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I’m fit and sporty, I don’t have any broken or strained muscles. However, my whole back from my heels to my head is very ‘tight’.

Increasingly my neck is stiff and my shoulders feel like concrete. Add to this, I’m always ‘rushing’ everywhere and yesterday my 12-year-old quipped, “Mum you are so uptight!” Help! Please tell me can osteopathy treat stress?


Yes, I have a lot of patients with similar symptoms and it’s interesting that you have identified an emotional component, stress, that has lead to physical knots and spasms within your body - believe me, from time to time this affects us all.

Our men have the same problem, they can be super-fit and bouncy but without practising good stretching, relaxation techniques and body-fitness checks with osteopath’s or sports coaches and massage therapists their bodies get tighter and bound up. Let’s be clear, there is ‘good’ stress, like a project deadline and working out at the gym - it’s primal and vital for our bodies to pump, achieve, function and reach higher goals. And there is ‘bad’ stress, now clinically proven to be dangerous for our health, even deadly - toxins and pollution for example. Then there is ‘physical body’ stress such as bad posture, pre and post surgery, negative thoughts or a pulled shoulder, etc. Your body is the most remarkable structure, having evolved over millions of years - it can compensate and accommodate for all that we throw at it... until it can’t. I regularly have clients say, “I’m a ball of knots” or “I only bent down to pick up a piece of paper, and my back went!” Well, one thing is for sure, it’s not the piece of paper! It’s an accumulation of many personal experiences and geneology that has brought you to this point. Let’s take a look at super athletes, like our mighty All Blacks, they are ‘switched on’ to mindfulness, yoga, pilates and so on to enrich their perfomance and de-stress on and off the field. We can learn from them how to release stress out of our bodies. Here are a few facts and health tips to help you de-stress. • Treatment and wellness - in our osteo treatments, we observe a holistic view, inquiring about your ‘total’ body, noting any of the stresses we have mentioned. We ‘scan’ your body to trace tension spots and release knots. To untie these ‘knots’, we often have to unravel a few others, these are the compensations that your body has made from previous injuries, maybe a childhood accident, emotional strain from the death of a parent or divorce; all of this is laid down in your body’s tissues in one way or another. As an osteopath, I find them and give treatment and advice to sustain an optimium recovery. • Age and stage - adaptation or ‘bounce-back’ changes with age. The older we get, the less elasticity our tissues have. Talk with your osteo about an appropriate plan for your specific body type. • Movement - from a daily walk and gentle stretching with yoga and pilates to dancing, swimming and surfing - will help to keep your tissues, heart, muscles and joints in a healthier state. • Rest and relaxation - paramount to all of this is managing your life to include good sleep. Easier said than done! We rebuild neurons and tissues in our sleep and you don’t have to lift a finger. Massage, mindfulness and meditation; lots of laughter is a winner. Have fun! Breathe... we can show you how. • Balanced diet - I personally monitor how well I am by getting a full spectrum blood test on a yearly basis. It is clinically proven that stress has a negative effect on your gut function, which can result in a reduction in immunity. Finally, please do come into PN our clinic, we would love to assist you in your de-stress. (SARAH-JANE ATTIAS) F Disclaimer: This article is for general information purposes only. If you have a specific health problem you should seek advise from an appropriate registered health care provider. Living Osteopathy is a Primary Health Care Provider registered with ACC and the OCNZ. Living Osteopathy does not accept any liability other than to its clients.

LIVING OSTEOPATHY, 29 Scanlan Street, T: 09 361 1147, www.livingosteopathy.co.nz

84 PONSONBY NEWS+ April 2016


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