Swallowing Awareness Day

Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties have potentially life-threatening consequences. They can result in choking, pneumonia, chest infections, dehydration, malnutrition and weight loss. They can also make taking medication more difficult and they can lead to a poorer quality of life for the individual and their family.

Dysphagia can affect people at any stage of their lives and speech and language therapists support and enable them to eat and drink safely.

 

Are you, or someone you know, suffering from difficulties swallowing?

Swallowing difficulties, also known as dysphagia, affect a significant proportion of the population for a variety of reasons. Both adults and children can be affected and at any point in their lives. There is always an underlying reason for the swallowing difficulty and can be either short or long term, static or progressive. In any event advice should always be sought.

For adults swallowing difficulties can occur post stroke, from progressive neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Alzheimers and other dementia’s. Those with learning difficulties or post traumatic brain injuries can also be affected, along with those post head and neck surgery. Even a urinary tract infection can affect a person’s swallow.

For children swallowing difficulties can occur with cerebral palsy, cleft lip and palate, muscular dystrophy, other cranio-facial abnormalities.

Swallowing difficulties can manifest as:

  • Coughing and choking during or after eating and drinking,
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the throat,
  • Loss of food and / or drink from the mouth,
  • Holding food or drink in the mouth and not swallowing,
  • Signs of anxiety or distress when eating or drinking,
  • Refusal to eat or drink,
  • Chronic weight loss,
  • Recurrent chest infections.

Chest infections and pneumonia can be due to food or drink going into the lungs instead of the stomach. With some people this can occur without any coughing or choking and is known as ‘silent aspiration’. As such difficulty with swallowing may have life threatening consequences and can lead to an impaired quality of life.

An impaired quality of life may not just be due to health and the physical aspect of swallowing but also due to embarrassment and lack of enjoyment of food, which can have profound social consequences for both the person and members of the family. Anxiety, distress and frustration can occur.

Treatment of swallowing difficulties is through a team approach. If you, or somebody you know is suffering inform the GP. They can then signpost you to professionals who can help:

Speech & Language Therapists (SLTs) : SLTs are fully qualified to assess, advise and treat swallowing difficulties. They are the first port of call when difficulties occur. They look at the swallow to determine what is working well and where difficulties might be occurring. As well as this they also look at how posture, environment, medication and anything else might be affecting the swallow. Different textures of food and drink may be trialled to determine what is the safest and most comfortable for someone to swallow. In addition strategies or exercises might be given to improve the swallow itself.

Occupational Therapists: They can look at the utensils that are being used and give advice on anything that could be used to assist e.g. special cups, adapted cutlery. They can also give advice regarding wheelchairs and positioning. All working towards a person being as independent as possible.

Chiropractors: Can listen to the chest post swallowing. They can advise on posture, address mechanical issues that may affect the swallow or help improve posture and can advise on breathing and exercises to keep the chest clear.

Physiotherapists: Physios can listen to the chest post swallowing. They can advise on breathing and other exercises to help keep the chest clear.

Dietitian: They will work very closely with speech and language therapists to look at the nutrition and hydration the person is receiving. If the person is unable to take much by mouth the dietitian can advise on supplements and how to fortify food in order to make sure the person is receiving adequate nutrition.

Throughout any intervention the person themselves, family and carers are central. They are the ones who experience what is going on day to day, give information to the therapist and implement strategies and advice. It is a truly collaborative approach.

So if you, or a loved one, are experiencing any difficulties with swallowing no matter how big or small please do seek advice – you can be helped! Reduce the stress, anxiety and discomfort, It’s time to enjoy meals again….

Frances Webster is an Independent Speech & language Therapist that specialises in working with adults, find out more about her and her services at Acorn Health here.

Rye bread with mackerel pate

You can’t beat homemade bread and this healthy rye bread teams fantastically with smoked mackerel pate for a great lunch. Obviously you could buy your bread, but the kneading is very therapeutic!

The first recipe in collaboration with Emsworth Cookery School to celebrate Nutrition and Hydration week (12-18th March 2018) is Rye bread with mackerel pate. Barbara has kindly worked with Philippa to create a selection of recipes that are great to help reduce inflammation and pain.

Method

  1. Start with the bread. Weigh the flours, yeast, sea salt and rosemary into a large bowl.
  2. Add the milk and water and work together to create a ball of dough. Knead for about 5 minutes. The dough will be really sticky – don’t worry about that.
  3. Place in a greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. After the initial proving time, shape into an oval and place onto a baking sheet. Leave to prove again for about an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C/ fan 180C.
  6. Cut slashes across the top of your loaf and dust with rye flour.
  7. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 40 minutes. At the end of this time the loaf should sound hollow. Allow to cool on a rack.
  8. For the pate, check the fish for any bones, remove these and peel off the skin.
  9. Put the pate ingredients in a bowl and beat well. Taste and add salt and pepper if required. Refrigerate until required.
  10. To serve, slice the bread and grill on both sides, then serve alongside the pate.

Nutrition and Hydration Week 2018

It’s world Nutrition and Hydration Week! To celebrate, we are holding a one-off event for a limited number of guests.

Dr Philippa Oakley (Doctor of Chiropractic) has a specialist interest in chronic pain management, and will be leading a workshop on Saturday 17th March from 10-11.30am at our clinic in Emsworth. The focus of the workshop will be to discuss foods that influence pain, and how you can use your diet to manage chronic pain and inflammation. You will also benefit from a group health coaching session with Rhiannon Oakley, qualified Personal Performance Health Coach who will help you plan your next steps to a healthier lifestyle. The workshop is ideal for people who are working towards their ideal weight, managing chronic pain conditions or IBS symptoms.

Throughout the week,we will be providing advice on nutrition and hydration across social media and we’re excited to partner with Emsworth Cookery School who are producing exclusive healthy homemade recipes for you to cook at home. Don’t forget to follow our Facebook Acorn Health to receive updates.

We’re also excited to announce Acorn Health’s Big Beach Clean Competition, running alongside our Nutrition and Hydration week activities in support of The Final Straw Emsworth.

Places for the workshop (including coaching session) are just £15 pp and are strictly limited.

To book your place, please call 01243 379693 or email acorn(AT)acornhealth.org.uk

carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting

Plastic means prizes

After witnessing first hand the amount of plastic strew over the beaches in Emsworth after the storm Eleanor in February Philippa and Rhiannon got to work organising the Acorn Health big beach clean competition where the community can go out all week and collect as much plastic as possible to commemorate Nutrition and Hydration week. Cleaning up our beaches is everyones responsibility and after the team posted about how much rubbish they collected a patient said they now take a bag with them on their daily dog walk and pick up anything they find. It’s compassionate community minded people like our patients that make Emsworth the beautiful place it is to live and work. The exercise is great for healthy joints and bones, and the beach clean is great for a healthy environment.

carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting

To take part in our beach clean competition go out between 12-18th March take a walk to collect as much plastic from our coastlines as possible. Once you’ve finished take a picture of you and your bags and tell us how much you’ve collected including any remarkable objects. Send us the photos by either by uploading and tagging us on social media @Acorn Health or by emailing your pictures to acorn@acornhealth.org.uk. The winner will be announced on Friday 23rd March via social media and our email channels. 

The winner will receive a fantastic prize of a hamper of nutritious, healthy food donated from local businesses including:
– An HH Treagust & Sons Family Butchers shopping bag with voucher to spend in the butchery
– Organic vegetables and a jar of homemade marmalade from Tuppenny Barn Organics
– Dairy, gluten and refined sugar free energy bites from Frog Hollow Catering
– 2 x 750 ml glass bottles of locally sourced natural mineral water from South Downs Water (One sparkling, one still)

Terms and Conditions:
No cash alternative
Practitioners or staff members of Acorn Health are not eligble for the prize draw but may (of course!) take part in the beach clean
The winner must be available to attend Acorn Health, Emsworth to collect their prize the week beginning Monday 26th March.

Don’t forget to pop over and reserve your place for our Exclusive Workshop: Nutrition & Hydration Week, where you can learn how to manage pain and inflammation using your diet, and take part in a group coaching session to plan your steps to a healthier you!

cupping therapy chinese acupuncture treatment cupping acupuncturist emsworth havant chichester back pain neck pain qi chinese gillian lebbon carpenter pin lady dry needling tcm medicine healthcare chiropractic chiropractor philippa oakley

Cupping therapy has been used in China and some African countries for several thousand years. Our acupuncturist Gill is cupping therapy chinese acupuncture treatment cupping acupuncturist emsworth havant chichester back pain neck pain qi chinese gillian lebbon carpenter pin lady dry needling tcm medicine healthcare chiropractic chiropractor philippa oakleyseen here using pressure and fire cupping to help alleviate mid-back and neck stiffness and pain.

The skin is the largest organ in our body, containing fluid, blood, blood vessels, connective tissue, muscle and nerve supplies. Cupping works to manipulate the skin and influence blood and other functions of the body, improving circulation, lymphatic drainage and alleviating muscle tension. It is thought to influence the lymphatic system and lymph nodes that form a vital part of our immune system.

 

Cupping Therapy: How does it work?

The vacuum created by the cup creates a negative pressure. This creates a gentle suction on the skin which may encourage cells to move towards the cup, and open cupping therapy chinese acupuncture treatment cupping acupuncturist emsworth havant chichester back pain neck pain qi chinese gillian lebbon carpenter pin lady dry needling tcm medicine healthcare chiropractic chiropractor philippa oakleypores in the skin. When the cup is removed, the skin and cells move back to their original state. The addition of heat helps to accelerate your metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body is using to function), increasing the benefits of the treatment.

1. Physical stimulation of the skin through cupping is thought to increase blood circulation, skin temperature and metabolism in the skin tissues. It may also improve the function of sweat and sebaceous glands (the glands that secrete oils onto the skin).
2. Cupping may stimulate the nerves within our skin and may help to stimulate the central nervous system in the same way acupuncture can, decreasing the release of cortisol (a stress hormone which contributes to a number of conditions).
3. Cupping on muscles is thought to cause the blood vessels in our body to expand, increasing blood flow and lymphatic flow, which can have a powerful effect on chronically tight muscles.
4. Cupping on inflamed joints may again improve function through better flow of blood within the joint, and through influence synovial fluids (which help lubricate our joints).

Frequently asked cupping questions

  1. Is it safe? Yes- when performed by an experienced, qualified practitioner.
  2. Does it hurt? No- it just feels like a pulling sensation and may feel slightly warm.
  3. What about those weird marks? The cups cause the marks on your skin. How long they last depends on how strong the suction was.
  4. Does it damage the skin? No- as blood flow to the skin increases, it causes the redness to occur.
  5. How long does a session take? Sessions can take from 5 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on your treatment requirements.

This patient is co-managed by Gill and our chiropractor Philippa, so after the muscles in his back have been relaxed using the cupping therapy, Philippa delivers a gentle adjustment to the mid-thoracic spine to get a restricted joint moving properly. This two-practitioner-approach allows our patients to really maximise the benefit of their treatment with us. This demonstrates how so many of the health services we have available to you can complement each other.

If you’d like to book an appointment with our acupuncturist to receive cupping therapy, please call us on 01243 379693.

carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting

What on earth has a beach clean got to do with back pain? Well, you might be interested to know that carrying heavy items may actually be of benefit to your back. We’re proud to support Final Straw Emsworth and their bid to help the Emsworth community cut their use of single-use plastic.  So, we’re taking our pledge to help clean up the Emsworth coastline seriously. This week the Acorn team did a (long) walk around Thorney Island- all 8 miles of it!

As we went, we did a lot of bending, lifting and twisting to collect plastics and other items that had been washed up along our coastline.

Here’s just some of what we collected:carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor heavy lifting
– The giant rubbish sack we put all the stuff in (!)
– 27 bottle caps
– 14 plastic straws
– 8 foot of nylon rope
– A jerry can half full of petrol
– One large glass bottle (no message in this one!)
– Dozens of plastic bottles
– A very old, rather soggy football

Plus various other unrecognisable plastic bits and bobs… Our bag was quite heavy by the end of the day!

Now, you might wonder what a beach clean has to do with back pain. It’s a common concern to worry that heavy lifting will hurt your back.

Truth is- Even with back pain, lugging a heavy bag of rubbish around might just be what your spine really needs!

Heavy carrying increases muscle gain, and fat loss whilst improving whole body strength. In addition, it works your core and grip strength by forcing your body to stabilise itself. (In this case, ours was working against a heavy bag full of rubbish and unstable rocky/sandy ground).

Carrying heavy also requires a lot more core stability than a simple deadlift. So if you feel your training has maxed out, maybe try a heavy carry instead!

Of course you have to be careful what and how you carry. Have your spine checked first of all before you start adding in heavy carries to ensure you’re ready to do so. Most notably, heavy carries are “functional”, meaning they stress your body in a real-world situation, requiring multiple joint control and movement. As a result this is unlike weightlifting in a gym which generally only focuses on a few muscle groups. Functional training can consequently mean you’re better equipped to cope with everyday situations.

So next time you’re out on the foreshore, grab a bag, pick up some litter and help clean up our environment. You’ll enjoy a strong, stable spine as a result!
To find out more about The Final Straw Emsworth, visit their website here.

carrying back pain beach clean final straw emsworth chiropractic chiropractor
The beautiful coastline we’re working to protect

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Monday 08:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 09:00 – 19:00
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Acorn Health © 2018

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Opening Times

Monday 08:30 – 19:00
Tuesday 09:00 – 19:00
Wednesday 09:00 – 19:00
Thursday 09:00 – 19:00
Friday 08:30 – 19:00
Saturday 09:00 – 12:00

Acorn Health © 2018

Website Created by WebHolism