As the twig is bent, so grows the tree...

Vikasini discusses how our bodies are marked by our past, and how osteopathy can help

During most people’s initial appointment we discover that there are several issues that need addressing with osteopathy beyond the particular injury, pain or limitation that has brought them to the clinic. Our bodies retain much of our history, and forgotten falls, impacts or illnesses commonly resurface in our patients’ memories as the treatment starts to release tissues that have been affected by life events in the past. The complaint that a person presents with is therefore often the consequence of their body having reached the limit of its compensatory abilities.

A classic scenario is someone bending forward to pick something up, make the bed, or do up their shoelaces in a way they have done umpteen times before without problem, and out of the blue (or so it seems) their low back ‘goes’, producing pain that may be significantly limiting and may last for days or even weeks. This reveals that there has been a situation in the making involving various restrictions and/or asymmetries in the body that the person may well have been oblivious to but which have led to the demand on the back in that particular moment being the last straw. Sometimes of course there has been a recent traumatic or jarring event with an obvious impact on the body such as a whiplash injury or a fall, and the consequent strain or damage to tissues (ligaments, discs, fascia, muscles, tendons, bones) needs to be addressed first with calming and balancing osteopathic techniques. In either case we almost always find areas that need attention beyond the places where pain is felt in order to speed up recovery of the acute situation.

We also commonly find remnants of birth strains in all age groups. A natural delivery is a compressive journey for a baby! Even in apparently easy births there may be areas of the head, neck and body that remain restricted or under strain even into adulthood, causing issues which may only become apparent many years later. Osteopathy can help these restrictions to free up, thereby improving not only the locally affected area but the functioning of the body as a whole. Not surprisingly, many adults are unaware that new or recurring issues have their origin in early life: possibly from babyhood or from knocks and falls sustained in childhood. A tendency to headaches, stiff neck, low back issues may well have its root in these events from decades ago, with other factors such as stress, illness and poor posture adding to the underlying situation.

As children we are also inevitably affected by the emotional environment we grow up in. Our bodies carry the patterning of our early life on this level too, and if there have been periods of stress of whatever nature this will often create physical tension and/or sensitivities in the nervous system which can persist through our lifetime if not helped to release.

Illnesses at any age where there has been fever or inflammation will often leave long-term effects. Meningitis, hepatitis, appendicitis, pneumonia are common examples. We can detect and treat these effects even years later, thus restoring better functioning of organs and the musculoskeletal system through freeing up tight tissues, and improving nerve and blood supply to all affected areas.

Our greatest wish as osteopaths is to relieve your symptoms, help you feel more at ease in your body, and improve its overall functioning.