Without Limits Blog
Here you will find exciting information and updates from our practitioners.
It’s that time of year where we are all getting excited about the silly season, going on holidays, summer vacations and hopefully traveling overseas…….it can’t be nearly Christmas already?!!!! Where has the year gone?!
I for one love going overseas and make it a yearly occurrence. With a wife from Canada, we always head there first and then try and attach another destination.
Whilst they are fun and relaxing, holidays can be super stressful for your body and its functionality and normality. I think it tends to have more impact on those that are highly routine and fine-tuned. Therefore, for me personally, I always take a long time to get back to normal once I arrive at a destination or once I get home from the trip.
Over the years I have gained more experienced and learned a few tricks in order to minimise the impact of traveling on my body and health and I would love to share them with you.
Last month we discussed ways to fast-track your recovery. In this months blog we are going to take a closer look at the main aggravating and maintaining culprits and discuss what you can do to identify these factors, minimise and eliminate where possible.
So what are the main culprits?
-Desk posture and ergonomic workstation set up
-Car seat posture and set up
-Sleeping posture (pillow/mattress/sleep position)
-Gait patterns (how you walk, what shoes you use to walk in)
-Type of physical activity you choose to do if any.
Recovering from an injury can be an arduous process that takes time and for some, it can take longer than expected.
Why is that?
There are many factors that influence the way that you recover and the time it takes. For instance, your age, weight, general wellbeing and state of health prior to being injured will have a major influence on your recovery and how long it will take you to bounce back.
During the acute phase of injury, the following factors will contribute in either facilitating or hindering your recovery.
- Amount of sleep and Quality of sleep
- Level of inflammation
- Stress levels
All of the above will have a role to play in your recovery following the acute phase of injury in the first 24-48 hours. So it is important that you make sure you get a good sleep, this is when the body repairs itself and injury is tiring stuff because the body is working hard to repair damage, which requires energy. So it is important that you rest, minimise stress levels, maximise your nutrition and hydrate yourself. All these things will help the body to do what it does best, which is heal itself. But sometimes we are impatient and we let life get in the way, which actually can hinder your recovery.
“The important thing to realise about this, however, is that it is not just applicable to time spent on snow…”
Stability, balance and “the core” - fact or fiction?
Ever since manual therapists popularised the term ‘core strength’ in the 90’s - riders of all kinds have sought the elusive core strength. But what actually is it? *Your 6 pack* I hear you unanimously echo, and you’re partway there. But much like cold temperatures are to snow, it’s only part of the picture.
Exercise during pregnancy is both safe and beneficial for healthy women and their unborn child.
Some of those benefits include;
-Reduced back and pelvic pain
-Decreased risk of complications (pre-eclampsia and pregnancy-induced high blood pressure)
-Improved posture and circulation
-Weight control and stress relief
-Faster recuperation after labour
Coming into the colder months, many of us are prone to catching the cold and Flu. This doesn’t need to be the norm, nor do you have to suffer through winter with a box of tissues and cold and Flu tablets in hand. People with a depressed immune system or nutrient deficiencies may be more prone to catching the flu or a cold. Stress, lack of sleep and exposure to toxins can also worsen flu symptoms. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. These viruses spread through the air from person to person. There are numerous ways to protect ourselves and boost our immune system to prevent and lessen the duration of cold and Flus. Here are some handy tips:
As 70% of the immunity cells are found in the Gut it stands to reason that if you take regular daily probiotics and fermented foods to sustain and repopulate the good bacteria in your gut that you’ll keep your immune system strong and healthy. You can take a good quality probiotic capsule or consume daily ferments such as Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkraut, Kim Chi etc. Bone Broth soups, Aloe Vera juice and slippery Elm will soothe inflammation and repair the digestive system which is also beneficial.
Vitamin C and Zinc:
Vitamin C is well researched and well known to boost and improve the immune system. It helps with immune system function and boosts white blood cells.
Zinc lessens the duration and severity of the illness as it helps with the repair of cells. You can get great Vitamin C and zinc powders and tablets to have on hand during the winter months, the recommended dose of Vitamin C is 3000mgs a day. Bright Red and orange foods and berries are full of Vitamin C.
Zinc supports immune function and has an antiviral effect. It works best when taken at the first sign of illness to lessen the symptoms of the cold virus.
Vitamin D as been hailed as a preventative for the Flu. Vitamin D keeps the winter Blues at bay, strengthens bones and immune cells. Just 2000 International units of Vitamin D a day can prevent the risk of catching the Flu by 40%. You can get Vitamin D from 20 minutes of daily exposure to the sun. Also Sardines, salmon, egg yolks and Cod liver oil. (2,000 IU daily)
Honey: is antibacterial and antifungal and also soothes a cough and sore throat. It is effective at night to reduce a nocturnal cough and promote a more restful sleep. Honey can be a powerful immune system booster. It's antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties can help improve the digestive system and help you stay healthy and fight disease.
Apple Cider vinegar:
Soothes a sore throat. It has a strong antimicrobial effect. It contains several antioxidants, which are great for you because they boost your body’s immune system and help you fight off illness. it can help to regulate your pH levels, which is the ratio of acid to alkaline in the body. We want a mildly alkaline environment to stave off disease and illness.
Cinnamon: Has an antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory effect in the body. It’s great for upper respiratory tract infections and cold and flu.
It is believed that this herb can deactivate the flu virus and naturally boost immunity. The flowers and berries of elderberry are said to boost the immune system, treat flu and relieve sinus pain. Elderberry attacks the flu viruses and reduces bronchial inflammation. It greatly reduces the severity and length of flu symptoms when given at the first signs of symptoms.
This herb can help your body fight off infections, but it is best to take it at the first sign of illness. Echinacea effectively treats respiratory tract infections. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can help reduce bronchial symptoms of cold and flu. Echinacea directly attacks yeast and other kinds of fungus.
Foods for Flu Recovery:
Try to consume light, easy to digest foods: Include soups with bone broth, cooked vegetables or herbal teas to help with digestion.
Adequate hydration is the key to flushing out the toxins from your system. Fluid helps your body to flush bacteria and viruses from your body. Green and black teas are potent immune system-boosters and antioxidants. Try to drink a cup every two hours. You should aim to consume at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Ginger: Make a ginger tea and add raw honey.
Garlic and onions: Both of these vegetables help boost immune function.
Taking some of these remedies regularly and having some on hand if you do happen to get sick will ensure that you recover much quicker. These remedies will help you to enjoy the winter months and stay healthy.
Here is one of my favourite recipes to keep my immune system healthy throughout the winter months. I drink it every night to keep the colds and flu’s away.
In a Mug of freshly boiled water add
1 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Honey
Stir the mixture well and Enjoy!!
Please consult your Naturopath for a more tailored immunity plan.
I love it when clients tell me they have never done any consistent running and it’s time to start.
Personally, I believe you are already half way to being a successful runner… because you actually want to run. A lot of people hate it and the thought of it makes them sick. The fact that your mind is saying yes is the hardest part!
Whilst it’s all well and good for the mind to be willing, the body has to agree also. I do recommend seeing a medical professional before you start. Whether that is a Myotherapist, Osteopath, Physiotherapist or even a personal trainer to have them assess and scan your body for possible injury and injury preventative tips is a must.
Once that is sorted it’s time to hit the road. Not literally. Starting a running program is all about progression. The efficiency of movements rather than volume of bad habits that will see you improve. Not the other way around.
With that being said here are my top things to look out for when beginning your journey.
Footwear: Do yourself a favour and head to a podiatrist or running shoe store that actively examines your foot for what shoe will suit you best.
Running Surfaces: I like my first timers to start of softer more forgiving surfaces like grass, rubber athletics tracks, gravel (think Tan or Albert Park Lake) rather than rock hard cement roads. This just helps the body adjust to the rigours and shock of running. They say that each step when running at a fast pace is anywhere up to five times your body weight going through your feet. It will also help decrease the likelihood of shin splints.
Technique: without going into nitty-gritty technical details there are just a few pointers that I can give you. There is no one size fits all with running as everyone is biomechanically different and everyone comes from different sporting, or lack there of, back grounds. Basically, the ways to keep yourself injury free are to maintain an up right posture (keep your chest up and eyes looking 30m in front of you). When running aim for high cadence with a short stride as long steps leads to over striding and hip drop. Then foot placement becomes important. Foot strike should be mid foot to avoid knee, heel and lower back injury. Elbows bent to 90degrees and try and relax your shoulders and hands.
Start slow: The best method to get your running going, in my opinion, is one minute on two minutes off ten times. It equals thirty minutes of work and 10minutes of actual running. These means we run at a comfortable pace for one minute then walk for two. As you progress the time domains will change and before you know it you will be running for thirty minutes without stopping. At the start only try and run maximum three times a week. Do this in order to avoid fatigue, muscle soreness, burnout, injury and boredom.
Routine: Whilst it is not always easy, getting into a workout routine is the best thing for your mind and body. If you start trying to exercise at the same time every day, then things start to fall into place. You are able to understand your body a lot more in regards to eating, sleep, digestion, energy levels and stress levels. These all play major roles in our exercise outcomes.
Warm-up: Gone are the days of pre-run stretching. If I can offer any advice its grab your foam roller or spikey ball and get stuck in for two or three minutes targeting your calves, glutes and upper back. After that start with some glute activation drills (see me for further information) and then get moving….
When I first started running I am not going to lie… It sucked. I was out of breath, out of control and all over the place. However, once I learned to control my breathing and focus on my technique I improved out of site. For those that have never run before I envy you. The experience that running gives you isn’t just physical but completely mental. I started to notice that once I could control my breathing and my thoughts it all became quite meditative for me. Before exams, I would run and it would completely calm me, before big decisions or busy days it would give me clarity and now it has given amazing lung capacity to push really hard when I exercise. I wouldn’t change a thing and it has taught me a lot about myself.
I hope I have inspired non-runners to get out and have a crack. You might just like it.
What is health? What does it mean to be healthy, and how do we attain it? The definition of health in the dictionary is:
“The state of being free from illness or injury”
Sounds simple enough doesn’t it, however, health will mean different things to different people depending on their values and beliefs and what they want out of life. I invite you to join me in this blog to explore what factors can influence our health from a holistic perspective. Just identifying area’s that you perhaps didn’t realise were affecting your health could change your whole perspective and find new levels of health you didn’t think were possible.
There are many factors that influence our health some of which are the same for everyone, regardless of whether they deem it important to them or not. Two of which probably come to mind quite quickly as seen below.
To quote a media-guru buddy, “The best time to start an Instagram account was 10 years ago…. But…! The second best time is now”. I love this, and I repeat this all the time. At face value, it seems irrelevant to health and osteopathy, but really it circulates back to the previous point and challenges it. This quote (or attitude if you will) does not dismiss our regretful past action or choice, instead, it acknowledges it and we begin to accept what happened rather than ignore it. Accepting of the fact can be difficult especially if it reverberates into the future with consequences, but it’s important if we are to ever move forward. All of a sudden coulda woulda doesn’t seem so set in stone and the door begins to open, allowing for action that you shoulda done way back when.
Anatomically your jaw is referred to as your TMJ or temporomandibular joint.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Hold for 10-15 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.
About 30seconds - 1minute in total.
Have you spent your life suffering?
Whether it’s with a persistent headache, sinusitis or something more severe such as migraines, asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, ADHD or hundreds of other ailments which are holding you back! You’ll be glad to know there’s a tried and tested way to change your life.
Using a hair sample, Bio-Compatibility testing identifies the influence either positive or negative that each of a wide range of foods and products has on the individuals body. This particular test is called the Hair 500 test and it tests 500 Local and common Vegetables, fruits, Meats, seeds, oils, seafoods, Nuts, Alcohols, Beverages, Biscuits, sauces, Dairy products, Flour and grain products, Cereals, Breads, Gluten Free products, Deodorants, sunscreens, Bathroom chemicals, Cleaning products, toothpastes, common supplements and Health shop items .By using the Bio-Compatability Hair test we are able to determine which foods and products should be avoided and which can be used. The focus is on what you CAN eat and use rather than what you can’t. It includes common local brands found in supermarkets and health food stores. Each item is tested in the form it is usually consumed (both raw and/or cooked where applicable). The technique is based on the way in which the foods and products which we use has either a positive or negative influence the body. Each person is unique so it obviously follows that when it comes to foods and household products that “one size does not fit all”. Each individual has his or her own nutritional and energy requirements. Have you noticed that some foods give you good energy while others seem to drag you down and seem to aggravate existing symptoms?
It’s that time of year again as people are opening up their front doors, dusting off their running shoes and are SPRINGing back into exercise.
When we take considerable time off activity then ramp it right up in preparation for summer we tend to see an increase in the number of setbacks. One of these common ailments is Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition resulting in symptoms of pain under the heel. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot.
The Plantar Fascia is a broad, thick band of tissue that runs from under the heel to the front of the foot. Plantar fasciitis was first thought to be an inflammatory condition. The cause of pain and dysfunction is thought to be degeneration of the collagen fibers close to the attachment to the calcaneus.
• Heel pain, under the heel and usually on the inside, at the origin of the attachment of the fascia.
• Pain when pressing on the inside of the heel and sometimes along the arch.
• Pain is usually worse first thing in the morning as the fascia tightens up overnight. After a few minutes, it eases as the foot gets warmed up
• As the condition becomes more severe the pain can get worse throughout the day if activity continues.
• Stretching the plantar fascia may be painful.
• Sometimes there may also be pain along the outside border of the heel. This may occur due to the offloading the painful side of the heel by walking on the outside border of the foot. It may also be associated with the high impact of landing on the outside of the heel if you have high arched feet.
Plantar fasciitis is common in sports which involve running, dancing or jumping. Runners who over pronate are particularly at risk as the biomechanics of the foot pronating causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.
Over active or tight calf muscles is another common cause which leads to prolonged pronation of the foot. This, in turn, produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia leading to possible inflammation and thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it loses flexibility and strength.
Other causes include:
• Low arch or high arched feet (pes planus / cavus) and other biomechanical abnormalities that can occur away from the feet like the hips or knees.
• Excessive walking in footwear which does not provide adequate arch support has been attributed to plantar fasciitis.
• Changing between periods of low activity and high intensity with little progression time as well as the heavily overweight population due to the excess weight impacting on the foot.
• Trail walking/hiking
• AS rheumatoid arthritis
• Rest or swapping high impact activities such as running for low impact exercises such as swimming or weight training.
• Myotherapy and Osteopathy appointments for assessment and soft tissue therapy.
• A good plantar fasciitis taping technique can help support the foot relieving pain and helping it rest.
• Apply ice or cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation. Rolling off a frozen Golf ball or can of soup over the plantar aspect of the foot.
• Plantar fasciitis exercises, in particular, stretching the plantar fascia is an important part of treatment and prevention. Simply reducing pain and inflammation alone is unlikely to result in long-term recovery. The plantar fascia tightens up making the origin at the heel more susceptible to stress.
• A plantar fasciitis night splint is an excellent product which is worn overnight and gently stretches the calf muscles and plantar fascia preventing it from tightening up overnight.
• Lots of Deep tissue manipulation through the plantar aspect of the foot as well as the back of the leg.
• After reading “The Anatomist’s Corner by Thomas Myers” It’s clear that there is a connection from the front of the hip, thigh, Lower leg as well as the front of the shin and ankle to the plantar aspect of the foot. Therefore, lots of assessment, treatment, and education needs to be provided into the fascial chains and compensatory patterns when you have plantar fasciitis
• Gait and biomechanical analysis
• Dry needling
Thomas Myers – The Anatomist’s Corner
I invite you to join me on this journey of exploration of how time and space changes everything from your autonomic stress response to changing the way you think and respond to circumstances.
In order to embark on this journey, I must share with you my own personal journey one in which I have hesitated to share purely because it is hard to stand firm in your own vulnerability, which inevitably comes with sharing a part of yourself with the world, (however few people read this blog).
As the winter months draw to a close, more and more Melburnians are dusting off their active gear and looking to enjoy the great outdoors. Most of us look to exercise for the immediate benefits of physical fitness and to trim that winter belly, but have you ever thought of what else it might be doing? New and exciting research is finding that physical exercise and movement are key in the management of many conditions, from osteoarthritis to normal brain function, Alzheimer’s and dementia!
The increased blood flow to our brain delivered by exercise improves our mental capacity and function. Nerves fire more efficiently, creating bigger and faster connections, our brains are literally ‘upgraded’ – improving our ability to process and solve complex problems1. Obvious benefits in combating stress and depression are complimented by an improvement of Alzheimer’s and dementia symptoms1,2. Physical activity has been positively linked to a reduction in the compounds connected to the progression of these conditions; the actual architecture of our brains changes for the better1.
Yes that's right, So if your digestive system isn't working well, is inflamed or you're suffering from Candida, leaky gut, IBS, Constipation or intestinal inflammatory bowel disorders then there's a high risk that you'll be more likely to get sick, suffer from allergies, food intolerance, and skin disorders.
It all starts in the Gut. Maintaining a healthy digestive system is key to overall health and vitality. We have about 100 trillion bacteria which is about 1.5 kilograms living in our intestinal tract. These bacteria help stimulate digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.
The right bacteria is necessary for proper nutrition and absorption. Digestive bacteria and enzymes break down foods into small molecules in the small intestines. These smaller molecules then enter the blood stream and go to where they are needed in the body.
As mentioned earlier, many conditions can affect this absorption of vitamins and minerals. The main culprits are: Candida Overgrowth
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Parasitic overgrowth or worms
Irritable bowel syndrome
Inflammatory bowel disease
Constipation or Diarrhoea
Aeroplane flights are both an exciting and draining part of any holiday or work trip. Whilst you are at altitude the pressures within the cabin are much lower than you would experience at ground level. This makes it very hard for the body to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream, and can result in swelling in your legs or feet.
Regardless of anything written below the most important thing is to stay hydrated. The Aerospace Medical Association suggests around eight ounces (230ml) of water for every hour you fly. You should be getting up to go to the bathroom, which is a good movement to encourage blood flow back to the heart from your legs and reduce the chances of any clotting or DVT (deep vein thrombosis).
Being immobile for long periods of time can also cause your muscles to get tense and become fatigued, even in the days following your flight. There is nothing worse than starting a holiday stiff, sore and in discomfort but there are a few ways you can try to avoid this.
How to remember these exercises? Just sing the song!
“Heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes”
We tend to underestimate the importance of sleep, especially good sleep, where the body and mind are rested and we awake with a sense of well being and being refreshed.
One of the most important questions I ask my clients at the start of every treatment or training session is “How has your sleep been?”. This paints a picture into how the rest of the body is working and whether it is functioning optimally. Your quick response is likely to be “Yeah fine!”. I doubt it. Most of us do not sleep anywhere near enough. You may be in bed for the right amount of time (typical 8-9 hours), however the quality of sleep is just not there.
So, I normally take my clients’ response with a grain of salt and dig a little deeper. Soon enough, I discover a range of things that would be affecting your quality of sleep and hence be a negating factor into why your musculoskeletal problems won’t got away or your training outcomes have diminished.
How you feel and perform during the day is related to how much sleep you get the night before, it really is that simple. If sleepiness interferes with your daily activities, more sleep each night will improve the quality of your waking hours – obvious right? Yet none of us pay too much heed to this.
We all know that tension is what causes tension headaches, hence the name; but what are the forces that cause tension in the first place? And how do we avoid that dreaded ache in our heads?
Post Natal Depression has really stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight lately. Whether it’s because more and more women are becoming aware of their bodies or because the ‘shame’ and stigma that was once associated with it is now starting to disappear. Pre Natal depression which occurs during pregnancy, is also becoming much more diagnosed now and there are more and more treatment options available.
Whilst post Natal depression is classed as a mental disorder, There are many Physical changes in the body which contribute to this and when you look at the process closer, it is easier to understand why it happens to so many women.