This deeply relaxing, powerful and cleansing treatment is not your typical massage, it’s gentle rhythmical movements stimulate and influence the direction and speed of the lymph through the lymphatic vessels and nodes to great effect.
The lymphatic system moves slowly due to not having a pump, which means it can easily become overloaded, sluggish and congested. The lymph vessels lie just beneath the skin and facilitate the removal of metabolic wastes, excess water, toxins, bacteria, large protein molecules and foreign substances from the tissues.
MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) relaxes the sympathetic nervous system, reduces pain and enhances the activity of the immune system. It is effective in the treatment of a wide variety of problems including oedema (swelling), skin disorders, headaches, sinus congestion, stress, sprains and aches and before and after surgery to remove tissue congestion. It is particularly useful in improving the healing process and reducing recovery time after surgery, post-mastectomy therapy and cosmetic surgery such as liposuction, breast surgery or facial surgery.
MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) is extremely gentle and wonderfully relaxing.
Sasha Ball is one of our wonderful massage therapists and this facebook review sums up just how well Chiropractic and massage complement each other.
‘I’ve been attending this clinic for around a year. I first came with sciatica and now, incredibly, it’s gone. Rachel has a deep insight for healing through her practice. I have regular monthly adjustment and I’m now better than I’ve been for years. I complement this with regular massage therapy from Sasha at the clinic. This practice is unique as it offers a fully holistic treatment plan that lifts, heals and rejuvenates. Thoroughly recommended’.
Back and neck pain is often seen as only an adult problem but new statistics, along with our own experience of treating children and teens at the Peacehaven Chiropractic, suggest this is sadly not the case. One quarter of UK secondary school pupils report that they suffer from regular or daily back and/or neck pain.
One quarter of UK secondary school students suffer from regular or daily back pain
School bag burden has been associated with a ten-fold increased rate of back pain
Back pain was also linked to prolonged sitting (something no student gets away from – now with more sedentary past times, gentle stretches and exercises are paramount on a daily basis, please see links below.
The British Chiropractic Association’s have some good advice on how to make sure your child’s backpack is loaded and carried safely. They also have a series of exercises, from the Straighten Up campaign, designed to keep the spine moving well, appropriate for both children and adults and they also include computer posture tips and breathing exercises. You would think breathing came naturally, and whilst we all do breathe, many of us don’t do it well!
Here’s some fun and kid-friendly stretches we like! Movement is key. Another fabulous set of exercsies can be found on youtube, ChiroMoves designed by a UK Chiropractor. This is also avaliable as an app.
If you have any questions about your childs spine then please do call, remember we also offer a free 15 minute consultation in clinic. Please call 01273 584812 or book an appoinment using our request form. Rachel Hodson is fully accredited to work with children and has further qualifications in this field.
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.
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!
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)]
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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!)
I’ll be honest, I was really nervous! What if I completely imagined it and I was not pregnant!
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!)
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!
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Hodson is Clinic Owner at Peacehaven Chiropractic and has over 10 years experience looking after entire families
That time of year is just around the corner. The daffodils will be in full bloom before we know it and many of us will be out in the garden weeding, pruning and potting getting ready for the summer ahead. After a period of relative inactivity this is the time that many of us overdo it and end up with various springtime niggles. We give all our attention to the garden and none to our own bodies. Remember you only have 1 body, it’s the only place you get to live!
Gardening isn’t exactly an extreme sport, but because of that we are less mindful about what we are doing.
Think about your posture when you are out there digging in the wilderness! The same rules that apply to lifting also apply in the garden. Keep you back upright, no stooping and if you do need to pick something up, no twisting, turn your whole body towards it, including your feet! Bend from your hips, not your waist.
If you are unfortunate to suffer with hay fever, aka allergic rhinitis, you will definitely know when spring has sprung. Dry itchy eyes, runny nose and blocked sinuses? Although the body of conclusive research is minimal for treating hay fever with alternative therapies, some people do have results with Acupuncture and Cranial therapies. These therapies tend to look at the overall health of the individual and take into account not just the current situation, but factors that maybe predisposing someone to the problem. Generally it it thought that commencing treatment before it (if seasonal) begins, can help reduce the severity of the symptoms, so now is the time to start! If you would like to be referred to someone local, call, we would be happy to point you in the right direction.
Aching and stiff from spring cleaning, massage can help, whether it is a deep tissue massage, Thai massage or a movement practice such as Thai Chi or yoga. Overdone the gardening, pulled something, be honest, were you mindful about your posture? Chiropractic care could be what you need.
Shoulder pain can have a number of different causes, ranging from an injury like a car accident, to a chronic problem like arthritis. Patients who experience shoulder pain may be surprised by the intensity and duration of the pain. The shoulder area is so essential for completing daily activities that it makes sense that the shoulder pain injury should be taken seriously and treated to avoid worsening your condition.
Some signs that shoulder pain needs immediate attention may include a decreased ability to hold objects, decreased functioning of the arm, shoulder pain that persists even while at rest, shoulder pain that lasts more than a day or two, and unusual twinges or aches in the shoulder area.
Chiropractic care can be an extremely effective treatment for shoulder pain regardless of its cause. A chiropractor will often begin with an examination of the patient’s neck area since shoulder pain can frequently be the result of “referred” pain from the neck. Whether the shoulder pain is connected to the neck or is limited to the lower part of the shoulder, it can generally be treated with non-invasive methods of natural healing such as chiropractic care.
Care for an injured shoulder may include application of heat, application of ice packs, gentle manipulation from the chiropractor to help the shoulder return to its original state of functionality, and gentle stretching and strengthening exercises that the patient can perform at home.