Holistic Physiotherapy at Inside Out Health

Andrew Mooney Physiotherapist

It is generally well known that Physiotherapy can support people with their health and well being. Many people know that if they have a pain, illness or an injury then they go to see a Physio to diagnose it and relieve the problem. When I was at university I was taught many techniques and skills to do this and this works very well to a point….but what I realised very early on in my career as a Physiotherapist is that when I only looked at the physical body in a one dimensional way in terms of seeing it as a mechanical machine, say a bit like a car that had broken down, it had its limitations. Physios are generally taught to be a bit like a mechanic trained to diagnose which bit is broken or not working properly and then apply the right technique or remedy to correct the problem part so the car (body) can go back out on the road and keep driving. And this does work well to a point in that as physios we are very good at mending broken cars! But I realised that if we only just stick to fixing the car and only focus on getting the car back on the road the benefits tend to be limited or short lived in terms of someone’s overall health and well being. What I noticed is that when I ‘fixed’ the part of the car pretty soon it was back in again with either the same problem or another problem. There was a bit of revolving door where many of my clients would keep returning with only short lived benefits and results. It was also very dis-empowering for my clients as they did not know how or why they had the problem and were reliant on me as a practitioner to keep fixing their car(body) and to keep it on the road. I then realised that maybe rather than just focusing on getting the car back on the road, maybe it was worth looking at the driver of the car and how they were driving the car and supporting them as well! In other words we need to look at how we are living in our daily life and how we are driving or moving our vehicle, our body, if we really want to get to the bottom of our physical ailments and really have a better quality of health and wellbeing and ultimately life. What is the point of getting the car fixed and then going back on the road and continuing to drive in a way that is damaging the car? This is what holistic physiotherapy is. It is a broader approach then just providing relief or mending the broken bits. Of course this is still important and as someone who has experienced different injuries in the past and considerable amounts of pain I know what it is like to have pain and to want it gone NOW! But if we only focus on this and not on how we ended up in the situation in the first place then we are missing a big part of the picture. Holistic Physiotherapy considers the whole person and their life-style, not just the injured body part. It is about understanding that how we live and move in our bodies every day can be good or bad medicine depending on the choices we are making. Holistic Physiotherapy also considers the whole body as a whole and does not just focus on one part of the body over all the others. For example if someone has neck pain, rather than just looking at the physical bit of the neck that is inflamed, but also looking at the rest of the spine, the shoulder posture and even how the mind is going as many people with neck or back pain have increased levels of stress and general tension and exhaustion. This is far more empowering for my clients as they really get to understand and discover for themselves how they are living and how they can change this to support their health and well being much longer term. This can also prevent a lot of problems happening in the first place. For example how do you think our bodies would feel if we are working on a computer every day and we have a really uncomfortable chair which we sit on for hours at a time without taking any breaks, we perhaps don’t drink enough water during the day and we also are getting very stressed/tense/engrossed in our work and not sleeping as well as we could? We can of course choose to ignore all of this and just keep doing it every day but if we do pretty soon we are going to end up with an injury, illness or a pain. And of course when the pain or injury comes along we can go and see a Physio or massage therapist for some relief and this will help to a point and for a short time, but if we don’t realise that all of these lifestyle choices we are making are causing the problem in the first place then the problem will not change longer term. Here at Inside Out Health we offer holistic care considering the whole body and the whole person not just the injury or body part. We are great mechanics but we also are great driving instructors! So if you have a injury or problem that is bugging you then why not come and give us a try.

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