Five reasons why you need an Osteopath

Hear it from Sebastien Bodet, Osteopath at the UFIT Clinic.  As a fully qualified Osteopath and former Olympic swimmer (he competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 4x200m freestyle relay and represented France for eight years in international competitions), Seb understands the personal needs and requirements of returning to training, competition and full function following an injury.

Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.

And what does Osteopathy do?

1.     It cures pain

The most obvious benefit is the ability of Osteopaths to treat pain in a way that considers you as a person and your body as a whole. Osteopathic treatment can be used to effectively reduce and cure pain that you experience in a number of different areas of your body. You might walk into your Osteopathic clinic with a sore back and skip back out!

Sebosteo10.jpg
Sebosteo14.jpg

Osteopathy can:

-       Remove the underlying cause of pain

-       Reduce pain and stiffness in muscles and joints

-       Increase the range of motions in the joints

-       Treat spinal problems from poor posture or spinal disk injuries

-       Relieve chronic pain through non-invasive treatment

-       Decrease the stress on the joints

-       Reduce tension in the body

-       Relieve tension headaches and migraine headaches.

2.     Reduces discomfort from chronic illness

Another obvious benefit of osteopathic treatment will be seen if you suffer from a chronic illness (such as asthma, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome etc). Your Osteopath will be able to treat you in a way that alleviates your symptoms (even if they are unable to cure the disease itself).

This is a massive benefit if your illness causes you to have numerous symptoms that prevent you from carrying out your hobbies or reduce your quality of life.

Sebosteo17.jpg
Sebosteo16.jpg

3.     Injury prevention

If you have just recovered from an injury or acute condition then Osteopathy can be used to reduce the likelihood of your problem reoccurring. For example, if you have just recovered from a period of knee pain, your Osteopath will be able to work to strengthen the structures that support your knee and retain the mobility in your joints. This will prevent you from injuring your knee in a similar way.

If you've never had an injury, but have a hobby or lifestyle that puts you at risk, then Osteopathic treatment could benefit you by preventing an injury. A common example of this is if you drive for long periods of time then your Osteopath will be able to treat your body in a way that prevents you from developing pain in your back (which is a common complaint of people who drive for their living).

Osteopathy can:

-       Reduce scars and adhesions

-       Treat trauma resulting from accidents (Sport injuries, Motor vehicle injuries)

-       Encourage the body to heal itself.

Sebosteo19.jpg
Sebosteo18.jpg

4.     Pregnancy

During pregnancy your body undergoes a great amount of change and development to accommodate a growing fetus. The postural changes and increase in weight are obvious, but other changes may be more subtle like the effects of hormonal softening of ligaments and the position of the growing baby. A combination of these things can put additional pressure on your joints and muscles of your spine and pelvis.

The most common complaints that Osteopaths csn help with during pregnancy are:

-       Lower back pain

-       Sciatica

-       Pelvic girdle pain

-       Shortness of breath

-       Neck, shoulder and upper back pain

-       Insomnia

-       Swelling

-       High blood pressure

-       Fatigue.

5.     Relaxation

Osteopathic treatment will bring you added benefits as it will give you time just to think about yourself and your body. You will probably find your consultations extremely relaxing and Osteopathy is known to reduce your stress levels by increasing the efficiency of your bodies systems (such as your blood flow, nerve supply and immune system).

Osteopathy can:

-       Increase circulation

-       Reduce blood pressure.


About the author

sebastian.png

Sebastien Bodet is a qualified Osteopath from France and graduated with a MSc in Osteopathy from Ecole d’Osteopathie Paris. Prior to this, he obtained a BSc in Sport & Exercise Science from the University of Rouen. He is also a certified Personal Trainer and Swimming Coach.

Before relocating to Singapore, Sebastien worked as a Sports and Health Manager for a luxury Parisian spa and launched his own Osteopathy clinic in 2014.

Sebastien has a strong sports background. He is a former Olympic swimmer who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 4x200m freestyle relay and represented France from 2001 to 2009 in major international competitions. He was a member of the University of Michigan Elite swimming team and to this day remains an Olympic Sports Ambassador in France.

Our first official UFIT play-date!

The UFIT Pre-Natal program has successfully helped 26 mothers-to-be prepare their bodies and minds for pregnancy. This means we've had 26 beautiful baby ‘graduates’ (no twins yet)!

Fostering a fun and supportive community is one of the most important aspects of the UFIT Pre-natal Program, and recently we had our first annual Pre-natal Graduation BBQ for all the new mums to get together to talk, share experiences, and offer advice, as well as the first ever UFIT play-date! We love seeing these new "first" friendships develop and these beautiful babies developing and growing. 

It was a highly successful day, which we are looking forward to repeating again.

Click on the photos here to see our slideshow : 

Returning to exercise after childbirth

In the age of Instagram and Facebook, and with celebrities like Miranda Kerr and Gisele Bundchen flaunting their post baby bodies on social media, there seems to be increasing pressure on new mums to get back into exercise soon after childbirth.

But did you know that participating in sport, running and other high-impact exercise too early after childbirth can reduce pelvic floor strength and cause long-term bladder and bowel problems or pelvic organ prolapse?!

There are however, many benefits to postpartum exercise for both mum and baby. Here are some tips for new mums or soon-to-be mummas on how to return to their normal exercise regime safely.

Benefits of postpartum exercise

  • Facilitates recovery after delivery
  • Increases cardiovascular fitness
  • Facilitates postpartum weight loss
  • Improves energy levels
  • Improves mood
  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Improves muscle strength and posture
  • Increases joint and muscle flexibility.
UFit_24092017Sun_BontanicGardens_MG_2850.jpg

Exercise considerations

Pregnancy and childbirth place enormous physical stress on the body. Your pelvic floor muscles weaken during pregnancy and are further stretched during childbirth, your muscles and ligaments are looser due to the effect of Relaxin and your abdominal muscles are stretched due to your expanding belly.

All of these changes have occurred over 9 months and it is likely to take at least that long before your body gets back into its pre-pregnancy form. It is therefore important to be patient and realistic about your return to a fitness regime.

Please consider the following factors prior to getting back into exercise. Failure to address these issues before returning to moderate-to-high intensity exercise can cause incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, abdominal hernias and back pain:

  • Pelvic floor muscle dysfunction- signs and symptoms of this include difficulty getting to the toilet on time, frequent urination, leakage of urine or stool when you cough, sneeze and/or laugh, a sensation of heaviness or dragging in the vagina or lower pelvis, painful intercourse
  • Musculoskeletal aches and pains such as lower back pain, coccyx pain and pubic pain
  • Abdominal separation- otherwise known as Rectus Abdominis Diastasis.

It is also important to consider the time since your delivery, the type of delivery that you had and how you have recovery since your delivery before deciding when to return to exercise. If you have had a Caesarean section, the assistance of forceps or a vacuum in your delivery or a tear or episiotomy, your recovery is likely to be slower, therefore delaying your return to exercise.

UFIT_27102017_BootCamp_I9A5215.jpg

Pelvic Floor First Australia’s recommended exercise guidelines

0-6 weeks

  • Pelvic floor exercises - commence 24 hours after a vaginal delivery and 3 days after a Caesarean section
  • Gentle abdominal bracing - this involves very gently engaging your deepest abdominal muscle by drawing in your lower tummy just above your pubic bone. Commence 24 hours after a vaginal delivery and 3 days after a Caesarean section
  • Walking - when your body feels ready. Start with short walks on a flat surface without a pram and slowly increase the distance and difficulty as your body allows
  • Swimming (once bleeding has stopped).

6-12 weeks

  • Low impact exercise - walking on increasingly challenging terrain, cycling, cross-trainer (if no low back pain or pelvic pain)
  • Light resistance - light hand weights or Therabands/tubes but nothing that causes you to hold your breath or strain, body weighted exercise, low intensity water aerobics
  • Continue with pelvic floor exercises and abdominal bracing
  • Be aware of good posture, form and quality of the exercise
  • Invest in a supportive bra!

12-16 weeks

  • Consider visiting a physio for an abdominal muscle check and pelvic floor muscle testing before returning to high impact exercise, running, sport or abdominal exercise programs
  • Slowly increase resistance, intensity and impact of exercise.

16 weeks+

You can return to your previous activity levels if your pelvic floor muscles have returned to normal and you are not experiencing back pain or signs of pelvic floor weakness such as incontinence or a sense of heaviness in the vagina during or after exercise. If your symptoms persist, seek the advice of your obstetrician or a physiotherapist with experience in Women’s health and continence.

UFIT_27102017_BootCamp_I9A5281.jpg

Remember that everyone’s birth experience is unique and we all recover at different rates. Return to exercise only when you feel ready - it should be an enjoyable experience so there is no point pushing yourself when you’re sleep deprived or achy and sore!!

Preparing for birth with pre-natal Pilates

Pre-natal Pilates is a great exercise method that helps to physically prepare a mother for birth. Women experience several physical and hormonal changes throughout pregnancy and exercise during this period can be a great way to help deal with the changes. Pre-natal Pilates is modified to be safe and suitable for pregnant women from the first trimester, all the way through to birth.

What is so great about modified Pilates during pregnancy?

Prevents lower back and other pelvic pain

Pilates targets the core and the muscles that provide stability and support for the spine, pelvis and hips. Strengthening these muscles will help manage the demands on the body as weight increases (from the growth of the baby) and the changes in the body during pregnancy.

2Pilates.JPG
1pilates.jpg

Improves posture and body awareness

As the baby grows, the mother's posture will also change. Often the shoulders become more rounded and the pelvis tilts more anteriorly which can place extra pressure on the lower back. Becoming more aware of posture and working to maintain a good posture will reduce any posture related problems such as neck and back pain.   

Maintains pelvic floor muscle strength and prevents incontinence

Not as scary as it sounds! The pelvic floor muscle (PFM) is like a broad sheet of muscles and tissues that provide support for your bladder, bowel and uterus. It starts from the pubic bone in the front of the body and attaches at the base of your spine at the back.

Being pregnant can place a lot of stress on the PFM and if weight bears down on it for a long time (as it does during pregnancy) the muscles can become over-stretched and weak. Studies have shown that maintaining PFM strength significantly reduces the risk of urinary incontinence. It’s also part of your ‘core’ muscles that provide support for your lower back, pelvis and hip stability.

Enhances movement efficiency

Pilates focusses on mindful controlled movement patterns that engage specific muscles. This will improve and develop good movement patterns and energise you!

4Pilates.JPG

Maintains flexibility

Pilates has an element of stretching and lengthening during movement. Areas that often become tight are the chest, upper back and legs. These areas will benefit from low intensity exercises that work on mobility. A combination of strength and flexibility will leave the body feeling much lighter and relaxed as well as improve circulation.

Prepares the body for labour

In addition to all the great things mentioned already, Pilates and exercise can help to prepare the body for labour through controlled breathing and understanding the changes your body has been through.

3Pilates.jpg

Speeds up post-natal recovery

Prenatal exercises have been linked to helping new mothers recover faster after the birth as there is an existing foundation to build on.

Regular exercise can make you feel stronger and more energetic and has numerous benefits for pregnant women. The type of exercise and the frequency will depend on how active you are before being pregnant. Therefore, before engaging in any form of exercise during pregnancy, it is recommended to seek advice from your Doctor or relevant medical specialist.

Dipti and the UFIT Pre-Natal team will cover all things pre-natal at the next 7-week UFIT Pre-Natal Program starting 20 January 2018.  

Come and join Dipti at her pre-natal Pilates sessions running through that program. 

 

Get moving with a recovery massage

Some still think of massage as a luxury reserved for pampered ladies with time on their hands, or a quick 10 minute shoulder rub at your desk.

These are both equally valid and enjoyable, however at UFIT we know that the right massage is an essential part of your recovery when training hard.

And what harder, more intense way to train than at CrossFit and MetCon. The combination of intensity and power required for short bursts of activity is exhilarating, achieves results fast and is addictive very quickly.

However, if you don’t supplement that intensity with recovery for your muscles, then man do they ache. And if you’re aching, then when you’re next at the Box you won’t squat so low, jump so high, or snatch your 1 rep max.

A UFIT sports massage includes a full consultation on your body and your lifestyle. Our recovery specialists themselves do CrossFit and MetCon, so are best placed to assess flexibility, restrictions and where function needs to be restored. It can be full body for a general treatment to prevent DOMs or focus on one area of scar tissue recovery.

IMG_2214.JPG

For example, you’ve been thrusting kettle bells all week, overhead squatting like a demon and throw in a few box jumps and your glutes are on fire. The gluteus medius and gluteus maximus are 2 major power muscles in your bum. Because they are big muscles we put a lot of pressure on them and often don’t realize the pivotal role they play in most functional movements. Often people comment that they didn’t realize there was any problem, until they are massaged. A warm-up and a few trigger points later and the contracted fibres relax, gliding happily and restriction free.

Some key areas where massage can help:

  • Promote efficient scar formation, by laying down the new fibres in an orderly manner
  • Reduce excessive adhesion aiding range of motion
  • Reduce excessive fascial thickening
  • Reduce spasm
  • Improve cardiovascular delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles
  • Aid concentration and focus

At CrossFit, whether new or seasoned, you will be pushing yourself to new levels constantly. It’s your responsibility to your amazing body to give it the support it needs to get there.

 Recover Rehab Recharge

About the Author, Lynsey Keyes 

Lynsey.png

Lynsey Keyes is a UK trained massage therapist and certified in both ITEC and BTEC level 4 Massage and Anatomy and Physiology. Having spent 15 years working in high-pressure marketing roles, Lynsey embraced her ultimate passion in bodywork and uses her experience to help people overcome the physical and mental stresses of modern life.

She is a passionate believer that massage should be a part of our everyday lives to support our bodies in whatever challenge we put upon them; whether you are a professional sports person, have a sore back from carrying your baby, or simply need to release some tension from a day in the office.

Pre-habilitation for runners with Mok Ying Rong

Meet Mok Ying Rong, our new physiotherapist at the UFIT one-north Clinic. A competitive runner and Nike Sponsored elite athlete, Ying is Singapore’s Half-Marathon record holder,  and well placed to help clients recover from sporting-relating issues!

She’s joined up with #ROCKrunners in the lead-up to the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon, where she’ll be giving talks on one of her passions – running pre-habilitation!

Tell us about your sporting and running background

I’ve always been too active! I started competitive swimming in primary school and represented my swimming club and school at national and club levels. I moved on to triathlons in high school before running seriously at 16 and representing my school, Raffles Girls Secondary, at national meets. I was getting on the podium at these and decided to try national level events.

At first, it was intimidating running with the giants but as I ramped up my training and became more systematic, found myself winning more and more races. I’ve always been self-coached, I feel very tuned-in with my body, and pretty soon, found myself knowing what works and what doesn’t. My first race representing Singapore was the Asian Cross Country in Bahrain when I was 16.

What have been your career highlights?

Signing a contract with Nike when I was in high school and representing Singapore in the 2016 World Cross Country Championships. The partnership with Nike really boosted my confidence in my training and racing, and I’ve been representing them for almost 7 years and am simply thankful for their unwavering support.

My most significant career highlight is definitely winning the 2016 Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Half Marathon, breaking the Singapore Half Marathon record by 2 seconds! My time was 1:23:14 and I vividly remember it to be one of the most painful and intense race I have ever done.

How do you train for your races?

I select the main races I’ll do at the start of the year and then periodise my training phases. Some overseas races pop up and I take them in my stride. I’ve always believed in the journey, rather than an end-goal as running is my passion, and always make sure I do my conditioning and prehab work so I can progress my running fitness safely.

What got you into physiotherapy?

I was getting my fair share of injuries, my most tragic moment being having 5 stress fractures at one time over my left foot. I also had multiple shoulder issues from swimming. I started to do my own research to understand why I was getting injured which sparked my interest in physio and I knew this was the career for me.

Mok3.png

What is pre-habilitation?

As a physiotherapy student, I did workshops with companies and small interest groups, spreading my passion for pre-habilitation (prevention instead of rehabilitation) for runners. I initiated a project called ‘RunFree’ when I was in my 3rd year, which believed that running should be free for all, made possible if people can run free from injuries. I’ve run sessions for anyone wanting to progress their running safely, including a movement screen based on research and running biomechanics, followed by guidance with these runners on a safe running program.

What’s in your head before a race?

I’m still bad at this – always getting nervous before a race! But my favourite mantra for myself would be – just run! Just get out and run. No fear! ☺

Come and meet her at the UFIT one-north Clinic or within the UFIT running community very soon.

Precious new life: Getting ready for the big day

Friends Jodie and Steph share their experience of how the UFIT Pre-Natal Program kept them in great mental and physical shape throughout their labour and into the delivery room. Each Saturday over 7 weeks they and other expecting mums were guided by UFIT specialists on everything relating to pre-natal fitness, nutrition, and meditation. Here is how it helped them.

What were your favourite parts of the program?

Steph: I liked the variety of sessions. I wouldn’t have taken myself to see a nutritionist or learnt how to meditate in pregnancy if it weren’t for the program. I didn’t appreciate or understand the importance of these areas and of some of the other topics covered until learning about them.

Jodie: I also liked the variety of topics and practical components covered in the course. I didn’t know what my limits were when exercising in pregnancy so it was good to go through that and things like proper technique when lifting and doing gym exercises with Holly.

Steph: Life is so busy. I would spend 5 days of the week carrying on as normal and working hard. It was nice to take the time out every weekend to focus on my pregnancy. It was a great way to connect with the baby and to meet other like-minded individuals in their pregnancies.

Was there anything you were surprised to learn?

Jodie: I found the talks on nutrition really interesting as I hadn’t realised there were certain foods that could prevent that feeling of nausea that comes with morning sickness.

Noa provided us with some great recipes that I continue to use.

Steph: I was surprised to learn what Women’s Health Physiotherapists do both during pregnancy to alleviate pelvic pain and immediately after delivery. It was good to know the service was there if we needed it.

Jodie, you’re a second-time mum – did you still find the UFIT Prenatal Program Beneficial?

Jodie: Yes! Firstly, it was a reminder of how the body changes in pregnancy and of the postpartum recovery. Secondly, I felt this program had a very different focus compared to the Antenatal classes that I attended in my first pregnancy. Other programs focus on the delivery, breastfeeding and how to care for your baby whereas this was more about the mother and how to maintain your health and fitness throughout your pregnancy.

Steph: The UFIT Program was unique in the sense it was very holistic – it was more about how to look after yourself which in turn will help your baby.

Have you kept in contact with the other participants from the course?

Steph: Yes, we see each other fairly often for walks.

Jodie: Most of the girls have posted a photo of their newborns on our Facebook group once they’ve had the baby which has been really nice.  

Would you recommend the UFIT Prenatal Program to others?

Jodie: Definitely. It is very different from other Antenatal courses out there and it was great that it incorporated both theory as well as practical sessions in areas such as yoga and meditation.

Steph: I have already recommended it to friends who have since participated in it and loved it! The information presented was relevant and concise and the presenters are all pre and postnatal experts – I wouldn’t have had access to this information and to these presenters if I hadn’t have signed up for the course.

The UFIT Pre-Natal program is a 7 week program by UFIT's pre-natal experts who will prepare you for a safe and comfortable pregnancy and delivery, and includes:

* weekly seminars from experts in nutrition, exercise science, physiotherapy and psychology

* weekly exercise classes by our physios, yoga teachers and trainers

* a pre-natal personal training session

* a pre-natal massage session

* a meditation session

* a pelvic floor muscle assessment 

* meeting others on the same journey as you. 

 

 

 

 

Foot pain: To treat or not to treat?

When we exercise frequently it's inevitable we'll get aches IN OUR ANKLES AND FEET FROM TIME TO TIME.

In the case of UFIT Clinic client Evy Theunis, a trip to senior physio Declan Halpin was definitely worthwhile after she experienced an extended period of foot pain.

FIND OUT about her steps to a solid recovery after an achilles tendonitis diagnosis ... 

"At the end of my pregnancy, my left achilles started to hurt. I didn’t think much of it, and assumed it would just disappear after delivery.

Little Alexander came, but the pain in my left foot stayed! Short walks would still really hurt, so I decided to go see a doctor who referred me to a physio – and there came UFIT Clinic's Declan Halpin!

Apparently I had developed Achilles Tendinitis, and was in for a couple of months of recovery. No running, no tennis, no cycling outside, no lunges, no step ups, NO HEELS, no nothing, HELP!!!!

My plan to get back in shape before I would go back to work went out the window - or so I thought. Let alone do the Spartan race I had planned for in November.

But thanks to my weekly appointments where Declan stretched and massaged my Achilles (we did accupuncture as well), and thanks to the new exercises he gave me to strengthen my heel muscles, we quickly started seeing progress.

(An important point to note: when your physio gives you exercises, do them - sounds logical right - but most people apparently don’t. And it makes a huge difference).

As I was on a mission, Declan really worked with me to help me get as much variation in my training possible without jeopardizing or slowing down my recovery. I negotiated a lot :-)

All in all, it took us about 6 months to get me completely back to normal, AND, with the help of Declan’s magic hands, I made it to Bintan and finished my first Spartan!".

The award-winning UFIT Clinic is Singapore’s leading exercise rehab, injury recovery and women's health clinic. It's holistic approach and full range of physiotherapy and massage-related services by its experienced and friendly specialists can help you prevent injuries before they happen, or get you back on track as soon as possible once you're injured. 

The lesser known benefits of massage

OK, so we are mostly aware of the obvious reasons to get a massage; relaxation, stress relief, easing muscle soreness, injury prevention and management. All of these are fantastic and very well documented ways in which massage therapy could and should be a part of our lives on a regular basis.

But as more and more people are pushing their bodies to the extremes of their limits, (UltraRunning Magazine saw a jump of 10% in participation in 2013 on the previous year) and occasionally suffering a little for it, how else can one of the oldest manual therapies in the world play its part in preparing us for the long haul? UFIT Clinic one-north's massage therapist Lynsey Keynes uncovers the five lesser-known benefits:

Increased range of motion

Whether you’re engaged in five UFIT bootcamps a week and not stretching out properly (naughty naughty), or whether you're stuck under a laptop all week and suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, your muscles are getting used and abused on a daily basis. Building regular massages into your routine can help soften, open up, stretch, release and allow extra, oxygenated blood to flow into those muscles and joints enabling you to reach and push further than before.

Balance improvement

Racket sports, driving, carrying kids on one side, generally just not being ambidextrous (who actually is?), all have an effect on the shortening of our muscles, and therefore tightening on one side. In a sporting environment, achieving good balance is key, and with a good massage to realign the posture, you could be well on your way to equilibrium.

Decrease migraine frequency

Exercise can be a migraine trigger (which presents a bit of a conundrum). Massage can help relieve muscle spasms, improve circulation, enhance sleep quality and increase serotonin, all of which can play a part in preventing not just tension headaches, but vascular headaches. Any migraine sufferer knows an attack can happen any time, so begin by pre-empting the threat and having a massage once a week to keep them at bay.

Boosts immunity

Having just one massage can boost your immunity. How? Massage interacts with the hormone system and decreases levels of cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. When you’re stressed, you probably notice you get more colds, sleep less well, just don’t feel 100%. Massage manages that cortisol away, and encourages the production of white blood cells, which defend your body against illness. So no more excuses not to get out for that run!

Eases symptoms of depression

Massage releases dopamine and serotonin, eases physical pain, calms the mind, decreases anxiety, soothes tense muscles and the sheer act of touch can simply be enough to lift your spirits. So use massage therapy alongside regular exercise, to help stabilise moods and tackle those challenges whether they be physical, emotional or mental.


Lynsey is a UK trained massage therapist and certified in both ITEC and BTEC level 4 Massage and Anatomy and Physiology. Having spent 15 years working in high-pressure marketing roles, Lynsey decided to embrace her ultimate passion in bodywork and use her experience to help people overcome the physical and mental stresses that modern life puts upon us.

She is a passionate believer that massage and sports massage should be a part of our everyday lives to support our bodies in whatever challenge we put upon them; whether you are a professional sports person, have a sore back from carrying your baby, or simply need to release some tension from a day in the office.

Moving well again with Rolfing

Muscular pain, poor mobility, bad posture - there are many ways to treat these issues. Here is how Rolfing has helped hundreds of UFIT clients move freely and comfortably again. 

Rolfing is a hands-on therapy that takes a holistic, full body approach to let you move more easily and comfortably. Through manipulation of connective tissue, Rolfers improve postural alignment and structure over the long-term. Unlike massage, which often focuses on relaxation and relief of muscle discomfort, Rolfing focuses on improving body alignment and functioning.

Also known as structural integration, Rolfing has been used by many professional athletes to rehabilitate injuries, break up scar tissue, and increase range of motion to improve performance and avoid future injuries. Dancers and musicians often use it to increase comfort in their bodies while performing, as well as avoid repetitive stress injuries.

In the UFIT Clinic, Rolfing has helped clients needing postural corrections after weight loss or pregnancy, office workers with repetitive strain from sitting too long, and others with injuries or tightness from their training.

When you first visit Maria Hussain, UFIT's Rolfing specialist, she will get you to stand while she checks your posture and how your joints are positioned. While you may go to see her with a knee issue, she will quickly seek any imbalances in other parts of the body which may cause the knee pain - such as a lack of ankle mobility - and treat that first. 

Says Maria "Walking is the most functional exercise of the body yet often we don't walk correctly which can cause postural issues, joint immobility and pain as we place pressure on other parts of the body". 

ROLFING WORKS HOLISTICally BY TREATING CONNECTIVE TISSUE

Rolfing embraces a wide range of approaches including osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, yoga and the Alexander Technique. It manipulates the body’s Myofascial system - the connective tissue (fascia) - which is the biological fabric that holds us together and enables stability of muscles and bones while allowing movement, and is crucial in high performance and central in recovery from injury.

Says Maria: "My objective is to lengthen, stretch and soften affected tissue to improve posture and bring the body’s natural structure into proper balance, alignment and integration".

Injury, stress, exercise, and work related repetitive movements can cause fascia to lose its elasticity and become shorter, tighter and denser. Tightened fascia pulls our muscles and skeleton out of proper alignment which can cause pain, discomfort and fatigue. By fascial manipulation remarkable changes in posture and structure can be achieved.

Rachel Flynn, who visited Maria for treatment after a car accident shares her experience:

"At my first appointment I was hunched over and my entire body was in a state of shock. I wasn't aware of how I was carrying myself. Maria’s knowledge of the effect of a road traffic accident on the body has been key to my recovery. She explained what was going on with the myofascial tissue, which helped me gain confidence to start moving normally again. I'm exercising again and Maria continues to assist me by identifying movements I need to get my normal gait back and minimise pain. Aside from that, Maria is such a helpful person and has been a great support on getting me the best results in recovery".

An aligned and balanced body can ease strain patterns in the entire system and improve breathing and increase energy, boost self-confidence and relieve physical and mental stress. Rolfing has also been shown to reduce spinal curvature in people with lordosis (sway back), and enhance neurological functioning.

WHO IS ROLFING FOR?

Rolfing is beneficial for everyone - for pain management, to enhance athletic performance, to facilitate injury rehabilitation and anyone who just wants to move better and feel more co-ordinated and aligned in their body.

ABOUT MARIA HUSSAIN

I’ve been been practicing bodywork for more than 10 years and I’m a qualified Structural Integration practitioner, studying with Tom Myers the author of Anatomy Trains and the founder of KMI Structural Integration, Meyers is an advanced Rolfer with more than 40 years’ experience. For more information on Rolfing visit www.anatomytrains.com/at/kmi/experience/

Maria is based at the UFIT Clinic, at both 6 Raffles Quay and one-north.