As the legend goes, it was ancient Chinese warriors around 3000 years ago, fighting on the battle fields that first developed the idea of Acupuncture when they discovered various ailments and injuries improved when they were stabbed by arrows and swords in strange places.
The first acupuncture needles were actually SHARPENED STONES and SHARP LONG BONES!!
And you were worried about those tiny, thin needles we use in clinic!
DID YOU KNOW...that significant childhood trauma can cause a decrease or cease in growth of the pre-frontal cortex in the brain, reduced brain size and reduced neural connections!!
The picture on the left = a healthy 3 year old with an average head size.
The picture on the right = a 3 year old who is suffering severe sensory deprivation neglect. The brain is significantly smaller than average and has abnormal development in the pre-frontal cortex.
(Perry & Pollard, 1997)
The pre-frontal cortex is important for the development of personality, attention, memory and differentiation between good/bad or same/different.
* The good news is that with strong positive support system following the traumatic event, the outcomes of these patients are much better and they are much less likely to develop long term mental health conditions.
So...if you know a child that has suffered a significant trauma, give them all the love and support that you can!!!
HIT type training actually stimulates the Sympathetic nervous system & therefore activates our bodies stress response!!
For our body to be able to burn fat efficiently our Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) needs to be balanced! If we are in a constant state of stress it is likely that our SNS is dominant...
Some ways to reduce SNS activity and increase PNS activity to better support your weight loss journey:
- Reduce stimulants such as caffeine and sugar
- Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
- Swap High Intensity Training (HIT), for breath focused restorative exercises and strength training such as Pilates (HIT actually stimulates the SNS!!)
-Think about what causes your stress and if you can do anything to change this 'stressor'. If not, could you change the way you think about the stressor and therefore the way it physically impacts you?
Good posture is so important to ensure that your core muscles are activating and supporting your spine, to offload your joints...plus it makes you look taller and more confident!
Chelsie shows us an easy way to self assess your posture at home. Get the kids on board too - once we develop poor posture, it is much harder to unwind. Developing with good posture sets you up well for life.
Rectus Abdominus Diastasis (RAD or Abdominal Separation) is MORE than just a cosmetic issue.
Yes, it's true that aesthetically having a separation can reduce the tension in your abdomen and make you self conscious (particularly when the abdominals are stretched post pregnancy). But RAD can affect you even when you are really fit.
- Reduce the ability to rotate your trunk
- Reduce ability to crunch forward or perform a sit up
- Reduce your overall exercise involvement
- Increase fatigue
- Be associated with poor respiratory patterns, over-activity of the anterior neck muscles and stiffness in the thoracic spine
Melissa has just attended a training session, getting updated on the current research and management of RAD for our patients. The good news is, that the research still supports that guided Physiotherapy input can help to:
- Improve muscle endurance and tension in the anterior abdominal wall
- Over time, improve the aesthetics or 'look' of the abdomen
- Guide you back to moderate or high level exercise
Our Post Natal Check Up is a great way for us to assess you and give you the right rehabilitation for you.
When you are pregnant, a hormone called 'relaxin' softens the ligaments in your body. Ligaments attach from one bone to another at a joint line to help the muscles maintain stability at your joints. This allows baby to grow and also your pelvis to stretch wide enough for the delivery of your baby.
As a result, your muscles have to work harder to support stability around your joints. Add this to the increasing daily weight of baby, placenta and fluid and the change in your body's centre of gravity, this makes you more at risk of muscle spasm and injury.
There are a few things you can do to avoid issues:
- Take plyometric training out of your regime. It's not functional and puts you at risk of injury
- Stretch regularly to ease muscle spasm
- Heat your muscles (combined with stretching after) to relieve tension ie warm bath (not too hot that you overheat)
- Have a massage or acupuncture if you feel yourself getting 'tight'
- Listen to your body, it tends to give you signs when it's time to taper off the intensity of your exercise
- DO PILATES! This can really help to keep your core muscles strong, stretch out the problem areas and improve the position of baby all at the same time.
Our bodies switch between THREE energy systems depending on the type of exercise, intensity and duration.
The AEROBIC energy system is the most prominent system used during cardio (such as running and cycling).
Adequate oxygen in the working muscles needs to be present for this system to fully kick into gear and functional optimally...
HOWEVER there is a 'lag' time between when we start exercise and when adequate amounts of oxygen reach the working muscles (approximately 3 - 5 minutes)
This 'lag' time may manifest as fatigue and pain in the muscles which then resolves after 3 - 5 minutes leaving you feeling re-energized and better able to smash your work out!
Did you know that 'normal' tendons are very hard to tear & require a large force in people under age 30??
Katie and I headed along to the Auckland Branch of Physiotherapy New Zealand Education evening last night @aucklandgrammar to hear the latest from Dr Quentin Reeves (Radiologist) from SRG. He updated us on the role of imaging as technology improves in diagnosis of shoulder conditions.
Shoulder injuries make up around 33% of ACC claims each year in NZ!!
As tendons weaken with age (and lifestyle factors) thickening of the tendon and micro-tears can start to form in the muscle.
Tears in the rotator cuff are therefore more likely to be caused from a gradual degradation of the tendon over time that may be accelerated by repetitive activities or minor trauma.
The good news? At Parents Health Haven, our Physios are experienced in rehabilitating 'worn out' tendons and giving you the best chance at preventing major tears and long term disability.
--> Non weight bearing exercise: swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates at least 2-3 times per week
--> Massage: around the joint and surrounding muscles to reduce added tension & pain
--> Heat: the muscles around the joint - wheat pack, spa, or even a bath will help!
--> Acupuncture: to reduce inflammation and painful muscles spasm that contributes to pain
--> Maintain muscle strength: muscles support our joints and help them move. No muscles = more pressure on the joints!