True Physiotherapy – Part One

 by Kate Greenaway, Goonellabah NSW

I have been working in Physiotherapy for over 30 years. I graduated from Sydney University in 1984 and worked in teaching hospitals for the next 2 years. For the following 6 years I worked in private practice, learning as much as I could from more experienced physios, but I found there was a hardness to the way physiotherapy was practised and so I went overseas in search of a more gentle way to treat the whole body.

In Boston, USA, I did courses introducing me to the importance of the connective tissue in the body. I experimented with more gentle ways of releasing this tissue for my many clients that had complex chronic spinal pain.

I came back to Australia in 1997 and moved to the Northern Rivers region of NSW, working in Community Health for 4 years full time and then 4 years part time. I treated the full range of ages and conditions, from babies to the elderly. Since 2002 I have been self-employed, working in a wonderful complementary healing clinic called Universal Medicine in Goonellabah and for 2 years until December 2016 I also worked in a family medical practice nearby. Over the years, I have undergone such a transformation in myself and my work that the way I am with patients, and how I approach my treatments with them now is a world away from even 15 years ago. Continue reading “True Physiotherapy – Part One”

Presence in the body – Our key to True Intelligence

By Cherise Holt, 33, Nurse, Brisbane

The truth is that our bodies are amazing things! We need look no further than the way in which the Digestive System transports matter with consistency, the flow with which our cardiac system delivers blood through the heart and whole body; and our breath cycle and the way our lungs expand is super heavenly when we stop to feel it. The sheer fact that the human body can literally hold and build another body during pregnancy is beyond profound! Deeply exquisite and so intricately detailed is the human frame that we are still learning more about how it all happens and its magnificently intelligent and engineered design.

There is something so harmonious about the human body, its connections between all systems and the grand job description it is dedicated to; whilst it has the natural potential to live it all, coherently and effortlessly with each cell playing its role within the whole.

Our whole bodies really are intelligent, but how often do we really stop to not only appreciate this fact, but to tune in to this intelligence for ourselves; accessing the universal communication that is constantly being offered far beyond physicality – and how would this look?

Continue reading “Presence in the body – Our key to True Intelligence”

Osteoporosis Part 2 – New learning from old illness

By Gill Randall, Physiotherapist, Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

I was diagnosed with osteopenia a few years ago and simultaneously I started attending presentations and healing courses presented by Serge Benhayon. With this I understood that the deeper meaning of osteoporosis is that I have disregarded my body for a long time, and so I started looking after myself much more. I altered my diet, learnt to care more for myself, and in that my life changed considerably. There is more detail of these changes in Part 1. 

A couple of months ago, I decided to ask the GP if I could have another bone density test. This was prompted by a friend who started a support group for similar aged students of The Way of The Livingness, who have diagnoses of osteopenia and osteoporosis.

I thought it had been 2 or 3 years since my previous test; it turned out 7 whole years had flown by. That was a bit of a surprise that I had chosen to leave it so long before contacting the doctor, but I reassured myself I was looking after myself much more now. The results from my test returned and they showed that my bone density has progressed in a downhill spiral from osteopenia to moderate osteoporosis. I was absolutely devastated. All this time I thought I had been making more self-loving changes, but my spine has continued to crumble. Continue reading “Osteoporosis Part 2 – New learning from old illness”

Nursing and my new religion

Annelies van Haastrecht, community nurse, Voorschoten, the Netherlands

I started nursing at a young age, 17 years old. And if you asked me at that time why I had chosen nursing as a profession I would not have been sure what to answer. It would definitely not have been the answer I would give today. Today I say I have chosen to become a nurse because I love people and I love to care for and nurture them, to give them an insight into how it is to truly be caring and loving for oneself.

I left the healthcare system ten years after I started, without any appreciation for myself, burnt out, not coping with the pressure and the huge demands of the system. I did my utmost to fit in, to please others, unaware of who I truly was and this resulted in me becoming the tough nurse, hardened, in whom everything and everyone else came first. I thought myself and saw around me that this was what nursing was about, but I felt I would never be enough, that I had failed, I had given myself away completely and I gave up… and withdrew from my profession.

Continue reading “Nursing and my new religion”

Breaking free of the uncomfortable comfort

by Rachel Mascord, BDS, Sydney and Warrawong.

This has been an extraordinary week in my life…a point of endings and new beginnings that have left me raw and vulnerable in a way I’ve rarely allowed myself to experience before.

I submitted my resignation this week. This has been a momentous step because it is the first time I have left a job with no other job to go to. I had held this position for more than 16 years, and a very comfortable nest it became indeed. My comfort in this job lay in the “security” of its tenure, but an uncomfortable and damaging comfort it was. The price I was paying was high; its coinage the toleration of a constant level of low grade disrespect and the sort of subtle abuse that people learn to cope with, in some way or another. After all, it is quite the normal thing in this world…isn’t it? It is an abuse that does not mark the flesh, but rather more insidiously leaves its bruises deep and unseen upon the heart and the being.

Leaving it has felt like I imagine the baby bird must feel as it extends its wings for the first time, surrendering itself from the edge of the nest that has held it safe for so long…

Never have I allowed such a level of open vulnerability in my life. Never have I allowed such a level of surrender, never have I stated that I trust myself so deeply and all of the resource that comes, innate, rich and sourced from deep within me.

Continue reading “Breaking free of the uncomfortable comfort”

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”

The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care

by Gill Randall, Physiotherapist, Grad Dip Phys, Banbury, UK

I work as a physiotherapist in palliative care. Now, physiotherapy and palliative care are not always words that we might put together. I have often received perplexed looks when telling people where I work initially, and the response often comes with ‘how sad and dreary that must be’, but no, on the contrary, that is not true. However, I do understand their confusion. Physiotherapy is associated with healing, recovering, getting better, or rehabilitation. Palliative care can imply coming towards the end of life, giving up or giving in at the end of the journey. But I consider that we all have the opportunity to learn or to feel a difference in life, right until our last breath, and in the hospice environment, we aim to keep people as well as possible, even in the last days of life.

Life is the journey that we are all on to learn and to evolve. This isn’t a ladder going upwards, it’s often a reflection back for us to observe. Continue reading “The Power of Physiotherapy and Universal Medicine in Palliative Care”

The effects of holding back on my body

by Lieke, Dentistry Student, Ghent, Belgium

You may think that our lifestyle is just what we eat, how much we exercise and whether we smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs, but I have come to understand that there is a deeper level of lifestyle, or livingness, which includes my whole way of living, that has an effect on how I feel and the health of my body.

One of the things that affects me is holding back.

What is holding back?

Holding back, for me, is to not follow through an impulse that is true and from my heart, and instead not doing it or doing the absolute opposite.

Holding back is not doing something my WHOLE BODY is telling me to do.

It is like feeling extremely joyful, wanting to jump and celebrate and totally go for it, and then being nice, courteous and polite and moving slowly instead.

I have been holding back for most of my life, and through the teachings presented by Universal Medicine and Esoteric Healing sessions, I have come to understand – and have now an absolute knowing for myself – that holding back has an effect on my body. A big one. Continue reading “The effects of holding back on my body”

Our secret medical history

by Matthew Brown, Registered Nurse, Perth, Western Australia

Most of us have seen a GP or been to hospital at some stage, and have had our medical history taken. The usual questions cover a range of illnesses that include most parts of our body. Commonly asked questions are related to blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart and lungs, any previous surgery and what type of medication we are on, which may provide a clue to anything else we may have ‘forgotten’ to mention!

I call this the public medical history, the one that is carried around like a backpack, that informs all health professionals just what type of body they are dealing with. These are the problems that are often managed with medication, and the more you are on, and the higher the dose, the greater your problems are.

But there is another history we keep hidden. This secret history is the one we keep really personal and generally don’t share with anyone, or maybe only one other person. These secrets are the vital evidence and the foundation of our ill ways, ill health and poor decisions. They may at first seem irrelevant or even minor, but they are crucial to understanding the person as a whole, and hold the clues to the kinds of events, illnesses or injuries that happen to people.

Those things that we keep secret are the things that we find embarrassing or personal; that we would never share with another. They could range from anything from early childhood all the way through life. There is often a hurt of some kind that holds us back. It may prevent us from either admitting it is there, or we may find a way to completely ignore the feeling associated with it. Continue reading “Our secret medical history”

The Value of Qualitative Research – Understanding and Expression

by Jennifer Smith RN Australia.

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a research study. I had completed a survey and was then asked if I would like to participate in an interview as part of a qualitative study on self-care. The research was about exploring the topic of self-care in nurses who work in palliative care and whether this may relate to compassion for self and compassion for others.

I love participating and supporting other nurses, especially when it comes to research, so I jumped at the chance.

The qualitative approach to research, is less about figures and results and more about the experiences and themes of the participants, with a view to establishing a broader understanding of what a group of people’s experiences are on a particular subject. The numbers of participants in qualitative research are often much smaller than with quantitative research and whilst this allows for a richer, in-depth analysis to be performed, there are some factions in science that do not value this and who consider quantitative research superior. Both are valid ways of performing research and are suited to address different research questions and fields of study.

The questions asked were quite broad about how I self-care, how it affects how I am at work, the strategies I use, the things that get in the way of me self-caring and whether or not I had a ‘self-care plan’ and whether a plan is beneficial (this is something that is talked about a lot in palliative care circles). The questions were open so I could really discuss and explore how self-care supports me both personally and most definitely professionally.
Continue reading “The Value of Qualitative Research – Understanding and Expression”