The Muscle whisperer – Sophia Kupse back massage review
So there’s no denying that being a mum is amazing, beautiful, rewarding and fun. But it’s also scary, exhausting, and at times, stressful.
My anxiety levels reached a new high after welcoming Hannah into the world. At night I can’t help but check incessantly if she’s ok, with every sigh and whimper being misconstrued as a cry for help. When she actually does cry, it signals an alarm in my mind. I’m searching for a solution, even though sometimes she’s just crying as part of her growth spurt or developmental leap (yes, I’ve got all the baby books).
When I go out with Hannah, worry reaches fever pitch. Will she cry en route? Will she suddenly get hungry? Will I be able to get through the lunch / errand / job in hand?
However, I never realised how much my worry could pass onto my daughter, until Sophia Kupse, who is otherwise known as ‘the Muscle Whisperer’, spelt it out for me loud and clear.
Sophia is the Founder of the ‘Langellotti Tri-Therapy’, one of the most advanced treatments to combat modern day stress and back pain.
So what does back pain have to do with stress, anxiety, and new mum worries? Well according to Sophia, quite a lot. Stress (which causes, basically, everything), manifests itself in the back in the form of knots and pockets which in turn build up as back, neck and shoulder problems.
Of course, these problems are often attributed to physical strains.
As any new mum will attest, back and arm pain becomes the norm after cradling a little one. In fact, by the time Hannah is one, I suspect I’ll have serious guns.
However, little did I realise that this is often exacerbated by stress. In fact, stress is often the underlying cause, with the physical strain secondary.
So when Sophia’s team reached out for me to try her unique back massage, it was a no brainier. Reduce anxiety and combat back pain? That’s win win.
Sophia is known in the UK under her brand name ‘The Muscle Whisperer’ and runs two busy treatment and training clinics in Harley Street in London and West Yorkshire.
I attended the clinic on Harley Street, which is home to the elite clinics serving international jet setters and celebrity clientele.
However, despite the well-heeled address, I was glad to see that Sophia was a down to earth Yorkshire native, who didn’t bat an eyelid at my well-worn mum uniform.
Before my massage, we had an initial consultation where Sophia explained the thinking behind the treatment.
Akin to reflexology, the back is divided into parts, with each representing a different aspect of one’s life. So there’s the inner child, male, female, etc.
And of course with each area of life, there is a different level of stress.
The contagion of anxiety
But here’s the revelation. Even before my massage started, Sophia explained to me how my anxiety levels affect Hannah’s demeanour. So for example, when out and about with Hannah, I would constantly be awaiting the next cry. And true enough, this would become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So instead of assuming the worst, Sophia urged me to be in the moment. Look at the trees, admire the weather, or simply regale in how beautiful my daughter is. This in turn releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which of course is hugely beneficial to Hannah and myself.
Now I’ve been told before how my mood will affect my baby. But it was only when it was drilled home in no uncertain terms that I really realised I need to change my ways.
‘The Muscle Whisperer’ – The science-y bit
So according to Sophia’s website, ‘LT Therapy’ uses a system made up of three key elements that release back pain due to emotional or physical build up. The tri-method consists of cryo and thermo therapy in the form of volcanic heat and ice marble.
Sophia works the muscles at every level ‘listening’ not only to the client’s response, but also to how the muscles react to the various changes in pressure.
Natural heat is applied using volcanic rock and ice white marble (yes, really!).
It is the combination of heat and ice, which produces the soothing, anti-inflammatory effect, thus reducing the toxin build up in the back.
My experience of ‘the Muscle Whisperer’ Langellotti Tri-Therapy’
So as Sophia got to work, she released some serious knots. It was at times uncomfortable when Sophia uncovered areas of tightness. My shoulders and tailbone areas were particularly tight, and it turns out it’s the females in my life that cause me more worry than the men.
As my back went pop, Sophia explained the causes of such knots. As if by some crazy magic, the discomfort of the knots was slowly eased by the cold and heat application. The relief I felt was palpable.
But the bonus for me wasn’t just the massage itself, it was the enlightenment. The fact that Sophia walked me through some of the causes of my knots and back pain, and offered practical advice on how to combat this with everyday things, meant that the results will be lasting. Whilst kneading away at my many pockets of stress, Sophia also urged me to give myself permission to make mistakes, give myself a break, and be in the moment.
The massage reset the clock on my stored up back pain.
True enough, ever since my massage, I now enjoy each second of motherhood, rather than stressing about the next cry.
My strolls with the pram are more leisurely. I enjoy the moment. As a result, Hannah and I are all the better for it.
So if you want to inject some happy into your life, here are some of Sophia’s key tips:
Visualise a garden with a fence on four sides. Whatever you want to grow in it you can it is limitless- flowers or vegetables or both. Design how it looks, set the scene/layout, fill your garden with colour. You then decide who visits the garden or not. This is an analogy of you (you are the garden and the flowers you grow is your inner child) with this in mind every day set out what your day will be like; appointments, free time to do what you like such as shopping, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, painting, dancing, walking, etc. Releasing creative energy is a huge part of understanding and developing ourselves it is allowing the inner child ‘playtime.’ So many of us do not make time for this and it is an extremely important element for balance and well being in the mind and body.
If your planned day (in your garden) is unexpectedly interrupted, you decide whether to allow interruption and change to affect your day, to accommodate the other person. If you want to complete what you started that day, then you have to tell the person you cannot help at that given moment but will schedule a time when you can. By taking control of the day, unexpected events and people no longer take control of you.
‘Me time’ baths
Taking regular baths with Epsom Salts which are a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulphate, helps improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins, help ease migraine, headaches and induces sleep naturally.
When your body is in an alkaline state, you are less likely to suffer from chronic diseases. The foods and beverages you consume each day have a direct impact on the acid and alkaline balance in your body. This balance is measured by determining your pH value, which tells you if your body’s fluids and tissues are more acidic or alkaline. On a pH scale of negative 4.5, which is very acidic, to positive 9.5, which is highly alkaline, your body is considered healthy and alkaline if you have a pH level of 7.0 or above.
If you have a slight pH fluctuation, and your body becomes more acidic than it should be, your body immediately begins to exhibit symptoms of an imbalance. These symptoms may be considered little things, like a runny nose, fatigue, a skin breakout, or a slight case of irritable bowel syndrome.
The quickest way to alkalize healthy is to reduce sugar drinks and food, increase water consumption, move more and add an alkalizing supplement either powder or capsule to your daily diet.
Most people have regular exercise or classes they attend weekly. Regardless of your build, it is important to move daily as too much of a sedentary life creates mood imbalance.
By adding more movement in your day you are ensuring the body keeps active, burns calories disperses lactic acid build up and visually changes the scenery for the brain to activate happy hormones.
Adding music daily in your life will break your negative thought pattern. Choose songs that make you feel good and remind you of very happy times, this will ensure you mentally feel positive. Music and movies are our escapism and inspiration; they allow us to believe in a world of hope.
Simple easy meditation twice a day helps the mind de-stress, clears out the unnecessary negative emotions such as guilt that we hang onto, allowing our brain to re-charge itself and start afresh.
Meditation is the daily mental exercise our brains need to cope with challenging events, jobs, people that we face on a regular basis. By inviting it into your daily routine, you won’t suffer the consequences that go with being out of control, allowing fear to dominate your mind and a negative mood. Even if you struggle to give yourself 10 minutes twice a day, start with a few minutes’ a day of sitting in silence, phone off.
When you focus on your breath you will hear your mind flooded with chatter. Allow the chatter to fill your mind, then let it go and focus on your breath. Chatter will fill your mind again, and gain, you will listen to it and let it go focusing back to your breathing. It can be frustrating at the beginning to do this mind exercise, but by sticking with it a couple of times a day you will train your brain to get less and less chatter.
Mediation is like cleaning out your cupboards and making more space to store the positive things. It’s like the delete button for junk mail on your computer. When you do this regularly, you create more memory on your computer. Meditation has been proven medically to help your mind destress. Practicing mindfulness daily is easier, to be grateful for every little thing that can be taken for granted. Again, this exercise of the mind, trains the brain to refocus and search for the positive things in your life.
Live in the NOW
What is living in the NOW? It means to live for today, to value and appreciate everything that today brings you. From the moment you wake up, to the time you go to bed, every second, every minute, every hour offers you daily gifts that most of us take for granted. We are too caught up with what happened yesterday, last week or longer. This is living in the past, when you should actually be living in the present.
You cannot change what happened yesterday, so don’t waste your time worrying about it, all it creates is a negative cycle that you revisit in your mind or discuss with others. This will release adrenaline (your fight & flight response) but as you are not burning it quickly off, you store it as lactic acid, it then builds in your muscle groups, eventually leading to pain.
The more you live in the past or worry about the future, or both, the more you train your brain to focus on negative things without realising it. It’s easy to break this cycle, all you need to do is appreciate every little thing you have today, from the clothes you wear, the home you live in, the family you have, the food you eat, the job that helps pay the bills, the list is endless. Remember, there is always someone else worse off than you, so count your blessings daily. This has been proven to help reverse your thinking pattern and allow the brain to begin to look for more positive things than negative.
Just doing some of the above will help you make steps towards a pain free life.
To find out more about Sophia’s treatment, click here. Reader’s of HalimaBobs get 10% off treatment, subject to availability.
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About the Author
I’m not a makeup artist, chef, lifestyle guru or stylist. I’m just me. And like you, I’m trying to make the best of most things, only I’m sharing my warts-and-all thoughts along the way.