Breech babies, pregnancy, delivery

Breech position means that your baby is in a bottom-down position. You might feel some discomfort when you breathe as the baby’s head is compressing your diaphragm and your ribs. You may feel some kicks to your bladder as well.

There are alternatives methods to turn the baby head down. This manual procedure is called external cephalic version (ECV).

However, most breech babies in the UK are born by caesarean as many experts consider this to be the safest way for the babies to be born.




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Dry Needling and Back Pain

Lucerne Clinic, Notting Hill Gate, will shortly be offering ‘Dry Needling’ as an additional technique to help relieve the pain patients present with.

What is Dry Needling?

Dry Needling involves multiple advances of a filament needle into the muscle in the region of a “Trigger Point’. The aim of Dry Needling is to achieve a local twitch response to release muscle tension and pain. Dry needling is an effective treatment for chronic pain of neuropathic origin with very few side effects.

What is a “trigger point”?

A myofascial “trigger point” is a hyperirritable point in skeletal muscle that is associated with a hypersensitive palpable nodule, or “knot”. This area becomes painful at the site and can also “radiate” in predictable patterns.

Who can benefit from Dry Needling?

A variety of musculoskeletal problems including, but not limited to: Acute/Chronic injuries, Headaches, Neck/Back pain, Tendinitis, Muscle Spasms, “Sciatica”, Hip/Knee pain, Muscle strains, Fibromyalgia, “Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow”, PFPS,Overuse injuries, etc.

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Posture tips to help back pain

In the last couple of posts we discussed different types of posture and the effect bad posture can have on back pain. The Mayo clinic has a good guide to healthy posture and some easy tips on how to evaluate your posture at home. Please follow the link below for additional information.

If you’re unsure about how good your posture is and what would be the best exercises to maintain a healthy posture then why don’t you book an appointment at the Lucerne Clinic in Notting Hill Gate. Our Osteopaths have many years of experience in dealing with postural problem.

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Back pain & posture

It is unlikely that we will all go through life with a perfect posture, all of the time. As a result we may suffer from back pain at some point. It is far more likely that our posture will be somewhere, on a scale, away from perfect. The illustration above shows some common postures that we see at Lucerne Clinic. More often than not, we see a combination of the those depicted, such as a hollow back with a high hip or a flat pelvis and a head tilt. Any of these variations can cause back pain.

Postural variations are often defined as structural or functional. Structural implies that it is as a result of a structural change to the musculo skeletal system, this can be as a result of a genetic mutation, a birth defect or trauma.

Functional variations to posture can broadly be described as repetitive strains or muscle imbalances, that affect the musculoskeletal system. Functional variations often occur during childhood and youth, when the skeleton is still growing. Functional variations that are not addressed can, over a period of time, become structural.

Structural variations are irreversible, in extreme cases surgery can be sought. Osteopaths are very interested in the posture of children and youths because these are the ages at which we can diagnoses the stresses causing the variations. We can then treat and help rectify them.



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Back pain & Primal Posture

Back pain is likely to affect most of us living ‘western’ lifestyles at some point or another. For some people it is debilitating and will be a life long problem. How many such cases are down to posture? In parts of the world where humans still lead indigenous lives, back pain is virtually unheard of. Why?

Please find a link to an article by Esther Gokhale that we would to share with you. She discusses ‘Primal Posture’ and also includes some helpful tips to achieve better back posture.

All the osteopaths based at the Lucerne Clinic in Notting Hill Gate are trained to assess posture. We can design a bespoke program to help you achieve a better posture and less back pain.

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Colic : what is it ?

Colic is a frequent and excessive crying in a baby who seems to be healthy and well fed.
We know that Cranial Osteopathy help to release the tension due to the delivery on the skull and also on the digestive system.

Read more about cranial osteopathy and colics on Baby Center

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How to warm up
Looks like summer is finally over and autumn is taking its grip. We often see quite a few neck related injuries around this time of year as people are only just changing into winter clothing and get caught out on cold nights and early mornings. We can also be outdoors for extended periods, watching the kids play sport and then of course there is Halloween and Guy Fawkes night.  A good idea is always to have a scarf handy to stop the neck muscles from getting cold, they are often the ones most exposed. Cold neck muscles can often result in a very stiff, painful neck. Equally we might still be sleeping with the window open and any draft over muscles will result in them tightening up.

It is often a time when I see an increase in sports related injuries in the clinic. Some of us are taking up sports again after a summer lay off, sprains and strains are common. During the warmth of the summer months there is less need to be properly warmed up as our muscles are already warm. As the temperature cools a proper warm up is essential to avoid injury. It is also important to be wearing the appropriate clothing…a sweat licking base layer is essential!

Warming up prepares the body for subsequent activity. It is often used as an injury prevention strategy and a way of developing sports performance. For the more serious athlete, it can be an effective use of time to focus on fundamental skills and movement patterns that lay the foundations for sports-specific performance.

15 to 20 mins is ideally the time we should put aside to warm up. This should start with a jog of approx 5 mins, fast enough to just break sweat. At this point depending on the activity a selection of stretches should be performed. Researched has showed that dynamic stretching is more effective than static as part of a warm up. Dynamic stretching is including a stretch as part of a continuous movement of the muscles being stretched. For example exaggerated repeated lunges, moving forward from one leg to the other dynamically, stretch most muscles of the lower extremity. For the sport you are about to perform think of the movements you will make and choose a series of exercises to dynamically stretch those muscles. Once these stretches have been performed 10 mins approx, it is a good idea to finish off with a few short sprints, between 6 and 10 over no more than 50 metres, increasing the pace on each one until the last is done at 90%.

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Recipe of the Month: Russian Borscht (beetroot soup)
I shall follow on from the Love your Liver theme. This month’s recipe is full of nutrients that will make your liver hug itself with joy. Beetroot and cabbage are amongst the long list of foods that your liver loves, so I thought what better time to share this wonderful Russian Borscht recipe with you.

Note: From start to finish, this recipe takes about 2hrs. Boiling the beetroots takes around an hr. I tend to boil them the day before and store them in their juice in the fridge.

Russian Borscht (beetroot soup)


  • 2 large or 3 medium beetroots
  • 2 large or 3 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 2 carrots – grated
  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage (white also works) – Finley shredded
  •  380g of cooked kidney beans or a 400g can kidney beans in water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.5  litres water plus an additional 900ml broth
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill


  • Fill a large soup pot with about 1.5 ltrs of water. Add beetroots. If you’re using organic beetroots, you can boil them with the skin on otherwise, wash and peel them first. Cover and boil for about 1 hour. Once you can smoothly pierce the beetroots with a butter knife, remove them from the water and leave to cool. Keep the water
  • Add 900ml of chicken or vegetable broth, lemon juice, pepper, bay leaves to the same pot
  • Peel and slice 3 potatoes into bite sized chunks and boil 15-20 minutes
  • When potatoes are half way done, add the thinly shredded ½ cabbage to the pot
  • Grate both carrots and dice the onion. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and sauté vegetables until they are soft (6-8 minutes). Once almost cooked, stir in tomato purée and sauté for another 2 minutes
  • Next, peel and slice the beetroots into match sticks and add them along with the cooked kidney beans to the pot
  • Add sautéed carrots and onion to the pot along with chopped dill.
  • Cook another 5-10 minutes, until the cabbage is done
  • Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional).

Tip:  This soup tastes great fresh but it’s even better the day after!!! When cooled and stored properly, this soup will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.


Kaysha Thomas

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20 Questions: How toxic is your lifestyle?
Toxins enter the body in many ways. Through the food and substances enter our digestive system, through our lungs, they’re even absorbed through our skin.

This quick self-test to help raise awareness of the impact some everyday activities have on the liver. For most, many of these activities form a part of everyday life. Take a look and see how often you may be unknowingly overloading your liver.

Answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the following questions.

  1. Do you live, exercise or work in a city or by a busy road?
  2. Do you eat any of the following foods / drinks on a daily basis; sugar, sweets, chocolates, white bread, canned foods, frozen foods, microwaved foods, fried foods, biscuits, cakes, coffee, fizzy drinks?
  3. Do you drink unfiltered water?
  4. Do you drink alcohol on a daily basis or regularly binge drink?
  5. Do you smoke and/or live with a smoker?
  6. Do you spend a lot of time in front of a TV, computer or laptop?
  7. Do you spend a lot of time on a mobile phone?
  8. Do you sunbathe a lot?
  9. Are you a frequent flyer?
  10. Are you exposed to chemicals through your work or hobbies?
  11. Do you heat, freeze or wrap food in plastics?
  12. Do you cook or wrap food in aluminium?
  13. Do you regularly use recreational or prescription drugs and / or medication?
  14. Do you regularly consume non-organic foods?
  15. Do you frequently fry or roast food at high temperatures?
  16. Do you regularly eat charred or barbecued foods?
  17. Do you eat oily fish or shellfish more than 3 x a week?
  18. Do you regularly consume artificial sweeteners?
  19. Do you floss your teeth less than once a day?
  20. Do you have any mercury amalgam fillings?

If you answered yes to more than 10 of these questions then your liver is likely to need some TLC. But do not despair; you have now identified the key areas where you should look to reduce your toxic load. You don’t need to go on a radical detoxification programme. Making small changes every day for life is the best way to improve your health long-term.

Please note: This test isn’t a diagnostic tool. If you are concerned about your health of your liver, it’s advisable to visit your GP in the first instance.

If you’d like more information on how to reduce your toxic load, email me at to arrange a call back.

Kaysha Thomas (Dip. IoN)

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Is your liver feeling the love?
As the end of January is almost upon us, let’s take a moment to focus on an organ that some of us may take for granted every now and again. So much so, there is an entire month dedicated to pay homage to it. The organ I’m referring to is the liver. January is National Love your Liver month; where many of us embark on detoxes such as Dry January.

As our second largest organ in the body (after the skin) the liver takes care of us in more ways than we realise. We often associate the liver with detoxification and we’re right to do so. Every toxin that enters our body is processed by our liver. A lesser known fact is that our livers are responsible for over 500 vital functions. Amongst those are; carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism, cholesterol metabolism and the storage of vitamins and minerals.


The liver doesn’t have any nerve endings, so we may not always be aware that it’s under strain. We can often experience symptoms that we don’t always realise relate to back the liver such as:

  • Weight gain – around the abdominal in particular
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion / bloating
  • Constipation
  • Strong reaction to alcohol
  • Breaking / splitting / chipping nails
  • Yellowing whites of eyes
  • Bitter taste in mouth or burning tongue
  • High cholesterol
  • Hives / skin rashes
  • Acne
  • Dark urine
  • Fatty stools that won’t flush
  • Strong body odour

The good news is that our liver is a robust organ; it’s capable of regenerating new cells day in and day out. Plus, there are many simple things that we can do to help out:


  • Eat a clean and nutrient rich diet
  • Eat organic wherever possible. If you can’t, wash non-organic fruits and vegetables in a weak water vinegar solution and / or peel before eating
  • Keep well hydrated with water and herbal teas (dandelion is particularly good for the liver)
  • Reduce intake of saturated and hydrogenated fat. But do include some healthy fats from raw nuts, seeds and oily fish (e.g. sardines, salmon and mackerel)
  • Increase your fibre intake – raw fruits, raw or lightly steamed veg and wholegrain foods (e.g. oats, brown rice, rye and millet)

Below are 5 foods for a healthy liver:



Vegetables from the Brassica family (e.g. cabbage, sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower)


Lemons / Limes

This list is by no means exhaustive, however,  it’s a good place to start!

For further information check out the Love your Liver website:

Kaysha Thomas (Dip. IoN)

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