Our Birth Story

I can honsetly say it was an amazing experience! It is astonishing what both my body and little Renies’ did to bring her into this world.  I won’t lie, it was much much much harder that I expected and I suspect Renie did even more work than me!

My contractions first began on Monday evening around 5pm.  In the day I had been for a sea swim and then came home and decided to just relax, rather than do all sorts of crazy jobs, which I had previously been doing.  That should have been a sign.  I decided perhaps I should look into hyponbirthing as our due date was 2 days away, definitely too late in pregnancy to start wondering about this, but heyho thats me all over! I spent the afternoon doing breathing exercises, pregnancy yoga and eating chocolate! (something that needs to stop if I ever want to get back into my jeans!)

37 weeks pregnant.

Monday morning Ben had a migraine, so rather than cycle to work I had dropped him off.  I was due to collect him at 5-30pm. I was just about to leave when I started to get what I would describe as intense period type pains below the bump, they came every 15 minutes or so.  Some how wisdom prevailed, (I am a bit of a doer and usually carry on regardless) and I decided driving was probably not wise.  I texted Ben, ‘please get the bus home,’ his thoughts went along the lines of ‘S*@t! NOT NOW I have a migraine!!’  Babies come when babies are ready!

When Ben got home, he started to time the contractions.  We both had a big meal once the realisation hit that these weren’t just braston hicks.  We would defintiely need the energy and then Ben sent me to bed to try and get some rest before what was to come, however it was little good because by this point the longest break between surges (contractions) was 8 minutes.  They were still very sporadic all night, ranging from super intense, insides turning out and being squeezed simultaneously (little did I know this was nothing) to a mere mild rippling.  They were anything from 3 minutues apart and lasting 30 seconds to 8 minutes apart and lasting 60 seconds.  Eventually we called the midwife, who arrived around 6am.  I was 1cm dilated (is that all) and so she left and told us to call back when the contractions were 3 minutes apart and 60 seconds each – for at least 30 minutes (or something like that, honestly Ben was in charge of this and all I did was press the buzzer on a bell when a contraction started and stopped.)

I vomited, A LOT. We thought at about 10am I should eat something for energy.  We tried dried frut and nuts, not bad and then one tiny little mistake, a chunk of chocolate. DO NOT do it!  Just as the chocolate melted in my mouth and made that cloggy seal, the mother of all contractions was upon me (it seemed it at the time anyway).  I managed to just make it to the bathroom, where I remained, face on toilet seat for a good 30 minutes.  Flashbacks to my uni days, hugging the toliet bowel and curling up in a ball on the bathmat. Except I couldn’t curl up in a ball and sleep this off, there is no way out, it is unrelenting! Ben managed to prise my face off the loo seat, after my protests. ‘It’s fine darling I cleaned the toilet yesterday!’

At 11am another midwife arrived.  I was so lucky that my community midwife who looked after us during pregnancy turned up.  What a priviledge to have the woman who saw me through pregnancy there to hold my hand and help deliver our baby.  Ellie is quite possibly the most laid back person I have met, must be a midwifery requirement.  Between 11am and 2pm everything is a bit of a blur, I was delerious, although apparently still not in active labour.  This is NOT something any woman wants to hear after almost 20 hours of contractions! My waters still hadn’t broken, so at the next examination, when I was still only 4-5cm dilated, Ellie broke them for me.  I had thought the contractions were intense before this, wow how wrong I had been! Now everything ramped up.  Renie had decided to turn back to back too, so as well as lower abdominal contractions, they were also in my back and radiating into my right pelvis and leg.

I spent my time moving from being on all fours on the bed, sitting on the toilet and being in the bath.  I tried to grab Bens manlyhood, he managed to maneover himself out of the way just in time, so I bit his hand instead. I did immediately apologise, honest!   Not long after this and me wimpering ‘I can’t do this’ and both Ben and Ellie replying ‘But you are doing this’ for the 100th time, Ben reminded me I did have options.  My birth plan was clear – minimal intervention, but after 20 hours I was exhasuted and I really felt ready to give up (not that you can when in labour, but I know my eyes were pleading to be taken to hospital and have pain relief).  My mind had jumped straight to epidural, not that I vocalisd this as I knew I would be disappointed if we went to hospital.  Ben again kept reminding me I had options, but I still didn’t get it.  Eventually Ben said ‘You have options, DOWNSTAIRS!’  The penny dropped, gas and air!

I got through almost 2 cannisters of gas and air, the intensity of contractions didn’t go, but I just didn’t care anymore!.  At this point I got in the pool and moved into the second stage.  Although the pushing stage requires a lot of effort and energy, it is also a relief to know you are in the final stretch and meeting your baby is imminent.  Pushing your babies head out takes all your power and strength, its primal and takes over your body, as were the noises I was making apparently!  There were times when I thought this is never going to happen, but when it does its absolutely amazing, words cannot describe.  Once babies head was out the final few pushes were easy, (not for Ben because he was literally holding up my entire body weight with his thumbs!)  First we had to wait for Renie to be ready, she needed to turn herself so her shoulders were at the right orientation and I could feel her wriggling, then whoosh she arrived and before I knew it we were a family.

Ben was my absolute rock in labour.  He made the appropriate amount of jokes, kept me smiling with his silliness. Tickled my back for about 24 hours (so much for all the massage techniques we had practised thinking I would like them), made a labour playlist, which I loved up until pushing stage. Never in my life did I think I would state ‘Turn this F@*!”ing S@*t off’ when listening to MJ, but I did! Always asked me if I needed anything, then noted himself it was at the crescendo of a contraction everytime, so waited patiently before asking again afterwards, the answer was usually ‘Yes Water!’

Ben and Renie 30 minutes after birth

I know my body went through a lot as did Renie’s, but never underestimate what yor birting partner did too.  He nearly lost the ability to ever make us a family of 4, almost lost his thumbs when I was pushing and literally held me up when I was in the bath and birthing pool!  Along with all this Ben had to deal with his emotions.  He had to watch me go through the most intense thing he will ever see me do.  He had to clean up afterwards and during labour (yes I pooped in the birthing pool – A LOT apparently) and most importantly he was about to become a father.  Yes there had been an entire pregnancy to realise this, but men are literally not connected to the tiny human growing in their partners tummy.  Its a lot to deal with a very short period of time. Ben I love you.

Renie 1 day old

Renie 4 weeks old (sucks the same fingers that Mummy did!)

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

Why is human contact so important?

Social interaction and support are paramount to our health.  In fact industries have been built on this, take social media for example! Social media itself has many positives but also negatives and therefore cannot replace sharing time with people you love face to face.  When together not only are we able to read our friends and families body language, but we are also blessed with the power of touch.  Touch is something I believe is vital to wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Being able to share your thoughts and feelings, opening yourself up to loved ones or to someone you trust (this could be a healthcare professional such as a Chiropractor) can help half the load! The phase a problem shared is a problem halved springs to mind.  Just talking things through with someone can help sort your thoughts in your head, whether they offer advice or not.  Support can help you cope with major life events, such as a divorce, house move, loss of job.  Those who are lonely suffer more with stress, depression and cardoivascular issues.  Everyone loves to feel valued, can you think of a time you didn’t like to be appreciated, needed or complemented?

Taking part in team sports is a fantastic way to involve yourself in the community, whilst building rapport and boosting your confidence.  Exercise has been shown to reduce stress levels, improve cardiovascular fitness and mental agility.  Being able to spend time with others whilst exercising is a fabulous way to get social support and interaction.  You do not have to join a basketball team like Michele, there are gentler group activities out there.  There are several walkling groups in Peacehaven, speak to the Sussex community development association (SCDA) for more information.  www.sussexcommunity.org.uk

Other benefits of social interaction:

Improves immune function

Improves mental healh

Improves pain management

Reasons why too much social media has a negative impact:

Addiction – social media stimulates the pleasure cenres in your brain.  When someone ‘likes’ your post you get a feel good boost, however the reverse is true if you get no interaction from a post.  The amount of dopamine release (your pleasure hormone) you get from a social media post ‘like’ as opposed to something happening in ‘real life’ is much greater and this is when addiction can form.  We can never commnicate with so many people at once in normal everyday life as we can on social media.

Trolling – people can hide behind their online profile and because you are not face to face make cruel and unnecessary comments.  This can lead to anxiety and depression.  Online bullying can be really real, particularly for the younger generations. It is easy for truths to be mixed and hundreds of people to witness the comments causing much mental anxiety to the victim.

Affects actual ability to communicate in person – so many people become anxious about being in company because they spend all their time behind a screen.  Socially people become less able to communicate clearly and politely.  This not only affects them but also those they are interacting with.

Get yourself out and about, if you can’t, do not be afraid to tell a friend, colleague, someone you know how you feel. Call them, ask them to come over, don’t wait for them to get in touch with you! Best of all join a group, get in some exercise whilst enjoying the company of others.

Rachel Hodson

Clinic owner and Chiropractor

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

Chiropractic and Basketball

 

As you can read from my bio, I’ve always been really active physically and the main sport I’ve been playing in my life is basketball. I probably started playing around 20 years ago!

Starting as a kid and when there was not a lot of science behind training there was no stretching and no warm down in most of the sessions and that’s why at around 14 years old (when I was doing a lot of growing) my body became extremely stiff and I started getting episodes of low back pain, these could last up to a month at a time. Is that surprising? Not really!

Basketball is a sport that includes sprinting, jumping and quick changes of direction and everything is on a hard surface too! Plus repetitive motor schemes, if done not correctively can create dysfunctions themselves! That is true for almost every sport sadly!

When did these episodes stop occurring? Of course after I started seeing a chiropractor! I started care at 16 years old and I never looked back after that. After the acute phase of care I got adjusted almost a week for years as I was training daily. Quantity of injuries and sprained ankles reduced a lot and recovery time increased.

Now that the weather is more stable in Brighton I started going to the seafront basketball court to play and I cannot stop noticing people training on sprained ankles or minor injuries. This should be avoided as training a motor skill on top of an injury can create muscular and spinal compensations that maynot be evident in the moment, especially because many players are really young. In these cases the result will be seen in the future when a major injury eventually come and you will be left asking, how did that happen?

I cannot stress enough how prevention with care is the key for a better chance of avoiding injuries and increasing performance naturally. A bad neck or low back can easily start from an ankle sprain that never healed properly! Please ballers, come and get checked!

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

Michele Oman

Research Reviews – Importance of Chiropractic

CHIROPRACTIC & HEALTH

A Natural Connection

March 2018

© The Wellness Practice                                                                                                                                                                                                              © Dr. James L. Chestnut M.Sc, D.C., C.C.W.P.


Ph.D. in Biomechanics Explains Importance of Segmental Motion and Chiropractic

McGill, S. Ph.D. Stability: From Biomechanical Concept to Chiropractic Practice. Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association. 1999;43 (2)

QUOTE BOARD: “There is evidence that these muscles (intersegmental muscles) are highly rich in muscle spindles (at least four to seven times higher than multifidus). It would seem that these organs are not functioning to produce force given their minimal cross-sectional area but are, rather, position transducers for each lumbar joint enabling the motor control system to control overall lumbar posture and avoid injury.” Conclusion: “Nonetheless it appears that the chance of the motor control error which results in a short and temporary reduction in activation to one of the intersegmental muscles would cause rotation of just a single joint to a point where passive or other tissues become irritated or possible injured.” [This is segmental neuromuscular dysfunction (vertebral subluxation complex/joint dysfunction)]

Key Concepts:

Without proper segmental motion in your spinal segments the messages from the joint and muscle motion receptors get interrupted making it impossible for your brain to sense joint position and/or muscle length/tension. This “garbage in” creates errors in brain output (garbage out) called motor control errors. Your brain can only properly coordinate joint and muscle position and movement if proper signals from the joints and muscles get sent to the brain. Proper segmental motion is the key component for the delivery of proper joint and muscle signals.

Key Take Home Points:

Without proper segmental motion in your spine the messages between body and brain become diminished and/or distorted. Not only do the tissues become inflamed and begin to degenerate but the brain becomes less able to coordinate movement and motor control errors result which predisposes the tissues to injury. Chiropractic is so effective because it restores segmental motion and thus restores the proper communication between body and brain. This allows for better coordination of movement, the reduction of motor control errors, and less susceptibility to injury. A healthy spine requires proper segmental motion. Chiropractors are the world’s leading experts in detecting and correcting areas of segmental neuromuscular dysfunction and this is why chiropractic is so effective for spinal health.

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

POSTURE AND SPINAL DEVELOPMENT

POSTURE AND SPINAL DEVELOPMENT:

Having good posture not only helps with keeping you injury-free, it also makes you looks taller and slimmer and gives you more energy! What’s not to love about that?!

Posture defined is the relative position of all of our body parts.  Each joint has an optimal position and range of motion.  In this position our joints are exposed to the least amount of wear and tear and the most efficient use of energy.

Examples of good and poor posture

image from https://posemethod.com/pose-vs-posture2/

When we are out of alignment (poor posture) wear and tear and the cost in terms of energy are increased, not only to maintain this posture, but also to make every move.  We are therefore more likely to sustain an injury.  Poor posture is exactly why so many of us experience musculoskeletal pain – otherwise known as CHRONIC POOR POSTURE.

When do we first start developing our posture:

It all starts before we are even born! Nature is amazing. It is so important for mothers to look after their spinal health and remain active, because it helps their babies core muscles develop and provides them with optimal space for foetal development.  At Peacehaven Chiropractic Rachel is experienced working with pregnancy and with children.  Chiropractic care can help keep your pelvis aligned and moving eveningly side to side.  Your uterus sits in your pelvis.

Babies are born with a set of primitive reflexes; these help them as they pass through the birth canal.  Think of them as our original blueprint.  As we grown, postural relflexes lay over the top and dampen down our primitive reflexes.  These postural reflexes form the framework within all our systems operate effectively.  The tranistiion from primitive to posural does not happen at a set time, but is gradual, often both reflexes existing together.  The postural reflexes help to shape our spinal health, posture, movement and stability (1).

When babies lay on their fronts, by 6 weeks they should be able to lift their head in line with thier body and by 12 weeks maintain it there for several minutes; this helps the curvature of the neck and determines the development of the muscles that support the head (1).

At approximately 16 weeks we begin to use our arms to push our chest off the floor. eventually raising ourselves up onto our knees and rolling over (6 months) (1), this helps create our low back, lumbar, curve and imorove muscular strength.  Crawling is paramount as it helps to develop an even pattern of movement across the pelvis and again improve our core strength, providing support for the lower back.  These early stages are very imprortant and if a child misses any one of these steps problems can develop in the future.

Children tend to use their bodies functionally, therefore do not often feel musculoskeletal pain, however once we become a teenager we become more self aware and our posture can suffer.  Teenage girls are notorious for standing with rounded shoulders to hide their developing breasts and if tall may stoop to become in line with their peers.  Carrying heavy bags, often on one shoulder and spending far too long on computers, phones and tablets is definitely taking its toll!

We have all seen this!

What determines our posture?

The relative length-tension relationship between muscles is largely responsible for our posture.  These muscles are controlled by our brain, via the spinal cord.  Joints have 2 sets of muscles on opposite sides, if one side is long and weak, the other will be short and weak (tight).  This affects the position of the joint and its full potential movement.

A good example is our hip flexors and bottoms! Many of us sit for long periods in the day, so the hip flexors shorten and the gluteals become weakened.  The result, your pelvis pulls forwards resulting in an increased lumbar lordosis (curve) and if one side is tigher than the other we end up with a torsion in the pelvis.  The hip joint, knee and ankle therefore are no longer in optimal position and this affects leg range of motion.  Without correction this can lead to injury.

Poor posture can also have a knock-on effect on the rest of the body, not just our musculoskeletal system (everything is connected afterall!)  If you slouch, your ribcage will drop forwards restricting your diaphragm and therefore your breathing.  It also means your stomach is squashed and so can give symptoms of indigestion/reflux.  It will restrict blood flow to the organs including the uterus, so painful periods can result and impaired bowel digestion, thus symptoms of IBS.

Circulation and nerve signalling from the brain can also become compressed (especially with a forward head posture) which can result in headaches, migraines and numbness in the legs and arms.

How can I help myself?

We can all do a ceratin amouont of assessment by just looking in the mirror, or if you feel brave have someone take photos of you front, back and side view.  Use the guide picture at the top of this article to help yiou.  If you just think about stnding and sitting tall you are already halfway there!  The more you remind youorself the easier it becomes, new habits take time to form, old one die hard!

Stretching a sterenthening exercises can be very helpful; however specific ones depend on your postural weakness.  Most people will benefit from doing a head to toe stretching and movement programme which focuses on getting the whole body active.  The Straighten Up UK (SUUK) exercises developed by British Chiropractic Association are a great starting point.  We also have free leaflets in clinic that show this routine.

Can exercise make my posture worse?

Some exercises can, yes! Although many people are tols that poor posture is a result of adbominal weakness, doing repeated sit-ups actually strengthens the muscles that cause you to slouch! Your deep abdominals and pelvic floor muscles are much more important to work on, however underused muscles are hrd to wake up!  Pilates, initially 1-2-1 classes are super helpful in achieving this.

Most importantly is to focus on how you sit and stand, once you are aware of how to do this well, Yoga and Pilates are great, these focus on your postual stabilising muscles.  Any other exercise that challenges your balance such as free weights and stability ball exercises are also great.  Of course always discuss with a fitness professional, your doctor or chiropractor before you commence if you have any concerns.

Will I achieve perfect posture?

This is unlikely! You posture has developed over years, however you can always improve it.  Our environment and how we use our bodies daily have a huge impact.  The important thing is to maintain mobility and be aware of when you are not holding yourself optimally.

References

1) Goddard, S.  Reflexes. Learning and Behaviour; a window into the Child’s Mind.  fern Ridge Press, 2002.

2) Liao, M.H. and Drury, C.G., Posture, discomfort and performance in a VDT task. 2000, Ergonomics, 43(3); 345-359.

3) Sauter, S.L., Schleifer, L.M. and Knutson, S.J.,  Work posture, workstation design and musculoskeletal discomfort in a DT data entry task.  1991, Hum Factors, 33(2); 151-167.

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

My Pregnancy Weeks 13-17- Back Pain!

I am now well into my second trimester so thought it was a good time to update everyone on my progress.

I feel fabulous! Wonder woman can move aside as I am unstoppable! Now it is possible this is just because I have got over the initial fatigue of early pregnancy and the feeling I had been run over by a bus.  I am probably just back to my normal pre-pregnancy energy levels, however compared to the first trimester I feel incredible. Whatever the reason for it, I am not complaining!

Sex drive

This has returned!  Once you enter the 2nd trimester the blood flow to the pelvic region increases dramatically, which means so does your sensitivity.  Good news for your sex drive, bad news for waxing!  I think I need say no more on this matter!

Low back/pelvic pain

I know it might sound shocking, but yes I,  A CHIROPRACTOR,  have had some lower back pain/coccyx pain!  It teaches me valuable lessons, not only to listen to my body, but also in understanding my patients bodies.  I now have even more empathy!

It is very common to experience this during pregnancy.  For me it began at 13-14 weeks, this is the time we get a surge in the hormone relaxin.  Relaxin is a wonderful hormone, which increases the motion in your pelvis, allowing your uterus to expand.  It’s paramount in the birthing process, enabling your sacrum (tailbone) to move out of the way when you give birth.  This is why laying on your back during labour is counter productive, it reduces the diameter of your birth canal and believe me you do not want that.  I will talk more about labour postures when I get closer to the end of my pregnancy.

My pain has made me feel like I have been kicked in the butt by a horse.  At its worst it lasted 2 weeks, now it is more intermittent.  Since we have been telling everyone our wonderful news, people want to give up their chairs for the pregnant lady.  I do have to politely decline, sitting for more than 5 minutes makes things 20x worse!

Main reasons for low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy:

  1. Hormonal changes: your joints are becoming more flexible to allow for your baby to grow and then the birthing process to take place.  This does put more stress on your joints, any imbalances you may previously have had now come to the fore.
  2. Posture: This links in with your hormonal changes and previous postural imbalances.  As your baby and boobs grow you suddenly have more weight pulling you forwards and this can really impact how your body feels.
  3. Exercise:  You need to get the right balance. You must keep moving, don’t be afraid to move because doing nothing leads to weakened muscle so less support around the pelvis.  Yoga is a wonderful at strengthening, however you are more flexible so must hold back on postures.  High impact exercise can also irritate your symptoms, if you didn’t do it before you fell pregnant now is not the time to start. Swimming is a wonderful gentle all over body work out, I highly reccomend this.  It is so important to maintain your fitness (giving birth is not a walk in the park, more like a marathon!) Listen to your body and do what feels good.

Chiropractic Care for Low back/pelvis pain:

If your pelvis is out of alignment you are much more likely to experience low back/pelvic pain.  I am adjusted reguarly, but the nature of my work and also past injuries does mean my posture is not perfect (gasp!) This definitely impacts how my pelvis is adapting in pregnancy.  If I was not adjusted regualrly I can only imagine things would have lasted a whole lot longer!

If you are experiencing these kind of symptoms, get in touch.  We can help with the pain and also advise you appropriately how to manage these symptoms.

The first thing that it really important for you to know is IT WILL GET BETTER.  About 80% of women expereince some low back/pelvic pain in pregnancy.  You can feel it across the low back at the junction between the lumbar spine and sacrum. In either sacro-iliac joint anywhere along its length or in the pubic symphysis.  The pain you experience maybe localised to one spot, or if you are lucky like me, it may radiate.

I experience pain along my left sacro-iliac joint which refers into my left bottom and posterior left thigh.  I would describe it as a constant dull ache that intensifes on sitting.  Thankfully I know just what to do to

1) Help myself

Gentle exercise, including walking, yoga, swimming and pilates.  Gym ball exercises (vlog to come showing you how to do these).  Gentle massage with a tennis ball into my gluteals and very gentle hip flexor stretches.

2) Seek care from a qualified professional (thank you Michele!)

First scan

The scan letter requested I have a full bladder for this appointment and I dutifully obliged.  I was busting when we arrived, only to have to wait another 15 minutes for the appointment! As soon as the sonographer popped the ultrasound wand on my belly I was informed my bladder was too full and could I go and have a 10 second wee! Do you know how hard that is!?
Anyway job done and we were finally able to see our little baby.  What a relief to know there was a baby actually there and everything was looking just perfect.  We are so pleased and looking forward to the year ahead knowing this little bundle of joy will be joining us sometime in the summer.
Our greedy bean at 13 weeks (this nickname has stuck after the incredible fatigue in the first trimester! You can thank your father!)
Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Healthly Chocolate Mousse

Marijana Dragojevic is a local Emotional Freedom Technique practitioner and also happens to be absolutely amazing in the kitchen.  She has kindly shared her healthly chocolate mousse with us.  The beauty about this recipe is it is so easy to make and its healthly.  That’s definitely something to smile about!

Thank you Marijana!

Ingredients

1.5 cup soft pitted dates ( soaked overnight)
1/5 cup filtered water
2 ripe avocados
3 tbsp of raw cacao
1tbsp of coconut oil

Method

Put the dates in the blender with half of the water. Add water gradually ( you don’t want to much water). Add avocado, cacao and coconut oil and mix until smooth. Put it in the serving dishes and refrigerate for couple of hours.

Marijana Dragojevic works primarily with people who would like to lose weight, she does this using Emotional Freedom Technique.  Goodbye dieting!  The first session is offered free of charge, so together you can decide if it is right for you.  For more information please visit her website http://www.eft.uk.com

Love, Health and Happiness

Health, Love and Happiness begin with you!

This month our clinic theme is love, health and happiness, as its February and all! These 3 things are all completely in your control and all inter-related.  No one else has the capacity to control these things, only you!

The way you respond to what’s around you is choice.  We all have negative reactions sometimes,  the key is to notice them and then tell yourself something positive.  My biggest bug bear is aggressive drivers, especially those who tailgate and speed.  Sometimes I get irritated with them and upset with the injustice of their behaviour.  Other times I just notice them and consciously decide to keep smiling, when they find a safe place to overtake they can.  The more I practice the latter, the more it has started to become a habit and the happier my days are!

Be Grateful

Be grateful for life everyday, remember the small things.  Our brains are wired to seek the negative, it is a form of protection.   A good example is dog mess, we learn to look out for it and not stand in it.  Now it is law to pick up your dogs doings, however instead of us appreciating and being grateful for the lovely clear pavements we have the majority of the time, we instead moan when we see mess!

A good practice to get into is picking 5 things that happened in the day you are grateful for.  Either write them down or say them out loud to yourself every evening.  The positive mind set this leaves you it will make you feel great.  The small things that erk you really are just small and insignificant so do not warrent any energy spent.

Realtionships

Surround yourself with friends and family.  Be picky about who you spend time with.  Choose people that energise and support you.  If you find someone a constant drain perhaps it is time to consider whether you need them in your life.  Sometimes it can be hard to let people go, however in the long run you will be thanking yourself for it.

If something is on your mind, don’t let it fester.  Talk to your loved ones about it, they love you and will support you.  Sometimes it may even been an issue you are having in your relationship with them, if you do not communicate with them, they will never know.  Try and find ways to speak to your loved ones without blame.  A good way to do this is to talk about your feelings and how sometimes they make your feel a certain way.  Communication is the key to a happy relationship.

Nutrition and Water

If you look after your body, it will look after you.  Your body and all its components are only as good as the food you feed them.  Food can be the greatest medicine or the slowest posion! We are made from nature and therefore our body needs food from nature.  I have never seen a packet of biscuits growing from a tree, have you!?

Try and eat more than 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily and regularly drink water.  Not only will your skin glow, your bowel movements will improve and your overall energy will pick up.  Providing good healthly food shows your body you love yourself.  You deserve it.

When your overall health improves, instantly it makes you feel more positive and your sense of wellbeing increases.

Saying all that, moderation is key! If you deny yourself all the little pleasures in life, then all you will do is crave them. If you want some chocolate, have it and feel good about it, no guilt.   Enjoy it and remind yourself that this was my choice today and I loved it!

Nature

Get outside amongst nature.  I always feel absolutely fabulous when I have spent time outside.  Just feeling the breeze (wind if you are in Peacehaven) on your skin makes you feel alive!  Yes its cold at the moment, all these sensations are amazing and we should feel grateful to be able to experience them.  For me going for a brisk walk 20 minute walk along the coast or in the woods rejunvinates me.  I take the time to let my senses take everything in, from the sound of the waves crashing and birds tweeting to the smells in the air.

Exercise

Get 30 minutes daily.  Exercise improves blood flow and nerve flow.  When everything is moving your brain is active, firing and strengthening.  Exercise has been shown to releases cannabinoid type molecules into the bloodstream, these give you an instant high! No wonder exercise makes you feel great!  The article below is a study that details some of the reasearch done in this area.  If you like a complex read then this can explain a little further.

https://cloudfront.escholarship.org/dist/prd/content/qt426788xv/qt426788xv.pdf

Find your Passion

This doesn’t have to be your job.  Luckily for me mine is, however for my partner it is music, not just any music mind.  He loves anything with skilled muscians (so modern day pop is out, sorry Taylor Swift) and is constantly writing lyrics himself and learning new instruments.  He is never happier than when he has accomplished a new riff!

Whatever yours might be, prioritise it, the dishes can wait (unless its your turn darling!)

Finally with the growing awareness of mental illness and understanding how to support someone, scientists are trying to discover the secret to happiness.  The link below is to a short survey.  If you have the time please do take part.

https://secretsofhappiness.co.uk/

Contact us today: 01273 584812, email info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk or BOOK APPOINTMENT

THE FIRST TRIMESTER – my pregnancy

After spending 10 years working with pregnant women and their babies it is finally my turn to be the other side of this relationship. Dr Michele Omen will be looking after me during my pregnancy and I am really looking forward to someone nurturing my baby and I.

 

Websters Technique

Chiropractors use several techniques during pregnancy, one of the most well known being Websters. By creating even movement and space around the pelvis and even tension in the ligaments that attach your uterus to your pelvis, space is at its most optimal. Boy those ligaments stretch and change during pregnancy (you definitely feel it). Imagine your uterus is like a tent, if the guide ropes (ligaments) are pulled too taut in one place the tension and torsion in your tent is clearly seen. Now imagine growing inside that tent….you get the idea! For more information and to find a qualified practitioner near you please visit www.icpa4kids.com.

I am now a few weeks into my 2nd trimester so wanted to just give you all an honest account of how things have been for me so far. Hopefully some of this will resonate with those of you who have already been there and got the t-shirt!

Families have been doing this the world over, but somehow when its your turn it feels like your crazy little secret, especially in the early stages. You spend your time wondering why the general public have no idea, why they can’t tell when your are on the bus, in the supermarket, on the train! Then because nobody else has any idea, you start to doubt the reality that soon you will be a mum!

 

Our Journey

I wonder whether our kids will find us embarrassing? Probably not!

 

Ben and I feel not only privileged to be having a family, but it also happened on our first try. 18 months ago we did have an unplanned pregnancy, which resulted in miscarriage, My GP called it a ‘chemical’ miscarriage because we were only about 4 weeks pregnant at the time.   We literally found out I was pregnant as I miscarried. My logical brain new it was the right thing, the baby was never going to be healthy and the body is amazing at detecting this, however emotionally it was tough.  The GP was quite matter of fact about it and honestly I left wondering where his empathy had gone, obviously not his strength, unlike a few of my GP friends, who are awesome.  Don’t suffer alone, your friends and family would be mortified if they knew you were.  Steffy my longest childhood friend was so supportive, its good to talk. I love you Steffy.

This time round we again found out at 4 weeks, my cycle is like clockwork and the usual sensations were just not there. The first few weeks after finding out (and not really believing it) I was on tenterhooks waiting for the mother of all periods, as had happened previously! Once we got to about 7/8 weeks we both had settled into the idea of parenthood and told our families the wonderful news, oh and Steffy of course!

 

How have I been feeling?

So…..how have I been feeling? Tired is an understatement! I am always an early to bed girl, but 8pm takes the biscuit, this happened more than once. From about 6 weeks the tiredness was like no other. Women have described it to me many times, until you go through it, you just do not get it. I have new found respect and understanding to all mothers. The hardest part is your pregnancy is still not common knowledge. I do feel extremely lucky however, morning sickness did not really strike. I had a few weeks of feeling a little nauseous, ginger tea and crystallised ginger are amazing help, but that was it, please don’t hate me!

Wow my sense of smell, I feel like an X-man! Its truly incredible. Alcohol on someones breath is quite possibly the worst. I can tell if someone as just had a sip and it is foul. Like a noxious gas eating into me, this did not make Christmas and New Year that easy! Drunk people, yep very annoying! I may have used my triedness as an excuse once or twice, gone to bed and read a good book, rock ‘n’ roll!

You may start to feel odd sensations in your lower abdomen, I did. Feels like a pulling, very different from a period pain, this is just the uterus slowly growing. I expect more in the future. On odd days I have felt like someone has kicked me in the tailbone, it eases quickly with a few Cat/Cow exercises and walking about. Pilates is amazing alongside regular Chiropractic care as really makes me think about how I am holding myself. I can see my posture changing daily and standing bent over a bench at work is not ideal.

 

Exercise

Please do not stop exercising! Giving birth is not a walk in the park, you need to be fit! During this first trimester I have kept up with walking regularly, circuits/weights twice a week, swimming and Pilates once a week. I usually do vinyasa flow yoga, which is dynamic, however advice is to avoid it during the first trimester, always discuss with your yoga teacher and let them know asap that you are carrying a miracle!

Finally my boobs! I cannot finish my blog about the first trimester without mentioning this! Wow, they grow and they are so tender! A few of my friends guessed early I was pregnant, however I managed to pass it off as the cut of my top!

Ben is a boob man, the other day he noticed they now defy gravity. They look great and he cannot go near them, not just because they are tender, but also I have absolutely zero sexual drive. The thought of him near me makes me feel protective and defensive, poor bloke, apparently I kick him in my sleep if he comes into ‘my zone’ (I believe this is about a mile radius!)

We had a 13 week scan, there is definitely a baby in there, we are going to be parents after all! Yes we both welled up a little, but oddly it still doesn’t feel real. I guess that will come when I can feel baby move!? For Ben it’s likely to be in July when the little one arrives.

For now I am enjoying my new found energy, the second trimester is going to be great, I can tell already!

 

Officially Full Time in Sussex

I have finally left London after over 8 years of working at Octagon Clinic www.octagonclinic.co.uk. What a place to leave, but what a place to move too! Being sandwiched between the South Downs and the sea is such a treat, today I have just returned from a gorgeous cycle ride up to Devils Dyke, where I practised some yoga before returning home full speed down the hill, exhilarating!

the downs 003

View from Devils Dyke

 

I am looking forward to spending more time with my wonderful partner,(who is also a fantastic singer, so if anyone needs a great party band, just ask and I will point you in the right direction) more time outside doing the things I love, that’s anything cycling by the way, as well as working with families in the Sussex area to help promote health and well being, my biggest passion.

 

 

 

Rachel Ava

I have vast experience working with women during pregnancy and then with their precious newborns.  Babies absolutely love being checked and more often than not fall fast asleep.  I feel very privileged that so many women have chosen care with me over the years, its such an amazing feeling knowing that I have contributed to their positive birth experience in one way or another.

If you have any questions about pregnancy care and what we might be able to do for you please feel free to call or email us – Tel:01273 584 812  email: info@peacehavenchiropractic.co.uk

Rachel Hodson is Clinic Owner at Peacehaven Chiropractic and has over 10 years experience looking after entire families