Balance Sense Welcome to the winter 2014 edition of the Holmewood Osteopathic Practice Newsletter. Hopefully Winter will be cold and crisp with no we

Balance Sense

Welcome to the winter 2014 edition of the Holmewood Osteopathic Practice Newsletter. Hopefully Winter will be cold and crisp with no weather disruption and no icy slips and slides. Should the pavement conditions get slippery wear shoes or boots that have thick non slip soles. Good balance will help even if you do slip. Studies have shown that balance can deteriorate with age.(1) Balance is dependent on your vision, hearing and your musculoskeletal system. Putting aside inner ear or eye diseases, the sorts of conditions that may affect balance are: osteoarthritis affecting the muscles and joints in the neck, muscle and tendon pain in the lower legs and feet, and poor muscle control in the core and lower legs. In older people musculoskeletal problems may be combined with illnesses such as diabetes which may damage the nerves affecting the feet and legs. Osteopathic treatment can be helpful in alleviating some of the pain from arthritis in the hips,lower limbs and neck. Yoga, tai chi and Pilates provide good ways of getting weight bearing exercise. The controlled movements help improve postural awareness and joint position sense (proprioception) and this helps to maintain good balance.

Christmas is a traditional time to take a skiing holiday and good preparation with stretching and strengthening the muscles of the thigh and lower back is a wise measure. (3) If you sustain a strain to the lower back, knee or ankle, in addition to sorting out the muscle and joint injury it is important to work on rehabilitating the joint position sense in the lower limbs to ensure that stability and control is restored. Focusing on the knee and ankle can help reduce the chances of recurrent strain. (2)

To reduce the chances of injury to the ankle and foot over the holiday party period, consider wearing a wedged heel if you are dancing or walking to your venue. If that is not possible, take a spare pair of shoes to walk home or dance in. Stay safe and stable. Greetings of the season to you all.

1.Tiffany E. Shubert. J Geriatr Phys Ther 2011;34:100-108.
2. Chung-Wei Christine et al. J Man Manip Ther. Mar 2010; 18(1): 22–28.

quads exx HOP winter NL balance sense copy

Ski holiday preparation



As from the 1st of January 2015 fees will be as follows:

New patient fee: £50:00

Follow up patient fee: £45:00

boxed gift

A Therapeutic Treat

Holmewood Osteopathic Practice
Special offer Gift Vouchers now available.

With Christmas and the New Year in mind, I am introducing gift vouchers.

Until the 31st of January 2015 the vouchers are priced at 2014 fees, and are valid for 6 months. Vouchers are available for a New Patient fee of £48:00 or Follow Up fee at £43:00.
Vouchers are available in pdf form or a paper version with a gift envelope included. If you would like to purchase a voucher, contact me at: and I will send you a payment link by email or text that will allow you to make a secure card payment (you can request a receipt). Once your payment has been received your voucher will be emailed to you or sent by 1st class post. Last posting date to guarantee receipt for Christmas is the 20th of December.


Holmewood Osteopathic Practice News

I am pleased to announce that Steve Vogel will be joining Holmewood Osteopathic Practice. Steve is a very experienced osteopath who has worked for many years in the NHS as well as having a special interest in research.

To book an appointment with Steve call 07518997355 or go to:


[Ginger cake]


Ginger is one of the spices that I associate with Christmas along with cinnamon and cloves.This recipe uses fresh ginger and is iced with a lemon icing. It is a battery (yes that is not a typo) mix and easy to make. I am afraid there is no getting around the fact that it is very sugary.

Ingredients for the cake:
150g unsalted butter
125g dark muscavado sugar
200g golden syrup
200g black treacle
2 teaspoons of freshly grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
250ml milk
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in 2 tablespoons of warm water.
300g of plain flour

Ingredients for the icing:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
175g of sieved icing sugar
1 tablespoon of warm water

Grease and line with greaseproof paper a 30x20x5cm roasting pan (fairly standard size). Put the flour into a large bowl and set aside. In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter over a low heat and add to it the sugar, golden syrup, treacle ginger, and cinnamon. Pour the now liquid contents of the saucepan onto the flour and beat together. Pour the mixture into the roasting tin and bake for ¾-1 hour. Let the cake cool completely. Make the icing by whisking the lemon juice into the icing sugar, then gradually add the warm water. Spread the icing onto the cake in the tin (thinly). Let it set and then cut the cake into as many squares as you fancy. Delicious.

Courtesy N Lawson

bridge posture HOP winter NL balance sense copy

Quadriceps Muscle Stretch

Winter yoga stretch

Bridge posture (setubhandasana)

This exercise is excellent for improving mobility in the middle back. It can help to improve shoulder joint and rib movement, and stretch the muscles at the front of the thighs.

1.Lie on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor. Keep your arms close to the sides of your body with your palms down. Tilt your chin towards your breast bone. Tilt your pelvis so that the hollow in your lower back is flattened out.

2. Breathe in and start to raise your buttocks, lower back middle and upper back from the floor. At the same time lift your arms up and backwards. Lift your chest towards your chin. Keep your head on the floor.

Keep your chin tucked down towards your breast bone. Allow your arms to rest on the floor along side your ears. Take several deep breaths in and out. As you slowly start to breathe out lower your upper back, middle and lower back down towards the floor. Last of all bring your tail bone down, at the same time start to bring your arms down. Relax and repeat up to 5 times.


The West End

In October I started working with a team of 5 therapists in West Norwood. We are known as West Norwood Therapies and bring you a range of therapies for body and mind. We offer:

Sports massage,

Medical acupuncture



Thai yoga massage

One -to-one yoga

Chinese acupuncture and tui na massage

Natural beauty therapy

We are tucked away in our calm and tranquil treatment room tucked away inside the grounds of Access Self Storage on Norwood Road. I am available at West Norwood Therapies on a Thursday morning.
Tel: 07989 387 319


Paracetamol and back pain

Recent research has suggested that paracetamol taken at regular intervals or taken as needed, offers no improvement in the recovery time from an episode of low back pain compared with placebo. Further evaluation has been recommended before guidelines are revised.

The Lancet, Volume 384, Issue 9954, Pages 1586 - 1596, 1 November 2014.

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