v How Does Dry Needling Differ From Acupuncture?

How does dry needling differ from acupuncture ? Besides the tool itself ‘the needle’ dry needling does not share the same theoretical principles as traditional Chinese acupuncture (TCM). TCM holds a long standing, highly valuable position in the medical world spanning more than 2000years. Instead dry needling derives from western medical science, requiring the practitioner to have undergone formal medical training ie, physiotherapists, chiropractors, sports therapists. Dry needling is taught within the framework of western musculoskeletal diagnosis as oppose to altering or redirecting the flow of Qi ( energy) along meridians as applied in TCM practice. Dry needling is a modern, evidence-based technique.  It is fast becoming the ‘patients choice ‘in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries.



Clarins and Microbeads


There has been a great deal of publicity in the national press recently with regard to microbeads in products.

Clarins ceased manufacturing microbeads in December 2014 and now uses natural replacements. Not all skincare companies have taken this step so you can be rest assured that no Clarins products contain microbeads.

See below the official statement from Clarins…

As a leading cosmetic house, Clarins greatly values its image as being a leader in social responsibility and will continue to work tirelessly to offer the best products in terms of safety and efficacy for our customers, together with the sustainability for our planet and our environment.

Last year, concerns were raised about the usage of plastic microbeads in cosmetic products for their exfoliating properties. While they are completely inert, very effective and extremely well tolerated by the skin, in view of the known impact that plastic micro particles have on the environment, we ceased manufacturing products containing this ingredient in December 2014.

We can confirm that Clarins research has found an alternative to substitute micro beads with more respectful components. The new component is cellulose, which is 100% natural, as well as being equally efficient, perfectly tolerated and maintaining our stringent quality and safety requirements.

Why not change to Clarins?

One of the few luxury brands with a clear policy on ingredient sustainability. “The plants we use must be safe and efficient,” says Lionel de Benetti, head of research and development at Clarins, “but we also do a serious investigation into the possible consequences of harvesting. If the plant belongs to a rare species, or if it is a major source of food for local people, we will not use it”. In 2000, Clarins was given top marks in Ethical Consumer magazine’s report Because I’m Worth It? – “We as indigenous people must protect our knowledge, our intellectual property and our heritage” says Dr Richard Walley, chairman of Songman Circle of Wisdom.

Blog by Vicky Thomas – A Class Above Clinic



There’s no I in team

I dedicate this blog to all the runners, cyclists and gym goers who very occasionally lack motivation to get out and get the miles in.
Now I consider myself very good company!
I am with myself every minute of the day very and I’m loquacious hence can talk the hind leg off a donkey 
As a busy mother, wife and full time business woman those dark winter mornings can prove a motivational blip even to us veteran runners
This winter I was asked to join up with two fellow hardcore runners and clients to take part in The Cumbrian Commotion in Lake District 
The legendary duo Lesley Parry and Tina McKay 
Now these ladies ran The Polar Circle Marathon in 2013 so now the pressure to get fit was really on for me this winter 
The team challenge involves10k of trail running (easy peezy 10k you say? 
Have you seen those hills)?
20k mountain biking, do-able but again it’s not going to be flat. 
And surely the fact that the event would merely be my second time on a mountain bike wouldn’t get in the way too much? Would it?
Then a welcome leg rest in a three woman kayak across Conniston water, with myself ‘chief blagger’ at the helm, perfectly coxed by Lesley “just row you two”Parry  & Tina Pocahontas McKay taking up the rear…. (of the kayak) 

Christmas behind us I knuckled down to some moderately serious fitness, incorporating circuits, speed sessions and the trusty old ‘long run Sunday’
I always intended to dust the cobwebs off my hybrid bik. I Even got it out of the garage one day ! but it rained so, back it went to be leaned up against the shelves of old paint and umpteen other bikes the kids have outgrown and I’ve never got around to selling.

Long run Sunday seemed the best option to build up stamina for the event. 
Fortunately for me a friend was training for her first marathon ‘The London’ and early Sunday morning runs worked for us both.
Starting at a steady 9 miler first week In January we pounded the pavements and chatted constantly ( well I did and Natalie nodded)
As the Sunday’s went on we increased gradually by a mile a week, becoming fitter and still enjoying it.
Another first time marathoner and friend jumped on board in February and our two became three. More varied conversation, more laughs and conversations about niggling injuries, recovery, and tactics. The highlight of the last few miles are always how much Sunday roast we are going to consume and what’s for pudding ?
Last week my amazing business partner and veteran runner needed 20m on her programme therefore our Sunday three became four

You see a pattern emerging here?
Four individuals, with varying abilities, speed and running / fitness experience coming together to support and motivate one another. 
When fatigue sets in, and the injury niggles become a major personal tragedy that’s the time one person in your group will step up to the mark and keep you going

If you don’t have a large group of likewise fit friends then local running clubs can be an answer to your winter training lethargy.
Group / club runs also offer safety in numbers, a factor not yet discussed in this blog.

The Cumbrian Commotion Event arrived 21st March 2015 ‘D Day’ 
Had I trained enough not to let the other team members down? Still regretting only training on two feet instead of two wheels we set off. 
We did very well considering, our age category and the fact that 98% of competitors were male and fearless on the downhill stretches . ( I however opted to carry my bike down said sections and ensure I arrived in clinic for my clients not nursing a broken clavicle) 
My finest quality of demonstrating humility in the face of adversity was grossly compromised at times, only offering humour to my team mates
But we did it, 3.48hrs of varied terrain, challenges and lots of smiles and it was all over.
Just by chance the Conniston 14m road race was held on the same day, meaning most of the Grimsby & Cleethorpes running fraternity were also in Ambleside.
These guys set the standards for group running in our local area. I knew many of them but enjoyed putting faces to names I had heard so much about. The running club values are to support, motivate and accept individuals regardless of age, sex and ability. These values are equally as important in training sessions, cheering at the finish line of a race and of course post race drinks in the bar. 

I’d spent my winter months training with friends and competing with friends, life doesn’t get much better than this.
Thank you all for everything, and to my two special first time marathon runners, I will be eagerly awaiting your text as you cross the finish line on 26th April 2015

Roll on spring and many more new challenges ahead

Thanks for taking the time to read
Marie Genney
A Class Above Sport Therapy