Massage claims….

So. What is massage and how does it work?


If you look on the internet, you’ll find some bold claims about what massage will do. Removing toxins, halting delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), increasing range of movement by lengthening muscles, and realigning scar tissue to name but a few. So can it really do those things?


Probably not.


If you think about it, how can touching the skin remove toxins? How did they get in you in the first place? If you’ve been partying a bit too hard of late and you’re feeling a bit rough because of it, then the best thing you can do to #detox is drink some water, have an early night and let your liver do its job. What massage will do in this case is make you feel more relaxed and possibly create a better environment in your cells for recovery to take place. But nobody is really sure about that.

What about DOMS? Well it’s a physiological event, if you stress your muscles to the point of damage, which is a normal and necessary occurrence, then rubbing the skin won’t make them recover or adapt any quicker. It may, however, make them feel less sore in the short term, via some complex mechanisms that aren’t fully understood. The same is true of increasing range of movement at any given joint. Stretching a muscle or joint, either actively or passively, will increase your tolerance to stretch and allow you to stretch further with less discomfort. Especially if you do it regularly. But it doesn’t add sarcomeres (the contractile unit in muscle cells).


Scar tissue then? When tissue is damaged and a scar forms to repair that damage, the collagen which does that is laid down in a disorganised fashion. As the integrity of the scar increases and healing is completed, that’s pretty much the end product. Gentle massage of new scars is thought to help prevent adherence to underlying structures and there are certainly plenty of people who would testify to this. However, collagen will only organise into any kind of alignment if you load it in the direction it needs to be strong as it is still forming, and you do that by using your joint/limb/body part normally.


So why am I, a massage therapist, telling you that massage won’t do all these things? Because I’m a curious kind of person, I like to know how things work and I question the things I am told or read about.  Massage is a great treatment, it helps a lot of people in a lot of situations and how it does that is very poorly understood. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong in telling people that instead of making stuff up.


Massage probably works on several different levels, from the sensory information of touch that your brain evaluates and responds to by altering muscular tension patterns, to the interaction with the therapist, who hopefully is informative and reassuring. But try not to overthink it next time you’re getting a massage.



Climbing shop


Hello and welcome to In Situ Climbing!


In Situ Climbing was established in August 2016 as a retail outlet with a focus on rock climbing in all its glorious disciplines.  Made possible by the aligning of some planets, a thirst for shiny climbing kit and a frustration at the lack of opportunity to try on climbing clothing (and a gap in the market with demand, sudden availability of premises etc.)


Dunkeld has some superb climbing within walking distance of the town, quality trad and sport climbing can be found on Craig a Barns overlooking the town.  There is also a mix of dry tooling with some sport and trad climbing just along the road in nearby Newtyle slate quarry.  Not only that but traveling from the cities of Scotland (Perth, Dundee, Edinburgh, Stirling etc.) to the Cairngorm mountains (and beyond) – you pass by Dunkeld!

Other outdoor sports have a healthy presence here too.  Mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, canyoning, kayaking, and much more all possible from here – an outdoor hub of the East…move over Fort William.


As this is the blog for a climbing shop in Scotland a fair percentage of content will be about climbing in Scotland but then like most climbers we do other things too.

We will keep you updated with new happenings in the shop – new lines just in and additions to the services we offer.  It will be a place to allow us to pass on our local climbing knowledge, some gear reviews and information about other activities and events occurring in and around the fantastic outdoor playground that is Highland Perthshire.


As an independent store, we have a lot of flexibility in the products and ranges we can bring in, allowing us to cater primarily for the climbing community – in contrast to other stores where climber’s needs can seem like an after-thought.  We try to stock a collection of tried and tested products from proven brands together with new innovations and items you can’t get anywhere else (locally at least!)

Our ever-expanding selection of clothing, equipment and footwear will be of interest to not only climbers and mountaineers but to other outdoor enthusiasts too.   We have an onsite therapy room offering sports massage and a variety of more relaxing massage techniques (availability books up fast so plan ahead!).


Ultimately In Situ Climbing is here to help you and your climbing, whether it’s something new and shiny, advice on where to get out climbing or what to do when you’re not.  You can do social media stuff with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter – we run regular competitions (that require very little effort on your part…).


Got questions?  We will do our best to get some damn answers!  Feedback is always welcome.

Happy climbing.