What’s Holding you back from your New Years’ Resolution?
The start of the New Year is the perfect time (and most popular time) of year to start up a new hobby, improve your diet, become more active or just generally improve your overall health and wellbeing.
With 26 million British people starting a New Years’ Resolution (with lots in Eastbourne) a staggering 80% of these are said to fail by February. It is thought that most people struggle to keep their motivation towards the end of the four-week mark due to ‘something’ holding them back.
Whether it be time, money, or even aches and pains that are holding you back, there’s always a simple solution to get you back on track to achieve your healthy goals.
Eastbourne Chiropractor Gemma Crouch explores some of the reasons which may be holding you back from completing your active goals and gives some chiropractic tips on how to overcome these barriers.
“My neck Hurts!” “My Back Can’t Take Anymore!” “My Headaches are Worse!” “I’m Bored of the Same Gym Routine”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? Then you are not alone!
Some of the most common reasons why motivation starts to fade towards the four-week mark when starting up a new exercise regime or improving health and wellbeing include:
- general aches and pains associated with movement
- joint pains
- a lack of motivation
- fatigue and boredom
As a chiropractor, I see people of all ages and stages of life complaining of these types of problems. Chiropractic is a safe treatment for everyone, including pregnant mums-to-be and children of all ages. Here’s how chiropractic could help you to get back on track with your health goals.
Chiropractors are specialists in the detection and correction of mechanical musculoskeletal (muscles and joints) problems throughout the body and hold an emphasis on helping people achieve a healthier spine.
Chiropractic not only helps to alleviate general aches and stiffness but it also helps your body to function at its best and to help your body to repair itself. You may even notice that your energy levels start to improve.
How could Chiropractic help me?
With today’s modern lifestyle and pressures, it is quite common to experience some tension relating to stress. You may also feel the inability to relax.
When starting a new exercise regime or becoming a little bit more active, underlying joint and muscle dysfunction can become more pronounced and a ‘niggle’ can often become more of a constant problem.
Some of the most common problems chiropractors can help with include neck and back pain, prevention of migraine headaches, sciatica and other types of joint pain.
If it’s just health and wellbeing that you’re looking to improve, taking simple steps can really help such as:
- Drinking more water (at least 2-3 litres per day)
- Eating more portions of fruit and veg per day (at least 5)
- Walking or cycling to work or the train station (30 minutes each day)
- Taking vitamins or supplements (for more information click here)
- Getting enough sleep (8 hours per night)
- Doing the exercises your chiropractor gives you regularly 😊
What’s the Best Way to Get Active, from a Chiropractic point of View?
There are many different ways to get active and to keep on track with your goals. Some of the best exercises include brisk walking, swimming and gentle jogging. These exercises are good for your spine as they prevent your spine from becoming over-flexed.
Make the most of Eastbourne’s seafront by taking a walk along the beach or even the dog for a jog. You may prefer taking a trip to one of Eastbourne’s swimming pools and doing a few lengths in the pool.
The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body and seek help with any problems you may have.
Stay active this winter,
Interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason – Part 2
So, Mykel, we continue our interview. Can I ask how you monitor your patients’ progress through a course of care and make sure that they are progressing as they should?
I do this in many different ways. Obviously, monitoring the patient’s symptoms plays a huge part, but the most important part to me is actually seeing functional change in the patient. This is why I do progress exams where I re-do some of the tests that I did when they first came in to directly compare and ensure that things are improving at the rate that I think they should be. I will often bring this review forward if I feel it is necessary.
Can you explain to people what you mean by “functional change”?
What I mean by functional change is rather than just focusing on the symptoms, I want to make sure that my patients can do everything that they want to be able to do. I also want to make sure that the joints are moving as they should be and that the nerves are functioning well. Common things that I’ll test are range of motion to make sure that movement is smooth, even and as good as I would expect for that person.
Can you describe for us a typical course of chiropractic care?
With everyone who comes into Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne, they get a 45-minute to one hour consultation. This is to ascertain exactly what’s going on and to make sure that we are the right people to be treating them at this stage. Once we have ascertained that we are the right place for them, a treatment plan is put together based on our experience and success with previous cases that are similar. Each person is different and therefore care plans will vary and will be adjusted as necessary throughout the course. The initial phase is to help reduce the inflammation and improve the function of the patient, then moving forward making functional change and working as hard as possible to prevent any future episodes.
Can you give me examples of what advice you would give a patient to help prevent future episodes?
It’s very difficult to give specific examples, as each individual patient is different and therefore the advice I give is tailor-made. The most common advice that I will give often comes down to posture. The majority of people these days have very poor posture from desk work, driving, etc., so posture-related and ergonomic advice is incredibly common in my day-to-day practice in Eastbourne.
Do you give people stretches?
I do commonly give stretches, yes. There do tend to be specific stretches that I give as certain areas of the body are more prone to becoming tense than others. Specific stretches that I give to most people are the ones that stretch the tops of the shoulders and the front of the chest. Often, if appropriate, I will recommend that people also see the massage therapists here for stretching and deep-tissue massage techniques, and I will also sometimes recommend yoga or Pilates.
We offer a health class to all new patients here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
This talk is incredibly useful. I used to give talks like it in my last practice and found that patients who came along to the talk usually did better with their care. This talk gives a little bit of an insight into what we are trying to do as chiropractors, but predominantly is about self-help advice and patients trying not to undo what we have done in the treatments! The Lushington health class talk is generally about an hour long, and in my experience, everyone takes something away from it that they can work on to help themselves get better.
So, it’s important for patients to participate in their care then?
For the best results, it is absolutely essential.
This interview is continued in Interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason – Part 3…
Interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason – Part 1
You’ve all seen Mykel around the clinic but I thought it it would be really interesting to get to know him a little better and find out what motivated him to become a chiropractor.
So, Mykel, tell me how you came to be a chiropractor in Eastbourne.
Well, that’s a very long story. Do you want the long version or the short version?
The long version, please – let’s hear it all!
I first got into chiropractic after I needed a chiropractor myself. This was while I was studying for my GCSEs in Eastbourne. Prior to this, I had no idea what a chiropractor did and I just hoped that they could help me.
What problems did you have which made you see a chiropractor?
I had low back pain which I had been told was growing pains, but it clearly wasn’t. My mum’s friend, who lives in Eastbourne, recommended that I see a chiropractor after she had had success with treatment herself. After seeing a chiropractor in Eastbourne, the results were fantastic and I realised that more people needed to see chiropractors right from the start, rather than putting up with the pain as we so often do.
Did you know immediately that you wanted to be a chiropractor, or did it take some time to realise that?
Not immediately. I, like most people in their teens, had no idea what I wanted to do. Throughout my youth what I wanted to do changed a lot – at times I wanted to be a medical doctor, and then at other times I wanted to be a fireman – and then one time I wanted to be Superman! But I was always interested in how the body worked and how amazing the body was. Chiropractic was a good way for me to continue learning about something I enjoyed so much.
So, tell me about your studies while you were training to be a chiropractor.
My studies took place at the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic. I chose to go here over the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic because it was in a full university setting. Meaning that other subjects were being studied and there were halls of residence. I felt that that would be more suited to me. Being from Eastbourne and studying in Wales meant I was away from my family a lot, which was a shame, but also a good thing in that it taught me to be really independent, as opposed to other people who were going home every weekend with their washing! The studies themselves were very good. There was a lot more to it than I thought, but I was always happy to be learning new things.
And how long was your course?
My course was four years, but I have continued to learn since graduating and still enjoy it as much as I did then!
That takes us on to continuing professional development. What courses have you done since graduating that you particularly enjoyed, and can you explain to people why CPD is important.
CPD is important because knowledge and techniques in the chiropractic profession are always evolving. Since being a chiropractor in Eastbourne, I have really noticed through working with other chiropractors that there are many other skills to learn. CPD courses that I have particularly enjoyed – well, most of them really! Ones of note would be one that I did on lumbar disc derangements (which is a slipped disc), which I found particularly interesting and really useful. I have been able to apply this to many cases, including those without lumbar disc derangements. I also did a seminar on a technique called ‘sacro-occipital technique’ with YOU (points to interviewer)!! I really enjoyed using this, as I found it very, very useful. The diagnostic techniques and the treatment techniques have been invaluable with some of my patients, especially some that weren’t improving as quickly as I felt they should have been and this shows how important it is to do CPD so that we can deliver the best possible chiropractic care in Eastbourne.
This interview is continued in Interview with Eastbourne Chiropractor Mykel Mason – Part 2…
Thanks for reading
McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne
Hi, I’m a McTimoney chiropractor practicing in Eastbourne. I often get asked about McTimoney chiropractic. Some people want to know what the McTimoney Chiropractic technique feels like. Others are interested in my journey to becoming a chiropractor here in Eastbourne, especially as I started my clinical practice life as a graduate sports massage therapist. This blog is my first attempt to answer some of these questions. If you are looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne then I’d love to help. I’m the only McTimoney chiropractor in our Eastbourne chiropractic clinic and am always happy to answer questions.
What is Chiropractic? And McTimoney Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is defined by the General Chiropractic Council as: “Chiropractic is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints and muscles), and the effects of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal adjustment and other joint and soft-tissue manipulation.
Chiropractors have a specialist interest in neck and back pain but when they assess their patient they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, with an emphasis on hands-on manipulation of the spine.
They may also offer advice on diet, exercise and lifestyle, and rehabilitation programmes that involve exercises to do in your own time. Some chiropractors may also offer other treatments, such as acupuncture”.
Recently a chiropractic patient of mine here in Eastbourne asked me “What’s so different about a McTimoney chiropractor?”. They’d read something about McTimoney Chiropractic in the press and wanted to know more.
I explained that a McTimoney Chiropractor is a chiropractor that has had specialist chiropractic training to use the chiropractic technique called “McTimoney”. I have discussed the McTimoney chiropractic technique itself later in this blog.
I also explained that the techniques I used on them were actually a combination of diversified chiropractic technique, acupuncture and McTimoney, because I’ve done extensive post-graduate training in a wide range of chiropractic techniques. One of the benefits of working in such a large and established clinic in Eastbourne is that we share techniques and knowledge with each other.
McTimoney Chiropractic Technique
There are many chiropractic approaches and techniques used around the world, often named after their originator. I graduated as a Doctor of Chiropractic from the McTimoney College of Chiropractic.
The chiropractic approach I follow is the McTimoney approach which was developed by the late John McTimoney in 1972. Find out more about John McTimoney here.
The McTimoney approach is typified by a whole-body assessment, which uses light force adjustments making it a comfortable technique to receive. The adjustment demands great sensitivity and skill and is extremely effective. The purpose of McTimoney chiropractic is to balance and realign your body to help relieve discomfort and pain, it may also help to increase your mobility.
The McTimoney chiropractic technique can be used on people of all ages from the very young, including babies to the elderly, frail and infirm. The McTimoney technique is a gentle and effective manipulative technique that treats the whole body to maintain and correct the alignment of the spine and allow the nervous system to function at its optimum potential. Quick, gentle adjustments are used to bring your body back into balance, reducing restrictions, relieving pain and promoting natural healing. X-rays are not routinely used, and McTimoney chiropractors rely on their finely tuned sense of touch to palpate restrictions in the spine.
Problems can occur due to a traumatic incident like a car accident or a fall from a horse or they can be the result of the build of tension and stress in the body due to the repetitive activities of daily living.
Activities such as sitting at a computer for prolonged periods, doing lots of driving or carrying young children are all part of many peoples’ daily lives and these are the sort of things that can cause a build-up of tension, pain and stiffness. Some of these activities may resonate with you!
I have found that people with cervicogenic headaches respond exceptionally well to the McTimoney technique. People often say that they feel lighter and more flexible after experiencing the McTimoney approach to chiropractic care. I had a 12-year-old girl who was getting headaches almost every other day and after receiving just one McTimoney treatment her headaches significantly reduced. After she completed her plan of care she did not experience any headaches at all! She was very happy when she started her new term at school in September headache free.
Interestingly McTimoney chiropractic is often used on animals. For more than 40 years, those trained in McTimoney animal techniques have been helping horses, dogs, cats and farm animals. Even more exotic animals have benefited from the technique. Again, the whole body is assessed and treated to eliminate the cause, and not just the symptoms.
In my experience I find that McTimoney is most helpful with people that do not like or respond well to the traditional chiropractic techniques that may involve audible ‘clicking’, and often the elderly who are nervous about the stronger chiropractic techniques also respond very well, which has made it a particularly popular in my work as a chiropractor in Eastbourne.
To summarise, McTimoney Chiropractic is the use of the specialist McTimoney chiropractic techniques used by a chiropractor. Sometime those chiropractors who use McTimoney chiropractic restrict themselves to that technique alone. However, as I mentioned earlier, I prefer to use a wide range of techniques to suit the individual and their needs. That means I can combine a range of chiropractic techniques with the McTimoney chiropractic technique to get the best possible results. I also combine acupuncture, some massage/soft tissue release and muscle energy (stretching) techniques to help. I found that this combination of techniques seems to be particularly helpful to my elderly chiropractic patients here in Eastbourne.
Looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor in Eastbourne?
So, if you’re looking for a McTimoney Chiropractor please come and visit me at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne to find out more. I have been working in the health care profession as a sports massage therapist and now chiropractor since 2009. You will find me kind, caring and attentive to your recovery. As a McTimoney chiropractor, I have a very finely tuned sense of touch, developed over my 5 years of training, which enables me to identify misalignments and restrictions of the vertebrae and other bones in the body.
You’re first chiropractic visit would be a consultation that takes about an hour. After that I’d explain what we found, how we can help you and discuss what your chiropractic treatment plan would be and answer any questions you may have.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne’s largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Thanks for reading.
Differences between Chiropractic associations
As a Doctor of Chiropractic in Eastbourne I often get asked about the chiropractic associations and the difference between them. In this blog I share information about the different associations and why we require them. Another commonly asked question is the difference between chiropractic, osteopathy and physiotherapy which I have briefly explained in this blog. However, one of my colleagues at Lushington chiropractic in Eastbourne wrote a fabulous blog explaining this in further detail. Check out the links towards the end of this blog to be enlightened.
I am currently a member of the McTimoney Chiropractic Association (MCA) and the United Chiropractic Association (UCA), as I believe that these are the ones that resonate with me as a chiropractor and whom support me entirely as a Doctor of chiropractic in Eastbourne.
The McTimoney Chiropractic Association currently governs membership, ethical conduct, and provides insurance for its members. There are currently over 550 members in the United Kingdom, which represent over a quarter of the profession, plus a small number overseas. The McTimoney Chiropractic Association is the second largest professional chiropractic association in Europe.
Here’s how the McTimoney Chiropractic Association define chiropractic:
“Chiropractic is a primary health care profession focused on your health and wellbeing”.
“Emphasis is placed on the spine and the neuro-musculo-skeletal system and how conditions affecting these areas can affect your health and performance. Chiropractors do not use medicines or surgery and the gentle manual approaches we use are extremely safe and comfortable to receive.
Chiropractic care is used regularly to help maintain good posture, promote health and improve performance, no matter what it is you do, from a high-performance athlete to a senior member of the community enjoying a potter in the garden. Patients undergoing chiropractic care often report benefits from back, neck and general joint pain, headaches, sports injuries and many other conditions.
Chiropractors have broad diagnostic skills and are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, as well as to provide nutritional, dietary and lifestyle advice.
Chiropractic students in the United Kingdom study for four to five years to gain their Integrated Masters in Chiropractic (MChiro) degree. In the United Kingdom, chiropractors are Statutorily Regulated by the General Chiropractic Council (GCC)”.
Similarly, the United Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as:
“Chiropractic is a major contributor to natural health in the UK. And for many good reasons:
Chiropractors avoid drugs and surgery. Our approach is to remove nervous system disruptions (usually along the spine) that can restore your ability to self-heal.
Chiropractors provide care that is safe. Because the techniques used by chiropractors are acquired over years of study and experience, chiropractors have an enviable safety record. In fact, in the words of a classic New Zealand study, chiropractic care is “remarkably safe.”
Both the McTimoney Chiropractic Association and the United Chiropractic Association have a big focus on health and wellbeing and how chiropractic optimises health. In contrast, the British Chiropractic Association has a pain based, functional approach to chiropractic care.
The British Chiropractic Association defines chiropractic as:
“Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.
Chiropractic treatment involves safe, often gentle, specific spinal manipulation to free joints in the spine or other areas of the body that are not moving properly. Apart from manipulation, chiropractors may use a variety of techniques including ice, heat, ultrasound, exercise and acupuncture as well as advice about posture and lifestyle”.
After five years of study, licensing examinations and continuing education seminars, chiropractors in the United Kingdom are at the top of their game, using proven techniques and natural methods to help you get well and stay well.
As a doctor of chiropractic in Eastbourne I will honour your health goals. Whether you require short-term relief or lifetime wellness care, I will be ready to listen, provide choices and support you and your family in achieving your individual health goals with a view to potentially optimise your life.
In summary, each chiropractic association embraces a different belief system and a different chiropractic approach to chiropractic care. I am very fortunate and honoured to be working at Lushington Chiropractic clinic in Eastbourne because I am supported by a large team of chiropractors whom all enjoy sharing various chiropractic skills and techniques with each other and whom all have different beliefs and approaches in the way they work as a Doctor of chiropractic enabling us the opportunity to give the very best care to all walks of life.
What’s the Difference Between Chiropractic, Osteopathy and Physiotherapy
Another hot topic for my Eastbourne patient’s is “what the differences are between physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractors?”.
Generally, in my experience, physiotherapists work on soft tissues and do not usually involve spinal manipulation; osteopaths use longer lever techniques to manipulate the spine and various other joints and chiropractors applies short levers to adjust individual vertebrae. As mentioned above, one of my lovely colleagues at Lushington chiropractic Eastbourne has written a blog comparing the differences between physiotherapist and chiropractors here, and also between osteopaths and chiropractors here.
If you would like to find out more about the chiropractic associations and discover more about chiropractic in Eastbourne, then come and visit us at Lushington Chiropractic.
Lushington Chiropractic is Eastbourne largest and most award-winning chiropractic clinic. We are based in Eastbourne’s town centre, with easy parking and accessible rooms. Our chiropractic clinic is open late and Saturdays. We have a lovely team of chiropractors serving the people of Eastbourne so if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me on 01323 722499.
Eastbourne Chiropractor’s Self Help Advice for Neck Pain and Headaches
So, you have probably read my previous blog post about Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches
The post (read here) which detailed some of the types of neck pain and headaches that people such as yourself can suffer from. At the end of that article I mentioned that this following blog would discuss some very useful self-help tips that you can do at home. These will allow you to manage your symptoms and will give you a measure of control over how you are feeling. These small everyday actions achieve this by keeping your joints moving well and releasing your neck muscular tension in between your treatments, and therefore making your spine function better in general. We will discuss posture and ergonomics, but firstly, we will go through a few key neck stretches.
These are simple to do and will help to relieve your muscular tightness and can help you avoid headaches. Do them regularly (every day) and also when you feel a headache coming on. The upper trapezius muscles are the ones that you feel at the tops of your shoulders, going up into the neck, and when tight these muscles can often contribute to headaches felt up and over the head and behind the eyes. To stretch the upper trapezius muscles, begin by standing (or sitting) tall with your shoulders straight, then bring your right ear down to your right shoulder so that your head is tilted, and use your right hand to very gently pull down the head to increase the stretch. Repeat on the left side to keep it even.
The small suboccipital muscles are at the back and top of the neck. They go from the top of the neck to the base of the skull and when tight can cause headaches to be felt in that same area. To stretch the suboccipital muscles keep your shoulders and back straight (as always!) and tuck your chin down to give yourself a double chin. Then use your hands to gently pull to increase the stretch.
Improving your posture is vital when you suffer from neck pain and headaches. Simply put, if you are constantly putting your spine in awkward positions then how can you expect the joints and muscles to function normally?
Awkward postures/positions and how to fix them are detailed here…
Problem – Lying on your side on the sofa.
Fix – Sit straight on the sofa, with cushions behind you so your back is straight and with both feet flat on the floor. The TV should be directly in front of you so you don’t need to turn your head.
Problem – Sleeping with the incorrect number of pillows (or even worse, on your front).
Fix – Sleep on your back with one pillow or on your side with two. Speak to your chiropractor for more details as this is a whole topic in itself!
Problem – Holding the phone between your shoulder and your ear for prolonged periods of time
Fix – Avoid this completely
Problem – Reading with your head tilted downwards towards your book/phone.
Fix – Bring your book or phone up towards your face, not the other way around
Check that your desk is set up in an ergonomically correct position, and that everything you need to reach is within arm’s length. Speak to your Eastbourne chiropractor for more details, or take a photo of yourself sitting at your desk in with you to your chiropractic treatment to ask for individual detailed advice.
I hope you have found these tips useful to help control your neck pain and headaches. Please ask your chiropractor if you are ready to do these stretches at home or if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment for your neck pain and headaches.
Thanks for reading,
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain and Headaches
How Common are Neck Pain and Headaches?
Neck pain is very common, and so are headaches. Here at Lushington Chiropractic Clinic in Eastbourne we frequently meet patients who come in to see us complaining of neck pain and headaches. In some cases, they come in for other problems and when asked they also tell us about their headaches, not realising that chiropractors could treat these issues as a matter of course. From personal experience, I had neck pain and associated headaches myself as a teenager, which is when I saw my first chiropractor for treatment that helped tremendously and allowed me to manage the problem. So, you could say that without my neck pain and headaches I wouldn’t be a chiropractor today!
Can Chiropractic Treat These Problems?
During your initial consultation we take a very thorough history and do an in-depth neuro-orthopaedic examination. The purpose of this is to find out the cause of your neck pain and headaches, and to rule out any serious pathology that would warrant a referral to your GP or elsewhere. Once we have ascertained the cause of your headaches, and ruled out more serious causes then we diagnose the headache type. If they are the types that we can tackle with chiropractic treatment, then we will go on to discuss your options for care with you.
Chiropractors can treat cervicogenic headaches (this translates to ‘coming from the neck’) and we can also help people with the prevention of migraine headaches.
Cervicogenic headaches originate from the stiff joints and tight muscles of the neck, so our aim with treatment is to release the tension in those affected muscles and to enable the joints to move more freely with specific chiropractic adjustments. Improving the function of your neck will allow it to work as it should and will reduce the pain you feel from irritated tissues. You will notice, as you go through a course of care for your neck pain and headaches, that your mobility improves and your neck feels looser. A lot of patients tell us that they no longer have problems looking over their shoulder when they are driving, or that they feel much less aching in the mornings when they used to wake with significant pain and stiffness.
As chiropractors, we focus on improving the function of the spine and rest of the body, so we will be keeping a close eye on your clinical progress with regular review sessions throughout your course of care. This means that we can assess you clinically to see how your symptoms (including pain levels) and function (such as range of motion and mobility) improve with care.
What Advice Will Be Given During Treatment?
During your course of chiropractic care at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne you will also be given self-help advice, including stretches and tips, for you to do at home so that you may better control your symptoms yourself. This helps you to release the tension of the muscles in between your visits for chiropractic treatment. Well also give you ergonomic advice so that your workstation is set up as well as it can possibly be, to allow you to sit straight and in the best possible position for your muscles, joints and nerves. Improving your posture is key to healing as it means that there is minimal extra strain on the body, allowing it to recover faster and more effectively. All of these tips will be covered in much more detail in next month’s blog: Self-Help Advice for Neck Pain and Headaches. Please read the blog for more information, and of course, ask your chiropractor if you have any questions regarding your individual treatment for your neck pain and headaches.
Thanks for reading,
Sunglasses and Why They Are Important
Why are sunglasses important?
What damage can sunlight cause to the eyes?
There are several well-known effects of over-exposure of the eyes to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Included in these are cataracts, which are a clouding of the lens of the eye which causes distortion of the vision. According to research, some twenty percent of cataracts are caused by ultraviolet exposure to the eyes. Too much sun exposure can also damage the retina and lead to macular degeneration, which affects the vision in the centre of the field of view. In addition, sunlight damages the pterygium, the layer of tissue located over the white of the eye. Damage here may change the curvature of the eyeball and result in astigmatism which again damages your vision.
What to look for when buying sunglasses?
I will admit, I have been very bad at this myself for many years. For a long time, I only purchased cheap sunglasses that in hindsight (ha!) didn’t block a high proportion of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, simply because they are cheaper. Sadly, I’d always find out they were cheaper because they were badly made and they would fall apart within a year or two – a false economy in the end. Now I purchase decent eyewear that blocks 99-100% of UVA/UVB radiation and often will use a hat as well, to shield my eyes especially if I’m abroad. I use my sunglasses when driving on a sunny day, even in winter in the UK, after all Eastbourne is known as sun trap of the south!
Polarised sunglasses are great because they also block horizontal light waves, the waves which are reflected from surfaces such as water or the road. This means that when you’re wearing them you will get less eye fatigue and damage. A good trick to finds out if your sunglasses are polarised is to look at a LCD computer or phone screen with them on. If they’re polarised, then you won’t be able to read it properly as it will be darker due to the blocking of the horizontal light. Go for these but avoid the brands that only paint a cheap polarising layer on top of the lens as it can easily scratch and lead to UV exposure.
So who should wear sunglasses?
Everyone! Particularly children as they have larger pupils which naturally let in more light. This makes them particularly susceptible to sun damage of the lens and retina.
I hope you’ve found this blog useful. You can find lots of hints and tips from the chiropractors and other practitioners here at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne by looking at our website and our chiropractic blog site.
Perhaps now is a good time to book that eye test that you’ve been meaning to have…? I’m off to book mine….!
Thanks for reading,
What’s the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic? Read on to find out.
So what is the difference between a probiotic and a prebiotic?
If you have read my most recent blog on probiotics and their use (read it here) then you know all about the importance of taking probiotics at certain times in your life. Here in this blog I’ll explain what prebiotics are and why they’re useful. In addition, you don’t even necessarily need to buy them as an extra supplement; you can eat them as part of your normal diet.
Prebiotics are substances that are not able to be digested by the human body, but that within the body stimulate the growth and successful multiplication of beneficial probiotic bacteria.
This all happens within the intestine and colon, where digestive probiotics mainly reside. The prebiotic substances are usually dietary fibres and non-digestible sugars (by humans) that give probiotics a good ‘boost’ by providing them immediately what they need to be successful. This allows the probiotics to thrive and take up residence on the gut lining so they can do their work and help with your digestion and immune system function. By providing this probiotic-nurturing environment in the colon and small intestine it encourages the healthy bacteria to proliferate, which in turn means there are less pathogenic bacteria in the gut. There is only so much space, after all, and if it’s being taken up by probiotics then bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella have less chance of thriving.
Another benefit of prebiotics is that they aid with removal of cholesterol from the body.
This occurs because they bulk up the volume of indigestible fibre passing through the intestine, increasing the amount of waste solids you pass and therefore the cholesterol that is removed along with it. This helps keep your intestine and colon healthy because it doesn’t allow carcinogenic toxins or waste products from digestion to sit too long in contact with the gut wall – it flushes them through your body the same way that water flushes out your renal system. In addition, high fibre diets are correlated with lower bodyweight.
Whole grains (for example flaxseeds, wheat germ and oats) have prebiotic chemical properties, because they are not absorbed in the gut but break down by fermentation into short-chain fatty acids which are used by the beneficial bacteria to survive. Probiotics sources also include Spirulina, raw chicory root, Jerusalem artichoke, garlic and leeks, banana, wheat bran and flour, and fermented dairy products like kefir, cheese and sour cream. So add them to your shopping list!
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, please ask your chiropractor next time you come in to see us in Eastbourne.
Supplements for Energy
Feeling tired and lacking energy? This blog will help you decide on the best supplements to take in order to feel more energised
We are all accustomed to that feeling you get when the alarm clock goes off early in the morning and all you want to do is ignore it. Most of us have also experienced that sense of mid-afternoon exhaustion when your body is crying out for a nap to recharge (but the boss wouldn’t appreciate it!).
Do these sound familiar to you? If they do, then perhaps its time to reassess your diet and look at taking certain supplements to improve your energy levels.
In any discussion surrounding supplements it is important to say that nothing makes up for a poor diet. It is really necessary to assess what you are eating and decide if there are vital nutrients and minerals missing before you look at any other form of sustenance. Eating a well balanced meal and enjoying adequate sleep are by far the best ways of keeping your energy levels high throughout the day.
If you’ve done this already and think that you have a pretty good diet, then read on for some tips about how to get more energy.
A good multivitamin is a great place to start. It can be difficult to get all the vitamins and minerals you need every day unless you are single-minded enough to plan each perfectly balanced meal. There will be days when your body needs more of certain nutrients than usual. For example when your muscle cells are healing after a hard gym session. Because of this, it’s a good idea to take a high-quality multivitamin on a regular basis. I use BioCare but there are many others out there such as Lamberts.
I find that taking additional Vitamin D is a great way of keeping my energy levels up. Vitamin D is used by the body to help with calcium absorption, so it supports the building of strong bones (deficiency is linked with soft bones, or rickets).
Vitamin D is fat-soluble so is best taken in liquid form. You can buy capsules or use a dropper. The one I take requires only one drop to be placed under the tongue, once a day.
Also good are daily Vitamin B complex solution/suspensions (as they are water-soluble). Vitamin B in its various forms is used by the body during energy metabolism, so it is absolutely crucial for sustaining life. Vitamin B9 is used in the repair of damaged DNA; vitamin B2 helps to activate other vitamins; vitamin B1 allows the body to gain energy from carbohydrates taken through the diet. These are just a few of the many functions of B vitamins! A good quality complex will often contain vitamin B1 (which is thiamine), B2 (also called riboflavin), B3 (niacin), and also vitamins B6 and B12. Taking these supplements daily may help you feel much better on first waking up, and hopefully to avoid the groggy early-morning feeling!
I hope this post has been useful, thanks for reading
For more information, hints and tips from all of the chiropractors here in Eastbourne, why not explore the rest of www.backblog.co.uk