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 How a trip to Mount Haven, Penzance healed my back pain

I write this on the train returning to London after a weekend in Penzance where the impossible happened – the year-long pain in my back vanished. It all started when I fell off a surf board at Sydney’s Bondi Beach (not cool). When I emerged from the waves (they weren’t even big, I’m ashamed to say) I felt an unusual sensation in my upper back and neck and by the time I had reached the shore everything had frozen up. It was the type of pain that you get when you wake up having slept funny, or pick up the shopping bags to quickly and something just snaps (at least that’s what it feels like) – its utterly excruciating, totally debilitating and when it eases it puts the fear of god in you that at any moment it could come back.

I have been living with a slight pain in my upper back ever since I had the accident a year ago now. I can feel it when I get dressed, when I laugh, when I run and when I stretch… All the blinking-time in other words. That was until I met Sam at Mount Haven.

I came down to Cornwall’s Marazion coast for the Festival of Sport, a weekend dedicated to games, races, triathlons and some live music in the evening. And it was when I was trying to book myself into a hotel called Mount Haven that I found out about the lovely treatments they offer – they couldn’t find me a room but would I be interested in a massage? Why, yes, I would. And that was that.

A few words on Mount Haven itself; run by husband and wife team, Mike and Orange, it’s cosy, relaxed, yet stylish, and every bit lives up to its name. As you step in the door, you are greeted by the calming smell of incense. I was then introduced to Sam, my masseuse, who also revealed she was an osteopath. When she asked me if I have any particular problems I told her my surfing accident story. Sam then took a look at my back and diagnosed me with scoliosis – a common condition that means my spine is slightly curved. She also felt the area that has been causing me pain and said confidently that she thought she could help.

As I lay on the bed Sam pressed on particular points around my upper back and as she did I felt a sharp stabbing pain that, after a few seconds, began to gently ease as though she was taking the pressure off. This is because given enough time the ‘trigger points’ in the tissue, which are lacking blood supply and consequently are in a state of spasm, send a message to the brain, which in turn sends a signal back to the tissue to release. Also, when the pressure is released the tissue is flooded with fresh blood containing the oxygen and nutrition that the tissue needs to stay functional and healthy. It felt unbelievable. Afterwards my back felt lighter and so much more at ease. I had finally found someone that had actually made a difference, three doctor appointments, 10 physio sessions, and 11 massages later.

As I said, I am now on the train home and it feels like a completely different journey to the uncomfortable one on the way out in which I had to adjust my seating position every ten minutes. This is great news as I may just have to take another trip down to Mount Haven very soon.

Find out more about Mount Haven here: http://www.mounthaven.co.uk. They are currently running a special offer on their “Time to Transform Getaway Breaks”. If you have a back problem and want some advice on the best way to deal with it you can contact Sam at [email protected]