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02 Aug 2018

Extra care of dry skin needed in winter

By Pam O’Connor

Have you noticed your skin has been feeling dry or flaky? If so, that’s because our skin is usually drier at this time of year.

I’ve certainly been using a lot more massage oil or lotion lately on my clients!

It’s important to take extra care of our skin in winter, especially if you have lymphoedema, diabetes or skin conditions such as eczema.

Why is our skin drier in winter?

In winter the humidity is lower – the air outside is colder and drier, making the water in your skin evaporate more quickly. Windy conditions make this worse.

Using heaters indoors also dries out your skin, especially the heaters that blow hot air. Our mucous membranes also dry out, resulting in dry throats and chapped lips.

We tend to take longer hot showers and baths in winter, but this can strip your skin of its protective oils and allow moisture to escape.

When it’s cold our blood vessels constrict or become narrow, thus less blood supply and nutrients delivered to the skin means it becomes less healthy.

Taking care of our skin

The skin is our body’s first line of defence against infection so looking after our skin is important for a healthy immune system.

Most soaps and cleansers are highly alkaline and too harsh. Our skin is slightly acidic with a pH level of around 5.5, so it’s best to use soap-free washes to protect the skin’s acid mantle.

After your bath or shower, don’t rub but pat the skin dry gently with a soft towel and immediately apply the right moisturising body lotion while the skin is still slightly damp to help lock in the moisture before it dries out.

Dry carefully in-between toes but to avoid the risk of fungal infections, don’t apply any moisturiser.

Avoid using abrasives such as scrubs or loofahs that may damage the skin. Simply use your hands to lather up.

Drink plenty of water. Our bodies are made up of about 60% of water so healthy skin needs to stay well hydrated even though we may be less active and less thirsty in the cooler months.

As we get older our skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity so it’s even more important to protect it from damage.

Our harsh Australian climate means we have a high incidence of skin cancer so make sure you check your skin regularly and make an appointment at the skin doctors at least once a year.

The right products

With so many skin care products around it can be rather confusing to find what’s right for your skin.

Look for a natural skin care range with no colours, perfumes, parabens, petrochemicals, paraffin, propylene gycol, sulphate surfactants (SLS) and detergents – to avoid irritation to sensitive skin. This is particularly important for people with problem skin such as eczema.

You will usually find soap-free washes in a different section or aisle in supermarkets and chemists to normal soaps and cleansers. Some of these soap-free alternatives include Nutri-Synergy, QV, DermaVeen, Sukin, Alpha Keri, Dermal Therapy, Dermeze, and Hope’s Relief.

Lymphoedema

As someone who has lymphoedema I know it is absolutely essential to look after your skin if you have this condition as you are highly susceptible to cellulitis, a serious bacterial infection of the skin.

Swollen limbs can result in skin changes including dry, cracked skin creating an entry point for infection. Cracked heels and in-between toes are a popular breeding ground for bacteria to flourish in an already-impaired lymphatic system, so the feet need particular attention.

Many people with lymphoedema wear compression garments so natural moisturisers with fast absorption are best for skin comfort as well as protecting the garment’s elasticity.

Diabetes

People with diabetes often experience less sensation in their feet due to nerve damage or reduced blood circulation, so daily care is needed to avoid infection or non-healing wounds that may lead to amputation.

The risk is higher for people who have had diabetes for a long time, high blood glucose levels for an extended period, smokers and those who are generally inactive (Diabetes Australia). Moisturising the feet is important to avoid dry skin causing damage. Getting your feet checked by a podiatrist regularly is recommended.

Nutri-Synergy samples

Next time you come in for your appointment at Lime Physical Therapy, make sure you pick up a free sample pack of Nutri-Synergy products for dry skin. The pack includes samples of cleanser, moisturisers and Skin Repair for damaged skin.

free hand cream

 

applying-body-body-lotion-286951

30 May 2018

How Remedial Massage Can Help You

By Pam O’Connor, Remedial Massage Therapist

What is Remedial Massage?

Pam massaging client 2A Remedial Massage involves a comprehensive assessment and treatment of muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues to help the body with rehabilitation and management of pain and injuries.

It can focus on a specific area or problem such as headaches or back pain, or can be more general to help reduce stress and ease tension.

Remedial treatment typically involves asking you questions relating to your presenting condition, a postural analysis and functional testing to help plan your treatment and adapt massage techniques accordingly.

We also take your full medical history into account to effectively deliver a treatment backed by evidence-based research suited to your individual needs.

Our holistic approach also factors in your mental and social factors, and includes post-treatment assessment and self-care such as stretches and exercises to maximise and maintain the effectiveness of treatments in-between visits to help you to achieve your goals quicker.

Remedial techniques can include soft and deep tissue, myofascial release, trigger points and stretching.

 

Top 5 conditions that would benefit from remedial massage:

  1. Headaches – Headaches are common and it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause. Taking medication only masks the pain without addressing the source of the problem. Often headaches are caused by stress leading to muscle tension, or poor posture. A remedial massage therapist will assess the cause, plan a treatment to address muscle imbalances and work to reduce your headaches and their reoccurrence – naturally, of course.
  1. Back pain– This condition is very common and can be caused by a variety of reasons, but our sedentary lifestyles or poor postural habits can often lead to back pain. Remedial massage can help to reduce pain by easing tension in muscle groups surrounding the spine, improve muscle tone and ease pressure on nerves. Remedial massage can also improve posture and flexibility to help make your back stronger.
  1. Poor sleep– A good night’s sleep is vital to feeling good and performing at our best. People often feel sleepy after a massage – or even fall asleep during the massage! That’s because massage increases serotonin, the feel-good hormone that makes us feel happy and relaxed during the day. In turn, this helps with our melatonin levels which regulate our body’s circadian cycle to ensure restful sleep at night.
  1. Anxiety and depression – Many studies have shown massage can lowerlevels of the stress hormone cortisol, whichcan drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and lower the immune system.The soothing touch of massage stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that helps our bodies to rest, digest and recover. This helps to lower the sympathetic nervous system (or our fight or flight response) that makes our hearts race and cause stressand muscle tension in our modern day-to-day lifestyles.
  1. Frozen shoulder – Also known as adhesive capsulitis, it presents as a painful and stiff shoulder resulting from inflammation in the shoulder capsule and fibrotic adhesions that limit movement. This can lead to trigger points developing in the rotator cuff and deltoid muscles in the shoulder. Massage can help to alleviate the pain in these muscles in conjunction with Physiotherapy to maintain movement in the shoulder joint. Frozen shoulder is more common in women over the age of 40.

It may take a few treatments to address specific problems, especially if they are long-standing. Regular massages are recommended to help maintain muscles in good, healthy and toned condition and to stay on top of problem areas.

 

25 May 2018
Pam at ALA conference

Stronger Together – A Message for Lympoedema patients

By Pamela O’Connor, Remedial Massage Therapist

Lorna at ALA conferenceIt is not easy living with Lymphoedema. It is a complex condition to understand, and learning how to manage this condition for which there is no cure can be a complicated journey that is individual for each person.

To help ride the swell of this individual journey, it takes teamwork – and the stronger the team the better.

This “Stronger Together” message of the Australasian Lymphology Association conference last week was delivered loud and clear,with a large crowd of Lymphoedema-related practitioners plus patients learningand networking with each other on a dazzling array of topics.

The three-day conference for lymphoedema practitioners held at the Brisbane Convention Centrealso incorporated a Public Day,hosted by the Lymphoedema Association of Queensland, for people living with the condition, their carers and anyone wanting to know more about this little knowncondition that affects around 300,000 Australians every day.

Both myself and Lorna Golombick (senior Physiotherapist and Lymphoedema practitioner) attended the conference. It was a first-time experience for me and it was made all the more interesting because I was able to experience it from both perspectives - as a Lymphoedema practitioner (in training) as well as a person living with Lymphoedema.

As a practitioner I heard from an impressive international line-up of speakers on topics such as the latest on indocyanine green and near infrared lymphatic imaging and other exciting advances in technology and research, as well as practical considerations and communicating empathically with clients in a clinic setting.

For the patient or the general public, the Public Day delivered a well-rounded program covering the basics of how the lymphatic system works; the assessment and treatment of Lymphoedema in a whirlwind talk from Professor Neil Piller; exercise for Lymphoedema and fatigue; self-care; nutrition, skin and wound care; lipoedema; and stories from patientsthemselves.

The exhibitors’ trade displays was a wonderful chance for both practitioners and patients to get hands-on with all the latest in technology, products, compression and garments. I had fun measuring up one of the Sigvaris staff member’s legs for Velcro compression wraps, got touchy feely with compression stockings in all sorts of trendy colours and wild patterns, slathered myself with the natural skin care range from Dr Plunkett, and watched other people undergoing L-Dex readings or having a limb hooked up to compression wave pump machines.

Armed with this heady mix of knowledge it makes it a little easier to work out how to make my team stronger to ride out this bumpy journey – and to help others to do the same.

I look forward to sharing some of the useful information I have learnt from the conference in my blog articles in the coming weeks.

 

18 May 2018
OT#5

15 tips to manage stress at work

By Kyle Pennell, Senior Occupational Therapist, Advance Wellness (Lime’s partner Physio in New Zealand)

Most of us experience some form of stress in our daily lives, whether it’s at work or in our personal lives, and people have differing abilities to handle varying levels of stress.

Below are my top 15 tips to help you manage and cope with stress at work. By adopting these strategies, you will become more organised and productive, while reducing those stresses that are harmful to your mind and body.

 

  1. Spend time planning and organising: Using time wisely to think and plan is time well-spent. In fact, if you fail to take time for planning, you are, in effect, planning to fail. Organise in a way that makes sense to you. If you need colour and pictures, use a lot on your calendar or planning book. Some people need to have papers filed away; others get their creative energy from their piles. So forget the “shoulds” and organise in “your” way.
  1. Set Goals: Goals provide direction to your life and determine how you spend your time. Bt first you’ve got to decide what you want. Set goals that are specific, measurable, realistic and achievable. Your optimum goals are those that cause you to “stretch” but not “break” as you strive for achievement.
  1. Prioritise: Use the “80-20 Rule” introduced by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that states, “80 percent of the reward comes from 20 percent of the effort.” The trick to prioritising is to isolate and to identify that valuable 20 percent. Once identified, prioritise your time to work on those items with the greatest reward. Prioritise by colour, number or letter, whichever method makes the most sense to you. Flagging items with a deadline is another idea to help you stick to your priorities.
  1. Use a “To Do” List: Some people thrive by using a daily to-do list created the day before or the first thing in the morning. Such people may combine a to-do list with a calendar or schedule,or use a “running” list that is continuously updated. The key is to use the method that works best for you. Don’t be afraid to try a new system. You just might find one that works even better than your present one!
  1. Be Flexible: Allow time for interruptions and distractions. Time management experts suggest planning for just 50 percent or less of one’s time to allow flexibility to handle interruptions or unplanned emergencies. Schedule routine tasks when you expect to be interrupted. Save or make larger blocks of time for your priorities. When interrupted ask yourself; “What is the most important thing I can be doing with my time right now?” to help you get back on track fast.
  1. Consider Your Biological Prime Time: That’s the time of day when you are at your best. Are you a “morning person,” a “night owl,” or a late afternoon “whiz”? Knowing your most productive time will help you use that time of day to tackle your priorities.
  1. Do the Right Thing Right:  Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right. Doing the right thing is effectiveness but doing things right is efficiency. Focus first on effectiveness, then concentrate on efficiency.
  1. Eliminate the Urgent: Urgent tasks have short-term consequences, while important tasks are those with long-term, goal-related implications. Work toward reducing the urgent things you must do so you’ll have time for important tasks. Flagging or highlighting items on your to-do list or attaching a deadline to each item may help keep important items from becoming emergencies.
  1. Practice the Art of Intelligent Neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks or those tasks that do not have long-term consequences from your life. Can you delegate or eliminate any task on your to-do list? Work on those tasks that you alone can do.
  1. Avoid Being a Perfectionist: In the Malaysian culture, only the gods are considered capable of producing anything perfect. Whenever something is made, a flaw is left on purpose so the gods will not be offended. Yes, some things need to be closer to perfect than others; but perfectionism or paying unnecessary attention to detail can be a form of procrastination.
  1. Conquer Procrastination: One technique to try is the “Swiss cheese” method described by Alan Lakein. When you are avoiding something, break it into smaller tasks and do just one of the smaller tasks or set a timer and work on the big task for just 15 minutes. By doing a little at a time, eventually, you’ll reach a point where you’ll want to finish.
  1. Learn to Say “NO”: Such a small word and yet, so hard to say. Focusing on your goals may help. Blocking time for important, unscheduled priorities such as family and friends can also help. But first you must be convinced that you and your priorities are important. That is the difficulty in learning how to say “no”. Once convinced of their importance, saying “no” to the unimportant things in life gets easier
  1. Reward Yourself: Even for small successes, celebrate the achievement of goals. Promise yourself a reward for completing each task or job. Then keep your promise to yourself and indulge in your reward. Doing so will help you maintain the necessary balance in life between work and play. If we learn to balance excellence in work with excellence in play, fun, and relaxation, our lives become happier, healthier, and a great deal more creative.
  1. Learn Not to Have to Work in a Crisis, Anticipate Some Common Actions or Activities: Through proper planning and by working systematically, you can perform tasks quickly, efficiently and in a timely fashion. Try to develop shortcuts to cut down on time when performing routine tasks or activities. Developing a contingency plan will also help you to avoid any pitfalls. Be sure to ask “what if?” when making decisions or developing a course of action. Try to think of at least three ways to handle a crisis, and then put those solutions into practice when appropriate. Don’t forget to revise your contingency plan as needed.
  2. Reduce your Expectations: To help reduce your stress, work on reducing your expectations and on the flip-side,work on steadily increasing your results and reality.

 

28 Mar 2018
Louise Physiokey collage

The Healing Benefits of Physiokey Therapy

By Louise Macgregor, Physiokey Therapist

As Lime’s resident Physiokey Therapist specialising in pain relief and stress and anxiety management, I am very passionate about the Physiokey technology and its capabilities because I have experienced first-hand what it can do.

Prior to becoming aPhysiokey Therapist, I was first a patient at Lime.  Having undergone a bilateral mastectomy and TRAM reconstruction in April 2015, I was introduced to SCENAR/Physiokey Therapy as part of myown rehabilitation.

With Physiokey Therapy my body healed very quickly, and I regained all my movement that had been restricted from cording.

Having cancer made me re-evaluate my life and what I was doing with it.  I think it’s important when these things happen to usthat we use it to help others. That’s why I became a Physiokey Therapist and I bring to my role my own experience and empathy for others going through cancer and the emotional rollercoaster that goes with diagnosis, surgery and rehabilitation.

Physiokey therapy can help to reduce pain and facilitate functional restoration and improvement.

I treat pain related to all kinds of health conditions including neuropathic pain resulting from cancer treatment, sports injuries, joint and back pain and pain in general- both chronic and acute.

With acute injuries results are obtained more quickly as it is a recent condition.

Healing from chronic conditions can take a little longer as your body has stopped listening to the messages coming from that area and treats the condition as normal, which we liken to your body being stuck on a roundabout. My job using Physiokey therapy is to build you a road off that roundabout and train your body to self-regulate to a point where the pain is reduced and functionality is improved.

The therapy I offer is not just limited to pain relief, but I also assist people to remove emotional blocks that may be associated with past traumas or emotional stress and anxiety.

In my experience, I’ve found that the body doesn’t know the difference between emotional pain and physical pain. It treats them both the same way and sometimes our emotions can show up as neck and back pain or joint pain or other health challenges.

Unless we deal with the emotional component we won’t always get a full healing response. Likewise, if people are constantly weighed down with stress and anxiety then it is the perfect environment for other health challenges and pain to manifest.

After 90 minutes in a “Relax and Restore” session my patients feel totally relaxed and a lot of emotional burdens will be removed, which may have beenholding them back,and of which they may not have been aware.

It’s a beautiful treatment with a lot of excellent health benefits, particularly reducing stress and anxiety, conditions that far too many people are suffering in today’s fast paced and overwhelming world.

My passion is helping people to have incredible health, both physically and emotionally, and to live a quality pain-free, stress-free life by assisting their body to function and heal the way it was designed to.

I love working in a multi-disciplinary clinic with other like-minded clinicians where our sole focus is collectively creating the best possible health outcomes on all levels for our patients.

Total healing often involves not just the physical, but also the spiritual and emotional and that’s what we all do here.

To read reviews from other patients regarding treatment with Louise,please visit the Lime Physical Therapy Facebook page. To book an appointment with Louise call the clinic on 3188 9308 or book online here: http://auappts.gensolve.com/actus_lime_physio/clinician/details/louise_macgregor

 Louise’s qualifications include Levels 1 and 2 SCENAR Therapy, Basic and Advanced Physiokey training, Physiokey Sports Injures, Women’s Health and Fascial Release training, Aromatouch Massage Technique and a Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology through Latrobe University.

06 Feb 2018
Physiokey image 5

What isPhysiokey or SCENAR Therapy

You may not have heard of Physiokey or SCENAR therapy yet, although you may find it suits your individual needs as a viable alternative to other more traditional methods.

Simply put, Physiokey or SCENARtherapy is a technology driven way to help patients with pain relief by stimulating sensory nerves to induce a release of the body’s own powerful pain relief mechanisms.  It works to locates key treatment points and delivers targeted treatment for optimal pain relief.Anon-invasive method and 100% drug free.

To date, we have had some great results with this technology, in particular with improvingclients range of motion, discomfort including muscular tension, swelling, numbness, fatigue and pain.  It is also a great method to try if you find your progress stalling with other treatment options as it works in a different way by looking to reset our bodies pathways which may be now set in a stubborn, learned pattern.

How does it work?

Physiokey / SCENAR works by using a small hand held tool that uses electrical impulses to stimulateyour nervous system via your skin, the largest organ in our bodies.  There are a lot of nerves in this area of our body and this technology when placed on your skin measures in real time what the skinsresistance is via the stimulation of trigger and acupuncture points on the skin’s surface, which in turn is a measure of how your nervous system is acting.

It is essentially a two-way conversation between the device and your body.  It shows us where the deficits are in the area of the body we are working on, and the body itself produces a response in that area to help accelerate the healing process by promoting circulation, reactivating healing pathways and restoring balance to the body.

It can be especially beneficial for clients who have experienced pain or limited movement for a long time – the body can get stuck or get used to the signal from that body part so the body thinks it is normal.  This device shows the body an exit off that pathway, promoting the right area and restoring communication and a better healing process.

What are main benefits?

Due to the way SCENAR therapy works it can be used to treat many different conditions. It works to help the body heal itself more effectively than the body is able to do unassisted.

In summary, Physiokey or Scenar therapy have been shown to produce the following results:

  • Can be used to help treat any type of pain or physical dysfunction
  • Can treat both acute and chronic conditions
  • Quality of life and sleep patterns can be improved
  • Uses the body’s own healing capabilities
  • Encourages the body to self-regulate
  • Active reflex biofeedback means fullest healing can be achieved
  • Is non-specific and can be used regardless of your diagnosis
  • No possibility of over-dosing
  • Little or no side-affects
  • Methods based on 25 years of clinical research

It can help with conditions such as:

  • Acute pain – fast relief from acute pain such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, muscular and joint pain
  • Chronic pain – back pain, neck pain, headaches, muscular and joint pain
  • Musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction
  • Sports injuries
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Fatigue/low energy conditions&Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Skin conditions/wound healing and scar tissue

Talk to us about how we can help.

 You can read more details and the technical terms associated with this technology on our website here, or you can view a YouTube video which Lorna Golombick worked on with Pinc and Steel, a cancer rehabilitation program.

At Lime Therapy, Lorna Golombick is fully trained in using Physiokey therapy to assist our clients.

To make a booking or to find out more, simply call us on 3188 9308 or email reception@limetherapy.com.au