Some migraines are caused by dural tethering. The dura is one of membrane layers that protect the spinal nerves. Amanda (not her real name) came to see me with her mother. She had suffered from headaches since the age of three. They were diagnosed as migraines. I examined her head and whole spine including the pelvis, sacrum and area around the coccyx. Knowing her father I asked if she had ever taken part in Judo. Yes she had, when did she first try Judo? At the age of three. The coccyx and sacrum are still fusing at that age. Falling onto that area would cause the dura mater (tough mother), sheath around the spinal nerves to tighten. That would affect the tension of the membranes around the brain increasing the pressure. Hence the migraines. We had five or six sessions during which she would ask me to check the membranes. Her headaches cleared after twelve years.
We hope that if you have been to see me your level of pain will decrease. Pain is a message of dis-ease. My aim is to restore a degree of symmetry to your body and restore it to normal function.
It is very rare for someone to be in pain all their life. Think back to a time when you were not aware of this pain. What has changed? Was there an accident, a new habit or change of lifestyle that brought the pain back to you? Did you change medication or has the dose been changed? There is a physical, chemical and an emotional element to pain. Life takes its toll and we lose the symmetry in our body. We compensate by walking, standing or sitting differently. Crossing your legs is a way of compensating. Here are some suggestions:
Drink enough water
Herbal teas such as mint, or lemon,watermelon and other juicy fruits are rehydrating. Tea, coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol are dehydrating. Look at your urine output, light clear is good. Dark cloudy needs more. Dark, brown – kidney problems. 1.5 litres a day for someone 70 kg in weight is about right.
Heat or Cold?
Heat helps muscle spasm but makes inflammation worse. A warm shower or hot bath eases aching muscles but red, swollen tender muscles become worse with heat. If you can finish off a warm bath or shower with a short burst of cold water.
Slow, persistent stretching
Always support yourself when you stretch. For instance lying on your back, legs in the air and knees bent rolling them side to side is guaranteed to make an aching back worse. Keep your feet on the ground if you twist, or go on all fours. Try placing a finger into a tender point, tense the muscle, count to three, then stretch a little further. Keep going until you reach the limit.
Eat fresh foods in season
Most fruits and vegetables can be grown in greenhouses. Eat them in season keeps you in peak health. Even nuts and seeds have a season. For instance Turkish fruits are mainly harvested from August to October. Figs, raisins, hazelnuts. European and Moldovan walnuts and almonds again are an Autumn crop. Look for puffy well sealed bags. They are flushed with nitrogen to keep out the oxygen. Oxygen, light and heat lead to free radicals and an off taste in nuts. Chinese walnuts are an earlier crop. They are not my favourite flavour. Before Christmas shops will sell off old stocks of fruit and nuts. Wait as late as possible roughly when the new crop Californian walnuts come into the shops is a good time to start looking at dried fruits.
Play positive games with Pain
The happy hormone serotonin, and the racy hormone adrenaline are good substitutes for pain. Play the game, “I am not in pain, the pain is in me. Is it pain, or is it stiffness? Can I stretch it out, breathe into it or focus elsewhere. Music, learning a language, being in your quiet, beautiful place are all safe places to go. When you stimulate your mind and spirit, your body and your emotions pain has to take fourth place. The body can only register three stimuli at once so pain has to take fourth place.
Look at your lifestyle
Young people get away with punishing their bodies and minds at least for a few years. Smoking, fast living, junk food, caffeine, alcohol all take their toll on the body. Many people don’t realise that smoking and marijuana wipe out your reflexes. They protect you from danger or sudden jolts to your body. Smoking leads to early severe arthritis and marijuana to short term memory loss and inability to concentrate. Pain might be teaching you to step back and examine your lifestyle. The things you once thought fighting for become less important. Living in the present is more important than thinking of the future. Ask yourself, Can I handle in future what I am taking on now?
Remember Pain will pass, be patient it will change for the better
I first came to john after many years of back pain after seeing
multiple professionals John was the first person to actually resolve
the level of pain I had been in.
During my treatments, I had fertility treatment (IVF), John was able to
assist with extra therapies to help along side my IVF treatments.
John has always been very professional, informative, and knowledgeable
in what he is doing.
I was recommended John’s expertise by my PT. John came highly recommended and it didn’t take long to understand why, I do not hesitate to recommend him.
I had a car accident which prolapsed a disc in my lower back, I had used many chiropractors and seen various physiotherapists in the past but none had been able to resolve my injuries and ease the pain as efficiently as John. There is no bone crunching or pulling about, gentle manipulation and massage left me feeling relaxed; which in effect sped up the healing process. I know we all respond to treatments and methods differently but John cares about the patient and provides the treatment that they respond to best. I cannot thank John enough for helping me with my back and improving my posture. Highly recommended!
“I was encouraged to seek John’s help after I had disappointing advice
from the hospital physio. I was due to go on a walking holiday with my
family in Derbyshire, 9 weeks after my hip replacement, and had a goal
of walking 4 miles with walking sticks. The physio said ‘impossible’!
After 3 visits to John, 5 new exercises, ‘realignment’, acupuncture,
and massage, he said ‘go for it’.
I went for it! We did walks of 3, 4, 5, 6.6 and finally 8.5 miles.
This last walk with an elevation of 1400 feet. I climbed stiles and
went down a flight of almost vertical stone steps descending 250
Without John’s encouragement I would not have been able to attempt it.
His a fabulous man and I would unconditionally recommend him
especially after a Total hip replacement.”
I just wanted to say a big thank you to you John, for helping me with
my shoulder and neck injury over the last few years. You never fail to
relieve my pain & symptoms, especially this year when I committed to a
sequence of sessions with you. Money has never been better spent. Your
helpful and professional advice, along with a relaxed and friendly
atmosphere, have done wonders in progressing my recovery. I can’t
praise your skills and kindness enough, so thank you. I will be sure
to recommend your practice to all my friends and family, should they
ever need it. With all good wishes.
I recently visited John on the recommendation of my daughter as I
suffered from a very stiff neck. I put the discomfort down to many
years of playing front row rugby union. On my first visit John
examined me from top to toe and that was where the problems were
starting. He found bones in my feet that were stuck and not moving.
This again due to an old rugby injury. John worked on me from toe to
head making little adjustments to my body as he went. The results are
amazing, my stiff neck now has considerable mobility and I can now see
up side streets as I drive by, I can walk without a totter, I can now
carry two cups of tea (one in each hand) without spilling any. I have
not been able to do this for over twenty years. For me John’s caring
and considered treatment has been a truly life changing experience.
Thanks again John, Dave Horn
Muscles, tendons, ligaments and organs are covered in an elastic stocking called Fascia. It is an interwoven connective tissue network. Stiff neck and hunched posture are affected by our posture when standing or seated. Correcting your posture takes repeated practice and observation of yourself. To observe your posture look at old photos or pictures taken of you by others.
Diaphragm breathing not only creates good posture but also your digestion. The diaphragm covers the stomach, kidneys, spleen, liver, gall bladder and colon. Breathing in deeply by flattening the diaphragm gently massages the organs downwards increasing pressure in the abdomen. The pressure is felt right down into the small pelvis where the bladder and female or male organs lie.The peritoneum is a membrane that supports your abdomen. Using the abdominal muscles to breathe helps to change the pressure in your pelvis and improve your pelvic floor muscle tone. It is more relaxing and effective than Kegel exercises for a prolapse or hernia.
Your food pipe is called the oesophagus. It is a flat tube that opens after swallowing to carry food to your stomach. It passes through your diaphragm at the level of your tenth rib, bends left and enters the stomach through a circular muscle called a sphincter. If the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm the sphincter weakens leading to a hiatus hernia. Smoking, obesity, eating late in the evening or over eating spicy or fatty foods make the condition worse. Remember that as you breath in your diaphragm flattens and widens. As you breath out it pushes up under the lungs and your rib cage gets narrower.
Medication reduces stomach acid but does nothing to improve your digestion. Some acids in food affect your stomach more than others. Acetic acid in malt vinegar irritates the stomach. Malic acid in cyder vinegar eases the digestion. It assists hydrochloric stomach acid to digest proteins. Proteins break down to peptides. Once the acidity is sufficient the pyloric spinster opens to release the contents into the next stage of digestion called the duodenum. Citric acid in oranges, grapefruit and lemons also aid your digestion. Try hot water and lemon or an orange before a meal or half a grapefruit a day, especially before eating meat or other sources of protein.
“John, I would not of been able to survive the two pregnancy’s with out you re-aligning my hips. I suffered from SPD that left me un able to walk for 5 months of my pregnancy. The only respite came from your treatments. Including the one you did on FaceTime when you taught my husband what to do to help relieve the pain!
You also treated my new born babies whilst they both suffered from constipation. I’m writing this whilst I’m sitting with our 11 week old gurgling next to us happy as he’s just relieved himself 3 times in the 10 hours since your treatment.
Thank you, I’m lucky to know you!”
– Zoe Evans
The techniques involve gently engaging the abdominal muscles and organs through the skin, applying pressure in one direction, holding and releasing. It is called myofascial release.
Children respond to physical and neurological input
“I am mother of triplet baby girls. They were born prematurely and the
motor development in one of the babies is delayed. She was
experiencing some muscle stiffness and at times excruciating pain. I
was recommended John one of my closest friends. We have now visited
him twice and the change in my little girl in two weeks is incredible.
She appears to be completely without pain, is much more relaxed and
aware of her surroundings.
She is eating and sleeping better – she has gained a pound in weight
in the last three weeks and is now 15lb 10. It took her 4 months to
gain the last lb!
She is holding her self much better, sitting with little support. She
had significant bruising to her left arm as a result of birth and had
failed to use this arm and hand. She is now using it much more freely.
She is now happily spending time on her tummy and in her bouncer,
putting weight through her feet which we were told may never happen.
She also rolled over back to front for the first time last week which
literally brought tears to my eyes.
Her speech is much improved, she is actually shouting in competition
with her sisters which is wonderful to hear.
What John has done and I hope will continue to do for us is truly
Physical therapy for children includes, stretching, hip rotations, craniosacral therapy and myofascial release.