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Sprained Ankle Rehab

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Sprained ankles are one of the most common injuries for kids and adults alike! They are annoying because they are persistent. This stems from the fact that they are often quite easy for people to ignore and push to the side. This creates an unstable and weak ankle. This weak ankle is continually rolled sprained to the point that it is almost beyond repair. This is extremely popular in netball and football players. When you combine this unstable ankle with the stop start and quick direction changes of modern sports, you open your body up to the risk of injury further up the body (low back, hips etc.).

 

You can help prevent this with simple exercises. They are to be done in stages and never to be painful. Feeling the ankle work and to be fatigued is fine, but pushing through pain spells disaster. No pain, no gain is potentially the worst saying in the English language! You are continuing to damage the ankle and no amount of rigid sports tape will keep it from failing. The only way to avoid the knife is to have the ankle treated and then rehabbed with specific, patient exercise rehabilitation.

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MRI Of My Neck

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I injured my neck In the last two weeks of my holiday in Europe this year. Although it would be great to say it was done jumping off a boat into the waters off the Amalfi Coast- it wasn’t. It gradually came on, and I think some pretty dodgy pillows didn’t help either. Chances are I may of had some changes in my neck for a while, but it was this aggravation that caused my pain.

The MRI above highlights a C5/6 disc protrusion, which distorts (bends) and creates narrowing in my spinal cord. In addition there is some degeneration at C6/7. 
The tricky thing with MRI’s are that they show ALOT. How do you know that the findings are actually related to the pain and symptoms you have? In particular when they show things like degeneration. Research has shown that signs of degeneration are present in very high percentages of healthy people with no problem or pain at all. In addition these signs can be part of a normal ageing process.

 

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Self-Care

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Self-care is so important for our health yet self-care always takes a dive to the bottom of priorities in so many people's lives just when it should be at the top of the list!

How often do you get so busy that you forget to look after yourself and later forced to take a step back? (most of the people that walk into our treatment rooms).

"Those who do not find the time for their health will sooner or later have to find time for illness"

So how do we still find time for self-care when our priorities are forced to shift due to circumstances out of our control? 

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Flatulence

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We all do it daily and it’s a natural and very normal part of being human, yet flatulence can be embarrassing and very uncomfortable for so many of us.  Flatulence, commonly referred to as 'farting', is caused by gas in the bowel. This gas consists of several gases including methane, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. The varying smell depends on the ratio of gases, which is influenced by the foods we eat.

Farting is generated by swallowed air, digestion, high-fibre foods and the by-products of intestinal bacteria. Some digestive system disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, can also produce excess gas. Passing wind is normal, but the amount varies between individuals and depends on several factors including diet. Some people pass wind only a handful of times per day, others up to 40 times, but the average seems to be about 15 times a day.
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Knee pain

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Knee pain, it’s the worst! Just when you thought your day was going well and out of nowhere,
that one knee begins to hurt and it doesn’t go away. What do you do?

“Should I get an MRI?”

Most likely not. MRI and imaging are often only necessary with persistent pain or with traumatic
onset. It will help with understanding the extent of damage to the soft tissue (cartilage, meniscus,
ligaments, muscles, and tendons) of the knee, but they are never conclusive. If you are over the
age of 50, then you are not eligible for a rebated scan through Medicare. This is because the
most likely nature of your knee pain is due to wear and tear - which means you are most likely not
a suitable candidate for going under the knife (yay!).

“The pain just won’t stop!”

Osteopathy will help to identify the parts of your knee that are causing pain. From there we can
work with you to understand the activities and movements that will aggravate the knee and build
a management plan specific to you. Long story short, if it hurts the knee, STOP!
Pain killers can be useful in the short term, however, they are most likely masking the real issue
and continuing to damage the knee (the same goes for anti-inflammatories). Both are great tools
to use immediately after an injury or the beginning of pain but should be avoided long term. This is
where seeing a health professional such as an osteopath at the beginning helps to prevent more
long term damage and chronic pain.

“What about a brace?”

Again, this is a largely personal and individual need. Every knee is different and every injury is
different. Wearing the wrong brace will unlikely make the knee worse, but they are extremely
expensive and may not make any difference. The science currently says bracing (orthosis) for
knee pain can be helpful, as long as it is used in conjunction with manual therapy, is the correct
brace, and the patient is trained in the correct way to use it! This is something we do, we help
prescribe the correct brace, fit it, and instruct you on how and when to use it.
We do recommend for virtually all knee injuries to be compressed (think 2XU tights, crepe
bandage, tubi-grip, etc) during all recovery stages, especially when acute. This will make the knee
feel “safer” whilst improving the swelling of the affected joint, reducing the chance of reaggravation.

“Is it broken forever?”

Whilst it is true that parts of the knee aren’t great at healing to their original state, this doesn’t
mean you’re doomed for reconstruction or replacement. Unless you are an elite athlete there is
often no need for surgical reconstruction. Even 1st and 2nd’s players of the AFL are opting for the
“no surgery” route in knee injury management, including full ligament snaps! Wear and tear
injuries are best given 3 months of conservative management and treatment before considering
surgical intervention. If however, you are a candidate for surgery, it is often very obvious and
something that isn’t to be ignored. Again, seeing your local osteopath or health professional
helps with obtaining the correct, individual diagnosis and advice.
The knee may never completely heal to the exact state that it was before the injury, but that
doesn’t mean that you can’t be pain-free. Osteopathy can help train the knee to be comfortable
and pain-free on returning to sport and activity. This involves a combination of individual
treatment and strengthening that we provide.

“How long?”
If you’ve made it this far through the blog, well done! This is the most important question for
everyone, “how long until I will be pain-free”. Well, again like most things it depends on the exact
injury. The sooner you seek help and receive a diagnosis, the sooner you can begin your road to
recovery. Knee’s are special little joints, but they often respond quite well to a myriad of treatment
options.
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Is F45, a cult? Perhaps, but for good reason.

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Team training, life-changing is the commonly heard catchphrase upon attending your first F45 class. The music is loud, there is constant movement and lots of people. This high-intensity training has become one of the most popular exercise classes throughout Australia. A class is generally 45 minutes long (as you would assume) and consists of a combination of strength, interval and aerobic classes.
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Gratitude

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Practicing Gratitude daily can change how we are wired to think!

As apart of my Nourish me pledge from my last blog post, practising gratitude has become part of my nourish me journey. We live in a world bombarded with information on how we should think, we are constantly being reminded of societal pressures whether we are consciously aware of the messages that our subconscious mind are subjected to on a daily basis or not. I came across an amazing book written by Merideth Gatson called the art of gratitude whilst I was exploring nourishing myself and what that meant, I highly recommend this book as some light reading to inspire you to change the way you think. After reading this book I decided to start a gratitude journal to counteract this and take back control of my thoughts and steer them in the direction I wanted to focus on, rather than being on autopilot and influenced by societal "norms". Every night before going to bed I write the things I am grateful for in that moment, I would also write an affirmation, and the results have been amazing.
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Nourish Me

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My body and mind have been screaming these words to me for the past 9 months. "Nourish me. Please..... nourish me........"

As a new mum who is back at work and still breastfeeding and getting up multiple times a night to my beautiful daughter, I was starting to become a zombie and forget the shell of my former self. If you are a mum I already see you nodding your knowing head. Motherhood changes you in a way that you can't quite explain, for me I have never felt more vulnerable in my life and motherhood is both the greatest and most challenging thing I will ever do, sleep deprivation was certainly getting the best of me as I found myself in a cycle of overwhelm and desperately needing to listen to my body screaming at me to nourish myself!! 
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"I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to buy this mattress. I think I'll sleep on it"

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Koala Mattress and Pillow: An Osteopaths review

Buying a bed can be a daunting experience. Going into shops; lying on one bed, been shown another, and then forgetting what the first one actually felt like? It is not only a mental drain but can be quite a financial strain. Renovating last year made me more thrifty with my money, and lead me to explore this ‘mattress in a box phenomenon’. Another reason was simply laziness. We were just too busy to spend three weekends going around to mattress shops and be shown the exact same mattresses, with different names and under different brands (which made it impossible to price match).


The Koala mattress is light and breathable and not too soft. An issue I had with memory foam previously, as it was too soft and lacking support and latex was too heavy and hot. When you sit on the bed you sink in, but as soon as you lie down you feel reflex support which feels like the mattress is actually lifting you back up. If you love a soft mattress this is probably not for you, but it is a mattress that provides support for the curves of your spine and the pressure areas of your hips and shoulders.

The Koala pillow I purchased next after being so impressed with the mattress.  The pillow’s delivery is just as easy, and as you open the box a mini speaker sings you a lullaby. Now that is a money well-spent gimmick. I’d rate the pillow a good medium-firm with two different sides making the adjustment easy. I’d suggest the higher/firmer side for bigger bodied people, and those that have had similar density pillows before. If you are just starting on your pillow journey (e.g. coming straight from a fluffy down pillow) or a petite frame the lower/softer side would be a better fit. A real positive for me was this pillow didn’t have a ‘structural’ contour (the wave shape you see in other pillows). Often with these, I’d find my neck getting tilted up, and after a night’s sleep, soreness in the base of my skull which occasionally caused headaches. What the Koala does quite well is it has a natural contour, with an increased density around the edges flowing into a more relaxed centre. This allows your lordosis or curve in your neck to be supported.
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10 Reasons to see a Naturopath

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Have you been thinking of seeing a Naturopath but unsure, here are a few reasons which might help to clarify things for you.

  1. Naturopaths may help with conditions such as Cold and Flu, Diabetes, arthritis, Anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular problems, and digestive complaints.
  • Did you know that 75% of your immunity cells are found in your gut. So if you have any digestive complaints or issues like IBS, Leaky gut, food intolerances, and allergies or reflux then your immune system will be compromised. This can make you more susceptible to Autoimmune diseases and make you get sick more regularly. A naturopath can help you repair the inflammation, leaky gut and digestive discomfort and in turn improve your immune system.
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Fructans allergy got you beet? I've got your back. Literally

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As osteopaths we do a lot more than treat musculoskeletal pain - we guide the body through inflammation and torsions, we try to strike the balance of health. This is challenging with a lot more going on behind the scenes than just a massage and adjustment. Here’s an insight into why...
If we look at the body in a segmented, incongruous way we are starving ourselves of the most important thing. That being that we are indeed a unit. We are a dynamically shifting and constantly developing unit that is searching for homeostasis and balance. We are a bubble floating in a 3D sphere, where inputs are coming in from every direction, pushing and pulling and changing the environment within our little sphere. All that our little bubble wants is to float calmly in the centre, balanced with the right amount of inputs and outputs.

We talk mainly of the physical inputs. Think posture, exercise, stretching etc. But what of the other inputs? What about dietary intolerances? The media was alive with the talk of a cure for coeliac
disease in the form of a vaccine, which would improve the lives of millions worldwide. From an osteopathic perspective, this is more than being able to sit down to enjoy a thick slab of sourdough or a creamy wheat beer (although that is important too). It means that these people, if able to break down gluten, will avoid high levels of inflammation in their daily lives. So what does that mean to your physical presentation, such as how does inflammation from dietary intolerances can drive back pain?
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Misconceptions about Conception

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Conception for me was a bit of an ironic experience. I spent the majority of my reproductive years avoiding conception like the plague. Most months I would stress about the possibility of being pregnant, even though I was taking the pill. Had someone told me back then that it is actually quite hard to get pregnant (for some) and you really only have a few fertile days each month maybe I would have been a more relaxed 20 something-year-old! So given the fact that I had spent all these years avoiding conception, it was only natural to think the stress was over when my husband and I decided that we were ready to try for a baby. It was supposed to be exciting and fun, I mean isn’t that what everyone says, oh well it doesn’t matter if it takes a while you can have fun trying! Now if you are someone that has been trying for a while I am sure I just heard your eyes roll…..

Here was my internal reply as I brushed off comments that were meant to make me feel better and said with the best of intentions.
“Fun…. really! knowing exactly when you ovulate and the precise days that you are “suppose” to have sex, with an enormous amount of building pressure each month it doesn’t happen, and I am supposed to relax and have fun…”

Scheduled sex is never fun. Sex with added pressure also doesn’t equate to a happy home. Each month the week of ovulation would roll by and you could feel our house building tension and without fail we were doomed to have arguments, I am sure we are not alone in this. Not to mention the internal biological clock that even strangers are not afraid to remind you of, because yes women are having children later, because they choose to, because they may have been to uni for a bunch of years or wanting to get a head start in their careers, go travelling before having time off to have babies and priorities change forever. This is the reality of society today and I don’t regret any of my choices but I still heard phrases like this….. “Well don’t leave it too late time is ticking.” Tick tock, tick tock…….
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Theta Healing

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Throughout the years I have tried various healing modalities and been to countless self-development workshop, hypnotherapists, had NLP, kinesiology and the like in search of emotional freedom and joy. I longed to be able to rid myself of anxiety and stress and evolve as a person in general. Over the years, I found that I really enjoyed doing and receiving Reiki. I did my first Reiki level 1 course in 2004 and have been practicing ever since. It’s a modality and healing treatment that I’ve always found effective, but now my mind has been blown by a new method of healing. Welcome to my life Theta Healing!!! And how you have changed my life!!!
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Fast Track Your Recovery- Part 2

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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.

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Fast Track Your Recovery!

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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 
  • Nutrition 
  • Rest 
  • Stress levels 
  • Hydration 


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. 

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Skis, boots, poles… Check! What next…?

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The drive and motivation for winter can be a challenge for some, but for others, it presents an opportunity! Retreating deep into the alpine high country in search of snow is a yearly pilgrimage for many of Melbourne’s die-hard skiers and boarders. Getting the winter gear out, waxing the planks and dusting off the snow chains is an exciting ritual. But what about getting your body ready - Apré Ski will hide the aches for only so long…. So to avoid the second-day slump and make the most of your overpriced lift ticket, take the time to prepare yourself physically. You won’t find Shaun White’s Winter Top 10 Must Do’s here or a jaw-dropping Austrian Worldcup Training Regime either, rather an overview of what to consider to get you started.

“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.
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Can you Exercise During Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy results in a vast array of changes to both our physical and mental bodies. The average weight gain for women is 10-12 kg, however, this weight and load is not just on the belly. This rapid time of change creates alterations to our breathing, flow of blood and digestion of food. Hormonal changes are well known, but our emotional wellbeing and metabolic changes can be just as pronounced.

Exercise during pregnancy is both safe and beneficial for healthy women and their unborn child.

Some of those benefits include;
-Increased energy
-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
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Immunity

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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:


Probiotics:

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: 

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.

Elderberry:

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.


Echinacea:

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.


Immune recipe

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.

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What is Health

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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.

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Shoulda Coulda Woulda

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Past intentions, potential opportunities, failures or complete misses that went over your head until it was too late - shoulda coulda woulda summates the indifference and the annoyance experienced with these events. Even the simple things that we might have missed play on our mind, especially when our future self-experiences the ill-effect of a previous hypothetical possibility. A job interview gone wrong, past relationship gone bad, indulging in laziness: the applicable list is long and laborious when you think about it. But what if you could create a relevant and meaningful change or solution instead? In this piece, I offer up a slice of my personal vulnerabilities to help unpack the difficulties in addressing what we would rather not.

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.
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