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Pilates and Posture

February 28, 2018
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“You are only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Joseph Pilates

Looking for an exercise routine that can supplement your chiropractic care? Have you tried Pilates?

“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” ~Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a series of exercises to help correct muscular imbalances and improve posture, coordination, balance, strength, and flexibility, all vital components of Chiropractic care.

The care of the spine and core strength is the foundation of Pilates, by focusing on building strength from the core first – the spine, abdomen, pelvis, hips, and the muscles that support these structures – and placing emphasis on “neutral spinal alignment”.

Here are some of the benefits of regularly incorporating Pilates into your exercise routine:

1.Strengthens Core: The muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvic floor make up the core muscles, Pilates focuses on these muscles, making a body that is strong and a frame that is supported.

2.Improves Posture: Correct alignment of the spine is the main focus on where strength is developed. This helps with the awareness of posture and how we sit and stand. By keeping the spine in a neutral, position, Pilates supports and improves posture by strengthening the abdominal and back muscles and by building strength this in turn can prevent and aid in the reduction of back pain.

3.Improves Flexibility: Pilates works to safely stretch the muscles, helping to elongate the muscles, the more frequently Pilates is practiced, the better your flexibility can be.

4.Low Impact: Pilates’ slow and controlled movement’s puts minimal impact on your joints, it can also work to increase the range of motion in the joints. And as Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise, injuries are uncommon.

5.Integrates body and mind: The Pilates principles of concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow increases body awareness and the mind body connection.

And the great thing about Pilates is that it offers something for everyone, no matter what your fitness level!

Although Pilates is a great option for exercise for Chiropractic patients, if you have any concerns about a pre-existing condition and taking up Pilates please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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Happy New Year

January 4, 2018
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So another year has come to an end. And after frantic last minute shopping, parties, over indulgence and slumping on the sofa, the end of the year doesn’t tend to finish in the healthiest way possible.

Although we would suggest a general lifestyle change is preferable rather than making overly ambitious resolutions that end up being broken, take a moment or two to highlight areas to improve your health and wellness in 2018.

These might be to practice moderation, find time for exercise and of course that ever important “me time”. And don’t forget the importance of maintaining your health that regular chiropractic care can provide.

So here’s to a healthier and happier New Year.

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Feel like hibernating? Stay motivated and keep active this winter!

December 5, 2017
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The temperature is dropping, the days are getting shorter, cosy evenings on the sofa, the comfort of a warm bed in the mornings – it can be difficult to keep up the motivation to exercise on a cold winter’s day.

And of course the approaching holiday season has lots of indulgent temptations!

But don’t retreat into exercise hibernation. Read our top tips and practical measures to stay active and happy this winter.

  • Keeping active will help beat the winter blues and improve overall well being.
  • If you exercise outdoors, do your warming up inside before you head outside, add extra layers and don’t forget your hat and gloves. A scarf can help keep draughts away from your neck too.
  • When it’s cold, your muscles can get tighter leaving you more susceptible to injuries, make sure you adjust your warm up routine to compensate.
  • If it’s too icy outdoors, avoid any slippery accidents by bringing your exercise routine indoors, if you must go out wear insulated, anti-slip footwear with a rubber tread.
  • Unfortunately cold viruses are all too common this time of year, so remember if you have a temperature it’s important to give your body the rest it needs.
  • Of course by sticking to your exercise routine, you can avoid feeling sluggish, maintain your healthy weight and in doing so you will feel better in those Christmas party outfits!

So stay active, stay healthy this winter and treat yourself to the odd treat here and there! 😉

Happy Holidays!

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The spookiest night of the year…

October 31, 2017
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Halloween is around the corner and we will see ghouls and ghosts out and about. Teenagers seem to revel in dressing up and younger children often enjoy the thrill of a little scare. Hopefully nothing that will keep them up at night!

Is there anything keeping you up at night? We can’t help much if you are bothered by visions of vampires, but we can help with any discomfort or pain your body is giving you.

Chiropractic care can help with your own skeleton, as poor spinal health is all trick and no treat! Taking care of your bones can help manage low back pain, neck pain and can help pain associated with the early stages of osteoarthritis.

Regular chiropractic care can also minimise muscle strains and improve strength and posture. Poor sleeping patterns or an awkward sitting position can cause strains and sprains in the soft tissue of the neck for example. Maintaining a good posture during these long cosy nights of Autumn can be greatly improved with chiropractic care and advice.

What about suffering from regular headaches? If you do you are not alone. Headaches have many causes, or “triggers.” Some due to lack of sleep, stress or changes in blood sugar levels, overzealous eating of Halloween treats won’t help! While others can be caused by tension radiating from the neck. Both chiropractic care and acupuncture have shown to be very effective in the management of migraine and headaches. Chiropractic manipulation of any joint dysfunctions and soft tissue techniques including relaxation massage can all ease the frequency and severity of headaches.

And of course, finally Chiropractic care is all about prevention and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Often this can be tricky during Halloween and dark Autumnal days but I can advise you on exercise and making healthier lifestyle choices.

So go on don’t be spooked by your own health, give yourself a treat and book an appointment with me today, you’ll feel so good, it might scare you!

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Your Post-Summer Body Checklist

September 22, 2017
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Have you neglected your body over the summer holidays? Many of us do as we go on holidays, have kids off school or over do things in our desire to make the most of the sunny summer days. We can change our exercise, activity levels, sleep patterns and more over the summer, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.

As Autumn settles in, it is a good time to stop and check in with your body. What is it telling you at the end of the summer season?

Take notice of what you’re feeling today, do you have headaches? Is your energy low? Are you having trouble sleeping?

Many of us have lost the skill of listening to our body. We ignore its messages, we think that headaches, asthma, poor sleep and low energy are just “a part of normal life”.

We think “no pain, no gain” when undertaking rigorous exercise and whilst exercise is good, it is the right amount of exercise at the right intensity that is good. Soreness and fatigue can accompany many new exercise routines, and many minor musculoskeletal complaints will go away in a few days with rest and gentle stretching, but if the same complaint occurs repeatedly this is a sign of an underlying problem that your body is trying to tell you.

Take a look at our body checklist here:

  • Dull aches and pains that don’t go away.
  • An unusual range of motion
  • More headaches than usual
  • Disturbed sleep/change in sleep patterns

Your body holds all the answers, pointers and guidance you need to feel balanced, full of vitality and in the flow of your own life. The trick is learning to train our brains to recognise the signs.

A great way to pay more attention to your body, is to start a meditation practice, find time to spend 5/10 minutes each day in quiet contemplation to help rekindle the mind-body connection. Meditation can help you pick up the subtle clues, and recognise your body whispers before your body shouts.

If, after you check in with your body, you find an issue that you need some help with please do get in touch to make an appointment.

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“8 Reasons Why Swimming Really Is A One Size Fits All Sport.”

August 7, 2017
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Swimming is the perfect summer sport, what better way is there to cool off than to take a refreshing dip? With our miles of glorious beaches, plenty of local public swimming pools and even an open air pool in Lymington, who can resist taking to the water? You don’t have to be able to compete with the likes of Adam Peaty or Rebecca Adlington, as no matter what your age or your fitness levels the benefits of swimming are striking. So grab your swimming costume and find out why swimming really is a one size fits all sport!

  1. Provides a full body workout – Swimming uses all the muscles in the body so you get a full body workout. Swimming builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness
  2. Burns calories and helps weight management – Swimming is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. Even a gentle swim can burn over 200 calories in just half an hour and if you can manage an even faster swim it is possible to burn more than cycling or running.
  3. Offers a low Impact exercise – While keeping your heart rate up but without the impact stress on your body, swimming is the ideal exercise for those who suffer from osteoarthritis, or for those whom weight bearing exercise can be painful. With the water supporting up to 90% of the body’s weight, the greater ease of movement and less strain on the bones, joints and muscle, swimming has a lower risk of injury than many other forms of exercise.
  4. Lowers the risk of some illnesses – Not only is swimming a great form of cardiovascular exercise, it has been shown to help control blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Regular swimming can reduce the likelihood of developing illnesses like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
  5. Boosts your energy levels – 30 minutes of swimming 3 times per week can increase metabolic rate and boost overall energy levels.
  6. Lowers stress levels – Swimming regularly can lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and depression and improve sleep patterns. Even a gentle swim will have you feeling the mental benefits.
  7. Improves general wellbeing – Alongside a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle, swimming is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy and can help you feel mentally refreshed.
  8. And finally if you need any more motivation, just think no sweaty gym bags and stinking trainers with swimming. Swim more, sweat less!

So what’s stopping you? Swim your way to health this summer and you may even find yourself in next year’s Bournemouth Pier to Pier swim. How is that for a goal?
Stay safe and have fun!

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Loving your Garden this Easter? Love your back too!

April 13, 2017
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The Easter weekend is nearly here and it’s the time most recreational gardeners are likely to pick up the spade and start gardening. Often these first few weeks of Spring don’t just bring sunshine and bluebells but backaches and the blues!

So before you grab your spade or hoe, take a read of these top tips:

  • Prepare – Wear loose fitting, non-restrictive clothing to keep cool and to make movements easier. And essentially wear sturdy, strong and supportive footwear.
  • Plan – To avoid over doing it when the sun is out, make a plan by to just plant, weed, rake or prune, not to do it all in one go. Alternatively, concentrate on one small area at a time. By sticking to one task a day or one small area a day you will reduce your chance of injury.
  • Potting/Planting – Kneel on a mat or sit on a gardening stool rather than bending down for weeding and planting to protect your lower back. Use your arms to support your body and change your position regularly.
  • Pruning – Avoid over stretching and try to  get as close as possible to the area you are pruning. Use long handled shears to reach plants and bushes that are beyond your normal reach and if you have to use a ladder make sure it’s firm and safely positioned in the ground.
  • Digging – Alternate the foot you use to drive the spade into the ground, keep your feet hip-width apart and use your legs rather than your back. Avoid bending or twisting during the movement. If you are able, also try to alternate which hand is at the top and bottom of the spade. Take a small spade full each time and change which side you throw the soil.
  • Raking – With one leg forward, and one leg back, sweep the ground before you. Use short movements and don’t reach too far. Swapping hands, changing frequency and utilising different tools will all help reduce stress and fatigue.
  • Enjoy the fruits of your labours – congratulate yourself on your accomplishments by taking regular breaks, keeping hydrated, and enjoying the quiet moments in your outside space

Don’t forget injuries are most common if you suddenly increase physical activity, if you don’t take reasonable care in the garden and especially if you have a previous back, neck or knee problem.

If you do find yourself with pain or injury after gardening, please do get in touch to book an appointment. We will get you back out in your garden as quickly as possible!

Happy Easter!

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Spring is on its way! Do you have a spring in your step?

March 9, 2017
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Or are you suffering from hip, knee and heel pain.

Hip, knee, and foot pain is often caused by the compression of the nerve in the lower back. Carrying an injury, suffering from arthritis and having poor posture can also account for damage in hip, knee and ankle joints and also in the leg muscles themselves. However perhaps consider your choice of footwear too.

  • If you are suffering from knee pain one of the most common reasons is inappropriate footwear for example running or exercising on uneven surfaces with worn out, tight or loose fitting shoes
  • High heels cause foot pain but are also a contributing factor in causing knee pain. Wearing high heels causes an additional amount of strain on the shin muscles and with the extra height of the heels potentially responsible for the shortening of the calf muscles this can also lead to both knee and feet pain.
  • Flip-flops can lead to foot, hip, knee, and back pain and can actually alter the way you walk by taking shorter strides and crunching up the toes to hold onto the sandal.
  • Too pointed a shoe can squeeze the ball of the foot into a restricted space.
  • Wearing shoes with little arch support can cause the overuse of tendons and muscles not only in your feet, but also in hips, ankles, knees, and back.
  • Footwear is an important consideration for everyone. Shoes should be comfortable and supportive and protective of the architecture of the foot. Problems such as flat foot or bunion on the first Metatarsal Joint are the result of compromised weight bearing stresses over long periods of time. It is important that footwear optimises weight bearing forces and encourage good foot health.
  • Many chiropractic patients benefit from wearing customised insoles, as the average day shoe may not be designed for the personal needs of their feet. Customised footbeds promote better use of the foot and prevent chronic injury which can result from compromised biomechanics forces.

The impact of work, wearing inappropriate footwear, bad sitting postures and the way we exercise place an extra strain on our hips, knees, and feet, leading them prone to damage and pain. Chiropractic care can help you improve your posture, which will in turn improve the way your feet feel as you walk or move thereby helping to prevent chronic and recurrent problems.

If you want a smooth run in life you need only be a step away from booking an appointment!

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Sugar Free February?

February 10, 2017
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Have you started February sugar free and finding it tough going? Or still considering eliminating sugar from your diet and need some motivation?
Well here’s the motivation!

  • Sugary foods feed the bacteria in our system causing an imbalance of bad bacteria in our system. This imbalance can leave us feeling fatigued, lacking in motivation, irritable, suffering from headaches, allergies and with a lowered immune system.
  • Researchers are increasingly finding links between high sugar diets and conditions such as heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Sugar is calorific and it’s easier to pile the pounds as sugar prompts your body to release insulin – and insulin surges promote fat storage.
  • Sugar laden foods can create aches in the body due to inflammation.
  • Sugar overload can also interfere with your digestion, causing bloating and gas.
  • Some people also report they have clearer, less spot-prone skin when they reduce their sugar consumption.

Need help to manage the cravings?

  • Anticipate the slump. Keep a diary so if you know the time of day when you have a sugar slump, try to change your routine or take a break and head out for 5 minute walk
  • Eat regular meals and keep hydrated. Allowing ourselves to get dehydrated can lead to sugar cravings. Drinking plenty of water and eating regular meals will help stabilise blood sugar levels.
  • Sleep and relax. Don’t stress – meditate. If you are stressed you are more likely to reach for the sugar, likewise the more tired you are the more your body craves sugar.

Going cold turkey on sugar isn’t right for everyone – particularly if you have a pre-existing serious medical condition or are pregnant.
In addition to reducing your sugar and eating healthy foods, getting adjusted regularly can keep your body free of aches and pains!

So here’s to a successful sugar separation!

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New Year, New You?

January 11, 2017
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After weeks of festive indulgences many of us start the New Year with resolutions to improve our health or lose weight by eating better and exercising.
So with January now in full swing, this is a reminder that New Year’s Resolutions don’t have to be broken! With some simple steps you can improve the health of your spine and your overall wellness.

  • 30 minutes of daily exercise will not only decrease your risk of obesity but will decrease back pain, migraines and other neuro-musculoskeletal symptoms. However, whenever starting something new, beware of the impact on your body of a radical increase in activity and don’t be tempted to progress too quickly. Start off slowly and gradually work up to a more intense and longer workout. Initially, a brisk walk might be easier to achieve and will set you up for long term success.
  • Eat healthily. Eating a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables and low on processed foods can keep your weight in a healthy range and subsequently reduce strain on your joints and spine. Eating more fruit and vegetables can help with digestion, build strong bones and provide antioxidants. Foods rich with magnesium, for example leafy greens and nuts, can also offer relief from back pain.
  • Practice mindfulness. Meditation and taking breaks throughout the day can all aide in stress reduction. A lot of muscle pain originates from stress. If you’re feeling tense, take 10 minutes to relax your entire body and breathe deeply. The deep breathing in meditation also encourages fresh oxygen to the muscles that need it. And lowering your stress levels will also help your immune system become more resilient.
  • Finally book an appointment with a chiropractor! Chiropractic adjustments boost your immune system and improve your overall wellness.

Don’t delay, book an appointment now to ensure a healthier, happier you in 2017.

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