50 Bob Charles Drive, 
Botany Downs, Auckland

Tel 021 95 95 95
or 09 273 7092


May/June 2004


Of the 200 different kinds of primates in the world, humans are the only ones with a non-grasping first toe.  Since we are no longer tree climbers, our foot has lost its hand-like capabilities in order to become a platform for an upright body.  This does not mean, however, that the toes were designed to be inactive.  A baby's foot has twenty times the toe-grasping capacity of a shoe-wearing adult.  And in shoeless cultures, people retain the prehensile abilities of their feet throughout adulthood, using them for sewing and even threading needles. 

What is so special about breathing???

We breathe in , we breathe out, repeat. For life.  Pretty simple isn't it?  Or is it?

According to Dr Peter Maffetone, the proper breathing pattern is as follows:

Upon inhalation, the abdominal muscles relax and are gently pushed out, allowing the diaphragm muscle to lower.  There is also a simultaneous but slight extension of the spine.  Exhalation involves contracting, or pulling in of the abdominal muscles, with slight flexion of the spine.  The chest should move very little during normal breathing and should expand only during forced inhalation and only after the abdominal muscles have relaxed.

The problem is that most people breathe just the opposite.  They pull their abdomen in when breathing in, and raise their chest.  As a result, less air is taken into the lungs and less carbon dioxide is removed.  This can be a cumulative stress over time on the entire body system, especially those muscles involved in respiration.

Shallow chest breathing results in the overworking of chest and neck muscles.  As we tend to shallow chest breathe when under stress, this often leads to headaches and a general feeling of tightness in the neck and shoulders as the muscles become overworked.

Massage is one tool that is useful in helping people become aware of their breathing, by increasing awareness while providing some quiet time for the mind and body.  And of course there is nothing quite like a massage when it comes to addressing those tight spots in the neck and shoulders.

Leppin Sport

Botany Muscle Therapy can now source the Leppin Sport range of supplements and sport fuels, at competitive prices. 

Popular among those doing the Body for Life or 12 Week Challenge programmes, Leppin Advanced Thermogenics are available in 60 or 120 capsule bottles.

The Clinic will be closed during the first week of July.  I'm going to be in Australia checking out some potential new products for the clinic.  And my trip just "happens" to coincide with the running of the Gold Coast Marathon and Half Marathon J.

As usual, Cushla, Kent & Yoshi will be looking after things at home.  If you want to contact me during this time, please leave a message on my mobile rather than the land line as I will be clearing mobile messages while I'm away.

The duathlon series has started - check out www.duathlon.co.nz . These events are held in South Auckland, and consist of a run, bike, run, with a choice of long or short distance.

The Christchurch Marathon and Half Marathon was run on Queens Birthday weekend and congratulations to the Botany Muscle Therapy clients who took part - you both had great results!  

The Okoroire Fun Ride, which has a 40k and a 70k option, is scheduled for 25 July - pick up an entry form from the clinic.  The ride doesn't have the slick razzle dazzle approach of the larger events and there is no electronic chip timing, but the people are great, everything is well organised, there is hardly any traffic on the course and its a nice ride.  For the second year running I'll be providing the post event massage and I look forward to seeing all you hardy winter cyclists down there.

There is an awesome cycle event being held during late September.  The Manukau City Veterans Cycle Club are holding a 3 day cycle tour around the East Cape, a fundraising ride for the Gisborne Cancer Society.  Catering for around 50 riders, Its not for the fainthearted, with each day being over 120k of hilly riding, but if you are fit and well prepared, you'll love it.  Check out www.e-ventures.co.nz for further details and I have entry forms here at the clinic.  Once again I'll be on the tour, providing first aid if required (we hope not) and post ride massage at the end of each day.

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