My Personal Daily Stretch Routine

Every morning (nearly) I start the day with 5-10 minutes of stretching. It has a profound effect slowly but surely improving posture and energy whilst reducing stress and pain. It’s amazing how we look after so many of the objects that fill our lives but often overlook the most important – our bodies. It’s also an act of self love, sending a message of positive self respect and value to ourselves.

This routine covers most areas of the body. It will gently open up the low back and stretch import postural muscles like the hamstrings, quads and deep hip flexors like psoas. It stretches out the ribs and thorax and helps improve diaphragmatic breathing.

Remember that our bodies take time to soften up in the mornings so it’s preferable to have been up and about for at least 30 minutes before stretching. Choose a comfortable area of floor (carpet or rugs), make sure you’re warm and maybe use a pillow under your head. Take your time and stay mindful with the breath – let it soften areas of tightness and pain. Breathe into the areas of discomfort and don’t force anything.

You should start to feel a difference very quickly and this will slowly build with time. Hopefully you’ll get to a point where you’ll be wanting to do more each day.

More exercises will be appearing here from my stretch studio in Newton Abbot.

The Neutral Position

This is very therapeutic and nurturing position. It’s good for releasing tension in the low back and to return to between doing other postures to get a sense of before and after.

Add a pillow under the head if your neck is uncomfortable and make sure your warm. Stay in the position for a few minutes or longer if you feel it’s beneficial.

Take time to feel where the breath is in the body. Is it low in the abdomen or higher in the upper ribs. What’s is it’s character like? Is the breath smooth, coarse, deep, shallow, ragged? Experiment with resting your attention on the out breath. Does that feel different from resting attention in the in breath?

Try visualising the roots growing down from your body deep into the earth. After a few minutes compare how you feel to how you felt when you first laid down.

This can really help with acute low back pain.

I’ll be posting more from my clinic in Newton Abbot over the coming months.

Single Knee Hugs

This is a very gentle, simple but effective stretch for the low back. It can be very soothing and also helps give space to the lumbar spine.

Single Knee Hugs

Be gentle, work in a pain free range and try to co ordinate it with your breathing. It can be even more effective if you imagine your breath moving down to your low back and hips.

Spend a few moments grounding yourself in the “neutral position” before starting. See if you can detect a difference between each side of your body half way through.

Covid 19

Please read the following update regarding South Dartmoor Clinic’s protocols before attending or when booking your next appointment with us. Please bring and wear a face covering.

During this time the Osteopathic profession is striving to ensure that patient safety is our number one priority as we provide care within a healthcare setting that adheres to the current Government and Industry guidelines on minimising any spread of Covid-19.

With this information in mind there will be a few changes implemented. The following framework should be helpful to know what to expect. This will be subject to change over the coming weeks/months in response to prevailing advice.

1. When you made your appointment you were asked if you were experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 (fever, new onset of cough, loss os smell and/or taste, etc for more details please visit the NHS site). Please check if you have Coronavirus symptoms. You will be asked this question again prior to your appointment. Also if you have been exposed to anyone with suspected or diagnosed Covid-19 in the past 14 days, you will be asked to reschedule your appointment.

2. Appointment times will 40 minutes with 20 minute between each appointment in order to clean treatment areas and other high touch zones/clinic furniture and prepare and change PPE. To adhere to social distancing we will have only 1 patient (with household members) in the clinic at any given time.

3. We will ask that patients arrive on time for their appointment and not too early. 

4. Please leave as many accessory items in the car/at home as you are able to. This includes watches, jewellery, bags etc. The less there is on you, the less chance there is of contamination.

5. If possible please bring your own PPE mask to attend your appt. You will need to remove any gloves that you have been wearing outside our clinic environment and wash your hands/put on another pair on entering the clinic or use the hand sanitiser supplied.

6. We kindly ask that patients do not bring friends or family to appointments unless required as a chaperone or for assistance.

7. It is advised that patients wear minimal, comfortable, loose clothing and a face covering.

8. The treatment format should remain similar to pre Covid-19. A 2 metre distance will be maintained when possible (taking a history, giving advice). 

9. The osteopath will be wearing the PPE. This will be sourced ethically (not taking away from the NHS). It will include single use gloves and apron and single session face masks and eye protection.

10. Payment will be using the sterilised the mobile card reader provided.

11. Further appointments will be made in a diary and an appointment card provided.

12. All magazines and reading materials have been removed from the clinic.

We trust that this level of care will prove satisfactory to you in providing a safe environment for you to receive your Osteopathic treatment in these Covid-19 times. We will continue to monitor our approach to delivering this care and modify these guidelines accordingly. Please remember that although every recommended measure will be taken at the clinic this will unfortunately not reduce the risk to zero and patients attending the clinic do so in full knowledge and acceptance of the risks.  If you have any further queries regarding this or your suitability for receiving treatment at this time, please contact me.

South Dartmoor Clinic