Dealing with Pregnancy Pains through Physiotherapy

There are a lot of changes in the body before, during, and after pregnancy. It’s not only the hormones that change but it’s also the body parts themselves. These body changes can come as a shock to you or you might barely feel them at all, but it is best to be prepared for whatever that can happen during the whole cycle of your pregnancy.

When a friend of mine got pregnant, she noticed that there were a lot of times that she experienced pain in her lower back. I told her that this was because her body is not used to the extra weight she is carrying and that her center of gravity is shifting. If before it used to be only in a straight line, now that her tummy is bulging her posture somewhat curves to the back to balance the weight in the uterus. There are other changes in the body that she experienced and some are muscle cramps or tightenings, pelvic pain, and of course, stress. Although stress cannot be fully treated since it is a natural reaction of the body, the pain she felt on her lower back and pelvic area was treated with the use of physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy is also called physical therapy and it is mainly associated with exercises and massages to heal muscle pains and injuries. This can also be applied to pregnancy because pregnant women also experience these things just in a different way. Going back, what my friend did was to search for clinics that are experts at pregnancy physiotherapy. She then searched Capital Physiotherapy since it turned out that Capital Physiotherapy was one of the more famous clinics in this field.

The clinic had a number of services and some of them include: prenatal and postnatal wellness, postural corrections and massages. When my friend got to the clinic, they assessed her before recommending a pregnancy physiotherapy session. As she was experiencing back and muscle pain, she was recommended general physiotherapy sessions. There was also a brief check-up to further diagnose her condition.

So my friend was describing what happened during her physiotherapy sessions. What usually occurred was a physical therapist asks which part of her body was aching and if there weren’t any she was given exercises to prevent further pains. She claims that preventive measures on bodily changes were helpful since her body was able to adjust even before her baby got heavier and she, in turn, felt more at ease than uncomfortable.

Aside from exercises that helped her body adjust with the added weight and the change in center of gravity, her physical therapist also gave massages at times to loosen up her muscles. She claims that when a woman is pregnant, there is a tendency that the hormone relaxin is produced. Relaxin occurs naturally to women during pregnancy because this helps ligaments loosen up a little bit to make them more flexible to accommodate the baby.

Another aspect of physiotherapy was posture correction. I mentioned earlier that when my friend got pregnant, her center of gravity changed. It no longer was in a straight line and since the weight is in her stomach area, her back had to bend a little bit back to counter this change. Because of this, further back pains are caused and her posture was potentially at risk to be like that even after pregnancy. To prevent this, pregnancy physiotherapy was necessary to make changes in the posture that will not lead to anymore back or pelvic pains.

If you are experiencing the same thing or are worried that these pains might happen to you (more often than not that it will) it is best to consult a physiotherapy clinic immediately to prevent any further discomfort during your pregnancy.

Tips to Preparing for Your First Drum Lessons or Any Music Lesson

There are many among us who love to listen to music. I know I do. It’s one of those things that many of us simply cannot do without. But did you know that taking up music lessons such as drum lessons for beginners and experts or any other musical instrument is actually a lot better than listening to music alone? True, listening to music has a lot of health benefits. But, actually playing a musical instrument to create melodies and rhythms further improves these health benefits. And I’ve seen first-hand just how much playing music can improve a lot of our selves, especially playing drums. If you would also like to start benefiting from playing the drums, then you may want to really prepare for it. If you’re nervous because it’s your first time, don’t worry because I’m going to share with you how to prepare for drum lessons to make it very interesting and enjoyable for you.

Always come with questions as well as new materials.

I found out that teachers prefer students who don’t have the experience or may lack the necessary knowledge about the things they are supposed to be learning. I find it rather amusing since the mere fact that you are going to take up drum lessons, then we should assume that we know nothing, right? Why on earth would you want to take up lessons when you already know what you’re doing? The implication is for you to ask your teacher about a lot of things. You are not there just to stand and listen to your teacher’s instructions. The important thing to understand is that you should always ask your teacher about things. Don’t worry if you sound stupid but you are simply accepting the fact that you know nothing about this activity, which is why you are asking questions. And teachers like students who ask. It goes without saying that we must be pretty familiar with our own skills. We must be ready to accept our own shortcomings and be able to talk to our teacher about this so he’ll know what to do. For instance, if you clearly don’t know how to hold the drum sticks properly, then we could talk to our teacher about this. If there’s one particular song we would like to learn, we can also talk to our teacher about this. The point is, if we are willing to learn, then we must be willing to ask questions that will help us learn.

Ask your teacher for homework.

If you really want to prepare for your drum lessons, do it proactively. This simply means, even before you start with your actual lessons, then you need to ask your teacher about homework assignments before the actual lessons can begin. For instance, you can ask about any specific book that you may need to buy or even techniques that you have to practice first before your first drum lessons. You can also ask about YouTube videos or any other online content that the teacher often uses in his lessons or even to help students better prepare for their drum lessons. You can write any of your teacher’s instructions, tips, materials, tricks, page numbers, and even song links which may come in handy when practising. If your teacher recommends some practice materials for you, make sure to perform them before moving on to the next difficulty level of difficulty.

Commit to your daily schedule.

The key to learning is commitment, whether it is drum lessons or even academics. Most drummers I know practise at least 20 minutes every single day even before they head to the music studio. This is a lot better than warming up for one hour before the actual drum lessons. This simply means committing 20 minutes of your daily schedule just for practising. Say, if you have committed to practise every 8 in the evening, then make sure to stick to this schedule. If you watched a YouTube video on drumming, then devote 10 minutes for that so you’ll be extending your practise sessions to 30 minutes. Understand than when we say 30-minute practise sessions, it’s the actual 30 minutes playing your drums and not 10 minutes preparing, 10 minutes playing, and 10 minutes resting while on your drum set.

Get ready with your materials.

It is critical to organise your drum materials at home so you’ll be ready anytime. From your drum set to the supplies that you’ll need to practise, it’s advisable to have them organised in just one place. This also means that if you have to take your drum lessons paraphernalia with you every time you attend your lessons, make sure to put them back in their respective places upon returning home.

Drumming can bring you a lot of benefits. Trust me, I know. And to help you prepare for your drum lessons, just remember these tips I shared with you and you’d be drumming your way to a better you.

5 Reasons Why You Should Go To Meditation Class

Meditation was once upon a time reserved for Buddhist monks. However, it is not really limited to a specific religion or spiritual belief which is why slowly, it became more mainstream. Nowadays, ordinary people like you and me are able to discover and enjoy its many benefits.

I have, of course, heard of meditation before, but I didn’t really find a reason before to actually try it. Good friends of mine have begun to go regularly, though, and have invited me to join them on a relaxing meditation class in Bendigo. According to them, I could change my life by incorporating this into my routine.

In order to convince me, they gave me five simple reasons why I should try it out:

1. Your health will improve

Although this is not some exercise or diet, meditation could still contribute to better health, as proven by research. Practitioners lower their blood pressure and decrease their risk of heart disease and stroke. Other studies have also shown that chronic pain is lessened, as well as levels of stress in cancer sufferers. Those with fibromyalgia see reduced symptoms too.

Moreover, cortisol levels went down when one regularly goes for sessions. High levels of this hormone can actually make the immune system weaker and slow down the body’s natural healing process. Lastly, there have been studies that hinted that meditation can help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.

2. You can sleep better

By doing a 30-minute session can already help you sleep deeper, making you feel more refreshed and energized even if you had fewer hours of slumber. Additionally, those who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome might find relief in meditation.

You might also start to have more vivid dreams, and remember them better upon waking up.

3. You will feel less stressed.

There are many reasons why people try out meditation. One of the most popular reasons is to learn to detach from the stresses of life. Nowadays, with the constant stream of information, negative energy is all around. Moreover, smartphones mean that you never really leave work, increasing the pressure and blurring that line between personal time and work.

Not only is meditation well-known as a means to reduce stress, this is also backed up by research as being advantageous to all age groups. New research by Stanford University and UCLA explores how meditation and mindfulness techniques can help children reduce stress and anger. Even teenagers have been proven to see improvements in mood disorders and depression.

Practitioners report that not only do they feel more relaxed, but they are also able to handle themselves better in tense situations that would previously rattle them. They feel more aware of themselves as well, resulting in a sense of calm and wellbeing. This self-awareness can help you identify whatever negative patterns you have in your life and introduce a more positive one, further reducing stress and anxiety.

4. You can concentrate better

By learning to tune out external stimuli, you are actually improving your concentration. At the same time, you become more aware and able to keep focus much longer than before. In fact, researchers at Harvard Medical School have seen changes in the brain structure, specifically in areas linked to attention and processing of sensory input. Other research also showed increased ability in staying focused on tasks, faster reaction, and better psychomotor response.

Research at the University of Wisconsin has recently suggested that beyond improved attention, meditation changes how the body allocates mental resources.

5. You become more creative

Surprisingly, meditation triggers parts of the brain associated with creativity. There are ways of meditating that promote a synchronized left and right hemisphere of the brain. This is commonly seen as well in moments of inspiration or while doing something creative. In Taiwan, where a study was conducted to identify effects on creativity, IQ, attention and anxiety, researchers have found that creativity has seen the most improvement.

With such advantages, it was very difficult for me to decline their invitation. This is also because I have personally seen my friends enjoy these benefits themselves. From being a group of friends who struggled with life’s day-to-day struggles and lacked the energy except to complain, I could see them looking and feeling lighter.

I was encouraged and have decided to join them. For me, meditation is a form of mental exercise. In the same way I went to the gym to work out my body, I would go to these sessions to have better control of my emotions and be aware of certain thoughts and feelings that come up regularly. By learning how to let go of these and concentrate on stilling my mind, I started to find my peace. In fact, beyond these 5 benefits stated, the greatest one has to be this feeling of freedom from the heaviness and negativity that seems to be normal these days. Instead, I have a better place to go, all thanks to meditation.

Rehabilitation from Injury through Physiotherapy

When you experience a traumatic accident, you face a long and difficult road to recovery. From experience, I know how painful it can be and that rehabilitation is the most challenging part of it.

Right after my accident, I was still under so much soreness. However, I did not want to simply rely on pain relief medicines. Not only is it unhealthy, these medications can be addicting as well. I was determined to find another way to recover, so I began to ask my doctor for recommendations.

To help me, he recommended me to Russell Thompson, a physiotherapist from Wyndham Rehab in Werribee, explaining how his expertise can help me rehabilitate from my injury. Grateful to have found a better way than medication, I made an appointment immediately.

In my first visit, the physiotherapist interviewed me about my injury and my current symptoms. He then proceeded to explain the treatments that they use as part of rehabilitation:

1. McKenzie Spinal Management

This method is actually a full process from assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of musculoskeletal problems. To treat these conditions, the McKenzie Method uses the body’s ability to repair itself without the use of any medication, cold, heat, needles or even surgery. Through exercise based on their principles, patients can manage their own symptoms and achieve full recovery.

2. Dry Needling

Also known as intramuscular stimulation (IMS), dry needling is a technique for relaxing muscles that have become overactive. These muscles contain trigger points. With the use of needles like in acupuncture, the physiotherapist will target these points, activating them without the use of any substance or medication.

3. Pilates

Clinical Pilates uses a variety of exercises to train core muscles through body movements. These muscles are important to make your spine stable when you move. Retraining them is a very important part of rehabilitation because it reduces the chances of future injuries as well.

4. Joint Mobilization/Manipulation

Injuries can lead to joint stiffness or locked joints, and you can experience a lot of pain when you try to move them. Therefore, mobilization techniques are necessary to achieve normal joint motion without aches. An experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist can help make this happen. In comparison to older methods, they use much gentler ways that do not cause any more throbbing. They will also make sure to avoid overstretching because this will cause instability or hypermobility.

5. Manual Handling Training

Sometimes we do not realize how wrong lifting practices can really hurt us. This can bring a lot of pain or even cause damage to our backs and other parts of the body. If you have undergone an injury, you can severely worsen it by not learning better manual handling techniques. Your physiotherapist can guide you on how you can handle heavy equipment.

6. Spine Function Restoration Program

This is a program where there physical training is integrated into your daily activities (including work and leisure), supported by individual case management, as well as psychological counseling. Lectures on related topics like anatomy, pain and others are also done to educate patients on pain management and how to develop coping skills.

7. Sports Taping

Also known as kinesiology taping, this method includes the application of stretchy, therapeutic tape on areas that have been injured or have experienced swelling. First of all, this can help relieve any pain that the patient is experiencing through relieving pressure on the area. Secondly, swelling can be greatly reduced by providing negative pressure. This allows the lymphatic drainage channels to be able to drain the swelling away from the injured area. Third, the tape provides support to muscles that have undergone damage.

8. Sports and Therapeutic Massage

This kind of massage is more aggressive than ordinary ones, using different modalities like remedial massage and deep tissue work. They can also utilize trigger point therapy and cross fiber techniques. The goal is to help patients get back to full mobility as quickly as possible.

9. Spinal Strengthening and Stabilization

Injuries can cause our spine to become destabilized. This can cause a lot of pain. Spinal strengthening and stabilization exercises target weak muscles in the spine. These can include mobility exercises for stiff muscles, strengthening movements for loose ones, and postural training to enable normal movement. Your physiotherapist will design the training based on your injury.

In fact, your clinic has quite a few methods to help you recover and get back to full health and mobility. If needed, even home care is available. They work with doctors in order to achieve the patient’s goals, bringing with them their expertise in human anatomy and exercise. This way, they ensure proper healing of injured areas and making them stronger than ever before, so that future damage can be avoided.

As I have personally experienced, their care and expertise have helped me in my rehabilitation without needing medication. After all, my goal is not to just avoid pain, but to be, like Wyndham Physio and Rehabilitation’s mission, “active through life.”

Pregnancy Acupuncture – Exploring the Benefits

One of the most important milestones in any woman’s life is being able to conceive a child and bring him or her into this world. For many pregnant women, it is one of the most difficult challenges they will ever face because they will be confronted with a lot of physiologic changes as well as mental health issues related to the pregnancy. There will be changes in the way they look at themselves especially when their tummies already start sticking out from their bodies. And while many pregnant women relish these changes, some find it a little bit inconvenient. The different symptoms associated with pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting, sleeping difficulties, lower back pain, and even depression are sometimes enough for women to consider not getting pregnant again. As such it is important to be able to manage these symptoms of pregnancy to make the whole experience more pleasant.

Personally, I don’t recommend popping a pill to relieve a really bad headache or manage the morning sickness that you get. This is especially true in the first 3 months of pregnancy as the different organs of our babies are being formed inside our wombs. If we introduce chemicals of any form by this time, there is a very strong chance that these molecules will adversely affect the growth and development of the baby inside the womb. You may see your baby as being normal on ultrasound but he may already have a congenital defect lurking inside.

When I got pregnant I visited a Melbourne clinic that specialised in pregnancy acupuncture. This is basically acupuncture for pregnant women. As there is fertility acupuncture designed to help women improve their chances of getting pregnant, pregnancy acupuncture is more aimed at helping women retain their pregnancy, see them through delivery, and manage the different symptoms associated with the physiologic and psychological changes of pregnancy.

If you are already familiar with acupuncture then you already know that the idea is to stimulate certain points in the body, using very fine and highly sterile acupuncture needles, which correspond to the body organs that need to be helped. While Traditional Chinese Medicine explains acupuncture as the reestablishment of a balance in the flow of chi – the life energy within and around us – modern medicine has a more logical explanation to it. The needle point insertion stimulates the nerve endings which, in turn, send electrical signals to the brain. These electrical signals are interpreted and processed by the brain to elicit a particular response primarily the release of natural endorphins as well as other neurotransmitters.

It is this release of neural substances that is helping pregnant women get through the many symptoms associated with pregnancy. Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, and other discomforts associated with pregnancy are effectively managed by the release of natural opioid-like substances in the brain. These natural brain chemicals block the transmission of pain impulses so that you will not have to feel the pain anymore. This works like getting morphine for very severe pain. The good news is that, you get the maximum analgesic benefit without the side effects and the danger of addiction.

Pregnancy acupuncture also works in the management of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, more popularly known as morning sickness. Nausea and vomiting is caused by an elevation in the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin especially in the first 2 months of pregnancy. This is needed to make sure that your pregnancy will reach full viability. Without the HCG, it will be quite impossible to progress with the pregnancy. There are medications used for morning sickness. However, since this occurs in the first trimester, it is generally considered a big no. Acupuncture performed on the wrist has been shown to mitigate the nausea and vomiting experienced by pregnant women.

One out of 4 pregnant women become depressed at some point. Luckily for me, I don’t have to worry about that. But for a quarter of the pregnant population, getting depressed during pregnancy can be devastating. This can also have a negative effect on their babies. Acupuncture can help release the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain to help improve overall mood. These neurotransmitters are known to provide a general sense of well-being so you will feel a lot better about yourself.

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of acupuncture in pregnancy is its ability to improve tissue oxygenation and nutrition to the uterus and the placenta. The placenta is essentially the lifeline of the foetus and which is attached to the wall of the uterus. Oxygen and nutrients from the mother are delivered to the placenta which delivers them to the foetus via the umbilical vein. The foetus uses the oxygen and nutrients to grow and, in exchange, sends metabolic by-products to the placenta via 2 umbilical arteries for elimination. It is very important to have adequate blood supply to these organs so that the foetus will be able to grow and develop to maturity.

Acupuncture in pregnancy has a lot of good benefits. Not only is it safe, it is also effective in managing the different symptoms of pregnancy. More importantly, however, is that acupuncture helps make sure that our babies grow healthier inside our wombs during the entire nine months.

Should you want to read more health-related topics, click here. Being exposed to the latest trends in healthcare and wellness is definitely a great advantage.