Introducing...

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Rahel Häner

Meet Rahel - an amazing therapist with seven years of experience under her hat. Originally hailing from Basel, Switzerland. She swapped the city for the adventure and nature of Queenstown

She’s all about sports!

That is why she decided to follow her passion and study Physiotherapy. Completing courses of sports coaching and taping too.

For the past years, she’s been helping others through her profession. She loves the fact she can spend her day helping clients thrive through the power of massage therapy.

QUEENSTOWN LIFE

“I’ve been living in Queenstown since the end of October and started working at Remedial Massage Queenstown not long after that. What can I say about Queenstown? It’s laying on the Lake Wakatipu surrounded by mountains covered with snow. It’s just stunning. To have the opportunity to go skiing in winter was spectacular. After all - who doesn’t like to be able to walk 5 minutes and you’re out in the nature? There’re a lot of possibilities of outdoor activities.”

WORKING AS A REMEDIAL MASSAGE THERAPIST

“I love challenges and I like working with people, It’s my vocation, but I really like when people can’t believe how strong I am”

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“My favourite type of massage is working with my hands, or whatever it needs to go through the muscles really, like using my knuckles or elbows. But If I feel I can’t go deep enough with my hands I like to use Dry Needling, the benefits are amazing. But I always customize my treatment style to every single client”

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Apart from massages, Rahel has many other passions – she hikes, plays soccer and workout at the gym. Another big passion of her is cooking/baking and reading books during her free time.

For the month of April (2019) get $15 off your massage treatment when you book in with Rahel!
conditions apply

BOOK NOW

Sleep? Ain't no body got time for that!

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If you’ve ever spent a night tossing and turning, you already know how you’ll feel the next day — tired, cranky, and out of sorts. But missing out on the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly does more than make you feel groggy and grumpy.

The main symptom of ongoing sleep loss is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other symptoms include:

  • yawning

  • moodiness

  • fatigue

  • irritability

  • depressed mood

  • difficulty learning new concepts

  • forgetfulness

  • inability to concentrate or a "fuzzy" head

  • lack of motivation

  • clumsiness

  • increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings

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The long term effects of sleep deprivation are real. It drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk. Science has linked poor slumber with all kinds of health problems, from weight gain to a weakened immune system.

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Memory Issues: During sleep, your brain forms connections that help you process and remember new information. A lack of sleep can negatively impact both short and long-term memory.

Trouble with thinking and concentration: Your concentration, creativity and problem-solving skills aren’t up to par when you don’t get enough rest.

Mood changes: Sleep deprivation can make you moody, emotional, and quick-tempered. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your mood and lead to anxiety or depression, which may escalate. reduced tendency to think positively, bad moods, a decreased willingness to solve problems, intolerance and less empathy toward others, poor impulse control, inability to delay gratification.

Weakened immunity: Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.

Accidents: being drowsy during the day can increase your risk for car accidents and injuries from other causes.

High Blood pressure: If you sleep less than five hours a night, your risk for high blood pressure increases.

Risk of heart disease: Sleep deprivation may lead to increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammaction, both of which play roles in heart disease.

Risk of diabetes: A lack of sleep affects your body’s release of insulin, a blood sugar-lowering hormone. People who don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes.

Weight gain: With sleep deprivation, the chemicals that signal to your brain that you are full are off balance. As a result, you’re more likely to overindulge even when you’ve had enough to eat. It's believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

Low sex drive: People who don’t get enough sleep often have a lower libido. In men, this decreased sex drive may be due to a drop in testosterone levels.

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HOW MUCH SLEEP DO WE NEED?

The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) 2015 recommendations for appropriate sleep durations for specific age groups are:

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours each day

  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours

  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours

  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours

  • School-age children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours

  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours

  • Adults (18 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours

  • Older adults (over 65 years): 7 to 8 hours

Most of us need around 8 hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it's likely that you're not getting enough sleep.

A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it's due to bad sleeping habits.

HOW TO CATCH UP ON LOST SLEEP?

If you don't get enough sleep, there's only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

It won't happen with a single early night. If you've had months of restricted sleep, you'll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or 2 of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you're tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

Don't rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

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HOME MANAGEMENT

The good news is that most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation reverse when sufficient sleep is obtained. The treatment for sleep deprivation is to satisfy the biological sleep need, prevent deprivation and "pay back" accumulated sleep debt.

Some suggestions for good sleep habits include:

  • going to bed when tired

  • following a routine for bed and wake-up times, keeping it consistent every day of the week

  • avoiding eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime

  • if unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes of trying, going to another room and trying to read until feeling sleepy, then returning to bed

  • engaging in regular exercise during the day

  • keeping the bedroom quiet, dark and a comfortably cool temperature

  • turning off electronic devices when you go to bed















EVERYONE NEEDS A BUTT MASSAGE. Part 2

Ahhhh, the gluteus medius. AKA: the glute med!

Unless you are a runner, ballet dancer or a yogi, you probably have never heard of this muscle before.

It is one of the three gluteus muscles, along with the gluteus maximus and minimus and originates on the outer surface of the ilium (pelvis) just below the iliac crest and converges as a large flattened tendon onto the lateral greater trochanter of the femur (thigh bone).

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AND WHAT IS HIS FUNCTION?

The main function of the glute med is abduction of the hip. Abduction is when you move the leg away from the center of the body. Is also responsible for external rotation of the hip when the hip is extended and internal rotation of the hip when it is flexed…more accurately; it prevents external rotation when flexed.

But, the most important job of the glute med, however, is stabilization of the pelvis. Activation of the muscle prevents dropping of the pelvis when standing on one leg. When the glute med is injured or weak, it allows the opposite hip to drop when weight bearing on one leg such as when walking or running.

It also helps your bigger gluteus maximus muscle flex and extend your leg. Having strong glutes is important because we use our glutes in everyday life when you push off the ground while walking, running, or stepping.

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WHAT HAPPENS IF ITS DISFUNCTIONAL?

When the gluteus medius does not function well, there are implications down to the lower limbs.

A person with weak gluteus medius may exhibit the Trendenlenburg sign during walking:

The pelvis will drop on the opposte side. If this situation is not addressed, there will be risks of structural overload to the lumbar spine, sacroiliac joint , hip and knee – and may cause excessive wear and tear at these joints.

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A weak gluteus medius can lead to the inward collapse on the knee, placing more pressure on your knee





The figure above shows three different trigger points in the muscle and the pain referral pattern for each. All three of these referral patterns present on a regular basis. Patients come in with low back pain and are surprised to learn it’s not their low back at all, but their glutes. The glute med is constantly firing when we are upright so it makes sense that the muscle is overworked.

The figure above shows three different trigger points in the muscle and the pain referral pattern for each. All three of these referral patterns present on a regular basis. Patients come in with low back pain and are surprised to learn it’s not their low back at all, but their glutes. The glute med is constantly firing when we are upright so it makes sense that the muscle is overworked.

INJURIES INFLUENCED BY A POORLY FUNCTIONING OR OVERLOADED GLUTEUS MEDIUS

The injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Gluteal Tendinopathy

  • Gluteal Muscle Strain or Tear

  • Patellofemoral Joint Pain Syndrome / Anterior Knee Pain

  • ITB Friction Syndrome

  • Achilles Tendinopathy

  • Hamstring Injuries

  • Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis

  • Piriformis Syndrome

  • Trochanteric Bursitis

HOW DO I TRAIN MY GLUTEUS MEDIUS?

Gluteus Medius is most active when performing isolated single-limb exercises.

Research shows that integration of trunk and lumbar stability exercises can further reduce loading onto and requirements of the Gluteus Medius.

We’d recommend the following exercises.

  1. Clams

  2. Bridges with theraband

  3. Ball at the wall squat

  4. Crab walk

  5. Monster walk

SO, AFTER ALL, DO I NEED A BUTT MASSAGE?!

Fun fact, the Gluteus muscles are the largest muscle in the body. If that area gets skipped over your therapist is missing a huge portion of the body. Now you might be totally cool with that, but if you have back pain, knee pain, hip pain or even leg pain? Your glutes may be the reason for it.

Massage in this area will be important to everyone, athletes, arm chair athletes, desk workers, people that stand all day...you get the picture. Muscles all have origin and insertion point that pull and shorten when put under any stress. 

If you are a bit shy, always let the therapists know any of your reservations. Glutes can easily be worked on top of the sheet or through clothing. Or the therapist will always drop modestly with a sheet working one side at a time. 

So, at your next massage, remember to get the glutes worked on! Your back, legs, hips & knees will thanks you! 



MASSAGE + ALCOHOL = BAD IDEA

We all deserve the chance to relax after a long week, and a beer (or three) followed by a soothing massage might sound like a perfect recipe for relaxation.

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But if your daydreams involve both a few drinks and a massage therapy session, you should understand that massage therapists don’t really approve the combination of  too much booze and a massage.

While there are varying opinions on how long you should wait after drinking to get a massage, massage therapy experts agree that it’s not safe to massage a client when they are drunk, they are hangover or they are thinking of drinking a lot after the session.

Before or after massage drinking can have different effects into your body, and we will explain why is that and why you shouldn't mix this two factors.

How massage affects your body

  • Massage boosts circulation, pushing the body’s lymph fluid around and helping you to shed excess fluids more quickly. (This is why your therapist will encourage you to drink plenty of water after a massage.)

  • Massage creates a state of deep relaxation, lowers your blood pressure, reduces levels of stress hormones like cortisol and increases pleasurable hormones like dopamine and serotonin in the body.

These effects of massage alone can be a great thing, but when combined with alcohol can be dangerous. Some massage therapists even report seeing clients get "re-drunk" after a massage. Your time spent in your massage chair should leave you feeling relaxed, healthy, and rejuvenated—not sick or in more pain!

How alcohol affects your body

  • Alcohol, a diuretic, is well-known for its dehydrating effects, as anyone who’s ever had a hangover headache will tell you.

  • Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate, moving the alcohol through your bloodstream and increasing your blood alcohol level.

  • Alcohol impairs cognitive reasoning. Alcohol consumption can impair reflexes, limit motor control, and reduce coordination.

  • Drinking too much weakens the body’s immune system, and a single event of binge-drinking can limit your body’s ability to prevent infections for up to 24 hours

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How massage interacts with alcohol

  • Numbed senses. Alcohol and massage are both relaxing. But Alcohol tends to desensitize the nerve endings and reduce the sensation of touch, making it difficult for you and your massage therapist to judge the best level of pressure and the person may be unable to give appropriate feedback. You want to feel the massage, don’t you?

  • Amplified drunkenness. Alcohol travels through your bloodstream. (We know, it doesn’t sound as much fun when we say it that way.) Massage increases circulation, which means that alcohol both hits your bloodstream more quickly and remains there longer.

  • Compromised Judgment & Thinking: We're taught that alcohol affects our judgment. It increasing levels of norepinephrine, the neurotransmitter responsible for arousal and heightened excitement, and an increase in impulsivity as well as a reduction in impulse control. Additionally, alcohol dulls the prefrontal cortex of the brain, the area responsible for decision making and rational thought that also has control over aggressive behavior.

  • Decreased Motor Activity & Physical Coordination: Because alcohol lowers energy consumption in the cerebellum, which controls your motor activity and overall physical coordination, you can't be certain of your behavior while under the influence. Best to avoid embarrassing—or worse—harmful behavior during an activity that is supposed to be relaxing.

  • Intensified hangovers. Both massage and alcohol can have a dehydrating effect. This doesn’t just make you thirstier – it can intensify hangover symptoms. There's a reason that drinking water after a massage is highly recommended. Massage is believed to increase movement of fluids, which could also expedite the body's process of breaking down and excreting the alcohol, which in turn could enhance the severity of a hangover and you´ll be thhhhhirsty!

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The key is moderation.  Alcohol, like massage, has a powerful effect on your body.  When you are intoxicated or under the influence, the two don’t mix together in a healthy manner.

Long story short, (too much) alcohol and massage don’t mix well.  Feel free to have a glass of wine pre/post-massage, but keep the Oktoberfest-style beer binge for another day!



Neck pain vs Cycling

We left the slopes back in the past and we give way for the mountain bike season during the warmer months in Queenstown.

But… One of the most common injuries/pain related with ciclyng is neck pain.

This is because it is an activity that requires you to stay for long periods of time in an unnatural position, stressing your back in a flexed position and we need to look where we are going, so we compensate leaving the neck in an hyperextended position.

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That creates a change on the weight distribution through our muscles and spine. The deep neck extensors are tensed for a long time, blood flow to the area is decreased, become fatigued, getting stiffer. Leading to trigger points, muscles spams and potentially a bit of pain.

So, how can we fix it?

1.- Correct fit of your bike.

2.- Professional treatment to ensure muscle and joint flexibility

3.- Regular stretching to maintain a healthy muscle length.

Regular stretching on cyclist will have

Immediate effects:

  • Accelerate recovery: Reducing muscle soreness and stiffness by increasing blood flow, delivering more nutrients to your muscles and removing lactic acid and metabolites.

  • Increased Oxygen Flow: Decreasing post-ride soreness with the added bonus of promoting cell growth and organ function.

  • Relaxation: can give both you and your muscles time to relax. With stress or exhaustion, the muscles will begin to tighten. Stretching can encourage a release of endorphins and leave you feeling encouraged.

Cumulative Effects:

  • Prevent Tissue Degradation: Over time and with age, the body starts dehydrating and stiffening. On a cellular level, muscle fibres start developing cross-links with parallel fibers making them stick together. Stretching slows this process by stimulating the production of tissue lubricants and pulling the interwoven cellular cross links back into an ordered state.

  • Flexibility

  • Injury Prevention:  Stretching keeps the connections strong, treating and preventing injury, improving functionality and longevity.

  • Better Posture & Aerodynamics: Stretching the right muscles can help correct poor posture both on and off the bike. By lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their natural position you can maintain proper posture without the desire to round the back or slouch.


After all of this, you might wonder, what exercises/stretches are good for me?

We give you a couple of them that might help you!

——————————————————————--Neck Rotation————————————————————————

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———————Upper trapezius Stretch ——————————————-Scapula Elevator Stretch————————-  ————————————————————20-25 secs each side———————————————————————-

———————Upper trapezius Stretch ——————————————-Scapula Elevator Stretch————————-

————————————————————20-25 secs each side———————————————————————-

—————————Lateral rotation ————————————-—————-Scalene Stretch———————————-  —————-———3 times per side——————————————-——20-25 secs each side———————————

—————————Lateral rotation ————————————-—————-Scalene Stretch———————————-

—————-———3 times per side——————————————-——20-25 secs each side———————————

Ankle: opposite of Aunty

If you've ever sprained your ankle, you'll know how important ankle mobility is. After a sprain, rehab to the ankle is a must. Instability and weakness aren't only detrimental to ankle function but will also cause anterior knee pain, weakness in your glutes, and heaps more of problems to boot.

But you're in luck cos I'm going to drop some knowledge bombs in the form of 8 critical stretches & moves to help get you back on track.

1 - CALF ROLL OUT 

Soft tissue mobility rollouts can be very beneficial to the dense muscle tissue that can become overactive. Try isolating one calf at a time and use a ball or foam roller to release the calves.

Place one leg on top of the other to apply pressure into the foam roller or ball. You can turn your foot in and out to find a spot that is stiffer.

Make sure you stay on the stiffer spots for one minute. You may find that you have a few spots along the muscle!

Hold for 1 minute for 2 sets.

 

2 - PLANTAR FASCIA ROLL OUT

The plantar fascia is tissue on the bottom of your foot that can affect the mobility of the ankle and foot. It can also become irritated and painful if it becomes too stiff and overstrains.

Our feet rarely have a chance to move with how often we wear shoes, heels, or sandals. To release this tissue, take a ball and roll it on the bottom of your foot.

You may notice one side is more sensitive to the pressure than the other. Roll on the plantar fascia for one minute & repeat twice.

 

3 - STRAIGHT LEG CALF STRETCH

The calf muscle consists of two muscles, the gastrocnemius and the soleus. Both play vital roles in calf and ankle mobility.

To target the gastrocnemius, you want to stretch your calf in a straight leg position.

Hold for 1 minute & repeat twice.

 

4 - BENT KNEE CALF STRETCH

Sometimes the gastrocnemius isn’t the muscle that is tight. To stretch the soleus, bend your knee (back leg) and keep your heel down.

Hold for 1 minute & repeat twice.

 

5 - ANKLE ROCKERS

The most common ankle joint to get stiff is the talocrural joint, which is the joint that is right where the ankle meets the foot.

When you flex your foot up or down, you are moving from the talocrural joint. The motion that typically becomes most restricted is dorsiflexion (pointing your foot up).

To target this joint, place one leg back and one leg forward with your forward leg flexed. Keeping your heel down, rock forward as far as you can on the front foot.

Rock back and forth for 10-20 reps for 1 set.

 

6 - INSIDE/OUTSIDE ANKLE ROCKERS

Rock 10-20 times in each direction. You might notice that you are a little more restricted in one corner versus another.

Rock 10-20 times for 1 set.

 

7 - ANKLE CIRCLES

Ankle circles are an overlooked exercise. They allow the ankle to get motion in the entire ankle.

Working in both the clockwise and counterclockwise directions will help ensure you cover enough area. Work each direction 10-20 times.

Clockwise: 10-20 reps for 1 set.
Counterclockwise: 10-20 reps for 1 set.

8 - PLANTAR FACSIA / TOE STRETCH

Many of the muscles that help flex and extend the toes pass the ankle joint to get to the end of the foot. Sometimes they can get locked up along that path.

Take your foot and pull your toes back. You may feel a stretch on the bottom of your foot. Hold for up to one minute.

Hold for 1 minute for 2 sets. 

With these eight exercises and a ball, you can mobilize your ankles anywhere. Next time you feel your ankles start to stiffen up, give this routine a try to get some mobility back!