Published September, 2017
The 12 September marks Mindfulness Day, a calendar event dedicated to the ability to be fully present in the moment, known as mindfulness. A valuable tool used in psychology and counselling, the practice of mindfulness is proven to reduce to stress, anxiety and depression.
We are busier than we have ever been. Technology and globalisation has seen many of our jobs move from the office to home and we seldom “switch off” from our work and work commitments. To rush seems our default speed and slowing down can feel impossible with kids to care for, work to do, households to run and the multitude of other things we must fit into our days.
As we race from place to place and schedule more and more into our calendars, the cyclone that is our busy lives begins to mirror itself in our heads and we can feel anxious, chaotic and stressed.
Enter mindfulness. The practice of being aware of the present moment, mindfulness allows us to stop, be fully present and not feel overwhelmed by what’s happening around us. The goal is not to completely clear our heads, stop our thoughts or have a blank mind – it’s about allowing the thoughts to come and paying attention to those thoughts, without judgment or worry.
By deliberately direct our attention to the present moment, we become ‘mindful’ and can let go of the tension created by ruminating in the past and worrying about the future. Mindfulness can slow any negative or anxious thoughts and help us cope with stress, depression and anxiety.
Growing in popularity, mindfulness practice is being rolled out across workplaces, schools and communities around the globe. Retail website, amazon.com, listed three of its top 10 best selling books for 2015 as adult colouring books – a hugely popular therapeutic activity to help achieve mindfulness. Mindfulness as a psychological treatment has also become commonplace, with online mindfulness organisation, Headpace (Hyperlink this) stating that 163 different studies suggest mindfulness practice has a positive effect on anxiety and stress.
How can you achieve mindfulness? Let us count the ways …
There are numerous workshops, challenges, courses, articles, exercises, stories and more accessible on the internet and social media about mindfulness. We love the simple exercises on Headspace.com and the ‘Five Steps to Mindfulness” on mindful.org
On September 12, celebrate the mindfulness movement and try it for yourself. Share your story on social media and help raise awareness for this simple yet effective practice.
“Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where this is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of these things, but still be calm in your heart” (Unknown).
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Pregnancy, birth and beyond – optimising your health when having a baby
Spring has sprung and baby season is upon us, with September and October promising the most births across Australia than all the other months of the year.
So, how are you staying healthy, both pre-baby and beyond? Find out how Allied Osteopathy Robina can help you achieve optimal health and wellbeing, both before and after your baby is born.
Pregnancy and postnatal Osteopathy
Body changes in pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of great change for women’s bodies and the many significant structural changes that occur can have a huge impact on daily functioning. As their baby grows, mums-to-be will experience weight increase, shift in their centre of gravity, rib expansion, postural adjustments, softening of ligaments and increase of blood volume by almost 50% - and that’s only the beginning!
These body changes can result in additional pressure on the spine and pelvis and pregnant women often suffer from conditions such as sciatica, pelvic girdle pain, pubic pain, lower back pain, neck, shoulder and upper back pain, leg pain and swelling. Additional ailments such as insomnia, fatigue and exhaustion and low or high blood pressure can also impact on wellbeing for pregnant women.
How can osteo treatment in pregnancy help?
With limited medication deemed safe to take in pregnancy, relief from pain and discomfort in pregnancy can seem impossible. Osteopathic treatment in pregnancy is safe for both mothers and babies and uses non-invasive and gentle techniques to assist the body to adapt to the many pregnancy-related changes.
By working to support the body’s structure with the goal of optimal function, osteopathy can not only help relieve pregnancy-related aches and pains, but can help mums-to-be in their preparation for birth by assisting with pelvic and lower back balance and alignment.
The postnatal period – body stresses for new Mums
Following pregnancy, the woman’s body will undergo the remarkable process of birthing their baby. Change will seem the only constant as the body once again adapts, heals and recovers from the pregnancy and birth experience.
Regardless of the type of labour and birth, women can experience a wide range of postnatal issues that can impact their function. Commonly, new mums experience back and neck pain, courtesy of postural challenges relating to breastfeeding, sleepless nights and fatigue, lifting babies, prams and capsules and pelvic imbalance from pregnancy and labour.
How can osteo treatment help postnatal Mums?
Similar to pregnancy, new Mums will find few pain medications that are safe for breastfeeding. Osteo can help relieve back pain, as well as restoring and maintaining pelvic function, mobility and alignment.
Moving, stretching and massaging the joints and muscles through postnatal osteopathy treatment can offer profound relief, as well as prevention from some common birth-related stresses, such as incontinence and constipation.
Contact our experienced osteopaths for advice, treatment and self-help techniques to help you feel your best during pregnancy and parenthood.
INTEGRATIVE HEALTH CLINIC
Pregnancy and postnatal mental health
Perinatal depression and anxiety
Preparing for a baby is often a time of great joy and excitement but for many women, the changes and challenges of pregnancy and a new baby can bring about depression and anxiety.
Affecting up to one in ten women during pregnancy and one in seven women postnatally, perinatal depression is characterise by pervasive feelings of sadness, numbness, disinterest in the baby, friends and family and things that used to bring enjoyment.
Equally as common as perinatal depression, anxiety conditions during pregnancy and the first year after birth include symptoms of panic, fear and worry that are difficult to control and impact on daily functioning.
It’s ok to not feel ok and it’s ok to need some help. Seeking support is important for pregnant women and new mums and a good place to start is your GP, who may suggest a referral to a psychologist. Talking to a psychologist is a common treatment for perinatal depression and anxiety. Psychological therapy and counselling can help by assisting to change negative thoughts and feelings to help elevate mood.
With over 10 years experience, Allied Osteopathy psychologist, Sharen Curtis, dedicates herself to help clients manage times of emotional crisis and difficulty and work on skills to make positive life changes.
Click here to read more about Sharen and how she can help.
For more information, click here for a simple and informative fact sheet about anxiety and depression in pregnancy and early parenthood by Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).
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Published September, 2017
Pregnancy and Diabetes
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes can be defined as high blood sugar levels in pregnancy as a result of the body’s inability to meet the demand for extra insulin. Poorly managed gestational diabetes can result in pre-term labour, a large baby and even pregnancy loss or stillbirth. Post-delivery, babies can also have unstable glucose levels if the condition is not managed well during pregnancy.
How can our clinic help manage your Gestational Diabetes?
Standard screening through blood tests during pregnancy can help diagnose gestational diabetes and the condition is managed through healthy eating, regular exercise and monitoring blood glucose levels. Diabetes Australia recommend seeking assistance from your healthcare team, including your GP, specialist, dietitian and Diabetes Educator.
Effective management of gestational diabetes is proven to reduce potential complications, during pregnancy, labour and beyond.
At Allied Osteopathy, our Accredited Practicing Dietician (APD) and Diabetes Educator, Renata Basile, offers guidance to educate and support pregnant women in developing and implementing a plan to manage their gestational diabetes.
Contact our practice to find out more