Thursday, 13 October 2016

clinic open on Saturdays 15th and 29th October for Osteopathy and Acupuncture

Just to let everyone know that the clinic will be open tomorrow (Saturday 15/10) and also Saturday 29/10 for Osteopathy and/or Acupuncture appointments if you or a family member find it hard to get in during the week.

I will be away on retreat for the Labour weekend (21-24 October) although there are plenty of appointments available on the morning of Friday 21/10, and Kaori will be here to take bookings over the weekend.

To book, either phone 03 980 2425, or book online:

However, please try to avoid clicking on the paid google Ad Words ad, if you see this. My pages are quite easy to find on google, by searching either "Michael Inman' or 'Christchurch Osteopath'.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Saturday Osteopathy and Acupuncture clinic

Just a reminder that the clinic here is open on Saturdays for Osteopathy and Acupuncture.   (Helpful if you find it difficult to get in during the week.)   To book, either phone 03 980 2425 or book online:

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Acupuncture and pain-management

Recently I read an article that Acupuncture is as effective as drugs in treating pain. This was from an Acupuncture trial in four Melbourne Emergency Departments.  This could open the way for more hospitals to offer Acupuncture as an effective (and low-cost) healthcare intervention.

Great to see such a successful and practical result with Acupuncture.  We have know for some time (since early research in the 1970s) that Acupuncture can be highly effective in pain management when it was shown to release naturally occurring opiod peptides, and B endorpin plays an important role in Acupuncture analgesia.  Han 2004 (Acupuncture and Endorphins. Neuroscience Letter 361: 258-261) found that Acupuncture releases both enkephalin in the spinal cord and B-endorphin in the brain.   There are no doubt other mechanisms that may be involved (e.g. Melzac's Gate Control theory, Central inhibitory effects, etc) but whatever the mechanisms, it seems to work.  Great for the patients (perhaps not so great for the pharmaceutical companies - but hey, there's a lot of chronic pain patients, who will still take a lot of medication).  But at least, more help is available, and acupuncture may become more a part of this.

If you wan to read more,  please look at:

Inflammation and Ice (which is counterproductive - and wrong) Acupuncture and tissue healing. Osteopathy and Lymphatic drainage.

Recently I was reading an article on why Ice is wrong (Icing Injuries is Wrong) see:

Josh and Shagra Stone list, in a well-researched review list several reasons for this.  Among them are:

 " Ice does not facilitate proper collagen alignment. Diagnostic imaging of chronic tendon injuries like Achilles tendinopathy, jumper’s knee, runner’s knee, and plantar fasciitis show poor collagen arrangement of connective tissue." 

"Ice impedes cellular signaling and inhibits the proper development of new cells. The processes of mechanobiology and cellular signaling take progenitor cells—infant cells who do not know what they are going to be—and makes them into rebuilding cells like myocytes, osteocytes, tenocytes, chondrocytes, etc."

There are several reasons why Ice is ineffective and counterproductive, in that it inhibits the inflammatory process which is essential for tissue repair.  (The authors, in the above article, cite inflammatory cells as releasing the hormone Insulin like Growth Factor, a primary mediator of the effects of growth hormone, a stimulator of cell growth and proliferation, and potent inhibitor of programmed cell death).

Essentially the inflammatory process is a necessary part of tissue repair.  When receiving osteopathy and acupuncture treatment, I often tell my patients this - and make an analogy to the almost constant road-works here in Christchurch.  Yes, a drag, and causes traffic congestion, and slows everything down - yet an essential part of the city's repair process.

I have also speculated that the effectiveness of Acupuncture in treatment and pain-relief, may, at least in part, be due to the changes in blood flow and platelets secreting cytokines, and possibly release of insulin like grown factor also.  Admittedly this is an area for further research.  Certainly, cytokines and other metabolites can promote a healing cascade and stimulation for collagen regeneration.  
For more on this, please see:

Clinically, Acupuncture, does seem to effect blood flow around the area being needles (with local endorphin release, and more far reaching effects  -   enkephalin in the spinal cord and B-endorphin in the brain. ( Han 2004 Acupuncture and Endorphins. Neuroscience Letter 361: 258-261).  We also know that the nervous system can be senstised to pain by the presence of inflammation, either peripherally, where the responsiveness of nerves is increased by the presence of inflammatory mediators, or centrally where additional receptors are recruited that amplify the nociceptive (pain) signal.

In their article, Josh and Shagra Stone, also mention (as evidence against the use of Ice):
"Swelling—a byproduct of the inflammatory process—must be removed from the injured area. Swelling does not accumulate at an injured part because there is excessive swelling, rather it accumulates because lymphatic drainage is slowed. The lymphatic system does this through muscle contraction and compression. Ice has been shown to reverse lymphatic flow."

In my early training as an Osteopath  (at the Institute for Classical Osteopathy, with John Wernham - who studied with John Martin Littlejohn in the 1930s, who in turn studied with Andrew Still in the 1890s, the original founder of Osteopathy) great emphasis was placed on lymphatic drainage in osteopathic treatment.  Yes, of course, bio-mechanics, alignment, joint range of motion are also all important, yet the treatment and principles taught by Wernham always placed great emphasis on lymphatic drainage, from the lower extremities (calf pump) to the diaphragm (cysterna cylii) and finally the clavicles and return to the superior vena cava, via the thoracic ducts.  (Littlejohn, whilst a brilliant physiologist, was also an anatomist, and made a life long study of these disciplines, which were still in their infancy at the beginning of the twentieth century).

For more around this you could look at see:

So interesting how modern research and observation, bears out Osteopathic knowledge over a century old.  The more of this the better.

In summary (for I have gone far beyond "Why Ice is bad') it begs the question, so how then should we treat injuries?  Elevation may still be good (effective elevation needs to raise the injured area above the level of the heart, for optimal drainage.  Easy for an arm, less so for a leg.)

Well, just to be practical (for patients and clinicians) I've always found a combination of acupuncture and gentle osteopathy to be excellent, and bring good results, both in the short and long term.  And the reasons why, are easy to see, if we think of this basic physiology, and the cellular and inflammatory processes underpinning it.  Research and Evidenced based medicine are helpful here, as it will give us much greater understanding of what is most effective.

For more on this you might want to see:

Sunday, 26 June 2016

if you sometimes see my Osteopathy / Acupuncture ( Google paid Ad (AdWords) could you PLEASE AVOID CLICKING ON IT !

Just a request to you all, that if you sometimes see my Osteopathy / Acupuncture
Google paid Ad (AdWords) could you PLEASE AVOID CLICKING ON IT !
This is an experiment (actually, a free credit towards a promotion), but as I have the only Osteopathy and Acupuncture clinic to use the Ezybook real-time internet diary here in Christchurch, if you guys, as my regular patients, start clicking on it every time you need to re-book your osteopath appointment, then it will rapidly deplete all the credit!

I think Google as a hugely successful multinational corporation can survive a little thriftiness on our part!  (yes, this is a pay per click ad)

All that would happen is that the monthly set budget would get used up in a few days, rather than last a whole month - so then the Ad would just disappear, and not be visible for new people (for whom it is intended) to book their osteopathy and acupuncture appointments.

So thank you for your consideration and understanding.

So -  instead of clicking on the ad, please click on my (unpaid) Osteopathy listing further down the page, or just copy and paste my web site address into your browser (without clicking on the Ad please).
Or save this link somewhere:
Actually  -  the clinic is very busy  - so you may not always see the Ad.  (The great advantage is that I can turn it off, when it's very busy).  And don't worry, I'm still doing After-Hours (although it's a good idea to book ahead as these times are popular) and there are still plenty of appointments available.

I'm trying to save the paid Ad for New patients as much as possible -  which will make it considerably cheaper (and possible) to run.  
It's just that no other Osteopathy clinic uses a real-time internet booking system (Ezybook) as I do, here in Christchurch (so no one else will run into this problem)

Of course, you can still always phone on 03 980 2425,  or 021  043 6282 to book your appointment.
Kind regards,

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Christchurch Marathon, Running and Sports Injuries: Acupuncture and Osteopathy (not just physiotherapy)

Those of us in Christchurch will be aware that this Queen's Birthday weekend, areas of the central city will be closed to traffic due to the Christchurch Airport Marathon.

If you are an athlete, or training in any competitive sport, then if you are unfortunate enough to 
suffer and injury  (or have an earlier injury that is not completely resolved)  you will want the best possible recovery period, and so may seek the help of a health  professional  (physiotherapist, massage therapist, osteopath, chiropractor, or acupuncturist).

Recently I came across this article about treating running injuries with Acupuncture:

'' . . .  for consumers who understand that not all illnesses, diseases and ailments require western medicine to cure and heal.''
For the full article, please see:

It discusses the conventional Western Medical pharmaceutical approach of prescribing 'muscle relaxants', and 
then goes on to outline a Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM, i.e. Acupuncture and Herbs) approach.

For example the standard First Aid protocol is rest, ice, compression, elevation. We all remember this, don't we?

OK, good for the Sports field, and the very immediate aftermath of an injury (up to the initial few hours) and 
perhaps helpful if there is lingering swelling.

But in TCM compression is though to only exacerbate what they term 'blood stagnation' and this would tend to 
retard tissue healing.

Anyway,  if you are presently training (or are keen to return to training), then all of this might
interest  you.

Good treatment  (alignment and muscle balance, with osteopathic adjustment) and local tissue repair 
(and acupuncture can be excellent for this).

Please see:

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Acupuncture for back pain. Comments on the 'NICE low back pain guidelines - a big misunderstanding'.

Acupuncture for low back pain.  Comments on the 'NICE low back pain guidelines. 

Recently there has been some controversy as the National Institute for Clinical Excellence in the UK have stopped recommending acupuncture for back pain.  The reasons are complex after review of clinical research.  However, it seems that there were serious flaws in the design of the most recent NICE study, and Mel Koppleman has come up with a detailed analysis of the processes used by NICE to amend their guidelines which removed acupuncture as recommended treatment for lower back pain.

For more on this please see:

For practical purposes Acupuncture still works very well for Low back pain (of course, even better if osteopathy and manipulation can be added as tools in the toolbox). It seems that NICE in the UK have reviewed current research and for complex reasons removed their recommendation of acupuncture for low back pain. This decision is controversial and complex - and Mike Cummings (an academic and medical acupuncturist) has reviewed and responded to this.
Large studies work generically with large populations and statistical number-crunching. There's nothing wrong with this, and indeed Evidenced -based medicine puts every medical intervention, procedure and treatment protocol under scrutiny, as it should.

For examples of this, please see:

But just remember that we treat 'people' not 'populations', 'individuals' not 'diseases'. This is far more relevant for individual clinicians, be they GPs, acupuncturists, chiropractors, physiotherapists or osteopaths.
Know your patient. Get it right. Do good work - and use safe effective interventions. Acupuncture is definitely one of them. It has stood the test of time (several thousands of years) and modern research will no doubt give differing indications, and probably come round again. It usually does.
Have a look at:

Your patients know it works, for them. They keep coming back, and tell their friends (and their GPs). Good enough.