Cathedral Osteopaths offer MORE appointments!

Cathedral Osteopaths are delighted to welcome Mr Felix Tongue, who is joining the team increasing the availability of appointments Monday to Friday.

Biography:

Felix graduated with a Master’s from the European School of Osteopathy in the UK. In the course of his studies, and having worked in the UK and New Zealand, he acquired extensive practical experience of treating all age ranges, from new-born to the elderly, using a wide range of techniques including structural, cranial and visceral approaches.

Felix grew up in Brussels, Belgium, in a multilingual environment and speaks four languages (English, German, French and Spanish). He is a sports enthusiast and particularly enjoys tennis, hiking and mountain biking.

Felix first became interested in osteopathy at an early age, after being successfully treated for a sports injury. He also learned about the benefits of manual therapy from his grandfather, a physiotherapist who still practises at the age of 85.

 

 

Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. This is because when you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
The brain then sends this message to your body. Those things that happen when you  are stressed, such as increased heart rate, fast breathing, and high blood pressure, all decrease as you breathe deeply to relax.
 The way you breathe affects your whole body. Breathing exercises are a good way to relax, reduce tension, and relieve stress.
 Breathing exercises are easy to learn. You can do them whenever you want, and  you don’t need any special tools or equipment to do them.
 You can do different exercises to see which work best for you.
How do you do breathing exercises?
There are lots of breathing exercises you can do to help relax. The first exercise below—belly breathing—is simple to learn and easy to do. It’s best to start there if  you have never done breathing exercises before. The other exercises are more  advanced. All of these exercises can help you relax and relieve stress.

Belly breathing
Belly breathing is easy to do and very relaxing. Try this basic exercise anytime you  need to relax or relieve stress.

  1. Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
  2. Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
  3. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move.
  4. Breathe out through pursed lips as if you were whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out.
  5. Do this breathing 3 to 10 times. Take your time with each breath.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.

Next steps
After you have mastered belly breathing, you may want to try one of these more advanced breathing exercises. Try them and see which one works best for you:
 4-7-8 breathing
 Roll breathing

4-7-8 breathing
This exercise also uses belly breathing to help you relax. You can do this exercise either sitting or lying down.

  1. To start, put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest as in the belly
    breathing exercise.
  2. Take a deep, slow breath from your belly, and silently count to 4 as you breathe in.
  3. Hold your breath, and silently count from 1 to 7.
  4. Breathe out completely as you silently count from 1 to 8. Try to get all the air out of your lungs by the time you count to 8.
  5. Repeat 3 to 7 times or until you feel calm.
  6. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise. Roll breathing helps you to develop full use of your lungs and to focus on the rhythm
    of your breathing. You can do it in any position. But while you are learning, it is best to lie on your back with your knees bent.
  7. Put your left hand on your belly and your right hand on your chest. Notice how your hands move as you breathe in and out.
  8. Practice filling your lower lungs by breathing so that your “belly” (left) hand goes up when you inhale and your “chest” (right) hand remains still. Always breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Do this 8 to 10 times.
  9. When you have filled and emptied your lower lungs 8 to 10 times, add the second step to your breathing: inhale first into your lower lungs as before, and then continue inhaling into your upper chest. Breathe slowly and regularly. As you do so, your right hand will rise and your left hand will fall a little as your belly falls.
  10. As you exhale slowly through your mouth, make a quiet, whooshing sound as first your left hand and then your right-hand fall. As you exhale, feel the tension leaving your body as you become more and more relaxed.
  11. Practice breathing in and out in this way for 3 to 5 minutes. Notice that the movement of your belly and chest rises and falls like the motion of rolling waves.
  12. Notice how you feel at the end of the exercise.
    Practice roll breathing daily for several weeks until you can do it almost anywhere.
    You can use it as an instant relaxation tool anytime you need one. Caution: Some people get dizzy the first few times they try roll breathing. If you begin to breathe too fast or feel lightheaded, slow your breathing. Get up slowly.

Do you drive a desk?

Back, neck, wrist and leg pain can all be caused by a poor workstation set up. You can spend a lot of money making sure your workstation is perfectly set up but here are some effective and cheaper hacks.

The most obvious is to take regular breaks.

This is not as daft as it sounds, there is a deep muscle in your spine whose job is to report to your brain what your spine is doing, it makes small adjustments so you don’t injure yourself. However it gets bored after 25 minutes of inactivity and goes to sleep leaving you vunerable to injury.

From the app store try STAND UP its free.

Eg If you need to get a message to a co-worker get up and go and see them rather than firing off an email or move the printer so you have to move to get your print out.

Using your laptop for longer than half an hour? DON”T!!

Use your laptop as the monitor by placing in on a stand, and use a plug in keyboard and mouse.

Stands are easily available and vary in price according to how much adjustment they need and how portable they are.

This is the link to the one I use

https://www.posturite.co.uk/slim-cool-laptop-stand.html

  • Eyestrain or headaches?
  • Is there a window reflecting in the screen?
  • Is the screen brightness too bright/dim
  • Have you had an eye-test, even if you already wear glasses you may need a different prescription specifically for monitor work

 

Don’t have an all singing all dancing ergonomic office chair costing gazillions? 

Check your existing chair it may have adjustments you aren’t aware of.

No excuse to slouch, use a ‘Backfriend’ by Medesign they are brilliant for using with a dining room chair and they fit car seats.

Or use a small cushion to support the curve in your low back and lean back into it.

 

Cheaper alternatives to ergonomic office chairs:-

  • SWOPPER CHAIRS go to https://cruz-uk.com/
  • Sit to stand desks 
  • Kneel-on chairs 
  • Fitball as chairs
  • Saddle stools

Keep crossing your legs? 

If you are under 5’6” chances are you need a footrest – find a box to rest your feet on.

 

If you would like to know more about minimising injuries at work or would like to book an ergonomic assessment please get in touch vanessa@cathedralosteopaths.co.uk

Back, neck, wrist and leg pain can all be caused by a poor workstation set up. You can spend a lot of money making sure your workstation is perfectly set up but here are some effective and cheaper hacks.

The most obvious is to take regular breaks.

This is not as daft as it sounds, there is a deep muscle in your spine whose job is to report to your brain what your spine is doing, it makes small adjustments so you don’t injure yourself. However it gets bored after 25 minutes of inactivity and goes to sleep leaving you vunerable to injury.

From the app store try STAND UP its free.

Eg If you need to get a message to a co-worker get up and go and see them rather than firing off an email.

Using your laptop for longer than half an hour? DON”T!!

Use your laptop as the monitor by placing in on a stand, and use a plug in keyboard and mouse.

Stands are easily available and vary in price according to how much adjustment they need and how portable they are.

This is the link to the one I use

https://www.posturite.co.uk/slim-cool-laptop-stand.html

Eyestrain or headaches?

Is the screen antiglare?

Is the screen brightness too bright/dim

Have you had an eye-test, even if you already wear glasses you may need a different prescription for monitor work.

Don’t have an all singing all dancing ergonomic office chair costing gazillions? 

No excuse to slouch, use a ‘Backfriend’ by Medesign (I sell these just above cost so if you would like one let me know, they are brilliant for using with a dining room chair and they fit car seats,) Or use a small cushion to support the curve in your low back and lean back into it.
Cheaper alternatives to ergonomic office chairs:-

  • SWOPPER CHAIRS go to https://cruz-uk.com/
  • Sit to stand desks 
  • Kneel-on chairs 
  • Fitball as chairs
  • Saddle stools

To Ice Or Not To Ice? – How to recover quickly from injury

Ice therapy has been the gold standard for the treatment of acute injury since its introduction in 1978 in the book Sportsmedicine. Gabe Mirkin was the man who pioneered its use in combination with rest, compression and elevation otherwise known as RICE.

But why do you ice? What is the theory behind it?

The aim of Ice Therapy is to reduce inflammation by constricting the blood vessels. This leads to a reduction in pain (gate control theory), reduction in muscle spasm and a reduction in oedema.

Sounds pretty sensible right? You hurt yourself, get an ice pack.

But surely the human body knows better? What makes us think that inhibiting a natural response to injury is more beneficial?

For starters if you cut yourself how does it heal? if you have an infection how do you get better? The body’s response to injury is inflammatory because it is normal healthy physiology; it is BLOOD that carries a whole army of cells and chemicals to go to work and fix the problem.

The advice now for an ankle sprain is not RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) but compression and elevation and to get it moving as quickly as possible as focusing on drainage is key. Icing an area reduces blood flow therefore reducing the effectiveness of the inflammatory response, meaning it will take longer to get better.

So what about our friend Gabe? Well thankfully back in 2015 he did a 180 and is now an advocate against the use of ice. He said I was wrong and “we should stop using Ice as part of the protocol and really just focus on the “CE” but with movement added in!”

What is the evidence?

There is not much quality evidence (Randomised Clinical Trails – RCT) to support the use of ice for musculoskeletal injury or for the treatment of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). In fact an article in in Sports Medicine; November 28, 2011 found that icing for 20 minutes led to a decrease in strength, speed and power in agility based running.

There is still limited evidence but a RCT published in Postgraduate Medicine 2015 showed that heat acts as an analgesic (painkiller), leads to increased blood flow, increased metabolism and elasticity of connective tissues. It decreased pain in acute low back pain and in the use of DOMS.

So how to treat an acute injury?

  1. The use of heat will cause vasodilation, allowing blood to flow to the area carrying with it all good stuff to make us better.
    (Please note that over-application of heat will not heal you faster but will exhaust the reflexes of the nervous system rendering them inactive). 
    Depending on the site of the injury heat can be applied for 15-20 minutes and can repeated.
    There are contraindications to heat, if you have loss of sensation, circulatory problems or DVT.
  2. Get it moving and gradually load the tissues pain free, as drainage is important. Muscular contraction helps move the fluid with its waste products out of the area and back into main circulation.

Obviously if the injury is traumatic and there has been some concussion, there is an open wound or possibility of fracture a visit to A&E is recommended.

If you have had an injury that has not fully resolved or that comes back again and again, please contact us to find out how Vanessa can help.