Now, more than any other time, we should regularly spend a few moments each day and think about our breathing.
The current change in our life styles will have a significant impact on our breathing, whether that is due to lower levels of activity from the imposed restrictions, or an increase in stress and anxiety due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in.
Both of these scenarios will lead us to spending most of our time doing what we call Apical Breathing. This is when the breathing is mainly confined to the upper chest. As a result of apical breathing, the accessory muscles in your shoulders are doing all the work without the pay-off of a deep breath. Since the inhalation is shallow, the body has to compensate by breathing more frequently. This creates a poorer exchange of oxygen and increase tension in our neck and shoulders.
Ideally we should spend regular periods of time doing what is known as Diaphragmatic Breathing. This is when we use the diaphragm to lift and spread the ribs on inhalation and ease them back down on exhalation. This allows the lungs to work more efficiently, utilising a larger proportion of the lungs resulting in more oxygen being transferred into the bloodstream and around the body. It also reduces the work load of the muscles around our neck and shoulders.
Try these two approaches to improving your breathing technique, feel the benefits of increasing oxygen supply and reducing the tension in the muscles around your neck and shoulders.
Technique 1 ‘At Rest’
Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent up, feet flat on the floor. Place a folded towel or small pillow under your head. Place your hands across the lower half of your ribcage with the tips of your fingers slightly interlaced. Breathe in and allow your lower ribs to expand widthways. Let your fingertips draw apart from one another slightly. Breathe out and allow your ribcage to sink inwards and downwards. Your fingertips may interlace slightly as you empty your lungs. Watch that you do not lift your breastbone as you breathe in. Instead imagine the back of your ribcage spreading wide into the floor underneath you. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed.
Once you have learned to do this exercise lying down you can then use this skill to improve your breathing when sat at your desk or when standing up.
Technique 2 ‘Being Active’
When we increase our activity levels we require more oxygen and therefore generally we employ more of our lung capacity to do this.
Current Government guidelines (as of 23rd March 2020) allow each individual to leave the house for exercise once a day. So a run, walk or cycle (within social distancing limits) are excellent ways of improving your breathing. If you are unable to do this then the following exercises can be done in your own home:
Step ups on the bottom step of the stairs
Repeated sit to stand from a chair
The list is endless so see what you can come up with!
goPhysio are delighted to provide support to local young athletes and sports clubs, including Swan Netball Club and Stoneham Football Club.
We also provide additional support to individual athletes, one being Josh. Josh is a discus thrower with his sights set high! We asked Josh a bit more about his specialist sport.
Tell us a little bit more about you and your athletic career to date?
I started competing in discus in 2016 and found a hidden talent for such an unpopular event early on and In my first competition I threw a distance that got me to top of the UK rankings for my age group.
I have placed first in all competitions in 2018 apart from the European trials and finished the season with titles of Under 17 discus…
English Schools champion🥇
International Schools champion🥇
International school games champion🥇
I was ranked number 1 in the UK in 2018 for the under 17 age category with a throw of 55.97m. This year I competed at the world schools athletics competition in Croatia for England in the Under 18 age category coming 5th, contributing to the boys England team coming 2nd overall. My personal best this year is 53 metres resulting in me being ranked 4th in the UK and hoping for a lot more by the end of next year.
What does a typical training schedule look like for you?
Without going into too much detail I’m in the gym doing strength and conditioning about 5x a week. Which includes anything from Olympic lifting (or attempting anyway) to ballistic training to standard weightlifting. My main aim isn’t to build show muscle but go muscle, as i like to put it, so my reps are lower the weights aren’t. I’m also usually down at the track 3-4x a week but currently it’s 2-3 due to the cold however we do indoor throwing sessions to make up for that.
What does coming to goPhysio help you with?
3 words. Maintenance, prevention and restoration. You can think of going to goPhysio almost like going to a car garage. You are a car and garage is there to tighten any loose screws, refill your tires and most importantly prevent the chance breakdown on the road!
I’m going to have and do have injuries, weaknesses, the whole lot but I know I would have fared a whole lot worse if it wasn’t for the help goPhysio have provided me. My assigned Therapist, Rosie, is helping me with old injuries but also preventing any from creeping up on me further down the line and I can’t exactly exactly ask for more than that.
My event, uncommon though it is, requires an immense amount of co-ordination and power. All throwers have to produce the most efficient movements as fast as possible and because of this any weak link or flaw can be the difference of metres at a young age or the crucial centimetres at their prime. goPhysio helps me identify that weak link, that limiter so that I can achieve my potential and hopefully repay the incredible support network they’ve offered me by doing just that.
Why did you choose to get help at goPhysio?
Convenience and reputation. Not only is goPhysio basically down the road they are also one of the most suggested from those I’ve know do have had issues and needed somewhere to go. The staff are friendly and the atmosphere isn’t one of dread (ing of what’s coming) but relief that it will be okay. Before i gained support from goPhysio I’d been there previously for a knee injury that costed me losing out on going to nationals but with their help I was able to get back to doing what I love quicker then i thought i would and you can’t really ask for more than that.
What are your plans for the future?
In terms of where I want to take my sport, my only answer really is as far as I possibly can. I’m an Olympic and Commonwealth hopeful, just like any other athlete who loves their sport, my current aims are Paris Olympics 2024 and the Commonwealth Games of 2022. I plan to throw at least 58 metres this year to qualify for the Under 20 world championships in Nairobi and finish top 3 in the UK. That’s the plan anyway and with the support from goPhysio my dreams are ever closer to becoming a reality.
Our online virtual appointments at goPhysio have now been part of what we do since March 2020. These appointments offer reassurance, expert advice and guidance and allow your treatment to continue without delay to your recovery.
‘Telehealth’ has become somewhat a buzzword over the last year. Telehealth or virtual or online appointments, is the provision of health-related services and information via telecommunication technologies. While It may seem a strange idea to carry out physiotherapy consultations online, rather than in person, in this unprecedented times whether you’re practising social distancing, shielding or in isolation, it allows remote patient-therapist contact, monitoring, care, advice, intervention and education to continue, without delay, to your recovery.
At goPhysio we are now offering online video consultations, so you can continue to receive treatment at home.
With the latest official #StayAtHome advice, the logistics of leaving the house to attend a face to face appointment may be a little more tricky.
Our ultimate aim is to continue to provide people with MSK injuries and symptoms treatment and support at home throughout these uncertain times. So, we offer you a range of ways in which you can access the help you need. This also takes significant pressure off the overstretched NHS and local GP services.
goPhysio’s Director, Fiona, noticed the initial uptake for tele-health during this pandemic was a little slow.
Even on Monday this week people were calling around, asking if we were open. We explained the decision we had made at the end of last week to support social distancing, but there was reluctance to try a ‘virtual’ service.
However, as we have experienced the increasing and decreasing restrictions, people’s behaviours and expectations have started to change and demand for this service has grown.
There are many benefits to online consultations.
Despite the complete disruption and unprecedented circumstances we are facing, people are still in pain and getting injuries. NHS MSK services have understandably been considerably scaled back and GP appointments have to be prioritised.
So, we want to make sure we are still here to help you when you need us. We believe we still have a very important role to play in keeping people active, moving and healthy. We want to help make sure that our invaluable key workers are still able to do their work. By being able to provide tailored, individualised and realtime support, education and advice, we can help ease your pain and with recovery from your injury, albeit in a slightly modified way.
Paul Baker Clinical director at gophysio is realistic about the benefits of tele-health.
Virtual appointments won’t be as effective as traditional hands-on therapy and treatments for everyone. It will however provide a great alternative option to manage, maintain and improve your MSK injuries and pain helping you live an active life, pain & injury free’.
Most importantly, it will help provide reassurance and support when people need it and may be feeling isolated, alone and without their normal support networks in place.
Virtual appointments are particularly useful for patients who want:
An accurate diagnosis and exercise plan.
Reassurance and injury advice.
Progression of exercises.
Whether you’ve suffered a relapse of your sciatica or need post-operative guidance and advice, I advise you to get in touch with us on 023 8025 3317 and we can realistically discuss your prognosis and whether tele-health would be helpful for you.
All of our Pilates classes focus around 5 important, key elements. These elements help to underpin all the exercises we do, connecting your breathing, posture, mind and movement.
Many people are now taking part in our online Pilates classes in their own time, or starting Pilates for the first time. We would normally always go through these important underlying steps with you on an individual basis, before you start Pilates. And remind you on a regular basis. So, we thought it would be useful to provide a reminder of these 5 Key Elements.
Key Element #1: Breathing
Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent up (the rest position).
Place a folded towel under your head if you feel that your chin is poking upwards.
Place your hands across the lower half of your ribcage with the tips of your fingers slightly interlaced.
Breathe in and allow your ribs to expand widthways.
Let your fingertips draw apart from one another slightly.
Breathe out and allow your ribcage to sink inwards and downwards.
Your fingertips may interlace slightly as you empty your lungs.
Watch that you do not lift your breastbone as you breathe in. Instead imagine the back of your ribcage spreading wide into the mat underneath you
You can repeat this in standing or sitting to truly understand your Pilates Breathing.
Key Element #2: Centering
Lie in the rest position.
FINDING NEUTRAL SPINE POSITION.
Place your thumbs in your belly button, your fingertips on the pubic bone and flatten the heels of your hands onto the bony pelvic bones to form a diamond shape, AKA – the pelvic diamond. Tilt the pelvic diamond away from you to exaggerate the arch in your lower back. Tilt the pelvic diamond towards you to flatten your back. Repeat these gentle tilting movement a few more times. Now position the pelvic diamond in the middle of these two positions – this is your neutral spine position.
SETTING YOUR CENTRE WITH ABDOMINALS MUSCLES.
Feel your deep abdominal corset by placing your fingertips on your bony pelvic bones and then sliding your fingertips in and down 4cm. Now imagine your deep abdominal muscles forming a natural corset, criss-crossing the torso in layers. There are 10 notches in this corset, below the belly button, just like a belt. Breathe in to prepare, breathe out all the way and before the next breath in slowly and gently draw in the muscular corset from below the belly button onto the third notch. You should feel the muscles under your fingertips subtly draw away. Hold your centre and keep breathing normally. Less is better – the contraction is very gentle so don’t over do it.
SETTING YOUR CENTRE WITH PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES.
Gently draw your pelvic floor muscles in and up to hold your bladder from emptying. Now breathe normally and try to keep that engagement in your pelvic floor muscles. Now place your fingertips onto your deep abdominal muscles. You may also feel the muscles under your fingertips gently draw away – this is normal!
Key Element #3: The Rib Cage
Lie in the rest position, with your arms resting over your ribcage. Find your neutral spine position and set your centre. As you take a deep breathe in, feel the movement of your Ribcage expanding laterally and upwards. Breathe out and notice the movement of your ribcage back to its start position. Repeat this movement about 6 times.
Key Element #4: Shoulder Blades
Lie in the rest position.
SHOULDER BLADE RETRACTION AND PROTRACTION
Keeping your arms long, float them upward vertically to the ceiling. Imagine you are holding a helium balloon between your hands. Breathe in and reach upwards through your fingertips, allowing the helium balloon to lift your arms further upwards and glide your shoulder blades gently apart from one another. Breath out and gently draw your shoulder blades back towards one another without pinching them together. Repeat several more times and then lower your arms to the mat.
SHOULDER BLADE ELEVATION AND DEPRESSION
With your arms resting long beside your body, breathe in and glide your shoulder blades gently upwards, keeping your arms on the mat. Breathe out and gently glide your shoulder blades down away from your ears (this movement is produced by the lower trapezius muscle). Repeat several times.
Key Element #5: Head and Neck
If you have neck pain or headaches, always commence this exercise lying down to reduce the load through your neck.
Lie in the rest position. Place a small folded towel under your head if your feel that your chin is poking upwards. Place a shiny magazine on top of the towel to reduce friction. Feel the bony area on the back of your head resting on the magazine. Now lengthen this bony part of your head away from the base of your neck. Hold for a second or two and then relax. Repeat several times. Alternatively, imagine that someone is gently pulling the hair on the crown of your head to lengthen the back of your neck.
Less is better – the contraction is very gentle so don”t over do it. Place your hands on the muscles on the front of your neck. The muscles should remain soft.
The Rest Position
In the rest position your muscles are relaxed and your joints are in neutral alignment. You should try to incorporate the key points of the rest position into all postures throughout your day.
Lie on your back with your knees bent up and you head supported on a small cushion or folded towel.
Relax the weight of your head into the support.
Lengthen the back of the neck by reaching the crown of the head towards the wall behind you.
Gently draw your shoulder blades down towards your waist to relax the neck and shoulders.
Soften the ribcage into the mat to connect the back of the ribcage on the mat.
Place your feet and knees hip distance apart.
Make sure that your weight rests on the six key points of the feet: the base of each big toes, each little toe and the centre of the heel on each foot.
Imagine your pelvis is a bucket of water. Tip it backwards to spill some water out the back of the bucket and you will feel your back gently flatten onto the mat. Now tip it forwards to spill some water out of the front of the bucket and you will feel your lower back arch slightly. Find your ‘neutral spine’ position by resting the bucket halfway between these two movements. There should be a small space between your back and the mat, and your pubic and hip bones should form a small flat triangle.
Maintaining the neutral spine position, INHALE wide into the sides and back of the ribcage and then EXHALE. At the end of your exhale, slowly draw up through the pelvic floor muscles to engage these and your deep abdominal muscles.
Hold this gently contraction and keep breathing for up to ten breaths,
People up and down the country must have spent the weekend preparing to move their usual work place and into the home. Kitchen and dining tables across the land have been taken over, disused spare rooms hurriedly cleared!
There will be no doubt, that over the coming weeks, on top of everything else, people will start to suffer with new aches and pains from these new ‘temporary’ working set ups. So, what’s the best way to reduce the risk of developing aches and pains as we ,modify and adjust our working patters?
Our main tip would be not to be too focused on or worried about your set up and how ‘ergonomically perfect’ it is. If you can move and change position regularly, you can offset the imperfections! You’ll see a guide below to what aspects make a more ergonomically sound desk set up, but don’t worry if you can’t follow all of them.
You may need to adapt to work with what you have; use books to raise your screen or laptop, put something under your feet to improve your hip and knee position, or try different chairs for example.
Vary your position by relating it to tasks. Sit for certain tasks, stand for others – use your imagination!
If you’re on the phone, get up, have a little wonder round whilst you’re talking, perhaps get into the garden and walk whilst you talk.
Every time you get up to go to the toilet or make a drink, have a little stretch. Reach you arms up above you, take a deep breath, stretch to each side and rotate your trunk each way a few times.
Use your laptop on your kitchen worktop for a change, like a temporary ‘standing desk’. It’ll give your back and legs a different challenge, stretching out your hip flexors and helping circulation.
Don’t feel bad for sitting on the sofa with your lap top or phone, just try not to stay there for too long. It’s OK to slouch and have a relaxed posture for a short time.
A small rolled up towel in the small of your back can be a great way to help support you in sitting if your chair isn’t quite right.
Set a timer to remind you to get up and move on a regular basis, have a quick walk round the garden, do 10 star jumps or run on the spot for 60 seconds.
Try and put aside a dedicated working space that’s separate from your social space. Not only will this help with reducing stress levels, you’ll also be able to step away from work for a breather more easily.
If you can, schedule some exercise time in every day. Even just 10 minutes. The fact we’re all following guidance and going out less, staying home, is going to have a huge impact on our overall activity levels. There are so many great free resources out there and out of this horrendous situation, are many new opportunities – try yoga, karate, Pilates, boxercise….the list is endless.
As long as it is advised safe to do so, try and get out for a walk locally during the day or after work. Fresh air and walking will do wonders to help rejuvenate you after a day sat at a computer.
If you do find yourself in pain or with a new injury or problem, we can offer online video consultations to help you. Find more information here.
We are pleased to be able to offer virtual online consultations so that we can continue to help and support you.
Step by Step Guide
Book your appointment by calling us on 023 8025 3317 or online here.
You will receive an email to confirm your appointment time and instructions for the appointment.
At your appointment time, just have your email open and wait for the invitation.
When you receive the email click on the link for your appointment.
Following your appointment, you will be sent an email with your invoice and link to make secure payment online via Stripe.
Guide to Virtual Consultations
Accessing and using the online appointment software is really easy.
How much is a virtual consultation? The charge is £49 per appointment.
How can I pay for my appointment? We take payment via the secure online provider, Stripe. You will be sent an invoice after your appointment with a link to pay securely by card online.
What are the benefits of a virtual consultation? Despite the complete disruption and unprecedented circumstances we are facing, people are still in pain and getting injuries. NHS MSK services have understandably been considerably scaled back and GP appointments have to be prioritised. So, we want to make sure we are still here to help you when you need us. We believe we still have a very important role to play in keeping people active, moving and healthy. We want to help make sure that our invaluable key workers are still able to do their work. By being able to provide tailored, individualised and realtime support, education and advice, we can help ease tour pain and with recovery from your injury, albeit in a slightly modified way.
What will my virtual consultation include? Your first appointment will involve a series of questions to help us find out more about your issue. We may ask you to perform a series of movements or tests, so that we can find out more about what’s going on. We may ask to look at the area with your consent, via the video. Once we have all the information we need, we will share our conclusion, explain what’s going on and go through our recommended plan with you. This may include self treatment, exercises, modifications and advice. We will share our screen and demonstrate exercises to you, which will then be sent to you after the appointment via email.
After your first appointment, we will advise if and when further sessions might be required and book these for you accordingly.
Is it secure? Yes, the software is totally secure and all calls and videos are encrypted. We use a dedicated software designed for online consultations, so not Zoom, FaceTime or other generic platforms.
What about if I have private health insurance? Costs for appointments if you have private health insurance will be covered by Bupa (read more information if you have Bupa cover here). They may also be covered by any cash back plans such as Simply Health, WHA etc. but you would need to confirm this with your individual provider.
Do I need to download anything? No. It is a software program that will access your camera and microphone on your device.
What device can I use? Any device that connects to the internet that has a video and microphone.
What do I need? Firstly you need an email address. Then, all you need is a device with a video and microphone, so a computer, laptop, smartphone, iPad or tablet, that you can also access your emails on.
Where can I find out more about the Virtual consultations? The software we use is called Physitrack. There are some very useful guides online here, including getting started, accessing your program, trouble shooting etc.
Hello. Firstly we’d like to apologise for the relative silence as we have considered, analysed and prepared how to tackle this situation.
Our ultimate aim is to look after the best interests of everyone, be it our team, our patients, our local community, our families and goPhysio as an ongoing concern.
We are operating in unprecedented circumstances, and like everyone, facing challenging decisions on an almost continue basis. We aim to make sure we keep you up to date with any changes that we implement as soon as possible.
To date, our team have been operating ‘business as usual’ with extra advisory precautionary measures in place. We have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to plan for the immediate, medium and longer term future.
We have taken the very difficult, but necessary, decision to make some changes in how we operate for the short term. As of today, we will be starting to condense the opening hours of the clinic and contacting any patients with bookings that we may need to move or change.
From Monday 23rd March, our temporary revised opening hours will be:
Monday 2pm – 8pm
Tuesday 9am – 3pm
Wednesday – closed
Thursday 2pm – 8pm
Friday 9am – 3pm
Saturday – closed
We will be continually monitoring these hours and adjusting them depending on demand. This may obviously change should official advice be updated.
Additional measures and changes we are implementing include:
We politely and strongly request that latest official guidelines regarding isolation and social distancing are followed to help protect our whole community.
We are stopping all group rehab sessions and changing to only 1-2-1 rehab in the Strong Room.
Our over 60’s Positive Steps classes have been cancelled for the foreseeable future.
We ask no over 70’s or those at risk to attend the clinic.
We ask that anyone with a cough, temperature or any other illness does not attend the clinic to help protect our whole community.
We ask that you wash your hands on entering the clinic and use the alcohol gel provided.
Despite the disruption and uncertainty, people are still going to be in pain, get injuries and need our help, advice and support. We still want to be able to use our skills and are in the process of launching virtual online appointments. You can read more here about this service.
These will be carried out from the comfort of your own home, through a secure Telehealth provider.
You can book your Virtual appointment online here by selecting Virtual Assessment Appointment.
In line with the adjusted hours, we have launched a temporary revised Pilates class timetable, which will be in place from Monday 23rd March.
We will be sending out a Pilates email to all our members shortly, with full details of the new classes.
We will also be putting in place the following:
Reduced number of participants in each class to a maximum of 8.
Option to suspend your Pilates membership, with a planned special re-introductory offer for when we’re back up and running as normal for those that suspend their membership, with a guaranteed space in your regular class.
Online classes coming soon!
Join our Private Pilates Community over on Facebook, where we’re planning to host Pilates classes, share exercises and keep you moving throughout this.
What to expect from us…….
As we all navigate this new chapter, we would like to promise you all that:
We are continuously trying to do the right thing based on what we know at any given time.
We want to be here for you all for the long term. We haven’t spent almost 20 years, often sacrificing our family, building up a wonderful business, serving and helping 100’s of local people every week, for nothing, so we really are digging deep to keep going.
We will follow the latest official advice every step of the way.
If you’re on Facebook, why not join our new goPhysio Facebook Community Group, where we’ll be on hand to offer advice, support, somewhere to connect and regular challenges to help keep you moving and motivated.
Thank you for your patience, understanding, ongoing support and we hope you stay well.
We are all very aware of the impact that Coronavirus is having on our communities and the way in which we are going about our daily lives and making plans. It’s obviously a time of some uncertainty. However, please rest assured, we are following the latest official advice very carefully.
We wanted to reassure you that goPhysio are implementing measures in relation to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 as part of our duty of care to all our visitors and team.
Following official advice, goPhysio is continuing to operate as normal.
We have put in place the following extra precautions:
Hand sanitisers are available throughout the clinic. We encourage you to use this on entering and leaving the clinic.
Hand washing facilities are also available.
All equipment and high contact areas are being cleaned on a regular basis throughout the day with a clinical grade cleaner.
Please can we ask of you that:
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath) that you do not attend the clinic and follow official advice.
If you have been in contact with anyone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or have travelled from any of the target areas, again, please follow official advice.
As usual, if you are unwell in any other way, we ask that you look after yourself at home, to help minimise risk of any other illnesses.
Please provide as much notice as possible if you are unable to attend your appointment by calling us on 023 8025 3317.
If you attend our Pilates classes, please can you take extra time to wipe down the Pilates blocks and mats after every class with our clinical grade wipes.
Feel free to bring your own mats, cushions or towels to cover the blocks and mats in Pilates if you would prefer.
We are also putting in place a contingency plan should the situation change.
If you have any questions or concerns and would like to discuss these with us, please email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for Pilates related concerns.
For the well deserved participants in the Eastleigh 10K, you should have received our exclusive offers in your race pack.
Until 30th April, you can take advantage of any of these offers:
Free 1-2-1 Pilates worth £45.Pilates is a fantastic addition to your running training. It helps develop strength, balance and movement control so that you can run more efficiently, preventing injuries. We run a timetable of over 20 specialist Pilates classes a week, including evenings and weekends. We have a range of different payment options, including a guaranteed weekly class membership or fully flexible PAYG option. Why not come along for a free 1-2-1 with one of our Clinical Instructors to find out if Pilates could help you.
20% Off Strength Training Program. Have you got a longstanding, stubborn injury that just isn’t improving? An injury that’s stopping you from running or keeps coming back? Many common running injuries like achilles, knee and hip pain are caused by a lack of strength, stability and control. So come in and banish those along term niggling issues with our specific 6 week strength training for runners program in our Strong Room with one of our Sports and Rehabilitation Therapists.
Free computerised foot analysis. Recurrent injuries or daily aches and pains can often be caused by your foot position. Come along and find out if your feet are causing any issues for you. Read more.
15% Off Sports Massage. Helping ease post run soreness, and daily stresses, aches and pains, a sports massage is a great way to invest in your wellbeing. You can claim 15% off as many times as you like before 30th April! Read more.
To book any of these special race pack offers, just give our team a call on 023 8025 3317 and quote EASTLEIGH10K.
All offers expire 30th April 2020
Not to be used in conjunction with any other offers