According to Brock Bastian, psychologist and author of the other side of happiness, endless happiness is actually quite a banal and horrible idea. He argues we need painful, negative experiences to be able to fully understand and appreciate what happiness really is. We need to accept these negatives rather than try to medicate or eradicate them all....
You were up to feed the baby and then could not get back to sleep as a troubling thought came to mind which you could not shake. One thought lead to another and before long your mind is racing, an hour later and you are still wide awake! The alarm goes off, you’re not sure if it’s waking you up of if you were ever really asleep....
Last week we welcomed Hannah Moran MISCP to our team of Chartered Physiotherapists.
Here is some news from Hannah....
“My first week has been full of learning, meeting new people and finding my feet. I began by diving into further inductions given by Practice Principal, Simon, which ranged from clinical aspects such as manual therapy and soft tissue techniques to business orientation, client management and payment systems. These inductions were invaluable to my settling into the clinic as I really got an idea of what the clinic is all about. It is a family run physiotherapy clinic which aims to provide a premium quality service to all clients and it is obvious that Lorraine and Simon really care about client satisfaction. Clients treatment plans have the unique feature of being personal and tailored to individual needs which many other services lack. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in and contributing to this unique environment.
Yes I know, you’ve heard it before...but vegetables really are the business. As renowned food writer Michael Pollan1 advised ‘eat food, mostly plants, not too much’. By food he means real, whole, unprocessed foods. Eating plants such as vegetables and fruit should form the bulk of the diet. All in moderation, not too much, eat until you are full, no more....
Do you dislike the thought of going to the gym but want to exercise more?
There are many benefits to exercising, too many to list here, for both body and mind.
For starters it might be helpful to avoid using the word “exercise.” The term sometimes makes it feel like a huge, unnatural and imposing task.
Instead using the word “movement,” reminds us that moving around is something we’re designed to do and that it’s not solely about sweating buckets in a spin class or being put through your paces with a trainer.
Trying to shift a few pounds?
Exercise is important for many reasons, but losing weight is not one of them. As 80% of our body composition is determined by what we eat, it is our diet that is important.
Diet does not mean ‘dieting’....which has been shown again and again not to work in the long term. No sustainable weight loss can be achieved by a diet which leaves you feeling hungry and craving food!
Why is the warmup and cooldown so important?
The warm-up prepares the body for exercise and should be tailored for the specific exercise that will be undertaken. For football, both general and specific exercises should be performed.
The warm up may include:
- General exercise jogging or cycling for 5-10 minutes to warm the muscles and enhance circulation in preparation for stretching
- Low level resistance exercises to ‘wake up’ important core stabilising muscles which will help support the back, hips and legs during training.
- Once the muscles are well warmed up, more vigorous dynamic stretches can be performed carefully under supervision of the coach so as to avoid injury.
The cool down is important to safely restore the body back to its resting state. This may include include general exercises such as light jogging or cycling and static stretching strethching to help prevent post exercise muscle stiffness and soreness.
Why is strength conditioning important to prevent injuries and optimise performance?
Strength and conditioning (S&C) physically prepares the body for the demands of the sport. It includes all forms of resistance/strength work and also agility, endurance, speed and flexibility training.It can also help prevent injuries.
Specific exercises should be related to football and will primarily focus on the lower body such as running drills, lower limb strength and balance work. A good example is the FIFA 11+ exercise programme. These exercises should ideally be done in the gym at a under supervision of a certified trainer or chartered physiotherapist initially and then at home once safe and effective technique has been taught. These S&C exercises are used as essential ‘background’ training to prevent injury and improve sports performance.
Newsflash (old news in fact)...we sit way too much!
The majority of the modern world lives sedentary lives, and not even fitness enthusiasts are safe from the assorted health risks of sedentary living.
Going to your body pump, yoga, spin, Pilates, CrossFit, Les Mills class etc. for an hour a day even every day doesn't counteract the eight or more hours spent at a desk, commuting, or lying on the sofa in the evening.
Risks include musculoskeletal, metabolic, and hormone imbalances including higher blood pressure and the propensity to store instead of burn fat, an increase in appetite, and a tendency toward obesity, cancer, and heart disease.
To counteract the dangers of sedentary living it is essential to:
- Move more frequently, at least 2-3 minutes every hour, 10 minutes every two hours and for half an hour at lunchtime. Get up, reach up, bend down, twist, and walk, take a few flights of stairs, and go to the bathroom (even if you don’t need to go).
- Avoid prolonged moments of stillness, both when sitting and standing at your stand up desk, vary your body positions.
- Add more movement to your life, such as a 5-15 minute walk after meals to regulate the insulin response.
The Neurostructural Integration Technique (NST) is a manual therapy technique developed by Osteopath Michael Nixon-Livy, a reinterpretation of the Bowen technique.
At Mount Merrion Chartered Physiotherapy we have further adapted and modified aspects of the technique for the benefit of our patients who are suffering with persistent pain.
NST is a gentle form of soft tissue manipulation, applied in a systematic manner to the back, neck and head, abdomen arms and legs. By contrast to massage, the technique involves a gentle strumming across the muscles, mainly near their attachments to tendons which in turn attach to bones. This may be important for some of the physiological effects, more below.
We use adapted NST alongside evidence based pain management counselling and therapeutic exercise mainly in the treatment of Fibromyalgia, but also for other persistent pain conditions which are a consequence of the central sensitisation phenomenon. These would include chronic low back pain, migraine and tension type headache for example.
Lorraine learnt the technique about 10 years ago on an intensive course in the UK. She found it very effective for helping her Fibromyalgia sufferers manage their widespread pain symptoms. It also helped with mood and sleep.
When she took some time from the clinic after Toby was born, I learnt the technique so I could look after her patients in her absence. NST has since become a very important part of our physiotherapy practice.
Coffee has been proposed to have many health benefits. It is one of the richest sources of polyphenols which act as antioxidants, it also regulates insulin and blood sugar levels, assists with concentration and attention as well as boosts athletic performance.
One to three cups a day seems to be the general consensus for health benefits according research, but this could be very variable between individuals. Too much can stress the cardiovascular and nervous system.
If you are not overly caffeine sensitive, tolerate coffee well and wish to avail of its health benefits (and pleasure of a good cup), it’s worth being aware that mould in ground coffee is prevalent.
Mould is naturally occurring, but high levels may result in serious health problems. As such, the governments of Japan and South Korea have banned the sale of coffee with mould levels above a certain limit. Of course what constitutes a safe limit is controversial.
That said, to reduce the likelihood of high mould levels in your coffee, the following is advised:
- Avoid buying overly cheap coffee, spending a bit more and maybe drinking a bit less?
- Try and buy single origin coffee, grown in a single geographic region or farm, usually mentioned on the label.
- Coffee shops that roast their own beans and grind beans for you to order (hard to find I know) are likely to have lower levels of mould
Drink healthy and enjoy!