Here’s a harrowing statistic: globally, men die on average five years earlier than women and it’s for reasons that are largely preventable.

 

That’s according to Movember, the leading UK charity changing the face of men’s health as we know it. By 2030, the good cause aims to reduce the number of premature deaths in men by 25%.

 

We need to talk

One of the main ways Movember is tackling the number of early deaths in men is by encouraging us all to open up and talk. Because as the charity puts it: we can’t afford to stay silent.

 

With the month of November marking Men’s Health Awareness Month, here at The Robin Kiashek Clinics, we wanted to talk about the benefits of speaking up about your health – be it in a mental or physical capacity.

 

If in doubt, check it out

It’s a well-documented fact that a great deal of men avoid going to see their doctor.

 

A 2019 survey that looked into how men approach their health and medical care, showed that 72% of respondents said they would rather be doing household chores, like cleaning toilets, than going to the doctor.

 

A further 65% of respondents said they avoid going to their GP for as long as possible. While 37% said they had withheld information from their doctors in the past, with many citing that they weren’t ready to deal with the potential diagnosis that might result if they told the truth.

 

“But all this medical avoidance and withholding of information doesn’t affect your GP,” Osteopath Robin Kiashek says. “The only person it affects, is you. By not sharing the problem you could be putting your own health at risk. More often than not, the earlier you address an issue the easier it is to solve – or at least stay on top of.”

 

A holistic approach is key

But that’s where Robin believes his holistic approach can be ideal. When a client comes to Robin’s treatment rooms, in Central London or North London, he takes a detailed case history including a full medical log. He asks about their symptoms, health problems and any medical care they have – or haven’t been – receiving.

 

Robin says: “This allows me to get to the root cause of the problem, rather than just paper over the cracks. By understanding the full history, I can help to not only heal specific conditions, but work towards improving a person’s overall health.

 

“My clients might book an appointment with me for one particular ailment or injury, but I often get them discussing issues much wider than what brought them to me initially.”

 

 “You invited me in to the process in a slightly intimidating way”

This was the case for one of Robin’s recent patients, who wrote to him after having a successful string of osteopathy sessions at his clinic.

 

The patient said: “You, through your skills, have greatly enhanced my quality of life. As you know, I had been to Osteopaths before and had ended up going for treatment every four to six weeks or when things got difficult. The attitude seemed to be that I had a crocked-up body (following a car crash and a fall) and that was that. Osteopathy seemed to serve to alleviate the hopeless symptoms.

 

“By luck, I was recommended to you and found an entirely different, holistic, approach. It was, to begin with, disturbingly collaborative. You wanted to know about the whole person and you wanted me to articulate how I felt, where the pain was, how it came and went and so forth. You wanted to know about my life and how it affected me. You wanted me to describe discomfort and tell the story. You were alarmingly perceptive and sometimes told me that I was presenting as being depressed, preoccupied or whatever. You made me tell my story.”

 

Robin has been working in the world of Osteopathy for more than 25 years.

 

He works with a range of people of different ages and backgrounds. So if you are suffering with an ongoing health problem and can’t get to the bottom of it, do get in touch with Robin. He would be happy to talk things through.

 

If you are suffering and need some general support, Mind offer advice and help to empower anyone experience a mental health problem. While the Hub of Hope is the UK’s leading mental health support database which can connect you to local support services.

Lower back pain really is exactly that – a massive pain in the back. Worldwide, the condition is believed to affect 540 million people. While in the UK, the debilitating problem affects around one-third of the adult population each year.

 

It can be caused by a range of wide and varied reasons. The pain might come on because you have suffered a strain or sprain. It could also be caused by bad posture or a sedentary lifestyle. But even stress can be another factor adding to the pain in your lower back as it can manifest physically as tightened muscles and thus add to the ache you are suffering.

 

So, when should you be worried about lower back pain?

Your spine is made of solid bony blocks reinforced by strong ligaments. It has a total of 40 muscles, with 20 muscle pairs on each side of your body. It is surprisingly difficult to damage. However, if lower back pain does occur, and it is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s worth a prompt trip to your GP.

The secondary symptoms to watch out for include:

  • A high temperature
  • Bladder problems
  • Weight loss

Keep calm and get it checked

If you are suffering with these added symptoms, it’s never too soon to get your back checked. However, it’s important that you try not to worry.

 

Lower back pain is rarely caused by anything serious. And as the NHS confirms, worrying will do you no good, as people who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.

 

How osteopathy can help lower back pain

If you are suffering from back problems, osteopathic treatment can help with the improvement of physiological function. It can do this through the use of soft tissue stretching, joint manipulation and the likes of resisted isometric ‘muscle energy’ stretching. And there’s research to prove it.

 

A recent 2021 meta-analysis, which was published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine, saw researchers look into the effectiveness of osteopathic interventions in chronic non-specific low back pain. In the analysis, researchers conclude that: “Osteopathy is effective in pain levels and functional status improvements in non-specific chronic low back pain patients.”

 

Let’s get you back on the road to recovery

Robin Kiashek has been practicing Osteopathy for more than 25 years. In that time, he has trained in various additional complementary disciplines to extend the options he can offer his patients – including those suffering with lower back pain. These include:

  • Western Medical Acupuncture – this is an effective form of pain relief because as confirmed by this study*, acupuncture can enhance peripheral blood flow which helps to heal wounds faster.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) – this has long been used in the field of osteopathy and is widely available for the treatment of pain, the healing of wounds and musculoskeletal conditions – like low back pain. It provides a highly effective needle-free acupuncture medium as it uses low power laser light to alter cellular function, improve outcomes and speed up your body’s natural healing process.

 

The moral of the (lower back pain) story

If in doubt, check it out. Get in touch with your GP or speak to Robin who could help you get to the root cause of the issue.

 

Robin works in a holistic manner so will take a full medical and lifestyle history to get a proper understanding of the issue that brought you to his clinic.

 

This, combined with a physical examination enables him to devise a treatment plan tailored to you.

 

*Reference:
Yang, Cheng-Chan, Wei-You Zhuang, and Hsien-Tsai Wu. “Assessment of the impact of acupuncture on peripheral blood flow with multi-channel photoplethysmography.” In Electron Devices and Solid-State Circuits (EDSSC), 2014 IEEE International Conference on, pp. 1-2. IEEE, 2014.

 

Osteopaths deal with the whole body. From the head right down to the toes, they treat specific conditions as well as working towards improving your overall health.

While orthotics are shoe inserts that correct biomechanical foot issues.

For the past 25 years, Osteopath Robin Kiashek has treated a number of ailments –  including those relating to feet. And, over the years, he has been able to work with a range of healthcare professionals to place his patients at the forefront of care.

 

Referring a specialist

 

One professional in Robin’s network is Christophe Champs, a consultant in Podiatry and Biomechanics and founder of London-based PODO, which specialises in same-day orthotics.

Robin refers patients to Christophe should their lower limb issues require additional expertise or when he feels they could benefit from some orthotic help.

That’s because, as Robin puts it: “There is a relationship between the biomechanics of the feet and the pelvic region, as there is a ‘closed chain’ between feet and pelvis.

“If there are imbalances in the pelvis, it is important to check the feet for dropped arches and/or a change in foot biomechanics. Or if someone is suffering with achilles tendinitis, I can refer them for specialist orthotic advice.”

 

So what does PODO specialise in?

 

Christophe says: “Essentially, PODO centres on same day orthotics, creating bespoke orthotics within a single 90-minute appointment using a range of thermo-mouldable materials.”

Rather than sending foot casts over to factories, Christophe moulds the orthotics, layer by layer, directly onto a patient’s foot, so you can walk away with them at the end of your appointment.

Christophe continues: “I think of the PODO Clinic and Workshop as a garage for the human body, offering a full MOT to ultimately result in a healthier, and pain-free lifestyle.”

 

How can orthotics help you?

 

Christophe tells us: “Orthotics don’t solely affect your feet, but your knees, hip, back, and neck too, positively impacting your entire body.

“Depending on your requirement, and lifestyle we have two different types of orthotics. This includes:

  • Short orthotics (3/4 length)

“This leaves the toe area free,” Christophe says. “Short orthotics are deal for dressy or casual shoes with little or no volume inside available. I’d recommend these for golfers and weightlifters.”

  • Long orthotics (full length)

“This is ideal for casual shoes and sport trainers,” Christophe tells us. “It tends to be runners, cyclists, and skiers’ favourite set type.”

 

A final word from Robin

 

“It’s fantastic to have Christophe’s expertise as part of my patient care toolbox. Sometimes patients present with problems relating to their knee, calf or pelvis. These are in fact because of the biomechanics of their foot.

“They might have too much pronation, or a collapsed arch. But with some osteopathic treatment and orthotics, we can get them back on their feet again.”

 

Get in touch

If you are looking to restore the normal function of your body, get in touch with Robin. Whether it’s a head, back or foot problem, Robin is able to improve a range of ailments.

There are many reasons why you might visit an Osteopath.

Whether it’s a back, joint, or stress-induced condition, or more specific workplace or sporting injury – Osteopathy can help improve a range of ailments.

Robin Kiashek  is an Osteopath with more than 25 years’ experience in his field. He says: “Using a range of techniques, Osteopaths can reduce pain, increase joint mobility, relieve muscle tension and enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, to help the body’s own healing mechanism.”

Maybe you have already booked an appointment with an Osteopath or are planning to – either way, here’s what to expect from your initial consultation to your patient discharge.

 

Visiting an Osteopath

On the first visit, your Osteopath will take a detailed case history including a full medical history, information about your symptoms, health problems and any medical care you have been receiving.

Depending on the location of the problem, this is followed by a physical examination during which they will ask you to undergo various movements in a bid to reproduce your symptoms.

To help understand the problem at hand, an Osteopath will use a combination of visual analysis and touch (or palpation). They may also use orthopaedic tests and occasionally refer for further x-ray or MRI investigation to help form a diagnosis.

 

At the end of first consultation

Once a diagnosis has been reached, your Osteopath will give you a full explanation and treatment plan. A treatment will be included in the initial Osteopathic consultation, assuming it’s safe to do so.

Robin adds: “I take on a more holistic approach, treating musculoskeletal disorders relating to muscles, ligaments, joints, nerves, cartilage, tendons and the general skeletal system. But I’ll also identify underlying causative factors. So I’ll work with you to help heal your specific condition/s and work towards preventing this from happening again.”

The treatment plan will let you know what aggravating factors to avoid and will include lifestyle advice to help you do so.

 

Length of Consultation

Generally speaking, your first consultation will last around 45 minutes with any subsequent visits lasting for half an hour.

However, please do note that these appointment lengths may vary as some conditions need extra time and some require less.

Robin says: “The important thing to remember is that each session is dependent on the individual patient. Therefore, each treatment is tailored to a patient’s specific problem.”

 

How many treatments will you need?

Resolving acute pain can be relatively easy.  However, understanding how and why the pain came about is more difficult.

Robin says: “Unfortunately Osteopathy can be seen as a ‘quick fix’ for both acute and chronic pain. Yes, it can resolve pain quickly but so can taking painkillers. I believe that unless we understand why the pain started – whether it be physical, postural and or emotional or even nutritional – there can be an increased probability of pain returning.

“I find that underlying many acute problems there is a history of physical and/or emotional patterns, which the patient may not always be aware of.”

Which is why, there is no one answer fits all to this question.

Robin adds: “Some patients can have two or three treatments, while others will need a few more to help put them on the road to recover and rid these underlying patterns once and for all.”

 

If you are suffering with any kind of health problem, whether it’s headaches, stomach pains, or mobility issues, don’t hesitate to call Robin or book in for an initial consultation.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games might be over. But that won’t stop one particular moment from going down in history.

When Simone Biles – the four-time Olympic gold medallist gymnast – withdrew from the team final in a bid to ‘focus on her wellbeing’, followed by the individual all-round, vault, bars and floor finals, it made headline news across the world.

Some accused the American gymnast of using ill mental health as an excuse. While others praised the 24-year-old for putting her total wellbeing first.

Striking the balance between physical and mental health

At the time, Simone told journalists: “I have to focus on my mental health.

“I just think mental health is more prevalent in sports right now… we have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do.”

This is something Osteopath Robin Kiashek agrees with.

Robin, who has 25 years’ experience in helping his patients achieve physical and emotional wellbeing, is a big believer in taking a holistic approach when it comes to your health.

“Simone wasn’t the first athlete to take a step away to protect her mental health and overall wellbeing – and I’m sure she won’t be the last,” Robin says.

But whether you agree with Simone’s decision or not, striking the right balance between your physical and mental health is a necessity.

“This is because you are more prone to physical injury if you aren’t in the right mental state,” Robin adds. “And once you are injured, rehabilitation can be a long road to recovery. “You only have to watch tennis champion Andy Murray’s touching documentary to witness this. In the documentary we see Andy’s struggle with chronic hip pain, which resulted in many attempts to ‘fix’ the problem, including an unsuccessful surgery.”

 

R is for rehab and rest

We’ve spoken before about how the ‘Next Day Delivery’ culture of expecting results at the click of a button is becoming increasingly prevalent.  And our approach to recovery from injury is no different.

But many patients who have a sports-related injury feel that by ‘keeping calm’ and ‘carrying on’, it can help combat their disruption and control stress.

“When in fact overdoing things can often be a factor in causing the initial injury,” Robin says. “Which is why it’s so important listen to your body.

 

R is also for rest

However, this can be easier said than done. As carrying on as normal is something we are all guilty of doing – Robin included.

Robin recently tore his medial knee meniscus doing excessive breaststroke, which he acknowledges was his own fault.

He said: “As soon as my local swimming pool reopened after the long lockdown, I quite literally dived straight back in to doing the 60 length sessions I was doing prior to this.

Which is why Robin is encouraging everyone to ease back into exercise safely. And be intuitive of your mind and body.

Perhaps when exercising, the words to keep in mind come from the 32-time Olympic and World Championship medallist, Simone, who said: “Physical health is mental health.” Or as the ancient Greeks once said: “Mens sana in corpore sano”, which means: “Healthy in mind, healthy in body”.

 

Robin Kiashek is an Osteopath with 25 years’ experience in the industry. If you are struggling with any condition affecting your body and struggling to find a solution, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

 

By the title of this blog, you might be thinking this article has something to do with the overly colourful and sugary array of treats designed to tempt you into filling up a carton (or two) on your trip to the cinema.

But it hasn’t. This blog is in fact talking about a taking a ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ approach to exercise. Stick with us…

 

Exercise is for everybody

No matter your age, there is a form of exercise for everybody. Whether it’s cycling, boxing, swimming, the once-popular step aerobics or perhaps the more sort after HIIT training. The list goes on.

But with exercise options being limited last year, after the temporary closure of gyms and postponement of in-person exercise classes due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more people have turned to running.

“Which is great,” Osteopath Robin Kiashek, says. “It’s certainly much better than sitting on the sofa.”

“I see patients who run 10K, four times a week and have been doing so for years. But I understand that it’s not just about the cardio benefits that it brings. People use exercise time to destress mentally too. Perhaps to mentally switch from work brain to home brain, or vice versa.”

According to the latest stats, an estimated 7 million people across the UK turned to running or jogging in 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to boost their mental health.  With one in seven people in the UK saying running had helped them deal with stress.

But with our love affair with running seeing no signs of slowing down, there is of course the risk of injury.

“Such a high impact exercise will affect your joints,” Robin says. If not now, it will happen at some point later.

“I’m not picking on running. We all know how many positives come from it. And you only have to look at the stats to confirm this. But in the case of our 10k runner, that’s a lot of weight through those knees. And that’s assuming you’re not carrying any extra weight to start with.”

 

So what exactly is the answer?

With restrictions being lifted on July 19th and more and more exercise options opening up, the key is to make sure that your weekly exercise regime is varied.

“Just like pick ‘n’ mix,” Robin adds. “So why not strike a balance with high impact exercises and introduce some low impact cardio workouts into your exercise regime?”.

 

Examples of low impact cardio workouts

Low impact cardio is brilliant for keeping you moving, while being gentler on your joints. But don’t have any doubt – this form of exercise can still get your heart rate up. It allows you to reap the benefits of cardio, without placing stress on your joints.

Some low impact cardio exercises to try include:

  • Cycling – whether it’s static cycling or road cycling, this is a superb form of cardio but less high impact than running or HIIT. It virtually has not impact on your joints. Just remember: the faster you cycle or the more hills you climb, the higher your heart rate will get.
  • Swimming – this form of low impact cardio can help strengthen muscles in your whole entire body. Although, here’s a word of warning about breaststroke. This form of swimming style can place stress on both your hips and knee by the propulsive kicks of the legs that power you forward. So take it slow – or practice front crawl instead.
  • Strength training – this form of low impact exercise is just as important, especially as we age. Why? Muscle-strengthening activities help maintain the ability to perform everyday tasks. Strength training, like lifting weights, also slows down the natural rate of bone and muscle loss associated with ageing.
  • Yoga – depending on the pace and the style of yoga you choose, you can increase your heart rate. Along with its cardiovascular benefits, yoga also helps you to build flexibility and strength. Two things we all need. Plus, did we mention its de-stressing ability?

 

Robin Kiaskek is an Osteopath with 25 years’ experience in the field. Robin is a big believer in taking a holistic approach when it comes to your health. If you are struggling with any condition affecting your body and struggling to find a solution, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Plunging yourself into cold water might not necessarily be on the top of your to-do list (and who can blame you?!).

But with the recent lockdowns forcing the temporary closure of indoor swimming pools, there’s been a rise in the number of people turning to open water swimming.

As shown by  recent stats, 45% of swimmers increased how much they swam outside in 2020. The same stats estimated that outdoor swimming in the UK has increased by between 1.5 and 3 times since 2019. And there’s good reason. According to a small number of studies, celebrities and athletes – cold water therapy has a myriad of health benefits.

What exactly is cold water therapy?

Cold water therapy – which can sometimes be referred to as cold hydrotherapy – is the practice of using water that’s around 15 degrees to treat health conditions or stimulate health benefits.

Despite the recent hype around the practice, cold water therapy is nothing new. It’s actually been around for a couple thousand years. But recent modifications of this practice include short and sharp cold showers, outdoor swims and cold-water immersion therapy sessions.

 

So, why the buzz?

The exact benefits of cold-water therapy are long disputed in the health industry. But according to certain enthusiasts, taking a cold water dip is the answer to many things.

On a recent episode of Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab, the actor and entrepreneur sent a group of her employees to Lake Tahoe in Nevada to experience to popular Wim Hof method.

 

The Wim Hof method

This method is based on a combination of extreme cold-water therapy and specialised breathing techniques. It was the brainchild of Mr Wim Hof – a former athlete – who swears by this regime and raves about the many benefits it can bring.

In the episode he says: “Cold water is a great way to learn to deal with stress. If you learn how to breathe deep, you can go into the cold water and adapt. You become the alchemist of life itself.”

 

So, what exactly are the benefits of cold water therapy?

According to Mr Wim Hof, cold water therapy can:

  • Improve your circulation
  • Reduce inflammation in your body
  • Higher energy levels
  • Deepen your sleep

 

However, it’s important to note that not much research has been done to solidify these claims. But science does suggest that it can:

  • Lessen muscle soreness – a 2011 study found that cyclists who took part in intense training sessions had decreased soreness after they immersed in cold water for 10 minutes. A later 2016 study reported the same thing.
  • Ease symptoms of depression – some studies have suggested that cold open water swimming has helped to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. In one study, a woman who had experience anxiety and depression from the age of 17 turned to open water swimming aged 24. The study confirmed that over time, her symptoms decreased significantly.
  • Cold water can boost your immune system – A handful of studies have suggested that daily doses of cold water could bolster your immune system over a period of weeks or months.

 

To take the plunge or not to take the plunge

Keen swimmer and Osteopath Robin Kiashek says: “The jury is still out on whether cold water therapy is the answer to a wide range of health problems.

 

“But as highlighted above, there are a handful of health benefits that cannot be disputed. I myself have been swimming for as long as I can remember. With indoor swimming pools now reopening, I can’t say I will be practicing my front crawl in my nearest lake – but I might try turning the shower temperature down a few notches.”

 

Robin Kiashek has more than 25 years’ experience in his field. He believes in taking a holistic approach when it comes to treating his clients. If you are suffering from a series of health issues – whether it’s headaches, aches and pains or long covid – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

NB: Cold water swimming should be done with guidance from a professional and consider that certain medical conditions and ages should be taken into consideration.

 

 

 

 

 

TMJ disorders

According to a survey 68% of us confirmed that our stress levels have continued to increase over the course of 2020.

And it’s no wonder. This year has tested us all.

As a trained Osteopath with more than 20 years experience in the field, I know that stress can manifest itself in the body in many different ways. More recently, I’ve seen a number of clients suffering from a (TMJD).

What is the main cause of TMJ?

TMJD or TMD is not necessarily a well-known term, but it affects around one in 10 people in the UK.

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull (or upper jaw) in front of the ear. A TMJ disorder is a condition affecting that joint and the muscles involved in chewing. It can also importantly affect the Trigeminal nerve, which is situated next the TMJ, giving rise to facial symptoms:

It has no definitive cause but can be brought on by over-clenching of the jaw and teeth, wear and tear of the inside jaw, injury or surgery, and stress, all of which has a physiological relationship to the neck and upper back.

According to Bupa, women tend to develop jaw conditions more often than men. It can occur at any age, but most people have them when they’re between 20 and 40.

TMJD symptoms

Symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Clicking, popping and grating noises when chewing or opening the mouth
  • Earache
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Locking of the joint
  • Facial and eye symptoms (see illustration of Trigeminal nerve distribution above)

It goes without saying that these symptoms can have a significant impact on a person’s lifestyle if left untreated. So, it’s worth seeking medical advice if symptoms are severe or long lasting.

It may be possible to alleviate the symptoms of a TMJD by eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum and nail biting. The same could be said by completing daily Rocabado exercises, taught by Robin Kiashek, which helps to alleviate TMJ stress.

But Osteopathy can also be effective in easing the pain of TMJD by understanding the factors which may be causing the TMJD. Whether they are physical factors in the patient’s upper back, neck and/or emotional factors. Dental factors should be taken into consideration.

TMJ disorder treatment testimonials

But don’t just take my word for it. I have worked with dentist David Cook, BChD, at the London Holistic Dental Centre for more than a decade. David has referred his clients suffering from TMJ to me to help alleviate the pain.

David says: “I have worked with Robin for over 15 years and his skill and dedication have been demonstrated countless times. I treat a lot of facial pain and TMD and I have found his holistic approach is of enormous benefit to my patients, those that see him can expect a smoother, faster recovery and better long-term stability.

“He is an excellent diagnostician and his knowledge and approachability make him a valued member of my clinical team. As a dentist, I am subject to major spinal strain and can also vouch for Robin’s superb support in keeping my body straight, mobile and pain-free.”

If you’re a sufferer of TMJ, or have been suffering from the symptoms associated with this disorder, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or book an appointment.