Pain Relief – Hot or Cold?

By Massage, Pain Relief, Sports

Self Help Pain Relief: Apply Hot or Cold?

Self help for pain relief

A frequent question I get asked shall I use a hot or cold compress? Firstly, let’s understand what each does?

Heat Therapy:

  • Improves circulation
  • Allows expansion of the vessels and tissues
  • Increases temperature
  • Soothe and relax muscle discomfort

You can use either dry heat (heat pad) or moist heat (hot baths, steam), both should aim or a ‘warm’ temperature not hot! A common mistake people make, which leads to burns! You can use local treatment for targeting one muscle, or a whole area targeting whole body stiffness.

When you should not use heat?

  • If you have bruising
  • Inflamed joints/area
  • Open wounds

Certain pre-existing conditions that may causing higher risk of burns or complications

  • Diabetes
  • Dermatitis
  • Vascular disease
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Multiple sclerosis

Cold Therapy:

  • Reducing blood flow
  • Contraction of blood vessels and tissues
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Relieve pain
  • Temporarily reduce nerve activity

You can use for local areas: ice packs, sprays, or whole body effect: ice baths, ice massage. During the first 72 hours of initial injury, can use ice three times a day for 10-15 minutes.

When should you not use ice?

  • Tight and stiff muscles
  • Feeling unwell (shivering cold)


As a general rule of thumb use cold therapy on a new injury. The first object is to reduce the inflammation, which is the body’s first response to injury. (Remember inflammation is a big source of pain).  It should be applied for up to 15 minutes only and usually no more than 4 times a day. 

If you are experiencing muscle spasm, then heat can be a great source of relief. Heat is generally best applied a few days after the acute injury has passed (ie giving time for the inflammation to subside).  As a general rule of thumb, if you feel like you need a massage, it probably means you are ready for a heat pack.

If you are unsure, always go for cold therapy first, as at the worst it will do you no harm. Where as applying heat to an inflamed area will increase the inflammation which will certainly add to the pain and stop you feeling better.  Also remember that generally speaking heat therapy works against medicines like Neurofen (ibuprofen), naproxyn, diclofenac etc. Always protect your body from direct sources of hot or cold as both can burn the skin, as mentioned above.  If this all sounds confusing or need personal advice – give us a call – we are always on hand to give free telephone advice – even if you are not a patient. So please share this blog or visit our pain relief page!


Osteopath, Wimbledon
Jennifer Beck, M.OST
Member of the General Osteopathic Council
Member of the Institute of Osteopaths

I am available to help you today. Being gentle and working in tune with nature, it will be a relaxing way to heal“.

Call anytime for an appointment of free telephone advice, 02089462331


Choosing Yoga or Pilates?

By Massage, Pain Relief, Sports

Choosing: Yoga or Pilates?Pilates & Yoga for back pain

You may think these are in the same exercise category, however they are rooted from very different histories. Read below to help determine which practice is right for you…


This type of exercise originated in south Asia thousands of years ago, the purpose is the unite the mind, body and spirit. They use the whole body structure using the environment to heal the body and help mental harmony.

The different styles:

  • Anusara: Beginners class to yoga with physical practice to yoga
  • Bikram: ‘Hot Yoga’ series of 26 basic yoga postures, each performed twice
  • Hatha: Classical physical yoga practice using breathing and posture
  • Ashtanga: Six established and strenuous pose sequences
  • Lyengar: precise alignment and deliberate sequencing using props.
  • Kundalini: constantly moving, invigorating poses.
  • Vinyasa: Active and athletic style of yoga adapted from the traditional ashtanga system
  • Prenatal: yoga postures adapted for expecting mothers
  • Restorative: using less poses and increased breathing techniques.


This type of exercise was created by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s. The purpose of Pilates is to gain flexibility, strength and body awareness. Although the routine is performed on a mat, there are specific Pilate’s machines; this type is called the Cadillac and reformer.


  • Mat Pilates: classical specific routine of movements and involves little or no equipment – heavily focuses on strengthening the core
  • Contemporary studio Pilates: fully equipped studio under expert instruction
  • Group reformer Pilates: dynamic, full body workout all with one piece of equipment (the Reformer)
  • Classical Pilates: fully equipped studio, with original series of movements in a specific order.


Questions you can ask yourself before choosing?

  1. Are you seeking exercise for a mental benefit? All exercise is linked with improving your mental health, yoga may be most effective for this as it focuses on the mind, body and spirit.
  2. What physical benefit are you hoping for? Pilates is known for focusing on core strength however yoga has an overall benefit.
  3. Have you currently got back pain? Some routines/positions can increase pain therefore informing your instructor of your current situation is important.
  4. No to props? Yoga using your body weight with a sequence of positions where Pilates uses different props to enhance the technique.

Ultimately the choice is yours, trying out both and deciding what works best for you. Yoga provides a meditative environment for you to improve overall quality of life, focuses on stress relief while improving our body. Pilates works from the centre of your body outwards, it forces to increase your body awareness. In my opinion, yoga is excellent for everyone by improving their mental health, but allowing a combination of Pilates to optimize your body function.

Osteopath, Wimbledon
Jennifer Beck, M.OST
Member of the General Osteopathic Council
Member of the Institute of Osteopaths

I am available to help you today. Being gentle and working in tune with nature, it will be a relaxing way to heal“.

Call anytime for an appointment of free telephone advice, 02089462331


What Makes A Great Massage

By Massage, Pain Relief, Sports

A Great Massage in Wimbledon

Great massae in Wimbledon

Fancy a great massage in Wimbledon? Do you know there is more to a great massage than meets the eye. The Living Centre Clinic massage therapy in Wimbledon offers a higher level massage effectiveness. Here’s why we say why…



Our therapists are not only experienced, but have additional qualifications in different massage areas and therapeutic skills. We believe this increases their level of awareness and so their effectiveness in delivering a great massage.  We believe that’s what makes our approach so much more comprehensive than many of our competitors.


For a massage to be truly great there needs to be dialogue between your body’s muscles and the therapist. A skilled massage therapist is trained to detect where areas are painful or inflamed by touch – as these are common causes of pain and generate tension. A great massage is more than applying a massage stroke, it’s the direction of the pressure, how light or deep to go, the position the client is lying in, and crucially how long to work the tissue. Have you ever had a massage and felt the therapist was applying ‘a series of moves’ without really delivering what you need? Not so with our massage therapists. Guaranteed. If you are not delighted with your massage contact the clinic manager and we will put things right for you (Mr Jamooji,

Neil Woodrow

Neil Woodrow is a fully qualified (internationally recognised) massage practitioner. He is also a fully qualified and experienced Chinese Acupuncturist and a fully qualified and experienced reflexologist with a special interest in pregnancy care, including pregnancy massage, pregnancy reflexology.

With a personal interest in health & exercise and as well as the gift of his own natural physique Neil Woodrow delivers a powerful sports massages, which he can supplement with acupuncture (at no extra cost) if you wish. His treatment style is kind and sympathetic. An example of Neil Woodrow’s humanity is that he teaches Traditional Chinese Exercises, at several locations in southwest London, free of charge as a local service to the community. We are sure you will want to be treated by him again and again.

Magda Oliveira

Magda Oliveira specialises in female massage therapy. As a highly trained massage therapist she holds individual qualifications in a number of key massage therapies, at international level. These include, massage therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and she is a qualified meditation practitioner. Between these healing therapies she offers 10 different massage styles from full body massage Indian Ayurvedic Massage and lymphatic drainage massage, plus many more.

As Magda Oliveira has a special interest in female health she also offers advice and support for many woman’s problems or issues. This includes help with fertility issues and pregnancy massage .  As part of a great massage, sometimes silence is required and sometimes, time to talk things through. As a mature and kind practitioner Magda Oliveira offers this awareness which can help make your treatment what you need it to be.

Back pain treatment room

Living Centre Clinic, Wimbledon

The Living Centre Clinic attracts clients not just from Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Morden, but further away too. We offer consistent and reliable massages, which is delivered by exceptionally well qualified and caring therapists. Treatments are available 6 days a week, including evening appointments. Our fees are more than reasonable, when you consider no extra charge is made for the additional therapies included in each and every massage as standard.

More than a massage the Living Centre Clinic, as a clinic, offers massages with a therapeutic angle. This means for a number of minor aches and pains, (ie where you would not normally book an osteopath or physiotherapist) massage can be used to simply and effectively to help you through. This makes our treatment great value for money and offers the security of an in-house referral for osteopathy, acupuncture or Sports Injury Treatment if needed.

You may discuss your needs with our very friendly reception staff (12 hours a day), or have a chat with either Neil Woodrow or Magda Oliveira to see what’s best for you 02089462331 or  The clinic also has an online form (option “2 –  Ask My Medical Question”) if you prefer.

We wish you a great massage – hopefully the best one you have ever had!

Book a massage today

Living Centre Clinic




Massage Secrets

By Massage

Neck and shoulder pain treatment

Health Secrets:
Discover the benefits of therapeutic massage

Why People Take Regular Massages
We are trying so hard to be good parents, colleagues, leaders, children, and friends that we often feel pressured all the time. Massage therapy plays vital part of all ultimate rest and restoration plans which focus on work-life balance.

The Benefits of  Massage Therapy Are Countless
One of the most important benefits of massage according to medical research, is that the stress hormone cortisol drops up to 53% after massage therapy! High levels of cortisol are linked to many health problems including fertility challenges.

•    Massage treatment works its magic by soothing nervous tension, initiating a wave of deep inner peace which creates the space to think, the calmness to unwind or power to energise.
•    For many massage is helpful in restoring bedtime bliss – you might sleep better.
•    Improved concentration can increase your productivity and bring clearer thinking on many levels.
•    Massage therapy helps to bring water retention down, and reduce the puffiness of the eyes.
•    You may notice an improvement in your hair and skin condition.

Also, other proven benefits, after just one hour of massage include

– Improved posture- muscles can be lengthened and softened.
– Slower and deeper breathing helps to bring stress hormones levels down, which counts immensely in bringing self-healing mechanism of your body to action.
–Increases your flexibility and range of movement.  Aches and pain are not that irritating.
– Massage stimulates peristalsis resulting in improved digestion and it can aid in the relief of constipation and/or diarrhoea .
– Speeds up circulation which helps to nourish tissues making the delivery of oxygen more efficient.
– During a massage your immune system is being stimulated, lymphocytes travel more efficiently to fight potential infections, waste products are disposed of more quickly- which means a dramatic improvement in your lymph flow with every massage.

A six -week course of massage therapy can help you to feel better on all levels

Magda Oliveira, BA, MA, ITEC, VTCT
Massage Therapist
Meditation Instructor



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