How Healthy is Your Heart?

And you thought we were just about backs – call 01672 564646 for a free heart check…….

3 Things You Can Do Today to Have a Healthier Heart.

1 – Stop Smoking!Quit-Smoking-Cigarettes

Seriously, if you smoke, stop.  We know you’ve heard all the risks before and the effect it has on your blood pressure, cholesterol etc, but it’s still worth reinforcing.  The British Heart Foundation lists 4 ways that smoking damages your heart;

· Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.

· The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means your heart has to pump harder to supply the body with the oxygen it needs.

· The nicotine in cigarettes stimulates your body to produce adrenaline, which makes your heart beat faster and raises your blood pressure, making your heart work harder.

· Your blood is more likely to clot, which increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Remember an E-cigarette still releases nicotine, so even though they aren’t seen as being as bad as cigarettes they still carry some risk.

If you quit, there are immediate benefits as well as long term ones, click here for a full list.

 

2 – Move around on a regular basis!walking

Seems easy, and frankly, it is!  According to the NHS guidelines all you need to do for your heart to benefit from exercise is 20 minutes per day of fast walking.   If you think you haven’t got time bear in mind that the average British person spends 1 hour a day on social media, and with today’s smartphones you can do that while you are exercising!

Moving about affects the heart in many positive ways, it makes it grow and become a more powerful pump to get the blood around your body. The repeated increase in pressure when you exercise also makes the main arteries stretch slightly, making them wider resulting in easier blood flow.
Two very cool ways exercise improves your heart function is via your breathing and the muscles in your calves.  As you breathe in, the increased pressure in your lungs helps pump out the blood, easing the workload on the pump (a bit like giving it a squeeze), and then when you exhale, the reduced pressure causes it to expand helping it refill.
So heavy breathing (however you want to do it) helps your heart pump!

Also, when you walk or run you have to get a lot of blood to a lot of places fast, but to keep the blood circulating it needs to get back to the heart, and this is where your calf muscles come in.  As you exercise, your calf muscles exert a squeezing action on the blood vessels, creating pressure and driving the blood back to the heart to be re-oxygenised.

 

3 – Know Your Risk Level!

Information is power, you can’t make an informed and decisive change in your lifestyle until you know what you are doing it for, there are several risk factors that determine your likelihood of having heart disease, these include;

· Age – the older you are, the greater the risk

· Gender – Men tend to be a more risk earlier, but women catch up after the menopause

· Family History – If someone in your family has had heart problems before they were 55 then you may have an increased risk.

· High Blood Pressure – The higher the pressure the greater the risk and the harder your heart has to work.

· High Cholesterol – Usually a result of dietary factors, see here for a good guide to why cholesterol is important.

· A high ‘waist/hip ratio’.  This is a good measure to see if your body composition or your weight could be a risk factor for heart disease, a measurement over 1.0 in men or 0.85 in women may mean you have an increased risk.  Calculate yours here.

If you think you may be at risk of heart disease, get a full medical check as soon as possible so you can start taking action!

Throughout February, Pewsey Osteopathic & Sports Injury Clinic will be doing free blood pressure checks and waist/hip ratio measurements to help you identify if you need to do a little bit more to love your heart!

Call us on 01672 564646 to book a time (we will be offering these checks on Wednesday & Saturday only).

healthy-heart

What is Sports Massage?

Laufender Mann Silhouette mit Skelett und GelenkschmerzenAs defined by the Sports Massage Association: “Sports Massage is the management, manipulation and rehabilitation of soft tissues of the body including muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is applicable not just to sports people but to anybody wishing to guard against or recover from a soft tissue injury.”

Sports massage is used to:

  •    Improve circulation and lymphatic flow
  •    Assist in the removal of metabolic wastes

  •    Calm or stimulate nerve endings

  •    Increase or decrease muscle tone

  •    Increase or decrease muscle length

  •    Assist in the remodeling of scar tissue

Sports Massage is not just for the Olympic athlete – we treat armchair athletes too!
Around 50% of our patients are sports injury related and 50% are unrelated to sport.
Our youngest patients are still at primary school and our more senior patients are approaching their 90th birthday.

The benefits of sports massage therapy may also help relieve many day to day problems, such as:

  •     Repetitive strain injury e.g: work, driving

  •     Sprains and strains

  •     Tension

  •     General aches and pain e.g: gardening, lifting, playing with the kids

  •     The effects of poor posture

  •     Tight muscles / Muscle spasm

Fotolia_41226524_XSMany sports massage practitioners work with a great range of clients in assisting with preventive treatment and injury recovery.

If you are a sports performer, of any level, a sports specific massage can be beneficial at any stage of participation – from the conditioning and training phase, the post-competition stage as well as for injury prevention and recovery.

massageWhat happens during your appointment?

A full history of your condition will be taken and you will be examined as appropriate for the area or areas concerned.  An individual treatment plan will be discussed, and then implemented by providing the appropriate massage and/or stretching techniques. You will be advised if the therapist feels any alternative actions may be required, for example referral to a doctor.

Appointments last 30, 45 or 60 minutes.  You are advised to leave up to an hour for your initial appointment. Please contact the practice for our current availability and prices.

About Paul Watson:

Paul trained at the London School of Sports Massage, gaining his Level 4 Diploma in Sports Massage Therapy in 2006.  He went on to gain a Diploma in sports Therapy from the Sports Therapy Organisation (Manchester) in 2007.

He holds clinics at Devizes and Pewsey from Monday to Saturday, with later evening appointments available.

To make an appointment, or for further information, please telephone 07737 416906.

Hot Stone Massage

This is a treatment offered at our Pewsey clinic, and will be given by one of our sports massage therapists, Lia Rushton.

What is Hot Stone massage?

Hot stone massage is a variation of standard massage therapy, in which the therapist uses smooth, heated stones either held in their own hands, or placed on one part the body while they massage another part. The heat can be deeply relaxing and help warm up tight muscles so the therapist can work more deeply, more quickly.

The stones used are basalt, a black volcanic rock that absorbs and retains heat well. They vary in size, and have been smoothed and rounded by natural forces in the river or sea.

 

What happens during a hot stone massage?

Before you arrive, the stones will have first have been cleaned, then heated in a hot water bath until they reach a certain temperature range.

Depending on which part of you is to be treated, the starting position will vary, but most massages begin with you lying face down on the couch to enable your back, shoulders and neck to be treated.  As the stones cool down, they will be replaced with fresh warm ones.

You will be required to undress as far as your underwear, but during the massage, only the part of your body being massaged will be exposed, to ensure your modesty.

The stones come in a variety of sizes, so big ones can treat bigger areas of your body, smaller ones on the smaller areas.

Everyone has their own comfort range, so if you should find that the stones are too warm or the pressure of the massage is too intense, that can easily be adapted – all you need to do is speak up!  If you don’t find you like the stones, then your treatment can be changed to a regular massage.

How much does it cost?

Please contact the practice on 01672 564646 for our current fees.

Each massage will last around one hour.

Who can have hot stone massage?

Virtually anyone!  Most people enjoy the warmth and find it a comforting and relaxing experience.

It’s ideally suited for people who have muscle tension but prefer a lighter massage. The heat relaxes muscles, allowing the therapist to work the muscles without using deep pressure.

Hot stone massage may be of help to people with:

  • Back pain and aches
  • Poor circulation
  • Osteoarthritis and arthritis pain
  • Stress, anxiety and tension
  • Insomnia
  • Depression

Who should NOT have hot stone massage?

Hot stone massage is not appropriate for certain people.

If you have the following, you cannot have hot stone massage:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease – please check with your doctor first
  • You are on blood thinning medication or at a risk for developing blood clots – there is a risk that clots could be dislodged
  • You are pregnant
  • You have sunburn
  • You have just had surgery
  • You have an infectious disease, a rash or an open wound
  • You are having chemotherapy
  • You can’t be massaged over a recently fractured bone

If you are menopausal, the heat may trigger a hot flush!  Not a contra-indication as such, but something you may want to bear in mind.