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Have a Baby or a Career? Stats Every British Women Should Know

TBaby Versus a Careeroday I have a very cool infographic I want to share with you. It is all about giving women the information they want to know, or should know, about when it comes to deciding whether or not to keep working or stop and have children.

Having kids is a major decision in life, and older mothers are becoming more common as the stats show in the infographic. Some other points I found interesting in the following infographic were about:

  • The average age of mums having kids and how many of those are over 30
  • What is costs to have a full-time nanny in London look after children
  • How many professional career women will drop out of their career’s to bring up kids or take care of a loved one
  • 7 best jobs for women to keep a work-life balance

The Answer to the Baby Versus Career Question

Gumtree infographic baby versus career
Gumtree infographic baby versus career is an infographic that was produced by Gumtree

The Bottom Line

I see it in the clinic all the time where a lady feels the biological clock ticking away and rushes to find a stable partner or husband to have babies with them. For some of these women getting near their late thirties or into their early forties fertility becomes a big concern. In fact you can see from this fertility clinic in Hertfordshire stat that women who are 38 years old plus the fertility treatment success rate drops off dramatically.

Having children is an amazing experience. I know I am lucky enough to have a beautiful daughter. Money is one thing, but if you really want kids, I feel, you can’t choose the best time, the best time is right now when you are ready to raise a family.

A More Natural and Holistic Approach to Schizophrenia Care

natural schizophrenia treatmentToday I have a guest post about the mental health condition, Schizophrenia. Mental illness diseases are not that uncommon and it is always interesting to find out more about them.

Schizophrenia is a serious health condition that affects 1% of the population, yet sufferers and healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly concerned about the effectiveness of conventional treatments. This has led many to seek out complementary and alternative therapies, some of which have shown to possess remarkable benefits for schizophrenia sufferers.

What is Schizophrenia?

According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. Sufferers may hear voices other people don’t hear or believe that other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them. As a result, sufferers can become withdrawn or agitated. They may not make sense when they talk or may sit for hours without moving or talking. Other people with schizophrenia may seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.

Symptoms of schizophrenia are divided into ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ signs. Positive symptoms include:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Disordered thoughts

‘Negative’ symptoms deficits of normal emotional responses or of other thought processes. They include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Flat expressions or little emotion
  • Poverty of speech
  • Lack of motivation
  • Inability to experience emotion and pleasure.

Negative symptoms can lead to sufferers neglect themselves or make them appear wrapped up in their own thoughts. They can also lead to difficulty with education or employment. Such negative symptoms are often the most difficult to deal with for families and carers and tend to be the main cause of long-term disability.

What Treatment is Available?

The causes of schizophrenia are still largely unknown, so treatment focus on eliminating the symptoms of the disease. The two mainstays of therapy are antipsychotic medications and psychosocial or talking therapies.

Antipsychotic medications

Conventional or ‘typical’ antipsychotics medications have been around since the 1950s, including chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and haloperidol (Haldol). So-called second generation or ‘atypical’ antipsychotics arrived in the 1990s, the most of which is clozapine (Clozaril), an effective medication that treats psychotic symptoms, hallucinations and breaks with reality. However, clozapine can cause a serious problem called agranulocytosis, or the loss of white blood cells needed to fight infection. Other atypical antipsychotics that do not cause agranulocytosis include risperidone (Risperdal), olanzapine (Zyprexa), quetiapine (Seroquel) and aripiprazole (Abilify).

Side effects with antipsychotic medications include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness when changing positions
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sensitivity to the sun
  • Skin rashes
  • Menstrual problems for women

Atypical antipsychotic medications can also cause weight gain and changes in a person’s metabolism, which may increase the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Weight, glucose levels and lipid levels should be monitored regularly by a doctor while taking an atypical antipsychotic medication.

Talking Therapies

A debate is currently underway in the scientific community about the effectiveness of talking therapies for those with schizophrenia, with two apparently contradictory articles published in the last three months.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a well-recognised treatment, however, the results of systematic review and meta-analysis of the effectiveness of CBT published in the British Journal of Psychiatry concluded the therapeutic benefit was only “in the ‘small’ range” and “reduces further when sources of bias, particularly masking, are controlled for”. Only a few weeks later, The Lancet published the results of a single-blind randomised clinical trial that aimed to establish whether cognitive therapy was effective in reducing psychiatric symptoms in people with schizophrenia. In contrast to the earlier report, the study concluded that cognitive therapy significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms and was “a safe and acceptable alternative for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who have chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs”. This final point – that the patients in the study had chosen not to take their medication – is a crucial element in this debate.

Recent research has suggested that meditation can also help reduce the symptoms of mental health disorders. Click here for more general information on schizophrenia.

Are There Any Other Treatments?

What is clear is that significant doubt exist around the efficacy of both mainstays of schizophrenia treatment. Due to the large number of potentially severe side effects to antipsychotic medications, many sufferers choose not to take them. As a consequence, many experts are recommending that health professionals work in partnership with patients and carers to offer treatment, education, support and psychosocial care in an atmosphere of hope and optimism.

Psychiatrist James H. Lake, who chairs the American Psychiatric Association’s Caucus on Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Care also runs a full-time private practice in integrative psychiatry, an approach that uses both conventional therapies and evidence-based complementary therapies. He emphasises that ‘integrative psychiatry’ is based on compelling evidence from randomised controlled trials and is meant to supplement, not supplant, conventional medications. “By no means am I trying to replace antipsychotic medications with herbs. I prescribe conventional antipsychotics all the time — they are very important.”

With some patients, Lake agrees to work toward a goal of reducing doses or even discontinuing antipsychotics but only is the patient is stable, has a history of good compliance and is committed to an holistic programme that includes healthy diet, exercise and a mind-body practice such as yoga or tai-chi.

There is huge demand for new approaches, says Richard P Brown, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and holistic therapy champion. “Patients and families are desperate — they’re saying: There’s got to be more you can do for us.” He views complementary therapies as a broader set of tools that clinicians can employ to help patients lead less disrupted and more fulfilled lives.” However, there has traditionally been little in complementary therapies among US psychiatrists, he admits. “Most psychiatrists are quite frightened by the idea of alternative medicine… [yet] when I give talks on this, the room is stuffed and people are overflowing out into the hall.” It’s a sign, he says, that, “clinicians aren’t satisfied with the treatments we have to offer.”

Dr Brown points to studies that found evidence for the use of a range of nontraditional therapies used alongside antipsychotics, including omega-3 fatty acids, glycine, folate, Chinese herbal medicines, yoga practices and spiritually focused group therapy. Nonconventional therapies may be particularly effective in easing negative symptoms, cognitive symptoms and/or antipsychotic side effects.

One leading area of interest is the use of the dietary supplement, omega-3 fatty acids. Five of six double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in schizophrenia, and four of six such trials in depression, have reported therapeutic benefit from omega-3 fatty acids particularly when used in addition to antipsychotic medication. However, as other reviews have failed to find clinical benefit, more research is needed.

Image Credit: David Goehring

 

5 Tips for Creating Good Posture in Teenagers

poor posture in adolescent

How to Improve Your Posture

Today I have a guest post about why teenagers need to make sure they have good posture and 5 tips on how to do that.

I have talked about in the past about how we can continuously abuse the natural spinal curves with bad posture and end up diagnosed with the 23 and 1/2 hour disease. Doing the opposite by trying to take care of how you’re sitting, standing and moving is not only important to how better you look but also your general nerve, muscle and joint health in the long-term.

Below Micheala will explain 5 simple posture exercise and handy tips for a teenager who could be in that poor posture stage and you are worried about them developing a hunch back or scoliosis looking spine. I like to say to patients posture is a sign of how your nervous system is feeling. You don’t see confident, happy people walking around with a slouched back and bad posture instead they look strong and a ‘perfect posture’ position. So your posture is important. Continue reading

How to Request Access to Health Records from the NHS

Health Records on the NHS

Access to Your Old Health Notes on the NHS

Today I have a guest post talking about a recent BBC new story where a man was going to be charged £2,000 to obtain old health records from the NHS. I hadn’t come across this problem before so it was interesting for me to find out: what happens in a situation like this now, does a NHS patient have to pay so much money to get access to their doctors notes and test results?

You can guess that no, £2,000 is not the normal fee to be charged for access to your old health files. Find out the answer below. If you have ever tried to get access to your old blood tests, MRI scan results from the NHS? Did you find it hard to get copies of them if you did? Let me know in a comment below. Continue reading

EXSTORE-dinary: Fast Assessment and Treatment System for Muscle, Bone and Nerves

Chiropractor Anthony Lombardi from Hamilton, BC, Canada

Chiropractor Anthony Lombardi

If you have enjoyed the previous articles about EXSTORE the assessment and treatment system from Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr Anthony Lombardi, now you get to try it out. Today Anthony has some more information he would like to share about how he believes medical doctors, chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, occupational therapists and probably any healthcare professional could benefit from this standardised system for diagnosing and treating a patients pain.

In the article below Anthony explains in a lot more detail about: what is EXSTORE, how it actually works, how different professions can integrate it into their practices and finally how much taxpayers money could be saved. I see it all the time where a patient sees a GP for a back or neck pain and doesn’t get it resolved quickly. Remember in the UK on the NHS a GP consultation is on average 13 minutes. They have limited time and so can only prescribe medication and refer to other healthcare practitioners. Their job is not to use hands on care. I feel some GP’s feel obliged to send a patient for x-rays when most of the time it is not going to change the treatment plan anyway. I hope this EXSTORE (from examine+restore) system would give medical doctors confidence in not needing an x-ray for biomechanical back pain.

Continue reading

Some Basic Benefits of Sports Massage

Person on a Massage Table

Massage Time

Today I have a guest post mentioning some of the basic benefits you can get from having a sports massage. Freedom Clinics is UK group who provide various healthcare modalities like osteopathy, chiropractic, sports massage, physiotherapy, acupuncture and kinesio taping.

There are various types of massage techniques around used by massage therapists to treat muscle tension. Most patients I have seen prefer having the sports massage treatment instead of a gentle spa like massage. My personal feelings for massage are you get those who like a hard massage and those that like a soft massage. It all depends on how you handle stimulus. Below I have added a video talking a little bit about who could benefit from a sports massage and some links to massage oil of you feel you want a massage after reading this 🙂 Continue reading

3 Breathing Exercises to Calm Yourself During a Panic Attack

panic attack reliefToday I have a guest post about a simple do it yourself solution for treating panic attacks by Ryan Rivera. Ryan has an interest in helping others overcome psychological conditions like anxiety and panic attacks for example.

As you may have seen from my post on psychoneuroimmunology I have a keen interest in learning how to optimise your mind to improve your health and research shows we must. I know this post is headlined for panic attacks, but the advice on how to breathe is useful for anyone who wants to learn how to improve themselves. I have talked a bit about how to become a diaphragm breather and why it is so important. I know so many of you suffer from trapped nerve pain and this is another way to try control the pain levels in your body. Continue reading

What is Occupational Therapy: Part 2

Jason Lomond Occupational Therapist Bridgewater Canada

Jason Lomond Occupational Therapist

Hi everyone sorry it has been a long time since posting on the blog so many good things to read which I need to blog at some stage. This is part 2 to the original article written by occupational therapist, Jason Lomond on what is occupational therapy. I will let Jason explain more to you about today’s second article that he has written. Here’s Jason.

In part 1 of this two part series I described the functional and systematic occupational therapy assessment as it relates to dealing with pain and movement dysfunction. Having identified all the factors contributing to the occupational performance issue, this article will review the actual methods used to enable peak performance in everyday activities for those living with pain and movement dysfunction. Continue reading

Strange Story of Tongue Tied Causing Neck Pain: Let Me Explain

Bending Tongue Muscle

Watch Out for the Tongue Tied

Yes you read correctly, this is a case involving a patients tongue causing her chronic neck pain and headaches. I’ve mentioned Canadian doctor of Chiropractic, Anthony Lombardi before on this blog. He is the creator of the EXSTORE system of analyses. Anthony dropped me an email letting me know of an interesting case that had come through his clinic. He knows people here love to know what causes neck pain.

I won’t tell the whole story. I’ll let Anthony tell you in his words exactly what happened and how he discovered the source of this women’s long-term neck pain and headaches. I must admit who would have thought of linking the tongue to neck pain like this. This is the first time I have ever come across a case like this. Enjoy the story and thanks Anthony for sharing. Continue reading

Basic Neck Exercises: Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization

Chiropractor Justin Hildebrand

Chiropractor Justin Hildebrand

Today I have a guest post from a chiropractor who will show you how to do neck exercises using concepts from dynamic neuromuscular stabilization. If you have read about the Prague School of Rehabilitation on ChiroCentre before then you’ll know what dynamic neuromuscular stabilization or DNS is about. I love the concept of “regress to progress” in making someone better through movement therapy. This is what DNS looks at doing by breaking down how we move and hold our body postures.

Doctor of Chiropractic, Justin Hildebrand has studied DNS and was willing to show us two very simple neck pain exercises that you can do to reduce strain on the muscles, achey joints or a trapped nerve in the neck and upper back region. He will explain to you where the idea of how to hold and move your neck properly comes from looking at how babies do it. I hope you enjoy the following rehabilitation movements. Continue reading

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What is the Exstore Assesment System?

Chiropractor Anthony Lombardi from Hamilton, BC, Canada

Chiropractor Anthony Lombardi

I have a juicy, thought provoking guest post today about The Exstore System from a fellow chiropractor in Canada. This tool is all about his structured way of looking at, assessing and treating patients.

I love systems, they make life easier. When it comes to the human body I believe we develop patterns of compensation which, at times, become painful signalling to the brain, “Hay you know what lets stop this body moving”. You may come in to see your local chiropractor with a low back pain, but why is he looking at my feet, ankles, knees and hips, did he not hear I said the pain is in my lower back? To find out more take a read below to see why the site of pain is not everything. Continue reading

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What is Occupational Therapy?

Jason Lomond Occupational Therapist Bridgewater Canada

Jason Lomond Occupational Therapist

Today is a guest post by Jason Lomond an occupational therapist from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada. I thought this would be a great opportunity to get to hear what is occupational therapy from an OT himself. Occupation refers to everything that people do during the course of everyday life. So an Occupational Therapist is a regulated health professional that helps you do the activities that you want to do.

I managed to find out about Jason from another Canadian chiropractor who personally recommended Jason. I know a little about the profession of Occupational Therapy so I have been looking forward to hearing more about how OT’s help patients and get involved in the rehabilitation process to better performance. Continue reading

What is Active Release Technique?

ART is a Type of Soft Tissue Treatment

Active Release Techniques

Today I have a guest post about What is Active Release Technique written by two European chiropractors and active release technique providers, Shane Lawlor and Mark Warren. Shane and Mark have a passion for this soft tissue technique which they use on professional sports men and women and their daily patients.

If you are a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist who is interested in doing the accredited active release technique courses there is a one happening Thursday June 7 – Sunday June 10 2012 at Tottenham Hotspurs FC home arena, White Hart Lane in London UK. This course will be teaching you how to use the active release techniques for lower extremity conditions. Continue reading

Chiropractic Treatment for Whiplash Injury: Basic Guide

 

Whiplash Injury Treatment

Neck Sore from an Accident?

Todays’ article is a guest post written by Howells Solicitors about some of the ways a chiropractor would treat your sore neck from a whiplash injury. The solicitors need a medical report about a client’s neck pain which they can obtain from a chiropractor treating their client.

A neck injury from a car accident can vary in severity which you can see how bad whiplash can get. The key thing to do once you have hurt your neck from something like a bumper bashing is to first have it examined. I have come across cases in the past where people didn’t have an x-ray, but they actually had done some serious harm to themselves after rolling a car on a farm track or driving into a ditch.
Continue reading

Chiropractic Care at the London 2012 Olympics

The five Olympic rings

Chiropractic at the Olympics

The following guest post is on Chiropractic for elite athletes and is written by US chiropractor, Chad Woolner. Chad is an American chiropractor who will be travelling from the US to London for the 2012 Olympic games to take care of one of the US Olympic athletes.

I have written before how top level athletes are using kinesio tape at the Olympics to improve sport injuries or pain relieving gels that pass sport doping tests. To be a gold medal winner you need all the help you can get. A 1-5% difference on race day could easily mean a podium finish or not. Today Chad wants to let us know what he feels about Chiropractic treatment helping out Olympic athletes in London 2012. Continue reading

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Chiropractors Helping PGA Golfers

ProHealth Golf Treatment Service

Chiropractic Helps Pro Golfers

Today’s guest article is about chiropractic and golf. It is written by, Shane Lawlor, an Irish chiropractor to European PGA golfers. Shane will let you know how some of the European Professional Golf Association golfers are making sure they stay fit on tour and try prevent and treat any golf injuries by using the services of ProGolf Health.

Chiropractors are treating PGA golfers on tour. Most people think that golf is sedentary and you don’t need to be fit, but this is not true. Professional golfers are using the bodies all the time in twisted motions and repeated forces build up and cause problems in golfers like low back pain and muscle strains. So lets read what Shane does with professional golf injuries. Continue reading