Plan for a Pain-Free Christmas!

back care advice from cliffs chiroprator southendChristmas is next month. Next month! If you’re like our chiropractors here in Southend, you’ll be well into the festive planning by now. But have you got your plans in place to ensure you have a pain-free Christmas?

Now over the next few weeks, you’ll see plenty of posts from us about keeping your back safe during those crazy Christmas shopping sprees and avoiding back ache while sat in those dreaded traffic jams. We know you’ll probably be thinking of these things already. But have you considered the less-obvious risks of damaging your back this Christmas, like the 25lb turkey you’ll be lifting in and out of the oven, the string of long, lazy days spent lounging on the sofa or the staggered stroll to the taxi after a few too many at the office party?

We love a jolly Christmas more than most, but all we’re asking is that you keep your back health in your mind this festive season. After all, we know more than anyone that it’s often the seemingly innocent things that are guilty of causing the worst pain.

Would you like a treatment for free?

All you have to do is recommend someone you know or care about who is in pain or whose life we may improve for JUST £20! with our Christmas Cracker card. It’s that simple. They get a FULL new patient consultation, examination AND their report of findings. PLUS their first treatment. You too are important and will receive a free chiropractic treatment worth £39.50 as a THANK YOU.

Click on the image below to download your Christmas Cracker card

Our Back to Business workshops are proving to be effective

hmrc-001Over the past few months we have been taking our Back to Business programme into workplaces around Southend and it’s been great to hear the feedback from attendees.

Here is some of the feedback we received recently from attendees at our HRMC workshops:

“I enjoyed the visit a lot. It was good that it covered diet, posture and general day to day looking after your body”.

“I found Arif’s visit extremely informative. His style of presentation was very entertaining and a humorous and light approach is a good way to learn and keep your interest, and I thought he did this really well. You could see his passion for what he does and this makes me feel if I need to consult a chiropractor in the future I would definitely choose to go there and I would feel in safe hands with his team”.

“The talk with really good and he keep us interested the whole time. Plus I’m trying to put some of his suggestions into practice every day”.

“I found the presentation very informative. It was factual and had few elements of light-heartedness without being comical. Arif clearly demonstrated his specialist knowledge of the subject without a hard sell for his company. I’m now considering using his services”.

“I have been to see Arif at the Cliffs Chiropractic Clinic, and cannot recommend him enough. I initially underwent an examination and had x-rays, which I then met with Arif to discuss. I was surprised at the results, thinking that I was pretty ok!!!!! Luckily Arif has devised a programme for me that should prevent any further discomfort, or potential back pain. I have undergone two treatments so far and can already feel the benefit.

If you are considering visiting him I would suggest you do as he has been very thorough, very professional, and very helpful, as I have said, I can feel the benefits already and am preventing any further injury”.

“I enjoyed the workshop and found Arif’s advice very useful. The stretches that you can do at your desk were good and worthwhile. The Q and A session  was useful- especially about armrests on chairs as they do not go under the desks properly.

We are under so much pressure from up above to sit still all day at our desk that it is very damaging to our lower backs.”

” I was pleased to be at the event. The best bit I liked was when he did the demonstrations on the 2 volunteers.

Effective, easily understood and logical. I will make an appointment to go and see him soon”.


Mental Health: Brain vs Gut?

mental health advice from our southend chiropractorWhen it comes to mental health everyone thinks that the brain is in charge but in reality it maybe your gut. Even way back in the 1800s it was thought that wastes in your colon could cause toxins that lead to depression.

Purges to the colon and even bowel surgery were thought of as the cure!

There is in the wall of your gut a nervous system made up of 500 million nerve cells which works both with your brain and independently. This is what is responsible for your “gut instincts”, sending information between the brain and gut affecting your mood. For instance, eating fatty food makes you feel good as the cells in your gut send warm and fuzzy signals to the brain.

So if our gut becomes less than healthy we are in danger of triggering signals to the brain that can alter our behaviour. Without going into scientific detail studies have been done that show altered and high-risk behaviour in mice when the bacteria in the gut are out of balance.

mental health advice from our chiropractor in southendWhen you know that there can be around 2kg of bacteria and about 70% of your immune system is located in your gut wall then it is no surprise that an altered balance of bacteria (dysbiosis) or any cause of inflammation in the gut can cause lowered mood, depression, anxiety, panic attacks or other symptoms.

The main causes for an imbalance in bacteria are poor diet, additives in food, alcohol, stress, food allergies, drugs (Ibuprofen is a particular culprit) and pesticides and herbicides in our food.

Depression and anxiety of course do not have a single underlying cause and many factors come into play. Scientists believe it is due to in an imbalance in the brain’s level of neurotransmitters- the brains chemical messengers and this is where it can be linked to poor gut health. Depression is a devastating illness that effects a person’s life on a physical, mental and emotional level and all these areas need to be addressed. It influences self-esteem and the sufferer’s perception of other people and can range in intensity from melancholy to despondency and thoughts of suicide.

What can you do if you are suffering with anxiety or depression?

So if you are suffering with anxiety or depression how can you help yourself? If you are already taking anti-depressants it is best to always consult a qualified Medical Herbalist like myself (Melanie at Cliffs Chiro) or Nutritionist before taking supplements. Taking a course of probiotics is a good place to start to try and recolonize the gut with some good bacteria. Try eliminating wheat from your diet completely for two weeks and see if symptoms improve. People with anxiety should try calcium, magnesium and vitamin B complex, all of which support a healthy nervous system. St John’s wort may be a safe alternative to prescription drugs and for people over 50 gingko biloba combats depression more effectively than prescription drugs.

Women can be particularly susceptible to low levels of tryptophan in the brain, this this reduces the brain’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin which helps regulate mood. Eating turkey, salmon and some milk products contain tryptophan and may help increase serotonin production.

In fact studies have shown that taking milk protein hydrolysate reduces anxiety symptoms and is even more effective when Theanine is added the chemical which gives you that  ‘aaah lovely cup of tea” feeling.

What else can you do?

Exercise regularly, this is one of the best natural anti-depressants. Avoid alcohol, tobacco and excessive caffeine. Seek counselling, there are free services in the Southend-On Sea area. Talk to us, your chiropractor will be ready to listen and will be able to help you choose supplements that are the most appropriate for you. If you think you have a gut issue or more serious depression please ask for an appointment with Melanie Cutting who is also a Medical Herbalist with a special interest in nutrition.

A Big Thank You: The day Westcliff was awash with Super Heroes & Villains

Our Super Heroes & Villains Day Raised £1,183.48 For Fair Havens Hospice

A Big Thank You to all of our wonderful patients who came along and contributed to the day. We hope you had as much fun as we did in raising money for such a worthwhile cause.

Westcliff was awash with Super Heroes & Villains on November 2nd!

We just couldn’t resist sharing what they got up to on the day. There seems to be a lot of cake and some chiropractic thrown in!

Watch the Video:

View the Photos:

Melanie’s In the News!

medical herbalism advice from cliffs chiropractor southendThe media spotlight has once again been shining on Cliffs and this time it’s our very own Melanie who has taken the starring role! The East Anglian Daily Times recently ran a two page interview with Melanie, all about the benefits of herbal medicine. It really is worth a read, even if we say so ourselves!

As a medicinal herbalist, Melanie has extensive experience in using herbs and plants to treat a wide variety of patients with a diversity of medical conditions. In Melanie’s words, the aim of herbal treatment is to “restore the body’s natural ability to protect, regulate and heal itself.” And Melanie highlights the effects of this restoration through a personal case study she shares in the article. The real life example explains how a 16-year old girl, who had suffered from debilitating and “incurable” stomach problems for years, is now experiencing a significant reduction in symptoms since seeking Melanie’s help. Melanie hopes that increased awareness of herbal medicine will encourage more people to see it as a primary treatment option.

A Qualified Medical Herbalist has a BSc or equivalent in Herbal Medicine, has studied orthodox medicine as well as plant medicine and is trained in the same diagnostic skills as a GP. Herbalists, however, take a holistic approach to illness, which means they treat the underlying cause of disease, rather than symptoms alone.  Medical Herbalists are able to prescribe herbal remedies to be used alongside other medications. Many patients are often referred to Herbalists by their GPs.

A big “well done” to Melanie from all your colleagues at Cliffs Chiropractic!

You can read the full article here: Can herbal medicine help us keep well


A Great Invention For Parents Suffering From Back Pain!

If you’re a parent who suffers from back pain, you will be all too aware of the gruelling task that is teaching your little one to ride a bike. Walking in a 90 degree angle (it’s not that much of an exaggeration!) while you fervently try to help your child steer, balance and pedal can feel like a back-breaking task. Literally.

Fortunately, there is equipment available to help protect your spine while teaching your child to ride a bicycle.

“Bicycle parent handles”, as they are known, are handles that can be attached to the back of a child’s back to enable parents to help steer, control and balance the bike from a comfortable height.

If you are thinking of teaching your child how to ride, our Southend chiropractor recommends that you invest in a tool such as this – whether you  currently suffer from back pain or not.

Bonfire Night Is Here But is it Your Muscles That Are on Fire?

advice from out chiropractor in southend It may be the month for smouldering flames and crackling fireworks, but if your muscles regularly leave you feeling “the burn”, it could be down to something more than those everyday aches and pains.

Here our Southend chiropractor highlights some common reasons for persistent muscle pain:

1: Stress

Chronic, regular or severe stress can cause constant or frequent body aches. Stress can be responsible for a wide variety of physical symptoms. Some of the most commonly reported include:

  • Headache/ migraines
  • Muscle aches and pain
  • Chest pain
  • Excessive tiredness/ fatigue
  • Sleeping problems
  • Stomach upsets
  • Dizziness/ faintness

2: Lack of Vitamin D

Inadequate levels of vitamin D are a common reason for chronic body pain. Vitamin D helps to facilitate the absorption of calcium, which aids in keeping bones strong. Because calcium is necessary to build strong and healthy bones, low levels of vitamin D can contribute to weak, soft and achy bones.

Some of the common symptoms of low levels of vitamin D include:

  • Constant or frequent fatigue
  • Achy bones
  • Feelings of weakness

3: Anaemia

Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when there is an adequate amount iron in your blood. This can lead to lower amounts of oxygen and nutrients being carried to various parts of the body which will usually make you feel tired and achy all over.

Other symptoms of this type of anaemia may include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Pale skin and nails
  • Brittle nails and hair
  • Dizziness
  • Mood swings and irritability

4: Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage between two bones erodes, causing the bones to rub against each other. This typically leads to pain and discomfort.

Other symptoms of this disease may include:

  • Sore and stiff joints
  • Back, hip and hand pain that reduces following movement
  • Morning stiffness
  • Stiffness during/ following excessive activity

5:Nerve Damage

As the name suggests, nerve damage is the result of nerves in a particular region being damaged due to disease or injury.

Because nerve damage causes the nerves to malfunction, pain can occur all over the body.

Some of the other symptoms associated with this condition can include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Tingling
  • Muscle spasms
  • Lack of coordination

Remember remember – don’t ignore pain this November!