Relaxation Issues are all too familiar these days. Stress is meant as a short term boost to get us out of trouble via the well known Fight, Flight or Fright response but modern life is more likely to maintain that process, long term, leaving us almost constantly tense and edgy, which commonly leads to exhaustion and is most likely a significant factor in ill health.
Relaxation is an underrated tool for aiding the return to good health but this can easily be utilised with a few simple lifestyle changes. It is important that we all devote some time each day to doing something we enjoy that distracts the mind and lifts the spirit as well as implementing self-help practices such as being more active, clean eating, listening to music, reading, breathing exercises and meditation etc.
Numerous treatments can be beneficial and when thinking along these lines most of us would consider massage or reflexology and possibly even counselling or hypnotherapy but no one really thinks of Osteopathy as relaxing. However Osteopathy can play a very important role in this process because it can help to reduce the mechanical impact of stress on the body thereby loosening muscles and joints and leaving you with a renewed freedom of movement.
This benefit can be enlarged upon if you choose Cranial Osteopathy which works on the skull, spine and pelvis often allowing a calming effect to be instilled, especially if you chose to undertake an extended appointment. The beauty of this approach is that with each additional treatment the benefit can be heightened so that gradually the results may become longer lasting. Please ask your practitioner for more information.
Sleep Disturbance is a very common complaint and generally occurs hand in hand with the stress response, which is a huge cause for concern as lack of sleep contributes to all manner of health problems. Sleep occurs in 90 minute cycles, each cycle consists of gradually deepening sleep through the four phases of non rapid eye movement followed by the fifth lighter phase of rapid eye movement, during which dreaming occurs.
On average adults need 7.5 – 9 hours sleep a night and go through numerous sleep cycles during this time but when sleep is reduced or disturbed, especially if regularly, this restorative process becomes far less effective leading to fatigue & lethargy, irritability/moodiness, concentration/memory problems, difficulty making decisions, weight gain, reduced immune function and an increased risk of health issues.
It is a great idea to use modern technology to track your sleep so that you can chart your progress as you try to normalise this essential function. All of the above self-help methods are also invaluable on this journey along with no screen use for an hour before bed, prescribed herbal remedies/aromatherapy oils and relaxation/hypnosis apps at bed time. Osteopathic treatment is also indicated in this instance to help rebalance your structure and reduce the mechanical strain on your nervous system, potentially making it easier to get to sleep and stay asleep.