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Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the...
Chartered Physiotherapist - MSc, BSc Hons, DipMedAc, MISCP
Simon Coghlan holds a Master of Science Degree in Physiotherapy and is a member of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists. A post graduate Diploma in Medical Acupuncture entitles him to accredited membership of the British Medical Acupuncture Society. Simon specialises in the integration of medical acupuncture techniques with manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for the treatment of musculo-skeletal pain and dysfunction.
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Are you an active couch potato?

exercise1Newsflash (old news in fact)...we sit way too much!

The majority of the modern world lives sedentary lives, and not even fitness enthusiasts are safe from the assorted health risks of sedentary living.

Going to your body pump, yoga, spin, Pilates, CrossFit, Les Mills class etc. for an hour a day even every day doesn't counteract the eight or more hours spent at a desk, commuting, or lying on the sofa in the evening.

Risks include musculoskeletal, metabolic, and hormone imbalances including higher blood pressure and the propensity to store instead of burn fat, an increase in appetite, and a tendency toward obesity, cancer, and heart disease.

To counteract the dangers of sedentary living it is essential to:

- Move more frequently, at least 2-3 minutes every hour, 10 minutes every two hours and for half an hour at lunchtime. Get up, reach up, bend down, twist, and walk, take a few flights of stairs, and go to the bathroom (even if you don’t need to go).

- Avoid prolonged moments of stillness, both when sitting and standing at your stand up desk, vary your body positions.

- Add more movement to your life, such as a 5-15 minute walk after meals to regulate the insulin response.

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2116 Hits

The Neurostructural Integration Technique for persistent pain

man holding neckThe Neurostructural Integration Technique (NST) is a manual therapy technique developed by Osteopath Michael Nixon-Livy, a reinterpretation of the Bowen technique.

At Mount Merrion Chartered Physiotherapy we have further adapted and modified aspects of the technique for the benefit of our patients who are suffering with persistent pain.

NST is a gentle form of soft tissue manipulation, applied in a systematic manner to the back, neck and head, abdomen arms and legs. By contrast to massage, the technique involves a gentle strumming across the muscles, mainly near their attachments to tendons which in turn attach to bones. This may be important for some of the physiological effects, more below.

We use adapted NST alongside evidence based pain management counselling and therapeutic exercise mainly in the treatment of Fibromyalgia, but also for other persistent pain conditions which are a consequence of the central sensitisation phenomenon. These would include chronic low back pain, migraine and tension type headache for example.

Lorraine learnt the technique about 10 years ago on an intensive course in the UK. She found it very effective for helping her Fibromyalgia sufferers manage their widespread pain symptoms. It also helped with mood and sleep.

When she took some time from the clinic after Toby was born, I learnt the technique so I could look after her patients in her absence. NST has since become a very important part of our physiotherapy practice.

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3290 Hits

Are you drinking mouldy coffee?

Coffee has been proposed to have many health benefits. It is one of the richest sources of polyphenols which act as antioxidants, it also regulates insulin and blood sugar levels, assists with concentration and attention as well as boosts athletic performance.

One to three cups a day seems to be the general consensus for health benefits according research, but this could be very variable between individuals. Too much can stress the cardiovascular and nervous system.

If you are not overly caffeine sensitive, tolerate coffee well and wish to avail of its health benefits (and pleasure of a good cup), it’s worth being aware that mould in ground coffee is prevalent.

Mould is naturally occurring, but high levels may result in serious health problems. As such, the governments of Japan and South Korea have banned the sale of coffee with mould levels above a certain limit. Of course what constitutes a safe limit is controversial.

That said, to reduce the likelihood of high mould levels in your coffee, the following is advised:

- Avoid buying overly cheap coffee, spending a bit more and maybe drinking a bit less?

- Try and buy single origin coffee, grown in a single geographic region or farm, usually mentioned on the label.

- Coffee shops that roast their own beans and grind beans for you to order (hard to find I know) are likely to have lower levels of mould

Drink healthy and enjoy!

By Simon.

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1122 Hits

The problem that is Low Back Pain - part 2

We know that low back back is a problem

back pain
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824 Hits

The problem that is Low Back Pain

The worldwide burden of low back pain is increasing and despite the best efforts of the various health professions.

low back 27 may
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829 Hits

Should we avoid bread?

bread2Grain based foods are made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or other cereal grains. Bread, cakes, pasta, oatmeal and breakfast cereals are examples of grain based food products

There are many nutritionists, dieticians and researchers who are of the strong opinion that grains should be largely avoided.

Why?

Grains naturally have a high carbohydrate content, even whole grains, especially if prepared using added sugars. Put simply, if we eat more carbohydrate than we need for our basic energy requirements (about 150 grams a day for most people), the rest gets converted to fat and stored.

This promotes weight gain and obesity as well as heart disease and type 2 diabetes over time. The typical western diet will have us eating 300-400 grams of carbohydrate a day, mostly from poor quality, refined grain based sources.

Excessive of poor quality grains, often containing added sugars has been a large factor driving the obesity epidemic we face. Refined grains also promote higher than optimal levels of insulin, which in turn can promote systemic inflammation. This may be a factor in certain chronic pain and autoimmune conditions.

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752 Hits

The Power of the Nap

The afternoon nap, around 20 minutes, no longer than thirty.

snoozing 3It's been shown to enhance productivity and creativity, reduce fatigue and improve employee wellbeing. The Japanese take their napping seriously.

Most of us tend to experience an energy slump mid afternoon which may also affect mood and decision making, a nap may help.

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829 Hits

Practising As An Introvert - What Works?

introvertI was lying in bed a few nights ago, reflecting upon my day and thinking how fortunate I am to be doing something I really enjoy and am passionate about.

Physiotherapy allows me to work with, and help my clients overcome physical problems which are usually impacting on quality of life. To be able to help is very rewarding. Being able to work, exercise and recreate without pain and with relative ease is so important to most of us, and for good reason. It's what makes us feel alive and well.

That said, as an introvert, treating patients, interacting and engaging closely with many different people on a day to day basis is not an activity I am naturally predisposed to. My personality type would usually be more inclined towards more solitary types of work, such as computer programming perhaps.

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1559 Hits

Ways To Live Longer...And Healthier

forestWe’ve evolved in nature, amongst trees, rivers, meadows, beaches, and other trappings of wilderness. Our genes love green space, it’s where they developed and are given a chance to be expressed optimally.

Spending brief periods of time in one of the many leafy parks we have on our doorstep, on a hill walking trail in the mountains or at a wild beach helps:

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1495 Hits

Professional Development...going Primal!

foodpyramidAfter 17 years as a practising Chartered Physiotherapist, completing an MSc as well as a Diploma in Medical Acupuncture, and having attended many further education courses on Physiotherapy related topics, I found myself earlier this year asking myself ‘what next?’.

Continuing professional development is very important to me both personally and professionally. However it was proving difficult to find courses and educational opportunities in physiotherapy either not already completed or relevant to my area of practice as a musculoskeletal specialist.

I have always had a keen interest in health in a broader sense, not just physical but also in relation to diet and nutrition, exercise as well as other lifestyle factors such as sleep, the role of sunlight, recreation, communication etc. All factors which can also have a profound impact on pain management and physical function which have helped me develop as a physiotherapist over the years.

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1530 Hits

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