Running a marathon requires many things - grit, patience, sacrifice, and a determination to carry on even when your body is exhausted and aching. The months leading up to the race will require you to spend hours of your free time pounding the pavements, missing drinks out with friends because you have your long run the next morning, and heading out when it's cold, dark, raining, or all three during the winter months. So with just 24 hours to go, here's a few tips from Soma Room owner and massage therapist Sophie Rose on how to make it past that final hurdle.
Donna Wilkinson is an advanced clinical massage therapist and an experienced meditator, having attended three 10 day silent meditation retreats over the years. She has an interest in indigenous healing practices and has spent two years training with a traditional shaman from Ecuador, including a month spent living with indigenous tribes in the Amazon jungle. She currently lives in Lewes with her partner and her two pet sugar gliders.
What is meditation?
I would really consider meditation anything that allows you to come back to yourself where you are – something which allows you to become present in the moment. There are many different techniques that you can use, but in its simplest form it’s really just something that catches the attention of your mind and brings it closer to one place.
Why do you think people should meditate?
I think for a lot of us, our brains are constantly on over-drive, running through our ‘to-do’ lists and trying to sort out a million things at once. We often forget to be in the moment, and although ‘mindfulness’ is a bit of a buzzword right now, the truth is that we often don’t take the time to slow down and see right what’s in front of us. How often do you notice details such as the pictures that are hanging on a wall, or really focus on what someone in front of you is saying. These things could be considered a form of meditation – it’s just really bringing your attention back to yourself and your space, and what’s going on.
We live in an extremely busy world, and when your mind is in hyper-drive it can eventually lead to feelings of worry and anxiety. Through meditation, you can start to focus your attention on one thing, instead of spending hours going over a problem again and again in your mind, worrying about all the things that could go wrong. You find that often after meditating, the solutions to your problems come much more easily. And you realise that really, you just had to stop thinking so much.
What was your new year’s resolution? Do you remember? Have you kept it? If so you are one of only 8% of people who actually manage to do this so well done!
In fact, incremental lifestyle changes are much more likely to make a difference, a fact that our #SpringIntoLife campaign was based on, designed to encourage a healthier and happier you by Spring 2018.
When resolutions are too ambitious, it can be hard to change our habits so instead we often just give up altogether.
Instead of making hard-line resolutions it has been suggested that we have more chance of long-term success if we approach our health goals as a 'reset' on our normal behaviours and treat every day as a contribution towards the new goal.
It can be difficult to feel peaceful in today's fast-paced world. So often it feels that there is an insurmountable amount of things to do, and not enough time in the day to do them all. One great technique for helping to slow things down and bring you back into your body is mediation, but most people don't know where to begin, or how to fit it in with everything else that's going on in their lives.
There's an old Zen saying which goes 'You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you're too busy, then you should sit for an hour'. This may be easier said than done for most, but anything is better than nothing, and just sitting with your body for a few minutes in the middle of a particularly stressful part of the day can result in greater clarity, more productivity, and reduce the risk of burnout that juggling work, family, finances and everything else can bring.
To help with this, our therapist Donna has created a three minute meditation, which can be done at home or at your desk to quickly help with anxiety and stress. An experienced meditator herself (having done several ten day silent meditation retreats over the years), Donna knows first hand how powerful the benefits of meditation can be, and this short sequence will help bring you back into your body and feeling in control of your day again. So sit back, close your eyes, and enjoy!
Welcome to our regular new 'Ask a Massage Therapist' feature, where each week the therapists of The Soma Room will be answering a questions on everything to do with health, injury prevention, well-being and more. If you have a question that you'd like answering by our team, then let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weeks question...
With the London Marathon coming up, what are the most common injuries that you see in your running clients, and how do you think regular massage can help someone who is training for a marathon?
Today's guest post is from Soma Room therapist Naomi Johns - a mum of three, avid runner, qualified personal trainer and massage tutor at St Mary's University in Twickenham. She offers Sports, Deep Tissue and Pregnancy massage every Wednesday at The Soma Room.
Naomi Johns is a mum of three, avid runner, qualified personal trainer and massage tutor at St Mary's University in Twickenham. She offers Sports, Deep Tissue and Pregnancy massage every Wednesday at The Soma Room. Fun fact - when she was ten years old she was in a feature film - sadly stardom didn't beckon!
It’s not only Alice in Wonderland’s White Rabbit who experiences stress. It’s almost an epidemic these days with many of us feeling stressed due to the ‘always on’ culture in which we live. There is even a recognized condition called ‘white rabbit syndrome’, sufferers of which often or always have the feeling of being late!
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and we at The Soma Room know how important it is sometimes to just switch off and let your body & mind take a break.
In our opinion massage is THE best ways to do this (of course!) and that’s why we are launching our new spring competition in which we will be giving away 3 x one-hour long massages treatments, completely free of charge.
Our therapist Cycy recently spent ten days at a training camp in Girona with the talented Delta Cycling Team, immersed in the pro cycling world and ensuring that they were in top physical condition for their gruelling race. Below she shares one of her tried and tested breakfast recipes for peak performance, which went down a treat with the cyclists and ensured that their energy remained steady all throughout the morning.