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1805, 2017

Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

By |May 18th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

Osteopathy – hands-on therapy for your child

‘As the twig is bent, so grows the tree’ ~ William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) founder of cranial osteopathy

Osteopathic philosophy is based on the idea that the body works best when it moves as nature intended.

FROM THE BEGINNING

Birthing is physically demanding for the baby due to structural adaptive changes that take place. These structural changes are usually self-correcting soon after birth, but not always, leaving behind varying degrees of potentially problematic restrictions.

During birth the bones of the skull overlap and a significant amount of force goes though the baby’s neck, potentially irritating the nerves in the upper neck. These nerves interconnect with digestive function as well as muscles and joints of the head and neck, potentially contributing to issues such as colic or constipation, headaches and neck pain. Limited neck movement in a baby can lead to a many other issues, including feeding problems and flat spots on the head. Pressure on the forming skull can also lead to trouble sleeping, irritability and recurrent ear infections.

As children grow, other problems may become apparent due to earlier stresses and strains and the rough and tumble of childhood. The rapid growth spurt of puberty, the effects of sports activities, hunching over computers or carrying school bags, can also place extra demands on a child’s body; which if left untreated may lead to pain and functional difficulties later in life.

THE ROLE OF THE PAEDIATRIC OSTEOPATH

For these reasons, a visit to a paediatric osteopath is worth considering after birth or later. Health is the most important thing that we wish for children.

Osteopaths are trained to assess and treat musculoskeletal stress and strain in the body.  Osteopathic training involves a […]

2504, 2017

Static Pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

By |April 25th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Static Pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

Static pull-ups – Key to neck and shoulder health

“You can’t fire a cannon from a canoe.”

This expression, refers to the fact that the production of great force requires a solid platform — a concept that holds as true for the human body as it does for artillery.

The scapula is commonly known as the “shoulder blade”, and rests on the upper portion of the back. The role of the scapula muscles is critical in the stability and mobility of the neck and shoulder joint as the shoulder girdle is held in position by muscle tone (levator scapula and trapezius muscles attach to the neck bones).  The scapula serves as a foundation from which the shoulder or arm can generate force. Inadequate shoulder stability and strength is common with daily sitting, hunching the back and forward head posture, these muscles get weak and drastically underused. Abnormal scapular biomechanics predispose the neck and shoulder to injury, pain, stiffness and headaches.

Appropriate exercises that help the scapular muscles do their jobs better are so important for improving motion and decreasing pain. The isometric (static) pull up can help you improve your posture, reduce neck and shoulder dysfunction, increase shoulder girdle stability, increase your overall strength and overcome a plateau in many of your lifts. Pull ups use all the muscles in your forearms for grip, your biceps, upper back, shoulders and trunk muscles. It can take a considerable time to build the necessary strength to perform a pull up and the isometric pull up is a very important first step.  An isometric exercise, is a static exercise. So rather than lifting yourself up and down, you just hold yourself on the bar.

Any stable platform can be used a […]

2504, 2017

Osteopathic treatment for fertility

By |April 25th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Osteopathic treatment for fertility

Osteopathic treatment for fertility

While modern technology enables doctors to enhance parts of the conception process, the price tag is high and investigations do not always find the reason for infertility. However, in recent years, health care consciousness is shifting from medical procedures and pharmaceutical-driven methods to healthy natural approaches for the treatment of infertility.

Osteopathic treatment combines an extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to restore structural freedom in the tissues, enhance fluid flow throughout the body, and create the optimal environment for nature to take its natural course.

How can your structure affect your physiology for reproductive health and fertility?

Your structure is your anatomy – bones, muscles, fascia, ligaments, tendons, organs and different systems down to your cells. The position and mobility of your musculoskeletal framework and internal organs may influence the normal functioning of other body’s systems – neurological, circulatory, lymphatic and hormonal.

Structures of the body

An osteopath will consider all the structures of the body and how their ability to move effectively and efficiently affects reproductive health.

The uterus is a mobile organ which is bent and tilted forward, its position depends on whether the bladder and intestines are empty or full as it sits between the two. The uterus can become compressed by buildup of waste matter (constipation) in the colon which has the potential to effect venous drainage leading to pelvic congestion. Ligaments attach the uterus to the pelvic bones and maintain its position. If your pelvis is out of alignment or if there is abnormal tension in the pelvic floor muscles this may impact on your uterus. If it is inhibited in its motion, this will affect fluid flow and tissue health,causing difficulties with implantation and possibly placental problems.

The fallopian tubes extend […]

2803, 2017

Scrum Posture for Children.

By |March 28th, 2017|media|Comments Off on Scrum Posture for Children.

Scrum Posture for Children.

“The scrum and the tackle are the two really contentious areas of the game. If you get those two aspects right, most rugby matches will work in your favour.” Alan Lewis – Rugby union referee

Safety in the scrum is of absolute importance in the game due to the potential for neck and lower back spinal stress. Spinal dysfunction, associated nerve irritation and poor posture impact on muscular function, key for strength, speed, flexibility, coordination and agility all of which are important for a player to perform at their best and to avoid injury. Scrums require technique and are about the individual getting themselves in the right position and not just size. In the scrum, good posture is vital.
Every individual must maintain a good body position that keeps their spine in the best possible position to tolerate compressive loads and better transmit force. The spine must remain in a neutral position whilst retaining natural spinal curves but avoid being flexed or rounded. A rounded spinal position not only reduces the transfer of force through the scrum, but also compromises the health of the spine and risks injury. Equally the spine should not be forced and loaded into extension as this is never a healthy position for the spine.

Aches and pains in the back should not dismissed as just part of the game in rugby or any other sport as this may lead to chronic issues, especially if untreated. Because of growth, young sports persons are susceptible to injury, particularly during the growth spurt of adolescence. Back pain is often misunderstood and no one should just ‘grin and bear it’ by just taking medication.

By getting children scrummaging correctly with good posture they are more […]

2102, 2017

Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

By |February 21st, 2017|media|Comments Off on Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

Cycling Neck & Shoulder Pain

“45 per cent of cyclists suffer from chronic neck pain, which is often worse after a ride”

Wilber et al. 1995

Cycling posture requires bending forward at the low back and hips and maintaining the neck in an extended position to see the road ahead. This unnatural cycling position puts a lot of pressure on the junction between your neck and upper back due to the neck joints compressing against each other which may lead to neck irritation. Looking over your shoulder for traffic and the vibration from the road travelling  along the arms to the neck may be uncomfortable.

Riding with the arms and the weight of the head (typically 5kg) held forward for hours at a time may cause neck and shoulder tension which can cause fatigue and neck pain when cycling long distances. Cycling induced symptoms may include stiffness and discomfort in your neck and/or upper back, headaches, migraines, jaw pain, shoulder muscular aches, pins and needles in your arms and finger tingling.

Neck pain is often maintained by poor posture and weak shoulder girdle mechanics when on the bike. The problem with a bike posture is that it accentuates a poor forward head desk bound posture.

Heavy exertional breathing causes the accessory breathing muscles (scalenes) on the front of the neck to be overused and chronically tighten up. As we fatigue the flexed/hunched posture of the lower and upper back becomes more pronounced affecting the thoracic spine, rib cage and shoulders which then leads to an increase in extension in the neck to look forward.

The body is very good at compensating for slight postural strains or muscular imbalances and it can be a while before the problems manifest as pain. If you have […]

2301, 2017

THE RULE OF THE ARTERY IS SUPREME

By |January 23rd, 2017|media|Comments Off on THE RULE OF THE ARTERY IS SUPREME

“THE RULE OF THE ARTERY IS SUPREME”
“When blood and lymphatics flow freely, the tissues can perform their physiologic functions without impedance. With the occurrence of trauma (physical or emotional), the tissues contract, twist, and compress. The fluid flow becomes obstructed.”     Dr. Andrew Taylor Still.
Blood flow is highly important for the overall health of the body. The tissues that get the best blood flow are the healthiest. The importance of a good circulation of good blood in the preservation of health and in recovery after injury has been emphasized from the first teachings of Dr. A. T. Still who founded osteopathy in 1874 to the present time.
Normal function within the living systems of our body depends on healthy movement. Our biology is always in motion down to the smallest particles within our cells. For the body to work optimally, it needs to nourish its cells and to remove waste products produced by them. This is done mainly by the arterial and venous systems and additionally the lymphatic system. When parts of our anatomy don’t move as nature intended our physical structure becomes dysfunctional and subsequent stasis (stagnant pond)  results, that the body’s physiology becomes less effective and this creates an environment where disease or symptoms may occur. Bearing in mind the body is made up of a high percentage of water it is worth considering are you a flowing river or a stagnant pond and what impact does this have on your health?

Tight muscle and extensive fascial adhesions which wind their way through the body may restrict movement, the blood vessels traveling through those structures may be under disproportionate pressure, reducing the flow of blood in this vessel. The organ or tissue being supplied by this […]

1711, 2016

Wall Sits: Good or Bad? Do wall sits do anything?

By |November 17th, 2016|media|Comments Off on Wall Sits: Good or Bad? Do wall sits do anything?

Wall Sits: Good or Bad?

“The mechanical principles on which Osteopathy is based are as old as the universe.”

—Philosophy of Osteopathy

A ‘wall-sit” is where you lean your back against the wall and hold thighs parallel to the ground in a squat position, or you have a ball against the wall and you move into said wall position. The ‘wall-sit” is a very common exercise used by athletes, coaches, exercise instructors and fitness enthusiasts. Some people use it as a step down from a full squat as they may feel uncomfortable with a barbell on their back, or even doing unassisted bodyweight squats, so they revert to this version.

Some people assume the “wall-sit” is a beneficial exercise. Leaning against a wall or a stability ball doing a static (isometric) exercise held for time is the main issue.  The “wall-sit” exercise is quad dominant which is a muscle group designed to extend the knee but the quads are intended to activate and relax and not stay contracted. Apart from select athletes (i.e. skiers and jockeys) or in rehabilitation wall sits may not be the best use of your time. Using a muscle in a manner in which it was not designed creates faulty neuromuscular movement patterns and may result in muscular imbalance. Doing isometrics on the core or scapular stabilizers for example would be appropriate and encouraged. You want these muscles on and holding with endurance. Isometric exercises can be effective but nature’s design suggests using them on stabilizing muscles not prime movers.

There are certain scenarios where the “wall-sits”/stability ball squats may be used for rehabilitative purposes. The concept of the wall sit is to strengthen the muscles to help you perform squats if your knees hurt.  Many […]

1909, 2016

You’re only as young as your spine

By |September 19th, 2016|media|Comments Off on You’re only as young as your spine

You’re only as young as your spine

“If your spine is inflexible and stiff at 30, you’re old. If it is flexible at 60, you’re young.  A man is as young as his spine.”                                                                                                                                                                       Joseph Pilates

A key difference between a youthful individual and an aged individual is the ability to move correctly. Mobility is a vital ingredient to spinal and bodily health. The spine contains the spinal cord, which is part of the central nervous system which conveys vital information from the brain to all body parts via the peripheral nervous system. A spine with too little or too much movement may interfere with the transmission of nerve flow to the associated body tissues and therefore impact on the local physiology and function. Movement also supplies fluid and nutrients to the intervertebral discs (IVD). The IVD is located between the vertebrae and serves as a shock distributor. Spinal movement increases blood flow to the IVD is the key to a healthy IVD.

The activities and postures that you use in your daily life are either promoting a functional spine and good health or creating a negative impact on your health and moving you towards a degenerative spine. It is our inactive lifestyle that is […]

108, 2016

Mindfulness Meditation Improves Emotional Intelligence

By |August 1st, 2016|media|Comments Off on Mindfulness Meditation Improves Emotional Intelligence

Why train Emotional Intelligence (EQ)? Jobs such as those in sales and customer service in which emotional competencies obviously make a big difference, we already intuitively know. What surprised Google was they discovered that this is true even for individual contributors in the tech sector, namely engineers whom would expect to succeed purely on intellectual prowess. It turns out that the top six competencies that distinguish star performers from average performers in the tech sector are:

Strong achievement drive and high achievement standards
Ability to influence
Conceptual thinking
Analytical ability
Initiative in taking on challenges
Self-confidence

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is twice as valuable at IQ.
Four out of the six are emotional competencies. Top two are EQ
So how do we train emotional intelligence? It turns out the first step is Attention Training. The idea is to train attention to create a quality of mind that is calm and clear at the same time. That quality of mind forms the foundation for emotional intelligence. The simplest and most effective way to train ones attention is with mindfulness meditation. So what is mindfulness? Mindfulness, is the ability to see what’s going on in our heads, without getting carried away with it. It’s the capacity to feel sensations even painful ones without letting them control us. Mindfulness means being aware of our experiences, observing them without judgment. Responding from a place of clarity and compassion, rather than fear, insecurity, or greed. Mindfulness is proving to be more important than ever.

James Godwin has been in the Tech space for over 25 years and practising Tai Chi for just as long. When needing more focus or creativity or simply needing to manage stress, he would disappear outside for a little Tai Chi. Colleagues noticed […]

1607, 2016

Never lift and twist – Rotational deadlifts – Windmills

By |July 16th, 2016|media|Comments Off on Never lift and twist – Rotational deadlifts – Windmills

Never lift and twist            

“Avoid repetitive lumbar flexion as it has been shown to be the damaging mechanism leading to herniations as the nucleus inside the disc breaches the annulus layer by layer with progressive delamination of the layers.”                 (Callaghan and McGill 2001, McGill et al. 2007, Tampier 2007)

It is natural to use spinal rotation to reach across to grab something but it is unlikely that anyone would repeat these functional movements several times in a row through a full range of movement. But what happens when we bend, lift and add rotation with some sort of a load?

Twisting of the spine affects the discs and spinal joints. Twisting causes the collagen rings of the spinal lower back disc to strain and degenerate whilst the load bearing ability of the disc is substantially reduced with twisting. Rotation, increases the lumbar muscle activation resulting in greater spinal compression on the discs that are already weakened in their twisted state. Additionally, rotation of the spine can cause spinal joint compression which may cause these joints to lock. These movements may initiate spinal degeneration leading to rupture of a disc and cause lower back problems.

Disc herniations are essentially repetitive-use injuries that occur gradually over time. Too many backs are injured by inappropriate training that follows current fads or traditional strength training regimens without understanding the biomechanics of the spine. Some people may round their backs when an exercise involves bending over, twisting and lifting. Such as rotational deadlifts, sandbag twists, windmills etc. Also a lot of people who use great form in all exercises and then pick up dumbbells off the floor with a rounded back. 

No matter what the exercise, make sure you keep your back […]