Friday, November 5, 2010

Dutch Osteopath

In yesterday morning's home practice, I was feeling COMPLETELY off-kilter. Like, misaligned in the spine. (You can read all about my spine issues and see my X-rays from last year here). It just wasn't working. My left leg felt waaaaaaay shorter than the right, and I suspected my left sacrum was probably stuck again. It was a very short and laboured practice. Blechhhh.

Since living in Amsterdam, I've only been going to a Physiotherapist. But seriously... They don't seem to look at you as holistically as an Osteopath does, and that was getting frustrating for me.

So - I finally found one a couple weeks ago, and since his practice is in the same Physio Centre that treats the Dutch national football team, I figured he had to be good. (Osteopathy is still relatively obscure here, can't seem to find many at all, let alone know who's good). Plus, when I called, the next available appointment was only in 2 weeks' time (yesterday), which is always a good sign right, when someone's fully booked?

Since I've been working with body-practitioners (?) over the past few years... Chiros/ Osteos/ Kineasiologists, I kinda know what my issues are already, which helps set the groundwork for anyone new I go to. But can I just say: WOW. This dude IS good.

First, I had to strip down to my underwear (he had a female intern there with him, whom he was explaining things to in Dutch, so that kinda made the experience a lot less nerve-wracking for me. I mean... hello - you're practically butt-naked standing in a cold room in front of a stranger!) I turned around, closed my eyes and he did what felt like a kungfu pressure-point move on my neck and shoulders. I have no idea what happened, but I immediately felt my body slump over to the left.

Like... WHAAAAAAT? He wasn't even pressing on me that hard, but there was a shift in the entire body. I asked him what this five-point-palm-heart-exploding technique was, and apparently it's a crano-sacral move to test the muscle fascia layer. The fascia's like a rug that holds your muscles together (I think?) and if any part of it is off, it's like how you'd have a bunching in a corner of the rug. And that bunched-up rug that holds the muscles together then also pulls the muscles out of alignment.

My left sacrum was definitely stuck again and in order to see how it moved (or didn't), he then made me turn around, back towards him, and bend down and touch my toes.

Ladies and gents, I was wearing a thong. Like, a G-string.

HOLY HELL'S TITS.

How embarrassing an experience can this get?! (Erm... On the positive front, thank goodness I was wearing a matching bra?) I basically had my bare butt-naked ass cheeks in the Osteo's face as I was bending over!!! Thank goodness this is Holland and the Dutch are pretty blase about nudity... But... It was too much for my dainty Asian sensibility. I almost started giggling as I was bent over with my arse in his face. Thank goodness the intern was in the room too or I would've felt even more awkward!!

Note to self: When visiting the Osteo, always wear full-bum briefs.


Interestingly, while he was checking out everything from top to tail, he was also checking my insides - HAHAHA! It's not what you're thinking! He was just pressing on my belly/ abdomen while I lay on the table, asking questions about my digestion. He suspects some of my lower back problems could be digestion-related too. OOOH! This is something new to me. Never really saw it from this angle before, but the theory makes sense.

See what I mean by they look at you holistically?

So he gave me some manipulation in the places that were stuck - and his adjustments were much gentler than any other experience I've had, but still just as effective. It just felt like the body didn't need to go through that much stress/ physical manipulation in order to get a tension release.

He assessed my neck first, noticed where some points were more tender than the others, then moved onto my sacrum. After releasing the sacrum, he came back to the neck to check, and the tension in the neck was gone. Wow! The body is a pretty amazing hive of interconnectedness, innit?

What's cool about this guy is - he said: "I think you need to come back another 2 or 3 times, but that's all. You should be OK after that, you don't need to keep coming back." So he's not just after my money either. Haha. The next time, he says we'll work on my digestion and where he thinks I may have issues.

I was pretty wiped out after that. 2 hours later at my work desk, I pretty much couldn't think anymore. Apparently this means things are shifting. Was so wiped out, I got into bed at 9pm. But then... I woke up at 10pm and felt super energized and recharged... then stayed up all the way till 3am before falling asleep again. I'm so over these weird sleep patterns I'm having. It's screwing up everything and now it feels like I'm coming down with something.

BUT... Today while walking to work, it felt like I was walking straight and in balance again.

Pretty cool stuff.

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6 comments:

  1. Super cool!!! Wow, what an experience. You got the Vulcan nerve pinch and you were in a thong. He sounds really good... I'm glad he's fixin' you up.

    When I was having gall bladder trouble, I felt it in my muscles big time. All sorts of aches. It was weird. So I do think the digestion/muscle connection is real.

    This report was really hilarious. He probably didn't think a thing about your lack of clothes, but I would have felt the same way as you... I'm definitely not Dutch.

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  2. HAHAHA! Vulcan Nerve Pinch! I was going for the Kill Bill reference but couldn't really remember what Pai May's kungfu move was called... This one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIoW24O_QmU (it's funnier as a remix. HA!)

    I'm just glad the little intern was there, though thinking about it now... now TWO people have seen me practically butt-naked. Pfft!

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  3. Osteopaths are awesome like that.....they don't seem to be trying to sell you a repeat prescription for their services. I think (gasp!) they genuinely want to help!:)

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  4. That is a fantastic story! NEVER go to the doctor with anything but underwear your grandmother would wear!

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  5. I love osteopaths! I usually go to the type that are called 'cranial osteopaths' - it doesn't feel like they are doing anything but, wow! Sounds like this one is a bit like that ... Hope he fixes everything up for you! And maybe you could get some of those puffy pants that I'm told Iyengar practitioners wear?!!

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  6. Lisa - yes, I think you're right! Except... My osteo in Sydney had said he wanted me to go for sessions once in 2 weeks for about a year. So... I guess it depends on who.

    LiAsh- Yes, but make sure they're the nice underpants your grandma would wear, not like Bridget Jones!

    Susie - you mean those Hugger-Mugger bloomers? HAHAHA!

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