Monday, 3 December 2012

Could having a pet be good for your health?

We all know that we can have a love hate relationship with our pets; one minute they’re covering your freshly cleaned carpet with muddy paw-prints and the next they’re showering you with affection. However, there is no denying the various health benefits to pet ownership.
Here’s how having a pet could make you healthier:
·         Reduced blood pressure. Research has suggested that stroking and playing with a pet lowers blood pressure. A study of people who worked in a stressful environment revealed that high blood pressure was lower among those who were pet owners. Of course, you have to like animals for this to ring true as a fear of pets would be more likely to have the opposite effect on blood pressure.
·         Recovery from illness. It has been shown that pets have the ability to help heart attack patients and patients who have a pet at home tend to live longer. Pets can also serve as a loyal support system to bed-ridden owners as they provide them with comfort and companionship and that often results in a quicker recovery. Dogs, in particular have been known to minimise the symptoms of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
·         Social enrichment. Whether it’s a dog that follows you everywhere or a cat that just loves to be stroked, pets provide a constant stream of social interaction. Pets can also be great ice-breakers and conversation openers when meeting new people.
·         Being active. Having a pet that needs walking twice a day (I’m thinking more specifically of dogs here) is a great reason to get out of the house and get some much needed exercise. Not only will you feel better but you are helping to improve your posture and fitness.
·         Happiness. A pet can help us to cope with difficult situations in life such as pain and loss; they have even been known to help people suffering from depression. Some psychologists use pets in their therapy sessions as stroking an animal elevates serotonin levels in the brain. The unconditional love expressed by a pet can be a great self esteem booster and can work wonders against loneliness and isolation.

So if you are being pestered to buy someone you love a pet this Christmas, it might not be such a bad idea after all!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Don't be a couch potato this Christmas!

Let’s face it, it’s cold outside and when it’s cold all we want to do is cuddle up on the sofa with a nice hot drink and a mince pie (well it is almost December)! However, as well as not being particularly good for your waistline, becoming a couch potato could also be damaging for your back.

36% of people in Britain suffering with back pain say that their pain is triggered by sitting for long periods of time. Sitting for extended periods of time puts almost twice as much pressure on the back as standing and with most sofas offering little or no support for the back the effect on posture can be long term.

So while we snuggle up on the sofa with a cheesy Christmas movie follow these simple tips on looking after your back:
  • ·         Switch positions. You should alternate between sitting on the sofa and sitting on the floor with your back rested firmly against the base of the sofa to keep your posture upright.
  • ·         Variety is the spice of life. Try to have a range of chairs available so that you don’t always end up on the sofa; a sturdier chair for example will support your lower back more effectively.
  • ·         Take a break. Get off the sofa at regular intervals (even if it’s only to make a cup of tea) and walk round the house to stretch your muscles.

Above all else, if you can bear to leave the comfort of your lovely warm home try to get some exercise and go for a walk and some fresh air.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The Back Pain Show 2013

The Back Pain Show is the UK’s largest annual gathering of people living with back pain. Taking place at Olympia, London on 22nd – 23rd February 2013 the event is a great place to meet people and get advice.

There will be experts on hand, who will host seminars and demonstrate relaxation techniques as well as shopping and innovative new products on display.

If you register now tickets are free saving £10 per person if bought on the door.

To register for free tickets or to find out more go to

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Christmas is all wrapped up at The Wellness Hub

Fed up of getting the same gifts every Christmas? Ready to scream if you get one more pair of socks? Well worry not; The Wellness Hub is here with the answer to all your Christmas prayers...

This Christmas we are pleased to introduce our aromatherapy massage packages; starting from just £25 for a 30 minute session. All gift packages will be presented in a mug with a gift card and a sachet of warming hot chocolate. And as if that isn’t enough, for every 5 treatments you buy the 6th will be completely free!

Every family has “the one who is impossible to buy for” so what better gift than the gift of total relaxation this Christmas?

If you want to know more about our Christmas packages or you want some inspiration for gift ideas pop in or give us a call!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Movember at The Wellness Hub

November has become Movember at The Wellness Hub. Up and down the country men are joining in with the Movember effort and donning a wild array of wacky and wonderful moustaches. This is all part of a worldwide campaign to raise not only funds for but also awareness of men’s health and specifically prostrate and testicular cancer.

Movember kicked off on the 1st of November where each participant or Mo Bro as they are known for the month began with a clean shaven face, they will then spend the rest of the month growing and grooming a moustache. The size and shape of the moustache is the choice of the Mo Bro but it must not become a beard or a goatee; moustaches only!

Jez is taking part and will be sharing his Movember journey with you all before and after pictures.

To donate to this great cause visit and search Jeremy Procter.

Have a great Movember everyone!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Should I try acupuncture?

Q – I suffer with terrible lower back pain when I have my period. A friend of mine suggested acupuncture but I know nothing about it. Would it help?

A - Acupuncture is an ancient form of Chinese medicine in which thin needles are inserted into the skin at certain points of the body. Acupuncture is an alternative medicine and unlike conventional treatment is not always based on scientific evidence in the way that Western medicine is.

The Theory

Acupuncture is based on the belief that life flows through the body in channels called meridians and when the life force cannot flow freely through the body this causes illness.
Some practitioners believe that acupuncture may stimulate nerves and muscle tissue, and that this may be responsible for any beneficial effects.


Acupuncture is practised to treat a wide range of health conditions including:
·         Headaches
·         Lower back pain
·         Dental pain
·         Infertility
·         Anxiety
·         Asthma

Does it work?

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) recommends acupuncture as a treatment option for lower back pain.
More scientific research is needed to establish whether acupuncture is effective against other conditions.
However, many practitioners and clients claim that the benefits of acupuncture are far reaching and even life changing.


  • Acupuncture is often used by cancer patients to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapies providing an improved quality of life.

  • Acupuncture can help treat the symptoms associated with PMS and menopause including; cramps, headaches, mood swings and night sweats.

  • Acupuncture can help strengthen the immune system by balancing the body’s energy systems.

  • Acupuncture can help provide relief from insomnia by helping to unblock any of the causes of sleep imbalance.

  • Acupuncture can help to provide emotional balance and can reduce depression, anxiety, frustration and worry. Acupuncture points have a physical and emotional aspect to their function.

  • Acupuncture can help with pain reduction by targeting specific points of the body

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Which is the right massage for me?

Q - I really want to have a massage but have no idea which kind would be best for me. What would you suggest?

A - There are a number of different types of massage, all of which have different effects, some can be invigorating and some can be relaxing.

There is a massage style to suit most needs. Below we will take a look at a few:

Swedish massage – a slightly less in-depth version of a sports massage, this is a full body massage which includes feet, lower limbs, upper limbs, neck and shoulders. A Swedish massage will increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage and for many clients this is one of the most relaxing treatments at it relieves stress in a gentle way.

Aromatherapy massage – a very gentle massage which targets specific trigger points along the body to help drain and revitalise tissues using a tailor made blend of essential oils.

Indian head massage – a deeply relaxing treatment which involves the client sitting upright whilst their upper back, shoulders, arms, head and face undergo a full massage. An Indian head massage can be very beneficial to those with blocked sinuses as it deals with the head and the face and will leave the client feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Our main aim is for our clients to leave happy and for them to get exactly what they want, with this in mind there is always room for adaptation to create a massage that suits you. 

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Q&A with The Wellness Hub

Q- I love running, both on the road and on the treadmill at the gym, but I’ve recently developed knee pain (it’s especially bad when I am running on the road). Do I have to give up running?

A -Running isn’t necessarily the best exercise choice for someone who suffers with knee problems, however, if you ensure you have good quality running shoes and avoid excessively uneven running surfaces you should be fine.

Being overweight, smoking and drinking excessively can also be disastrous for your knees. Drinking plenty of water is vital for good general and also joint health and shouldn’t be underestimated as a preventative measure.

You should ensure that any underlying problems with the mechanics of your knees are addressed as they are such complex joints and any ongoing issues can put too much strain on your knees.

Providing there isn’t any major degeneration in the joint you should be able to look forward to many more years of happy, healthy running.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Putting your best foot forward

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” – Leonardo Da Vinci

We each take between 5,000 and 18,000 steps per day and that is a lot of work for our often neglected feet. If there is a misalignment in our foot structure the constant repetition of walking can cause injuries and continued movement can aggravate these injuries.

This is where a podiatrist comes in. Podiatrists assess, analyse and treat foot and lower limb injuries, both those of a sporting and general nature. When dealing with a sports patient prevention becomes a focal point and it is essential that the podiatrist has an understanding of all potential risk factors, these include the demands of the sports, the demands of the training schedule and the level of competition and aspirations of the individual.  With a general patient there is focus upon the types of socks and shoes worn, muscle mass and lifestyle.

A podiatrist will often use orthoses which are primarily insoles that affect the foot and its intersection with the ground during walking or running. This can help with back, hip and knee pain, shin splints, achilles pain, tendonitis and heel pain. The podiatrist’s aim is to alleviate discomfort at an injury site and to prevent an injury occurring.

If your feet hurt, if they are getting an undue amount of hard skin, if their colour changes, if they are deforming or changing shape a podiatry check should be considered. Even masterpieces need a little maintenance now and again!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Pilates and your pain

Pilates is no longer the preserve of the rich and famous, it has become one of the most popular exercise regimes in the world with numerous benefits to its devotees.

Pilates can provide great relief to those suffering with various ailments; it can even be effective for those suffering with chronic back pain. Incorporating Pilates into your routine doesn’t need to be time consuming, just a few simple exercises can be effective, however, you should be sure to take instruction from a qualified professional and ensure it is appropriate for your condition.

Pilates can help to:

  • Teach good movement skills to our bodies
  • Create a balance between strength and flexibility 
  • Relieve stress
  • Improve posture
By improving the basics of posture and flexibility using Pilates and understanding why the movements are helping, patients can reep the benefits of reducing their pain and improve their fittness at the same time.

To find a qualified instructor go to and remember that you can incorporate a Pilates regime into ongoing care with a chiropractor or osteopath.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Is Winter causing your back pain?

Case Study: Once the cold weather hits my back tightens up and starts hurting.

A patient recently visited us complaining that since the weather has gotten colder their back pain has become worse. They were looking for suggestions to combat the problems of back pain during the winter months.

Many patients complain of increased pain at this time year and it is not the fault of the patient, the low meteorological pressure during the winter months has a physical impact on your joints, compressing them and making movement more painful.

Also we are less active in the cold weather and the less our muscles get used the tenser they are which causes them to ache. Even the gentlest of exercises will increase the flow of blood to the muscles which will help them to relax and make them less prone to stiffness. Exercise also releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers.

Self-management can be very effective in terms of controlling your diet and exercise; however, regular massages and physiotherapy sessions can also be very beneficial to deal with any underlying problems before they are exacerbated by the cold winter conditions.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Travelling home for Christmas....

Ok it’s a bit early to be thinking about travelling home for Christmas just yet, however, DVT can strike at any time of the year and it is worth knowing what signs to look out for and how to avoid them.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein and it most commonly occurs in the calf muscles. If a part of the clot breaks away and moves around the body it can block blood vessels and could cause heart attack or brain injury.

A journey over four hours by plane, train or car can increase the risk of DVT. However, the odds of suffering DVT are only 1 in 6000. Restricted movement on long journeys causes the blood to thicken, alongside factors such as dehydration, pregnancy or a family history of blood clots which can all contribute to the chances of DVT.

There are things we can do to avoid DVT, here we have a list of do’s and don’ts:


  • If you have a calf that’s tight or you have had an ankle injury the risk of DVT is increased, see a physiotherapist and get it treated. We find that one session is often all that is needed.
  •   Drink plenty of water as dehydration can increase your chance of getting a DVT.
  • Keep moving, stand up and move around as well as sitting and rotating feet.
  • Consider wearing flight socks, they work by minimising blood pooling in your veins to prevent DVT
  • Avoid tight clothing
  • Do not sit with your legs crossed; this will cause the blood to pool
  • Do not over indulge in alcohol as this causes dehydration.

      How do I know if I have a DVT? Sometimes there are no symptoms at all but your limb may be red hot, swollen or painful. If you think you may have a DVT you should see a doctor straight away.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

87% of young people have back ache. The other 13% don't own a computer!

It’s funny to joke, but there is a serious side and that is that excessive computer use can lead to back and neck problems.

The 3 main reasons computers cause problems:

1. Bad posture - Faulty posture is one of the main reasons we suffer from back pain. Computer screens are often below eye level and sitting continuously in the same position and hunching or slouching are very bad examples of posture which everyone falls prey to when using computers.

2.  Repetitive strain injury – Sitting in the same position and repeating the same bad posture can put strain on the back muscles and injure the spine.

3. Lack of exercise – When sat in the same position for long periods of time our muscles get cramped and this can cause pain.

 By following some basic rules we can get relief from the back pain caused by computer use:

1. Correct posture - Correct posture means, sitting straight and making sure our back gets proper rest. Yoi could put a cushion behind the back for more comfortable sitting and your legs should be firmly placed on the ground. This posture distributes the pressure equally in the body and will make sure that the spinal cord is not affected.

2. Take regular breaks – Working continuously in the same position leads to muscle stress and injury. To prevent this take a 10 minute break for every hour you sit in the same position, stretch and de-stress the muscles.

3. Exercise – There is no better way to beat pack pain than regular exercise, working out the muscles is essential to strengthen them and improve blood circulation. Regular computer users can get a hunch back and exercise helps to keep an upright posture.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Can losing weight help to heal a bad back?

Patients that are overweight may not be aware that their weight is actually contributing to their back problems. Although we do not know exactly why weight contributes to back pain, studies have shown that it does and that people who are overweight are more at risk than those who are not.

Those who are severely overweight may have problems with breathing and shortness of breath during periods of exercise which can lead to an avoidance of exercise. One of the greatest causes of back pain is a lack of exercise and so the link between excess weight and back pain is proven once more.

For those who are overweight there is additional strain on the muscles and ligaments in the back, to compensate for the extra weight the spine can become tilted and the back may lose its proper support. More seriously for those with a BMI over 25 there is a risk of developing osteoarthritis or put more simply arthritis of the spine of which one of the recommended treatments is weight loss.

So while we appreciate that we all come in different shapes and sizes simply shaving off a few extra pounds could make all the difference to your back pain dilemmas. 

Monday, 22 October 2012

Post - Pregnancy Problems

Any woman who has had a baby will tell you that getting back to normal isn’t always as easy as they’d hoped.

Here we will discuss two common problems and offer tips on how to deal with them.

Client case study 1: Still suffering from the back ache after pregnancy

We recently saw a lady who was still suffering from the back ache she had during her pregnancy six weeks after the birth of her daughter. Due to altered pregnancy posture it is common to have lower back pain during and after pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it and that there is nothing you can do about it.

Your body changes so much throughout pregnancy and if it wasn’t for the hormone induced stretch that develops in the ligaments, you wouldn’t be able to give birth at all. However, this leaves joints less protected and aches, pains and even injuries become more common.

The good news is that for an osteopath these lax ligaments makes treatment much more effective and even the most severe pain can respond really well with just one gentle treatment.

Client case study 2: Getting back into shape after two babies

Pregnancy weight is very easy to put on, but can prove tricky to lose. We are often asked what are the best exercises to tone up after birth, particularly when many women still feel fragile and achy.

If you’re breastfeeding you shouldn’t diet as you need plenty of nutrition for your baby and even if you aren’t breastfeeding a crash diet isn’t the way forward. We suggest gentle toning and as your pelvic floor and abdomen have worked very hard re-educating them would be highly recommended. A specialist physiotherapist can help devise an exercise programme that is tailored to suit your needs perfectly. 

Swimming is a great type of exercise that is gentle and effective, just try to avoid breast stroke as it is demanding on the back and hips.

The key thing to remember is that most women can return to their original shape and size it just requires effort and determination!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Osteopathy can help you through your pregnancy

While undoubtedly one of the happiest periods in a woman’s life, pregnancy is also uncomfortable and at times painful. During pregnancy enormous physical, chemical and emotional changes take place over a relatively short period of time. The body has to get used to carrying a lot of extra weight, which can impose physical strain on the organs, tissues, joints and ligaments of the body. In order for the pregnant body to adapt to all these changes it has to find new ways to walk, sit and sleep resulting with new aches and pains arising.

Osteopathy can ease some of the symptoms that arise during pregnancy including:

  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Lower abdominal pain
  •  Nausea and vomitin
  •  Heartburn

As well as easing pregnancy symptoms, an osteopath can also

  • Provide advice on breathing techniques, stretches and exercise you can do to maintain your health and wellbeing throughout your pregnancy
  • Help facilitate a trouble free birth by improving flexibility in the pelvis
  • Help the mother to recover after birth.

 Here at the Wellness Hub we provide a top to toe well-being service and can make you as comfortable as possible during your pregnancy and afterwards too if needs be.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Can good posture make you live longer?

How many times as a child were you told to stop slouching or to stand up straight? This advice could actually make you live longer. Several studies have shown that good posture can have major lifelong health benefits.

Slouching strains our muscles, ligaments and tendons, wears out our joints and bones and causes spinal injuries and arthritis. People with these ailments have poorer general health and a shorter life span.

Poor posture is becoming more common as we spend more of our days sitting behind a computer, muscle fatigue causes the spine to flex too far forward and if this becomes habit it could cause permanent structural change.

As the link between posture and life expectancy has been proved by several studies it supports what osteopaths have been saying for a long time; an unhealthy spine can cause an unhealthy body. So next time you catch yourself slouching you may want to tell yourself to stand up straight. 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Is reducing the size of your waist mad? Corset is!

On Monday the Daily Mail published an article which showed Nerina Orton (above) the owner of Britain’s thinnest waist. Her waist measures just 15.7 inches, less than 1 inch off beating the world record of 15 inches. Nerina trains by wearing her corset for 23 hours a day and she is not alone, so called ‘corset training’ has become a very popular way of shaping the waist. Burlesque star Dita Von Teese has apparently reduced the size of her waist by being strapped into a corset for days at a time.

Here at The Wellness Hub we cannot believe that anyone would think this is a good idea and would never advocate such an extreme approach. Forcing the skeleton into a new unnatural posture could mean that the ribs end up being tightened into the waist which would not allow for proper breathing.

However, while we would never condone the use of corsetry in such an extreme way it is ironic that medical corsets can be very beneficial for a bad back. Allowing the back to rest in the case of extreme spasms with a prescribed back support encourages a quick recovery.

So our advice would be that although we’d recommend you do not use a corset to change your shape they can sometimes help in recovery from severe back problems.

The full article is available here.....

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Top Tips for protecting your back when gardening

For many people gardening is an enjoyable and relaxing pass time, it also provides great exercise. However, to continue enjoying the garden you need to make sure you don’t injure yourself; our tips will tell you how:

Clothing – you should wear loose and comfortable clothing and wear supportive shoes with good grips on the soles, this avoids slipping and strained ankles. Wear clothes that will not get too damp and avoid jeans as they get too tight over the lower back.

Warm up – you wouldn’t go for a run without first warming up, the same should go for gardening. A few stretches and bending exercises will warm up the muscles and make the exercise less of a strain.

 Lifting – lift with your knees and not your back. Try to be upright with your knees bent and straighten your legs to lift. If it is really heavy then ask for help.

 Digging – this is the gardening activity which should be approached with most care. Limit the amount of time spent digging and make sure to take regular breaks, your back should be straight with your knees bent.

 Mowing – the best type of mower should be light and easy to start, also make life easy with a mower that collects the grass so you don’t have to strain yourself picking it up.

Above all else make sure you have realistic expectations of what you want to achieve and if you think you will need help, make sure you ask!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Crippled by back pain? Could it all be in your head?

Researchers have suggested that crippling back pain could merely be in our heads, that exposure to reports of back pain and its effects could actually increase the chances of getting it yourself. A leading and acceptable cause of work disability, back pain has long been considered frequent and unavoidable.

However, the osteopaths and physiotherapists at The Wellness Hub warn against thinking that back pain is a figment of people’s imaginations. In fact, most of the new patients we see complain of neck or back problems and the majority of these patients are genuine sufferers. We have patients who shuffle in to see us and who are doubled over after sitting in the waiting room, both classic signs of underlying injuries.

At The Wellness Hub we use detailed examinations to piece together the patients symptoms and reach a diagnosis, of which around 95% fit to a “classic example” of a particular type of back pain.

Back pain is one of the most common causes for loss of working days, which is why many businesses pay for their staff to visit us. Providing correct treatment resolves problems quickly and effectively.

Our advice; back pain almost always has an underlying problem at its root, so don’t think you are imagining it, come and see us straight away instead of leaving it too long. 

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Wellness Hub will get you moving!

Do you wake up feeling more Fred Flintstone than Fred Astaire?

Whether you are itching to dust off your dancing shoes for twirling and tangos around the dance floor or simply wish to feel like you could if you really wanted to; The Wellness Hub is here to help.

The services we provide can help to improve mobility and movement as well as relieving any aches and pains.

So book an appointment today and we will get you jumping and jiving in no time!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Launch!

Despite the weather, we had a great day at the launch of The Wellness Hub in Shefford on Sunday. The atmosphere was great and plenty of people turned up to enjoy mini massages and donate to The Fire Fighters Charity.

Check out our lovely new premises at the old fire station, historical and beautiful surroundings for our unique top-to-toe well-being service.

Massages and bubbly - all for a good cause of course!

The Wellness Hub team ready to start you on your journey to total well-being.

We are open and taking bookings and looking forward to seeing you very soon.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Countdown to launch.....

Hi All,

Our new Wellness Hub officially launches on Sunday 23rd September at 1.30pm at the Old Fire Station in Shefford during the Gala Day. The Wellness Hub will house an osteopath, a podiatrist, a sports massage therapist and three physiotherapists. Acupuncture is also on offer, as well as personal training for fitness starters and peak performers

The official opening by the Mayor of Shefford will be followed by mini treatments, including massage, in exchange for donations to The Fire Fighters Charity. We think this is the perfect nod to The Wellness Hub’s historical premises and the Major’s former job as Fire Chief of Shefford.

We hope you will join us for our launch and to find out more about top to toe wellbeing on your doorstep!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Relight your fire at The Wellness Hub!

A unique building for a unique top to toe wellbeing service.

We cannot wait to launch our latest branch of The Wellness Hub in the beautiful surroundings of the old fire station in Shefford.

Here at The Wellness Hub we offer a top to toe total wellbeing service. We provide osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry and acupuncture; everything you need to provide total wellbeing to your body.

By becoming proactive in creating optimal health and treating the whole person the benefits are numerous.

Benefits of the services we provide include:

  • Relieve aches and pains
  • Improve posture, resulting in less back pain
  • Improve mobility and movement
  • Help sufferers return to normal life and normal activities more quickly
  • Relieve built up tension and prevents sleepless nights
  • Enable quick recovery for athletes and sports people
  • Provide advice for the prevention of pain

The benefits of seizing control of your wellbeing are too good to ignore, so come along and relight your fire at The Wellness Hub.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Welcome to The Wellness Hub

Hi All,

We are The Wellness Hub, a multi-discipline practice based in Bedford and Shefford. We provide a top to toe wellbeing service including; osteopathy, physiotherapy, massage, podiatry and acupuncture.

This blog is to tell you about what we do, how we can help you and to share anything interesting we think you might like to know.

Our practice can help with a number of problems, more than you may think as we treat the body as a whole and not elements in isolation.

Keep coming back and there will be plenty on here to interest you.

The Wellness Hub x