Effective ways to relieve a Migraine


If you suffer from terrible migraines, you are not alone. Migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world affecting an incredible 1 billion people worldwide!

Migraine is a neurological condition that can be episodic or chronic. It usually starts with a severe throbbing in the neck or at the side of the head, a searing pain that can shoot straight up into your skull. Often it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, tingling in the extremities, and hypersensitivity of the senses. Attacks can last between 4 to 72 hours.

What does a migraine feel like?

I am lucky enough to never have to suffer from a migraine. And unless you have, you will never know exactly how debilitating, disorientating and downright vomit-inducing it can be. Descriptions such as these can give you an idea:

“Like a vice around my head, with stabbing behind my ears and pressure behind my eyes. Pull the shades, lie down, don’t move.”

“It’s like having your head compressed by a two-ton brick while someone hits your temple with a hammer at random intervals.”


During an attack, you most likely do not want anyone to touch you or even come near you. You just want to take a prescribed painkiller, and ride it out in a dark room. Are you tired of this routine, and looking for a more effective pain-relief solution?

Relieve migraine with massage therapy

When you’re coming out of an attack, getting a massage can help to relieve the pain immensely. Massage has been proven to help reduce muscle spasms, improve circulation, relieve tension and vascular headache pain, and promote relaxation. In fact, a twice-weekly 30-minute massage has proven to be effective against migraine attacks in a study conducted over 5 weeks.


Deep tissue massage can help to ease through any areas of muscle or fascia that have become tight and restricted as a result of the migraine pain. These are the spots that a well-trained and experience massage therapist will focus on:

1. Neck and Shoulders

The neck and shoulders are the most common areas of tension. Migraines can cause these areas to become tight and rigid, and as such would benefit from deep, slow strokes. Even by simply lifting the weight of the head for a few minutes, the muscles in the neck are given enormous relief.

2. Head and Skull

Tension is also often felt in the jaw and temples. A face massage should never be underestimated for the relaxation it can bring. The 43 muscles in the face can become extremely tense and contorted during an attack, and the numerous pressure points in the skull mean that a gentle ‘hair wash’ approach on the skull can feel like heaven.

3. Hands and Feet

As they are less directly related to areas where migraines are felt, massaging hands and feet can be an extremely effective and accessible area to treat when a sufferer is feeling unwell.


D.I.Y. Massage for Migraine Relief

If you are feeling the onset of a migraine, a D.I.Y. massage on these 4 pressure points will help to relieve the pressure in your head. Press a finger down firmly on each of these points for a few seconds, and release slowly:

2. Between your eyebrows

1. Base of your skull

base of skull-2.jpg
third eye-accupoint.jpg

4. Between your big toe and second toe (at the top of your foot)

3. Between your thumb and index finger

big and second toe-2.jpg

The right massage therapist will be able to work out the what, where, and how to massage in order to relieve your migraine symptoms. One person’s migraine symptoms might differ from another, so there is more than one prescribed pattern for treatment. I recommend having a massage soon after your attack has subsided, and also schedule regular inter-migraine massages to prevent further attacks. Don’t wait until the next horror!

About the author

lynsey Keyes.jpeg

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.

Are you a “Weekend Warrior”? 8 tips to avoid common exercise injuries


Let’s set the scene – it’s the weekend! It’s been a long week at work with lots of disruptions and sleepless nights. You had a couple of drinks the night before and had less than 6 hours of sleep. But no problem! You just want to get outdoors and smash an intense workout to get those positive endorphins running.

Warm up? That’s boring. Foam-roll? Nah, haven’t got time for that! Take an electrolyte drink? Hmm, I’m fresh out of my supply. But it’s okay, just get into it. What’s the worst that can happen, right?

Ten minutes into your run, you are starting to feel a little ‘niggle’ in the muscle. But it’s okay, just keep going. Two minutes later, you sprint round a bend…and BAM! A sharp pain in your ankle. Or you’re on your last heavy deadlift…and AGH! Your back!

These are what we at UFIT Clinic like to call the “weekend warrior” injuries – afflictions caused by poor preparation, fatigue, or overload.  Here’s the top 5 most commonly seen injuries at the clinic on a Monday morning, and the steps you can take to avoid them.

 UFIT Clinic's team of physiotherapy, osteopathy, and sports massage therapists.

UFIT Clinic's team of physiotherapy, osteopathy, and sports massage therapists.

1. Ankle sprain

This is usually caused by rolling the foot inwards during some form of impact. This inward motion can cause one or multiple ligament sprains of varying degrees, with a lot of swelling, bruising and surrounding tissue damage.

Estimated recovery time: 2 - 6 weeks

2. Hamstring strain

This occurs most frequently in sports with explosive movements such as sprinting, soccer, and weightlifting. We also see injuries due to gradual overload, usually in runners or cyclists. Pain, visible swelling and bruising usually behind or around the back of the knee is commonly experienced.

Estimated recovery time: 6 - 12 weeks

3. Shoulder tendon injuries

Your shoulder tendons are the end parts of the muscles that is attached to the bone, and these guys are very sensitive to load and compression. Shoulder tendon injuries can be caused by poor seating posture at work, or wrong technique during exercise, leading to inflammation, sharp pain and reduced range of motion.

Estimated recovery time: 6-12 weeks, and sometimes even up to 6 months

4. Sharp lower back pain

Sudden onset of lower back pain is a very frequent injury is one of the most common injuries we see every day in the clinic. Your spine is a very strong structure made up of lots of tissue including bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and fascia. When any one of these structures are injured due to incorrect posture, poor technique, or weight overload, you get lower back pain.

Estimated recovery time: Usually 6 weeks, unless something more serious is involved such as an intervertebral disc or nerve injury, which may take longer.

5. Tennis or golfer’s elbow

You don't need to play either sport to be afflicted with this condition. The most common cause of elbow pain is a weakness at the wrist, leading to an overloading of the forearm muscles and the elbow tendon. Incorrect shoulder and wrist movements in sports such as tennis, golf, and weightlifting can also cause elbow pain.

Estimated recovery time: 6-12 weeks depending on how aggravated the elbow tendon is

8 ways to stay injury-free


1. Build your training up slowly

 Don't rush through your workout, listen to your body and go at your own pace.

Don't rush through your workout, listen to your body and go at your own pace.

If you’ve just returned from a break, holiday or rest period, then you need to consider gradually increasing you training appropriately. For example, if you just started to train for a marathon after a long period of inactivity, don’t begin by running 5 days in a row.

2. Warm-up properly

 Take the time to warm up properly before any exercise.

Take the time to warm up properly before any exercise.

Before jumping straight into your workout, make sure you do a dynamic warm up where you actively move your muscles to wake up your nervous system. Even a 5 minutes warm up routine can drastically reduce the chances of an injury.

3. Follow an appropriate training program

 Join an exercise group led by a certified instructor to get the most out of your workout.

Join an exercise group led by a certified instructor to get the most out of your workout.

When training for a particular event or race, it’s a good idea to follow a training program or join an exercise group to help you stay on track of your progress.

4. Focus on correct technique

 Improve your running foam and performance with a  Running Gait Analysis  at UFIT Clinic.

Improve your running foam and performance with a Running Gait Analysis at UFIT Clinic.

If you are new to an exercise, it is advisable to consult a coach, or a physiotherapist to learn the correct technique, proper form, and movement pattern in order to avoid injury.

5. Self-maintenance

 A sports massage session after a workout can work wonders on those knots.

A sports massage session after a workout can work wonders on those knots.

Don’t like foam-rolling and stretching? Then we would highly recommend you to book yourself in for regularly massages or body work sessions with a physiotherapist to keep all the muscles limber and the joints mobile so that you can continue to exercise injury-free.

6. Stay hydrated

 Make sure you drink enough water, especially when you're working out under the sun.

Make sure you drink enough water, especially when you're working out under the sun.

Our muscles, fascia and connective tissue are mostly made up of water, so when the body is dehydrated we are at a higher risk of sustaining a soft tissue injury. Making sure that you drink between 3-4 litres of fluids daily, and take a electrolyte supplements to combat what we lose through sweat, especially if you love exercising outdoors. A simple tip is to have a glass of water before bed, one glass in the morning, and continue to sip water or electrolytes throughout the your exercise.

7. Get adequate sleep

 Put your phone away from your bedside - the blue light from mobile devices can affect your ability to get enough sleep.

Put your phone away from your bedside - the blue light from mobile devices can affect your ability to get enough sleep.

Research has shown that inadequate sleep can leave you susceptible to increased exercise injuries. So having a late night on Friday ahead of a rugby match on a Saturday morning might not be the best plan. Plan your social and exercise calendar in advance to ensure you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

8. If you are experiencing pain, stop!

 Learn to tell the difference between a muscle ache and pain from overexertion.

Learn to tell the difference between a muscle ache and pain from overexertion.

Mild muscle aches during a hard workout session is to be expected. But if you are experiencing a different type of pain that you’ve never felt before, then stop immediately. Do not push through pain, as doing so might complicate and add on to the original injury. If in doubt, consult you physiotherapist. They can help to assess, diagnose and treat the injury appropriately.

Practice these 8 tips to stay injury-free and become an “everyday warrior”!

About the author

Máire is a senior physiotherapist at UFIT Clinic specializing in sports injuries and rehabilitation. She has a Masters in Physiotherapy in Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, and has worked with a number of amateur and professional sports teams, including the Irish national basketball team.

Máire is also an avid runner and competes regularly in Singapore, often placing on the podium. As an APPI (Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates institute) and Balanced Body trained pilates instructor, Máire uses the principles of pilates clinically when treating runners as well as in her own recovery, and believes that it has contributed to her injury-free running career.



  • BSc (Hons) Athletic Therapy and Training (Dublin, Irl)
  • Sc Physiotherapy (Edinburgh, UK)
  • Kinesio® Tape Application Certified
  • Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute Mat Certified
  • Balanced Body Reformer and Equipment based Pilates Trained
  • OMT Dry Needling Practitioner 

Frozen shoulder – How to let it go

A chilly explanation

So what exactly is frozen shoulder? Current research suggests it is characterized by a change in the joint capsule and certain ligaments within the shoulder causing them to lose their elasticity and become very stiff hence the term ‘frozen’. The pain may be a result of the inflammatory process and the chemicals released while this is happening. But it could also be attributed to a host of other causes.

  (Source: MMG, Inc. 1996)

(Source: MMG, Inc. 1996)

Diagnosis - the cold facts

  • Did the pain came on gradually in the shoulder or upper arm with no significant trauma?
  • Is the range of movement reduced - notably into flexion (straight up in front) and external rotation (with the elbow bent at the side, rotating outwards) even with someone assisting you with those movements?
  • Are you unable to lie on the side of your affected shoulder?
  • Did the pain run in a pattern from “pain-predominant” - where it is more painful than stiff, to "stiffness-predominant” where it is more stiff than painful?
  • Have you had an X-ray that cleared the pain of other possible diagnoses?
 UFIT Senior Physiotherapist Daniel working on restoring shoulder mobility with a client.

UFIT Senior Physiotherapist Daniel working on restoring shoulder mobility with a client.

Frozen shoulder is technically a diagnosis of elimination. If you are showing the signs and symptoms, our investigation must eliminate all other likely reasons for the frozen shoulder diagnosis to be accurate. For example, Elsa is experiencing terrible shoulder pain, and is unable to lift up her arm, rotate it out to the side, or lie on it.  But after getting an X-ray, she discovered that the pain is actually caused by a joint fracture and rotator cuff tear, with the same symptoms of a frozen shoulder.

Osteoarthritis, joint fractures, rotator cuff tears, and shoulder dislocations all produce similar signs and symptoms. So if you suspect your shoulder pain might be due to a frozen shoulder, make sure you see your doctor to rule out other possible causes.

Don’t be a snowflake, get expert advice

If you suspect you have frozen shoulder, get down to see your doctor or a physiotherapist and get it checked out. It is uncommon to require a surgical intervention, as studies have shown that conservative measures such as a graded exercise program produce the best results. However, there may be other things the doctor can recommend to ease the pain.

If you've already been diagnosed with a frozen shoulder, the best advice would be to see a physiotherapist, who will recommend an individualized rehabilitation program to guide you through the stages of your condition.

 Don't self diagnose - see an expert if you are experiencing pain!

Don't self diagnose - see an expert if you are experiencing pain!

In the meantime don’t freeze, do something about it

Learn how to manage the pain. Pain is a very complicated and multi-faceted phenomenon. Understanding how and why we feel pain will help you to deal with it.

Modify your activities. This can be as simple as switching the hand you use to reach for the seat-belt. List down all the activities that causes discomfort to your shoulder, and try to think of different ways you can modify the activity. This will save you  from a world of discomfort.

Get more pillows for the bed. If it is uncomfortable to sleep at night, prop your upper back and arm up with pillows so that you can get a better quality of rest.

Exercise. Gentle exercises such as "hanging shoulder rolls" and the "pendulum arm swing" can help to relieve the discomfort, and is also a good way to kickstart your journey to regain full range of movement.

Be patient, and pace yourself. If you try to rush and overdo the rehabilitative work, it may negatively affect your condition tomorrow. So be conscious of your abilities to avoid aggravating the pain.

About the author


Daniel Arthur is a Senior Physiotherapist from the UK currently working at UFIT Clinic in One North. He brings over 8 years of experience working with the UK National Health Service, private health clinics and premiership sports clubs.

Instagram – Thefightingphysio


Beat lower back pain: an expert opinion

Lower back pain is common. Over 80% of us will suffer from it. Unfortunately, there is a long-held view that lower back pain is usually caused by something mechanical, and can only be resolved with surgery. In most cases this is not true. There are many things that you can do on your own to alleviate the pain, without having to go under the knife. Our body is a remarkable instrument that is capable of recovering on its own, given sufficient time.


Physiotherapy and rehabilitation can help you manage and recover from lower back pain, through a mixture of mobility and strengthening exercises.

If you have been experiencing intense lower back pain regularly, manual therapy and soft tissue release can help to reduce pain and facilitate movement. It will not be an easy journey. There will be sweat (lots of it), there may be tears (I can’t promise they won't be mine!), and there will likely be setbacks. These are normal, recovery is usually not linear and pain is not predictable. But at the end of that journey, you can be satisfied that you have earned your recovery. Not only that, you will become fitter, stronger,  and better equipped with practical and effective knowledge to avert pain in future.

An MRI scan is not always necessary


An MRI scan is useful if you are planning a surgery, as it gives the doctor a good overview of your anatomy. It is also useful if you are displaying certain neurological symptoms, such as progressive leg weakness or a loss of bowel control. Your doctor and physiotherapist will screen for these conditions, which may indicate certain pathologies. In the absence of these, your MRI is just a very expensive “selfie”. It gives little to no value in helping the doctor come up with a treatment plan, or predict how you will respond to conservative treatment.

A good physiotherapist will base your treatment on your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, response to movement, and tests results. There are also numerous studies comparing the MRI results of people who have back pain, with those who doesn't have pain. In both groups, there is a remarkable similarity in the number of people with disc bulges and other degeneration symptoms. If these conditions are present in people who are not experiencing back pain, maybe they are not the main issues that are causing the pain.

Tips for Beating the Pain

  • Stay active. People who remain active recover more quickly. It can be as simple as including a 20-minute walk each morning and evening.
  • Change postures regularly. Your back becomes sensitised by prolonged stationary posture & awkward movements - your best posture is your next posture.
  • Do regular spine-strengthening exercises. Don’t be afraid of any particular movements, even if they don't feel comfortable right now.
  • Practice, practice, practice. The exercises may leave you feeling sore at first, but you will get better with regular practice.
  • Be patient. Sometimes the pain can get worse for no reason at all. Be proactive and optimistic about treating it, but don’t blame yourself for making it worse.
  • Stay optimistic. The more you worry about your pain, the worse it might become - your brain acts like an amplifier.
  • Make sure you are getting a good night's sleep. This might mean making adjustments to the pillows you use, or your sleep posture.
  • Get strong. Strong supporting muscles can help to alleviate back pain, and also provide a whole host of other benefits.

About the author

Kyle Wild completed his physiotherapy training in Leeds, UK and worked briefly in the NHS before combining roles between private practice and sport. He has extensive experience in contact sports, from initial injury management to post-injury rehabilitation . His passions lie in preparing people to perform within their chosen sports, with an emphasis on performance throughout the rehab process. You have to prepare your body for the stress and strains of what you enjoy doing, especially if you don't want to end up in the clinic because of it!

Overtraining Your Kids: Too Much, Too Soon?

Over the years, school sports in Singapore are becoming more and more challenging and demanding. No longer just a social event, the competitions are now extremely competitive. Either this is because schools are putting more focus on competitive sports as a way of raising their profile, or parents are seduced by the notion of nurturing the next Olympic champion, the reality is that school kids in Singapore are training harder than ever, for longer, more intense sessions. 


Overtraining is an issue for two reasons:

1) Burnout:

Paediatric burnout, or ‘overtraining syndrome’ is more than just being tired. It is the body's physiological and psychological response to chronic stress. This can happen when excessive demand is placed on the young athletes – either in volume (too many sessions in a week) or intensity (too much pressure to perform).

What are the signs of burnout from overtraining?

  • Fatigue: Does your child wakes up in the morning and still complains about being tired? Or do their teachers comment about them being sleepy at school?

  • Low self-esteem: Is your kid suddenly telling you that they are ‘not good’ at a particular sport, or want to drop out of the competition because it's not fun anymore?

  • Low immune system: Has your child been falling sick easily and frequently?

  • Irritability: Has your once-happy child suddenly become withdrawn and snappy with you and his coaches? This is a natural response to chronic stress.

  • Depression: In extreme cases, athletic burnout can trigger bouts of depression in kids as young as 12 if they are pressured by high expectations to perform.

2) Overuse Injuries:

At the UFIT Clinic here in Singapore, we are seeing more and more ‘overuse injuries’ in young kids. What are we referring to? Inflammation of tendons and ligaments, issues such as Osgood-Schlatters, or Sever’s syndrome, and even stress fractures in developing bones. These are most commonly seen in young athletes who participate in two or more sports. Coaches are usually aware of not overworking their athletes. However, when your child goes from session to session, and coach to coach, the cumulative effect of all that physical work can lead to a burnout, constant muscle fatigue, or worse, forcing your child to sit out of the sport due to injuries.

The Good News? Both Burnout and Overuse Injuries are entirely preventable!


Review your child's weekly schedule for sports training, including all school-based activities (PE classes, etc). You might be surprised by the amount of time your child spends on physical activities! Ask your child if they are happy with the amount of physical training they are participating in - do they feel pressured to train? You can also consider speaking to your child’s coaches if you feel that their training schedule is too demanding. Show them your child’s physical activity schedule – they might also be surprised!

We recommend that your child should have at least one full day of rest in a week, and no more than two days a week with two scheduled training sessions. This will certainly prevent the possibility of burnout and overuse injuries. With your child happier and more relaxed, that will actually lead to better sporting performance!

About the Author


Declan has always maintained a strong interest in sports, and has previously worked as an Academy Physiotherapist for Crystal Palace Football Club (a professional football club in London, England), He was also the Rehabilitation Coach for the Western Province Stormers Academy (a professional rugby club in Cape Town, South Africa). Within Asia, he consults for the Indonesian Athletics Association as a Performance coach and physiotherapist for their Olympic athletes and Elite Development Squad.

How to get rid of Plantar Fasciitis, the foot of all evil

Plantar Fasciitis is often a dreaded foot disease - but with persistent and consistent treatment it can be overcome! Mok Ying Rong - UFIT Clinic physiotherapist,  Nike Sponsored elite athlete, Singapore’s Half-Marathon record holder and winner of the 2017 Great Eastern Womens' Half Marathon - shares her advice on overcoming Plantar Fasciitis right here ... 


What is plantar fasciitis?

It is a clinical condition characterised by sharp pain in the middle of the heel and along the arch area. Pain is often worse with the initial few steps after prolonged inactivity such as the first step you take in the morning. Pain gets better with some movement but increases with further loading. Pain is often worse at the end of the day.

Who gets it?

Athletes who engage in repetitive weight-bearing sports such as distance running, basketball. Weekend warriors who engage in a sudden increase in sports coming from a level of sedentary desk work throughout the week. There is also some evidence linking ageing with plantar fasciitis. People with occupations requiring prolonged standing and walking.

What contributes to the development of plantar fasciitis?

Intrinsic and extrinsic factors both play a contributing role. Intrinsic factors include arch height, hypomobility of the ankle, tight calf muscles etc. Extrinsic factors consist of factors such as inappropriate footwear, uneven ground surfaces, increased in weight-bearing activities, sudden increased in mileage and increased Body Mass Index. Alteration of ankle-foot biomechanics resulting from previous injuries and soft tissue or joint limitation can contribute to the development of PF. For example, tight calves can limit the mobility of the ankle which can subsequently result in excessive compensatory pronation, leading to a strain at the plantar fascia.

How does physiotherapy help plantar fasciitis?


Your physiotherapist will help to manage and reduce your symptoms by utilising a variety of techniques according to your specific needs. Techniques include joint mobilisation, soft tissue releases, gait and footwear analysis. If you engage in sports such as distance running, your physiotherapist may also discuss with you on appropriate progressing of training loads. The physio will also assess for other factors that can put you at risk of symptom recurrence. Throughout the whole process, you will also need to play a part by doing the exercises that your physiotherapist will teach you.

If necessary, you will be prescribed orthotics and night splints. Orthotics can help to minimise excessive pronation which causes additional strain to the plantar fascia. Wearing a night splint at night allows the fascia to be placed in a more optimal and relaxed position.

Running and plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis can be very persisting which gets increasingly difficult to treat the longer it is present. The best way to go about it is to prevent it. Try running on soft surfaces, increase your running mileage by no more than 10% per week, perform regular stretches for your calves after each run and wear the proper shoes for your foot type and gait.

Here are 3 activities to try out :

1. Assess the flexibility of your big toe

Can your big toe be raised up to an angle of 50 degrees when your knee is positioned above your foot (as in the diagram)? The flexibility of the big toe allows the ‘windlass mechanism’ to occur. This windlass mechanism is the winding of the plantar fascia to elevate the medial longitudinal arch. Without this mechanism, the foot loses its stability and the foot’s stability muscles cannot function well. The plantar fascia is then subjected to great amounts of strain.

2.    Stretch your calves

Here are two variations of calf stretches. For both variations, you can alternate between doing it with a straight knee and a bent knee. The former focuses on stretching of the gastrocnemius while the latter focuses on the soleus (the deeper of the two calf muscles).

a. Wall stretches


b. Hang off an edge


c. Self-mobilisation of the plantar fascia

With one hand, pull the toes of the foot back to place the fascia on a stretch. With the other hand, massage the fascia by applying gentle but firm pressure across the fascia along the arch. Do this for 5-10minutes, 2 times a day.

Plantar Fasciitis Stretch.jpg

About The Author

Mok Ying Rong.jpg

Ying is a physiotherapist with an intense passion in the musculoskeletal field. She utilises a holistic manual approach alongside an energetic desire to get people back to a pain-free status. Ying started off her career as a physiotherapist in the private sector. During her period here, she found her niche in analysing and treating issues related to the running biomechanics. 

Ying is also an avid sportswoman. Ying started off as a competitive swimmer before transiting towards triathlons and finally establishing herself in the running domain. Her more memorable achievements include breaking the Singapore National Half-Marathon record in the 2016 Gyeongju Half Marathon and representing the nation in the 2015 World Cross Country. Ying's first hand sporting experiences allows her to relate better to people who are passionate about sports.


  • BsC Physiotherapy (Queen Margaret University)
  • Dip Physiotherapy (Nanyang Polytechnic)
  • National Coaching Accreditation Programme (NCAP) theory level 1

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!


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.


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.


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


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.

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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.

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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.