Aching Muscles?

Aching Muscles? | Thierry Payet

Sports massage is not only for the benefit of professional athletes. It can also help for those of us who simply exercise regularly and feel a few aches and pains. The aim is to use fast, vigorous strokes to warm up your muscles prior to an activity or to ease your muscles for a faster recovery afterwards.


What are the advantages of a sports massage?

If it is a relaxing, gentle massage you are after then this is definitely not for you. This type of massage involves the focused and deeper manipulation of soft tissue, skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Sports massage is designed to correct the problems that have arisen through strenuous or repetitive physical activity, or even a trauma.

Advantages include:

  • Relaxation of your muscles
  • Easing swelling around joints
  • Helps fight muscle fatigue
  • Decreases recovery time
  • Removes tension
  • Boosts circulation
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Increases flexibility

Sports massage can be used to detect any weaker muscle areas or softer tissue spots and help to strengthen these…Prevention is better than cure.

It can also be used as part of rehabilitation, alongside advice from your medical professional, for any back related strains or injuries.

How does a sports massage work?

Bodilight’s therapists are trained in understanding the different muscle groups as well as the skeletal framework of the body. Each massage will be tailored to your needs or specific injury, ensuring a session that will benefit you.

The strokes used during a sports massage are often directed towards the heart, a technique that increases the blood flow. The therapist may also use shorter strokes, in the opposite direction as this is designed to stretch the fibres in your muscles.

Different techniques will be used for different outcomes throughout your session. The treatment will begin with a form of massage involving varying, pressured, stroking movements, where the hands will glide over the skin in order for you to become accustomed to the therapist’s touch. This is known as effleurage. It is designed to allow the therapist to pinpoint any tender spots so that less pressure can be applied to these areas later on. These strokes will warm and stretch the superficial tissues and relax the muscles as well as increasing the blood flow.

They will then move on to working the deeper tissues and stretching the muscle fibres. This is done with movements, known as petrissage, designed to compress and release the soft tissue. It is commonly used for a greater effect than the effleurage and increase the lymphatic return, which helps in the removal of waste products.

The third part of your sports massage is the most forceful, where the therapist applies the most pressure. Frictions are small movements that are applied using the fingers and thumbs to isolated areas. The aims of this is to separate the bonds between the fibres and this can help to break down any scar tissue. It restores elasticity to your muscles and stimulates the healing process. If this starts to feel uncomfortable it is important to let the therapist know in order for a gentler pressure to be applied.

The massage is finished with the effleurage movements in order to relax you. However, you still may feel achy after this treatment. This is completely normal and the tightness should dissipate within 48 hours leaving you feeling in pristine condition. Drink plenty of water and try soaking in an Epsom salt bath to combat any soreness.

If you are seeking a sports massage for rehabilitation after an injury, it is a good idea to schedule your appointments at regular intervals. This will ensure that specific injuries are treated and progress towards your healing is as swift as possible.

Sports massage is available at Bodilight and if you are a new customer you can quote the code ‘OSTEO25’ when booking for a 25% discount. Further terms and conditions can be found on the website’s booking page.

The post Aching Muscles? first appeared on Bodilight Osteopathy.


Dry Needling

Dry Needling | Thierry Payet

Dry Needling

This article will knot be afraid to get right to the point-I will give it my best shot. You will of course learn a few interesting facts about dry needling, but you do run the risk of further crimes against humour. You have been warned!

What is dry needling?

The use of small needles to stimulate muscle twitch response in order to help conditions such as joint pain, tennis golfers elbow, muscle/ligament strain, tendonitis/osis, sciatica, chronic pain and many more.

Why choose Dry Needling?

I am not a hippy, but I personally like to avoid taking medication unless completely necessary. It means when I need to use it, I have a lower tolerance and the medication works better. I like to use these things sparingly, but I don’t want to suffer in silence. Thus if I can find treatments with little or no side effects, and less chemicals in my body, I will give them a try!


Why is the needle dry-will it hurt more?

The simple answer is no. The distinction of ‘dry’ in the title of this therapy refers to the lack of any liquid, or indeed medication as such being delivered. If anything, the process will hurt less due to this. The needle itself is the medicine in this instance, most patients do not feel the needle going in, and at most feel a slight cramping sensation in terms of pain.

There are a number of terms used to describe dry needling.

These can include;

Trigger point dry needling (TDN)

Intramuscular manual therapy

Myofascial needling

Dry needling is not Acupuncture, it derives from modern western medicine rather than ancient Eastern practices. Despite being different in purpose and ethos-This is perhaps a good way for the uninitiated to visualise the treatment.

A needle is used to mobilize and oxygenate inflamed, tense or certain other targeted areas (trigger points) on the body. This assists with pain reduction, mobility improvement and rehabilitation of the area in question. It is essentially a complimentary approach to massage for the acute of trauma or strains.

When we injure ourselves, the body immediately looks to protect the area and limit the damage by preventing further usage-simplistically It does this by limiting blood flow, we experience this as swelling to the area in question. After this has occurred, scarring or fibrosis can prevent movement returning to its usual state. The first step in treatment for injury is often to release the area from this protective state, improve blood flow, muscle mobility and reduce pain.

Dry needling approaches this by using a hollow needle breaking down the scarred fibres that inhibit recovery and creating a “Local twitch response”. The initial area of effect experiences a beneficial mechanical response may be localised, but advocates of this method report positive chemical and neurological benefits.

If you are looking for pain or injury treatment that is not invasive, and doesn’t involve medication, this could be a great option for you. As with any treatment, please seek advice from your doctor to be sure this is appropriate for your particular needs.

Dry needling is offered as part of a holistic approach at Bodilight and is used alongside other methods. Please drop in for an informal chat with our team of experts to discuss the best course of treatment for you and whether needling may help.



Event preparation and protection!

Event preparation and protection! | Thierry Payet


When you are in training for an event you spend your life dodging injury and illness. You protect your body and health like that of a new-born baby. The thought of twisting your ankle or getting a cough and cold holds so much more fear than at any other time. To ensure you stay at the optimum health and fitness that you have been working so hard on, rest becomes an integral part of your training and having regular sports massage can aid the recovery of tired, sore, overworked muscles.

I have completed two marathons. The first one, Berlin 2012, I was remarkably unprepared. Not through not training or not clocking up the miles, but through not really giving my body the chance to thrive during the training or the race itself. I just went for it. I trained every week, increasing the miles two at a time. I didn’t eat well, I didn’t stretch before or after the training and I definitely didn’t even look into having a Sports Massage. I was then obviously, effected by aching joints, muscles and generally felt terrible for the week after, only feeling better after five to six days before going out and starting the cycle all over again.  The actual event was not too bad, it took me ages but I finished and swore never to go through the whole process again.

Skip to four years later and 18 months after my daughter was born I find myself again on a marathon starting line with thousands of other people at the 2016 London Marathon. But this time, I was a lot better prepared, a lot better trained and over the past four months of training I hadn’t suffered the types of pain and discomfort I had the first time round. I put this all down to one quick thirty-minute session with a Sports Massage Therapist at the early stage of my training.

I had decided this time not to suffer on the rest days, so I stretched after each run, I ate better and I built the miles slower. I had less aching muscles in general but my lower back and hamstrings caused a lot of discomfort when walking, bending and lifting. I did some research and figured that a sports massage therapist was probably the best person to go and see. I mean it has the word sport in the title

I booked a treatment a couple of days after a long training run when I knew the effects of DOMS (delayed muscle soreness) would be in full swing. I explained where the pain was, what made it better and what I was trying to do reduce the dull ache that I had been suffering from after each run.  What I know now and didn’t know then is how connected the muscular system is and having one short, tight area can make the rest of the body pull, twist and over compensate to reduce damage. I have short tight hamstrings, that attached to the sit bones (Ischial Tuberosity), which then pull on the gluteal muscles and effect the lower back. Loosening them up with regular sports massage not only reduced my pain but it improved my form, my strength and my speed. After a couple of treatments over the final few weeks of long training runs, I wasn’t pain free (of course not I was running 18-22 miles every week) but I certainly didn’t have that dull, sickly feeling every time I moved.

The day before the marathon I headed down to the Expo to collect my goodie bag and number, I also had one more Sports massage but this time it wasn’t to “fix” any problematic muscles, it was to relax me. I was so nervous that I had been carrying so much tension in my back, neck and shoulders that my posture had suffered and I was getting headaches. It was only a 30 minute treatment but the practitioner released so much tension I floated out of the Expo ready for my second Marathon.

I finished the London Marathon one hour and 3 minutes quicker than my first marathon 4 years earlier. Sports massage therapists are not doctors, healers or miracle workers but in preparing, protecting and maintaining my muscles for the onslaught of a 26-mile run, they certainly worked some magic.