Monday, 18 March 2013

Hair today, gone tomorrow

So there was a lot going on this weekend - red nose day and St Patricks Day, but for me the main event of the weekend was getting my hair cut off.

The idea started to take shape last year when a friend of mine was diagnosed with Lymphoma - she was preparing for  her Chemotherapy and had been told that there was a 100% chance that she would lose her hair, due to the drug being used - we discussed all the options of what she could do with her hair and one thing that came up was that she could shave it all off and donate it to charity - brilliant idea.
Before the cut

I'd been toying with the idea of having a new hairstyle and so decided that if I was going to cut my hair off I should do it for a good cause. I decided I wasn't quite brave enough for a full shave so would get a shorter style.

Looking into it further I chose the charity Little Princess Trust, they send your donated hair to a wig factory and in return they get wigs for children who have lost their hair either through Chemotherapy or other illnesses. Bought privately these wigs can cost up to £2000. There were some detailed instructions - one of which is that your hair needs to be 7 inches long at the shortest bit and you need to send it in a ponytail or plait. I was worried that the layers in my hair would render it too short so decided to wait a few months and let them grow out a bit (plus I suddenly felt a little nervous about cutting my hair). 

Skip to now and I decided I needed to get on with it - my hair was getting very long and starting to get in the way - I measured it and I had 8 + inches to offer and so it was time!!

I needed to find a hairdresser - having not had my hair cut for more than 1 year meant I didn't have a local hairdresser, I was recommended to go to Hala Hairdressing, I booked the appointment for the soonest date possible - get it done before I change my mind I thought.

Let the cutting begin
I had to prepare my hair - clean and dry with no product in it - so Friday night the preparation began (so much hair takes a while to dry).

Before I knew it 3pm Saturday afternoon had arrived and I was sitting in the chair waiting for the chop - feeling pretty nervous I can tell you!

We had a chat about the style and what I needed to do with the cut off hair and then we began - in the end when they measured it in the shop the ponytail was 10 inches long.

 One and a half hours later I had an amazing new hairstyle - I am so pleased with it and all my friends love it. Maybe I'll keep it like this for a while, although that means I will have to get a haircut more than once a year.
I would like to say a big Thank you to the lovely Bianca who cut my hair so beautifully and to my friend Tamara for the inspiration who, by the way, is now in complete remission.

Hazel Dillon is a Chiropractor at the Octagon Clinic

Friday, 15 March 2013

London Marathon 2013

I interviewed Gillian Silverthorn, (also known as my mum!), in February, she is due to run the London Marathon for the sixth time next month. She is raising money for the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity which helps thousands of disabled people in the UK and abroad. If you would like to sponsor Gillian and help out Leonard Cheshire Disability you can do so via her 'Just Giving'  page. 

Emma: Hello Gillian/Mum! Firstly how and why did you first get into running?

G: I went to the doctor and explained I was breathless just running up the stairs, he said there’s nothing wrong apart from that I was unfit.  I then saw an advert in the paper asking do you want to get fit but hate the gym, I rang the number and the trainer came out made a program of exercises, beginning with the basics- walking and running from lamp post to lamp post, building up slowly. I stuck with this until I did a 6 mile run and found I loved running. 

E: How many marathons have you done and which has been your favourite?

 G: I’ve completed the London marathon 5 times and Berlin once. London is my favourite.

E: And what is it about the London Marathon that you especially like?

G: For lots of different reasons, it was my first marathon and I’ll always remember the amazing feeling and the sense of achievement when I crossed the finish line, running past all the famous landmarks with the streets packed with people, everyone coming together happy and friendly for one day!

E: How long have you been in training for this years’ marathon?

G: For this one I’m only just building back up as I had a break in more than one way, one because I had done the Comrades ultra-marathon in South Africa in June 2012 and thought I would take it a bit easy for a while and I also fell and broke a couple of ribs!

Gillian Silverthorn at the Comrades Ultra

E: Why are you running the London Marathon this year in particular?

G: I always love to do London if I can but this year I am raising money for Leonard Cheshire Disability. The first Leonard Cheshire home backed on to my childhood home (in Hampshire) and I got to know some of the residents over the years, sadly this home has now closed but it’s a fantastic charity and they are now known worldwide.

E: Have you experienced much injury throughout your years of running and training? If so what methods have you used to both prevent and combat injury?

G: Yes, in the early days as I tried to build up too quickly, I didn’t warm up or stretch properly so would have pulls and a couple of torn muscles, I have used osteopathy, acupuncture, particularly dry needling and massage in the past all of which all helped with injuries and prevention. At the moment I am seeing a Chiropractor in Cornwall where I live and doing the stretches that she advises in between. I’ve found the treatment of great benefit so far so will continue with the Chiropractic up until race day!

E: How do you like to run- alone, with friends, in organised running groups?

G: Alone most of the time but have enjoyed runs through the countryside with family and friends.

E: Have you ever experienced ‘the wall’? 

En route!
G: Yes a couple of times years ago when I went too fast to early on and ended up feeling like I was running through glue! In recent years I don’t think it has quite been the wall but more like dips and bad patches that usually pass.

E: Aside from the physical, what mental effects have you noticed with long distance running?                    

G: On a long run it can be almost meditative. This is the main reason I like to run on my own as I use it as a time to clear my head and put thing in perspective, sometimes what seemed like a huge deal when I set out seems almost insignificant at the end of a run. 
Just about every problem or worry I have had I manage to sort through on a long run from the most important issues like relationships to the small stuff, even if there isn’t an answer I seem to have a sort of peaceful feeling and acceptance about the things I can’t change.

I’ve  learnt a lot about myself on my first ultra-run  and even though every run isn’t  easy I’ve always felt better after a run, and of course if I go out happy I come back even happier.


Emma Silverthorn is a Receptionist at The Octagon Clinic

Friday, 1 March 2013

Exercise of the Month - Cat Stretch

Cat stretch position 1

Cat stretch position 2

 This exercise will stretch out your back and help reduce any stiffness in the area, it is great for stretching out your back after a day sitting in front of a computer.

This exercise should only be performed with a maximum of 6-10 repetitions and can be done daily.
Starting on all fours you push your stomach towards the floor and tip your head back (picture 1) to make the shape of arching your back, keeping your arms straight. 

The second part of the stretch is to push your back up towards the ceiling, letting your head drop down (picture 2). You should feel a stretch at the end range of both movements.

Hazel Dillon is a Chiropractor at the Octagon Clinic