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By West Norwood Therapies Team, Apr 8 2019 03:04PM

Osteopath and yoga teacher Yinka Fabusuyi shares some thougths about 'wellness' - what it is and how we can take simple, attainable steps towards achieving it.



In 1948 the World Health Organisation defined health as ‘not merely the absence of disease or infirmity but a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’. This sounds great, aspirational and perhaps impossible.


One approach might be to make small affordable, realistic changes over a sustained period to optimise mental physical and social health. Wellness might be about cutting down, exercising, scaling up, downsizing, recycling, repurposing, cleansing, purging or whatever you think will help you stay as fit and healthy as you can within your means. Wellness can be about addressing changes to your diet or exercise routines which you have always meant to get around to but never seem to have the time. Make a small change right now rather than waiting for the “ideal time”. Get off the bus, start a class, ring a friend, bake that cake, start that hobby. As a yoga teacher I often hear people say things like “I would love to do yoga but I am not flexible enough”. I say, find the right class for you (this may take several attempts), start slowly and gently, keep going and you will get more flexible with the side benefit of learning relaxation techniques, getting stronger and you might even sleep better.


Schools are including wellness in the curriculum and we are beginning to teach children that mental as well as physical health is important for wellbeing. In an ideal world all the resources we need would be freely available, but sadly this is becoming less and less common. I was very saddened not to be able to continue working as an osteopath within the NHS due to funding cuts, but perhaps a regular commitment to exercising, getting more sleep, and planning more leisure time to name a few examples could make a big difference to how well you feel, and decrease the chances of needing medical or other therapeutic intervention. If you do need some input I can help signpost what you could do to get back on track.


Start now, keep going and good luck. Yinka.



By West Norwood Therapies Team, Jan 25 2018 10:00AM

Osteopath and yoga teacher Yinka Fabusuyi shares some thoughts on her approach to her work and the subtle effects of yoga.


The recently ended festive season has been a good opportunity to meet new people and make contact with old friends. I was asked a few times over the party season what I did for a living, and I said I was an osteopath and a yoga teacher. As is often the case with the start of a new year, I have been doing some thinking about my work. Osteopathy and yoga for me are about working with the whole person and I am interested in what people do with their bodies on a day to day basis, and how this may have some bearing on what has brought them to me. This patient centred approach addresses stress points (physical and mental) by helping people to see the connection between the two, and coming up with a tailor made treatment strategy.


My osteopathic treatment involves helping to decrease pain, improving mobility, supporting people through exercise and recovery from injury or surgery and signposting things that may be of additional help. The pathway of care starts with a discussion, and moves onto observation and examination. This is followed by a joint agreement to proceed with hands-on treatment. My approach to yoga has some overlapping features including using my observational skills to modify and adapt my small group classes for the needs of the individual. I aim to allow all who have come along to participate fully. This can sometimes mean doing things a little differently, going slowly, changing the pace of the class, and modifying techniques or postures.


This can have unexpected benefits, for example I was really touched when a new comer to my yoga class told me that she had been able to run up the stairs for the first time in ages with no problem. She said “All due to yoga– 20 years of gym work have not achieved this!” Resolving to exercise can involve all forms of strengthening and conditioning, osteopathic treatment and yoga, whilst not for everyone might be what your body needs.


Yinka Fabusuyi

Osteopath and Yoga teacher.




By West Norwood Therapies Team, May 24 2017 08:00AM

Osteopath and yoga teacher Yinka Fabusuyi considers how gardening can give you some good exercise out in the fresh air at this time of year


Fresh air and exercise is for many people a great combination. Gardening is fantastic exercise and gets you out. Some gardening tasks are strenuous or require repetitive movement through the joints. Whilst most people will feel a little stiff and achy after a stint of gardening which quickly passes, others may find that they have prolonged pain in the lower back, knees or other joints. Osteopathy has a lot to offer. Treatment can reduce pain, improve mobility and get you on the road to recovery. As well as giving you advice and exercises which may reduce the chances of recurrence, my consultations allow time to explore your symptoms, offer treatment, and discuss ways forward.


The human body is strong and designed for movement, however there are some things to encourage, and things to avoid when gardening if possible.


1. When lifting heavy weights bend your knees and keep the weight close to your body in order to decrease leverage through the spine and joints of the arms.


2. Vary your gardening tasks to avoid overuse strains on your neck, back and shoulders.


3. Consider having raised beds made if you have chronic lower back pain.


4. Use mulch on bare patches of soil to discourage weed growth which adds more labour to your gardening tasks.


5. When using a spade or large fork, lean your whole body weight down through the handle rather than thrusting with your shoulders and back.


6. Keep your garden tools in good repair. Keep shears and secateurs sharp and get loose handles repaired to reduce strain to your back, wrists or shoulders. Independent garden centres sometimes offer a tool sharpening service. (My local one does).


Have a fruitful summer.


Yinka Fabusuyi




By West Norwood Therapies Team, Mar 1 2017 09:00AM

WNT founder and massage therapist, Jennie Duck, shares her experience of therapies and teachings from colleagues during her pregnancy last year


We have been planning a pregnancy information day (Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond) at West Norwood Therapies to share the broad experience our team has and the support we can offer people during their pregnancy journey. And this has led me to think back to my not-at-all-distant (but a lifeltime ago!) past and how I used the various therapies on offer during my pregnancy…

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture and pregnancy go hand in hand for me. I actually had acupuncture way before I was pregnant to treat polycystic ovaries. My sessions with Philippa cleared that up, regulated my cycle and I had an easy conception. I kept having acupuncture throughout pregnancy, mostly for general wellbeing, I found it very grounding and balancing (physically and emotionally). The therapist matters too, and Philippa’s steady presence, interest in my progress and thoughtful advice around diet, movement and labour was a good support.


She also armed my husband and me with some acupressure techniques and moxa. The former was my primary pain relief all through labour (secondary was 2 paracetemol around 2am!) and was a helpful way of involving my husband in birth preparation and supporting me through birth itself. Then we used the moxa a week or so after to help recovery (we were going to use it before too as my baby was breech, but he flipped himself a few days before) and I’ve since had some acupuncture to help full recovery internally – turns out that can all take a while to get back to normal, it’s quite a thing growing and birthing a baby!


Pilates

Pilates was another fantastic support to me from pre-conception right through labour. I had a mixture of one-to-one sessions and prenatal classes, both with Matthew before he joined WNT, and I felt so strong through my pregnancy and immediate recovery from labour. Though I work with bodies, working with your own is a different matter and I learned a lot from my sessions about how to move safely with a giant bump sticking out of me and to build strength in the most necessary areas to support both the baby and my body. More surprisingly, Pilates with Matthew also helped me relax - there was a good level of focus on the breath and some visualisations and relaxation exercises that really made a difference. We also incorporated some of the exercises in our birth preparation with my husband (lots of tandem squats!) and we now own 2 exercise balls - one at my desk and the other in the bedroom for bouncing baby Willow to sleep at 3am :-)


The concept of prenatal pilates was simple but powerful: Build enough strength to support the baby and help your body manage the extra weight safely, and be able to relax these same developed muscles to be able to get the baby out...it worked!


Massage

As a massage therapist I am obviously a big advocate of massage through all stages of life and I never go very long without getting on the massage table myself. During pregnancy the desire to have your muscles kneaded is especially acute and the relief to your lower back and shoulders is particularly sweet! Durning my last trimester my husband gave me a foot massage and lower back rub every evening. Unfortunately this hasn't become a permanent fixture, our baby is the only one who gets a daily massage these days...but that again was helpful for my husband to feel involved and for me to feel relief and connection to him. I saw my colleagues for fuller, professional treatment too - Veronica is a very understanding therapist around pregnancy changes and her treatments really feel nurturing which is what you need in pregnancy. I had some lovely deep massage with Erika too, in fact she helped Willow make his way down - I had a massage with her on Friday afternoon and went into labour the following Monday...


Osteopathy

While acupuncture, pilates and massage were regular fixtures for me during my pregnancy, I only saw Yinka for osteopathy a handful of times. This was of course limited by time and finance, I couldn't manage all 4 so regularly! But I did call on Yinka when I felt like things were getting a bit twingy. Once when my hip felt like it was a bit unstable, once when I had a twinge in my groin and another time in the early days when I fell off my bike and tweaked my neck. Each time it wasn't long to get back on track and any longer-term issues were averted. I find osteopathy helpful for getting a better understanding of pain and biomechanics and a really empowering treatment to have.


I know I am lucky to work in a world where I have this support structure around me and it may not be possible to have as many different treatments as consistently as I have, but I hope that sharing my experience will help other women on their pregnancy journey to see what support there is available and to make informed choices about what could best benefit you. Our pregnancy information day is being planned to this same effect, so do come along if you are interested to hear more.


More information about Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, our information day for women, couples and birth partners.


Jennie Duck is back from maternity leave, working a reduced hours and only seeing existing clients.



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