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So who has been watching on BBC1 a two-part program called The Doctor Who Gave up Drugs?

For those of you who have not watched this program, it is a must watch (only a few days left for episode one!)

A two-part social experiment

doctor_who_gave_up_drugsEpisode one is the first of a two-part social experiment in which Doctor Chris van Tulleken takes over part of a GP surgery and stops patients’ prescription pills. Here is a link to the program, which can be found on BBC iPlayer: www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07w532p

Using exercise to overcome illnesses

In 1995, as part of my 3rd year Osteopathic dissertation, I was very fortunate to meet a charismatic GP by the name of Doctor Hanratty, who worked from East Hailsham in Surrey. Doctor Hanratty had set up an Exercise-on-Prescription program during the preceding years, having sought alternatives to medicating certain patients who suffered from conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and depression:

http://www.wealdencommunitystrategy.co.uk/about_us/lsp_meetings_and_events/Presentations/220512/Freedom%20Leisure%20-%20GP%20Referral%20Programme.pdf

I approached Doctor Hanratty as I was interested in the possibility of using exercise to help patients overcome illnesses that I thought resulted from lifestyle factors. In particular, I wanted to see if patients suffering from depression can be helped with exercise and with Doctor Hanratty’s help I undertook my dissertation ‘The Effects of Exercise Training on Clinical Depression’, working alongside numerous Surrey GPs who referred patients for my ‘Exercise-on- Prescription’ project.

Weaning off medication

doctor_who_gave_up-drugs2Twenty years later, Doctor Tulleken’s fascinating two-part program illustrates how people suffering with, what he would describe as lifestyle illnesses can gradually begin to be weaned off their medication (with their GPs guidance); these patients suffer from a variety of different conditions including long-term chronic lower back pain, depression and hypertension, to name a few.

Whilst Doctor Tulleken is not against medication, a view shared by myself, he does illustrate how patients can be encouraged over weeks and months to make changes in their lifestyles, enabling them to slowly reduce unnecessary medication and regain control of their lives.

As I mentioned previously, a MUST WATCH program!

Links to both episodes on the BBC iPlayer can be found here:

Episode 1: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07w532p/the-doctor-who-gave-up-drugs-episode-1

Episode 2: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b07wwd9d/the-doctor-who-gave-up-drugs-episode-2

As a leading osteopath in London, I often see patients with positive health goals at the start of each New Year. For many of the patients I see, leading a healthier lifestyle and losing weight is among their core goals. But how we do we stay on track to fulfill our potentially life-changing New Year’s resolutions?

Here are my top three tips to make 2016 the year you change your health.

1. Discover Your Motivation

What are the main reasons you want to lead a healthier lifestyle and lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes? Do you want to achieve more self confidence? Do you want to help to combat an existing or potential health condition? Get your reasons for changing clear in your head first and use those reasons to motivate and encourage you throughout your journey.

2. Plan for Success

Fail to plan, plan to fail; it may be a cliché but it’s absolutely true! The worst thing you can do is wake up on the 1st January and jump into a whole new lifestyle without having a set a plan on how you’re going to achieve your goals. Planning head and deciding how you are going to implement your New Year’s resolutions into your schedule will set you miles ahead on your journey before you even start. Bear in mind that working from target to target is much less daunting than trying to tackle everything at once.

3. Set Goals

Setting goals will enable you to measure progress and keep you motivated and inspired along the way. An effective strategy is to make sure your goals are ‘SMART’:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Be true to yourself and do things at your own time and pace. Success has nothing to do with speed, remember.

Increasingly inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are being described as “one of the biggest” challenges in health by experts.

On Your Feet Britain …

Get Britain Standing  is a campaign to grow awareness and education of the dangers of sedentary working and sitting more than 4 hours a day. This year it partnered with the British Heart Foundation charity to run a new event called On Your Feet Britain on 24th April. The event hoped to encourage workers to take the opportunity to stand and move around more. It is called on people to embrace ideas such as standing meeting or standing desks.

Some tips to unglue yourself from your desk

As a London osteopath with two busy osteopathy clinics in London W1 and London N2 & N10 I treat many patients who spend a significant amount of their working day glued to their desks.

If you are finding yourself glued to your desk then here are five simple tips that may help you break the habit of sitting for too long periods and to stand up and move around more:
• Eat lunch away from your desk
• Take a break every 30 minutes and stand up and get a drink of water
• Use the stairs instead of the lift
• Walk to a colleague’s desk instead of phoning or emailing
• Stand up when you are on the phone

Visit an experienced London Osteopath in W1 and N2 N10

If you are suffering pain or discomfort and you would like further information on how I may help you or to book an Osteopathy appointment at either of my osteopathy clinic in London W1 and London N2 N10 please feel free to send me a message or call me on 020 8815 0979.