Practitioner Spotlight: Laura Jessett Massage Therapist and Yogi

Hi Laura, tell us about your massage and yoga training, where did you train?

I completed an 18 month yoga training with Yoga Campus, London and then trained for my btec level 5 sports and remedial massage with NLSSM. 

What got you into yoga and massage?

My nan's friend Betty was a yogi! When I would visit she had me doing downward facing dog in her front room, I found the names of the poses hilarious! I came back to yoga later in life and became hooked on the benefits of a regular practice. 

I've always been interested in anatomy, and when I became a yoga teacher I noticed so many different movement patterns I became really curious to find out what was going on. After reading everything I could get my hands on I decided to study sports & remedial massage to learn more about soft tissue and how it effects movement.

What's your favourite stretch/yoga pose?

- Savasana :) 
- Arm balances, Astavakrasana (eight angle pose) is fun.
- Parsvottanasana (intense side stretch) is a great hamstring and gastrocnemius stretch.


Tell us something about you no one knows...
I have a degree in graphic design from Falmouth University, and love photography/ illustration. 

What do you dig about working at Fix?

There's a nice atmosphere, good people! Everyone here really knows their stuff; it's a very satisfying job, being able to help people achieve their goals whether it's reducing pain or running a marathon.

More on Laura and booking in with her for yoga and massage here.

 

Practitioner Spotlight: Clinical Pilates Teacher Eleah Waters...

Each month we are shining the light on one of our Fix practitioners for
special inside information and a Q & A. This month we have Fix Clinical
Pilates and posture expert Eleah Waters.

A little on clinical Pilates….

If you’re recovering from injury, pre/post natal or even a top athlete, Clinical
Pilates uses modified Pilates exercises specific to overcoming pain and getting
you back to moving with great function. If you’ve just done a course of physio
and you need some expert tuition to bring you into balance, this is what you
need.

So, where in Australia are you from?

Melbourne! Such a great city, I love to go back every year to visit family and
friends. I’ve been lucky enough to live in London for 8 years now so I feel like I’ve
done a lot of growing here. London inspires me.

What’s your favourite part of being a Pilates instructor?

Working with people from all walks of life. Listening to their stories and what
they want to achieve and then seeing their face when they’ve improved!
Teaching is a brilliant job in any capacity. I love my job.

Local Hackney recommends, please?

Climpson’s Arch for a summer evening, dinner and drinks. I love Reva Yoga for
beautiful mindful yoga with Nina. Victoria Park for running and watching the
seasons change.

What exercise (other than Pilates!) do you love doing?

I’m such a geek, I do Pilates almost every day but I also really like to run. I ran the
Hackney Half marathon last year and absolutely loved it, such a thrill. I also love
working out with my fitness buddy Alice (another Fix practitioner) we do circuits
with kettlebells and bodyweight exercises.

Fun fact:  Ilived in Moscow for 3 months where I taught at an English nursery school back
when I was training to be a contemporary dancer.

More on Eleah and booking in with her here.

Client of the Month: Crossfit Fan Helen Dwyer

"I’ve been doing Crossfit for around seven years now, alongside hiking, swimming, running and some cycling. Unfortunately though, in contrast, my day job as a graphic designer means I’m sat at a desk for 8 hours or more a day. The job can be quite stressful at times meaning my good posture often deteriorates and I end up in tense, awkward positions.  

I was advised by a chiropractor that a combination of these factors and the repetitive strain on my body culminated in me developing a pinched or trapped nerve in my neck due to myofascial build-up – my muscles were so tense and 'sticky' around my upper back, neck and shoulders, they trapped my nerve. 

I was experiencing a deep throbbing pain in my shoulder, down my left arm with pins and needles and numbness in my left hand. I attended a chiropractor for five sessions and a physio for three, both of which helped but only briefly, as the pain was reduced only for a day or so. 

 Luckily I spoke to a girl at my gym and she recommended I try Acupuncture with Cate at Fix. I decided to give it a go. 

Cate put me at ease straight away. I felt I was in good hands. At the first session we tried acupuncture with cupping. Almost immediately my tense (and I mean TENSE) muscles melted away. The cupping apparently pulled up my muscles to relieve all the pressure and tension. The pain and tingling almost vanished. I couldn't believe how quickly and profoundly it improved my symptoms in one session. There were slight circular marks on my back where the cups had been, but these faded over the following day or so. Neither were painful - I enjoyed it and felt relaxed throughout.

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In my third session we tried acupuncture with cupping and something I’d never heard of before – ‘Guasha’. I was open to trying something new. Cate applied downward strokes with a smooth implement along the muscles all over my back. It was completely relaxing and I almost fell asleep. She warned me beforehand that I may be shocked at the appearance of red stripes on my back, as the technique draws blood up through the muscles to the surface. I wasn’t bothered and it wasn’t bad at all. It faded in a day or two.

The results of all three techniques have been astounding. I've had four sessions and that's it for now. I feel so much better than before. I'll definitely return if I need to in the future."

More on Cate and booking in with her here.

January is the NEW Spring

January is the month of new years resolutions. The sacred time of year when people are exponentially more motivated to get off their behinds and finally to put an end to the mince pies. But if your Facebook feed is anything like mine you have definitely read too many motivational fitness posts already in 2017. But truth be told motivation isn't enough. We all want abs of steel and defined deltoids but motivation alone will only see you through January before you revert to winter hibernation mode until spring. Time to end all of that. 

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”


― Jim Rohn

Some things to ask yourself:

1. What is it you want?
Better health, strength, fitness, better sleep, big biceps?

2. What has failed you in the past?
Going in too strong and burning out, lack of good information, lack of motivation, lack of support?

3. What tools do you need to get closer to your goals (biceps)?
Good information on sound exercise and nutrition, coaching and consistency. The full package!


Come and get yourself booked in for some training with me!

Alice offers sessions both in the Fix studio and outdoors.

£65 per session or £550 for a 10 pack of sessions. Hello Summer '17! 

Book in here.
 

Practitioner Spotlight: Running Coach Steve Hobbs...

Hi Steve, welcome to Team FIX!

 A little on Steve…

Steve Hobbs is a fully qualified British Athletics running coach. As an experienced runner himself, Steve knows only too well the effect that injury can have and how important it is to be proactive to prevent injury and how patient you have to be in recovery. He is a keen member of the local running community, representing Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC in all disciplines, from road to cross country, to track.

As part of the Fix team, Steve is able to design training programmes to help you successfully return from injury and advise on technical drills to prevent re-occurrence. Steve is also able to provide technical guidance on how to reduce the risk of injury in the first place.

Hi Steve, first of what led you to running coaching?

I previously worked in the advertising industry (and still do a bit of work in that sector) and I reached a point where I decided it wasn’t all that I wanted to do with my life. I was already a keen and improving club runner and wanted to invest my time and effort in helping others enjoy and improve their running. For me, running is not just about the immediate outcome, the PBs and the race results. It’s about finding a way to release ourselves from an increasingly stressful life, and I believe that the character traits that people require to be successful in running (in whatever you way you define that) also drive success in other parts of life and I like helping others to benefit from that.

What’s your own proudest running achievement?

I am proud of running what I think is a fast marathon, but I am most proud of how I have developed as a runner and how I have been able to maintain consistency over time. Consistency is an under-rated value in life!

Top 3 running tips for those training for a half or marathon now!

1. Be patient – play the long game. Our bodies take time to adapt to training, rushing is just a shortcut to injury.

2. Be disciplined – work out what you’re prepared to compromise on and what you’re not. For example, how many times a week do you want to run? What changes in your life do you need to make to make that happen?

3. Be courageous – there are times when it will get tough and you will doubt yourself.  That’s understandable but unhelpful.  Be clear on why you’re trying to do what you’re doing, remind yourself of that when it gets tough and be brave.

What do you enjoy other than running and Fixing?

I enjoy all sport, I was formerly a keen footballer and cricketer, but mostly I now enjoy the sport of running after two small children in East London!

More on Steve's running packages here.  Book in a "one off" running assessment and plan with him here.

 

Client of the Month : Triathlete Ben Schueller

"It all began actually when I left London at the end of 2014. I had given up playing Rugby a few years previously and by the time I was asked to move to Germany for work, I was not feeling too well. I had taken up cycling to work occasionally and had done a couple of multi-day cycling trips including a ride from London to Cologne.

In Germany I was given the not so great news that my cholesterol levels were slightly above the acceptable range. That was the kick up the backside that I needed and I started running and cycling on a more regular basis, plus began a stricter strengthening programme. Most importantly I cut out alcohol and started eating much more healthily.

While I was making progress, losing weight and getting fitter, I tried out having regular sports massage which I found helped a lot.

During the course of 2015 I developed the idea of trying out training for a triathlon. A friend of mine who motivated me and helped me train in the right way was a triathlon coach so I went to the pool and tried that too. I managed a whole couple of lanes of “freestyle”… clearly that wouldn’t take me very far.

But I caught some form of a bug. I was starting to feel better, I continued to enjoy cycling, I even started to enjoy running.

That was it, I needed to try that weird triathlon thing… So I started to get really stuck in and completed my first season of triathlon in 2016 with three sprint distance and one standard distance tri, a couple of half marathons and a few other events. And finished the year with a great cycling trip in the Patagonian lake district in Chile and Argentina.

Having moved back here to London in May last year, it became clear very quickly that I needed to continue to have sport massages and luckily, I found FIX and Lex. Having played Rugby for a good few years and not being anywhere near my 20s, I have a few niggles that keep coming up time and again. With Lex’s expert help, these niggles are kept under good control and I can look forward to a new season and new goals."

To book in for a massage with Lex click here. Or call us on 020 8986 5551.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Love Team FIX!

We just wanted to say THANK YOU to you our wonderful clients, for supporting us over what's been a fantastic 2016!

Here's our opening hours over the festive period:

24th December till 27th - closed
31st-open till 1pm
1st till 2nd - closed

Wishing you and yours a VERY Merry Christmas and a brilliant start to 2017!

Love Team
FIX

P.S. Buy a massage in December and add a 1/2 price gift certificate for a loved one for Christmas!! (expires 31.3.17)

Why Real Men Do Yoga

"I'm not flexible enough for yoga", something often said but exactly the reason you should do yoga...

10 Very Good Reasons to do Yoga:

1. Mobility
Yoga is an excellent way to increase your flexibility. In yoga muscle tissue is lengthened whilst joints are stabilised which leads to great muscular integrity and strength. 

2. Strength
Yoga incorporates static and dynamic upper and lower body movements. Many yoga poses also build core strength.

3. Body Awareness
Not so much in a spiritual sense, but more in a sense that you know where your limbs are in space. Yoga promotes better coordination and quality of movement.

4. Ease of Movement
At the foundation of yoga is the breath, by learning to better control the breath we can learn to move more easily and freely. Once we learn to move well on the mat we start to move more easily off of the mat. 

5. Recovery from Training
Yoga after an intense training session will aid in reducing muscle soreness and discomfort. Sore and painful muscles restrict mobility, yoga will help get you back to training sooner. 

6. Injury Prevention
Increased mobility, strength and body awareness can prevent injury. Keeping muscles and joints supple is a way to safeguard against injury, and assist in recovering from injury.

7. Accessible
Yoga makes one of the best travel buddies. All you need is some basic poses and a yoga mat and you can yoga everywhere. 

8. More Zen
Lets face it, in this modern day we can all use a little help with relaxation, calm and focus. 

9. Break the Stereotype
We think this is reason enough to give yoga a go. For far too long yoga has been seen as a women's only zone. Strong and flexible bodies and calmed minds are for everyone. 

10. Fix are offering Classes!
Fix are hosting exclusive men's only yoga classes in Covent Garden at the Ron Dorff men's boutique. Classes are limited to 8 blokes and can be booked online here.

You can expect to be worked, stretched and calmed all in an hour... Get yourself to yoga!

Gua Sha - What's it All About?

"Gua sha means "scraping sha-bruises" and is a traditional Chinese medical treatment in which the skin is scraped to produce light bruising. Gua sha releases unhealthy elements from injured areas and stimulates blood flow and healing."

"This description doesn't sound especially appealing, plus add to that the shocking appearance of ones back in the mirror post session and it beggars the question why try gua sha?! I heard good things all the same and so went to see Cate for a couple of sessions. Gua sha can treat all sorts of ailments including muscular pains, colds and poor circulation but I went to see Cate for issues with my breathing. I had a 'normal' level of London stress and very inhibited breathing.

I had a 45 minute session and after Cate had taken my pulses, I laid on my front whilst she did her thing. As well as gua sha I had some cupping done (more on that here). At the time of the session I felt intensely relaxed, it was a bit like an unusual and intense massage. But back out on the street, following a cup of herbal tea in reception, I began to feel benefits of the treatment that went beyond feeling calm. 

The gua sha had shown up very strongly around my ribs (Cate in fact said she had only seen such prominent 'bruising' around the rib/lung area before on asthmatics, which I'm not.) I was at the time planning for a wedding and had been on a writing deadline and so had begun shallow-breathing due to stress which had then become habitual and chronic.

After the gua sha sessions I took full whole lung, diaphragm and belly breaths for the first time in what felt like months. I knew all about breathing techniques from doing yoga and some Pilates but knowing and being able to do something naturally are so different and gua sha helped me get my healthy/normal breathing back. Of course not breathing properly had impacted negatively on my energy levels too so I also had a lot more of that once I was taking proper complete breaths again. Gua sha looks terrible but feels great, I'd absolutely recommend! (Bruises generally fade after 2-3 days.)".

 Emma Silverthorn is a FIX Team member and writer.

More on Cate and booking in with her here.

Practitioner Spotlight Physiotherapist Karin Hilfiker..

Hi Karin, welcome to Team FIX!

A little on Karin…

Karin has over 10 years experience treating musculoskeletal conditions in the private sector. Karin earned her Master Degree in Physiotherapy in 2005 and completed a certification in Functional Manual Therapy from the US-based Institute of Physical Art in 2013. She recently spent 18 months in Delhi, India treating patients and mentoring a team of Indian therapists at a centre dedicated to Functional Manual Therapy. Karin has treated a wide variety of clients from professional ballet dancers, Broadway performers, recreational weekend athletes, to the more sedentary desk worker.

Hi Karin, first of where are you from?

I grew up in Washington D.C., but since then have moved around a lot within the States as well as abroad. I spent many years in New York where I did my physio training.

What led you to physiotherapy training?

I've been dancing since I was a kid including ballet, modern dance, contact improv and latin dancing so the desire to help people move better was a natural one.

Going into physiotherapy, with its heavy science prerequisites and medical training, is the long route to this but in the end I'm happy I spent the time because I feel well prepared to handle a wide range of diagnoses and situations. The trick is to then combine this medical knowledge with a more subtle understanding of how the body moves and how impairments in one area can lead to compensations elsewhere.

While injuries can be extremely frustrating, they also provide the injured person with a unique opportunity for self-discovery. When someone commits to a process of self examination and exploration, they frequently emerge from their injury with greater self-understanding and perform better than ever.

Tell us more about your time working as a physio in Delhi?

In 2013 I completed my manual therapy certification with the U.S.-based Institute of Physical Art (IPA) which is a rigorous process that took me eight year to complete! Following certification, I was given the opportunity to join a physio clinic in Delhi, India treating patients and mentoring a team of Indian therapists in the IPA approach. It was a fantastic experience to be able to live in India and still practice much as I would at home.

Fun Fact: Karin is a salsa queen! London Salsa club recommendations please?

The best salsa clubs are friendly, unpretentious and packed with great dancers from all over the globe. London has not disappointed...the best spot so far is Tito's in London Bridge.

Karin doing salsa!

Karin doing salsa!

More on Karin and Physio here. Book in with Karin here.

Robbie Loves Powder

Robbie shredding the rad in Tignes!

Robbie shredding the rad in Tignes!

Do You Like to Ride Ski's and Snowboards?? 

Our massage therapist and Snowboard Cross 2007 British Champion Robbie Emmanuel takes you through his Stretching, Preparation and Resort Survival Cheat Sheet!

"I've been snowboarding since 1992 plus had a good few years of semi-pro riding and seasons in Tignes so I've got a few ideas as to how you can survive your time in the mountains this winter. If you're a client of Fix you should know that having a wee stretch routine everyday will help you get through life and avoid being a hunched over old codger before your time. 

So, if you're not already stretching everyday, definitely get into the habit a least a few weeks before your trip. This habit will save you pain, injury and increase your enjoyment of the mountains and your life and you only really need to spend 7-15mins on it everyday for it to make a difference. That's all I've ever done and I managed to get thru 7 seasons with no major injuries after taking huge stacks in snowboardcross and half pipe comps, falling off cliffs, through cornices and being swept up in avalanches. Oh the joy of bendiness. The further your muscles, ligaments and tendons are used to stretching - the more likely you are not to injure them when you fall. And you will fall. So I always did a full body stretch before riding and almost every time post riding in prep for the next day. 

If you know yoga - put a wee routine together that opens up each of the main muscles groups. Better to do yoga or what you know works best for you. As with all stretches it's better to do it slow, deliberate and with deep breathing - always using the out-breath to push the stretch and the in-breath to hold it.  (FIX Yoga classes now running out of Ron Dorff's Covent Garden store, book in here.)

Warm up. It's difficult to warm up proper in a ski resort - you probably won't have your trainers with you. So, here's what I did. Take a long hot shower, run the water over your calves, quad and hams and just get generally warm. After you've dried yourself, get your thermals on - this kinda seals in the heat.                                                                                                                   Then do a little standing warm up - jogging on the spot then some arm rotations will do - to prepare your body for some stretching.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Standing Stretches. Neck - on the 3 pivots, both sides obvs - hold each for 3 secs while breathing out - 3 pivots are - ear to shoulder, looking over shoulder i.e. twist, chin to chest and opposing chin to the sky.                                                                     Legs. Calf, quads, hams, glutes are all important to focus on as you'll be working these hard.                                                                

Floor stretches - Touching your toes - for hams, calves and back, shoulders - Splits - leaning forward to the floor - opens your hips up - then stretching one arm over your head to the opposite foot - opens up you shoulders and pulls your calf and ham. - Feet together - then lean forward and tighten your abs to pull your lower back. - Lie back with your feet over your head for a full back and neck stretch.                                                                                                                                                                                

After my floor stretches, while I'm still sitting, I'd always 'crunch' my feet - they'll be taking a beating in your unfamiliar and uncomfortable boots all day long. To do this I take one of my feet - then put the heel of my hands on either side of it and interlace my fingers under the sole and push the bones into themselves - it pushes the bones, muscles, tendons, around and provides some kind of release from the pressure you put in there while riding.                                                                                          

Other stretches: You really need to stretch out your upper body as you will fall over and most injuries are caused by falling over. The more flexible and supple you are the easier your body will take an impact and the less likely you will be to injury any tissues or joints.                                                                                                                                                                                                        

To stretch out the shoulders, I stand next to a wall and put the back of my hand/forearm against it and lock it against the wall - then twist from the hips and torso away from the locked arm - experiment with it - it pulls your shoulder and across your scaps and down your arm. (Check out out full shoulder blog from Sanja here.) I also used to hang from things - chalets are great for this because of the big beams - also the resort buses are good too - stretch up and grab a bar/beam - get your feet off the floor - hold on and breath deep - each time you breath out your body will relax and you'll stretch your full upper body. 

Novice Snowboarders, be aware of your ass and your wrists, these will both take the hardest impact when you fall when learning.  Investing in Impact shorts (with hard plastic outerpads) and wrist guards (make sure your gloves fit over them) is not a bad idea and may prevent some niggling little injuries that will stunt your progression and enjoyment. If you can ski and want to learn how to snowboard, you definitely want to do it on a day when the snow is reasonably soft. I would veer away from it if it's super icy as you will be more likely to fall and more likely to hurt yourself on impact as it's so much harder. Any hard impact or injury may not stop you from riding for the rest of the holiday but it does hit your confidence and that more than anything will affect your progression and your enjoyment on the snow. Baby steps are crucial to progressing at a rate that's safe but also enjoyable. 

The Pub - Vin Chaud - Free Chalet Wine - Hangovers - Mountain Food - You will go the pub. You will wake up with a hangover. You will be at altitude so it will hit you hard. You will have an eager beaver mate who will wake you at 8am to get up and go riding.  You will get drunk in an icy ski resort and have to walk home - this is when most injuries happen - the booze and holiday vibe make folks do stupid things - jumping on each other on an icy street is asking for a very bruised arse at the least.  I totally berated my mates for risking their seasons riding for some drunken japes that normally end in tears and possible ACL tears. Jumping into the powder is fun - but check your landing first - there's very hard thing often lurking just beneath the whiteness just waiting for your unsuspecting drunken body. You will drink as much free chalet wine as you can before the staff say you've reached your limit - increase this limit by taking them to the pub with you - ask them to buy the drinks, as they'll get seasonaire rates - you give them free pints, they will give you more free wine and make you better cakes…. FACT.

Hangovers - drink lots of water, take on sugar, and salts as you'll have peed a lot of them out last night. Drink coffee for the kick, water for hydration, take on sugar and salt to replace those you peed out last night in the pub. You will probably 'crash' not into snow but your energy levels - so have a bag of nuts and dried fruit in your pocket. They don't get crushed, they full of energy and sugar hits you fast enough to keep you riding. Carbs will shut you down and make you sleepy. Sandwiches made from white processed flour like French baguettes will send you to sleep. Oh, the dried fruit and nuts will be expensive in resort so consider taking some in your hand luggage. Take a camelback up the mountain - it’s better than a bottle that you can fall onto - not nice. Drink a pint of water when you get home from the pub and have a big bottle by the bed.

And if you need a little FIX-ing after all that we're here for you!

 

Ready to jump...

Ready to jump...

What's on my Plate and Top Tips with Alice

Clinical Strength and Conditioning coach and nutrition guru Alice, shares her delicious Glory Bowl recipe and top tips to eating well.

1. Be one step ahead. Keep healthy whole ingredients and prepared foods at hand and do not keep junk food in the house. I don't believe anyone has willpower when faced with a cylinder of Pringles! 

2. Do not starve yourself. Fad diets do not work, but a balanced whole food diet and regular exercise does. 

3. Stay inspired. Variety is the spice of life, so keep things interesting. The cooler months are a great time to cook amazing nourishing foods for yourself and friends. 

Alice's Freestyle Glory Bowls
You really can use anything in these as long as there is a variety of colour and textures by using cooked and raw ingredients.
In the Autumn it is important to eat nourishing cooked ingredients like roasted carrot or sweet potato and steamed warm greens.
Obviously you can swap out the chicken and add steamed salmon or beef strips, or go for vegetarian/vegan options. 
Additions like toasted nuts add crunch and obviously avocado and a poached egg are always welcome. Yum!
Pictured: brown rice, shredded chicken, crispy tempeh (tofu's healthier cousin), steamed asparagus and broccolini, shredded red cabbage and carrot, cherry tomatoes, coriander and spring onions all topped with the amazing glory bowl dressing. 

Alice is available at Fix for 1-to-1 clinical strength and conditioning sessions as well as diet and nutrition consultations. Read more about Alice here.

Glory Bowl Dressing

Helen O'Neill stumbled across this recipe on a trip to Canada earlier in the year and the team at Fix can't get enough. Look out: this dressing is seriously addictive!

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/3 cup Tamari

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

    In blender, purée together nutritional yeast flakes, tamari, vinegar, water, tahini and garlic. With motor running, add oil in slow, steady stream. Blend until smooth. (Make ahead, will keep for a week in the fridge).

Recipe borrowed from Canadian Living website.

Top Tips for Good Health from Massage Therapist Jo Pertwee...

Our massage therapist Jo Pertwee shares her top tips for good health.

Do Pilates and Yoga -I am someone who loves to run and cycle and I find the combination of Pilates and Yoga alongside these helps me to stay strong, stable and supple. Pilates is great for strengthening the core and activating the glutes. I use yoga to open my hips, hamstrings and calves. Butterfly, Pigeon and Downward Dog are my all time favourites.

Gradually Increase intensity In any training- be sure you ease into it. Many problems I see in clients are from stepping up the mileage or the intensity too quickly. We need to allow our bodies time to acclimatise to what we are putting them through.

Rest - we all lead crazy lives, working hard, playing hard and training hard. Rest is really important for good health. Not unlike high intensity interval training, with bursts of hard work and then recovery to make us fitter, rest time is vital to our overall fitness and health.

Put in the Hard Work - I always send my clients away with stretches and exercises to do at home. This is imperative to get the most out of your treatment and to recover as quickly as possible.

Book in with Jo for massage here.

Welcome Alice - Clinical Strength & Conditioning

This month we welcome Alice to the Fix practitioner team as a clinical strength and conditioning coach. No idea what that is? Let us explain...

You may have been injured and after seeing one of our brilliant Physio or Osteo's need reintroduction to exercise in a controlled environment. You may have recently had a baby or are expecting, and you want to rebuild/maintain strength and regain control of your pelvic floor in a safe environment. You would like to join group fitness classes but don't feel fit enough and worry you're not doing the exercises correctly. Alice can help!

Alice is a personal trainer and yoga teaching with a special interest in the pre and post natal client and women's health. Her unique skill set and pragmatic approach along with her strong foundation in nutrition is what makes her such a valuable addition to the Fix team. Clients can expect a tailored program taking injuries and current limitations into account, as well as nutritional coaching and meal planning where requested.

1-to-1 Sessions
1 hr £65
5 pack £300
10 pack £550

For more info or to book a session, call the desk 020 8986 5551 or email us info@fixlondon.co.uk

Alice is intuitive, she somehow knows how hard to push me. After sustaining a back injury last year Alice has helped me get strong and trust my body again. Oh and she got me eating properly, no stone left unturned!
— Jacinta, 30

Keep rolling...

Foam rolling is great right? We love a good foam roll and use (and sell) rollers regularly at FIX HQ. However a trend we've noticed is that sometimes clients fascia and muscles are very taught, rather than supple and perhaps as a result of bad rolling technique. 

Are these clients using the foam roller because their muscles and fascia are so tight? Or, are these clients using the foam roller improperly and making their muscles in worse shape than before?! It's a chicken and egg situation. And what exactly is fascia anyway? In simple (wikipedia!) terms : Fascia is a structure of connective tissue that surrounds muscles, groups of muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. It's similar to a web. 

Putting too much pressure and force on fascia and muscle, via a foam roller, can make them stick together and cause a worsening effect rather than getting rid of your problem.

The motto here is not to stop rolling but to learn to roll right! A few things to keep in mind when you’re using a foam roller:  Slow down. Is there a release happening or is more tension being created? Can you breathe calmly while using the roller? If not, you may be creating tension. Stay relaxed. If you are not relaxed, and the muscles you’re working into are not relaxed, you could be creating more of an issue. Breathe. Use your breath to control the pressure.  If you are not breathing, you are going too deep. Find that area of tension, take a deep breath and slowly move through it. Assess yourself afterwards. Are you feeling more relaxed, or just as tense as before? So basically foam roll mindfully.  If you have used these small, yet effective techniques, and are still feeling pain, we'd would suggest your next best step is to find a good manual therapist who can assess what is going on. They will be able to properly teach you self-care, and the correct areas for you to use the foam roller on. 

To book in with a member of team FIX click here.

Practitioner Spotlight Physiotherapist Kristina...

A little on Kristina....

Kristina has over 15 Years experience working in the NHS and private sector with a special interest in treating back and neck problems and also ligaments sprains, tendon problems, muscle strains and postural issues. She is also an expert in the management of sports injuries, rheumatological conditions and post – operative rehabilitation. Kristina is trained in Acupuncture and clinical Pilates which concepts she incorporates into client rehabilitation to ensure that alignment and stability are improved in order to reduce stress through joints.

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Hi Kristina! First off where are you from?

I’m  from  the  beautiful  city  Braunschweig  in North Germany,  where  I  was  born  being  the  baby  of  my  family  of  6.

My  now  husband  asked  me  to  move to  London  with  the  promise  to  stay  for  a  maximum  of  a  year  or  two.  15 years and  three  children  later  we  are  still  here  and  can’t  imagine  living  anywhere  else.

 

How do you like to stay fit and healthy?

I love  living  in  Belsize  Park  and  run and down  Hampstead  Heath  or  Regents  Park  to  stay  fit.  I also  love  Barry’s  Bootcamp,  especially  if I continue to bump  into  David  Beckham.  My  big passions  however  are  skiing  and  kitesurfing.

Best thing about living in London?

The one thing I like most about  London  is that  so  many different  nationalities  come  together, share  their  culture, learn  from each  other and  enjoy each others'  company  regardless of their backgrounds.

Fun Fact: Kristina published a children’s book in2004 called Fay and Finlay's Fabulous Friendship Book.

Tell us more Kristina...

 Fay’s  &  Finlay’s  Fabulous  Friendship  Book  is a written keepsake book for children  between  the  age  of  5  to  9.  A Friendship  Book is a book  in  which  children  and  their  friends,  big  and  small, write  personal  details  and  answer fun questions  about  themselves.  It  gets  passed  around  to  gather  their stories, which once  the book is full, it becomes a treasured keepsake.

Book in with Kristina here.

Lex's Famous Black Bean Brownies

If you've been lucky enough to sample Lex's brownies then you will know what we are talking about - these may very well be the best brownies in the world!

Lex hails from Canada originally and we suspect this recipe has been past on from hipster grannie to hipster grannie for centuries. Check out Lex here

We think you'll love it! 

Ingredients

85gr Cocoa powder
2 tins of cooked black beans (drained weight 500gr) 
150gr of butter or coconut oil
150gr of blended (pitted) dates
4 eggs
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
100gr of chopped walnuts or nuts of your choice

Method
Preheat oven 170/gas mark 5
Line baking dish (20X20)
Rinse black beans and drain
Melt butter and leave to cool
Blend dates with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth
Put beans, eggs, cocoa, date puree and vanilla extract into a deep bowl and blend.
Stir in half of chopped nuts and pour brownie mix into tray evenly, sprinkle remaining nuts on top bake for 40 minutes. 
Leave to cool and cut. Yum.

This recipe is gluten free and substitutes flour with black bean which adds more protein and fibre to the recipe. It also uses dates which have more fibre, vitamins and minerals than sugar and add a lovely caramel flavour. 

Natasha's Pilates Journey...

So Tash, you're a classical Pilates teacher, would you mind explaining what exactly that means?

Simply put, I teach and practise the method and exercises that Joseph Pilates created. The term "classical" came about because over the years the original method was changed so much by different people - sometimes beyond recognition.

In classical Pilates we teach the original system of exercises as intended by the man himself. Pilates is about the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit... And it works!

Can you explain your journey with Pilates?

I began practising Pilates when I was 16 and training professionally as a Dancer, it was part of our curriculum. If I'm honest I didn't take it very seriously as a teenager, I only really got into it later in life when I studied Acting and realised that it was so much more than just injury prevention and "core" strength.

 

How has it helped you and how do you incorporate it into your daily life?

Where do I start! I guess the main thing is that it has made me realise my body and mind connection, and the huge potential in that. There is always a little bit more the body can find, you can stretch that little bit further, breathe a little bit deeper. I feel completely invigorated both physically and mentally after a Pilates workout. The worst thing about being a teacher is that you don't get to practise as much as you'd like! But I still have private lessons every week and never stop learning.
 

Who might be some people who would benefit from your sessions injured? Pre/post natal? Desk people? 

Yes. Yes. YESSSSSS. Pretty much anyone with a spine and a beating heart makes for a good Pilates candidate.


Can you explain how you usually go about taking a client through a session? What might be expected?

I find out why they want to be there and what they want to get out of it - are they a one off client or are they looking for something more long term? Are they recovering from injury or do they want "a six-pack"? Their reason for being there often changes once they begin to understand their body more and how the system works. 

The first session will usually involve me introducing you to our little studio and all the curious equipment. I will observe you and how you move to paint a picture of what you need. Hopefully that's just the beginning! 

To book in with Natasha click here.

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Client of the Month - Mat Dixon

This month we meet Mat. He has been a client of Fix since December 2015 receiving both physio and 1-to-1 Pilates sessions on his recovery from a prolapsed disc. Having initially been told he needed surgery we think Mat's recovery is a remarkable one.

Mat's Story

"I consider myself an active healthy person although the reality is I work at a desk and spend most of my day folded into a chair plugging away at a keyboard.  I work contracts and when I’m not chained to a desk I’m pretty active. I spend time volunteering overseas leading trekking groups of young people, and I’m in the mountains whenever I can be; walking, climbing and mountain biking.

It was during a recce for a new trek in Tanzania 2 years ago that I realised that the low back pain I'd grown to accept might be a little more of a problem than I’d realised. After a long bus journey and trek into the mountains my back was sore but more worryingly my leg was numb and took to 'giving way' without warning. I carried on uncomfortably but my big concern was that I had a mountain bike trip planned in the Swiss Alps a few days after I returned to the UK. Male bravado kicked in and I decided "I’d be fine", although I couldn’t actually carry my luggage or load my bike onto the train. Good friends and Ibuprofen got me through the trip although back in the UK I came to accept that I wasn’t fine and needed to do something about the excruciating pain I was in. I then spent a frustrating year waiting for NHS appointments and scans with very little positive outcome. Pain relief seemed to be the course of action, whilst I waited for nerve root block injections and surgery for a prolapsed disc.

This is where Fix came in, the physio sessions were like a breath of fresh air. This could be fixed. Layers of compensation from previous injuries were explained to me and a course of action laid out. I made subtle changes to my working life, a standing desk, regular breaks and moving more. Yoga and Pilates were prescribed and I booked in for 1-to-1 sessions with Natasha on the Pilates reformer. You may have walked through Fix reception and wondered what the strange torture garden equipment is in the Gym area. This is the reformer and with expert instruction is the reason I no longer need surgery or nerve root block injections. Natasha took me through a huge variety of movements, building, strengthening and stabilising my core. I immediately felt improvement after the first session and continue to do so week on week.

 My trip to Zermatt mountain biking this year was the best yet, I rode the hardest trails on offer every day with no pain and a huge grin on my face".

See one of the runs that Mat loved via some very cool GoPro footage here