Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Soseitai adjustment exercise for good health

Here's another Soseitai exercise. This is very useful if you find your upper body twisted to either the left or right. This type of postural distortion may occur with different types of sports such as golf or baseball or repetitive movements often in the one direction. This can be as simple a situation as having a work situation where the cash register is on the right and you are always swinging your body to the right to access it, months or years of doing this same action can lead to an imbalance in the muscular system. If left it may lead to postural distortion which can bring about other problems such as pain.

Try this exercise remember the breathing is an important part of this exercise as it as it helps the body to relax.

Trunk ( upper body ) rotation
Standing with your legs shoulder width apart.

Raise your arms up in front of you, then rotate you upper body checking which direction feels easiest to move. You will move in the direction of comfort, least amount of pain.

Inhale while raising the arms, as you exhale rotate your upper body to the end of the movement, raise your heel slightly to enable you to move a little more. Hold at the end of the movement you should be out of breath.

Inhale while in that position, exhale while returning to the original position.

Repeat in the same direction 3 to 6 times then check the movement to see if it has become easier repeat again if there is still pain or limited movement.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Correct your posture

Soseitai self adjustment exercise for good health

This exercise is helpful when you are having difficulty with lateral bending of the trunk, (upper body).
It should always be performed in the direction of comfort (no pain ). If you have pain in both directions it maybe necessary to perform a number of  other exercises prior to this before attempting this exercise again.

This movement affects the internal and external oblique,& quadratis lumborum muscles.

The movement must be attempted first to determine which side the the exercise will be done when done with the breathing..

The exercise should be performed with exhalation as this has the effect of helping the muscles relax (parsypathetic ) The exercise is performed standing with the feet shoulder width apart.

  1. Place one hand on the hip, the other relaxed by the side.
  2. Inahale, as you begin to exhale raise the arm up over the head keeping it relaxed, st the same time move your hips and bend your upper body as in the diagram above, raise the heel slightly this will give you slightly more movement.
  3. Hold your position at the end of the movement you should be out of breath, inhale again while in that position.
  4. Exhale and move your body back to the position you originally started from.
  5.  Repeat the whole sequence 3 to 6 times only on the one side.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Aupuncture, does it hurt ? needles do

One of the questions we are often asked by new clients or those persons who are inquiring about acupuncture is "does it hurt ? "
In general my answer to that question is going to be no, but, having said that we don't always know to what degree a person experiences pain and or what that person conceives as being pain.
As a therapist it is necessary that the client feels as comfortable as possible with whatever type of treatment you are giving them regardless of whether it is acupuncture or some other form of treatment as this generally enhances the persons experience and improves outcome in general.

You often hear the saying "no pain no gain", In my opinion this is a matter of degree and should always be taken on a case by case basis.

Needle insertion
In general if a person is receiving acupuncture from a qualified practitioner there should be very little or no pain with insertion of the needle. This will also depend on the points being selected as some points are a lot more sensitive than others, those points on or near the tips of the fingers may be more sensitive than those in more fleshy areas.

The client may feel a slight tapping sensation if the therapist is using a guide tube to insert or there maybe at most a slight pricking sensation, this may happen more easily if the therapist is inserting the needle without the use of a guide tube.

If the person experiences sharp pain and especially if the pain remains present after the needle is inserted more deeply this is not always a good sign, having said this this is where it becomes somewhat difficult to explain.. After the needle has been inserted there is a sensation that is known as de qi in traditional terms or needle sensation, In my opinion this sensation is often mistaken by clients as pain and for some people can be a little off putting.

The person experiencing the needle sensation may experience it in one or more of many ways, it may be, a distending dull ache, slight warmth, slight cold, slight numbness or electric sensation. The sensation maybe localized or migrate up or down the meridian pathway. Those persons that are very sensitive may experience this sensation up to quite a distance from the actual point of insertion but in my experience this doesn't happen very often.

Not all people feel this sensation and to some it may feel it a little off putting, but by understanding what is happening it may help to make what maybe unpleasant to some bearable.
This needle sensation is an important part of the acupuncture experience as it is an indication to the therapist that the qi energy has been activated and by doing so improve the general outcome.

For more info on acupuncture come and visit me here

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Sprains and strains

Sprains and strains
Tendon and ligament injury

Both ligament sprain and tendon and muscle strains are common, they occur not only in persons who do a lot of sports but also those who don’t do enough exercise, overuse and trauma situations.

The ligament joins a bone to a bone
The tendon connects the muscle to the bone.

A sprain is stretching or tear of a ligament where a strain is an injury to a tendon or muscle where there is micro-tearing, more severe tearing or overstretching.

Both sprains and strains result in pain, some cases more than others depending on the severity of the injury. More often than not other symptoms such as swelling, heat in the affected joint, instability of the involved joint or muscle spasm and or lack of strength in the muscle also occur as a result of the injury. It may be difficult to put weight on the affected joint.

Diagnosis will be based on the symptoms, and graded by severity of the injury. In severe cases it’s important to eliminate other possible injury such as fracture to the bones of the affected joint.
General advice given with this type of injury is (RICE) rest, ice, compression, elevation.

Anti-inflammatory medication may be given.
Physiotherapy is usually advised as part of the rehabilitation process.

Chinese medicine,
This type of injury may fall into the category of bi syndrome ( blockage) of the affected channels involved. There may be variations of the diagnosis in Chinese medicine terminology that reflect the pattern being presented and depending on the type of injury and location.

Acupuncture can be extremely effective in helping to reduce inflammation which will in turn improve blood circulation and help to relieve pain. This will speed up the recovery process.

The acupuncturist will also take into account any underlying energetic imbalances the person maybe presenting with and help to correct these which will also aid the recovery process.

These injuries can sometimes be frustrating as they can be slow to heal. Both tendons and ligaments have poor blood supply, they can take much longer to repair than a torn muscle which has a huge blood supply by comparison.

Over straining the tendon or ligament may aggravate the situation, if you need to work or are going to attempt exercise strap the sprained area or wear a support initially for some time after the initial injury.

Rehabilitating the injured ankle or wrist is a important and may take some time to build strength back into the affected joint.
Rotating the toes and ankle

Rotating the toes and ankles gently can be very effective once the swelling has gone and most initial pain has begun to subside, only rotate in the direction that feels best or has no pain.   

Aches and pains ? this will help click here


Monday, 17 September 2012


Headache can be caused by various reasons including neck pain as I have been previously discussing. If this is the reason for that pain then the neck problem and any other imbalances in the muscular skeletal system need to be dealt with as well as the headache, however this is not the only cause of headache as I will explain.
The pain from headache can be caused by an internal imbalance or external. There are various types of headache and to some degree need to be addressed slightly differently however as mentioned previously the most important point is the underlying cause, rectify that and the issue will be resolved.

Tension headaches
These may be one of the more common types of headache, those who are under a lot of stress I'm sure may be familiar with this type of headache. Contraction of the muscles in the head and neck may lead to this type of headache.

These are when there is contraction of the blood vessels, these headaches are commonly associated with migraine, they may cause mild to severe pain along with a number of other associated symptoms.
Headaches experienced when one has a fever or high blood pressure can also be vascular.

Traction or inflammatory
From things like sinus infection or more serious conditions such as stroke.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be helpful for this condition but it is important to consult a therapist to help you determine the underlying problem.

Treatment for this condition varies, it could be something as simple as have a few days break to relieve stress or longer term program to correct a more chronic situation if it exists.

Self help.

As I have mentioned before trigger points may be very useful in cases where the headache is just caused by tension. The points I have already mentioned for neck pain can be used as well, apply 3 to 5 minutes of sustained pressure to these points to activate them.
Other points that may be helpful are indicated as follows;
This point is helpful when you have difficulty sleeping, headache associated with an empty sensation

Apply sustained pressure or massage this point for headache in your temple area, the side of your head or headaches that affect your eyes

in combination with the above

Use this point with headache that affects your neck and back part of you shoulder

Hope you find these helpful, leave a comment or question if you have one.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Neck pain self help

Well the neck pain cases are still rolling in. Here's a couple of simple things you can do if you are also someone who's suffering from neck and shoulder pain.
Firstly try to take notice of what aggravates the pain whether that be movement in a certain direction, worse on a cold day, worse when you are lying down and better when you are standing or sitting, worse when you apply pressure to the area.
What makes it feel better ? nothing ? applying pressure ?, maybe applying heat or cold ?
Avoid what aggravates it do more of what makes it feel better. This in itself may sound silly but may surprise you how it can speed up the healing process. It's not always advisable to think that you can just work through it, it all comes down to a matter of degree.

Try these for stiffness in your neck sore shoulders or just plain tiredness.

Just bring your arm across the front of your body placing your hand on the top your shoulder about midway between your neck and the tip of your shoulder, there is generally a sensitive point there. Apply pressure with your middle finger as you elevate your shoulder, breathe in as you are doing it, holing your shoulder in the elevated position 3 seconds then relax your shoulders suddenly. repeat 2 or 3 times.

 Bring both hands up behind the back of your head,
Run your thumbs up the back of your neck till you come to the edge of the bone at the base of your skull
where are two slight hollows let your thumbs slide into these up to the edge of the bone at the base of your skull.
While applying light pressure to these points move your head back and forward, side to side and then rotate it . This will help to relieve tension in your head, neck and shoulders. These points are also very good if you have headache, sore eyes, tiredness, light headed.

 Hope these help, give it a try. More help here

Monday, 13 August 2012

Trigger points for relief

In the last couple of posts I have been talking quite a bit about neck and shoulder pain as this is something I get a lot in the clinic and I feel the more everyone understand the process of how it comes about hopefully you will learn how you can undo the process.

One way many therapists will treat not only neck and shoulder pain but also pain in other areas of the body is by using trigger points. These points will often appear in muscle areas adjacent to or sometimes quite a distance from the actual region of pain. For shoulder pain for example these points may appear in the forearm upper arm chest or further down the back. this will vary depending on the pain or injury region.

If the therapist does acupuncture these points can be needled but if you are wanting to give yourself a little self help and find a point that you find is very sensitive or even painful to the touch but is away from the site of injury try applying sustained pressure to the point. The pain can be reasonably intense to begin with but should diminish with continued application of pressure to the point.
In many cases assuming you have found the right spot the pain at that spot will diminish and you will feel relief quite quickly at the injury site.

Remember sustained pressure produces the best results with trigger points

As you can see in the diagram to the right the shaded area shows the area of pain, not only in the upper arm but also in the lower arm below the elbow.
In this case the trigger point is shown to be the triangle on the lower part of the shoulder blade.

So next time you have shoulder or neck pain or something like tennis or golfers elbow, repetitive strain injury, or even headache give it a try it usually works well.

You can read more about improving your body balance here