Natural Balance Blog

Massage and Immunity by Lolly Als

Autumn brings with it such beauty – nature’s colours are quite spectacular at this time of year. However, with this comes the season of colds and coughs. I’ve been trying to stay as healthy as possible by eating well and getting a good dose of exercise. I also like to try natural immune boosters like vitamin C, garlic, and Echinacea when I’m feeling a bit run down, even though I know the evidence base for this has been mixed! So, it was with great interest that I heard about one of the recent episodes of “Trust me, I’m a Doctor”, ...

What is Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage?

My first experience of Lomi Lomi was in California many years ago while I was studying for my first Yoga Teacher Training qualification. Being very much in the “California vibe”, I decided to go and have a massage with a therapist who had been recommended to me by one of my teachers and I wanted to try something different. In the USA, it is common to be covered with a cotton sheet instead of a towel for massage, this was the first thing I noticed which was different to my massage experiences in ...

Exercise for older adults

We all know that exercise is something that we should be doing throughout our lives due to the many health benefits associated with exercise. As we age we tend to drop away from sports – athletes and sports performers in football, rugby, hockey are thought to be ‘past it’ when they reach early to mid thirties. Why should we keep exercising beyond these ‘retirement’ years? What about the master athletes, people who are exercising into the years beyond 60? What exercise should they be doing? Should we ever stop exercising? Is it ever too late to start? The current physical activity ...

Do you suffer from the miseries of Hay Fever?

Hay fever season is here again but as more and more people are suffering, many are looking toward natural remedies such as salt therapy for some relief. Between 15 - 20% of the UK population suffers with hay fever which is caused by allergens including grass and tree pollen. Hay fever varies from mild forms to a severity which can be crippling during the season. Extreme sufferers may be unable to work or drive, and students taking exams often suffer poor marks as a result of their symptoms. Many widely used treatments available relieve the symptoms but produce ...

Tips for enjoyable and pain-free gardening season

Warm Up and Stretch: As with any form of exercise, stretching must be done before and after the activity. Take a short brisk walk first to warm up your muscles and get your body in work mode. Stretching should target your back and core, shoulders and arms, and leg muscles. Minimize Repetitive Motions: Don’t try to get everything done in one session. Alternating tasks is a good way to break up the repetitive motions. Digging: Make sure you keep the shovel in front of you and avoid twisting motions. If you need to get to an area on the side, re-position yourself ...

Think facials aren’t for men.. think again!

It’s an indisputable fact that men are taking better care of how they look, with significant growth in the number of skin care products and services designed and marketed to men. Whether it’s skincare or hair removal, what was once a bit fringe for men is now moving into the mainstream. According to Mintel, online sales of men's toiletries increased 3.4 per cent to £30m in 2013, taking a five per cent share of retail sales. Here at Natural Balance we’ve seen a 25% increase in the number of guys getting their backs waxed compared to 2014. But whilst guys are happy ...

Tracey Reynolds talks Warm Bamboo Massage…

Why did you decide to train and offer this treatment? One of the reasons I wanted to train in Warm Bamboo Massage was because I had been working with Hot Stone Massage for many years and adding heat to a treatment had always been really popular with my clients. I was intrigued to try it so I had a treatment myself to experience the feeling and effects first hand. I had a combination of Warm Bamboo with Deep Tissue Massage. It was one of the best massages I have ever had. How does it complement Deep Tissue Massage? Deep Tissue Massage can sometimes ...

Clinical Massage Therapy for Iliotibial Band Syndrome in Runners: A research project by Charlotte Softly

In 2017, as part of my 3 year BTEC level 6 training in Advanced Clinical and Sports Massage, I conducted a research project into the effects of Clinical Massage on Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) in runners. In this post, I’m just going to give a quick review of my project and the results and some tips for dealing with it if this is something you currently struggle with. ITB syndrome runner What happened? The short version is – massage worked! We do have to be a bit careful in interpreting the results of research studies. In ...

Aromatherapy Signature Treatments with Steve Mason

2018 marks my 15th anniversary of qualifying as a professional Aromatherapist. Like any anniversary, it tends to make one reflective and take stock. For me, plants and essential oils were a part of my life for many years before I studied for my Diploma in Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Science with Neal’s Yard Remedies. I am often asked by clients what made me become a massage therapist and the answer is in part that I was fascinated by Aromatherapy and natural medicine. Before I trained formally to work professionally with essential oils, I had been qualified in massage and giving ...

Detoxifying using Aromatherapy by Lucinda Jones

"You are what you eat" as the saying goes and obviously what you put in to your body has a massive effect on your levels of toxicity. There are many ways to detox your body to rid it of toxins with diet change being the number one, body brushing being another and Aromatherapy massage too. Using a dry body brush that's not too hard or soft and starting at your feet and working up the body towards your heart will encourage the blood flow which stimulates the lymphatic system that removes waste. Dry body brushing yourself is a brilliant way of ...