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Wellbeing

At St Helena, we aim to improve people’s wellbeing by focusing on their physical, emotional and spiritual needs, bringing comfort and relief to all those who need it.

Listed below are a number of resources which have all been either created or recommended by our teams as suitable for our patients, their families and carers, as well as our staff and volunteers. 

Mindfulness and meditation videos

Watch on YouTube
 

Weekly virtual Sunday service videos

Watch on YouTube
 

Chair based exercises

We demonstrate some chair based exercises you can complete at home. Participation is at one's own risk. If you have any pain or feel unwell stop exercising immediately and seek medical advice. 

Relaxation technique

In this video we'll lead you in a guided relaxation technique. Please refer to our anxiety management leaflet for advice regarding preparing to relax.

Self massage techniques

You could try these techniques at home, or in the office, either on your own or with the aid of someone you live with. Most of these techniques can be performed with your hands. Others may require items such as a tennis ball, foam roller or a trigger point massager. St Helena's complementary therapist, Jenni Homewood, recommends the following techniques, as advised by Dr Oliver at Back Intelligence.

Buttocks/hip self massage
Trigger points in your gluteal muscles can be uncomfortable, try this simple technique for pain relief.

What you’ll need: a massage ball/tennis ball 
(Please note any use of massage tools such as theracane, massage balls and rollers, can be deep and painful and would not be recommended for those with extreme weight and muscles loss, and we would recommend that you discuss any use of such with your GP and healthcare support worker.)

How to do it:
  1. Begin in a seated position on the ground with your knees bent. 
  2. Position a tennis ball under your right buttock and rest your hands on the ground behind your back. 
  3. Lift your right leg off the ground and roll in small circles on the ball, placing more attention on areas that are tender. 
  4. Perform this exercise on the left.
Chest/pecs self massage
If you have rounded shoulders from sitting at a computer all day or from poor posture, you likely have trigger points in your pectoralis muscles. The following will teach you how use a trigger massager to relieve pain and correct shoulder positioning. 

What you’ll need: a trigger point manual massager like a Thera Cane
(Please note any use of massage tools such as Thera Cane, massage balls and rollers, can be deep and painful and would not be recommended for those with extreme weight and muscles loss, and we would recommend that you discuss any use of such with your GP and healthcare support worker.)

How to do it:
  1. Grab the hook of the Thera Cane and position the knob in the grove just below your collarbone. 
  2. Apply downward pressure on hook to help release the trigger point.
  3. Move the hook to apply the pressure at different angles to work the whole muscle. 
  4. Perform on both sides.
Foot self massage
Running, jogging and prolonged walking can be torturous for your feet. By the end of the day, your feet may be aching so badly that you want to scream. The good news is that your foot pain can be relieved with this simple exercise.

What you’ll need: a massage ball/tennis ball
(Please note any use of massage tools such as Thera Cane, massage balls and rollers, can be deep and painful and would not be recommended for those with extreme weight and muscles loss, and we would recommend that you discuss any use of such with your GP and healthcare support worker.)

How to do it:
  1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet bare or with a sock on. 
  2. Position the tennis ball under your foot. 
  3. Roll back and forth from heel to toe using firm pressure. 
  4. If you come across a painful or tender area, work the knot out by rolling in small circles. 
  • Do this exercise on both of your feet. 
  • To add more pressure, try performing this technique while standing.
Hand self massage
Whether you sit at a computer typing all day or do a job that involves using your hands repetitively, your hands may be aching at the end of the day. Learning how to self-massage your hands can help to relieve tension.

What you’ll need: your hands

How to do it:
  1. Begin by placing your fingers over your wrist, as if you’re taking your pulse, and apply a side to side pressure across your wrist. 
  2. Move to the heel of your palms and start applying pressure in a small circular motion, working your way from the 'pinky' finger side and moving towards your thumb side. 
  3. Next, grasp the web of tissue that connects your thumb to the rest of your fingers and gently move it up and down. 
  4. Then apply pressure by using a small circular motion to the muscles at the base of your fingers. Next move up each finger using small circular strokes. 
  5. Once you reach your finger tip, gently pull the finger to stretch the joint. Perform on both sides.
Head self massage
Nothing can ruin a perfect day like a throbbing headache. Try this simple self-massage technique to relieve your head pain.

What you’ll need: your hands

How to do it:
  1.  Place your thumbs high on your cheekbones, by your ears.
  2. Gently apply pressure in a circular motion with your fingertips to your temples.
  3. Continue making circles as your move along your hairline, until your fingertips meet in the middle of your forehead.
Leg and IT band self massage
If you tend to move around a lot, you probably have a lot of tightness in your iliotibial (IT) band (along the outer thigh area), which is the band of tissue that runs from your hip to just past your knee. Try this simple exercise for leg pain relief.

Please note the iliotibial band can be very tight and also can feel very painful. Always massage to the threshold of any slight pain, and not beyond. 


What you’ll need: foam roller
(Please note any use of massage tools such as Thera Cane, massage balls and rollers, can be deep and painful and would not be recommended for those with extreme weight and muscles loss, and we would recommend that you discuss any use of such with your GP and healthcare support worker.)

How to do it:
  1. Begin by lying on your side with a foam roller positioned under your hip. 
  2. Use your hands to brace yourself as you slowly roll down from your hip to your knee while rotating your body towards the ground as you move down. 
  3. Slowly roll back to the starting position. 
  4. Perform on both sides.




 
Lower back self massage
Lower back pain is a very common complaint and can be disabling in some cases. Unfortunately, everyday activities such as cleaning and gardening can make your lower back pain even worse. You can alleviate your lower back pain by doing this quick technique.

What you’ll need: a massage ball/tennis ball
(Please note any use of massage tools such as Thera Cane, massage balls and rollers, can be deep and painful and would not be recommended for those with extreme weight and muscles loss, and we would recommend that you discuss any use of such with your GP and healthcare support worker.)

How to do it:
  1. Position a massage ball/tennis ball between your lower back and a wall. 
  2. Move your body up and down, or side to side to find areas of tension. 
  3. Apply a stronger pressure in the tender spots to help release the tension.
Neck self massage
Sitting at a computer all day can make your neck stiff and sore, doing this simple self massage technique will help to relieve tension and ease your pain.

What you’ll need: your hands

How to do it:
  1. Place two or three fingertips on the back of your neck where your neck meets your shoulders.
  2. Apply firm pressure and hold the area.
  3. Release when the muscle feels more relaxed.
  4. Roll your shoulders forwards and back slowly.
  5. Repeat three times.
Shoulder self massage
Poor posture and hunching at a desk all day can lead to rounded shoulders and shoulder pain. Doing this simple self massage technique can help to alleviate your pain.

What you’ll need: your hands

How to do it:
  1. Position the fingers of your right hand over your right shoulder (your upper trapezius - upper shoulder area) will be underneath your palm).
  2. Squeeze your upper trapezius three times and then roll your fingers over the muscle starting from the outside and moving towards the base of your neck.
  3. Repeat on your left side.
 

Links to other useful resources

Apps
 A list of wellbeing apps available to download on iOS and Android devices, some require payment. 

Bright Sky - Apple Store - Google Play Store
Headspace meditation app
Liberate Meditation
Movement for Modern Life
SilverCloud - Apple Store - Google Play Store
Diary Mood Tracker Daylio - Apple Store - Google Play Store
Catch It - Apple Store - Google Play Store
Couch to 5k - Apple Store - Google Play Store
 
Videos
A list of video links 
Hand massage by Jenni Homewood, St Helena complementary therapy team lead
The 'M' Technique, hand and foot massage by Jenni Homewood, St Helena complementary therapy team lead
 
 
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