Review: Osteopath session by Dr Zara Valentine
by Traci French.
Copy Writer & Editor Chanel Lingenfelder
Zara studied at the London School of Osteopathy and is one of a handful professionally trained therapists nationally, and one of two in KZN.
I have suffered from extensive pain in my back and neck for some time now which inevitably ends up in migraine. After Zara gave me an intensive check-up the diagnoses was that my hips are not aligned, my pelvis was tilted out of position, and because of foetal posture it shortened my diaphragm muscles. Zara assisted me through exercise to adjust my pelvis and hip scenario.
She mentioned that my vagus nerve is taking strain because of bad posture and muscle imbalance. The vagus nerve also known as CN X is the longest nerve in our body and easily affected by a host of irregularities including stress, fatigue and anxiety.
When muscle constricts it plays on nerve function thus circulation. Zara placed direct pressure on the muscle which although painful was such a relief at the same time. She also took me through a process of deep breathing whilst applying pressure which instantly improved my circulation.
I found Zara incredibly knowledgeable, she certainly knows her stuff! She explained the condition known as ‘referred pain’ and that, combined with my irritated vagus nerve along with bad posture, caused severe pain in my neck which originated in my lower back, all because I positioned wrongly when sitting! She also gave me pointers on how to treat the pain at home by means of stretching and applying pressure.
Osteopathy uses a complete holistic approach to health care. It is a fully ‘hands-on’ treatment that aims at adjusting body movements which improves circulation and lymph flow (thus removal of toxins) without reaching for allopathic medication.
The treatment deals with balancing the body systems a whole and not solely the problem area resulting in overall health and wellbeing. The technique includes stretching, gentle pressure, and resistance and soft tissue manipulation also known as osteopathic manipulative medicine. This treatment is brilliant for a wide range of conditions like arthritis, foot, ankle, hip, and knee pain, back pain, neck pain, and sciatica, hand, shoulder, and elbow pain, headaches, tennis and golfer’s elbow, postural problems due to pregnancy, sports injury, driving or work strain, or digestive issues and neuralgia.
I felt a little light headed and off balance straight after the session like I needed to find my balance again with my hips in place. Zara also discussed ‘eating for your blood group’ and the lack of vitamin D in most people, and how important it is to make sure we get sufficient of this vital vitamin which is essential for the absorption of Calcium in the small intestines along with Magnesium and Phosphates.
Although I don’t like lazing in the sun, Zara reminded me that the sun (light) is the best natural source of vitamin D along with the flesh of fatty fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel) apart from fish oil supplements. She was extremely thorough in both her diagnosis and treatment thereof and come highly recommended!
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