Osteolife | May 10, 2021 | Education
Every week in my practice, I see the difference in the results of the treatment I give to those with a positive attitude to life and those who have allowed life to get on top of them. Don’t get me wrong. People have much to be negative about at the present time as Australians struggle to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, our borders remain closed and there’s uncertainty about vaccination rollouts and even if vaccines will give us the protection we need. But in Australia, we have a great deal more to be positive about than in many other countries. When it comes to our bodies, learning how to harness positivism can make a huge difference and that includes osteopathy that can help you to get a better attitude on the path to wellbeing.
A great deal of research has been done about the power of positive thinking in medicine by world renowned institutions such as the Mayo Clinic and the John Hopkins Medical Centre in the US. At John Hopkins – a global leader in cardiac treatment -they came up with a truly startling finding about personal attitude in relation to heart disease.People with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook. So being optimistic -striving to feel happy – isn’t just good for your mental health. It’s good for your body. And that’s not just a hunch but scientific fact for better attitude in the path of wellbeing.
At the Mayo Clinic, they found that positive thinking helps with stress management and can improve your health. Which is why it is so important that anyone coming to me as an osteopath for stress-related problems firmly embraces the power of positive thinking in the healing process.I wrote in my previous article about the importance of regarding any treatment as a partnership between you as patient and me as practitioner. I can obviously help you using my skills as an osteopath. But you can also help yourself more if you can harness optimism as a healing tool as we work together to address your challenges.
So what can you do? While it’s true that a positive personality is something you are born with and not something you can inherently change, the experts say there are some simple steps you can take to improve your outlook. Amazingly, a University of Kansas study found that smiling -even fake smiling – reduces heart rate and blood pressure during stressful situations. So practice that smile! It’s good for you as well as being good for others.
The experts also urge us to “practice reframing”. At John Hopkins, for instance, they suggest that instead of getting stressed when you’re caught in a traffic jam, think about how lucky you are to own a car. Or switch on some music while telling yourself that there’s nothing to can do to control the traffic. And try to build resiliency into your life to adapt to stress. Strive to maintain good relationships with family and friends. Accept that change is a part of life. And actively confront problems rather than just hoping they disappear or waiting for them to resolve themselves. Procrastinators -people who chronically put off every task- are creating stress for themselves which inevitably manifests itself in their bodies.
I’ll have more advice on the specific tools you can use to deal with stress in a future article. But in the meantime, think about how you can harness the power of positive thinking in your own life as we work together to resolve your physical challenges. Having “attitude” may not be something valued so much in teenage classrooms. But getting some attitude in the right direction by embracing optimism is one of the most positive things anyone can do for themselves. And the great thing is that everyone around you benefits!