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Latest News

Welcome to the new website

I've just got in from walking the dog. It's quite cold so I had areasonable cardio-vascular work-out. However I became aware of out how tightly I was holding my back and shoulders over

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Seasons Greetings

We close for Christmas on Friday 21st December. Any problems or concerns, Please phone the normal number and you will be transferred through to Sian. If necessary an Appointment can be arranged between now and the 2nd Jan when we get back to normal hours.

We wish you a Happy and Symptom free holiday. Try tokeep the good habits and exercises going. It's harder when we're out of routines. And if you do forget for a few days don't despair just pick up the pieces again when you can!

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year. I hope that you've managed to get though the festive period unscathed by virus or accident.

One of the first gentlemen I saw after Christmas had been unfortunate to catch the dreaded norovirus. he had fainted after a prolongued session of vomiting and hurt his lower back. Obviously the first concern was why he had lost consciousness but we felt it was probably due to low blood pressure due to dehydration. Indeed his tissues felt dehydrated under my hands...yes I know only an osteopath...and we got talking about how much liquid do we need for optimum health. The easiest way to see if you taking in enough liquid is to check the colour of your urine. It should be pale and clear. Obviously sweating due to exercise, heat or illness affects our overall water balance. We get water from our food as well as drink, (another reason to eat plenty of fruit and veg which tend to be juicy) so we can finally ditch the 7 glasses water myth, coffee, tea, juice, squash, it all counts. And at risk of sounding like a grumpy old women, unless you are exercising hard, I can see no reason for walking round swigging water out of a bottle in our temperate climate.

Talking of grumpy, if you haven't discovered Grumpy Cat may I suggest you look him up on line. I defy you to kep a straight face.

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Many people return to my practice after the Christmas break a little despondent because they've not done their exercises. If you've been to see me you'll know that I try to give 'functional' exercises that can be done 'any time, any place, anywhere' rather like a certain drink from the '80s. In other words my exercises try to reproduce normal human movement and you rarely need to lie on the floor to do them. The trouble is remembering to get them done. Usually the best method is to tag them to another routine, so for example calf stretches can be linked to brushing teeth, core/pelvic floor work can be done whilst on the phone, walking, waiting for the kettle to boil. Some sitting stretches work very well whilst watching the television (or e mails). So no need to give up. Of Course we get out of routines during a holiday, that's the pleasure of a break, but we can pick up where we left off, and hopefully feel fresh enough to plan just WHEN the exercises are going to get done. You can increase the strength and elasticity of muscles at any age and even after a lifetime of inactivity.

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Phone fixed 15th Jan

The phone was not working earlier but is now fixed

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Move it

Ok quick check, are you sitting comfortably? Are you on the edge of you seat, or at the back, go on have a wriggle to sit supported. Are you curled over a laptop? Do yourself a favour and arch backwards for a moment to stretch between your ribs, let's get some air in, and give your heart and stomach some room to work. Now look to see if your shoulders are in front of your rib cage, and your chin even further forward in that attractive tortoise posture. Try a little experiment. Look to the left and then right. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the back. Now look left and right again, I bet you you had more movement. You'll also have a grateful neck which isn't having to carry the weight of you arms. Job done. Repeat regularly, to improve lung function, digestion, venous return, muscle balance, inter-vertebral disc health and general attractiveness.

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Noisy Joints

A frequent complaint from people is that their joints 'click', 'crack' or 'pop'. The qusestion is whether this is normal or something to worry about, and of course why does it happen. So in quick order yes it seems that it is normal, no don't worry unless the 'click', 'pop', 'grating' is painful. Ask for advice/help maybe from your friendly local osteopath. Pain is your body's alarm system, it's sent to you when your brain considers that you need to reconsider what you are doing. Don't ignore it.

As to what causes the painfree noise..thats a QI 'nobody knows' answer. There are some thoughts that gas can expand into a vacuum caused by joint movement. Sometimes it's not joints but muscles or ligaments/tendons moving over each other. Either way apart from being slightly annoying to some people it's a normal natural human sound. Of course what isn't normal or natural, is when somebody constantly cracks their knuckles or neck. Whilst it's probably untrue that the constant cracking will cause arthritis, it is probably true to say that it's a most irritating habit. (and yet somehow compulsive)

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It seems to have been a long, dark, muddy winter for those of us who prefer to get our exercise outdoors. I'm going on a watersports week just before Easter and all my good intentions about getting fit to do sport seem to have foundered. I've followed my own advice a bit and incorporated a bit of stretching into my daily routine, but as for increasing my cardio-vascular fitness and core strength well it hasn't really happened. It's very difficult sometimes to do the things we know will be helpful. I was pondering over this (another excuse to avoid a core strength session) and I remembered an inspiring clip I saw on You Tube. It's called 23 and a half hours. Do have a look at it, even if you're not the sporty type. I'm off now for a brisk, muddy walk.

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Hurrah, Spring seems to have arrived. Don't trample the kids in the rush to the garden, the bike, the boat, the tennis racket or whatever is your sunshine fancy. And in your rush don't forget that after a long gloomy winter you may not be as fit as you were six months ago. Make sure that you warm up those muscles and joints and pace yourself, better to start gently and build up your fitness than cause an injury which results in another long lay off. Go on, go and have some fun, enjoy the sun on your face.

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I was speaking at a womens'networking group alongside my friend and colleague Lyn White (reverse therapy) last week. We were talking a little about life/work balance but also acknowledging that many people do spend long hours sitting at desks often in front of computers. I took the blog I wrote a while ago about sitting and we went through some exercises which can be done at the desk, my part of the talk was entitled 'sit at your peril.' Before I started I was able to observe my audience and it was so interesting to try to match sitting posture to mood. Somebody in discomfort leaning over to the side was next to somebody who was obviously wishing she hadn't come. Luckily most were sitting forward in expectation of some interesting information although there was some apprehension once I started talking about desk exercises. The point of this piece? Just to say that your face may smile but your body often tells other people how you're really feeling. It is possible to fool people by adjusting your posture but be careful..if you sit and look alert open and interested you will probably end up feeling that way too.

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Frozen shoulders

These frozen shoulders are a menace. Painful and debilitating they really interfere with life's activities and sleep. The onset is usually a mystery, there are often many factors involved including trauma. posture, hormones, genetics and so on. It's not a popular syndrome with therapists either, treatment can be painful to administer and results are not always as good as we would like. To this end I spent some of my Easter break doing a study course on frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) using the Niel Asher technique.

Niel Asher is an osteopath who has developed a system of treatment using osteopathic techniques and trigger points. The treatment is no more painful than the condition and did well in a small trial done with the Rheumatic Research Unit at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. So far I have found the treatment approach to be very helpful even with shoulder problems other than Frozen Shoulder. Of course the anatomy revision never does any harm when it comes to osteopathy. So all in all time well spent during that nasty cold week back in March.

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Pain Killing Magic

Often people are quite surprised when I ask them about pain killing medication and actively encourage them to take it. I think that Osteopathy is still sometimes regarded as alternative medicine rather than complementary. From my point of view I want to get your body as mechanically well as possible. Pain in the short term is the body's protective system and useful, but it can also eventually cause its own problems. For example a chronically painful spine if unused becomes stiff and weak. Social life becomes limited and we often see a downward spiral of less and less activity, enjoyment and optimism. So anything that can help interrupt this should not be ignored.

Consider the idea of taking a regular dose of paracetamol (several doses are much more effective than a one off). That trip to the cinema or walk out becomes possible, still a bit painful but manageable. The trip out lifts the mood, and the pain decreases. The movement through the body sends positive messages to the brain and again the pain messages are 'turned down'. No you're not mended but you've taken control.

All drugs of course have risk involved so always follow instructions on contra-indications and dosage to the letter. Ask for advise. All drugs have stories to tell. Codeine can cause constipation and doesn't work at all for 10% of the population. You should never exceed the maximum dose stated on the paracetamol packet even if you are over 6foot and 'rugby player build'. Anti-inflammatories may actually slow down recovery from an injury if they're taken immediately...... You get the picture, every medicine has pros and cons which are not always well advertised so never just take something your Grandma had in her medicine cabinet (!), but keep an open mind.

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