My Massage Experience [8] O & P

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is my O & P Massage Experience, covering some of the clients I get through the door and some techniques I use.

O is for:

Oil executive – this guy trained as a Remedial Massage Therapist so I ensured I was on top of my game for his appointment! Turns out I was Ok because he’s still a regular client 8 years on! As well as a stressful, busy role in the office he maintains his HGV licence and takes a delivery lorry out occasionally!

Olympic athlete, our local 2012 triathlete was a regular client in her junior years and still comes back when in the area, if time allows.

Optometrist – another regular, a fit over 50 female who finds a monthly massage helps keep her muscle-skeletal body in shape.

P is for:

Petrissage Wikipedia defines it thus “(from French pétrir, “to knead”) are massage movements with applied pressure which are deep and compress the underlying muscles. Kneading, wringing, skin rolling and pick-up-and-squeeze are the petrissage movements” . I covered petrissage here Kneading.

Probation Officer, now retired, a busy and stressful job. This client used to work in London but has retired back home to Lutterworth and has been a regular client since 2004. Take a look at Cerebal Palsy here, this is the same guy!

Post Surgery – I have had many clients seeking help post surgery (and sometimes pre surgery) .  Quite a few skiing injuries (a future post), hip replacements and one notable golfing injury, read about that here: http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-g-h/

Pharmacist at least one of these amongst my clients. The one I’m thinking of in particular works in a Chemist and is on her feet a lot of the day, stretching to reach the medications on high shelves or clambering up the steps to reach them. So an all over  massage helps to ease those aching arms and legs, not to mention the stresses of this very important job.

Pilates a great exercise that works on strength and flexibility, great for mobility, posture and balance. I recommend it to many clients and often advise some specific exercises for their condition. Find out more here http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/Pages/pilates-for-beginners.aspx

Palpation this is the process of using the hands to examine the body. This assessment tool is very important to a massage therapist, using touch to identify the various soft tissue structures of the body. Knowledge of the attachments of the muscles and the actions that the muscle performs enables the condition of those tissues to be assessed through palpation and movement. This then informs the necessary massage treatment.

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-e-to-f/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-g-h/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-i-j/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-6-k-l/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-m-n/

Look out for Q and R coming soon!

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

I did my Massage Training here http://www.nim.uk/

Northern Institute of Massage

Northern Institute of Massage

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

 

 

My Massage Experience [7] M & N

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is M & N

M is for:

Massage!  Wikipedia defines massage as “ involves working and acting on the body with pressure” . Wikipedia goes on to describe the many types of massage ranging from Swedish massage to Shiatsu.

My Massage therapy is based in Swedish Massage you can find out more about that here;thttp://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/about-me/

and here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/massage-treatment/
 

Marathon runners – I have a blog on massage for runners and why it should be part of your training plan (http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/running-massage/), well worth a read and acting upon!  I have helped many on their journey to the London Marathon along with other races. One to note in particular was my daughter who ran her first Marathon on her 25th Birthday – 13th April. Despite having won a Ballot place Alice raised over £2000 for Alzheimer’s Society in memory of her Grandma.

Alice with her Grandma many years before her Marathon Run!

Marathon running

London Marathon 2014

Music is often a conversation piece with clients (see D is for Drummer). I have a client who has a monthly maintenance massage for low back problems, that will break into song regularly when our chat reminds him or even is a lyric! He is a big Rolling Stones fan – not really my cup of tea tho’:)

N is for:

Neck tension, this can be a “rock hard” tension or sensitive scattered “knots” or a bit if both! Problems here and in the upper mid back between the shoulder blades are common with people that spend long periods leaning over – office workers, computer work and looking at your mobile phone! Massage of these areas is very effective offering fabulous relief.

No Hands Massage – I undertook the No Hands training as a means to protect my career. I learnt techniques which I incorporated into my massage treatment rather than fully adopting the No Hands treatment protocols. My clients benefit from some lovely massage strokes using my forearms enabling a good even pressure.

Northern Institute of Massage (http://www.nim.uk/)  this is where I completed my Remedial Massage Training over 14 years ago. This was before massage training was available in every local college and before the term Sports Massage was used as a genre.

Northern Institute of Massage

Northern Institute of Massage

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-e-to-f/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-g-h/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-i-j/

My Massage Experience [6] K & L


 

Look out for O and P coming soon!

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

My Massage Experience [6] K & L

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is K & L

K is for:

Kneading, also known as Petrissage, a well used stroke for the therapist. It involves the systematic lifting and squeezing of muscles, lifting and rolling of muscles, kneading of muscles and wringing of muscles.  This stroke increases the blood flow and flushes waste, loosens adhesion’s in muscles and helps reduce muscular aches.

The Knee joint is made up of the bottom of the femur and the top of the tibia (shinbone), with the knee cap (patella) fitting into the notch at the front of the femur. The joint allows flexion and extension of the lower leg. The joint is stabilised by the cruciate ligaments, which cross at the centre between the bones and two wedges of cartilage (menisci) on each side of the joint.  It was a knee injury that got me into Remedial Massage, read more here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/working-with-figures/
Knee pain is sometimes the result of tight quadriceps, I can test this and deep tissue work on the quadriceps can loosen them and release the patella.

massage dog

This is not how I check for tight quadriceps!

L is for:

Lorry Drivers, I have treated a number of HGV drivers, both men and ladies. Shoulder and neck tension from many hours behind a wheel and the stress’ of the highways can be relieved with  a deep, relaxing massage, it  has helped my clients out. Not to mention “falling” out of the cab resulting in hamstring issues or the heaving of the side panels on some of the trucks.

I am a member of the London & Counties Society of Physiologists (LCSP). The Register’s aim is “to continue to meet the demand of ailing members of the public, particularly in the sphere of musculo-skeletal disorders and disease, by means of advanced and proven remedial massage”  http://www.lcsp.uk.com/

As a member of the LCSP I must adhere to strict codes of conduct. You can therefore be totally assured that I:

  • Have successfully completed professional training to the required standard
  • Observe the highest degree of integrity and responsibility with regard to the practice of massage therapy
  • Maintain total respect for patient confidentiality
  • Practice in a professional manner

Massage Treatment register

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-e-to-f/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-g-h/
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-i-j/

 

Look out for M and N coming soon!

I did my Massage Training here http://www.nim.uk/

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging at www.jenafitlife.com

My Massage Experience [5] I & J

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is I & J

I is for:
Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)  one of the most common overuse injuries among runners. It occurs when the iliotibial band, the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin, is tight or inflamed. The IT band attaches to the knee and helps stabilize and move the joint (source http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome). The main symptom is outer knee pain and often believed to be a knee injury.  A massage therapist can “strip” the ITB  – painful but effective.

ITT massage

IT band from the hip attaches to the knee

Ilness; “a disease or period of sickness affecting the body or mind”
My massage treatments will help pain, discomfort, stress and injury.
The current NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines for low back pain & sciatica considers soft tissue treatment massage to be the treatment of choice. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng59

J is for:
Joints
, the point where two, or occasionally more, bones meet. A massage therapist has to understand joints to know their movement potential and the role of the muscles in moving and stabilising them.  In turn this guides specific muscle work, passive movement and stretching to most help mobilise a joint. There are numerous types of joints in our body and, if you’re interested this website has some great images explaining them https://www.visiblebody.com/learn/skeleton/joints-and-ligaments

Julia Buckley is a fabulous personal trainer behind an affordable and effective online gym with a great community. Take a look her here Julia’s online gym .
Read more about my fitness journey using Julia’s guidance here;

Over-50 Fittie Swaps Hay Bales for Handstands

And more about my fitness personality for Julia’s fitness rockstars interview here http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/fitness-rockstars/

 

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/running-massage/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-e-to-f/

My Massage Experience [4] G & H

Look out for K and L coming soon!

I did my Massage Training here http://www.nim.uk/

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

 

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging at www.jenafitlife.com

This post contains affiliate links

My Massage Experience [4] G & H

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is G & H 

G is for golfers:
who are numerous amongst my clientele. The swing and one-sided strength this game requires can cause muscular imbalances and stress’ often along the whole body.
I do have one keen golfer who had surgery on his shoulder after falling badly into a ditch when retrieving his golf ball……….whoops, post-operative massage has improved his mobility and significantly reduced his pain.

Gardeners  – so many people go “all out” in Spring, spending hours in the garden. All that digging, weeding and planting means a deep tissue back massage is a must.

Gardeners need massage!

Gardeners need massage!

Gluteal muscles, these are a group of three muscles which make up the buttocks: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus aka your bum! Really important to ensure they’re activated in runners to avoid injury. Find some helpful exercises here – http://womensrunninguk.co.uk/health/quick-glute-exercises-for-runners/

H is for:
Horse riders
whose skill in controlling and directing the horse comes from their leg position and posture, this can lead to back, knee and leg issues. Not to mention the physical work involved with keeping a horse for example wheel-barrowing and shoveling when poo picking!

Horse owners need massage

Horse owners need massage!

Hamstring’s‘ referring to the group of three muscles (semitendinosus, semimembranosus and biceps femoris) that run along the back of your thigh, from your hip to just below your knee. The hamstrings are often tight in runners and back ache can be due to tight hamstrings too. A good massage and regular stretching will alleviate this.

Runners need massage!

Runners need massage!

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/running-massage/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-e-to-f/

Look out for I and J coming soon!

I did my Massage Training here http://www.nim.uk/

Thanks for reading

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

Be:Fit London 2017 My Experience

Last week my daughters and I traveled to London to Be:Fit Health and Fitness Festival at the Business Design Centre, Islington.  My eldest and I had been to a previous incarnation of this event 5 or 6 years ago, at Earls Court, and had really enjoyed it.  At that time she was getting into running, really interested in food and losing some weight. I’ve always loved to be fit and have achieved this in many ways over the years (previous blog post).

 

work research!

Be:Fit 2017 – work research!

Both my daughters and I are currently doing combinations of weight training, HiiT and cardio work. They regularly go to the local gym and I workout at home with Julia Buckleys online gymWe are all interested in real food, good nutrition and home cooking. With all this in mind here are my thoughts on Be:Fit.

In the last 5 or 6 years the fitness industry has exploded with the 20-something year olds social media phenomena, particularly You Tube and Instagram reaching so many people and colouring the market. This means this Festival was dominated by these “influencers” * and a predominantly young attendance.

Be:Fit

Be:Fit Health & Fitness Festival for Women

This is no bad thing. I LOVE the message these ladies are sending out. They speak of empowerment, respect for your body, working out because you love yourself not as a punishment, eating to fuel your body and happiness.

We listened to Carly Rowena and really enjoyed her straightforward message. Carly acknowledged it is not  “one size fits all”,  you have to do what works for you and your body. Carly offered clear, sensible and sound advice with lots of options and alternative ideas for you to individually tailor. Similar messages were echoed throughout the day by the other social media fitness stars!

Be:Fit Influencers

#girlgains preparing for their Be:Fit slot

I think the Health and Fitness industry is currently lacking some basic nutrition and cooking advice. Many people are ill-informed in this area and the current trend seems to be over complicating our food and nutrition requirements. This leaves Joe Public in a confused state. The Festival trade stands did nothing to help address this. Perhaps there is a gap in the Market for some simplification or basic nutritional advice.

The Fitness Studio, Functional Studio and Yoga Studio provided an opportunity to get your workout fix during the day. However the queuing and lack of clear ticketing arrangements (unless you’d purchased a VIP entry) was frustrating.  Perhaps a deli counter ticketing mechanism would work for the Walk Up only events .We did manage to get into the #girlgains workout which was good fun.

Be:Fit Trade stands

Be:Fit Trade stands

One of the disappointing elements of the day was the trade stands, they were a bit “samey” . Too many “healthy” snacks, protein supplements, post workout drinks and not enough real food ( sorry Heck sausages https://www.heckfood.co.uk/)  but two food/recipe subscription services!  Not enough good offers to tempt you to purchase but lots of tiny tasters for you to try. The presentation was often dull, more variety and fun needed to be injected here.

KIND at BE:Fit

KIND bars did have a great offer on!

Also in relation to the stands, more variety was needed. Where were the purveyors of weights? Resistance bands? Gym Balls?  Also a more comprehensive range of active wear in terms of price range would be good.  Fitness wear is very expensive and much of the merchandise at the Festival  was prohibitive to the average girl (earning less that £20k pa). Particularly if they are on a weight loss journey and their body is changing shape continually! Not to mention  – not everyone wears fitness gear 24/7 and they need other clothes in their wardrobe! The clothing needed to cover more than the workout crowd, and the footwear more than runners.What about crossfit, cyclists, swimmers, tennis players, yoga ….?

Be:Fit purchase

My Be:Fit Festival purchase – no special deals from Reebok

Finally I think the Festival and the Fitness Industry should wake up to the growing interest in health and fitness from the over 40s and 50+, a huge market with possibly a greater disposable income.  Everyone needs to take responsibility for their health and fitness, and this sort of event is a fantastic showcase for empowering women and giving them the right tools.

In conclusion, this Festival was possibly marginally better than the one I went to a few years ago. I think the trade stands and the food/nutrition offerings were much better despite my misgivings. However on reflection some sort of hybrid of the two events would have nailed it!

 

*Check out
– Carly Rowena https://www.carlyrowena.com/about
– #girlgains –  aim to empower, inspire, educate and motivate women to be the best        versions of themselves.http://www.girlgains.co.uk/about
– The Food Medic – Dr Hazel Wallace https://thefoodmedic.co.uk/about/
– Clean Eating Alice https://en-gb.facebook.com/CleanEatingAlice/

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

This post contains affiliate links

My Massage Experience [3] E & F

MY MASSAGE EXPERIENCE A TO Z – Accountancy To Zumba

Muscles, Memories and Moves

Here is E & F

E is for:
Effleurage the most used massage stroke. This stroke is the initial contact with the client and is performed with the whole palm surface of the hand, mostly directed towards the heart with pressure on the return stroke being light. It helps to relax the muscles, having a soothing effect and helping circulation.

F  is for:
Farmers
, over the last 14 years I have massaged numerous Farmers suffering with back and hip issues from lambing, harvesting or milking.

Farmers massage

Lambing season = Farmers Massage!


Family and friends
– a great resource when learning the art of massage and practising new techniques, but also for helping them when they are hit with muscular aches and pains. In their number there has been a retired farmer, a teacher, a London Marathon runner and numerous office workers. Not to mention their unlimited support for a self employed small business owner!

Friends & Family Massage!

Friends & Family Massage! – My daughter is under there trying to have a post Marathon training treatment 🙂


Foam rolling
is brilliant for self help mimicking a deep tissue massage. By slowing rolling over various areas of your body, you’ll help break up adhesions and scar tissue and speed up the healing and recovery process. Great for anyone that worksout – weights, running, swimming….

Friction is a deep pressure massage done in small circular movements to penetrate deep tissues. The technique involves pressing on the tissue and rubbing it back and forth over the underlying muscle. It is a warming stroke, preparing for deeper work. It is performed by rubbing along the length of the muscle or across it using small circular moves or a wringing movement.

 

Read the previous posts here;
http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-a-to-b/

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/my-massage-experience-c-to-d/

Look out for G and H coming soon!

I did my Massage Training here http://www.nim.uk/

Thanks for reading

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

 

Work Update – Do you do a variety of jobs?

As my new life start unfolds* I have been looking to find some additional part-time work. Also I have been working to increase my massage business …… 

Alongside this I am embracing writing my blog. Learning so much about WordPress, SEO, editing photographs and masses about engaging on social media particularly Instagram. 

I bravely booked on to a couple of blog conferences to increase my knowledge and meet other bloggers.
I went to the Health Bloggers Conference  – Health & Blogging Summit [#HBCSummit] in April (http://www.healthblogconference.com/). This was a good event, not too large, fairly well organised . Although the workshops couldn’t accommodate all those wanting to attend.

Call this work!

#HBCSummit 2nd Breakfast!

I managed to get into the Photography workshop for Bloggers with the lovely Anastasija Jegorova (Instagram @anastasija_je). Here I learnt a lot about photography generally – not hard as I knew nothing!

photo work

#HBCSummit Photography Workshop – my practice pics were sabotaged by other people’s bodies!

I also got into the Blogger and Brand Collaborations Workshop ran by Fab Giovanetti. Fab is the founder of Health Bloggers Community and Conference organiser (http://www.healthbloggerscommunity.com/). Along with Frances Katz (Instagram @healthyfitfran) a Dancer and Blogger. An informative and useful session.

Panel Discussions were held in a large room, easier to get in to. I attended the How to Launch your Editorial Career in Health & Wellness and the Collaborating with Brands as a Digital Influencer. Both sessions were well ran and provided some great insights into the process a blogger needs to think about to be successful.

The Garden Market had a “Sample products from the hottest brands…” all were generous with both their time and their products. The Summit provided a fantastic goody bag too!

work freebies

#HBCSummit Goody Bag

I’ve booked on to Blogtacular in June too. I let you know how that goes!
www.blogtacular.com UPDATE my review is here: https://www.jenafitlife.com/2017/06/13/blogtacular/

I attended Be:Fit 2017 last weekend to checkout the status of the Health & Fitness world currently – blog review here: https://www.jenafitlife.com/2017/05/10/befit-london-2017-my-experience/

work research!

Be:Fit 2017 – work research!

To supplement my income at this time I applied for a couple of casual part time jobs. I’ve done some exam invigilating before and I contacted local schools to see if they had any vacancies. As the school system has recently changed in Leicestershire, High Schools previously years 7-9 have expanded to year 11. 2017 sees their first full GCSE year, thus a requirement for Exam invigilators, my luck was in and I was taken on. 

I contacted my local District Council about Poll Clerk work, I was told they had no vacancies but would put me on a reserve list. A few weeks ago this also came good. A vacancy has arisen in my nearby town for the 4th May elections so I’ve signed up! The General Election in June means another days work is already on the cards – lets hope I survive on Thursday!

All in all a good time, all I have to do now is the work!

Do you do a variety of jobs?

Thanks for reading

Jen x

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenallenmassagetherapy/

Twitter @jenafitlife

Instagram @jenafitlife

Now Blogging over on www.jenafitlife.com

OFFA’S DYKE PATH WALK From MONMOUTH To KINGTON

We are approaching our Offa’s Dyke Path walk in bite-sized chunks!  I prefer to walk for no more than 4 day blocks covering something like 12 – 16 miles a day. The dog and I have done enough then and our ageing legs need to rest up!

When planning our walks, taking into account the mileage and terrain I also need dog friendly overnight accommodation.  This can make the planning quite an art. I start with the ideal day walk distance then search for the accommodation.  Sometimes there is little choice particularly on a route with few towns or even villages like this path.

Offa’s Dyke Path is proving to be a most beautiful and spectacular walk. This section Monmouth to Kington takes in the challenging Hatterrall Ridge, the lovely town of Hay on Wye and Hergest Ridge with the best panoramic views.

My fellow walkers are twitcher’s or at least keen bird-spotter’s, and they’re pretty good at it too. At the bottom of this post I have listed the birds we/they saw on this walk. It’s quite impressive.

walk Offas Dyke

River Wye at Hay

We choose to go in the third week of April and I was weather watching ahead of the planned dates; mention of snow was made in early April and rain seemed due. As it turned out we had the most perfect of weather for a long walk; clear, dry and some sunshine. It was a little chilly at the highest points and I wished I had gloves but I was walking in shorts!

Day 1 – Monmouth to Pandy 17 miles
Travelling from the Midlands with my two fellow walkers was likened to Peter Kay’s Car Share, some banter, some laughs but we didn’t burst into song! We arrived in Monmouth on Thursday morning “bright-eyed and bushy tailed” eager to get started. We set off at 10.40 for Pandy some 17 miles to our accommodation for the night.

Walk Monmouth

And so it begins Monmouth

This day started through gentle fields and climb through bluebell woods. It is an area of patchwork meadows and woods quite isolated an area where agriculture is important. We walked though a busy potato planting field and met a beautiful family group of cattle at Grace Dieu Cistercian monastery founded in 1226.

Walking Offas Dyke

Cattle at Grace Dieu

Later in the day we walked by White Castle, hoping to find some refreshment it was not to be so we took in the magnificent towers and wondered at times gone by……..then marched onto our B & B the imposing Brynhonddhu Country House. http://www.brynhonddu.co.uk/

A trip to the local – The Old Pandy Inn – for a pie and chips and a lovely pint followed by a mile walk back in the dimming light meant my bed that night was very welcome.

Day 2 – Pandy to Capel-y-Ffin 11 miles
After a hearty breakfast we got instructions from our host on how to rejoin the path and off we went to tackle a steep climb to Hatterrall Ridge.

Walk Pandy

Ponies on the climb from Pandy to Hatterrall Ridge

We had chosen not to tackle the full length of the ridge. I’d read that the 17.5 mile walk to Hay on Wye is one of the most demanding  days of the walk.

Walk Hatterrall RIdge

Rufus and the view as we climb to Hatterrall Ridge

So we were faced with the climb down into the Vale of Ewyas to stay at The Grange http://www.grangetrekking.co.uk/accommodation.php

The ridge walk was fabulous we had good weather, cloudy but clear, a little chilly. I was pleased when we reached to downward path to Capel-y-Ffin . I say pleased….it was a tough downhill walk, very steep and harsh on my dodgy knees.  There was lots of concern about the following mornings climb back up to the path L

The Grange is a busy trekking centre, very welcoming. As it was early in the season we had the guest accommodation to ourselves, we drank lots of tea, had a welcome bath and a hearty evening meal prepared by our host. We then assisted in progressing a jigsaw puzzle that previous guests had started  – cottages on the Isle of Wight I believe. The accommodation was fairly rudimentary with eclectic quirky collections in every nook and cranny.

Walk Capel-Y- Ffin

Eclectic collections at The Grange Capel-Y- Ffin

Day 3- Capel-y-Ffin to Hay on Wye 11 miles
We started the day with beautiful blue skies and birdsong, all fuelled we headed off for that steep climb. I much prefer uphill and we were up there in just shy of an hour. The views are magnificent from Hatterrall Ridge and the ponies friendly. After a time without phone or internet in the valley I made contact with my nearest and dearest as we headed towards Hay on Wye.

The ridge is long and could get a little tedious. I was glad we’d split it into two and saw the second half with fresh eyes not with a tired and achy body. We enjoyed the views from both the highest point of Offa’s Dyke 703m and from Hay Bluff just a little further on before the descent through pleasant lands into Hay on Wye.

Walk Offas Dyke

End of Hatterrall Ridge – Hay Bluff

Walk view over Hay

Rufus still chasing sticks – the view from Hatterrall Ridge towards Hay and beyond!

Walk to Hay

Blue skies on the approach to Hay on Wye

We arrived here about 2pm the sun blazing down, a perfect afternoon for a beer and later a tasty falafel salad lunch in the Castle grounds.

walk Offas dyke

A welcome Beer in Hay on Wye

Walk Offas dyke

Falafel picnic lunch

We stayed at Kilvert’s Inn http://www.kilverts.co.uk/index
a superior establishment under new ownership and a very pleasant place indeed.

Walk B & B

Kilverts in Hay on Way

Day 4 – Hay on Wye to Kington 14.5 miles
We had an early start on day 4 as we had 14.5 miles to cover to Kington and a taxi booked for 4.30! The walk started with an amble along the River Wye, then through a series of fields and lanes to Bettws Dingle and then Disgwyfla Hill  onto Gladestry. Here it was decided we had time for a Beer and a sandwich in The Royal Oak a very friendly pub and a great ham sandwich!

walk Offas Dyke

Disgwyfla Hill

With 4.5 miles to go and possibly the best part of Offa’s Dyke ahead we undertook the climb up to Hergest Ridge. We were rewarded with panoramic views of the Shropshire Hills, Hay Bluff and the Black Mountains we’d been on the day before. The walking was delightful on soft, springy grass and the walk down into Kington was gentle and kind to my knees.

walk Offas dyke

Hergest Ridge

 

Video – Panoramic view from Hergest Ridge 

Walking is splendid exercise, the fresh air and stunning countryside lift the spirits.

Do you walk regularly?

Thanks for reading.

Jen x

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Birds spotted from Monmouth to Kington 20th -23rd April 2017

Wheatear

Chiff Chaf
Meadow Pipit
Willow Warbler
Stonechat
Goldfinch
Bullfinch
Skylark
Swallow
Pied Wagtail
Yellow Hammer
Fieldfare
Black Bird on the nest
Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch,
Coal tit,
Long tailed Tit,
Blue Tit,
Great Tit,
Dunnock,
Wren,
Robin
& Heron (out of Bedroom window)
Raven
Jay
Red Kite
Buzzard (as always)
Barn owl (that only I spotted)
Peregrine
Kestrel
Plus all the norm
Pheasants, Jackdaws etc
 3 Mad March (April) Hares

Stress Awareness

April is Stress Awareness Month  – here I’m going to look at what stress is and offer some signposts to help you recognise and deal with stress.

We have probably all experienced some level of stress in our lives. Exam times, buying a house, illness, workload….(the list goes on)….can all put us under pressure. Everyone will deal with stress differently, have coping mechanisms that are tried and tested for them or have a release in a workout or a run.   Here are some tips from the NHS to help you deal with stress http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/reduce-stress.aspx

What does stress do to the body?
Stress is a physical response, the body goes into “flight or fight” mode when under stress. Hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) are released to enable physical action in response to the threat. Stress is not necessarily a bad thing it can help us react to dangerous situations quickly. The hormones work to divert blood to the muscles and to shut down less immediately useful functions, such as digestion, amongst other things.  This will enable you to react quickly when put under stress, such as if someone runs in front of your car, without it mankind wouldn’t be here as this stress response means a quick response to dangerous animals when out hunting!

However in the modern world the first signs of stress may be things like tiredness, headaches or an upset stomach. The body is releasing the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, high levels of these can make you feel unwell and long term this is not good for your health.

The MIND website has a great table about signs of stress, showing how you might feel, how you might behave and how it may be physically affecting you. Take a look at Signs of Stress http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/stress/signs-of-stress/#.WPB529LyuM8

Dealing with stress
It is important to deal with any stress to have a happy and healthy life. Both the MIND and NHS websites offer advice and tips on recognising your stress triggers and how to start to deal with them.

Stress Awareness & Massage

There is evidence that massage can help manage stress  (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00207450590956459 ). Massage has been shown to decrease cortisol , produced in the “flight or fight” response,  increase serotonin (a mood enhancer and helps with sleep) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centres).  I am an experienced Massage Therapist and would highly recommend that you try a treatment to see if it will help you manage your stress.

For further information on stress and Stress Awareness Month please see the links below.

http://www.stress.org.uk/

http://stressawarenessmonth.com/

 

For further information on my treatments take a look here;

Massage Therapy – how I make my living!

http://www.jenallenmassagetherapy.com/massage-treatment/

 

I hope you’ve found something useful here.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Jen x

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Twitter @jenafitlife

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