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.

Hair Colour Trends: How to Choose the Best for Your Hair

The first quarter of 2016 is coming to its end in just a few weeks, which also spells the beginning of hot and sunny days in many countries such as Australia. It also means a great time to change hair colour to look better under the sun. You can find a hair colourist in Melbourne that is professional and expert in what he or she is doing.

For this year, there are several hair colours that are currently in trend among women of different ages. One is warm and buttery blonde. You can think of sandy blonds, buttery beige, and less cool blondes. Another hair colour trend 2016 is dynamic bronde or a combination of brown sugary shades and warm honey tones. In general, this year will see a trend in hair colour that is combining different shades and related colours. The stylists share that these hair colour trends are giving women a more dynamic and multi-dimensional look.

Getting your hair a new colour is something that will really make you thrilled and excited. However, you should not haphazardly choose any colour for your hair just because it is the trend. There are several factors that you need to highly consider so you will end up with the best colour and style for your hair. Below are the tips you can consider when choosing the perfect hair colour:

Are you going to have a haircut as well?

If you are also planning to have a new hair style, then you should have your hair cut first. Cutting your hair first before dyeing it is far more beneficial than colouring it first before proceeding to the haircut. One benefit is the dye will be absorbed efficiently. Another is you will be able to save on dye cost because you will need less dye to give your hair a new colour. In addition, you will also achieve the overall style that you want. You will be able to see the effect of the new color on your new hair style.

Are you planning to have a drastic change?

You also have to consider the kind of change you want to achieve. You may be planning to have a slight change just to rejuvenate or revitalize your overall look. You may also be planning to have a dramatic or drastic change maybe to impress a completely different vibe. Whichever you choose, you need to consider important things such as rules and regulation at your school or at your workplace. Considering these will avoid you from wasting effort and money.

Collect photos of trending hair colours and styles?

When deciding which colour to choose, it will greatly help you to have an actual image of the different hair colour you are considering. One way to do it is to cut photos on fashion and style magazines. You can pin them on the board or wall to have a clear look and comparison of colours. Another way is to search the Web and look at them on your laptop, desktop or electronic device like tablet. When online, you may also get information about the hair colour like the skin tones that it complements well.

Highly Consider Your Natural Skin Tone

You need to determine the type of your skin tone before you can have a clear idea of the hair colours that are perfect for you. In general, the skin tone is classified as warm or cool skin colouring. It’s easy to determine your skin tone. You just need to stand outside and let the sun’s natural light strike against your wrists. If your veins appear to be green, then you have a warm undertone. If the veins appear to be blue, then you have a cool undertone.

Be Safe With Shades of Brown

Unlike other colours such as black, blonde, and red, brown has a specific shade that perfectly fits every type of skin. Choosing brown is also far more beneficial than other hair dye colours because it requires very minimal maintenance. The hair dye kits for brown shades are also very easy to follow and won’t cause you to mess up with the colouring process. In addition, brown is great and recommended for damaged hair. More importantly, brown shades effectively minimizes tresses and breakages and reflect well when under the light.

With these tips, you can surely end up with the dye colour that is best for your hair and styling needs. You will definitely have and enjoy the colour that you want without having to worry about rules and regulations that you need to follow. Most of all, letting your hair be done by a specialist guarantees satisfaction.

Baby Steps to a Healthy Diet

Most people live their unhealthy habits quite well. From ordering the same foods from a favorite restaurant, buying junk from the grocery store, and preparing unhealthy meals every single day. These are all familiar routines and, in the wrong way, comforting. However, staying on the same route could take you to a sickly road. Hypertension and diabetes are very common these days and it is so alarming since a lot of people are getting them. You have to admit that there’s at least one person you know who suffers either condition. There is a need to kick off these nasty habits so you can finally start having a healthier life.

What Should be Done First?

In the journey towards a healthier lifestyle, the first thing to do is to recognize where you are wrong. Take a moment to literally measure the problem. Check your weight and see how unhealthy eating could either pack up extra pounds or keep your weight below normal. Consider having your blood pressure taken. Years of eating high cholesterol food may have raised your levels significantly. You may also want to have blood tests done to check for blood sugar level, and other important parameters. You will only see how serious the matter is once you are able to gauge how unhealthy you truly are.

Healthy Eating for a Beginner

Deciding to switch to a healthy diet is a smart move. For a beginner, there is a need to distinguish first what is real food. Anything processed is not real. Even canned fruits that say it’s all natural can’t be trusted. After all, there are preservatives that keep them “fresh” for months. Food is real only when they came from their natural state. Meaning, real foods are those that harvested in the ground, came from the ocean, roam the land, or has flown through the air. Those that came from the drive- through, vendo machine, or when it’s packed tightly with plastic means that they are not good for you. Therefore, the most important thing to remember when trying to be healthy is to always be smart with food choices.

To start with a healthy, balanced diet, you can try to prepare your very own eat well plate. You may want to fill in a plate with at least a serving of fruit or vegetable, starchy food like pasta, rice, or bread, then add a bit of healthy meat such as fish or egg. When you are just beginning to this type of plate, expect some feelings of upset because you are not used to it. Of course, this should be a gradual process so go ahead and treat yourself just a small amount of fatty of sugary food like a slice of your favorite dessert.

Be more mindful of what you are having for meals. Food labels are there not as decorations. Take the time to read them and don’t be surprised at what you will see. Most of the times, none of the ingredients listed are something that you recognize. They add a lot of unfamiliar chemicals to make the chips you love to munch on, or the drink you like to have for snack. This should serve as a wake-up call and encourage you not to get sad about giving up such junk.

Be specific on what you want to achieve. Whether it is for losing weight or you just want to live healthy, keep it as your primary reason for doing better with meals. There are a lot of options on how to do it too. You may plan on having healthier breakfast every day, or have fruits as snacks. Why not stay home and cook fresh meals rather than go out for fast food? Even though it means a lot of hard work on your end, you can consider it not as a sacrifice but rather as a gift to yourself.

Once you are able to adjust to a healthier food group, it is now time to teach you how to stick with your decision. Sticking to healthy food choices is possible if you are able to recognize its benefits. You may have observed some changes in your body, for sure. Notice how light you feel, how easier it is to breathe while doing physical activities, and how happier you are since you started having fruits and vegetables in your plate. These should serve as good signs and should motivate you to go on. Little by little, you can kick off the bad habit of unhealthy eating when you see the great changes.

Health Foods for Middle Aged People

Known as the prime of life, the age 40 to 65 years old is perhaps one of the most celebrated periods of man’s development. By this time, you would already have a very stable job, a stable social relationship, a growing business, and the peak of your physical and mental performance. You have attained the pinnacle of a healthy mind and body. Unfortunately, by the time you reach the half-century mark, you state of health will slowly start to decline. Your skin will start to sag. Your hair will start to turn grey or white. Your heart will become more troubled. You will begin forgetting things. Of course, you will say it’s all a part of aging. However, even aging requires some form of grace and dignity.

While you are still in the prime of your life, you may want to start investing in better health for your middle adulthood. You may want to start visiting and scouring the different Melbourne health food stores for the different and most appropriate food items for middle aged individuals. It is important to recognize that when you turn 50, your body will no longer be as efficient as it used to be. Some vitamins and minerals can actually become more important around this time because of the deteriorating status of your vital organs, primarily your brain, the heart, kidneys, and the liver as well as other major organs of the body.  Here are some healthy foods that you would want to include in your middle aged diet.

Lean Fish

Forget the lean meat as lean fish is clearly a better option. With greater amounts of omega 3 fatty acids as well as an excellent source of lean protein, lean fish such as trout and salmon should give you the protection required by your aging heart. If cannot gain access to fresh lean fish, there are fish oil supplements at your favorite health food store.

Milk and Milk Products

This is especially true among women approaching their menopausal stage. Because of the absence of estrogen, bones tend to be not able to absorb calcium more efficiently. This leads to brittle bones which can result in a host of musculoskeletal disorders such as fractures, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, among others. Among men, the impact might not be that significant. Nonetheless, bone tissue degradation do occur in men albeit through a different disease process. Just make sure to get the healthier versions of milk and milk products so as not to take on unnecessary unhealthy fat into your body. Always go for low fat milk and yogurt. Additionally, calcium supplements can help you beef up on your calcium needs.

Whole Grain, Fiber-Rich Foods

Fruits and vegetables should form a big part of your middle aged diet. Remember that as you grow older your glucose metabolism may no longer be as efficient as it used to. As such, instead of including simple carbohydrates in your diet, go for the more complex ones especially those high in fiber so that the bulk will not be absorb by your body and converted into glucose. Additionally, the increased bulk brought about by fiber rich foods helps your digestive tract to be more efficient in its peristaltic activity. This simply means you will be passing more stools to prevent abnormal accumulation of toxic substances in your gut.

Legumes and Lentils

Beans and soya are excellent sources of protein which you will need to help facilitate cellular and tissue repair. Instead of going for high-fat high-protein meats, legumes and lentils are a better alternative. Include tofu, soya milk, and soya beans in your diet for that added protection against certain cancers. More importantly, blood sugar levels are better controlled with lentils on the diet.

Tomatoes

Rich in lycopene, middle aged individuals can benefit from the antioxidant properties of tomatoes. These vegetables have been shown to lower the risk of stroke and the incidence of prostate cancer among middle aged men.

Banana and Oranges

Potassium is needed to maintain cellular integrity particularly in the control of blood pressure. Including bananas and oranges in your middle aged diet can significantly reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. However, this is more significant if the diet is also reduced in salt.

There are other healthy foods for middle aged men and women. If you want to learn more, you can visit your favorite health food store for more information.

Guide to the Ultimate Warm-ups Routine

So you are committed to achieving a healthier body. Because of this, never make the mistake of short-changing yourself. There are a variety of exercises out there that will fit everyone. This is great for those who are willing to gain from its benefits. But nothing would be effective no matter how strenuous the exercise routine is, unless done the right way. Having the ultimate warm-ups routine is one key to achieving exercise goals. Here are effective tips that will make you perform optimally and avoid injuries at the same time.

What You Need to Know 

Think of the ultimate warm-ups routine as the main training preparation. The idea is to have all gears in the body aligned. This is to make it run smoothly once the warm up is done. There is a need to do progressive movements like walking lunges, toe touches, and a few high knees. The purpose is to get all the joints moving in a synchronized manner. These classic moves will loosen and stretch the muscles. By doing so, they don’t strain or snap as the exercise becomes tougher.

To warm up is a typical way to literally “warm up” or condition the body. The purpose is to increase its performance during exercise. However, the ultimate warm-ups routine is not the same with all types of exercise. Those who do weightlifting have different warm-ups with those who do marathons. There are similarities, yes, but a specific plan should be made for the warm up set to be effective.

The Basic Goals with a Warm Up

  1. The fitness level as well as the type of exercise is the basis of what warm up routine to take. Essentially, these goals should be achieved:
  2. Loosen those tight muscles. Mobility movements, like foam rolling, are a great method of warming up the all joints and muscle groups.
  3. Pump the heart up. Low resistance biking or even a jog will help the heart to thump a little faster. This will also warm up the muscles and will switch on the nervous system. So not only the body becomes alert but the mind as well.
  4. Dynamic stretching is a must. Most people think that static stretching is okay. Yet, this will only stunt exercise performance. Dynamic stretching, or continuous range of movement motions, is the perfect solution. Arm circles, leg forward kicks, toe touches, and the likes are the best. The point is to not hold the stretch.
  5. Practice the exercise pattern. What better way to warm up than to practice the actual exercise? But do this at a much lower intensity. This will enhance neuromuscular adaptation, which is basically making the muscles remember the actions. This will prepare the body for the final and tougher routine ahead.

Mainly, warm ups can spell the difference between having a so-so exercise and achieving the ultimate goals of fitness. If you are still at odds on what warm ups to take, here are top moves that you can start with:

  1. Basic dynamic actions like lunges, squats, hand walk, arm and foot circles.
  2. Do 5 minutes of jumping rope. This little session will get your heart pumping in no time.
  3. Balance challenge using the muscles for the actual training will help stabilize the muscles.
  4. Jumping jacks! Kids’ favorite maybe, but 10 minutes of these will help work on your core. It will pump the heart, and will also stretch those arm and leg muscle groups.
  5. Swing it! Swinging movements like arm swings, front to back leg swings, and cross-body leg swings. They will make those muscles resilient more flexible, and a lot more responsive.
  6. Try yoga. Yoga is a great flexibility enhancer. If you are looking forward to prepare not only the body for an intense work out, this is the ultimate warm up to learn. It will sync the mind, body, and spirit and at the same time stretch the muscles to its elastic excellence.
  7. One way to keep the intensity up for any of these warm up routines is by having some sort of entertainment while doing it all. Crank the volume up while listening to some workout music. One good thing about music is that it helps the mind get on the right track. It tends to make you focus, relax the mind and get the body moving.
  8. You may also try unconventional warm up routines. Choose those that are fun and challenging. Examples are crab walk, spider crawl, inchworm, bunny box jump, and other wild exercises. They are inspired to awaken the animal instinct in you.

Choices for warm up exercises are endless. Do not limit yourself, change it according to what your body needs. As with any other fitness regimes, the most important thing to consider is that you enjoy every aspect of it. Make the whole exercise routine an enjoyable experience. Any warm up routine should not fatigue you. Rather, make it a goal to make each warm up steps count. From the time that you warm up until the last breathe during the cool down; always remember that it is for your own good and that it is you who will enjoy it.