Study: Effectiveness of Osteopathic & Lactation Consultations for Babies

Though the World Health organisation recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months, a lot of mothers stop due to difficulties with feeding in the first three months. This ranges from sucking difficulties to latching on correctly. Some Osteopaths have described cranial dysfunction and restrictions in the skull sutures being linked to breastfeeding issues. If there is an imbalance in the skull or misalignment of the skull this can affect the palette, tongue, and other structures of the head and make the facial muscles too tight and so breast feeding difficult for the baby.

The study

The Fryman study in 2000 explored the effect of birthing on 1,255 newborns, the results showed that more than 88 % of infants had cranial restrictions. Another study in 2009 Lalauze Pol tested 1000 babies identified different restrictions in the sutures and their potential effect on cranial nerves involved in the sucking process.

Another study in 2014 that was held for one year, tested the effectiveness of Osteopathy coupled with a Lactation Consultant took place at a Mum and baby support group in Quebec City, Canada.  The primary group had three Lactation consultants three days a week and an Osteopath. there was a total of 100 mums and babies that took part in this experiment. The babies that took part had biomechanical sucking dysfunctions.

The Results

The findings were:

  • Significant improvement in sucking skills (measured by the Latch score) found in treating new-borns with Osteopathy compared to non-Osteopathic care group.

  • Mothers of babies receiving the Osteopathic treatment reported that their infants also slept better, appeared soothed, and enjoyed lying on their back, whereas they had been perceived as uncomfortable before Osteopathic treatment.

  • Mothers also noticed an improvement in breastfeeding their babies in terms of comfort and the baby ability to latch and feed.

The study highlights that Osteopathic treatment coupled with usual care (Lactation Consultations) for infants with biomechanical sucking difficulties is more effective to improve latch and sucking than usual care alone.

This study highlights that the combination of Lactation and Osteopathic consultants seems to be promising.

At the Croydon Osteopathic Clinic we run a Breastfeeding Clinic every Tuesday from 9:30-11am with Lactation and Tongue Tie Consultant, Katherine Fisher and Cranial Osteopath, Sabrina Pedayana.

Ironman Training and Time Management

How to fit training into your busy schedule

Hello to you all reading this. A few of you may know that I have entered an Ironman triathlon this coming July. The reason I entered this crazy test of endurance is purely to get a tick on the bucket list.

 I have been involved in endurance events on and off for around 20 years.  At times I’ve been quite fit only to let it all slip and get out of shape again. I’m sure that’s a familiar story to some!

 However, the whole time I’ve had this ironman monkey on my back, as it’s the only distance I’ve never attempted.  For those who don’t know an Ironman is a long distance triathlon consisting of a 3.8k swim, 180k cycle and 42.2km run.

 Now it should be said I don’t consider myself special or amazing in any way by entering an Ironman, I believe most people could complete it if they wanted to and trained enough.

 I decided to write this blog as I often hear from patients that they never have time to exercise or go the gym or do the rehab they’ve been prescribed. In practice I encourage people to move more everyday as I feel a lot of the problems patients visit us with are often due to being too sedentary or not being strong or flexible enough.

 I’m writing this blog as I sympathize with the time pressed people I talk to as I now find myself in the same boat. 

How I Manage my Time

 I work around 45 hour per week, which isn’t too unusual, and having hired a coach to help me train for the ironman I currently have to fit in approx. 10-12 hours training per week as well.  I have to fit the training in around my fatherly and spousal duties.  Hence it leaves little time for much else e.g. socializing and house projects are facing further delays I’m sorry to say!

 I find myself fitting in training where I can e.g. early morning, late in the evening or lunchtime if time allows. Yesterday being a fine example, I pressed snooze once too many times so that ruled out an early morning run.  Thankfully I managed to fit this in at lunchtime before returning to work (don’t worry I showered.) I finished work at Cheyne walk at 8pm, got home around 8.30 then it was straight on the bike trainer for an hour before eating enough but not too much.

 Luckily my wife Martine didn’t mind as it meant she had control of the TV last night!

The Importance of Sleep 

Another important aspect of this heavy training regime is making sure I get enough sleep. I have recently read some research which stated that for every extra hour of training we do we need an extra hours sleep to help our body recover from it. 

What this Training has taught me  

To sum up this process has taught me that it’s very possible to find a few spare minutes each week to move more and exercise. Your body will thank you for it in the long run and it will mean fewer trips to see us in clinic.

 Anyway I’m off for a swim now, I shall try check in again soon with an update on my progress.

 Mark Bolton, Osteopath at the Osteopathic Clinic


Why Omega 3 is So Important during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are eating for 2!

Healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding includes getting the right omega-3 fats. There are different forms of omegs-3s; that are crucial. The main one is Docosahexaenoic (DHA), an omega-3 found in oily fish like mackerel and salmon, seafood, nuts, plant oils and the right supplements.

DHA is an essential nutrient during pregnancy and breastfeeding as we don’t produce it ourselves, so we must get it from food or supplements.  It is crucial during pregnancy for proper growth and development of the baby’s brain, eyes, central nervous, and immune system.  Research shows there are critical times when DHA is needed during pregnancy and if the mum does not get enough DHA during these times, the effects can be long-lasting.

  • Problems associated with getting too little DHA are: 

  • Decreased verbal IQ

  • Inferior communication skills

  • Suboptimal behaviour

  • Compromised fine motor skills

  • Social development in primary school-age children 

  • Mums who don’t get enough DHA are more likely to experience postpartum depression

How to get enough DHA 

Eat 2 portions of fish 150gm per week, of oily fish.

Choose quality fish oil products.  If you are pregnancy or breastfeeding and you don’t eat fish, or you don’t eat enough fish, you can choose to take fish supplements.

Please contact Nutritionist, Dr Zeeba Shariff at Osteopathic Clinic for more details and to get advice  on quality fish oil products that are certified and sustainable. 


Nutritious Pancake Day Recipe

If you are currently trying to cut carbs or on a strict diet, you might be looking for healthier alternatives this Pancake day.

Dr Zeeba, our resident Nutritionist, gives some nutritional advice allowing you to have your pancake still and eat it!

  • Use wholewheat flour instead of white flour to boost your fibre intake.

  • Use skimmed milk instead of full fat or semi-skimmed milk, the consistency of the pancake will still be the same, and you won't notice the difference in the flavour.

  • Add coconut oil when cooking instead of butter, as it contains half the fat.

  • Add fruit and nuts for the fillings, blueberries (for cancer flighting anthocyanin, raspberries for vitamin C and fibre, lemon for vitamin C and chopped nuts, i.e. walnuts for healthy fats.)

  • Go easy on the toppings instead of chocolate that has very little nutritional value opt for a small spoonful of maple syrup that is packed with vitamins and minerals, some include, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6, but remember its still high in sugar so not too much, or try honey which has natural antibacterial qualities.

  • Try not to mix the pancake too much as it will go a rubbery texture and try to let it settle for 15 mins before cooking to break down the flour.

Dr Zeeba currently works at the Osteopathic clinic every week and offers allergy and intolerance test.

Better Sports Performance through Reformer Pilates

If you’re an athlete or training for a major sporting event like a marathon or any field sports like rugby and football or hockey you know what it takes to keep improving past your personal best. You’ll train so much and so hard for even the slightest benefit. It’s the nature of competition wanting to keep surpassing yourself, and giving your best performance each and every time.

The Importance of Tapping into different Training Styles 

This is why it’s so important to experience training styles that others are not using. When the traditional athlete trains, they think of coaches, gyms, and the outdoors.  Few of them consider the Reformer, and how Clinical Reformer Pilates can activate muscles that traditional exercise sometimes misses.

Many athletes suffer from the same-old-same-old style of training:  They have found something that works, so they’re, understandably, sticking with it while they continue to get results.  But the body needs go much deeper than that kind of repetition.  Having a different physical platform and a different path-of-motion can go a long way for any person that is needing to stretch the muscles and re-establish the core balance necessary to excel.

At the Osteopathic clinic in Croydon we often see patients that are struggling with an injury due to taking part in a sporting event or more often suffering from injury whilst training. As an Osteopath I will also recommend Clinical Pilates, as I know it support my patients on many levels and it’s important to me that the patients are finding a way to prevent injury to avoid the same pattern. 

How Pilates supports you whilst Training

Pilates offers a unique take on the diverse needs of the muscles, and helps to promote the firing of deep, intrinsic core musculature.  The Pilates Reformer, as many athletes have reported, provides a wide range of different approaches to more classic exercises. Because of the engineering behind the Reformer, “balance muscles” are forced to cooperate and work synergistically, just the way that nature intended.  This is a far cry from traditional strength machines or athletic devices aimed at targeting one or two key areas.  While that approach has its merits for some, most athletes require a more holistic approach with more muscular involvement.

There are four key areas that a sports person can benefit from Clinical Reformer Pilates

  • Increases flexibility – If you are training regular and frequently taking part in sporting events your activity will naturally allow your muscles to shorten. It’s the shortened muscles that can cause injury. Reformer Pilates allows you to lengthen your muscles whilst simultaneously building strength preventing you from further injury. 

  • Increases Core strength - This is especially important because a strong core means your body doesn’t have to work as hard and it allows parts of your body like your shoulders and neck to be able to relax. This is crucial when taking part in a marathon or sporting event where endurance is essential. 

  • Increases muscle and balance As mentioned earlier it works on every muscle and helps build awareness of which muscles are working and how to stimulate the right muscles. If you are playing a sport that is particularly using one side of your body more often than the other, for example ‘tennis. or golf.’ Reformer Pilates allows you to strengthen the muscles in the arm you don’t use regular whilst allowing you to relax and stretch the dominant arm.

  • Increases Mental focus This is an important factor when training for a major sporting event, when your thoughts are paramount to the success of your performance.  Clinical Pilates allows you to really focus on breathing and movement. This enables you to stay focused when taking part in stressful and major sporting events. 

Long Term Athletic Development

Another concept that coaches are embracing is LTAD, or Long-term Athletic Development. With LTAD the training progresses from general to specific and from basic to complex. Since Pilates is traditionally based in using lighter resistance selections than what we see in more traditional strength-training, and since the multi-angular nature of Pilates is better suited for nearly any sport; Pilates is an excellent choice for coaches and athletes seeking the LTAD style of conditioning.  

The Reformer helps to keep the athlete in the prime position for their exercise. It requires the use of more muscles engaging and less momentum, as the muscles contract together to stabilize the moving limbs. With stability being one of the key components in both sport performance and injury prevention, Reformer Pilates is rightfully earning more and more merit in the world of athletic and sport conditioning.

If you would like to experience the benefits of Reformer Pilates then contact our clinic today to book your place. 

4 Key Pilates Exercises for Osteoporosis

More than 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis.

You didn’t misread that.

Seriously, a whopping 3,000,000+ people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis and osteopenia a condition that leads to approximately 500,000 broken bones every year, according to the NHS.

Now, before people start whispering into your ear about how there is “no cure” and how it is “congenital” and “unavoidable as you age”, we need to gain a quick understanding of what leads to osteoporosis, or “brittle bones disease” as it is often called:

Osteoporosis means that the bones are brittle. Contrary to popular opinion, genetics actually have very little influence over this condition. It is lifestyle that determines how strong the bones are on a day-to-day basis, and every decision a person makes will shape the mineral density of each bone.

This is where you become empowered:  You’re not a victim to osteoporosis at all.  In fact, YOU decide just how strong your bones will be through nutrition, deep sleep, hydration, and of course…Exercise!

For example, Anne, Clinic Pilates instructor at Osteopathic Clinic Croydon says a “Pilates Reformer Squat has tremendous benefits to the heart, joints, leg and core muscles, but it has great benefits to the leg bones, as well. Brittle femur bones are common, especially in older women, but this comfortable, simple exercise puts just the right kind of pressure onto the femur bones to increase the bone mineral density.”

Leg Circles are another great Pilates Reformer exercise with huge benefits to the bones:  Here, your legs are drawing circles, which has great muscular and neurological benefits as well. But, it is the tension created during the movement that stimulates bone growth, forcing bone mineral density to increase.

The Frog is yet another common Reformer exercise that builds bone.  Not only will the hips benefit greatly (making it less likely to undergo hip surgery down the road), but osteoporosis will be turned around readily as bone mass rebuilds due to the healthy, powerful force vectors present in this exercise.

The Quadruped is a great all round exercise that builds strength, coordination and balance. This is a straightforward exercise to do at home, and if you are unsure how to do this exercise watch Anne’s video here.

But it’s not just the lower body bones that benefit from Pilates exercise: The “Lat Pull”, or “Row” as it is sometimes called, is great for building the bone mineral density within the arms (both upper and lower arms) as your shoulders move you through a large range of motion. Even the often-troubled vertebrae will see some bone development as you move through this and similar resistance exercise using our Pilates Reformer.

 If this sounds a bit confusing, or if you find yourself thinking that you’re not ready to take these exercises on alone, then there is no need to worry - Anne is our expert in Clinical Pilates for Osteoporosis, and she’s available to guide you through the process smoothly and safely.

Anne is a Specialist in Osteoporosis who currently treats patients at the Osteopathic Clinic in Croydon 

Why Your Body Needs a Detox

If you’ve always shied away from a body detox, believing it is too complicated and unpleasant (all that fasting and diet restrictions) then read on……..there is a more comfortable and better way.

Detoxing is becoming increasingly popular, with more researchers and health care professionals backing its value. And that’s a good thing, because with today’s high-tech modern lifestyle, your communications systems may have become faster, but your body’s eliminative system has probably slowed down.

In the opinion of many researchers and health care professional’s, a whole body and organs detox is the superior road to better health.Even though we may be eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking good quality supplements, our bodies may still need to be cleansed from other toxins, such as the build-up of toxic metals. However, from time to time, our bodies need to be cleansed from harmful build-ups to really function at their best. We are exposed to toxins in all manner of ways, from receiving amalgam fillings at the dentist; eating fish that has been contaminated with chemicals, being exposed to industrial fumes and eating food that has been sprayed with pesticides.

Over time impurities accumulate in the body’s digestive system. The elimination process works hard to get rid of them, but as the load increases, it becomes sluggish inefficient.

You feel literally weighed down and may well lack energy, and your first point of call may be to reach for the caffeine.

Think of a car engine that needs to decoke its extra power and smooth running that result. When you cleanse and encourage your body’s elimination system, ridding yourself of all those toxins, your whole body and its organs are rejuvenated. The result is a wonderful pick-me-up. You feel as if you have shed the load you’ve had been carrying around with you.

We can detox and cleanse your kidneys

Detox and cleanse your liver

Detox and cleanse the whole of your body, colon and skin.

Take this on board, and soon you’ll learn what it feels like to be really clean from the inside out…….

Please note: There are many ways you can detox, and it really does depend on the individual and what other medication you are taking and also any health concerns you may have. If you are serious about cleansing then why not book in for a consultation with Nutritionist, Dr Zeeba at the Croydon, Osteopathic clinic.