Rhys is a recent addition to the Ngaio Natural Health Centre. He is doing amazing work with Zero Balancing, which is a holistic form of bodywork, aiming to align the mind, body and spirit. As it is a bit unknown at the centre we thought it would be a great idea to have a ‘case study’ of a Zero Balancing with our very own Rhys as the patient. Learn all about how Zero Balancing impacted Rhys’ life and how it might help you too.
I guess you could say I had two physical problems that I knew about plus an astonishing issue that I was unaware of until I had Zero Balancing.
The first was arthritis in both feet that prevented me from walking long distances. Hydrocortisone injections into the navicular-cuneiform joint would help for a few weeks, then the problem would return.
The other was a knee injury acquired when working with large cattle one day. It was my own fault really. I was straddled across the top of the cattle race trying to put an ID tag in the ear of one of the cows. She moved forward unexpectedly, pinning both ankles to the side of the race with her hip bones. Then she shifted again flicking one ankle out while the other remained pinned as I fell backwards almost 2m into the race behind the cow. This ripped my knee ligaments on the trapped leg quite severely. I was able to get up on my one good foot and hop out before she walked backward, or I might have fared much worse.
The diagnosis was completely torn medial collateral ligament and half torn anterior cruciate ligament. I underwent conventional medical treatment and rehab. But I was not able to put much pressure on it or lift anything heavy, let alone walk any distance. Unfortunately, this ended my Paramedic dream.
It was over a year later before I tried Zero Balancing. I had zero expectations for my knee or feet but I was interested to try it to see what it was. My sister was raving about it and was training in it herself. She obtained significant relief with a pelvic complaint after repeated falls from horses.
"Zero Balancing does not guarantee results for specific issues, though in my experience it improves the great majority. What it does do is provide a holistic energy-based bodywork therapy that releases tension out of bones primarily, but also organs and soft tissue as needed."
Zero Balancing is non-diagnostic. A comprehensive injury and medical history is taken, and there are a few contra-indications – one of which is we do not deal with acute trauma. We leave that to conventional medical treatments. However, due to the safety of the therapy, there are few chronic conditions that can’t be attempted. In my case, my problems were over a year old.
Zero Balancing does not guarantee results for specific issues, though in my experience it improves the great majority. What it does do is provide a holistic energy-based bodywork therapy that releases tension out of bones primarily, but also organs and soft tissue as needed. There is a core protocol of stretches and acupressure that is repeated each time for every client, then tailored to need. Zero Balancing’s goal is overall wellness of the human being first and foremost. Specific improvements then often follow, sometimes in area’s we don’t expect. Zero Balancing offers the body invitations to change, but the client’s body is in charge and takes out of the therapy what it needs to heal.
I sometimes give clients exercises that I think may improve mobility, or suggest a general program of exercise, but usually the sequence of sessions 1-2 weeks apart, then going to monthly, is all that is required to bring a person back into balance.
"I felt mentally grounded and centred in myself. Now, I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t those things, until I had the experience of being brought back into balance and realised just how far out of whack I had been, without even knowing it."
My own results were extra-ordinary after just one session. Even though the practitioner told me to rest up, I did the opposite. I felt so wonderfully well, I walked for several kilometres that evening. It felt like my feet were floating on air rather than the usual stabbing sharp pain I’d usually experience high up in my arches. Weirdly, that pain has never returned.
My knee has gradually improved with treatment, has good strength and stability. I’m able to swim, cycle and walk easily, I love heading into the bush when I can. I’m thrilled with what I can do.
The astonishing aspect of that first treatment that I was not expecting, though, was how I felt like my old 20 year-old self again, the next day. It felt like a magic trick. How could such a gentle therapy that feels like hardly anything is happening, have such a profound effect? I felt mentally grounded and centred in myself. Now, I wasn’t aware that I wasn’t those things, until I had the experience of being brought back into balance and realised just how far out of whack I had been, without even knowing it. And THAT is what got me hooked on the therapy as something that I had to learn and bring to others. It’s amazing to feel that way, and my clients tell me time after time, how extraordinary it feels. (Even if they can’t describe how it works either!)
That is life-changing and enabling. It opens up possibilities for people to take on new directions for themselves, a new way to be in their body – to manage their stress, anxiety and physical issues - and to spend their days in peace, enjoyment and self-actualisation. How rewarding is that?!
As I’ve got to know the therapy more and its potential, I’ve been able to move my own life more and more to a place of peace and awareness. Which is huge, everything really. Zero Balancing enabled that for me.
My own recent addition to the therapy is to offer clients that want it, advice to bring present moment awareness into their daily lives. Zero Balancing gives them that experience while they are on the table, anyway. Why not be centred all the time? It’s a powerful way to live!
2019 has been a busy and exciting year. Much of it has brought the culmination of a significant amount of work and growth, both professionally and personally. It has seen the completion of many courses that bring together all my passions and special areas of interest in osteopathy i.e. paediatrics, biodynamics, cranial osteopathy and teaching.
When I began work at the Ngaio Natural Health Centre seven years ago (how time flies!) the aim with my UK experience, was to continue and strengthen the ethos (begun by osteopaths Liz johns and Jane Burns) in providing a strong family orientated practice, particularly in the areas of interest mentioned above.
I’m looking forward to 2020 which is equally shaping up to be a fantastic year, though I hope a little quieter, we will see...
Wishing everyone love and a very peaceful and happy Christmas,
Completion of the ARA Institute of Canterbury course - Infant, Child + Adolescent Health in Osteopathy.
When you see an osteopath you are seeing a regulated primary healthcare professional. Some of us already specialise and have qualifications in paediatrics, but this course (spread over two years) is aimed at raising the benchmark for paediatric osteopathy across the whole profession. Importantly, it will guarantee minimum standards in safety and practice as a basic pre-requisite for anyone seeking osteopathic care for their child. It very much deepens the awareness of current child related NZ health issues. Some osteopaths may not wish to pursue further specialisation in paediatrics, but this certification will give them the necessary skills to recognise when and whom to refer if something is outside of their scope. NZ will be the first country to have this recognised in their Osteopathic Standards (‘capabilities’) for practice. Well done us!
Completion of Phase 9 of a Biodynamic View of Osteopathy
I am very proud to announce I have completed Phase 9 of a Biodynamic View of Osteopathy. To be listed as a ‘Biodynamically trained’ an osteopath has to have completed Phase courses 1-8. This ‘odyssey’ is a deep interest and passion and represents well over a decade of work and study with thousands of hours of deliberate practise and reflection. Arriving at this point we do not think of having ‘completed’ anything, rather it is just another step along the most wonderful life-changing path of personal development and continued learning.
Completion of Treatment of Children with a Biodynamic view of Osteopathy
Also, to further my learning in Paediatrics, in March this year I also completed Phase 3 of a three year program on the Treatment of Children with a Biodynamic view of Osteopathy. This really is a specialty area that adds to my paediatric knowledge and skills. It deepens, guides and and shapes my private practice and group work in the charity clinic (more below).
.....Biodynamics, what is it?
In response to many questions here is a very brief note on Biodynamics and it’s rich osteopathic history. (Please look out for a new year post explained and referenced in much more detail).
Biodynamics has a direct lineage that can be traced to osteopathy's founder, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Through Dr.Still and his many wonderful teachings osteopaths are charged with ‘finding the health’ in the patient, as he says ‘..anyone can find disease...”. This has become an important and living concept for us. His student William Garner Sutherland pioneered the development of cranial osteopathy and the discovery of ‘primary respiration’. The work of Dr.Sutherland and his exceptional students deeply inspired (and through their mentorship) present day American osteopath Dr. James Jealous DO. It is Dr. Jealous who chose the name Biodynamics as a new curriculum in osteopathy after he recognised that embryologists and the work of Dr. Sutherland had much in common. Biodynamics is a fascinating field that has continued to evolve in osteopathy. To those who show an interest Dr. Jealous and the remarkable international faculty continue to teach post-graduate osteopaths i.e. who have first completed full osteopathic study and training. The importance of this can’t be understated because it requires a high degree of clinical skill and understanding developed over many years in practice.
The Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation of Australia & New Zealand sctfanz.org.au
I am thrilled to announce that this year I have been invited and welcomed on to the faculty of the Sutherland Cranial Teaching Foundation of Australia and New Zealand. Another deep interest and passion, it is an honour and a privilege to continue the work and pass on the teachings of osteopath Dr. William Garner Sutherland to successive generations. He has joined the international team on three courses so far, in Auckland and Melbourne.
The Osteopathic Children’s Foundation OCF
This is pretty special. I am a proud trustee and part of a small team of passionate individuals who wanted to set up a clinic to treat children who would not normally have access to osteopathy. We don’t want affordability and/or serious health issues to be be barriers to access. We are very excited because the clinic celebrated it’s first birthday in October this year. It has been a fantastic year and a huge success that has exceeded all our expectations. We feel very supported.
From 20-30 osteopaths come together and donate and devote their time one Saturday per month in Hamilton, NZ. Osteopathic Children’s clinics are special places where treatment is based around the family unit and where we treat in an open-plan space with lots of tables, and toys! Bringing the community together is a very important part of what we do. At each clinic we are blessed with the presence of our Kaumātua who leads us in a Karakia before and after our sessions. We are developing strong links with local services, including the children’s hospice, and we are very fortunate to have already been joined by paediatricians, other health professionals and many overseas visitors. I will definitely write about this some more....
For now, if you would like any more details please follow the link above.
With the cold and flu season in full swing, many people turn to vitamin C for a little bit of support. I often hear people say “if you have too much vitamin C, you just wee the excess out”. This is true – however before you wee it out it has interactions with every cell, organ or body part it comes into contact with.
Many of the minerals and vitamins in our body work together in pairs, these are important nutrient ratio’s. It means if one of the pairs is in excess compared to the other, then neither of the minerals are utilised properly. Many of the supplements you can buy over the counter take this into account and will have the pair as part of the supplement, for example many Magnesium supplements will have Calcium in them. However, when you get too much calcium your body will ‘beg, borrow and steal’ Magnesium from where ever it can get it – often depleting organs that require it to function optimally. So having a supplement with both in it is only going to make your Magnesium deficiency worse.
Vitamins are not produced in the body (with the exception of Vit D and a small amount of Vit K and B3). We need to eat food that contain these vitamins. Vit C’s pairs are Copper and Iron. We have all heard, if you want to increase your iron ‘eat some red meat and have a glass of orange juice with it’. This is why. If you end up with too much Vitamin C it can result in an Iron overload and the flow on effect is a Copper deficiency.
Your Copper and Zinc ratio is the key one to keep an eye on, in particular during winter. If you have too much Copper and not enough Zinc you will be susceptible to viral infections, if you have too much Zinc and not enough Copper you will be susceptible to bacterial infections.
It can be a tricky trying to work out what are the right levels of minerals and vitamins in your body. Having a hair tissue mineral analysis is a great way to assess what supplements will be beneficial to your health.