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We aim to bring you interesting and helpful information about osteopathy and complementary medicine within Bristol and beyond.......

Tuesday 16 February 2016

A practioner's insight from Giles Cleghorn

I thought you might like to undertand how I practice so-called “osteopathy”!  I say so-called, as the name osteopathy is very misleading. I treat the whole person and the whole body so it might be better to call it “wholepersonopathy” not osteopathy. The practice of osteopathy includes the spiritual, emotional, mental, environmental, dietary and physical aspects of a patient.

I start, like most practitioners with the case history but to me the case history is the person’s presence in the room. They will talk about what they think is wrong with them.  But my job is to see, sense and feel what is wrong with them. The patients story and thoughts about their problem might be very far from what I perceive is wrong and what is needed to be corrected to help them get well. This is the art of being a practitioner.

I have learnt to read the patients body and being in many of its gross and subtle expressions.  I spend time in analyzing the expression of the body’s anatomy and physiology.  I look for distortions in the alignment of the physical form. This includes the muscles ligaments and bones but also includes the organs and how they rest inside the body. I look at how the organs are functioning and if there are any obstructions to them doing their job.

One of the most important aspects that an osteopath should look at is what the founder Dr. A T Still called the “rule of the artery”. By this he meant the free flow and irrigation form the blood to the tissues throughout the whole body. This includes the brain, the organs and the musculo-skeletal system. He meant not only the blood in an artery but the free return through the veins and the lymphatic vessels back to the heart. The more important aspect of the “rule of the artery” is the fact that, the blood and lymph not only impart oxygen and nutrition and carry away waste, but the fluids also impart essential subtle information which informs the cells about their role. Traveling in the fluids are the immune cells and proteins (antibodies). As well as this there are also electromagnetic waves and energies that have a major role in the regulation of cellular health. All the body is made up of cells so each cell needs full contact with the heart through the fluids at all times to maintain health.

The emotional and mental expressions of a person are also readable. Long term and negative emotions and mental habits have an impact on the body’s functions. Emotion and mental activity have an electromagnetic signature in tissue, which I can read through my hands. From experience I have learnt that there are certain target areas in the body where some typical emotions tend to lodge themselves.

The magic of the art of osteopathy is in the ability of a patient to transform these misalignment disturbances on the “rule of the artery” and the emotional entrapments while and because an osteopath has their hands upon them. How this works we can but speculate. But over an over I have witnessed great changes in my patient’s health and being, for which I am, and they are, eternally grateful.

Giles Cleghorn

MSc DO Dip Hom 

Friday 12 February 2016

 Must we squat to poop?

Prompted by the high recommendation from a patient, I recently purchased a ‘squatty potty’ – no it’s not really a potty it’s actually a footstool to adjust your posture while you poop.  In fact the idea is to put you into the more natural position of squatting for healthy bowel elimination.

So I thought I’d try it and review it and I must say it’s absolutely brilliant.

Years ago I wanted to build a squatting toilet in the garden (long story) but my friends were against it and we went for the more conventional seat.  But with a footrest you can use a conventional modern toilet and just raise your knees and lean forward and you’re in a squatting position.  After extolling the virtues of my new piece of bathroom furniture, I then found out that many of my friends already use either a homemade footrest or a manufactured for purpose prop.  AND they all swear by it.

So why is it so great?  Well it’s a posture thing.  By squatting we take the kink out of our colon by relaxing a muscle called puborectalis so poo doesn’t have to be pushed and squeezed around a corner - making it all so much easier to go.

You might have noticed in the press back in May that squatting is the new sitting as far as toilet behaviour goes.  Although squatting is as old as humanity this press coverage was all due to the recent success of a book by German Scientist Giulia Enders called Darm mit Charm in German or simply Gut in the recently published English translation.  It’s a great book, easy to read, entertaining and full of fun drawings by her sister who is a science illustrator.  I would recommend this book if you want an introduction into how the gut works, how a healthy gut is so important to our immune system and mental health and the latest research into the interactions of gut bacteria with our whole well being.  As a research scientist Enders has oodles of references in the back of the book but she also has a great skill in writing for a general readership.  She is an endearing speaker and her award winning ‘science slam’ based on her research went viral on YouTube in 2012 and is well worth looking up:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFsTSS7aZ5o

So if you’re interested in reducing the time you spend on the toilet, reducing your likelihood of getting haemmorhoids and anal fissures, reducing constipation and being kinder to your pelvic floor then look into a footrest to put you into a squatting position on the toilet.  There are many on the market - squatty potty seems to be the easiest to buy online in the uk but have a look. 

Barbara Moulang

Monday 1 February 2016

Melanie Kennedy
Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine

DipAc,  DipChm,  MRChm, Dip Tui Na, MAcuC, LLB (Hons)

Melanie is qualified in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine; acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, which includes dietary training and Tui Na Chinese massage. She graduated as an acupuncturist in 1997 after studying at the Shanghai International Acupuncture Training Centre where she gained a Diploma in Acupuncture. Melanie continued her studies and graduated in Chinese Herbal Medicine in 2000 at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine in Reading.

She is also a qualified practitioner of Tui Na. Also known as Chinese Massage or Chinese Manipulation, Tui Na is a soft tissue medical massage and joint manipulation therapy. Besides the above, Melanie is also a qualified practitioner of Facial Rejuvenation Therapy, which provides an alternative to cosmetic facial surgery with natural but noticeable results that is very effective in restoring youth to one's face.
Melanie's broad scope enables her to approach almost any presenting disorder in accordance with the ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, so that each patient can be treated according to their particular needs, 

Initial consultations always begin by taking a full case history that may take up to one hour. A treatment plan is then discussed with the patient.

Length of treatment depends on how chronic the condition is. Most  take an average of 6 weeks to 3 months to remedy and some might need the occasional supportive treatment every 6 months or so if one's lifestyle exacerbates the original condition. A wide variety of of conditions can be helped or supported.

For further information please contact the Chandos Clinic.