Manual osteopathy for shoulders and knees

The majority of people who utilize osteopathy do so to address back pain issues. However, this safe and gentle treatment approach is highly effective in addressing multitude of concerns.

Osteopathy has long been in existence. Much like physiotherapy and chiropractic, osteopathy aims to improve health and wellness through non-invasive manual therapy. 

It works on the premise that our structure can get compromised through life style patterns, injuries and posture.  Manual Osteopaths look at the relationship between structure of the body and the way the body is functioning. We also consider organ functions, which is a branch called visceral osteopathy.  Manual Osteopaths are also interested in improving the circulation of intracellular and extracellular bodily fluids and liquids.  The work conducted can encompass cranial sacral techniques.  Gentle palpation movements on the cranium, spine, pelvis and other areas that are blocked are used to improve the functions of the central nervous system.  

Shoulder complaints can include problems with rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, or muscle tears.

When examining complaints of the shoulder, I consider other areas within the scope of practice.  The work is not isolated to the location of pain. Manual Osteopaths regard the whole body. Osteopathy is very much a holistic approach to health.  While the pain might have a clear site, the origin of the pain may well be on the opposite side of the body or related to an organ.  

Most shoulder damage can be attributed to an imbalance in the tension between the muscles surrounding the shoulder. The shoulder joint itself is a susceptible area of complaint, due to the fact that it’s a junction point in connecting parts of the body.  Wherever there is a junction there is a likelihood for tension.

Sometimes pain in the upper arm is felt when the arm is lifted or when using or lying on the muscles.  There may also be pain that extends around the deltoid region.    This may be linked to rotator cuff problems or could be connected to other shoulder or neck injuries that are acute or chronic.

The rotator cuff consists of subscapularis, supraspinatus, teres minor and infraspinatus muscles deep within the shoulder. These four muscles help the shoulder function properly. They can be impacted through overuse, tears or acute injuries.   They can be  susceptible to getting injured.

To treat the rotator cuff in an acute situation, it’s important to rest and ice the area so as to reduce inflammation.  My treatments of rotator cuff have included using various mobilization techniques, along soft tissue therapy and muscle energy to strengthen the area, decrease pain and improve mobility.

Muscle tears can also cause shoulder pain and could be related to repetitive strain, or muscles being overstretched.  Usually the most common muscle shoulder tear is the supraspinatus muscle.  When seeing a manual osteopath for a shoulder tear, the treatment would work around the whole shoulder joint, to help increase the range of motion and circulation, as well as to identify areas of weakness or restriction. Using soft tissue techniques, muscle energy techniques and joint mobilization, the areas in question are built up again and stabilized.  Additional exercises may also be recommended, along with a treatment plan.  

Frozen shoulder is another area commonly treated through manual osteopathy.  In these cases, clients may present with shoulder stiffness and pain. Because these symptoms impact body mechanics, I may focus on loosening the areas so that the person can have increased range of motion.  As well, gentle I would aim to reduce shoulder pain and stiffness.   Other areas of the body will also be treated to help overall balance and recovery.

For complaints of the knee, ankle mobility, as well as the health of your back, hips and pelvis is considered. In addition, I would evaluate your medical history and regard factors not directly related to your current chief complaints, such as level of activity or nutrition.

Knee complaints may include pain, inflammation, damage to cartilage or stiffness.  Many factors can result in knee complaints. Some include injuries, overuse, cartilage damage, tears, degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis), gout, autoimmune conditions, like M.S. or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Affected knee areas could be ligament, joint, tendon, cartilage, tissue, or muscle.

Overall, the knee is one of the most commonly injured joints in the body.  It is a vital joint in allowing for proper movement.  Working with the ankles and hips, the knee is crucial in supporting the body when sitting, walking or standing.   When the knee is injured, it is important to address it and to find an effective and relevant treatment plan.  Avoiding the issue can have further implications on quality of life.  Manual osteopathy addresses knee complaints and helps to prevent long term issues, like osteoarthritis.

Injuries to the ligaments are often a result of sports activities, where there is overextension and twisting of the knee.  Of the four knee ligaments, the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) is a common point of injury. The ACL stabilizes the knee and the tibia.  The patella is another area that can be addressed through osteopathy.  Patella issues can cause wear and tear under the knee cap and there may be creaking sound in the joints. Typically, deep squats and inclines may trigger pain. 

Another potential injury point could involve the meniscus.  Tears in the meniscus can happen with repeated activities that involve rotating the knee joint.  Symptoms may include swelling, locking of the knee or the knee giving out.    Sometimes, other areas around the knee are the chief complaint.  For example, the hamstring muscle has impact on how the knee and hips move. The psoas muscle can create restriction in knee mobility. Foot problems are another common area of concern when assessing knee complaints. Foot issues may be related to limitations in the back, hips or pelvis, all of which would be assessed in an osteopathic treatment.

The treatment would encompass increasing range of motion of the joints and helping to strengthen muscles and overall flexibility. Because osteopathy considers the relationship between structure and function, the treatments work to trigger the body’s own self healing and self-regulating process.

In the long run, manual osteopathy can help to ease pain, increase mobility and range of motion, allowing you to be freer in your movements.  Manual osteopathy is a treatment choice covered by most insurance plans.

 

The Wonder of Osteopathy

As a homeopath, I am always trying to see how the body creates expressions of  balance and how these expressions show up in the body, the mind and the emotional state.  Sometimes however, symptoms are not apparent and there may be a time lapse before something peculiar or striking becomes apparent to us.  

It wasn't too long ago that I visited an Osteopathic practitioner with respect to some lower back issues.   At the time, I was predominantly living my life rather bilaterally, with lots of sitting and insufficient mobility.  I,  like 80% of the population, chose to seek an Osteopathic practitioner  to address  skeletal issues.   Osteopathy is however, much more than manual manipulation of the body.  This hands-on medical practice , is drug free and non-invasive.  It not only helps with joints, bones and muscles, but other systems, such as circulatory, nervous and lymphatic systems.   Osteopathy concerns itself with the interrelationship between function and structure.   In alleviating structural tension, overall function will improve.  The relationship between structure and function is one of the most important principles in osteopathic thought.  Like Homeopathy, osteopathic principles  regards the body as a whole unit, involving the mind, body and spirit.  As well, it honours  the body's ability to heal itself and to self-regulate.   

Upon assessing my situation and asking some questions, the astute practitioner inquired about my digestive system.  I didn't think anything was really striking, mostly because I had gotten used to some ongoing symptoms, such as digestive upsets.  In fact, I had put these symptoms to nothing more than a need to alter my dietary intake. The lighter I ate, the less digestive upsets. 

The practitioner, through careful examination, was able to identify abnormalities within the structural system which pointed to signs of disease in other parts of my body.  In essence, she was applying osteopathic principles to my treatment.  Subsequently, she began to work on my liver/gallbladder.  Through this process,  some gallbladder hardening was discovered. 

I fell in love with Osteopathy and its beautiful innate capacity to connect functions with structures, to understand the interrelationship that a lower back ache could potentially have with a more serious organ disorder.   A disorder that had been pain-free and with out any direct symptoms.

I chose to study Osteopathy because it serves as a sophisticated GPS to map out what may be happening internally. It then will work within that range of knowledge, the range of limitation, to remove blockages and restrictions that are inhibiting natural flow and optimal health.  There is so much going on that we may not know or see, or feel.  In my case, I was symptom free and I went to see an Osteopath for what I thought were skeletal or muscular system related.  Osteopathy works within the body's range, while respecting the body as a whole unit. It is holistic.  It is intuitive and proves to be preventative.  If it hadn't been for that osteopathic treatment, I could be confronting much more aggressive interventions. However, careful attention to the connection between structure and function, created the opportunity for healing to occur.  How magical!

Transitions and Balance

Transitions and Balance

 

Transitions are like the ebb and flow of water or the rise and fall of our breath. Often they require a shift in gears, or perspective. With these changes, like the changes in season, we may find ourselves feeling differently in our energy, mood, sleep, appetite. For some of us, the adjustments bring out stress, as we adapt our ways.

In the process, some of our personal wellness attempts may fall into second gear or become non-existent. Our morning walks or exercise may get replaced by other responsibilities, the lunch time workouts may get forfeited, homemade food is replaced by frequent take out, and sleep may get interrupted. These daily alterations that we may begin to trim out of our life or experience, affect our level of wellness.

If you find yourself in this place, take a moment and breathe. Harvard Medical School study shows that breathing directly impacts our mood, energy and body functions. It also gives us a better chance to deal with stress by invoking a relaxation response, so that we don't continuously react to situations in a stressful way.

Deep breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing brings even greater health benefits. On the most basic physiological level, it produces more oxygen into the bloodstream, which increases organ and system efficiency.

Deep breathing involves inhaling from the nose, letting the lungs fill with air and allowing the belly to rise before we exhale slowly from the mouth or nose. Deep breathing may seem unnatural or unattractive. However it is highly beneficial to attaining a state of relaxation, not to mention calming our minds, hearts and lowering blood pressure!

Incorporate deep breathing into a daily relaxation routine that you will stick to once or twice per day, even if it is for ten minute intervals. The other portion of your routine could be yoga, meditation, creative visualization or positive affirmations. You will be amazed at the subtle changes.

If you find the symptoms of stress are getting worse, you may want to consult with a Homeopath and or seek counselling. Homeopathic medicines are naturally derived substances that are carefully selected by a trained homeopath to meet your specific needs. Homeopathy can effectively release the energy blocks and help you attain cure. An in-depth consultation with a Homeopath will involve assessing your life in a holistic way, taking into account your symptoms, lifestyle, regimen and unique characteristics. After all, each of us express ourselves differently - even in how we may experience transitions.

Through a comprehensive session, the Homeopath will arrive at a remedy that bests suits your overall picture. The remedy works holistically to stimulate a positive response and to release the energetic blocks that are weakening your overall system. The remedies are safe to take and are gentle and effective, without side effects. Often and depending on your situation, one to four sessions will significantly improve your state.

In addition, counselling will help you to unravel the reasons behind your behaviours and thoughts and introduce positive coping skills. An effective therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This evidence-based model is particularly helpful in addressing stress, by examining the interrelationship between our thoughts, behaviours and feelings. The approach is effective because it can be relatively short, direct, depending on the conditions, therefore making it a practical therapeutic model.

Sherry Essnaasahari is a Wellness Consultant, Registered Homeopath, Therapist and Reflexologist, practicing at multiple locations. She is currently accepting new clients. Please contact her directly at 647-385-5433 or youarevital@gmail.com for questions or to book your appointment.

TRANSITIONS AND BALANCE

Transitions are like the ebb and flow of water or the rise and fall of our breath. Often they require a shift in gears, or perspective. With these changes, like the changes in season, we may find ourselves feeling differently in our energy, mood, sleep, appetite. For some of us, the adjustments bring out stress, as we adapt our ways.

In the process, some of our personal wellness attempts may fall into second gear or become non-existent. Our morning walks or exercise may get replaced by other responsibilities, the lunch time workouts may get forfeited, homemade food is replaced by frequent take out, and sleep may get interrupted. These daily alterations that we may begin to trim out of our life or experience, affect our level of wellness.

If you find yourself in this place, take a moment and breathe. Harvard Medical School study shows that breathing directly impacts our mood, energy and body functions. It also gives us a better chance to deal with stress by invoking a relaxation response, so that we don't continuously react to situations in a stressful way.

Deep breathing, also called diaphragmatic breathing brings even greater health benefits. On the most basic physiological level, it produces more oxygen into the bloodstream, which increases organ and system efficiency.

Deep breathing involves inhaling from the nose, letting the lungs fill with air and allowing the belly to rise before we exhale slowly from the mouth or nose. Deep breathing may seem unnatural or unattractive. However it is highly beneficial to attaining a state of relaxation, not to mention calming our minds, hearts and lowering blood pressure!

Incorporate deep breathing into a daily relaxation routine that you will stick to once or twice per day, even if it is for ten minute intervals. The other portion of your routine could be yoga, meditation, creative visualization or positive affirmations. You will be amazed at the subtle changes.

If you find the symptoms of stress are getting worse, you may want to consult with a Homeopath and or seek counselling. Homeopathic medicines are naturally derived substances that are carefully selected by a trained homeopath to meet your specific needs. Homeopathy can effectively release the energy blocks and help you attain cure. An in-depth consultation with a Homeopath will involve assessing your life in a holistic way, taking into account your symptoms, lifestyle, regimen and unique characteristics. After all, each of us express ourselves differently - even in how we may experience transitions.

Through a comprehensive session, the Homeopath will arrive at a remedy that bests suits your overall picture. The remedy works holistically to stimulate a positive response and to release the energetic blocks that are weakening your overall system. The remedies are safe to take and are gentle and effective, without side effects. Often and depending on your situation, one to four sessions will significantly improve your state.

In addition, counselling will help you to unravel the reasons behind your behaviours and thoughts and introduce positive coping skills. An effective therapeutic approach is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. This evidence-based model is particularly helpful in addressing stress, by examining the interrelationship between our thoughts, behaviours and feelings. The approach is effective because it can be relatively short, direct, depending on the conditions, therefore making it a practical therapeutic model.

Sherry Essnaasahari is a Wellness Consultant, Registered Homeopath, Therapist and Reflexologist, practicing at multiple locations. She is currently accepting new clients. Please contact her directly at 647-385-5433 or youarevital@gmail.com for questions or to book your appointment.

Eating your way to a healthy heart

Why is it that with all the low fat craze, heart disease is still on the rise? Its based on years of sound advise, and studies which showed that we need to eat lots of servings of grains and only eat small amounts of fats. We used to account for something having too many calories as being a poor choice. Fat has twice as many as calories as carbohydrates or protein. Therefore it's been assumed that if we eat less fat, we are better off. Furthermore, it was found that there is a connection between fat and heart health. This led us to believe that if we lower fat, we can lower cholesterol and reduce our chance of heart disease.

Low fat deserts and low fat foods were created as healthy alternatives. We also assumed that because it was low fat, we could eat more of it, which spiked our weight and led to other health issues.

Processed foods contain compounds like high glucose corn syrup. These compounds are not metabolized well by the liver and instead they get stored as fat. High fructose corn syrup, other wise known as corn syrup clogs the arteries, increasing triglycerides and reducing good cholesterol.

Refined grains, starches like white flour and sugar; translates into sucrose, causing inflammation in the body and increasing degeneration. This can become the setting for a host of other health problems such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular issues.

Once the sugar and carbs turn into your liver, it becomes a place where fat is produced. Research shows that much of the cause of clogged arteries is a result of over consumption of sugars, starches and processed foods which result in too much insulin circulating in the body. This leads to inflammation and heart disease. The most dangerous storage place is in the belly.

The real cause of heart disease is excess insulin. The consumption of carbohydrates translates into sugar which then converts into insulin. This makes our body think we are hungry, when we are not. The more sugar and processed foods, the more resistant your body becomes to insulin, thereby making more insulin and then storing it as fat. This results in a vicious cycle.

Studies directly prove that fat is required for the body. We now know that not all fats are the same. It is a necessary component to brain composition and in creating and transmitting neural impulse activities. Fats also insulates us, makes up myelin sheath and supports the body in making Vitamin D3. So, the idea that weight loss is dependant on reducing fat intake is entirely untrue when it comes to consumption of good fats. These fats include omega 3. Increasing your intake of such fats is beneficial to your cardiovascular health, brain, bone, muscular health and your general emotional state.

These fats can be found in flax, hemp and chia seeds, free range eggs and avacadoes and cold pressed organic plant oils, such as olive. These fats , called good fats, improve cholesterol quality, the HDL cholesterol needed for metabolism. Good fats speed up metabolism, thereby leading to weight loss, by regulating sugar levels and appetite.

Cholesterol is needed in your body to produce hormones, cell membranes and brain cells. Your body can not function properly without cholesterol. Cholesterol is only one factor among many that can lead to heart disease.

Saturated fat is not the enemy. Most heart attacks are not caused by high cholesterol. What is found is that heart attack sufferers show metabolic disorders or diabetic conditions. Dietary fat and dietary cholesterol are needed.

In addition to increasing your consumption of good fats, also increase your intake of green tea, garlic, ginger and cayenne. These powerful natural substances bring an abundance of health benefits, such as lowering bad cholesterol, tonifying the heart, regulating metabolism and lowering blood sugar levels. In addition, pomegranate juice reduces arterial thickness and unclogs arteries. Lastly, the mineral magnesium found in many greens, is an important source to controlling and regulating many metabolic functions which directly impact the heart, like our heart beat.