Love to Dance…
For those of you who love to dance on a regular basis – whether for your job, for exercise or for the sheer love of it – you will already by familiar with the absolute joy that dancing can bring you, and you’ll crave that unmistakable “buzz” inside you, with the happy endorphins kicking in whilst you move your body to the beat. The genre of music and style of dance doesn’t matter – you’ll simply know the passion it brings out in you, and in others who share your love of it.
However, dancers will also be only too familiar with how tough dancing can be on the body, and often, after hours of blissful dancing, you will then find yourselves aching – in your back, you neck, shoulders, hips… and especially in your knees and feet, which can take quite a hammering with all that bending, sliding, spinning and turning!
Usually, within a day or two, the soreness wears off, and you’re craving your next dance.
But sometimes the problem can be more worrying, with severe pain developing, causing you to restrict your dancing – or even prevent you from dancing altogether for a while.
A few examples include:
• Menisus Knee Tear, from twisting the knee whilst moving;
• Lower Back strain and muscle spasms;
• Plantar Fasciitis – pain as you put weight on your foot;
• Hallux Limitus, where your big toe becomes stiff;
• Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, from tight hamstrings and calf muscles, and weak quads, plus repetitive pressure on the knee cap;
• Ankle sprains – eg, from landing wrongly from a jump;
• Tendonopathy of the Rotator Cuff, Posterior Tibial tendon, and in the Achilles.
Fear not… Help is at hand!
Yes, we can help you if you are suffering with any of these. At the Nicky Snazell Pain Relief Clinic, we have treatments whereby we can actively intervene to get you back to doing what you love. And the sooner you do something about it, the less damage you will cause – and the sooner you can return to the dance-floor.
The key to healthly exercise is just that.Let’s take another look at why we should exercise so we can hold a green fitness key.Today I find that humans are far too sedentary, all too
often sitting in front of a computer by day, followed by
sitting in front of a TV at night. This lack of physical
activity causes emotional and physiological imbalances,
but we can change this by looking at how we exercise; improving your
fitness changes your chemistry, acts as a powerful antidepressant, promotes
mental clarity, and reduces the likelihood of cancer.
If you’re not happy with either how you look or feel about your weight,
then with correct guidance, you can break out of inactivity and be rewarded
by smiling at yourself whenever you see your reflection. I will guide you towards 4 green keys to health and tonight is fitness.
You can learn more about how and when you should
exercise, as getting the correct mix can extend your life.
When I am working at my clinic, I hear echoing around the walls: I am too
old to exercise, too old to work. Are you too old to exercise? Well, no one told
Jiroemon Kimura (born 1897) that he was too old. He passed away recently
at age 116, farming until he was 90 years old. Remember the Carry On films?
Well, did you know that Barbara Windsor carries on exercising in her late 70s?
You can find her in her gym wear keeping fit outside in Hyde Park.
Over 450,000 people in the USA and over 70,000 people in the UK risk total
knee replacement every year. Want to talk pain? Then talk TKR. What’s
worse is that it is unsuccessful 10% of the time, and you can even die from
having total knee replacement. Furthermore, the age for TKR is constantly
dropping. Why? Anybody want to hazard a guess? That’s right: obesity.
Now, this isn’t proven yet, but it is most likely the biggest cause.
So, what happens when you get fat? Ladies, take the ‘C’ off chips and you
know what you get! Guys, you put it on around the waist and lose sight of
your favourite toy! What you probably don’t know is that your knees are
loaded with up to four times your weight, so every extra stone (14 lbs) is
an extra four stone (56 lbs) on your knees – that’s why knees are so often
the first casualty with OA. If you want to know why the four times multiple
occurs, it’s because of leverage. Now, you are intelligent people, and you are
surely interested in health or you wouldn’t be here. So, why have you made
the decision to get arthritis? Made the decision to get lots of pain? Made
the decision to risk surgery and even death? It’s because much of the pain
associated with the pleasure of eating too much is too far away, and anyway,
going to the gym is a pain for most. We need to change the way we think
about exercise, and hopefully this chapter will go some way to doing that
Here’s some more cheery news: an in-depth study into retirement found
that men in their sixties are every bit as good at driving business than those
physically and mentally in their prime. In later life, prescriptive exercise is
more effort than swallowing a pill, but it is well worth it; in a nutshell, you get
less senility and less pain. Exercise weaves its magic, strengthening the heart,
releasing more neurotransmitters for cell communication, boosting BDNF
for improving neural connections in the brain, aiding metabolism, improving
blood flow, stimulating toxic disposal systems, and strengthening bones.
This next fact gets me out running in howling gales and rain: current research
in Sweden shows that exercise alters the way genes work in the tissue that
stores fat, and changes in adipose tissue storage sites were measurable even
with just two workouts a week. Epigenetics has always fascinated me since
studying biology, and this is the study of how chemical alterations will
change how genes work in a cell. This allows us to fine tune our body to a
Exercise alters this process in muscle cells and improves how sugar is
processed. Furthermore, adipose tissue (fat cells) is an organ in its own right, producing active chemicals that have profound effects on the body. In
this tissue, 18,000 markers were found on 7,663 genes! This is leading to a
greater understanding of why exercise helps fatty tissue do its job properly,
which means that as we get older, we don’t have to have such a lumpy,
bumpy body. This smooth body needs a good structural support.
The 4 keys to health is all about investing in the healthiest happiest future you could wish for with sound scientific knowledge and big spoonfuls of commonsense and experience.Tonights blog is for nutrition week. The traffic lights approach to healthfor the 4 keys to health gives one point for every yes answer.
0 – 3: RED.
3 – 6: AMBER.
6 – 9: GREEN.
Scores: Now count up your scores – are you red, amber, or green for this key?
Once you’ve read the chapter and implemented any changes, take the
questionnaire again to see how much you’ve improved.This questionnaire is in 4 parts.
Diet and Blood Sugar Levels
• Is your weight good for your age and height?
• Do you have lots of energy and do you like to exercise?
• Are you free from joint pain?
• Do you rarely feel like dozing in the day and feel alert after eating?
• Do you hardly ever get stomach ache or bloating?
• Do you concentrate easily with a clear memory and few
• Do you hardly ever need sweet food or caffeine fixes?
• Do you jump out of bed, raring to go?
• Do you rarely feel dizzy / irritable / have mood swings in
gaps between meals?
• Do you rarely have thirst / dry mouth?
• Do you rarely get headaches?
• Is your urine a mild (not dark) yellow colour?
• Are your skin and lips moist, not dry?
• Do you have regular bowel movements most days?
• Do you have less than two glasses of alcohol a day?
• Do you have five helpings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day?
• Do you have several glasses of fruit water / juice / herbal
teas a day, even if resting?
• Do you avoid having too many salty snacks?
Healthy Low Homocysteine Levels (repairing DNA
and building nerves / cartilage)
• Is your weight satisfactory and stable?
• Are you a clear thinker with a good memory and rare
• Do you eat healthily with green veggies, seeds, and nuts,
but aren’t vegan?
• You are not an alcoholic, smoker, or heavy coffee drinker?
• Do you have little joint pain?
• Do you have great stamina without weariness?
• Is your cardiovascular system and blood pressure normal?
• Do you sleep well?
• Are you rarely angry, irritable, or down?
• Do you have healthy hair?
• Do you have flexible, pain-free joints?
• You are not taking painkillers?
• No arthritis, asthma, or eczema?
• No diagnosed cardiovascular problems?
• Do you spend more than thirty minutes a day outside in
• Do you eat healthily with oily fish, about four eggs a week,
seeds and nuts most days, and fewer than two alcoholic
drinks a day?
• Do you have a good memory, learning abilities, and
• You don’t get down, anxious or unnecessarily angry?
Anti-Ageing, Anti-rot, Antioxidants
• Are you a quick healer?
• Are you younger than middle aged (40)?
• Do you have healthy skin?
• No diagnosis of cancer or cardiovascular disease?
• Don’t bruise easily?
• Do you live in quiet, clear air, healthy countryside, not
near major roads?
• Do you eat healthily with five lots of fruit and veg a day,
raw seeds / nuts, and at least two oily fish a week?
• Do you take antioxidant supplements?
• Do you exercise and raise your heart rate five times a
week?If you got a red key read my blogs or get a copy of my book,through www.thepainkiller.co.uk,www.painreliefclinic.co.uk, or amazon.
Exercise is vital for healthy ageing, so get out of that chair! When we slouch
in our chairs, we don’t breathe correctly, we have less lung capacity, less
oxygen, a poorer blood flow, a weaker heart, and less nutrient delivery.
Smooth muscles tighten up to take up the slack, and our blood pressure
readings go up. Blood flow can’t accommodate sudden movements anymore,
so dizziness follows, and with it, increased accidents. Men’s sexual potency
falls, the gut slows, and digestion fails. Sugar metabolism struggles andcc
diabetes is more likely to take hold. In an article in Psychological Medicine,
Dregan and M.C Gulliford wrote about how intense exercise helps brain
function (Dregan & Gulliford, 2013), so you can remember where you put
your gym wear! Get my drift?
Here are some more facts I sourced for you to back up reasons to exercise
– for all you academic buffs out there. Whether you are old or young,
‘it’s widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. The
government recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week,
between the ages of 19 and 64’ (Dregan, 2013). A word to the wise – if you
don’t exercise at all, start. If you are new to exercise, start small and just walk
a little further than usual. Exercise doesn’t have to mean enduring lengthy,
intense programmes or taking up a gym membership, although I think the
discipline of going and the social angle is great. If you are exercising on your
own, you still need to add in working out with weights as well as aerobic
exercise, such as walking.
Did you know that at 44 years old, without exercising, we are at the peak
depressive age? However, at 70 – if we follow a fitness programme – it is
possible to be as physically fit and happy as we were when we were 20!
Another study got a group of 60 year olds to start doing three long swims a
week, and their medical measurements and tests were those of 40 year olds.
Exercise is much like medicine – it doesn’t have to taste nice, but the outcome
is more than worth it. Being disciplined about getting your exercise is your
key to longevity, so exercise regularly and effectively. Most people will say
they don’t like it, that it’s boring or painful, that they have no time to do it,
but they’re just in denial for the need to move. Well, couch potatoes, here
are some more facts for you:
• A study looked at 50 elderly people of an average age of 87.
Given a 10 week weights workout at this age, they doubled their muscle
Why choose unnessary suffering? My mission for my book the 4 keys to health was to help avoid this. I witness unneccessary suffering day in,day out within my clinic and at presentations.I see evidence in peoples shopping baskets,in their T.V viewing, in the way they speak and the lack of exercise.So, I’m here to write about avoiding pain and suffering, which isn’t something that most people want to think about, is it? But what’s the opposite of pain? That’s right: pleasure. We all do everything we can to avoid suffering and seek pleasure, don’t we? But do we always make conscious decisions to seek pleasure and avoid pain? Let’s think about that. Is it possible that you make decisions that you perceive will give you pleasure when, in fact, it will ultimately give you pain? Yes, of course it is! We are all guilty of putting coins in the pain bank for long-term savings, rather than in the pleasure bank.
I have been puzzling over this one for many years while sitting in front of my patients. Recently, in preparation for The Z Factor – an annual health seminar run by Joseph McClendon III, where I give presentations – I asked my dear old friends, whom I’ve had the privilege of studying psychic/intuitive healing with for thirty years, about this. They responded with, “You have studied the suffering of thousands of humans over the years, and still you are confused. Study you… listen to yourself… ask yourself the question about all of your actions. Knowledge is inside us, not out there. Bring soul awareness, if you will. Bring mindfulness to your human thought processing when you make a decision about eating, working out, and so on. Get into a state of mind that is truthful about your actions.”
When we bring into focus a higher awareness, we are checking our beliefs about what we see and feel. Our vision is very inaccurate, seeing only a tiny part of what is really there. If we see the colour red, we get the memory of what red means to us, making a meaning solely for us. Therefore, red is a belief. Higher awareness says that we are accessing memory data associated with this visual input in order to get hold of the belief. We run it through a semantic memory system, finding the belief and making it into a thought. Changing beliefs kills old habits.
What we need to realise is that we are controlled by social acceptance to do what everybody else does, and that we are all intensely manipulated by advertising. We are driven to believe what we see on TV and in the press. Drugs companies, food companies and drinks companies are not driven to provide the healthiest products they can, but to maximise their profits and serve their shareholders. The only person who can look after you is you, and if all you do is follow everyone else, you are doing no better than a lemming who blindly follows the rest of the lemmings off a cliff. When we think of suffering, we need to realise that many causes of pain are self-inflicted and can be easily avoided. So, why do people choose the self-destruct button, over and over again? This is the fundamental question about pain, and one which needs to be answered. For many, suffering is a choice.
Traffic light approach to health, what do I mean ?Traffic Light Approach to Health
At my clinic, I always ask my patients to fill in a questionnaire about their
current health, and their answers are incredibly useful in letting me see
where they need to improve their mindset, their nutrition, their fitness and
their lifestyle. I call it the traffic light approach to health because we analyse
these areas by saying whether the patient is green (good), amber (room for
improvement) or red (poor). These are your fitness keys, and they will tell
you where you need to improve. With this in mind, I have developed four
questionnaires – one for each key – and have placed them in the appendix
of this book. If you want to get the most out of this book, I urge you to
complete the questionnaire at the start of each chapter, and again after
you’ve absorbed the knowledge and implemented some of my suggested
changes into your life. Soon, you should start to see your traffic light scores
changing from red or amber to green on all counts. When this happens, you
are likely to be at your optimal health for your age, which means you’ll be
giving yourself the best possible chance if a disease or injury should occur.
So, to those therapists and doctors who want to go beyond their specific
training and look at the synergy of everything they know in order to create
their own map, here is mine.
If you don’t want to commit to a new, healthy you, then now is probably a
good time to leave my blogs. If, however, you desire to work towards a healthy, fit,
pain-free body, here we go. It’s time to take your health into your own hands
and get rid of all the pain that has been holding you back
The 4 keys to health, what is it about? A question that now rings in my ears most days from those that as yet have not read my book.This book is life transforming if you take in the advice and act on it.My dear friend who had always said she would love a book dedicated to her, died yesterday with the book in her room knowing the healing work we started, so many years ago will go on, in this and future books and talks.Rest in peace June.
Everyday I bump into people telling me their life story and how the 4 keys to health has changed the way they think about life and empowered them to make the changes they needed to.This warms my heart, and today it was suggested I regularly blogged about it.
Here is an exert from my book describing what it is about.
I have spent my life searching for ways to treat pain, and I have travelled
all over the world, meeting and learning from countless specialists and
professionals during this quest of mine. Now, I want to pour all of that
knowledge and all of my experience into this book, so that my methods can
become your methods, and so that you can conquer your pain, allowing
you to have a long, happy life. It sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? Well, it
may be simpler than you think.
This book will discuss healing through an understanding of how neuroscience
works, and I believe that this holds the keys to wellness, mental excellence,
physical fitness, prosperity, relationship skills, society contribution and
having a purpose to live – not to mention, of course, keeping out of pain. I
like to imagine all of these things as breaking down into four main sections:
the four keys of health, featuring mindset, nutrition and hydration, fitness,
and lifestyle. You will be able to read about each of these four keys in the
following chapters, and you can learn about the fifth key – how to deal with
individual health problems – in my next book, The Human Garage. This
will talk about what is lovingly nicknamed the ‘clinic of last resort’ by my
Drawing from both modern medical technology and ancient healing
wisdom, this book will guide you through your health journey, giving you
the knowledge and the tools you need to create the best lifestyle for you. Say
goodbye to pain and say hello to a fitter, healthier, happier you.
The 4 keys to health guide gives you a practical method to achieve a longer happier healthier life. Enjoy the book, colour your 4 keys to health,red ,amber or green. Four green keys is what you need to strive for. If you score yourself with the questionnaires before using the manual ,then again after you should change colour.The 4 keys represent your mind, your food, fitness and lifestyle.Book available at my clinic,on the www.thepainkiller.co.uk website and amazon. Look to U tube for a video about why I wrote this book.
If you are interested in preventing illness for yourself and your family this book is for you. If you have been a patient of mine, you will be very familiar with my words.
Inside the cover are exercises, recipes, sports advice, mindset tools and 200 book references.Here is the first paragraph of my book;’My name is Nicky Snazell and I am known to some as ‘the pain killer’. After all, that’s what I do: I kill pain, and I can kill yours too. I realise how important it is to free our bodies of pain so that we can enjoy our lives to the full, and I can help you to do exactly that. As the owner of a pain relief clinic in Staffordshire, I’ve got years and years of experience in treating pain and all of its causes, some of which we are frequently unaware of. So often I feel like I’m working in the illness industry and not the wellness industry, and I believe that we should focus more on the latter – by preventing health problems before we have to cure them.
I can get you to your optimal health for your age, no matter what your ability level. How? For one thing, I have studied health and pain for thirty years, researching how we as humans function at our best. Furthermore, this is backed up by the knowledge and skills I have gained by creating and working within my integrated medical practice, which has given me twenty-five years of hands-on experience and from which I’ve collected a long list of testimonials from satisfied customers who have managed to conquer their pain. They’ve done it, and now so can you. ‘
Spring is upon us, promising longer days, warmer weather, and a feeling of freshness and growth. It is the time when we start to squeeze out of jumpers and coats and see the winter plumpness with disdain. It is a perfect time to take that move to committing to being more active again.
Exercise is a word that for many invokes a sense of dread and ‘it’s not for me’. The fact is that exercise takes effort and the pain of committing to that effort is too much for many to get going. For those of you who need persuading, let’s look at the balance of what’s in it for you.
The downsides of exercise usually come down to making time to exercise, being prepared to work hard enough at it for it to do any good and feeling comfortable in an exercise environment with others. If we are honest with ourselves, we generally have quite a bit of time to sit in front of the TV. Just three shows less a week would make a difference, so lack of time is an excuse, not real, especially when you know the shows will be repeated anyway. You can of course choose to exercise on your own, if you feel awkward about exercising with others. So that just leaves the effort you put into it, which I will leave you to ponder on after I tell you about the consequences of not exercising.
So ‘what’s in it for me’ if I don’t exercise? Take a good look around next time you go shopping, obesity seems to be an epidemic. Around 50% of over 65’s are already on a cocktail of five or more drugs as GP’s try to fight off health problems. Their task is going to get a whole lot tougher when the next generation hits retirement age.
When we slouch in our chairs, watching TV, we don’t breathe correctly causing less lung capacity, lower oxygen intake, poorer blood flow, a weaker heart and less nutrient delivery. Muscles will contract to take up slack and blood pressure will rise. The reduced blood flow cannot sustain sudden movements any more, leading to dizziness and the increased risk of accidents.
The gut slows and digestion fails. Sugar metabolism struggles and diabetes is more likely to take hold. Men’s sexual potency falls. Bones get weaker making fracture more likely.
This list doesn’t make good reading does it? The pain coming your way if you don’t exercise is most probably going to make the effort to exercise look insignificant.
Exercise is vital for healthy aging. Whether you are 40 or 80, regular exercise will help you stay physically and mentally healthy and improve your life. It is widely acknowledged that a healthy body equals a healthy mind. A recent study suggests that intense physical activity may offer greater benefits for brain function in later life than less intense, but regular exercise. The researchers found a gradual increase in memory scores with higher intensity exercise.
If you are new to exercising, start with a few minutes a day, a small start puts you well on your way toward longer periods of exercise. Walking is a wonderful way to start exercising.
Exercise doesn’t have to mean you have to endure lengthy intense programs or take on a gym membership, although I think the discipline of going and the social angle is great.
If you are exercising on your own, you still need to add in working out with weights as well as aerobic exercise such as walking.
Your bones are remodelled throughout your life and they respond to stresses put on them by weight bearing activity. Space travel confirmed this when it was discovered that weightlessness prevented bone matrix repair and the bones thinned.
In the same way, running, cycling, and swimming are not enough to reverse osteoporotic changes. A one year study of mature ladies doing aerobic exercise only, without any weight bearing activity, showed an average 4% bone loss. This may not sound much, but it took two years of weight building exercises to reverse it. That’s why both the American College of Sports Medicine and the Osteoporotic Society insist on the prescription of aerobic exercise to include weights.
A word of caution. Exercise is an integral part of keeping healthy muscles and bones, however don’t push through bad pain whilst exercising, as all you will do is create chronic tissue damage. If you have an injury or are suffering arthritis, then exercise alone is not a worthy substitute and never will be for hands on treatments such as physiotherapy combined with modern technology, so visit us first.
Springtime is about new beginnings and inspirations. Spread the word about the benefits of safe, enjoyable exercise.
Every summer, it’s time to get out your tennis shoes and racquets. It’s vital to make sure that both you and your kit are properly prepared to prevent unnecessary injury. So here are some tips and advice to help guide you:
Tennis Top Tips
- Practice hitting the ball in the “sweet spot”, the shot feels good and the impact force will be at a minimum.
- Improve your stroking technique, especially backhand
- Modern racquets do not absorb shock like the old ones. To reduce the impact on your arm:-
– Lower string tension
– Increase flexibility of racquet
– Increase racquet head size
– Add lead tape to the head to increase weight
– Increase grip size. The optimum grip circumference equals the distance from the tip of the ring finger to the crease in the middle of the palm (proximal crease)
– Grip higher up handle
– Loosen grip on handle
- Play on an appropriate surface. If you play on a hard surface the forces through the joints are much higher: twice your body weight when walking, 3 to 4 times on running and 12 times on jumping. Very dry and hard surfaces can also cause twisting ligament injuries to the knees, due to the increased friction between your shoes and the ground.
- Get a biomechanical assessment and if you need them purchase bespoke high quality orthotics. Make sure your footwear is appropriate.
- Train at an intensity lower than competitive conditions to reduce the chance of injury
- Reduce the total amount of weight bearing exercise. Do some cross training to reduce impact loading, while maintaining training volume.
- Mix training sessions with different activities. I.e. cycling, swimming.
- Set up a training diary recording rest days, sleep, heart rate and heart rate recovery time.
- If the morning your heart rate increases, decrease activity plus add in more relaxation time, and spend more time on cool down post activity.
- Eat healthily and adjust your calorie intake to activity level. Take carbs for fuel, protein for rebuilding muscle, high quality vitamin & mineral supplements and drink plenty of water.
- Enjoy the stress relief exercise can bring and don’t force yourself if you are exhausted as this is when you are most likely to get injured.
- Get regular sports massage to remove trouble spots before they become injuries.
- If in doubt see a sports physiotherapist
Warming Up and Cooling Down
Warming up is often overlooked and should be part of your injury prevention routine as there are a number of benefits:
- The muscles work better when warm and oxygenated with good blood flow.
- The joints become more flexible which reduces the pull on muscles.
- The nervous system becomes more responsive.
Including a gentle jog in your warm up will give the muscles the energy supply they need to work properly. Follow this with sport specific exercises and dynamic, sport specific stretching drills. This regime has largely replaced old fashioned static alternatives.
Examples of tennis specific exercises are running for 5 to 20 minutes with heels up to buttocks, or with high knees up to hip level. Increasing the size and speed of movements, as the body warms up and the heart rate increases, will more closely simulate competitive conditions. It is also important to focus on full body conditioning, as predominantly one sided sports, such as tennis, can cause muscle imbalances.
You should allow a total exercise and stretch time of 15 to 30 minutes and no more than 30 minutes before competing, otherwise the benefits will be lost.
Cool down should include a gentle jog plus light stretching to help eliminate waste products and reduce muscle soreness.
If you need help contact the clinic on 01889 881488 and see a physiotherapist or visit www.painreliefclinic.co.uk