Back Stage Massage Brisbane

The Skeletal Harmonics Touring massage crew are ready to look after all your backstage massage needs. With extremely experienced and friendly staff with performing arts backgrounds there is no need to look any further. Experienced * Knowledgeable * Deep Tissue Call us now anytime of the day or night on +61 434 031 900      

Skeletal Harmonics Groupon Deal 2012

So on October 31st, Skeletal Harmonic's Groupon deal went live. The next day, our answering machine was full and online bookings were already coming through. Within the space of a few days, our week was booked up. We're really excited to have so many new faces walking through the door for an awesome Skeletal Harmonics massage experience, and we look forward to working with many more. Here's everything you need to know about our Groupon deal from how to redeem you voucher to how this might affect you as a regular client:

For Grouponers

First of all, congratulations on scoring yourself such a great deal. We look forward to meeting you and really appreciate you giving us a go. We'll do our very best to rock your massage world so you might consider returning for more treatments or tell a friend about us. We are primarily a remedial clinic, which means we're awesome at helping you with any injuries or pain you might have, but if you're just after an hour to relax, we're great at that too. Bookings are already filling up quite quickly so it's really important that you try to book in advance. Also, we ask that you be patient with our friendly team as we help you make a booking with us in this busy time.

Two Easy Ways To Book

  1. Book Online Follow the link above to our online booking system, choose a "Remedial" or "Relaxation". From there choose the 60 minute option and you'll be able to customise your preferences for time/date, then hit "search". Click on a suitable appointment* and you'll be prompted to create a new account to make the booking. Important: When finalising your booking, make sure you include a note that you have a Groupon Voucher.*Please Note: Groupon bookings are only available with our therapists Kat Cooper, Louis Dooner or Gavin Martin-Rentz (Kaja Quinn and Jim Combes are not part of the promotion).
  2. Call 3844 2265 And speak with one of our friendly reception team. If your call goes to the answering machine, please leave a message with your name and number and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Again please be patient with us here - we will get you in.

Welcome To Skeletal Harmonics

When you're ready to come into our West End clinic for the first time, here's four things you need to know:
  1. If you're unsure how to get to us, see our contact page for directions and parking details.
  2. Please remember to bring a printed copy of your Groupon receipt to verify your purchase.
  3. We do have a short new client form for you to fill out before you begin, so if you can come in 5-10 minutes early before your booking, it won't eat into your treatment time.
  4. Whether you purchased a single massage voucher or a three pack, Groupon is very strict that treatments only be redeemed by the person whose name the voucher was purchased under. Simply meaning, you cannot share your treatments between friends or family.

Cancellation Policy

If you can't make your booking for some reason, please ensure you call us at least 24 hours beforehand to reschedule. Same day cancellations and no-shows will have their treatment forfeited (as disclosed on Groupon voucher). If you're running late, we'll give you the best massage we can, in whatever time is left of your appointment, but as you can understand, we cannot go over time due to schedules.

For Our Regulars

During this busy time, we will be doing our best to make sure this doesn't affect your ability to get a treatment with your favourite therapist. We really appreciate your loyalty and patience over the next three months. For Kaja and Jim's clients, you'll be glad to hear their schedules shouldn't be heavily affected by this Groupon promotion. If you've been seeing Gavin, Kat or Louis, they will be doing their best to reserve spaces for regulars. Your best bet is to book your treatments a few weeks in advance if you can. If you have any issues, please give us a call so we can help you out.

Basic Tips For Sore Musicians

So on my afternoon stroll around YouTube, I came across this kookie video of basic tips for musicians to help keep their shoulders, arms and hands loose. These self massage techniques would be great as a warm up and for general relief when playing. Brace yourself for this guys eccentricity and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGtOl12rwEw Also check out our Musicians Guide to Arm and Hand Self Massage for more good stuff. You probably won't use every technique we share, but it's important to find a few that work for you. However, don't rely on these self massage if you are suffering from an injury. If you're a guitarist in pain, injured drummer, suffering piano player or other musician in pain, it's important to seek the help of a qualified health professional as soon as possible - such as your friendly Skeletal Harmonics Musculoskeletal Health Team in Brisbane West End (wink, wink).

Celebrate Your Complexity

More Than A Sum Of Parts Modern medicine has been amazing for our knowledge of the innermost workings of the body, but this amazing wealth of understanding has come at a cost. With every scalpel incision and dissection we break the body down into smaller and smaller pieces, striving to understand how these pieces fit into our complex body machines. But treating the body as a machine and sum of it's parts, is not an entirely healthy view to have. “....the human body is not assembled in parts. It self-assembles from a single cell that proliferates wildly before differentiating into the different functional cells that make up our body. Concepts like 'muscle' or 'organ' are man-made concepts imposed on the whole which was never divided and never functioned separately until we approached it with a knife.” AnatomyTrains.com I'm A Real Boy Sure, the function of machines can offer some great analogies to help understand different functions of your body (like Tom Myers' sailing boat tensegrity and our Pain - Your Body's Warning Light), but ultimately our bodies are incredibly complicated and interrelated organisms, with many different systems and factors influencing and affecting others (often in counter-intuitive ways). You are far more complex and amazing than any machine or computer will ever be. For the science nerds, you can imagine our current understanding of the human body to be heavily influenced by classic Newtonian, mechanistic physics, but  more complete understanding will come from diving down the unpredictable rabbit hole of quantum physics. We aren't just a sum of functioning or malfunctioning parts - inside everyone of us is an incredible ability to heal (to differing degrees) with the right changes or stimulus. Think of this; some punk kids scratch paint off your car in the parking lot. Your car will never be able to 'heal' that missing paint, but a scratch to your body will be repaired automatically (as long as you don't let it get infected). Celebrate Your Complexity Always remember your body is functioning as a whole, interconnected, complex organism. We all rely on healthy nutrition, musculoskeletal function and mental activity, with each area affecting others in ways most of us will never fully understand or appreciate. This is why a single approach will never work with 100% people. We all have different contributing factors and backgrounds that relate to the pain we experience, the hard part is figuring out what the root cause is and how to best resolve it. You might respond fantastically to musculoskeletal therapy, or benefit more from adopting meditation, or maybe it's nutritional therapy that you need. As therapists, it's important for us to always remember that everyone will respond differently to our treatments, to be adaptable and know when to refer to a complimentary therapist. At Skeletal Harmonics, we want you to get the best recovery from your pain or injury, whether that means we work with you alone, alongside other complimentary therapists or refer you to someone else all together. Don't be daunted when things don't get better quickly. Pain often stems from a series of musculoskeletal, nutritional and/or mental issues building up over a series of years, and to get the bottom of can require a bit of detective work and persistence. Always consider the possibility of different, counter-intuitive root causes of your pain. Celebrate your complexity and remember that issues in your body may not always be so black and white. Sources: image by jargon

Fascial Tensegrity

Are We Just Like Sailing Boats?

Tom Myers thinks so. Who am I to argue with the father of Anatomy Trains and Myofascial Meridians. If you've ever wondered why your therapist will work on areas seemingly totally unrelated to your site of pain, only to get up off the table feeling amazing - Tom Myers' Tensegrity talk will help you understand why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOQw-GR8A4o

Relieve Lower Back Pain From Home

Everyone with lower back pain should know this simple trick to help relieve tension from around the spine and maintain a healthy back. It's something you can do anywhere, as long as you have a floor and tennis ball (probably best to avoid doing this in public though). This is especially great for travelling musicians and performers with lower back pain, who can't yet afford Skeletal Harmonics to join them on tour. Keep a tennis ball in your luggage and use it to loosen up before and/or after a show. I use this technique combined with BakBalls for an awesome self treatment of the whole back. Note: When Paula mentions the "sweet spot" (QL trigger point), you'll normally find it on yourself around the start of your ribcage, in the corner of your spine and 12th rib. If you only have time to work on one spot each side, make it this one. I've found this trigger point to give the greatest general release from lower back tension. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uhRgaaojaw&feature=related DISCLAIMER: This technique is best used as maintenance. If you are suffering from an acute lower back pain episode, consult with your therapist before trying this technique. Not recommended during pregnancy.

The “Drink More Water” Myth

Everyone is telling you to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but is it solid advice? I don't know about you, but I've never counted how many glasses of water I gulp down each day. I have, however, used this piece of advice to recommend clients drink more water, but maybe it hasn't been the most useful advice. After reading this article, I've fallen down a very interesting rabbit hole. Falling Down A Watery Rabbit Hole According to a bunch of surveys that have been done over the years, most of us aren't getting the recommended minimum, 8 glasses of water (or roughly 2L) every day. Any fluids obtained through daily caffeinated and alcoholic drinks (apparently diuretics - causing dehydration) don't count. But where did this optimal daily water intake come from? What's interesting is that when a Dartmouth Medical School study (PDF) went looking for the origin of this "8 glasses of water" recommendation and scientific studies to back it up, they came up blank. It seemed to have been an offhand afterthought and did not exclude other sources of dietary fluid. This recommendation does not take into account a person's metabolism, activity level, body size, age, health or climate lived in. These factors will have a huge affect on how much fluid our body needs. Why Do We Need Water? Around 60% of our bodies are made up of water. It's only common sense to agree that water is crucial to our proper function and health. But are we going over board with 8 glasses every day? We lose water every day through excretion, perspiration and other bodily functions and it's vital we replenish that, but over doing it can, in some rare cases, lead to "water intoxication". When You Need More Water
  • With increased activity
  • In hot temperatures
  • At higher altitudes
  • When breastfeeding or nursing
  • When unwell or suffering from disease
  • After a massage (similar effect as increased activity)
Water Myths Debunked
  • When You're Thirsty, You're Already Dehydrated Your body has evolved to give you ample warning to top up well before you reach a level of dehydration. Trust your thirst.
  • Caffeine And Alcohol Are Dehydrating It's been found that regular drinkers or caffeinated drinks build up a tolerance to the diuretic effects. With alcohol it will take a couple of drinks before the effects become negative. HOWEVER, please don't use this as an excuse to abuse coffee, alcohol and ridiculously sugar-filled, caffeinated soft drinks - they're still no good for you, just in different ways. I'm a big believer in moderation, just try to do the right thing the majority of the time (everyone has their vices).
Get More Hydrated Without Drinking More Water Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (which are high in dietary water) will go a long way for maintaining a healthy level of hydration and loading your body up with a bunch of other good stuff. Also try drinking more healthy teas like green or white for their awesome antioxidants. To make the water you do drink taste a bit better, more hydrating and alkalizing, just add a slice or two of lemon. For athletes or those working in hot conditions, an electrolyte drink will help prevent dehydration. We've used and liked the Hydralite products, and they're easily found in most chemists. Summary Think about it - when we were small tribes of hunter and gatherers, we wouldn't have lugged around huge canteens or been able to pop into a 7/11 for a bottle of Pump to meet some ridiculous daily minimum. They would most likely have gotten most of their water from the foods they ate. Watering holes would have been dangerous areas to hang around for too long - predators need to drink too. Stop beating yourself up if you aren't getting 8 glasses of water. Trust your body - drink when you get thirsty (try to opt for the healthier drink options) and get more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. Also see: Sources: image 1 by alexander_witt, image 2 by wader, image 3 by the meeting place north

31 Posts In 31 Days

I Did It! Never Thought It Would End Yesterday marked the end of a 31 posts in 31 days challenge we set ourselves (awww yeah!). It's been quite a challenging month to get something out each day (or several posts if I skimped on the weekend) and I'm pretty glad it's over. However, it's been great writing experience and you can definitely expect a constant stream of new content (just not every day). Here's an archive of the last 31 posts:

General Health:

Musician's Guides:

Treatment Styles:

Recommended Products:

Clinic News:

To congratulate me in person, just make a booking with me (Gavin Martin-Rentz) online here or call 3844 2265. I'll accept congratulatory chocolate or any other gifts you feel so inclined to bring.

Skeletal Harmonics Newsletter September 2012

In This Issue:

  • Jim's Clinic News
  • Maintaining Your Only Body
  • Musician's Guide to Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Our Guide To Hot Stones
  • Featured Product
  • Clinic Music Of The Month

Jim's Clinic News

With Kaja away for 10 days doing the Cape to Cape walk in WA, it's up to me to save the day and do the Clinic News for this month. Welcome to our second ever newsletter! Thanks for everyone's positive responses to our first issue and the overwhelming interest in our work within the music industry. Working with Red Deer Festival was a great success - awesome opportunity to work with some very talented local Brisbane musicians. Next on the festival books will be three days from the 26th of October on the lovely Stradbroke Island, with Island Vibe Festival. There are still tickets available for anyone interested in a reggae getaway on Stradbroke - headliner this year is The Wailers (Bob Marley's original band) and it's their first time to Australia. We always have a lot of fun with this one and highly recommend it to anyone thinking about coming. Maybe we'll see you there. We'd also like to congratulate two of our very talented and driven clients:
  • Sophie Smith for her bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics
  • Helena Moore for being the national weight lifting champion
Nice work! One last reminder about our Facebook page and refer-a-friend program. We're now posting Facebook-only specials among helpful tips, links and articles - so make sure you've liked us. Also, we've been very happy giving out more $20 referral discounts for clients who've sent there friends and family our way. For the best way to get a reluctant (but desperately in need of a massage) friend in to see us, click here for our simple guide. With all that said, please enjoy the newsletter and let us know if there's anything you'd like to see in future issues. I'm sure you'll hear all about Kaja's trip when she get's back to the intro next month.

Maintaining Your Only Body

No one expects their car to continue running smoothly without regular servicing and maintenance. So why are we so quick to neglect the one thing we have for life - our bodies? At Skeletal Harmonics, we believe strongly in maintaining your physical body to continue performing pain free and at a peak level, as long as possible. We practice what we preach by forcing therapists to have regular treatments (tough job, I know). This is the best way to ensure our careers don't come to an untimely end because of an avoidable injury. If you're not following a regular maintenance program, it's about time you start thinking about one. Muscular and postural imbalances can spread and build up under the surface if we're not in touch with what's going on. Let's keep you feeling at your best. Your maintenance program doesn't have to include regular Skeletal Harmonics visits (as much as we'd like that). We understand that for some, it's just not financially or locationally viable. If regular bodywork sessions isn't possible for you, it's even more important to put together a program of exercises and self treatment to do at home. Keep reading about maintaining a healthy body here - take a sneak peak into Gavin's personal maintenance program and get some more ideas of how to put together your own.

Musician's Guide: Repetitive Strain Injuries

The repetitive nature of playing your instrument, puts you at a higher risk of suffering a repetitive stress type of injury. Too many musical careers are needlessly postponed or brought to an end because of debilitating pain in a wrist, elbow, shoulder or neck, don't let yours be the next. Here are some of the common RSI related problems among musicians: • Bursitis – inflammation of a bursa, which is a sac of fluid that provides frictionless movement between surfaces in a joint. Often caused by continual, excessive friction in a joint. I remember treating a drummer who had suffered a bursitis in his shoulder, which totally stopped him playing for over a month. • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – compression of the median nerve in the wrist, resulting in numbness, tingling, pain and decreased range of motion in the wrist and first 3 fingers. • DeQuervain's Syndrome – inflammation of the tendon sheath to the thumb, causing problems with gripping. • Tendonitis – when muscles are overused or repetitively put through an awkward range of motion, the tendons will often become swollen and inflamed. Joints such as fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders are at most risk for musicians. Pain will worsen and range motion continue to decrease if proper treatment is not received. • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels that travel from the neck, through the shoulder and into the arm. This can result in pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in several areas such as the neck, shoulder or arm. These are just a sample of the different names given to conditions stemming from simply overusing or repetitively misusing a certain joint or group of muscles. Keep reading about musician repetitive strain injuries here - what's going on under the surface, contributing factors and what you can start doing today to minimise your risk.

Guide To Hot Stones

What To Expect You walk into the Skeletal Harmonics Hot Stones room. It's warm, lowly lit, with a relaxing selection of music wafting through the air. You feel instantly at ease. After a brief consultation, it's time to get comfortable, lying down onto the table and keeping warm under a towel. Kat re-enters and begins. At first, the hot stones are placed strategically around your body - you start to feel totally relaxed. Using a warm, fragrant oil, the massage begins, alternating between hands and stone. Once cool enough, the feeling of smooth, flat stones gliding effortlessly over your skin, instantly puts you into another world. All you have to do from here is relax, forget about the world outside and enjoy your blissful 90 minute, full body hot stone experience. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Hot Stones here or call us on 3844 2265 to make a booking with Kat (our Queen of Hot Stones).

Featured Product: Orthoplex MagOpti Magnesium Powder

With magnesium being the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and responsible for over 300 metabolic chemical reactions, it's important we all get enough of this in our diet. Unfortunately thanks to SAD (standard Australian diet) and a variety of other issues, we're not. Deficiencies can lead to increased tension, stress, muscle cramping, pain and a decrease of cardiovascular and immune function. In our experience, taking a good magnesium supplement, combined with effective bodywork treatment, has greatly relieved a lot of chronic pain and tension clients have come in with. They not only experience less pain but also feel a lot more stress-free and relaxed. Not all supplements are created equally. Simple over-the-counter magnesium pills generally do not have the same potency as the forms you can get from a qualified health practitioner (such as us). Powders are preferrable to tablets as they are more easily absorbed in the system. We've found the Orthoplex MagOpti powder to be the most effective for our clients. Taking a teaspoon at night has helped clients sleep better, stress heads to chill out and pain sufferers to find relief. Ask for some next time you're in and test the benefits for yourself. Also check out our guide to magnesium here or try having regular epsom salt baths (your body absorbs magnesium from the salts).

Clinic Music Of The Month: Clare Bowditch

After seeing Clare perform at Red Deer Festival last Saturday, we had to feature her as our clinic music choice for the month. Fall in love with one of Australia's most inspirational artists and have a listen to her latest single "You Make Me Happy". Also keep your eye out for Clare's upcoming 5th studio album, "The Winter I Chose Happiness" - to be released this September 14th. See her website for more details - www.clarebowditch.com Share The Love And Get $20 Off Your Next Treatment You enjoy your treatments so much, you want to yell “Skeletal Harmonics rocks!” from the rooftops. That’s a bit dramatic, but if you know anyone who could benefit from some Skeletal Harmonics attention, we want to thank you for sending them our way. For every new client you send to us, we’ll give you $20 off your next hour long treatment. Just make sure they write your name as the “referral” on their new client form and we’ll send you an email to let you know you’ve got a discounted treatment waiting for you. Click here for the best way to refer someone. Like Us On Facebook We’re regularly giving away free treatments to clients who interact with our page. Stay up to date with Facebook-only specials, fresh clinic news and helpful links. Click here to like us. Help Us Write Next Issue To keep our newsletters useful and relevant for you, please let us know of anything you'd like to see covered in future issues. Just leave your suggestions, questions and comments below. Cheers, The Skeletal Harmonics Crew Contact Us Now And Treat Yourself

Musician’s Guide: Arm & Hand Self Massage

Simple Self Massage Techniques Every Musician Should Know Every musician (no matter what instrument), should know some basic self massage techniques to help avoid a dreaded RSI and keep their money makers in good working order. In the video below Ryan Hoyme (the Massage Nerd), runs you through some excellent self massage techniques for your arms and hands. NOTE: When he touches on treating trigger points, he uses a pain scale from 1-10 (1=no pain, 10=unbearable pain). With trigger point therapy, you generally want to take a trigger point to a maximum of 8 on your pain scale before waiting for release - any more and you'll be bracing against the pressure, too little and it won't stimulate the muscle fibres to release. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhy8xK75-wY&feature=relmfu

Vocal Injuries

Specific Injuries we have seen and treated

* Vocal cord strain

* Facial and neck muscle strain

* Focal dystonia of vocal cord muscles

* Facial ristrictions around ribs and diagphram

 

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Back Stage Massage Brisbane

The Skeletal Harmonics Touring massage crew are ready to look after all your backstage massage needs. With extremely experienced and friendly staff with performing arts backgrounds there is no need to look any further. Experienced * Knowledgeable * Deep Tissue Call us now anytime of the day or night on +61 434 031 900      

Skeletal Harmonics Groupon Deal 2012

So on October 31st, Skeletal Harmonic's Groupon deal went live. The next day, our answering machine was full and online bookings were already coming through. Within the space of a few days, our week was booked up. We're really excited to have so many new faces walking through the door for an awesome Skeletal Harmonics massage experience, and we look forward to working with many more. Here's everything you need to know about our Groupon deal from how to redeem you voucher to how this might affect you as a regular client:

For Grouponers

First of all, congratulations on scoring yourself such a great deal. We look forward to meeting you and really appreciate you giving us a go. We'll do our very best to rock your massage world so you might consider returning for more treatments or tell a friend about us. We are primarily a remedial clinic, which means we're awesome at helping you with any injuries or pain you might have, but if you're just after an hour to relax, we're great at that too. Bookings are already filling up quite quickly so it's really important that you try to book in advance. Also, we ask that you be patient with our friendly team as we help you make a booking with us in this busy time.

Two Easy Ways To Book

  1. Book Online Follow the link above to our online booking system, choose a "Remedial" or "Relaxation". From there choose the 60 minute option and you'll be able to customise your preferences for time/date, then hit "search". Click on a suitable appointment* and you'll be prompted to create a new account to make the booking. Important: When finalising your booking, make sure you include a note that you have a Groupon Voucher.*Please Note: Groupon bookings are only available with our therapists Kat Cooper, Louis Dooner or Gavin Martin-Rentz (Kaja Quinn and Jim Combes are not part of the promotion).
  2. Call 3844 2265 And speak with one of our friendly reception team. If your call goes to the answering machine, please leave a message with your name and number and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. Again please be patient with us here - we will get you in.

Welcome To Skeletal Harmonics

When you're ready to come into our West End clinic for the first time, here's four things you need to know:
  1. If you're unsure how to get to us, see our contact page for directions and parking details.
  2. Please remember to bring a printed copy of your Groupon receipt to verify your purchase.
  3. We do have a short new client form for you to fill out before you begin, so if you can come in 5-10 minutes early before your booking, it won't eat into your treatment time.
  4. Whether you purchased a single massage voucher or a three pack, Groupon is very strict that treatments only be redeemed by the person whose name the voucher was purchased under. Simply meaning, you cannot share your treatments between friends or family.

Cancellation Policy

If you can't make your booking for some reason, please ensure you call us at least 24 hours beforehand to reschedule. Same day cancellations and no-shows will have their treatment forfeited (as disclosed on Groupon voucher). If you're running late, we'll give you the best massage we can, in whatever time is left of your appointment, but as you can understand, we cannot go over time due to schedules.

For Our Regulars

During this busy time, we will be doing our best to make sure this doesn't affect your ability to get a treatment with your favourite therapist. We really appreciate your loyalty and patience over the next three months. For Kaja and Jim's clients, you'll be glad to hear their schedules shouldn't be heavily affected by this Groupon promotion. If you've been seeing Gavin, Kat or Louis, they will be doing their best to reserve spaces for regulars. Your best bet is to book your treatments a few weeks in advance if you can. If you have any issues, please give us a call so we can help you out.

Basic Tips For Sore Musicians

So on my afternoon stroll around YouTube, I came across this kookie video of basic tips for musicians to help keep their shoulders, arms and hands loose. These self massage techniques would be great as a warm up and for general relief when playing. Brace yourself for this guys eccentricity and enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGtOl12rwEw Also check out our Musicians Guide to Arm and Hand Self Massage for more good stuff. You probably won't use every technique we share, but it's important to find a few that work for you. However, don't rely on these self massage if you are suffering from an injury. If you're a guitarist in pain, injured drummer, suffering piano player or other musician in pain, it's important to seek the help of a qualified health professional as soon as possible - such as your friendly Skeletal Harmonics Musculoskeletal Health Team in Brisbane West End (wink, wink).

Celebrate Your Complexity

More Than A Sum Of Parts Modern medicine has been amazing for our knowledge of the innermost workings of the body, but this amazing wealth of understanding has come at a cost. With every scalpel incision and dissection we break the body down into smaller and smaller pieces, striving to understand how these pieces fit into our complex body machines. But treating the body as a machine and sum of it's parts, is not an entirely healthy view to have. “....the human body is not assembled in parts. It self-assembles from a single cell that proliferates wildly before differentiating into the different functional cells that make up our body. Concepts like 'muscle' or 'organ' are man-made concepts imposed on the whole which was never divided and never functioned separately until we approached it with a knife.” AnatomyTrains.com I'm A Real Boy Sure, the function of machines can offer some great analogies to help understand different functions of your body (like Tom Myers' sailing boat tensegrity and our Pain - Your Body's Warning Light), but ultimately our bodies are incredibly complicated and interrelated organisms, with many different systems and factors influencing and affecting others (often in counter-intuitive ways). You are far more complex and amazing than any machine or computer will ever be. For the science nerds, you can imagine our current understanding of the human body to be heavily influenced by classic Newtonian, mechanistic physics, but  more complete understanding will come from diving down the unpredictable rabbit hole of quantum physics. We aren't just a sum of functioning or malfunctioning parts - inside everyone of us is an incredible ability to heal (to differing degrees) with the right changes or stimulus. Think of this; some punk kids scratch paint off your car in the parking lot. Your car will never be able to 'heal' that missing paint, but a scratch to your body will be repaired automatically (as long as you don't let it get infected). Celebrate Your Complexity Always remember your body is functioning as a whole, interconnected, complex organism. We all rely on healthy nutrition, musculoskeletal function and mental activity, with each area affecting others in ways most of us will never fully understand or appreciate. This is why a single approach will never work with 100% people. We all have different contributing factors and backgrounds that relate to the pain we experience, the hard part is figuring out what the root cause is and how to best resolve it. You might respond fantastically to musculoskeletal therapy, or benefit more from adopting meditation, or maybe it's nutritional therapy that you need. As therapists, it's important for us to always remember that everyone will respond differently to our treatments, to be adaptable and know when to refer to a complimentary therapist. At Skeletal Harmonics, we want you to get the best recovery from your pain or injury, whether that means we work with you alone, alongside other complimentary therapists or refer you to someone else all together. Don't be daunted when things don't get better quickly. Pain often stems from a series of musculoskeletal, nutritional and/or mental issues building up over a series of years, and to get the bottom of can require a bit of detective work and persistence. Always consider the possibility of different, counter-intuitive root causes of your pain. Celebrate your complexity and remember that issues in your body may not always be so black and white. Sources: image by jargon

Fascial Tensegrity

Are We Just Like Sailing Boats?

Tom Myers thinks so. Who am I to argue with the father of Anatomy Trains and Myofascial Meridians. If you've ever wondered why your therapist will work on areas seemingly totally unrelated to your site of pain, only to get up off the table feeling amazing - Tom Myers' Tensegrity talk will help you understand why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOQw-GR8A4o

Relieve Lower Back Pain From Home

Everyone with lower back pain should know this simple trick to help relieve tension from around the spine and maintain a healthy back. It's something you can do anywhere, as long as you have a floor and tennis ball (probably best to avoid doing this in public though). This is especially great for travelling musicians and performers with lower back pain, who can't yet afford Skeletal Harmonics to join them on tour. Keep a tennis ball in your luggage and use it to loosen up before and/or after a show. I use this technique combined with BakBalls for an awesome self treatment of the whole back. Note: When Paula mentions the "sweet spot" (QL trigger point), you'll normally find it on yourself around the start of your ribcage, in the corner of your spine and 12th rib. If you only have time to work on one spot each side, make it this one. I've found this trigger point to give the greatest general release from lower back tension. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uhRgaaojaw&feature=related DISCLAIMER: This technique is best used as maintenance. If you are suffering from an acute lower back pain episode, consult with your therapist before trying this technique. Not recommended during pregnancy.

The “Drink More Water” Myth

Everyone is telling you to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but is it solid advice? I don't know about you, but I've never counted how many glasses of water I gulp down each day. I have, however, used this piece of advice to recommend clients drink more water, but maybe it hasn't been the most useful advice. After reading this article, I've fallen down a very interesting rabbit hole. Falling Down A Watery Rabbit Hole According to a bunch of surveys that have been done over the years, most of us aren't getting the recommended minimum, 8 glasses of water (or roughly 2L) every day. Any fluids obtained through daily caffeinated and alcoholic drinks (apparently diuretics - causing dehydration) don't count. But where did this optimal daily water intake come from? What's interesting is that when a Dartmouth Medical School study (PDF) went looking for the origin of this "8 glasses of water" recommendation and scientific studies to back it up, they came up blank. It seemed to have been an offhand afterthought and did not exclude other sources of dietary fluid. This recommendation does not take into account a person's metabolism, activity level, body size, age, health or climate lived in. These factors will have a huge affect on how much fluid our body needs. Why Do We Need Water? Around 60% of our bodies are made up of water. It's only common sense to agree that water is crucial to our proper function and health. But are we going over board with 8 glasses every day? We lose water every day through excretion, perspiration and other bodily functions and it's vital we replenish that, but over doing it can, in some rare cases, lead to "water intoxication". When You Need More Water
  • With increased activity
  • In hot temperatures
  • At higher altitudes
  • When breastfeeding or nursing
  • When unwell or suffering from disease
  • After a massage (similar effect as increased activity)
Water Myths Debunked
  • When You're Thirsty, You're Already Dehydrated Your body has evolved to give you ample warning to top up well before you reach a level of dehydration. Trust your thirst.
  • Caffeine And Alcohol Are Dehydrating It's been found that regular drinkers or caffeinated drinks build up a tolerance to the diuretic effects. With alcohol it will take a couple of drinks before the effects become negative. HOWEVER, please don't use this as an excuse to abuse coffee, alcohol and ridiculously sugar-filled, caffeinated soft drinks - they're still no good for you, just in different ways. I'm a big believer in moderation, just try to do the right thing the majority of the time (everyone has their vices).
Get More Hydrated Without Drinking More Water Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (which are high in dietary water) will go a long way for maintaining a healthy level of hydration and loading your body up with a bunch of other good stuff. Also try drinking more healthy teas like green or white for their awesome antioxidants. To make the water you do drink taste a bit better, more hydrating and alkalizing, just add a slice or two of lemon. For athletes or those working in hot conditions, an electrolyte drink will help prevent dehydration. We've used and liked the Hydralite products, and they're easily found in most chemists. Summary Think about it - when we were small tribes of hunter and gatherers, we wouldn't have lugged around huge canteens or been able to pop into a 7/11 for a bottle of Pump to meet some ridiculous daily minimum. They would most likely have gotten most of their water from the foods they ate. Watering holes would have been dangerous areas to hang around for too long - predators need to drink too. Stop beating yourself up if you aren't getting 8 glasses of water. Trust your body - drink when you get thirsty (try to opt for the healthier drink options) and get more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. Also see: Sources: image 1 by alexander_witt, image 2 by wader, image 3 by the meeting place north

31 Posts In 31 Days

I Did It! Never Thought It Would End Yesterday marked the end of a 31 posts in 31 days challenge we set ourselves (awww yeah!). It's been quite a challenging month to get something out each day (or several posts if I skimped on the weekend) and I'm pretty glad it's over. However, it's been great writing experience and you can definitely expect a constant stream of new content (just not every day). Here's an archive of the last 31 posts:

General Health:

Musician's Guides:

Treatment Styles:

Recommended Products:

Clinic News:

To congratulate me in person, just make a booking with me (Gavin Martin-Rentz) online here or call 3844 2265. I'll accept congratulatory chocolate or any other gifts you feel so inclined to bring.

Skeletal Harmonics Newsletter September 2012

In This Issue:

  • Jim's Clinic News
  • Maintaining Your Only Body
  • Musician's Guide to Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Our Guide To Hot Stones
  • Featured Product
  • Clinic Music Of The Month

Jim's Clinic News

With Kaja away for 10 days doing the Cape to Cape walk in WA, it's up to me to save the day and do the Clinic News for this month. Welcome to our second ever newsletter! Thanks for everyone's positive responses to our first issue and the overwhelming interest in our work within the music industry. Working with Red Deer Festival was a great success - awesome opportunity to work with some very talented local Brisbane musicians. Next on the festival books will be three days from the 26th of October on the lovely Stradbroke Island, with Island Vibe Festival. There are still tickets available for anyone interested in a reggae getaway on Stradbroke - headliner this year is The Wailers (Bob Marley's original band) and it's their first time to Australia. We always have a lot of fun with this one and highly recommend it to anyone thinking about coming. Maybe we'll see you there. We'd also like to congratulate two of our very talented and driven clients:
  • Sophie Smith for her bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics
  • Helena Moore for being the national weight lifting champion
Nice work! One last reminder about our Facebook page and refer-a-friend program. We're now posting Facebook-only specials among helpful tips, links and articles - so make sure you've liked us. Also, we've been very happy giving out more $20 referral discounts for clients who've sent there friends and family our way. For the best way to get a reluctant (but desperately in need of a massage) friend in to see us, click here for our simple guide. With all that said, please enjoy the newsletter and let us know if there's anything you'd like to see in future issues. I'm sure you'll hear all about Kaja's trip when she get's back to the intro next month.

Maintaining Your Only Body

No one expects their car to continue running smoothly without regular servicing and maintenance. So why are we so quick to neglect the one thing we have for life - our bodies? At Skeletal Harmonics, we believe strongly in maintaining your physical body to continue performing pain free and at a peak level, as long as possible. We practice what we preach by forcing therapists to have regular treatments (tough job, I know). This is the best way to ensure our careers don't come to an untimely end because of an avoidable injury. If you're not following a regular maintenance program, it's about time you start thinking about one. Muscular and postural imbalances can spread and build up under the surface if we're not in touch with what's going on. Let's keep you feeling at your best. Your maintenance program doesn't have to include regular Skeletal Harmonics visits (as much as we'd like that). We understand that for some, it's just not financially or locationally viable. If regular bodywork sessions isn't possible for you, it's even more important to put together a program of exercises and self treatment to do at home. Keep reading about maintaining a healthy body here - take a sneak peak into Gavin's personal maintenance program and get some more ideas of how to put together your own.

Musician's Guide: Repetitive Strain Injuries

The repetitive nature of playing your instrument, puts you at a higher risk of suffering a repetitive stress type of injury. Too many musical careers are needlessly postponed or brought to an end because of debilitating pain in a wrist, elbow, shoulder or neck, don't let yours be the next. Here are some of the common RSI related problems among musicians: • Bursitis – inflammation of a bursa, which is a sac of fluid that provides frictionless movement between surfaces in a joint. Often caused by continual, excessive friction in a joint. I remember treating a drummer who had suffered a bursitis in his shoulder, which totally stopped him playing for over a month. • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – compression of the median nerve in the wrist, resulting in numbness, tingling, pain and decreased range of motion in the wrist and first 3 fingers. • DeQuervain's Syndrome – inflammation of the tendon sheath to the thumb, causing problems with gripping. • Tendonitis – when muscles are overused or repetitively put through an awkward range of motion, the tendons will often become swollen and inflamed. Joints such as fingers, wrists, elbows and shoulders are at most risk for musicians. Pain will worsen and range motion continue to decrease if proper treatment is not received. • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome – compression of the nerves and/or blood vessels that travel from the neck, through the shoulder and into the arm. This can result in pain, weakness, numbness and tingling in several areas such as the neck, shoulder or arm. These are just a sample of the different names given to conditions stemming from simply overusing or repetitively misusing a certain joint or group of muscles. Keep reading about musician repetitive strain injuries here - what's going on under the surface, contributing factors and what you can start doing today to minimise your risk.

Guide To Hot Stones

What To Expect You walk into the Skeletal Harmonics Hot Stones room. It's warm, lowly lit, with a relaxing selection of music wafting through the air. You feel instantly at ease. After a brief consultation, it's time to get comfortable, lying down onto the table and keeping warm under a towel. Kat re-enters and begins. At first, the hot stones are placed strategically around your body - you start to feel totally relaxed. Using a warm, fragrant oil, the massage begins, alternating between hands and stone. Once cool enough, the feeling of smooth, flat stones gliding effortlessly over your skin, instantly puts you into another world. All you have to do from here is relax, forget about the world outside and enjoy your blissful 90 minute, full body hot stone experience. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about Hot Stones here or call us on 3844 2265 to make a booking with Kat (our Queen of Hot Stones).

Featured Product: Orthoplex MagOpti Magnesium Powder

With magnesium being the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and responsible for over 300 metabolic chemical reactions, it's important we all get enough of this in our diet. Unfortunately thanks to SAD (standard Australian diet) and a variety of other issues, we're not. Deficiencies can lead to increased tension, stress, muscle cramping, pain and a decrease of cardiovascular and immune function. In our experience, taking a good magnesium supplement, combined with effective bodywork treatment, has greatly relieved a lot of chronic pain and tension clients have come in with. They not only experience less pain but also feel a lot more stress-free and relaxed. Not all supplements are created equally. Simple over-the-counter magnesium pills generally do not have the same potency as the forms you can get from a qualified health practitioner (such as us). Powders are preferrable to tablets as they are more easily absorbed in the system. We've found the Orthoplex MagOpti powder to be the most effective for our clients. Taking a teaspoon at night has helped clients sleep better, stress heads to chill out and pain sufferers to find relief. Ask for some next time you're in and test the benefits for yourself. Also check out our guide to magnesium here or try having regular epsom salt baths (your body absorbs magnesium from the salts).

Clinic Music Of The Month: Clare Bowditch

After seeing Clare perform at Red Deer Festival last Saturday, we had to feature her as our clinic music choice for the month. Fall in love with one of Australia's most inspirational artists and have a listen to her latest single "You Make Me Happy". Also keep your eye out for Clare's upcoming 5th studio album, "The Winter I Chose Happiness" - to be released this September 14th. See her website for more details - www.clarebowditch.com Share The Love And Get $20 Off Your Next Treatment You enjoy your treatments so much, you want to yell “Skeletal Harmonics rocks!” from the rooftops. That’s a bit dramatic, but if you know anyone who could benefit from some Skeletal Harmonics attention, we want to thank you for sending them our way. For every new client you send to us, we’ll give you $20 off your next hour long treatment. Just make sure they write your name as the “referral” on their new client form and we’ll send you an email to let you know you’ve got a discounted treatment waiting for you. Click here for the best way to refer someone. Like Us On Facebook We’re regularly giving away free treatments to clients who interact with our page. Stay up to date with Facebook-only specials, fresh clinic news and helpful links. Click here to like us. Help Us Write Next Issue To keep our newsletters useful and relevant for you, please let us know of anything you'd like to see covered in future issues. Just leave your suggestions, questions and comments below. Cheers, The Skeletal Harmonics Crew Contact Us Now And Treat Yourself

Musician’s Guide: Arm & Hand Self Massage

Simple Self Massage Techniques Every Musician Should Know Every musician (no matter what instrument), should know some basic self massage techniques to help avoid a dreaded RSI and keep their money makers in good working order. In the video below Ryan Hoyme (the Massage Nerd), runs you through some excellent self massage techniques for your arms and hands. NOTE: When he touches on treating trigger points, he uses a pain scale from 1-10 (1=no pain, 10=unbearable pain). With trigger point therapy, you generally want to take a trigger point to a maximum of 8 on your pain scale before waiting for release - any more and you'll be bracing against the pressure, too little and it won't stimulate the muscle fibres to release. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhy8xK75-wY&feature=relmfu