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Originally posted on Lynne's Art and Soul:
A couple of months ago, Jo and I went to York. We had never been there before but everyone I spoke to who had been there said it was lovely. They were…
I have signed up to National Novel Writing Month and committed to writing 50,000 words over the month. I hope this will be enough to finish my novel.
It is about Richard III, my favourite historical character and I hope it will be entertaining and not dry or boring!
I am also accepting sponsorship in aid of Southend Hospital, who are fundrasing for state of the art cancer equipment.
Want to try Meditation, but can’t make it to a class or group? This is the answer – buy one of my new CDs and you can meditate whenever is convenient for you! Only 5 minutes to spare? No problem! There are 6 short Guided Meditations ranging from about 3 to 12 minutes. Only £12. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org to order stating “Meditation CD” in subject line.
CD cover shown
I have just edited my web site and added an Events page and music! Check it out here!
The next meditation evening is Wednesday 2nd July and the theme is Colour and the Chakras. The 7 Chakras are the main energy centres in our body and correspond to the seven colours of the spectrum. Meditation is known to help with many physical health problems, such as arthritis and high blood pressure, as well as promoting relaxation and aiding restful sleep. See my previous blogpost: The Benefits of Meditation
Balanced chakras mean a balanced person and enhance your well-being.
To find out more about the Chakras, click here: Chakras for Beginners.
The locations for our meditation is 4 Seasons Complementary Health Practice.
Time: 7.30pm – 9.00pm £10 per person
Places limited so call or text Jo now on: 07956 524679 !
As an osteopath, I get many clients seeking help after having gone away on holiday!
Why is that? Well, when you think about it there are many hazards involved in taking a holiday (or a business trip) which can damage your spine, sometimes seriously. Here are my top holiday tips to keep your back healthy!
1. Carrying or pulling along heavy luggage
The answer to this is try to carry loads equally rather than one heavy case in one hand – for example a rucksack is better as your load is distributed squarely in the centre of your back rather than on one side.
Pulling is easier on your back than carrying, so use a trolley or pull-along case if you can, but take care not to swing it about too much as this can twist your back. Leave plenty of time so you can stand on the moving pavement at the airport rather than having to rush. If you have trouble with your back, think whether it would be worth hiring a porter to save you possible pain.
2. Long flights, drives or other journeys
If you are on a long haul flight, ensure you get up at least every hour to stretch your legs and keep your spine mobile. This also helps prevent a Deep Vein Thrombosis. Take an inflatable neck pillow to prevent your neck getting strained if you sleep on the plane.
If you are driving, factor in comfort stops at least every hour for the same reason – immobility causes your spine to stiffen up and be more vulnerable. At the least stop and have a walk around. Share the driving if possible so you can have a break.
3. Sleeping in a strange bed
I don’t mean anything saucy, but on holiday it is unlikely you will find a bed as comfortable as your own. This is difficult to address, but you could take your own pillow to help with your neck position – on your side, it should be neutral, neither flopping towards the bed nor being pushed upwards. The pillow should just fill the space between your shoulder and head. If you sleep on your back, have a lower pillow to avoid pushing your neck forwards.
4. Taking part in unusual sports/activities
Many people want to try out new things on holiday, such as water skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, etc and even more will want to swim. All I can say is remember that your muscles and joints will not be used to new activities so it is even more important to warm up before you do any and stretch afterwards.
Walking is good for your back, but don’t overdo it – work up to longer walks gradually if you are not accustomed to long distances. Take and use Nordic walking poles – they are fantastic!
Swimming can also be good for your back as it is non weight bearing, but you should vary your strokes, especially if you tend to do predominantly breast stroke, as this can strain your sacro-iliac joints (the ones between your hips and your spine). If you do use breast stroke wear goggles and try to duck your head under rather than extending your neck back.
A FINAL WORD OF WARNING – NEVER DIVE INTO A POOL THAT IS SIX FEET OR LESS IN DEPTH – THERE ARE MANY CASES OF LIFE-THREATENING SPINAL INJURIES CAUSED BY THIS, NOT TO MENTION POSSIBLE PARALYSIS.
Have a great, safe holiday!
Richard III’s Back! – What is Scoliosis?
You may have been interested recently in the exciting discovery of Richard III‘s remains in a Leicester car park. The excavation was initiated and financed by The Richard III Society, who believe that the last Plantagenet King was wrongly vilified as a murderous despot and was, in fact, a good and popular king.
One of the stereotypes attached to the king was that he was a deformed hunchback with a withered arm and hobbling gait. The recent discovery of his bones has at least settled that conundrum – he had no withered arm and he was not a hunchback in the common perception of the word, like Quasimodo, the hunchback of Notre Dame, whose type of deformity is kyphosis (below right).
However, he did indeed have a spinal deformity, known as scoliosis (above left), an S-shaped sideways curvature of the spine. But what would that mean as regards his appearance and gait? A scoliosis is quite a common spinal deformity, although the severity varies considerably. In fact, I myself have a mild scoliosis, caused by the spine’s natural compensation for a leg length discrepancy. It is so mild that it is barely noticeable, even without clothes (unless you’re an osteopath!) Your spine compensates in order to ensure your eyes are as level as possible – so one hip might be higher, the opposite shoulder, but the head will then be level.
Scoliosis can also be present at birth (congenital). Many people who have this degree of scoliosis are probably oblivious to it and it wouldn’t affect their gait or appearance much at all.
However, some types of scoliosis can be much more severe, impinging on the symmetry of the ribcage and even interfering with breathing. This type occurs more commonly in females and often begins in puberty when the body is going through a rapid growth spurt, but the complete cause is unknown. Richard appears to have had this type of scoliosis.
What would he have looked like? Because the curve in the spine was quite severe, it is likely that Richard would have held one shoulder higher than the other and one shoulder blade would be more prominent. One hip may also have been slightly higher than the other. His ribcage would also have been more prominent on one side than the other, but when clothed this would not have been obvious. This would show more on forward bending, when the more prominent side would be exaggerated.
Do you have a scoliosis? If you suspect you might, pay a visit to your osteopath and they will be able to tell you and give you advice. If you already know you have a scoliosis you can get advice and support from The British Scoliosis Society
NB:Drawing of spine with scoliosis and kyphosis
Image credit: hfsimaging / 123RF Stock Photo
Remember, the sooner you seek advice about a problem the quicker it will resolve.