Feel Less Stress And Feel Better

Stress is the bodies way of helping us avoid a potentially life threatening situation. In order to cope the body goes through some major changes which include:

  • stress hormones being released
  • an increased heart rate
  • rapid and shallow breathing
  • glucose flooding the body
  • brain activity changes
  • tensing of muscles
  • reprioritisation of bodily functions

These changes are appropriate to help get us out of danger, however, being continually in this state is not good for our health.

If you experience stress on a frequent basis here are 6 techniques you can use to reduce it:

  • ensure you get good quality sleep
  • eat a healthy diet
  • participate in relaxation techniques such as yoga
  • practice mindfulness
  • spend time with people you love
  • take regular exercise

Take the above on-board and feel less stressed and feel better.

Prevent pregnancy back pain

pregnancy back care advice from our southend chiropractorExpecting a baby? Experiencing back pain? You’re not alone!

According to our Southend chiropractor, most women will encounter some degree of back pain or discomfort during their pregnancy. And while back pain may develop at any point during a pregnancy, it most commonly occurs during the later stages as the baby grows bigger.

The good news is there are simple steps you can take to reduce the amount of pain and discomfort you feel. We share these at the end of this post, but first of all, let’s take a look at what causes back pain during pregnancy.

There are a number of factors that can lead to back pain during pregnancy with some women even experiencing an achy spine at the very early stages.

Here are some of the most common reasons for back pain or discomfort during pregnancy:

Hormone surges

Hormones released during pregnancy allow ligaments in the pelvic area to soften and the joints to become looser in preparation for the birth. This change in joints and loosening of ligaments can affect the support your spine normally experiences.

Shift in the centre of gravity

When carrying a child, your centre of gravity gradually moves forward as your uterus and baby grow. This causes a change in posture which can lead to back pain. Poor posture and bending over can trigger or increase the pain you experience in your back

Weight gain

Every pound you gain during pregnancy is an extra pound of weight your spine must support.


Preparing for a new arrival is exciting but also stressful at times. As stress usually manifests in weak areas in the body, and because your back may be weaker due to the reasons above, you can experience an increase in back pain during stressful periods of your pregnancy.

So what can you do to reduce the risk of back pain during pregnancy?

The physiological aspects of growing a child mean that it isn’t always possible to completely prevent back pain during pregnancy. But there are steps that you can take to reduce the severity or frequency.

These include:

  • Carrying out the exercises advised by your health care provider that support and help strengthen your back and abdomen.
  • Squatting instead of bending over when you need to lift or pick up something.
  • Avoiding high heels and other unsupportive shoes.
  • Avoiding sleeping on your back.
  • Wearing a support belt under your lower abdomen.
  • Having your back adjusted by a good chiropractor.
  • Getting plenty of rest and keeping your feet elevated as much as possible.

We wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!

Make Time for You This Christmas!

If you’re like many of the patients we treat, your hectic lifestyle may mean that you regularly go whole weeks without properly relaxing. Between your work, looking after the children and doing your share of the housework, it can sometimes seem that life passes you by in a frenzy of frazzling duties.

And if you’re struggling to find any downtime during an average week, the build up to Christmas is probably looking incredibly time-sapping.

But our Southend chiropractor warns that if you don’t make time for yourself this Christmas, you could be putting yourself at risk of developing stress-related health problems, including back pain.

Remember that everyone has the same 24 hours in each day; the key to good time management is effective personal management.

Christmas is the time for giving, so this year, think about giving something to yourself. After all, there is nothing more precious than the gift of good health.

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.

Improve memory and concentration while calming a nervous stomach and alleviating stress

lemon balm nutrition advice from cliffs chiropractor southendLemon balm or Melissa Officinalis has a long tradition of use as a herbal medicine. Used mainly to calm spasm in the gut and as an anti- depressive it has more recently been found to improve memory and concentration. This makes it ideal for anyone who suffers from a nervous stomach or could be a good idea this time of year for children under exam stress. Further aided by the fact it is antimicrobial and decongestant it may help keep colds away, which no one wants when they are studying.

nutrition advice from cliffs chiropractor southendIt is safe and gentle herb and very easy to grow, tolerant of a range of conditions and unaffected by many pests and diseases. It also has the added benefit of attracting bees, which feed on the small white flowers. A handful of leaves in a mug of hot water make a very pleasant soothing tea.

nutrition advice from cliffs chiropractor southendFor real ease of use that has added benefits Lamberts have produced Theanine and lemon Balm complex. L-Theanine is a fascinating amino acid that is present in normal tea and is believed to be responsible for that unique ‘nice cup of tea’ feeling.

It has been shown to raise levels of GABA and alpha waves in the brain and this can result in a calming effect without drowsiness. As a result, L-Theanine is widely recommended for those during times of stress and anxiety.

Three relevant B vitamins are also included. Folic acid and biotin both contribute to normal psychological function and pantothenic acid as it contributes to normal mental performance.

For a naughty treat why not use Lemon Balm in a dessert!

Lemon meringue ice cream with lemon balm (courtesy of Mary Berry)

Lemon balm gives a gentle citrus tang to this impressive but easy ice cream. Try serving it with a raspberry coulis or summer berries.

nutrition advice from cliffs chiropractor southendIngredients
300ml/½ pint double cream
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 jar good quality lemon curd
50g/1¾oz meringues, broken into chunky pieces
2 tbsp chopped fresh lemon balm
3 passionfruit, halved, pulp and seeds scooped out
sprigs of lemon balm, to garnish

Preparation method

Line a 450g/1lb loaf tin with clingfilm, overlapping the sides. Whisk the cream lightly until the whisk leaves a trail, add the lemon zest and juice and half the jar of lemon curd then fold in the meringue and chopped lemon balm.

Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, cover with clingfilm and freeze for at least six hours.

If the ice cream has been freezing overnight or longer, remove it from the freezer for 10-15 minutes before turning onto a plate. Lift the ice cream from the loaf tin, invert it onto a board and remove the clingfilm. Dip a sharp knife in boiling water and cut the ice cream into thick slices.

Mix the other half of the lemon curd with the pulp and seeds from the passion fruit.

Place a slice of ice cream on a plate and top with a spoonful of the passionfruit sauce. Decorate with sprigs of lemon balm.