Managing those dizzy moments!

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual coffee morning last Friday, it was great to see so many of you!

If you missed it, here is a summary of the talk given by Heba Jackson, Postural Stability Instructor and Falls Specialist Physiotherapist with a specialist interest in Vertigo;

Dizziness

This guide is designed to provide you with some general information regarding symptoms of dizziness. It can be one of the most common causes of falls and should not be ignored. There are some simple tips that you can try to manage your symptoms, however you must seek the advice of your GP to have the cause of your dizziness diagnosed.

What is dizziness?

What is meant by dizziness can be different for different people. Some people may report that the “world spins”, others may report feeling “lightheaded” or “swarmey” while other may feel “unbalanced.” The different feelings can indicate what may be causing those symptoms, so when talking to a health professional it can be helpful to know:

  • How you would describe those symptoms in your own words
  • What activities bring on the symptoms
  • How often they occur (daily, monthly, yearly) and for how long does it last (seconds, minutes, hours)

Most Common Causes

  • Postural Hypotension
  • Inner ear problems – such as labyrinthitis, Benign Positional Paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s Disease
  • Problems with Heart Rate or rhythm
  • Dehydration
  • Side effect of many medications – particularly those that affect the heart or brain.

Postural Hypotension

A drop in blood pressure that occurs when changing position from lying to sitting or sitting to standing. This leads to a temporary reduction in blood supply to organs and muscles and can lead to falls.

Symptoms

Most commonly occur after standing up and can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Light headedness
  • Feeling nauseous, hot and clammy
  • Blurring, greying, blacking or tunnelling vision
  • Feeling vague or muddled
  • Fainting
  • Weakness or Fatigue
  • Pain across back and shoulders
How to Measure

Ideally this should be assessed by a Health Professional. However, many participants have got their own blood pressure machine at home and may want to test their own blood pressure before discussing their findings with their GP.

Follow the instructions provided with your own blood pressure machine.

  • Sit or lie down for at least 5 minutes
  • Measure your blood pressure and write it down
  • Leave the cuff around your arm and rest for 2 minutes to allow your arm to recover
  • Stand up slowly
  • Retake your blood pressure within 1 minute and write it down

If there is a drop in the blood pressure between lying (or sitting) and standing you may have Postural Hypotension. Discuss your findings with a health professional.

Things to do if you have Postural Hypotension
  • Speak to a Doctor/GP/Pharmacist  to review your medication
  • Drink a large glass of cold water before standing up
  • Ensure you are drinking enough during the day
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and large meals
  • Try not to bend over when reaching for something. You should squat with your knees.
  • Avoid standing or sitting for long periods. 
  • Avoid sudden changes in position. Try counting to 10 before moving.
  • Exercise can reduce your symptoms.
Suggested Exercises

Marching

  • Sitting in your chair, march your legs briskly on the spot.
  • Repeat this for 10 seconds, three times.

Leg Extensions

  • Sitting down with both feet flat on the floor. Lift one foot off the floor until your knee is straight
  • Hold for 10 seconds, then slowly lower your foot back to the floor.
  • Repeat three times on each leg.

Ankle Exercises

  • Sitting in chair, place the heel of one foot on the floor then lift it and put the toes on the same spot.
  • Repeat three times on each foot

Vertigo

People suffering from vertigo may report feeling as though the world is spinning or that they are spinning. There are a number of conditions that can cause vertigo and they can be treated in different ways. You may be referred to Audiology or Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) by your GP for further tests or treatment.

Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV)

This is the most common type of vertigo and occurs on movements of the head, such as bending down, looking up, turning head quickly, lying down and rolling over in bed. The symptoms are often brief and last less than 1 minute, and are caused by some loose chalk crystals getting into the wrong part of your inner ear.

A health professional with the appropriate skills and knowledge may complete a test such as the Dix Hallpike Test to determine if you are suffering from BPPV. This condition can be then be easily treated with an Epley manoeuvre.

Other conditions…

Many other causes of vertigo or dizziness can be treated with medication or exercises depending on the diagnosis. It is therefore important that you seek professional advice.

Thank you to Heba for the useful guidance. The next virtual coffee morning will take place on Friday 26th February, we hope to see you there!

Weight Off Workshops are now underway!

This week saw the first week of our second set of Weight Off Workshops get going, and a successful first week was had by all! Delivered by Mid Sussex Wellbeing, this course can be booked by contacting the team on 01444 477191. It is an 8 week Weight Off Workshop which encourages and supports you in making changes to a healthier way of eating and increase your activity levels. Includes 6 free AHS Wellbeing Online Classes. If you think this is for you next time round, or if you’re quick you may be able to join now, give the number above a call or click this link!

The ‘Better You’ programme

A Free Personalised 12-week Virtual Exercise on Prescription programme.

Our Better You virtual exercise referral programme is a series of bespoke online fitness classes and 1 to 1 consultations run over a 12-week period to help you to feel better, improve your health and increase your mental wellbeing. It is for those who have a medical condition that can be improved with regular exercise, or have been advised by a GP, Healthcare worker of other professional to be more active.

Better You is a free programme which is currently available to residents in Mid Sussex. All you have to do is request a referral from your GP, or contact Mid Sussex Wellbeing on 01444 477191. Whatever your age, ability or health challenges you face, you can take part in our online live classes or watch them on demand, all from the comfort of your own home via the website detailed above, or our mobile app.

For further information and to join the programme visit our Better You page or for more information download our leaflet.

New Online Workshops coming soon!

Stress Management Workshops with Sal Jefferies

Created by Sal Jefferies, a yoga teacher, contemporary psychotherapist (PG Dip) and leadership coach who has been working in mind-body wellbeing and performance for over 10 years.

The workshops will run as set of 3 on a rolling basis that can be joined at any stage as they cycle through a set of content that works in any order. The objective is to learn stress management techniques that are accessible and applicable to anyone and the focus will be the impact caused by the pandemic. This is aimed at the general public and the sessions will run for 60 minutes. Each workshop opens with a piece of training that repeats each session so that at any session someone joins the course, they get the fundamental parts covered.

Dates for the course are: 29th January, 19th February and 19th March 2021 at 9.30 am. Places limited so book now!

Habit Change Workshop

Also run by Sal Jefferies, mentioned above, the Habit Change workshop will be a 90 minute session, where Sal has harmonised the excellent work of Charles Duhigg and James Clear who are experts in this field. Their work combined with Sal’s psychological training and experience can make habit change stick using easy to understand techniques which are also easy to apply.

time for change sign with led light

Sal teaches a simple model of how habit change works and uses exercises to help people create the psychological, emotional and practical conditions to make sustainable change.

The objective of this workshop is to show you that habits follow a pattern which can be used when making healthy life changes. It will also cover why willpower alone doesn’t work, how you ‘see yourself’ (which is very important) and how creating a compelling reason is vital to making changes last.

Check our Workshop timetable for more details, dates to be confirmed.

Weight Off Workshops

We are hosting a series of Weight Off Workshops on behalf of Mid Sussex Wellbeing starting on 24th January 2021. This virtual course aim to support people towards a sustainable lifestyle change by motivating them to make positive food choices, increase activity (participants will have access to up to 6 free online exercise classes) and consider practical ways to create and sustain healthy eating habits.

For more information through Mid Sussex Wellbeing, please follow this link:

New Year Offer – Rise and Shine in 2021!

Rise & Shine in 2021! We are offering 7 days inclusive membership to our online classes for FREE! With no upfront payment required!

We want to help support your mental and physical health through the ongoing COVID restrictions, so if you like it, you can continue for just £8 per month! Normally £30 per month, a potential saving of £66 over 3 months! (Better You classes are exempt).  Offer valid until 31/3/21.

Visit our home page to view the class timetable, and register today!

Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year from all the team at AHS Wellbeing.

New Movement Class for beginners

AHS Wellbeing are really excited to bring this new class to their online timetable.

Taking place every Wednesday at 10.30am until 11.30am, yoga teacher, courage coach and contemporary psychotherapist Sal Jefferies will guide you through a Movement Class, which is ideal for beginners or those returning to exercise.

To join the class, simply register with AHS Wellbeing and you will get your first class FREE!

Here Sal explains more about the class:

Hello, my name is Sal and I teach one of the movement classes called vinyasa yoga,

This class is a movement-based class where we stretch and move and get the whole body working through a range of easy exercises which can be adapted so it’s perfect or beginners.


If you’ve not done exercise for a while or you’re working through weight issues or pain issues then this class will be very helpful. My class is really about helping you bring awareness to your body and helping you move with more ease and comfort.  A lot of the exercises really help get rid of physical tension and tightness which can reduce aches and pains. In the class, I teach so you can go to your own pace and hold back if you need to meaning you can enjoy the class and feel safe. Many of my students say they’ve gained a lot of confidence doing these classes as they move better, feel better and this has significant effect on your mood, stress levels and helps you feel good for the rest of day. 


My approach to teaching is light-hearted and encouraging and I like to make you feel welcome and safe so you can get the benefits of this practice and leave feeling calm and confident. I whole-heartedly encourage you to come to a class and see for yourself and I welcome any questions in advance so please get in touch.

I look forward to seeing you at class. Sal

Find Your Balance with these 5 Lifestyle Keys

If you want to find a lifestyle balance that takes back control of your wellbeing, there are 5 key areas to consider. Each will have a profound effect on your daily life and are a great starting point for unlocking your potential to be the best you can be.

The 5 lifestyle keys are:

1.Food

Research has shown that what we eat affects both our physical and mental health and is associated with our sense of Wellbeing. Keeping a food diary for a week can help you see if you are eating well and help you identify any changes you may need to make to improve your health and wellbeing.

2. Exercise

Being active and taking regular exercise promotes overall health and wellbeing as well as reducing stress. You also become stronger, fitter and less prone to injury. If you’re not currently exercising regularly, try starting with 10 minutes of gentle activity such as walking, dancing to your favourite tune or just try to spend less time sitting and more time moving, you’ll soon feel the benefits!

3. Sleep

We all sleep, but how well do you sleep? Sleeping improves mental and emotional wellbeing. It also allows your body to rest and repair, recover from illness, boosts your immune system and gives you energy. Try to get into a regular sleep routine and make sure you’re sleeping in a restful environment.

4. Habits

We go through each day following our usual habits, often on auto pilot, not noticing what we do! Start to take notice, are these habits useful or are they preventing you achieving what you hope for? If you feel you need to change your habits, check out last weeks blog when we looked at how habits are formed and how we can learn new habits.

5. Thoughts

How is your inner dialogue? Does that voice in your head make you feel strong, capable and in control? Or is it full of self doubt, criticism and negative thoughts. Your inner dialogue can either support or sabotage the changes in the lifestyle you wish for. Notice the thoughts that affect your actions and start to recognise if they help or hinder you.

We will cover these in more detail over the coming weeks and provide some useful strategies to help you find a lifestyle balance that helps you take back control of your wellbeing, so don’t forget to check in next week!

Is something getting in the way?

Hands up if you’ve ever tried to make positive changes to your lifestyle, such as losing weight, getting more active or stopping smoking and soon found yourself slipping back into your old ways again!

Why is that?

During our lifetime, our experiences have helped up develop patterns in our behaviour, often referred to as habits. These habits maybe positive and help keep us safe and well, such as the habit of brushing your teeth, checking for traffic before crossing the road or eating when you’re hungry.

We can also develop unhealthy habits we may want to change, but these habits are often hardwired in our brain and finding the willpower to change isn’t easy. Understanding how these habits form can help you understand how to break down barriers and stop these habits getting in the way.

Habits are formed by a cue, a routine and a reward, this is called a habit loop. For example;

The Cue: you feel thirsty

The Behaviour: you drink some water

The Reward: you feel relief from quenching your thirst.

Repeating the same behaviour, over and over, trains your brain to recognise this as ‘normal’ and it becomes a habit. If you want to change a habit you have to rewire the circuit, by changing the behaviour and repeating it over and over, at least 21 times, until it becomes a new habit.

Start by observing any patterns in the behaviour you want to change. Can you identify what the cue is? Can you find ways to change the behaviour that follows the cue? Or find a new reward that makes you want to repeat the new behaviour again and again?

For example:

The Cue: You are feeling bored

The Behaviour: You decide to eat some chocolate

The Reward: The release of dopamine, serotonin and endorphins help you feel happier but only in the short-term, as later you may feel guilt.

Rewire this to:

The Cue: You are feeling bored

The Behaviour: You decide to go for a brisk walk outdoors

The Reward: The release of dopamine,serotonin and endorphins helps you feel happier, this time in the long-term, as this has also helped you feel in control.

Everyone will have their own habits and the desire to change a habit is personal to each individual, here is how you can get results:

  1. Once you’ve decided what you want to change and why (see last weeks blog), write down what barriers may get in your way. Consider:
    • Your habits,beliefs and barriers that you’ve come across before.
    • What environmental factors may affect you i.e. work, day to day life and social obligations.
    • Family commitments and expectations.
  2. From your list, pick one or two things you think you can tackle.
  3. Consider how to overcome these barriers.
  4. Make a plan to help you get results.

Join us next week to discuss five lifestyle keys

Believing is Achieving!

The media constantly tells us why we should do more exercise, so why is it so hard for some of us to be more active?

Our past experience will have shaped the beliefs we hold about ourselves and these beliefs help shape our behaviour. If you are one of those people who have always participated in sport, chances are you’ll have no trouble keeping active for life. However, if you hated sport at school, have a condition that affects your movement or simply do not like exercise, becoming active will undoubtedly be more of a challenge. If you believe you don’t like exercise, but want to change this, here are some guidelines to help you start to make that change. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Take one step at a time and start by considering the following;

What is your current situation?

First, think about what you do right now. What is your normal routine? How do you feel? What is important to you? Are you happy with the way you live your life? Spend some time thinking this through and write down your thoughts.

What do you want to achieve?

Look ahead to the next 12 months, what changes would you like to see? Why are they important to you? If you do not know what you want to achieve, maybe think about what you don’t want to happen. For example; as you age you may not want to lose your independence or you may want to prevent developing a condition such as diabetes, back pain or heart disease. Visualise how you want to be in 12 months time and write this down.

What Needs to Change?

Now, consider what you need to change. What are you doing right now that needs to change in order to be where you want to be in 12 months time? You may end up with several things you need to change. Just focus on changing one thing at a time. What can you can change this week? Keep it simple, realistic and believe you can achieve it, then give it a try! Believing really is achieving!

Next week we will talk about overcoming barriers, so make sure you check back to see how we can help you continue your journey.

Download our new Android App!

Our AHS Wellbeing Online android app is now available!

Download the AHS Wellbeing App today to plan and schedule your Wellbeing Classes, Workshops, and Appointments! Using this mobile App you can view and manage your complete schedule, sign-up for classes, workshops, and appointments, purchase block bookings, memberships, and update your profile. Optimise your time, maximise convenience, and keep up-to-date with AHS Wellbeing activities through push-notifications.

You can access the android app by searching AHS Wellbeing on Google Play or clicking this link

The AHS Wellbeing Apple App is coming soon, look out for further details.