When I was younger I was heavily encouraged by my Mum to learn to play the piano. I learnt a few things, played a few Beatles tunes but then discovered skateboarding and alcohol. Therein lies the reason that today, unfortunately, I don?t know my C from my C sharp, I didn?t stick with it. What I learnt over the Christmas period is the same is true of sorting out a physical ailment. With a few weeks holiday thrown into the seasonal mix I found that by the time I got home from my ?break? my neck had stiffened up and poor Lisa was almost starting from scratch! However, with some regular visits in January I?m once again turning my neck a little more like a human being and feeling better with every session. I?ve said every session so far that if I suddenly invented a more satisfying alternative to air and made a fortune I?d have a personal physio. They could come on holiday too!

First visit back in the New Year and although all my thoughts are positive about making this the year to get myself flexible and healthy, my neck and shoulders appear to think otherwise. As you?d expect, with a good few weeks since my last visit to Lisa, my body has tightened up despite some stretching and swimming. I really feel there?s nothing that can compete with the intense muscle massage and mobilisation I get from my visits here. I?ve discovered that the principle source of my woes is my left trap (trapezius muscle) that connects from my middle back to shoulder to neck in a sort of triangular sail shape. My long held shoulder injury, coupled with my ?stuck to a Mac designing a magazine? posture, when combined with underactive middel and lower back muscles seems to have left everything well out of kilter. We worked hard on the part of my trap running from my shoulder up to the top of my neck today which, although mildly painful, felt soooo good. Lisa tests my head rotation at the beginning of each session and then again throughout the process to check our progress. I?m happy to say that after 45 minutes I was beginning to show some marked inprovements.

I?ve definitely felt better since my last visit. My niggles have been there, the slight headaches and neck ache but there?s been a marked improvement. After realising how important it is to maintain my programme of recovery, I?m considering, on Lisa?s recommendation, visiting a sports massage therapist between my sessions to keep me limber. That is going to allow Lisa to get to the serious stuff of correcting my problems rather than just keeping my muscles loose. Today?s session worked further on the upper areas of my neck that feel as if they literally attach right into the base of my skull. It feels pretty weird having someone massage up in there! It?s certainly effective. If there?s one thing that bothers me it?s thinking I?ve gone for a massage and having someone just run their fingers over my back with some oil to the sound of some panpipe mood music. If it?s not actually going to help my muscles I?m not interested! Not only does Lisa know exactly where the muscles I need work on are, she knows how to position my neck and head in such a way to improve my movement and keep the muscles working to recover my flexibility long term. It?s amazing the difference that correcting other parts of your body can have on restricted movement. By tucking my head right into my neck and shrugging my shoulders slightly, I get a much wider range of neck movement. This apparently indicates to what degree there is tension and knotting in my trap.

That last session really worked and I?ve had no ill feeling since. Hopefully this bodes well for the rest of my sessions this year. With a little more work today I was feeling looser with an improved range of movement. The moral of this month?s sessions: keep up the good work. There may be no quick fix to problems like mine but sticking with it will be the answer.

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Ben arrived in Jersey in 2003 and established our Gallery magazine title, determined to offer a better quality independent media offering. Holding a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communication and Masters Degree in Marketing, he builds media brands with the emphasis on brand. Ben loves mountains and is fond of penguins (the bird, not the bar).