Category Archives: Massage

131/365 – Learning to walk 

I had my last massage before the Camino today and boy did I need it. After lots of hill sprints and a few longer runs last week, the muscles around my back and hips have been full of knots. The pain was relieved with a little yoga yesterday, along with a massage kindly ‘donated’ by Elaine, but I was still far from fixed. Time to dig into my pockets and call the work masseus.

As he started to work wonders on my muscles, the crackling of knots was deafening and the pain intense. My shoulders were so tense working on them took the majority of his time. Sadly he was reluctant to work on my lower back, saying putting more pressure on it is was not a good idea. He suggested once my shoulder tension is relieved the pain in my lower back should ease off. To help, he advised changing the way I walk and run. 

Due to my ‘curvy’ back (pictured below), when I’m running my lower back is coping with a lot of stress. The same applies when I’m lifting weights, according to my masseus, and so it’s no wonder that my back has been playing up with the amount of both I’ve been doing. He told me to fix this I could try tilting my hips forward when I walk and run. Anyone who has ever tried this will know it’s not an easy and all you need is a pout to feel like a right Mick Jagger. 

As I have a big few weeks ahead, I’ve decided to stop running until after the Camino to give my body a chance to recover and rest. For now, if you see someone deep in concentration it may be me teaching myself to walk all over again. 

60/365 – Massage and myasthenia gravis 

When I woke up this morning, I decided it was a ‘spoil Laurna day’. Although I had been treated to celebrating my birthday in Copenhagen, I didn’t get a chance to treat myself. And, since finishing off my prosecco and cake in the cafe around the corner from our hotel, everything has been quite manic. Call me whatever you like, but with my first wage from my new job I decided a treat was in order. The only criteria was that it had to be totally self indulgent. I looked at shoes and jewellery in Copenhagen, but none were quite right. When I got an email this morning about an available massage in my work’s beauty salon – I realised fate had stepped in (and was willing to charge a very reasonable price ).

Getting a massage is a real treat for me – in fact today was my first professional massage in London. When I lived in Aberdeen, I used to get regular massages and they really helped with the continual build up of knots in my back and shoulders from exercise. But when I moved down south, I had very little money to spare and fell out of the habit. 

Benefits of massage 

What benefits does massage have for people with myasthenia gravis? Results that are proven – none. No matter how many times I read that a good massage can heal the body, it’s not going to stop my rogue immune system attacking itself. 

However, there’s no doubt that massage relieves stress, even if only temporarily, and stress is a key trigger for increasing MG symptoms. I’ve been feeling tense over the past fortnight, and think along with the break from my gluten and dairy free diet and increase of alcohol in Copenhagen, it has played a part in making my ptosis worse and my legs and arms feeling shaky during and after exercising. In short, stress is bad but massage is good. 

A chance to be still

Alongside alleviating muscle tightness and stress, it’s also a great opportunity to let yourself be still. I felt very calm during my time in Copenhagen, but the daily commute and heavy workload at present have threatened to make the feeling of stillness quickly forgotten. After getting eight hours of sleep last night and attending a yoga class at lunch, I was still feeling semi-relaxed by the time I entered the beauty parlour this evening. However, the 30 minute back, neck and shoulders massage by Andrea Edmead has left me feeling completely calm all over again.

While the lasting benefits of a massage versus the luxury of the expense could be debated all day long, if that 30 minutes leaves you feeling more relaxed for hours afterwards, never mind days, then it’s worth putting the time and money aside. While I got a £25 bargain tonight, with regular  Groupon deals there’s no reason why getting a massage needs to break the bank. 

While spoil Laurna day may have drawn to a close for another year, my back was, unsuprisingly, not in a good state today. The tension has eased a little but I can still feel the knots burning in my back. So I’ve decided that it won’t hurt (much) to have a treat Laurna day every month.