Jun
23

Can breathing help stress?

How often do you think about how you breathe? The general answer is not much, and that's o.k.! However, breathing has an amazing effect on our deep, primitive brain systems which are responsible for our "fight or flight" mechanism, and we can help to convince these systems that they don't have to be on constant high alert by focussing on breathing. Fight, Flight or Freeze?If you've never come across the phrase "Fight or Flight", put simply it means the response that is ingrained deep in our brain that dictates how we react to a perceived threat to us, and there are 3 elements to it. It helps us to determine if the threat is something we should run away from, or flight from, or whether we can...
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Jun
01

Shockwave Therapy

What is Shockwave Therapy? Shockwave therapy, or Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT), is an effective treatment option for chronic, poor healing issues in the body. The shockwaves are mechanical pressure pulses, not electrical pulses, which create an audible ticking sound thanks to a sound wave produced by the machine. These pulses are aimed over the affected tissue to create physical changes and encourage healing.What conditions is Shockwave used for?Shockwave therapy can be a great treatment if you are still struggling with that chronic joint and soft tissue pain condition and you have tried everything else. Or you just want to get better faster. It has evidence to support its use for:...
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May
23

We're excited to be re-opening!

I'm sure you'll all agree with me when I say it's been a VERY long 2 months of lockdown. For the protection of my own family members, I've had to remain closed during the peak of the virus, but I have been following guidelines set by the Government and the General Osteopathic Council very closely and continuously reassessing the situation. Thankfully, I'm very pleased to say that the clinic will be re-opening as of Monday 1st June 2020, however, there have to be some big changes for the foreseeable future, and I'd like to take a moment to outline those here: - Everyone, without exception, who comes into clinic will need to undergo screening for Covid19 symptoms and potential exposure, and th...
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May
18

Why Does Our Spine Curve?

It's a common occurrence that people come into clinic telling us that they have a 'lordotic' spine or a 'kyphotic' spine, and so I thought it would be good to write a blog about it. When it comes to medical terms, it's totally understandable that people can be worried about them, but as you'll see, the phrases lordosis (or lordotic) and kyphosis (or kyphotic) are actually totally normal findings! A kyphosis is where the spine curves in a 'C' shape that makes us flex forwards. The concave aspect of the C (so the right side of the letter as you look at it on here, the hollow bit) will point forwards and is best used to describe the thoracic spine shape, the upper back with ribs attached to it....
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Apr
27

Foods That Help Fight Inflammation

It's becoming widely accepted that we can change the state of our bodies by changing our diet. There is a plethora of information out there which suggests that we can help some diseases by assessing how prolific our gut flora is. The same is true for inflammation – the foods we eat can help our body fight inflammation or can keep triggering it. Your immune system is an amazing system. It becomes active when it recognises anything that is foreign e.g. an invading pathogen, cell damage or chemical irritant, and creates a biological response to try and remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation can be uncomfortable, but it is showing the process by which the body is trying to heal itself...
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Apr
13

5 quick tips to boost body health

Stretch your body often:Having a sedentary lifestyle isn't great for our health. Our bodies are designed to move frequently. You don't have to do hours of yoga a day to stretch well, some shoulder rolls or ankle rolls can be done sat at your desk, and a quick walk round the office can be good to move your legs! We can all find time to do 5 – 10 minutes stretching a day.Find time for mindfulness – even if it's just 10 minutes:Our busy lifestyles can often drain our energy and leave us feeling like we have no time for ourselves. Take a few minutes daily to just sit and do nothing. Mindfulness can be described as feeling like sitting on a park bench and watching the traffic go past. Allow the t...
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Mar
23

What is Myofascial Release?

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a specific, specialised manual therapy which is often used for the effective treatment, and rehabilitation, of soft tissue and connective tissue aches and pains, tension and tightness. What is myofascia? Myofascia is a connective tissue in the body (commonly called fascia) that wraps around the body. Fascia is made of collagen and acts to stabilise, enclose and separate muscles and other internal structures. Fascia can be classified into 4 layers: Superficial, deep, visceral and parietal. The different layers have different functions and surround different parts of the body.Fascia is flexible and is able to resist large forces placed on it, however, fascia becomes...
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Mar
02

5 Simple Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle

We're all acutely aware that we lead a busy lifestyle, and often we tend to cut corners to "fit everything in" through the day. One of the easiest areas to skip is eating a healthy diet. Here's some quick and simple tips that aren't time consuming but will help you stay healthy...Keep a water bottle with you:Staying hydrated throughout your day is important help keep your tissues in tip top condition. Opt for the more durable glass or steel water bottles, rather than those made of plastic. If it has to be plastic, opt for BPA free ones. Eat at home more often and plan your leftovers:Home cooked food can be far healthier than ready made dishes. By cooking at home we can avoid consum...
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Mar
02

Is your laptop posture friendly?

When people come into clinic with body pain and mention they spend a long time in front of a computer screen, either for work, leisure or both, we always ask about how their desk is set up. A correctly set up desktop can be posture friendly, but with so many people tending to use laptops and tablets, we thought we'd take a look at some things you can do to make them user friendly. Why are laptops bad for our posture?When we use a laptop, we generally position our head so that our eyes are in the best position to see the screen clearly. If the screen is lower than our head height when we're sitting at the device, we will poke our chins forwards and drop our head down to lower our gaze and loo...
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Feb
03

Focus on Runners Knee

We thought it was about time we did another condition based blog, so this time, we're going to look at Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS), which is also known as Runner's Knee. Lets's start with a little anatomy... What is the Iliotibial Band? The Iliotibial Band (ITB) is often looked at as a source of pain to the side of the knee. Let's look at the basics of what it is and where it is first: the ITB is a thick band of fascia that runs down the outside of the thigh. The ITB blends with the Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) and Gluteus Maximus muscles to attach into the crest of the ilium, commonly known as the wing of the pelvis, and at the other end attaches into the outside of the knee through the tib...
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Jan
13

Do you get enough sleep?

It's no secret that we all need sleep for our tissues to heal, we've known about that for a while. Australian scientists and pain specialists Lorimer and Moseley suggest that sleeplessness may contribute to ill health and also to increased sensitivity of tissues. They also say that if we don't get enough sleep the body doesn't get a good enough chance to repair itself. There is a fascinating book by Matthew Walker, entitled Why We Sleep, that if you're interested in the topic is well worth a read. Matthew is a professor of psychology and neuroscience who has been researching what the role of sleep in health and disease is at the University of California for many years. Evidence now suggests ...
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Dec
11

Using self care to reduce stress levels

When life is busy it's easy to forget that taking time out for yourself is vital for your health and well-being. In a society where we all rush around at full speed it can be easy to get caught up in the fast living rollercoaster but what happens when it all gets a little too much?  Our body reacts to stress whether you want it to or not. We have 2 components to the autonomic nervous system which controls our bodies; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.Put in simple terms, the parasympathetic element controls the things we do without thinking, such as our heartbeat, breathing and digestion. On the flip side, the autonomic nervous system controls our 'fight or flight' resp...
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138 Hits
Nov
27

Online Booking and Christmas Openings!

Our big news for November 2019 is you can now book your appointments online with us! (Check us out for getting to grips with technology!) There are lots of benefits of booking online: Book your appointment wherever and whenever you have internet access – The booking system is open 24 hours.Quick, easy booking process that takes under 2 minutes to book an appointment.Never have to wait for a call-back if the reception team is busy on another call.Get a confirmation email straight to your inbox and text reminder the day before your appointment.Option to add appointments directly into your google or iCal calendar. So, if you would like to book an appointment before Christmas or for the New...
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Nov
13

Should you use a foam roller?

Foam rolling is now a well know, popular method of self-massage and you will find them in most gyms and sports enthusiast's homes, but there are dangers to haphazardly rolling your muscles! So far, the few studies that have been done show that foam rolling does not improve performance but may improve muscle tone and reduce some post exercise fatigue. It is important to be clear what your objective is when setting out with your roller. Here's some advice on how to get the best from your foam roller and avoid injury: Choosing a roller; Get yourself a good roller: if you buy cheap you generally get cheap. Cheap rollers will often squash and give after just a few uses and become ineffective...
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Oct
23

Can you beat the winter sniffles?

 It's that time of year where everyone you meet has a cold, and people sneeze and cough and splutter spreading germs in your direction! Sadly, nothing can be done about that, but you can do a lot of simple things to help support your immune system through the cold winter months. Hopefully the information below will give you some ideas to get started... Your Immune SystemThe immune system is the body's natural defence against infections and illnesses that lurk in our environment. Whilst immune function is robust, it is a delicate system that can be quickly tipped off balance by many factors, including stress, poor diet, low mood, tiredness and many other things. Your blood contains White...
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Sep
11

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Our feet are amazing structures. They have a tough, fibrous band of connective tissue under them called the plantar fascia that runs between the heel and the balls of the toes. This tissue is designed to support the foot muscles, prevent the arch of the foot flattening too much and to provide sensory information to the brain about the position the ankle and foot is in. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia is inflamed. In Latin, the term 'itis' means inflammation, so any condition ending in itis is an inflammatory problem. Often, plantar fasciitis causes pain to the heel and the under-side of the foot that is worse in the morning or when you've been standing on your feet for long ...
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Jul
10

Can Osteopathy help my Arthritis Pain?

Arthritis is seen by some people as a scary prospect, but it shouldn't have to be. There are many self care things you can do to help tackle your pain levels and keep you moving. Whilst wear and tear (degeneration) to our joints is a normal part of the ageing process, the pain from arthritic changes can be debilitating, so let's look at some ways you can help yourself. This article will focus only on osteoarthritis, sometimes referred to as OA, rather than other forms of arthritis. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines suggest that manual therapy such as osteopathy can relieve pain, increase flexibility and improve quality of life for people w...
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671 Hits
Jul
10

Avoiding pain when travelling

As the schools close for summer lots of people are beginning to think about going on holiday, but there are a number of things about Summer that can lead to trouble, like heat, insects and bored kids! Yet long, hot summer travelling is right up there amongst the things that aggravate back and neck pain. So, before you head off on your holidays here are some easy but practical tips to keep your back and neck in top shape over the next few weeks: Lighten the Load. Pack as lightly as possible. Don't worry about forgetting something. Chances are that where you're going has shops, so you won't be left stranded. Carrying heavy bags can do more harm than whatever it is you've left behind is wo...
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Jun
18

How do you treat horses with Osteopathy?

Some of our customers come in and are surprised that we also treat horses with osteopathy. Just like us, horses can suffer with back, neck and joint problems and sometimes need a little help! Unlike human practice, the treatment of animals is strictly controlled by the Veterinary Surgeons Order 2015, which requires all therapists to seek express veterinary permission BEFORE they treat an animal. It stands to reason that if a horse has a major injury or is lame you should first of all contact your vet for further advice, but for the purposes of this blog we'll assume the vet is happy with the use of Osteopathy. We know from its use on humans that Osteopathy is an established, recognised syste...
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412 Hits
Apr
15

Rider Biomechanics don't have to me mystifying...

Sometimes, being an Osteopath isn't all about standing in a clinic and treating people. Occasionally, we get to go out into the beautiful countryside and work too! Thanks to Cromwell GB for organising a great clinic on Saturday 13th April 2019,I managed to get out and demo how changing the biomechanics of horse riders can make a big difference to the horse's performance by addressing small asymmetries in their posture and joint mobility. The picture shows a great example of this: by assessing the contact surface between the rider's legs and the horse's side, you can see if there is a symmetrical pattern each side. I was joined by the very clever Stephanie Bloom, a saddle ...
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