work performance

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. 

Breakfast Hacks part 1

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The buzz word for 2014/2015 is hack - which basically means shortcut. If you are an entrepreneur like me you need to be efficient with all the other stuff that takes you away from working or having fun in life! Introducing KT's 4 top breakfast hacks to make at home upon a request from a client. 

 

1 min smoothie 

Prep time: less than a minute  

Smoothies are great but I always find they take a bit of prep time so when your priority is to get out of the house in the morning.  You can prep most of your smoothie the night before by adding fruits and veggies that do not need to be cut in the blender and then adding the cut fruits in the morning just before you blend. Cutting fruit and leaving it means it will oxidise and lose its nutrients. 

Use a blender that you can put a drinking lid on so you can blend and go. I recommend The Nutribullet.

 

KT's Go-To Get-Out (#GOGO) 1 min smoothie

Put in blender the night before or put in a sealed snack bag and put in the fridge overnight.

Handful of Spinach

Handful of blueberries 

Handful of raspberries  

Tablespoon of coconut oil 

2 tablespoons of Raw cacao powder 

2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin 

In the morning chop up a banana and add a nut milk like hazelnut or almond or coconut water.  Blend all ingredients for up to 30 seconds place your drinking top on and you're good to leave the house with a nutrient packed breakfast to start the day! 

 

1 minute yoghurt brekkie

Prep time:  1 minute 

To really save time, buy a one portion yoghurt rather than a big tub. I like full fat Greek yoghurt.  Pack up a portion of berries, nuts and seeds of your choice and store them in a seal packed bags for use as needed.  Add in chopped banana.  Add 2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin for an added protein boost. If you need a sweetener use raw natural honey or agave nectar. Stir up and enjoy. 

 

Eggy muffins 

Prep time: 10 seconds grab & go 

For those who love a good protein filled breakfast try making egg sausage and cheese muffins.  You can make a batch to last you through the working week for a grab and go solution for energy that lasts to lunch time.  If you prefer a lighter option go for veggies instead of meat.  Let them cool fully then pack them in a tupperware box, tin foil, or in a sealed snack bag and store in the fridge.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/scrambled-egg-muffins-2/

 

Quick pancakes 

Prep time: 4-5 mins 

If you have 5 minutes to prepare a breakfast with a difference make up pancake batter beforehand and store it in a squeezy bottle.  Heat the pan, and squeeze out your pancakes which take about a minute each to cook.  Serve with berries and banana or full fat yoghurt.  This is great solution for a house full of kids that need to be fed and out the door to school on time!

 

My healthy pancake recipe 

1/2 cup bobs red mill pancake flour 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup raw cacao powder 

1 egg beaten 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

almond milk to preferred batter consistency 

I also add 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed Q10 mix 

I serve it with plain yoghurt, chopped banana, strawberries and a drizzle of agave nectar.

 

Breakfast hacks 2 features next week which is a selections of the best grab and go breakfasts around town and a few of my favourite places for longer sit down breakfast meetings too! 

Happy breaking your fast! :p  

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.

 

 

 

 

Precision Movement's inspiring summer book recommendations

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As many of you will remember I set myself some pretty hefty goals this year.  One of them was to read a book a month. I haven't quite stuck to this time frame but I have read 6 books this year so far! :) 

 

I try to think of many random ways I help make life a little easier for you all. So at this critical time of year when you are packing for your vacation and you realise you haven't got a book to read on the beach I have put together a list of my top four reads from this year so far. Now you can't say I don't look out for you all... ;p Without further ado my four hand picked book recommendations for summer 2015...

 

Winning Without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard

Probably the best business book I've ever read. Martin interviewed many of the top entrepreneurs on the planet asking them how they find and maintain what he calls the new dual optimum (a fancy phrase for the more globally recognised "work/life balance"). Hugely inspiring, with some great instant take-aways and broken into manageable chunks so you can read a chapter then take a dip in the pool, read a chapter then go for lunch. I'd recommend it if you need to recharge your business brain. 

 

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin 

Amy has a brilliant personal story to tell about her hardships and how she overcame them by NOT doing what mentally strong people DON'T do. If you're feeling a bit beaten up right now then this is a good booster for the spirit and the soul.  

 

When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Wientraub 

For a lighter story that reads more like a novel try Weintraub's life story of becoming a self-made man in Hollywood. With anecdotes about Sinatra, Elvis and a host of celebrities and musicians it's an engaging and fantastical story of a man who has lived what seems like a charmed life but he's worked his absolute socks off for.  I love his chutzpah - every good business person needs that! 

 

 The Road to Character by David Brooks

This is my most recent read.  I actually went to see David being interviewed in May which was a real treat.  This book is all about cultivating the eulogy virtues. We're pretty good at the CV virtues but perhaps not so focussed on the virtues that develop our character - such as bravery, kindness and selflessness. David takes 9 inspiring people from history who have made a difference to the world with their strength of character. He explores their lives and how they developed their eulogy virtues.  It's a beautiful and humbling read - good for an ego check! 

 

For those of you who are jetting off for the summer I wish you happy travels. Be safe. Make memories. Enjoy every moment. I'll still be posting so keep reading and read a book or two - it's really good for relieving stress! 

 

How to be healthier and happier at work

I love my job!
I love my job!

Last month I was invited to speak at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair about the tragic death of Moritz Erdhart. I posed the question 'does the responsibility of your health and wellness lie with the company or does it lie with the individual?'  In part 2 of this blog I'll be focussing on how you the individual employee can take responsibility for your own health and wellness at work.

The buck stops with you

I truly believe your personal health is your own responsibility.  That is not to say you should automatically know how to attain optimal health - that is what health specialists are for.  But, however many health benefits your company offers you it is your responsibility to use them.  I think we can all attest to feeling sharper, more productive and more amiable when we are well rested, well fed and have a sense of content and happiness about our lives.  

Stop, think

Every time you order a meal you are making a personal choice about how to nourish your body.  Only you can get to the gym, or get to the 5-aside football, office rugby game or pilates class.  Only you can make a decision to sort out your desk related back pain.  And it also your choice (within reason) about when to leave the office at night. 

The LifeRez - It's a state of mind

You can minimise the chances of injury or illness by taking responsibility for your health now and making LIFESTYLE changes that you can maintain for the foreseeable future.  A few blogs ago I wrote about Precision Movement's Life Resolution campaign - making smaller manageable health changes that you can maintain for life. At work your priority is work but health and wellness will make your work more enjoyable.  The liferez system is perfect for implementing health and wellness into you work life.  

The essentials

There are a few small essentials that you can easily incorporate into your work place.  Start with your work station - ask for an ergonomics assessment to ensure you have the best possible posture when you are working.  Drink more water and you can start by adding just one extra glass of water a day.  Make sure you leave the office at lunchtime for fresh air, natural light and movement.  There are many more things you can improve easily and you can find out what they are and how to implement them on Twitter page and Facebook.

5 common desk bound injuries and how to avoid them

ipad user slouching
ipad user slouching

The office environment does not lend itself to an optimal pain free and posturally aligned existence.  Our postural alignment is often the last thing we think about until we begin to experience pain.  Here are the 5 most common aches and injuries from a desk bound environment and how to avoid them.

RSI - Repetitive Strain Injuries 

This is an umbrella term given to a collection of upper limb injuries including thoracic outlet syndrome, double crush syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, golfers elbow, tennis elbow.....  These injuries mostly start in the neck and shoulder area and commonly come from postural misalignment.

How to avoid it 

Try to avoid typing for long periods of time - take a break for a few minutes every half hour or so.  If you have a smart phone with voice activation then use it to give your hands, fingers and wrists a break.  Take time off your phone and tablet by reading a newspaper or a book or listening to music.   

Low back pain

This is probably the most common complaint of all desk bound workers.  Back pain can occur for many different reasons and your office environment can contribute and exacerbate it.  The most common cause of back pain is slouching in your chair and then sustaining postures for long periods that encourage certain structures to be stressed more than others.

How it avoid it

Sitting for long periods is not great for your back.  Make sure you move frequently throughout the day.  Get out of the office for lunch, walk to the water cooler, take a few flights of stairs up or down between floors, get out a tube station early and walk the remaining distance to your office.  If you can exercise before or after work or even during your lunch break.  Without fail get your workspace assessed by an ergonomics specialist - insist on one from your company.  

Upper mid back pain 

Another common compliant especially from writers, architects, artists and anyone who hunches over their desk.  Mid thoracic aches and pains often come from an imbalance between the muscles in the front of the shoulder and chest area being too tight and the upper back muscles being too weak.  A common occurrence is a strained feeling which comes from the back muscles being stretched but at the same time contracting to stop you from collapsing over your desk.  It is call tautness - the muscles are weak and tight at the same time from being over worked.  

How to avoid it

Work on your upper back alignment - do not hunch over your desk.  If you are writing and reading or drawing a lot then invest in an architects desk that you can tilt to an appropriate angle for your work.  Invest in a few sessions with someone who can teach you upper back exercises and stretches for postural alignment that you can do daily to strengthen your upper back.

Neck pain 

Neck pain is exceptionally common especially these days with the use of smart phones and tablets that we look down to use.  Even at your desk you are inclined to crane your head forwards towards the computer screen in front of you.  This puts incredible strain on the neck and can cause injuries such as a cervical disc prolapse.   

How to avoid it

Mobilise your neck throughout the day with head rolls and shoulder rolls.  If you have a chair with a head support consciously press your head back into the support whilst you work.  Make sure your chair alignment is assessed by an ergonomics specialist.  This will help correct the alignment of your head and neck as you work.  Do not place the phone between your ear and your head - use your loud speaker or invest in a head set.  Use a stand for your tablet if you are working at your desk to avoid hunching over it.  

Shoulder pain 

Shoulder pain can come from excessive use of smart phones and even typing on your keyboard.  Mostly pain will come from misalignment and if often associated with neck and mid thoracic issues.  Shoulders are vulnerable joints so seek out help with postural alignment.

How to avoid it 

Mobilise your neck throughout the day with head rolls and shoulder rolls.  Make sure your workspace is optimally aligned for your arms and shoulders.  Take a rest from your smart phone - some phones now have voice activation so you can give your hands and arms a rest from the constant furious typing.  Find a corrective exercise specialist or a rehab specialist to help you with your shoulder alignment.

General advice 

If your pain does not resolve itself within 7-10 days and if it gets continually worse then seek treatment from a physiotherapist or osteopath.  Early treatment often results in a quick recovery.  It is tempting to ignore aches and pains until they become unbearable - the longer you leave something the longer it will take to recover.  If you would like more information on how to resolve a desk bound injury please email me at

KT@precisionmovement.co.uk

.  

Featured Expert: Helen Skehan RSI physiotherapist

manual therapy
manual therapy

Helen Skehan specialises in the treatment of RSI (repetitive strain injuries).  She is the owner of

Physio Solutions

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 

physiosolutions.co.uk

 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

KT@precisionmovement.co.uk

.

My top 5 reads for chronic back pain sufferers

me with my books
me with my books

I love sharing knowledge!  Which is why I have compiled a list of my top 5 reads for chronic back pain sufferers.  They are all easy to read and most of them have tips and information you can apply immediately.  If you are suffering from chronic back pain and you really want to know what to do about it and how to handle it then read on.... 

1.   Explain Pain by David S Butler and Lorimer Moseley

A comprehensive information packed book that explains how pain comes about and what it means.  Although it's a little pricey I think it is must read for chronic pain sufferers.  

2.  Painful Yarns by Lorimer Moseley

A wonderfully entertaining book that uses the authors personal anecdotes to explain the mechanisms of pain and about taking responsibility for recovery.  

3.  Treat your own back by Robin Mackenzie

This is a good book for anyone with disc prolapse.  It gives easy to understand advice and information and is a great starting point for approaching recovery.

4.  Sitting on the job by Scott L Donkin

This book is a bible of information if you are a desk bound office worker with back pain or any workplace associated injuries such as carpal tunnel or RSI.  

5.  How to eat, move and be Healthy by Paul Chek

I recommend this book to everyone I meet.  It looks at all areas of your health and wellness and is an integral part of healing nad recovery from any pain or injury.  

And here is one I wrote myself - myeBook '7 steps to getting your back pain sorted' - scroll up and you'll see it on the left.  Happy reading!

3 ways to create a healthy and happy workforce

Happy at Work
Happy at Work

When I spoke at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair last month I asked this question:  

Why companies are responsible for the health and wellness of their employees?  

Would you leave a machine to run your business without applying the proper maintenance check?  Health and wellness in the workplace influences sick days taken, how staff represent your company - do they look tired and overworked? In turn these factors influence productivity, retention of staff and ultimately the success of your company.  So what can companies do? 

1.  Culture of health and wellness

Develop a culture of health and wellness as part of the work place.  Make it part of your company ethos.  If you actively encourage a healthy workplace you will find your staff will continue that.  I truly believe people want to be healthier.  

Ideas

a.  For an in house client meeting order from a healthy organic deli and offer fresh salads and fruit instead of sandwiches, cakes and cookies.

c.  Set up lunch time workshops for staff to learn about a wide variety of subjects that impact their health and wellness.  I talk about posture and alignment and how to minimise the risk of desk related aches and pains.  Often experts in their field will come and speak for free.

d.  Offer an ergonomics assessment to all your staff.  Actively encourage good posture and movement throughout the day by recommending staff leave their desk for lunch.  Have a water cooler that staff can walk over to throughout the day.  

2.  Reward value not volume

If you put in place a rewards system based on being available day and night on the blackberry, working late into the night, setting up competition between your team members on who can stay at the office the longest, employees will do what they need to one keep their careers and two get ahead.  Over time this will not serve you or the employees.  Create a culture of rewarding value not volume of work.  This is a tough one as every company competes for business and has deadlines to fulfill.  However, a job well done which takes a little extra time is much better than a rushed shoddy job.  Giving employees a feeling of pride over their work is also part their of health.

Ideas

Again you can begin with small changes.  What and how you reward will be individual to each company.

3.  Budget

what would be more costly to your business - a budget for health and wellness that retains staff and increases productivity or replacing the same position 3 times in 18 months?  Set aside a budget for health and wellness as part of the maintenance of your company.  Any benefits that you can offer employees particularly ones that take care of their health and wellness are always greatly received and play an important part in staff retention.  

Ideas 

a.  Instead of going out for a big lunch to celebrate the company anniversary do something interactive and fun like a game of dodgeball.

b.  Take a team bonding day with a private walking tour around an art gallery.

c.  For the company Christmas party arrange a healthy cooking workshop that is interactive and ends with a big festive meal.  

You can also consult health experts and consultants about implementing a bespoke structure that will work for your company.  I personally think a cost efficient and relatively easy way is to build health and wellness lectures and workshops into company lunch times or friday afternoons acts as a continual reminder, motivation and inspiration to employees to take care of their health. This is one of the things I do.

The facts are simple - a healthy workforce makes a healthy successful company.  If you are not actively promoting health and wellness in your company you are missing a trick.  Look at what the 46 healthiest companies in America are doing....

http://greatist.com/health/healthiest-companies

The health and wellness of employees is not just the responsibility of the company.  Find out how you as an employee can take responsibility for your health and wellness, whether your company promotes it or not, in Part 2 of this blog.

The Life Resolution - the only one to make - EVER

Happy New Year
Happy New Year

Have you set your New Years resolution (NYR)?  No?  Good!  Don't do it.  Seriously do not set a New Years resolution this year.  Here is what is faulty with the NYR...

Faulty goods

Often we set a short term goal that can be achieved within 3 months - to stop smoking, lose weight, go to the gym, stop drinking so much etc.  Some of us achieve it most of us lose interest.  If we do achieve our goal (yay - well done you!) we are prone to slip back into our old ways and vow to ourselves in 9 months we'll try again.  

Why?  Because life is too important.  We are creatures that seek out good times and fun.  We want to participate.  So how do we deal with the conundrum of good times v being good?  

Golden Goods!

Precision Movement challenges you to set a Life Resolution (#liferez). The liferez is a lifestyle change.  It starts with taking a good look at your life and saying what can I change here to be healthier, happier and have optimal wellness and enjoy my fitness?

Instructions

The liferez is exceptionally easy to assemble.  You choose your changes and when, where and how to implement them and the reasons for doing so.  Ideally make one small change each month.  If you feel your change is successfully implemented and fits well with your life then go on and change something else.  

Completely customised

Your liferez is designed by you.  You can choose anything you would like to improve from as little as one less cup of coffee per day to taking your first vacation in 5 years.  We all have different needs, priorities and responsibilities so make changes that serve your life.  If getting to the gym 5 days a week is impossible for you then don't include this in your liferez.  Seek out what would work better for you.  Measure your progress by your own life yard stick.

Second class post and loving it

The liferez is an endurance event - it's your life.  You wouldn't want to sprint through your life akin to same day DPD delivery would you?  You'd want to take your time, sit in the post office for a while and enjoy the view, take a few travels, maybe get lost and redirected before arriving at your destination a la 2nd class Royal Mail.  With the liferez you'll make smaller steady changes that you can work into your life over time.  They'll take a little effort in the beginning but will soon feel routine.  

T&Cs

With the liferez you will value the T&Cs and you get to make up your own.  My T&Cs are based around the 80/20 rule.  80% of the time I am golden and 20% I splash out and throw caution to the wind.  My T&Cs stipulate that after my splash out I return to my golden ways and this keeps my liferez in check.

Guarantee 

The great thing about the liferez is as long as you use it consistently it has a lifetime guarantee.  It will always serve you.  

Want to know more about TheLifeRez?  Follow me on Twitter and use #theliferez or on Facebook. Contact me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk