Why Osteopaths Recommend Regular Hydration

Why Osteopaths Recommend Regular Hydration

Kemmy Gichaba – Osteopath at Health in Motion Ealing and Maidenhead clinics

I have always had an interest in nutrition and I considered becoming a dietitian before I discovered Osteopathy. My interest and curiosity turned into a passion when I met Marcus, my husband, who is a type 1 diabetic. Living with Marcus and his condition helped me gain a better understanding of the body and made me see how osteopathy and nutrition can work together.

In this article I will be discussing the benefits of drinking pure water at regular intervals and how to remind yourself to keep hydrated during your busy day with the help of useful apps.

Provide material for cell activity

Up to 60% of our body is made up of water. Water is made up of 2 parts Hydrogen and 1 part Oxygen which are vital materials for cell activity. Hydration is only possible with pure water, juices and other drinks, although they are wet, do not provide hydration for the body.

To sustain daily activities

Water helps us to perform better during exercise as water is lost through sweat during exertion. Hydration improves endurance and can reduce oxidative stress put on the muscles during high intensity workouts.  Hydrate your body before a physical workout.

Avoid Soreness after osteopathic treatment

It is also important to drink water after an osteopathic treatment because you may experience soreness in the muscles that have been worked on during your session. Keeping your muscles hydrated will help to reduce the achiness. I would advice drinking a glass of water before you leave the clinic. There is no excuse, its right by the front door!

Avoid side effects of dehydration

Studies have shown that fluid loss of up to 2% due to exercise, daily activities, sedentary living or high temperatures can affect your mood and your concentration. If you experience headaches at work or after exercise, dehydration may be the cause of it. It is important to note that there are many different types of headaches. Water may help to alleviate the headache and reduce the episodes if its caused by a lack of adequate water intake.  If you have trouble performing tasks or often experience the feeling of being tired this could be a sign of your body telling you that you need to drink more water.

Constipation is commonly linked to a lack of fibre as one of the main causes but water has also been proven to help with bowel movements too. The intestines use peristalsis (muscular contraction) to get things moving. Water will assist with this and in turn may help the symptoms of constipation. Whenever patients consult us regarding constipation we will usually recommend increasing fibre into their diet and to try drinking more water.

Joint stiffness and alcohol

A benefit of drinking water especially before bed can be to help reduce the effects of early morning joint stiffness. If you’ve consumed alcohol, drinking a glass of water before bed may also minimise its dehydrating effects and help reduce your hangover!

Useful Apps

I have listed my favourite apps for reminders during the day. I will be the first to admit that drinking water is something I easily forget and that is why apps are so handy. If this is something you struggle with try one of these apps that you can find for free in the Apple or Android stores and see if they help you stay hydrated. If any of the conditions mentioned in the article are something you are dealing with or a family member or friend, feel free to pop in to the Health in Motion clinic to discuss it with us or book an appointment with one of the osteopaths. Happy New year!


1. Water log- Daily reminder and health tracker





2. Daily water balance tracker – Hydration app log





3. Daily water free – Water reminder and counter
















Vitamin D deficient or not? – Osteopathy sheds some light!

Eds Chesters, Practice Manager and Registered Osteopath

Experience of patients with suspected vitamin D deficiency

In case you haven’t noticed it’s winter! Other than the cold weather, which some like and some don’t, we find ourselves with an issue that is less obvious, and that is a lack of sunlight.

Many of us get up nice and early in the morning (when it’s still dark), commute into work using various forms of transport, sit in an office all day and then head home in the dark. Some of us may not see the sunlight for more than a few minutes if at all on an average day.

Why could this be a problem? Don’t be left in the dark!

One major result of a lack of sunlight can be a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is very important to us as it helps with the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in our guts. Unfortunately the types of vitamin D we require aren’t found in abundance in foods and are only really created by our skin being exposed to UVB rays from the sun.

In our osteopathy clinic we see patients all year round who may present with signs of vitamin D deficiency and not realize it. These signs include; tiredness, general aches and pains, more frequent infections and in severe cases bone pain and difficulty getting around.

As osteopaths we offer our patients longer appointment times than your GP may be able to. This gives us the opportunity to ask more questions that may make us suspicious of a vitamin deficiency. It is common for people to assume physical pain or discomfort is only linked to musculoskeletal issues.

Although osteopaths can’t directly treat vitamin D deficiencies we can offer advice regarding lifestyle and exercise and also when necessary refer you back to your GP for further investigation. Vitamin deficiencies are normally diagnosed with a simple blood test.

Pre-diagnosed Vitamin D deficiency – can Osteopathy help?

If you’re coming into the Health in Motion clinic with a pre-diagnosed vitamin D deficiency and are in pain we can help to differentiate between a bio-mechanical cause and a possible link with the deficiency. As osteopaths we are trained to ask very specific questions about your presenting symptoms that may lead us in the right direction. The sort of clues that can aid our diagnosis are; if you find your pain is made worse by certain activities or by rest or if it’s worse in the morning or the evening.

Please come and speak to us at Health in Motion osteopaths in Ealing and Maidenhead for more info and advice or to have a chat about any of the information in this article.

Light up the Lane

2015-11-29-16-00-14Light up the Lane (Pitshanger Lane, W5 1NP)

The clinic will be open during the event and offering our signature Mulled Cider and Chilli Con Carne or veg version. The event is on Sunday 27th November. Come and visit us if you’re in the area!


Fire Cupping – A Wonderful Winter Treat

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Teresa O’Connor gives her opinion on Fire Cupping and its positive effect against respiratory ailments.

Fire Cupping – a Wonderful Winter Treat

As part of (TCM) traditional Chinese medicine Fire Cupping is a method of creating a vacuum on the patient’s skin to dispel stagnation, stagnant blood and lymph, thereby improving qi ( our vital energy) flow.

Cupping can help improve some of the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as the common cold, pneumonia and bronchitis.  The treatment is valuable for the lungs, and may be able to help clear congestion from a common cold or help to control some of the symptoms of asthma. In fact, respiratory conditions are some of the most common conditions that Fire Cupping is used to help relieve. It can also help with general physical and psychological well-being.

How Fire Cupping is applied

Cupping is used on the back, neck and shoulders and can treat some of the symptoms of musculoskeletal conditions. The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping may help loosen muscles, encourage blood flow, and sedate the nervous system. Fire Cupping is used to help relieve some symptoms of back and neck pain, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue and migraines.

What is Fire Cupping

It is an ancient form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin; which mobilizes blood flow in order to promote healing. Suction is created using heat (fire) or mechanical devices (hand pump). Through either heat or suction, the skin is gently drawn upwards by creating a vacuum in a cup over the target area of the skin. The cup stays in place for five to fifteen minutes. Depending on the specific treatment, pink or red rings on the skin are common after the cups are removed which can last for a few days. Usually treatments are not painful.

Like acupuncture, Fire Cupping follows the lines of meridians or channels. There are meridians or channels on the back, these are where the cups are usually placed. Using these points, Fire Cupping can help to align and relax qi, as well as target more specific conditions. By targeting the meridian/channels, cupping strives to ‘open’ these channels – the paths through which life energy flows freely throughout the body, through all tissues and organs, thus providing a smoother and more free-flowing qi (life force).

Fire Cupping can be combined with acupuncture or it can be used as a lone treatment. So if you feel like you are getting the symptoms of a cold or congestion or even want a relaxing, therapeutic cupping session do not hesitate to book an appointment.

Pre-Christmas Gift Voucher Sale – ends 18/12/2016

Pre-Christmas Gift Voucher Sale
Pre-Christmas gift Voucher Sale

Pre Christmas Gift Voucher Sale Now On!

Are you struggling to find a special something for a special someone or perhaps you want to treat yourself?! Our gift vouchers are the ideal stocking filler or main present. Osteopathy, Deep Tissue and Sports Massage, and Acupuncture treatments are available. Our voucher sale ends on 18th December 2016 so be quick to purchase a memorable therapeutic experience for someone special. Shop online or in the clinic





  • Vouchers can be ordered and paid for online or purchased at either our Ealing and Maidenhead clinics.
  • They can be redeemed at either clinic.
  • Vouchers have a 12 month expiry date.
  • Treatment can be upgraded when redeemed
  • Vouchers Purchased online can either be printed and presented to the recipient or they can be emailed to them directly.

Click here to see all available voucher options

See our product range for other gift ideas.

Osteopathy can help you prepare for the Ealing Half Marathon.

Are you thinking of Running a half marathon for the first time?

Jon Juviler at Health in Motion Osteopaths discusses Tennis Injury
Jon Juviler at Health in Motion Osteopaths provides encouraging tips for the Ealing Half Marathon

If so, it will be too late to sign up for the Ealing Half on Sunday 25th September.  However there is plenty of time to prepare for the Ealing Half or similar events next year as  you will need at least a 15 week preparation program.

Here are some ideas on how to get yourself in shape and hopefully without injury in preparation for such events.  There are a wealth of online resources to check out and you could always join a running club to get motivated and educated on preparation.

Preparation Ideas

Running 13 miles may seem like a daunting challenge especially if you’re new to running but fear not, laying down some good foundations when preparing for it, can give you the confidence you need.

To begin with here are some tips to get you going:

  • Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. At Health in Motion Osteopaths we can help advise you on the sort of shoe to look for that is appropriate for your feet and body type.
  • Make sure you warm up properly before your runs. Five minutes of walking, then building up to a brisk walk before you start running is a good way to approach it.
  • If you can, try and have a rest day between your running days. This is very important for recovery and to allow your muscles and tissues time to repair properly before the next run.
  • You should be running about three times per week to get things started. These don’t have to be long runs, maybe about 30 minutes each.
  • At the weekend consider doing a slightly longer run than you do during the week. Aim for about three miles to start with and gradually build on this as you go adding around 1.5 miles every two weeks. On alternate weekends go back to the three mile run.
  • Make time for conditioning work, such as swimming, static cycling, yoga or pilates.  We will also be able to produce a conditioning  program for your rest days.
  • Plan to take about 15 weeks to prepare for the Ealing Half Marathon doing your longest run 2 weeks before the race.

Running Injury

As your body adapts to running you may find that muscles ache after a run.  This is normal and should be resolved during rest days.  Pain serves a useful purpose and should not be feared.  However, any pain that seems uncharacteristic, of a sharp or burning quality; and increases while running, or is preventing you from running, needs to be investigated by a professional such as an osteopath.  There are lots of conditions associated with running. These include achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints and ankle and knee pain; hip strain. Don’t ignore uncharateristic pain! Come and speak to us at Health in Motion Osteopaths for advice. We can help to diagnose the issue properly and suggest ways of adapting your training to get you back on track.

Treatments like osteopathy and sports massage that we offer at Health in Motion, can help to reduce the chance of injury during training. With proactively scheduled treatment sessions we can make adjustments to improve your biomechanics so that the risk of repetitive injury are minimised. In many cases prevention is much better than cure!

Here are some frequently asked questions from the many runners that visit our clinic.

Do you see a lot of marathon runners at your clinic?

Before and after a high profile race is when we are introduced to new patients who are runners – and there is broad mix of running experience within this group.  Existing patients who are runners are usually seeing us throughout the year and are “tactically”  programming treatment into their training and event schedules.

If I get a “niggle” should I run through it or will I do myself permanent damage?

In the absence of meeting the person asking this question and diagnosing the cause of their symptoms, the best answer we can give is as follows.  Keep an open mind.  If it continues; or changes in behaviour; and/or it is undermining your confidence, then get it checked out by us or a similar professional.  Chances are you developing a repetitive strain as your training intensifies and your body needs some adjustment to cope with the increased mileage and frequency of training.  These symptoms are much more straightforward to deal with if we have at least 3 weeks before the event.

I have injured my hip / calf / back / etc!  I really want to do the race. Will I be able to run?

We will only be able to advise on this if we have examined and diagnosed your injury at the clinic.  The most frequent injury that I see in the 2 to 3 weeks before a race is either a calf injury or a hip injury.  So far all runners that I have seen, bar one, have been able to overcome injury to enter the race.  Most runners are concerned about whether or not they are doing lasting damage.  Again, we can provide treatment and advice to make sure that no lasting damage is being done.

Will I have to stop running to recover from my injury?

That depends on the injury but it is our intention to keep you active during your recovery  We can do this by making any of the following recommendations which are applicable to your case.

  • Regress your training plan / reduce mileage to recommended level for a recommended period
  • Rest but continue with non-weight bearing CVS and conditioning exercise for a recommended period

How will I know I am safe to push my injured body after recovery?

We will teach you how to do your stress test on the injured area after, we have confirmed that you are ready to resume running or increase your distances.  Stress testing is low risk loading of the injured area to give the runner confidence that they are safe to proceed with training.

How much treatment will I need?

This recommendation varies according to each individual and the nature of this injury.

What exercises can I do to help recovery or prevent injury?

This is very individualised advice, because it is based on full evaluation of your case. We will produce a bespoke exercise plan to suit your condition.  The exercises will include stress testing, once we judge you are recovered enough to do them yourself.  Do not be surprised if we give you exercises that do not seem related to the symptomatic area.  We are giving you these because we have judged other areas to be linked to your current complaint. This is all explained in your consultation.

 When would it be considered too late to get help?

Although early assessment and intervention is recommended, it is never too late to seek osteopathic advice and treatment in the last weeks leading up to the event.

Should I get an X-Ray or MRI?

This depends on whether your practitioner feels it is necessary to do so.

Is it beneficial to see you after the race and maybe for proactive treatment to assist my running throughout the year?

Absolutely, post-event osteopathy can help in many ways. Osteopathy is hugely beneficial for prevention of any further potential injuries. For example, if you have suffered from a knee injury after your event, we will be able to work to relax and strengthen the structures supporting your knee and hence retain mobility of the joint. This will then prevent any further injuries throughout the year and allow you to continue running!



2nd Birthday Special Offers

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At last the summer has arrived and with it brings the 2nd anniversary (August 1st) for the opening of the Ealing clinic and shop on Pitshanger Lane, Ealing W5. Without our wonderful patients at both the Ealing and Maidenhead branches we would not have anything to celebrate. So please join us in our celebrations by taking advantage of our special offers!  For August only, you will be able to purchase these special offers online, which include gift vouchers and appointments booked via the website.  The whole team  at Health in Motion thank all our patients and referrers for your continued support.

Shop Special Offers on Gift Vouchers here

Shop Special Offers on immediate or future appointments here

Eco And Ergo Cycling

Cycling to work

Cycling has become more popular in the last few years, helped by the success of Team GB and the Tour de France expanding onto these shores.  Also, many cyclists find it an economic use of time to cycle to work which enables both exercise and the avoidance of public transport. I think this is a great thing because more cycling equals fewer cars, so, good for us physically and environmentally.

One morning when I set to work in the car, I saw that the A40 was backed up. Desperate to get to my first appointment on time,  I returned home and grabbed the only functioning bike available, which was …   my son’s BMX.   I got few amused looks that morning.

With the many different types of bikes available and the different body positions they require, there are a great many related complaints that our patients present with.  Anything from altered sensation in the hands, shoulder strain, ligament sprain in the lower back, hip pain and pelvic floor imbalance which can also alter sensation in the saddle region.  Yes, men can also suffer pelvic floor disorders, especially if they have a disagreement with their bike seat.

Whatever the type of bike and whatever the use (commuting, stunts, racing, endurance) it makes sense to get the bike professionally matched to your body.  You may struggle if you have legs too long for your body or body too long for your legs, however subtle alteration to seat and handle bar angles may help.

Make sure the condition of your muscles and other tissues suit the purpose too.  I did not suffer too badly with my sprint into work on the BMX, but I would not be able to do that every day.

They may be out of fashion with the racing fraternity, but I like those big old Dutch bikes on which  you can sit upright without straining your back or your neck.  Two great things about “old school” sit-up bikes are the nice fat sprung saddles that don’t cut off the blood supply to the pudendal nerve, (in your saddle region), and the tall position of the handle bars so that you don’t have to lean half of your body weight through your shoulders and wrists. These bikes are great for a daily commute.

Events – Bra Fitting Workshop


Having a generously sized bust can cause dysfunction and pain in the neck, upper back, shoulders,  and lower rib cage. A common feature in women who suffer in this way is that they have weak back muscles which cannot resist the weight of the chest. Although we can do a lot at the clinic to help these women in terms of treatment and self help strategies, I have often wondered if we could do more with recommendations regarding bras and fitting. To help answer this question Health in Motion Osteopaths will be hosting a bra fitting workshop, to be run by Ms Pomelo Bras, on the 30th September 2016.

For the benefit and comfort of attendees 2 sessions will be run for groups of up to 6 women. There will be one session from 6pm to 7pm and another session from 7pm to 8pm. There is no charge for the work shop but pre-registration is required so that the event can be tailored to the attendees.  Ms Pomelo is a small independent company with specialist bra ranges including Mastectomy and Nursing.

Workshop dates and details

Friday September 30th, Health in Motion Osteopaths, 54 Pitshanger Lane, W5 1QY ,  020 8991 5280,  osteopath@healthinmotion.org.uk

Refreshments will be provided.

Bra orders may be placed on the day.  No purchase necessary.

Book your place on 30th September 6pm to 7pm 
Book your place on 30th September 7pm to 8pm

More about Ms Pomelo’s Bras.

Tennis Injury? Osteopathy at your service!

Jon Juviler at Health in Motion Osteopaths discusses Tennis Injury
Jon Juviler at Health in Motion Osteopaths discusses Tennis Injury

Anyone for Tennis?

The tennis season is well underway and Wimbledon promises to be the usual sporting spectacle.  The big sporting events –  the Euros, Olympics, Tour de France, to name but a few – tend to inspire many to have a go, maybe for the first time, or improve their game.


Scope of Tennis Injury seen at Health in Motion Osteopaths

We see a lot of tennis players at Health in Motion Osteopaths, from club level players to those wanting to get back into the game after a long break.  There is a wide range of injury they bring with them – repetitive strain in the elbow –  fondly referred to as tennis elbow – shoulder rotator cuff injury, calf strain, and so on.  Whatever the injury, we find that if the player does not have good movement and stability within the axial skeleton (spine and pelvis) then this may lead to injury, not only in the back but elsewhere.


The root of most Tennis Injury

In this article I will explore the common complaint of recurrent back injury, which has plagued many top players like Andy Murray right down to us mere mortals.  I describe why it can occur in fit individuals; and offer some tips on how best to defend against it.


Biomechanics & Forces

Back injuries have affected Andy Murray for some time, but why? If we consider what forces are absorbed by the body when playing tennis, it may go some way to explaining some of the underlying causes of back injury. During play, forces exerted on the axial skeleton create combined flexion (forward bending) and torsion (rotation), punctuated by impact created when contact is made with a ball travelling at speed.  This combination of focus and impact can cause traumatic or slow onset disc injury.


Defence against avoidable Injury

How can you avoid injury from this combined force? The lower back has relatively little rotation available compared to the upper back therefore it stands to reason that flexibility in the latter can actually help protect the low back.  Also, flexion in the hips and knees for those deep shots will help protect the lumbar spine.  Gentle rotation and side bending exercises for the upper back can help to improve the compliance of this area and limit excessive forces being transmitted into the low back.  Paying attention to strength in the bottom muscles (gluteals), flexibility in the hips,  and joint alignment in the knees and ankles will pay dividends also.

When it comes to high impact sports like tennis, maintaining a level of whole body conditioning will go a long way. This may seem counter intuitive to those who want to take up tennis to get fit, but the reality is that if your body isn’t used to the excessive forces and demands being placed on it the chance of injury is increased. Doing low level drills and court based exercise can be a really good way of easing yourself into the game, rather than just pounding tennis balls back and forth without proper preparation and warming up.


Playing Tennis in Ealing or Maidenhead? Osteopathy at your Service!

The most important thing to remember when playing tennis or any sport is to enjoy it! Getting some exercise and fresh air is good for us all, especially with all the lovely green spaces available in Ealing and Maidenhead.  Here are a few tips that may help to keep you injury free for years to come.

  • Use a racket that is the right size and weight for you. Speak to a specialist supplier for help.
  • Make sure the grip is the right thickness. Incorrect size can cause elbow and forearm pain and create unnecessary tension in the back and shoulder muscles.
  • Experiment with slight adjustments to your usual grip to to release tension in the back and shoulders.
  • Wear appropriate footwear. Good support can limit the chance of foot and ankle injuries.
  • Warm up and cool down properly. We can advise you on that!
  • If you’re carrying an injury don’t ignore it! Please come and speak to us for advice.
  • Visit Health in Motion Osteopaths (pre season, during season and / or post season) for targeted body adjustments and a bespoke exercise plan to enhance your enjoyment and effectiveness in the game.  We can also advise on grip and technique adjustment.

Read endorsement from ex Junior French Tennis Champion

Jon Juviler, Registered Osteopath at Health in Motion Osteopaths