The Back Maintenance Massage by the Garry Trainer Clinic
Hippocrates claimed that “Massage is the mother of all therapies”, with the implication that it should be the cornerstone of any clinic. In Primrose Hill we are blessed to have Garry Trainer, who intuits through massage which parts of the body need further attention.
Garry has been named by The Times as ‘Britain’s Top Back Specialist’, and after thirty years specialising in structural dysfunction and pain, Garry and his colleague Erik Inarra are now offering a preventative back care treatment at the Garry Trainer Clinic.
The Back Maintenance Massage aims to keep problems at bay before they begin. So many people have work done on their backs only when they’re in pain. Garry and Erik want to pre-empt this tendency by giving treatments sooner. “Getting into bad habits becomes like steam in a pressure cooker. Eventually something gives way. It’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
Garry has developed his own, highly successful style which combines deep tissue massage, osteopathy and acupuncture. This method of treatment eases pain, increases mobility and gives a sense of wellbeing. Erik’s area of expertise is deep-tissue massage and osteopathy. He comes from a background of working with sports injuries, and treats muscular tension and pain in the head, neck, shoulders and back. He runs a positive screening analysis where you can evaluate your posture on a screen.
Both Garry and Erik have a massage background and believe that preparing the area before treatment is of paramount importance. They loosen up the tissues first through massage, which causes less resistance and less reaction. They go looking for where it hurts and see it as an important part of the treatment to be able to find it. Then the area can be treated according to the individual.
When someone is already in pain, all their energy gets side-lined into recovery. But if a person has regular maintenance programmes, problems can be avoided in the first place. As Erik points out, “People go for an annual dental check, but they don’t make appointments with an osteopath until it’s too late.”
The clinic is open to people phoning to talk about their options beforehand, and one of its strengths is the network of referrals they have at hand.
All ages benefit from treatment. Elderly backs react well to a combination of massage and acupuncture, and it’s also ideal for children who adopt bad postures while on games and phones, or carrying heavy books. Before and after pregnancy is beneficial too, with a good time to have osteopathy being after breastfeeding has finished.
Immobility probably causes more back pain than manual work. We spend a lot of time slumped in front of screens. All of this compromises the muscles in the back. As Garry says, “Sitting is the new smoking.”
The philosophy behind the clinic is to empower people and give them the knowledge to help themselves. They don’t want to act as a crutch for their patients. Handy hints are offered, such as stretching and strengthening exercises to keep supple and mobile.
They also have a coccyx cushion which is a simple idea to relieve pain and create a feeling of alignment. Ideally the pelvis should be above knee level, and tilted slightly forward. If you spend a lot of time sitting, it will prevent slouching and keep the spine in an upright position.
The Back Maintenance Massage involves a deep, relaxing massage to diagnose any potential trouble spots. Once these have been located, acupuncture needles can be placed into the knotty areas – which is very satisfying – and then osteopathic manipulation given.
The treatment is designed to be good for backs, but as restrictions are released a feeling of wellbeing is created. So bad back or not, it’s fabulous for a seasonal uplift.