Supermums, Watch Your Backs!

back care advice for mothersBeing a ‘Supermum’ demands daily physical labour, as you know! Along with lifting and carrying your child, you also have the challenge of lugging around a jam-packed changing bag and what seems like half the house every time you and your little one step outdoors. But while minor aches and pains are an inevitable part of motherhood, you could be putting your body at risk of developing more serious injuries if you don’t take the precautions to protect yourself.

Arif, our renowned chiropractor in Southend, is highly experienced in treating both children and parents. Here he highlights some top tips on keeping your back healthy as you do your fantastic job of being a Supermum:

1: Reduce Aches after Lifting Your Child Out of a Cot

Bending and reaching over a cot rail may unevenly compress your spinal discs which can cause back ache and even chronic spine problems. (It’s a good idea to lower the rail of the cot to lessen the distance you have to reach to pick up your child.)
To ease those post-bedtime aches and pains, get down on all fours, placing your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips (your neck should be in line with your spine). Make a rounded position with your back by tightening your stomach muscles and tucking in your pelvis. Hold the position for five seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times.

2: Ease Tension after Chasing After Your Toddler.

If you have a toddler, you will know how incredibly busy they can be! All of a sudden your tiny little bundle has transformed into a mini marathon sprinter with a missing stop button! But according to our Southend chiropractor, even walking with your little one requires a lot of strength and balance. When you’re chasing after your toddler, your hip flexors tighten as your feet hit the ground. If you don’t stretch these muscles, your pelvis may start to tilt forward which can be a trigger for back pain.

To lessen this risk, form a lunge position with your left leg facing forward, your knee over your ankle and your right knee on the floor. Push your hips forward until you can feel a stretch along the front of your right thigh. Hold the position for 30 seconds and repeat up to three times. Perform the same exercise on the other leg.

3: Reduce Pain from Hunching Over

From giving your child a bath, to changing their nappy to picking up toys – motherhood usually sees you slouching on a daily basis – but it’s no good for your spine! Overtime, slouching can cause a muscular imbalance as your shoulders become rounded, your upper back muscles tighten and the backs of your shoulders weaken.

To help prevent this from happening, get in to a seated or standing position, put your hands behind your head with your elbows facing out to the sides. Push your elbows forward until they reach the front of your face, then squeeze your shoulder blades together as you bring your elbows back to behind your ears. Repeat this movement up to ten times.

To book an appointment with our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend on 01702 430430.

Is Homework Causing Stress and Affecting Your Child’s Spine?

To most children and teenagers, the word “homework” sends their minds and bodies into stress mode. After all, following a week at school, the last thing most children want to do is get their heads stuck into another textbook! But according to our leading Southend chiropractor, a reduction in homework stress can transform homework into a positive and enjoyable experience that teaches children lifelong skills.
Our chiropractor from our Southend clinic shares the following top tips in making homework stress free:

1: Buy an additional set of second hand textbooks to keep at home. This will help to keep your child organised and will benefit their spine by not having to carry extra books in their school bags.

2: Teach your child relaxation techniques to help control anger and frustration. It’s important to introduce these techniques when your child is calm so that they can be implemented if and when required.

3: Break down each homework assignment into smaller sections and make sure your child takes a break from their desk every 20 minutes. Reward your child when they stick to the schedule and praise their achievements.

Remember to take a look at your child’s homework routine and if your child ends up upset, sleep deprived or regularly missing out on other activities to complete assignments then it may be time to make some important changes.

To book an appointment with our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend on 01702 430430.

Working Together to Protect the Health of Our Children

back care advice for childrenThere used to be an age when getting the kids to spend time indoors would be as difficult as trying take a new puppy away from a toy. Whatever the weather, whatever the day, children would want to spend their free time playing outdoors in the fresh air –climbing trees and getting grazed knees, making dens from battered planks of wood, cycling, skating or just good old fashioned walking…

And then came along the internet.

No one can deny the amazing educational benefits that the internet brings for today’s children, but it can pose a danger to their physical health.

Here at our chiropractic clinic in Southend, we treat many children for back and neck pain (we’ve all heard of “text neck”!) and it’s impossible to ignore that the growing amount of time that youngsters spend online sometimes plays a major role in these often modern age aches and pains.

While limited and monitored internet usage can be advantageous for certain areas your child’s life, it’s important (now more than ever) that physical activity plays a major role in their free time.

Our award winning Southend chiropractor provides the following top tips to keep your child happy and healthy (without a single mention of the internet!):

1: Help them to discover a fun activity. The more your child enjoys an activity, the more likely they will be to stick at it. Talk to your child about how important physical activity is and play and active part in helping them to start something they’re interested in.

2: Remember to choose an activity that is developmentally appropriate and respect your child’s views if they think something is too young/ old for them or if they naturally grow out of something. For example, a child who starts ballet lessons at the age of 4 may not want to continue with that particular activity when they’re 12.

3: Ensure that you always plan ahead and make time for your children to exercise.

4: Be proactive in the toys that you buy by selecting ones that promote physical exercise. There are always plenty of new inventions on the market for older children (how much fun do Segways look?) and toddlers and younger children should always have easy access to balls, ride alongs and other active toys.

5: Be active yourself. If your child sees you regularly enjoying sports and physical activities then they are likely to follow in your footsteps. On the flip side, if your child sees you spending most of your downtime on your Smartphone, tablet or laptop then they will assume that is the ‘norm’.

6: Play with your child and plan family days out/ activities together. Why not arrange a family walk every Sunday morning where no technology is allowed? Not only will this benefit your child’s health and fitness but it will encourage you to communicate as a family (something that is also often hampered by too much internet usage).

To book an appointment with our award winning team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor in Southend on 01702 430430.

Join Our Great Easter Egg Hunt And Be A Winner

easter egg 264All you need to do is find the Easter Egg on our website at and email us the page it is on.

If your answer is correct you will receive an email to confimr that you have won your very own Easter Egg which you can collect from the Clinic between 8am Monday 21st – 12:30 Thursday 24th March.

You’ve got until 5pm on Friday 18th to find the Easter Egg and email us. Good Luck and happy hunting:)

It probably goes without saying, the egg on this page (or on the Newsletter) is not what you are looking for! Also only one entry per person and per email address will be accepted.

It’s No Longer Freezing But You May Be Sneezing!

hayfeverIf you find the spring and summer months are more about “ah-ah-achoo-ing” than feeling in the full bloom of health then you could be one of the 25% of Brits suffering from hay fever. You may be familiar with the scene; everyone else seems to be blissfully lapping up the sunshine while you battle with sneezing fits, sore and runny eyes and sinuses that feel like they’ve been stuffed with treacle.

Hay fever is triggered by the amount of pollen in the air and symptoms can begin as early as February and last as late as September. In hay fever sufferers, tiny grains of pollen cause an allergic reaction. This results in the body’s immune system going into ‘attack mode’ – just like it would do if it was invaded by a virus or bacteria. In response, the body releases histamine which causes inflammation in the eyes, airways and sinuses.

Interestingly, hay fever was unheard of just 200 years ago which suggests that our over-sanitised modern world is hindering the development of our immune systems in infancy. Increased air pollution is another possible explanation for the ever growing instances of the illness.

So apart from hibernating until October, what measures can you take to stop hay fever from ruining your spring and summer?hayfever cartoon

Herbal remedies are extremely effective as they improve your immune system and work as antihistamines and have anti-inflammatory properties. Bear in mind that herbal remedies work best when taken at least a month before the pollen season starts – so that’s NOW.

Prevention is always better than cure, as they say.

Here are our suggested herbal remedies that should help:

1: Drink Chamomile Tea.
You can either drink chamomile tea or use it as a face splash (when cooled!). Placing a few drops of chamomile essential oil on a tissue to inhale can also be extremely soothing.

2: Drink Ginger Tea and Local Honey
Mixing fresh slices of ginger with hot water and a teaspoon of local honey will help to block histamine production and build your immune system.

3: Drink Green Tea.
Drinking green tea will hinder your body’s production of histamine and help to strengthen your immune system.

4: Try Steaming
Steaming is a simple and soothing way to break up congestion in your sinuses. Add a few drops of eucalyptus to hot water and gently inhale the steam.

5: Watch Your Diet
Try to cut down on the amount of dairy foods you consume and add a daily supplement of Vitamin C to your diet. Taking Omega 3 fatty acids may also help to decrease the amount of inflammatory chemicals in your body.

Nothing replaces an individual prescription designed for you so why not visit Melanie. As an experienced Medical Herbalist she will be able to assess your need and help you.

Don’t suffer in silence this pollen season!

“I went to the hospital but only Cliffs could help me!”

Rosie was suffering from so much pain in her jaw that she visited the hospital seeking answers. “The hospital advised that I needed to distress,” said Rosie, who is now a patient of ours. “They said the jaw pain was a result of biting my nails but I didn’t necessarily feel that had caused my jaw problems.”

A significant detail that the hospital didn’t address was that Rosie’s jaw pain had only started a few months after undergoing a procedure to remove her tonsils. When she visited the hospital, her jaw pain had grown to “excruciating” levels and she was no longer able to put up with it on a daily basis.

Fortunately, Rosie’s instinct and unwillingness to accept the hospital’s nail biting ‘diagnosis’ prompted her to seek a second opinion at our clinic. And it wasn’t long before the true extent of her jaw problems became apparent.

When Arif examined Rosie, he found that she had extremely limited movement in her jaw and that her ability to properly open her mouth was also quite poor. The thorough examination provided the information needed to begin an appropriate treatment plan.

Just four weeks after her first visit to Cliffs, Rosie’s pain had almost completely disappeared and she was once again feeling “fantastic”. The constant and severe daily pain that made Rosie visit a hospital was gone in the space of a month!

Rosie’s story is a strong example of why it is so important to keep seeking health solutions – because they are usually there! An accurate diagnosis is essential to the right treatment plan; so if you feel like there are parts of your health puzzle yet to be solved, then keep pushing to get to the bottom of it. If Rosie hadn’t, she would probably still be in severe pain – with only perfect, un-bitten nails to show for it!

Wedding Bells Have Been Ringing

Gill6On Friday 4th March Gill Baptist became Mrs. Graham Hole. It was a truly happy and heartwarming day full of love for the happy couple from family and friends.

There was not a dry eye in the house when Gill’s son and daughter read a poem they had written especially for the day about how much Gill and Graham mean to them all. Gill’s son Mark gave a moving speech about how happy the family were that “Ham” was now officially part of the family. Gill, looking truly beautiful and radiant, didn’t stop smiling all day.

Gill has been overwhelmed by all the good wishes she has had from our lovely patients and will I am sure thank you all personally when she sees you, in true Gill style (big hugs coming!).

Here are some photos of the wonderful day.

Arif’s Crosses Off One Of His Bucket List Destinations

IMG_2198In February, Arif crossed off a visit to one of his bucket list destinations and at the same time got the opportunity to pursue one of his great passions – other than treating his patients! Although once a chiropractor always a chiropractor, Arif still managed to treat people around him!

Many of you have loved Arif’s photos on our Facebook page so Arif shares his adventures and more photos with you all.

Arif’s Icelandic Adventures

The world is beautiful and fascinating. We have but a lifetime to explore and appreciate what it has to offer. Since walking in the forests of Germany as a child with my grandfather I have enjoyed the exhilaration of hiking and photographing landscapes. One of my hero’s of photography is British landscape photographer David Noton. I had the opportunity to join one of his Icelandic workshops last month, a 25th anniversary wedding gift from Melanie! Only 10 places were available to enthusiastic photographers. To visit one of my bucket list destinations for what was to be a photographic adventure was a dream come true.

For those of you who follow Cliffschiro on Facebook you’ll know how much fun we had and in answer to your requests, I am delighted to share a selection of the photographs from my trip. They include the Aurora Borealis, (Northern Lights), Glaciers, Volcanic Laval flood plains, waterfalls and a photo-bombing Icelandic Horse!

Conditions can be extreme similar to the scenery. Four to five thermal wind and waterproof layers were needed together with spiked snow boots, thermal insoles and two pairs of thermal socks. Hats and gloves were the norm even when working the camera. On day one I tried to operate the camera with no gloves and lost feeling in my fingers. You learn lessons quickly in this environment.

Talking of extreme, our Icelandic guide, Ao Thor “Wolf Thunder”, Yes really that’s what it means! was a true Viking in stature and bravado. Our transport was a Mercedes Sprinter minibus with the lower half and suspension surgically removed soaked in steroids and reattached so that it resembled a four-wheel drive monster. This meant we could drive beyond the reach of most, up 45 degree inclines, through rivers, snow fields and sheet ice. At times our jovial banter and and singing ABBA tunes was replaced by silent fear as we traversed sideways rather than forwards!

Once a chiropractor always a chiropractor and three of the group including Ao required treatment for an injured shoulder, neck pain and food poisoning. It felt like home from home . Even in a remote fishing village over a bowl of hot soup, two of the fishermen were keen for an adjustment. They didn’t speak English but obviously chiropractic sign language is international!

Enjoy the photos!