This last year was a tough one, I was laid low with health issues and an injured shoulder. I was off work and I couldn’t play my guitar or maintain my usual fitness levels. I was forced to take it easy, read and watch films, and let myself rest and sleep. Not easy for someone who is usually on the go. In fact the being ‘on the go’ was partly the cause of my problems, I was too keen to get back to work after my wee septum op and rushing about doing 3 things at once when I had the accident. Lesson learned – take your time and listen to your body! Anyway, I am now getting back to normal and have a strict strength and fitness regime from my physio in order to get my shoulder fully repaired. One of the things I have missed doing is running, but it is hard to get back out there when the weather is cold, with icy winds and sleet….which is what we were still having a week or two ago. When you are a seasoned runner or biker, the weather doesn’t stop you so much. After all it’s a matter of wearing the right clothes and getting out there. Once you get going it’s usually not as bad as it appears from the warm house. (Honest!) But if you are new or returning to it, then the weather does put you off. Especially if you are returning from an … Read More
A quick update about my return to clinics after my accident last year. I am now back at Synergy on Tuesdays – 3-7:30pm and Knotstressed on Wednesdays 2:30pm- 7:30pm. Please see the Edinburgh or Glenrothes pages for full details. Please also note that I am NOT at KNotstressed on Fridays anymore, BUT, I am going to be at Synergy on Mondays from April 2-5pm. Sign up to the newsletter to be in the know about upcoming special offers to celebrate my return, and also about some packages I plan to introduce, only for newsletter subscribers.
My dog Molly turned 12 last week, which according to the ‘Dog Breed Age Calculator’ makes her 75 in human years. Of course she doesn’t know what age she is, so whilst in many ways she has slowed down and is a fairly laid back old lady dog, at other times, she can act like the silly puppy she once was. She may not go mad at leaves blowing across the park but she still ‘plays with’ the vacuum cleaner when we use it. For a while we had been treating her as an old dog, and thinking that she had really slowed down. Then when we went on holiday she seemed rejuvenated by the new places and experiences, so we realized that actually what she needs is more stimulation, not less. So we are making sure she gets her walks and we try go to different places so she gets some new ‘sniffs’. We’ve also restarted some of the hide n seek games we played with her in earlier days when we had to find ways to tire her out mentally, even after a 2-3 hour walk. Border Collies are brilliant dogs, but not for those who want an easy or lazy life! We have all heard things like having a pet reduces blood pressure, and that they keep us healthier by needing exercised and so on, but recently I came across an article that talked about the things pets can teach us about health in terms of … Read More
Photo Credit: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid As we all know, we spend about a third of our lives in bed, so, just as our posture and desk set up is important during the day, and can be the cause of various back and neck issues, how we sleep can also be a factor. A major part of this is down to the pillows we use. Often people are aware of the importance of a decent mattress and changing it every 7-10 years, but what they don’t realise is that their pillows are just as important and generally have a much shorter life than the mattress. I’ve seen many people over the years who have been plagued by neck problems and have spent alot of money seeking the perfect pillow. The problem often arises because they don’t know how a pillow should be. Those pictures of piles of fluffy, plumped pillows that look amazing in adverts for sumptuous hotels, wouldn’t necessarily be that comfortable to sleep on. Also, people aren’t aware that your sleep style also affects what type of pillow you need to have. So buying pillows in bulk on some ‘online offer’ for the whole family is probably a bad investment as they might suit one person, or none. I can speak from personal experience when it comes to pillows as I was one of those people who woke up with a sore neck, and had tried fluffy, feather filled ones which went flat in the night, … Read More
Todays post is a guest entry from my friend and colleague Orla Beaton. Orla has recently qualified as a Baby Massage instructor, and will be holding classes at Synergy where I work in Fife. So, I asked her to do a wee piece on the class. Over to Orla ….. Touch Matters It really does! Did you know that touch is the first sense that your baby develops in the womb and that nurturing touch to a baby is as vital as the air that she breathes and the milk that she receives? In parts of Africa, Asia and South America women have been massaging their babies for centuries, an art that is passed down from mother to daughter, from mother to daughter…. Here in the West we have more recently embraced Baby Massage and now in the UK it is an integral part of the support network offered to new parents by the NHS and in their communities. My journey into massage began 8 years ago when, inspired by doing baby massage with my son, I decided to venture into pastures new. From finance to complementary therapies – quite a change! So it is lovely to come full circle and offer tuition in this wonderful traditional art to mums, dads, carers and their babies via my own Baby Massage Classes called “Touch Matters”. I have been running a free class over the summer with a lovely bunch of mums and babies and can’t wait to get up and running! … Read More
What is Mindfulness? I first published this post a few years ago, but as I’ve recently been talking to clients about mindfulness and relaxation, I thought I would revisit it. People seem very stressed right now, and in need of help to deal with it. In general, people seem to spend the majority of their time brooding about the past or worrying about the future. Neither of which are very healthy or particularly useful. Mindfulness has been described as – ‘paying attention to the present moment with intention, while letting go of judgment, as if our life depends on it. The present is the only real moment we have.’ (Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness expert, more of him later) From a personal point of view, I have always been drawn to the idea of meditation, and tried it when I was younger, for about 5 minutes before I got bored. That was after seeing Billy Connolly talking about it tv. Billy made it sound fun, but I soon discovered it was hard, and being a lazy 20 something, I gave up. Later, I did dabble occasionally and as I passed a mediation centre on my way to University lectures, wondered what went on inside. I imagined lots of cross legged people, chanting quietly to themselves, or perhaps a room of utter silence. It all seemed mysterious and odd. Fast forward a few years, and I found myself discovering exactly what went on in such a class as I took a Mindfulness … Read More
Last time I looked at tips to find time for exercise and stretching and fitting it in to a busy day. This week I am looking at whether there is a better time for our bodies to exercise. I have seen articles stating that you lose more weight if you exercise in the morning, no, another says in the afternoon, oh but yet another says….hmm, seems that there are as many opinions as there are hours in the day. There have been various research projects into exercise and its impacts upon fat, muscle, brain power/learning, avoiding dementia, etc, usually using mice. The research has also looked at whether the time of day has any impact upon the benefits seen. As with so many things, there is not necessarily a distinct conclusion, other than exercise is good for all of the things mentioned, and in general we should all be doing a bit more. Apart from the research mice, who probably need a wee lie down by now. Mornings – Full of Glory? In the past, it was thought that early morning exercise burned more calories, because the person hadn’t eaten yet, but other studies suggest that we probably push ourselves harder later in the day, so while there may be an element of truth in higher calorie burning first thing, it evens out by the harder work we do later on. Other studies suggest that its not ideal to leap out of bed and launch into activity as your … Read More
I have been chatting with people lately about exercising and stretching and how to fit such things in to an already busy day. I give people stretches and suggestions for exercise as part of my treatment plan, and they often look worried and ask when they are meant to do it. Truth is, many of us won’t be able to ‘find’ time for this sort of thing, we have to ‘make’ it. Generally we probably fill our days quite happily, and everyone needs some time to relax, watch tv, read a book etc. However, it is often the other time suckers that we can make some space in – the lure of the Google search, the Facebook void…we’ve all been there. These days we can idly look at YouTube videos (yet another comedy cat must see), and not notice the minutes or even hours disappear. Its all about Rhythm… So, yes, you will need to make the time to do those stretches or go to the gym or whatever it is you choose to do, and once you do, and keep at it for a few weeks it will become less of a chore. If you can manage to fit it in with your natural ‘body clock’ ie your circadian rhythm then you will find it easier to establish a good habit, and after a while exercising regularly and stretching will become as natural as brushing your teeth or other habits you do without thinking – honest! This circadian rhythm … Read More