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Manual Handling and Massage

20 March 2018 | by Laura Kirkwood | Kirkys Therapies

Observations of a Masseuse

One thing is becoming rather uncanny.  A new client comes in and fills in the new client form for me.  I take one look at their occupation and am at least 90% accurate (if not more) in where their issues are. 

Plasterers, builders and plumbers I would ask if their issues are with knees, buttocks and lower back.  The answer is nearly always yes (although not always yes to the knees). 

Pavers, window washers and electricians have issues with their thoracic and cervical spine / upper back, shoulders and neck and sometimes along the arm with tingling sensations in their fingers.   

Secretaries and administration officers also have upper back and neck issues, plus their shoulders tend to be very rounded and their heads tilted too far forward.  This automatically puts a strain on the neck and shoulder muscles. 

Have you weighed your head?  It is rather heavy, you know.  When your neck tilts forward constantly, the muscles in your neck and shoulder have to support that weight.   Dowagers Hump forms at C7 (cervical spine vertebrae 7) and tension builds in the Sternocliedomastiod, the Levator Scapulae and Rhomboid muscles. The Trapezius also takes the strain.  There are a lot of muscles connected in the neck which help support the heads upright position.  When the neck is not upright but tilted forward – all those muscles are now stressing because they have to work extra hard to support your head and eventually, it takes its toll.

When your work is repetitive - any repeated unnatural postural position that is putting a lot of strain and stress on your body, the result is stressed muscle fibres.  Constant pressure placed on the muscles, ligaments and tendons in your body lends itself to complaints of back-ache, sciatica, piriformis syndrome, tension headaches and migraines, impaired mobility, frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel.... the list goes on and on.

 Then along comes a stress overload and the muscle spasms, stretches, strains or tears. Either way, the owner of that body is in a lot of pain or at least really uncomfortable with a constant dull ache. 

A session is booked with the massage therapist/masseuse (me) to ‘fix’ their back or neck issues. 

Posture is so very important in everyday life.  I have attended a Manual Handling Train the Trainer course with National Training Services and I learned a lot from that (along with my Level 3 Anatomy and Physiology Course) which helps me now in my personal life but also has helped me recognise postural issues causing so much trouble for my clients. 

Be aware of your spine.  Be aware of correct positioning and correct posture because that is being responsible for your own health and wellbeing and encourages others to take the same precautions.

It all has so much to do with that dreaded word – POSTURE.



20 March 2018 | by Laura Kirkwood | Kirkys Therapies

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