Don’t Wait Till It Hurts

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Don’t Wait Till It Hurts

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Five ways to stop pain: naturopathy, massage, awareness of health, acupuncture and osteopathy. Here’s Catherine Marshall’s report on avoiding back pain.

Awareness is key to preventing many health conditions. Yet despite our good intentions, we let small niggles go on for too long, we delay seeking help, hoping the pain or worrying symptoms will simply disappear. But what if we told you that by servicing your body frequently with a combination of treatments, you could boost your chances of staying in optimal health? Regular visits to a naturopath, massage therapist, osteopath or acupuncturist can support you to stay healthy naturally. Here, we share some of their insider tips.

Your naturopath wants you to know that colds and flu can be prevented and that you should take action before winter hits. Naturopaths are preventive medicine specialists, trained to help strengthen the immune system, in particular, the respiratory and digestive tract. Your naturopath will focus on lifestyle modifications, as well as herbal and nutritional medicine. It really pays off to see a naturopath each year before flu season starts. Your naturopath also wants you to know that sleep is as important to your good health as diet and exercise and lack of shut-eye can lead to many health problems.

Your massage therapist will tell you that massage isn’t just to pamper yourself; it’s a powerful tool to take charge of your health, whether you have a specific condition or are just looking for stress relief. Frequent massage will help prevent anxiety and tension taking hold in your body. A Swedish massage is a soothing procedure that involves a combination of long strokes mixed together with a variety of kneading techniques designed to work out knots or muscle tension. Deep-tissue massage is much more vigorous and can help recovery from an injury, tennis elbow and sciatica, releasing adhesions that cause discomfort. Above all, regular massage increases your body’s capacity to heal itself.

Your acupuncturist will explain that acupuncture works on an energetic, physical and emotional level by balancing all your organs so that they work at their best level. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that various points on the body connect to pathways between the surface of the body and internal organs. These are known as meridians and they should have no blockages so that your qi (life force) can flow freely and you are able to avoid pain and illness. Acupuncture, by stimulating the meridians can improve the quantity and quality of qi circulating around your body and restore your health. Acupuncture is used to both prevent and treat disease and there is plenty of evidence to show that it works well for chronic conditions such as back pain, headaches and arthritis. It helps you stay well by strengthening your immune system; regular tune-ups will keep your mind and body in balance. With acupuncture, your therapist aims to encourage your body to self-heal.

Your osteopath wants you to be aware that he or she will focus on your whole body as opposed to just concentrating on your problem area or specific injury. The aim is to detect and prevent any further health concerns. Osteopathy can help with a lot more than just joint and soft problems, for instance, asthma and migraine respond well to treatment. It gets particularly good results with gut issues. Bloating, diarrhoea, and constipation are common digestive concerns helped by osteopathic treatment that includes gentle massage and stretching. If you suffer from gut issues, make a regular osteopathic treatment part of your health plan.

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