I have made a personal discovery that has revolutionised my wellbeing…and my life.
Let me preface this article by saying that I have been devoted to the practice of holistic health management for the majority of my life, I became a pescovegetarian at 18 years, an acupuncturist at 21, medical herbalist and holistic medical practitioner at 25 and a perpetual student and practitioner of functional medicine every since. I have always favoured organic food in my diet, a regular fitness regime and taken a substantial quantity of supplements to support my hectic lifestyle as a mother of two and running two businesses for a while. I have treated any health conditions that have arisen for me with lifestyle interventions, exercise, herbs, nutritional products, bodywork, acupuncture, NET, psychotherapy and more. Occasionally surgery was the only solution to my injuries and health problems, so I know only too well the essential place for orthodox medicine in recovery.
Over the past four or five years I have noticed how simple my health maintenance regime has become. I am taking far less supplements and tolerating more irregular routines, such as travelling, without feeling depleted or getting sick. I am not suffering the effects of stress, any neck stiffness and pain, mental or physical fatigue, digestive problems, allergies and more minor ailments. The only consistent therapeutic intervention I have on a monthly basis is my health maintenance program with Yasmin Fitton, my osteopathic colleague since I directed the Pymble Grove Clinic in the early 1990’s.
Osteopaths have a reputation for being “fixers” who just deal with bones and muscles, backs and necks. In fact osteopathy covers a huge range of health issues throughout the whole body. It is a system of diagnosis and treatment primarily concerned with mechanical problems of the body, principally within the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. (ligaments, tendons, joints, muscles, nerves). In short, if it hurts when you move then it is very likely that you will benefit from osteopathic treatment. However there is a more comprehensive benefit which you can derive from receiving osteopathic care.
The Usual Benefits of Osteopathy for Rehabilitation & Prevention
If you have just recovered from an injury or acute condition, such as a wry neck or sciatica, then osteopathy can be used to reduce the likelihood of your problem reoccurring. If you have just recovered from an injury, such as a sports injury to your knee or a shoulder sprain from gardening, your osteopath will be able to work to strengthen the structures that support that joint, to relieve muscle tension and pain caused by its movement and to retain its mobility. This will prevent reinjury of this weakened joint in the future. Equally, if you have lifestyle that puts you at risk, such as having to drive for long periods of time or lifting heavy things, then your osteopath will be able to treat your spine in a way that prevents you from developing back or neck pain.
The Benefits of Osteopathy for Relaxation
Who would have thought that having your body adjusted could be relaxing? Being under the care of professional, healing hands is a truly soothing experience. I usually get off Yasmin’s treatment table feeling lighter, mentally refreshed and a bit chilled out, under the influence of the endorphins which our brain releases when having bodywork. Osteopathy is known to reduce your stress levels by releasing stored muscle tension and by improving the circulation to your brain, skin, connective tissue, digestive tract and hormone-producing glands.
Regular osteopathic care increases the efficiency of body systems, such as our immunity and digestion, leading to improved resistance to illness and faster recovery. It balances the tone in our nervous systems so that we feel calmer and more energetically stable. We become resilient under pressure and better able to withstand the various mental and physical challenges that come with everyday living. I find that having a monthly health management osteopathic treatment keeps me fit to continue my exercise regime, enjoying a healthy sleep routine, managing a tendency to irritable bowel and overall experiencing less nuisance health issues.
My female patients who have irregular menstrual periods and period pain gain significant benefit from having their pelvic alignment corrected. In fact, until this problem is corrected woman can continue to have unnecessary suffering with their menstrual problems. Fertility can also be improved with osteopathic care, as pelvic adjustment improves blood flow to the ovaries and uterus, ensuring they function optimally.
Those of my patients who suffer migraines derive enormous benefit from osteopathic care, in combination with nutritional advice, allergy management and sometimes hormone correction. Patients with postural problems, such as scoliosis and stooped posture can actually gain height from osteopathic releasing of the soft tissues around their spine, allowing it to lengthen and to decompress the vertebrae.
For maintaining healthy joints and preventing arthritis osteopathy is particularly valuable. Keeping our musculoskeletal system functioning optimally can actually extend our life expectancy, as we are able to continue to load and strengthen our muscles to maintain their mass (which equates to longevity when optimal) and our bones to prevent their demineralisation and potential fractures with ageing.
So my basic message about having regular osteopathic care as a health maintenance commitment is that it is a safe, effective and comfortable way to keep your body, organs and mind operating in peak condition.
Osteopaths, like doctors and dentists, are primary healthcare practitioners. Their services are rebatable through all private health funds. You do not need a referral from your GP to visit them, unless you wish to take advantage of the Medicare Enhanced Primary Care service, if the osteopathy is to treat an existing health condition.
Giselle Cooke http://lotushealth.com.au/