Some patients who come to see me are suffering with digestive problems. Conditions that affect the digestive system can cause many unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, cramping, nausea, constipation, gallbladder issues and sleep disturbances. For many patients, over the counter medication simply masks their digestive problems, instead of correcting them.

At The Robin Kiashek Clinics, we work to establish the cause of a client’s problems and focus on each client’s individual case to give them the specific treatment that they need. These conditions may include headaches, migraines, painful periods, digestive disorders, depression as well as conditions more directly related to muscles, bones and joints. For many patients presenting with digestive system issues, there is compression and strain on the ligaments and connective tissues around the organs. A fall on the buttocks could cause tension on the ligaments around the kidneys, for example.

When you consider all areas of the body working in conjunction, it is perhaps worth considering if your aches and pains are actually coming from a previously unconsidered source.

Cartilage growing to rebuild body parts

Image source: BBC

I am always interested in hearing about medical advancements, so I was intrigued when I read an article from the BBC recently about cartilage being able to rebuild body parts. The article explains how in just three years time patients requiring surgery to reconstruct certain body parts could have treatment using lab-grown cartilage.

Researchers at Morriston Hospital in Swansea are hoping to be the first in the world to start using the form of treatment which involves growing “new tissue using human cells.”

So what is the actual process of this potential medical breakthrough? Put simply, someone else’s cells are put into an incubator and then mixed with a liquid. This is then 3D printed into the jelly-like shape required. The mould is then placed back into an incubator to continue to grow until it is ready for the patient.

Talking about the exciting innovation, Prof Iain Whitaker, consultant plastic surgeon at Morriston Hospital said: “We’re trialling using 3D printing which is a very exciting potential modality to make these relatively complex structures. Most people have heard a lot about 3D printing and that started with traditional 3D printing using plastics and metals. That has now developed so we can consider printing biological tissue called 3D bio-printing, which is very different. We’re trying to print biological structures using human cells, and provide the right environment and the right timing so it can grow into tissue that we can eventually put into a human. It would be to reconstruct lost body parts such as part of the nose or the ear and ultimately large body parts including bone, muscle and vessels.”

Engineers have already built a 3D printer which has been specifically designed for this kind of treatment and even though the project didn’t start until 2012, research into this field of reconstruction has been taking place for over twenty years.

If the current research is successful, patients will be able to recreate a missing body part within just two months without having to take it from another area of the body. This will have a significantly positive impact on patients who would have previously had to possibly deal with scarring and possible disfigurements.

I am excited to hear the outcome of this research.

So there I was, preparing January’s Newsletter, when in popped an email Newsletter from my colleague and friend, Clive Lindley-Jones.

Clive, who lives and works in Oxford, wears many ‘hats’ professionally speaking:  Osteopath, Applied Kinesiologist (AK), Psychotherapist, Neurolinguistic Practitioner (NLP), Life Coach and general all-round ‘good-guy’.  He has helped me over the years in many ways, both professionally and personally.

I read Clive’s Newsletter and as usual, found it inspirational and hence decided, with his permission, to republish the Newsletter.

I originally met Clive in the early 1980s, when I was a fledgling commercial photographer and he a fledgling osteopath.  Clive and his partner, Kerstin (now a Psychotherapist working alongside Clive), were running a Swedish massage course, which I signed up for. My abiding memory of the course, held over 10 weeks, was sitting round in a circle with 20 unknown participants within a few minutes of the first week’s module in order to introduce oneself, having been asked to undress TOTALLY!  Those were the days.

Fast forward 25 years, during which time I had lost contact with Clive.  I rediscovered Clive whilst searching Google for ‘Osteopath NLP’ as I wanted to see if there were like-minded osteopaths – I had just completed my Masters NLP training and found that Clive had done exactly the same training as I, with the same organistaion (International, Training Seminars, ITS).

And the rest is history.

So, here’s Clive’s newsletter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
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Happy (and ‘lucky’)  New Year. January 2016.

“The harder you practice, the luckier you get.”

I just purchased a Lottery ticket for the first time today. I know, my chances of winning, and having the pleasure of becoming a serious Philanthropist, are about 65 million to one! But I have been thinking about lady luck this week and decided to indulge in the most extreme form of luck consciousness, in honour of this blog, just for once. But really that is not the kind of luck I want to think about here.

That famous quote,  above, linked in 1962 to the great american golfer Gary Player, has its roots much further back in time, but  still has a resonance with us, for, on a good day, when we are in harmony with things, we know that we can, sometimes, make our own luck. Yet, at other times, we seem doomed to thrash around, just making everything worse with each crashing stumble. Especially when we are young and struggling to get established, finding the art of easing the passage of life and flowing with things, can often seem utterly beyond us. So much so that the very suggestion that we could, feels a preposterous slander.

At the start of another new year I would like to think about how we approach our ‘luck’ in  all aspects of our life. So much of what we get caught up in day-to-day, may not really lead to us living in harmony with the more profound aspects of our lives.

If we can allow ourselves to truly see that, even with all the cruel and often overwhelming inequalities and injustices of our world, we are also, in some profound way, the drivers of our destiny.  As we align ourselves more with the  mystery of our unfolding life, we may more easily be able to see the extraordinary synchronicity that pops up in life, the more one steps into harmony.

Studying Luck: Lucky for some

In Oxford we have two great universities studying all sorts of erudite subjects, all of which are important, but still we struggle with key aspects of how to be happy, healthy and at peace, both as we go through our lives and as we come to their inevitable ends. Our city houses large number of clever people employed to crunch the evidence, to understand, to guide the policy,  of how we live and why we die before, what might be seen as, ‘our time’.

Over the last year researchers around the world have tried to work out how much cancer, for example, is caused by bad luck and how much as a result of choices we make. Every few months various, impressive, statistical studies come out, with  different views on this, which must be confusing for those who take these efforts as a final truth, instead of well-informed, statistical guesses and useful ways of  keeping epidemiologists gainfully employed.

In  January last year one study suggested that two-thirds of cancer types were down to luck rather than factors such as smoking. While later in December another studysuggested that cancers were overwhelmingly a result of environmental factors and notlargely down to bad luck. This can be both encouraging, in that we may have greater agency over our life, but can also turn into an unpleasant and erroneous ‘blame the patient’ game, if not fully understood.

Seeing Life through another window

What if we were all inextricably one and everything that happened to us was for the sole purpose for us to learn? That our whole life was one big learning experience?

It is easy to say, but much harder to accept when the most precious things in our lives are snatched away from us, as they were for Jeff Olsen. Whatever you might think of his touching and profound life changing, Near Death Experiences around a terrible car accident he was in, that killed both his wife and youngest son, it provides another narrative to the dominant materialistic model that holds sway in our culture today.

When you have a chance you might want to give some time to listen to Olsen’s story and witness how it has shaped him to become the impressive man he comes across as today. There is a considerable amount of  scientific evidence around the whole subject of Near Death Experiences. (For more on this subject, see my book review in  my blog; August 2012: Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita MoorjaniWhatever you make of them, there are useful pointers to be gained from those who have had these experiences, relevant to our own life and how to live it. How we ‘make our own luck’.

The School of Life

Talking of how to live our life,  are you familiar with The School of Life?   This is an organisation, with centres around the world, founded in 2008  by philosopher Alain de Botton and  Sophie Howarth a former curator from Tate Modern, in collaboration with a number of writers, artists and educators. The School offers a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well: finding fulfilling work, mastering relationships, achieving calm, and understanding and changing the world.[1] The School also offers psychotherapy and bibliotherapy services and runs small shops[2] which have been described as ‘apothecaries for the mind'”.[3]

What I wanted to draw your attention to specifically, were their impressive, and ever-expanding, list of very short five-minute films  that they have on YouTube. Here they dispense sassy, calm, well-informed,  non-judgemental insights on a wide variety of subjects, from mini introductions to the great philosophers to a recent addition, ‘Why God says you should have sex every Friday night’! (The wisdom of the Torah. it’s a couple’s duty under God to have sex every Friday night, perhaps an insightful piece of ancient, couples therapy). You’ll have to check out that one!

Making our own Luck in 2016

So how are you going to make your own luck in 2016? There are so many better ways of doing so, that are more sane and effective than my one-off,  mildly ridiculous, Lottery approach.

You could do worse than check out some of the School of Life’s brilliant little films, bringing some clear thinking into how we see, and maybe change, our lives so ‘making our own luck’.

It only remains for me to wish you, Good Luck, in 2016.

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As a leading osteopath in London, I believe that the body has incredible self-healing properties and that thoughts held long enough can be physically presented. But many of the patients who visit the Robin Kiashek clinics have long believed that only doctors, drugs and medical technology have the abilities to heal… and that the human body itself does not. Ironically, many of these patients have actually sought my help in response to being left undiagnosed by more mainstream medical practises.

In my experience, the first step on the journey to health restoration is often the understanding that the body is full of remarkably powerful healing energies; energies that can ensure long-term good health if we work in collaboration with them. Once we believe that there is as much power inside the body as there is outside, we are injected with a new boost of motivation, hope and a willingness to get healthier.

Will this be the year you change your health forever?

As a leading osteopath in London, I often see patients with positive health goals at the start of each New Year. For many of the patients I see, leading a healthier lifestyle and losing weight is among their core goals. But how we do we stay on track to fulfill our potentially life-changing New Year’s resolutions?

Here are my top three tips to make 2016 the year you change your health.

1. Discover Your Motivation

What are the main reasons you want to lead a healthier lifestyle and lose weight? Do you want to look better in your clothes? Do you want to achieve more self confidence? Do you want to help to combat an existing or potential health condition? Get your reasons for changing clear in your head first and use those reasons to motivate and encourage you throughout your journey.

2. Plan for Success

Fail to plan, plan to fail; it may be a cliché but it’s absolutely true! The worst thing you can do is wake up on the 1st January and jump into a whole new lifestyle without having a set a plan on how you’re going to achieve your goals. Planning head and deciding how you are going to implement your New Year’s resolutions into your schedule will set you miles ahead on your journey before you even start. Bear in mind that working from target to target is much less daunting than trying to tackle everything at once.

3. Set Goals

Setting goals will enable you to measure progress and keep you motivated and inspired along the way. An effective strategy is to make sure your goals are ‘SMART’:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Be true to yourself and do things at your own time and pace. Success has nothing to do with speed, remember.

While most of us planned to fit in some “downtime” over the Christmas period, how many of us actually had it? With the festive period being the busiest time of year, some of us will be entering the New Year in need of another break just to recover from the hustle bustle of the season. But as a reputable London osteopath, I am a keen advocate of “downtime” as a combat against chronic stress and overworking your mind and body.

Untreated, long term stress can lead to both mental and physical health issues including depression, cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. (By the way, these only “scratch the surface” of the health hazards of stress!)

No matter what your job or your family commitments, it is fundamental to your happiness and health to take some time out for yourself every day – even it is just a relaxing soak in the bath with no interruptions! Many people see “downtime” or “me time” as a modern craze, when in fact it’s simply a biological necessity.

I encourage many of my patients to undertake regular physical exercise – even in the cold, winter months!

For many people, winter brings a reason to abandon workout routines. As temperatures drop and gusting winds seems to push us back indoors to the warmth of our living rooms, a lot of us tend to put all fitness routines on the back-burner until the wrath of the winter weather subsides. But… as a leading osteopath in London, I advise patients (that are able to exercise) that the benefits of regular physical activity are too significant to be put on hold when workouts become untimely. All it takes is a little planning…

Remember to layer up properly when exercising outdoors in the cold weather. Start with a thin synthetic material, such as polypropylene, to extract perspiration from your body and then add an insulating layer (such as a fleece) on top. And of course, don’t forget your breathable, waterproof outer layer to protect you should the “heavens open”.

If you’re exercising outdoors during the evenings or early in the mornings when it’s dark, wear a reflective outer layer and choose footwear with adequate traction to prevent falls.

And if that isn’t enough? Then there are always indoor gyms, swimming pools and fitness classes that you can attend!

Don’t freeze your fitness plans this winter – it could come as an unnecessary cost on your health.

With the countdown to Christmas in full swing, more and more drivers will face heavy traffic as they head to the shops or travel to visit relatives or friends. As a leading London osteopath, I regularly treat patients who are suffering from back and neck pain as a result of being in road traffic accidents. And quite often, whiplash is a major culprit.

Whiplash can occur following vigorous movement of the head that overstretches and damages the ligaments and tendons in the neck. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, reduced neck movements, muscle tenderness and headaches. In some cases, symptoms can become chronic; leading to anxiety and depression.

So what can you do to prevent the risk of whiplash injuries when you’re on the road this Christmas? My advice, as a reputable London osteopath, is as follows:

1: Adjust your seat appropriately

Make sure your car seat has less than a 20 degree incline angle. This will help to keep you in your seat should you be involved in a rear end collision.

2: Adjust the height of your head restraint

The top of your head restraint should be level with or above the top of your head. A good way to measure this is to place your hand on the top of your head and adjust the head restraint so that it touches your hand.

3: Position your head restraint close to your head

Adjust your head restraint so that it is about 5cm (2 inches) from the back of your head. The closer your head restraint is to your head, the less distance there will be for your head to build up speed and load the neck during a collision.

Small adjustments can make big differences when it comes to road safety this Christmas.

Carlos AcostaI recently read an interview with Carlos Acosta, a Cuban ballet dancer who has been deemed “the greatest male dancer of his generation”. During the interview, Acosta said something that really stood out to me. He was asked, “If a person didn’t train in dance while young, do you think they can still gain suppleness with regular practice?

This is how he responded:
“Nureyev didn’t start till his teens and he went on to become a legend. Nothing is set in stone …there is this great trend for people in their 50s and 60s to train with ballet rather than go to the gym”

His words came as music to my ears. You see, as an osteopath in London, I regularly treat people who have developed negative long-term habits; lifestyle choices that often result in damaged physical and mental health. But if we consider the consequences of our choices, particularly the long-term consequences, we can start to see the impact our hobbies and habits are having on our health and we can gain the motivation we need to break free of our restrictions.

Too often we become trapped in the mind frame of “If we had our time again”, but as long as we are alive and capable, it is never too late to start a positive new adventure.

Dancing offers a long list of physical and mental benefits including:
• Improved condition of your heart and lungs
• Weight management
• Better coordination, agility and flexibility
• Increased aerobic fitness
• Improved muscle tone and strength
• Stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
• Increased muscular strength, endurance and motor fitness
• Improved balance and spatial awareness
• Increased physical confidence
• Improved mental functioning
• Improved general and psychological wellbeing
• Greater self-confidence and self-esteem

The choices you make now are affecting the rest of your life.

You can read the full interview with Carlos Acosta at http://www.theguardian.com/stage/live/2015/nov/27/carlos-acosta-webchat-carmen-royal-ballet. Or, watch the BBC’s programme: Carlos Acosta: Cuba Calls

Displaying physical symptoms but struggling to get a definite diagnosis from your GP? Told your suffering from “stress” when you don’t feel stressed? Feeling confused and frustrated by your abstract symptoms? Our leading London Osteopath suggests that psychosomatic disorders should be considered in certain medical cases.

The word “psychosomatic” comes from the mind (psyche) and body (soma) and is classified as a disease which involved both the body and the mind. Leading London Osteopath Robin Kiashek believes that some physical diseases can be made worse, and sometimes even caused by mental factors such as anxiety, stress and depression. A patients’ mental state is also believed to affect the severity of a physical condition.

Leading London Osteopath Robin Kiashek is dedicated to working with all patients to understand the cause of symptoms and to endeavour to find a long-term solution based on each individual case.

For many patients who visit The Robin Kiashek clinics, understanding the true cause of their physical symptoms is often the first step on the road to recovery.