Tips and tricks for new Mums!

by (Remedial Massage Therapist)

In my time as a Massage Therapist I have come across many ladies with what I call ‘Mum Posture’. It wasn’t until I became a Mum and started living the day to day life first hand that I realized the full extent of what causes this.

From breastfeeding your little one, to carrying them on your hip for hours and forever hanging over the cot trying to get them to nap. This combined with lack of sleep or time to recharge our own batteries, it is no wonder our bodies end up tired and sore.

When our shoulders are hunched this has a follow on effect on our pec, back and neck muscles causing pain and sometimes headaches.

In keeping with the theme of Mothers Day I thought I would share with you a few stretches to help with that ‘Mum Posture’. I’ve also shared some tips I’ve discovered along the way and things you can do to help yourself!

STRETCHES

Sarah Pec Stretch

Mum Stretch #1 – Pec Stretch and Thoracic Rotation

This is a handy stretch to do anytime you are feeling hunched over. Grab a broom stick and bring it up and over your head. You will feel this stretch … read more »

Stress, Anxiety and Breathing.

by (Remedial Massage Therapist & Pilates Instructor)

Have you ever sat down for 10 minutes and tried controlling your own breathing? This could be a very beneficial exercise if you suffer from stress and anxiety.

When we are feeling stressed our breathing rate and pattern can change as a result of the ‘fight or flight’ response, controlled by the sympathetic nervous system. To relax, we need to activate the parasympathetic nervous system also called a ‘rest and digest’ response. Fortunately we can control our own breathing. Scientific studies have shown that controlling your breathing can help manage stress and stress related conditions. Breath control is also used in practices such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and some forms of meditation.

An anxious person may take small, shallow breathes, using their shoulder and chest muscles instead of their diaphragm to breathe in and out. Shoulder breathing may also cause tight and over-active muscles and lead to pain and dysfunction of the neck and shoulders.

Shallow, shoulder breathing can disrupt the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body. In addition it can also prolong the feelings of anxiety by making the physical symptoms of stress worse. Controlling your breathing can help improve some of these symptoms.

When are … read more »

R U Ok?

by (Clinical Psychologist)

The R U OK? Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to encouraging all people to regularly and meaningfully ask ‘are you ok?’ to support anyone struggling with life. It was founded by Gavin Larkin who wanted to create a world without suicide after experiencing the suicide death of his father, Barry Larkin.

The “R U OK?Day” is a national day of action on the 11th September, dedicated to reminding people to check in with family and friends. Regular, face-to-face conversations can help people feel valued and supported. Research links supportive social relationships and a sense of social connection with protective factors in suicide prevention. So reach out to someone you care about and ask them, ‘Are you ok?’

You don’t have to be an expert to support someone going through a tough time. You just need to be able to listen to their concerns without judgment and take the time to follow up with them. Here are some simple steps to start a conversation:

1. Ask R U OK?
  • Start a general conversation; preferably somewhere private
  • Break the ice with a joke
  • Build trust through good eye contact, open and relaxed body language

‘What’s been happening? How are you going?’ read more »

Lisa Hardman

by (Clinical Psychologist)

Dr Lisa Hardman is a qualified and registered Clinical Psychologist who completed her Professional Doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2000. She also has degrees in Arts and Honours degree in Science (Psychology). Lisa is a member of the Australian Psychological Society’s College of Clinical Psychologists and the Victorian Branch of the Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy.

Lisa specialises in providing Cognitive Behavioural Assessment and Treatment and Brief Solution Focused Interventions for a variety of mental health issues. These include anxiety, depression, stress, serious mental illness, trauma, grief / loss issues, self-esteem issues, relationship issues, chronic health conditions and chronic pain management.

Since graduating, Lisa has worked for Eastern and Southern Public Mental Health services. She spent over 4 years working within a crisis psychiatric team and currently works for a Primary Mental Health Service. Lisa was also employed at a private chronic pain management clinic for several years and was able to develop specialist chronic pain management therapy knowledge and skills over that time.read more »