Help support research into whether Osteopathy can help Chronic Fatigue

Dr Perrin has asked me to share this appeal with you.. for further details on the Perrin Technique for Chronic Fatigue, visit www.theperrinclinic.com.
Appeal:
Please watch this film and realise that with your contribution to the FORME trust (www.forme-cfs.com) we will reach the £60,000 that we need to start a project that should change the way CFS/ME is viewed and hopefully help millions of sufferers worldwide . Any donation is welcome however small. Every penny goes into the research as there are no admin costs. I do not get paid one penny. The money is needed for university costs and for the clinicians involved in examining the participants.
Please help this research as without the funding we cannot start this important NHS project at Wrightington Hospital, Wigan in conjunction with The University of Central Lancashire..
With Thanks
Dr Ray Perrin Chief Investigator
http://youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7s22HX18wDY” target=”_blank”

Singers, Musicians & Osteopathy

For the last 2 weeks I have been treating a professional singer, which for an amateur singer like me is always an enjoyable experience as I always learn something in our discussions – part of the reason I love being an osteopath is that the people I treat are so interesting! And it’s great when I can help them improve performance in their work or their passion, not just reduce their pain.

For a professional singer, their voice is their instrument, and like musicians (or indeed anyone who has mastered a movement-based physical skill at a high level – dancer, dressage rider, plasterer etc.), singers are very aware of what is going on in their body, and if there is any restriction (even though there may be no pain) that is affecting the ease or control of their breath and voice, they will feel it.

This particular singer did have a specific problem – a mild rotator cuff (shoulder) tendonitis following a sprain while gardening. However, they also had an intermittent spasm in the area of the lower ribs & an area of the upper thorax that felt stiff and achy, and generally (as someone both body-aware & some experience as both a cranial patient & practitioner) felt out of sorts. Addressing the underlying deeper tensions through the spine, diaphragm and pelvis using cranial osteopathic techniques (as well as doing massage & movements to the injured shoulder) made a noticeable difference to the patient’s experience of their breath control – at the second appointment this week, they said they could carry long lines through which they’d be unable to do the week previously (and the painful areas were less painful), and their experience of singing was a greater sense of ease than before the treatment.

Another singer I treated – this time an opera singer from abroad with no experience of osteopathy (cranial or otherwise) – fell and injured themselves in rehearsal (oddly enough, another shoulder injury!). I happened to be singing in the chorus, so was happy to treat them as the staging meant they had to climb a ladder – a bit difficult when you can’t lift your arm above 90 degrees! While assessing them using a ‘cranial’ osteopathic assessment, I found another problem unrelated to the injury – tension in a muscle (psoas) that from an osteopathic point of view is integrally linked to diaphragm function. The singer was a bit surprised, as they hadn’t told me about an accident they’d had (hit by a car on that side of the pelvis as a child). They were also surprised that when I treated them, they could feel their ‘spinal cord dancing’ (their words not mine), and similar to my more recent case, after treatment experienced an increased sense of capacity and ease in their singing – sufficient to suggest I might like to move to their country and treat them & their friends!

Similarly, treating musicians can help performance in ways that are about freedom or ease, not just pain reduction. Earlier this year I treated a flautist who had come to me for shoulder & neck pain. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned that I could see they had a bite problem with their jaw, which they then told me they had previously been offered surgery for, but had declined, since it would mean they couldn’t work after the surgery, and even worse, there was no guarantee that their playing would be the same once they’d recuperated. For an osteopath, the relationship between the jaw & the upper neck is crucial, since a failure of compensation in one area (say, the jaw) may lead to other muscles of the head & neck becoming symptomatic through increased compensation or altered mechanics. As part of my assessment and treatment, I used some intra-oral techniques (working with my fingers on the bones inside the mouth) to release tension around the palate – this is what they emailed me after the treatment:
“Just wanted to let you know that I had a fantastic rehearsal tonight following my session with you today. Face/sinus/jaw area felt really free and I was able to play without feeling strain. What a difference to be able to work with my body feeling like that.

Can osteopathy help my dog’s arthritis – Teddy & Harry’s stories

I am often asked this question, in reply I tell the story of Teddy, the 13 year old Bichon Frise and Harry the Westie (also 13).

Me treating Teddy

Me treating Teddy

Teddy’s owners asked me to see him as although he loves the social side of walks, he couldn’t manage the physical side much any more (they have a small cart which he can sit in when he gets tired of walking). He was also crying in the early hours of the morning (whether in pain or to go out to relieve himself they weren’t sure), and they hadn’t been able to stroke his back for some years as he cried or growled when they did.

When I first met him, Teddy was not that interested in me; he just lay on the sofa and cried or growled at every touch, even the very lightest. Because of his distress, I kept the examination to a minimum, and treatment was limited to a small amount of massage & movement to the stiffest area of the spine and some cranial osteopathy.

The next time I saw Teddy, his owners told me that his behaviour had changed markedly – he didn’t cry when his back was touched, he could walk further and was moving better generally, and he didn’t cry to go out any more. I could see that he was a bit more alert & engaged, and by the third treatment, I could really see his character coming through.

I’ve been treating him once a month for a few months now, and his owners say that his behaviour has changed ‘significantly’ – he walks more happily and they’ve promised to send me the video of him running!

Harry

I’ve walked Harry for several years, and have always been surprised at how mobile and fast he was considering his age. Recently however he’s become much slower, and developed a nasty cough – the vet thought he had a lung problem and has been treating him with steroids, but the possibility can’t be excluded that maybe he has an underlying heart condition (he’s always been a very ‘panty’ dog, even when not distressed) which is the reason for his slowing down. His owners had said he’d been a bit ‘out of sorts’ recently too – not his usual puppyish silly self, so I had a look at him.

As far as his musculo-skeletal system went, he’s always been a bit lame on his left fore, but he looked a bit stiff in the hips, particularly on the right (animal compensatory patterns are often on the diagonal opposite) and very stiff in his spine. My observations were confirmed by my palpatory findings when I had a feel of his muscles and joints, and at his age (much like an older human!), one can presume there is probably some arthritic change.

A little bit of treatment made a world of difference – his owners said he was much more his old self, I could see he was moving better, particularly behind, and interestingly his cough had been better too (in fact he’d hardly coughed at all). Obviously if he has an underlying heart or lung condition, I’m unlikely to have changed that – but by reducing the effort he has to make to move, then it’s possible I’ve reduced the strain and so the energy he has to expend will be less. I treat Harry regularly now, as & when he needs it, and his owners say they can always tell when I’ve treated him on a walk, because he’s always ‘full of beans’ when they get home.

Harry 'full of beans'

Harry ‘full of beans’