Remembering 100 years on

In East Hoathly, our bonfire night is centred around remembrance. Amidst the carnival atmosphere of our bonfire procession and before the fireworks there is a pause. Villagers and visitors gather in the centre of East Hoathly for an Act of Remembrance. Words of remembrance are spoken and then, as a complete contrast to the noise of the evening, there is a minute's silence. 

 

Last night was particularly poignant. As we stood in the pouring rain I couldn't help but think of those soldiers who one hundred years ago would have spent days at a time knee deep in mud as well as in the pouring rain having experienced horrors of conflict that we cannot even imagine.

 

This moment of reflection was followed by the final procession before the fireworks. In amongst the beautiful colourful display were, I am sure by design, some fireworks that were more like shell explosions. They cracked aggressively and my thoughts were led to our current service men, women and veterans, some of whom must find bonfire night very difficult due to PTSD and Anxiety related disorders. These disorders occur when there is a change to the way the brain is processing. The brain can get stuck in a fight or flight cycle, it is not a conscious choice, and recent studies of neuroplasticity are helping us to understand how this is happening and how we can change it for the better.

 

What is the relevance to Osteopathy?  Well, we deal with pain and the latest pain research shows that the same mechanism that is involved in the fight flight response of anxiety, is also affecting the way the brain perceives pain in Chronic Pain conditions and this is partly why so many chronic pain sufferers also experience anxiety and overwhelm. 

 

Everybody, and every BODY,  perceives trauma differently and whilst you may have never been in the trenches, your brain doesn't decipher between mild or strong trauma - to the brain it is just trauma. Some people are genetically predisposed to being less affected by trauma and some more. The trauma that causes chronic pain in adulthood can result from emotional or physical incidents that have happened at any point in life, even in childhood.  In addition to osteopathic treatment, helping you to identify, acknowledge and understand what events have triggered your fight/flight response have been proven to help calm the body's sense of overwhelm which in turn reduces your chronic pain symptoms. 

If you would like to know more please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk or you can read more here...

 

(Thank you to Richard Cossens for the image)

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

Chronic Pain Part 1-Why the pain is always in your brain.

Pain; whether it is an acute tissue injury or chronic persistent pain, it is processed in the brain.

 

It feels to us that the pain is in the body tissues. Pain fibres are stimulated in the body when it is injured but the actual processing of pain occurs in the brain. 

This processing is what makes each person's perception of pain an individual experience. However, that is not all that affects our pain levels. Our brain's previous experiences can affect how we react to pain. (At the end of this article is a brilliant video of how our bodies adapt to pain stimuli)

 

In acute tissue injury, for instance, if you sprain your ankle, the pain fibres will fire to the brain and this warns us to adjust the activity we are doing to prevent further injury. In this case we also have chemical changes, such as inflammation, to enhance the tissue repair.

In CHRONIC PAIN the situation is different: Chronic pain is pain that has been present for more than 3 months.  It is pain that remains when all medical causes have been ruled out. Pain that is present beyond the time that any injured tissues have healed and is probably not be related to any tissue injury at all.

The 'but all I did was get something out of the cupboard pain'. There wasn't pain all the previous times you got something out of the same cupboard but this time the brain is registering pain. The 'but the pain keeps moving' pain, the 'but my pain doesn't seem to respond to anything and I've had it for months or even years'.

If it is hurting it is injured, isn't it....well, not always.

 

This can be REALLY hard for us to get our heads around, I want to re-iterate, at this point, that chronic pain is still REAL PAIN and the pain can be as excruciating as having a prolapsed disc or sciatica or a sprained ankle or planter faciitis or all these things at once but how we need to address it is different.

 

Chronic pain is often the body's way of telling us that our brain and central nervous system is feeling overwhelmed. This can be due to current stress or previous stress or trauma, relating to events as far back as childhood. There is now extensive research into how our bodies respond and produce pain, real pain, and how we need to address it. 

 

As a chronic pain sufferer I understand how difficult it is to get people to understand how it is, I also understand that when people sound like they are suggesting it is all in your head, it is intensely frustrating and infuriating. However, to effectively treat chronic pain we need to understand that we have to look at the body's whole story, everything that has happened to it physically and emotionally through it's whole existence. 

 

There are many strategies that I have used to diminish my chronic pain, including Osteopathy and MindBody techniques, and I will be explaining more about this in the next couple of articles. keep an eye out here or for more information email us...

 

Take Care Pippa Cossens

 

 

Watch the pain video here...

 

Keeping Cool inside and out

The Pain/Tension/Stress Cycle

It is ever-so easy to get stuck in this cycle. It can start with tension or pain and lead on to stress or it can start with stress and lead to pain. 

At Osteopathy For All we take into consideration all aspects of your story, physical and lifestyle, past and present to find the cause of your pain and then treat and manage it accordingly. 

So many of our patients remark on how much more comfortable they feel physically but also about feeling more well in themselves generally after their treatment.

If you would like more information or would like to feel better then do contact us.

Remembering 100 years on

In East Hoathly, our bonfire night is centred around remembrance. Amidst the carnival atmosphere of our bonfire procession and before the fireworks there is a pause. Villagers and visitors gather in the centre of East Hoathly for an Act of Remembrance. Words of remembrance are spoken and then, as a complete contrast to the noise of the evening, there is a minute's silence. 

 

Last night was particularly poignant. As we stood in the pouring rain I couldn't help but think of those soldiers who one hundred years ago would have spent days at a time knee deep in mud as well as in the pouring rain having experienced horrors of conflict that we cannot even imagine.

 

This moment of reflection was followed by the final procession before the fireworks. In amongst the beautiful colourful display were, I am sure by design, some fireworks that were more like shell explosions. They cracked aggressively and my thoughts were led to our current service men, women and veterans, some of whom must find bonfire night very difficult due to PTSD and Anxiety related disorders. These disorders occur when there is a change to the way the brain is processing. The brain can get stuck in a fight or flight cycle, it is not a conscious choice, and recent studies of neuroplasticity are helping us to understand how this is happening and how we can change it for the better.

 

What is the relevance to Osteopathy?  Well, we deal with pain and the latest pain research shows that the same mechanism that is involved in the fight flight response of anxiety, is also affecting the way the brain perceives pain in Chronic Pain conditions and this is partly why so many chronic pain sufferers also experience anxiety and overwhelm. 

 

Everybody, and every BODY,  perceives trauma differently and whilst you may have never been in the trenches, your brain doesn't decipher between mild or strong trauma - to the brain it is just trauma. Some people are genetically predisposed to being less affected by trauma and some more. The trauma that causes chronic pain in adulthood can result from emotional or physical incidents that have happened at any point in life, even in childhood.  In addition to osteopathic treatment, helping you to identify, acknowledge and understand what events have triggered your fight/flight response have been proven to help calm the body's sense of overwhelm which in turn reduces your chronic pain symptoms. 

If you would like to know more please contact pippa@osteopathyforall.co.uk or you can read more here...

 

(Thank you to Richard Cossens for the image)

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

Chronic Pain Part 1-Why the pain is always in your brain.

Pain; whether it is an acute tissue injury or chronic persistent pain, it is processed in the brain.

 

It feels to us that the pain is in the body tissues. Pain fibres are stimulated in the body when it is injured but the actual processing of pain occurs in the brain. 

This processing is what makes each person's perception of pain an individual experience. However, that is not all that affects our pain levels. Our brain's previous experiences can affect how we react to pain. (At the end of this article is a brilliant video of how our bodies adapt to pain stimuli)

 

In acute tissue injury, for instance, if you sprain your ankle, the pain fibres will fire to the brain and this warns us to adjust the activity we are doing to prevent further injury. In this case we also have chemical changes, such as inflammation, to enhance the tissue repair.

In CHRONIC PAIN the situation is different: Chronic pain is pain that has been present for more than 3 months.  It is pain that remains when all medical causes have been ruled out. Pain that is present beyond the time that any injured tissues have healed and is probably not be related to any tissue injury at all.

The 'but all I did was get something out of the cupboard pain'. There wasn't pain all the previous times you got something out of the same cupboard but this time the brain is registering pain. The 'but the pain keeps moving' pain, the 'but my pain doesn't seem to respond to anything and I've had it for months or even years'.

If it is hurting it is injured, isn't it....well, not always.

 

This can be REALLY hard for us to get our heads around, I want to re-iterate, at this point, that chronic pain is still REAL PAIN and the pain can be as excruciating as having a prolapsed disc or sciatica or a sprained ankle or planter faciitis or all these things at once but how we need to address it is different.

 

Chronic pain is often the body's way of telling us that our brain and central nervous system is feeling overwhelmed. This can be due to current stress or previous stress or trauma, relating to events as far back as childhood. There is now extensive research into how our bodies respond and produce pain, real pain, and how we need to address it. 

 

As a chronic pain sufferer I understand how difficult it is to get people to understand how it is, I also understand that when people sound like they are suggesting it is all in your head, it is intensely frustrating and infuriating. However, to effectively treat chronic pain we need to understand that we have to look at the body's whole story, everything that has happened to it physically and emotionally through it's whole existence. 

 

There are many strategies that I have used to diminish my chronic pain, including Osteopathy and MindBody techniques, and I will be explaining more about this in the next couple of articles. keep an eye out here or for more information email us...

 

Take Care Pippa Cossens

 

 

Watch the pain video here...

 

Keeping Cool inside and out

The Pain/Tension/Stress Cycle

It is ever-so easy to get stuck in this cycle. It can start with tension or pain and lead on to stress or it can start with stress and lead to pain. 

At Osteopathy For All we take into consideration all aspects of your story, physical and lifestyle, past and present to find the cause of your pain and then treat and manage it accordingly. 

So many of our patients remark on how much more comfortable they feel physically but also about feeling more well in themselves generally after their treatment.

If you would like more information or would like to feel better then do contact us.

What we can learn from nature

Yesterday, before it started raining, I did a little spot of gardening to re-pot a couple of shrubs that were getting a little pot-bound. Their roots were being compressed for being in too small a pot. I put them in larger pots, added some new fresh compost and gave them a good water...then it rained!

 

This morning when I looked at them, ridiculous as it may sound, they looked happier -more vibrant and perky. and it made me think about human beings. 

 

Firstly being in nature is very good for us. Connecting with the ground and breathing the fresh air so getting out in the garden even for a few minutes boosts us. 

 

Also our bodies are so much better if they are well hydrated and well fed. So ensuring that you are drinking enough water each day is important and getting as much variety of nutrition. To check out more information why not have a look at our HYDRATION and  EAT A RAINBOW pages by just clicking the words.

 

The other aspect that made the plants look better was space for their roots. In our busy lives we are often lacking space...the space to relax, the space to rest, the space to exercise, the space to connect with our fellow humans and the space to breathe.  It is important that we give ourselves permission to have some space.  This might be achieved by gently declining something we really feel will not nurture us or having a social media free day a week or just putting some free time in the diary. 

 

We are unable to function efficiently or to help others if we are depleted so maybe spend a few minutes this weekend re-potting and nurturing yourself.

Read More

The Pain/Tension/Stress Cycle

It is ever-so easy to get stuck in this cycle. It can start with tension or pain and lead on to stress or it can start with stress and lead to pain. 

At Osteopathy For All we take into consideration all aspects of your story, physical and lifestyle, past and present to find the cause of your pain and then treat and manage it accordingly. 

So many of our patients remark on how much more comfortable they feel physically but also about feeling more well in themselves generally after their treatment.

If you would like more information or would like to feel better then do contact us.

Christmas Survival Toolkit

With Christmas day fast approaching many people will be juggling lots of preparations for the holiday period. Wrapping presents, wrangling over-excited children, organising relatives, doing last minute shopping and food preparations. This can be overwhelming both for our minds and our bodies. Here is simple tip to help you survive.

 

Breathe - yes it really is that simple!

 

When we get stressed our sympathetic nervous system is triggered and this produces our fight and flight response. Even though we don't need to run away or have a fist fight with ...... (insert name here) our bodies cannot differentiate and so our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises and this physiological response can make us feel quite unwell. There is a very simple technique to help reduce this effect.

 

Breathing - slow deep breaths- can re-balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the nervous system and make us feel much more relaxed and comfortable. 

Breathe in for a count of 6 and breathe out for a count of 6. This reduces your respiratory rate from 10 - 14 times a minute to about 5 - 6 times a minute and in turn this settles our body (and soul).

So if over the next few weeks it all gets a bit much, find a quiet corner (or lock yourself in the bathroom) and spend five minutes breathing slowly. If anyone asks what you are doing, tell them it is essential maintenance!

 

Happy Christmas and here's to a healthy 2019.

Osteopathy - that's backs isn't it?

We recently had an open day at the practice to celebrate 5 years of being in East Hoathly. One of the reasons was to allow people to come and ask any questions they had about Osteopathy and also to eat cake!

There are some common concerns about Osteopathy that came up and come up on a regular basis so we wanted to address them here. 

Firstly, is about backs. Yes, we definitely treat backs. We can help to reduce tension and stiffness to improve mobility and to reduce pain. However, we can treat muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments in any part of the body. This means we are able to treat tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, arthritic knees or dropped arches. We are also able to release tension in the neck and around the base of the skull which can in turn relieve headaches.

This brings me on to the second area that many people worry about: the cracking of necks.

Many Osteopaths safely 'crack' necks day in and day out, screening their patients for contra-indications to make sure it is safe before they do. At Osteopathy For All, all our Osteopaths choose NOT to manipulate(crack) necks. We are able to release all joints effectively without needing to use this technique. We all tend to use the more gentle range of Osteopathic techniques especially when treating children. 

The other thing that concerns people is that fact that we are 'alternative or complementary practitioners'. We can be a good alternative or very complementary to your ongoing medical care...even the latest NICE guidelines recommend Osteopathy and exercises above painkillers.

However, we are Primary Care Practitioners. Our extensive training is similar to that of your GP. We complete 4 years of anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, endocrinology, radiology and all aspects of medicine, except surgery or in-depth pharmacology, as well as our Osteopathy. This enables us to be able to diagnose you. It also means we know when we cannot treat you and need to send you back to your GP. We are also trained to have a good understanding of exercise and lifestyle advice. We are the total package and we are continually assessed and monitored by the General Osteopathic Council to ensure excellent practice standards.

If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact us hello@osteopathyforall.co.uk

Swim, Dance, Garden or Sing your pain away...

This blog title isn't meant to sound flippant. As a chronic pain/fatigue sufferer I really know what it is like to be in so much pain, so much of the time, that you never think that you will be able to do anything again, let alone something you used to love. It feels overwhelming and unmanageable. 

However, if you can find something that you love and manage to do it even a couple of times a week, or every day for a short time it will help your body to feel better and reduce your pain. When we are more relaxed and happy our Cortisol (the stress hormone) levels reduce and this in turn can help to reduce our pain.

When my pain was really bad and my energy levels were really low I, initially, survived on a diet of Netflix. It meant I rested and was distracted from the pain. If that is all you can manage and you enjoy films and box sets it is well worth the subscription. 

But what makes you tick...

I sing...some of you may have seen The Singing Osteopath video that was our Friday Funny last week on our Facebook page. There is a link below for anyone who missed it . Singing is something that I could do that didn't cause me too much discomfort or use up too much energy and the benefits of the joy it brings are huge. It sets me up for the week.

What brings you joy? 

Walk...to the end of the garden and back...Dance...even if it is just on the spot in your kitchen.

With spring coming, if you are a passionate gardener, but are frustrated because you cannot get stuck in due to pain and stiffness, could you plant up some pots and put them outside the window to enjoy whilst you are resting. If someone can help you by putting everything on a table so you don't need to bend to garden you may still find pleasure in it. If you are not quite up to this, even sitting out in the sun at midday for 10 minutes will help elevate your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency can cause pain and stiffness and is very common in Britain today in all area of the population.

As I started to improve I was able to start swimming and then walking my dogs again. As we move our bodies not only does it allow our muscles to stretch but it also improves the blood supply and the lymphatic drainage which in turn boosts the health of our bodies so that gradually we start to recover. It can be a long process but each baby step we take is worth it. 

At Osteopathy For All we are also here to help support your body and to help get it moving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCgKo04Q9Jc

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