Ayurvedic Treatments in Brighton with Jan Wolsey

Earlier this year I spent 7 weeks in India studying Ayurvedic massage. My massage journey started in India 20 years ago so it seemed right to continue training in the home of Ayurveda. Whilst there I had massage everyday and I feel fantastic for it!
Ayurvedic medicine is the route of all massage treatments and literally translates as ‘life knowledge’. Ayurveda is about wellness all through our lives and not just when we pull a muscle or hurt ourselves.
90 or 120 Minutes of Abhyanga – this is a full body massage the body is anointed with warm sesame oil and long flowing strokes from head to toe, recently a client said that even though the touch was lighter than a deep tissue treatment it gave her body the chance to “breathe and all the aches she had been feeling in her shoulders went”.
Abhyanga is a very balancing treatment, bringing relaxation and peace.
Please get in touch if you would like to know more about Ayurvedic treatments.


stone skimming

I love this article that was on the BBC .  Its fantastic how he likes to warm up and stretch before he skims the stones across the water. We all need to stretch before exercise and before sitting at out computers, regular stretching keeps us supple and more focused on our tasks of the day.


Brighton Massage Therapy - Pregnancy Massage -symphysis pubis diastasis

A very common condition in pregnancy is called SPD or symphysis pubis diastasis. I see a lot of clients with this, normally in the 3rd trimester but it can start a earlier especially if there has been a previous pregnancy and the mother to be has suffered with it before. It can be very uncomfortable so I thought I would write my top tips down for dealing with it. 

Massage can be exceptionally helpfull in pain management and relief of pain. I work using a range of movements and strokes that will help with pain. The main benefit is that it will give you time to relax and tune in with your baby. If you would like to know more about massage in pregnancy please call me. 

Top tips for coping with SPD 
Plan your day ahead. If you need to go to the shops, make sure you do all the other jobs that require you to be outside at the same time. Go to the bank and if you have to do a school run make the two trips coincide. Or consider doing your shopping via the Internet. 

Think about taking
 small steps and slow movement. Don’t make any jerky movements. 

Keep a basket on the stairs if you have them, which you can put everything into so that you only make one journey up stairs. 

Encourage people to visit, as it can feel isolating if you do become housebound. Make sure you spend time with people that you trust and are happy giving you support. 

Be kind to yourself, accept that you can’t do as much as you used too. Only set yourself realistic goals for the day. 

Speak to an Occupational Therapist who will be able to provide useful equipment if you do find SPD debilitating. 
A hand held claw so that you can pick things up of the floor 
A bath board to help you step out of the bath more easily 

Avoid twisting movement of the upper body this will put more pressure on the symphysis pubis. 

If you have any other top tips let me know and I will add them on 

Jan x 


Hiking and stretching

I'm off to Hadrians wall in the next few weeks,  its a little warm up for the 500 mile walk later in the year. Ive been upping the the miles  lately,  nothing to drastic, 5 miles most days and 10-15 at the weekends. I love walking the slow pace of getting somewhere. Initially I kept forgetting to stretch, it was just a stroll after all.  I'm getting better and I stretch most days. I stretch myofascially its kinder to the body and works better. Myofascial stretching is about listening to your body, where does it need to stretch? 

How to stretch myofascially

So  go into your normal stretch, slow down and not all the way, just back off from that full stretch and breathe......... relax there's no rush the body knows what it needs. Now slowly see see where the stretch needs to go, imagine your body is melting into the stretch taking up the slack of the muscles giving, keep breathing..... each stretch needs to be held for at least 90 seconds.

We use myofacial stretching in treatment, it gets to those hard to reach areas that just are not being reached in other types of treatment

For more information check out my website.

Its been so blowy and cold that its been harder to motivate myself. I'm a keen walker and preparing for a long walk in August, 500 miles across Spain. As a warm up I'm off to Hadrian's wall for a few days. By no means am I one of the fit people, I like to walk and 10 miles is a good walk for me, lately I have been upping the distance to around 15 miles when time permits. Little aches and pains have been happening and my feet have been suffering. 

Yesterday I went and visited the podiatrist and we talked for 90 minutes about my feet and she gave me exercises to improve the strength and muscle tone within my feet. So as I type I'm spreading my toes, slowly and waiting for the stretch. Stretching is about taking time and not making the muscles hurt, slow purposeful movements and always listening to the body. Gone are the days when we talked of ballistic stretching now its all about working with the body and listening to its needs. 

If you want more information about stretching drop me a line or it can be included in your treatment.


Fabulous article about MFR

Just thought I would share this fabulous article about myofascial release and chronic pain. Its from and is really worth a read. 
Myofascial Release for Chronic Pain Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than three months or that continues well beyond the time when healing would be expected to be complete. It is one of the most difficult conditions for medical practitioners to diagnose and treat. The most common type of chronic pain is lower back pain. 
Three factors complicate the treatment of chronic pain. First, chronic pain is not always associated with a specific injury or disease. Second, chronic pain is rarely constant; it often comes and goes for no obvious reason. Third, pain intensity is subjective and depends on a description by the patient. Because alternative practitioners tend to treat the whole body rather than one particular system, they often find success in relieving nonspecific chronic pain. Myofascial release is one alternative therapy used to treat chronic pain. 
How Does Myofascial Release Help with Chronic Pain? Chronic pain can be caused by many conditions that create uneven stress on the fascia, or the thin, strong connective tissue that covers muscles and bones and surrounds internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and intestines. 
These conditions include: 

  • Back strain or injury
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Whiplash
  • Injury to joints
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS)
  • Strains and sprains from falls
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Physical stress
  • Psychological stress
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
  • Arthritis
  • Psychological stress
  • Poor posture
As the myofascial release practitioner performs gentle stretching and compression of the fascia and the muscles, the body relaxes and uneven tension on the fascia begins to self-correct. This release of tension affects the entire body because all fascia is interconnected. Some patients find that strong emotions are released along with physical tension. This emotional release can be especially helpful to patients whose stress and chronic pain has a psychological component. 
There are no scientific studies that exactly explain how Myofascial Release works. Nevertheless, practitioners believe that correcting uneven strain on the fascia releases tension. This increases free movement of the fascia, helps muscles to move more easily, and relieves chronic pain throughout the body. 
What is Myofascial Release? Myofascial Release is a type of bodywork that helps release uneven stress in the fascia and restores equal muscle tension by increasing flexibility of the fascia. Normal, healthy fascia is flexible and provides a seamless, interconnected web that supports body structures. 
Sprains, strains, scarring from surgery or injury, inflammation, disease, trauma from falls, repetitive stress, and even poor posture create uneven stress on the fascia. When the fascia is stressed, it loses its flexibility and no longer moves normally when the body moves. This creates unequal tension on muscles and causes them to lock or alter the way they move. This tension can result in chronic pain. Myofascial Release uses soft tissue massage techniques to restore the flexibility of the fascia and release tension from muscles. Occasionally Myofascial Release is referred to as 
connective tissue massageWhat Happens During a Myofascial Release Session? Myofascial Release sessions usually last about one hour and can occur from one to three times a week. During the initial session, the practitioner and the client will discuss the client’s pain, treatment goals, and how Myofascial Release will help achieve those goals. The practitioner will also do a visual evaluation of the client’s posture and movement to help pinpoint potential sources of the pain. There is no standard protocol for a Myofascial Release session. Therapy is individualized based on the client’s pain and the feedback the practitioner gets from working with the client’s body. 
The client usually wears a bathing suit or sports bra and pants to provide the practitioner maximum access to the body. No lubricant is used. The practitioner will use light pressure, compression, and traction to stretch the affected fascia. The process is slow and generally comfortable for the client. The process increases blood flow to the site and encourages the fascia to relax, unwind, and correct itself. 
The practitioner also uses gentle pressure to find any painful trigger points and determines which part of the body needs work based on the feedback obtained from touch. Often only one or two parts of the body are worked on in a single session. Nevertheless, because all fascia is connected, working on one area will benefit the entire body. Normally the client will not feel stiff or sore on the day following treatment. Occasionally deeper, more intense pressure is needed if the fascia is tightly bound, and this may result in some brief soreness. 
Although the client may begin to feel better after a single session, it generally takes three or more sessions before seeing relief of specific symptoms. Clients should check with their insurance company about coverage for payment. If Myofascial Release therapy is prescribed by a physician or administered by a licensed physical or occupational therapist, a specific number of sessions may be covered by insurance. 
Who Does Myofascial Release? In the United States, there is no national body that certifies practitioners of Myofascial Release. Although some form of Myofascial Release has been done since the 1940s, John T. Barnes, a physical therapist, popularized the technique in the 1990s. Many people trained in Myofascial Release are physical or occupational therapists, osteopathic physicians, or chiropractors who have taken special classes, often taught by Barnes, to learn the technique. Other practitioners of Myofascial Release have training in additional bodywork techniques such as Rolfing, Swedish massage, and deep-tissue massage. 

sports massage students

This weekend was very busy, had a full day at the clinic on Saturday then I was helping to teach on a Sports massage course on the Sunday. Really lovely to see some inspired new therapists eager to learn and full of energy. I can honestly say they were all brilliant and a pleasure to teach. 

Sports and remedial massage is moving at such a pace, techniques are constantly being improved to treat people in a kinder and more effective way. It really is important to work with the body and to re-educate the way it is, rather than telling it where a muscle should be. 

A slower approach works so much better, letting the fascia and the deep muscles release and relax. 

Sports massage is unique in the UK, its a term that Pat Cash invented, in the USA and Europe it all comes under the heading of remedial massage.

Well done - Brighton Marathon

Well done to all my clients that completed the Brighton Marathon. Everyone made it across the finishing line and all saying that they are going to do it all again next year. 

So hopefully everyone is going to take it easy for a few days, gentle stretching but nothing more vigorous. Its fantastic if you can have a massage straight after a long run, but it’s also a good idea to have a massage booked for about 48 hours afterwards. 

Looking forward to seeing you all in training for the Brighton Marathon 2011.

brighton marathon 2010

Its been really busy since getting back from the States, everybody is giving great feedback from the MFR work that they have been getting. 

Im seeing so many runners at the moment, everyone is gearing up for the Brighton marathon next month. So seeing a full range of injuries, shin splints, tight hamstrings and sore hips and feet. Ice is my friend at the moment, if you can get ice on to an injury quickly you can really speed up the amount of time something can take to heal. Don't worry if you don't have any ice in your fridge, a bag of frozen peas wrapped up in a tea towel can really help. If you have pulled something just get the ice on it as quickly as you can and it really will help with keeping the swelling down. Remember though its always best to see a expert if you injure yourself.
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