Oooohhhh! That feels soooo good!

The Good Life Letter 

3rd February 2018

  • How a piece of sporting equipment can become a remedy
  • Modern and alternative medicine can co-exist
  • The trick which will ease your aching back, neck and buttocks!
There are many things in the world that are listed as natural remedies, but I donít think most folk would class a tennis ball as one of them.

After visiting my osteopath the other day for a session of rejuvenating my poor tired body, she introduced me to the wonders of a home therapy that I had never heard of before.

I had been telling her that one of the things I suffer with quite often is a nagging ache between my shoulder blades, caused I suspect by many hours crouched over my keyboard.

Apparently, this is a modern problem afflicting many people and her advice, rather surprisingly, wasnít to visit her more often but to invest in a nice new tennis ball.


My mind raced, was she expecting me to hunt out the old wooden tennis racquet and thunder around a court?

Surely not in this weather. Maybe I should be bouncing and catching the ball as I work to keep me moving? Or was her devilish idea to have me sit on it so that I didnít get too comfy?

I had heard that my Nan once sewed a tennis ball into the back of Grampyís pyjama top to prevent him sleeping on his back and snoring, but I couldnít believe that was the plan.

In the end I neednít have worried as her proposed solution to my back pain was deceptively simple and very effective...

...but youíll have to wait until a little later to find out what she said!

Could natural really be so bad?

Discovering simple and natural ways to deal with health problems should be a goal for all of us.

In the modern world it has become too easy hassle the GPs to work pharmaceutical magic and to seek a pill for our ailments.

Now don't get me wrong... I think doctors are amongst the most selfless people on the planet. Especially NHS doctors.

They work long hours, have a mountain of paperwork to fill in, have to put up with poor conditions, and yet they STILL manage to come through all that with a smile on their face.

But if we rely on our doctors to get it 100% right 100% of the time, we could be heading for trouble.

Of course, you should always go to your doctor when you have a medical problem and you should always follow their advice.

But there's no harm in discovering things for yourself and listening to different viewpoints. Because as we know, it can take years for mainstream medicine to accept a natural remedy, when it could be doing you some good right now.

But the powers that be rarely invest time, energy and resources (OK cash!) in finding out just how good the natural world can be because it wouldnít line anybodyís pockets.

This is a great sadness.

Perhaps worse is the constant sniping and arguments that try to belittle natural and traditional remedies and undermine anything considered to be alternative.

Even when hundreds if not thousands of people benefit from them.

A few days ago I read an article in the Guardian that reported a study which claimed natural remedies were causing many people to experience major problems.

Of course I read this with interest as I feared much of what I believed to be correct had been tested and found wanting, but as the story developed it seems that a few remedies had been shown to interact with prescribed medication and this was causing the problems.

Now as I often say to you, Iím not a doctor so canít give one-to-one advice and you should always mention any supplements that you are taking to your GP to ensure there are no concerns Ė but I canít believe that remedies we have been using for thousands of years have suddenly become a danger overnight.

The case for alternatives

So, back to my lovely osteopath and her tennis ball.

Her profession is one of those that gets a hard time from some of the sceptics, naysayers and passionate believers in all things pharmaceutical.

Derided as quacks and with techniques no better than placebo they have been forced to defend themselves for a long time Ė but did you know that they have to do a four year full-time (or five year part-time) degree to call themselves an osteopath?

This is serious stuff and they have to know how to affect health positively whilst looking out for any signs that something more sinister could be going on.

She doesnít prescribe medications but has opened my eyes to the use of magnesium spray to prevent muscle cramps and the value of a good multivitamin derived from natural sources.

But the best advice she gave me was about the tennis ball...

...I can tell you have been waiting patiently.

Itís really simple.

Place the ball on you back as close to your ache as you can then lean back against a wall and gently roll side to side.

With a little practice you can manoeuvre the ball to exactly where you need it and because you are standing up rather than lying on it you can vary the pressure you apply.

It really works so well.

After I had shown Lara my new-found trick, she commandeered the ball and has been treating her sciatica in much the same way.

A fantastic natural remedy that everyone can use without fear of side effects, interactions or personal danger...provided you arenít too enthusiastic!

I do understand that we have to be careful about using a mix of remedies for our ailments, but we should also be aware that the modern world doesnít have a monopoly on the effective ones.

Keep the faith!

Yours, as always




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