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Cats stretching out Robin Kiashek osteopathic clinics

Observe any cat and the chances are that they are sleeping, stretching or grooming. Cats really know how to look after number 1, ensuring

that their basic needs are met by their owners while treating themselves to plenty of R&R and time off to spruce up and look wonderful for every occasion! So, in honour of International Cat Day (on 8th August), let’s give it up for the world’s favourite pet.

Health-boosting benefits of owning a cat

While it may seem as if cats have got it all their own way it is, in fact, a two-way street. Research shows that the animals have a positive impact on the 1 cardiac health, of their owners and taking a quick catnap during the day can improve creativity, focus and productivity. Our feline friends can also help alleviate 2 stress, anxiety and depression – and teach us a lot about how to relax and live the good life.

Live like a cat

Sleeping – cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, more than most other mammals and twice as much as humans, reports the University of Arizona’s Rubin Naiman in the Huffington Post. Because cats have few predators, they can sleep safely in the knowledge that they’re unlikely to be hunted while they’re dozing. We might not be able to sleep for as long as a cat but we can improve our own sleep by:

  • switching off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before settling down
  • getting comfortable in bed, with supportive mattress and pillows, and enough covers
  • Maintaining an ambient temperature and level of darkness in the bedroom

Being active – you may think that your cat spends most of its time napping and you’d be right. But when cats move – playing or stalking prey, for example – they can be surprisingly speedy, leaping and pouncing with great strength and agility. We all know the benefits of regular exercise to the human body – weight control, flexibility, cardiovascular and other health and boosting mood to name just a few:

  • Opt for at least 30 minutes’ five days a week, or more if you can manage it safely
  • Limit sitting time by taking regular breaks if you work at a desk or getting up and putting the kettle during TV ad breaks at home, for example
  • Build a healthy exercise habit scheduling in regular exercise and remembering to warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards

Me time – no animal is better at taking time out for themselves, whether this involves resting, playing or grooming. We can do a lot to keep stress at bay by emulating their ‘so what’ attitude (within reason, of course), and grabbing some R&R by:

  • Pursuing a hobby
  • Going out with friends
  • Reading a book or watching your favourite show (remembering to get up during the ad breaks)

Stretching – cats stretch every time they wake up from sleep, which is often! As well as feeling good, the act of stretching loosens and realigns muscles, readying the cat for activity. It stimulates alertness by increasing blood flow to the muscles and brain. It also gets the lymph circulation on the shift, flushing out waste and toxins, including carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Stretching does much the same for humans. Over time, it also reduces tension, improves posture, strengthens and improves the flexibility of muscles (benefiting the joints) and enhances the body’s range of motion.

Safe stretching (for humans)

  • Stretch on both sides of the body to keep things even
  • Hold each stretch for about 30 seconds – and don’t bounce!
  • Keep breathing – breathe out when going into a stretch and hold this while you inhale
  • Focus on each of the different muscle groups in turn – working your way through the shoulders, neck, calves, thighs, hips, arms and the lower back

If you’re still feeling stiff and strained in your neck, arms or lower body do get in touch to see how osteopathy can help release the tension and relieve tight, inflexible muscles and bad posture.

 

  1. University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute’s 10-year study of over 4,000 Americans, 2008.
  2. A study by the State University of New York reported in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine (September/October 2002).

While most of us planned to fit in some “downtime” over the Christmas period, how many of us actually had it? With the festive period being the busiest time of year, some of us will be entering the New Year in need of another break just to recover from the hustle bustle of the season. But as a reputable London osteopath, I am a keen advocate of “downtime” as a combat against chronic stress and overworking your mind and body.

Untreated, long term stress can lead to both mental and physical health issues including depression, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. (By the way, these only “scratch the surface” of the health hazards of stress!)

No matter what your job or your family commitments, it is fundamental to your happiness and health to take some time out for yourself every day – even it is just a relaxing soak in the bath with no interruptions! Many people see “downtime” or “me time” as a modern craze, when in fact it’s simply a biological necessity.

Displaying physical symptoms but struggling to get a definite diagnosis from your GP? Told your suffering from “stress” when you don’t feel stressed? Feeling confused and frustrated by your abstract symptoms? Our leading London Osteopath suggests that psychosomatic disorders should be considered in certain medical cases.

The word “psychosomatic” comes from the mind (psyche) and body (soma) and is classified as a disease which involved both the body and the mind. Leading London Osteopath Robin Kiashek believes that some physical diseases can be made worse, and sometimes even caused by mental factors such as anxiety, stress and depression. A patients’ mental state is also believed to affect the severity of a physical condition.

Leading London Osteopath Robin Kiashek is dedicated to working with all patients to understand the cause of symptoms and to endeavour to find a long-term solution based on each individual case.

For many patients who visit The Robin Kiashek clinics, understanding the true cause of their physical symptoms is often the first step on the road to recovery.