Summer Holiday 2017

As per the email I sent to clients and the news item I posted on the website at the beginning of June, I’m on holiday from Tuesday 20th-25th June inclusive.  Any messages received during this period I’ll answer on my return.

Pilates classes at The Wellbeing Studio will resume on Monday 26th June at 1230.

Enjoy the sun…responsibly 😉

 

 

PS. I love beach huts and I cannot lie…

 

Final Five – Muddy Stilettos’ Awards 2017

The Wellbeing Studio – Embody Pilates’ home in Clevedon –  is in the Final Five of the Best Yoga/Pilates Studio category of the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2017 – Somerset. Thank you very much to those who responded to our recent call to arms and nominated us.

Muddy Stilettos is the UK’s leading regional lifestyle blog, with over 100,000 readers and a social following of 50,000 across 18 English counties. The blog is the ‘urban guide to the countryside’ for intelligent, fun-loving people who live outside the metropolis, but who want to be in the know for cool, quirky and unmissable things to do where they live.

If you’d like to support us further and vote for The Wellbeing Studio to win the Best Yoga/Pilates Studio in Somerset award, please follow this link.  Voting starts from zero so the nominations from the first round are not carried forward.  It is now a five-way contest between the finalists. Voting is live on the Awards site so you can see who is in the lead. Voting ends at midday on Friday 16 June. The winners will be formally announced on the blog as soon as the votes have all been verified.

Thank you again for your support.

Bonus track this week is from Pistol Annies with Hell on Heels…

 

PS. Those stiletto hiking sandals in the image at the start of this news item are for real!

 

Bowen Therapy

I’ve been road-testing a number of treatments over the past six months and by far the strangest and yet most effective is Bowen Therapy.  Developed in the 1950s by Tom Bowen, Bowen therapy, or the Bowen technique is a non-invasive, complementary holistic therapy, which works with the fascia of the body.

What is Fascia?

Despite the fact that it impacts on every aspect of the human body and was discovered thousands of years ago, the importance of fascia is still greatly underestimated.

Fascia runs in strips over structures, inside them like a cobweb, in “blank space” as a kind of jelly, as well as in and around the spine. It penetrates and surrounds every part of our body, from just under the skin to deep within muscles, the brain, other organs, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels, nerves etc. If we could view fascia independently from the rest of our body, we would look like a huge candy floss in the shape of a human.

Some of the fascia is able to contract, relax and stretch, just as muscles do. The denser fascia that runs in large strips, cross the body like highways and interchanges. They have the ability to pull the skeleton as well as surrounding structures out of alignment. Where fascia crosses, it has the ability to disrupt the function of joints, including those of the vertebral column.

What is the Bowen Technique?

The Bowen technique involves a distinctive move applied at very precise points on the body which are dense in receptors. The move is a rolling-type movement of the soft tissue using thumbs and forefingers.  It is designed to stimulate the tissue and nerve pathways and hence focus the brain.  The aim of Bowen therapy is to challenge the nervous system at a subconscious level, encouraging the body to adjust and/or heal by releasing the fascia.

Bowen Therapy is the polar opposite of more hands-on therapies like chiropractic, osteopathy, physiotherapy, sports massage, which are characterised by forced adjustment, hard manipulation and deep pressure.

What can it treat?

Bowen therapy treats the whole person rather than a list of symptoms or conditions.  However Bowen has been found to be highly beneficial for clients suffering from the following dis-eases of the body:

  • back and neck pain
  • sciatica
  • sports injuries
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • IBS
  • migraines
  • frozen shoulder
  • stress

What happens during a Bowen Treatment?

A Bowen consultation and treatment lasts about an hour and is usually performed through light clothing, e.g. a t-shirt and leggings or jogging bottoms.  An experienced Bowen therapist identifies the often very subtle imbalances in the client’s body and starts the process of correcting them with a few well-chosen moves.

For most clients, the strangest aspect of Bowen Therapy is the frequent breaks that take place during the course of the treatment.  The Bowen therapist performs the gentle rolling movement in a specific area then leaves the client for a couple of minutes, returning to check how the body has responded and to determine what more, if anything, needs to be done.

This element of allowing the body to rest for a few minutes is important as it initiates the process of repair. The length of the breaks varies from client to client and with different procedures, but on average the therapist will leave clients for around two minutes in between each set of moves.

The breaks are probably one of the least understood parts of Bowen and yet it is during these breaks that the work starts to take effect and change occurs. The most fundamental principle of Bowen is that it’s the client doing the work, not the therapist, and for this to happen the body needs time alone to process what has been experienced.

To close, one for Nashville fans.  Here’s Clare Bowen (wink) and Sam Palladio with a woozy, bluesy kinda number…

 

Class Timetable Changes – June/July 2017

Surf’s up!  Summer 2017 is here, which means holidays, outdoor gigs and festivals.  There’s even a literature festival in Bradford.  Yes, we can read!  We’re that cultured! For this reason the following Pilates classes at The Wellbeing Studio will NOT take place:

  • the 1800 and 1900 sessions on Thursday 15 June
  • the 1815 and 1915 sessions on Tuesday 20th June
  • the 1015 and 1115 sessions on Wednesday 21 June
  • the 1230, 1800 and 1900 sessions on Thursday 22nd June
  • the 0930 and 1030 sessions on Friday 23rd June
  • the 1000 session on Saturday 24th June
  • the 1000 session on Saturday 1st July

Apologies for any inconvenience caused.  For those most affected by the cancellations – clients who normally come to the Thursday evening and Saturday morning classes – you’d be very welcome to join one of the other classes, if you’d rather not miss Pilates for two weeks.

To close and to get in the mood for a gig at Westonbirt Arboretum, here’s Mr GG…

 

Muddy Stilettos’ Awards 2017

The Wellbeing Studio – Embody Pilates’ home in Clevedon –  is looking for nominations in the Best Yoga/Pilates Studio category of the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2017 – Somerset.

Muddy Stilettos is the UK’s leading regional lifestyle blog, with over 100,000 readers and a social following of 50,000 across 18 English counties. The blog is the ‘urban guide to the countryside’ for intelligent, fun-loving people who live outside the metropolis, but who want to be in the know for cool, quirky and unmissable things to do where they live.

If you’d like to support us and nominate The Wellbeing Studio for Best Yoga/Pilates Studio in Somerset, please follow this link.  Nominations close this Wednesday 24th May.

The five finalists (i.e. those receiving the most nominations) for Best Yoga/Pilates Studio will be announced on the Muddy Stilettos Awards site on Wednesday 7th June, when voting will reopen for another week.  The winner will be announced after voting closes again at 12pm on Wednesday 14th June.

To close, here’s Amy Winehouse with my favourite dirty footwear song…

 

 

Screen Neck – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

How much time do you spend looking at your phone, tablet, Kindle or some other hand-held mobile device?  It’s probably more than you think.  79% of the population between 18 and 44 years of age have their mobile phones with them almost all the time, with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without their mobile to hand.

The infogram below (click on the image to view in more detail) indicates the increasing force placed on the neck from holding the head in a forwards and downward position.

Most of us do this too frequently and for too long every day.  Add to this the amount of time we spend with our heads pushed forward while driving or watching the television or working on the computer and you can see why the neck and upper back are so often overworked.

Symptoms associated with screen neck

  • a constant, nagging pain in the upper back, or a sharp pain resulting from the muscles of the upper back spasming;
  • shoulder pain and tightness;
  • pinched nerves in the neck, resulting in pain and perhaps neurological symptoms that radiate down the arm and into the hand;
  • compression and herniation of the discs in the neck;
  • tension headaches;
  • decreased respiratory muscle strength and a loss of lung capacity by as much as 30%.  This shortness of breath can lead to heart and blood vascular disease;
  • early onset of arthritis in the neck.

How to avoid screen neck

To prevent the development or advancement of screen neck:

  • hold mobile devices at eye-level;
  • take a break from looking at a screen every 20-30 minutes;
  • have a Bowen treatment or for those with more masochistic tendencies, try a deep tissue massage focused on the neck, shoulder and upper back;
  • do Pilates on a regular basis:
    • to build strong and flexible muscles in the neck to minimize the strain on the cervical spine and help support the weight of the head;
    • to build strong core muscles, which help to support the upper body in alignment;

To close, Jack White’s acoustic performance of The Rose with the Broken Neck…

The Wellbeing Studio Open Day

Yey!  It’s the Clevedon Sunday Market this weekend with stalls celebrating locally produced food and drink, talented craft makers and vintage collectors from the South West.  It takes places on the 7th May between 1000 and 1400.

To coincide with the event, The Wellbeing Studio is having an open day.  Based at 6 Alexandra Road, the studio is perfectly situated in the heart of the market, so as you pass between the three sites in the hill and sea area, do drop by and pay a visit.

We’re opening our doors to anyone curious about The Wellbeing Studio and interested to learn more about the range of classes and treatments on offer.  Join us for a chat or just bob in and have a quick nosey round the studio and the facilities.

I’ll be there between 1000 and noon in case you’d like to talk to me specifically about Pilates and how it could help you.  We could even try a few moves if you like.

See you there.