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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, Jun 27 2018 08:00AM

Osteopath and yoga teacher Yinka Fabusuyi considers some self-care steps you can take to support yourself during this hayfever season.

Finally Summer is in full swing. Unfortunately this is not good news for everyone, hay fever sufferers are entering a tricky time of year, and South London air is certainly not fresh.

Symptoms can be miserable. Wheezing, stinging runny eyes, congestion of the nose and chest, and itchy throat and lots of sneezing.

The breathing challenges which can be associated with hay fever and asthma can contribute to tightness in the chest, and associated constriction in the neck and shoulders. The muscles around the upper ribs and collar bone can get stiff and achy as they assist in breathing mechanics.

Breathing exercises and postural advice

There is poor evidence to suggest that poor posture causes serious problems, but poor posture will not help pre-existing pain and stiffness. If you are feeling wheezy and tight in these areas focusing your breath in the abdominal area can help. To do this: Pull your shoulder blades back and drop your shoulders. Lift your chest slightly but do not puff it out or arch the lower back. Breathe in as you gently push your abdomen out. As you do this try to keep the area below your collar bones fairly still.

Breathe out and draw your abdomen towards your spine gently, Feel the air being gently expelled. Whenever possible breath through the nose. (Not always easy if you are suffer-ing with hay fever). Without straining or forcing the breath, try to breathe out as fully as you can before you begin to take your next breath in. This can help to relax the muscles of the upper chest. Tension in the upper part of the neck and back of the head can lead to headaches. Avoid jutting your head forward when sitting at your computer or laptop, and keep your shoulders down.

Seasonal bedding and mattress advice

Now is a great time for a good old spring clean and clear out. Lifting your mattress and vacuuming the bed base and mattress can help get rid of some allergens such as dust mites which may trigger asthma. (Get help with this as you do not want to strain your back). Turning your mattress can help preserve the life of your mattress, as well as stop wear in one spot. A mattress topper, and pillowcase protectors can also help minimise dust mites, as they can be washed regularly at high temperatures, along with any bedding.

Help with hay fever

There are several ways to manage hay fever and seasonal asthma and whether you choose to use natural or medical remedies, start early. Don’t wait until your symptoms have escalated.

1. During the hay fever season wash or rinse your hair before going to bed. This helps to get rid of any pollen and stops it being rubbed onto your pillow and causing further irrita-tion.

2. Line your nostrils with a thin layer of petroleum jelly on days when the pollen count is high.

3.If you have a smart phone download a pollen App.

4. Try not to dry your clothes outdoors on days when the pollen count is high.

5.Wear wrap around sun glasses.

6.Ask your pharmacist for advice about remedies and medications for hay fever.

By West Norwood Therapies Team, May 23 2018 08:00AM

Osteopath and Yoga teacher Yinka Fabusuyi considers foot support, how choosing footwear can influence posture and pain and whether it's worth using insoles or not...

This summer we are all hoping to get into our Summer footwear and enjoy whatever the elements bring us. A pedicure is lovely especially if your feet have not have seen the light of day for sometime. Quite apart from cosmetic appearance comfortable well supported feet can make all the difference to posture and pain.

Standing on your own two feet is a complex matter. The foot is composed of more than 25 individual bones. The shape and in-tegrity of the foot is created by the shape of the bones, the

ligaments and the muscles of the calf and shin. The arches of the feet are important for spreading load equally through the foot and transferring forces up to the pelvis and lower back.

Poor footwear can create pain and discomfort in the muscles and joints of the foot, ankle and legs which may aggravate arthritis of the hips, knees, ankles and toes and contribute to lower back pain. Footwear that is fit for purpose may help to reduce strain and pressure on these areas. Osteopaths are excellent at taking a history, examination and treatment that can draw these issues out, give treatment and advice.

There are plenty of really stylish shoes around that offer support and cushioning. Shop around and try shoes on, think about how much walking or standing you do throughout the day. There is good evidence to support the use of insoles or orthotics for arthritis of the hip and lower limb and sports related mechanical foot, knee and ankle problems such as knee tendon inflammation. However there is poor evidence for the role of insoles and orthotics for back pain, and the recent NICE guidelines do not recommend them.

If you need to wear an insole, don’t try to wear it all day when you first get it. Wear it for a short period at first and gradually build up to longer periods. gradually build up to longer periods.

Ageing, hereditary factors and disease processes such as diabetes * can lead to more specific conditions such as bunions, arthritis, fallen arches, planter fasciitis, loss of sensa-tion in the feet, and ulcers or sores of the legs and feet.

Joint related and soft tissue problems may be helped with osteopathic treatment, in addi-tion there may also be occasion to seek advice from a podiatrist, chiropodist, your local pharmacist or your GP.

 For more information go to:

Have a great Summer

Yinka Fabusuyi

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.

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