I advise all my patients when they have had a treatment to make a concerted effort to increase their water intake. This helps the kidneys and liver to expel any toxins that have been released during treatment. Treatment will nearly always increase the detox response in one way or another, so having that extra water to help the kidneys flush out the toxins is essential.
Headaches, grogginess and reduced clarity of thought are solid indicators that you need to drink more water. Having some fresh lemon juice (usually half a lemon) in your water, especially during the evening will further help the liver in this detox process. I would you do this for at least 3 days.
I always explain that the 24-72 hours following treatment are the most important. Always be aware of any new symptoms that come or go. It is during this time period that you may feel worse before any improvement begins.
So do not worry if things feel worse because the chances are this just indicates the body is making the necessary adjustments. If you are in doubt do not hesitate to ring the clinic.
Symptoms that progress for longer than 72 hours are a little less common and a quick discussion with the Osteopath is recommended. However if you have had organ work it is very normal to have changes and new symptoms occurring for a week or so. Often this depends on how long you have had the problem. Again this is perfectly normal.
Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins required during any healing process, whether it is emotional, physical or inflammatory. The adrenal cascade (a series of chemical reactions) is the body’s response against any form of stress. The adrenal glands produce various reactions which ultimately produce the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol feeds the body’s systems to handle stress. Vitamin C is a vital part in these chain reactions.
Vitamin C also plays a big part in the immune system, which will be very active during your healing process. I therefore advise all my patients to take vitamin C on a semi regular basis, but especially to take it during the first few weeks of treatment. Important things to note when talking about vitamin C.
Vitamin C is generally not stored in the body. It is used by the body and the remaining amount is then discarded. So to have high doses of vitamin C in the morning will not mean you have a steady release of vitamin C throughout the day.
So I recommend you to take a dose with each of your 3 main meals.
It is also good to note that you can actually take quite high doses of vitamin C without it being dangerous. The current recommended daily allowance stands at around 60mg (which in my opinion is ridiculously low).
During bodily repair or healing from a cold or just generally during a stressful period in your life, I would recommend taking around 500-750mg with each meal.
It is important to remember to come off vitamin C slowly over a 3-5 day period. Also to note – if you are getting a loose tummy or runny stools, then you are taking too much Vitamin C (come off slowly). However taking 2000-3000mg is unlikely to cause any problems as it is still relatively low (during stressful periods).
Finally when buying vitamin C it is good to try and buy vitamin C with bioflavanoids added. Bioflavanoids are additional chemical components that actually make up ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and are important during the chemical reactions in the adrenal cascade.
As usual always discuss dosages of Vitamin C with your doctor.
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Sleep is one of those subjects that is loosely thrown around, but not always taken very seriously. There are many theories with sleep but the general consensus is everyone needs between 7-8 hours every night and the more sleep you get before midnight the better quality of sleep you will have. Of course this varies from person to person with some adults functioning ok on 5-6 hours.
It is strongly advised to have a completely blacked out or dark room while sleeping. Investing in good quality curtains or ‘black out blinds’ is well worth it. I would go as far to say, reduce all light emitting technology too.
Change any alarm clocks that produce light to alarm clocks that require you to press a button to see the time.
In addition I would also try to have as many electrical devices around the house switched off until morning (including wifi). If you are a person who often gets up in the night for whatever reason try to do so without turning on any lights.
I don’t want to go into the physiology of sleep here but the brain needs darkness to produce the healthy effects of sleep and you need sleep at the appropriate times too. Check out circadian rhythms to find out more.
For those that are more tired than usual or have been struggling with tiredness, then sleep needs to be your biggest priority. Diet, exercise and even treatment should come a close second to your efforts to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern in your life.
For those of you who have recently had treatment (especially cranial) then you will almost certainly want to have a good 9-10 hour sleep that day and probably the day after too. Your body will most likely let you know this is the case because patients are often extremely tired after a cranial session.
For those of you that have trouble sleeping, mild or severe insomnia or wake up early; then a cranial treatment comes highly highly recommended. I have had huge success with these issues.
Probiotics are also another essential building block in improving our overall health and should be taken at the beginning of treatments and for the next 2 weeks following. Read more on my probiotics page.
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Patients often ask me if there is anything they can do to help themselves get better? In my opinion this is often a very difficult question to answer and I am not the type of therapist that believes in simply giving strengthening and stretching exercises.
For some people this is exactly what they need, but this is rare and I will always give a very specific plan to that person.
For the average person this is not something I tend to prescribe. Saying that though, walking is a very good and easy exercise to do after nearly any type of treatment. It is safe, does not put the body under too much strain and gets the blood flowing around the body.
If you have had a very mechanical type treatment (spinal corrections, stretching and generally being moved around by the Osteopath) then walking really helps to integrate the corrections that I have made to your body.
I always recommend taking a little break from any training you may be involved in and instead focus on just doing a 20 minute walk every day. I would advise that you do this for at least 3 days after treatment, especially your first treatment.
Again this is dependent on the person and I will give you different advice should you need it.
Diet – reduce sugar
Try and reduce your sugar content from the start. High doses of sugar in your system dampens the immune system and causes a high stress on the liver (amongst many other negative affects). As mentioned earlier we need to free up the kidneys and liver in order to help your body expel the toxins in your body. Maintaining high doses of sugar will keep the liver overworking and stressed.
We have to reduce the stress demand on the body in order to find optimum health whether it is neck/muscle pain you have or more systemic problem like tiredness or weakness. Reduce the stress demand and your body will then focus on your problem area.
The best way to start your reduction of sugar is to simply reduce all the fluid drinks that you drink and replace it with water or teas. Fruit juice in some cases has as much sugar in them as sodas. Soda is the greatest poison in our food chain. Stop all sodas and all fruit juices and replace it with water.
Juicing is without doubt the best thing you can do for your health. Forget about all the diets, weight control schemes and discussions on superfoods – none of these things comes close to the power of juicing. Juicing takes a huge amount of raw vegetables, packs it down into a simple juice and delivers a ridiculous amount of nutrients to your body. Read more about the benefits of juicing here.
You can also read more about what juicer you should buy here.