Hit reset on your emotional wellbeing
4th April 2019
Every month we will have a guest expert from Wellness HQ’s specialist directory bringing you advice from their particular field. For April we talk to osteopath Angus Gould about how he is tackling the common everyday stresses he is seeing
Tell us about yourself and your path to osteopathy?
I discovered my passion for osteopathy after leaving school. I enrolled in a sports and exercise science course, something completely alien from my previous studies.
This opened up a whole new potential career path for me: health and wellbeing. I’d been introduced to osteopathy from a young age, my sister was treated as a baby, I was treated during childhood and my parents have been treated throughout their lives.
How did you become a professional in your field?
After looking through various courses from physiotherapy to personal training, I decided osteopathy was the profession for me, with its holistic approach being at the forefront of my choice. I attended Swansea University for four years, gaining a Masters degree in osteopathy. Throughout this time I worked in both the NHS and private clinics treating a wide variety of conditions such as migraines, lower back pain and even digestive issues.
Since then I’ve been practising across London at clinics based in Westminster, Camden and Brixton as well as establishing my own business based at Neal’s Yard Remedies in Tunbridge Wells and most recently Botanica Health in Rusthall.
What are the most common physical problems you are seeing with your patients?
Desk related injuries! The majority of us now spend most of our working hours sitting at a desk, followed up by sitting in a car, or on a train – and then staring at an ill-placed computer or phone screen.
Issues can be anything from neck pain to repetitive strain injuries of the elbow from using a mouse too much. These types of injuries usually build up gradually over time.
One day it’s just a small niggle which can easily be stretched out and ignored, and this can lead to it becoming more frequent and far more painful over the following months. These problems are all being exacerbated by the stresses of professional and personal life.
And what about mental health issues?
I have noticed recently that people are becoming more aware of how pain effects their mental health. Previous experiences, beliefs and attitudes towards pain and injury are usually negative. I hear many stories about having to undergo surgery, never fully recovering and becoming reliant on medication.
Pain not only causes physical stress but emotional stress too. As a result people stop doing the things they enjoy, which isolates them from social situations and can result in low mood and pain related anxiety.
It is becoming more apparent that overcoming pain and injury is not just a matter of addressing physical symptoms but challenging beliefs and attitudes. This is usually half the battle, especially for those suffering from persistent and chronic pain.
Quick fix solutions
Set an alarm every 60 minutes to get up out of your chair to do a lap of the office floor, grab a glass of water or perform some simple stretches and mobility movements at the desk
Invest in an Apple watch or a Fitbit as it’ll help you gauge if you’ve been sitting for too long
Wellness HQ is a central place of resource to educate, motivate and inspire you to live your healthiest, happiest life focusing on six pillars: social, emotional, occupational, physical, environmental and spiritual