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.
Mel is a Myotherapist based in Ferntree Gully.