All posts in Health

Vertigo treatment

Are you suffering from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo? We are now offering treatment!

Therapists: Steve Coster

Signs that you may be suffering from Vertigo.
Man with his hands over his face.

Do you feel dizzy and nauseous when you;

  • Turn over in bed
  • Make quick movements to the left or right
  • Make quick movements up or down

If you have any of these symptoms you could have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This type of vertigo can be frightening, but it is harmless. 

What can be done?

Steve performs the Epley Manoevre.  This takes about 30mins; it is a non-invasive technique and is successful in the majority of cases.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most frequently occurring balance disorder.  It can occur at any age, but is more common in the middle aged and older people.  The condition is not serious or dangerous but it can be distressing.

BPPV can occur spontaneously or following trauma, virus or reduced blood supply.

It usually develops when calcium particles, which normally are distributed evenly in the three semicircular canals, form a sludge and clump together in one of the semicircular canals.  (The semicircular canals are part of the inner ear that helps with balance).  Normally, when the head moves, the calcium particles stimulate nerve receptors (hair cells) inside the canals.  These cells send the brain a signal indicating the direction of the head movement.  When the particles form a free-floating clump in one area, the signal is exaggerated: it suggests to the brain that the head has moved more than it has.

This results in a sensation of movement which may be mild or severe but will subside within 1½ minutes, but is usually a much shorter time.

Does your Vertigo not match the listed criteria?

If your Vertigo does not match the above criteria, do not despair as we are still able to help. Vertigo can be caused by a variety of things, for example neck problems, TMJ problems, side effects of medication and allergies are just a few possible reasons.

A number of our therapies are able to help;

  • Acupuncture
  • CranioSacral therapy
  • Osteopathy
  • Physiotherapy

The best way to move you forward is to phone the centre and speak to one of our therapists so that they can help guide you to the best treatment.

For more information or to discuss your symptoms, please call us on 01702 433959.


Alternatives to painkillers

I was reading the paper the other day while enjoying a coffee when I started to read an article called ‘Safe painkillers that are turning women into drug addicts’.  it was an article specifically about Co-codamol and the effect it is having, especially on women. Now anyone that knows me knows I feel very passionately about the over prescribing of drugs that is happening in the western world. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying never and I agree that some of the drugs are a huge benefit to people. My concern is that they are being used as the first and often only approach to pain. The article went on to talk about the huge impact the drug can have and how it can actually become the problem rather than solve it. Leaving these poor women with the horrendous situation of having to get themselves off the drug not an easy option.

Thinking about this more I started to question, how we got to this place where reaching for tablets is the first approach. According to this article the number of prescriptions of Co-codamol have almost doubled in the last 10 years from over 8 million to 15 million.This is not reflective of an increase in pain but the lack of supervision of prescriptions. I think the reasons for this situation are complicated but do reflect our quick fix society and the pressure people are under to just keep going. It seems that one of the reasons for the over prescribing of this drug is headaches

Sometimes we have no option but to take painkillers, especially in the acute phase of a disorder. However complementary therapies need not be dismissed as they often work very well in conjunction with more mainstream routes. For instance, Acupuncture can be effective in not only stopping pain, but also in relieving digestion problems and constipation, both common side effects of the powerful painkiller Co-codamol.

What other help is there . First of all take time out to understand more about the pain and where it is coming from. Keeping a pain diary to start to understand more about when the pain is worse and the types of activities and situations that aggravate the symptoms will give you a much better idea of lifestyle changes you can make to positively impact on your pain. Sometimes you will need to think a bit outside of the box. Think back to when the pain first started and then look at what was happening in your life in the 6 months leading up to that. Change in any routine could be significant, a new job/desk position, decorating ( tipping your head back to paint a ceiling puts your neck under a lot of pressure) . A visit to the dentist or hairdresser can be a cause of a headache due to the position of the head and neck. Particularly the dentist as a tight jaw can lead to severe headaches. The jaw is also impacted by stress, as one of the reactions to stress is teeth grinding or clenching , which can over a period of time lead to head or neck pain.

As a physiotherapist I immediately look to the overuse of technology as a factor in this pain . The time we spend bent forward over a mobile phone, ipad or laptop has an impact on the neck and shoulder muscles, tension within the muscles are a major cause of headaches. Hooking the phone under 1 shoulder while you talk and work will create a lot of tension and pressure into the small neck joints once again triggering head pain let alone the hours spent infront of the computers.

A lot can be done before resorting to the painkillers. As a headache sufferer myself I never take a tablet . The first thing I do is try and think of the aggravating factor to ensure that it won’t happen again . In my case my headaches are always triggered from sitting twisted or turning my head . For example sitting in the front of the car and turning to talk to someone in the back ,even sitting for long periods on a sofa, turning to talk to the person next to me, will set off my headaches. So I am always mindful of where and how I sit. Prevention is better than a cure.

However once the pain is there, for me 2 main things will clear it . Applying heat, so heat rub or a wheat bag will help to relax any muscle tension and reduce the pain or massage the neck and shoulders which luckily for me my husband, daughter and son have got very good at doing.Reacting quickly to the symptoms is important to not let it get established. How you think about the pain is vital as well, feeling despondent and convinced the problem will never go away is a recipe for more pain as research has shown our mental attitude to the pain is a significant factor. Understanding what is going on and being proactive in responding to the pain is the best mental approach to have.

The situations can be helped by awareness of what is happening . Sometimes it is necessary to see someone to help you understand the pain mechanisms and what you can do to help yourself ,some local treatment of massage, physiotherapy, craniosacral therapy or acupuncture can go a long way to helping you take control back and reduce the intensity and/or frequency of the pain.

If there is already an addiction  this can be a bit more challenging. However support is out there. talking it through with someone , coming up with a plan of action will help. Auricular acupuncture, hypnotherapy, TFT are good supports as well as treatment to look more at the reasons behind the pain.There is no one solution for every situation but there are certainly lots of options.




How Acupuncture can help with Endometriosis

Over the last week, 4-10 March 2013, it’s been Endometriosis Awareness Week.

The exact cause of this distressing condition is not known, only that endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus – most often in the pelvic cavity but some sufferers can find it in other organs, including the lungs.

For around 1.5 million women in the UK, this ectopic tissue continues to be affected by the monthly hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle, bleeding in places where it should not and causing inflammation and pain.

Acupuncture For Endometriosis

The British Acupuncture Council have produced a factsheet which explains how
acupuncture can help the symptoms of Endometriosis by reducing inflammation, stimulating the nerves located in the tissues which promotes the release of endorphins that can change the way pain is processed in the brain and spinal cord. (Zhao 2008, Han 2004, Zijlstra 2003, Pomeranz 1987)

If you suffer with the monthly trauma of Endometriosis, treatment with acupuncture can help to alleviate some of the symptoms.

Call The Therapy Life Centre today on 01702 433959 to discuss how acupuncture can help sufferers in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.


Another year – Another diet – Another exercise regime

Another year – Another Diet – Another Exercise Regime



Ring any bells???  Call me cynical, but as a nutritionist I’m always amazed how gullible people are when it comes to the latest diet fad.  How many diet books have you got on your book shelves?  How long do you think you will manage to stay on this diet before all your old habits return along with the weight you lost?