Precision Movement's KT gives her recommendations for reducing the risk of a flare up from pain and autoimmune conditions as well as re-injury during the Christmas party season.
My work as a rehabilitation specialist is an important but relatively small part of health and wellness. I always try to give as much verbal advice as I can along with reading material and tonnes of motivational and moral support! But sometimes we need a little extra... Freebies anyone? ;)
I'm offering an hour of my time throughout the months of September and October (to the first 15 people who sign up) to sit down and ask me anything about your health and wellness that you feel will support your work with me in the studio - (coffee and treats included obvs). If you are not currently a client of Precision Movement you can still book in with me - we don't discriminate here!
All you need to do is:
1. Think of up to three topics you would like help with or would like to change. It could be a nutritional question, how to optimise your sleep, how to fit your home programme in to your life more optimally, to a new goal such as climbing Everest!
2. Email me direct to book yourself in and list the topics you would like to chat about with me so I can prepare accordingly.
3. Meet me at The Atrium restaurant at Grosvenor House Apartments and we'll discuss the topics and formulate a plan about how to integrate changes into your life for a healthier happier you.
How does that sound?
Contact KT direct at KT@precisionmovement and with the subject line "an hour with KT". Valid through September 1st - October 31st 2015. Appointments subject to KT's availability although we'll try to accommodate as much as possible. Appointments are non-transferable and cannot be rescheduled once booked.
At Precision Movement we often work in conjunction with medical experts and therapists to help clients get better faster. We've hand picked specialists in orthopaedics, physiotherapy, osteopathy, specialist chiropractic, nutrition, lifestyle and stress management. Our MO is to get you better - whatever that takes we'll make it happen. We want our work to benefit you at the right point in your recovery so we may send you to another specialist first or in conjunction with the work we are doing.
So here are our hand picked specialists and a bit about how they could potentially help you. Click on the links below to find out more about them and how to contact them.
Lucy Bransgrove is a private visiting Physiotherapist who specialises in back pain and injuries as well as working at Kings College Boys School in Wimbledon as their pitchside sports physio. Lucy provides treatment at the Precision Movement studio as part of our injury rehabilitation programme.
Heidi Grant is a NUCCA Chiropractor and specialises in head and neck trauma as well as how the alignment of the head and cervical spine affect the whole body. Patients range from professional athletes to those recovering from strokes, neurological disorders, chronic pain, and common injuries. I work in conjunction with Heidi a lot to help clients hold their adjustments better.
London Orthopaedic clinic
If you require more medical and invasive interventions from trauma or long term degenerative changes, Precision Movement recommends patients to The London Orthopaedic Clinic on Wimpole Street, W1. Founded by Mr Brian Cohen, it houses a team of 14 surgeons and specialist physicians who I would trust with my life!
Philip Waldman at Chelsea Natural Health
Philip Waldman is the owner of Chelsea Natural Health clinic and my personal Osteopath. As a local practitioner to my home I am always recommending his treatment to clients if they are close by. Many of my clients have said he has magic hands! He is truly gifted.
Karen Maidment at Pure Body Balance
Karen Maidment is a Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and is my go-to girl for all the inner workings of the body. Karen provides a comprehensive assessment of the digestive and hormone systems and helps you heal your insides with anti-inflammatory nutrition. She has also written a book called Meals that Heal which I have found invaluable. If you need any kind of nutritional support I highly recommend Karen - she does much of her work by Skype so don't let her home town of Cheltenham put you off!
Richard Skudder at Pure Sports Medicine in Kensington
ure Sports Med Richard Skudder is the Osteopath at Pure Sports Medicine Kensington and specialises in the biomechanical aspects of human movement, injury prevention and injury recovery. Richard helped me overcome my elbow tendonitis last year - a great practitioner.
Avni Trevedi at Avni Touch in North London specialises in women's and paediatric healthcare. Avni sees many women while they are trying to conceive, during their pregnancy and when the baby arrives often treats both mother and child.
Joanne Halstead is a remedial sports massage therapist working from practices in Mayfair and Shoreditch. She works with clients who need regular release work as a result of their sports and the stresses of every day life. Joanne comes highly recommended by me personally as I've hugely benefited from her treatments.
Fabs Massage Fabian Adami is a remedial sports massage therapist who has worked with Precision Movement clients to assist in their recovery from injury. He often works with rugby players. Having received treatment from him on a number of occasions I can highly recommend him. Fabian works in Putney and also offers a mobile service - visiting you at home which comes in very handy for us time poor busy folk!
Fitness Adventure Travel
Rob Tynan's company, Fitness Adventure Travel provide bespoke fitness travel life changing experiences. I am due to lead a trip to Vietnam this year for F.A.T and I highly advocate setting yourself a challenge like this and gearing your training towards it. Life is for enjoyment, adventure and experience, and if your training can support this then all the better!
Florence Parot is a Sophrologist specialising in sleep and burnout. As you know I for me sleep is an essential foundation of health and wellness. It's where we heal and recover both mentally. For those really struggling with the quality and quantity of their sleep Florence can help you. As a former corporate ladder climber Florence knows how burnout starts, what it feels like and how to recover from a total crash.
Be Sophro is owned by Dominique Antiglio a sophorologist who specialises in birth preparation, stress management and preparation for special events. Sophrology combines gentle movements, visualisation and meditative practices which make it a comprehensive system for mental and emotional support and rebalance.
In summary, at Precision Movement we are specialists in movement - in rehabilitation and strength conditioning. We also highly advocate optimising all areas of your health and well-being and that's why we have picked these specialists for you should you ever need their assistance.
Karen Maidment is co-owner of Pure Body Balance in Gloucestershire. She is also the author of Meals that Heal and the creator of specialist cooking workshops that teach you how to make meals that really do heal your body. Karen not only specialises in nutrition but in all the systems of the body and how they work together to optimise a healthier happier lifestyle. Karen works with clients of Precision Movement to optimise their lifestyle and nutrition aspects of health to support the training they do with us.
KT: What sparked your interest in Nutrition and wellness?
Karen: I have always had a love for cooking and food. From a very young age my sister and I were encouraged to get involved with our parent’s back garden allotment. We would get paid a penny for every caterpillar we removed from Dad’s cabbages! And my mum would pop us on a foot stool so that we could reach the worktop and make little cookies and fairy cakes. I grew up in the countryside where blackberry picking, locally shot pheasant and rabbit and home grown produce were part of the norm.
Later on in life during a dip in enthusiasm for my post graduate career in fashion my now husband and business partner Adrian, encouraged me to follow my heart and begin a distance learning course in Nutrition Coaching. Three years later as I was coming to the end of this first course Adrian was taken seriously ill with Crohns Disease. After 2 years of misdiagnosis he finally ended up having major surgery and so we used both his education with the CHEK Institute and my knowledge in nutrition and lifestyle management to turn his health around.
KT: For you, what is the foundation of health?
Karen: Actually to me a healthy mindset is the key. After a decade studying and working in the health industry I have come to realise that as health coaches we tend to be way to hard on ourselves. There is a level of perfectionism that we seem to aim for that is simply unattainable. Yes eating organic food, clean water and seasonal produce are the foundations of my nutritional regime, BUT honestly none of this matters if I don’t like, love and respect myself enough to make those choices daily. Most importantly, it's to treat myself with compassion when I don’t make the most healthful choices. I am only human after all!
KT: What types of people usually seek out your help and why?
Karen: This has evolved as I have evolved both as a coach and with my own health journey. During my 10 or so years in the industry I have worked through numerous health issues myself, in fact I am still a work in progress. From Adrenal Fatigue to Amenorrhea, IBS to Insomnia. I tend to find that clients with similar health issues to those I am working through seek me out. A few years ago I started my website endibsnaturally.com at that time I was working through major IBS symptoms and so it seemed natural to me to share how I was healing myself with my clients. Now I tend to be working a lot with auto immune disease and adrenal fatigue. Many of my closet family members have various auto immune diseases, such as my husband and after an incredibly successful and busy year in 2014 my adrenal health certainly took a hit! My clients tell me that they connect with me due to my authenticity and ability to show compassion through my own challenges. It requires a great deal of courage on my part to show what I sometimes feel are my imperfections, but my clients LOVE that. It makes them feel understood and shows them that if I can get well they can too.
KT: How do you help people achieve better health and wellness?
Karen: Nutrition and lifestyle coaching fused with practical recipe and cookery support. Ultimately there is no point knowing what you can and can’t eat if you don’t know how to cook and follow a basic recipe.
KT: What do you specialise in?
Karen: Many back pain syndromes and injuries are caused by inflammation which creates instability leading to injury. For instance tennis elbow and lumbar spine weakness have show to reduce and resolve themselves once inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy have been taken out of the diet. I often see reoccurring injuries failing to heal after corrective exercises and hands on therapy due to this inflammatory process. In addition using foods as medicine you can actually facilitate a quicker recovery from pain and injury. Saturated fats for instance are known to improve bone, muscle and tissue structure, as is homemade bone broth which contains high amount of collagen and gelatin. I have seen fantastic results by supplementing with a mixture of bone broth and Great Lakes Gelatin in structural and tissue related injuries. Anti inflammatory juices containing ingredients such as fresh turmeric and beetroot and calcium rich greens such as kale and spinach are also great nutritional medicinal tools to promote recovery.
KT: What do you typically eat for breakfast?
Karen: We follow a Paleo type diet so we often have eggs, salad and some root veggies. I make us a seasonal green juice everyday which nearly always has fresh lemon and ginger, two of my favourite juicing ingredients. I always make sure I have live foods with my cooked protein. Poached wild salmon is a favourite as are the most incredible organic handmade pork and herb sausages from our local farm shop.
KT: What are the four foods/supplements you cannot live without and why?
Karen: Food wise I love organic coconut oil and ghee, these are my staple forms of fat. I do not tolerate dairy very well and so ghee gives me all of the great fat soluble vitamins without the casein and lactose. Wild honey, which is my favourite sweetener, it tastes great and contains live enzymes to help you break down carbohydrates whilst offering up antibacterial properties. Homemade broth to keep my digestive system happy and my bones, skin and muscle strong.
With regards to supplements I cannot live without the North American Herbs & Spice range, these are food grade, wild and handpicked. Particularly I love their probiotics (Healthbac), there adrenal and B vitamin booster (PurelyB) and their mineral support (Purelymin). I do not take any supplement every day, rather I listen to what my body needs and take them as and when I feel my body needs a little boost. Bear in mind that most supplements that you buy are synthetic and are actually of very little use to your body.
KT: With Easter just around the corner, can you recommend a healthier option for a chocolate Easter egg?
Karen: I am totally in love with Booja Booja chocolates, particularly the champagne ones. They taste insanely good and contain no dairy or gluten, to big no-nos for my health. They are also organic. You could also consider making your own raw chocolates, there is a fab recipe in my cook book Meals That Heal.
Karen's book Meals that Heal is available to purchase HERE
Details of Karen's next cookery workshops can be found HERE
To find out more about working with Karen to optimise your nutritional health please contact her at email@example.com or call the centre on 01285 83127.
February 14th 2015 saw the start of the Cricket World Cup hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand. I must confess to knowing very little about cricket. What I do know is that for test matches that last 5 days players still wear white, that the aim of the game is to knock the little stick off the big sticks behind the batsman and to rack up as many runs as you can without being bowled out. When you get 100 runs they call it a century. Beyond that I get very lost particularly on the physics behind the trajectory of the ball etc. Anyway, due to my very base level of knowledge on a complex sport I'm calling upon Thihan Chandramohan (known as T), head physio for Hampshire Cricket team for this blog post. I am always interested to know about the injuries and treatment of elite sports people and I always think it makes for interesting reading when you can peer into someone else world for 5 minutes! So without further ado I give you T...
KT: Let's start with the basics... Did you play cricket when you were young?
TC: I always say that I was pre-destined to enjoy cricket due to my half-Indian, half- Sri Lankan heritage. Add to that being born in England and raised in Australia, cricket is the game which binds these nations together. Sadly, despite this genetic and cultural mix and many hours in our suburban backyard playing cricket with my brother, the cricket genius never materialised. When I did play social cricket games with friends as a teenager I was always the designated non-batting, non-bowling, outfielder… and I can’t catch.
I did (and still do) enjoy watching cricket which actually led me towards a career in physio. I was about 14 years old and watching a Test match. The Australian captain, Allan Border went down with a back injury while batting. The Aussie physio trotted out and manipulated his back on the pitch and Border went on to make a hundred. I was amazed and thought, if I could never make a hundred for Australia, maybe I could be the guy who keeps the players who can do it on the park. At the time I didn’t know what a physio was, but I knew I wanted to be one.
KT: How long have you been working with Hampshire Cricket?
TC: I moved to Hampshire County Cricket for the 2013 season so have been here for just on 18 months. Prior to this I was physio for the Victorian Cricket Team from 2009 and have worked in sports physio my whole career.
KT: What are the common injuries that cricket players often get?
TC: Cricket is an unusual sport in that fast bowlers are the guys who get about 70% of all injuries, particularly those injuries that stop them being able to play. Most commonly these are lower limb overuse problems such as knee and ankle tendinopathies, cartilage injuries to the hip, knee and ankle as well as bone stress lesions, especially in the lower back. They are also susceptible to the usual lower limb soft tissue strains seen in other high intensity running sports.
Batsmen get injured too, but these tend to be on the less severe end of the spectrum. That is, except for fractures caused by getting hit by the ball, which mainly occur to the hands and upper limb.
KT: Why are these particular injuries so common?
TC: For bowlers some of the most debilitating and common injuries are lumbar or lower back stress lesions. Typically seen in adolescent and young adult fast bowlers, pain onset is usually gradual with worsening symptoms on continued bowling. It is a complex pathology related to a multitude of co-factors including; growth stage and rate, bowling workload, bowling action mechanics, muscular strength and many others. It is so common that every international fast bowler will have been through at least one bout of rehab for lumbar stress reactions or fractures and many will have had multiple episodes. The primary cause is due to the high compressive and shear forces which the lumbar spine needs to absorb and transmit during the fast bowling action. In fact some studies show ground reaction forces at front foot contact to be 8 times body weight. Fast bowlers can do this 120 times per day! A lot of the current research is looking at ways to better manage fast bowlers to minimize their risks of these injuries developing.
KT: How long does it take for a cricket player to get back on the field after an injury?
TC: Like any injury, return to play is dependent on the severity and nature of the pathology. Low grade stress reactions with early detection can be back playing within 3-4 months while full stress factures may mean missing up to 12 months of bowling and may even need surgery if the stability of the spine is compromised and pain persists.
KT: What are the most important aspects of successful injury recovery
TC: As a sport physio I have a big box of tools that I can use to help make this recovery process as efficient and effective as possible. These start with assessment tools and investigations to evaluate and objectify the problem. This allows me to then judiciously use specific treatments including manual therapy and dry needling for pain management and to improve particular movements and/or tissue quality.
However the crux of any rehab plan is a progressive motor control, movement patterning and strengthening programme with clear objective goals and steps to allow continuous progression and return the athlete to bowling. This often includes corrective exercise at the start of an injury rehabilitation programme.
KT: How does physio for an elite sportsman compare to physio treatment for non-sports people?
TC: The biggest difference, is that a professional athlete’s body is their tool for their livelihood. So as a physio, my job is not to rule them out of playing whenever they have a niggle. Nor is it to work my magic on them and get them fit to play whenever they need it.
My job is to make sure they never miss a training session, and never miss a game. The cricketers who achieve this, end up being better athletes because they get to practice their skills more then the guy who is injured all the time. And not surprisingly, the more you are able to practice, the longer and more successful your career in the sport. This process is not dissimilar for non-sports people but the expectations on outcome and commitment to recovery are different.
With elite athletes I am also lucky in having the opportunity to try to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. I do this through education and injury prevention programming. Using musculoskeletal screening assessments, I individualise their programs which becomes part of their routine. I feel this empowers the players to be more independent with their body management and gives them better awareness and understanding of their bodies to use them more effectively.
KT: Who are you backing for the Cricket World Cup?
TC: I have a soft spot of Australia as I have worked with a few of the current players over the years
KT: Who do you think will win?
TC: My tip is actually New Zealand, they have a great group of batters and bowlers, will play the conditions well and seem to be a winning team at the moment.
KT: Who is your favourite cricket player across all the teams worldwide and why?
TC: My favourite is the captain of Sri Lanka, Angelo Matthews as he is always so passionate about winning and never gives his wicket up easily.
So there you have it, an interview with an inspiring and lively physiotherapist for a sport I barely know anything about! With that said I hope England are doing well in the competition. Hampshire Cricket start their England 2015 season on 12th April. Find out more information at www.ageasbowl.com
Back pain affect 80% of the population at some point in life. It is easy to ignore it but it can quick escalate to a very serious problem. If you take a series of simples steps at the first sign of a problem then you can minimise the risk of your back pain becoming a life long problem and seriously affecting your enjoyment of life.
My ebook '6 Steps to getting your back pain sorted' gives you the fundamentals and step by step instructions on how to get your back pain sorted. It tells you who to see and in what order, what to say, what to expect at each stage and how to manage your condition going forwards.
I spoke with someone on the phone a few weeks back with Mr BackPain, who has a particularly complex back problem and at the end of the call he asked me "can you really help me?". It's a brilliant question that should be asked more frequently and my answer to him is what inspired this blog post. If you are wondering if I can help you or someone you know then read on.... (and at the end I reveal what happened with Mr BackPain!)
Mr Back Pain
Mr BackPain has had a problem with his back for more than 15 years. He had an operation to try to fix the problem and it made no difference. He had given up hope of ever being pain free.
Most of the people who walk through my door have exactly the same problem - long term pain that just doesn't seem to go away no matter what they try. At Precision Movement we make sure we find out what is really going on. If that means you need more specialist assistance we'll make sure you get it. Our MO is to get you better - we want you walking out of the clinic a changed person and we'll do everything we can to make sure that happens.
But I've tried loads of things...
Mr BackPain is a proactive man and tried many many treatments and remedies to get better but to no avail. Just like you, so have most of the people I work with. They have taken a stab in the darkness of treatments and thought ok I'll try this. Then when it hasn't worked they've gambled on something else. Or they have been blindly led from one practitioner to the next with little improvement. Would you blindly hire someone to take care of your children? Or run the accounts in your business? Probably not!
Combination of specialists
There are many components of recovery from back pain. At Precision Movement we are experts in rehabilitation and movement and we also know our limits! We have found that it is the combination of treatments from the best experts working together that get you better faster rather than one treatment or random treatments that don't fit well together or in series. We have hand picked the experts we collaborate with in orthopaedics, physiotherapy, osteopathy, specialist chiropractic, nutrition, lifestyle and stress management - check out our Partners page coming soon, or ask me in person or by email (KT@precisionmovement.co.uk). We want our work to benefit you at the right point in your recovery so we may send you to another specialist first or in conjunction with the work we are doing. Remember our MO is to get you better - whatever that takes we'll make it happen.
The RIGHT exercise for you
Mr BackPain had tried some exercise on the advice of a practitioner some rehabilitative corrective work and some more conventional exercise like running and it often made his pain worse.
One of the key components to getting better from pain caused by inactivity, structural damage, degeneration and trauma is the right movement therapy. Any old movement just will not do. I see many people who have been 'moving' or given specific exercises some of which have merit. The issue comes with remembering how to do them correctly alone and actually do the exercises regularly!
We're different and we work
The first important difference we give people who work with us is the foundational principles of movement. We educate and teach our clients the 4 pillars of movement - alignment, mobility, stability and strength so all of their exercises become more effective and beneficial. The second important difference is consistency - we make sure you do your exercises correctly and regularly. The third component that makes our process so successful is we educate you on why we ask you do to do certain exercises. It makes the experience more mindful and purposeful. Our clients leave understanding how their body works better and they are able to identify themselves when they are in and out of good alignment.
So can I really help you?
The answer is yes I believe I can help you. I have an excellent track record of helping people out of pain, improving alignment, stability and strength and I'm pretty good at judging when you need additional assistance from other areas. If you need to see some even more brilliant specialists before you focus on rehabilitative exercise with us we're totally cool with that!
Incidentally, if you were wondering what happened to Mr BackPain he said, "thank you so much for being honest with me. I have had back pain for 15 years and even after my operation it is just as painful. You are the first person in all my experience who has taken an active interest in helping me get better." I have referred him on to a specialist who I'll be collaborating with and when he's ready he'll come and do his rehab work with me - 'coz that's just how I roll!
Contact us today to find out how we can help you - make 2015 the year you sort out your aches and pains for good!
In my last post of 2014 I'd like to share with the most popular posts of 2014. Wishing you all a wonderful seasonal break whether you are staying home with family or travelling to a warmer destination for some winter sun - be safe, take care of your body, rest and rejuvenate and I'll see you back here in 2015 for more amazing information and top tips to keep you healthy, happy and on top of your fitness game! For now here are the top 5 articles of 2014 (plus a photo based one for those of you who prefer images!).
In top place was the article I wrote on how Corrective Exercise differs from Regular Exercise. This doesn't surprise me as it's the question I get asked the most!
A close second was the case study on Mr G - I have to say the before and after photos are awesome!
The top interview article was with Hannah Richards, nutritionist at MoveThreeSixty. Hannah sees most of my clients for any an all nutritional needs.
Many of you enjoyed Precision Movement's new look photo article - I mean who doesn't love a make over? For those of you who missed it or just want a visual story then this ones for you!
The most popular article I wrote for BOE magazine was my top ten tips for the best nights sleep. Personally I am very passionate about sleep and it's imperative for good healing and recovery from injury.
And lastly, my favourite article to write this year was about how Movement is the Foundation of Career Success and it is one of the most read articles on BOE Magazine! Which is truly is!
Happy re-reading and have a wonderful Christmas season - warmest wishes KT at Precision Movement. If you are already thinking that your 2015 goal is to get fitter, manage that injury or back pain, get that ballet body you've always wanted or kick the hell out of something to the best shape of your life then contact me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and lets have a chat about your fitness plan for 2015.
Last week I had a massage from Joanne Halstead from The Onyx London and I can't tell you how amazing I feel! I was so inspired by her skills that I decided to interview her and find out why massage is such an integral part of healing from injury and also what role it plays in general health. I mean lets be real here, who doesn't love massage? And once you read about all the amazing health benefits, scroll down to the foot of the article for Joanne's special offer to enjoy your next massage totally guilt free!
What is remedial massage?
Remedial massage is one of the most effective and readily available ways to prevent and treat muscle injuries, pain and soreness. Remedial Massage is one of the deepest forms of massage and ideal for the relief and prevention of musculo-skeletal injuries or conditions, whether through sport, occupation, postural problems, or a specific trauma.
How does massage help poor alignment and injury?
When you hunch forward, your body isn’t properly aligned. Not only does poor posture look bad, but it forces some muscles to work incredibly hard while others get weaker. Poor posture can put you in other slumps, too. When you slouch, you’re pressing down on your internal organs, which affects digestion. Massage relaxes the overworked and sore muscles that resulted from bad posture and allow your body to relax into its natural alignment. Heavily exercised muscles may also lose their capacity to relax, causing chronically tight muscles, and loss of flexibility. Lack of flexibility is often linked to muscle soreness, and predisposes you to injuries, especially muscle pulls and tears. Blood flow through tight muscles is poor, which also causes pain.
What roles does massage play in general health?
Massage, whether conducted in a softly lit day spa or a treatment room at a physical therapy clinic, is something many people use to soothe sore joints and muscles, to ease anxiety or to help them sleep better.
Some of the general benefits of massage therapy may include:
- Physical relaxation
- Improved circulation, which nourishes cells and improves waste elimination
- Relief for tight muscles (knots) and other aches and pains
- Release of nerve compression (carpel tunnel, sciatica)
- Greater flexibility and range of motion
- Enhanced energy and vitality
- Some clinical (remedial) styles may help heal scar tissue as well as tendon, ligament, and muscle tears
What do you think your treatment is MOST helpful with?
The treatments I offer are most helpful with a range of issues. You cannot treat one physical problem without treating a psychological problem as they are both influenced by the other. When you are in a lot of physical pain this will have an impact on your mental well being which is why most massage therapists treat their clients in a holistic way. As I am renowned for treating injuries or preventing injury I would say that my treatments are most helpful with this. My treatments allow people to have better form and flexibility as they workout and minimising further stress on the body allowing for a niggle/injury free life.
What do you specialise in?
I have studied many types of massage therapy around the world, however I am best known for my injury prevention, relieving pain in specific sites and deep tissue work. I am known and respected by many personal trainers and work well with them to help their clients recover and heal from injuries and pain.
What do you typically see people for?
Most people will come and see me or get referred to me if they have problems with movement due to tightness, poor posture due to bad working conditions (ie working at a desk for long periods, being on a computer/phone for long periods etc) or specific injuries caused by exercise or a sporting activity.
How often does someone need treatment?
Depending on lifestyle, massage therapy works well at least once a month for overall good health. Many of my clients that travel frequently, are highly stressed or participate in sporting activities usually come once a week. This allows my clients to maintain a good working posture and prevents injury.
What is the most common complaint people comes in with?
A good proportion of my clients come to me due to back pain as a result of bad posture and lack of body awareness. I also see a lot of specific injuries, usually because of bad form when it comes to exercise or over/incorrect training.
Do you believe the people you see need corrective exercise?
Yes I very much believe that most, if not all my clients need to implement corrective exercise. We have quite a 'desk culture' at the moment and most people will spend 6-7hrs at their desk. This has led to the increase of back problems and thus people taking medication or even having surgery. I really do believe that through regular corrective exercise and massage therapy a lot of these problems can be prevented. Corrective exercise also ensures a more effective workout. If your body is aligned through this type of exercise, you become much more body aware meaning your standard weekly workouts have a much more positive effect on the body and you are more likely to see results.
What general advice can you give that readers can implement straight away?
My advice would be to seek out an exercise professional. Someone like KT will be able to show you how to work out effectively and in such a way that injuries are minimised. Going to the gym is not just about jumping on a piece of equipment, having this mind set is likely to increase the risk of hurting yourself. Once you have the knowledge on how to exercise properly and effectively I would certainly introduce some kind of bodywork. Osteopaths and chiropractors are brilliant however they work particularly well in conjunction with massage. By combining the two you are working the skeletal and muscular system which is perfect for optimum health.
Joanne is an affiliate practitioner of Precision Movement and has generously offered you 25% off your first remedial massage treatment with her. Discover your discount code here. For more information on Onyx London please visit www.theonyxlondon.com and to contact Joanne direct please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am often asked about which medical treatment is best for back pain or a particular injury. I refer clients to chiropractors as they share a similar philosophy of movement and health as I do. Dr Luther Moss DC, MChiro, PgCert, MCC, co-owner of ML Chiropractic in Fulham, SW London is one such chiropractor that I refer to and I had the opportunity to interview recently about why chiropractic is so helpful to clients recovering from injury and with general overall health. Read on to find out more....
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractors are concerned with maintaining the alignment, flexibility and strength of the body in order to ensure optimal nervous function and health. Although adjustments (which can often result in a crack or pop) are commonly used by chiropractors, we have many other techniques for treatment that I use with patients who still experience fantastic health benefits of proper alignment strength and mobility.
What is the nervous system and how does good joint alignment help its function?
The nervous system is the master control system of your body. The brain is the main computer and the spinal cord and nerves are the wires that allow your brain and body to communicate. Every process within the body is, at its source, controlled by the function of the nervous system and therefore having a healthy and well functioning nervous system is a fundamental requirement for health. Alignment and flexibility of the body (especially the spine) influences the nervous system’s ability to communicate signals from the body to the brain and then back to the body. Through a specific nerve sense called proprioception (movement sense) movement helps to regulate the function of the nervous system. Movement and the nervous system are interdependent - they both need each other and when healthy, help each other function better.
How does chiropractic help poor alignment and injury?
If joints, specifically spinal joints, are misaligned or inflexible then their ability to produce this movement sense is reduced and so compromises the function of the nervous system. Of the 100billion or so nerve fibres in the spinal cord, over half are responsible for transmitting this movement sense and of those 90% come from the spine. Therefore movement, alignment and function of the spine is of paramount importance when considering the health of the nervous system.
In injury better alignment and flexibility leads to faster recovery due to increased nervous function and in daily life it leads to better performance, co-ordination and protection against injury.
(In essence movement represents to the brain what electricity is to a battery on charge, it literally charges the brain to allow better function. Once you understand the huge influence that alignment and flexibility of the spine has on this process, the need to take good care of your spine quickly becomes apparent.)
What roles does chiropractic play in general health?
95% of all health issues are related to one or more of the 3 key areas of health; how we move; how we eat and how we think. Dysfunction in one or more of these areas forces the body to adapt which over a period of time comes at the expense of our health.
Chiropractic focuses on the physical alignment and function side of how we move, optimising function with a view to optimising nervous system performance and allowing our body to express a better level of health. We also help to address the other key areas of nutrition and cognitive function in order to provide a whole health approach to patient care.
What do you specialise in?
My personal area of interest is headaches and migraines. Through detailed neurological testing I firstly help to identify if there is any cause for concern and can make the appropriate referral if necessary. Following this a combination of detailed history taking and chiropractic and orthopaedic physical examination helps to identify the likely cause of the complaint. In many cases misalignment or dysfunction within the neck region is the main culprit. With proper correction of alignment and function of the spine in these cases, the responses can be incredibly powerful with some lifelong sufferers of headaches reporting a complete resolution of their problems I find these patients very satisfying to work with.
What do you think your treatment is MOST helpful with?
The patients that we get the best results with are those who are trying to turn their lives around and have under exercised and overeaten for many years and have normally suffered from long term spinal/body pain. The work we do allows us to coach these patients in the different aspects of their life helping them to become pain free and more importantly have a better level of physical and physiological function.
What do you typically see patients for?
Although the range of patients we see is very large the most common complaint we see is those suffering from lower spinal pain of no apparent onset. This is normally a result of long term problems with posture, movement patterns, diet and stress. People are often confused as to how so much pain can come from no-where but unfortunately that is often the result of failing to properly look after your body.
We also see a range of athletes looking to improve their performance and injury resistance and many people simply come for regular checks to help counteract their physically and emotionally stressful jobs.
How often does someone need treatment?
That is a difficult question to answer as every case is different. However just like getting fit, restoring alignment takes time and dedication; there is no quick fix as we are trying to retrain the body and how it functions. For example someone suffering from acute lower spinal/disc injury a treatment programme may involve 6 treatments in the first 3-4 weeks followed by a further 6 over the next 2 months.
Is your system an intense short term treatment method or more of an ongoing maintenance?
Acute injuries or people with a long term problem often require a period of high intensity treatment initially but our aim is always to get the person as independently healthy as possible as quickly as possible.
Chiropractic is based on a system that is dedicated to optimising people’s long term health and function. Many people then return to us on a regular basis to help maintain alignment and nerve function, they see it as part of their normal health routine alongside exercise and a healthy diet. The frequency of these ‘maintenance’ visits vary from 4-12 weeks. These people are the ones who experience the maximum health benefits from maintaining alignment.
How do you use your treatment for back pain?
Chiropractic adjustments and treatments are recognised as one of the safest, best techniques for the treatment of lower spinal pain. Studies have shown that recovery from mechanical lower back pain using chiropractic has proven to be faster, more effective and less expensive than medical alternatives.
We also see many people recovering from injury or surgery. We can help improve healing times and maintain function during these difficult and often painful periods of time.
Do you believe the patients you see need corrective exercise?
Absolutely. Everyone should be exercising regularly as it is actually impossible to be optimally healthy without exercise and movement being a regular part of your life.
In patients that present with a specific problem, after resolution of their pain or alignment it is essential that they undertake some form of structure exercise in order to maintain the benefits of the treatment and to protect them against injury.
For example someone who presents with headaches as a result of their posture in front of the computer at work can benefit hugely from chiropractic care, however if they fail to improve their postural muscle strength and movement patterns after stopping chiropractic treatment the reality is that their problem with re-occur at some stage.
It is vitally important that these people follow a properly structured routine of exercise focussing on the appropriate muscles and guided by a well trained professional. Pounding miles on a treadmill will not help with alignment problems, patients require a detailed, bespoke and structured exercise routine. Patients who follow a routine show faster recovery from injury, better resilience against future injury and of course, a better overall level of health.
What general advice can you give?
The most important piece of advice is to keep mobile. Immobility i.e. too long hours of sitting or staying still is literally damaging our bodies and our brains. Research now shows that keeping mobile helps to maintain normal brain/neurological function and helps to prevent the onset of many chronic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Luther's top 5 tips for optimising your health:
-Do a minimum of 3 minutes stretching in the morning and the evening (make sure you follow good advice on stretches)
-Set an alarm on your computer for every 40-60minutes and then move when it goes off. Even rolling your shoulders and turning your head from side to side makes a difference, ideally get up and walk for 2-3 mins.
-Do at least 3 sessions of 20 minutes intensive exercise per week - ideally get a personal trainer!
-Challenge yourself regularly by learning new exercise routines or movement patterns to force it to maintain its strength and adaptability.
-Finally drink at least 1.5-2 ltrs of fresh (preferably filtered) water each day. Many people are dehydrated and this is very damaging for your health.
For Precision Movement readers, Luther has kindly offered 50% off initial chiropractic consultation (normally £75) and he is also happy to talk to anyone on the phone for a 10 minute phone consultation free of charge or answer any questions by his personal email -
. You can book an initial consult by calling
0207 731 7640
. For more information please visit
. ML Chiropractic is located at
604 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5RP
Helen Skehan specialises in the treatment of RSI (repetitive strain injuries). She is the owner of
clinic in Islington, a clinic that she built herself over 16 years, houses 9 therapists and also offers massage and ergonomic assessments in the work place.
KT: Helen, what is RSI?
HS: RSI stands for repetitive strain injury. It is a term given to work related non-specific upper limb injuries and does not always mean the injury has come from repetition or is a strain. Patients present with a number of symptoms that may not always be the same from person to person.
KT: What symptoms are common with RSI?
HS: I test for many things - often clients present with varied pain in the neck, shoulder and arm, tingling ,numbness, temperature changes, swelling. I look for specific tightness, muscular imbalance and postural misalignment. I may also send clients to be tested by a rheumatologist to eliminate other underlying conditions.
KT: How does RSI develop?
There are many different ways RSI can develop. It is often a combination of a poor workstation, poor posture, lack of exercise (although not always sometimes I see patients who are real gym bunnies),not taking enough breaks at work, high stress, lots of typing and ignoring initial symptoms.
KT: How does stress play a part in the development of RSI?
I would say stress exacerbates symptoms. Mechanically, stressed induces increased muscle tension in the neck and shoulders where the nerves exit the spine and pass through the shoulder joint down the arm. Also, breathing rate increases and during stressful times we tend to adopt a upper chest lead breathing pattern which utilises the accessory respiratory muscles surrounding the neck and shoulders. The nerves are supposed to glide through neighbouring structures but if the muscles are contracted it can squeeze the nerves causing pain, numbness and tingling.
KT: What is your opinion on exercise for RSI? Does it create more strain or can it help?
HS: I always try to get my patients to engage in some form of stretching, mobilization and exercises. There is always a role for graded exercise in the recovery of RSI. It is important to go by a tolerance factor - the patient should not work into areas of pain.
KT: What affect does posture have on the development of RSI?
HS: Sustained postures for long periods in poor alignment are definitely not healthy and can contribute to RSI. Typically patients that have RSI injuries have a rounded upper back, a forward head carriage and their shoulders are rotated inwards. It is very common to find neck an shoulder stiffness as well as a lack of mobility in the upper back. Some patients can suffer from headaches. Even more distally you find that patients often have hamstring and calf tightness.
KT: What impact does modern technology like smart phones and portable laptops and tablets have on the recovery of RSI?
HS: All these devices encourage a poor posture as you tend to look down at the device you are using. People tend to overuse their smart phones which stresses the fingers, wrists, hands and forearms. With tablets and laptops they can be heavy to carry around and we tend to look down when we use them which strains the upper back and neck.
KT: What advice can you give to people using smart phones and tablets for work?
HS: Modern technology is improving all the time. For smart phones you can use the voice activation system to cut down on your typing time. Try to avoid using your phone and tablet when you travel on the tube and bus to give your hands and arms a rest. At work place a tablet on a stand or a removable keyboard. For laptops and desktop computers invest in an ergonomic mouse or a roller mouse that sits at the front of your keyboard.
KT: What are the early symptoms of RSI?
Any hand symptoms that are related to desk work including pain, muscle cramps, tingling, numbness, swelling or feeling of swelling and restricted movement. Also be aware of any of these symptoms in the shoulder and neck area even repeated small episodes. We should be able to function without pain. I would recommend diarising your symptoms and check over a period of time whether the symptoms remain or get worse. If in 10-14 days the symptoms are still there then seek treatment.
KT: What other advice would you give to those suffering with RSI?
HS: For those with mild symptoms I would advise regular movement that is based on improving postural alignment and mobilising the upper back. Backstroke can be helpful and calming to some. Avoid cycling as the posture can encourage symptoms to get worse. RSI is an injury that develops over time and through the continual use of bad habits. The most important thing is educating yourself on how to minimise the risk of injury and taking responsibility for your health and wellness at work.
For more information please visit the website at
or to make a booking with Helen please contact her clinic, Physio Solutions, on
0207 713 7780
. For more information on how exercise can help you recover from RSI injury please contact me at
Hannah Richards is a Metabolic typing advisor and does functional diagnostic nutrition at
in NW London which she co-owns with Claud Sarjeant. Hannah is a great friend and colleague of mine and I asked her a few questions about how she gains so much success with all the clients I send to her for nutritional purposes. If you would like to work on another part of your healing and recovery as well as optimising your general health for life then this article is a great read for you.
KT: What is Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN)?
HR: FDN is all about finding the root cause of a person's symptoms by testing saliva, urine, blood and stool to determine where the root issue lies and then fixing it. The treatment is bespoke to each individual. I am also a metabolic typing advisor so I help people discover what foods in what ratios are right for their individual make up.
KT: How does what you do differ from regular nutritionist?
HR: With normal nutrition people tend to get treated with an allopathic approach - a this for that system. You'll often find nutritionists treat the symptoms. With FDN I find the root that is causing the symptoms and this can be highly individual for each person. Every disease will inhabit itself very differently in a person. We all oxidise food at different rates, we have different strengths and weaknesses in our autonomic nervous system, we have different acid/alkaline levels and different fat production. So I look at all these systems and the disease it comes with to find a solution that gets the person back to optimal health.
KT: What do you specialise in?
HR: Gastrointestinal rehabilitation. All disease starts in the gut so that is where I look first. Clients will come with symptoms such as weight gain, disturbed sleep, skin conditions, constipation but nearly all of my clients have got digestive issues - so I look to kill off parasites, restore balance in the gut and repair the mucosal gut lining.
KT: What role does nutrition play in general health?
HR: The first foundational principle of survival is hydration but the second is most definitely food. Most people poison themselves with the food that they eat. Food should be a medicine - you should be curing things with food. It is the most preventable measure that people have to cure their own health. If you get the right nutrition then you reverse disease.
KT: What is the right nutrition?
HR: Everyone is different. Your right nutrition is based on genetic history, cultural history, your autonomic nervous system and your ability to break food down. If you have good digestive capabilities and strong stomach acid you'll do well on fat and protein and burn it off. If you don't have good stomach acid and don't have a gall bladder then eating fat and protein is not going to be for you. You can be healthy eating a lot of carbs and healthy eating a lot of protein - you have to find the right fuel for your body.
KT: Why can't I just exercise?
HR: Exercise is a stress to the body. If you don't have enough energy to exercise then over exercising will cause the body to stress out and you might see weight gain. Find the right exercise to do for you. If the body is very stressed out then parasympathetic forms of exercise such as swimming and stretching would be better. If the body has the capacity to exercise then run and do your weights. Exercise is a science one size doesn't fit all. Make sure you are assessed and have your stress levels determined so you know what exercise will serve you.
KT: How does nutrition affect recovery from back pain and injury?
HR: The right nutrition can help your healing and recovery of damaged and inflamed tissues at a cellular level. If you are not getting the right nutrients how can your body heal from injury? It is an integral part of injury and back pain recovery.
KT: What is the most common nutrition pattern you see?
HR: In terms of pathologies the most common are the H pylori parasite and yeast overgrowths. In terms of symptoms, Eating less and gaining weight. Most clients that I see think exercise alone will make them lose weight and they do not know what is in their food or where it comes from.
KT: When working with you what are the most common outcomes of your work?
HR: Success! Weight loss totally achievable once everything else clears up. Underlying symptoms like parasite, adrenal fatigue, infection once cleared then weight loss is achieved. Lose weight, better sleep, stop waking up in the middle of the night, look younger, have more energy, eat a more varied diet, look and feel younger and slimmer and all their digestive symptoms will all go - constipation, diarrhoea, bloating, gas.
KT: What are your absolute no-nos?
HR: Soy, gluten, dairy only if it doesn't suit you. Sugar is as addictive as crack cocaine. Sugar is one of the major causes of cancer and destroys every single cell in the body at the cellular level. It's the world's biggest problem.
KT: Can you offer some general advice that someone can implement immediately?
HR: Hydration - drink water. People are so dehydrated - kidney stones. Easiest thing to fix your health by drinking 2 litres of water per day. Generations of people who were not brought up drinking water. We water flowers so they grow - we need to water the body so it grows otherwise it just shrivels up. So many diseases can be prevented by hydration.
So there you have it - Hannah Richards has spoken. I cannot more highly recommend Hannah for any and all nutrition, weight gain and gut related issues. To find out more about what Hannah does visit her website
. You can contact her at
or call the clinic on
0207 624 4194
This week I had the fortune to interview Dominique Antiglio, a Sophrologist and owner of BeSophro. Formally an osteopath from Switzerland, Dominique found her patients pain was highly linked to stress and how they perceived and reacted to daily life situations. She trained in Sophrology as a means of helping her clients further and now teaches the technique exclusively in private and group sessions here in London at 58 South Molton Street practice in Mayfair. I have personally benefited from this amazing technique and it is a great pleasure for me to share what Dominique has to say about relaxation and how it helps your healing and recovery.
KT: What is Sophrology?
DA: It is a mind body transformation technique that helps you deal more effectively with daily life occurrences - ones that may ordinarily stress us out. It is a practice based on a philosophy and can also act as a therapy as well. It uses breathing techniques, dynamic relaxation, visualisation and gentle movements to bring about change in the body and mind and to make you consciously aware of these changes.
KT: Who can benefit from Sophrology?
DA: Everyone! I mainly see three types of people. People who are stressed out and have physical pain related to their stress such as back pain or headaches. I also specialise in birth preparation for pregnant women. The third type of clients I see are people who are interested in their own self-development and want to expand their awareness and reach their full potential.
KT: Do you work with clients who have physical pain?
DA: Yes I help clients to discover if the pain they have expresses something in their lives that needs addressing. Often physical pain can have an emotional or stress-induced cause which results in a seemingly 'random' relapse of pain until you take the time to look deeper into why the pain is occurring. Once we establish what may be related to their pain I help them access resources to deal with underlying issues and beliefs associated with thier discomfort.
KT: Do you think stress contributes to physical pain?
DA: Enormously. More than most people think. The slightest change in the nervous system can change your breathing and the way your brain and mind functions. It is a cascading affect - one system will affect the next system which affects the next and somewhere in that chain is the musculoskeletal system. I believe the body is a very subtle and sensitive machine. When any stimulus comes our way we take a conscious decision on how to deal with it. Sophrology gives you tools to deal with your reactions to stress and stimulus that result in a better outcome for your body and mind to minimise the chances of it affecting you physically.
KT: How often would you advise practicing Sophrology?
DA: If everyone in the world did 5 minutes of Sophrology the world would be a much better place! We would all have more freedom in our lives, in our thoughts, we would make better decisions, and be happier. For use as a therapy I would advise 3 times per week for 15 mins. If you practice the technique more, you'll experience more of the benefits!
KT: How long does it take to learn Sophrology?
DA: I teach people the basic techniques in 4-5 sessions. You could do less than this and have it serve as a one off source of relaxation but to really achieve changes that you can keep benefiting from it is worth investing the time for 4-5 sessions.
KT: How do I learn Sophrology?
DA: The best way to learn is from a practitioner. It helps to have a voice guiding you through the practice until you become more familiar with it. I allow my clients to record their sessions so they can practice alone as well.
KT: How long do the benefits of practicing last?
DA: The more you do the longer the affects last. My clients say the affects can last for 1 day and up to 5 days. The response is individual. If you are able to get into a regular daily practice the results are ongoing. I recommend practicing 10 minutes a day for 7 days in a row to experience changes.
KT: What are the limits of Sophrology?
DA: Although Sophrology incorporates gentle relaxation movements the technique does not align, stabilise or strengthen areas of weakness or poor posture that may be contributing to physical pain. Sophrology is not analytical so for work on a deep rooted emotional trauma I would refer on to a psychologist. The technique also does not include any touch based therapy so if you have a blocked rib or a mal-aligned neck or spine I would recommend out to a manual therapist. Sophrology is exceptionally compatible with all therapies though and can serve as a daily tonic - a way of being present, calm and quiet. In my practice it has worked well as part of the healing and recovery of more serious illnesses, injuries and conditions.
KT: What is the essence of Sophrology?
DA: It is to improve the connection of mind and body and to be present often what I refer to as connecting with yourself.
KT: Can you share a simple technique that people can use now?
DA: One of the basic techniques we use in Sophrology is to slow the exhalation part of breathing. This helps to bring the body into a state of relaxation. Inhale for 3 counts then exhale for 5-7 counts. Repeat this breathing a few times in a conscious way and then try to maintain it for 2 minutes to start feeling a change.
KT: Where can I learn Sophrology?
DA: I teach BeSophro classes at 58 South Molton St, Mayfair, London. I see clients for private sessions and in groups. My next introductory session is and costs just £10. It is a chance to try Sophrology to see if it a technique that would work well for you and your life. I have a taster session BeSophro Taster on 12th February 2014 and my next Short course begins on January 15th 2014.
For more information on BeSophro classes with Dominique please visit www.besophro.co.uk. Contact 07527 587 177 and email@example.com.