The gift of constipation

by Alexis Stewart, care worker with the intellectually disabled and yoga teacher, Sydney, Australia.

When I was a girl I used to go to friends’ houses for tea (‘tea’ being a word in England that refers to an early dinner. My favourite tea was macaroni cheese and chips). Going to other people’s houses was always a bit odd, because other people’s families never did things quite the same as my family did; for example some Mums used to tell their kids to wash their hands before eating, which is something my family never did. So when issued with the command to wash my hands by someone else’s Mum, I would dutifully file into the bathroom with the other kids and copy the way that they waved their hands in the general direction of the taps. There was one thing however that most Mums seemed to have in common and that was the nagging suspicion that the kids had not actually washed their hands! Funny that!

Continue reading “The gift of constipation”

Our Body and Its Amazingness

by Matts Josefsson, Student in Behavioural Science, Sweden 

I find the body absolutely extraordinary in the way it functions. Just this morning I was reminded how amazingly it just keeps on doing what it does, regardless of what we do to it, up until the point that it cannot support us any longer. What I also came to think about was how and why things occur in the body and how the way we are living with the body must have an effect on it. Science these days knows a great deal about how the body functions but still there are the questions that go unanswered as to why things actually occur. There are extraordinary experts in knowing how to deal with something once it has occurred, but the bigger struggle is still trying to understand why things occur. For example: why do cells starts to divide in a way that later on leads to cancer? Continue reading “Our Body and Its Amazingness”

How Connective Tissue Exercises helped my neck and back pain

by Lieke Campbell, Student Dentist, Ghent, Belgium 

I am a dentistry student and in the course of my work, I started developing pain in my neck and back that stayed until the next day, even from working just short periods of time with patients. As a dentist, I have to work in an area that is small (and moving) which asks for precision and attention to detail whilst working with the instruments in the person’s mouth. To be able to see it all, I often find myself going out of the preferred ergonomic position – which is with back and neck only slightly bent – bending and turning my back and neck in all directions. This is the worst position to be in for your back and neck, as it puts a huge strain on the spine and the muscles around it. Even when knowing this fact, not wanting to cause harm to my patient can drive me into going into such a position anyway. Combine this with a little nervousness and tension about treating my first patients and this developed into neck pain. Continue reading “How Connective Tissue Exercises helped my neck and back pain”

Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman

by Carmel Reid, Somerset, UK 

I recently had a hysterectomy; it was the final solution for a vaginal prolapse that had been around for many years, although I had largely been unaware of, until it became too uncomfortable to ignore.

What is a prolapse? Well basically, a weakness in my pelvic floor muscles and vaginal wall, so that what is normally held inside is no longer supported, and begins to protrude on the outside, making walking uncomfortable.

What caused it in me? Many reasons, I suspect. Giving birth is acknowledged as a common one, and new mothers are always encouraged to do their pelvic floor exercises afterwards. I didn’t, so that may have contributed in my case. Add to that was my attitude to what I felt my body could do. I played squash 2 or 3 times a week; that’s a game that can be pretty hard on many areas of the body. Not only that, but I was strong and therefore allowed myself to lift heavy things, and enjoyed the weekly battle with a wayward shopping trolley and all the heavy shopping, not knowing how much lifting heavy things was affecting my pelvic floor muscles. Continue reading “Prolapse and Hysterectomy – Appreciating Myself as a Woman”

Why Does Humanity Have Dementia?

By Richard Mills, Training Manager, Lightwater, Surrey UK

There is a tendency for us to look at a person who has an illness, disease or condition, and attribute the fact to the individual. This may be valid and perfectly understandable and there may well be individual factors – genes, lifestyle choices and the like – that make that person more susceptible to such things. Research into these factors is certainly very appropriate. But rather than looking at the person solely from the individual perspective, might we equally ask ourselves why do we have dementia? Or why do we have autism? Why do we have cancer or diabetes?

Do we only take note of particular situations when they begin to affect us directly, or someone close to us? Maybe it would be helpful if we looked at humanity as one body rather than as the 7.5 billion individual people we currently see ourselves as. What is the increase in breast cancer telling us as a race? What is the incidence of prostate cancer in men saying to all men? What does autism tell us about how we are living? Or heart disease? How would life look if we accepted that as well as our individual bodies, we are also part of One Body that is all of us together? Continue reading “Why Does Humanity Have Dementia?”

The prevention of breast cancer – the answer is in our bodies

by Rebecca Briant, Receptionist and Politics Student, London UK

Recently I undertook a research project at Bath University, looking at the effect epigenetics can have on the formation of breast cancer. What I found was really amazing, and very relevant given the current trends of breast cancer worldwide.

Breast cancer is now so common it is hard to find someone who is untouched by the disease either directly or indirectly through friends and family. It has become the enemy within and women across the board are now encouraged to check their breasts for any sign of breast disease. October has become synonymous with pink ribbons and raising money for breast cancer research.

I have seen so much in the news and in general about the few options available for women with breast cancer when it comes to treatment and prevention. The most common option for treatment, and now also for prevention, is the removal of the breasts, and sometimes the ovaries too, even before any cancer is diagnosed, if the women are deemed to be at high risk of developing the disease.

Scientists have isolated the ‘breast cancer gene’ and can give genetic counselling to women with this gene as to what their options are. However, what I have found interesting is that the research or information I talk about below is seemingly not taken into consideration, let alone placed equally alongside all other treatments and preventatives. Continue reading “The prevention of breast cancer – the answer is in our bodies”

Healing Fibromyalgia with Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and Conventional Medicine

 By SD, medical administrator, UK

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a condition that has both chronic pain and chronic fatigue as its markers.

I had been experiencing pain in my legs for which I was seeking the perfect pair of shoes to remedy, and deep exhaustion for which I was supplementing myself with plenty of sugary foods to keep me going.

But these coping mechanisms eventually could not stand against the tide of fibromyalgia which came crashing down around me. There came a moment when I looked down at the page on my work station and saw the words spinning; by the time I got home I could hardly move or breathe.

The next few months were spent trying to figure out what was ‘wrong with me’ until eventually the doctor gave the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. He said it was a chronic condition, that I would spend the rest of my life in pain, and then he prescribed me some anti-depressants and referred me to a physiotherapist and a consultant who specialises in chronic pain.

Continue reading “Healing Fibromyalgia with Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy and Conventional Medicine”