Our recent article published in SuperPARENTS in Chinese with our Osteopath, Elaine Ward.
Who does not have stress? You may have big stresses like job or relationship or health related or minor daily stresses like reaching somewhere on time, meeting deadlines or disciplining your kids. Whether your issues are big or small, stress has a cumulative and negative impact on your health.
Did you know that stress affects you in many different ways? Forget about your physical appearance, the frown lines, the clenched jaws, the forehead furrows and more, stress is so harmful that it can cause
Osteopathy focuses on treating patients through a unique philosophy of understanding what makes people unwell. It places a strong emphasis on the interconnectedness of the various systems of our body and how this determines our health. Health is not static but is a minute to minute, day to day dynamic expression of a well functioning organism.
Runners and non runners alike will likely have heard of this condition. Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a common affliction in runners between 35-55 years of age.
It presents as pain or burning in the foot and heel, and can be especially bad for those first few steps in the morning. It can be very limiting to the training program of beginner and experienced runners.
Most people are aware of the fact that the structure of the foot can cause foot pain and many have gait (manner of walking) analysis, foot assessment and orthotics made, but what about other causes that come from above the foot, higher up the chain?
When you hold your newborn baby in your arms, whatever other feelings you may experience, one overwhelming urge is the need to protect and keep them safe. As a parent you may be susceptible to suggestions of what is best for your child as you would do anything that you deemed of benefit to them.
Many people these days have heard that cranial osteopathy can be of benefit to babies addressing various issues from colic to sleeping, fussiness to feeding. But what exactly is it? And how does it help? Having an understanding of what newborn babies go through can help towards parents making the decision as to whether or not it is an approach they want to try.
The life of the typical professional in the 21st century has become extremely sedentary. The average adult spends over 50% of their total waking hours sitting. We sit to eat, read, talk, socialize, work, drive and travel. The list is endless.
Prolonged periods of sitting promote physical changes in our bodies. Whilst sitting we are generally in a forward flexed posture to complete tasks such as typing, reading and writing. The head starts to protrude forward and the shoulders and upper back become rounded. Muscles in the hips, legs and chest become tight and others such as the abdominals and gluteals become weak. Office-based workers very often describe aching in the neck, shoulders, jaw and back.
Pilates is an exercise modality that can be used to combat these physical changes. By participating in a well-designed, regular Pilates regime many of the symptoms commonly described by office based professionals will begin to disappear. The impact of prolonged sitting can be reversed by learning functional movement patterns, breathing techniques, correct posture and minimizing muscle imbalances.
If asked to describe yourself would any of the following apply to you?
If so, you are likely to be the perfect candidate for a personalized Pilates program.
Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It is a system of exercises designed to improve strength, flexibility, posture, coordination and body awareness.
A skilled Pilates practitioner can tailor a program for any individual. Pilates is performed one to one or in small groups which allows the instructor to focus individual attention on participants. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are taught to suit each person and modified to accommodate individual abilities. Therefore, it is an exercise modality that is suitable for all people regardless of age, physical fitness, illness or injuries.
A Pilates programme for individuals experiencing body deconditioning attributed to a sedentary lifestyle is likely to incorporate exercises to improve core strength, spine mobility, pelvic stabilization, shoulder mobility and stability, hip mobility, strength in the muscles of the back and breathing efficiency.
For the individual this translates into feeling stronger, more flexible, lengthened, stretched, symmetrical and relaxed.
As with any exercise regime these benefits aren’t gained overnight. A commitment over 6-10 weeks of ideally 2 one hour sessions per week will enable the individual to learn technique, build foundations and experience improvements.
In addition to the obvious physical benefits, people who regularly engage in Pilates describe themselves as more focused, body aware, experiencing less injuries, more relaxed and motivated to increase incidental exercise in their lives.
A skilled Pilates practitioner will also encourage his/her clients to take Pilates practice out of the studio and incorporate the principles into the workplace and everyday life. The instructor should guide the individual’s awareness of alternating postures whilst at work; correct workplace set up; breathing techniques and stretches and movements that can be simply incorporated into the workday. Having strategies to combat fatigue, muscle tension and tightness when at work are essential for the office professional to maintain concentration and focus and therefore improve work efficiency and performance.
For the individual this means you can be improving your body’s functioning not only during your Pilates sessions but throughout your workday. We can describe this as “multi-tasking”- a favourite pass time for the busy professional!
Running injuries usually occur when the in-built suspension mechanism of the lower limb has been compromised.
Running itself relies on a complex interaction between many different joints of your body. To make it simpler, we will focus on just the lower limb. Just take a moment and guess the number of foot bones that are involved in running?
Let’s take a guess, 10, 20, 30?
There are 26 bones and 33 joints. That is just in the foot alone. These go up to 33 bones and 39 joints if we stop counting at the pelvic area.
These bones and joints work together to allow us to run and walk upright in many different terrains or surfaces. From flat surfaces to rocky surfaces whilst being perched on 2 sticks (legs), essentially a top heavy humpty dumpty.
How do we accomplish this? Your body has developed joints to buffer and accommodate these changes in weight bearing like a car suspension – your ankles, knees and hips are effectively that.
Why do we have that many foot and ankles bones? They are to give stress forces a break so that we can resolve and accommodate the ground tension and our body weight plus gravity.
Runner’s injuries are usually caused by these buffering/ shock absorption zones of the lower limb not functioning.
Here are some tips to help decrease the load on your child’s spine:
1. Choose a good backpack and ensure it is the correct size
Some of the following features should be considered when selecting your childs backpack
2. Fit the backpack correctly
3. Pack the backpack properly and teach your child how to pack it properly
Image Credit: Backpack fashion by Jens Rost. Used under a creative commons license.
Photo by andcombust, Creative Commons.
It’s not easy being a mother running around looking after everybody and keeping everyone happy and healthy. On our Open day, we have a few workshops that we think can be useful for you to help looking after yourself and those who are in your care.
With the common colds, coughs and flus, head and neck infections, there is a simple technique that you can perform at home as parents to help with your child’s recovery. It works with the lymphatic system (the body’s own policing system for infections which is an important component of our immune system.
Another common issue we are seeing in children is the increasing number of postural strains in neck and shoulders. There is no doubt a correlation with our increasing use of iProducts and sitting based activities. Our Osteopath Elaine who is a mother of 3 herself, will be sharing with you her experience dealing with postural issues in her children and her patients. She will also talk about ergonomics, growing pains and exercises you can do with your children.
One aspect of women’s health that is often overlooked is the health of the breast tissue. Akin to all living tissue of our body, it requires a certain amount of mobility and flexibility for it to function optimally. With our long hours of sitting and emotional stresses, we end up with overly contracted tight chest, head and neck muscles. Overtime these will impact adversely the physiology and health of the head, neck and chest. Postural strains aside, it may negatively impact on the physiology of the breast tissue – its ability to regulate its own tissue health (especially with the lymphatic system) and its milk producing property.
Marcia, our massage therapist will discuss her experience working with breast tissue in nursing mothers, women have had growths in their breasts and post surgical cases. Also, things that you can do at home to ensure the healthy function of your breasts.
If you or your friends are interested in coming on Saturday 25 April to attend these workshops, please call or register here.
City Osteopathy Hong Kong
Open Day Workshop Saturday 25 April 2015
Surrounded by so many beautiful trails in Hong Kong, it is unsurprising that running is one of our most popular sport in the city.
Most running injuries can be easily prevented if we learn a little about the anatomy of running. Type of running shoes, posture, how we run and our flexibility can all have a profound effect on our gait.
Ben will be discussing these and some of the common running injuries he sees in the practice and how they can be easily prevented with a simple 8 step stretching routine.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.cityosteopathy.com.hk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/20130823-66-5-BEN-cropped.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Ben is a Registered Osteopath in Australia, practicing in Hong Kong. Being a keen runner himself, Ben has been able to stay (mostly) injury free by applying his knowledge in biomechanics and osteopathy. [/author_info] [/author]