Regular questions I get asked by clients
I often get asked the same questions by my clients and the answers are not always easy.
This page is updated regularly.
Updated Monday 17 April 2017
Q: Should I be stretching?
A: This really depends on what you are trying to achieve.
If you want to prevent injury and improve your performance, then regular stretching has been shown to be more effective than just stretching before exercise4.
Performing a warm up before exercise (light aerobics) is generally accepted as beneficial5.
Stretching immediately before an event or exercise has been shown to have a negative impact on performance8. These findings are specific to sports that require isolated force or power (like jumping or sprinting). This appears to be true for all types of stretching (passive, static or ballistic), and stretches held for longer than 60 seconds.
Regular stretching after exercise or at a time unrelated to exercise has been shown to improve performance, including running speed8.
General stretching as part of an overall exercise plan has also been shown to improve other health domains like vitality, bodily pain, mental health, general health and flexibility9.
4 – Does stretching help prevent injuries?, Shrier, 2007
5 – Does warming up prevent injury in sport? The evidence from randomised controlled trials, Fradkin et al, 2006
6 – Is yoga effective for pain? Posadski, 2011
7 – A randomized trial comparing yoga, stretching, and a self-care book for chronic low back pain, Sherman et al, 2011
8 – Does stretching improve performance? A systematic and critical review of the literature, Shrier, 2004
9 – Effectiveness of a stretching program on anxiety levels of workers in a logistic platform: a randomized controlled study, Montero-Marin et al, 2013
Updated Monday 10 April 2017
Q: How often should I get a massage/manual therapy treatment?
A: There are no right or wrong answers regarding the regularity of massages.
For the reduction of chronic pain and return of normal musculoskeletal function, my clinical experience and training shows that weekly outcome-based sessions (for 1-6 sessions) give the best results.
A monthly maintenance schedule is generally sufficient once the root cause of musculoskeletal pain has been addressed, through:
- Releasing hypertonic muscle groups
- Activation of weak/inactive muscle groups
- Myofascial release of connective tissue matrix
- Trigger point therapy
- Deep tissue remedial therapy
- Assisted stretching and client homework!
Remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something has to change.
Whichever interventions are used to address pain, continuation of activity and changes to lifestyle must be adhered to, or the symptoms usually return.
Updated Monday 3 April 2017
Q: What are the benefits of massage?
A: Studies show that receiving regular massage can provide a host of specific and general health benefits:
- Reduction in blood pressure and heart rate1
- Controlling blood pressure in pre-hypertension women2
- Reduction in inflammatory markers in the blood3
My clients who present with chronic pain symptoms generally have better outcomes from their regular sessions than those who attend passively and less frequently, if they:
- Receive a weekly remedial deep tissue massage
- Perform mindful and appropriate stretching in between sessions
- Make positive steps towards being more active and less sedentary
However, for more active and physical clients, a monthly 60-minute session works just as well to maintain aches and pains that have developed in between sessions.
1 – The effect of deep-tissue massage therapy on blood pressure and heart rate, Kay et al, 2008
2 – Durability of Effect of Massage Therapy on Blood Pressure, Mahshid Givi, 2013
3 – Effects of Swedish massage therapy on blood pressure, heart rate, and inflammatory markers in hypertensive women, Supa’at, 2013
Q: Why does my pain keep coming back?
Q: What should I be doing differently to feel less pain?
Q: Why do I spontaneously and inexplicably experience pain?