#Londonmarathon2016 – #marathonprep

epa03192532 Runners advance to the finish of the 32nd London Marathon on the Mall in London, Britain, 22 April 2012. Seen in background is Admirality Arch. Organisers said that just over 37,500 entrants have registered for the race. EPA/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++The London marathon is a few weeks away, and recent visits from runners preparing for the event have reminded me of the many questions asked, and the tactics we have recommended to keep them on form; or to prevent injury and in many cases, to enable them to recover quickly from strains or  “niggles” as they like to say.  Training for a marathon is quite a particular process, and the psychological battle of a marathon runner is quite different from that faced by, say, a half marathon runner, or any other endurance athlete.  Therefore, the treatment and advice given need to join in with the particular conversation the marathon runner is having in their head – which is not always a rational one. An endurance athlete will be accustomed to pain, or at least, discomfort.  It is to be expected for the demands they are placing on their bodies. Understanding pain and when it is safe to “run through it” is very important.  So when a marathon runner presents with pain, it is usually because something is different.  A different pattern of recovery; different area; different quality; different behaviour; different distance.

For those who listen to their bodies and take heed; they tend to consult with us before this “difference” becomes an issue and starts to curtail their training. We will normally see these people at week 6 or 5 before the actual event.  For those who are not listening; or ignoring, or just not sure – we will see these people at our clinic 2 to 3 weeks before the event. We know this because they will say something like “It started off as a niggle about a month ago…..”

The charm of the London Marathon is that it attracts both seasoned and new runners.  However, the people we see at week 6 or week 2 does not tend to correlate with the amount of running experience.  What brings people in at 6 weeks or 2 weeks may be due to their inherent ability to listen to their bodies clearly among the other, not always so helpful, voices in their head.  The key to helping a runner at the various intervals leading up to a race is therefore to diagnose their state of mind as well as the physical complaint.  The reason I say this is because of the huge psychological mountain that carries a runner through a race like this.  And the treatment and advice we deliver are with this very important consideration in mind.

Here are some of the questions we get from marathon runners in the last weeks before a race:

Top questions

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 a broad mix of running experience within this group.  Existing patients who are runners are usually seeing us throughout the year and are “strategically”  programming us 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 / mental resilience, 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 6 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 I see in the 2 to 3 weeks before a race is either calf injury or hip injury.  So far all runners I have seen, bar one, have not been able to overcome injury to enter the race.  The one who did not follow my advice and treatment recommendation.  I cannot categorically say that is why she did not make the necessary recovery but what I have come to realise it is not just the intervention that makes the difference, but also the confidence that the runner has that the injury can get better and that they will not be permanently injuring themselves as a result.

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 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 stress test the area after we have stress tested the vulnerable areas and confirmed you are ready to get back on track with training.

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

Again, this is very individualised advice, because it is based on a full evaluation of your case.  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.

How much treatment will I need?

Again, this varies according to each individual.

When would it be considered too late to get help?

Although early assessment and intervention are recommended, it is never too late to seek osteopathic advice and treatment.

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. Restoring the muscles to a relaxed state as part of the recovery process will reduce the risk of next day muscle soreness. This will also help to reduce any swelling and thus promote faster healing time.

Osteopathy is hugely beneficial for prevention of any further potential injuries. For example, if you have suffered 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!

Easter 2016 – Clinic Opening Times

                                               Ealing Clinic

Thursday 24th March 08:00 – 20:00
Good Friday – Closed –
Saturday 26th March08:00 – 14:00
Monday 28th March – Closed –
Tuesday 29th March 10:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 30th March08:00 – 20:00
Thursday 31st March08:00 – 20:00
Friday 1st  April08:00 – 18:00
Saturday 2nd April08:00 – 14:00


                                        Maidenhead Clinic

Thursday 24th March 12:00 – 20:00
Good Friday – Closed –
Saturday 26th March – Closed –
Monday 28th March – Closed –
Tuesday 29th March 10:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 30th March– Closed –
Thursday 31st March13:00 – 20:00
Friday 1st  April– Closed –
Saturday 2nd April09:00 – 13:00

March 2016 – Pitshanger 5k Run

UnknownFree 5k

Run Round the Park

We’re local people who get together on Saturdays to

run a measured 5km route in our wonderful park.

 Now we’re inviting you to make it a regular part of your

weekend. So why not give it a go?

You don’t have to be a regular runner.

There’ll be others going at your pace who’ll

show you the route, and you can easily just do part

of the course.  Or why not come as a group and run

together?  It’s a great way to begin any weekend and

get gradually fitter running or jogging in a friendly

relaxed atmosphere.

Every Saturday Morning at 9am

All Welcome – Come and Join us

Meets from 8.40

 By the  tennis building

March 2016 – Exercise and Epsom Salts

Epsom SaltsAthletes are always searching for the most effective ways to recover after a long, intense exercise session. A very effective method has been around for hundreds of years. Epsom salts were first discovered in 1618, when they were extracted from seawater in the British town of Epsom. 

Research has shown that when added to a warm bath, they are particularly useful in alleviating a wide range of different muscle pains, even pain as intense as that found in fibromyalgia.  

An essential mineral required by the body is magnesium, it is also one of the only minerals that can be absorbed by the skin. Magnesium is a component of Epsom salts. Research has also found that once absorbed into the skin, it acts to relax skeletal muscles through the flushing of lactic acid (a chemical which builds up during rigorous exercise), hence helping with acute recovery from strenuous exercise.

We sell Epsom salts in our shop in Ealing, pop in and have a chat with one of our osteopaths who can talk you through the steps you should be taking pre and post exercise! 


March 2016 – #treatyourmum

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Mother’s Day is the perfect excuse to make your mum feel special. Health in Motion can help you to do exactly that.  We offer a wide range of services which can be used to give Mum the perfect gift, including osteopathy, deep tissue massage and acupuncture.

Click here to buy vouchers for these services and more!

March 2016 – Mum’s Osteopathy Treatment (MOT)

Mya and LolaThis is an appeal to all mums, those still on the production line; those who have been on the road for a while; rental vehicles; and all fine vintage models.  I am encouraging you to be proactive about your health and joint mobility and book in for a MOT (Mum’s Osteopathy Treatment) with us at Health in Motion.

Mums usually come in for treatment when a condition gets really bad, i.e. they find they may be avoiding / dreading / or changing something which is a normal activity.

Before complete breakdown, mums have booked a multitude of medical appointments for their family.  The mummy motor has to keep running, I know.  But you owe it to yourself to stay in good shape for as long as possible and we believe we can help you with that.

When you book your hour-long MOT you will receive:

1.  A comprehensive structural assessment and review of your current health.

2.  Treatment comprising deep tissue massage and gentle joint mobilisation.

3.  Advice on how to take care of your fine chassis.

4.  Maintenance (exercise) plan that is tailored to your body’s requirements to strengthen and mobilise. Patients find these plans enjoyable to do and find they can fit them into their schedule without major disruption.  Once we understand what goes on in your typical day, we will tailor the plan to suit.

Don’t wait for the gifts to arrive on Mother’s Day.  Treat yourself to a well deserved MOT. Click here to book your MOT.

Look out for other related articles this month.


Lola Phillips (Mum also in need of an MOT)

February 2016 – #PillowTalk

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Pillows are a popular topic of conversation with patients.  “Lola, do you recommend those expensive, memory foam pillows?”  or “should I change my pillow? If so what do you recommend?”; or even “I bought one of those expensive, funny shaped pillows and it made matters worse.”  Although I sell specialist pillows in the clinic shop, I recommend them to a small number of patients.  Most other patients are advised on how to adapt their own pillows to make sure their neck and spine are supported throughout the night.

So here is an outline of my advice.  However, my preferred approach to advising is to get patients to come into the clinic with their pillow(s) and get them to lay on the couch and I show them how to modify the pillow to suit their body shape.



Beautiful blond young woman sleepingTummy sleeper

If you are a tummy sleeper, with or without back and neck pain – I advise you to change this habit.  The tummy sleeping causes the joints in the spine to pinch together which can cause persistent pain due to joint irritation.  Please try to convert to side sleeping or back sleeping.  If you are having trouble changing,  find a pillow to hug into and follow the advice below regarding pillow for side sleeping.

Side SleeperSide sleeper

The best tip here is to find a pillow or bolster in some cases, which will fill the depth of your shoulder.  Usually the reason that orthopaedic pillows do not hit the spot is because they are not the right depth for all bodies.  If you are tempted to buy an orthopaedic pillow, get one that is depth adjustable.  If the depth is right, your neck will run in a continuous line with the rest of your spine, i.e. it will not taper into or away from your bed.  To support the pelvis, place a small folded towel of cushion between your knees.
If you have deep shoulders and a short neck, I would recommend a plump down pillow or similar, as a memory foam pillow may not offer you enough flexibility to stuff the pillow into the neck space to give support and comfort during the night.

Back SleeperBack sleeper

Again, the depth is important, but the pillow will not be as deep as if you are a side sleeper.  If the pillow is too deep, you will compress your throat and overstretch the ligaments and muscles at the back of the neck.  If the pillow is too flat then then may cause the neck to back bend, which compresses the small joints in the spine and causes joint irritation and if you are unlucky, can cause temporary but very painful and restricting muscle spasm.  This position is not very good for the delicate vertebral arteries in the upper section of the neck.  The ideal pillow depth will slight tilt the chin downwards and allow the back of the neck to lengthen.

Who would I recommend adjustable orthopaedic pillows to?

Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) Conditions

Chronic ENT sufferers, depending on the contour of their neck and back.  The added support and improved spine and head alignment has been know to be beneficial for reducing symptoms and improving breathing at night.

Hypermobile joints in the neck

Especially if the neck is quite long.  The additional support will reduce the occurrence of neck pain flare ups.

History of severe facial or head trauma.

The best pillow to recommend would be adjustable and also be softer than the standard memory foam pillow.  These people often need support but cannot tolerate very dense foam.


Some patients have reported benefits.

I toss and turn all night – I cannot see the benefit of the above advice.insomnia-1

My theory is, from my own experience, is that if the spine and head are comfortable, the amount of tossing and turning will reduced.

Other tips for a good night sleep

  • Do not drink alcohol too close to bedtime – leave at least an hour.  the alcohol affects the cerebellum, which is intrumental for balance and sleep.
  • Drink a glass of water before bedtime.  The body does a lot of processing during sleep.  Hydration throughout the day can lead to reduced stiffness in the morning
  • Finish watching TV or looking at PC screen / devices etc before bed time.  the light interfere with the melanin hormone which signals bedtime and enable quality sleep
  • Do not sleep with the lights on.  Important message for those who are afraid the dark or fall asleep with the telly on.  If you fall into the former category, maybe have a light on in the landing.  In the case of children who are afraid of the dark, turn off the light in the room after they have fallen asleep and wean them using the little plug in lights.

February 2016 – Nutrition Therapy coming to Health in Motion!

As of the first week of February, a new member will be joining Health in Motion in Ealing, Daniel O’Shaughnessy, who will be offering nutrition therapy every Thursday from 3-8pm. Read below for more information.

Daniel O’Shaughnessydan5
Nutritional Therapist

Daniel O’Shaughnessy was born into a family where good nutrition was at centre stage in the household so naturally Daniel’s love for good food began at an early age. His mother was a successful coach for a popular weight loss company and this really fuelled his interest in nutrition.

It was not until finishing university after studying a degree in Criminal Justice with Law that he decided to follow a career in addiction. Working as a therapist for over 6 years, Daniel assisted individuals recovering from drug and alcohol issues. After seeing the power of nutrition within the body and its impact on his clients, Daniel decided that this was his real passion and he went on to study Nutritional Therapy at the world-renowned Institute for Optimum Nutrition.

Daniel has received training in gastro-intestinal health problems, the nutritional management of energy imbalances, female hormone imbalances (including fertility, PMS, menopause), mood swings, dermatological (skin) health, immune health, and helping to address body composition and weight management needs.

Daniel is also the Communications Director for The British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy. He brings to the role passion and enthusiasm, joining a fantastic team aiming to make Nutritional Therapy a primary healthcare option.

Daniel is a fully-qualified Nutritional Therapist, a full member of the British Association of Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, and is also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, the only register for Nutritional Therapy recognised by the Department of Health.

January 2016 – Sale on vouchers ends 31/1/16!

voucher-redesign-v5-2972x2832Our voucher sale ends on 31st January 2016 so be quick and treat yourself or a loved one to a voucher at Health in Motion!

  • 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
  • Purchaser can print voucher and present to recipient or it can be emailed directly.
  • Voucher must be printed and presented as payment when redeemed at our clinics; etc.

Click here to see all available vouchers