Fit in my 40s: I can’t sleep through a sports massage – but will it fix my neck? | Zoe Williams

These physios have a heat-seeking ability to locate the source of your ache

Tips for treating muscle pain

If you want to know the difference between a sports massage and a regular massage, you can scour the internet for ever. You will find sports masseurs making snide jokes about candles and whale music, and regular masseurs reminding the world that you don’t need to wear Lycra to understand anatomy. It wasn’t until I spoke to Kate Kahle, a sports massage therapist for 25 years, that I really understood. “Sports massage usually just targets a specific issue,” she said. “A regular massage will be the whole body. So a client might come in with shoulder problems, and as well as looking at the part that’s hurting, I look for the connections too.” In other words: regular massage makes you feel relaxed; sports massage stops things hurting.

I have never been interested in massage: I’ve always taken the opportunity to go immediately to sleep, missed the fabled benefits, then jolted into consciousness at 50 minutes, startled and a bit ashamed, wondering what he or she had to do to wake me up.

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Take each moment as it comes

Drinking tea, eating rice,
I pass my time as it comes;

Looking down at the stream, 
Looking up at the mountains,
How serene and relaxed I feel indeed!

Ch’an master Nan-ch’üan P’u-yüan, c. 749 – c. 835


There is great happiness

in not wanting, 

in not being something, 

in not going anywhere.

J. Krisnamurti. 1895 – 1986

What do we lose when we lose a local bike shop?

As UK rents rise and online retailers eat into their margins, shops struggle to survive

In the early 1930s a young William Laker would cycle the 50-odd miles from his home in Kent to Crystal Palace in south London to visit the woman who would, half a century later, become my grandmother.

There is every chance Grandpa would have popped into the small bike shop at 3&5 Central Hill in Crystal Palace. That very shop remained open for about 97 years, serving generations of cyclists, but in July the current custodian of what is now called Blue Door Bicycles, David Hibbs, announced it is to close its door for good.

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The secret lives of extreme larks: what do people who rise at 4am do with their mornings?

Getting up before dawn is more common than you might think, and can be great for exercise, self-improvement and wildlife watching

A new study suggests that extreme early risers – people who are willingly up by 5.30am – may not just be restricted to a handful of tech CEOs and your annoying cat. Around one in 300 people tracked over nearly 10 years had naturally early awake times, which may not sound that common, but is perhaps unthinkable for anyone who struggles to wake up at 8am.

One of the authors, Louis Ptáček, a professor of neurology at the University of California San Francisco, has been interested in extreme early risers for 20 years, after meeting a woman who would wake at 1 or 2am. He said that it made her miserable and lonely. “She grew depressed,” reports the Atlantic. “Sometimes, she would vacuum at 4am just to fill the time.”

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Afternoon delight: how to have a successful nap

If you are sleep-deprived, and need a healthy siesta, careful planning is key

An afternoon nap is one of the joys of life, although excessive napping could signal all is not well. A new study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, suggests that napping during the day could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Researchers compared the postmortem brains of 13 people with Alzheimer’s to the brains of seven control subjects and found those with the brain disease had a build up of a protein, tau, in areas of the brain involved with wakefulness.

“Some people nap all their life, no problem,” Lea Grinberg, professor of neuropathology at the University of California San Francisco, told the Times. “In some cultures, people will have a daily siesta – this is fine. The warning comes when people start sleeping during the daytime, when they did not before.”

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