Having run my own clinic for over a decade in Charlbury, I
offer clients bespoke integrated treatments which involve
working on the soft tissues of the body such as muscles,
tendons, ligaments and fascia in order to encourage the body to
heal itself. I also offer Cranio-Sacral Therapy which is a
non-invasive therapy suitable for all ages.
Here are some Rehabilitation Exercises that you may find useful.
Myofascial is derived from the Latin words 'myo' for muscle and 'fascia' for band. Fascia, sometimes called fibrous bands or connective tissue, is a 3D continuous web of microscopic hollow tubules that extends without interruption from the top of the head to the tips of the toes. Within these hollow tubules are continuous fibres of elastin and collagen surrounded by a fluid called the ground substance. This network also provides the instant and continuous communication between each and every cell of our bodies.
Fascia surrounds, infuses and protects every other tissue, tendon, muscle, bone, ligament and organ of the body. In healthy conditions the fascial system is relaxed and wavy in configuration. This provides a cushioning and supportive mechanism allowing us to move safely without restriction or pain. Collagen and elastin, fascias two main components, allow it to be very strong yet have a high degree of flexibility. Fascia is also dynamic in nature, it responds to internal and external forces applied on it meeting the resistance in order to protect.
Following all physical and emotional trauma and through poor posture, fascia scars and hardens in the affected site and along the tension lines imposed on it. This causes the fascial network to lose its cushioning mechanism and internal structures become pulled out of alignment. This in turn creates an abnormal pressure, up to 2,000 pounds per square inch, crushing nerves, blood and lymphatic vessels and further creating tension on adjacent pain-sensitive structures and those along the fascial pull.
Fascia can be described like a 3D sweater, when the fascial network is traumatised it is pulled and twisted out of alignment rather like a pull in the sweater. Therefore, if the fascia has tightened creating bands of tension three dimensionally throughout the body resulting in symptoms distant to the injury then all the appropriate localised treatments will produce limited or temporary results.
Fascial restrictions do not show up on CAT scans, MRI's or X-rays therefore many patients are suffering unresolved physical and emotional pain due to undiagnosed fascial trauma.
Myofascial release therapy, like many alternative therapies, promotes the philosophy that the mind and body work together to maintain health. Effectively this supports the understanding that the mind and body are one and the same. The body has the ability to remember postural positions, actions and emotions without the brain reminding it to do so. Throughout the body's fascial system flow microscopic cells containing energy which have the ability to retain memory.
It could also be said that our unconscious mind is not restricted to the brain but flows freely through our body within the fascial system. Simply put, our body remembers how to lift a cup, drive a car and walk without thinking. If our body can remember positive actions and emotions then it must be true that we can also remember negative ones. Memories, both physical and emotional, can be triggered by a state of mind, context and by body position.
Therapists are taught to feel and stretch slowly into the fascial network. Collagen means glue producer so therapists are taught to feel for this glue like texture which when dense, thick or hard defines a fascial restriction. Using the John F. Barnes approach to Myofascial Release and trained by Ruth Duncan, Myofascial Release UK, our MFR uses both traditional and modern techniques to stretch the fascia and allow fluidity to ease restrictions in the fascial network. The MFR technique is very different to that of massaging muscles, tendons and the ligaments of the body. A time component also exists, coupled with the fluidity of the therapists hands in applying pressure and moving though each and every fascial restriction. The time element is a vital factor, the fascia cannot be forced as it will naturally meet that force in return. Hence the MFR therapist provides a sustained, gentle, pressure for a minimum of 90 to 120 seconds allowing the fascia to elongate naturally and return to it's normal resting length restoring health and providing results that are both measurable and functional.
Myofascial Unwinding. Through gentle sustained pressure into the fascial system with Myofascial Release techniques the body begins to unwind as the fascial system releases its traction or twists on the body. Some patients feel their body becoming lighter or begin to twitch or feel their body moving during treatment. This is a natural process and is our body's own inherent self-correcting mechanism. Clients will be encouraged to allow this to happen and to become more aware of what they are feeling during treatment to assist the process and ultimately take control of their health.
Please be advised that although some manual therapies have been proven to be of benefit in medical trials and research, alternative therapies should be regarded as complementary to medical diagnosis and treatment.
Sports therapy : sports and remedial massage, soft tissue release, NMT, MET, frictions, trigger point therapy.
Sports therapy uses a range of therapeutic techniques for the prevention, recognition and treatment of minor sports injuries, as well as for people with other types of minor injuries that have occurred during everyday activities whether at work or at home. It can also be used to provide support with people wanting to maintain and improve fitness.
A typical session will involve appraising the injury using a number of techniques including posture analysis, gait analysis, biomechanical assessment, as well as soft tissue assessment. The treatment itself may include soft tissue therapy, mechanical and electrical treatment, cooling or warming therapy and mobilisation. Sports therapy may be used to address an extensive range of injuries. Sports therapy may also be found to be helpful in the mental preparation of athletes for sporting participation.
Injuries don't just occur during sporting activities - they can also occur during our everyday lives either at work or at home. Whether its doing too much computer work that's causing problems, carrying the children, gardening or simply hauling the shopping bags home, they can all contribute to a weakness and subsequent injury; as of course, can overdoing it in the gym or any other sporting activity that you do.
Sports and remedial massage is offered for pre-events, post-events, maintenance or remedial massage.
In all types of massage therapy, the intention is to relax the soft tissues, increase delivery of blood and oxygen to the massage areas, warm them, and help the body to relax.
In a typical massage therapy session, the practitioner will discuss the symptoms, medical history and the desired results. The practitioner generally performs some evaluation through touch before beginning the massage. Oil, lotion or powder help reduce friction on the skin and the therapist may use other aids, such as ice, heat, fragrances, or machines.
Massage may be found to bring relief from everyday aches, reduce stress, increase relaxation, address feelings of anxiety and tension, and aid general wellness. It can also be used in support of other therapies to assist in the rehabilitation of muscular injuries.
This form of massage is more gentle than Sports & Remedial massage and may be more appropriate for people that cannot cope with a lot of pressure and who requires a more gentle approach.
The term medical acupuncture does not directly relate to being used only by medical physicians, moreover to convey the approach taken when using acupuncture as a method of treatment focusing on the structure and function of the body. The approach is different to Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and is tailored to the individual as part of the treatment process and case history of the patient. Another name for acupuncture is Dry Needling as no solution is injected into the body.
It is thought that acupuncture and its effects on the body are to reduce pain sensations in the localised area which subsequently transmit to the brain to suppress pain and help calm the patient. Myofascial Trigger Points are also worked on during the acupuncture treatment. Analgesia produced by needling a pain spot is known as the needle effect. So is acupuncture safe? Two surveys published in the British Medical Journal in 2001 concluded that the risk of serious adverse reaction to acupuncture is less than 1 in 10,000.
This form of treatment is used at the clinic to help reduce tension and release trigger points as necessary. However, before this method is used as part of the treatment plan, clients will always be consulted to ensure they are not needle-phobic and any concerns discussed.
Kinesiology Taping is a rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to promote the body's natural healing process whilst providing support and stability to the soft tissues of the body and the joints without restricting the body's range of motion.
The Kinesio Taping® technique and Kinesio Tex tape was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan more than 25 years ago. Kinesio Taping first saw worldwide exposure during the 1988 Seoul Olympics and has since become a popular form of muscle taping used by many health professionals across the world. World renouned athletes have been seen wearing the bright pink, blue, black and beige coloured tape during their sporting activities and rehabilitation.
The tape can be worn for up to 5 days, is Latex-free, waterproof and 72-100% cotton (percentage is dependant upon the specific tape used). The tape can be used for both pre-event or post event rehabilitation and of course is not just used for sporting activities. The tape can be used for soft tissue sprains and strains or to assist when muscles are overloaded, all of which can be caused by our everyday activities such as gardening, computer work, lifting and carrying, etc.
It has been widely reported that there is not enough medical evidence in the effective use of Kinesio Tape, so here's a link to what the current evidence for its use is.
Craniosacral Therapy is a hands-on therapy that uses a light touch and whose origins are in the practice of Osteopathy.
The body has self-healing capabilities and is constantly striving for good health. Cranio-Sacral Therapy can facilitate this natural propensity for balance and a feeling of wellbeing in the client. Cranio-Sacral Therapy also recognizes the interconnection between mind and body.
Cranio-Sacral therapists work with the presence of subtle rhythmic motions that are expressed within the body (particularly the head, spine and pelvis). The free and balanced expression of these subtle motions is related to our state of health and vitality.
In a typical session the client will lie (or sometimes sit) clothed on a treatment couch. The therapist makes contact by gently placing her/his hands on the client's body and uses a light touch to tune into the subtle motions taking place. The therapist can evaluate if there are any imbalances within the body and use a range of non-invasive therapeutic skills to relax and thereby promote self-healing within the client.
Fascial Unwinding. This technique is more physical than other craniosacral techniques but can still be very gentle. Through gentle sustained pressure into the fascial system the body begins to unwind as the fascial system releases its traction or twists on the body. Some patients feel their body becoming lighter or begin to twitch or feel their body moving during treatment. This is a natural process and is our body's own inherent self-correcting mechanism. Clients will be encouraged to allow this to happen and to become more aware of what they are feeling during treatment to assist the process and ultimately take control of their health.
What is the difference between Craniosacral Therapy and Cranial Osteopathy? Craniosacral therapists study cranial work exclusively. Most Craniosacral Therapy courses last two years. Cranial osteopaths train initially in osteopathy, a more mechanical approach, and then do postgraduate training in cranial work of variable length.
All new clients will need an initial consultation added to their first session in order to take medical history and lifestyle details and have a postural assessment completed. However, this does not apply to craniosacral therapy treatments as medical history and lifestyle details will be taken as part of the first session.
First session for new clients:
Subsequent treatment times:
Craniosacral Therapy treatments : £50 per session (up to 1 hour)
Please note: All times are approximate and include time for consultation and changing as appropriate.
Gift vouchers are available for all therapy treatments and are valid for 6 months from date of purchase.
Please give at least 24 hours' notice if you wish to cancel an appointment or the full treatment price will be charged and gift vouchers will be deemed as used. Please arrive in plenty of time for your appointment. Regretfully late arrival will constitute reduced treatment time, but will be charged at the full rate.
Nikki gave me a single treatment for tennis elbow and this provided immediate relief and lasting effects. I have been playing tennis and ringing church bells actively again for the past year without pain. Thank you Nikki for giving back to me two of my passions in life.
Just a quick email to thank you for your help yesterday. It was a great help to me and I found out more info on my knee than any one had given me previously. I will definitely come and see you again.
I’m so pleased that I found Nikki; an excellent massage therapist living locally. The treatments I have with her, deep tissue massage and myofascial release, certainly help me to stay active and mobile by relieving my chronic degenerative disc and muscle spasm conditions, thank you.
I just wanted to say that we were very pleased with your treatment. My shoulder really seems to have unwound itself and my left upper arm is better, and I didn't have numb fingers this morning. I was very tired on Tuesday but had a cup of tea when we came back and was as good as new again. You are a very interesting and capable person.
During my attempt to run the five major marathons in 2007, I went to Nikki for deep tissue massage both before and after each marathon. She even prepared some special aromatherapy massage oils and balm that I used during the marathons. Without her “healing hands” completing the challenge of running all 5 major marathons in the same year would have been a lot more painful!