or at least prevent future pain and flares.
The aim of a massage treatment
As the reason for seeking treatment is different, it makes sense that the aim is also different. A spa massage therapist will aim to give you a massage treatment that feels good, relieve tension and helps you to feel more relaxed.
A remedial massage or myotherapy session in a clinic will have specific goals and outcomes. This is because you will generally come in with an aim of having pain or an injury treated, managed and/or prevented. We will put together a treatment plan based on your needs and goals, and review that regularly.
In a spa massage, there may be other treatments or tools involved such as hot stones or aromatherapy. Again, these are focused on relaxing you more and easing general stress and tension.
On the other hand, remedial massage and myotherapy can involve a whole toolbox of techniques, depending on your needs.
At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we use dry needling, cupping, joint mobilisation, trigger point therapy, rehabilitation exercises and taping. Not everyone will need all of these in their treatment plan, but we can tailor your plan to your needs and goals.
What to expect in a 60 minute spa massage
Here is how a typical spa massage will run:
What to expect in a 60 minute clinic massage
This is how a massage or myotherapy treatment runs at Simple Wellness:
Which is better – spa massage or clinical massage?
It’s not really a competition because they are so different! If you’re just looking to treat yourself and enjoy a relaxing massage, there’s nothing wrong with a sneaky spa massage. Spa massage may also be preferable if you’re looking to have other beauty treatments.
But if you’re dealing with pain, injury or significant tension, a clinical massage from a remedial massage therapist or myotherapist is best. Clinical massage is also better for preventing injuries and flare-ups of previous injuries and pain.
Looking for a clinical massage? At Simple Wellness Myotherapy, we offer both remedial massage with our therapist Helvi and myotherapy with Emily and Mel. You can book an appointment with one of our practitioners here.
In case you missed it, we recently moved from Ferntree Gully to a new clinic in Knoxfield! Clients have been asking about the new clinic, so we thought we’d share a bit more about it.
What we love about Simple Wellness Myotherapy Knoxfield
#1 – We work alongside a bulk-billing GP
Simple Wellness Myotherapy is now located in Together Medical Family Practice. That means we work alongside a fantastic GP, Dr. Wajib Dib.
Together Medical is a bulk-billing clinic, which makes it affordable for everyone to receive quality care. Dr Dib also offers some evening and Saturday appointments, so you can fit an appointment around your busy lifestyle.
#2 – We’re upstairs from Knoxfield Pharmacy
Need to grab something over-the-counter, or have a script to fill? Our new clinic is right upstairs from the team at Knoxfield Pharmacy.
The staff at Knoxfield Pharmacy are friendly and knowledgeable. Plus they stock some great products that can help ease muscle and joint pain, from creams to braces, heat packs to Epsom salts.
You can use the stairs to get between the clinic and the pharmacy.
#3 – The clinic is more accessible
At the previous location, the stairs made it difficult for people with lower body injuries to come see us. We were also unable to offer access for those in wheelchairs.
At the Knoxfield location, the back entrance includes a ramp and platform lift for those who require a wheelchair. So now we can offer our myotherapy and remedial massage services to people with limited mobility.
#4 – There’s plenty of free parking available
When you turn up for your appointment, the last thing you want to worry about is finding a close car park! But at the new clinic, there is plenty of parking at both the front and the back of the building.
If stairs are a problem for you, we recommend parking at the car park out the back. That way, you can take the ramp up.
#5 – We’ve got a mighty fine A-frame sign
at the ramp entrance
Want to make sure you’re in the right spot?
Have a look for our A-frame sign at the top
of the ramp.
This is just part of the revamp of our brand
and services that took place when we moved into
the new clinic. We also updated our logo
and brought on our friendly remedial
massage therapist Helvi.
#6 – The Together Medical reception team is ready to greet you with a smile
When you walk into the clinic, you’ll be greeted with a friendly face. We want to make sure you always feel welcome in our clinic, so we’re grateful to have the receptionists from Together Medical working alongside us.
#7 – We have a huge clinic room
If you haven’t come to see us at the Knoxfield clinic yet, one thing you’ll notice is that the new room is massive! We have plenty of space for treatment, as well as showing you any prescribed exercises or stretches.
And of course, our skeleton mascot Perry has made himself right at home as well!
#8 – The room has a sink, making cleaning up a breeze
Having a sink in the clinic room makes it much easier to wash our hands mid-treatment, especially if we're moving from your feet or other body parts to your face. We can wash our cups in hot water after each treatment.
A sink is also an OHS requirement for dry needling, so we can offer you this as part of your treatment plan. So although it might not seem like a big deal to you, to us it means giving you the very best care possible.
#9 – We’re surrounded with tasty options for your post-treatment dinner
If you’ve booked yourself in for an evening appointment, the last thing you want to do is go home and cook dinner. But the Knoxfield shops have you covered. You’ll find fish and chips, kebabs, Thai and Chinese within metres of the clinic.
Our favourite pick? Grab yourself a chicken and corn soup from Wok’d, the Chinese restaurant across the carpark from the pharmacy.
#10 – We’re only a short drive from the old clinic
It was important for us to not move too far for those who were used to seeing us at the old location. But our Knoxfield location is only 5-10 minutes away depending on traffic.
Want to come visit us at the new clinic? You can find us at Level 1, 1571 Ferntree Gully Road Knoxfield. To book an appointment, head to our booking page here.
Have you ever wondered about flame cupping? Flame cupping sounds scarier than what it really is. Let’s have a look at the facts around flame cupping, and how it might be beneficial for you.
What is flame cupping?
Flame cupping is a form of dry cupping that uses fire to cause a vacuum in a cup. The cup is then placed on the area of skin being treated.
What is flame cupping good for?
Flame cupping is great for relieving muscle tension, especially tension that isn’t responding quickly to hands-on techniques.
The best part about flame cupping? It is applied and left on while your practitioner continues to work on another area of the body. So if you have a sore shoulder and tight lower back, they can cup the shoulder and massage the lower back or vice versa.
Is flame cupping going to burn me?
It shouldn’t if it’s applied by a qualified flame cupping therapist. A qualified therapist who has training in flame cups knows how long to heat each cup before applying it to the skin.
If you’re worried, ask your practitioner about their training in flame cups before agreeing to treatment.
Who can’t have flame cupping?
As useful as flame cupping is, there are a few contraindications to keep in mind.
Flame cupping is not recommended for those with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or those using medications such as warfarin.
Flame cupping cannot be safely applied over wounds. However, it can be used over fully healed scar tissue.
Does flame cupping detoxify the body?
Not really. Flame cups can’t detoxify you – that’s the job of your liver and other detox organs. But in a way, they can support the natural detoxification process.
It increases blood flow to the area, which improves the exchange of oxygen and waste products in that area. The waste products are then transported to the liver and detox organs and excreted from the body.
I have dark marks after flame cupping – is this a bad thing?
Cupping marks are normal after a treatment. They aren’t bruises or a sign of tissue damage.
Eastern medicine practitioners such as acupuncturists believe that cupping marks are a sign of what is happening in the body. For example, darker marks are signs of how stagnant the energy or ‘chi’ is.
For myotherapists, they are bruise-like marks caused by surface capillaries that break during the suction.
Either way, they are nothing to worry about – they will fade over the period of 3-7 days for most people. If your cupping marks remain dark or tender for a prolonged period, contact your therapist directly for a check-in.
How can I try out flame cupping?
By booking an appointment with our flame cupping myotherapist Emily! Emily loves to work with flame cupping, because she can work on two areas of tension at once.
To book a session with Emily, head to our booking page and select ‘Emily Wells’ for your practitioner.
Looking for an excuse to get a massage? We hear you! Massage can have a variety of benefits, especially when you are treated by a qualified remedial massage therapist. Here are our top 10 reasons you might want to get a massage this week.
You’re stressed out
Let’s face it – most of us live pretty hectic lives. Between family, work, social life, hobbies and more, there isn’t much time for stress-relieving activities.
Putting aside an hour for massage isn’t just about feeling good. Research has found that massage therapy can reduce the level of your stress hormone cortisol, as well as boosting up your feel-good brain chemicals. So it relieves stress physically as well as mentally.
You’ve been hitting the gym lately
Whether you’re doing a 12 week challenge at your gym or getting outside for a bootcamp, increasing your exercise can mean a lot of aches and pains.
Massage is a great option for after a workout to aid with recovery. But you can also book yourself in regularly to address any tightness or discomfort in the muscles that can limit your gym efforts.
You want to be more flexible
Our bodies are designed to be flexible. But our modern world has had a big impact on how flexible the average person is. Between office jobs, Netflix and cars, we spend a lot of time sitting on our muscles instead of stretching them out.
When a massage relieves tension in a ‘tight’ area, it can help your muscles, ligaments and tendons to be more flexible.
You have a new fitness goal or event in mind
Set a goal to run a marathon in 12 weeks? Signed up for Tough Mudder or a Spartan race? Want to be the next Ninja Warrior? Maybe you just want to get back to doing a proper push-up.
Whatever your fitness goal or event, a massage will relieve tension. A remedial massage therapist can also let you know if you have any significant areas of tension or muscle imbalances that may increase your risk of injury.
You’re sore or aching
There are many reasons for feeling sore. But one of the simplest solutions is to get a massage. Massage can soothe away the aches and pains.
If your pain is more chronic, massage can still help to relieve symptoms. In fact, research suggests that multiple massages may be more beneficial for relieving symptoms of pain for issues such as chronic neck pain. Sounds like a good reason to book in a few appointments!
You’ve got a headache
A nasty headache can really screw up your plans and leave you grumpy. So why not get a treatment that can relieve those symptoms?
Research has shown that massage can reduce the duration of a headache, as well as reducing frequency for those who experience chronic tension headaches.
Think it’s more of a migraine? Massage can still help. One study found massage can reduce migraine pain by up to 68%. Just make sure you’re safe to drive, or ask a friend to drive you to your appointment.
You haven’t been sleeping well
If you’re not sleeping soundly, your body and mind can suffer some nasty consequences. Poor sleep can have many factors involved – caffeine, food choices, technology use, lack of sun exposure, stress, family, work, the list goes on.
The good news is that massage can help address many of these factors as well as priming your body for sleep. There is plenty of research showing that massage can help with sleep. It can even help with sleep concerns for specific groups such as people with chronic pain or pain conditions, heart failure or post-menopausal insomnia.
Your mental health has been a little low lately
Whether you’re feeling blue or are getting anxious over little things, mental health is something to take seriously. When you’re not feeling ok, it can be hard to take steps to help yourself feel better. But one simple and enjoyable step is a massage!
A review of 37 massage therapy studies found that the greatest impact of massage is its ability to reduce anxious and depressive symptoms. In fact, they suggested that a course of several massage treatments showed similar benefits to psychotherapy!
It’s been a while since you’ve taken care of you
Most of us are great at taking care of others. But we’re not so good at taking care of ourselves – physically, mentally or emotionally.
Massage is a one-stop shop treatment for all of these aspects of self-care. Your body feels good, your stress levels drop and you are looking after your mental wellbeing.
Because you can
We think this is the best reason of all! If you’re looking for an excuse to get a massage, that in itself is a good enough reason for a massage.
To book a massage with our remedial massage therapist Helvi, head to our booking page and select ‘Helvi Topia’ as your practitioner.
Need a massage and it’s only day 2 of the school holidays?
We’re open, and although we know you’d probably prefer the time to yourself, we want you to know that our clinic is kid friendly!
There are toys for the little ones, or your older kids can choose to read, or of course every kids favourite, play games or watch YouTube.
We can help you save your mobile data by connecting you to our wifi during your treatment, so the kids can keep themselves busy and you don’t have to wait til they’re back at school.
We’ll also be open throughout the AFL Grand Final weekend, including on Friday the 27th (the Grand Final eve public holiday) and on Saturday the 28th.
Time to make a booking? We’ll see you soon!
We very quietly moved into our new location in July, and have been working on a brand new look since then.
Its now ready!! Out with the old, in with the new!
Soon you'll see our new business cards and Guide to Myotherapy roll out in the clinic, as well as the updates to the website!
Big thanks to the lovely Emma at Bespoke Backdrops who took us through the process of redesigning and rebranding! We love the little bee, and the anatomical icons she's created for us!
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.