sleep

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. 

Precision Movement's hand picked specialist partners

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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

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.

 

NUCCA 

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.

 

ONYX 

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

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 

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.

 

 

 

 

What does it mean if you wake up with low back pain?

wake up in pain
wake up in pain

Low back pain is the 2nd top reason why people take sick days from work.  80% of the UK population will at one time in their lives experience back pain.   One of the most common symptoms I come across when I see new clients is the complaint of waking up with pain or stiffness.   I am going to explain why this is such a frequent complaint and also offer a few tips on how to relive your morning discomfort so you can start the day in a better state.

The spine throughout the day

Over the course of a day we lose height.  This is to do with the effect of gravity on our spines and also a loss of fluid in the discs.  This is a normal occurrence and one of the important reasons why we must get enough good quality sleep.  For my top 10 tips on the best sleep ever read my blog post on sleep.

What happens when you sleep?

Sleep is when your body gets to work on healing and recovering from the day’s events.  This includes the restoration of fluid in the discs between your vertebrae.  The expansion of the discs with fluid can sometimes cause pressure on the nerves that run through the spine and this can cause discomfort on waking.

Nerves get on my discs

Nerves are sensitive creatures and they do not like to be touched.  They like space and freedom to do their job.  When a disc expands over night from the intake of fluid it can press upon a nerve and create a sensation of aching or sometimes quite a sharp uncomfortable pain.  This can occur for many reasons – perhaps poor posture which is pulling your discs out of alignment, maybe a disc prolapse or bulge.  I cannot answer what your specific cause is – only a medical practitioner can help to diagnose an injury.  When the body experiences pain especially around the spinal cord where your central nerves run through, the muscles surrounding the area may contract to stabilize the area.  The body knows that the nerves running through the spine are exceptionally important for function and survival and it will do anything to preserve their health.  In this case it means contracting and tightening up the surrounding area.

What can I do?

If you find that you are consistently waking up in pain then start keeping a mini journal of your symptoms.  I would then recommend you seek medical assistance – the first port of call is your GP.  If you explain your symptoms he/she will be able to assist you further.  You can also download my eBook ‘I have Back Pain – what do I do?’ which give you 10 steps to sort out your back pain, who to see and in what order and what options there are for treatment.

Corrective Exercise

I see many clients with the main symptom of waking in pain.  I help to realign their posture and strengthen their spine and pelvis which helps relieve their pain.  Exercise is invaluable – but if you are experiencing morning pain it must be the right type of exercise to realign, stabilize and strengthen areas that are compromised.  If you are diagnosed with a specific back condition like a disc prolapse or disc degeneration seek specialist care from a CHEK Practitioner or similar corrective rehabilitative exercise specialist.

Morning Mobilizations

You can also try Precision Movement’s morning mobilizations.  These are gentle movements in a safe and unloaded position that help ease the stiffness of the muscles and encourage gentle movement of the nerves to ease them up.  Often just a few sets of these movements are enough to get on with your morning – however, they do not replace proper treatment and corrective exercise so seek further advice and expertise.

How can I help?

If  you are suffering with ongoing back pain and would like to do something about it that really works then please contact me for an informal chat.  I can be reached on 07515856009 or by email at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk.

Precision Movement's top 10 essentials for super slumber

cat sleeping
cat sleeping

Sleep is an essential part of healing and recovery from injury and equally essential to your performance throughout the waking hours!  It is very easy to make changes to maximise the rest and recvoery you get whilst sleeping.  Whether you think you sleep well or not, implementing these top tips will ensure that you get a good nights sleep every night for the rest of your life.

1.Quantity

It is recommended that you sleep between 7-9 hours per night.  I aim for 8 hours.  Try to be in bed by 10pm for lights out at 1030pm.  Your physical recovery takes place between the hours of 10pm-2am and your mental recovery from 2am-6am.  If you miss any of this your recovery will be impaired and your performance the next day may be impacted.  Recently some experts have said that you can recover sleep debt from the weekdays at the weekend.  I would advise getting into a routine during the week as recent research has also found that varying your bedtimes is akin to the effects of travelling through different time zones.  If you've travelled to Asia or Australia you'll know what that does to your body!  Even a 1 or 2 hour time change frequently can have an unsettling effect on your sleep quality.

2.  Electromagnetic interference

Reduce and ideally eliminate exposure to TV, ipad, smartphone, computer 2 hours before bed.  The light from these screens stimulates the retinae and set off a hormonal response that it is still daylight.  This will not calm you down in preparation for sleep.  Take the TV out of your bedroom and any electrical items that are plugged in.  Electromagnetic stress will disturb your sleep quality.

3.   Dim the lights

If possible spend the last 2 hours of your day in lower lighting.  This gradually prepares the body for sleep.  When  light sources to your eyes are reduced it increases the production of melatonin the sleep hormone and your body then starts its preparation of slowing down to sleep.

4.  Black out your room

Black out all sources of light from your room.  If you live in a city you'll need to black out your windows.  A great product I have come across recently is

Lights Out Blinds

- black out blinds that are easy to put up, take down and travel with.

5.  Silence!

Quiet your sleep chamber.  Our body and brain responds to sound even when we are asleep.  The quieter your sleep time the better quality you'll enjoy!  Use ear plugs if you are in a noisy area of town - just make sure you can still here your alarm in the morning.

6.  Night time routine

The best way to prepare for sleep is do just that - prepare.  I recommend a bath in low light.  Scents like lavender and rose are calming and soothing.  You can replace watching TV or surfing online for reading.  Read something that will calm you - that means no work documents or scary stories.  Choose something escapist and fantastical.  You could also do some light stretching - if you have been given a daily corrective exercise programme by Precision Movement we encourage clients to do 10-20 minutes of this as a wind down before going to sleep.

7.  Meditate

This can be a controversial one but the act of focussing on one thing helps quiet the mind and prepare the body and brain for sleep.  I use a meditation CD as I like to be guided.  My favourite CDs are by Deepak Chopra but there are many prodcuts out there that work.  If you struggle to drift off after all this preparation then I would recommend a sleep CD.  There are some amazing products out there which I have used myself.  My favourite one that always send me sweetly off is Pzizz from

Pzizz.com

.  As well as a guided meditation style speaker they have music and tones that activate theta brain waves - theta is the frequency our brain waves vibrate at when we sleep.

8.  Gratitude x 10 + 3Qs

Sounds like an equation?  Well let's call it the sleep equation!  This is my favourite one and I love getting ready for bed just to complete this task. List 10 things you are grateful for that day.  Then answer the following 3 questions -who did you help today?  Who helped you?  What did you learn?

9.  Anyone for tea?

Limit and ideally eliminate caffeine after 12pm.  Your body has a natural hormone rhythm that gets you up and puts you to bed.  Caffeine really interferes with this and in turn interrupts your sleep quality.  Use herbal teas before bed.  Look out for special sleep blends and ingredients such as camomile, valerian root and fennel.  My favourite sleepy tea is

Bedtime Yogi Tea

.

10.  Don't you worry don't worry child!

If your head is flooded with worries and things you forgot to do today, then keep a journal by your bed.  Write everything down that is bothering you.  This act of transferring it out and into your 'to do' book will calm your mind so you can prepare to rest.

The key to making this work for you is to get into a routine.  That is why I have designed a sleep chart for you to fill in.  Download it here and track your progress over 30 days.  Let me know how you do on Facebook or Twitter.  And with that said I feel a yawn coming on.  Wishing you a super sleep every night of your life.

5 sources of stress that make your pain worse

stress ball
stress ball

In my

1st newsletter

where I shared the link to

Kelly McGonigal's Ted Talk

on How stress can be your friend I promised I would also share the other 5 unsuspecting sources of stress that may be compromising your health.  Although is true that your conscious perception of stressful situations can transform the outcome, there is little you can do about forms of stress you do not know about.  

Did you know that stress can come from foods, hormone imbalance, electromagnetic sources, too little or too much exercise, and temperature changes?  And did you know that all these sources of stress can contribute to a relapse of your injury, pain or discomfort?

Stress build up throughout the day

I'll use an example of how stress can build up without you even knowing.  You wake up to an alarm after a restless nights sleep. You force off your tiredness with a coffee and rush out the house because you are late.  You leave the house without a coat and it's too late to go back to get one now - you'll be cold all day.  When you get to work the computers are down  The You won't finish that proposal for a client today, you'll lose the contract and your bonus!  You have a makeshift late lunch and more coffee to stay awake.  You decide to shake off your stress by going for a run even though your back hurts and when you get home, you order a take-out and you can't wait to get the kids in bed so you can 'unwind' with a few glasses of wine before you fall asleep on the sofa in front of the TV.  Sound familiar?

Many stressors one response

What if I told you that everything in the above example stresses your body?  Think of your body having a threshold - a tolerance for all the stressful things we put it through.  What if I told you that repeating this over and over would create a build up of stress that might result in a seemingly 'random' injury or illness?  It does.  The body only has one response to stress.  It does not matter if the stressor comes from a food that you are unknowingly intolerant to or over exposure to the sun.  The body's response is to shut down so it can heal.  Repeated abuse of these systems results in tiredness, compromised immunity and suppression of healing and recovery.  This leads to discomfort, pain, injury, illness and disease.

How to combat these sources of stress...

In this blog i'll give an overview of how to combat these unsuspecting sources of stress so you can begin to change your mindset on how to deal with your discomfort, pain, injury and or illness.  As each of these subjects are pretty hefty on their own I'll be sharing information in more depth over the coming weeks.

1.  Nutrition

Eat from the earth.  Refrain from eating any foods that are packaged, processed and tampered with.  Reduce stimulants like coffee to the minimum to prevent stressing out your adrenals.  Be aware of your alcohol intake

2.  Hormonal/Adrenal

Sleep enough and rest properly.  Sleeping and rest are not the same thing!  Sleep 8 an average of 8 hours in a blacked out room in silence.  Maintain balance between work and life.  Acknowledge that you are not superman/woman and that rest is as important as action.

3.  Electromagnetic

Get enough sunlight for vitamin D but not too much - hardly a problem in the English winter months!  Eliminate all electronics from your bedroom and switch off lights at the mains.

4.  Exercise

Definitely exercise but make sure you are not overdoing it.  If you are injured seek professional help to recover effectively.  Strike a balance between healing restorative exercise like tai chi and hatha yoga and more energising forms of exercise like hitting the gym or running.

5.  Make stress your friend

If you haven't watched this video on how to make stress your friend I highly recommend it.  Kelly McGonigal says it better than I ever could.

How to make stress your friend

6.  Thermal 

This seems rather obvious but pay attention to your body temperature. Anything that keeps you too hot, burns you or adversely keeps you too cold is a stressor.  Make sure you are temperate in all situations - at home, work and when you sleep.

Lastly, this is a huge topic and I'll be covering smaller chunks in finer detail as the weeks go on so you can begin to make changes that will result in a healthier, happier pain free life!  If you have questions please email me.  

Information sourced from Paul Chek's How to Eat Move and Be Healthy book, CHEK Institute, USA.

5 top must-have tips for a long healthy career

kid superhero
kid superhero

If you are in business and or climbing the corporate ladder you'll know all too well that feeling of invincibility. It's a divine trait and can also be equally as detrimental - unsuspectingly to your spine and your heart.

Clients come to me in their mid-30s to mid-40s with back, neck and shoulder pain and in their mid forties to fifties with heart trouble. One way or another, a life time of stress will get you. And when it does you will have to stop completely to heal and recover. There is nothing more soul destroying than being close to the height of your career and having to take 6 months or longer off because you can't get out of bed.  It's probably not something you think about at all - and I am with you that you shouldn't have to. An awareness and application of a few basic support systems can minimise the risk of present or future work related back pain and injury. Here are my top 5 counteractions to minimise the risk of irreparable damage to your spine so you don't have to think about it!

1. Your state of mind. No one is invincible. If you are striving to achieve a top job it is an endurance race not a sprint. Pace yourself and take time out. The first step is to rethink the invincibility cloak - save it for dress up with the kids!

2. Your body heals and recovers from the stress you put it through daily when you sleep. Sleep is not an option for minimising injury and illness prevention in the future - it is a necessity. Both quality and quantity are important. Aim to sleep for 8 hours a night ideally between 10pm and 6am. Take out any electronics from your bedroom and switch off lights at the mains. Your room should be pitch black and as quiet as possible for a really good quality of sleep.

3. The food you put in your body becomes you. If you eat sugary processed foods your body will be starved of the nutrients that heal and restore from daily stressors. Also not eating enough will cause stress and impair effective recovery. Every cell in your body is renewed over 7 years. So short term fixes will not work well for injury and illness prevention in the future. Make a commitment to yourself to make a change for life - feed your success by eating what nature grows for you.

4. Movement is absolutely essential for injury prevention. If you sit at a desk during your working day you MUST make an effort to move either in the morning or in the evening. Exercise plays a direct role in maintaining good posture and keeping your joints strong and stable. A balance of high intensity and restorative exercise is also important. Too much high intensity will stress you out and could lead to an over-training injury. The quality of movement has a huge impact on how successful it becomes for injury prevention. If you turn up the gym and have a go on what looks good or manageable I would suggest seeking advice. At the very least find a good trainer or corrective exercise specialist with experience, top qualifications and a passion for their job to design and regularly upgrade a programme for you.

5. Strive for a balanced life. Spread your energy and interests wide. This idea is about giving your brain a new stimulus - a chance to work in another way. It is said that a change is as good as a rest right? So change your stimulus to give your brain a rest. Mental stress is as detrimental to your body as physical. This will mean stepping away from the office - and the blackberry.

Taking these 5 points on board and implementing them for life going forwards will minimise the chances of injury and illness so that you can enjoy a long, healthy and successful career.