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October 2010: Text Neck

Mobile phone users suffering from 'text neck'

A new condition dubbed "text neck" is on the rise due to the amount of time people spend hunched over their mobile phone and tablet computer screens, chiropractors have warned.

The affliction, caused by flexing the neck for extended periods of time, can be a forerunner of permanent arthritic damage if it goes without treatment.

Cases of the repetitive strain injury are on the rise as smart phones and tablet computers such as the iPad become increasingly popular, experts said.

In severe cases the muscles can eventually adapt to fit the flexed position, making it painful to straighten the neck out properly.

One chiropractor said her company had treated thousands of patients for the condition, which can also result in headaches and shoulder, arm and wrist pain.

Rachael Lancaster, of Freedom Back Clinics in Leeds, said: "Text neck is caused by the neck being flexed for a prolonged period of time.

"Sufferers are increasing as the use of smart phones and tablet computers become more popular."

The condition occurs because the joints and tissue in the neck are not built to withstand being flexed for long periods, and spending hours peering down at a screen puts them under too much stress, she added.

"Imagine sitting on your ankle sideways for 10 minutes. It would feel stiff and sore when you returned it to its natural position.

"That is exactly what people are doing with their necks. If people continue to put their necks in these positions, the body will gradually adapt to the stresses."

Keeping the neck and head stretched forwards for long periods could eventually cause the natural curvature of the neck to reverse, potentially leading to serious health problems, she added.

The condition can be avoided by taking regular screen breaks, and looking straight ahead while tucking the chin back towards the neck every few minutes.

Rotating the shoulders with your arms by your sides, sitting up straight while texting and holding the phone a little higher can also help maintain a healthy posture.

Tim Hutchful, of the British Chiropractic Association, said doctors were seeing a rising number of patients with similar neck problems but that getting regular exercise could help ward of symptoms.

The average human head weighs between 10lb and 12lb (4.5kg to 5.5kg), and flexing the neck makes it harder to support like carrying a similar weight at arm's length.

Children are most at risk because their heads are larger in relation to their body size than adults, and women with slender necks should also take extra care to maintain a good posture, he added.

"When the head is over the shoulders it is a bit like a balanced see-saw, and when you move it forward you need to put a force in place to keep it in that position.

"The longer you are in that position for, the more the muscles have to accommodate it."

From Telegraph.co.uk

If you are suffering from "Text Neck" the Alexander Technique can help you reduce your problems and make a BIG difference to your daily life.

February 2010: Common causes of back pain

Stress factors

The symptoms of simple back pain often occur suddenly and can be triggered by a particular movement, but the causes may have been building for some time.

Some of the most common causes of stress and strain on the spine include: Slouching in chairs, Driving in hunched positions, Standing badly, Lifting incorrectly, Sleeping on sagging mattresses, Being unfit, Generally overdoing it.

Inactivity and the wrong sort of movement are usually at the root of simple back pain.  Inactivity makes the muscles go slack and weak so they are unable to support the back properly. This leaves the back more vulnerable to damage when certain movements put too much strain on one area.

Often, the problem is caused by a strain or tear to the muscles, tendons or ligaments around the lower spine. In turn, this can produce painful muscle tension and spasm.

Even a minor problem can cause a lot of pain when you stand, bend or move around. Pain sometimes comes on suddenly, sometimes gradually, but usually it only lasts a few days or up to a week.Work-related back problems

The spine wasn't designed for sitting in front of a computer or behind the wheel of a car for long periods. The consequences of such actions are often all too uncomfortably, and painfully, apparent.

Musculoskeletal problems

Awkward movements and bad posture cause musculoskeletal disorders that affect the full length of the spine, from the neck to lower back, as well as the shoulders, arms and fingers.

Spending long periods of time in the same position makes spine and muscle problems more likely. Fortunately, simple steps taken early on can reduce the risk of such problems developing.

Head and neck strain

Tension in the supporting muscles of the neck, caused by physical or emotional stress, makes them tight and uncomfortable. This tension is most often felt in the upper back and back part of the neck.

Tension or stress headaches may be experienced, with discomfort and pain spreading from the upper back and neck over the head. This causes the sensation of something pressing on the top of the head or being wound tightly around it.

Tiredness, trying to read small words on a screen and the pressure of deadlines all put our muscles under pressure - not just the muscles in the neck and back, but our eyes, too. Eye strain causes tired eyes, which then find it harder to perform.

Lower back pain

Lower back pain is an increasingly common problem. An injury may be responsible, but often it's the consequence of poor posture or an awkward twisting movement, bending or reaching - or a combination of these, along with inactivity which results in stiffness and poor flexibility. Being overweight, especially if excessive, also adds to the discomfort and pain.

The muscles and ligaments supporting the spine become traumatised, bruised or inflamed. Most lower back pain doesn't result from injury to the bones of the spine, but from the strain and pressure put on the tissues whose job it is to support the spine.

Repetitive strain injury

Repetitive strain injury (RSI) is caused by repeated overuse and injury to the muscles of the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders.

Symptoms may take months, even years, to develop. Initially, only a slight ache may be felt, but as RSI progresses more marked pain interferes with everyday activities.

Long periods of work without a break, sitting on an uncomfortable seat or at a poorly arranged workstation, make RSI more likely.

Computer keyboards and mice, gaming handsets, hand-held games, mobile phones and PDAs can all be culprits.

Modern technology isn't solely responsible - anyone who uses certain muscles repeatedly can get RSI. This includes factory assembly-line workers, musicians, tailors and cleaners.

Carpal tunnel syndrome

The repetitive overuse of hand tendons, local inflammation, fluid retention, emotional stress and poor posture may contribute to reducing the space in the wrist tunnel through which the median nerve passes.

Pressure on this nerve can result in carpal tunnel syndrome. Symptoms include discomfort, numbness, pins and needles, and sometimes pain in the thumb, index, middle and ring finger (on the side next to the middle finger).

Link to full article  

May 2009: Repetitive Surf Injury causes five million days off work a year in Britain

More than five million days a year are lost to business as a result of workers injuring themselves through surfing the internet.

Repetitive Surf Injury" (RSI), which is thought to affect more than half a million workers in the UK, is being blamed for a surge in the number of people suffering painful muscle damage as they spend hours hunched over keyboards, balancing laptops on their knees or continually texting on mobile phones and Blackberrys.

According to Yahoo!, the internet search engine, more than 8 million Britons access the internet on the move, many of them finishing off last-minute work on the way home or surfing social networking sites.

"As a nation we are demanding more and more from the internet and we want access anywhere and everywhere. Location is no longer a barrier when it comes to logging on but it does mean we are laying ourselves bare to potential RSI problems."

Yahoo! has teamed up with the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) to help internet users avoid RSI.

Tim Hutchful of the British Chiropractic Association, said: "As chiropractors we are finding that, when on the move, people are balancing laptops on their legs so users stare down at the screen which in turn puts strain on their necks, shoulders and backs.

"Holding your head and neck in this unsupported position can place increased load on the joints of the neck and reduce blood flow to the surrounding muscles causing inflammation, stiffness and pain."

Gordon Mowat, of Aspire Management Services, a business consultancy firm, said: "People are under increasing pressure to deliver because they are scared of losing their jobs.

"Pushing staff too hard and making them work non-stop is likely to have the opposite affect employers are looking for.

"New technology means workers are almost always in contact and subject to deadline pressures. The trouble is we forget that people aren't machines."

From The Telegraph - 2nd May 2009: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/technologynews/5262436/Repetitive-Surf-Injury-causes-five-million-days-off-work-a-year-in-Britain.html

April 2009: Is Britain a nation of slouchers?

Bad posture has increased by 16% over the past two years suggests new research by the British Chiropractic Association.  Some 56% of the UK population currently believe they have bad posture compared to 38% in 2007.

The residents of Belfast believe themselves to have the worst posture suggests the survey of 5000 people.  Belfast was followed by Plymouth, Cardiff, Southampton, Liverpool, Bristol, Glasgow and Leeds.

56% of people questioned said they slouch when they sit for long periods and 29% sit down for 15 or more hours per day.  Using computers is a trigger for bad posture for 43% while 44% say carrying bags or laptops affects their stance.

14% equate bad posture with laziness and nearly one in five thinks it shows lack of confidence.  74% of Brits say they want to improve their posture. From BBC news Teletext - 14/4/09

If you are one of the 74% who wants to improve your posture - you are looking in the right place.  The Alexander Technique can help you achieve improved posture even when you are using a computer or carrying a bag or laptop.  For more information email: barbara@unlockyourmindandbody.co.uk

Press Release – March 2009

Alexander Technique Comes to Nuneaton

The Alexander Technique is well known to help improve a range of conditions from back, neck and shoulder pain to stress, tension and restricted movements such as walking.

Alexander Technique teacher Barbara Warburg has recently moved to Nuneaton and is now teaching in Maple Park.  “Learning the Alexander Technique has helped me to overcome headaches and neck and shoulder tension.  I enjoy my life more and I no longer suffer from the aches, pains and tension that I did before.” she said.

Recent research has shown that lessons in the Alexander Technique have long term benefits on pain and functioning for those with chronic and recurrent back pain.  It is also used by sports and arts professionals such as actors, musicians and runners to enhance their performance in their chosen fields.

A one to one lesson costs £30 and in April Barbara Warburg is offering two lessons for the price of one.  For more information or to book an introductory lesson contact Barbara on 07919 444924 or by email at Barbara@UnlockYourMindAndBody.co.uk.

January 2009

CNHC Launched!  CNHC is the new Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council which started on 19th January.  It opens its new register which means for the first time in the UK, members of the public who use a range of complementary healthcare services will be able to check that their practitioner is registered with an independent, and robust voluntary registration body.

The first professions to have the standards in place for registration with the CNHC are massage therapy and nutritional therapy. The Alexander technique will join the register in September 2009.

August 2008

British Medical Journal publishes research that shows the Alexander Technique can provide long term benefits for low back pain. Two videos on bbc give more information: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7572623.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7573448.stm 

July 2008

I have just moved house again and I'm starting to settle in Nuneaton.  I am now teaching again after a number of big transitions in the last six months so private lessons are now available in Nuneaton!

I look forward to meeting you all soon.


January 2008

I have been teaching the Alexander Technique part-time for the last 5 years in Horsham, I experienced a lot of change last year which resulted in my having to look for a new job in addition to teaching the Alexander Technique.  The great news is I have found a new job, the only difficulty is that my new job is in Leicester. 

I appreciate all the help and support I have had from my students during this transition.  I look forward to working with you all in 2008.

Have a great month.


Spring is already making itself known around Horsham, daffodils, crocus and snow drops are all out, even other flowers that aren’t usually this early.  It feels good to feel the sunshine and to feel positive about the Spring and Summer coming.

I have been taking the opportunity with the mild Winter and the sunshine to go out walking and running regularly.  Mostly to become fitter but also I’ve set my mind on doing it regularly rather than my usual go sometimes and not others.  I guess having a clear goal that I want (3 runs and 2 walks a week) has made it a lot easier to stay focused.

Where I’m less clear is the amount of strength type exercises I want to do.  I want to do stomach crunches and I think some arm work would be really good but after a run I really don’t feel very motivated to do the arm exercises.  But I guess the reason for that is while I think they are a good idea I don’t feel attached or committed to what the purpose of doing these specific exercises might be.  And as such I don’t feel the need to do them as regularly as the running and walking.

The moral of the story is, if you want to have a goal to do something, firstly you got to believe you can do it but the main thing is generating your personal commitment to the goal so you will stick with it when you hit hard times.  As I’ve talked about in previous newsletters the Alexander Technique principles can be applied to achieve what you want out of life as well as improving the way you move and perform.  Generate personal commitment by framing the outcome of the goal in way that is meaningful for you.

If you want to Spring into action this month don’t forget my action plan lessons are available.  Two lessons focused around creating a clear goal and understanding what is stopping it being achieved and creating personal commitment and an action plan to achieve the goal.  A number of my students have been taking these up and they are already starting to make significant inroads into achieving their goals.

The warmer weather is finally with us.  Winter seems to have lasted far too long this year.  And as we shrug off the sluggishness that accompanies the cold weather we start to get more active.    

This is the time when we start all those new jobs that need doing.  Spring cleaning the house seems to brighten everything up and welcome the sunshine in. It’s a period of fresh starts and cleaning away the winter depression.

Make the most of this feeling and learn how to keep it inside you all year round by  Spring Cleaning yourself as well as your surroundings.  Now is the perfect time to make new plans and prioritise yourself.  Energise your mind and body by learning the Alexander technique.  

The Alexander Technique teaches you to move your muscles, bones and joints in harmony.  It gives you greater physical freedom to move comfortably and without strain.  It’s shocking how much stress moving badly causes without
us even realising.  And this stress is what tires us and, over a prolonged period of time, brings us down.  Just like the winter does.

And just as taking away the cold weather makes you feel better, taking away the stress of moving badly makes you feel great.  Learning the Alexander Technique helps you to de-stress your mind too.  And the benefits of the Alexander Technique don’t go away.  It’s like an eternal Spring inside you! And when you feel this good, nothing should stop you from doing anything you choose with your life.

So to find out more about how the Alexander Technique could improve your life, call Barbara Warburg today on 07919 444 924.

Spring’s making itself known now, and the Golf Course is a much more pleasant place to be than it was during the cold winter weather.  Why not enjoy it even more by learning how to improve your game and minimise injury at the same time! 

It’s estimated that there were over 12,000 insurance claims made for golf injuries in the UK last year.  That’s a serious injury rate for a sport that’s often perceived as sedate and easy.  In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.  Knowing that a good amateur golfer swings their club at approximately 90mph makes it easier to understand how injuries can occur.

Flexibility and control are key to good golf swings and avoiding injury.   The Alexander Technique teaches you think about the way that you move.  You will stop yourself putting unnecessary tension on your joints, muscles and ligaments that can cause strains and tears.  And moving properly will improve the power and accuracy in your swing; so you’ll improve your game as well as the way you feel. 

And you’ll soon find that this improvement isn’t just confined to the golf course.  Once you understand how your movements have been causing your problems, you’ll be able to apply the understanding to any activity that you do.  You’ll feel so much better physically that you’ll start to feel better in your mind too.   And seeing your golf handicap reduced as you move with greater ease is bound to enhance that feeling of well-being even more!

Whether you want to join in with group sessions or benefit from individual coaching on your golf swing call Barbara Warburg on 07919 444 924  and start improving your life, and your game, today!

The New Year is a time when we feel that we can change our lives for the better.  The start of a new year is like a being given a clean slate.  We see it as the opportunity to make our own fresh starts.  Millions of people make their Resolutions and start the New Year determined to exercise, to diet, and to get into good habits at work and at home.

A few weeks later, however, taking up new sports has led to pulled muscles or injuries so we’ve had to stop.  Maybe we couldn’t resist an extra piece of chocolate cake or we just couldn’t be bothered to tidy up before going to bed.  It’s so easy to feel like we’ve fallen at the first hurdle and failed.   Our opportunity to make positive changes gets put on the back burner for another year. 

Learn the Alexander Technique and make 2006 the year you actually do change your life. 

The Technique enables you to liberate your mind and body, making you more likely to succeed in making those changes.

The Alexander Technique teaches you how to move your bones, muscles and joints in harmony.  If you’re moving yourself properly during your new exercise regime, you’re less likely to strain and injure yourself.  And as an added benefit, if you’re moving properly your workout will be more effective too.  Just think - better results from your exercise without any extra huffing and puffing!

The physical benefits of the Alexander Technique mean that you put less strain on your body overall.  This reduces the amount of stress and tension being carried round by your body.  Imagine the feeling of liberation – your body free from all feelings of tension.

Physical stress and strain is tiring and draining so the feeling of liberation isn’t just physical.  A body that can move freely is also one that can think clearly.   So the extra energy is mental as well as physical.

So, if you really do want to change your life, learn the Alexander Technique.  Call Barbara on 07919 444 924 to find out more and book your first session.

Christmas is coming up and it’s party season.  But how many of those headaches are caused by more than just over-indulgence in alcohol?

Did you know that you can even put strain on your back from just standing around?  Bad posture and a tendency to stand with all of your weight on one leg puts a strain on your joints and muscles that can cause pain and even headaches.

The Alexander Technique teaches you to think about the way that you move and hold your body so that joints, muscles and bones all work in harmony.  When you move your body properly like this, everything works without strain.  And no strain, no pain!

One student new to the Alexander Technique said “I’ve always got terrible headaches by the end of summer barbecues and Christmas drinks parties – even when I’m not drinking!  It’s been so bad sometimes that I’ve left parties early and gone straight home to bed.  It’s not good for my social life! I realised that the common link is that I’m standing up all time at these parties.  When I met Barbara I was relieved to find that there was something I could do about it.  I’ve started learning the Alexander Technique and am now looking forward to being the last one standing at this year’s Christmas parties!”

Barbara Warburg’s classes and workshops take you through a variety of everyday movements.  She can explain to you how the way you currently move is causing a strain on your body.  She will help you make simple adjustments to the way you sit, stand, run and even lie down.  You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel – mentally as well as physically.

Learn the Alexander Technique and learn how to get the most out of your Christmas celebrations – and your life.

Call Barbara today on: 07919 444 924

If you ever suffer from headaches or backache, you are not alone. These are two of the most common ailments suffered by UK adults. For some of us they are so common we just become resigned to suffering. In many cases headaches and backache become constant companions. They even interfere with our family and social lives.

But it doesn’t have to be like this. Many head and backaches are caused by unnecessary stress on the joints, muscles and nerves in your body. And often this stress is caused by the way you move yourself.

Take lifting things, for example. Everyone knows that it’s important to bend your knees before lifting heavy boxes but what about when you lift up your children, or a set of golf clubs or even your shopping? All of these actions can cause strain on your body that leads to bad backs and headaches.

Lifting things up only leads to pain if you’re not doing it properly. Maybe your arms are at the wrong angle or you’re taking all of the strain in one place rather than distributing it throughout your body. It’s not always easy to know what you’re doing wrong but you can certainly feel the twinges afterwards.

There is a way to stop these problems. Learning the Alexander Technique lets you lift things without causing unnecessary strain on your body. Barbara Warburg can take you through a variety of simple steps that teach you how to move in the best way. You’ll be able to lift things without fear of straining yourself.

It’s surprising how we learn to live with our aches and pains. Learning the Alexander Technique can help make them go away. You’ll feel like you’ve woken up from a bad dream! You won’t believe how much better you could feel - mentally as well as physically.

Don’t let aches and pains get in the way of having fun and enjoying a great life. Learn the Alexander Technique - make your body happy and lift your spirits.

Most people have heard of the Alexander Technique but are still confused about what it actually is. So what is it? Put simply it’s a technique of learning to move so that your whole body works in harmony – your bones, your joints and your muscles.

Why learn the Alexander Technique? Well, when you don’t move your body properly it fights against you. Your niggling aches and pains may caused by bad posture or poor movement habits that you’ve developed over the years. The tightness or soreness you feel in your muscles can be directly due to the way that you sit at your desk, or lounge on the sofa. In turn this tightness can lead to tension headaches. Constant physical stress on your body leads to mental stress and before you know it, you’re feeling fatigued and fed up.

The Alexander Technique allows you to take back control by making simple adjustments to the way you move yourself. It sounds funny, but learning to sit, stand, or even carry your shopping properly, can help to free you from aches and pains, tension and stress - improving your quality of life.

Barbara Warburg learnt the Alexander Technique to eliminate her neck pain and discovered all of its benefits for herself. She is free from her old pain, so is less stressed, and can now enjoy her life a whole lot more.

Feeling so great all the time prompted Barbara to train as a teacher of the Alexander Technique so that she could bring the benefits to other people, like you. Barbara holds a variety of classes so there is something for everyone.

Introductory Workshops – a taster, to introduce you to the technique

One Day Workshops – a whole day tailored to the group’s needs

One-to-One Sessions – personal teaching for individuals

Group Lessons – ten weeks of continual improvement

Come and learn the technique for yourself – it could change your life

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