When I’m offered the chance of an hour long massage, I very rarely decline and so I took myself off to see the lovely Kathryn Priest of Arcadia Physiotherapy, who has very recently opened her new studio on Mansfield Road in Nottingham.
Kathryn gives a very warm welcome as I arrive and makes me feel right at ease with her professional yet approachable manner. I immediately notice the lovely smell of lemongrass wafting from the reeds on her window sill in the new treatment room and am impressed by the professional lay-out and warmth of the room, having just come in from the freezing cold.
We went through the formalities of a brief assessment and I was asked to filled in a general health form answering some of Kathryn’s questions in the process, mainly based around lifestyle, so that she could determine my posture and best advise me of how to improve it going forward-something I have struggled with for years…
As a large part of my day job involves working, slumped at a desk, I find my posture has suffered over the years because of this and as such I tend to suffer with bad backs at the end of an intense working day, not to mention live with the fear of ending up with a hunch back in my older age. I was advised to take regular breaks from my computer, to walk around, stretch my legs and to my delight was told that my recent attendance at my local yoga class is fantastic for posture- I’m at least doing something right!
To assess my posture further I changed into more comfortable clothing and stood on a yoga mat, faced towards Kathryn and proceeded to follow her instructions in making a number of poses with my arms up, down, twisted in front and so on, so that she could see how aligned my body was, and true to her brilliant knowledge, she knew exactly what she was looking for and explained where I was even/unbalanced etc and guessed correctly where I may suffer pain – amazing!
Firstly I climbed onto the couch faced down and encountered my very first ever acupuncture session. Medical acupuncture works with the body’s natural analgesic mechanisms to promote tissue healing and pain relief without the need for medication. Taken beyond the ancient Chinese traditional therapy, this form of acupuncture is based on clinical research evidence and targets the source of pain for each individual, rather than following a pre-designed body map.
I did feel slightly apprehensive that it may hurt; well the idea of having needles thrust into my shoulders (the areas I get most discomfort) wasn’t pleasant, but actually I barely felt it. There was narration the whole way through the treatment, which did not last longer than around ten or fifteen minutes and Kathryn explained everything she was doing to keep me at ease.
Time for the sports massage- concentrating on my upper back mainly, Kathryn’s pressure was just right, as I don’t like to be tickled, so a good deep massage was in order, though not too deep that I end up bruised!
Massage therapy has many benefits, not just in the ‘feel good factor’ you experience afterwards, but also affirmed in the clinically researched evidence. It stimulates the lymph system, which is responsible for filtering toxins out of your tissues and for the more active among us it can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
I felt great, after my massage, very relaxed and actually ready for a good night’s sleep!
It was explained that acupuncture can make you go one of two ways, either making you feel extremely invigorated and raring to go or relaxed and ready for bed- I was the latter!
I highly recommend going to visit Kathryn at Arcadia for any of her treatments including sports massage, acupuncture and physiotherapy, and what’s more as an RSViP member, you will benefit from 25% off your first session (£30 instead of £40).
Fiona Duncan, RSViP