You’ve made the effort to see an osteopath for an injury or just to get you back into balance. So how do you ensure you get the most out of your treatment? Your body’s ability to repair and recover from illness is dependent on how well you look after it. The healthier you are, the more likely you will respond well to treatment. So how can you take more responsibility for your health? As an Osteopath and Holistic exercise and lifestyle coach, there are 6 foundations to improve your health that I have learnt while studying with the CHEK Institute. They are as follow;

1. Thoughts

We have thousands of thoughts everyday. When you have a thought, your brain creates chemicals that go to the cells and affect your physical body. Thoughts create your reality ie before you do something, you think it first. Why are thoughts important to your health? Your thoughts are the choices you make. Am I going to do my stretches? Am I going to eat something healthy or junk food? Am I going to drink water or soft drink? These thoughts, these choices affect your health and your response to treatment. Positive thoughts, positive choices have a positive influence on your body, and therefore improve the effectiveness of your treatment.

2. Breathing

Breathing is the most important thing we do every day. Our cells need oxygen to metabolise food, excrete waste, fight disease and keep us functioning optimally.

Faulty breathing patterns activate your sympathetic nervous system (your fight, flight, fright system). This results in a stress response and leads to a multitude of health problems. Breathing correctly activates your parasympathetic nervous system (your rest, digest and recovery system). This releases hormones which help your body grow, repair and rebuild.

Most people don’t breathe correctly due to poor postural habits learnt from a young age and also from living in stressful environments. Learning to breathe correctly will have a profound effect on your health and wellbeing.

If you would like a breathing assessment with our expert breathing consultant, contact Atune.

3. Hydration

Your body is made up of about 60-75% water. Good hydration is important for energy production, detoxification and immune system health. Therefore it’s very important to drink good QUALITY water.

Tap water contains many substances that are detrimental to our health. Chlorine is a chemical added to kill germs and bacteria. Research shows that most of our immune system depends on the health of our gastrointestinal system. Drinking chlorinated water destroys the good bacteria in your gut and therefore puts your immune system under threat.

Fluoride is a chemical added to drinking water for the purpose of medication (prevent tooth decay). But many studies show no difference in tooth decay rates between fluoridated and non-fluoridated areas.

There are thousands of other chemicals being added on a daily basis due to industrial processes, chemical farming and medical waste that contaminate out water supply. These chemicals make it in to our bodies and lead to many health problems.

What’s the solution? Get a water filter for home such as a reverse osmosis filter.

4. Nutrition

The food you eat provides you with the energy you need for daily activity. Your body is in a constant state of breaking down and rebuilding and it uses the food you eat to build new cells. So, if you want your body to build healthy, strong and optimally functioning cells you should aim to eat as clean and natural as possible. A good rule is to eat a variety of food as close to what mother nature provides ie fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, legumes, whole grains, seeds and nuts.

Everyone is different. We live in different climates and different races of people require different types of foods in their diet. We all can’t eat the same things. Consider metabolic typing to help you choose foods that are right for you.

5. Movement / Exercise

The right amount and type of exercise is important to reduce injury and promote health. Doing too little or too much can adversely affect your health and increase your risk of further injury.

Your muscles work together in movement patterns, so training these patterns is important to reducing injury and improving health. These movement patterns include bending, twisting, pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging and combinations of these. When you do any exercise, it is important to do exercises that replicate, enhance and challenge these movement patterns.

6. Sleep / Recovery

Sleep is critical to recovery from injury or illness. Physical repair takes place between 10.00pm and 2.00am. After 2.00am the body shifts to psychogenic or mental repair until you awaken in the morning. This repair can only occur when the right hormones are present.

Whenever light stimulates your eyes or skin including sunlight, artificial light, TV, computer screens etc, your body thinks it’s day time and it releases hormones, mainly cortisol. While cortisol levels are up, the body can’t release repair hormones. Consequently the body can’t repair from injuries and the immune system will be depleted lowering your resistance to diseases. The body will also stay in a state of alert / stress leading to storage of fat in case it needs it later.

Disrupted sleep/wakes cycles can also lead to adrenal fatigue which may show up as chronic fatigue syndrome, viral, bacterial and fungal infections, headaches and low back pain.

Keys to Balancing Your Circadian Rhythms (Sleep):

  • Get to sleep by 10.00
  • Have your bedroom as dark as possible
  • Avoid stimulants after lunch
  • Eat to your metabolic type
  • Drink plenty of water during the day
  • Turn off lights and unplug electrical appliances when not needed especially if in the bedroom, use dimmer switches, low wattage globes or candles at night
  • Exercise during the day


Brad Corbett is an Osteopath and Holistic Exercise and Lifestyle Coach at ATUNE.