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Running is a Great Way to Enjoy Fitness

With the Auckland Marathon coming up in early November there will be many of you out pounding the pavement. Hopefully not pounding! People who run heavy on their feet (or even heavy walkers) set up a lot of trauma in the body that the body has to recover and heal from.

At this clinic here we are always helping runners to run light.
There are many sets of instructions on training intervals and schedules but the emphasis here is on the basics in a way that overlaps with other core stability methods. The legs are connected to the pelvis and good pelvic balance creates more efficient running.

When playing sport many people are given the instruction of “get the centre of the balance of the body low”. This is particularly so in activities like rugby, tennis, dancing, martial arts or kapahaka. Many people have a body memory of this posture, but they need to be retrained. In this stance the sway in the low back is reduced and the pelvis is tilted up in the front, flattening the abdominal muscles.

Try this for yourself: when running or walking tilt your pelvis to get the centre of the body balance in your pelvis (see exercises page on our website). Mechanically this corrects many of the common errors. Because the muscles are more in control there is less vertical impact trauma to the ankles, knees, hips and spine.
A tune up at the clinic here would check for imbalances in leg and back muscles as well as the joints of feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine so as to prevent injury when training or racing training.

The MOST IMPORTANT preparation for this is to stretch the thigh muscles, and stretch them with the core on (or the pelvis balanced). Instructions are given on our exercises page.

Do come in for a tune up before the big challenging events. If your running friends are too heavy on their feet or have too much sway in their back suggest that they come in for a check-up. People who have included osteopathic treatment in their marathon preparation have reported improved results.

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John has recently taken up a part time teaching role at the Unitec Osteopathic Students’ Outpatient Clinic. “After 26 years in clinic practice it is good to share the wisdom of that experience with the young ones and to refresh my thinking” says John Cullen. John will be at the ASB Auckland Marathon at the Unitec Clinic 41 Recovery Treatment Tent.

So Happy Running! And Happy Walking!

Performing Arts

As part of becoming healthy and maintaining health, people need to rest and refresh themselves.

We encourage people to have uplifting experiences.

Performing artists provide us with many such experiences. Osteopaths support the performing artists who, like athletes, need physical support to maintain their performance.

Stretching is an important part of staying safe with exercise.


Pain is the most common presenting condition to the Osteopathic Clinic.

Pain will tell us that there is something wrong.
Pain will tell us that there is an injury present.
Pain will sometimes give us confusing messages.

With long term or chronic pain there are new ways of thinking about pain.

This video called Understanding Pain has some very practical information.

Nature’s Tonics

An article published in the Osteopathic Magazine 1925 is still relevant today.

Verena Radel, D.O.

Too little attention has been paid to the necessity of rest as a conserver of force, as a means of maintaining health and consequently happiness: too little has been said on the subject of vacations. The truth of this is impressed upon us daily by the army of tired faces: faces stamped with tension and anxiety. Hurry and worry are more fatal than disease.

The true physician teaches men, women and children how to combine activity with rest, how to conserve energy while spending it. He teaches that we are foolishly the slaves of our possessions, and that besides a definite aim in life we should have a hobby which we may ride for freedom, relaxation, and possibly other useful ends.

There would be fewer chronic invalids, fewer cases of melancholia and neurasthenia if people as a whole took more vacations and fewer hypothetical tonics. Real tonics are drawn form the vast storehouses of Nature – from sunshine, pure air, exercise, healthful food and sleep.

Ella Adelia Fletcher has expressed so beautifully the influence of Nature upon our imagination and says in her book, The Philosophy of Rest:

“Get away into the woods where the trees will talk to you, or down on the sands by the seashore where every incoming wave will whisper messages of the throbbing vitality of which you are a part. A delicious sense of freedom, an intoxicating calm will steal over you, wooing your soul to expand.

You are not dual, your soul is the only one there is! This intimate companionship with self thus enjoyed may enable you to discover hitherto unsuspected talents. Every moment of this intimacy with yourself is fraught with deepest significance, and will return to you a hundredfold treasure, in ways you want not of health, strength, and enlarged ability.

What has the world been made so beautiful for, if not to minister to some need of man? To lift him out of his petty environment – into the secrets of the everlasting hills.”

Do you prefer to walk along the beach – with the sea on the left or the right?

beachWhen you are walking along the beach this summer ask yourself if you prefer walking one direction rather than the other. This could be because your legs are different lengths!
Normal people (50%) have a 5 mm difference in leg length. If you are well adapted to this you will walk with a slight roll through your hips and the bottom of your trousers/jeans will fray more on one side.

If you are not well adapted, or have a larger discrepancy (20% have 9mm and 2.5% have 15mm or more) you may be experiencing recurrent lower back pain. Or you may get recurring ankle, knee or shoulder pain. This is because you land heavier on one leg and your pelvis needs to do more work to stop you lurching to one side. When standing for prolonged periods, people with significant leg length discrepancy will get a tired and aching lower back.

At the clinic we can help evaluate how your activities can be arranged around the leg length difference.
We may give some treatment, massage, stretching, posture retraining for exercise, or even a lift for one shoe.

Call us: We will be happy to sort this out for you.

Bar stools are effective for managing acute lower back pain.

Summer holidays are full of lower back risks. Lifting the BBQ to lounging in the deck chairs and overdoing the gardening.
The acute back pain can be helped by perching on the bar stool, this keeps a slight hollow or arch in the lower back. If this helps run your hand down your back and check the shape of the curve. Arrange your sitting, driving and standing postures to have a similar curve.

If it doesn’t settle in 24 hours give us a call.


headacheHeadaches occur when the pain nerves in the head are irritated.
We most commonly see people with the Tension Headache Type, which is usually associated with tension and inflammation in the upper neck or scalp. The next most common is Migraine, which is an intense headache usually one sided and sometimes with sensory disturbance (an aura).
Other common causes: eyestrain, alcohol and other toxins, sinus, stress, whiplash, jaw issues, sleep issues and poor posture.

What can you do about it?

Because most headaches are from an accumulation of factors it is helpful to reflect on what was happening when the headache started and in the previous day. (some of these factors may seem innocent such as falling asleep on the couch).
Check the tension in the upper neck and do the head balance exercise from the website.
Also relax go for a walk in the fresh air or drink some water.

How can osteopathy help?


  • Listen to you and the story of your head pain to find what factors are contributing
  • Examine your physical body to see what restrictions are hampering the return to health.
  • Reduce muscular tension, nerve compression and inflammation.
  • Improve general mobility of our neck and upper back.
  • Advise on posture, exercise and stretching to help prevent recurrence of symptoms
  • Advise on the way you are using your body at work or home or when exercising.
  • Differentiate between headaches with common causes and those due to something more serious and refer to another health professional.
  • The Cranial Osteopathic techniques are very helpful in treating head pain.
  • Most of the simple headaches can be significantly eased in 1 to 3 treatments.


Queen Street Osteopaths Registration

The osteopaths working in this clinic are state registered by the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand and are members of the professional organisation Osteopaths New Zealand.

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