Cold Therapy and Breathing Our Way To Less Stress

by (Osteopath)

Cold Therapy & Breathing Our Way To Less Stress!

Cold TherapyWith the global covid-19 pandemic taking the forefront of our lives this year, we can see the implications that an increased stress can take on our health, relationships and many other facets of our lives. Many of us manage try to manage our stress differently, from walking more, working out more or taking up meditation and mindfulness practices to name a few.

I came across a man named Wim Hof a year ago, a Dutch man nicknamed “The Iceman” who is known for breaking a number of records related to cold exposure including climbing Mt Kilamanjaro in shorts, running a half marathon above the Artic Circle barefoot, and standing in a container while covered with ice cubes for 112 minutes.

Wim has made it his mission to share his learned methods, “The Wim Hof Method” to the rest of the world to enable you to take control of your thoughts, emotions and your body. Built on three fundamental pillars of BREATHING, COMMITMENT and CONTROLLED EXPOSURE TO COLD.

The breathing method in itself will be very beneficial even if you don’t take a cold shower, as it helps to regulate the body. … read more »

Diaphragmatic Breathing

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Diaphragmatic Breathing

What is the Diaphragm?

The Diaphragm is the most efficient muscle of breathing. It is a large, dome-shaped muscle located at the base of the lungs. Your abdominal muscles help move the Diaphragm and give you more power to empty your lungs. When you become stressed or anxious, your breathing will become shallower. This means that the Diaphragm will not function as well as it should and the accessory muscles of breathing – which are located in your neck and chest – will do most of the work.

This can leave the Diaphragm weakened and flattened, causing it to work less efficiently, as well as the neck and chest muscles being overworked.

What is Diaphragmatic Breathing?

Diaphragmatic breathing is intended to help you use the Diaphragm correctly while breathing to:

  • Strengthen the Diaphragm
  • Decrease the work of breathing by slowing your breathing rate
  • Decrease oxygen demand
  • Use less effort and energy to breathe
Diaphragmatic Breathing Technique

Lie on your back on a flat surface or in bed, with your knees bent and your head supported. You can use a pillow under your knees to support your legs. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other just

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Progressive Muscle Relaxation

by (Osteopath )

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION

Now, I want you to release your shoulders from your ears, unclench your jaw and take a deep breath in, and now, out. Did you realise that you were EVEN carrying tension in these areas and, do you know for HOW long you were tensing for? If you answered no to both questions, then Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) may be the perfect tool for you to become more aware of how your body responds to stress, anxiety or fear. PMR is a relaxation sequence of tensing an area of the body for 5 seconds and relaxing for 10 seconds. Like with learning any new skill, the more practice you do, the better you will become at noticing how your muscles react to stress and, most importantly, how to train them to respond differently!

 

Progressive Muscle Relaxation setup

TIPS

  • Tell your muscles to ‘let go’or ‘relax’
  • Schedule practice into your diary!
  • Be comfortable: sit in a supportive chair, wear loose clothing, take your shoes off
  • Minimise distractions: Dim the lights, mute your phone and pop away in another room
  • If you have any physical injuries, please consult a Stay Tuned practitioner or your doctor before beginning

 

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE read more »

Posture, Breathing and Arthritis

by (Osteopath & Exercise Scientist)

Osteoarthritis (OA)

OA is a group of chronic, degenerative conditions that effect joints (also known as Degenerative Joint Disease and osteoarthrosis). Arthritis means – inflammation of the joint but OA is more degenerative than inflammatory.  OA is the most common form of arthritis.

What happens to the joints in OA?

With repeated stress the cartilage in the joints initially thickens, then eventually breaks down, softens and becomes thinner. Later the underlying bone undergoes changes and becomes worn from contact of bone on bone.  Micro-fractures and cysts can appear which weaken the bone.  To support the joint, new bone is laid down at the edges of the joint and bony spurs occur which restrict movement.  These bony spurs can painfully compress nerve roots.

Symptoms:

Initially this is painless but the end result after a period of time is pain, bony enlargement and restricted mobility.

Where does OA occur?

Common locations of OA are in the hand, spine, hip and knee. Reduced pain and mobility are usually noticed in the morning or after periods of immobility and may improve as a person gets moving.  Nerve pain can also occur if nerves are irritated by bony spurs.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of OA can be … read more »