Respecting you – Your modesty matters

It is important that you feel comfortable during your osteopathic treatment, particularly around matters of modesty and privacy.

At the start of your first session we will ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle as well as your symptoms. This is very important as it will help us to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment. This information is kept confidential in conjunction with the Data Protection Act 1998.

We will need to examine the area(s) of your body causing discomfort. Sometimes the cause of the problem may be in a different area to the pain, (for example, a difference in leg length may result in compensations in the upper back which might result in neck pain) so we may need to examine your whole body.

We will need to feel for tightness in the muscles and stiffness in the joints and may need to touch these areas to identify problems. We will explain this as we go along, but if you are uncomfortable with any part of this then let us know, we can discuss this with you or stop if you prefer.

As with a visit to a GP or other medical professional, for us to examine you effectively it may be necessary for them to ask you to remove some clothing as appropriate for the condition. This may mean undressing down to your underwear. If this is a problem for you then let us know and we will try to make arrangements that make you more comfortable.

You are also welcome to bring someone with you for all or part of your consultation, and children should always be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Remember, if you have any questions we will be happy to discuss this with you.

It’s easier than you think to improve your health

Being active has lots of benefits for your body. As well as lowering your risk of developing serious health problems, such as heart disease and type-2 diabetes in later life, being active helps keep your heart healthy, your muscles, bones and joints strong and can improve your balance.

Getting some physical activity each day can also help prevent depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. It can help you get a good night’s sleep, which lets your brain rest and recharge.

It’s easier than you think to make improvements to your levels of physical activity. Start small and then build up gradually – just 10 minutes at a time can make a real difference. Visit www.nhs.uk/oneyou/moving to find out more and discover some small lifestyle changes you can make today to benefit your health in the long term.

 

If you have pain stopping you from walking please give us a ring as we may be able to help get you back to gentle exercise.

New Therapist

Lostwithiel Complementary Health Clinic welcomes Claire Hicks to the team. She uses Wholistic nutritional medicine and iridology to help clients improve their General Health.

Call her on 07866012495 to make an appointment.

If you don’t snooze, you lose

Encouraging healthy sleep

Everyone knows the feeling after a bad night’s sleep, from irritability to poor productivity, but longer lasting sleep disruption can have a much more significant effect on both our mental wellbeing and our physical health. Regular poor sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and can lead to shortened life expectancy.

A number of factors can affect sleep, and not surprisingly patients experiencing musculoskeletal difficulties can find this a considerable hindrance to their ability to sleep. This sleep disruption can, in turn, make their ability to manage their pain more difficult.

Create a routine

Try to get up in the morning and go to bed at the same time each day, even at weekends. You may need to set an alarm. Creating a sleep routine will help your body make the chemicals that control sleep. Having a sleep routine such as listening to soothing music or doing stretching or relaxation exercises before bed can also remind the body that it is time to slow down and sleep. Taking a warm bath before bed may help you to feel relaxed and sleepy, and try to avoid using your bedroom to watch television or work so that when you do go to bed, your body knows that it is time to sleep.

Avoid blue light before bed

Electronic devices such as televisions, tablets and computers produce a certain type of light called “blue light”. Blue light interferes with a chemical called melatonin which helps us sleep, and it can also reduce a type of sleep called slow-wave sleep which is essential for us to feel rested.

Blue light during the day, especially in the mornings and after lunch can be useful because it can make us feel more alert, but if we have too much blue light before bedtime then sleep can be disturbed, so avoid using a computer for long periods or watching too much television just before bed. Getting more natural rather than artificial light by going outdoors as much as possible during the day can also help increase daytime alertness and improve sleep quality.

Do some regular exercise but not too close to bedtime

Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise which gets your heart beating faster, has been proven to improve the quality of sleep and just being more active during the day can also help improve sleep and fight fatigue. If you exercise too close to bedtime though, the exercise may make you feel more alert and this may disturb your sleep. Try to do some exercise in the early evening so that by bedtime you are ready to sleep.

Try to keep your mind blank

Many people who lie awake at night find that their minds are too active, for example thinking about worries, things that they need to remember or things that they have to do the following day. Some people also find that worrying about not sleeping then makes the problem worse.

Clearing your mind is not easy but trying to be more relaxed about not sleeping can help. Try to concentrate on feeling calm and comfortable rather than thinking about getting to sleep. If a good idea is keeping you awake, keep a pad and pencil next to your bed and just write down the idea so that you can forget about it until the morning. Try some slow breathing and just concentrate on the action of breathing, perhaps counting your breaths as the air moves in and out or try some progressive muscle relaxation – tense and relax each part of your body in turn starting with the toes and working upwards. Try visualising a relaxing place such as a wood or beach. Learning meditation or mindfulness and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) may also help to calm your thoughts.

If you are still awake after 15 minutes or so, try getting up and doing a light relaxing task such as having a warm drink, reading or listening to an audio book or quiet music then go back to bed when you feel sleepy again.

Avoid stimulants and alcohol

Coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, chocolate and some medicines contain caffeine and other stimulants which can disturb sleep. The effects of caffeine can last for many hours in the body so consider switching to decaffeinated drinks or avoid caffeine apart from in the morning. Alcohol may help you feel sleepy at night, but overall it will interfere with the quality of your sleep and prevent you from feeling rested when you wake up.

Avoid eating large meals late at night

A heavy meal before bed or too much spicy food at night can make it difficult to sleep, so consider how much you eat before bed. Herbal tea or a milky drink may help you relax but don’t drink too much before bed as this may mean you have to wake to go to the toilet at night.

Make your bedroom cool, dark and quiet

Sleep quality can be improved by sleeping in a slightly cooler room—around 17C is comfortable for most people, so make sure that you have enough, but not too much bedding. Opening a window at night may help. If you are disturbed by noise at night, consider wearing ear plugs and if you are woken by daylight, try a blackout blind.

Try not to have a nap during the day

If your sleep is disturbed at night, you may feel sleepy during the day, especially in the afternoon. If you fall asleep during the day, even a short nap can then disturb your sleep at night. If you have to have a short sleep, make sure that you go to bed and set an alarm clock so that you don’t sleep for too long – 15 to 20 minutes maximum, and not later than the early afternoon. If you find yourself dozing in the afternoons or evenings, try to get up and do something, perhaps go for a short walk or do something active to make you feel less sleepy. Daylight and or blue light from a tablet or computer can also increase alertness if you feel sleepy in the afternoon.

Medication

In general, taking medicines for long periods to improve sleep is not a good idea and lifestyle changes are much more helpful. Although medicines that help us sleep, they are not useful for long periods because they can be addictive, can stop working after a few days, or affect sleep quality.

Some prescription medicines can also affect sleep, such as some antidepressants, painkillers and betablockers, so it is worth discussing changing your medication with your GP if your tablets seem to be causing a problem.

 

You’re in good hands

It typically takes 4 years to become a qualified osteopath, and requires over 1,000 hours of clinical training. We are also required to maintain our skills through ongoing training and professional development.

Osteopathy is a regulated profession, with all osteopaths required by law to register with the General Osteopathic Council, who ensure that all osteopaths operate to high professional standards. It is a criminal offence to claim to be an osteopath otherwise.

We are also members of the Institute of Osteopathy, which exists to promote the latest knowledge and promote best practice in osteopathy. They also produce the iO Patient Charter, based on the national quality standards of the Care Quality Commission, which we use to demonstrate our commitment to the highest standards of patient care.

These assurances exist to make sure you can be confident that, as your osteopath, we have the skills, qualifications and knowledge to help you to live a healthier life.

 

World Osteopathy Day – 22nd June

Did you know it’s World Osteopathy Day on the 22nd June?

So let’s get the message out there #OsteopathyWorks

As part of the campaign to get the message out that #OsteopathyWorks, we are asking our patients to post their positive views about their osteopath, and the benefits of the osteopathic treatment they have received, on social media using #OsteopathyWorks.

If we can get those conversations happening on social media it will provide positive testimonials which will help raise the profile of osteopathy and how we improve the health of people of all ages!

You can share your experience on any social media platform, just remember to include #OsteopathyWorks in the content.

Osteoporosis and why women should do weights

Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones more brittle and prone to fracture. Although osteoporosis can effect men and younger people, post-menopausal women are most at risk. One of the best ways to help maintain healthy bones is to exercise regularly – this encourages the bones to absorb calcium and other mineral salts that keep bones strong.

Weight bearing exercises and weight resisted exercises are best for strengthening bone and muscles and as well as helping to keep bones in good health may also reduce the likelihood of falls as you age. Weight bearing exercises are those where your body is supporting its own weight, such as walking, housework or carrying groceries. Weight resisted exercise involves pushing or pulling against an additional weight, like a dumbbell or barbell or resistance equipment in a gym.

The younger you start, the better 

Anyone can benefit from weight training but it has been demonstrate that younger women who rained using weights have stronger bones later in life, this essentially means that you can bank bone when you’re younger to help prevent fractures later in life – a kind of insurance scheme for your body. A life time of active living not only protects your bones but also keeps your heart healthy and may protect you from other diseases such as cancer and type two diabetes.

But starting at any age will help

Everyone can benefit from increasing their activity levels. Studies have shown that people who have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis can improve their health significantly thorough weight bearing exercising, the key is getting good advice on how to move well and how to self-manage.

Some more benefits

Strong muscles burn more calories, so if you need to control your bodyweight, lifting weights can help. It also helps with balance and can help you to regulate your sleep patterns.

‘I don’t want to look muscled’ 

It takes women a lot of heavy weight lifting, and sometimes the use of controlled substances like steroids and hormones, to achieve the physique of the heavily muscles power lifter. Women don’t normally have enough testosterone in their bodies to develop bulging muscles, but can, with regular, moderate training achieve lean, toned and strong muscles.

‘I hate gyms’

No problem. There are plenty of other exercises you can do that don’t involve a visit to the gym. Dancing, Yoga, tennis, Pilates, walking, running, gardening and even housework count – all you are aiming to do is increase your heart rate and make yourself feel a little warmer. You can do it in several short blocks of 15 minutes  or more but aim for at least a total of 150 minutes per week over at least 5 days per week for the best results. If you’re unused to exercise, start slowly and build up to this target.

‘I don’t know where to start’

This is where your friendly local osteopath can help. We can screen you for any health concerns that might affect your ability to exercise, help to resolve any injuries or pain that might be holding you back an advise you on what exercises might suit your goals best. We can give advice on how to exercise correctly, avoiding injuries and how to gradually build up as your ability and fitness levels improve.

Share your experience #Osteopathy Works

Let’s get the message out there #OsteopathyWorks
As part of the campaign to get the message out that #OsteopathyWorks, we are asking our patients to post their positive views about their osteopath, and the benefits of the osteopathic treatment they have received, on social media using #OsteopathyWorks.
If we can get those conversations happening on social media it will provide positive testimonials which will help raise the profile of osteopathy and how we improve the health of people of all ages!
You can share your experience on any social media platform, just remember to include #OsteopathyWorks in the content.