Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What is physiotherapy?

Physiotherapy helps to restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability.
Physiotherapists can help people through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice. They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.
Physiotherapy is a science-based profession and takes a ‘whole person’ approach to health and well-being, which includes the patient’s general lifestyle. At the core is the patient’s involvement in their own care, through awareness, empowerment and participation in their treatment.

You can benefit from physiotherapy at any time in your life. Physiotherapy helps with back pain or sudden injury, managing long-term medical condition such as asthma, and in preparing for childbirth or a sporting event.

Physiotherapists can help to provide relief for a number of conditions including:
·         Neurological (stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's)
·         Neuromusculoskeletal (back pain, whiplash associated disorder, sports injuries, arthritis)
·         Cardiovascular (chronic heart disease, rehabilitation after heart attack)
·         Respiratory (asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis).

Physiotherapy is available at our Shefford clinic priced at £35 per session.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a form of homeopathic medicine which treats the body’s musculoskeletal system by treating not just the symptoms of the patient, but looking for the root cause of their medical problems. It promotes complete body health by diagnosing and treating the muscles, tendons and joints with the goal of improving the circulatory, lymphatic and nervous systems. The therapy is a distinctive whole body approach that balances all of the body’s systems to provide overall positive health.

Osteopaths advocate nutrition and lifestyle changes rather than medications and surgeries to effect changes in a person’s health. Many osteopaths have specialties in paediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine or gynaecology. The holistic approach of osteopathy is well recognised and accepted world -wide. Osteopaths also believe that the body functions as an entire unit together and therefore treatment for a condition should take a look at the whole person.

The objective of osteopathy is to use manual hands on techniques to improve circulation and biomechanics without the use of medications. Its main doctrine is based on the concept that all body parts operate together in an integrated manner. If a single body part is restricted due to illness or injury, other body systems will adjust their operation to compensate for this. This could lead to pain, stiffness or inflammation in these other body systems. Osteopathy helps to decrease stress and minimise pain through manipulation and mobilisation of joints, providing deep tactile pressure and stretching of the soft tissues in the affected areas.

Patients who suffer from back or neck pain, arthritis, asthma, fibromyalgia, depression, menstrual pain, or chronic pain could benefit from the services of an osteopath. Craniosacral therapy is an osteopathic technique which involves a gentle manipulation of the skull bones. This re-establishes equilibrium throughout the whole body.

Conditions that should not be treated by an osteopath are broken bones, bone cancer, osteoporosis, bone or joint infections, dislocated bones, rheumatoid arthritis of the neck, or damaged ligaments.

Friday, 22 February 2013

What to Expect: Week 16

Your baby
This week your baby is having quite the growth spurt almost doubling in weight. Your baby is now about the size of an avocado; 4-5 inches long and weighs 3-5 ounces.  Your baby definitely looks like a baby now!

Now that the bones in your baby’s ears are in place they can begin to hear your voice, many mums and dads-to-be find talking and singing to the baby a lovely way to bond. The facial muscles are developed enough for your baby to make a few expressions such as frowns and squints; this is your baby beginning to engage with you and the outside world.


You are probably starting to feel a lot better in yourself as you settle into the second trimester of pregnancy with less nausea and fewer mood swings.

Soon you will begin to feel the moment of pregnancy all mums-to-be look forward to; feeling your baby move. Some feel their baby fluttering as early as 16 weeks but it can be up to 21 weeks until you feel anything as every baby is different and does things in their own time. A lot of mums find that if they lie down still it becomes easier to feel their baby moving.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Backcare Awareness Week: 7th – 11th October 2013

Every year during Backcare Awareness Week the stresses and strains on the back due to various circumstances are explored. In 2012 the theme was ‘Builders Back Pain’ where the effects of their physically demanding work was examined in the sense of any long-term damage it may cause.
For 2013 the theme is ‘Caring for Carers’. Carers provide invaluable help and assistance to their children, friends, relatives or partners and by doing so they save the NHS vast amounts of money each and every year. What is overlooked is that the carer’s workload can lead to back pain which may compromise their ability to care.

Back pain is rife among carers and a 2011 survey showed that a massive 70% of carers experiences back or shoulder pain.

Although Backcare Awareness Week isn’t until October it is worth bearing in mind the consequences that our everyday lives can have on our bodies.

Keep visiting us as we post tips on caring for your back regularly!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

What to expect: Week 15

Your baby

A lot has been happening with your baby this week from ears that have migrated to the side of the head, eyes moving to the front of the face and wiggling toes and fingers. Your baby is kicking but it’s unusual for a mum-to-be to feel it this early on in the pregnancy. Your baby is now about the size of an orange.


Pregnancy hormones can impact on everything from teeth and gums which may be more sensitive and prone to bleeding and a blocked or bleeding nose too. These symptoms are due to the surge of progesterone in the system. Reassuringly it should all disappear once the baby is born. The good news is that throughout your pregnancy you are entitled to free NHS dental care so keeping your teeth and gums in tip-top condition couldn’t be easier.

Starting in your second trimester your baby’s getting bigger and bigger and as a consequence you are too. Slow and steady should be the aim with weight gain. Healthy eating throughout pregnancy is essential; you should try to incorporate Omega 3 into your diet if possible as this is thought to enhance your baby’s development. Oily fish such as salmon is a great source of Omega 3 but you should limit this to just 2 portions a week.

As the muscles and ligaments that support your growing uterus stretch, you may notice some pain on the lower sides of your belly. This is perfectly normal and a good sign that your baby is growing and making themselves comfortable.

If you enjoy sports and have kept active during your pregnancy you should be aware that there are a number of activities that should be avoided during your second trimester. These include; horse riding, mountain cycling and skiing.

As you are now into your second trimester you may find that it is a good time to go on holiday before the baby arrives. If you are planning a holiday try to break up the journey if you can to make the travelling more manageable.

Tips for travelling when pregnant:

  1. Be extra careful about food hygiene if you are abroad
  2. Avoid salads, ice cream and ice cubes in drinks in countries where you are not sure about the standard of cleanliness.
  3. Try not to get too hot as it’s not good for you or the baby. Be sure to protect your skin as it is more sensitive when you are pregnant.
  4. Pregnant woman are more susceptible to deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on long haul flights. Be sure to move around the plane regularly, rotate your ankles and talk to your midwife about special compression socks.
  5. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Above all else make the most of this time in your pregnancy when you are generally feeling better and enjoy preparing for the arrival of your baby.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Staying safe in the snow!

The snow is falling and while it may look pretty here is our guide to staying safe:

  • Dress in layers. Wearing plenty of layers is the best way to stay warm in the cold weather as you can peel them off should you start to heat up.

  • Wear good shoes. Think carefully about your footwear so as to avoid trips and falls which can lead to injuries. As well as keeping your feet warm and dry your shoes/boots should have good grip.

  • Stay hydrated. Although this may sound like advice for warm weather it applies in the snow too as you can lose much of your body’s water through your breath. Warm drinks will help to warm you up and rehydrate you too.

  • Take it slow. Slips, trips and falls are the most common injuries in winter weather such as snow and ice. Take your time when walking and allow plenty of time to get from A to B; you should also try to keep an eye on the pavement for particularly slippery areas.

  • Think about others. If you have elderly or disabled neighbours offer to help them by picking up essentials for them when you do your own shopping.

Remember if you do have any slips in the snow The Wellness Hub is here to help!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

What to expect: Week 14

Your baby is now around 9cm long, this is about half the size of a banana. Their fingerprints have developed and the hair on its scalp and eyebrows will begin to appear. Your baby can now pass urine and it will fill and empty its bladder around every half an hour.

At this stage of pregnancy you may find that you are starting to get a little forgetful, but don’t worry this is perfectly normal. Your baby bump may be starting to show this week and it may be time to start wearing your maternity clothes. During pregnancy the volume of blood pumping around your body increases and this can cause nasal congestion which can lead to nosebleeds. If you experience nosebleeds regularly you should speak to your doctor.

You may need to start thinking about telling your employer you are pregnant at this point. Although you are not legally required to people may start to guess and you need to make sure that your working environment is safe. Your employer can help with this.

Some mums-to-be start buying neutral baby clothes at this point, however, a good tip is to keep the tags on them in case your baby is too big for them!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Baby Massage at The Wellness Hub

Many new parents are embracing baby massage and it is becoming an increasingly popular way to bond with your new baby. Baby massage helps to soothe your baby and aid sleep. It also produces oxytocin in both baby and parent providing warm loving feelings of calm and happiness.

Beginning on 2nd March 2013 The Wellness Hub will be offering a 5-week baby massage course for parents with babies who are aged from birth to 18 months old (although once baby has started crawling it is more difficult to get them to stay still for massage). Taking place on a Saturday morning between 10.30 and 11.30 we would love to see both mums and dads there. Baby massage is a great skill to learn that will not only be a lovely experience for parent and baby but could also have long-term health benefits. 

The 5 week course costs £50.

Baby massage is gentle, rhythmic stroking of the baby’s body and can also include gentle manipulation of the ankles, wrists and fingers. Suggested benefits of massaging your baby are that they will cry less and sleep more. Also babies that suffer with trapped wind, constipation and colic may benefit from massage as focusing on their tummy can provide relief. Some studies have suggested that massage may reduce the number of illnesses baby suffers and cut down on trip to the doctors.

Skin to skin contact between parent and child not only helps to build a strong and loving bond it has also been suggested that it can improve brain development, encourage a sense of routine to their day and provide overall emotional well-being.

Just 3 examples of ways in which massage has helped soothe pain in babies:
·         Massaging the jaw can relax a baby who has just started to eat solids
·         Massaging the gums through the skin may ease the pain of teething
·         A facial massage can help to unblock a blocked nose

The best part about baby massage is once you have learnt the techniques and skills you can practice it on your baby as much as you like and also on any future babies you may have.

There are limited spaces available so book now to avoid disappointment!