News, Updates, Advice & Exercises

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Postnatal advice and exercises Click here.

Massaging your caesarean scar Click here

Pregnancy Exercise Advice Click here

Tummy muscle separation in pregnancy Click here

Good bowel habits Click here

Pelvic Organ Prolapse: advice Click here

Pelvic Floor Health for Women Click here

Pelvic Floor Health for Men Click here

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( book reviews and Linley's articles/writing. (click here) )

 


Newsletters:

 

Go to my face book page for regular comments and updates :https://www.facebook.com/Pelvic-Health-Physio-373682176076635/notifications/

 

The positive power of words: May/June 2014

 

The year has been busy with two midwifery workshops and busy weekly clinics.

I am also presenting a poster at the NZ College of Midwives conference in Hamilton this August, and it has been fun designing this to show the work I do with my midwifery colleagues.

The more I read and learn, the more I realise that many of the answers to our pain and problems lie in understanding our bodies, how they work and how good they are at unlearning old habits and relearning good patterns and free movement.

Trust your body to restore and remember the movement and function that it originally had. Iif you use positive words, visualize good patterns and see your potential for recovery, then this is half way to being on the road to good health.

I have listed some examples of wonderful words you could choose from to use as daily restorers:

Balanced, free, light, elegant, grounded, graceful, poised, feathery, luxurious...

go ahead, see which ones you like or find your own and put them on the fridge, on your phone and computer...everywhere and let them do their magic.

 

This painting is by my best friend Jen Harris: see www.artofjenniferharris.net

 

 

 

 

Symmetry April 2014

 

The natural world has symmetry with each season, with moon phases, with tides, and if we are careful to notice, we also have a pattern and rhythm.

Our walking patterns as a child, are rhythmical and easy, our sleep should also have a cycle and pattern:

I would encourage you to keep a record of how your body responds to changes in temperature and in season: this can give you some real answers to the common questions I hear in my clinic:

Why am I always tired?

Why do I eat lots of chocolate at certain times?

Why do I find it hard to exercise?

There is often an answer in our body's response to nature: we have nature within us and we are in nature:

Think about this and rediscover your symmetry.

 

 

The Colour of Summer February 2014

My summer seems to have been a fast blur of sun and warmth and lots of changes in general.

BUT, one of the wonderful things about this season is the opportunity to see people venture out wearing colourful clothing! We can effect change in our own mood and influence those around us, just by enjoying colour:

hats, tops, wraps, scarves, shirts,shorts....finally the dreary and depressing "black wardrobe" of most New Zealanders changes for a month or two.

I have a bright yellow seat in my clinic room, and, without fail, every new patient comments as they walk in. Colour evokes response.

Our natural environment always has variations of colour and vibrancy: Nothing is really totally black (except maybe for sports attire! and even then, different teams choose different colours to be noticed: who cannot fail to recognise the Waikato stripes!)

So, my encouraging message to you at this time is to fold away the black and grey and bring out the oranges and yellows and bright blues and greens and find JOY. This will give you confidence in your movement and way of standing and walking and increase your energy and spring.

 

Lots to look forward to: December 2013

The year is drawing to a close but the amazing thing is that there is no big gap or hole in our calender: the next day just follows on and we face the same breakfast and day to day challenges.

The secret is to see each day as an opportunity to

  • learn something new
  • go for a long walk or even a short walk
  • do your pelvic floor programme and feel proud for giving those muscles some time and attention
  • meet some one new, even if it is just to give them a smile while standing in the supermarket aisle
  • have a positive attitude towards everything even if it seems a drag

Have a great Christmas and holiday and be careful who you invite into your spa pool!

 

 

Back to the Pelvic Floor! October 2013

There is an accepted myth that if you contract your pelvic floor muscles just when you "think about it" (or when you are sitting in the car at the lights or doing dishes) that the muscles will miraculously get strong and active and know what their job is!!

Muscle rehabilitation needs committment, regular and focussed input and functional challenges: any rehabilitation programme, whether you are at the gym or doing some training for a particular sport, demands some time and focus. You wouldn't strengthen your thigh muscles just by bending and straightening your legs when you are watching TV or reading a book.

Let's give the pelvic floor muscles the time and committment we would give to any other exercise regime: put aside a specific time during the day when you can do some really good quality pelvic floor work. Concentrate and visualise the muscles doing their job, try standing in different positions while doing the contractions. Try balancing on one leg while doing the pelvic floor work.

There are lots of different ways to engage and activate the pelvic floor muscles.Pilates programmes can integrate the pelvic floor; there are many gadgets on the market that you can use to see "how good you are"!

BUT the best way to get the best out of your pelvic floor is to give it some time and effort and complete focus (just like a child!!)

AND it should be fun!

if this is not working for you then see a physiotherapist who can guide you in the right direction and who knows a lot about the pelvic floor (if you are not sure who to see check out www.physiotherapy.org.nz.. You will find the name of physiotherapists who work in this area of physiotherapy)

 

 

Our senses: let's use them all! September 2013

We are organisms composed of organs: the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, skin... these are the five sense organs.

Babies are biologically organised and whole: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touch-feeling, directly without preference, but as we grow we condition the senses to specialise; especially eye dominance. Seeing is believing, see for yourself, see you later.... never touch or smell you later. See what I mean?

Seeing can divide and keep things at a distance and separate and see differences. What would happen to the fashion industry if we were all blind?

When we neglect the other senses we become imbalanced, tense and less sensitive to others. When we listen to some one talk and only hear the content, we can lose touch with the subtle messages of tone, rhythm and pitch. Eating artificially flavoured food can dull our wonderful sense of taste and experiencing the joy of real food. Smell has become a bad word and whole industries are devoted to removing smell or masking it! (if you have children, think about when you hug them and how you always take a long deep smell of their familiar smell !: one of the best therapies I know)

But the greatest sense we avoid or limit concerns the largest organ: the skin..We learn to stay away from each other, keep our distance, keeping at arm's length, shaking hands quickly, sitting on the chair furthest away from some one.

is it any wonder that we can be tense, anxious and out of touch with our own body when we feel afraid to touch others?

There are ways to really enhance your sense of touch:

regular massage, holding hands, hugging when greeting or saying goodbye, comfortable clothes that embrace you rather than confine you, sitting close to each other (friends and family).

Give your skin some nurturing and wake it up!

 

Some handy hints August 2013

  • I wanted to give you a little hint to ease the guilt that seems to go with drinking coffee! Try to drink a glass of water, either during your cup of coffee or after. This can help with re-hydration and minimize the diuretic effect of coffee on the kidneys.
  • It is really great to see new mothers out walking with their babies and enjoying exrcise and fresh air. it is good for body and spirit! BUT I would recommend that mothers also take time to go for a walk without pushing the buggy/pram. i do not mean that you leave the baby at home, just ask someone else to push the buggy. This means you can walk in a wonderful upright and rhythmical way without bending forward. It changes your centre of gravity.

Look at this picture of women standing well: even if you carry baby in a sling or pack as an alternative to pushing a pram.

 

 

 

What are you eating? July 2013

Lots of my patients have questions about what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat and food intolerance.

Of course the best person to talk to about this is a qualified dietitian/nutritionist with a holistic approach to health in general.

I am amazed at how many people, especially those with pelvic pain or bowel problems, find that eliminatiing some food types can really help.

This is very individual and does not necessarily apply to everyone with the same problems, but I think it is worth trying.

There are a variety of diet limitations that can help: gluten free diet, dairy free diet, FODMAP diet ( see www.shepherdworks.com.au), reducing foods with tyramine,  or a combination of these types of diets..

Once again, I recommend you look at The Revive Cafe cook books ( see www.revive.co.nz) for inspiration and ideas.

 

My best advice is:

  • eat local products and fruit and veges
  • eat organic where possible (there are major concerns with levels of dioxins, mercury in fish, insecticides etc in food from large scale producers)
  • if it has not grown in the ground or on a tree/plant, or lived on organic fodder/grain, then think very carefully before eating it!
  • if you cannot pronounce it then do not eat it (well ,apart from quinoa!)

 

 

 

Moving for living June 2013

For the month of June, almost the midwinter solstice, it is time to talk about movement.

Tempting as it is to hibernate for these months, one of the best ways to keep warm and well is to give your physical body some movement:

Walk around the block, walk down to the dairy, walk around the house ten times; if it is raining, get the umbrella and gumboots and go outside! you will not melt!

Put some music on and do some dancing in the lounge, play balloon catch with some one alse, play darts....play!

The brain keeps it's nerve cells growing and connecting by input from physical movement as well as mental activity.

Find some movement and activity that you enjoy and do it every day.

 

Brain power May 2013

I have just had the privilege of attending a two day workshop run by David Butler. The concepts and new research about our brain were amazing and it all made sense!!

Some of the snapshots were:

  • the brain cells are changing and renewing themselves all the time
  • many of the cells in the brain are immune cells, designed to protect and defend
  • we have mirror brain cells that can help us to relearn just from watching another person performan activity or by thinking about that ourselves
  • pain is a sense we feel to help us heal and be wary: it is usually short lived and decreases quickly, but if other factors influence our healin or recovery then pain can continue after it is needed.
  • our brain can produce the chemicals needed for pain relief: we have our own medicine cabinet!

I return to my basic philosophy and beliefs : the human body is designed to move and live and to heal and relearn: WITH GOOD INPUT and HELP.

                                                                          

 

Bare feet!! April 2013

This may not be the best time to be talking about bare feet, as we are just starting to have cooler mornings, and looking for slippers and socks.

But, some one said to me the other day: "it is a good idea to wear different shoes each day, so that your feet can change and adapt to a variety of support"

I think we can take that a "step" further and remember that walking bare feet is the best way to challenge and exercise our feet. I do not mean being unsafe: assess your walking surfaces.

Grass (without prickles), sand, a wooden floor, dirt tracks, smooth rocks at the beach, river stones: these are just some ideas.

You can buy little durable "socks" that are similar to wet suit material. May be you could start by wearing these to protect your feet from rough surfaces.

Take off those shoes and walk!!

                                                            

 

 

 

What are you sitting on? March 2nd 2013

Our houses and work places would look pretty empty if there were no chairs! Where would we sit?

Well, the floor or ground is a good start! It is interesting to consider that postural variations are not necessarily determined anatomically, but culturally. Kneeling, squatting, sitting cross legged and a variety of other positions stem from cultural traditions.

The right agled seated posture that you are probably using now is used by only one third of the people in the world. The chair has become a symbol, and often evidence, of westernization.

The chair can become a trap and can limit our body's natural ability and intent to move and vary position.

Try the floor or a firm stool or divan: have a variety of options in your home so that the chair is one of many. Being more concious of our body and it's natural movement patterns can help us to re-evaluate our environment.

 

 

Words of Wisdom from M Feldenkrais:  February 7th 2013

" Each one of us speaks, moves, thinks and feels in a different way, each according to the image of himself that he has built up over the years..."

I often tell people who come to see me that our body has a great ability to remember function/movement as a child and to restore lost flexibility and balance. We may feel that what our bodies are, as adults, is our "final image".

I think that we can awaken memories of good movement patterns and muscle function by giving our body an opportunity to experience this movement again.

The latest NZ Listener had a brief review about the health benefits of T'ai Ch'i. This approach is just one way to revisit and re-activate healthy movement and balance and at the same time enjoy concentration and meditation. Try it if you get the opportunity, you may become addicted!

Enjoy the NZ summer zenith

Linley 

 

 

LET'S START WITH CONTINENCE!  January 1st 2013

Our continence (bladder or bowel) is often measured against what books/research tells us. Usually these writers discuss the IDEAL or perfect state of continence i.e no leaking or risk of leaking ever!

I think we can be to hard on our bodies and the demands of day to day living and then feel as if we have failed ourselves and the health professionals who guide us.

Maybe it is best for us to measure ourselves against NORMAL rather than perfect. There will always be times when our continence is not 100%: the important thing is to understand why and what is happening to influence this:

so I want to begin the year with a wonderful cartoon by Malcolm Foster (cartoonist and also my life partner): enjoy!!!

 

 

GOOD BOWEL HEALTH  December 4th 2012

It is always strange at this time of year that we are acting as if December is the end of time, and if we do not get things finished, then time has run out.

Thank goodness this is not true! Even so, there is an anxious rush to shop and plan that can cause upset minds and upset tummies!!

I think that there are three important things for good bowel heath:

1. What we eat and drink (what goes into our mouth including medications and chewing gum!)

2. What happens while the stuff we eat is inside us (how our bowel deals with digestion ) there are many external factors that can influence this including stress and anxiety.

3. How we empty out: our bowel motions should be easy to pass and you should feel good afterwards. (Squatting is the ultimate answer.)

I would like to recommend a great recipe book for giving you healthy and delicious options to help with bowel health:

"The Revive Cafe Cookbook" byJeremy Dixon (an Auckland Cafe owner) See his website www.revive.co.nz

Happy December and hoilidays and family time!

Linley

 

November 9th 2012

BLOG coming; new development for prolapse

I hope that this newsletter will be the first of a regular monthly update on current topics and interesting facts/discussion.

I am hoping to set up a BLOG page so that you can link onto this and have an opportunity to join in discussions.

 

I am currently working on designing and developing a product that will be available here in NZ for women with symptoms of prolapse and/or pregnancy related pressure/varicosity. It is a challenge to find a comfortable and affordable solution, but I will keep you up to date with progress.

I have just finished reading and reviewing Naomi Wolf''s new book "Vagina" Go to the link above to read my review. It is well worth borrowing from the library or buy a copy for your self and pass it on to your friends.

Enjoy November weather!

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