March 2015 Newsletter
The end of March marks the end of the first quarter of the year!
There are people out there that send out motivational emails at this point in time asking "are you 25% towards your year targets?" along with other similar questions.
This is a tough question to answer if you have health goals, because biological systems rarely function in a linear fashion. They have periods of rapid change followed by periods of slow or no change.
This is never more true than when dealing with pain.
Pain can be considered an emergent phenomenon. Here is a great definition of emergent properties in biology:
"An emergent property is a property which a collection or complex system has, but which the individual members do not have. A failure to realize that a property is emergent, or supervenient, leads to the fallacy of division."
This might seem complex, but all it means, when applied to pain, is that because pain is an output of the whole brain, and not solely dependent on any one input (from the body) or brain area, treatment cannot target one single area - we must treat the entire system, in other words, the entire person.
One of the commonest phrases you'll hear in osteopathic marketing is "we treat the person, not the disease". Here at Integrative Osteopathy, we wholly believe in this premise.
This means, that when somebody presents to us for help with a problem, be it pain, or something else, we will examine them completely.
Using a common example - low back pain - we will complete a full medical history, as well as a movement screen. However, sometimes we will dig even deeper - performing abdominal/organ examinations. Looking past the physical, we might find an emotional or psychological component that is resulting in stress - this stress response is what is priming the brain to produce pain, so no amount of manual and movement therapy will make a lasting difference until the stress response is eased. It can get quite complex, which is why pain is such a challenging problem to treat.
However, overcoming pain always teaches us lessons about ourselves, so if there is any positive to the experience, it's that we can grow as a result of our pain.
Functional Movement Group "Function 101" Course
On March 22nd, was part two of the Functional Movement Group's course. This was focused on being able to tweak movements to achieve specific functional goals; functional being defined as a whole body task dependent on an individual's goals.
This is useful for a few main reasons:
- Being able to tweak a painful movement so that it is no longer painful.
- Ensuring complete rehabilitation after injury - minimising the risk of recurrence.
- Creating challenging exercise programs, especially when there are special requirements, i.e. injury or work requirements.
Best practice in pain management dictates that active approaches trump passive only approaches. Being able to create challenging, interesting and relevant movement based programs ensures that you get the very best possible outcomes.
Additionally, it means there is usually a way to keep exercising.
Unfortunately there have been some web hosting issues, which have meant the first Integrative Osteopathy blog post has yet to go live.
This has been resolved, so April will be the beginning of regular blogging.
If you have any topics you'd like covered, send them in.
The first weekend of April is a long one, and whether you are celebrating Easter or not, we wish you a peaceful weekend. After a busy first 3 months of the year, it can be easy to get caught up in things that aren't so important in the big picture, so take some time to be grateful for your loved ones, and tell them how important they are to you.