More than just a Massage.

If you found a knot in your hair, you’d probably sort it out right away, leaving it would only mean it that it would get worse and eventually end up in a horrible dreadlock. So why don’t we take the same action when we find a knot in our muscles.   I’m a fine one to talk, I’ve worked on a computer nearly every day of my adult life and largely ignored the aching shoulders, the crunchy neck tendons and the stabbing headaches. That was until recently when the white-hot pain that was shooting across my left shoulder became too unbearable to continue ignoring.

I’d heard that Michelle from Puhoi Beauty was great at Massage, but I had my doubts, for me massage is a pamper treat you have on a holiday or on a day out with the girls. I was sceptical that a massage could really sort out my shoulder pain. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Yes Michelle’s treatment room looks like one that you’d find in a spa and the soothing music adds to the ambience, but my first sessions with Michelle started with a conversation about my posture and my anatomy. Michelle had me doing arm and shoulder rotations and immediately told me that we wouldn’t be doing any deep tissue massage until she had worked on some  myoffascial release. Michelle said “Think about the chicken you are going to roast for Sunday dinner, the connective tissue between the chicken skin and the meat is the Fascia”. It seems after years at a keyboard the Fascia around my left shoulder had toughened up, restricting blood flow and resulting in pain. Michelle got to work on loosening up the Fascia for a good 20mins, only then did she start to work on the deeper muscles under the shoulder blade and in the neck area. This wasn’t a painful session but I left feeling like I’d had a full on work out. The following  week I implemented the homework Michelle had given me, raising my screen, sitting correctly, taking breaks. There was less pain and my shoulder felt freer, and a lot less crunchy.

However, I was hooked on the anatomy and was concerned about the long term damage I might have done. Michelle had been very clear that knotted muscles wouldn’t release themselves. If left untreated the body will compensate, overusing another set of muscles to protect those that are damaged. The damaged muscles will harden, restricting blood flow and building up toxins, ultimately manifesting in health issues such as headaches, restless sleep patterns, sluggish energy, digestion problems, the list is endless.

So back I went to Michelle and asked her to do some more work on my shoulder and to look at releasing any toxins that might have built up over the years. She suggested, electronic acupuncture, Gua sha and Cupping. I’ve never been one for Chinese Medicine, but Michelle explained things in simple terms and related everything back to my anatomy and what each procedure was designed to do.  She started by placing an electronic acupuncture machine on my ankle and explained that the light pulsing sensation would work on my meridian lines.  The first lot of cups were placed on my stomach. The idea being that Michelle wanted to test my overall wellness before we moved onto my shoulder. I’m not going to lie having the cups placed on your stomach is an odd sensation, not painful but a strange tightening sensation as the skin is sucked up into the cups. 10 mins later I was delighted to be told that I was indeed a healthy specimen, the circle marks on my stomach were minimal and immediately started to fade. So over I went and Michelle prepared to start on my left shoulder. She began with Gua Sha, a light scraping, with an implement that looks a little like a surfers wax comb, the idea is to stimulate blood flow. Immediately the shoulder started to darken. Michelle placed 3 cups on the area, there was no pain at all but the skin reddened and looked bruised straight away. The idea of the cups is to draw stagnant blood, energy and toxins away from the damaged muscles. Unlike my stomach, when the cups were removed, my shoulder featured deep purple circles, (these fade within 2 – 3 days) indicating that there was a lot of toxins and stagnant blood.

My shoulder is a work in progress. I’ve spent years ignoring the knotted muscles and now Michelle has one hell of a dreadlock to untangle. The Myoffascial release was the start, the cups and Gua Sha, released the toxins and established better blood flow and I’ll continue to see Michelle for some deep tissue massage. Already I have seen great improvements, the pain is less, the movement in my shoulders is more and my understanding of how my body works and how I should be treating it has vastly improved.

Michelle offers so much more than a Massage, this goes way beyond a spa pamper session, Michelle is a mechanic for the body, she’s in the business of fixing things. If like me you’ve neglected muscle issues, ignored aches and pains and forgotten old injuries, then now is the time to act. The muscles wont heal themselves and will cause further problems as you go through life, in all sorts of ways. Let  Michelle take a look, enjoy learning about your anatomy and be open to the suggestions on how she can help. You’ll be amazed at the results she can achieve for you.