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October Newsletter – Birthdays, Sushi and Pain


This month’s newsletter has taken me a few days to write. Well, more accurately, a few days to decide what to write about.

It actually shouldn’t have been that difficult, I could have easily rambled on about how Integrative Osteopathy has been open for 2 years this month, discussing trials and tribulations and ending with some heartfelt lesson.

I probably will end with some heartfelt lesson, but not relating to business.

Before I go on, I want to say a sincere thank you to all of you reading this, and to those who aren’t, who have trusted me with your most important “asset”, your health over the last two years, without you, I have no business, so thank you.

I'd also like to say, I’m sorry if I wasn’t able to help you to your expectations, it will never be the case that any practitioner has a 100% success rate, but I can say with certainty that I’ve always endeavoured to give you nothing but my best.

The Best Sushi?

Last night my inspiration for this newsletter finally struck when I was watching the documentary ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ (pictured below).

Filmed in 2011, it tells the story of a then 85 year old man, Jiro, and his two sons who are sushi chefs at one of, if not the best, sushi restaurants in the world.

The story is one of passion, grit, work ethic, dedication and mastery as Jiro strives for perfection in his sushi, and demands nothing but the same from his sons (his oldest will take over the restaurant, while his youngest has opened his own nearby, as he wasn’t in line to be the head chef).

They commented on the lost art of mastering a craft – saying that most people they come across these days don’t want to put in the time and effort to achieve a level of mastery – and it’s not hard to see why; an apprenticeship with Jiro takes 10 years.

One thing that stood out to me, was that even after 75 years of making sushi, Jiro was still improving and finding better ways to do things, and he was still extremely passionate about what he did.
Jiro has essentially found the 3 things that author Daniel Pink talked about in his fantastic book ‘Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’:
  • Autonomy
  • Mastery
  • Purpose

Obviously, this isn't an email solely about sushi, so what's the connection to osteopathy?

Jiro doesn't see an end point, retirement, as the goal of work. His goal is to constantly improve his craft so that he is always making better sushi.

When it comes to pain, in many cases, there is no end point. There isn't a cure or resolution for many cases of chronic pain, and chasing one is simply stressful.

So instead of aiming for cure/resolution all the time, sometimes it's important to aim for living a better life *with* pain.

Some comfort can be had from understanding pain to a high level - whilst the unpleasant feeling is still present, often the fear, anxiety and distress associated with pain eases.

How do you live a better life when pain is all you've known?

It comes down to setting realistic functional goals - i.e. things you want to be able to do - and working out a strategy to achieve them. This takes the focus off of how you feel and onto what you can do.

Is it a perfect approach. No? But when it comes to pain, nothing is.

Latest From The Blog

In September I wrote two very good (in my opinion) blog posts.

The first was about posture, and is probably relevant to everyone, in the sense that there are so many myths and misconceptions surround posture, especially when it comes to pain.

The second is extremely valuable for those of you who lift weights. In this post I dissect a video of myself squatting to explain how the body can compensate effectively, giving the appearance of good movement, but actually reducing the effectiveness of the exercise and potentially decreasing performance or risking injury.

Updates From The Clinic

As I mentioned in last month's newsletter, I have something exciting in mind.

I'd like to create an information product to complement my stretching guide.

At the moment, I have a few topics in mind, so I'll put it to you to tell me what you'd like best:

Option 1: Warm up and recovery guide

This would be a downloadable product with information covering the theoretical and practical aspects of the best warm up and recovery strategies for increased performance and injury prevention.

It would be more of an educational, how to type guide, rather than a "here is the warm up you must do" type of guide. There would likely be a couple of examples, but it wouldn't be done for you.

Option 2: 3-4 month training program

This would be a modifiable 3-4 month training program for improving all round fitness. It would include warm up, flexibility and mobility, power, strength and endurance training in a periodised manner.

This would be a more of a "what to do" than "how to guide". You could do this program on your own, or with a trainer quite easily.

It would be designed to build a foundation of structural balance followed by a peaking period for either strength or endurance.

Option 3: Online pain education course

As I've mentioned, understanding pain is crucial to successful long term management. This type of resource would be designed to provide information with working tasks to help you not only understand pain, but implement this knowledge in useful ways to help you live a better life.

It would cover topics of: what is pain, types of pain, why does it occur, myths about pain, what to do about it.

If you could simply cast your vote for your preference by clicking on one of the options below it would help me direct my energy into what is most valuable for you.

Which product most interests you?
Warm up and recovery guide
3-4 month training program
Online pain education course
I'm not interested in any products from you Nick


Until next time, stay healthy.


PS I walked to work today with a terrible umbrella, so if anyone knows of the best umbrella money can buy (well osteopath money, not sheikh money), please hit reply and let me know.

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Integrative Osteopathy · 191 St Georges Rd · Fitzroy North, VIC 3068 · Australia

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