Precision Movement

The power of being human in healing & recovery

Photo by Anete Lucina via unsplash.com, edited by KT

Photo by Anete Lucina via unsplash.com, edited by KT

In the last month of 2016, I was deeply struck by the death of AA Gill, a "journo giant", who died from cancer. It inspired me to write this article about why being human to each other, and to ourselves, can have a profound affect in healing and recovery and at the very least make an individual feel that they matter, especially when facing terminal illness.

 

AA Gill's last article, published just one day after his death explained his traumatic and frustrating journey of care from the NHS in the last months of his life. I was struck by how beautifully he narrated his situation. He was denied a life lengthening treatment, immunotherapy, because it is too expensive to get on the NHS. He acknowledged the genuine care towards of the people who work within the NHS towards him, mentioning in particular a nurse who was devastated to learn that his chemo was no longer working. He ended his article by saying,  "you don't get that in the private sector" referring to the humanity and empathy of the nurse.

You can read AA Gill's parting gift to the world here:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/more-life-with-your-kids-more-life-with-your-friends-more-life-spent-on-earth-but-only-if-you-pay-d7lwpht3j

 

Same same but same

The turn of a new year always makes us a bit more philosophical as we look back at what we have achieved and then look forward to what lies ahead for us. I see countless Facebook posts about 2017 being the year of kindness, of solidarity, peace, togetherness, humanity. I myself posted my new years message, urging people "to be the change you want to see".  New year or mid year, we all want the same thing to feel the humanity of others and to feel that we matter. It's what connects us and it has powerful healing properties.

 

How to be human 

Above all, whether you work with people or have people in your life who are in pain or recovering or not, the way we can help each other in a daily way is just by being human. Being human to me means being kind. It means holding space for someone when they need you; listening to someone in need of being heard; giving of your time, energy and love. It also means holding space for yourself, listening to yourself and allowing yourself to be quiet, giving back to and loving yourself. I believe the body knows how to heal itself otherwise our species would not have survived this long. It needs the right conditions - physically, mentally and emotionally to help it along. 

 

Humanity heals

This is relevant in our personal lives, in our work life and particularly in medicine and therapy when you seek help for illness and injury. Being human or what the medical profession often call "bedside manner", can have a profound affect on your perception and ability to recover.  It is really important that you choose therapists and medical practitioners you trust, have a good relationship with and who hold space for you without judgement or ego during your healing and recovery. If you feel you need more "human" than what is being offered do not be afraid to walk away and find therapists who better suit your needs. My new guru, the late Louis Gifford, believed that the human part of therapy and medicine is as important as the healing of tissue, because you, your consciousness, is part of that healing. Your synaptic connections, your thoughts, play a part in what messages get sent from the brain to the tissues. Feeling safe and cared for positively impacts your emotional and mental outlook on recovery.  

 

Human yourself  

And kindness and humanity doesn't always have to come from others. Being human to yourself is just as important. I firmly believe part of the self-management of your own injury or condition is being kind, loving and compassionate to yourself. So go be more human to yourself and others in 2017 and see what impact it has on your healing and recovery, your life and the lives of those around you.

 

If you are struggling with an ongoing injury, or have suffered with ongoing pain that just won't go away we can help. Please contact KT at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk for a complimentary phone conversation. 

 

 

 

 

New Programmes for you at Precision Movement

New Programmes for you at Precision Movement

Precision Movement releases new programmes for 2017. Specialist injury rehabilitation, chronic pain management, foundations of Movement, at home services and massage.  

Avoiding a relapse in pain & autoimmune conditions this festive season

Avoiding a relapse in pain & autoimmune conditions this festive season

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.

Put more movement in your day

I've just started working with a new patient on movement rehabilitiation who has had ongoing back pain for the best part of 2 years.  He's got structural damage - degeneration in the facet joints of the vertebrae.  He's a desk bound office worker and doesn't get much of a chance to get away from his seat.  He just came back from a weeks holiday where he walked (and danced!) and moved for pretty much the entire day and he reported that he had virtually no back pain and no stiffness - symptoms he has been suffering with daily.  He hasn't started his rehabilitation exercise programme yet.  The only difference that he made was adding in movement to his day.  Since beginning my practice as a remedial soft tissue therapist, the number one complaint I treat is stiff and sore back, neck and shoulders from sitting at a desk all day.  The body does not like sustained positions.  We are designed to move!

So how do you add more movement into your day if you have a desk bound job?  Well, if you're in London I have super treats for you!  

Firstly, if sounds to simple to actually have any affect, but walk your 10,000 steps per day.  I didn't even know my iPhone as calibrating my movements around town until one of my friends introduced me to the Health app that comes with the phone.  When I opened it up I was shocked to see it had been recording my steps for months!  

As you can see I have what I would consider an inverse pattern to most people.  As I move around for my work, my weekday steps are pretty high.  But look at Sunday 10th July - I must have been sleeping the whole day!  Also, I take my phone on my runs and I run 4-5 days per week so that movement would have been added here also. 

So how do you get your steps in without adding a whole 8th day of the week to walk around guilt-free with nothing else to do?

Well I stumbled across this handy little find - TFL have released a Walk the Tube map showing the number of steps between each station in a bid to get more people to walk shorter distances and ease the stress on the tube in rush hour.  

And for those who are time conscious on their commute to work here is the same map detailing the time it takes to walk between stations.

And here is an Evening Standard article on 8 London tube journeys that are quicker by foot!

Another great little find is handy little article on Londonist.com called The London Walkers Tube Map about great London walks you can do at the weekends to get those step figures up!  Click the link above or the image below to get all the info.  

Now, with all that walking, you might have noticed that too much walking can give your discomfort too.  So, make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes on your commute or on your bumble around London.  If you are on a long walk then take a tea and cake break!  If you would like to do some beneficial spinal mobilisations before you set of and after you return then check out my article and FREE ebook here

If walking is causing you considerable discomfort, or your pain gets worse the longer you walk then please feel free to contact me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and we can have a chat about your situation.  

How to get good at your injury rehabilitation exercises

How to get good at your injury rehabilitation exercises

Precision Movement's KT explains how to get good at your injury rehabilitation exercises so you can become injury and pain free, design your life and boo your next adventure! 

Your free 12 week guide to healing and recovery

I am always looking for ways to make your rehabilitation journey more beneficial so you can  get back to a life of freedom and adventure - the life that you truly want to build, share, cherish and remember.  As a movement specialist I am focussed primarily on the biomechanics of alignment and your movement patterning.  However, I fully appreciate a comprehensive approach to healing and recovery, so I have created a 12 week mailout that helps you address all aspects of your lifestyle during your rehabilitation with Precision Movement.

 

Star qualities of the 12 week mail out:

* It will keep your mind focussed on your rehabilitation during your 12 week journey 

* You'll get bite sized reading recommendations for your How To Eat Move and Be Healthy book on other areas that contribute to your healing and recovery

* Helpful reminders that you can refer back to on the things I teach you in the studio

* Tonnes more free information in links, books, articles, videos, audio guides and other sources

* Inspiration and motivation for the tough moments! 

 

This will be available to new clients from September onwards.  However, if you would like to receive the bailout for an added boost to your training and rehabilitation then please sign up HERE.  It will only be available to "oldies" (!) until the end of September 2016 - so sign up to avoid disappointment!

The Injuries and Rehabilitation of 3 Top Tennis Stars

The Injuries and Rehabilitation of 3 Top Tennis Stars

Precision Movement's KT discusses the injuries and inspiring rehabilitation of three top tennis stars as the US Open Tennis tournament 2016 gets underway.  

Three spinal mobilisations you can do daily without a therapist

Three spinal mobilisations you can do daily without a therapist

Precision Movement shares 3 basic spinal mobilisations you can use daily to support good spine health and minimise the risk of injury.

How self care impacts health, healing and recovery from injury

How self care impacts health, healing and recovery from injury

Precision Movement's 5 categories of self care and how they positively impact injury recovery and healing.

What is the essence of Precision Movement? (KT on film!)

What is the essence of Precision Movement? (KT on film!)

Precision Movement introductory video explain how and why they can help you recover from back pain and injury effectively.

Wearables - say What-ables?

Can you believe it?  Technology has now reached posture!  Technology now called "wearables" have become accessible to the public.  Consisting of a wearable piece that is linked to an app on your phone it tracks how you sit and stand and transmits a gentle vibration to remind you to sit up straight when you start slouching.  In this article I reveal the most popular wearables for 2016, the upside and the downside of using them and I explain why adopting one position for long periods of time is detrimental to the health and wellness of your body.  Read on to find out more...

 

The wearables of 2016

Lumolift is a small sensor that you place on your t-shirt at chest level.  It measures the angle of your torso and gently vibrates to remind you to sit up straight if you start slouching.  

ALEX is a wearable neck device that sits around the back of the neck monitoring alignment and sending out a vibration reminder when the wearer begins to slouch.  It is currently crowdfunding through Kickstarter so not available to the public right now.  

 

The upside

I am all for new technology.  Technology is woven into every part of our life now so it is natural that designers and product developers are thinking up ways to influence health, wellness and now posture.  

I think a positive about wearables is that they provide some sort of consistent reminder of what an individual is trying to achieve - in this case better posture.  When trying to improve posture in sitting, standing and corresponding movement, consistency is absolutely imperative to create change.  We build programmes for movement and posture that are stored in our brain.  The more we use these patterns the stronger they become.  I liken it to drawing a line in the mud with a stick - the more times you do this the deeper the groove in the mud becomes.  When we work on posture or a new movement pattern we cannot overwrite an old programme in the brain we can only build a new one and try to make it the preferred one.  The key to making a movement or posture pattern dominant is to repeatedly use it so it becomes stronger.  In essence a wearable can act as a consistent reminder to make a preferred posture pattern stronger. 

 

The downside

As a posture and movement specialist sitting and standing better is not just a matter of sitting/standing "up".  The changes in posture that an individual needs to make are as individual as their injuries and or discomfort.  

Everyone I work with here at Precision Movement receives bespoke programmes and bespoke cues for improving and changing posture.  What is really key in sitting and standing posture is the information you give an individual to elicit change.  

Often if you tell someone to sit up straight or stand better they get taller but often lean back.  They hinge from the mid-back and the position of the shoulders and head stay the same in relation to the chest and back.  This is no more correct than slouching forwards and can lead to as many if not more problems in time.  It is also common for an individual to "hold" themselves in a better posture creating a higher resting tension in muscles which is both metabolically inefficient and will lead to muscles becoming overworked, tired and sore.  

Posture and movement are intricate, delicate, and sensitive systems that require subtle, measured changes to achieve optimal joint centration and muscle balance. 

I give my clients a 10 minute audio posture meditation to listen to on their commute to work, during their lunch break or on their commute home to remind them of the cues for better posture.  You can listen to it below or click here to the article I wrote about it. 



Posture isn't static

The body is built for movement.  It is well known and certainly well written about that sitting at a desk is not good for posture.  It is true that sitting creates undesirable postures but stagnancy is equally to blame for poor posture, discomfort and injury.  

Movement helps prevent muscles, joints and connective tissue from stiffening up.  Movement helps pump blood into muscles, it pushes lymphatic fluid out and both provide cells with nutrients and remove toxins.  This also helps reduce discomfort.  

Rather than trying to sustain one good posture all day it is also beneficial to stand up and walk around the office or go out for lunch.  At Precision Movement we often give individuals stretches and mobilisations to do in their chair just to create a bit of movement away from sitting still for long periods.  


The solution

I think wearables could have a place in reminding an individual on a consistent basis to think about a better way to carry themselves.  But (and I rarely ever use the word but), the information given to an individual about how to improve alignment is absolutely crucial to the success of improved posture.  

So in conclusion, the cues that an individual is given to improve posture are the real gold here, the wearable can act as a positive reminder in the early stages of change.  I would recommend anyone wanting to use one to work with a posture specialist and incorporate the wearable in sessions.  I would also recommend a programme of stretches and mobilisations that can be done in an office setting also to encourage movement.  The ultimate goal is to find good posture and movement without the use of external stimulus so an appropriate phase out of the wearable should be considered also.

FREEBIES!

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I knew this would catch your attention - everyone loves a freebie, me included. 

I start my year long remedial sports massage course this month. As part of my training I need to log 100 practice hours. So I need willing candidates to practice on... Cue the Freebie! 

I'll be setting up a massage clinic on Friday afternoons in Mayfair from 4-7pm. You can book in for a complimentary 45 min massage by emailing me or Rosie by email or phone. There are only three slots available each week so you'll need to book early.

A small fee of £20 is required to cover the room rental but the actual massage is 100% complimentary. 

If you cannot make Friday afternoons I may do some extra appointments but they will be scheduled around my working week and cannot be substituted for regular training sessions. 

Practicing complimentary massage with KT will be available from September 25th 2015 - June 24th 2016 excluding all holidays and subject to my availability.  For more information on scheduling please speak with Rosie or myself.

Form an orderly queue.... :) 

 

An audio postural meditation for you

 

 

I'm always trying to think of ways to recreate the sessions you do in the studio for your to travel with or do at home.  As you know, consistency is the key to getting better faster.  

 

I have considered doing video clips of exercises but I'd rather not have your attention on a screen when it should be on your body and how exercise feels. So, I've come up with something I think is much much better! I'm going to trial audio recorded training sessions.  

 

Benefits  

1.  It's the closest recreation of doing a session in the studio with me but without me. 

2. You'll hear my motivating little voice saying all those helpful little analogies and KTisms that get you in the right alignment doing the right movement. 

3. You can take your focus into your body and use a mirror for feedback instead of looking at a screen. 

4. You can put on your headphones anytime, anywhere and inconspicuously do your programme. You'll look like a total pro in the gym! ;)

5.  You'll be more motivated to do that third and final set instead of just doing the bare minimum two.  You know it's the last set that really counts!

 

First come first served... for the freebies!

I'll be trailing the bespoke recorded training session for free for the first three people to email me.  I think one has already gone now so there are only two free ones left.  Just inbox me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and I'll record your latest home programme for you to download and listen to whenever, wherever.  

Going forwards, bespoke recorded sessions will be charged - fee upon request! 

 

Freebie for all

As as a preview, and due to popular demand, I've recorded a demo above. It's a 10 minute guided postural meditation that you can listen to on your commute to work or on a 10 minute break during your day. You can do it sitting or standing.  Let me know what you think! 

For those of you not working with me at the moment, if you don't understand what the analogies in the recording mean please do feel free to book a postural session with me so I can teach you.  Once you know what all the references are the recording will make much more sense!

If you would like me to send this recording to you directly so you can download it to your phone please ask me in your next session or email me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk.

 

Precision movement philosophy phrases to live by

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After last weeks blog about checking in with your goals for the last quarter of the year, I thought I'd follow that with some motivational inspiration. Sometimes we get so bogged down with the day to day stuff we forget the big picture reasons for living and enjoying life. So here are the Precision Movement phrases to live by... Everybody say Om! 

 

1. You are what you absorb 

Sadly just eating the right foods is now not enough if you are not absorbing their goodness! How do you know if you are absorbing the nutrition you eat? Well you should feel good for eating highly nutritious food but most of us don't know what good feels like if we have only what we feel like now to compare it to. So my recommendation would be to get your gut tested and see how functional it is. See our partners page for contact information on Karen Maidment and Hannah Richards who can help with this. 

 

2. Movement is the foundation of life 

From the movement of blood and transport of nutrients and removal of toxins to getting around town movement is absolutely essential for life. It's also really important to move well, efficiently and effectively to minimise injury and discomfort. I believe movement is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping.  Stagnation leads to injury, depression and indifference.  So move more and move well - if you need some help with this you know where I am. 

 

3. Your body is a thoroughbred 

We can take our body for granted. We don't think about what it does every day to enable us to live, to see, to hear, to communicate, to move, to breathe, to digest food. Our body is a gift, it is our house and we should take care of it like it's a thoroughbred race horse or a top of the line sports car. You wouldn't put sludge in a sports car so don't put rubbish in your body. You want to nurture your body, feed and water it well, give it sunlight and fresh air, move it regularly and give it a bit of challenge every day to make sure it can withstand the toughness of life. 

 

4. Study your user manual 

Too many people assume they know how to move well. Here's what happens - we are born, we teach ourselves to move (amazing!), we continue to learn good movement and sports in childhood and hopefully our teen years. Then we go to university and we either continue (super amazing!) or we stop moving. Then we go to work and it's basically all over. I'm generalising here but you get the idea. When we enter the work place we teach our bodies to adapt to the sitting work environment which can give us all kinds of issues. The greatest gift you can give yourself is re-learning good movement either through a sport like martial arts or dance or working with a movement specialist to support you and get you back to your sports. 

 

5. If you don't use it you lose it

I am a personal testament to this! If I don't exercise regularly I start to lose my strength, my stability my tone and my shape. Many of the people I work with begin to lose their postural endurance and flexibility.  You've got to make an ongoing commitment to yourself to maintain your body. You'll live a longer happier life if your body is agile, functional and well taken care of. It really comes down to loving yourself enough to take care of yourself. 

 

6. Get in your discomfort zone

Comfort doesn't lead to growth or change. I purposefully placed myself in some very uncomfortable situations this summer to remind myself what it's like for my clients to change movement patterns and posture - it can be frustrating and uncomfortable both physically, mentally and emotionally. So I do know what it's like to start something completely new - I highly recommend it regularly. The joy comes when you master something that you've been struggling with - that's growth, that's change, that's a life worth living and an example worth setting to your children, friends and family around you. 

 

7. Movement is a constant teacher 

I'm finding more and more as I work with clients watching them learn and connect with their bodies that movement serves as a fantastic teacher. No matter how long you have been training you can always learn some new movement or reconnect with how movement feels in your body. To me, mastering movement is not about just exercising it is about really understanding how your body works and serves you. I highly advocate using movement and sports for challenge and personal growth. I am still humbled by movement - it's always been my greatest teacher. 

 

8. Mind over matter 

Firstly the brain is the control centre of movement. We don't move unless the brain is motivated towards something. Many things are involved in the motivation of movement. One of the important factors is how you feel about/towards that intention. If you dislike what you are doing your brain gives a different output in contrast to if you do like what you are doing. So, when moving, even if the movement or exercise is something you don't particularly like, train your mind to find the benefit in it and feed that information through the brain and attach it to the exercise. The brain/mind/body will avoid things it doesn't like - so override the dislike factor - reframe it. The saying mind over matter is never more true than it is here! 

 

9. Be present 

When anyone comes to work with me in the studio yes there are reps and sets and alignment and gains and goals etc. But what I really think they gain is the experience of being present in their body. It might sound a little kooky but going to the studio or the gym and just going through the motions, the reps, the sets, thinking about work or what you'll do afterwards is really not as beneficial as being present with your body for your workout. Movement is an enriching educational experience. It's an outlet, a form of expression, a release of energy or a way of conjuring up energy. But all this good stuff only happens when we are present in our movement. It's like anything really - when you are present you are alive and the experience is banked. When you are somewhere else you're just wasting what you're doing in the present. 

 

So there you have it - 9 magical philosophical paragraphs to live by.   Now go forth and conquer... :D 

Your last quarter goals for 2015!

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I'm a bit nervous about writing this blog. When you write about accountability you really need to be accountable yourself right? I can't believe it's almost the end of 2015. As I get older I begin to get quite panicky about how quickly life passes particularly when it comes to business development and growth. The point of all this is to expose my goals for 2015 to you all again and find out what I have done already and what still needs to be done, in the hopes it will spark some inspiration in you all about what you still have left to do for 2015. 

 

My 2015 goals - recap 

 

Reading

I've read 8 books this year so I'm on track with that! Check out my top 4 summer reading recommendations here. 

 

Meditation 

My Meditation practice is going ok. I do an average of 3 meditations a week which is better than any other year I've tried. Now I know when I need a meditative time out to rest my brain and quiet the noise. I'd love to do meditation every day so I'll definitely make a bigger effort for the last part of the year.  I've been accepted on to a 10 Vipassana silent meditation retreat in October where I'll be meditating all day so I'll make up for lost time then! 

 

Gratitude journal 

The Gratitude journal is something I do every day. I've only missed a few days this year. It's probably the best goal I've ever set myself. It's easy to complain about what we don't have but really we are so lucky. Expressing gratitude for what we have puts us in a wonderfully productive mindset too! 

 

Time outs 

I did go away early in the year to Prague which I really enjoyed. I also took a staycation in late July to enjoy London and then took a trip to Sicily in mid-August. And as mentioned above I'm doing the silent retreat in October for 10 days. I'm giving myself bonus points for time out I've taken already this year. I find it really hard to do! 

 

Selfless service  

I had planned to produce a free eBook this year which is not yet completed but other freebies are coming in the last quarter of the year which I'll reveal in the next couple of blogs.  I am also working on an outreach project which I'll be talking more about in 2016.... Watch this space! 

 

Education

My sports massage course is booked and I've added A-level biology which I need for planned study later on. I also added in a Japanese language course over the summer. Konnichiwa! Ogenki desuka? 😉

 

Fitness 

The Vietnam trip will not happen for me this year. I've been so busy with work that I've not been able to recruit a sufficient number of people to come with me. Maybe next year... 

I bought my bike in January and I've been cycling with my Dad 4 times this year. Not quite every month but better than nothing at all! 

So as you can see, I'm as human as you. Some goals I've done well with, others not so much. I am really happy about the reading, meditation and gratitude journal. But I can tell you, if I hadn't set any of these goals I probably wouldn't have achieved much this year! 

Anyway, my point of sharing this is for you to check in with your own goals for 2015. What do you still have left to do this year? It's ok if your goals have changed and it's also ok if you haven't achieved some things you wanted to. Don't give yourself a hard time. Evaluate objectively - perhaps it was unrealistic for this year, look at the deep rooted motivation for your goals. What can you still do in 2015?  

 

My closing message is - just do it. You cannot live 2015 over again. So if there are still goals to achieve this last quarter then do it.  That's what helps you grow and makes your life interesting and enjoyable. 

An hour with KT how can I help you further?

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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.