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Sit Up and Thrive
Sitting in front of a computer with a 9kg car tire hanging around your neck doesn’t seem very comfortable, does it? At Amsterdam-based Thrive Chiropractic, Kate Cox sees all kinds of people; from busy mothers juggling work and family to desk jockeys grinding their bodies into the ground presenting symptoms of forward head posture (FHP).
“Both the mothers and the desk jockeys have slowly altered their structural alignment day by day and hour by hour,” she told us. Bad posture leads to the head slowly sitting more forward from the spine. For every inch the head moves forward, an extra 4.5kg of strain is placed on the muscles of the upper back and neck – the car tire necklace.
Left untreated, FHP can lead to a laundry list of problems including long term muscle strain, fatigue, migraines, and early spinal degeneration, among others.
Thankfully, structural chiropractor Kate is on hand with advice you can start putting into practice today.
Image from t-nation.com
“I see a lot of computer programmers, developers, designers, you name it – the magic makers,” Kate said. “I always ask them to think of their bodies like a computer, and at Thrive we focus on reprogramming.”
“Your body has sensory receptors in the muscles, tendons and joints that detect changes in the position and movement of the body. Chiropractic adjustment stimulates these receptors by increasing joint motion. These receptors send information to your brain, which in turn sends messages back down to your spine. Step by step we reprogram your body.”
Treatment at Thrive is gentle and non-invasive, but Kate – a former international rugby player – sees it as another competition. “It’s a game of tug of war, and I like to win. This means the patient wins too,” she told us with pride.
Sit up straight
The Netherlands is a “knowledge economy,” which means that up and down the country, countless Dutch and internationals are crouching over computers in cubicles. They’re making money, but countless hours crouching over the keyboard – not to mention the pressures of deadlines and stress – take their toll on the body.
At Thrive Chiropractic, many of Kate’s patients begin with wobble chair exercises prior to their treatment. The corrective movements that the body makes while perched on the wobble chair help to increase disc, ligament, and tendon strength, lubricate the spinal joints, rehydrate the discs and increase core strength, among countless other benefits.
However, since nobody wants to keep a gigantic wobble chair in their home or office, Kate recommends that patients use a wobble cushion at home and perform a few basic exercises to ward off spinal problems.
Image from postureresources.com
Cushioning the blows
A wobble cushion is a cheap piece of exercise equipment, but plays an important part in reprogramming the body. By providing a less stable siting surface, the cushion forces the body to make continuous small adjustments to correct balance.
These movements work the core muscles of the body, which are directly involved in posture. Simply popping the cushion onto a regular chair and sitting on it for short periods throughout the day can improve posture to no end.
Proprioception exercises like this train the brain to constantly monitor the position of the joints and correct imbalances rapidly and effectively. For an extra level of difficulty, closing the eyes while sitting on the cushion forces the body and brain to work harder.
Wobble cushion treatment is effective, but for a thorough examination and personal treatment plan, head in to Thrive Chiropractic on Amsterdam’s historic Prinsengracht for a free consultation in English.
Thrive Chiropractic is the only clinic of its kind in Amsterdam, and focuses on the identification and treatment of structural abnormalities of the spine and nervous system. Kate’s focus on long-term physical wellbeing as opposed to short-term remedy is emphasized by the Maya Angelou quote emblazoned on the clinic’s wall: “my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive.”
Treatment at Thrive is safe and scientifically proven. Using the wobble chair and traction devices, Kate and her team provide a treatment that’s often more effective than surgery, and a whole lot gentler.
As well as insuring yourself against future health problems, sorting out your posture has the knock-on benefits of helping with focus and mental clarity, and making you appear taller and more confident – surely a bonus when you’re an expat surrounded by the towering Dutch.
Thrive Chiropractic is located at Prinsengracht 175 in Amsterdam. For a free consultation call 020 8454 934, or visit the website.