Featured Expert: Joanne Halstead Remedial Massage Therapist

Precision Movement interviews Joanne Halstead Massage Therapist of the Onyx London
Precision Movement interviews Joanne Halstead Massage Therapist of the Onyx London

Last week I had a massage from Joanne Halstead from The Onyx London and I can't tell you how amazing I feel!  I was so inspired by her skills that I decided to interview her and find out why massage is such an integral part of healing from injury and also what role it plays in general health.  I mean lets be real here, who doesn't love massage?  And once you read about all the amazing health benefits, scroll down to the foot of the article for Joanne's special offer to enjoy your next massage totally guilt free!

What is remedial massage?

Remedial massage is one of the most effective and readily available ways to prevent and treat muscle injuries, pain and soreness. Remedial Massage is one of the deepest forms of massage and ideal for the relief and prevention of musculo-skeletal injuries or conditions, whether through sport, occupation, postural problems, or a specific trauma.

How does massage help poor alignment and injury?

When you hunch forward, your body isn’t properly aligned. Not only does poor posture look bad, but it forces some muscles to work incredibly hard while others get weaker. Poor posture can put you in other slumps, too.  When you slouch, you’re pressing down on your internal organs, which affects digestion.  Massage relaxes the overworked and sore muscles that resulted from bad posture and allow your body to relax into its natural alignment. Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax, causing chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness, and predisposes you to injuries, especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor, which also causes pain.

What roles does massage play in general health?

Massage, whether conducted in a softly lit day spa or a treatment room at a physical therapy clinic, is something many people use to soothe sore joints and muscles, to ease anxiety or to help them sleep better.

Some of the general benefits of massage therapy may include:

- Physical relaxation

- Improved circulation, which nourishes cells and improves waste elimination

- Relief for tight muscles (knots) and other aches and pains

- Release of nerve compression (carpel tunnel, sciatica)

- Greater flexibility and range of motion

- Enhanced energy and vitality

- Some clinical (remedial) styles may help heal scar tissue as well as tendon, ligament, and muscle tears

What do you think your treatment is MOST helpful with?

The treatments I offer are most helpful with a range of issues. You cannot treat one physical problem without treating a psychological problem as they are both influenced by the other. When you are in a lot of physical pain this will have an impact on your mental well being which is why most massage therapists treat their clients in a holistic way.  As I am renowned for treating injuries or preventing injury I would say that my treatments are most helpful with this. My treatments allow people to have better form and flexibility as they workout and minimising further stress on the body allowing for a niggle/injury free life.

What do you specialise in?

I have studied many types of massage therapy around the world, however I am best known for my injury prevention, relieving pain in specific sites and deep tissue work. I am known and respected by many personal trainers and work well with them to help their clients recover and heal from injuries and pain.

What do you typically see people for?

Most people will come and see me or get referred to me if they have problems with movement due to tightness, poor posture due to bad working conditions (ie working at a desk for long periods, being on a computer/phone for long periods etc) or specific injuries caused by exercise or a sporting activity.

How often does someone need treatment?

Depending on lifestyle, massage therapy works well at least once a month for overall good health.  Many of my clients that travel frequently, are highly stressed or participate in sporting activities usually come once a week. This allows my clients to maintain a good working posture and prevents injury.

What is the most common complaint people comes in with?

A good proportion of my clients come to me due to back pain as a result of bad posture and lack of body awareness.  I also see a lot of specific injuries, usually because of bad form when it comes to exercise or over/incorrect training.

Do you believe the people you see need corrective exercise?

Yes I very much believe that most, if not all my clients need to implement corrective exercise. We have quite a 'desk culture' at the moment and most people will spend 6-7hrs at their desk. This has led to the increase of back problems and thus people taking medication or even having surgery. I really do believe that through regular corrective exercise and massage therapy a lot of these problems can be prevented.  Corrective exercise also ensures a more effective workout. If your body is aligned through this type of exercise, you become much more body aware meaning your standard weekly workouts have a much more positive effect on the body and you are more likely to see results.

What general advice can you give that readers can implement straight away?

My advice would be to seek out an exercise professional. Someone like KT will be able to show you how to work out effectively and in such a way that injuries are minimised. Going to the gym is not just about jumping on a piece of equipment, having this mind set is likely to increase the risk of hurting yourself.  Once you have the knowledge on how to exercise properly and effectively I would certainly introduce some kind of bodywork. Osteopaths and chiropractors are brilliant however they work particularly well in conjunction with massage. By combining the two you are working the skeletal and muscular system which is perfect for optimum health.

Joanne is an affiliate practitioner of Precision Movement and has generously offered you 25% off your first remedial massage treatment with her.  Discover your discount code here.  For more information on Onyx London please visit www.theonyxlondon.com and to contact Joanne direct please email joannehalstead@theonyxlondon.com.