How To Deal With Stress – 4 Easy Ways
As much as we enjoy the emerging flowers and longer (slightly warmer) days during April, it is the time of year when we realise that time is going too quickly and there is a lot to do and plan. Maybe that’s why April is Stress Awareness Month; to remind us to take care of ourselves, and not let stress go unchecked. Here are 4 easy ways to deal with stress:
Meditation does not have to be about sitting cross-legged, chanting, and reaching enlightenment. It can simply be about creating a moment of stillness in your mind as a way to become more relaxed. Just one minute, 60 seconds of meditation, can dramatically improve your mood, your productivity and the quality of your day.
It can be difficult to make time for exercise when you are up to your eyes, and you are feeling stressed. But that’s when it becomes even more important. Exercise can relieve the physical symptoms of stress like fatigue, pain, and moodiness. If you can’t make time for daily workout, try to fit a 5-10 minute walk outside into some part of your day. A little goes a long way when you need it. If you want to get healthy but hate the thought of a noisy fast-paced gym, and do have time for a regular class, you can do no better than visit The Body IQ Studio in Wolverton, Milton Keynes, to check out their classes.
Giggle and hum
Both laughter and music can lower the blood pressure. In fact, this study showed that 3 months of laughter or music therapy resulted in the same drop in blood pressure that could be achieved with a low-salt diet, losing 10 pounds, or taking a blood-pressure-lowering medication. So put the funny videos on or start singing along to the radio.
Bowen Technique and Aromatherapy Massage
Regular treatments can improve sleep, relieve headaches, reduce muscle pain, and improve moods. Plus, these therapies make you feel good. Read about Bowen Technique’s effects on stress and about how Holistic Aromatherapy Massage helps relieve stress.
When you feel good, you play more, work more efficiently, and take better care of the people you love. Schedule a treatment now to prepare for a busy (and fun) spring!
Commit to taking care of yourself this spring! You may be surprised with the results.
Thanks for reading my ideas on how to deal with stress. Remember to sign up to my monthly newsletter to be the first to receive special offers.
How Much Do You Drink: If you have been for a treatment with me, you will know that I will ask you during the consultation how much water you drink daily. I will often also test this with a simple kineseology test. The majority of people answer honestly that they do not drink enough. Most people say apologetically that they drink plenty of tea/coffee/herbal tea/juice/squash but not water. So that’s okay, isn’t it? Most people say they don’t like drinking water, it’s bland, it’s boring.
Let me give you some benefits of drinking water which may not be what you expect. Also, to help you, at the end is a calculator to work out how much you as an individual should be drinking.
Water at a Cellular Level: Our bodies contain something like 70 to 100 trillion cells. By the time you have read this short blog, 50 million of your cells will have died and will have been replaced by new cells. This is amazing isn’t it? Some of these cells come to the end of their life naturally and some are lost through wear and tear and the remainder self-destruct. Every single cell in our body is carefully controlled so that we have just the right amount of each type of cell. Cells in the stomach are replaced every 2-9 days. Cells in the skin 10-30 days.
Common sense tells us that if we have healthy cells then we have a healthy body. So how do we ensure we have healthy cells? Basically a healthy cell is one where the nutrients can get in easily and the toxins eliminate easily. How do we make sure that happens? Adequate hydration – benefits of drinking water.
Think about all the food and drink we put into our bodies. The cells in your body are working hard to eliminate the waste. If we are constantly dehydrated then the cells can’t elimiate the toxins and the waste, and they can’t take in new nutrients. Everything becomes sluggish. Every detoxification process in the body including breathing, urinating, sweating, defecating require water. If our body stagnates through lack of fluid then the toxins become stored in places in our body – away from major organs.
Our bodies are something like 70 percent water. Babies are about 80 to 90 percent water and elderly people are only 50 to 60 percent water.
Water and Back Pain: Clients presenting with back pain may be able to help themselves just by drinking more water. Yes you read that correctly.
Water plays a massive role in the health of your back and spine. Your back ache could be because of a lack of hydration. How? Between your vertebrae lie disks, the outer part is tough and designed to take25% of our weight, while the inner substance is primarily water and takes 75% of our weight. All day long as we sit and stand gravity pushes us down, water is squeezed out of those disks. When we go to bed the disks slowly rehydrate. This system works fine so long as we do our part – supplying adequate water levels. What happens when we don’t? There isn’t enough fluid to fully rehydrate the inner disk, meaning that the whole disk becomes compromised. The inner disk fails and the outer ring has to take more weight. You then feel pain, there can be swelling. If we ignore this and carry on more damage occurs, hernated disks and ruptures. One of the benefits of drinking water is preventing needless back pain.
This shows that the simplest and most effective way to reduce your back pain is simply to increase your daily intake of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty, by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated.
Symptoms of Dehydration:
- Dark coloured urine
- Confusion and irritability
- Poor concentration – brain fog
- Dry mouth
- Tiredness and lethargy
Water Consumption Calculator:
I have provided a link which takes you to an external site called h4initiative.com. You will need your height in cms and your weight in kgs (so if you still think in imperial measurements like me then you might want to go to Google to convert your weight and height first and make a note of it before clicking on the calculator). According to this I should be drinking 1.9 litres a day so I need to up my intake too. CLICK HERE FOR CALCULATOR.
If you would like to read more, please take a look at this excellent blog by Health Ambition.
I hope this article gives a bit of insight into why I am always asking about your water intake!
Thanks for reading.
I have had quite a few clients coming to see me lately with Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced Plan-Ter-Fash-Ee-Eye-Tus!) If you have been unfortunate to have this, you will know it is a really painful condition causing foot arch pain and/or heel pain. The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue which connects your heel bone to your toes. Its job is to support the arch of your foot. If you overstrain this ligament it can become inflamed and then the pain starts when you stand or walk. Basically it is a Repetitive Strain Injury. If the ligament is repeatedly strained then tiny tears can result and then pain and swelling occurs.
You are more at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis if:
- Middle aged
- Fallen arches
- Stand a lot
- Walk extensively
- Wear ill fitting shoes
- Have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles – which can be caused by wearing high heeled shoes for too many years or due to posture.
The first steps out of bed in the morning are often the worst of the day for people with Plantar Fasciitis. Morning pain is a telling sign as to whether you have this condition. This can also happen if you have been sitting for a long time and then get up. Once you have taken some steps the pain can lessen but as the day goes on the pain may come on again. Standing may bring on the pain and climbing stairs.
No doubt about it, Plantar Fasciitis can be a stubborn condition to treat. No one treatment works for everyone. Some people recover fairly quickly, but some people find it can drag on. No one can promise a cure but here are some ways you can help recovery.
- Rest – this can be difficult as you have to get on with your day to day life, however, it is important that you need to cut back on the activities which caused the condition in the first place such as running, standing for lengthy periods of time, or extensive walking. The body is amazing and is self-healing but we need to help it along.
- Stretches Before Getting Out of Bed: When you wake up in the morning do some stretches. These first steps out of bed can re-aggravate the condition. Your body has been healing overnight. The best way to deal with this is to stretch your calf muscle BEFORE getting out of bed. This is because the muscles of the calf pull on the heel bone, which then tightens the plantar fascia. Keep a towel or belt near the bed and loop it around the ball of your foot. Keeping your leg straight gently pull towards your body until you feel the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times before stepping out of bed. Follow this link for detailed instructions. Follow this link for a YouTube video demonstrating the stretching exercises.
- Stretch the Fascia: simply pull your toes up with your hand until you feel the stretch along the sole of your foot. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
- Stretch the calf muscles: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall at eye level, put one leg behind you. Keep the heel of the back foot on the floor and bend the knee of the front leg until you feel a stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat 2 to 4 times. Follow this link for detailed instructions:
- Avoid hard surfaces: try not to walk or run on hard surfaces. Give yourself time to recover.
- Book a Bowen: book a Bowen treatment and receive a full body balancing treatment including treatment on your feet. This cross fibre therapy will relax and release the fascia not only in your feet but in your calf muscles. However, it needs to be combined with the exercises and wearing good footwear.
- Flat Feet or High Arches?: People can have plantar fasciitis if they have flat feet but also it afflicts people with excessive arches so it isn’t always a ‘flat feet’ issue. However, a lot of people who have flat feet or excessive arches do not have plantar fasciitis so it is not a cause.
- Shoes: buy some shoes which have a good arch support, and a cushioned sole. What you wear on your feet has a massive bearing on recovery time. Here is a YouTube video explaining the types of shoes to wear. Basically an enclosed shoe with arch support, Velcro strap or lace ups are ideal, heel height 2 cms (not flat and not higher), a rigid shell (not soft fabric or ballet type shoes), something that doesn’t give way, with a stiff sole and generally supportive. We see a lot of women who wear the soft ballet type shoes with foot problems. Follow this link for a YouTube video explaining what to look out for in footwear.
- Golf Ball Treatment: find yourself a golf ball and roll it under your foot for a couple of minutes daily which will help to release the fascia. It will be tender so take it gently.
- Foot Support: you can purchase a sock or sleeve to support the foot and provide some relief. Follow this link for an example.
How long does recovery take:
It has taken a long time for the condition to get to this stage, and it can take time for the pain to go away. It can take a few months but it can take up to a year and in some cases even longer. Consistently following the above advice will help relieve your symptoms.
Please Note: This blog is for information purposes and is not intended to take the place of medical advice – if you are in any doubt always refer to your GP or medical practitioner.
Thanks for reading.
To book an appointment with me: click here
Today we are looking at causes of neck pain. When you think that an average head weighs around 15 pounds and has the ability to move in such a complex way, it is no wonder that neck pain is so common. Most people suffer from neck pain at one time or another and it can be extremely debilitating.
Usually the area is feeling very sore and stiff, and there will be difficulty in moving the head in the normal way. You may also have shoulder pain accompanying the discomfort in the neck, and sometimes a headache. When you want to turn around you find that you have to move your body in order to do so.
Often neck pain will go away by itself after a few days but if you have neck pain that does not go away after a week then help may be required. Here we look at some common causes of neck pain and then at how to deal with it and when to visit your GP.
First of all here is a super video explaining about neck pain neck sprain and strain video
Causes of Neck Pain:
- Whiplash – this is a very common neck injury which occurs usually during a car accident. It is caused when the head is forcefully moved backwards and/or forwards too rapidly and uncontrolled, and outside of the normal range of movement. This overstretches the muscles and ligaments in the neck and the resulting discomfort is caused when the muscles contract. It is a very painful condition and medical attention should be sought after any traumatic injury.
- Muscle Strain – this can happen when you have been carrying out an activity which is unusual for you. For instance starting gym and doing sit ups. If you ever talk on the telephone and hold the phone between your ear and your neck, this can cause muscle strain.
- Osteoarthritis – conditions such as osteoarthritis cause gradual and progressive deterioration of the spine. The movement of the neck is restricted by the body creating bone spurs which then causes pain.
- Degenerative Disc Disease – this causes damage to the discs in the spinal column and eventually causes a bulging disc or a herniated disc which causes pain.
- Posture – sitting all day at a computer with the head pushed forward, texting and checking mobile devices frequently, not moving around and changing your position, being overweight, weak abdominal muscles, lack of exercise; these are all factors which contribute to neck pain as well as many other issues.
- Your Job – people such as hairdressers can really suffer from neck pain due to the way they have to stand and hold their hands and arms for lengthy periods of time.
- Jaw Problems – when there is a misalignment and derangement of the temporomandibular joint this can cause referred pain in the neck.
- Emotional factors – the neck is very indicative of emotional problems such as stress, nervous tension, and anxiety.
- Meningitis – if you have a stiff neck and also have a temperature, and a headache, this could point to meningitis or other infections. It is advisable to seek medical attention.
- Torticollis – neck pain and pinched nerve. This happens when the muscle on one side of the neck goes into spasm. Usually you wake with this condition, and the head will be tilted to one side. Often this is due to your pillows being too low or too high, or sleeping on your stomach with your head on one side.
- If neck pain is accompanied by a temperature then seek medical advice as a matter of urgency. If you suffer a trauma to the neck such as whiplash seek medical attention.
- Seek the help of a Bowen Therapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath.
- Book a massage treatment.
- Look at the underlying causes – is it your posture? Are you stressed? Are there emotional factors? Is it your sleeping position? Have you been carrying out a new activity?
- Gentle exercise. I have included some links below to help you.
Bowen Technique and Neck Pain:
Bowen technique has been shown to be an effective and gentle treatment for neck and shoulder pain. Out of 271 clients treated by Bowen Therapists, 86% showed a partial to full recovery after a series of just three treatments. See link for full report.
I offer Bowen Technique treatments for neck pain as well as Aromatherapy Massage treatments. I have clinics in Daventry, Northampton and Milton Keynes. Call me today to see how I can help relieve your neck pain.
Thanks for reading
Prevalent on Twitter feeds today are tweets urging women to ditch their bras for #NoBraDay and looking at www.mirror.co.uk the newspaper asks whether this is really for a good cause or is it a hoax.
No Bra Day is meant to raise awareness of breast cancer awareness, or at least that is what we are told by Twitter. However, it appears to be more of a reason for pictures of bra-less women to appear on Twitter feed. It is unclear what the actual goal is by going without ones bra as there is nothing to mention how to raise funds or even how to examine your breasts. Excuse me for remaining sceptical.
Hold A Coke With Your Boobs Challenge
In June there was a hoax called #HoldACokeWithYourBoobsChallenge which duped women into posting pictures of themselves online. That didn’t raise any money for cancer research either I guess.
What has this to do with anything? Well, the subject of bras and breasts caught my attention for another reason.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
A large percentage of women at some time in their life find their breasts feel lumpy, and may find cysts. These can occur when a duct becomes blocked and fills with fluid. The area around the blocked duct forms scar tissue and results in the lumpy, granular feeling. This is known by several names such as fibrocystic breast condition, fibrocystic breast disease, and benign breast disease.
An easy solution that works for many women is simply – remove the bra. Wear less restrictive under-clothing. This can dramatically reduce the discomfort. To find out more click here.
Lower Risk of Breast Cancer
Bras can cause breast cancer!? You’re joking, right? Wrong…. There was a study of over 4000 women which found that women who do not wear bras have a reduced risk of breast cancer. Read ‘Dressed To Kill: The Link between Breast Cancer and Bras’ Sydney Ross Singer and Soma Grismaijer. They found amongst many other fascinating facts that:
- 75% of women who sleep in their bras develop breast cancer. I am amazed that women actually sleep in their bras?
- 1 in 7 women who wore their bras for more than 12 hours a day developed breast cancer
- 1 in 168 who did not wear a bra developed breast cancer
- Within one month of ditching their bra, women with cysts, breast pain, or tenderness found their symptoms disappeared.
A 1991 article in the European Journal of Cancer found that “Premenopausal women who do not wear bras had half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra users” check the link here:
We are sold the theory that breasts need to be supported, one reason being to help reduce backpain. In fact a French research project found that breasts gained no benefit from their weight being supported in a bra, and that there is evidence that NOT wearing a bra can help ease back pain.
Ditch the Wire
Okay, so perhaps going bra-less is a step too far for some, but there are some things we can do today:
- Choose bras which are not underwired.
- Remove the wires from your bras – no need to discard perfectly good underwear so long as it isn’t too restrictive.
- Wear bras made of soft material and looser fitting. Tight bras impede lymph flow.
- Go bra-less when you are at home, wear a comfy cami instead.
- Don’t wear a bra to bed.
More reading on the subject:
http://fearlessparent.org/catch-good-ditch-bra/ a super blog called Ladies, Ditch the Bra for your Health by Louise Kuo Habakus and her follow up http://fearlessparent.org/ladies-ditch-bra-vol-2-fred-hutch-study-rebuttal/ is also well worth a read.
In the meantime, if you would like a consultation and a holistic full body MOT Bowen Therapy treatment, book an appointment with Choosewellbeing here.
Tomorrow, 12th October, is World Arthritis Day. This day was first observed 19 years ago by Arthritis Rheumatism Internation and it is now held worldwide with the aim to get awareness of this condition known about. It is important that sufferers and carers know where to find help.
To find out what is happening and find out more information visit the World Arthritis Day website. There is a knowledgebase of helpful details.
Arthritis can be so painful and debilitating as anyone who suffers will tell you. Mostly you think of it as something that starts as you get older, but it can start at any age. GP’s spend a lot of their time seeing patients with arthritic pain and are often prescribed with anti inflammatory drugs.
Bowen therapy has been found to help with the symptoms of arthritis and offers a more holistic approach. Bowen can also help with low mood, and this can be something that goes hand in hand with arthritis. It is such a gentle approach, and relaxes the whole body. When we have pain in one area of our body, we tend to over-compensate by using other parts of our body, for instance if we are suffering from pain in our left knee, we will tend to favour our right side to try to relieve the pain. In doing so we then cause an un-natural stress in our bodies, which then causes issues in other areas.
The way Bowen can help is by relaxing the fascia and thus relieving tension in the surrounding tissues allowing the body to return to a balanced state. Bowen is a tool to help manage the pain of arthritis along with a good diet, gentle exercise, and treatment from your GP.
Because the Bowen moves are gentle and effective it is very suitable for people of all ages. No forceful manipulation is carried out. If people are unable to lay on the therapy couch, treatments can be done sitting, and can be carried out through light clothing.
Generally after a Bowen treatment clients tell me that their whole body feels much looser, and that they feel extremely relaxed. It is not unusual for people to even fall asleep during a treatment.
Bowen treats the whole body, so we are not treating the arthritis, but we are treating you, and you may well be surprised by the benefits that you feel from this amazing therapy.
Give Bowen a try, book an appointment today and find out how every body is better with Bowen. Clinics in Daventry, Milton Keynes and Northampton.
Tags: Bowen Technique Daventry, Bowen Technique Milton Keynes, Bowen Technique Northampton, Bowen Therapy Daventry, Bowen Therapy Milton Keynes, Bowen Therapy Northampton, Arthritis Daventry, Arthritis Milton Keynes, Arthritis Northampton, World Arthritis Day
How many people on a daily basis suffer with back pain and don’t know where to turn for help? We have all reached for the pain killers in desperation and maybe visited the GP looking for a solution. Back pain can leave you feeling helpless, with restricted movement and inability to carry out everyday activities – something as simple as putting on your own socks becomes a nearly impossible task. No one likes taking drugs because of the side effects. How many people don’t consider alternative therapies because of the reputation of the ‘quack’ physician?
Quite often the reason for back pain is poor posture, as explained in my earlier blog ‘Sitting at a Computer All Day?’. Pain often takes time to appear and by the time it does we have already developed a bad habit. One of my personal bad habits is to sit on the sofa while watching TV and unconsciously sit with one of my legs folded underneath me. I then wondered why my pelvis was frequently out of alignment until a fellow therapist pointed this out to me.
The most common reason for people seeking Bowen Treatment is back pain although most conditions can respond well to this complementary therapy. This is because it is a holistic treatment where the therapist uses a gentle but precise series of rolling type movements which can bring relief without the need for manipulation. Although every-body is unique the average number of treatments required is three.
Once you are feeling improvement it is important to be conscious about the way you are sitting and standing on a daily basis. Observe what habits you may have fallen into and check yourself to prevent further injury. If, like me, you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer, yoga and Pilates are great ways to help you develop core strength to protect your back and increase overall flexibility.
At my clinic in Milton Keynes, free 15 minute consultations are available so that you can come and discuss Bowen treatment with me with no obligation and I can answer any questions you may have. Email Sue Jaycock, at email@example.com to book your free consultation. My clinic has plenty of free parking right outside and is easy to access.
For many years I worked in offices and ended up sitting for far too long at a computer screen. Here I am right this second doing the same thing, and as I think about it I automatically straighten my back and become aware of my posture.
I was reading an article on Facebook the other day about exactly this subject, and I shared it at the time. Here is the link, and it really does not make for cheery reading (sorry about that!) I know myself that I end up with blurry eyes, and a stiff back and painful neck. It is my body rebelling – but how often do I listen?
Things have changed so much over the last century; we weren’t built to be sitting all day. Years ago it was normal to spend our waking hours mostly on our feet but now the average office worker sits at their desk up to 9 hours a day. Then when we get home we sit on the couch with a sigh of relief.
The thing is, we don’t always have a lot of choice, do we, because of our job? In one place I worked there was one guy who had a standing desk, have you heard of those? I had never seen one before. I asked why and was told he suffered from back problems. I can’t see that happening with the majority of office workers, he was a director so I guess he could have whatever he liked. I wonder what it would be like to stand up whilst working in an office – has anyone tried it?
I read an article earlier where a guy recommended standing their desk higher by using the waste-bin and piles of books. Can you imagine the Health and Safety guys would have a field day, and you would get some real funny looks from your colleagues! Maybe not quite such a practical idea, but definitely inventive.
So, on a positive note here are some of my suggestions.
• The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes so you should only need to look downwards about 10 degrees. It is any lower then you end up tilting your head in a downward direction and then you may experience back and neck pain. Alternatively if the screen is too high, you can get dry eyes. (I am now looking at my screen, it’s a laptop, and it is too low – need to adjust!)
• Park the car at the furthest space away from the office door that you can!
• Set an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes and focus and work really hard for that time, and then take a five minute walk around the office, to the bathroom, to the water fountain, anything. It saves you getting burnt out so you will be more productive. Repeat!
• Here’s a nice 10 minute You Tube video with some simple exercises you can do while sitting at your desk. There are lots of other little videos out there too, not all great, some better than others.
• If you live in the Milton Keynes, Northampton or Daventry area, why not book a relaxing Bowen Therapy session or Aromatherapy massage with me.
I hope you have found this useful. Any comments? Things you have tried? Looking forward to your feedback.