Our recent article published in SuperPARENTS in Chinese with our Osteopath, Elaine Ward.
You may have a headache every day or you may have an occasional headache. A headache is annoying, painful, reduces concentration and interferes with all your activities. It also makes you short-tempered and affects you in many physical and physiological ways. While you may pop a pill to deal with the headache, it is important to understand why you get a headache and how you can better deal with it using alternative remedies like Chinese Medicine like acupuncture, osteopathy and massage therapy.
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
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?
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.