Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Pain and discomfort are accepted as part of being pregnant by many women, here at The Octagon Chiropractic Clinic we don't feel it is necessary to accept these aches and pains
We regularly treat pregnant women helping to reduce and often eliminate the discomfort they may feel during their pregnancy.

Changes To Your Body During Pregnancy 

Pregnancy has a huge impact on your body and there are a lot of changes that take place, some of these are welcome and exciting, others can be uncomfortable and tiring. 

Often seemingly ‘minor’ problems are exacerbated during pregnancy and so become more noticeable or aggravating during this time.

Changes which take place include changes to your skin, variances in the way your organs work – including your lungs, heart and kidneys, enlargement of the uterus and breasts and changes in hormonal generation and levels.

With these physiological changes naturally come subtle alterations in the way you hold and move your body. For example, the curve in your back may increase as your baby develops and the distribution of your weight is changed. Or the baby may choose a position that presses on your bladder or places a foot under your ribs.

As your pregnancy progresses and your body prepares for labour the ligaments around your pelvis have more give and so there is a lot more movement in the joints around the pelvis. Sometimes this can result in pelvic girdle pain due to the increased movement, especially if an imbalance occurs and one side becomes more mobile that the other. Pain may also be felt at the front of the pelvis above the pubic bone.

When the ligaments in your pelvis have more give the surrounding muscles are made to work harder in order to keep the pelvis stable which can lead to muscle pain and tension. In turn such stresses around your pelvic area can put pressure on the sciatic nerve causing pain through the buttock and down the leg, commonly known as sciatica.

Furthermore the increased curve in your back can lead to back pain and the increased movement in the joints of the pelvis and resulting muscle tension, can lead to pain and discomfort around the pelvic girdle. At this point you may consider seeing a Chiropractor for a treatment to help with these aches, pains and feelings of discomfort. Chiropractic care can help minimise these tensions in your body and allow both yourself and your baby to feel more comfortable as you progress through pregnancy.

Chiropractic Treatment

Because of the numerous transitions taking place in your body during pregnancy a Chiropractic treatment during this period is modified to be much gentler than you may expect at other times in your adult life. At the Octagon Clinic we work with mothers-to-be by focusing on good postural, spinal and pelvic alignment, muscle balance and relaxation, providing confidence and comfort during pregnancy. We believe that every woman has the right to feel good and in balance during this special time. 

If you would like to find out more about how Chiropractic can help you, you can book in for a free 15 minute consultation by calling the clinic on 020 8563 2608 or e-mailing us at 

Hazel Dillon is a Chiropractor at The Octagon Clinic

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Anti-inflammatory Lifestyle and Diet Tips

Numerous health problems, from asthma and acne, IBD (irritable bowel disorder), to autoimmune diseases are related to bodily inflammation, as are all those that end in ‘itis’. Inflammation per se is not negative but a necessary reaction, the bodies attempt to protect itself by both removing injurious stimuli and then initiating the healing process.  However, modern Western diets and lifestyle can mean that our bodies are in a state of near constant inflammation. The body is forced to over-react and inflammation turns from a positive healing force into a negative destructive one. A typical modern Western diet- that is one which is calorific, high in bad fats, sugar and toxins- is pro-inflammatory, whereas its opposite-a diet rich in nutritious foods-will lower bodily inflammation. Countless studies have demonstrated that a diet rich in plant-based foods and with a balanced ratio of Omega-3, 6 and 9 has an alkalising effect on the body. 

 Fruit and vegetable that are particularly good at lowering inflammation include:

* Sweet potatoes.
* Berries.
* Walnuts.
* Tomatoes.
* Cauliflower.
* And leafy green veg, especially kale and bok choy.

Sulphurous foods are also highly anti-inflammatory, this list includes:

* Onions.
* Leeks.
* Garlic.
* Ginger.
Vitamin E is another key component in reducing the inflammatory response, vitamin E rich foods include:

* Brazil nuts.
* Wheat germ, (which can be sprinkled on most meals).
* Legumes, (peas or beans).
* Avocadoes.

Daily intakes of high quality sources of omega rich seeds and their oils is also highly beneficial for lowering inflammation.Sources of omega 3,6 and 9 include:

* Flax/linseeds, pumpkin seed (high in Vitamin E too), sesame seed, (additionally a great de-toxing oil), and sunflower seeds. 

*Hemp seed oil is particularly recommended as the only complete oil found in nature with the perfect ratio of omega 3, 6 and 9.

-Just remember never to heat these oils or cook the seeds as this can damage their nutritious properties.
 * The lesser known chia seed, grown in Latin America, is also a brilliant source of omega three, the seed can easily be added to most meals and used in baking. Furthermore chia seeds have been reported as useful for removing poullutants, including heavy metals like mercury, from the body so are especially beneficial for those living in cities or areas of high pollution.

 Aside from these staples, fermented foods and drinks such as miso and kombucha will accelerate your bodies alkalising process, as will chlorophyll rich powders such as spirulina, wheatgrass and chlorella. 

 Both the traditional Japanese and Mediterranean diets are examples of naturally anti-inflammatory diets. It is of course a wise idea to follow an on-going healthful, anti-inflammatory diet but nutritional needs become even more pressing during periods of illness or injury.

   If you’ve already experienced an inflammatory disorder, and have been on pharmaceutical drugs for it, taking aloe vera juice internally will soothe and heal a gut likely to be irritated by the use of these medicines, as well as helping you better assimilate nutrients from food sources. Try to source an aloe juice which uses only the plants inner-leaf, as juices which utilise the entire plant can be too abrasive on an already inflamed digestive tract. Other supplements that may help include quercetin, a very powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, especially useful for those recovering from injury or for those who are prone to allergic response. Of course if you are already on medication always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Emma Silverthorn is a receptionist at the Octagon Chiropractic Clinic