Happy, healthy kneesRunner’s knee, jumper’s knee, housemaid’s knee (yes, it does exist!) and so on – the list of painful complaints that can affect this complicated joint is as long as your arm. Problem knees are surprisingly common in people of all ages, placing severe restrictions on both movement and lifestyle as a whole.

Strong and stable joints

On a day-to-day basis, we expect great things from our knees. As the largest joint in the human body, the knee basically forms a sort of hinge  where the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia), meet. This enables the leg to bend, straighten and generally move freely so we can run, twist, jump, fall over and so on. Knees must be also strong and stable enough to support our weight, even if it increases. These joints are ably assisted in their task by bones and soft tissue including muscles, cartilage, ligaments and tendons – all of which have the potential to go awry.

The knee joint may be a sophisticated mechanism but it’s still relatively easy to injure. For example, a sudden increase in intensity or duration of exercise can temporarily damage the bone, muscle or ligaments. Problem knees can lock, click, catch, give way or refuse to straighten. More gradually developing pain, especially in older people, points to conditions such as osteoarthritis. Here, the cartilage facilitating smooth movement between the femur and tibia gradually wears away, forcing both surfaces to rub together and resulting in pain and stiffness.

It’s all a bit of a catch-22. With persistent knee pain, most people’s instinct is to rest the knee and avoid putting any weight on the joint, therefore taking less exercise. While this would appear to be a sensible thing to do, if not diagnosed and treated, long-term weakness of the surrounding leg muscles can slowly develop.

Looking after problem knees

So, what should you do if you suddenly develop painful knees? Here are a few initial things that you can try at home:

  • The key is basically RICE: rest, ice, compression, elevation. This means, at the very least, not irritating the joint and, at best, giving the joint a chance to recover under its own steam;
  • When icing, use ice wrapped in a wet towel for 5 minutes and remove for 10 minutes, repeating twice more;
  • Sit, rather than stand, with the leg elevated, to avoid putting weight on the knee – rest as much as you can;
  • If suffering with acute or severe pain, in the short term, take painkillers such as Paracetamol;
  • If you feel up to it, try some gentle exercise, such as walking at a pace that does not aggravate your symptoms or non-weight bearing exercise such as swimming;
  • If your knee pain is still present after several days or is getting worse, why not book an appointment with Osteopath Robin Kiashek to see if we can find the cause of your discomfort and get you back on the road to recovery.

As we head into Migraine Awareness Week (3rd to 8th September), here are a few facts about this disabling condition that might surprise you:

  • Migraine is the world’s third most common illness, suffered by one in seven people across the globe and eight million people here in the UK;
  • Migraines affect twice as many women as men and can also strike at young children;
  • Most sufferers have an average of 13 attacks a year, lasting between four hours and three days;
  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) categorises chronic migraines as more disabling than blindness, paraplegia, angina or rheumatoid arthritis;
  • The illness costs the UK around £2.25 billion per annum, taking into account the cost of medication and the 25 million days of sick leave!

(Sources: Migraine Trust/ Migraine Action)

 What is migraine?

Migraine is, therefore, an absolute headache in every sense of the word. But more than that, it’s actually a complex neurological condition that can affect the whole body. Usually (but not always) there’s a painful headache preceded or accompanied by disturbed vision or aura. This can present with, for example, flashing lights, blind spots, zig zag patterns, pins and needles, numb limbs, confusion and difficulty in speaking. Not all sufferers experience aura, and other common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and smells. Attacks can vary in frequency and severity with an often enormous impact on someone’s work, family and social lives.

There is no known cause or, sadly, any cures currently on the horizon. What we do know is that most sufferers have a genetic predisposition and that their migraines can be triggered by one or more factors – stress, alcohol intake, the environment, hormones (women) and lack of food or sleep. It’s no longer helpful just to blame chocolate, cheese and red wine, and the best way of pinpointing your particular triggers is to keep a daily ‘migraine diary’.

Professor Peter Goadsby, Professor of Neurology, King’s College London, describes migraine as “an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability in the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger”.  (Source: Migraine Trust).

Best treatments for migraine

Most treatments focus on controlling the pain, severity and frequency of attacks via the use of medication.

Having said that, complementary therapies such as Western medical acupuncture – piercing the body with fine, sterile needles at certain points to regulate pain – has had some success in reducing the need for medication and the frequency of attacks..1 This approach has been endorsed by The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), particularly for patients who do not respond to certain medications.

Osteopathy is also popular because it helps relieve symptoms whilst understanding and addressing the underlying, sometimes multifactorial, factors involved. The treatment utilises a variety of osteopathic techniques.

Kind words from migraine sufferers

I’ve seen many patients struggling with migraines.  One said:

“I had been suffering from headaches since childhood. Over the years, these had become more frequent and debilitating to the point where it was most unusual for me to have a day free of headache. Headaches became migraines and I felt ‘better’ when the migraines had retreated to the state of ‘mere’ headaches.

I was recommended to Robin who set about releasing the tension in my upper back and neck through a series of manipulations and cranial massage. He also gave me some shoulder and neck exercises to do at home. I was asked to keep a ‘headache diary’ showing severity and frequency in order to plot any improvements.

After around 5 or 6 sessions the headaches became less severe and didn’t turn so readily into migraines. About 8 weeks into treatment I had a major headache which, when it subsided, disappeared completely. Thereafter I began to get not only headache-free days, but headache-free weeks. The cycle had been broken.”

So if you’re suffering from migraines why not book an appointment with me to see what can be done to alleviate the symptoms and cause of your migraines.


1 Migraine Trust/Vickers A. et al. Acupuncture for chronic headache in primary care: large, pragmatic, randomised trial BMJ 2004;328;744-9.

‘Mindfulness’ has become quite the buzzword in recent years.  A quick Amazon search revealed over 100,000 items across books, CDs, activity kits including colouring books, daily task sets and so on.  So big business.  And thereby lies my issue with it.

At a most basic level mindfulness is simply about paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you.  Something that’s easy to overlook in our fast paced lives with so many calls on our time and distractions to hand – particularly electronic ones.  But mindfulness can have huge benefits for both physical and mental wellbeing.

The problem is that this very simple practice has, in my opinion, been highjacked by commerciality.  One could be forgiven for thinking that in order to benefit from mindfulness, one requires a darkened room and candle.  Or perhaps a lycra outfit and an App.  As a minimum.  But that’s simply not the case and I’d hate for people to be put off from giving it a go because they feel they don’t have the necessary ‘paraphernalia’.

Keep it simple

I swim regularly.  I go to the pool and swim lengths.  And this is an excellent time for mindfulness.    I keep count of the lengths, notice my breathing patterns, my form and the feel of the water.  I don’t think about anything else.  There is no room to do so.  This provides a refreshing break for both body and mind.  But it would work equally well were I to use my dog walking time to notice the world around me.

Tips for Mindfulness

As I said, it’s all about being in the moment:

  • Start by bringing awareness to your senses: notice what you can you see, smell, taste, touch and hear? This is a really helpful way to keep yourself in the moment.
  • If your mind wanders, just notice it and gently bring it back to your senses.
  • Try this for just a few minutes at a time but during that time, try to get completely absorbed in your awareness of the moment.

When we fill our awareness in this way there is no room in our minds for worry or rumination.  Which is a good thing and can lead to decreased stress and anxiety, better management of the emotions and enhanced mental health and cognition.

So why not give it a go?  You may be heading off on holiday soon and a walk on the beach or a swim in the pool could be the ideal starting point for your mindfulness journey.

There are many things that can go wrong with the human body. Hardly surprising, given its 206 bones, 600 muscles, 900 ligaments and 100 billion nerve cells, plus the 12 major organs.  All with the potential to be adversely affected by accidents, injuries, postural issues, bad habits and general wear and tear.  Not to mention state of mind, environmental factors and genetic inheritance.

So it’s perhaps unsurprising that the symptom that initially prompts a patient to make their tat first Osteopathy appointment isn’t necessarily the cause of the issue. For example, with lower back pain, it’s possible that the real problem lies in the neck but is felt elsewhere thanks to connective tissue chains running throughout the body. Similarly, knee issues could be referred pain from a hip or foot problem.

Holistic approach

I believe in treating the person and not just the problem they present with.  But with increasing pressure on GPs there is unfortunately not always time for this on the NHS.  But this ‘body-mind detective’ role – systematically locating and treating the root cause of often very complex problems – is one I greatly enjoy!

I have the time to take a full history to build up a picture of my patient’s routines and habits to see where things might be going awry. With headaches or migraine sufferers for example, I quiz them about their diet, sleep patterns, how often they exercise and how they feel emotionally.

I can also employ several additional techniques to determine the cause of a patient’s symptoms:

  • Naturopathy – based on the idea that the human body knows best how to heal itself naturally. We work with patients to identify factors that may be undermining their health and develop an individual plan to tackle problem areas.
  • Autogenic training – a potent relaxation therapy with powerful abilities in restoring, healing and developing mind and body. We teach patients a set of lifelong skills and exercises to use whenever and wherever they want.
  • Western Acupuncture – fine needles target trigger points associated with certain ailments to help with pain relief and so on.
  • Low Level Laser Therapy (or LLLT) –  low power or ‘cold’ laser light is used on problem areas to alter cellular function, improve outcomes and speed up the body’s natural healing process.

Kind words

I’ve seen many patients who have been struggling with an issue for a long time.  One had this to say:

“Robin’s treatments have helped reduce my back and neck pain which had plagued me for years. He has taught me how to reduce re-occurrences through exercise and lifestyle change – I was very despondent before I came to see him and he continues to help me hugely; I’m very grateful.”

So if you’re suffering from anything from a niggle to a nightmare in your back, neck, shoulders, elbows or knees why not book an appointment to see if we can solve the case and identify the source of your problem?  Then we can work together to improve your overall health as well as relieve pain.


Happily, this long run of glorious weather looks set to continue for at least another month. But it’s got me thinking about a favourite analogy that I use in clinic which, oddly enough, relates to subsidence!

Homeowners in London will be only too aware of this pest, which occurs when the ground moves downwards beneath a building’s foundations causing it to sink. It commonly occurs when the clay soil (on which most of the South East is built) shrinks, thanks to an extended period of dry weather and is made worse by the presence of tree roots desperately searching out moisture. Older houses built on clay with minimal or no foundations are particularly at risk.

Interestingly, the first signs of subsidence are not, as you might imagine, in the lower floors but at the top, where small cracks appear and doors refuse to close properly. So, although the problem is under the house, the symptoms themselves appear higher up!

What’s all this about subsidence? 

The same is true of the human body. For example, you might have pain in your head or neck, not realising that the real cause of the problem lies in your lower back. I see this frequently. It can be confusing but, with careful and patient detective work, we get to the bottom of what’s going on. One of my patients, 28-year-old DM, came to me suffering with lower back pain but, as you’ll see, from the testimonial below, it didn’t take long to realise that the real problem lay further down:

“Robin was recommended to me by a work colleague after I suffered severe lower back pain on my right side. During my first visit, Robin confirmed my lower back was locking and going into spasm. After giving Robin information about a long term knee problem, he worked out I was weight bearing onto my right side to avoid pressure on my left knee, which was aggravating my lower back. I was given successful treatments on my lower back but was told this would be only a temporary solution. Robin suggested we address the main problem – my left knee.

I was very sceptical at first – I’ve had constant knee pain for the past 9 years. I have seen numerous physiotherapists, none of which have made any difference. I’d almost accepted the fact that I was going to have to live with the pain.

However, Robin started the treatment and to my amazement, very quickly, I noticed a difference to my knee. I started to feel a lot more stable, more confident, a lot less pain – I was even able to walk without my knee giving way. My quality of life has changed dramatically.

I have started skipping, playing tennis and even dancing, which I haven’t been able to do in 9 years. My lower back has also been fine. Thanks Robin!”

So, if in this hot weather you feel that cracks are starting to appear, please do get in touch.


In the final days of the rush to comply with the much-anticipated GDPR legislation ahead of the 25th May deadline, we discovered a ‘soft opt-in’ ICO clause.

In plain English, this clause says is that if you give me verbal approval (during a Consultation, say) for me to send you my newsletter – in which there is always an ‘unsubscribe’ option – then your actual ‘opt-in’ written permission is not required after all, which is a great relief to everyone!

The actual wording – and this is taken from Page 2 of the GDPR Advice Sheet: Communicating with Patients (©Technology Tamed Limited 2018) headed ‘Marketing to Existing Patients’ – is:

‘The ICO has produced some specific guidance on communicating with existing “customers”, confirming that in most cases you do NOT have to contact your existing patients before May 25th to obtain their explicit permission to continue communicating with them.

This is what the ICO says: “131. Although organisations can generally only send marketing texts or emails with specific consent, there is an exception to this rule for existing customers, known as the ‘soft opt-in’. This means organisations can send marketing texts or emails if: · they have obtained the contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sale) of a product or service to that person; · they are only marketing their own similar products or services; and · they gave the person a simple opportunity to refuse or opt out of the marketing, both when first collecting the details and in every message after that.” *

Although this is not mentioned specifically in the GDPR Regulation text the ICO has confirmed that soft opt-in is permitted under GDPR. This means you may continue to email or text existing patients to tell them about new goods and services such as new therapists joining your practice as this would be deemed to be soft opt-in.

Note that you must provide a simple method for your patient to opt-out of receiving further marketing communications. This means having a clear option to unsubscribe from marketing emails (which is easy to do if you use a program such as Mailchimp) and in text messages giving the option for the patient to reply using a term such as “STOP” to remove them from the marketing database.’

You may remember that the ICO is short for the Information Commissioner’s Office, an independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

I hope that’s clear for everyone and that we can now all move forward in the knowledge that we are all compliant!

* Source: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1555/direct-marketing-guidance.pdf


Sometimes the symptom that patients presents with can be almost a red herring. Which is where my approach of treating the person as a whole, not necessarily just the symptom, can prove invaluable.  Recently, for example, a patient came in with lower back pain. The lower back is influenced by muscle and fascial (connective tissue) chains, both above and below where the symptoms are felt.  In this case, the upper back was affecting the lower and the neck was affecting the upper back. But a very simple change to the patient’s pillow brought improvements to the upper back, which in turn improved the lower back. All of which got me thinking about the small changes that can make a big difference.

It’s very easy to get into bad habits when sleeping, working and or at leisure. Usually, we don’t even realise what we’re doing until niggling back or neck pain becomes a constant companion. But there are a few little changes that can be surprisingly effective.

Spotlight on….your pillows

If you frequently wake up with a stiff, sore or painful neck (cervicalgia) or suffer with persistent headaches, your pillow(s) and/or sleeping position could be to blame.

Containing seven of the spine’s 33 vertebrae, your neck has to work hard 24/7. For a start, it supports a head that weighs in at a hefty 4.5-5.5 kilos (10-12lbs) when upright. It gets some relief when you’re horizontal (and hopefully asleep) but it still needs help. Your pillows should retain their shape and offer proper support to keep both head and neck correctly aligned, with your spine in the same position as if you were upright.

But like Goldilocks, you need to be choosy. Beware pillows that are too soft (causing a curvy, floppy neck), while an overly hard one will give you a pain in the neck. Too many pillows cause the spine to curve upwards while those that are too low make the spine curve downwards.

There are many different types of pillows with a wide variety of fillings – synthetic fibres, foams or down and feathers.  Also specially moulded neckcare pillows.

How to buy and use pillows

  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach – this position twists/strains the neck;
  • Test pillows before buying and check labels for quality assurance;
  • Choose fillings carefully – some people react badly to down or feathers;
  • Replace pillows every two or three years.

When I advised my patient to trade in his thin, worn pillow for a new, supportive one, he was reluctant at first but it made a huge difference. Here’s what he had to say:

“It took about four days to get used to it and I can’t believe the difference it has made to the way I feel when I wake up. My neck and shoulders are now incredibly flexible and free every morning.”

Are you sitting actively?

Do you have a job where you sit down all day? Are you slumped over a computer or laptop? Do you leave the office with tight shoulder muscles and a stiff neck?

If you have answered ‘yes’ to at least one question, Active or Dynamic Sitting – where your seating allows or encourages you to move – could increase your stability and strengthen your core abdominal muscles.

A rocking chair with its back and forth motion is a basic example but, nowadays, there many different seats designed to improve postural health. They work by continually adjusting your body’s movements to engage your core and help you maintain correct posture. These include the ‘Swopper Chair’. I not only highly recommend this, but use it myself. It adapts itself to me, not the other way round, and keeps me moving at all times for optimum health. I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog and you can read about it here.


Laptops – blessing or curse?

Today, most of our working and leisure time is spent slouched in front of a screen of one sort or another.

Laptops are the worst culprits. Unlike most desktops, the laptop screen is lower than eye level and we move our head down and forward so our eyes are optimally positioned. This results in hunching and tight muscles at the front of the neck and chest.

You should always be aware of how you are sitting and moving. It’s also important to review your desk set up and computer use. For extended computer sessions, use a desktop or a place your laptop on a desk. The next step is to raise your screen, using a specially designed and adjustable laptop stand or riser – or even a pile of books under your laptop – so that your eye level is around one third down from the top of the screen. This position moves your head up and back naturally, so you feel more comfortable, less hunched and your chest is more open. If you do buy a laptop riser, think about how portable it is (if you need to take it to work, for example) and how easily you can adjust it to your own requirements. The example below, which is both lightweight and portable, prevents undue neck strain although you would probably need to purchase a second keyboard. Or you could check out this example which is available on Amazon. Finally, if you’d like to explore how we can help you to make those little changes, please get in touch.




The ‘Next Day Delivery’ culture of expecting results at the click of a button is becoming increasingly prevalent.  Whether it’s online shopping, crash diets, or intensive driving courses, we’re all eager for immediate solutions and not so keen to wait for results.  And our approach to recovery from injury is no different.

At Robin Kiashek Clinics we’re still seeing a New Year’s Resolution related increase in sports injuries.  And whilst it’s good news that people are sticking to their resolutions, they are generally very keen to find immediate fixes, so as not to disrupt these healthy new routines. But this often just isn’t possible when it comes to injuries.

My approach is to look beyond the injury and take into consideration the emotional wellbeing and lifestyle of the patient.  This enables me to look at ways to prevent a re-occurrence.


Many patients who have a sports-related injury feel that exercise is vital for them in combatting and controlling stress but overdoing it at the gym after a long day at work is quite often a factor in causing the initial injury.  And then the patient is reluctant to rest properly because they feel it impacts their ability to manage their stress.  And so the cycle continues.  But rest is a very important part of recovery so, in addition to treating their injury, I encourage my patients to engage in new ways of managing stress, so that even when they are recovered, they have alternative ways of coping with their daily life.

Autogenic therapy is a style of relaxation therapy, where I work with patients over a course of eight sessions to teach them a set of simple mental and physical exercises and techniques, with the aim of taking steps towards restoring and healing body and mind. With a wide range of allied therapies like autogenic training on offer, tackling stress, anxiety and other emotional factors can be incorporated into a patient’s treatment plan – ensuring that recovery is emotionally, as well as physically, beneficial.


My aim is to not only to address current symptoms, but also prevent illness or further injury.   To do this I may use therapies such as Naturopathy, where I work with the patient to identify areas that might be undermining their health, such as diet, lifestyle choices, medical history, and physical or emotional circumstances.  The plans I develop for my patients are designed to encourage the body to heal itself and to help guard against future illness or injury.  And our patients agree!

“Professional, highly Skilled, holistic – Robin’s treatments have helped reduce my back and neck pain which had plagued me for years. He has taught me how to reduce re-occurrences through exercise and lifestyle change – I was very despondent before I came to see him and he continues to help me hugely; I’m very grateful.”

So, if you’ve picked up an injury or feel that your lifestyle may be impacting your overall health then why not book an appointment at either our Central London or East Finchley clinic?  Our specific osteopathy approach can be highly effective in identifying wider health issues and therefore instrumental in fixing the whole self.  Although we still can’t make any promises in terms of next day delivery recovery!

There’s no official correlation between cold weather and the debilitating condition that is a frozen shoulder (although the body will generally tighten when the temperature drops which can adversely impact injury).  But with five percent of adults developing this problem (which can take up to four years to resolve without treatment) at some point in their lives – one of the coldest month of the year seems like a good time to discuss it!

A frozen shoulder, or Adhesive Capsulitis, occurs when adhesions develop around the capsule of the shoulder or glenohumeral joint, thereby restricting arm movements.  In fact, the shoulder joint only accounts for half the movement in the arm; the remaining half is attributed to the shoulder complex, comprising of movement of the shoulder blade (scapula) and clavicle.  Restrictions in the shoulder complex can be a major contributing factor in a frozen shoulder.

Risk of a frozen shoulder is thought to be increased for people with diabetes, as well as for those recovering from injury or surgery, like a mastectomy, where movement in the shoulder has been restricted. Stress and lifestyle factors are also thought to be potential causes.  The main symptoms are a dull, achy, pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint, which can make the arm and shoulder painful and difficult to move.  Depending on the severity, this debilitating condition can have a hugely negative effect on a sufferer’s life, often obstructing sporting activities, impacting sleep and sometimes even making doing up a bra or getting the arm in and out of a sleeve extremely painful.  In fact, up to 15 per cent of patients are left with a permanent inability to raise their arm fully.

Traditional pain relief can sometimes help with symptoms and steroid injections and surgery are also available.  But if, despite these measures, you’re still suffering with the pain and stiffness of a frozen shoulder, then maybe it’s time to consider visiting an osteopath?

Assessment of the shoulder complex (glenohumeral joint and upper back mechanics) and use of allied therapies (Western Acupuncture and Low Level Laser Therapy) can be used to achieve an effective resolution to pain and stiffness.  And the prescription of ongoing exercises and also lifestyle suggestions, can be hugely beneficial to improving overall health. As this client of ours can testify:

“I had a painful shoulder for about a month before I saw Robin. I had a total of 5 treatments on my ‘frozen shoulder’, which started to improve almost immediately. It has now cleared up. I found Robin very gentle and knowledgeable. He obviously knows exactly what he is doing and I trusted him implicitly. I would definitely recommend him to any of my friends.” SB, 39

So, if you’re a frozen shoulder sufferer don’t let this debilitating condition continue to haunt you through the warmer months.  Why not contact us to discuss your condition in more detail and make an appointment?

The clocks have gone back and as well as signalling the onset of shorter days, it can also trigger what has affectionately been dubbed the ‘Winter Blues’ – or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

But what is SAD, how do I know I have it and what can be done to tackle it?

What is SAD?

SAD is often known as ‘Winter depression’ or the ‘Winter blues’ and this mainly due to most sufferers experiencing symptoms during the winter months, although there are some cases where SAD sufferers experience it all year.

Typically, symptoms begin in Autumn as the days begin to get shorter and increase to their most severe point during the Winter months – December to February, often improving as spring begins and fading completely during the Summer months. This can continue in a repetitive fashion year after year.

And, the reason seasonal change has a link to SAD is because one of the main factors behind this condition is thought to be linked to our exposure to natural sunlight.

What are the Symptoms?

As with most conditions, symptoms vary and not everyone will experience the same symptoms, or indeed all of them. However, they can include:

  • A continuous low mood
  • Feeling lethargic, with a lack of energy and desire to perform normal daily tasks
  • Sleep problems – falling asleep during the day, but unable to sleep at night
  • Anxiety, irritability, not wanting to interact with people
  • Depression or feelings of despair, worthlessness or guilt
  • Craving carbohydrates, sweet foods which can then lead to weight gain
  • Loss of libido or interest in physical contact

For some these symptoms, can have a serious effect on their daily lives, leaving them unable to perform even the simplest of tasks.

What is the cause?

While the exact cause of SAD is still not fully understood, it is often linked to the reduction of exposure to sunlight which is why it is more prevalent in the Winter months.

The prominent theory is that the lack of sunlight during this period, may stop a part of the brain called hypothalamus working properly, and which in turn may affect the:

  • production of melatonin– melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; In SAD sufferers, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
  • production of serotonin – serotonin is the hormone that affects your appetite, mood, appetite and sleep patterns – therefore a lack of sunlight may lead to lower levels of serotonin, which has been linked to feelings of depression
  • body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) – your body uses sunlight as its internal clock, triggering time for various important functions, such as when you wake up. Therefore, lower light levels during the winter may disrupt this and lead to symptoms of SAD

In addition, there is some indication that genes also play a factor in making some people more vulnerable to the symptoms of SAD, as in some cases it has appeared to run in the family.

What can be done to combat SAD?

There are a range of treatments that those suffering with SAD can explore to reduce the symptoms, and help those with severe cases to regain some normality to their daily routines.

These include:

  • lifestyle changes – including increasing the amount of natural sunlight you receive as possible, exercising regularly, eating a better diet and managing your stress levels;
  • light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight. There are many different versions available on the market.
  • talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling
  • medication – if your symptoms do not improve your GP or medical professional may suggest a course of medication, such as an anti-depressant.

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of SAD, and wish to discuss with us more detail the ways in which we could help, please get in contact today via email or by telephoning 020 8815 0979.