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443 norwood road, west norwood,

SE27 9DQ (by appointment only)

07931 876 931

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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Nov 22 2017 09:00AM

The Pilates Education’s founder, Matthew Atwell, shares his experience of the recent launch of the Pilates equipment studio in West Norwood. The first of its kind in the area, and working closely alongside us at West Norwood Therapies, Matthew shares what you can expect from equipment classes in the new studio.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Nov 15 2017 09:00AM

Sports massage therapist Tessa Glover looks at the shoulder joint and a common shoulder injury in part 2 of her her series on tennis injuries

The shoulder is a very shallow ball and socket joint which means it is highly mobile but not very stable. Muscles provide most of the joint stability. The most common shoulder injuries in tennis players are disturbance of soft tissues - and cartilage - caused by overuse or underuse. Injury may also arise from a degenerative breakdown of tissues which are no longer functioning well. The most common shoulder overuse injuries are rotator cuff strain, impingement and bursitiBursitis is inflammation of a small flat sack of synovial fluid called a bursa (meaning “purse”). A bursa’s job is to reduce friction, usually between a tendon and bone. In the shoulder joint there are several bursae, due to the fact that there are many structures whose paths cross very close to each other. The subacromial bursa lies between the acromion (the bony prominence which hangs over the ball and socket joint like a protruding roof) and the supraspinatus tendon. A portion of this bursa lies between the deltoid muscle and the humerus.

When the bursa is repeatedly compressed it can become painfully irritated, though this is not always the case and research is currently underway to find out why some people develop bursitis and some do not. For many people, however, bursitis is triggered by overuse of the arm in the overhead position.

Symptoms are as follows:

• Gradual onset of your shoulder symptoms over weeks or months

• Pain on the outside or top of your shoulder

• Pain may spread down your arm towards the elbow or wrist

• Pain made worse when lying on your affected shoulder


Bursitis is traditionally treated with ice compresses, rest, and anti-inflammatory and pain medications (as prescribed by your GP). However, a functional approach is very useful to understand how and why the bursa has become inflamed, and sports massage treatment can assist. This usually incorporates mobilisation of the upper back and the shoulder girdle, and massage into the affected areas. Because bursitis is usually caused by repetitive compression, the key thing is to work out which specific movements are aggravating the bursa, and it’s worth noting that often more than one structure is affected. Then, working with your tennis coach, it’s possible to retrain the shoulder, improve movement and say goodbye to pain and dysfunction.

Most bursitis is non-infectious, but in rare cases infective bursitis requires aspiration of the bursa fluid. In cases of longstanding bursitis, it may be treated with an injection of cortisone medication, which is typically performed by orthopaedic surgeons. If your shoulder is hot and/or red then it is best to see your GP before visiting us.


By West Norwood Therapies Team, Nov 8 2017 09:00AM

Yoga teacher Emma Klein shares a tasty (optionally vegan and gluten free) chocolate cake recipe to treat yourself in the chilly days ahead...

Finding easy cake recipes can sometimes be tough, and finding one that is vegan and gluten free while still being super tasty is even harder.

This is one of my favourite recipes for two reasons:

• Everything happens in the same bowl; mixing, baking, serving. So, there are no extra dishes that need cleaning

• It's easy to convert to Gluten free or Vegan without sacrificing flavour.


3c flour (I like Dove's farm - Gluten Free White Flour Blend)

2c sugar (Unrefined Demera is great for this)

½tsp salt

5Tbls cocoa powder

1tsp bi-carb

½c oil (any vegetable or seed oil will work, stay away from Olive)

2Tbls vinegar (any white vinegar, spirit, white wine, etc stay away from Balsamic)

3tsp vanilla essence/ 1tsp vanilla paste

2c water

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC. Put the dry ingredients into the dish you plan to bake and serve the cake in (approx 35x25cm) and mix well.

Make three holes in the dry ingredients and add the oil, vinegar and water to each hole, sprinkling the vanilla on top. Mix well but work quickly.

Bake for 20-25 min or until a skewer comes out clean.

For the Icing

½c butter or dairy free substitute

4Tbls cocoa powder

3Tbls water

1½c icing sugar

Once the cake comes out the oven, mix the ingredients together and pour over the top of the cake while it is still cooling so that it sinks in and turn the whole cake into a gooey chocolate delight.

Can be served hot as a pudding with ice-cream as soon as you've added the icing, or leave it to cool completely and serve it cold as a cake.



• working quickly to mix the wet and dry ingredients is key, as the minute the vinegar hits the mixture it will react with the bicarb

• the wider your dish the faster the mixture will cook, and therefore the narrower the dish the longer it will take. So, keep an eye on it


• substituting 2tbls of the water for coffee, gives the cake a richer flavour

• substituting 1 cup of flour for 1 cup ground almonds

• substituting ½cup flour for ½cup desiccated coconut

• add ½cup of roughly chopped dried sour cherries or blueberries (don't use fresh fruit) to the dry mix to give some variety to the mix

• this can be used for a vanilla cake

o in the cake mix substitute the cocoa powder for flour

o for the icing substitute the cocoa powder for icing sugar and add 1tsp of vanilla extract

By West Norwood Therapies Team, Oct 31 2017 09:00AM

Hypnobirthing teacher Clare Butler looks at the effect of fear on giving birth and how you can help yourself turn a scary experience into a positive one

I am not ashamed to say that I am a bit of a wimp. I jump when I see a spider, I can’t watch horror films and I was the one who always volunteered to hold the coats, bags and cameras (remember them?!) whilst my friends went on the rollercoaster. And so you can imagine how I may have felt about the unknown of giving birth….

Luckily for me though I heard about hypnobirthing when I was 3 months pregnant. I did not have much time to deliberate and overthink. I discovered that giving birth did not have to be as it was portrayed in the movies and that it can be an empowering and positive experience. Fear was only going to get in the way.

What would you do if you saw a ghost this Halloween? Freeze, fight it or run away? Well once labour starts you can’t run away. People who are afraid tend to freeze, the body tenses and adrenalin takes over. This counteracts the oxytocin that is an essential ingredient to giving birth. The tension also limits the flow of blood that was trying to carry oxygen to the necessary parts of your body to give birth.

So what is the secret to busting the fear?

I ain’t afraid of no ghost!

We are more likely to be afraid of something that we don’t really know about or understand. Read and learn about the birthing process so that you have all the knowledge you need. Knowledge really is your super power here. If you have it, then you will have confidence and will be able to stay calm and relaxed.

Hear no evil, see no evil!

Walk away or turn your back on any negative birth stories. No two births are ever the same and there are just as many positive and inspiring birth stories out there as there are negative ones. If we fear something we are far more likely to focus on and remember the negative stories. Instead, surround yourself with positive birth accounts and visualise a calm and happy birth.

Don’t let fear get in the way of having the birth you want, book your hypnobirthing course today.

Welcome to our blog where we share tips, advice and thoughts from our fantastic team of experienced practitioners