By the end of this year (which is fast approaching), I’ll have been back at the Plympton Osteopathic Clinic for 1.5 years!

It’s been a whirlwind of patients and problem-solving in clinic and a pretty fine summer outside of clinic.

One of the things I love about working at Plympton is that our patients are often grateful. By that, I mean that they tell others about what we’ve done to help them – which in turn means we can help more people. 

It’s always fantastic to know I’ve helped someone feel better and I’m grateful when they think to tell other people, so I can help them feel better too. Win, win!

One thing I notice is the increased responsibility towards our patients. Because so many people struggle to see a GP and are unable to discuss anything more than simple issues because of time constraints, we are more obliged than ever to ensure we’re taking time to find out what is going on with patients. This includes ruling out red flags (symptoms or signs that might indicate a patient has something more severe going on), advocating for patients to get the investigations or treatment they need, and coaxing information out of patients to find out what’s affecting them.

So many people have struggles that aren’t physical which they may not realise can be related to their physical problems. Whether it’s menopause or depression or SAD or a phase of stress or anxiety – there are things that we, as osteopaths, can do to help. I particularly enjoy it when patients feel listened to and looked after. This is often a big step in itself to feeling better.

I’ll look at your blood tests, I’ll think about underlying issues you may have, I’ll share my own personal experiences of anxiety and depression with you if I think it will help. Life’s pretty tough these days and going into winter makes things feel harder for a lot of people. We are lucky to have the luxury of time. Time to listen and time to contemplate how best to help.

This summer has been amazing, hasn’t it? Long, hot and joyful. But it already seems a long time ago.
I like to reflect on all the amazing things I’ve done, the fun I’ve had with friends and the positive experiences. I write a diary to instil that sense of gratitude. Reflecting on the long, sweaty stomps I’ve had along the coast path, the refreshing swims I’ve had in our lakes and sea and all the dancing I’ve done over the last summer, I feel lucky and content. Not everyone has these opportunities so I’m grateful that I get out and use the outdoors and use my body to move and rejuvenate.

My great passions are hiking and dancing, along with engrossing novels. I try and balance swing dancing to live music, with pounding the clifftops or the Moors. It keeps me sane.

I’ll always try and make time to be outside in winter because I feel my mental state change if I don’t get out. Often, I’m glad to have waterproofs! but the weather is changeable enough down here that we can usually grab a half day of temperate weather. And if the rain sets in, I’ll try and distract myself with my sewing machine or a book and a cuppa.

I’d encourage my patients to find a few things that give you joy. Invest time in them, find people who like doing the same things and just do them!

It will help your mental and physical health, and  above all else, get outside into nature! Even if it’s just a couple of hours a week. It will help you reset, I promise!