Junk Food? Only If You Want To Feed Your Pain

 

Most of us eat too much of the food that enhances pain, and too little of the food that reduces pain. Our cells depend on food and water for creating energy, healing and cleansing, but because of the poor food we eat, much of which is highly processed and loaded with additives, we have persistent inflammation, contributing to musculoskeletal pain, arthritis, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, cancer… you name it.

pizza

 

Refined grains, omega 6 fats, too much sugar, and too much dairy – especially milk – all stress the system. Pain caused by too much inflammation damages nerves beyond any injury, and also causes tissue pain in the tendons, ligaments, and joints.

 

Our ancestors were hunters and gatherers, where the soil was rich in nutrients and had not yet been made toxic with chemicals. They ate fresh meat, berries, roots (therefore, a lot of healthy omega 3 oils), plus fruit and vegetables high in antioxidants. They had no processed foods, no wheat, no trans fats, no excess sugar, no omega 6 and no processed dairy. This healthy diet helped to control chronic inflammation, something which plagues our modern day western lifestyle.

To be healthy, we need healthy food and because we are not getting enough, we make too much fibrin, causing too much scar tissue in our tendons, skin, and joints. This then causes arthritis, fibromyalgia, artery narrowing, and poor healing all round.

All this unhealthy, sugary food is prone to cause us to over eat and this in turn means we get too heavy for our height.

fruit

Fatter, faster than any other country

We are becoming increasingly obese and so are our children. We are a fat nation, growing fatter, faster than any country in the world, and because of this, we find ourselves in a major health crisis. It’s normal to want our children to do better than us, but sadly letting our children get fat is doing quite the opposite.

The next generation is not going to live as long as us

It’s not just food which affects the quality of our lives. There are other factors like stress, mindset, lifestyle and exercise and we can help you with all of these. Diet, however, is in your control. Even if you eat a little of the healthier foods, pulling some fresh vegetables out of your garden from well fertilised soil, it is a small start.

By looking beyond the short term gain of the lack of effort in preparing junk food, and instead focus on the long term gains of preparing and eating healthy food, you will be taking an important step to a less painful, less obese and longer life. Not only that, you get the added benefit of a much broader world of gastronomic delights.

If doing this for yourself doesn’t give you enough motivation, at least do it for your children, so they at least may have the chance to live as long as you and have a much better quality of life.

 

If you need some help with your current health, then call us.

 

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

“A non-surgical, non-invasive alternative for pain relief

and musculoskeletal repair.”

Shockwave therapy is a modern and highly effective treatment option in orthopaedic and rehabilitation medicine. The term shockwave refers to mechanical pressure pulses that expands as a wave in the body. 

Radial shockwave was extensively used in mainland Europe for many years before being introduced to the UK. Due to this, radial shockwave is still not commonly available here, but its acceptance is growing, in part helped by gaining NICE approval for some conditions. Our clinic was at the forefront of radial shockwave introduction, following training for Nicky & Alan by an Orthopaedic Consultant who runs a major shockwave clinic in Luxembourg.

Extensive research around the world is continuing to push the boundaries at a rapid pace and many new applications are constantly being developed, so expect more updates in the future.

How does it work?

shockwave

The shockwave is created by firing a high energy projectile into the back of a transmitter, the front of which is in contact with the patient’s body. The projectile is fired repeatedly at a frequency and energy level to suit the particular condition being treated.

The transmitter sends a high energy acoustic wave into the body.

The energy promotes regeneration and reparative processes of the bones, tendons and other soft tissues. Shockwaves are characterised by large changes in pressure.

 

Shockwave is particularly effective in the treatment of:

  • Plantar fasciitis | Policeman’s foot
  • Tendon calcification
  • Adhesive Capsulitis | Frozen shoulder
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Lumbar spasm
  • Shin splints
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Tennis / Golfer’s elbow
  • Iliotibial Band Syndrome
  • Osteoarthritic joint mobility

 

Many patients have come to us with osteoarthritic joints and have felt immediate improvement in joint flexibility. For those who choose not to undergo joint replacement surgery, shockwave offers a maintenance alternative.

No Extra Charge

Typically, radial shockwave is charged at premium prices, sometimes running to hundreds of pounds per session, in part due to the relative newness of the technology in the UK and also due to the high price of the technology.

At our clinic there is no extra charge for using radial shockwave.

 

If you have a problem that radial shockwave could help, then please call.

 

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

Now winter is here and the nights are longer and the air cooler, we tend to be inside a lot more. It’s not so healthy for us and we feel less happy. So here is a healthy lifestyle tip for your workplace backed up with sound research.

plants

 

 

Put some indoor plants in

Repeated studies have confirmed that the presence of potted plants reduces blood pressure, improves reaction times, attendance, attentiveness, productivity, wellbeing, perception of the space and job satisfaction.

 

And it’s not just women that get the benefit. A Norwegian University study looked at the impact in the workplace, found that men generated 15% more ideas with flowers/plants present.

 

In another study, 59 employers were rigorously tested. Having plants in their office resulted in:

  • less health problems
  • 30% to 40% less coughing/dry throat/hoarseness,
  • 25% less skin dryness
  • 20% to 30% less fatigue and headaches.

 

Even just a view of plants through a window was found to help. Imagine all this improvement in your health, just from putting plants into your workplace!

retirement

I want you to imagine that you’re at a party with all your friends. Out of all of these people, how many do you think will still be alive at retirement age? How many will be flat broke? How many will be wealthy enough to help others? If we look at American statistics (which will be similar to our own in the UK), the answers to these questions may surprise you.

Out of 100 people at retirement age, only one would be wealthy. Four would be financially secure. Five would still have to work in order to afford their lifestyle. Fifty-four would be completely broke and thirty-six would be dead.

Only 5% would be able to live healthy lives

 

Now, imagine you’re again looking around at your friends at the party. Only 5% of these people will be able to support themselves enough to live healthily at retirement age. This is why we need a life plan, and this is why we really need to think about where our lives are going. With that in mind, how old do you think your kids will live to? And does it matter where in the world they live?

 

Unfortunately, according to a CIA report, the average life expectancy of children who are born now is not as good as you might think. Broken down by country, people born in Monaco today will have the longest life expectancy of 89.6years. Here in the UK, it is 9.2 years less at 80.4. Right at the bottom of the table, we have South Africa with a life expectancy of just 41.0 years.

 

Health Is A Choice

Life Expectancy Is A Choice

 

This sounds shocking, but it is something that – here in the UK – we have the power to change ourselves, by transforming the way we think, what we eat, how we move, and what kind of lifestyle we choose to have. That’s right – it’s a choice.

 

We can choose to prove those UK figures wrong and live longer, healthier lives, or we can choose to do nothing, and watch as our life spans get shorter and shorter. It’s a decision we can actively make for ourselves, and it’s a decision that we shouldn’t have to spend too long contemplating. If we want to have longer lives, we have to start changing now.

 

Traffic Light Approach to Health

 

At my clinic, I ask my patients to fill in a questionnaire about their current health and their answers are incredibly useful in letting me see where they need to improve their mindset, their nutrition, their fitness and their lifestyle. This is no different to ancient doctors/shamans, who would listen and pray or teach meditation, teach movement, good healthy eating with clean water, and make sure the home and social network was healthy.

I call it the traffic light approach to health because we analyse these areas by seeing if the patient is green (good), amber (room for improvement) or red (poor).

 

These are your fitness keys, and they will tell you where you need to improve.

lights

With this in mind, I have developed four questionnaires – one for each key and these are explained in detail in my first book, The 4 Keys To Health. If you want to get the most out of your health, then absorb the knowledge and implement some of my suggested changes into your life. You should soon start to see your traffic light scores changing from red or amber to green on all counts. When this happens, you are likely to be at your optimal health for your age, which means you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance if a disease or injury should occur.

 

If you would like to find out more about your own fitness keys and get a plan for improvement, then call to see Nicky.

 

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

The rotator cuff is a group of four muscles that work together to provide dynamic stability of the shoulder joint, helping to control the joint during rotation:

  • Supraspinatus
  • Infraspinatus
  • Subscapularis
  • Teres Minor
rotator cuff

The Supraspinatus is a small muscle which you can feel above the bony ridge on the back of your shoulder blade (scapula). It attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus), just below the shoulder joint.  The task of this muscle is to move the arm sideways away from the body for the first 15 degrees. After that other muscles take over most of the load.

The Infraspinatus is a thick triangular muscle, which occupies the chief part of the sculptured dent in the back of the shoulder blade, below the bony ridge.  As one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff, the main function of the infraspinatus is to turn the arm out as in the back hand in tennis, and stabilise the shoulder joint.

The Subscapularis is a large triangular muscle at the front of the shoulder blade, between the shoulder blade and the rib cage. It attaches to the top of the arm bone (humerus) and into the front of the shoulder capsule. Its role is to turn the arm in.

The Teres Minor muscle sits below the Infraspinatus. It is quite a small rounded muscle and its primary task is to stop the arm moving up when it is moved out sideways (abducted). It also helps the Infraspinatus turn the arm out.

TREATMENTS FOR ROTATOR CUFF TENDINITIS

Rotator cuff tendinitis describes the inflammatory response of one or more of the four rotator cuff tendons, due to impingement or overuse, and leading to more and more micro-trauma that can then lead to a tendon rupture.

The inflamed thickening of the tendons often causes the rotator cuff tendons to become trapped under the acromion (the bony projection of the shoulder blade over the shoulder joint) – like a carpet stuck under a door – causing sub-acromial impingement. Failure to heal then leads to further damage. Early treatment of tendinitis, therefore, is vital in order to prevent the development of more chronic and serious conditions.

Treatment can include: first and foremost scapula re-education exercises, postural exercises to lessen the impingement, gentle shoulder mobilisations and massage, aided by local electrotherapy, such as laser, pulsed shortwave, shockwave and deep oscillation. Specific rehab exercises can help guide you back to full fitness.

 

If you have shoulder pain or restricted movement, we can help.

 

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

At least 60% of the UK population suffer from back problems. There are many causes for back pain, and one of those causes is a spine which becomes inflexible. In simple terms, there are 17 vertebral bones from the bottom of the neck to the base of the spine, and if we imagine that each of these should allow an element of rotation and flexibility, then if any of these joints become seized, it begins to cause problems in overall flexibility, resulting in pain.

Physiotherapy is an effective treatment for improving spinal flexibility. However, any therapists ability to manipulate spinal vertebrae is limited by the force and speed which they can apply with their hands over any extended period of time. Research has shown improved results can be achieved at higher cycles per second than is humanly possible. Theraflex robotic spinal manipulation provides the physiotherapist with a powerful technology to manipulate the whole spine at effective speeds with ease.

HOW DOES THERAFLEX WORK?

theraflex

Theraflex has three modes of operation, each of which can be minutely adjusted for force and speed, thus matching the patient requirements exactly:

MUSCLE RELAXATION

On this setting, the device rapidly taps on the muscles either side of the spine. By running this up and down the spine, the physiotherapist is able to stimulate muscle relaxation along the whole length of the spine, quickly and effectively. Most patients find this setting extremely comfortable and relaxing.

REFLEX STIMULATION

The second stage of treatment involves stimulation of the spinal reflexes. This is achieved by a gentle tapping over the full length of the spine, triggering the spinal reflexes to create further relaxation in preparation for spinal manipulation.

VERTEBRAL MANIPULATION

In the final stage of Theraflex treatment, the physiotherapist is able to manipulate each neighbouring vertebrae to move independently of each other, reducing the friction between them. In practice, the treatment mobilises the facet joints between each pair of neighbouring vertebrae. The net result of this treatment is to regain the flexibility in the full length of the spine, as originally intended. To achieve this, several treatments may be required, as each treatment progressively improves flexibility.

WHAT DOES THERAFLEX TREAT?

Theraflex is able to treat a number of conditions, the most common being general stiffness of the spine, but we have also successfully treated:

  • Mild Scoliosis, a mild side flexion in the spine
  • Mild Kyphosis, hump back posture

It also helps with the symptoms of:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Spinal Disc Pain

THERAFLEX AS PREVENTATIVE TREATMENT

As a maintenance treatment, Theraflex helps keep the spine supple and prevents many of the pain problems associated with a stiff spine. For example, golfers have improved their handicap by improving their golf swing smoothness, thanks to increased spinal flexibility.

If you are suffering back pain or a stiff back, then our Theraflex robotic spinal manipulation will help.

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & jean will be happy to help

Can a disc slip? The simple answer is no. It’s a layman’s term that is unfortunately very misleading to the general public.

My disc has slipped out, can you put it back in” is not an uncommon conversation opener on the telephone. Of course, it’s quite difficult then to get the caller to understand that this can’t actually happen.

Let’s look at the spine’s anatomy and in particular the role of the disc.

The spine is made up of 7 cervical (neck) bones called vertebrae, 12 thoracic (middle) vertebrae and 5 lumbar (lower) vertebrae. The top 2 vertebrae in the neck are a little bit different, so putting those to one side, between each pair of the remaining vertebrae there is a disc, the purpose of which is to provide shock absorption and allow movement. The disc itself is attached strongly to the vertebrae and cannot slip out.

Disc Bulge Compressing Spinal Column
Spine

A disc is made up of a tough fibrous structure on the outside, layered in exactly the same way we make cross ply tyres. On the inside there is a soft, crab paste like moist material. As we age this tends to dry out. There are also end plates in contact with the vertebrae. The disc is 70% to 90% water, so making sure you are well hydrated is very important to disc health.

spinal disc

There are two major types of damage to these discs. The first is when the disc is overloaded sufficiently to cause a protrusion, or bulge in the outer wall, as in the MRI above.  This is similar to what you see on the side of a car tyre when it has hit a curb. Sometimes this is referred to as a slipped disc. It’s not possible to just push the bulge back in, but specific exercises can help to relocate this and over time the disc may heal itself.

The second, and more serious damage is when the overload has been sufficient to rupture the outer fibrous structure and force the inner material to squeeze out. This is called a herniated or ruptured disc.

What Are The Implications Of A Disc Bulge Or Herniated Disc?

A disc bulge will cause pain if it is central and compresses the central spinal column, or if it bulges to one side into the exiting nerves. In either case, if the compression is significant enough, it will cause pain and / or numbness and weakness and possibly loss of control in the limbs.

If the disc bulge is central it could cause problems down both sides of the body. If the bulge is on one side, it will only cause problems on that side.

If the disc has been ruptured, or herniated, the same problems with compression of the central spinal column and exiting nerves can occur. In addition, if chemicals from the inside of the disc come into contact with the nerves, it can cause severe pain even without any compression of the nerves. In such cases a course of anti-inflammatories will most likely be prescribed.

Can Physiotherapy Treat A Disc Bulge or Herniated Disc?

disc bulge2

In many cases a bulging disc and a herniated disc will over time heal itself. The time required may depend on the severity of the problem and may take from weeks to months to resolve. Physiotherapy treatment can help reduce the pain much more quickly. The key is to get an accurate diagnosis through a physiotherapy assessment, possibly needing an X-ray or MRI. Treatment can include specific exercises to help reduce the bulge, Gunn IMS dry needling, electro- acupuncture, laser, shockwave, core stability rehab and postural rehab. Manipulation is contra indicated. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.

If you have suffered a recent back injury or had a long term problem then it’s advisable to get your condition assessed and treated. We have extensive skills in treating spinal pain and clients travel from all over the UK and abroad to seek our help.

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

Vertigo is a problem that affects around half the population at some point in their lives and is more common as we get older.  Fortunately the symptoms usually only last for a few seconds to a minute or so, but the symptoms are very unpleasant including:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • A sense of rotating
  • Inability to stand or walk
vertigo

By far the most common cause of vertigo is BPPV (Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo) and this is linked to the 3 semi-circular canals in the inner ear. The role of these canals is to sense the position of the head in the 3 axes of up /down, right / left, forward/ backwards. If any incorrect signals occur, the brain doesn’t know where your head is and gets confused.

Faulty signals are caused by very small chalk crystals becoming loose and getting into the semi-circular canals. These loose crystals then move in the canals, stimulating faulty signals.

The types of movement which most frequently initiate a vertigo attack are rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, sitting up after lying flat or looking up or down.

Treatment

Left untreated, vertigo will usually resolve itself but may take several months.  Fortunately treatment is fairly simple and painless and typically no more than 3 specialised physiotherapy treatments are needed over a couple of weeks.

David Paling, a senior physiotherapist and our clinical lead can diagnose and treat BPPV.

If you or someone you know is suffering with vertigo, call us to book  BPPV physiotherapy treatment with us.

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

 

Many of you may have heard of foot pain which is commonly referred to as ‘Policeman’s Foot’, presumably because police were prone to this condition in the past when they walked the streets.  Those suffering will feel pain in the heel and arch of the foot, typically first thing in the morning and then easing as you move more. Medically this has been described as Plantar Fasciitis. ‘Itis’ means inflammation and thus plantar fasciitis means inflammation of the plantar fascia, the latter being a thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes.

Plantar fasciitis is also increasingly referred to as plantar fasciopathy, as there is evidence that the subsequent pain is not just a result of inflammation and may be a result of overstimulation. This can lead to the tissue being less able to withstand strain placed on it.

Plantar2

What are the symptoms

The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain slightly forward of the heel, where it is tender to the touch, but pain can be anywhere on the underside of the heel. The pain is most intense during the first steps after getting out of bed or after prolonged periods of sitting.

Gentle exercise may ease things a little. On the other hand, long walks, being on your feet for a long time or thin soled, unsupportive footwear often makes the pain worse.

Contributing factors

  • Being overweight
  • Tight calfs
  • Wearing unsupportive or flat shoes
  • Loss of arch in your foot
  • Changes or overload to activity levels
  • Jobs which involve standing for long periods of time

Treatment

Most cases of plantar fasciitis will get better by themselves, but can take weeks and anything up to 18 months to resolve without treatment.

Typical steps that you can take are:

  • Relative rest from any aggravating factors
  • Modifying your activities
  • Pain relief and anti-inflammatories
  • Ice can help relieve symptoms and will act as an anaesthetic when applied for 10 minutes two to three times a day
  • A gel heel cup to lessen compression forces on the heel
  • Self massage
  • Roll golf ball under foot

If these don’t help quickly enough, then we can help with improved diagnosis, appropriate treatment and a properly devised rehab plan.

Radial shockwave treatment is particularly successful at treating plantar fasciitis. Deep tissue massage of the calf muscles will lengthen the muscles and help to relieve tension on the plantar.

If you are suffering with heel or arch pain, which you want to resolve as soon as possible, we can help with both a high level of expertise and latest radial shockwave technology. Of particular importance to you, we do not charge extra for radial shockwave, even though we were one of the first clinics in the country to introduce radial shockwave. Many other radial shockwave providers charge premium pricing, but we do not.

Call Now 01889 881488. Erica & Jean will be happy to help

My earliest memories of embroidery were having after school lessons at 9 years old, with a wonderful primary school teacher called Mrs Kerr. I didn’t realise at the time the sessions were set up to help me talk about an upsetting happening in my family, I just thought I was very gifted at embroidering lampshades! I had no idea my teacher was a secret healing artist.

I haven’t really sewn since that long forgotten time until now, unless to fix a button. It was whilst making my first doll today, that I found my mind travelling back to the 1970’s and find that long lost memory in my minds archives.

My next encounter of the healing arts was much later in life when I was studying Reiki and the Shamanic arts. Even simple Shamanic twig rag dolls were believed to carry a powerful way to connect between supernatural unknown worlds. As part of that training, I was taught how to heal through doll like figures. Shamans made medicine dolls as part of their spiritual practice to aid healing.

Throughout history we have crafted figures in our own images. Fetishes, effigies, totems, puppets and symbolic dolls playing a key role in religious ceremonies and healing or sadly the dark arts. With ancient healing ceremonies, a doll, called the scapegoat, might have been created to represent the illness and would be buried, enshrined or burnt to dispel the disease.

doll

I must admit that I turned to dolls and puppets for a number of my health presentations abroad, as a means to explain painful case histories and get the story across. I wasn’t using them to send prayers or spirits to specific patients. I might have been burnt at the stake!

Loving the colourful clothes of shamans and doing a little studying into cave paintings and art therapy, strengthened my interest in combining my very scientific orthodox medical approach with a little old-fashioned magic.  I could start to grasp how it made more sense for psychology to come through a creative door in the right side of the brain rather than the logical left. This helps explain why historically it was believed that when a doll maker made a doll, their actions on the doll influenced their own feelings, moods and sensations.

So this weekend I have decided to delve deeper into the history and art of doll making,  stepping out of 2D art into 3D magical healing. I find myself surrounded by doll making books, fabric, twigs, clay and pipe cleaners.

I have been drawn to a beautifully illustrated book, written by Barb Kobe, a very gifted American Psychologist and Artist. Her teaching of reflective healing thoughts, sewn into five Doll like representations of yourself is very enlightening! She describes her five dolls as Guardian, Scapegoat, Loving Kindness, Talisman and Inner Healer.

Thus, I started making my first messy creation. I thought knowing anatomy inside out it would be easy, how wrong was I! For my first creative action, I wanted to work with a theme of trees, as that was my latest subject for series of art scribbles. Snow at Xmas inspired me to walk out amongst the trees rather than cycle past. I then started to day dream about how trees are the lungs of the Earth.

I didn’t have any expectations or preconceived ideas about embarking on this journey. I just thought it would be a lovely soft creative way to help my patients with anxiety, upsetting backstories and chronic pain.

doll2

So, armed with a pile of twigs, I tied a couple together to make my first tree lady. Bark Kobe, Medicine Doll tutor, suggests your first doll should be to represent your guardian. This is to help protect you on your reflective healing story.

I struggled with a lumpy body with padding in all the wrong places, I made a really bad first attempt face with harsh buttons for eyes. Then I let go and got creative, and it was as if time stood still, the fire went out, my tea went cold…

I was suddenly reliving very traumatic moments in my life and it was if I was outside myself looking in. I felt cocooned in love, I could see it from a totally different angle, I was really getting out of my own way. I wasn’t expecting that! I thought I would have a go, then sit in meditation later and think it through.

With lockdowns and COVID-19 it’s really tough to stay positive and our immunity will be badly affected by relentless stress. Hence, now more than ever, we need mindfulness and peace. For some, the art of dollmaking could be the catalyst to induce a healing process.

I will let you know how I get on.