Monday, May 14, 2012

Can some of our current health problems be due to an impass between body and mind?

Life goes faster and faster and our mind seems initially very capable of dealing with this speed of change. However at the same time we see an increasing number of people who are ill with 70% of all illnesses related to stress! The body it seems is not coping so well. How come? 
Hopefully the words below will give you food for thought on this matter. 
Beyond health and healing: part 2
The last 40 years has seen a tremendous change in the speed with which we need to adapt ourselves. From black and white TV’s with 1 or 2 channels to flatscreens with hunderds. From a turn the disc to dial phone to mobile phones with the capacity to ring anywhere in the world and access to infinite data. Letters that took a week or more to arrive now arrives the next day or with email in the next second. To name but a few changes in a lifetime or at least my lifetime so far. 
Through this ‘change of speed’ - action - we’re faced with an equal increasing response - reaction. Imagine not responding within a matter of hours to an email with a question or a message left on your voicemail? 
We are continuously being challenged an stimulated to react. One chalenge isn’t over yet or the next one is already there and then next and the next... it’s action, action, action,... We’re always on the ball, in tension.
What about time to ease? 
In 1967 psychiatrists Holmes and Rahe examined 5000 patient records to determine wheter stress might cause illness and found a significant correlation between life changes and their illness. From these results they published the Holmes and Rahe stress scale
Those who score 300+ points within a year are at risk of illness. An example of how you can accumulate 300 points:
50 Marriage
40 Pregnancy
39 Gain anew family member
26 Spouce starts or stops work
20 Change in residence
18 Change in social activities
13 Vacation
12 Christmas
36 Change to different line of work
28 Outstanding personal achievement
37 Death of a close friend
As you can see in the above example of events this is only a fraction of what one person - in our western society - can go through during one year. For some this happens within 3 to 4 months. Also note that some of these changes can be seen as positive: Marriage, pregnancy, outstanidng personal achievement...
Would you associate the above when experienced over a period of one year with becoming ill? 
If you think about these changes don’t you feel that you can handle them? Some events are not easy but can you mindfully deal with them?
And still, this fraction of what we’re actually experiencing leads to an increaded risk of illness!
I’ve been working with people’s health for more then 10 years and have had many a person come to see me suffering from back or neck pain, feeling depressed, having a lack of energy and/or suffer from general malaise who three to four months prior had gone through a major change in their lives. These were mostly people that moved to Brussels with their family to take up a new post at the European Comission, Parlement or NATO.
Discovering the Holmes and Rahe’s scale gave me great insight to understanding the correlation of major change and the physical pain that became intollerable 3 months later (onset was probably earlier but we mostly react it will pass). Their life had been turned upside down in a matter of months.
Take the Rahe and Holmes scale a bit further and instead of change see these events as stimuli or stressors in other words stress response provoking elements (fight and flight response). The scale was made in 1967 and as I stated at the start of this chapter there has been a tremendous amount of change over the last 40 years and an increase in speed with which we need to react.
This change is for most people no problem on a mind level as our mind seems to be very capable of adapting itslef to new situations and challenges.
The body however that seems to be another story.
If the mind can be seen as our software and the body the hardware our software has greatly expanded over the last decades. The human software has changed as a consequence of the demands we've put on it but what about the hardware, the body with all its components? 

Have we adapted the hardware to suit the software?
In IT the faster the software the lighter the hardware became. Just look at he phone 40 years ago compared to the mobile phones of today.
Maybe it is presumptuous of me to compare the above comparison with us humans but I’ll do it anyway: The smarter we became the heavier we’ve become. 
We actualy have gone the opposite way.
Time to look at the hardware a bit more to shed a light on my observations. 
What I think of when adapting the hardware is the speed with which the body processes information and change. We are bombarded with information, various stimuli and before we even have the chance to integrate those stimuli the next set is already upon us.  Stress is not followed anymore with ease, just more stress. Ease is something that doesn't seem to be part of normal life anymore. 
Our organism has an ancient survival mechanism called the fight and fight (stress) response which realeases amongst other things adrenaline and cortisol. The fight and fight response is there for our survival and must follow a time of ease to reset itself. Just like a muscle if a muscle isn’t relaxed after a time of strain what do you think is going to happen?
The properties of the fight and flight response are such that when activated (sympathetic) it must be followed by deactivation (parasymapthetic). Stress must follow ease. 
If triggered chronically the stress response has a adverse affect on our health: Muscles stay tensed, immunity is lowered, certain parts of our body get decreaed blood flow through vasoconstriction (i.e. stomach) which leads to problems etc. Our internal balance is impeded.
Do you start to see the relationship between change, the increase of stimuli and the effect on our health?
I can't count the amount of people that said but I'm not stressed although they have all the physical signs of being in a stress mode. Yes, the mind might be totally ok with the demands we put on it, it is by nature capable of processing information much quicker. The body however deals with change in a very different matter and the body can over time have an adverse effect on the mind: Chronic stress can make you mindless.
Now to come back to presumtuous and methaphorical statement comparing our increased mental capacity with weight. 
(And I’m not saying that overweight people can’t be smart... read on as that is not what I’m implying here)
Have you ever seen a though? 
Can you see your body? 
If you look at this from a vibrational perspective the mind with its thoughs you can’t see hence has a high vibration (light) and the body which you can has a low vibration (heavy). 
Have you ever had a day when you felt down, depressed? How did your body feel then?  Now imagine the day that you were extremely happy or better in love. How did your body feel then?
When I’m down I feel heavy and slow and when I’m happy I feel light and vibrant. You too? 
How much are you able to handle in a happy state compared to when you’re in a down state?
Now here is the crunch.
Have you ever seen a happy vibrant person that is stressed? 
Happy people are less susceptible for stress. Why is that? 
(I’m trying to comprehend what I’m observing in others and myself here.)
Back to an example from my practice: Person comes in with severe back ache, looks a bit off-color, feels down and explain what’s the matter: I've been having a little bit of pain for the last few days but this morning I woke up and couldn't move anymore. Then I go to work. What I notice is that the body is dense, tense, compressed, I lift bot legs at the ankles for a test, they feel heavy and have lost their feel of flow. After the treamtment I feel that the body is less dense, more rleaxed, lighter and free. Lifting the legs is easier and if I pull slightly I feel they have regained their elasticity, springiness. Person stands up again and says wow I feel more grounded, I can move better, it feels I’ve just left a few kilo’s behind and what often happens is that the non physical problems they were experiencing seem to have disolved or have gotten less important, their mood is better etc. Sometimes they even reflect on a situation: Why was that a problem?
I would say they went from a low vibration to a higher vibration they are lighter  and even look more radiant. Put them on the balance scales and what will you see as a difference in weight? 
Depression                                                                               Joy
Heavy                                                                                      Light
I’ve never tried this but I’m sure there is no difference. A person of 70 kg will walk out a person of 70 kg but still their experience of those 70 kg will be very different.
I’m sure we all felt this: In the morning we wake up 70 kg and moody and everything is a burden and heavy. Then during the day something magical happens by the evening we are happy, content, fulfilled and weight 70kg but feel lighter... our vibrational state has changed which gives us a total different experience of ourselves and when we are in the latter state we can handle the world better.
This reminds me of the states of water. When water has a low vibration it’s ice = dense state. When it has a high vibration its vapour and inbetween you have the liquid state. Our bodies are 70% water...

The impass
Our mind due to its inherent higher vibrational state is able to deal with change easier and quicker then the body. The body with it’s lower vibrational state has reached it’s limits. The body is not coping with the increase in and the speed of change/demands we put on it.

If it is so is there a way to overcome the impass and create body - mind balance? 
The problems mentioned above were:
  • To much change / stimuli in too short a time.
    • Reduce the amount of change
    • Reduce stimuli
  • When depressed are bodies struggle even more...
    • Be happy
    • Adapt your life so that you can live a more relaxed, joyful life. This can take some time. and sometimes some very difficult decisions have to be made. My own methamprophose took 10 years and is still going on.  Don’t make overhaste decisions. 
    • Do you feel stuck? Then maybe you need to find out your purpose in life and crate a new future. 
    • If needed get professional help to help you create a new life goal.
Start interacting with your inate wisdom. Maybe you need to change your diet and eat more vibrant food (fresh vegetables or sprouted seeds. Maybe you observe that you’re always critical of yourself and others which requires a change of mindset. Maybe you just need to smile a bit more,...
Maybe you just need to love yourself more...
Be creative and enjoy the process. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beyond health and healing: part 1

Healing is a personal process that affects all.
Healing is the process to return to wholeness. 
Q: When are we whole?
A microcosmic observation to give meaning to a macrocosmos phenomenon 
The body is an organization'  formed for a particular purpose and activity: Housing the Soul''

The body organization is such that all parts work as one. Although every part has the potential within itself to be any other part - and more - however it is what it is designed for and functions as such.'''
A human being is part of the ‘societal’ organization in the world. Every human being has the potential within him/herself to be any other human being - and more - however he/she is and functions according to what he/she is designed for.
Wholeness is... 
A human being who functions according to what he / she is designed for and is one with and within the ‘societal’ organization of the world. Or in other words a single and complete individual component of a larger complex whole, the world, where everything interrelates with all other.
Healing is the return of the individual to his or her wholeness. 
The condition of the individual has an impact on the interrelated complex whole. Change in that condition is thus change of the complex whole through its interrelatedness.
Healing the individual is a process that affects all.  

To be continued...

' An arrangement of interconnected cells / molecules (water, energy,... are not cells)
' '   The immaterial part of a being

''' It can take on another function then for which it is designed but it will underperform compared to the original part.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Osteopath

An osteopath is a complementary medicine practitioner.  
The osteopath’s objective is to enhance health. 
The patient tells us he has pain or feels unwell.
The osteopath explores manually what is leading to the obstruction of the bodies natural order, creating the impediment of health (pain).
  • Taking in account the whole person
Ex.  Migraine can be caused by a displaced neck vertebrae
Neck and shoulder pain can be due a chronic stress response
Back pain can be caused by disregulation of the digestive system
The osteopath will manually stimulate the bodies inherent healing mechanism to restore order and thus facilitate health. 
  • Physical: Skeleton, muscles, ligaments, fascia,...
  • Physiological: Hormones, nerves...
  • Energetic
Health is a process and therefore it is suggested to have a minimum of two osteopathy consultations for the best possible care.
‘Prevention is better than cure’
We lead busy and stressful lives and often go unconsciously beyond the threshold of health. This may result in the onset of a downward spiral with first no signs or symptoms then minor discomforts come up that are brushed of with «it will pass». Then one day, weeks or months later the downward spiral has reached a level of intensity that can not be ignored anymore? 
A regular visit to the Osteopath is no luxury in these hectic and challenging times and is recommended as part of a preventive healthcare approach.  
Osteopathic Body-Coaching
Osteopathic Body-Coaching is recommended when you suffer from chronic stress. Stress due to the interaction of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol can lead to:
  • Physical ailments: neck, shoulder, back problems
  • Slow healing of injuries
  • Headaches
  • General malaise
  • Concentration problems
  • Anxiety and depression
Osteopathic Body-Coaching stimulates health through a one to one osteopathy consultations, Reasets (Return to Ease) the fight and flight response and adds an energetic healing component through facilitation of the biofield. 

In addition Elementary Healthcare insights and easy to implement self-help Reaset tools are given for you to help yourself to cope better in times of stress and thus stay healthy longer. 
Elementary Healthcare workshops and lectures in combination with Osteopathic Body-Coaching can be part of a preventive healthcare approach in companies.

For more information contact Tom on

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tickle your Amygdala

A book by Neil Slade

Now here is an amazing story. A few years ago in my search of information about self help tools to return to the state of ease I stumbled upon the books by Neil Slade. 

The book, 'The secret of the dormant brain lab' is Neil's remarkable personal story on how he got in contact with D.A.T. Stingo a renegade scientist who taught people (on a remote mountain) a technique to turn on incredible creativity, intelligence, pleasure, and even paranormal abilities that is as easy as clicking on a light switch!  (for the link to the book see below)

The other book I read was 'The frontal lobe supercharge' which is about the technique D.A.T. Stingo taught. (for the link to the book see below)

I really liked these books and saw a lot of similarities in the technique described with my own work as an osteopathic body-coach. I gave the book top marks in Amazon where I had bought it and left small comment about how much I liked it etc.

So imagine my surprise when Neil contacted me at the end of last year wanting an interview for his next book.

Today I received the kindle version of the book 'Tickle your Amygdala' which has the transcription of the interview we had and that of many others including doctors, actors incl. Terry Jones form Monty Python) , artists, a neurosurgeon,... The book starts with a fun and simple explanation of what amygdala tickling is all about and part two is a more detailed explanation of it + 52 transcribed  interviews + practical practical exercises.

Really looking forward now to read the book and all the other people's stories. 

If you like a copy of the book follow the link below. It's the kindle version that can also be read on an Ipad.

Happy reading and tickling. 


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Health is a Process

We tolerate even see it s a right that smokers take time out of their routine to smoke their cigarette outside. What we don't seem to accept, take as a right is that we - the non smoker - take time to go outside to breathe fresh air. Some of you might even feel guilt just by the thought of taking that time: What would the colleagues/boss say? Even now when I write this observation I can feel my own abdomen knotting up just by imagining needing to explain a colleague or superior going for a fresh air pause. 

How has it come this far? 
How conditioned am I?.... are we?

Health is a process. 

Have you ever asked yourself the question: What is health? 

Write down 10 behaviours that contribute to health. 

How many of those 10 are you applying in every day life? 

Maybe you could have some meaningful conversations about this topic with your friends and family. Meaningful and not a I'm wright you're wrong match, use a talking piece if you feel that will help guide or slow down the conversation. 

How do you feel about your answer?

I'm not here to judge you. But when you're reading this book then it means most likely that you are seeking something. By now you probably realise that you won't find the answers you seek in this book but rather within you and that these words are a mere catalyst for that process. Your health process. Or at least that's my intention. 

Health is a process. Health hasn't stopped when you're ill nor have we achieved it when we are healthy.  

Health is very active when we're hanging over the toilet bowl trowing-up after a big night out or when that steak tartare (raw minced meat dish) wasn't that fresh after all. 

You might feel as sick as a dog but imagine if your body hadn't reacted with the 'get this out of here as quickly as possible' reaction. What would that excess alcohol or the bacteria have done when they had stayed in your body! Mmmm... the probability of dying would have been increased if anything... 

No, being sick isn't always a sign of not being in health. However when conditions are chronic - you keep on throwing up day after day - then one could speak of impaired health. In other words, the health process will still be active but is out of balance. Its self regulatory mechanism is impaired and needs help. 

Time for reflection... 

Lets have a look at what the World Health Organisation (WHO) writes about health. Their definition is: Health is a state of complete of physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. 

 I never get it what they are trying to say, do you? But what I like you to reflect on is the word 'state' in this definition. (Although the word complete in this definition is also questionable) 

Health is a 'state'?

I'm not an expert on language, any language for that matter, not even my mother tongue which is Dutch or as Belgians like to call it, Flemish. That aside, saying health is a state then I interpret health as being a pinnacle something you try to reach, a far fetched ideal, a goal, a peak, in any case something short in time...

In psychology for example they use the term an emotional state which last only a few seconds. This compared to a mood which lasts from a couple of hours to some days and an emotional trait last more then a few years. I do recognise that before I started to look into what health is, that when I was ill I indeed tended to see it as the goal to be free from the annoyances that were bothering me and wanted to get rid of them as quickly as possible (the latter I still do I'm human after all). Now I try to live a life where I listens to my health and try as much as possible to interact with it. But it doesn't stop me from being ill or having illness symptoms. Like the other day a conversation got me deeply hurt (old wounds that got poked at) and ended left me frustrated and turned inward (best that you don't talk to me for a while when I'm in that mood) and 24h later I developed herpes zoster around the left corner of my mouth. I had the herpes zoster blisters turn up before ones it was after a dentist visit. Again it was through frustration. No, not towards the dentists, she's lovely and very careful and considerate I was so frustrated by the sensation the slow frequency drill that dentists use, gave me. It provoked anger in me and I was frustrated because I didn't want to feel that anger. This internalisation of frustration/anger seems to express itself with giving me herpes zoster on a place around my mouth. 

I'm not sure if you're still following me. Hope I do make sense to you here.

To get back to health as a process, what I want to convey is that health is not a moment, nor is it a peak. Health is a process it is ongoing and it is present all the time. Yes it might be out of balance but if you're still alive then health is within you. If you are alive and ill then health has been perturbed in it's expression. But in whatever condition you are health is there until the day you exit this world.

Question: How long does a mountaineer stay on the top of Mount Everest? 

Answer: It depends on the weather....

Answer continued: The weather will determine if it is seconds, minutes but it will not be more then a couple of hours. (I did verify this with a Belgian mountaineer who's been on the top) 

What do you learn from that? I learned that arriving is not the goal/purpose. Health is not a goal in itself it is a process. Just like the mountaineer his expeditions' goal/purpose is not arriving on top of the mountain it is the whole process from the idea to the return home and beyond. Imagine if arriving on the top was the sole purpose/goal... 

Doesn't take away that it is a human condition that arriving is exhilarating and a moment we cherish. When this book is published (for you who are reading this on my blog yes it is meant for a book) also I will pop a bottle of champagne or two to celebrate but in the meanwhile while writing, reflecting upon its content and all the moments in-between I'm enjoying consciously the process and in my heart celebrate each word.

Health, process... not a moment, nor a peak... ongoing. So right now! 

How do you feel about that? 

The Dalai Lama invited Richard Davidson (The Emotional Life of your Brain to his home in India in 1992 to pose a question: Scientists often study depression, anxiety and fear, but why not devote your work to the causes of positive human qualities like happiness and compassion? the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader asked. "I couldn't give him a good answer," recalled Davidson, a University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientist. (From the Dalai Lama's website: 

I'm asking you again when have you asked yourself the question what is health? Like me you think and know more about disease don't you? We've been brought up - Westerners - in a society which seems to have forgotten that health is a process that needs conscious attention and can not be given out of hand. No, the doctor or therapist is not there to give you health. All the books in the world will not do that nor does this one. No proposed diet, pill, tool will give you health. 

Click, click, click... is that your brain processing this information... 

Reality check: Who am I? Yes I know that what I write is not the truth. It is what I think and for me it is real but is it the truth. I don't know. My limited experiencing is forming these thoughts and I'm just sharing it with you. End of reality check, or at least for now. 

How do you feel? I will ask this question a lot as it is important that you take a moment to reflect, think for yourself and question my words.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What is Osteopathic Body-Coaching?

Before I explain what Osteopathic Body-Coaching is let me go back to the essence of osteopathy and the different approaches within osteopathy. 

(see previous blogs for more information)
Osteopathy is a manual facilitated health care approach based on the principles that: 
  • The body a is a dynamic unit
  • In the body all parts are interrelated and interdependent
  • The body possesses a self regulatory and self healing mechanism.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (A.T. Still)
The osteopath is there to aid the perturbed self regulatory and self healing mechanism and relieves through the use of different techniques the disturbances of motion.
Cranial Osteopathy (W.G. Sutherland)
Cranial Osteopathy is a more refined form of osteopathy that uses the stimulation of the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM) to encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body and head.
Biodynamic Osteopathy (J. Jealous)
In Biodynamic Osteopathy no force or manipulation is applied. The osteopath is a catalyst for the self healing and self regulatory system to go through 'the Neutral' from where healing can start. 
Osteopathic Body-Coaching 
Developed by Tom Meyers Osteopathic Body-Coaching brings together the three osteopathic trends: structural, cranio-sacral and biodynamic. It is especially suited for conditions triggered by the effects of stress: neck and back pain, digestive problems, headaches, slow healing of injuries, insomnia, cognitive impairment,...

Osteopathic Body-Coaching is a Body-Mind approach. Mind-Body approaches like positive affirmations and Mindfullness are very popular and well researched. A body-Mind approach - although as old as life itself - is a lesser known. Current therapies are based on the dualistic view that body and mind are separate and it is only know that through neurosciences that scientists come to understand that body and mind are a unit.

Osteopathic Body-Coaching as previously mentioned is recommended for people suffering from stress. Chronic stress creates physical tension (neck, shoulder, back,...) but also has a negative influence on the immune system, digestion (stomach ulcers) and the way we think (concentration problems, difficulty making decisions,...)  and feel (moody, no energy, it's all too much, procrastination,...). Osteopathic Body-Coaching facilitates the innate healing mechanism to Reaset (Return to Ease) the stress response and thus has a positive influence on all the above.

Osteopathic body-coaching has also an energetic component through biofield facilitation (some known it by the name of aura). We are not only body and mind... we after all energy.


An osteopathic body-coach is also an elementary health care coach. We must unlearn that we can't help ourselves and learn that we can and more that we can help others too. This sharing of health information is done during the consultations but also in trainings where everyone is welcome. For more information visit

Biofield: "It's a complex energy structure of different fields, different natures, and different origins. There are electromagnetic and gravitational fields, as well as fields of molecules and, to some extent, fields of unknown parameters. So the biological field of a living thing, also known as its "aura," is an invisible structure that correlates its activity to create a unique and united system." - Dr. K. Korotkoc

What is Biodynamic Osteopathy?

Continuation from the previous blog:

Biodynamic Osteopathy was developed by James Jealous and is based on W.G. Sutherlands' Cranial Osteopathy
J. Jealous added another element termed 'the Neutral'. This neutral is achieved without any force or interference applied by the osteopath. The osteopath is there to facilitate the inherent Breath of Life, the life force within the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM). 
The neutral can be seen as the midpoint between (thoracic) breathing in and breathing out cycle but then within the PRM. In disease, with injuries,... this PRM cycle is disregulated and causes interference in the healing process.

More information: