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  • Nikki Robinson 7:09 pm on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    This is Rheumatoid Arthritis 

    “Imagine having all your joints slowly pulled apart.
    Now imagine that you’re not imagining it.
    This is Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

    This quote by someone using the name RA Guy struck us as we were reading about people’s experiences with Rheumatoid Arthritis. 19-25 June is Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness week so we are looking at what Rheumatoid Arthritis is and how we at Holisticare can help those living with it.

    We’ve all heard of Rheumatoid Arthritis and most of us know it causes painful joints but there is much more to it than that. It is a challenging, painful condition which often progresses to have a debilitating impact on your daily activities.

    It is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in multiple joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness. It typically affects joints symmetrically and can cause problems in any joint in the body usually starting with the small joints in the hands and feet. The throbbing, aching pain is often worse in the mornings or after a period of rest. Linings of the joints become inflamed causing the joints to swell, redden and become hot and tender to touch. Eventually your joints may become so severe that your hands and feet, in particular, become misshapen. Stiffness, like pain, and stiffness from osteoarthritis, is usually worse in the morning or after rest, but unlike osteoarthritis, the stiffness persists for a significant period of time, usually more than half an hour. Stiffness in the hands can be so severe that you can’t form a fist, or fully bend or straighten your fingers.


    Symptoms often develop gradually over several weeks but some cases can progress quickly over a number of days. They vary from person to person, can come and go, and may change over time. You might experience flares when your condition deteriorates and symptoms become more severe.

    RA doesn’t just affect your joints. It can cause a high temperature, poor appetite, weight loss, sweating, depression, irritability anaemia and fatigue. It can also affect the eyes resulting in dry, painful or inflamed eyes, as well as rheumatoid nodules around the elbows or on hands and feet, and can even, rarely, affect the lungs and heart membrane.

    There is currently no cure for RA but there is a range of treatments that can help to reduce pain and limit the impact it has on a sufferer’s daily life. Of course painkillers can help but, as time goes on, the strength of medication often has to be increased. Some patients are offered surgery under certain circumstances and many find it helpful. Myofascial Release Treatment also helps to reduce pain, can help to maintain or improve mobility and even assist in recovery after surgery.

    Carol M Davis, DPT (Doctorate of Physical Therapy) was a Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine with a specific interest in researching scientific foundations and clinical outcomes from the use of therapies such as MFR and she studied the use of MFR in the treatment of various conditions including RA. In 2011 a study showed that Myofascial Release Treatment three times a week for 2 weeks can relieve pain and other Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms. The techniques used in the study included arm and leg pulls, manual cervical traction, transverse plane releases and cross-hand techniques. Dr Davis explained that using the extended pressure of MFR (more than 3 minutes) to targeted areas on the body helps to change the underlying structure of connective tissue (the fascia) and corrects areas of restriction that could be contributing to the pain.

    If you, or someone you know, has Rheumatoid Arthritis and would like to either give your liver, stomach and kidneys a rest by reducing your painkillers, or have had surgery and need a boost to recover, call us at Holisticare to make an appointment.

    Don’t Forget!

    12-24 June Father’s Day Offer. Call between 12 & 24 June to book and pay for a 1 hour treatment for your father and get £25 off his treatment PLUS £10 off your next treatment. Quote FDO17 when booking.

    Workshop for Horse Riders. Part Two 28th June. Attridges Equestrian Centre, High Roding, CM6 1NQ. Part 1 only £20, both parts £35. Call us on 01279 718331

    Holisticare Quiz Night for St Clare Hospice. Friday 30 June. We are now full for this event. You can still join in and help us raise more for St Clare by entering our raffle. Please drop in to buy your tickets.

    Free Yourself Hour Classes. Week 3, Thursday 22nd at 6.45pm. If you have missed this round of classes don’t worry, our next set will begin in September.

  • Nikki Robinson 12:51 pm on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Crafty ways to keep you crafting 

    This week our blog is inspired by Sewing Machine Day on 13 June. The day celebrates the invention of the machine because of the advances in the textile industry it enabled and the time saving benefits to many families who no longer had to labour over hand stitching. The first idea of a double pointed needle with an eye at either end was in 1755. By 1790 Thomas Saint patented a machine for “quilting, stitching, and sewing” but there are no working examples of his invention left today. The machine that went on to revolutionise the textile industry was invented and patented by Barthelemy Thimonnier in 1829.

    Many people enjoy letting their creative side out by crafting. You might love textile crafts such as knitting, crochet, embroidery or quilting. How about papercraft like cardmaking, quilling or book folding? Maybe you make jewellery with intricate beadwork or silver or possibly you’ve ventured into traditional artisan crafts such as basket weaving, yarn spinning or pottery. Perhaps you’re into heavier crafts for example wood or metal working or artistic blacksmithing. Crafting is relaxing and fun but you can end up with aches and pains. The most commonly affected areas are the neck, shoulders, back, wrists, hands and head and other areas of the body can suffer too depending on the nature of the craft. This is where Holisticare comes in.

    The three main things that can cause pains or injuries when crafting are tools, motion and posture. Obviously tools of any kind pose a risk of injury such as cuts, burns, bruises, contusions, haematoma and impact injuries, leaving scars and restrictions. Aside from this sort of damage it’s important to use the right tools, in good lighting and often with magnification to avoid eye strain which can then produce headaches.

    Many crafts involve repetitive motion which can result in repetitive strain injury with pain in muscles, nerves and tendons sometimes with stiffness, tingling or numbness or throbbing. It is most usually felt in hands and wrists, forearms and elbow, and the neck and shoulders. A way to help reduce the risk of such injury is to ensure your workspace is ergonomically sound, so that frequently used tools or supplies are closer to your reach and a circular layout is also helpful. An ergonomically inefficient work area causes you to stretch awkwardly, reach unnatural positions and tighten up which increases the risk of hurting yourself.

    Maintaining good posture is also important. All crafters know this but so few of us take any notice until we’re reaching for the painkillers! We sit in unsuitable chairs, often don’t use armrests, slouch, hunch and twist over what we’re working on, lean on our elbows too much, crane our necks, stoop over to see what we’re doing and don’t get up and walk about or stretch frequently enough. As a result we get a stiff neck, upper and lower back pain, headaches, fatigue and even pins and needles in our legs. Being mindful of posture and paying attention to how you’re holding your body and correcting it can help prevent all these.

    In reality though, we ignore the early aches and discomfort which then can become persistent and more serious. Whether you think you’re at this early stage, or have been an uncomfortable crafter for years and have constant symptoms, Holisticare therapists can help. We can help to correct damage caused by tools (for example scars and burns), and ease the pains and injuries caused by repeated motion and poor posture. Why not call us to help you to keep crafting?


    Free Yourself Hour Classes. 6 weekly sessions, Thursdays at 6.45pm or Fridays at 10.15am. If you have missed the first class you can still join for the rest of the course. Call us to book your place.

    Friday 16 June 1pm: Helping Hands Art Competition for St Clare. Closing deadline is 1pm on Friday 16 June. There’s no limit to how many times you enter as long as you pay a minimum of £1 per entry. Each of the 4 age categories will have a prize winner PLUS there will be an overall winner too. All winners will be announced at our Quiz Night on Friday 30 June

    Friday 30 June: Holisticare Quiz Night for St Clare Hospice. Limited table numbers so book now. Teams of up to 8 people. £8 per person. Licensed bar & raffle. Bring your own snacks. Call us on 01279 718331 asap.

    12-24 June Father’s Day Offer. Call between 12 & 24 June to book and pay for a 1 hour treatment for your father and get £25 off his treatment PLUS £10 off your next treatment. Quote FDO17 when booking.

  • Nikki Robinson 5:39 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , classes, essex, hertfordshire, herts, , , moving, , , treatment centre   


    This week is all about moving!

    We spent an extremely hot Bank Holiday weekend moving out of the old centre and studio and into the new and we’ve settled quickly into our new home. We’ve had some lovely comments from patients who’ve been to see us this week and we also now know we’re storm-proof after the torrential rain on Friday afternoon!

    There are four treatment rooms instead of the previous three and the studio is in-house instead of “across the way”. The rooms are all being given new names with a link to Sedona in Arizona which has one of the first John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach treatment and teaching centres. It is also a place where various American Indian tribes lived, such as the Yavapai and Apache, so the names are symbolic.

    The studio is named Buffalo which symbolises adaptability, strength, stability, provision and blessing. The treatment rooms are called Bear, Eagle, Horse and Wolf.
    Can you guess which treatment room belongs to which therapist from the symbol meanings?
    Bear: protector, courage, physical strength
    Eagle: Nearer to the creator, courage, wisdom, strength, messenger
    Horse: Grounded power of the earth with the whispers of wisdom found in spirit winds
    Wolf: Great warrior, guardian, creator, safety, manifest well-being.
    The door signs are in production so you’ll be able to check if you were right in the next couple of weeks!

    The whole centre is on the ground floor and is fully wheelchair, buggy and walking aid friendly. We have plenty of parking in front and to the side of the building, again fully accessible. We think it feels comfortingly familiar with a fresh, brighter, more spacious atmosphere.

    As before the studio is available for hire and as it’s now contained within our centre it has easier access to the toilet facilities, hot and cold water and is fully accessible.

    We’re sure you’ll like the environment in the new Holisticare Centre so why not book an appointment and let us help you get moving too.


    Wednesday 7 and 21 June: Workshop for Horse Riders, Attridges Equestrian Centre, High Roding, CM6 1NQ. Part 1 only £20, both parts £35. Call us on 01279 718331

    Beginning 8th and 9th June: Free Yourself Hour Classes. 6 sessions running weekly on Thursday evenings at 6.45pm and Friday mornings at 10.15am. Learn how to release your mind and body to see instant results and achieve long term benefits. A series of 6 sessions is £120. Call us to book your place.

    IMG_3464Friday 16 June 1pm: There has been some confusion about our closing date for Helping Hands competition. The entries are being collected by the judge at 1pm on Friday 16 June so that is your deadline!

    Holisticare staff are not eligible to enter the competition but we had a go anyway just for fun – what do you think?!
    There’s no limit to how many times you enter as long as you pay a minimum of £1 per entry. Each of the 4 age categories will have a prize winner PLUS there will be an overall winner too. Don’t forget to return your entries to Reception or any Holisticare member of staff.



    Friday 30 June: Holisticare Quiz Night for St Clare Hospice. Limited table numbers so book now. Teams of up to 8 people. £8 per person. Licensed bar & raffle. Bring your own snacks. Call us on 01279 718331 asap.

  • Nikki Robinson 5:29 am on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: competition, , , , , therapist, workshop   

    A Series of Natural and Spontaneous Changes 

    Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism, said, “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them…Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like” and we are certainly embracing changes which flow naturally forward here at Holisticare.

    You may have noticed that, sadly, one of our receptionists, Ali Bradby, has left. She had been working with us since February 2016, was a very popular member of the team and has moved on to a change of career and we are very sorry to see her go.

    In rather better news we are all very excited to announce that we will be moving into our new Treatment Centre at the end of this month. If you haven’t been to see us for a while, don’t worry, we are still in the same location but our new centre is bigger and better! All treatments from Tuesday 30 May will be in the new building and there will be sign-posted parking in front of the Centre.

    As we are expanding our centre we are also expanding our therapy team. We have taken on another Myofascial Release practitioner. We asked our new therapist a little bit about herself.

    What made you decide to train as a Myofascial Release Therapist?
    It was amazing seeing the results that were achieved by the therapy – patients coming in with pain or limited movement then leaving with a smile.

    Did you have to do anything to prepare to be an MFR therapist?
    Yes, to be able to access the specialist MFR training I had to obtain a Level 3 Bodywork qualification including Anatomy and Physiology. I chose to complete this on a fast track 13 week course which was hard work but well worth the effort. After gaining that qualification I began the Myofascial Release treatment training.

    What was the training like? Which courses did you do?
    It was amazing. It was everything I thought it might be, and more. I was trained by Ruth Duncan at Myofascial Release UK in Glasgow. Again, the training was intense but extremely enjoyable, not only learning the techniques but having the opportunity to experience what the techniques feel like from a patient’s perspective.
    The courses I studied were Myofascial Release Levels 1, 2 and 3 and Myofascial Release Assessment & Integration.

    What are you most looking forward to about being an MFR practitioner at Holisticare?
    Helping people. I’ve seen the sense of achievement that therapists experience when they see the results that MFR produces. I’m excited about feeling that sense of achievement when I’m making a positive difference to patients’ lives.

    Have you had to move far to join our specialist centre?
    No, I live locally with my husband, daughter and Jack Russell and know Nikki and the Holisticare team very well.

    AliTherapistThat sounds familiar…is that you Ali?
    Of course it is! Having successfully completed my training in Glasgow I’m back at Holisticare and raring to go as a therapist.

    Is there anything else we should have asked you?
    (laughs) When you said you wanted to interview me for the Holisticare blog I thought you were going to ask me what is my favourite food. It’s squid by the way. Being serious though, I’ve really enjoyed my first week as a Holisticare MFR practitioner and look forward to treating many more patients.

    So there you have it, we didn’t lose Ali at all! We’re sure that you will be as thrilled as we are that she is our new therapist.

    Saturday 3 June: Essential Skincare & Allergy Relief Workshop 1.30 – 4.30pm Led by Tara Whittle using DoTerra Certified Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils. £25 per person. Limited places so call 07985 751059 or email to book your space. This workshop will be held in our new Centre.

    Wednesday 7 and 21 June: Workshop for Horse Riders, Attridges Equestrian Centre, High Roding, CM6 1NQ. Part 1 only £20, both parts £35. Call us on 01279 718331

    Friday 16 June: Closing date for Helping Hands competition. If you haven’t joined in yet you still have time to get creative. It’s open to everyone from pre-school age upwards, there’s no limit to how many times you enter as long as you pay a minimum of £1 per entry. Each of the 4 age categories will have a winner PLUS there will be an overall winner too. Return your entries to Reception or any Holisticare member of staff.

    Friday 30 June: Holisticare Quiz Night for St Clare Hospice. Limited table numbers so book now. Teams of up to 8 people. £8 per person. Licensed bar & raffle. Bring your own snacks. Call us on 01279 718331 asap.

  • Nikki Robinson 10:18 am on May 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 10k, achilles tendonitis, back, , , itb, , , , , plantarfasciitis, road race, running, shin splints, training   

    Keep on Running 

    Hatfield Broad Oak’s annual 10k Road Race and 1 Mile Fun Run are on Bank Holiday Monday on 29th May. This is the 32nd year that the race has been held and it’s one of the most popular 10k races for serious and casual runners alike. It’s open to runners aged 15 and over and approximately 1500 runners take part every year. The 1 Mile Fun Run is for younger runners and their friends and family.

    It is a great event and the participants are in their final weeks of preparation. Preparation is extremely important because it’s estimated that almost 80% of runners worldwide are injured every year. At Holisticare we can help you to be ready for the run (though we won’t be running alongside you in your training runs!) and we can also help your body recover afterwards.

    Runner’s World magazine says that 10k is the UK’s most popular race distance. 10k is about 6.2 miles so it’s great for those who are building up their strength and endurance towards a half marathon or a full marathon but it’s also great for the more casual runner who possibly has less time to commit to training but still wants a reasonable length run as a challenge.

    They recommend that if you’re a first-time 10k runner you should increase your training distance gradually but about ¼ to ½ a mile at a time and UK runner Jo Pavey says to run at your own pace, take rest days and if you’ve got a niggle delay what you’re doing for a day, don’t just push through it. If you’ve got a target to achieve or beat a specific time then US Olympic runner and 10k record holder, Galen Rupp, advises varying your training practice to include runs at target pace, a little slower and a little faster.

    Female runner knee injury and pain.

    Five of the most common ailments and injuries that runners are prone to are:
    • Runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome – PFPS) – pain slightly above or below the kneecap
    • Achilles tendonitis – pain and swelling on the back of your heel
    • Plantarfasciitis – pain in the heel or underside of your foot
    • Iliotibial band syndrome – a pain-giving injury to the connective tissues – the iliotibial band which is a thick band that begins at the iliac crest in the pelvis, runs down the outer part of the thigh, and crosses the knee to attach into the top part of the shinbone
    • Shin Splints (medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS) – a cumulative stress disorder, with shins that feel hot and pain along the inner edge of the shin bone even while resting.

    Other injuries common to runners are sprains, pulled muscles, blisters and getting a stitch. Most of these are caused by repeated stress on the bones, muscles and joints as you run on the hard surface of a road or track. Holisticare therapists can help reduce your risk of injury in your training and the race and then bring your body back to comfort after the run. We assess your posture and look at any movements that are restricted by pain or stiffness then use the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release technique to realign your body, soothe pain, release restrictions in the fascia and improve your flexibility and range of movement.

    If you, or someone you know, are planning to join the HBO 10k Road Race, make an appointment with us for before and after the race so that you can keep on running!

  • Nikki Robinson 1:45 pm on May 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asthma, , fascia, , , , , , research, restrictions, shortness of breath, , wheezing   

    Breathe In 

    breathingWorld Asthma Day is an annual event organised by the Global Initiative for Asthma to improve awareness and care for sufferers. This year it is on Tuesday 2nd May so this week is an ideal opportunity to tell you that Myofascial Release Treatment could be of benefit if you are affected by asthma.

    Fascia is a tissue throughout the body in a three dimensional web from head to toe. It holds your cells in their place, including muscles, bones, nerves, organs and vessels. It guards against overextension and absorbs tensile and compressive forces. If our fascia is restricted these forces cannot be dispersed. Myofascial release aims to relieve soft tissue and fascial restriction to enable patients to achieve a more normal range of movement.

    What has this got to do with asthma?

    In 1999 a post-graduate student at Oklahoma State University carried out a study on “Physical Therapy Intervention in Childhood Asthma: Myofascial Release Techniques and Massage”, using the gentle, non-invasive John Barnes technique that we use at Holisticare, for her Master of Science Degree.

    Data was gathered from parents about the frequency of their children’s asthmatic episodes and their prescribed medication in the 2 years prior to MFR treatment and in the year post-treatment. A control group received ordinary massage. The Myofascial techniques used were temporal, mandibular, maxillary, hyoid, thoracic inlet and respiratory diaphragm releases.

    The control group did show some improvement after treatment but the Myofascial Release group showed marked improvement. In the year post-treatment 75% of the MFR group showed a reduction in asthmatic episodes and the remaining 25% stayed the same, and most subjects reported a reduction in required medication in either frequency of dose or number of different medications. Although it was quite a small study the results are positive.

    It is thought that by releasing the tightened fascial system the pressure on the lungs, autonomic nervous system, or the cranial nerves supplying the pulmonary system is reduced, thereby reducing the symptoms of asthma.

    While Myofascial Release is not a cure for asthma it may help you breathe more easily. Call us for an appointment on 01279 718331.


    Our Helping Hands Competition in aid of St Clare Hospice is up and running and is open to all age groups from pre-school upwards.
    We are now taking booking for teams (of up to 8 people) for our Quiz Night on Friday 30 June and raffle tickets are also now on sale.
    If you would like to enter the competition, book a team, buy raffle tickets or donate a raffle prize please get in touch on 01279 718331 or talk to any of the Holisticare Team who will be happy to help.

  • Nikki Robinson 10:26 am on April 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Leaking News 

    You have probably seen articles in the press and on TV this past week (notably on the Victoria Derbyshire Programme) about the dangers of vaginal mesh implants which are used to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and incontinence. The headlines can be scary so how much of a problem is this and can you get it treated in any other way? At Holisticare we know there is another way!

    The NHS estimates that 1 in 10 women will have surgery for POP by the time they’re 80. Some women with a pelvic organ prolapse don’t have any symptoms at all but others find that sex is uncomfortable, they may have problems urinating or be incontinent, or they may feel that there is a bulge or something coming down or out of the vagina. The organs which may be out of place include the bowel, uterus, bladder, rectum and vagina.

    It’s estimated that 45% of women will have some level of urinary incontinence and there are increasing numbers of incontinence brands and products. The two most common types of incontinence are stress, when you leak when you cough, laugh or jump, and urge, when you have a sudden need to pee and can’t hold it. POP and incontinence share some causes such as being overweight, getting older, previous pelvic surgery, childbirth, and constipation. Conditions which weaken your body tissues such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can increase your risk.

    Thousands of women in the UK have had vaginal mesh implants intended to act as a supporting structure like a hammock for the pelvic organs. Most of these have been successful with no problems being reported, however 800 women are now taking legal action against the NHS and manufacturers and the number of patients coming forward is rising. They have been left with intense pain and discomfort with their daily activities badly affected. In the most severe cases the mesh has either disintegrated or moved, slicing its way into the bladder, or right through the vaginal wall and women have been left in severe pain, unable to work, have sex or walk properly, are doubly incontinent with nerve damage and depression.

    Some of these operations could have been avoided. Myofascial Release is a very effective technique that can be used to treat and manage the symptoms of uterine prolapse – one of the common causes of incontinence in women, and often treated by implanting a mesh. The difference with this approach is that we find and treat the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. The therapist assesses the patient’s whole body to find out where the strain causing the prolapses is coming from – often pelvic misalignment and old scar tissue.

    Incontinence is commonly blamed on weak pelvic floor muscles, but there is no point to trying to strengthen a tight, twisted muscle – it just won’t happen! Myofascial Release allows the muscles to start from the correct position so they can work much more effectively and then can strengthen. The bladder itself can also be under strain, making it more prone to infection, sensitivity and leakage, so by releasing the tissues in the area around the bladder, the body can fight infection more effectively and the muscle in the bladder wall can work properly.
    One of our patients, Wendy, came to us earlier this year on an Intensive Treatment Programme with these issues. This is what she said after her treatment, “I have come away with a new pelvic floor/vagina! …There have been “concrete” or “physical” changes to my condition of POP – walking proof having my vagina working again, or should I say pelvic floor.”

    Book an appointment and allow us to help you.
    Call 01279 718331 and visit our website

  • Nikki Robinson 9:10 pm on April 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: emotions, fight or flight, , how to relax, , overwhelm, , , relaxation, stress   

    Calm in the chaos 

    Stress has always been a part of human existence and modern life is no different. The causes of stress and how we manage it are, however, distinctly contrasting. We can face stressful events at work, for example work overload, redundancy and retirement. Family life throws more stress at us, such as being a carer, having a baby, moving house, becoming ill, getting divorced, losing someone we love and having financial issues. While we can’t change what is causing you stress we, at Holisticare, can help your body manage the effects better.

    How our symptoms of stress manifest themselves is unique to every individual but commonly there is a combination of emotional, mental and physical symptoms. Emotionally you may feel agitated, moody, overwhelmed or out of control. You may find relaxing difficult or feel bad about yourself and rely more on negative habits such as drinking too much or using drugs or cigarettes. Mentally it might be harder for you to make decisions, you worry constantly with your thoughts racing and you may slip into depression and anxiety. Physically your body will be shouting at you to take notice with headaches, low energy, aches, pains and tense muscles, possibly with diarrhoea, constipation or nausea, excess sweating, clenching jaw and grinding teeth and the frightening chest pain and rapid heartbeat of a panic attack.

    There is something which can help though. Myofascial Release treatment can help alleviate all these symptoms by gently loosening up the tension. The psoas is an extremely important muscle in the body. It is the only muscle which connects the top half of your body to the bottom – the spine to the legs. It’s important for posture and movement and is known as the “fight or flight muscle” sunsetbecause when you are under stress it contracts and tightens setting your body ready to tackle the perceived threat.

    While some stress can be positive and helps to keep you alert and ready to avoid danger it becomes negative when you face continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between the challenges. The psoas, and other parts of your body, store up this tension and you get the symptoms listed above.

    Our therapists can gently work through the layers and layers of fascial restriction created by constant stress, allowing your body to release and relax, to loosen and feel lighter in a warm, safe and comfortable environment.

    Let Holisticare be your oasis of calm in the chaos of daily life. Book an appointment and allow us to help you soften and unwind, reducing the effects of stress and letting your body know you’re listening.

    Call 01279 718331 and visit our website

  • Nikki Robinson 6:24 pm on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: exercise, , , , , spring, warm up   

    Spring is the time of plans and projects 

    Tolstoy wrote that “spring is the time of plans and projects” and once the clocks go back, the sun comes out and Easter is here we, as a nation, head out into the garden to begin the next year of plans and prainbowrojects – and by the time school summer term begins we’re aching and nursing a pulled muscle or a strain. But Holisticare patients need not suffer!

    “Country Living” magazine quotes a survey that shows 69% of UK adults aged over 45 have experienced physical pain from gardening. The British College of Osteopathic Medicine say that their clinics see a huge surge in injuries, strains and sprains in the spring months. They put this down to people not preparing themselves properly for working in the garden. They equate it to an elite athlete taking a break then going straight into competition. So many of us are more sedentary over the winter months and when the days brighten we go all out, don’t pace ourselves properly, mow the lawn, dig the whole allotment, weed all the flower beds, tidy the trees…and end up with a strain or an injury.

    Of the garden equipment we use, the lawnmower is, unsurprisingly, the most dangerous. Second on the list is the flowerpot! Flowerpots are involved in approximately 5300 accidents and injuries a year with strains and sprains from lifting them as a significant factor. Backs, knees and shoulders tend to suffer the most. Think of the motions your body goes through. Backs have to put up with repetitive jarring, pulling, bending and twisting. Prolonged kneeling can aggravate the knees and increase the risk of bursitis (an inflammation of the small fluid filled sacs in your joints) because of the pressure as well as the repetitive strain which causes pain and swelling. Shoulders are the other garden injury hotspot. The shoulder is a complicated structure in order to allow the large range of vertical, horizontal and circular arm movements. This is perfect for lopping branches, trimming hedges and any other job above waist height but if the top bone of the shoulder rubs against the muscles or bursas you’re left with irritation, pain and inflammation. The neck, wrist, hip and elbow joints can also be affected and then of course there are all your muscles.

    Holisticare therapists can help you if you find yourself in pain after gardening. You knew that already so here’s the clever bit! Myofascial Release Treatment can help to prepare your body to be in the best shape it can be before you start! This will help you withstand these extra pressures and if you do still hurt yourself you’ll already have a head start on recovery. If you suffer from conditions such as, or similar to, arthritis, back, neck or muscle pain, or tennis and golfer’s elbow, preparation is particularly important.

    Gardening is exercise so it’s important to warm up. Watch our video on YouTube and let Nikki guide you with safe, gentle stretching techniques so you can reduce your risk of damage and injury. . If you have ideas for other videos that would help you please let us know.

    Now is the time to book yourself in with us to prepare for your plans and projects and put a spring in your step! Call 01279 718331 to make an appointment and remember we are open Monday-Saturday and on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

  • Nikki Robinson 5:55 pm on April 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , st clare hospice, £50 challenge   

    Helping Hands for St Clare Hospice 

    Holisticare is participating in St Clare Hospice’s £50 Challenge. The event runs from April to June and the aim is to turn £50 into as much as we can with all money going to St Clare. We share many of the values of the Hospice and both Holisticare and St Clare provide fantastic, compassionate care and support for our patients.

    “So what is Holisticare Helping Hands?”
    It’s your chance to get creative and support a great charity at the same time by entering our competition – and it’s easy! As myofascial release practitioners our hands are the tools we use every day to provide effective and gentle therapy for our patients so our competition is based around the theme of Helping Hands. There are 4 age categories, Pre-school, Primary, Secondary and Over 16s, and there is a prize for the winner of each category.

    “What do I do and how do I enter?”
    Simply draw round your hand on a piece of paper (or print out and use our template – email info@holisticare so we can send it to you) then decorate the hand however you like! Put your details on the back of the picture and send or bring it to us with a minimum donation of £1. We need your full name, age category, email address and phone number and if you are entering as part of an organisation put that on too. It is perfect if you’re looking for an activity to do with your children or grandchildren. It’s also a chance to have an impromptu “fun at work day” with your colleagues, encourage people in your local organisations such as sports clubs, WI, Church or youth club or why not enlist some friends in the pub to decorate hands over a glass of wine! Ask at Reception if you would like template copies.

    “What happens then?”
    The entries will be judged by local artist, Paulene Brakespear. She will pick a prize winner from each category who will be announced at the Holisticare Quiz Night. We felt it would be great to have a physical representation of the helping hand that every competition contributor is giving to the Hospice so entries will be used to create a special piece of artwork. This will be donated to the Hospice and they plan to auction it to raise even more funds.

    “Quiz Night? You didn’t mention a Quiz Night.”
    Our Quiz Night is on Friday 30th June in Hatfield Broad Oak Village Hall, CM22 7HN. Tickets are £8 per person if you book in advance or £10 on the night. We strongly advise that you pre-book as we are expecting to be full! Teams are a maximum of 8 people – please confirm team numbers when booking. There will be a licensed bar and you may bring your own nibbles. There will be a raffle with great prizes including a Holisticare treatment voucher, an Indian meal, a bottle of brandy, chocolates and much more. Tickets are £1 a strip. If you can’t make the quiz you can still join in the raffle by buying tickets from Holisticare Reception.

    “Great! Is there any other way I can help?”
    Yes! First, spread the word about the Helping Hands Competition. The more entries we have, the better the final artwork will be. Second, all donations of raffle prizes are greatly appreciated – more prizes = more winners! Third, buy some raffle tickets. Lastly, we have St Clare collection boxes in Holisticare Reception and will be taking them round and about and to the Quiz too. Please give as generously as you can and if you see a Holisticare member of staff off duty we will be happy to take your competition entries, donations and raffle prizes for you.

    Call 01279 718331 to book your treatment and maintenance appointments, Free Yourself Hour or Intensive Treatment Programme and our new Bump to Baby Classes, beginning on Thursday 20th April, to help you prepare your body for your baby’s birth. Find more information about MFR, and our £50 Challenge events on

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