50 Bob Charles Drive 
Botany Downs

Tel 021 95 95 95
or 09 273 7092

August 2003




A study published in Intensive Critical Care Nursing 1999 Apr 15:77-82, found that critical care patients who received 5 minute foot massages as a stress-reduction intervention showed significant decreases in heart rate, blood pressure and respirations during the massage. These physiological changes indicated that massage has the effect of increasing the critically ill patients relaxation.

Meet your Soleus

We have five muscles in the calf, the two major ones being the gastocnemius (gas-trock-NEE-me-us) and the soleus (SO-lee-us).  The gastrocnemius is the one you see most often - it looks like it has two halves.  But underlying the gastrocnemius is the soleus, and its main purpose is to plantar flex your foot - ie push down strongly with the front of the foot, like when you point your toes. 

The soleus muscle is sometimes referred to as the body's "second heart" because of its importance in helping pump the blood up from the feet and legs.  To aid recovery after exercise, or if you tend to get light headed when you get up from a seated position, try alternately contracting the calf muscles to keep the blood flowing strongly up the legs.

Straining the soleus muscle is a common sports injury.  While there can be sudden onset of pain, they usually present themselves to you as increasing calf tightness over days or even weeks.  Surprisingly, walking and jogging can often be more painful than hard running.

Pain from the soleus is often referred to the heel, calf and the back of the ankle, and sometimes even to the lower back.  It is sometimes misdiagnosed as achilles pain.  Problems with the soleus can indirectly cause calf cramps when their tightness impedes circulation.

Treatment of soleus pain usually consists massage to generally warm and loosen the muscle, together with friction and trigger point (focussed) work on the "knotty" areas. Stretching and strengthening exercises and icing after exercise is recommended.

As with any injury, it is important that the underlying cause of the injury is  identified and addressed - otherwise a reoccurrence of the injury is almost inevitable.

It is an often asked question, and here is a chance to find out exactly what it is that chiropractors do, the philosophies on which their work is based and what they can or can't do for you.

Botany Chiropractic Centre is holding an open night at 6.15pm on Monday September 8.  Phone them on 272 2353 if you would like to attend.

Here is another great stretch for computer users and anyone who suffers from OOS type problems.  It stretches the pectoral muscles and chest area and surprisingly can often provide relief for pain in the wrist area.

Stand in an open doorway.  Raise your elbows above shoulder height at your sides to form the letter V, slightly flex your elbows, and place your palms against either side of the door frame.  Exhale and lean your entire body forward. Repeat, varying the height of your arms.

If you need a massage while holidaying in the Thames area, or even are just passing through, stop in and see Alan Jones.  I often work with Alan at sports events, and he would have to be one of the best massage therapists I have come across.  Alan can be contacted on 07 868 8758 or 025 546 601.

Another great therapist is Rowena Orange.   Rowena is in the Nelson area and can be contacted on 03 545 8381 or 027 549 3178.

Give your father the gift of relaxation with a Botany Muscle Therapy gift voucher for Fathers Day.  Vouchers can be purchased for a half hour or one hour session.

Been really busy lately?  Been meaning to book in but haven't quite got around to it yet?  If you haven't had a massage for a while, its probably time you did! 

Book online here or  
Phone Rachael on 021 95 95 95 or  
Leave a message on my home phone 273 7092

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Rachael Button
Botany Muscle Therapy
50 Bob Charles Drive, Botany Downs, Auckland