Post Surgical Recovery


How to Achieve Post Surgical Recovery

At some point in our lives some of us may face the prospect of surgery being the best solution to repairing a body part after injury, illness or through wear and tear. Whilst this can be a painful and traumatic time there are a number of initiatives and therapies that can be used to speed up the healing process and ensure that you achieve the best recovery possible from your surgical procedure. Read more

7 Reasons for Booking a Personal Training Package

Get Fit for Spring with Personal Training- Start Now!

It seems hard to believe that Spring will ever arrive given the chilly and snowy winter we are experiencing at the moment. However, the evenings are getting longer and lighter and it’s just a few weeks until the clocks change, the temperature rises, we dig out our summer clothes and look to spend more time outdoors.

It’s easy to let our fitness and nutrition slip a little through the winter months when we spend more time inside and eating more comforting foods. However, if you want to be ready for Spring, feeling fit, healthy and energetic NOW is the time to make changes. Read more

Can’t get out? Osteopathy or Physiotherapy at home

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When do Home Visits Help?

Osteopathy home visitsWe are always looking at ways to improve our service and make our therapies available to all. Another beneficial service we offer is the facility to visit you in your own home when getting to the practice here in Kennington is just not straightforward. This isn’t solely to carry out a treatment in situ but also to understand your problem and to offer advice, support and solutions to getting you mobile again.

Here are a number of examples of when it’s a good idea to request a home visit:

  • You have suffered a sport/activity injury and you are bed bound but really want to have professional help as soon as possible.
  • You are an older person with restricted mobility who prefers to get treatment within the safety of their own home.
  • You have been discharged from hospital after musculoskeletal surgery and would like to get ready for rehab but you still have very restricted mobility.
  • You are preparing for surgery and would like a professional to assess your house environment and advise on ergonomics and safety.
  • You are at the very late stages of a pregnancy and your back really hurts.
  • Your baby was born 2 days ago, it’s very cold outside and you would like a paediatric osteopath to come and advice on colic pain.

Of course, there are many reasons why a home visit may be preferable so please call us to discuss your situation and we will endeavour to provide you with the best solution. Recovering from any of the above can take some time, starting as soon as possible shortens your healing time and optimises your outcomes.

Areas of Home Visits Covered

The areas that we cover are mainly Kennington, Lambeth, Vauxhall, Oval and Elephant and Castle. The fee is based on travel time plus treatment time and our reception team will be able to work this out for you and quote accordingly.

If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.

Tools to Help Manage Stress II (Massage & Dry Needling)



How well do you manage stress?

As we mentioned in the previous blog on stress management, this time of year can lead to people suffering from a number of seasonal, stress related ailments. Having covered how acupuncture and facial acupuncture can help previously it’s also worth considering the benefits of massage and dry needling.
It’s interesting to note that 34% of people believe that massage therapy is just a form of pampering, and it certainly should leave you feeling good. A greater percentage do, however, believe that massage is beneficial for soreness, stiffness, injury recovery/rehab, headache/migraine control and to relieve and manage stress. 39% of people indicate that medical benefits are their primary motivation for having a massage.

This is the second in our series of blogs covering a number of treatments available here at Kennington which include; Acupuncture/Facial Acupuncture, Massage Therapy/Dry Needling and Counselling/Psychotherapy.
The symptom picture for stress is generally variable depending on individuals. For example, illness, tiredness and lethargy, short tight muscles, dull skin, lank hair, erratic sleep pattern can all point to the fact that you’re under stress.
Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, more on that in our next blog on how best to manage these symptoms.

Therapy 2 – Massage and Dry Needling

Massage has been shown to act as an effective adjuvant to talking therapy when it comes to stress management. Not only that, it improves blood circulation to relieve back ache and headache and flush away waste products of your metabolism, ensuring a healthy immune system.Massage

Massage can induce states of deep relaxation to enhance your body awareness which is challenged by stress, long hours sitting at your desk, sedentary but pressured lifestyles, and lack of physical activity.

Dry needling is a branch of acupuncture used by western practitioners. As well as targeting knotted and congested muscles, it provides some of the benefits that its ancestral discipline provides.
You will therefore benefit from it not only to achieve purely musculoskeletal benefits but also to stimulate a more general neurophysiological metabolic balance.

Dry needling can enhance massage to enable the therapist to reach layers that manual therapy can’t reach.

Next post on stress management – Counselling/Psychotherapy

If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.


Tools to Help Manage Stress I (Acupuncture)


How well do you manage stress?

Did you know that at least half a million people in the UK experience seasonal stress particularly at this time of year, cold dark January, winter blues, new year, etc. this can often result in unexplained illness and feeling down or depressed.

Apart from keeping yourself healthy with good nutrition and regular exercise it can be worth investigating some alternative therapies to help combat some of these issues.

This series of blogs will cover a number of treatments available here at Kennington which include; Acupuncture/Facial Acupuncture, Massage Therapy/Dry Needling and Counselling/Psychotherapy.

The symptom picture for stress is generally variable depending on individuals. For example, illness, tiredness and lethargy, short tight muscles, dull skin, lank hair, erratic sleep pattern can all point to the fact that you’re under stress.

Mental stress can result in depression, mood swings, anger, frustration, check the rest of our stress management series for more information.

Therapy 1 – Acupuncture and Facial Acupuncture

Small randomised controlled trials demonstrate successful treatment of chronic stress via the stimulation of the central nervous system and the regulation of neurochemical messengers  which restore physical and psychological well being.

Acupuncture - helps to manage stress


It also has been shown to reduce inflammation and modulate pain as well as alter the brain mood chemistry to combat negative states.

Facial acupuncture can brighten the skin without chemicals, needles are inserted in pressure points releasing energies and endorphins. It also improves blood flow and stimulates cell re-growth whilst encouraging the production of healing collagen which is fundamental to skin elasticity and plumpness.

If you think you might have any of the symptoms outlined above please get in contact and our highly trained therapists will be happy to discuss the various treatments on offer.

Coming soon, our next post on stress management –  Therapy 2: massage/dry needling.

If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.


Skiing injuries and protecting the ACL


Most common of all Skiing Injuries- knee ligament sprains and strains

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears

These occur most commonly when you’ve twisted your knee whilst ‘sitting in the back seat’  ie, leaning your weight back over your heels which puts the ligament is on full tension and risking a tear when you then put another (rotatory) movement through your knee.

If it’s a serious tear, and your knee swelled up, and still feels very unstable, its advisable to get a scan to identify if you’ve fully ruptured the ACL and if there’s merit in surgical repair. We can refer you for a private scan if needed.

If your knee is swollen and painful and feels a bit precarious but not very unstable, you may have a partial tear or strain and you’ll need to start some gentle stabilisation exercises and progress onto strengthening exercises.

Exercises to protect the torn ACL

Here’s how you can improve your quadriceps muscle strength so your kneecap slides evenly in its groove:

  1. Sitting or lying: place a rolled up towel underneath your knee to bend it slightly (around 15 degrees). Gently straighten your knee to press the towel down and hold for 10 seconds then release. Repeat 10 times per 2 sets (of 10). Your vastus medialis obliquus (VMO) will thank you for this – it is active in the last 15 degrees of knee straightening.
    excercises for skiing injuries
  2. Lying on your back, point your toes up and outwards (very important when targeting vastas medialis), lift your whole leg about 6 inches from the floor and hold the position for 10-20 seconds. Repeat 10 times per 2 sets.  Priming the injured knee muscles to help you balance and reduce risk of re-injury
    Excercises to prevent skiing injuries
  3. Single leg stands (as long as this is not too painful and/or you haven’t been advised otherwise by a traumatology consultant): stand on both feet with a minimal degree of bend at the knees. Slowly lift the non-injured leg off the floor while you make sure the hip level stays even on both sides. Maintain the balance for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times.
    leg stand exercises for skiing injuries
  4. Squat against the wall (you will feel your quads): stand with your back against a wall with your feet pointing forward on a hip wide stance. slowly slide your back downwards allowing for a gradual knee bend. You will find yourself in a sitting position but don’t go too low (keep your hips higher than your knee) otherwise coming back up will be too strenuous! Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and slide up again. Repeat 10 times.
    Squats to protect your ACL - skiing injury
    Feeling stronger?
  5.  Sideways lunges (more dynamic yet not straining your ACL): stand with your feet close together, aim for a side step and alternate this on both sides for 10 times (don’t  cheat – this means 10 sidesteps per side so count 1 every other step!). Don’t aim for a sharp angle of the knee when you lunge sideways, especially at the early stages – increase the knee bend of a few degrees per day.


All of the above exercises should be performed daily or twice a day if possible. This doesn’t replace a full physiotherapy rehabilitation protocol but it is a great, simple backup routine.

If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.



Skiing Exercises to Avoid Injury


Do you change your exercise with the seasons?

We get a lot of calls from patients with long-term injuries in January and February a week or two before they go skiing who are desperate to know whether they are at further risk of injury if they ski.

Common Injuries

Here are some of the most common injuries that are likely to occur if you ski and HOW TO AVOID THEM….

  • Knee sprains leading to injury of the following ligaments: lateral and/or medial collateral ligament, anterior and/or posterior cruciate ligament, meniscal tears.
  • Arms/wrists and coccyx fractures which occur from falls. The answer? Don’t fall!! So get an instructor to improve your technique if you are a beginner and take it easy on the first day while your body remembers what skiing is all about.  

5 Easy Exercises

Here are five easy exercises to perform daily to strengthen your hips, knees and ankles and to improve your proprioception to limit the risk of falling.

  1. Reaches: Standing on one leg with a minimal amount of knee bend, lean forward reaching with your arms in front of you as you stretch the other leg backwards to counterbalance your weight. Glut workout on extended leg, stability and proprioception on the weight bearing leg.

    exercises for avoiding skiing injuries - reaches

    1. Reaches

  2.  Squats: Take 6 seconds to descend into full squatting position, hold for 1 second at the bottom, come up in 2 seconds to standing position. This type of timing will strengthen your hamstrings in the descent phase as well as improve your explosive power (during the squatting to standing phase). 3 sets of 10

    exercises for avoiding skiing injuries - Squat

    2. Squats

  3.   Squat hold on tiptoes: position yourself into a semi squat so that the angle at your knee is about 90 degrees, then raise your heels off the floor to reach a tiptoes position and hold it for 10/15 seconds for 5 times.

    exercises for avoiding skiing injuries - Squat hold on tiptoes

    3. Squat hold on tiptoes

  4. Core stability: do some gentle crunches, do them with a twist, do them with your belly button pulled back, with a leg in table top … the more regularly, the better!
  5. Muscle length as well as strength, joint mobility and overall flexibility are a must to enable your body to cope better with potential falls or traumas, so regular yoga and pilates are super useful. Join a class, do them at home (the NHS website has some great 30-minute and 40-minute classes), do them with friends. And remember, frequent exercise matters more than the duration of each session!

If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.


4 surprising conditions Pilates helps treat!

Welcome back to our blog where we aim to educate and inform about all the goodness Kennington and our services have to offer.  This fabulous Friday we would like to let you know about 4 surprising conditions Pilates can help treat and then some real life stories of how it has helped.

Conditions Pilates can help

  1. Hypermobility syndrome
    A multi-system disorder affecting joint flexibility, proprioception (your knowledge of where you are in space) and is associated with anxiety and the fright-fight-flight responses! Pilates retrains movement patterns, muscle initiation and sequencing and improves proprioception to foster a sense of centre and internal stability and calm the nervous system. It creates new neuromuscular connections.


  1.  Pre- Surgery Pilates helps Post Op Rehab
    Studies have shown that pilates can help build flexibility and muscle bulk before you have hip or knee replacement surgery as well as in the initial phase of rehabilitation after joint replacement before your full return to sports.


  1. Muscle Strength in the Elderly
    Pilates based exercises improve dynamic balance, reaction time and muscle strength in the elderly as well as younger people and have been demonstrated to reduce the propensity of falls in older women.


  1. Osteoporosis
    Pilates is recommended by the NHS as part of the recommended approach to managing osteoporosis as it is strength training as well as encouraging endurance, balance and flexibility.


And finally, loads of people use Pilates to get beautifully toned abs. The amazing thing about Pilates’ trained fab abs is that they’re not just for the beach, but for life.


Real Life Pilates Stories from our Reformer Instructors

  • 1-2-1 Reformer Instructor Katie has used Pilates all her life as a professional ballet dancer. Pilates method helped her return to ballet as a stronger dancer with more control of her movement. She believes her practice of Pilates allowed for the longevity of her career and healed her from the injuries doctors deemed as career ending.She is a fully certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor (Level 3 REPs) in all levels of mat and equipment.


  • 1-2-1 Reformer Instructor Amber felt the benefits of Pilates to help her strength and flexibility during her dance training, but developed a commitment to Pilates for healthcare after seeing the positive effects the training had on her mother after a disc herniation and later during recovery from breast cancer.  She is a fully certified STOTT PILATES® Instructor (Level 3 REPs) in all levels of mat and equipment, Injuries and Special Populations, as well as further speciality training including, Osteoporosis and Flexion-free.

If you have any questions relating to this post or others please do not hesitate to contact us or book an appointment please use the form below.




5 Things you didn’t know about Acupuncture and Dry Needling!


Our acupuncture and dry needling sessions are very popular and deliver successful results.  However many new clients are unaware of what acupuncture can do and what it actually is.  So we have collected together our 5 top things you may not have know about acupuncture and dry needling.

  1. Acupuncture represents only one part of the ancient healthcare system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM also includes herbal medicine, Chinese massage and Chinese exercise (tai chi, qi gong..).
  2. Acupuncturists diagnose the state of different organs by palpating of the radial pulse on both wrists. There are about 29 different pulse qualities that can be assigned to a variety of pulse positions which together identify the health of different organs.
  3. Because of their location over arteries and nerves acupuncturists can use some powerful acupuncture points to enhance the beneficial effects of their treatments. Some martial arts practitioners make use of these powerful acupuncture points for precisely the opposite purpose – to enhance the effects of their combat. Dim Mak is a martial art that makes extensive use of certain acupuncture points to devastating effect!
  4. Osteopaths and physiotherapists often practice dry needling acupuncture, also called medical or western acupuncture. This application of needles is determined by the musculoskeletal system. Although it can affect the nervous system it does not target energy imbalances in the body as TCM does. So dry needling uses similar techniques to TCM but doesn’t share TCM’s  philosophical beliefs.
  5. Dry needling can be used to treat conditions such as fertility, by utilising an overlap in the central nervous system between internal organs and musculoskeletal structures that share the same nerve root. This overlap explains why a heart attack might feel like a pain in the arm or jaw. It also explains why applying dry needling to the abdominal wall or feet can affect the nerve supply to the ovaries.


If you would like to know more or book an appointment please use the form below.  Or tune in next week for more insightful info on the type of services we offer.


Health Benefits of Yoga

Stretching? Strengthening? Tightening your bhanda?

Health benefits of Yoga in KenningtonThroughout time yoga has inspired love and devotion from the health conscious and the body conscious. Apart from Yogalates, Pilyoga and a few other marketing mashups, yoga remains untainted by mechanisation and industrialisation. It continues to adhere to the original principles of 5th century devotional practice. And not only does yoga predate dualism (Descartes’ erroneous separation of mind and body), it continues to promote spirituality as an integral part of humanity. As such it is one of the few truly holistic practices.

The Benefits

Modern yoga fans makes some big claims — from weight loss, to improving sleep to making you feel younger. Numerous  studies demonstrate that yoga can help prevent heart disease, by lowering blood pressure and blood sugar, it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.

The Research

Research reveals that yoga can moderate your reaction to and perception of stress. Yoga bumps up levels of the neurotransmitter GABA which both lifts mood and reduces anxiety.

A 2010 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine found that active stretching (where the muscle opposite the one being stretched is contracted, as is often the case in yoga poses) resulted in lasting, improved range of motion, while passive stretching actually decreases range of motion.

The Evidence

As a firmly evidence-based practitioners we cannot help but be pleased by the evidence accruing in yoga’s favour. As well as all the demonstrable benefits for wellbeing, it just feels good.

It seems likely that the researchers will catch up with yoga devotees eventually. By starting the practise younger and continuing until we’re much, much older we can genuinely limit the number of invasive medical interventions we undergo in our lives.

Health Benefits of Yoga

Click the image to download our 5 Tests of Flexibility

Try Yoga in Kennington

We are delighted to be able to offer lots of yoga inspiration and classes for everyone. Follow the link below!

In fact, we have such deep respect for the benefits of yoga that we are offering free classes to our staff not once, but twice a week! If you aren’t able to make evening classes and a lunchtime class might suit you better, please call our reception for details (we might have a spare mat for you!)

Call us on 020 7735 6813

And finally for anyone out there wanting to test their own flexibility – please click on the image to find out more.