We all know that good posture is important but often we struggle to maintain it. Getting into a good postural position can be complicated. We often are told to ‘sit up straight’, ‘keep shoulders down’ and ‘pull your head back’. Trying to think of all of this can get confusing. For this body hack, I will show you how you can use the Shaka or ‘Hang loose’ sign as a simple cue to get into a good postural position. Continue reading to see how to do it.
If you are suffering from back pain or a lack of flexibility, then this week’s Body Hack may be the one for you. Did you know that simply massaging under your feet can help reduce lower back discomfort and can increase flexibility? Continue reading to see how to do this simple body hack.
Did you know that the position of the tongue in your mouth can affect the strength of your neck, and possible other areas of the body? When doing exercises like sit ups or exercises where you need to hold your head up, it can put extra stress through your neck leading to neck pain. There is a simple body hack you can do with your tongue that can actually help strengthen your neck and protect it from injury. Keep reading to see what to do.
I love to research the human body and find simple things we can do to help it function better. Over the years I have found lots of little things we can do help ourselves that a lot of people may not know about. I wanted to share this knowledge, so I am starting a blog series which will be short, simple body hacks you can do to help you feel, move and function better. The first one is how humming can help you de-stress. Continue reading to see what to do.
I have always said that I practice what I preach, and I do, most of the time. I aim to exercise regularly, stretch and look after my body. My diet is okay, but could be a lot better. I definitely eat more ‘bad’ stuff than I should. Recently, I saw a 10 week summer body challenge advertised and thought this will be a great opportunity to be a bit more diligent with my exercise and diet. Continue reading to see what program I am doing and the 'before' photos.
The static back position, also referred to as the 90/90 position is something that I show almost everyone that comes into see me in practice. It is a great postural reset and works for all areas of the back. In this post I will show you how to do it with a few progressions and regressions. Continue reading to see how to do it.
“Your health account, your bank account, they’re the same thing. The more you put in, the more you can take out” - Jack Lalanne.
I love this quote. It is a great way of looking at your health and well being. Take a moment to think of yourself. How is your health account at the moment? Can you afford to take anything out? How about making a goal this month to add to your health account. It is really simple to do so. Continue reading to see how you can do this.
A few months ago I wrote a blog post with some simple tips to help with a sore lower back. If you haven’t read the post you can read it here. In this post I wanted to give some simple tips on dealing with a sore neck. Most people will have neck pain at some point in their lives. With the postural changes associated with the amount of sitting we do and associated poor spinal function, it is really going to be more of a matter of ‘when’ you get neck pain rather than ‘if’ you will get neck pain. There is some overlap with the techniques for dealing with a sore lower back, but there are some differences. I hope you find it interesting. Continue reading to learn the 5 simple tips.
Picture this; you have been having a few lower back niggles, you wake up in the morning and the lower back is stiff and sore. You lie in bed and pull your knees up towards your chest then you roll out of bed and bend over rounding your back to try and touch your toes or you sit on the ground and lean forward stretching the back out. Does this sound like a normal thing to do? Or do you currently do it?
It is a common belief that if your back is stiff and sore in the morning when you wake up, you should stretch it out. Unfortunately, this is not the best practice for some lower back injuries and can put you at risk to aggravate or hurt your back. Continue reading to see why I don’t recommend this type of stretching first thing in the morning.
I was doing some study recently and came across some interesting research and information on back braces. I am often asked whether or not wearing back braces are a good idea, so I thought it would be a great topic to discuss here. Back braces are often used when people are sore or to help protect their back from injury. The information that I have learnt is that this may not actually be the case. Continue reading to see what the research shows.
In recent times, concussion has become a major talking point. More and more well-known players in many sports have been suffering from the effects of concussion. In this post I wanted to discuss a media release from the New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA) which looked at how concussion injuries not only affect the brain but also the neck upon which the head moves during impact. Continue reading to see the link between concussion injuries and the neck and how you may be able to help.
Following on from my previous blog post on non-exercise movement, I decided to look at ways to add some movement into your life. Some are simple and easy to add into your routines, others are a little harder and will require more effort. They will all help you though. Movement is life, without it we do not function well. I hope you try some of these suggestions and get your body functioning well. If you have not read the previous post, please read it here. Continue reading to learn how you can add extra movement into your day.
Our bodies are designed to move. Unfortunately, our lifestyles have become more and more sedentary and this is not good for us. We all know that exercise is important and hopefully you are all doing some sort of exercise regularly. However, it has been shown that even if you exercise 3-4 times a week, it still may not be enough to counteract the negative effects of having a predominantly sedentary lifestyle. One way around this is what is called, non-exercise movement. It may also be a way to help lose weight. Keep reading to find out what non-exercise movement is and why it is important.
Over the years I have been in practice, I have seen that a little bit of effort at home can make the world of difference when it comes to overcoming an injury or getting rid of aches and pains. As part of the way I practice, I give people exercises, stretches and soft tissue work to do at home. I would say in almost 100% of cases, people that put the effort in to do their ‘homework’, will get much better results than those people that don’t do it. Even if you don’t have a ‘problem’, a little bit of self-maintenance can make dramatic changes in the way you feel and function. There are heaps of tools and devices you can use to do these exercises. In this post I wanted to discuss 4 key rehab tools I think every home should have.
If you think of wonder woman, most people will think of her in a pose like the one pictured. This is a classic Power Pose. You may think it is just a way super heroes stand to look strong, but research has actually shown that standing in a pose like this for 2 minutes can change the way your body functions. Don’t believe it? Well keep reading to see what effect it has on the body. If it worked for Wonder Woman, it may also work for you too :)
Back pain is a very common problem that a majority of people will face at some point in their lives. The big question is, if I have back pain, what can I do to help fix it? The American College of Physicians recently issued updated their treatment guidelines for acute, sub-acute and chronic lower back pain, side-stepping medication as a first-line treatment and recommending non-drug therapies instead. It is suggested that painkillers should be the last resort. So what are these non-drug therapies they suggest? Continue reading to see what the guidelines suggest.
A majority of people will have an episode of acute back pain at some point in their lives. I see people in this condition regularly in practice. An episode of bad back pain will generally force you to do something about it, hence they go and see a chiropractor, physio or their GP etc. It is very important to get the problem assessed as pain is your body telling you that something is not right. Simply hiding the pain through medication may make it feel better but won’t necessarily fix the problem. In this post I wanted give a few tips on how you can help ease the discomfort at home after it happens and whilst you are going through your treatment program.
In my last post I discussed how bad habits are the likely cause of problems you may have and how changing this habit to a good one, can help you feel better. It is not always easy to change a habit so I wanted to discuss a method I saw on a TED talk that I thought was worth sharing. (If you haven’t seen a TED talk make sure you head over to their page and check them out here). We often know that a particular habit is not good for us, but actually making the effort to change it is the hard part. In the TED talk by Judson Brewer, he discussed mindfulness and being curiously aware as a way to help break a habit. Continue reading to see what it means and how it can help.
I once saw a quote that I loved. I went along the lines of “It’s taken a bad habit to get you to this point and it’s going to take a new habit to fix it”. I believe this runs true with most people that I see in practice. There has been a bad habit that has been present for a long time that has led to their current situation. These “bad habits” can be things like Sitting poorly at a desk, sleeping in poor positions, poor lifting techniques, poor movement patterns etc. The list could go on for ages. They key point I wanted to discuss was that you first need to identify what bad habit may be causing your problems. You can then start to make changes. Creating a habit can take a while. In fact, some research has been done that has given an approximate time frame. Continue reading to see how long it can take to create a new habit.
It is commonly thought that as we get older, our balance gets worse. Reduced balance and stability can often lead to an increased risk of falling. The New Zealand Chiropractors Association (NZCA) has recently put out a media release talking about how there is growing research to suggest that chiropractic care can have a positive effect on balance in the older population. You can read the full release here, but I wanted to discuss a few of the key findings in this blog post. They are pretty amazing.
A proper cross-crawling pattern is something babies usually develop around 6-8 months and it helps develop the connection between the left and right side of the body. Unfortunately it something that as we get older we hardly ever do. Maybe it is something we should consider adding to our daily routines? It is great for the brain/body and according some research it can even help your working memory. Continue reading to see what they found and how to do a proper cross-crawl pattern. (I couldn't help but add a photo of my daughter, Bailey, after she learnt to crawl).
Just about every day I see someone in practice who says they bent over or bent down to pick something up and tweaked their back. Correct lifting technique is no just bending your knees and using your legs. Using your legs is vitally important when picking something up off of the ground, but what about those times when getting something out of the boot of the car or off of a chair or out of from an awkward position? Sometimes you are not able to use your legs like you normally would. What do you do in these situations in order to protect your back? Well in this post I will discuss a few ways of lifting safely if you are not able to bend your knees properly. Continue reading to find out.
One of my favorite quotes from Einstein is “Nothing happens until something moves”. This quote is great from a body and health perspective, as movement is life. If you are not moving, you are not functioning well. I recently came across an interesting article that described a new understanding of how movement controls our stress response. This peaked my interest as, in general, most people have a fair amount of stress in their lives these days. We all know that prolonged stress is not good for our health, so if movement can help control our stress response, it makes moving even more important. Continue reading to see how movement is linked to stress.
A brain freeze or ice-cream headache is a fairly common thing that most people get at some point when eating ice cream or drinking an ice-cold drink. Have you ever wondered what causes them? And did you know that migraine sufferers are more likely to experience them than people who don’t get migraines? Brain freeze headaches may also share a common mechanism with other types of headaches as well. Continue reading to find out what causes them.
Water is one of those things that we all know we need but often don’t have enough. The simple fact that we are comprised of up to 60-70% water, indicates how important drinking enough water is. Water has been described as nature’s first medicine. In this post I will show you what water does in the body, how much you should actually have and describe some new research that shows how a lack of water can affect your sensitivity to pain.
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It's what you do everyday that impacts your health, not what you do sometimes.