Strategies to Assist Your Neck Pain At Home

Strategies to Assist Your Neck Pain At Home

Rather read the transcript?

Good morning and welcome to Blossoming Me. I’m Sarah Gowans, massage therapist at Blossoming Me.

Today I wanted to continue our chat about neck pain. Talking particularly about ways to prevent it, and what actually causes it in the first place. Things you can do to look after yourself, not only with hope clear your pain but help boost your energy and clarity of mind.

So welcome to BlossomingMe.

Allied Health Worker Repetitive Strain Neck Pain

Common Causes of Neck Pain

You know, it’s easy to ignore your neck, to take it for granted when you don’t have pain. But goodness me don’t we know about it when it gets tight, we can’t move it or it gets painful.

If you’ve had it you know what I mean. So, the three main causes of neck pain are things like: repetitive motions, posture, and our mental and emotional health (stress basically). 

So, according to the Mount Sinai organisation, the most common cause rather of neck pain is repetitive motions that cause strain. So you are overusing those muscles in your neck, which is causing problems, so the muscle gets tight. Now when that muscle gets tight, it can start recruiting other muscles, and we’ll come to that in just a moment. But things like if you’re swimming, freestyle for example, and constantly turning your head in one direction, that can overwork your neck. If you’re doing dance moves, and continually moving your head in some interesting position. Any strain in this position will then be exacerbated, simply by practising that dance. Doing that over and over again, your body is going to get stressed by that, which can cause, and lead to neck pain and tightness. 

In our society commonly what we do is work with what’s in front of us. Whether it’s a computer, on an operating table, working with your hands in some fashion, it’s always in front of us. 

Why? Because that’s where our eyes are. You know not only do we work with what is in front of us, because that’s where our eyes are our whole body is geared to be a Steadicam for our eyes. So it (our body) is busy focusing, steadying us, and our neck is crucial in that. So it’s all about keeping our eyes level. Steady so that we don’t get dizzy so that we know where the horizon is. So that we aren’t put off when we’re running from a predator, back in you know, a long time ago. 

Repetitive movements may create neck pain

But all these aspects can stress your neck and body, because you use it constantly to keep your eyes level. Not only are you using your neck, but you are constantly adjusting those muscles, ligaments and tendons. Continually adjusting those vertebrae through your neck and your whole spine, to keep your eyes level and steady. So when they go out of whack, in some continuously [used] position, because you’re swimming or doing some funky dance move, and straining it, that can have a taxing effect on the body, an overload.

Neck-pain-repetitive-movements-bad-posture

When doing these motions and movements in a repetitive fashion, that can actually become an unconscious pattern… Once they’re an unconscious pattern, that actually becomes your posturem, and if we aren’t focused on creating a great posture, how you’re standing, how you’re sitting, being aware of factors that create a good posture, then you can end up with a bad posture. 

So things like sitting for a long period of time, whether that’s relaxing on the couch, watching TV in a not-so-helpful position, or whether that’s stressing because you’ve got a lot of work on, and you’re leaning forward, into the computer and watching, with a whole lot of pressure, because the world is sitting on your shoulders, and that’s tugging at those muscles and ligaments in your neck. Whether that’s sleeping in an awkward or uncomfortable position. All these things can be leading to a not-so-helpful posture, a poor posture, and that can create neck pain. 

You can wake up in the morning, “Oh my goodness how did this happen? I’ve got a “Rye Neck”, a neck that feels [seriously] painful. It can lead to headaches, and all sorts of other challenges as well. But why? Because you’ve had a bad night’s sleep! Sometimes that can just be on one night, sometimes it’s because it’s happened repetitively, on multiple nights, but the position that you are in for any length of time can affect your neck. What a surprise!

Male-stressed-in-neck-pain

Is your stress levels impacting your neck?

Finally, mental and emotional health, things like stress, because you’re involved in what you’re doing, feeling the pressure, and that can stress you out. When you’re stressed, your shoulders tighten up, your whole spine can tighten up, and that can put your hips out, your shoulders out, and that of course has a run-on effect into your neck.

Sometimes it actually starts by sitting badly in that chair at work, with high pressure, and all those emotional things. You’ve got your hips out, (in your body’s continual process of adjusting your whole back again), to keep your eyes level. And what happens is that your neck is the last thing that has to adjust in order to compensate for all that is going on in the rest of your spine. It’s trying to do that last adjustment, to keep your eyes level, and that’s where you feel the pain in that final point. The stress, the anxiety, the lack of social support, all come into your body. Your body can’t help but respond to that mental and emotional situation of where you have got yourselves into. 

Preventative neck pain strategies

So how can you prevent all these things? Simply by having good posture, taking breaks, and staying active. If you have a lot of activity in your life, you [likely] know how beneficial that can be, in keeping you fit, active, energised, and keeping your muscles loose, limber, and functioning well.

Maintain good posture

Having a great posture is a good place to start. So making sure that when you are sitting at your desk, it is at the right height. The keyboard is at a comfortable height for you to be typing at, the monitor is at a good height for your eyes, so that you’re not tilting up or tilting down, or sideways. Some people have meetings, I heard this from a friend the other day. She had a meeting, and the person was talking with her, and she was typing over here, [directly in front of her body] and looking over there, [turning her head fully to the right] wondering why she had a sore neck. So these things that we don’t even think about, become an unconscious pattern and affect our posture.

Making sure that your chair is at a good height, as well, so that your feet are comfortably flat on the floor, supporting the rest of you Your knees lower than your hips, so that that, encourages your spine to be naturally straight. 

prevent-neck-pain-exercise-at-home
Woman relaxing by tree take regular breaks neck pain

Take regular breaks

As well as a good posture, make sure you take breaks. Go and get yourself a glass of water, go and get yourself a coffee. Go for a walk around the room. If you’re on the phone maybe you can have a conversation with somebody while you are walking around the office or the house or wherever it is that you happen to be working from. But movement and taking breaks away from that seated position can be really powerful. The stand-sit desks are awesome, but only if you use both functions. Standing and sitting, so that your body is constantly moving, adjusting, and not getting into a bad posture and staying there for hours on end, because you’re engrossed in what you’re doing. Or even worse feeling pressure about what you’re doing

Stay active

Staying active as I said, is really, really important. Doing those things on a regular basis, so that you can keep your body moving well, in different directions. And knowing just how important that is to keep your mind active, because when you’re moving and your body is active, your mind is also [more] active. When you’re moving and your body is active, the muscles are flowing, and when the muscles, and the blood, the circulation is flowing, well that helps the whole system to just feel much freer, and support you to clear that whole neck pain, even though you’re not necessarily just moving your neck.

Emotional Support

And finally as a bonus point on how to prevent neck pain, make sure you do things to support yourself emotionally. Make sure that you get support from your friends. Make sure that you are taking time out for yourself. You might be an active parent, who’s busy looking out for your kids all the time, make sure that you take time to look after number one. Put that oxygen mask on you, first. Remember that doing the exercise classes and that sort of thing, can be a fabulous way to nurture and look after you. Doing meditations, visualisations, hypnosis, or anything like that can be another way of looking after you. 

yoga class

I’ve seen some fabulous photographs on Facebook recently, of a beautiful group photo, with a dear friend who’s in a wheelchair with friends gathered around. A fantastic shot, of just the emotional support that these friends are giving each other, as well as their dear friend who’s been in a wheelchair for many years. It’s a stunning photograph and a great example of how much we need that emotional support. And all of this has an effect on our body. It takes the pressure off. It reduces our stress, and it supports our neck, helping to ease that pain.

So thank you for joining me here this morning at Blossoming Me, to find ways to help support your body continue on that journey to nurture yourself. To clear that neck pain, and prevent it from coming back.

I look forward to seeing you at our next one.

Have an awesome day!

Final Thoughts:

Neck pain can be excruciating, but there are things that you can do to help prevent it. I hope you have found these tips useful to support your whole body, and assist you in avoiding neck pain.

If you have neck pain that you want to be cleared out of your life… Book today and we can do a full assessment, and treatment plan, and help you back to enjoying your life to the full.

Hungry for more?

You might also find it interesting to learn a bit more about how your neck pain can impact your mood. If so, check out this blog “Your Teacher was Right”.

Author: Sarah Gowans

About Blossoming Me

BlossomingMe offers a fully integrated approach to your wellbeing. Located on Sydney’s Upper North Shore. Sarah is our Cranio-sacral and Remedial Massage Therapist and health and lifestyle coach. She can help relieve those problematic knots, tightness and other specific ailments to promote a healthy recovery. These complementary massage therapies can be combined to suit your needs, and include: craniosacral therapy, shiatsu, acupressure, reiki, remedial, swedish, and body-mind-massage. 

Our qualified Osteopath, Alexis, offers a drug free, minimally invasive, “hands on” treatment focusing on the musculoskeletal system with its associated muscles, tendons, ligaments, membranes, bones and joints. Alexis takes a functional approach. This means that she focuses on the way a component (body part, tissue or group of tissues) performs its role, as well as the way the body works, performs and integrates as a whole. Our team can support you to improve your posture and therefore your overall health.

**Disclaimer** The information provided by BlossomingMe, on our website, in our courses, and in our blogs and posts, is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site and social outlets is not, nor intended to be, a substitute for profess

ional advice or care. Please seek the advice of a qualified health professional before you make any changes to your health regime, before dealing with new symptoms, and, if something you have read here has raised any questions or concerns regarding your situation.

Dealing with Overwhelm

Dealing with Overwhelm

What is Overwhelm?

At some point in our lives, most of us have felt that all-encompassing feeling that everything is “a lot” or too much. Sometimes it feels like your head could just explode, sometimes it feels like you just want to run away, other times you feel like crying because you have been under so much stress (whether that is work, family life, or your health) that you are completely overcome with emotion, but not in a good way.

This is overwhelm.

How Many Things Can We Handle?

Is your closet too full?

No, I’m not talking about decluttering or clearing out your wardrobe; I’m talking about clearing your life. Reducing that sense of overwhelm that’s been paralysing you.

I recently heard a fabulous description of overwhelm: simply having too many hangers in our already full closet. Let me explain. If we put one task from our project or item from our to-do list, for instance, on each hanger, how many hangers can we fill at one time without stressing out or hitting overwhelm?

Well, usually, the answer is about 5-7.

Why? Because that’s commonly how many things our unconscious mind can handle at any one time. If we have a shopping list, a phone number to remember, or some other task, we can usually recall up to 5-7 things. Anything more than that often gets lost or forgotten.

Anything more than 5-7 often stresses us OUT!

Ultimately, if we do this regularly, it can reduce our resilience levels, patience, ability to concentrate, and more over time.

Woman overwhelmed by closet

What Happens When We Have Too Much Going On

 

You know when you have too many programs running on your computer, and it starts to slow down – this is what our body does when we’re overwhelmed.

You may recognise the signs of overwhelm such as:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mental slowness
  • A racing mind
  • Impaired ability to problem solve
  • Inability to think logically
  • General irritability

When this overwhelm occurs over a period of time, we can also suffer from cognitive or nervous fatigue, which I spoke about in our last blog.

When this happens, the symptoms of overwhelm are usually heightened and can make us feel even more overwhelmed simply from feeling like we can’t function how we think we should be. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Recognising What Is Causing Your Overwhelm

One of the first keys to dealing with overwhelm is to recognise what is causing it. If you look at what is going on for you, in different areas of your life, you can often pinpoint what the leading cause of your overwhelm is. Some common ones are:

  • Work
  • Family life
  • Financial
  • Illness
  • Injury
  • Relationships

It may be one, it may be two, it may be all, but regardless, working out what is causing your overwhelm is where you need to start.

Going back to our coat hanger analogy, it can sometimes look or feel like certain issues or tasks take up more than just one coat hanger. Some things can feel much more significant than others, meaning they leave less space for you to cope with other things. Pain, for example, especially when it’s constant, can be very pervasive. It can feel like it’s taking up several coat hangers at once, leaving only one or two coat hangers available for actual tasks to “hung on” – this is part of why we feel like we have such a short fuse when we’re unwell or in pain.
Taking up lots of hangers

How To Deal with Overwhelm

Now you have identified what is causing your overwhelm, let’s look at what you can do to help reduce the load.

Set Boundaries

Are you taking on too much with work? When you really need to be saying no, do you say yes to everything? Are you staying back late to finish everything off? It’s time to stop and put boundaries in place that allow your work to be done during your work hours and not for hours beyond that. Are you really the only one that can take on ALL the extra work, or can you say, “no, I can’t do that right now”?

Taking on more and more work and not getting adequate downtime will leave you, you guessed it, overwhelmed and essentially unproductive, likely causing you even more overwhelm!

Are You a Perfectionist?

Do you find yourself stressing over things and constantly thinking, “this could be better” or “I could do better”? The problem with this thinking is that you spend so much time analysing and stressing over that one task, that you fall behind in all the other things you still need to do, which causes your overwhelm to grow when things start piling up.

Sometimes you need to step away and say, “this is good enough.”.

 

Have You Tried Delegating?

If you’re a perfectionist, it can be hard to hand over tasks for someone else to complete; however, in doing so, you will free up time for yourself, and you can concentrate on what you specifically need to be doing. Whether than be a project at work that you can delegate tasks out to other team members, a part of your business that you can outsource to outside support, or asking family members to bring a dish at the Christmas or birthday celebration instead of taking on all the cooking yourself.

Imagine how much time you could get back and how much calmer your mind could be if you let a few things go.

Busy brain and time

Are You Catastrophising?

Do you think the worst when things don’t quite go to plan? “If I don’t cover all the tasks myself in this project, it won’t be done right and will fail.”, “Aunty Sue forgot the salad last time, and it completely ruined the day, I can’t let that happen again.”, “If I don’t say yes to all the jobs, they will think I’m not good at my job.”.

Take a deep breath! Will the project really fail if someone else helps out, was the family function indeed ruined, and are you sure they will think you’re not good at your job, or are these all assumptions in your head?

Simply becoming aware of these thoughts can help you let go of them. When they happen, take a minute to take a step back from the situation, catch your breath and then look at it again. Even have a chat with someone else about it for a rational and logical perspective.

Break Down the Tasks

Another element of this clever coat hanger analogy is how we deal with big projects. Chunking them down. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time – and that’s how we get projects completed, especially large ones. When we prioritise tasks, using the 80/20 rule (when 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort) to order them, we get the biggest “bang”, or results, for our “buck” of given energy and focus, and then just choosing one or two things to focus on.

But the first step is to “chunk” or break the project into bite-sized tasks. If we don’t break them down small enough, the tasks end up “hanging” on more than one coat hanger, leading us back to that feeling of overwhelm. Have you ever tried to tackle a step in a project and not known where or how to begin?
Sometimes the first step is not to take the measurements of the wardrobe you want to rebuild the inside of. It’s going to buy the tape measure so that you can take them.

Are You Looking After Your Mind and Body?

Are you taking YOU time? As the saying goes, our body is a temple, and we must treat it accordingly. If you’re going to treat it like a garbage dump, that’s how you’re going to feel, so it’s time to practice some self care!

• Take time each day to move your body, whether that is through exercises, yoga, daily stretches, or even dancing around your kitchen.
• Enjoy some chill-out time – listen to music, meditate, read a book, relax in the bath.
• Practice gratitude – the simple act of taking time to look at what in your life you are grateful for can do wondrous things to calm a racing mind.
• Good posture is important! We have spoken previously about how good and bad posture positively and negatively impacts the body. We must practice good posture to help increase our energy levels and positive feelings.

Blossoming Me can help you with this, address your pain, and get you well on your way to feeling calmer and pain-free.

Based on Sydney’s North Shore, Osteopath, Alexis and, Remedial Massage Therapist, Sarah are experienced in helping patients on their well-being journey and would love to get you back to feeling yourself once more.

Contact us or book an appointment online by clicking the button below if you’re ready to get started.
Is Nervous Fatigue Affecting You?

Is Nervous Fatigue Affecting You?

In our clinic, we see a lot of patients that have no one specific reason they have tight and sore muscles, joint stiffness and aches, and who are feeling tired and run down. One cause, and something not commonly realised, is nervous fatigue, and we are seeing more of this over the last couple of years. So, let’s talk about what nervous fatigue is, and what can be done to help.

What is Nervous Fatigue?

Nervous fatigue is a type of fatigue caused by excessive emotional stress – think studying or working for long periods without a break, dealing with overwhelming responsibilities over a significant period of time, living with mental health symptoms, and spending emotional and mental energy on worries, stress, and problems. While it isn’t uncommon to feel tired or even exhausted after a particularly mentally draining day, nervous fatigue isn’t something that a good night’s sleep can fix, and can have some rather intense effects.

Elements of Nervous Fatigue

According to Dr Claire Weekes, there are four elements to Nervous Fatigue – Physical, Emotional, Mental, and Spirit. Some people find that they are affected in just the one way, while others are affected in more than one way, and sometimes by all four.

Physical

Muscles rest in a state known as “tone”, a balance between relaxation and contraction. When muscles are held in a tense state, for long periods of time, this delicate balance of “tone” is upset. And this creates a build-up of the chemicals of fatigue, which leads to the aching muscles. Often a sense of muscle weakness follows as well.

Dr Weekes explains that although these bodily reactions are temporary and ultimately unimportant, a sufferer, who doesn’t understand what is going on, can become intensely fearful of these attacks. And this fear of the body’s reaction, becomes larger than the original fear of the situation, thing etc. This “anxiety state”, when the sufferer is afraid of the effects of fatigue, allows this fear to affect their life. At this point, Dr Weekes says, the Nervous Fatigue has become an illness.

Emotional

When nerves are subjected to stress for a long time, especially with strong emotions, like fear, they effectively become trained. As I’ve spoken about before, the more this neural pathway is fired or used, or higher the intensity of emotion, the bigger and stronger the pathway becomes. Therefore, it fires faster and more intensely, with even the slightest of provocations. Dr Weekes, refers to this as “Sensitisation”.

Journey to healing and recovery
All emotions can be intensified: fear, anger, sadness, guilt, as well as love and joy. What a roller coaster! All these exaggerated feelings are tiring for the sufferer. To a point, the body can adapt to the stress of the emotional ups and downs, as long as the adrenal glands can keep up supplying the adrenaline and other essential hormones. When they become depleted, it can lead to adrenal or hormonal depletion and complete exhaustion.

Mental

Most of us can flit lightly between our thoughts. From idea to idea, subject to subject. With mental fatigue, this simple act is not so easy. Their thoughts either come haltingly and slowly, feeling like each individual thought must be specifically selected, making thinking feel like a huge effort. Or they stick together, so that if they begin to think about a certain thing, it tends to feel very difficult to let it go – particularly if it has a strong emotion attached to it, like fear.

“When sensitisation and mental fatigue come together, throwing off frightening thoughts can seem impossible.”

Spirit

Especially if the unknowing sufferer has been trying to recover by fighting their way out of fatigue, they may lose their sense of purpose, and wonder if the struggle to go on is worth it. They don’t need much, a sliver is enough to begin, but it is hope and courage that they need to pull through.

“We all have this strength, this power within us, and it will work miracles if we trust it to.”

How To Overcome Nervous Fatigue

You can relieve this by releasing these 4 types of fatigue, in the same order they built up. This is something that will take time, as we have previously spoken about before, however it will yield great results.

Facing, is acknowledging that even though external guidance support can help, the cure must come from inside oneself.

Acceptance is allowing the body to loosen as much as possible. Moving into the body’s response and letting it come, rather than fighting it. Like being right in the centre of a hurricane, in the “eye” of the storm, where the storm swirls around but cannot reach them. But first they must go through the storm.

The initial instinct is fearful tension, withdrawal or rigidly pushing and forcing, which produces hormones that make the “Storm” feel even stronger and wilder. Facing and relaxing the body into the symptoms with acceptance, on the other hand, help to dampen and eventually stop them.

self care acupressure points
This “allowing” takes time. To feel and to allow. To be able to trust that it will indeed pass. When it comes, it creates peace of mind and confidence built, not in the absence of symptoms, but the deep knowing, even in their midst, that they will pass.

Dr Weekes describes floating very much like breathwork or a visualisation. Allowing the body to relax and go as loose and limp as possible. Then deeply breathing in and slowly exhaling, whilst imagining gently floating, as if on a cloud. Allowing muscles to loosen and release.

Floating creates a sense of relaxation, but it also encompasses, Facing and Accepting, with grace and gentleness.
Dr Weekes says that “Physical support can help more than just physical pain”. Who knew?

Keep it light and simple – eg going to the gym – don’t go crazy making up for time you haven’t been, like the last 4 months during lockdown. Or as a therapist, light and gentle, through to firm, but don’t go hell for leather.

Personal connection is vitally important. What a surprise, she says! Whilst sufferers can overload and get tired very quickly, leaving them to their own devices to relax etc for hours or days at a time, is actually unsupportive. That whilst they may only have the energy reserves to do some activity, some activity is actually essential. Both from the point of view that leaving them to their own devices leaves far too much time for them to fall into negative, energy draining trains of thought, where they can expect the worst, beat themselves up, and generally lose energy.

And because doing things, an exercise or activity of choice, leads to having more energy, do what you can, within your limits, for yourself. In this way, building your own confidence that you can Face the fear. Let it pass.

“One finds strength quicker when active than when lying on the couch waiting for it to come”

 

Utilise our subconscious mind, in the form of simple routines and habits. Again, less is more. Rather than trying to stay relaxed all day, choose a set time, just once a day, to relax or meditate or whatever calming activity you like to do, then let it go for the rest of the day. Don’t worry about it, don’t even think about it. Slowly this will create a habit of success – what a surprise!

Even a short daily routine, like cleaning your teeth, can work. This simple action can give you something to do, something for the mind to focus on. Particularly if you use a manual toothbrush rather than an electric one that buzzes and vibrates in your head. This can help “calm the whirlwind within.”

Journey to healing and recovery
Emotional and hormonal exhaustion aren’t helped much by rest. Only by reducing stress. This is where we must “Face” our fears. Gently and with acceptance, not defensively.

We can gently change our mood. With acceptance, with time, and by moving through them gently, “floating” and allowing. I recall Louise Hay, motivational speaker and author, used to say that if you sit with an emotion and just allow it to pass through you, it usually only takes 10 minutes. Whilst for fatigue sufferers that may seem like a life time, simply allowing, rather than fighting them, will allow energy reserves to be maintained and the emotional energy to be released, rather than held and stored in the body.

Supporting the Spirit through the process; this is the part that sufferers really need help with, as a completely exhausted spirit has no inner source of joy to lift them from inside.

  • Help molehills not turn into mountains. Don’t trivialise their issues, but help them move past them, to other ideas to focus on.
  • Help them to float rather than fight through their journey.
  • Celebrate small wins and encourage flashes of normality, as glimmers of hope to which they can cling to.

“Each of us has unsuspected power to accomplish what we demand of ourselves, if we care to search for it.” – Dr Claire Weekes

If this sounds like you, and you’re needing a little extra help with how to gain relief from your fatigue, osteopathy and massage can assist in getting you back to your usual self.

Feel free to get in touch with Sarah, who provides amazing remedial and therapeutic massage services, for some further advice and guidance, or click the button below to make an appointment.

When Will I Feel Better?

When Will I Feel Better?

When will it feel like I don’t have to keep coming back on such a frequent basis?

“When will I feel better?” – Most of our clients seeking Osteopathic treatment ask this question at some stage in their healing and recovery journey. This blog will address this frequently asked question with the aim to educate and manage expectations.

While it’s difficult to provide an exact answer, as everyone is different. We can however give you an idea of the ‘average’ recovery period  and the factors that might hasten your recovery.

Some people find the problem they came in with disappeared almost straight away. Others find it improves with each session, but over the first few weeks, it seems to keep coming back. This can sometimes feel like a boomerang, and you can become concerned that while treatment provides relief, it doesn’t appear to go away completely.

So how long does it take to get better after an osteopathic treatment?

While we know that by the 4th or 5th session, you will be well on your way in the healing process. We have also observed over and over again that it’s generally not until about the 8th session that clients really start to feel the transformation.

Can you explain why you recommend such a long treatment plan?

Within the first session or three, you will notice considerable relief and more mobility. You likely will even notice changes and improvements throughout the week. These improvements between sessions occur as your body continues to process and assimilate the changes and space created in the treatment session.

While you’ll feel some improvement, you  may find your body is feeling less comfortable again. This usually happens by the end of the period between sessions. If you notice this, we understand it’s easy to feel disheartened, and wonder whether a change is happening, or if you have to keep coming back…

Alexis Weidland Osteopath Blossoming Me Treating client

What can I do to aid my recovery?

  • Eat well – your body’s ability to heal is aided by good nutrition
  • Rest after treatments
  • Understand your body is trying to heal itself
  • Reduce emotional stress and strain as it slows recovery
  • Follow the treatment plan, do the exercises – Your daily exercises make a HUGE difference

Trust your body and follow the treatment plan

Our message to you, is this: keep an open mind, trust your body and follow the plan that we have created with you. As your body continues to heal and assimilate, a transformation happens! As stated above, this often is around the 8th to 10th session. At this point, you likely still are not “fixed”, but your body has started to stabilise. In this more stable place, your body can relax a little, allowing you to keep healing and strengthening, but simultaneously feel more resilient.

At this stage, you’re less likely to fall back into the old habits, movements and pain. And when a small disruption happens, you notice your body has more resilience, such that previously, when whatever challenge occurred, you would have been in pain for days. Whereas now, if there is pain, it seems to easily resolve itself in a day or so, or does not create a noticeable problem at all.

Treating underlying issues and maintenance

At this point, the space between treatment sessions can also increase. So that we can continue to stimulate healing and realignment, and deal with the underlying issues that contributed to your injury or compensation patterns in the first place, while allowing you to do more home-based maintenance. Allowing you to be in control of maintaining, improving, and dealing with any minor flare-ups along the way. While you focus on strengthening yourself in a more balanced way, to help you stay well and strong, and without pain.

It’s easy to forget

Some people quickly forget the problem they initially came in with. They become aware of all the other issues that they either: didn’t realise they had, didn’t realise that we could assist with. Often, in this situation, you can become so aware of the current symptom, and that it’s not as perfect as you would like yet, that it’s easy to forget the symptoms that have greatly improved or even completely disappeared. In this scenario, it’s probably not until the later stages of the first or second phases of the treatment process, around 10 sessions or more, that you begin to notice how far you have come and how good you feel – in general, and especially compared to what you felt when you began treatment.

 

Most importantly, know you can smile, and exhale, as Alexis’ caring, compassionate approach, combined with professional skills and qualifications as an Osteopath, means you are in safe hands.

If you are unsure about your response to treatment or would like some advice, don’t hesitate to contact Alexis directly, and she will do her best to guide you through.

With True Healing comes Resilience
5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

5 Reasons the Infra-Red Sauna can change your health!

Are infra-red saunas any good for you?

From the moment Alexis and I first experienced the sauna, with a remedial massage following it, we were both hooked! We found that the therapist could get in more deeply, because our muscles were already warm & relaxed, and therefore we got better results from the full treatment. Our personal experience, was our original reason for having an Infra-Red Sauna in our own clinic.
Do they actually do anything healthful themselves?
Infra-Red saunas can aid in healing specific ailments as well as improving your overall health and wellbeing. From helping you relax, to warming, softening and relieving your tight muscles and stiff joints, to improving circulation, boosting your immune system, and even assisting in weight loss.
Relaxation and mood boosting:
By triggering your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, your “Fight / flight response”, in a less stressful way, the heat from the sauna can help relieve physical and emotional tension in your muscles, warming and relaxing your whole body.
Infra-Red sauna can help lower your cortisol levels, a hormone connected with stress and stress-related health problems. As well as aid in increasing your endorphin (happiness hormone) and opiod levels (your body’s natural pain reliever). So your muscular pain and tension is reduced, you feel less stressed, more relaxed, happy and contented.
They may even improve your brain function and performance. Increasing neurotransmitters, in particular, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and norepinephrine, can enable your brain to function better, to grow new brain cells, and to more effectively protect these brand new neutrons (brain cells) from damage. Thus helping improve your cognitive performance.

Improved Circulation:
The heat created in an Info-Red sauna can increase your blood flow, bringing your blood vessels closer to the surface of your skin and enabling them to expand, to cope with the increased flow. This can assist the cells in your body to release waste and receive nutrition more easily. Further, according to Dr Chrisiane Northrup, MD., if done regularly, over time, this expansion process can help your blood vessels become more elastic. Which can improve your circulation and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Cohen agrees and further suggests that this improvement in circulation, can lead to better healing ability; especially your skin and superficial muscles, as well as relieving your muscle tension, improving muscular condition, losing weight, detoxification, clearer skin and greater immune health and generally feeling great.
Relief from sore muscles:
Muscle soreness, especially in the period 24 – 72 hours after exercise, is caused by tiny tears in the muscle fibres. Your recovery, is the process your body goes through, in healing these tears. As described above, the increased blood flow, helps rapidly clear the waste, in this instance, the debris and inflammation from the torn muscle cells, and deliver nutrients to foster healing.

Weight loss:
According to Dr. Masakazu Imamura, MD study, published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology in 2001, you can burn up to 400-600 calories in one 30 minute sauna session. That’s quite impressive, when you realise that investing that same 30 minutes in jogging or swimming, typically burns around 300 calories.

When it comes to weight loss, saunas can be very effective, as part of a health focused program. For best results that last, and are healthy and holistic, not just fast, we agree with Dr. Mukai, MD statement, that as part of a program “where you’re working on both diet and exercise, the sauna can be a beneficial component [of] a holistic plan.”

Detoxification:
Studies suggest that all of us have chemical toxins and heavy metals residing in our bodies’ fatty tissues, particularly in our liver and blood plasma. These toxins can contribute to various diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, autism and arthritis. Dr Christiane Northrup, MD, explains that whilst usually our sweat comprises of 95-97%water and the rest is salt, when using an Infra-Red sauna to induce it, as much as 15-20% of our sweat, is “made up of cholesterol, fat-soluble toxins, heavy metals, sulphuric acid, and ammonia, as well as sodium and uric acid”. This, would, indicate she suggests, that using an Infra-Red sauna, to sweat, may enable your body to excrete these toxins. Dr Cohen agrees, and reminds us, that if you actively want to clear the toxic chemicals out of your body, it’s important to mop up the sweat from your skin with a towel, or else the toxins will just be reabsorbed into the skin.
Clearer skin:
This detoxification together with the improved circulation, mentioned earlier, can assist directly, to clear out waste and toxins as well as rapidly bringing in nutrients, leaving you with cleaner, clearer and revitalised skin.

Immune system:
When it comes to the Immune System, both Dr Christiane Northrup and Dr Gini Mansberg agree that the perception of the role of heat, in the body’s fight against infection, has changed. It’s not just about creating fever, as part of the immune system’s battle against the infection. They believe, that heat does more than that. It actually “stimulates and “activates the immune system”, possibly stimulating increased production of white blood cells and antibodies. Further, they suggest that heat from Infra-Red saunas, may do this as well.

So if you’re looking to significantly improve your overall health and wellbeing, boost your immune system or enhance your weight loss program, in a relaxing, enjoyable way, you might like to consider one, or even a series of visits to a local gym, spa or health and wellness provider, for your own relaxing, healthful Infra-Red sauna experience.

Have you used an infra-red sauna? What benefits have you noticed? Tell us in a comment below!

For a Clear Mind and a Great Attitude All Day, This is A Must Read!

For a Clear Mind and a Great Attitude All Day, This is A Must Read!

Book recommendation

Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani
Sarah: I was recently inspired by Code of the Extraordinary Mind. As a massage therapist, I particularly enjoyed the section on 6 phase meditation. I’m always looking for something simple that I can incorporate into my life and existing routines relatively easily – something that doesn’t require too much time, energy or attention. When I downloaded the extra meditation audios that go along with the book, I found that I could listen to them as I fell asleep or when I was getting ready in the morning. They helped to focus my mind positively so I could maintain a good attitude during the day.
If I’m having a particularly challenging day, I will put my headphones on and spend a few minutes re-centering myself. Or I choose images and memories that put me back into a grateful, connected and positive head space.