Category Archives: Treatments

Complementary treatments for common ailments and illnesses.

Samuel Hahnemann – Homoeopathy


Samuel Hahnemann
The basic principle of homeopathy, known as the “law of similars”, is “let like be cured by like.” This was first stated by German physician Samuel Hahnemann in 1796.


Samuel Hahnemann

In 1790 while Hahnemann was studying the action of quinine, as a treatment of malaria, he experimented on himself by taking quinine even though he had no symptoms of malaria. This caused him to start exhibiting the classic symptoms of malaria even though he knew he was healthy. From this, he deducted that cinchona bark (the source of the quinine) could be useful in treating not only malaria, but other diseases that manifested similar symptoms. Following on from this discovery, Hahnemann went on to carry out further experiments further other common substances on his family and friends (ethics were different in those days). He discovered that by administering small doses of any substance whether it was of animal, plant or mineral origin, to a healthy person that it would cause symptoms that were discrete to the substance. Over time, he recorded his results and created a catalogue of remedies that would cause similar symptoms to many ailments.

Three main principles of homoeopathy are the law of similars, the infinitesimal dose, and the treatment of the whole person (holistic).


The Law Of Similars

Using the law of similar, homoeopathy uses substances that are capable of inducing similar (like) symptoms in a healthy person to treat those symptoms exhibited by the patient.

In the Organon, Hahnemann stated.. “All carefully conducted experimentation end research proved to us that persistent disease symptoms, far from being destroyed by opposite medicinal symptoms (in the conventional method), return instead with renewed intensity, after seeming for a short time to have improved”. (Organon, paragraph 23)

“Homoeopathy, by contrast, chooses from among ell the remedies whose actions upon the healthy have been established (proved), that one which has the power end propensity to produce all artificial disease conditions most similar to the natural one being treated”: (Organon, paragraph 24). This is the law of similars, being Similia Similibus Curentur, or “Let like be cured by like”.


The Infinitesimal Dose

“The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health … in the least harmful way”. (Organon, paragraph 2). When carrying out his initial testing, Hahnemann ‘s original experiments were designed to reduce the dose of the substance being given, while maintaining its therapeutic efficacy. What he discovered was that even infinitesimally small doses of the homoeopathic remedies were therapeutically effective. Additionally, at these minuscule doses they were completely safe and carried no risk of harmful side effects. Hahnemann
discovered that the potentised remedies not only retained the therapeutic effectiveness but were actually enhanced.

“When indicated, the smallest dose of a properly potentised medicine – in which calculation shows that there is only an infinitesimal amount of material substance left – exerts far more healing power than strong material doses of medicine”.

“This specific, invisible medicinal force of these highly potentised (homoeopathic) remedies does not depend on their material atoms, or on their physical surfaces, but depends on the invisible energy of the substance released and freed to the highest possible extent by progressive potentisation (dynamisation).” (Organon, paragraph 11)


The Whole Person

In treating a person homoeopathically, it is necessary to treat the person as a whole, rather than the disease that the person has.

Hahnemann stated: “In bringing about a cure the physician should consider the evident physical constitution of the patient (especially in chronic affections), his affective and intellectual character, his activities, his way of life, his habits, his social position, his family relationships, his age, his sexual life, etc”.

Conventional medicine is aimed at treating illnesses, but homoeopathy is holistic, and aims to treat the person rather than the symptoms. It is for this reason that homoeopathic treatment may require different medicines for different people suffering from the same disease.


Therapist info

Samuel Hahnemann - Homoeopathy


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Sensational Homeopathy

Shirley Harvey



Further information on Homoeopathy including case studies, etc.

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Please note that makes no guarantee regarding the validity, efficacy, or safety of any therapy and we advise that medical advice should be sought from a qualified medical practitioner regarding any illness. is not responsible for the credentials, qualifications and insurance status of any of the therapists who have links from this site and we advise that these should be checked before any treatment is undertaken.



Qigong for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Qigong for Chronic Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is a symptom that can have a multitude of causes.  Any, gentle, exercise where the muscles are being relaxed and toned and the vertebrae are being manipulated tend to be good for alleviating back pain.  Using simple exercises, Qigong for chronic lower back pain, can speed up recovery  and continued practice maintains mobility flexibility and strength.

For example, one Qigong exercise that can be done (both standing and seated) is from the set known as the Shibashi.  It is easy to learn and you only need to do 6 to 8 repetitions on a daily basis to gain the benefits.  It is not an instant cure, it will take time and that time is dependent on the current pain levels and mobility.

This is the seated variation of “Rowing the Boat”.


Sitting, upright, on a firm chair (dining chair, etc) with the visualisation that your head is suspended by a single thread, from the crown. The arms hang, loosely, at the sides and the feet are placed flat on the floor.  The speed of the movement is guided by your speed of breathing…………. try to relax and take your time.

Qigong for chronic lower back pain



On inhalation, bring both hands above the head (as though surrendering) and gently curl the fingers as though you were holding the oars of a boat.




Qigong for chronic lower back pain


As you exhale, bend the body forward at the waist, letting the chest drop onto the thighs, circling the arms forward and down.  As the arms swing to their lowest point, let the head hang down (this will increase the gentle stretch on the lower back).  Finally swing the arms to the rear.



On inhalation, continue swinging the arms back, to your comfortable limit, and slowly straighten up (uncurling from the lower back,  keeping the chin gently tucked in until the body is upright), and raise the arms above the head, opening the hands and turning the palms forward.


Remember to uncurl from the lower back, keeping the head hanging forward with the chin tucked in.  Repeat six to eight times.

Shiatsu in Hospitals – evidence of efficacy

In a film about Shiatsu in hospitals that was based on over 30,000 Shiatsu treatments in a number of Vienna hospitals, over a 15 year period, the following statements have been made by some of the doctors and clinicians who took part.


Doctor Volker Korbei – Gynaecologist

“The question is not Shiatsu or academic medicine. The answer for me is that Shiatsu should fit into normal medicine.   The new definition should be: Who can heal should heal.  Who can heal has to be embraced.  And shiatsu is right there.”

“If you need an artificial hip, a Shiatsu therapist cannot help you.  If you want to avoid the artificial hip you’re better off with a Shiatsu therapist.  There is a whole range of problems and diseases where conventional medicine should be promoted and there are problems and diseases, the ones that are left over, where we should be looking at other ways of treating.  There are other therapies but with Shiatsu you fare better, it’s cheaper and you attain better health and quality of life.”


Professor Doctor Heinz Kuderna – Surgery

“In this period 120 patients were treated.  Eighty percent of these patients really improved.  About half of the patients improved in a really convincing way that surpassed all our expectations.”


Doctor Ingrid Rapatz – Psychotherapist

“In my experience shiatsu is very intensive and it is perceived by the patients as very pleasant and beneficial.  What I hear very often and what I experienced myself, because I enjoyed shiatsu myself, is that Shiatsu creates a holistic sense of feeling better.”


Doctor Christian Korbl – Psychiatrist

“I have known about Hara Shiatsu for many years co-operating with Tomas Nelissen on a project with psychiatric in-patients. In the area of substance abuse, patients fond it most important to achieve relaxation and balance.  The benefit we noticed most quickly was improved sleep patterns.  We were able to reduce, noticeably, the amount of drugs.  This was noticed by the patients themselves.  For treating psychosomatic disorders Hara Shiatsu offers a completely new way to get to the root of the problem: through the body.  Patients with psychosomatic disorders often express conflict though the body, or the problem manifests in the body.”


Doctor Bernhard Kluger – Psychosomatic Medicine

“Before, our access was primarily through “psych” – namely psychotherapy.  The new additional possibilities that Shiatsu has opened up for us is a direct approach through the body.  It has opened a direct route to the children’s emotions through the body. “


The full video can be seen here



Self Shiatsu for headache relief

Self Shiatsu for headache relief

Did you know that you can use Self Shiatsu for headache relief? We all know what it is like to have a pounding headache.  Our usual response is to reach for the painkillers but what can we do when there are none at hand?  Well, one option open to us is to do some self Shiatsu and stimulate some, easily accessible and easily remembered, acupoints.

It is best that these are stimulated at the onset of the headache while you are able to focus on what you are doing rather than waiting until the headache is in full flow.


GB1diagram of GB meridian (Level with the eye corner, on the temple): Apply finger pressure and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

GB14 (Above the middle of the eyebrow in the small groove that is halfway up the forehead):  Finger pressure and/or small massaging rotations for 20 to 30 seconds.

GB 12 (Below and behind the mastoid process): Apply finger pressure and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.

GB 20 (At the base of the skull, between the two large muscles [trapezius and the sternocleidomastoid]).  Apply finger pressure and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.


diagram of LI meridian

LI4 (Midway between the joint of the thumb and the index finger, and the border of the
web): Known as “The Great Eliminator” this point draws energy (qi) away from the head).  Apply thumb pressure and hold for 20 to 30 seconds.




The time quoted for stimulation is an approximation.  A good guide is that you hold the acupoint until any discomfort, from the finger pressure, starts to subside.

Easy to remember, easy to do, and all without ingesting chemicals.

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Arthritis relief through Qigong

About Arthritis

Arthritis means “joint inflammation” and there are over 100 types including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Inflammation is one of the body’s natural reactions to disease or injury, and includes swelling, pain and stiffness. Prolonged, chronic, inflammation can lead to tissue damage.

Where two or more bones come together, such as the knee or hip they are covered with a smooth, spongy material called articular cartilage.  This cartilage cushions the bones and allows the joint to move, as it has no nerve supply, without pain. The joint is encapsulated by a thin film of tissue called the synovium and the synovium lining produces a slippery fluid called synovial fluid that reduces friction, acts as a shock absorber, nourishes the joint (supplies oxygen and nutrients) and allows the body’s waste management system to remove carbon dioxide and metabolic waste from the chondrocytes within the surrounding cartilage . The articulating bones are stabilised and held together by strong bands of tissue, called ligaments. Muscles and tendons also support the joints enabling movement.

With arthritis, an area in or around a joint becomes inflamed, causing pain, stiffness and, sometimes, difficulty moving. Some types of arthritis also affect other parts of the body, such as the skin and internal organs.

About Qigong

Qigong can help in the relief of arthritis pain.

Although the exercises that are now termed Qigong are estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, Qigong is a relatively new term to describe them (first used in the early 20th Century).  The type of Qigong that this article relates to is health giving, beneficial to Mind, Body and Spirit. Qigong combines graceful, flowing, movements with focus and breathing to increase and balance your vital energy (in Qigong speak this is the Mind – the Yi guiding the Qi). In “Active Qigong” there is movement of the body that gently utilize the full range of motion in your joints. Because Qigong is low-impact it has minimal impact on your joints and can be performed by almost anyone and although it is normally practiced in a standing position many of the exercises can be adapted for a seated posture.

There are numerous studies for the effect of Qigong on arthritis.  Here are a couple: –

Benefits of Qigong

Qigong can be done while moving, lying down, sitting or standing, making it an ideal exercise for arthritis patients. With part of the focus being on correct posture, Qigong reduces the load/strain on joints.  Incorrect posture can lead to injuries and joint strain and blocks Qi flow.  The relaxed, deep, abdominal breathing increases oxygenation, benefits the cellular processes and can reduce stress and tension.  Not all Qigong is beneficial for arthritis so it is best to talk to an experienced qigong instructor about which exercises are right for you.

Here is one example of a simple Qigong exercise that can help.

This is good for regulating the breathing allowing the lowering of the breathing rate.  It is also good for maintaining the balance of the blood pressure, it strengthens the function of the Kidney meridian, calms the nerves (Shen), and it has a therapeutic action in the alleviation of arthritis.


Standing with the feet shoulder width apart, the knees unlocked (very slightly bent), the feet parallel, the shoulders relaxed and the tailbone (coccyx) tucked under.  Breathing should be relaxed, through the nose and into the abdomen (deep abdominal breathing using the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm).  The breath should be silent (with no tension in the throat) and the tip of the tongue should rest against the palate.
The movement should follow the pace of respiration…………. If you breath fast you move fast, breathe slow you move slow.  As you become more familiar with the movement you will notice that you start to relax more and your respiration slows down.  This bio-feedback will continue until your movement and breath are harmonious, relaxed and slow.

  1. Inhalation – With the palms facing downward, slowly raise the arms so that the hands are slightly higher than the shoulders, and extend the fingers.
  2. Exhalation – Keeping the spine erect, simultaneously lower the hands gently to waist level with the palms facing downward whilst bending the knees.  When bending the knees, the movement should not be excessive, and the knees should not extend beyond the toes (i.e. when looking down, with the back erect, you should just be able to see your toes).

N.B.  Make sure that the shoulders are relaxed and that the elbows are pointed down, with a “rounded” rather than angular feel/look to the arms.  There should be a harmonious co-ordination between the raising and lowering of the arms and stance.

This is the first of the Shibashi Qigong exercises and would normally be repeated six times if it was being done as part of the full Shibashi set.  However, as a solo exercise it can be repeated to your own comfortable limit……………… Take your time to build this up.

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Shiatsu treatment for Whiplash

Shiatsu treatment for Whiplash

Shiatsu treatment for Whiplash-Shiatsu is an effective treatment for whiplash


Whiplash in an injury, commonly caused by motor accidents, to the muscles of the neck and back that is caused by sudden and forceful jerking of the head forward and backwards.


Symptoms of whiplash include headaches, pain and soreness to the neck, shoulders and back, and can also include numbness and tingling in the arms and hands. Self help by applying ice to the area as soon as possible may help to reduce local inflammation but medical attention should be sought if there are more serious symptoms such as confusion or loss of consciousness.


Treatment by Shiatsu is usually extremely effective in alleviating the symptoms and pain of whiplash, especially if treatment is undertaken soon after the injury.   When left untreated, whiplash can appear to get better, after a few days or even weeks, but it can have long lasting, chronic, effects such as muscle pain, stiffness and headaches.


By working on Tsubos (acupuncture points) and muscles of the back and neck, Shiatsu can effectively reduce pain and soreness, improving mobility and flexibility, helping to prevent any future problems.


When giving Shiatsu head massage, the giver sits/kneels at the head of the receiver.

  1. With the receiver lying in the supine position (face upwards), place both hands at the base of the skull and draw gently towards you (chin should tuck in slightly).
  2. Using the flat of your fingers, gently press in to GB20, noting the rate and depth of breathing and any other subtle movement in the musculature of the neck.
  3. Using your fingertips, start at the base of the neck and work up to the occiput making small circles at the level of each vertebra. Repeat three times noting any areas of tension and any difference between the left and right sides.
  4. With your fingers work on the Bladder meridian (one pair of acupoints at a time), 1 cun out from the spine, up as far as BL10 (just to the outside of the insertion point of trapezius muscle, under the occiput).
  5. Lift the head in both hands and rotate gently within their range of movement, taking note of any resistance or tension. Repeat in both directions.
  6. Cradling the head in one hand, turn it to one side and use finger/thumb pressure from GB20 (between trapezius & sternocleidomastoid under occiput) down the side of the neck to GB21 (top of trapezius). Repeat three times, staying longer on any tender or stiff points.
  7. Keeping the head anchored gently push the shoulder away to create a stretch on the neck.
  8. Squeeze down either side of the SCM muscle, again feeling the points and getting feedback about any referred pain. If such a point is found squeeze for five seconds then release.  Repeat until the pain lessens and then stretch the muscle.
  9. Turn the head to the other side and repeat steps 6-8.
  10. Centre the head and, using the thumb, stimulate the Governing Vessel points from between the eyebrows to the crown.
  11. With fingertips work Bladder meridian from BL2 (in the notch at the inside upper edge of the eye socket) 1 cun out from the mid-line.
  12. With flat of thumbs work along the forehead from centre to the temples, repeat three times, then stimulate TH23 at the outer edge of the eyebrow, and GB1 level with the outer corner of the eye just on the temple area. Both points good for headaches and tension.
  13. Work around the eye socket using finger pressure on the upper orbit and finger/thumb pressure on the lower orbit, making sure not to drag the skin.
  14. Massage in small circular movements at the temples.  The direction of the circles can be alternated.
  15. Using thumbs work down the sides of the nose, three times, and then stimulate LI 20 at the outside corner of the nostril.
  16. Using fingertips work along the underside of the cheekbone. Stimulate ST3 which is under the cheekbone and in line with the pupil of the eye (you need to hook your fingers slightly and pull back towards you).
  17. Work around the upper gum area, again being careful not to drag the skin, then squeezing top and bottom of the jaw from centre to outside edge.
  18. Make circular massage movements on the masseter muscle and press in on any tight parts.  This area holds a lot of tension and is involved in head pain and migraine.
  19. Gently take hold of the ears and pull up and down, backwards and forwards. Finish by pulling down on the ear lobes.
  20. The giver moves to kneel at the side of the receiver.  Then places one thumb or finger at the point between the eyebrows (the “Third Eye”) and the other at the Tandien (3 fingers width below the navel).  These points are held lightly for 10 seconds and then gently lifted off.


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Hypnotherapy – What it is really about?


Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis is widely used in the private health sector and to an increasing degree in the NHS. It is an effective, non-invasive treatment with few risks or side effects and is wholly holistic in its approach. Yet it is still very much misunderstood.

Although it is a natural state and can occur unprompted (daydreaming is a level of hypnosis), hypnosis, in the therapeutic setting, is best defined as an altered state of awareness usually induced in one person by another, where an individual remains responsive to suggestion.

Although hypnosis is said to resemble sleep the two states are in fact different. The two main distinguishing features can be shown using an EEG (electro encephalograph). Stage 1 sleep and hypnosis are difficult to distinguish, however stage 2, 3 and 4 of sleep are quite different in that there is an absence of delta waves in the hypnotic state which are present in stage 4 sleep. Secondly, the pattern given when a client experiences dreaming in an hypnotic sleep is the same as that of a client in the waking state however in sleep, the pattern in the dreaming state is quite different.

Hypnotherapy is a treatment procedure which utilises appropriate techniques with specific therapeutic goals. There are two essential components required for the successful induction of hypnosis.

  • Rapport between therapist and client.
  • Client motivation.

With both of these present about 90% of the population can be guided into the hypnotic state and contrary to popular belief, no one can be hypnotised against his or her will.

It is generally accepted that there are four levels of hypnosis with the number of people able to achieve each level lessening as the hypnotic state deepens.

The four levels of hypnosis are:

  1.  Hypnoidal – where relaxation can be experienced.
  2. Light hypnosis – limb catalepsy, diminished anxiety and sensory alteration are experienced.
  3. Medium depth hypnosis – here some analgesia can be experienced and there  is acceptance of post hypnotic suggestion.
  4. Deep hypnosis  or somnambulism – here, a  considerable analgesic effect can be experienced and there is profound acceptance of post hypnotic suggestions.

During hypnosis the conscious mind, which thinks and acts in the present, is least dominant while the subconscious mind is the most dominant and receptive part of the mind function.  The subconscious mind can undertake most of the functions of the conscious mind but it cannot take on the ability to criticise and as the dominant mind, the subconscious mind is much more open to, and accepting of suggestions given. It is important to understand however, that the client has total control over the session and will not accept suggestions against his/her will, moral code etc. Suggestions accepted in this state are accepted much more readily and acted upon much more powerfully because the ability to be critical and analytical is switched off.

This makes hypnosis a powerful therapeutic tool in the management of many health challenges. But for it’s therapeutic value, hypnosis would be no different from for example mediation or relaxation.

There are two principle methods of employing hypnosis therapeutically; symptom removal by suggestion and hypno-analysis. Symptom removal by suggestion is limited because it deals with effect rather than cause and is best applied when there is no psychological impact on the presenting problem. It can however be an effective tool in the management of pain control, the treatment of insomnia, aiding application to study and so on. Hypno-analysis on the other-hand delves deeper. It combines hypnosis with psychoanalysis and endeavours to pursue and find the cause of the problem. It is easier to bring this about when the subconscious mind is in control and the conscious, analytical mind is put to the side. With so many problems, if the cause is not reconciled, then the symptoms are likely to resurface. A comparison of the two techniques can be seen in the case of phobia. Suggestion therapy may help a client manage the fear through for example behavioural desensitisation or perhaps suggestions of relaxation. However, hypno-analysis would seek out the hidden triggering factor and deal with that, making it a more effective therapy for the client. Symptom removal by suggestion therefore has limitations. With hypno-analysis on the other-hand, in dealing with the originating source, there is likely to be a much longer lasting therapeutic effect.

Hypnotherapy is considered appropriate where: 

  • It is known to be effective in the management of the presenting problem.
  • The client is responsive to hypnotic induction.
  • There is rapport between therapist and client.
  • The client is motivated to resolve the presenting challenge.
  • The use of hypnotherapy would not have a detrimental effect on the client.


The format of a session is directed by the needs of the client, taking into account the character of the client and the presenting condition. It will generally consists of:

  • A holistic clinical assessment.
  • The hypnosis itself which consist generally of induction, deepening, visualisation, ego boosting, the application of appropriate techniques to provide the desired therapeutic effect, further ego boosting and or positive reinforcements and termination.
  • Post hypnotic discussion to answer any questions the client may have and the discussion regarding any follow-up treatments/care.

The number of sessions required varies from case to case and is determined by the needs and progress of the client in attaining the desired therapeutic goals.

Like many of the therapies labelled ‘complementary’ or alternative’, hypnotherapy has no formal regulation. It is up to individual practitioners to assess and evaluate the various training schools and the methods they employ, which associations they are affiliated to and what that body provides to both therapist and client. For example; Is there a code of conduct, including disciplinary procedures, What post graduate training is available, Is there a code of ethics, Does the body insist on or provide appropriate insurance for practice etc.?

Perhaps when the issues of streamlining training and setting up a regulated professional body have been resolved many of the myths surrounding hypnotherapy will be overcome, allowing more people to experience the benefits of the application of hypnotherapy as a treatment strategy.

Sciatica treatment method

Sciatica treatment method

Before discussing sciatica treatment, it is best that sciatica is defined.

Exactly what is sciatica?

Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical issue and is not a medical condition on its own. It is the effect rather than the cause.

Sciatica refers to pain, weakness, tingling, or numbness in the leg and  is caused by injury to or compression of the sciatic nerve (The sciatic nerve has many branches so the symptoms will not be in that same part of the leg, including the foot, in every case).
Sciatica occurs when there is damage to, or pressure on, the sciatic nerve. This nerve starts in the spine and runs down the back of each leg. This nerve provides sensation to the back of the thigh, part of the lower leg, and the sole of the foot as well as controlling the leg muscles.

Common causes of sciatica include:

  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Slipped disk (Compression of a dorsal nerve root (radix) –  causes sciatic nerve pain and inflammation.)
  • Pelvic injury (including upslip of the sacro-iliac joint) or fracture
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Enlargement of vertebra, a condition known as spondylolisthesis
  • Tumors

There is also pseudo-sciatica, a condition causing sciatic nerve pain that is caused by to damage to the joints of lower back and back portion of legs and calf.

It is vitally important that any incidence of sciatica should have the root cause properly diagnosed.


As previously stated, sciatica pain can vary widely from individual to individual.  Indeed, it often changes within the one episode as it worsens or heals. It may present as a dull ache, mild tingling, or a burning sensation. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that the sufferer is incapacitated and unable to move.

Typically, the pain occurs on one side and may get worse:

  • After standing or sitting
  • When sneezing, coughing, or laughing
  • When walking more than a few metres or when bending backwards (especially if in the case of spinal stenosis).

Some causes of sciatic nerve pain:

  • Poor posture can lead to chronic sciatic nerve pain
  • Physical activity –   Activities such as martial arts, five-a-side football, squash, etc can lead cause sciatica when there is physical injury from landing badly (after a martial arts throw), stopping forward movement by “digging in the heel”, etc.
  • Lifting objects (they do not need to be heavy) from an awkward position or by not using correct kinetic lifting techniques.
  • Herniated discs, where the spinal discs protrude and press against the nerve.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth – Pressure on pelvic region (common in pregnancy) is also one of the common causes of sciatic nerve pain. During childbirth, when the pelvis is opening, it is possible for pelvic deviation to occur.


Sciatica is a symptom of an underlying medical condition so the root cause should be identified and treated.

Home treatment methods include:

  • Applying heat, or ice, to the painful area. Use ice for the first 2 – 3 days, then apply heat.
  • Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Using pillows to create a comfortable sleeping position by placing them under the knees, or between the legs, etc.

Sports Injury therapy:
There are various treatment regimes on offer.  Here, we will concentrate on Shiatsu, Seitai & Sotai.  You might not be familiar with these names so a brief explanation is in order:

Shiatsu – The literal translation is “Finger pressure”.  This is a Japanese therapy that has its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Japanese massage system of Amna.  It is often described as “massage” but this is rather inaccurate as it is a therapy and is recognised as such by the Japanese Medical Establishment.  It utilises stimulation of acupuncture points (using finger pressure), stretching and realignment.
Seitai – Is a method of realignment, in this case used to realign the pelvis if a distortion has been caused by a misalignment of the sacroiliac joint.
Sotai – This is the use of reciprocal inhibition and post-isometric relaxation that is used, rather than stretching, to allow the muscles to regain their normal relaxed state.
Someone who presents the symptoms of sciatica will have a consultation regarding the onset of the ailment, any underlying medical conditions, etc.  Observations will be made of their posture and, in the case of chronic sciatica, their shoes may be checked for uneven wear.
Treatment will normally be carried out on a futon, at floor level but occasionally, if the client is unable to lie down, the initial treatment can be carried out on a therapy chair, or couch.  After checking for signs of deviation of the pelvis, if there is any, the practitioner will use Shiatsu to lower the pain and help relax the muscles, Sotai to further relax the musculature of the lower back and legs, and, finally, use Seitai techniques to realign the sacroiliac joint and the pelvis.

By using these methods, the practitioner is treating both cause and effect and this can lead to a more rapid recovery.

It must be noted that pelvic deviation is not the only cause of sciatica and that the Shiatsu therapist should always tailor the treatment for the individual rather than the ailment.  In this way, the root cause and the effect (symptoms) should always receive attention.

Treatment of Iliopsoas injuries

Iliopsoas injuries

In basic terms, iliopsoas tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon or area surrounding the tendon of the iliopsoas muscle. Major causes of iliopsoas tendonitis are overuse (from repetitive hip flexion) or acute trauma.muscles of the pelvis

The iliopsoas muscles consist of the psoas muscles that extend from the inner groin to the spine behind the diaphragm and the iliacus muscles, that extend from the groin to the sides of the pelvic cavity. As a group, because they share the same tendon that inserts at the groin, they are called, the iliopsoas muscles”.

The iliopsoas muscles are long; pain may show up anywhere along their length.

As previously stated, acute injury and overuse are the two predominant causes of iliopsoas injuries. The acute injury can be due to direct trauma but typically involves an eccentric contraction of the iliopsoas muscle. Overuse injury mainly manifests in activities that involve repeated hip flexion or external rotation of the thigh. Activities that are inclined towards iliopsoas injuries include resistance training, rowing, fell running, track and field events, soccer, gymnastics and dancing.

As these muscles are deep, they are not easily accessed and are usually treated using a mixture of stretching and strengthening.  Although this, tried and tested method, is a perfectly good treatment regime, the use of Sotai (Post Isometric Relaxation & Reciprocal Inhibition) and, where necessary, Seitai (for realignment of the hips/pelvis) within a regime of Shiatsu treatment usually results in a faster recovery.  One of the main reasons for this is that, rather than stretching the muscle (and taking the risk of causing further damage) this regime encourages the muscle to relax back to its normal resting length.  This also has the effect of allowing any inflammation to die down.

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