Working from home on a Laptop

Laptops are great when travelling or for bits and pieces here and there. They are definitely not suited to long periods of work, because the keyboard and the screen are too close together, and a trackpad is not so efficient as a mouse. This can lead to a hunched back, wrist and elbow pain, and slow work. In this post I'm going to show you how to make your laptop into a professional workstation, for productive, safe work.

The Space

Let's start with the basics. Get somewhere to sit, at a table that you can make into a desk. Throw effort at this. Reserve a space, lay in power cords, and ideally make sure your internet connection is fast and your router (WIFI box) is near your laptop.

Make sure the table top is the right height, and you have room underneath for your legs. Consider getting a table specially for this if you don't have one. Trinity Hospice furniture (Putney) or Andrews (Fulham High St) will deliver. Your chair should be supportive and comfortable. It should be adjustable ideally, so you can sit with your feet flat on the floor, making sure your knees are not above your hips.

The table/desk surface needs to be at a height that it allows your elbow to rest comfortably on the surface. This relaxes your shoulders and wrists.

The Workstation.

Calling it a workstation makes you feel like an IT professional and hopefully will help keep it clear of other peoples DIY projects.

You need a new monitor (also called display or screen). These are not expensive and can be collected same day or delivered. Make sure what you buy will connect to your laptop. Take your laptop into a shop or phone someone like John Lewis for advice if you are not sure.

Ideally it should also be height adjustable.

You need a mouse, wired is simpler and more reliable for serious work. Again, make sure it connects to your laptop. For apple air type laptops you will need a "bluetooth mouse", which connects wirelessly.

You may need a dedicated printer set nearby, depending on your workflow (more IT professional kudos).

Look at the diagram, and get everything in the right place. Once you have connected the peripherals to the laptop, fire it up and get everything to connect up. This is the only difficult art, If something doesn't work, call your work IT support or your eight year old.

Get comfortable. Tweak to your heats content, Relax your shoulders, breathe, and take breaks. Use a timer.

Your laptop may work in clamshell mode. It stays closed while you work. Make sure the laptop is permanently connected to power.

If you do your work on your laptop and save it there, get a backup drive. Easier is saving to a cloud service over the internet like Dropbox, iCloud drive etc. That way you cannot lose your work when the inevitable happens. Enquire with your work IT, they probably have this organised especially if you deal with sensitive or valuable material.

Laptops and drinks don't mix. Have an anti spill location for Lattes etc.

Good luck!

if you want a little look at how far you can tech up like a pro , look here

For Children

This advice applies just as importantly to children. Melinda has written an accompanying blog post about child posture and seating, read it here.

5 Common Causes of Back Pain

With an estimated 2.5 million sufferers in the UK, back pain is a serious problem. Not only is back pain frustrating but if left ignored and untreated it can escalate to become debilitating. A lot of the time, the cause is something that could’ve been avoided with a slight change in behaviour, or a preventative visit to your Osteopath. Here are 5 common causes of back pain:

  1. Posture – do you often find yourself slouching, or hunching over your computer? Bad posture can have long-term effects on your back and causes you pain.
  2. Muscle strain – trying to lift a heavy object incorrectly or moving your body in a fast and jarring way can sometimes cause a muscle strain.
  3. Pinched nerve – also called ‘nerve impingement’, this is a common but painful injury. Luckily it can be treated with a visit to your Osteopaths and the right course of treatment.
  4. Osteoarthritis – this is the most common form of arthritis and can be caused by genetics or lifestyle factors, such as obesity. If you leave a long-term injury untreated, this can also lead to Osteoarthritis.
  5. Disc disease – disc disease is a weakening in the spine. It has lots of causes, such as obesity, genetics or overload.

Although a lot of these injuries can be avoided, the best way to diagnose and treat your pain is to visit your Osteopath. That way, you can ease your discomfort before it potentially evolves into something worse!

To discuss getting the most out of your back and helpful advice for keeping your body in Tip-Top shape, call Fulham Osteopaths, the experts in Back Pain treatment and self care. 020 7384 1851

How to turn your teen into a lean mean eating machine

Having a teen is a bit like trying to feed a tantrumming toddler. Suddenly they turn their noses up at their favourite go-to foods and start making their own choices. Instead of spitting out their food and spreading it all over the walls they have their own teenage version of refusal. They avoid calls to come down to dinner, eat at their friends’ houses instead, violently reject healthy packed lunches in favour of a conveyor belt of crisps, chips, pizzas, pasta dished out at school and/or whatever their friends are eating.

‘It’s not cool to have homemade stuff, Mum!’ ‘Why do I have to eat that, no-one else does !’ Or they may become vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians or whichever way of eating is diametrically opposed to your own. If you have more than one teen in the house you may end up with the mammoth task of cooking meals for a variety of eating ideologies and fads.

But don’t worry! It’s all good. It’s apparently an important developmental stage in their progress towards full independence when their peers’ choices take centre stage and they begin to experiment and look outside the family food ethos for their own way.

The problem is that the teen years, perhaps even more so, or in a different way to the early years, toddler and young child stage, when are children were a tad more compliant, and do what you say more readily; is that the teen years are such a critically important time to eat well.

As soon as girls get to secondary school, about age 10, and boys, perhaps a couple of years later, age 12, they hit a hormonally driven storm of growth and development. Flooded with emotions, mood swings, urges, pubic hair, spots and an Olympian physical spurt which sees them moving from shoe size to shoe size at a rate of knots.

Typically, at puberty girls need to be eating 2,200 - 2,500 calories by the time they’re 16. Whilst boys need from 2,800 – 3000 calories and more if your teens are very physically active. We all know that our kitchens and freezers can look like a swarm of locusts has landed after your teen and his mates have had a sleep over. Their appetites seemingly bottomless pits. But not all calories are equal. Yes, teens are hungrier. And they need to eat more. But what they need are home-cooked meals full of lean protein – fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, red meat, lentils, beans, tofu and nuts and seeds and complex or Low GI carbohydrates - brown rice, wholemeal bread, quinoa, butternut squash and sweet potatoes and less of the High GI, refined carbs like pizza, pasta, chips and highly processed, sugar-laden, fatty snack foods – crisps, biscuits, cakes, fizzy drinks and sweets which they are exposed to at school, in vending machines, at parties and via multi-million advertising campaigns.


So, the difficult task is how to make sure they get the right kind of calories. As independent as they might want to be they will still need to support to make the right choices. Not skipping breakfast is important. Try and get them to have a hardboiled egg, scrambled egg on wholemeal toast or mashed avocado or nut butter with protein bread or buckwheat pancakes if they’re vegan. If they prefer cereal make sure it’s protein dense – a granola, a muesli or porridge with added berries, nuts, seeds and a dollop of Greek or coconut yoghurt. At weekends make wholemeal, brown rice or coconut flour pancakes or mushrooms, tomatoes, eggs, veggie or tofu sausages and spinach.

Some teens feel too rushed to eat in the morning. Stress and anxiety can reduce their appetite first thing. Just encourage them to have a mouthful or two and finish the rest off at breaktime or on the bus to school. Just get something in to kick start their digestion and after a week or two they’ll be ready to finish off the whole bowl. If they’re still opposed to eating first thing make them a protein-packed breakfast smoothie.

Smoothies are a good way to get fruit, oats, protein powder ( hemp, whey, rice or pea) nuts and seeds – it’s basically a liquidised bowl of porridge and it will fill them up. Smoothies are better than juice as they still contain the whole fruit including the fibre. Teen diets are often low in fibre. Fibre helps slow down the release of glucose into the blood stream and protects against obesity, heart disease and diabetes later in life. The fibre from fruits, vegetables and wholefoods also feeds our good bacteria. Keeping our teens microbiomes abundant and well stocked. Healthy gut bacteria protect them from colds, flu and the teen curse, glandular fever. A run down, overworked, anxious and undernourished teen can be knocked off track during peak exam time by debilitating viruses like glandular fever that can set them back for months and sometimes years.

Smoothies can be finished off on route to school and because they are sweet-tasting most teens will be keen to have one. Smoothies are also ‘trendy.’ The likes of food writer, Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella and teens, Alessandra Peters, blog The Foodie Teen or Saskia Gregson-Williams’ blog Naturally Sassy are good your teens to cook with you, for you or for themselves. By encouraging their natural desire to be independent and follow their peers’ ideas over and above yours buying them teen cookery books and getting them to choose recipes from teen bloggers sites can help them learn how to cook for themselves.


My teen, and teens I work with, don’t seem to choose the healthiest cooked school meals. Teens tell me they don’t have time to queue for cooked food at lunchtime. The queues are too long. They had to go to netball, football, chess, choir or stay back for detention. So, by the time they have queued there’s no hot food left. Or more often than not, it seems to me, they’re surrounded by too many, other, less healthy temptations refined, sugar, salt and carb-laden, fibreless and fatty foods like chips, crisps, pizza, biscuits, cakes and fizzy drinks.

Better then, if they’re not eating a cooked a healthy hot meal or salad at school - send them off to school with a packed lunch or hot soup, stew, casserole or other leftovers in a food flask. Or buy an Indian-style tiffin lunch box with several layers or a non-plastic lunch box with compartments for salad, a homemade buckwheat wrap, fruit, hummus, mashed avocado and carrot sticks or lightly salted tortilla chips. Make a batch of tuna and bean salad, egg salad, chicken salad or potato salad to last several days. Add chopped carrot, red pepper, cucumber and a pot of cottage cheese, thin sticks of cheddar cheese, hummus, mashed black beans with olive oil, salt, pepper and chilli.

Focus on getting your teens to eat 7-10 portions of fruits and vegetables daily – add salad to sandwiches, add side salads and main salads to meals even in Winter. Have extra vegetables with main meals. Make smoothies. Use courgettes to make courgetti and cauliflower to make cauliflower.

Girls once they’ve started their periods tend to need more iron, B6, magnesium, iodine, zinc and vitamin C. Encourage them to have lean red meat once or twice a week – lasagne, moussaka, meat balls or bean stews, lentil dahls, nuts and nut butters, dried fruit – like apricots and whole grains – like brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat also provide iron and magnesium. Zinc and iodine is found in seafood, fish and seaweed – homemade sushi can be fun to make at weekends. Eating iron rich foods with salad or fruit and fresh fruit juice also helps the absorption of iron from the foods they eat.

As boys and girls approach puberty they also need more calcium in their diets than at any other times in their lives. A combination of exercise and good diet helps bones reach peak bone density through the teen years. Organic full fat dairy products – cheese, yoghurt, milk and dark green leafy vegetables are the best sources. But calcium is also found in white beans like butter beans or cannelloni beans, tinned salmon and sardines, dried figs, kale, pok choy, molasses, almonds, oranges, sesame seeds (tahini) and tofu. Vitamin D found in dairy, oily fish and added to fortified vegan and vegetarian nut milks combined with K2 and magnesium from dark green leafy vegetables and wholefoods helps dietary calcium to be deposited as bone.

If you feel your teen under eats, eats poorly or does a lot of sport or has a lot of exam or personal stress and anxiety a good teen multi is a good insurance policy. Extra vitamin C, zinc and magnesium during the Winter or when under extra pressure at school is also a good idea. A general multi high strain probiotic is also always a good bet.


The same rules apply to snacks as to main meals. Think protein. Think wholefoods. Eat a rainbow of colours every day. Think fresh and colourful to maximise the antioxidants and nutrient content in your meals and snacks. Tortilla chips, homemade popcorn, quinoa and lentil crisps, mashed avocado, energy balls and homemade flap jacks, oat cakes and tray bakes made with vegetables can be fun to make after school or at weekends with your teen.


Dinner should in theory be easier. It’s the meal where most of us get to sit down together. Keep it protein based. Rather than centred around even more carbs. No pasta or pizza then as it’s 99.9% likely your teens have already had more than enough carbs already for breakfast and most probably lunch. Best not to give them another plate of the same. Keep it meat and two veg. Or the 2020 version plant-based protein – tofu, beans and 3-4 vegetables and a salad. around protein. Protein keeps us fuller for longer. It releases sugar into the blood stream in a more sustained way. Reducing refined carbs and sugars from our teens diets and focussing. Cook extra so leftovers can be taken to school the next day.

Colourful stir fries – with courgette noodles or buckwheat or rice noodles. If they like fries make your own oven chips. Slice several organic white or sweet potatoes in half and then length ways, skin still on, into large slices, parboil for 2 minutes then drizzle with salt and olive oil and place in a hot over 180-200 centigrade until golden brown. Oven bake a few large baking trays of vegetables ( fennel, sweet potato, butternut squash, orange, red, yellow and green peppers) to be used in lunches throughout the week. Make extra quinoa, brown rice or couscous to add to lunch boxes. Roast a large chicken and use it for several meals and lunches. Have a homemade salad or coleslaw with a selection of cooked vegetables every night even throughout the Winter.

Healthy fats are vital for brain and emotional health. Fats are good. They help us absorb fat soluble vitamins like vitamin K, D, A and E. They also help teens make hormones. Oily fish like salmon, anchovies and mackerel plus olive oil and flax seeds, flax oil, ground flax meal, walnuts and chia seeds are the best sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These are the ones we need. We tend to have too much Omega 6 Fatty Acids in our diet from nuts, seeds, grain fed meats and poultry. If your teen is a vegan or vegetarian or not eating oily fish two to three times a week it’s a good idea to supplement with a good quality cod liver oil or fish oil and an algae-based Omega 3 supplement if they follow a plant-based diet only. Healthy Fats also include avocado oil, olive oil, sunflower and sesame oils as well as saturated fats for cooking and baking in moderation like coconut oil, ghee and grass fed butter.

Turning your teen onto healthy food and away from fast food and refined food gives them a chance to get involved with their own health and wellbeing at the same time as it sets them up for a healthy transition to young adulthood away from home and hopefully a lifelong love affair with healthy and inspiring food.

Press release 17/1/20 Fulham Osteopaths Introduction


Recent studies conducted by Channel 4’s “Live Well for Longer” found that Osteopathic treatments can reduce pain by up to 75% through harnessing the healing abilities of the human body itself. The art utilises a natural approach to healing and rebalancing interconnections between different areas of the body; with no one understanding these elements more than acclaimed Fulham Osteopaths.

Established by Osteopaths Melinda and Andrew Cotton in 1989, Fulham Osteopaths based on Fulham Road have freed thousands of people from the burdens of pain with their knowledge of the human body, its balances, processes and structure. These days, the clinic boasts 30+ years’ worth of experience between a team of 9 Osteopaths and 4 Alternative Therapists. The practice has not only become the biggest Private Osteopathy Clinic in London but is also known as one of the world’s top Osteopath practices.

Osteopathy can treat plenty of conditions, most notably arthritis, back and neck pain, headaches, and postural problems. To combat these issues and more, Fulham Osteopaths offer a large range of treatments; including Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Reflexology, Massage and Counselling, plus specialist services for Mums and Babies such as treating Baby Reflux, Flat Head Syndrome, Cranial Osteopathy. This ever-expanding range of services has allowed them to apply various dimensions of care to their patients, only furthering their remarkable ability to heal, renew and rebalance the body.

Each of the clinic’s practicing Osteopaths are also experts in Palpation, the ability to physically feel illnesses that the patient has through determining its size, shape, firmness, or location. This cultivated skill, which is just as important as sight during a medical examination, allows Fulham Osteopaths to deliver a customised treatment plan as unique as the individual is.

Due to the fragility and complexity of the body, it should be in your best intentions to seek help from only the most accomplished clinics such as Fulham Osteopaths. Having proven themselves one hundred times over as exceptional leaders in the field of healing and self-care, the drug-free, non- invasive manual therapy on offer is the perfect solution to improving joint, muscle, and spine health.

Address: 769 Fulham Rd, Fulham, London SW6 5HA call andy on 020 7384 1851

Tom Church's Blog about Fulham Osteopaths

Blogger and Media Personality Tom Church comes to Fulham Osteopaths

A ten-year old business can be proud of itself. A twenty-year old business should be proud of itself. Fulham Osteopaths is more than 30 years old. It’s a health practice in West London, dedicated to helping its patients. It has no plans to expand, no interest in franchising, no concern to automate nor outsource. Instead, it is the life of its staff. A place where they practice their craft – bringing people back to good health. I had the good fortune of working there for a year, and learnt about their communication strategies – why hundreds of people come back week after week, some since it began in 1989.

Always open, at the ready

Anyone can walk in and ask for free advice. There is always one doctor ready to talk, and sometimes to give a free consultation too. Even if the problem is not something Fulham Osteopaths can help with, they always recommend someone that can. People very quickly recognise the business as a trustworthy place for professional health advice, and return.

Relationship first

Patients stick with the same doctor for each treatment. This builds a strong relationship, and can lead to friendships outside. Once treatment is complete, patients still come back, albeit less often, because of the strong relationship that was built. This principle should be the same in all businesses: Support should be given by one person consistently and the same person that opened a deal should close it.

Telephone Expertise

No waiting. That’s the rule. During business hours someone is always manning the telephone. Voicemails are replied to within 30 minutes. Appointments are made instantly, and schedules were fitted around the needs of the patient. After years of such calls, the business has created training scripts to help new receptionists deal with priorities:

•   Staff: Good morning, Fulham Osteopaths, how may I help you?
•   Caller: Hi I would like to book an appointment please.
•   Staff: Have you been here before?
•   Caller: No.
•   Staff: OK, explain to me the problem and I can match you with the Doctor best suited to your needs.
•   It sounds simple, but asking “have you been here before” lead to a totally different channel of conversation if the caller had said “yes”:
•   Staff: Have you been here before?
•   Caller: Yes.
•   Staff: What’s your name please?
•   Caller: David Fletcher (made up).
•   Staff: Hi David, last time you came you saw Dr. Jones. She is next available tomorrow at 9am, does that suit you?

Having an up-to-date, instantly searchable database is the key to telephone success. It enables the service to become personalised at a large scale. Patients feel welcome, known and part of the gang. • Note if you are going to have a client database, it needs to be backed up, encrypted and follow laws and regulations.

Email after 6 months

Dentists don’t have to be the only ones sending you 6 month reminders. Fulham Osteopaths do that too, but write it personally and include a discount coupon. Each email includes a photograph of the patient’s doctor, is addressed to them directly and has the date of their last appointment. Could this be applied to other businesses? With smart data management, yes. A coffee shop, for example, could have a customer reward card. This would record when they come in, what they buy, and who served them. If they haven’t come in for 6 months, send an email: Hey John! It’s been a while since you last came into Coffee House. We’re just writing to say that your usual caramel creme macchiato is waiting for you here and with the voucher below you can get it for free. Best Wishes, Paola, your Coffee House Barrista.

• Once you have your database system setup, normally it’s pretty easy to schedule the task of exporting lists to excel, and from there you can upload it to MailChimp and send such an email with ease.
• Seasonal Cards Every Christmas, each doctor writes cards to their favourite patients with a discount voucher inside. Normally about 100 – 200 per doctor. These are handwritten messages, some of them in great length, and were more of a thank you note than any kind of promotional activity.

Not every business could do it, but where you can, you should. It’s like a final confirmation that your company is human.

Years haven't gone by without ups and downs. Whilst the strong focus on building relationships and loyalty has helped during recessions (and they’ve seen more than one), they do on the very rare occasion bring out the marketing weapon of SMS Advertising. Permitted to be used only once every 6 months per doctor, a text-message is sent out to every patient with a discount code. This has a modest conversion rate and helps boost up the business during tough times.

Local Press

As I mentioned in the beginning, Fulham Osteopaths is a local business. Therefore its market is within a twenty mile radius and it maintains its brand reputation through local editorial. The business frequently holds interviews with local journalists, and networks amongst local companies and at school meetings (Mums spread the word!). It also participates in many local projects, community events and seasonal activities to just make sure people know that it’s there when they need it. For businesses that aren’t localised such as technology services, there are still similar activities you could do. Find a MeetUp group, present at Universities, join associations or help related charities. I love Fulham Osteopaths because it’s a gentle reminder as to what a business can be. Small, nimble, local, fun, friendly, helpful and great. The most important part of its success is its people and their passion. Even with the largest marketing budget in the world, no one would return if what they did didn’t work. But it does work, and that’s the key.

Read my Blog!

5 signs You need to visit an Osteopath

Rounded shoulders, clicking, aches and pains… these are all common (and commonly ignored) signs that something’s not quite right, but when exactly should you get help?

Osteopathic treatments have the ability to help you to relax your body, improve the movement in your joints and muscles, plus encourage good circulation so it's easier for your body to repair itself.

Listen to your body and pay attention to what it needs. If you treat an issue before it worsens, you’ll be stopping it dead in its tracks and preventing yourself from having to endure unnecessary pain.

Here are 5 signs that it’s time to visit an osteopath:

Sign 1 – you've recently suffered a minor injury and it doesn’t seem to be improving, even several days afterward.

Sign 2 – your posture isn’t great, and you’re beginning to feel pains in your back and muscles that could be related.

Sign 3 – you have an ongoing or recurring pain that you regularly take pain medication for. Osteopathy looks at the relationship between how well your body could be working to how well it is actually working, removing your dependency on pain medications.

Sign 4 – you suffer from regular headaches and migraines that affect your quality of life. Gentle massage to the tight muscles and manipulation to loosen the joints of the neck, thorax and back can relieve the build-up of muscular tension that may lead to headaches.

Sign 5 - you’re a strong believer in prevention over cure. Osteopathy is a powerful tool that fixes issues with your joints or movements before they become a major problem!

If you’ve exhibited any of these symptoms, please get in touch with our team today. Give us a call or fill in our online contact form to book in a consultation here.