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Meet NMK's Resident EP, Erin!

What is exercise physiology?

Specialised exercise or movement planning that will prevent and manage injuries and musculoskeletal aches and pains, as well as chronic pain, chronic disease, depression and weight management. These plans are designed and delivered by an exercise physiologist, who will be University-qualified and recognized by Exercise and Sports Science Australia, one of the strictest governing bodies for exercise physiology worldwide.

As the resident exercise physiologist at No More Knots, I work with clients to help them move more easily, build strength and endurance, and improve energy levels, overall wellbeing, and quality of life.

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How does exercise physiology link in with remedial massagetherapy?

In my opinion, you can’t do better than the combination of remedial massage therapy and exercise physiology to get your body feeling tops.

Our massage therapists work with clients to help provide immediate relief of muscle and joint-related aches and pains, and work with clients to prevent the return of these problems. Part of this process includes helping a client achieve more optimal muscle tension and length.

Exercise physiology builds on this by teaching clients how to use their muscles in a way that will help prevent tension build up. Programs are designed to build strength and muscle endurance to help create balance in the body, improve posture, and to minimize the risks of overuse, injury, and general aches and pains. Some clients also choose to use exercise physiology sessions to learn to do exercises correctly or refine their technique, or to help take their sports performance to the next level.

Can I get health fund rebates for my exercise physiology sessions?

Exercise physiology sessions are covered by Medicare in some cases, and also by many private health funds.

If you want to claim with Medicare, you can get up to five allied health sessions per year under a Chronic Disease Management plan, which can cover chronic muscle and joint conditions and pain. You’ll need a referral from your GP in order to claim with a CDM.

If you’re claiming with a private health fund, with you can generally claim on the spot through our HICAPS machine, which is really handy. Rebates vary, so the best thing you can do is give your health fund a call to see what kind of coverage you have.

How do exercise physiology sessions work at No More Knots?

We use a two-step process to get you started with our exercise physiology sessions. When you book in for your Initial Appointment, you’ll be asked to fill in a comprehensive health and injury history form. At your first session, we’ll review that together, and then discuss your goals and what steps you can take to achieve them. I’ll also guide you through a simple movement screen so that I can see what your physical starting point is. This usually takes the bulk of the initial appointment, but if we have time left over, I’ll give you some exercises that you can start right away.

At your second session, I’ll have a full program for you when you come in. You’ll work through the program to make sure that you are comfortable and confident with the movements, and at this point we’ll also make any needed adjustments. I’ll provide you with guidelines for how much movement you’ll need to do to keep progressing, and the ideal timeframe for your next appointment.


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How often do people have exercise physiology appointments?

I usually see people every two to three weeks as they’re starting out, as most clients progress through the early stages quite quickly. My goal is to get you moving well on your own as quickly as reasonably possible – I’m not going to ask you to come back for a program update until I think you’ll need it. Once good movement patterns and physical strength is established, I try to see people every two to three months to maintain progress and prevent boredom!

All that said, I love hanging out with my clients and if you want to come every week as you would with a personal trainer, we will make that work too!


What should I wear to my exercise physiology appointments?

You don’t have to wear anything special, just clothes that you can move in comfortably. Bear in mind that your program will likely have you going through movements and positions that may be somewhat unusual or with greater range than you’re used to. 


 

Is this going to be hard???

Less than you think!

I make sure that your program is matched to your current abilities – the goal is to provide a program that is somewhat challenging, but also something that you absolutely can do, see progress with, and not be really, really sore from!

If you’re just getting started, you’ll have a low-intensity start, with an initial focus on DIY massage to support the work your remedial massage therapist is doing, plus stretching and mobility exercises to improve movement quality. You’ll also start with a component of low-intensity strength training, if your body is ready for that. From low-intensity strength training, we increase the challenge of the exercises, and will start you on building some cardiovascular fitness as appropriate. We’ll make it as easy as possible on your mind and your body. You might even have some fun!

Written By, Erin Haske 

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#exercisephysiology #NMKxEP #EPbrisbane


Do you even float?!

Do you often come into a massage and say to your therapist that you’re stressed? You can feel the tension in your muscles build as you start to feel this way and you may even get some uncomfortable aches and pains. You’ve taken that step and had a massage to ease the tension, the weight has been lifted off your shoulders and you walk out feeling lighter and feeling tall. It might be a month later the same physical feeling comes back, headaches, foggy head. Are you taking the right approach?


Floatnig One
Image by Beyond Rest  beyondrest.com.au

In some cases your physical aches and pains can be triggered by your emotional stresses in life. Which is where Float Tanks can come into the picture. Some great benefits can come from both massage and Floating. When combined they can be even better. There has been a lot of hype around recently and research into exactly how effective they can be.

“Stress, depression, anxiety, and worst pain were significantly decreased whereas optimism and sleep quality significantly increased for the flotation-REST group.”

For people who have been recommended meditation and find it difficult to practice, sensory deprivation can help you be in an environment where there is no external stimulus and you have the time just to yourself. In the tank you can reach mental stillness, which is a sort after state often found through meditation. This practice can boost your creativity, increase mental clarity and obtain effective physical and emotional stress relief.

First time floaters find that it takes longer to ease into the new environment, which is why some initial floats are 90 minutes. This may seem like a long time but as you become accustomed to the process you can fall into the parasympathetic state with more ease each time.

Another amazing thing that happens with massage and floating is that they both activate your parasympathetic nervous system and you relax. One sign during a massage is that you might hear your stomach gurgling during the treatment or falling asleep too. Dopamine and Endorphins are released into the body, which help with improving your mood and your pain levels naturally.

Floating can help to improve your muscle tone and absorb minerals too. Many times you have heard your therapist tell you to have an Epsom salt bath post treatment- well the float tanks are filled with a lot of it. It aids in your buoyancy while floating to feel that sense of weightlessness. At the same time you absorb some through your largest organ- your skin.

“I love floating. The weightlessness and serenity of the tank allows my otherwise over stimulated mind to relax into a deep meditative state naturally. You can have very lucid and creative thoughts in there but mostly I enjoy walking out feeling calm, refreshed and energized.”

Dušan, NMK Therapist

Floating might be something new and fantastic you haven’t discovered yet. All these benefits are waiting for you in the float tank. Some of our clients enjoy alternating Floating and Massage once a fortnight to help keep them mentally and physically healthy. If you’d like to give it a go, head on over to your closest Float therapy clinic for your first float…

Floating Two
Image by https://levels.io/float-tank/

1. Kjellgren A, Westman J. Beneficial effects of treatment with sensory isolation in flotation-tank as a preventive health-care intervention – a randomized controlled pilot trial. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14:417. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-417. 

#floattank #sensorydeprivation #relax #experience


Are You A Weekend Warrior?

We all know that person, the weekend warrior who’s tied to a desk all week then over the weekend they erupt in an explosion of energy and activity that usually sees them energised, and often sore, on the Monday. 


As you all know, there are many ways people reach their health goals, some cycle, some run, some do Crossfit, others do Yoga. Weekend Warriors have a tendency to consolidate their prescribed training periods and cram them into two days, but is this so bad?

A recent study from the University of Sydney studies the exercise patterns of 63,000 people and concluded that Weekend Warriors, “have a significantly lower risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease”, even though they didn’t meet the physical activity guidelines. The research has also found little difference in health outcomes between the weekend warriors and those who exercise regularly throughout the week. It seems anything is better than nothing, but what is the downside?

Berliner (2011) highlights the downside to the weekend warrior mentality, he tells us that weekend warriors are susceptible to overuse injury because they reserve little time to maintain their muscle strength and flexibility throughout the week. This often results in trigger point activation and muscles with active trigger points always result in a weakness of muscles and therefore a reduction in the full range of motion of the body leading to strains and overuse injuries.

This is where we come into play. Massage therapists can treat trigger points with direct pressure on the trigger points themselves, holding for 30 to 45 seconds while the tissues release. This release will help to bring the muscle back to normality and get you moving normal again. All of our Remedial Therapists at No More Knots are trained to release trigger points, so if you’re one of those weekend warriors types, drop by and see us so you can get back to moving how a weekend warrior should.

Image by: Riverlife http://riverlife.com.au/?_ga=1.163618363.521044997.1491180872

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Shifty Shoulders: Tips for around the office.

Shoulders are made up of several joints, tendons and muscles, making it a complex region of the body. Be it awkward posture or repetitive strain, shoulder issues have been plaguing people since the dawn of time. Here are some helpful tips to help you work on those shifty shoulders in the workplace.


  • Develop better posture - this is easier said than done, but you can start by optimising your work-space and sitting correctly. Bring that mouse closer, lift that monitor and don’t sit on your foot (you know who you are).
  • Change things up - in an office setting I suggest people drink green tea through the day, then their constant bathroom visits force them to get away from their desk. Alternatively, go have a chat to Barry, he’s a top bloke and has just got back from a trip to Tasmania.
  • Breath - with every breath, each rib separately lifts the entire rib cage up and away from the hips therefore lengthening the spine. Not only will this help to clear your head, it will also take quite a bit of pressure away from the spine and disks, ultimately strengthening the torso.
  • Yoga for flexibility and mobility, Pilates for strength and stability.

These are just a few tips to get you started...

#shiftyshoulders #shouldertips #shouldermobility

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Get A Morning Massage!

Is a morning massage crazy? Maybe. But there are many great benefits and one awesome offer when getting a morning massage.



Firstly, it’ll boost your energy levels. Before you grab that cup of coffee, consider some additional ways to get that morning boost. Remedial massage isn’t just for rehabilitation and maintenance. Stretching out and loosening those tight muscles allows you to start the day right and gives you the boost in energy that your body craves. When you wake up in the morning, stiffness saps your body of energy that it so desperately craves.

Exercise in the morning has been shown to boost your energy, but let’s face it, exercise in the morning while it sounds great, it’s pretty difficult to stick to. But massage on the other hand is a great alternative for starting the day off right. Here at No More Knots we’re open as early as 7am many days of the week so you can get in before work to start your day off on a high!

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Massage for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a concern that plagues many people. Some blame core instability and weakness others put it down to degeneration but what does the academic literature say and what does it say about the effects of remedial massage on treating the problem?

 
The International Journal of Neuroscience evaluated the effects of massage therapy versus relaxation for chronic low back pain. They wanted to find out if remedial massage was effective in reducing pain, depression, anxiety and stress hormones, as well as sleeplessness and for improving trunk range of motion associated with chronic low back pain.
 
The trial took twenty-four adults (12 women) with lower back pain. They were randomly assigned to a massage therapy or a progressive muscle relaxation group. The Sessions were 30 minutes long twice a week for five weeks, then on the first and last day of the 5-week study participants completed questionnaires, provided a urine sample and were assessed for range of motion.
 
By the end of the study, the massage therapy group, as compared to the relaxation group, reported experiencing less pain, depression, anxiety and improved sleep. They also showed improved trunk and pain flexion performance, and their serotonin and dopamine levels were higher, thus highlighting the positive effects of massage therapy in reducing pain, stress hormones and symptoms associated with chronic low back pain.

Preyde (2001), performed a similar trial on 107 subjects. He concluded that the massage therapy group had improved function, less intense pain and a decrease in the quality of pain. Additionally, he found that at 1-month follow-up 63% of subjects in the comprehensive massage therapy group reported no pain as compared with 27% of the soft-tissue manipulation group, 14% of the remedial exercise group and 0% of the sham laser therapy group.

It’s obvious that patients with subacute low-back pain are shown to benefit from massage therapy, so why put up with it any longer? See your remedial massage therapist today at one of our No More Knots clinics!


Sources
1. Maria Hernandez-reif, Tiffany Field, Josh Krasnegor, and Hillary Theakston International Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 106 , Iss. 3-4, 2001

2. Michele Preyde, CMAJ.  Vol. 162  no. 13  1815-1820, 2001

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Are you thinking about starting to run, or getting back into running after a long break?

Running can be a bit daunting and as we’re coming into the cooler months everyone is starting to get back into it, or thinking about taking the plunge into the world of running. You might even be considering setting yourself new goals to achieve in 2017. Training could already be underway and your muscles are getting more conditioned to pace and distance. How are they feeling? Tight or sore? It might be time to book in your remedial massage to help you work towards your goals.


There are lots of options when it comes to finding a club to run with, online training programs or even advice from friends or family on how to get started. It makes it easier when you have a plan set out for you which includes how long to run and when because we’re all susceptible to burn out or injury. In each program you’ll have your easy and hard weeks- working on increasing your distance or increasing speed. Just as important as running days it will also include rest days or active recovery days. Are you new to this and not sure when to stretch, or when would be the best time to get a massage? We’re here to help you with finding that out.

Whether it’s couch to 5kms or couch to 21kms these plans can help space your training. But do they include how to stretch and look after you body in this time? If you’re starting from the ‘couch’ then you may find this blog particularly valuable. The tension can start to build up in your muscles in the early weeks of your program. Getting a massage before they’re too sore makes sure your motivation doesn’t waiver. Something that remedial massage can also help you with is biomechanic issues (the way you run or move) before you get too far into your program.

Let’s have a talk about the when and why for massage. You’ll be in the hands of a professional who will take into consideration your training load, your previous injuries and other aspects of your lifestyle as well. So their advice is tailored to your needs. An appointment a couple of weeks into the program can look into your biomechanics and body, getting you off on the right foot. Following on from that, and depending on your goal, weekly or fortnightly massage is a nice time frame to follow up. Here are just a few of the benefits of regular massage for runners:

1. Reduced muscle fatigue and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness)

2. Increased circulation and recovery

3. Increased flexibility

4. Feeling re-energized and well rested

For your last massage before race day, think about getting it 3-5 days beforehand. Like exercise, your body needs to recover and relax after a massage. In those days you can stay well hydrated, stretch and do some light exercise. By the time your race comes around, you’ll be feeling well rested and ready to smash those goals.

Is there something more I can do at home?

Your recovery and self-care doesn’t stop with your therapist. There are things that you can do at home which can help you further. These are preformed in conjunction with massage to improve results

1.       Foam rolling- particularly your hamstrings, Vastus Lateralis, quadriceps and calves

Image by Dr Levent Efe http://www.leventefe.com.au/
Image by Dr Levent Efe http://www.leventefe.com.au/ 

2.       Tennis ball trigger points- great for specific work for your glutes. Added bonus is rolling under your feet for your plantar                     fascia.

3.       Stretches as per your therapist’s advice.

4.       Warm up and warm down before and after each training session.

If you're committed to working towards your goal, keeping your body moving and pain free is an excellent way to do that.Written By, Sarah McCallum


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Greenslopes clinic – Finalists & Winners 2011 & 2012 Health Care Category (Southern Star news)

 

Taringa clinic – Finalists 2012 Health Care Category (Westside News)

 

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Greenslopes

(Head Office)

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Greenslopes, Q 4120

Phone: 07 3891 6555

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215 Moggill Rd

Taringa, Q 4068

Phone: 07 3720 8881

 

 

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285 Enoggera Road

Newmarket, QLD 4051

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