Vicky Vlachonis: The Body Doesn't Lie
I have been reading this book during my holiday in St. Lucia, and it has been a wonderful reminder of some of the key osteopathic principles taught at University. The body has its own medicine chest; the innate capacity to heal itself. As osteopaths we do our best to facilitate this and provide the right environment and structure to restore function, but as Vicky correctly states, what a patient does outside the treatment room matters just as much to ensure long term results. This book is an excellent motivator to start living a healthier, happier lifestyle.
In patients with a healthy inflammatory response chemicals will be released and the body will repair itself quickly. Patients who have chronic inflammation are predisposed to further injury, and prolonged recovery and pain. It is thought that conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune conditions and cancer are due to underlying chronic inflammation. The book teaches you to reduce pain-causing inflammation. It also explains that our brains cannot differentiate emotional and physical pain - they register identically in our secondary somatosensory cortex and dorsal posterior insula. As painful as it might be, Vicky emphasises the importance of dealing with past emotional pain to get to the root of the problem, and not just cover it in 'band-aids'. The book gives practical advice on how to go about this.
Good choices promote more good choices. This book gives suggestions of healthy habits that you can implement in to your daily routine, and invites you to pick and choose the ones that suit you and your way of life. It is so easy to get stuck in a downward spiral of poor choices that leave you feeling bad about yourself and even less motivated. Positive feedback is the phrase Vicky uses to describe the cycle of one good choice encouraging you to make another, and becoming 'positively radiant'.
Reflect, Release, Radiate
These are the 3 steps the book describes in detail, to allow some structure to you taking control of your pain, and ultimately healthy wellbeing. I completely agree that no patient ever resolves an issue by sticking a 'band-aid' on and not addressing the root cause. Sometimes the root cause is a physical thing - a compensation due to flat feet, previous injury, or posture - and sometimes it is due to an emotional factor. Something that you might have buried deep within you, but may be causing chronic inflammation on a cellular level, predisposing your body to further injury and preventing recovery.
I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly. It absolutely applies osteopathic principles and promotes a holistic, healthy lifestyle that many of us could benefit from.