31 January 2018

Pilates for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide with up to 80% of adult’s experiencing low back pain during their lifetime. Most cases of low back pain are due to a multi-dimensional factors and very small percentage (1%) of patients will have serious pathology. While there is limited evidence to support individual risk factors as strong predictors of low back pain there is however evidence for the presence of muscle weakness and general deconditioning as one contributor. Subsequently exercise has been shown to be one of the most effective treatment approaches for low back pain.

Pilates aims to increase the strength and control of the muscles around the spine and the pelvis. This helps improve and restore everyday movements, as well as reducing the load on your joints. Practising Pilates regularly helps to promote balance and improve posture.  It also increases body awareness, which plays a pivotal role in the prevention of injury and rehabilitation in low back pain.

It is easy to perform Pilates exercises incorrectly. So, having a knowledgeable teacher who ensures correct form and execution is very important. The aim of Physiotherapy-led Pilates classes is to provide education, focusing on rehabilitation, for the effective management of low back pain.
Our Pilates Rehab classes are open to anyone who wants an active approach to managing their low back pain.  No experience in Pilates is needed. We will incorporate a variety of standing and lying down strengthening, mobility and stretching exercises.

10 August 2017

Restorative yoga for fertility.


To rest, relax and restore is essential in today’s society where stress levels are rising. To rest deeply is to experience absolute relaxation, where there is effortless stillness, quietness and peace. Restorative Yoga provides bespoke restorative postures, specific yoga based sequences, breath awareness practices and relaxation. 

Open to both men and women these yoga sessions are suitable for couples trying to conceive naturally or through IVF (providing you have been referred by your IVF consultant). 

The physical focus of the postures is to create space and ease and to optimize the blood flow to the muscles and connective tissues in the lower pelvis. 

On an emotional level, the benefits of restorative yoga and the haven of a safe, nurturing environment, can help both men and women cope with the stress associated with trying to conceive and to increase the ability to self nurture, deeply relax and accept where they are in the process. 

Our restorative fertility yoga sessions are in conjunction with fertility experts at Concept fertility. www.conceptfertility.co.uk

We offer1-2-1 or couples sessions check our website for details
 Yoga Mama Wellness

or call 0208 789 3881 for more details

09 August 2017

Gentle Yoga for Back Pain

A short gentle limbering sequence that is suitable for people with back pain and pregnant women.


Yoga Baba organic clothing for mini yogis.


We are delighted to introduce our Yoga Baba organic clothing range.

Yoga Baba is an independent organic clothing company for babies. In collaboration with a London artist and yogi, we have produced our own unique range of baby clothing. These garments feature illustrated prints that draw inspiration from yoga and nature.
All of our garments are made from super soft 100% organic cotton. This makes them perfect for wearing against delicate baby skin.
We believe it is important to support the planet for our babies’ future. For this reason, all of our products are fair trade and also come from sustainable sources.



21 May 2017

Cranial osteopathy and the treatment of colic


How cranial osteopathy can help soothe away your baby's colicky cries


by Liz Neale

Get a group of new parents together and it won't take long before they start talking about sleep. Or, more likely, the lack of it. The advice to 'sleep when your baby sleeps' is all well and good. However, if your little one likes to party all night, every night, you are soon functioning like a zombie if you can't catch up during the day. So when one of my friends suggested taking my four-week-old to a cranial osteopath to reduce her stress levels (and hopefully help us both rest), I was intrigued.

What is cranial osteopathy?


Cranial osteopathy encourages the release of tension and stresses in the body and the head that might have been caused by the birth. Osteopaths hold and observe the baby, carefully manipulating the body to encourage it to function as it should.

I wondered if it was some sort of 'baby whispering'. After all, if the osteopath was merely holding my baby, how could that be deemed treatment? But several mums recommended cranial osteopathy as a way of combating the dreaded colic. Those long evenings when baby cries and cries – and cries – before sleep eventually comes.

I visited osteopath David Isherwood at his practice in south west London for what he called a ‘Baby MOT’. He explained that newborn babies can be subject to enormous forces when they are born. Twisting and turning as they squeeze their way to the outside world can mean a lot of stress and pressure. This pressure falls particularly on baby's head.

How do cranial osteopaths work?


Cranial osteopaths look to recognise any effects caused by this and release that pressure. They pay special attention on the base of the skull, as nerves to the tongue and guts may become irritated. This, in turn, may effect suckling and cause nausea.

David said there may also be a build up of pressure around the Temporal bone which houses the hearing apparatus. As well as this, the Eustachian tubes may become compressed during delivery, especially by forceps. This may lead to blocked ears and infection.

David explained: "There is a fundamental subtle movement within all body tissues that cranial osteopaths are trained to feel. This is present throughout the connective tissues (which are fascia, ligaments, muscles and bones) of the whole body, including the head. Within the skull and spinal cord, the sensitive meninges express this movement as a shape change. If the body is subjected to strong compression or twisting forces, such as those experienced by the baby during birth, these connective tissues can become distorted and strained. As a result, the baby may feel uncomfortable. Osteopaths use their highly developed sense of palpation to feel these strains and to gently release them".

Cranial osteopathy treatment


David started by asking me questions about Catherine’s arrival to find out if I'd had a good pregnancy and a straightforward birth. Once he had all that information, he began the physical examination. The first thing he did was simply hold Catherine gently, feeling for that flexion and extension. He placed her on the couch and started with her feet, holding them gently and talking slowly, and quietly reassuring her all the time.

"I watch the face and body for any reaction" he said. "I then wait to feel for the rhythmic fascial pull. Is it symmetrical? Is it stronger on one side? Next I test for mobilisation and the angle of movement of the ankle joints and toes. I then do this with the knees and hips".

David continued working his way up Catherine’s body. He examined her ribs through her clothes before moving on to her spine. I was convinced she would keep wriggling and perhaps even start crying at the unfamiliar surroundings. However, to my surprise, she was relaxing and closing her eyes. Her arms were thrown up above her head, yet she clearly felt safe and secure enough to sleep.  David continued with the examination; moving along Catherine’s fingers, wrists, elbows and then to her shoulders and head.

Cranial osteopathy and colic


During delivery a newborn's head faces huge pressure. The soft bones of the skull overlap and bend as the baby is born. Over the first few days of life the head will gradually lose its moulded shape. However, that feeling of pressure sometimes remains. This pressure can lead to crying and screaming as the baby is uncomfortable. It can also mean that a a baby has difficulty feeding because of the stresses throughout the head, face and throat. As David explained his work, I realised this was something Catherine struggled with. She was quite a 'windy' feeder, gulping air as I fed her. She would also regurgitate milk between and after feeds.

David said: 'Many babies are mouth breathers. They struggle to drink and breathe through the nose, hence this gulping of air. Once these 'lumps' of air have descended below the stomach, they have a long way to go. Very often this will cause abdominal pain, as the air stretches the baby's sensitive small intestines on its journey.’

That certainly sounded familiar and I was grateful for tips on how to combat this. This included a nifty little trick to burp baby using a combination of leaning and stretching. As Catherine lay on the couch fast asleep, it was hard not to think David had performed some kind of magical 'witch doctor' spell.

After the treatment


I carefully picked her up and placed her back in the pram. Normally she would jolt awake, but she hardly stirred as I negotiated the uneven pavement outside. I wasn't sure what to expect that night. Catherine certainly didn't go to bed at 7pm without a fuss. However, her crying was less prolonged and, when she did settle, it took less time.

Perhaps, more importantly, I felt I had some peace of mind from the osteopathy treatment. I had had a straightforward delivery, but it had all been quite quick. In addition to this, Catherine had needed oxygen when she was first born. David's baby MOT provided reassurance that things were as they should be. Even as a first-time mum, I was doing things correctly.

Originally published in the Daily Mail Online on the 20 June 2011


More information and appointments


If you would like more information about cranial osteopathy, visit the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy website. For appointments with  our resident cranial osteopath Aude Lauriot Prevost, call us on 020 8789 3881.


14 April 2017

How to practise Yin Yoga



An introduction to Yin yoga with Bernie Clark. I personally need a yin yoga practice to balance my yang one.

09 March 2017

Can acupuncture help morning sickness?

How can acupuncture help morning sickness?


Morning sickness is a very common ailment during pregnancy, especially during the first trimester. Health professionals prefer to call the condition “nausea and vomiting in pregnancy”. This is because it can affect women at any time of the day or night. Whereas some women may feel sick all day long. Traditional remedies include making modifications to diet, resting and even wearing loose-fitting clothes. However, in this post we pose the following question. Can acupuncture help morning sickness? And, if so, how?

What is morning sickness?

Nausea and vomiting are commonly experienced by women in early pregnancy. The prevalence rates are 50-80% for nausea, and 50% for vomiting and retching. The symptoms are most common in the first trimester, between 6 and 12 weeks. However, it can continue to 20 weeks. In approximately 20% of women, morning sickness may last even longer. If vomiting is persistent, it can lead to weight loss, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Ultimately, in severe cases, it may lead to hospitalisation.

What are the causes of morning sickness?

The symptoms of morning sickness are thought to be associated with rising levels of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) or oestrogens. Women experiencing nausea and vomiting during pregnancy can suffer considerable physical and psychological effects. The symptoms can affect daily activities and relationships, and result in lost productivity.

The new set of guidelines published by the NHS says that ginger and acupuncture can play a useful role in treating nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

Can acupuncture help morning sickness?

With regard to the use of acupuncture to treat morning sickness, the British Acupuncture Council offers the following guidance. “During the early stage of pregnancy, huge energetic changes are going on in the body. Acupuncture can help at that energetic level so that nausea subsides. Also vomiting, if there is any, and belching fades away. The sense of smell becomes manageable and energy and emotions return to balance. This enables the mum-to-be to enjoy her pregnancy. The treatment is entirely safe to the pregnancy and generally the sickness will clear up.

Appointments

If you are suffering from morning sickness, why not make an appointment with traditional Chinese acupuncturist Jas Kandola at The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. To book an appointment, call 020 8789 3881 or visit the Putney Clinic's online booking system.

Acupuncture during IVF treatment

Acupuncture during IVF treatment. Recent studies have shown that it can increase chances of a successful pregnancy.

Acupuncture during IVF treatment

Western medicine has started to recognise the many benefits of using acupuncture during IVF treatment. There have been a variety of studies that review the implications of acupuncture and fertility. Indeed, recent reports have shown a 65 percent increase in pregnancy success rates when IVF is combined with acupuncture treatments. Those same studies have also shown that rates of live births nearly doubled in cases where acupuncture was used. This is in comparison to IVF patients who received no acupuncture or sham acupuncture.

Why is acupuncture during IVF treatment so effective?

At present, the reason why acupuncture can increase IVF pregnancy success rates is not fully understood. However, ultrasounds have shown that acupuncture can improve uterine blood flow. As a result, this may create a more hospitable environment for embryo implantation.

There is one thing that doctors and scientists appear to agree on. There is a consensus that acupuncture can, at the very least, have a calming effect on patients. The IVF process can be a very stressful time. Therefore, finding ways to relax can be crucial to overall wellness. This is especially important when you understand how stress hormones can inhibit fertility. For this reason, acupuncture can be a great relaxation technique to rely on.

Finally, it is important to remember that acupuncture is not a guarantee that your IVF cycle will work. However, it can be a natural way to improve your chances of success.

Appointments

If you are going through IVF treatment, make an appointment with our resident fertility acupuncturist Jas Kandola at the Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy. She will be happy to explain the benefits of acupuncture during IVF treatment. To book an appointment, visit our online booking system or call 020 8789 3881.