How Osteopathy overcame one man’s battle with anxiety

Anxiety had become George’s way of life for over five years, but it was his rising blood pressure that brought the 46 year old to IMI. Recognising George’s health issues were interconnected, our naturopath identified and treated the various lifestyle factors that were affecting George’s health. She also referred him to one of our osteopaths.

Unbeknown to George, his anxiety was an underlying cause of his physical symptoms. Physical and emotional wellbeing are contingent upon each other, as explained by an IMI osteopath.  “Anxiety triggers consistent responses in the physical body: when you feel anxious, your stomach naturally contracts and shifts higher beneath the diaphragm and base of the heart. This explains why you may lose your appetite or experience stomach ‘butterflies’,” she says.

In a short-term state of anxiety, stomach contractions and the slight inflation of the lungs as you hold your breath cause the heart to contract harder and faster.  This pumps circulation around the body, which can help in moments when you need to think and act on our feet.

“But in a chronic state of anxiety, the stomach takes energy from the heart and structurally restricts the space that the heart expands into. Longer term, contractions of the stomach can apply anatomical tension to the heart,” she says.

After reviewing George’s medical history, our osteopath used a series of osteopathic manipulations and mobilisations to treat his heart, lungs, thorax, diaphragm and stomach. Osteopathy is known to stabilise the autonomic nervous system – the primary system in control of our fight-or-flight response. It plays a key role in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment with one of our osteopaths, contact 2523 7121 or email us here.

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