Knee Rehabilitation – The Patient Walk to Recovery

 

So the days following knee surgery can seem pretty dark, especially if you’re used to being particularly active. Your swollen knee hurts, your back aches, you can’t get comfortable and you’re lying there with your leg elevated, knee wrapped in ice wondering how long is this going to last!!!

 

At the end of the day, injuries happen and whilst we can complain about them and feel sorry for ourselves it won’t help our bodies to recover any quicker. Keeping a positive outlook and structuring your approach to recovery is of paramount importance starting with decreasing the swelling and establishing a full passive range of motion.

 

People are different and knee injuries and operations are also different. Our bodies recover, heal and progress at different rates so it’s really important that we recognise the need to be patient and also the need to celebrate small improvements and successes along the road to recovery.

 

Some Top Tips for Recovery

 

There are a few tips to consider on your walk to recovery. Your physical therapist will know your abilities and will be able to advise on the best approach to suit your personal rehabilitation but here are some things that you may find useful.

 

Movement is crucial so try to do something every day that will help to improve your range of movement. This doesn’t just refer to the knee itself, try to ensure that you keep your hip, ankle and foot mobile in the period after surgery – your knee never works by itself and it’s important that you work your joints and muscles together in an integrated way. Ensuring over time that you reach the full range of motion is crucial for effective recovery.

 

Be patient and accept that it is going to take time before you can walk, exercise and feel normal again. Trying to do too much too soon, before the healing process has worked it’s magic and before you have established the full range of motion is likely to hold your rehabilitation back – if it takes you five days or six months you need to be patient and work with your physical therapist to achieve the best outcome.

 

Low impact physical activity after your initial recovery will allow your body to begin building up strength without putting significant strain on the knee. If you have a period post operation where you can’t move around a great deal then use the time to read about, and consider some of the opportunities you’ll have to maybe try some different low impact activities on your road to recovery – it may help to lift you during those dark times and keep a positive mindset.

 

These tips are helpful suggestions to get you back to nearly full or full range of motion as soon as possible after surgery so that you can return to enjoying the activities you love.

 

Since everyone’s experience will be different you MUST remember that post surgical rehabilitation is UNIQUE to each individual.  Ensure that any exercise programme that you follow is given under the advice of your physical therapist.

 

 

 

Some of the Common Lower Leg Pains Experienced by Runners

Running has always been a popular form of exercise, it’s easy to get started and the emergence of charity runs and community running events like Parkrun have resulted in lots more of us digging out our trainers to pound the pavements.

Regular runners will know that the most common area for injury is the lower leg but whether you’re an experienced runner or a new starter it’s important to be able to recognise some of the conditions that may be causing that lower leg pain.

When we talk about the lower leg or shin, this includes everything between the knee and the ankle, it’s worth taking a quick look at the anatomy of this before we look at some of the injuries runners may experience.

The large bone of the lower leg is the tibia and the thin bone along the outer part of the lower leg is the fibula. This section of the leg is made up of 4 ‘compartments’, each of which includes several muscles, a nerve, artery and vein and each compartment is surrounded by a tissue known as fascia. It is the muscles in these compartments that control the motion of the foot and ankle and it’s this complex structure that can sometimes make differentiating between the potential causes of lower leg pain difficult because there may be a mix of different symptoms.

Having said that, it is often one, or a combination of conditions that cause lower leg pain, here are three of the more common problems.

Running has always been a popular form of exercise, it’s easy to get started and the emergence of charity runs and community running events like Parkrun  have resulted in lots more of us digging out our trainers to pound the pavements.

Regular runners will know that the most common area for injury is the lower leg but whether you’re an experienced runner or a new starter it’s important to be able to recognise some of the conditions that may be causing that lower leg pain.

When we talk about the lower leg or shin, this includes everything between the knee and the ankle, it’s worth taking a quick look at the anatomy of this before we look at some of the injuries runners may experience.

The large bone of the lower leg is the tibia and the thin bone along the outer part of the lower leg is the fibula. This section of the leg is made up of 4 ‘compartments’, each of which includes several muscles, a nerve, artery and vein and each compartment is surrounded by a tissue known as fascia. It is the muscles in these compartments that control the motion of the foot and ankle and it’s this complex structure that can sometimes make differentiating between the potential causes of lower leg pain difficult because there may be a mix of different symptoms.

Having said that, it is often one, or a combination of conditions that cause lower leg pain, here are three of the more common problems.

Shin Splints

This is a term that is used to describe pain experienced along the medial (inner) side of the tibia. The pain usually develops while running and will generally resolve itself afterwards – it is typical that  you will feel pain along a third or more of the bone and it will be tender to touch.

The pain is caused by microscopic tears of the muscle away from the lining of the bone and can be caused by overpronation (when the arches of the foot roll inward or downward) and from running on hard surfaces. The condition tends to be more common in novice runners and if it’s left untreated it can become worse.

Improving the flexibility of the calf muscles and the strength of the muscles along the front and sides of the lower leg are important in treating and preventing this problem, it may also be helped by resting, stretching, changing your training programme, icing the area and soft tissue work.

Stress Fractures

Another possible source of lower leg pain could be stress fractures of the bone – this can be significantly more serious than shin splints. Bone generally responds to ‘stress’ by becoming stronger through bone building, as long as the stress isn’t overwhelming. However, excessive stress can lead to micro fractures and ultimately a stress fracture of the bone.

Easing the pain of Fibromyalgia

Easing the pain of Fibromyalgia

 

 

 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition of the fibrous tissues of the body such as tendons and ligaments (“fibro”) and the muscles (“my”) causing pain (“algia”). The widespread pain experienced by people with fibromyalgia can also be associated with fatigue as well as headaches, problems sleeping, irritable bowel, cognitive disturbances, dizziness and allergies.

 

Historically, fibromyalgia has been difficult to differentiate from other chronic conditions, but the now widely established criteria for diagnosing fibromyalgia is as follows:

  1. Pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months.
  2. Together with pain in at least 11 out of 18 point sites when they are pressed. These “tender points” are rarely noticed by patients until pressure is placed on them.

 

Fibromyalgia often develops after some sort of trauma but there isn’t always a trigger to the onset of the condition. According to Fibromyalgia Action UK, research has identified a deficiency in serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, coupled with an increase in the neurotransmitter substance P, which transmits pain signals. This means that pain signals might be processed differently in people with fibromyalgia, causing them to feel more pain than others might feel under a similar stimulus.

 

Treatments for fibromyalgia include over-the-counter painkillers, drugs for neuropathic pain such as pregabalin, and tricyclic drugs used to treat depression. These don’t work for everyone, however, so it’s important to find other ways for people to manage their symptoms.

 

Current guidelines for this include practising rest and relaxation techniques; having cognitive behavioural therapy or other talking therapies; using heat packs or a hydrotherapy pool for painful, stiff areas of the body; and doing paced, progressive exercise or activities. A healthy diet is also important, as is following advice on how to improve sleeping habits. Many people find that joining a support group assists them in developing a more positive outlook.

 

As people living with fibromyalgia know all too well, there is no quick fix to the condition but there is evidence that a multi-disciplinary approach is best. Here at Physiologic, we offer a number of therapies that may be of help to you, or someone you know, to manage the symptoms of this often debilitating condition.

 

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists can guide you through a tailored progressive exercise programme to improve your aerobic fitness and endurance. They will also advise on muscular strength training to reduce the strain on tendons and ligaments and improve your overall conditioning. Improving the strength of major muscle groups can in turn make it easier to take part in aerobic exercises.

 

Energy Healing

Bioenergetic medicine – practised here by Martha English using NES Health and acupuncture – addresses energy blockages which can occur as a result of unresolved traumas. Martha specialises in working with people who have chronic conditions and aims to get to the root of the problem using a variety of healing techniques and in a supportive manner.

 

Craniosacral Therapy

There is anecdotal evidence that craniosacral therapy can be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. The craniosacral system includes the brain and spinal cord as well as the cerebrospinal fluid (collectively known as the central nervous system or CNS). Craniosacral therapists such as Bruce Aitkin at Physiologic have a highly trained sense of touch (called palpation) and believe that the CNS elicits a palpable rhythmic impulse which can be felt and balanced during treatment to enable optimal function as well as give an extreme sense of relaxation.

 

Transformational Hypnotherapy

Tanya Lawton offers one-to-one hypnosis: a gentle, effective and deeply relaxing way in which to access your subconscious and begin to change unwanted belief systems. It can help with a wide range of issues, including pain relief and sleeping difficulties.

 

Pilates and yoga

We offer small group pilates and yoga classes in relaxed and friendly surroundings where you can work at your own pace to improve your strength, flexibility and stamina.

 

Women’s Health Hub

We offer regular free health talks and workshops in an open and supportive environment at Physiologic. Call us to find out when the next event is taking place.

 

To find out more about all the above therapies, click on the Services or Team tabs above.

Help for people living with Parkinson’s Disease

Help for people living with Parkinson’s Disease

 

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a long-term degenerative condition that belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, resulting from a loss of dopamine-producing brain receptors causing progressive damage to the brain and affecting the nervous system. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks.

 

The condition usually affects people over the age of 60, where early symptoms are often subtle and gradually increase, however for some people the condition can progresses more quickly and may also produce a number of other physical and psychological symptoms such as depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problem, anosmis (a loss of sense of smell), insomnia (sleeping difficulties) and memory problems.

 

The condition can be difficult to diagnose accurately as there are no blood or laboratory tests that are proven to help determine this. Usually a diagnosis is based on a patient’s medical history and a neurological examination (for some patients a brain scan may be required).

 

Although there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, treatments are available on the NHS to help alleviate the main symptoms and maintain quality of life for as long as possible, which include:

 

  • Medication
  • Brain surgery (in some cases)
  • Supportive treatments  (such as physiotherapy and other occupational therapies).

 

Not everyone with the condition needs treatment during it’s early stages, however regular appointments with a medical specialist is highly recommended to monitor the condition.

 

 

 

 

As most people know, conventional medicine focuses on understanding and correcting the problems that are causing symptoms, whereas complementary therapies (therapies that can be used alongside medical treatment) take a more holistic approach, aiming to treat the whole person including mind, body and spirit, rather than just the symptoms.

 

Although no treatments or therapies have been scientifically proven to slow, stop or reverse the development of Parkinson’s, there are several complimentary therapies that can make living with Parkinson’s disease easier and have been said to have helped many people living with the condition on a day-to-day basis.

 

Some of the most popular therapies chosen by people with Parkinson’s and their carers include:

 

Acupuncture

Alexander technique

Aromatherapy

Art therapy

Ayurveda

Bowen technique

Chiropractic

Conductive education

Dance therapy

Feldenkrais method

Herbal medicine

Homeopathy

Kinesiology

Laughter therapy

Massage therapy

Meditation and relaxation techniques

Music therapy

Osteopathy

Pilates

Reflexology

Reiki

Shiatsu

T’ai chi

Yoga therapy

 

 

The best advice to anyone diagnosed with this condition is to start exercising as soon as possible. It is known that Physicians rarely refer their patients to health and fitness programs at diagnosis because medications are very effective early on at alleviating most of the symptoms and patients experience little change in function. Yet, research shows that it is at the time of diagnosis that patients often begin to consider lifestyle changes and seek education about conventional and complementary/alternative treatment options. This makes it the ideal time for referrals to exercise, wellness programs and physical/occupational therapy, when it may have the most impact on quality of life.

 

At Physiologic we provide an array of therapy treatments from the recommended list above and can offer a specially dedicated exercise treatment programme called LSVT BIG® for people with Parkinson’s disease. This is based on the principle that the brain can learn and change (neuroplasticity).

Formulated from an existing programme called the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT) which was started in the United States and has been developed and scientifically researched over the past 25 years, with funding from the National Institutes for Health and LSVT LOUD® which is the effective treatment created to help patients with their speech, that improves vocal loudness by stimulating the muscles of the voice box (larynx) and speech mechanism through exercises, improving respiratory, laryngeal and articulatory function to increase speech clarity.

 

LSVT BIG® is an intensive amplitude focused, physical and occupational therapy approach applied to limb movement that has been documented to be effective in the short term, increasing amplitude of limb and body movement (bigness), trunk rotation/gait), improved speed (upper/lower limbs), balance and  enhancing the quality of life for people with Parkinson disease. In addition, people were able to maintain these improvements when challenged with a dual task. It is a standardized treatment practice that is customised to the individual goals of each patient

 

This unique therapy programme consists of 16 treatment sessions over a single month (4 X 60 minute sessions per week) with daily homework practice and exercises. The programme can only be delivered by certified physical or occupational therapists.

 

At Physiologic we are proud to welcome Cary Morin who recently immigrated from the US where he was born and raised. He studied in North Carolina, receiving a Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2016. He trained and worked in Acute Care and Outpatient Care and worked at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda Maryland, the United States’ largest and most renowned military medical centre. Cary specialises in treating musculoskeletal needs and is well educated on Parkinson’s disease. He is one of only three therapists based in the Kent region, certified to deliver LSVT BIG® treatment programmes and he hopes to expand the awareness and accessibility of this treatment here in the UK.

 

Links:

http://physiologichythe.co.uk/team/cary-morin/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/parkinsons-disease/

https://www.lsvtglobal.com/patient-resources/what-is-lsvt-big

 

 

MENOPAUSE: A natural part of your life cycle, you are not going mad!

 

 

For many women that arrive at the menopause, whether earlier than expected or right on schedule, it can be a minefield of change, sometimes difficult to recognise, and often hard to live with.

 

Some women struggle during the perimenopause stage, when change occurs to the reproductive system and activity ceases, usually after 12 months without a period. Generally this starts for woman in their mid to late 40’s or as late as their 50’s but for some this can happen as early as the mid 30’s and can cause dramatic hormonal imbalances from fluctuations in oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone the. Some women may suffer the worst at this stage but for others the later stages of the full menopause can be when they experience their symptoms.

Unbelievably 72% of women say they do not know what the menopause is, while at least a quarter of us are lucky enough to have no symptoms at all. For the unfortunate 25 % of us that do suffer with severe symptoms of the menopause, it can be one hell of a ride that can on average last for up to 4 years!

 

 

At this natural cross roads in a woman’s life it can feel taboo to talk about what is happening and we know from research that a third of women don’t even speak to their GP’s but for those women who do confide in their Doctor around half will be prescribed antidepressants, while only 20% will go onto HRT in the hope of treating some of the following symptoms:

 

  • Irregular periods
  • Hot flushes
  • Chills
  • Poor sleep
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Poor concentration
  • Stiff joints
  • Vaginal dryness
  • (Low libido)? Sex
  • (Difficulty with) intimacy/ Issues?
  • Dry hair
  • Dry skin
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of self
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Inability to function
  • Mental health problems
  • Weight gain
  • (Feeling)Unprepared?
  • Frightened
  • Headaches
  • Being overwhelmed
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia

 

 

It’s not surprising, considering the list above, that half of menopausal women say that their mental health has suffered and 7 out of 10 women choose not to tell their employers, while a quarter of women say they would rather stay at home.

 

Most people reading this would agree that any sane person that suddenly started experiencing memory loss, anxiety, poor concentration, irritability, loss of confidence, anger, an inability to function and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed would struggle to carry out the simplest of tasks let alone be able to maintain healthy relationships and a balanced work and home life. This only fuels the fire and increases frustration, which can make it almost impossible to live a normal life. Partners are ill equipped to cope with the rollercoaster of emotions, work colleagues no longer trust your judgement or ability and friends don’t even recognise you. It can be a very lonely and scary place and one that we are in no way prepared for.

There needs to be a better education on what to expect and how women can help themselves. Guidance should also be provided for those living and working with women struggling with the menopause, at least to try and understand what is happening but also so that we can learn how to support our loved ones, friends and colleagues through this natural but sometimes impossible transition in their lives. For the 23% of women that say that their life lacks enjoyment, hopefully we can begin to help them feel alive again.

 

Rather surprisingly and in contrast to what we are lead to believe I am pleased to report that 90 % of women still want to have sex, which may please some if not all of our readers.

 

 

 

 

So now that we’ve covered the worst parts lets look at how we can help ourselves and enable menopausal women the world over to embrace this natural evolution.

 

There are many tried and tested ways to ease the symptoms of the menopause, one most obviously being Hormone Replacement Therapy as prescribed by your GP or women’s health consultant. This can be a welcome antidote to much of the suffering for some but not all women.

 

So many of us are unaware of the natural remedies and alternative treatments such as acupuncture, CBT, meditation, yoga, breathing, exercise, masturbation, vaginal oestrogen, Replens, yes and KY jelly lubricants, magnets, dietary changes such as removal of gluten, soy, alcohol, pork, dairy and supplements such as vitamin D, calcium, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy oils such as basil, lavender, anise, licorice, lemon, myrtle, clary sage, geranium, Chinese herbs, black cohosh, red clover, sage, star flower oil, evening primrose, wild yam, St johns wort, woman’s kind,

 

Of course it’s easy to forget that how we live can affect how we feel and vice versa. Lets not forget the very powerful medicine of talking, sharing and laughing with friends, colleagues and indeed loved ones, as this can do wonders for our self worth and help all us to remember that outside of our bodies there is a big wide world full of hope and wonder.

 

For other helpful tips on how to cope with or relieve your symptoms you can visit: www.menopausematters.co.uk www.medicalmedium.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top five low back rehabilitation exercises

02 February 2018

Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide (Global Burden of Disease, 2010). It is one of the most common reasons for time off work and most people you meet will have suffered with low back pain at some stage in their life.

 

Current evidence moves away from long periods of rest and immobility and encourages exercises and regular movement as the key to a healthy back and healthy lifestyle. We see this daily in our Physiotherapy clinics, and whether the cause of the pain is stress, spinal muscles, ligaments, tendons, intervertebral discs or spinal nerves, the majority of people find reduction in their pain and a return to normal activities and life with simple, graded low back exercises.

 

So here they are for you to try. And you don’t have to be recovering from an injury to do these exercises – they will be beneficial to anyone who has a sedentary job, does a lot of driving or just can’t get out and exercise as much as they’d like to. We recommend you spend five to ten minutes a day working through the exercise slowly and with control. You can try them either on the floor or in bed.

 

Note that you should not experience severe pain at any point during these exercises – if you do, you should consult you GP or come and see us in the clinic where we are on hand to offer advice and help.

 

Stretching exercises

 

Exercise 1 – Knee Hug

This exercise focuses on stretching out the low back, relieving stiffness and tension.

Lie on your back and hug both knees to your chest.

Hold for 20 to 30 seconds three times and feel the gentle stretch in the low back and buttocks.

If you find this too hard, try hugging just one knee at a time.

 

Exercise 2 – Knee Rolls

This exercise also focuses on stretching out the low back and relieving stiffness.

Keeping your back flat to the floor, allow you knees to roll to the left and right.

Rest in each position for 10 to 20 seconds 3 times each way.

You should feel a gentle pull through the hips and lower spine.

 

Strengthening exercises

 

The following three exercises are for strength and lower back stability, “The Core”. As you strengthen your lower back muscles, you reduce fatigue and train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, abdomen and hips to work in unity.

 

Exercise 3 – Bridge

Start with knees bent and your back flat on the floor. Slowly lift your hips up off the floor making sure you keep your arms at your sides for balance.

Hold this position for approximately 5 seconds and then relax back down.

You should feel a slight pull/effort in you low back and legs.

Repeat this 10 times.

 

Exercise 4 – Scissors

Keep your back flat on the floor with your arms at your sides for support.

Lift your legs to 90 degrees and hold this position for a count of 5 to 8 seconds.

If this is easy, try a cycle/scissors motion forward and backward with your legs.

Try to repeat this 8 times

 

Exercise 5 – Superman

In a four-point kneeling position (hands below shoulders and knees below hips) lift one arm and the opposite leg. This exercise challenges your balance so take it slowly.

Hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat 5 times on each side

You should feel the effort and work in the low back. If you find this easy, bring your hands together, below your head to reduce you base of support and challenge your core stability further.

Keeping fit in the workplace

 

The Office of National Statistics doesn’t have figures on how many people in the UK have desk-based jobs, but our guess is many millions. Despite progress being made in terms of flexible working hours, it’s probably fair to assume that most office workers still spend 7 to 7.5 daylight hours a day at their desks. It’s no wonder that people present to physiotherapists complaining of neck pain, shoulder tension, headaches, repetitive strain injury and more.

So what can you do to stay healthy in the office?

 

Sitting posture

First and foremost, sit up tall in your chair with your legs uncrossed and breathe, remembering to take some deeper breaths throughout the day to stretch through your diaphragm, ribs and intercostal muscles.

Avoid hunching your upper back when looking down at mobile devices as this can lead to ‘text neck’. And if you’re sitting hunched and looking up at a computer screen this can lead to a ‘chin poke’ posture. Both of these positions put strain through the base of your neck.

Don’t wedge the telephone between your ear and your shoulder as this places strain on the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulder.

Adjust the height of your chair and computer screen so that your hips are slightly higher than your knees. Place your forearms in a roughly horizontal position when using your mouse and keyboard, and your eyes should be about level with the top of your screen.

Adjust the backrest of your chair so you can lean against it comfortably. Ensure your lower back is well supported and your feet are flat on the floor or on a footrest.

 

Desk exercises

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy recommends the following easy exercises that can be done at your desk regularly throughout the day:

Keep using all the muscles in your arms and legs. You can do simple biceps curls holding a bottle of water, and you can march with your legs under the desk.

Rotate your upper body in your chair to the right and reach for the backrest with your left hand, hold for 5 seconds. Repeat to the other side.

Interlock your fingers, pushing your palms away from your body, stretching your arms, shoulder blades and fingers – hold for 5 seconds.

Reach over your head, bending to the side at the waist and straighten up. Swap sides and repeat 10 times.

 

Take regular breaks

Here are some good reasons why stepping away from the screen is so important:

It gives a chance for your eyes to relax from the close-up work and the glare of the computer screen.

Walking around will often immediately relieve aches and pains. Do a task that takes you to another floor of the building and, if you can, take the stairs not the lift.

You can do some full body standing stretches or bend and stretch towards a wall. Stand about a metre away from a wall, bend at the pelvis so your upper body is perpendicular to the floor and stretch out your hands to the wall. You should feel a good stretch through the whole of the length of the spine.

Get outdoors during your lunch hour for some fresh air and sunlight or to meet up with friends. You could even do a short exercise class to really invigorate you for the afternoon.

Stepping away from the work environment can also help diffuse stress. We can all face challenging tasks, situations or behaviours in the workplace, but these don’t have to dominate the entire working day. Step away, breathe, and raise any concerns early with your employer.

Take short breaks for drinks and healthy snacks. Try not to have your lunch at your desk, but if you do, at least take a break from work. Flick through a newspaper or magazine, talk to a colleague, or simply look out a window.

 

Finally…

Try not to take work home with you. Use your spare time to do exercise and the other activities you enjoy.

And absolutely, definitely, take your entire holiday allowance every year.

Beginners guide to juicing

Many of us readily admit we don’t eat enough fruit and veg. The ‘5 A DAY’ mantra is ingrained in our psyche (if not necessarily adhered to in reality) but more recent research actually suggests that up to 10 portions of fruit and veg per day is best, and could lower the risk of chronic illness such as heart disease. We can hear the groans of despair as we write this, but it doesn’t have to mean eating meat and 5 veg, a salad for lunch, plus 3 fruit snacks per day; juicing can be a great way of getting additional healthy nutrients in one tasty drink.

The first thing you’ll need is a juicer. There are two main options for those starting out:

Centrifugal – the fruit and veg goes into a feed tube and has direct contact with the blades. The pulp and juice are separated. They’re fast, noisy, and quick to clean. The juice doesn’t store as well as from masticating juicers (see below) because more oxidation takes place during the juicing process, but this isn’t a problem if you’re drinking it straight away.

Masticating – these juicers masticate, or chew, the fruit and veg so they extract more juice and the pulp comes out drier. There is less oxidation during the process so more nutrients are preserved. They are slower and less noisy, but there are more parts to clean after use. Also, in most cases the feed tube is smaller than the centrifugal juicers so the fruit and veg needs to be cut into smaller pieces, adding to the preparation time.

Some tips for a long and healthy relationship with your juicer:

  • Don’t be overwhelmed by all the juicing resources out there. Find half a dozen combinations of ingredients you like (there’s no end of suggestions on the web) and be creative depending on what you’ve got in the fridge.
  • Add ginger, lemon or lime to give depth to the flavour and boost your immune system.
  • You can stir in powdered ingredients such as spirulina and wheatgrass, or add a spoonful of chia seeds to boost the nutritional content. Large packets of these ‘superfoods’ will last you months.
  • Don’t overdo the fruit content if you’re watching your sugar intake or your weight. You can add sweetness to a vegetable juice with one ripe banana or a few strawberries.
  • Add kale or other green leafy vegetables to benefit from the amazing nutrients they offer.
  • Wash up the equipment straight away before anything sticks to the plastic!

And don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t use your juicer as often as you’d hoped. Try to find a way to make it part of your daily routine. If at first you don’t succeed, perhaps try a different type of juicer or you could even use your kitchen blender to make delicious smoothies. It’s amazing what you can whizz up using a ripe avocado, a cup of green tea, a handful of rocket, a ripe banana, some red fruit and a few chia seeds!

Healing on a quantum level

One of the types of therapy on offer at Physiologic is Bioenergetic Medicine. It’s a tricky concept to grasp because it’s based on quantum theory and biophysics, mind-boggling stuff which, let’s face it, most of us know nothing about. This type of medicine moves away from the molecular and biochemical (pharmaceuticals) and ‘wet’ matter options (such as surgery) we are all familiar with, to those based on fields, forces and the quantum nature of the body.

Advocates of the quantum-field view of the human body include Rupert Shelldrake, Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, James Oschman, Peter Marcer, who have all written extensively on the subject.

Bioenergetic Medicine therapies trace the root cause of the loss of health to distortions, blocks or other impairments to the human ‘biofield’ and this can be corrected using a system called NES Health.

NES Health was founded by Peter Fraser, who trained for two decades in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy and Ayurveda. His thirst for a deeper understanding of quantum theory and biophysics led him into private research and this is where he formulated a comprehensive theory that reveals the human biofield (or body-field as Fraser named it) as a complex, structured network of fields that interpenetrates the physical body and underlies all physiology. NES practitoners, such as Physiologic’s Martha English, use a device called the NES ProVision scanner to map the body-field and identify a person’s overall physical and emotional condition. Distortions in this field can cause disharmony leading to physical problems, and these distortions are cleared using the NES miHealth Medical Device. Liquid energetic remedies called Infoceuticals are then used to re-imprint the body field back to its original blueprint. You can find out much more about the NES system at http://www.neshealth.com/

There seems to be no limit to the type of conditions or symptoms that can be addressed bioenergetically. At Physiologic, Martha has treated clients with headaches, aching limbs, extreme tiredness, chronic or undiagnosed pain, insomnia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, fertility issues and more… in essence, all the kinds of conditions that can be difficult to treat using today’s conventional treatment approaches.

Look out for future blogs covering the use of NES for specific health conditions.

Rehabilitation after childbirth

Physiologic’s Director Martha English runs Mummy MOT clinics in London, Reigate and Hythe. Here she explains why:

“There’s a reason I do what I do, and that is the statistics that show half of all mothers suffer from a weak pelvic floor after giving birth, and over one third of women are affected by ongoing pelvic pain or a tummy gap. It enrages me that the post-natal rehabilitation of women is not more prevalent in this country.

“We cannot let another generation of childbearing women suffer these terrible consequences when so many of the symptoms are controllable, improvable and even completely surmountable given the right treatment, exercises and advice.”

So what is a Mummy MOT?

A Mummy MOT is a specialist postnatal check for mums following delivery (vaginally or by c-section). During a consultation, the strength and function of the pelvic floor and stomach muscles will be assessed and how these are supporting the pelvic organs after childbirth. If a dysfunction is found, exercises and treatment will be provided to help recovery. In France, where Martha has worked previously, check-ups were and still are a standard part of every new mother’s postnatal rehabilitation.

It’s recommended that mums have an initial check-up 6 weeks after giving birth, but it’s possible to treat women many years later to help them regain their core strength.

If you consider the changes the body goes through during pregnancy and childbirth, it’s not surprising that nearly half of all women’s bodies do not recover from the experience without some sort of intervention. New mothers may hope everything will miraculously get back to normal but they are not in a position to assess what is and what’s not normal in their bodies after giving birth. They may think that certain consequences are expected and don’t realise they have a problem that can be fixed.

It is not normal to:

  • Leak when you cough or run.
  • Have pain during sex.
  • Have ongoing pelvic pain or debilitating constipation.
  • Have a gap in your tummy where your muscles have weakened and can’t support your core or abdominal organs effectively.

If you have any of these debilitating conditions, you can be reassured that almost all of them can be improved, alleviated and often remedied entirely through a personalised exercise and manual manipulation programme. In most cases, no drugs or surgery are required – it’s just a case of being armed with some knowledge, getting the right treatment and doing the correct exercises.