The human - a unity of body, mind and soul, which should be optimally in harmony. What happens when they get out of balance? How does our body attract attention? Who looks at the human being as a whole understands the interrelationships. We talked in Dubai to the Austrian osteopath Evelyn Brey about ways to physical and mental well-being:
Your field is, amongst others, osteopathy. Many people confuse osteopathy with physiotherapy. Can you explain the difference?
Osteopathy is an expression, which can be a little difficult to understand, as the word osteo comes from the Greek language and means “bone”. But osteopaths only work with bones indirectly. The osteopathic training lets the osteopath see the person as a whole unit and this includes everything – bones, muscles, tendons, joints and also organs. While there are many overlaps between osteopathy and physiotherapy, one of the main differences seems to be, that physiotherapists, as I understand from what patients who have tried both told me, focus mainly on the problem area, for instance a knee problem. With osteopathy we of course also treat the affected joint, but also the spine and other joints. Primarily we try to discover what caused the problem to be able to advise the person how to rebalance the complete muscle-skeletal system. We work mostly with our hands and don’t use machines.
The source of pain is not always where it hurts. Body, Mind & Soul belong together. When they are out of balance, we feel it in our body. What would be a wholistic approach to regain balance?
Many people only start to feel their body when it no longer works properly or when there is pain. Before that they are not very aware of their body or its functions. More and more we live in our head, actual movement is on the decline. So we are not aware of the feedback which our senses and our body provide us with continuously.
A first step would therefore be to re-learn to experience the sensations of the body: breathing with intent, to notice how one reacts to different food, feeling the warmth of the sun on one’s skin, walking barefoot in dew-covered grass. Because of everyday life we have forgotten how we benefit from this noticing, this awareness of oneself – not only physically but also mentally and emotionally.
A patient in pain visits you. How do you find the cause for the discomfort?
I start by taking a thorough case history. Many times the patients know exactly what triggered their problem, for instance, while doing sport or spending too much time sitting in front of the computer. Here in the UAE the long driving hours cause a lot of problems. Listening to the patient is very important. Nowadays many people immediately “consult the internet”. In this case one has to explain to the person what they are NOT suffering from, to then be able to determine the cause with precise questions and osteopathic testing techniques.
What are the primary reasons for pain in the limbs, the spine or joints?
The main reasons are dehydration, emotional stress, sleeping problems, wrong diet and lack of or wrong movement.
If muscle, joint or back pain doesn’t improve after 4-5 days or earlier, if the pain gets worse. However, in any case, an osteopath, physiotherapist or doctor should be visited immediately if there are pins and needles in the arms or legs, numbness anywhere in the body, dizziness for instance after a fall, sudden very strong headaches or a sudden change in bowel habits.
In our region we are exposed to special climatic conditions like long hot summers, air-conditioning and high humidity. Wrong diet choices and moving only a little bit contribute to the lack of fitness. How can we nevertheless achieve a basic fitness level?
We live here in the mistaken belief that, as we have air-conditioning, our daily live can be conducted always in the same manner. But this is not the case. In the old days the local tribes travelled from the inside of the country to the coast during the hot months. We don’t need to make such drastic changes any longer.
However, we should adapt the diet to the time of year: to drink plenty of water and fresh vegetable juices to stay well hydrated is the most important thing to keep muscles, joints and brain function at its best. The food you eat should have a high component of water and because you move less due to the heat the food portions should be reduced. To stay fit go for short walks either early in the morning or in the evening or go for a swim. For a bit more exercise go to the Gym or do some yoga.
Everything is energy. Everything has a vibration. Apart from osteopathy you also practice other therapies, which go into the direction of energy work. Can you tell us more about that?
Yes, I am also a Kinesiologist and work with Touch for Health, Brain Gym and Rhythmic Movement Therapy. Kinesiology is a huge and varied field. Teachings from Western and Eastern healing disciplines like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), osteopathy, chiropractic, various dietary and movement therapies and acupuncture, amongst others, are taken into account.
The integrated “Brain Gym” exercises help especially children to reduce stress and enhance the joy of learning. But these exercises are also beneficial for adults for rehabilitation after sports injuries, to improve a weak memory or to help find new ideas to solve problems.
The early childhood reflexes, sensory impressions and motor development are crucial for personal development as well as the learning process. Problems with the reflexes can lead to behavioural issues as well as learning difficulties.
With the Rhythmic Movement Method the original movement patterns and of childhood development are gently repeated to make up for what didn’t quite follow the natural path of development during the initial phase. It can help with movement, learning and behavioural problems, with scoliosis or for rehabilitation after a stroke.
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) suggests that there are energy lines, the so-called meridians, throughout the whole body. Muscles play a highly important role in Kinesiology. Special muscle tests help to find the cause of energy blockages in the body and the energy lines, the meridians. These blockages can be on a physical, emotional or chemical basis.
The energy blockage is removed through holding specific reflex points, application of relaxation techniques, movement exercises as well as dietary advise.
The meridians in our body are channels for energy, also called Qi. Where are they in our body? How do I feel if an energy channel is blocked? What effects do these blockages have?
The meridians run through the whole body from the tips of the fingers to the tips of the toes. Blockages in the energy flow show themselves in the beginning with a feeling that all is not well. One doesn’t like to get up in the morning, doesn’t want to go to work, dealing with others is stressful, etc.
When you ignore these feelings you could get headaches, sleeping problems and digestive problems, etc. The happy, joyful feeling of daily life, which everybody aspires to, doesn’t appear any longer - even in beautiful moments. If this feeling continues over a few months then this would be the first indication that one should do some reflecting over one’s life and whether it is really the way one would like it to be.
If you learn to live with these signs of ‘disease’, because it is a nearly normal feeling nowadays as many people feel that way, stomach problems, absent mindedness, nervous tension can develop. Muscles start to cramp, joints become stiff and pain starts.
More and more people want to return to Nature, to mindfulness, meditation, yoga or energy treatments. Is this a present day “fad” or is it a sign that in their life they have more and more pressure? What do these symptoms mean? Is it a trend or a return to discover oneself again? Are people aware of this? What kind of support do you offer for this?
I am not sure, that this re-orientation and this drive back towards Nature is something conscious. Rather, it is a turning away from the status quo, because that doesn’t work any longer. The story of “increase consumption and you will be happy” has turned into a deceptive illusion for many. Maybe this turnaraound is happening because mankind is slowly understanding that they are the best “healers”, “helpers” and “happiness creators” for themselves.
But to do this you need to know yourself. Spending time in Nature is the best way to experience this knowledge. It’s an opportunity to escape the loud noises of daily life, to relax eyes and ears, to stretch the body and lengthen the muscles and to breathe deeply, not to hear threatening but pleasing sounds like a birdsong, the murmur of the forest or the echo in the mountains and the own voice in one’s head.
Stress levels reduce immediately and the opportunity arises to look at oneself, to listen to oneself, to explore what’s really going on inside oneself, and not just to be “numb-minded” by pictures and information from outside.
To pose the questions to oneself: “What and who am I and what and who do I want to be?”
If the answers to these questions do not match up conflict arises inside oneself and blockages of the soul, in the energetic field, mentally and sooner or later physically appear.
To support people on their quest I try to make them understand that they are the ones who can help themselves best – except in a case of medical emergency. In the beginning many people do not believe this, as we are trained nowadays that our “Healing” is due to medication or an operation and the belief is in those systems and not in oneself. But, more and more people are now open to this new line of thinking.
Many have to learn how to breathe again first of all – something, that is generally regarded as automatic, that one does but barely anybody knows how to do correctly – Taking in and Letting go. I show simple stretches, for instance for the meridians, which at the same time also stretch the muscles and help to get energy flowing again.
There are more and more innovative machines, methods and products on vibrational basis available. Can you explain how these work and what they change in our body?
These “new” machines, some of which are now in the market for over 60 years, for instance a bioresonance machine, which I use, work on a frequency basis. Frequencies measure vibrations. We now know that everything from living beings to hard matter are vibrational systems. The vibrations are made by very small particles or energy fields. These particles or fields move and exchange information. This exchange in information can be done with machines or from person to person through laying of hands or other manual treatments.
We are surrounded everywhere by vibrations or energy fields. Some have a positive effect, some negative, for instance masts for mobile phones have a negative effect on us. Some people are “energy robbers”, but it can take some time to realise this. Once you know you should replenish your energy immediately – but not with “energy” drinks or caffeine but with walks in a forest, in the garden or along the beach, or with meditation.
This is where the mindfulness comes into play, which you mentioned earlier. We need to know what gives us back our energy quickly – whether it’s a cup of coffee with your best friend who you are on the same wavelength with, or to listen to music, or a day out with your family, jogging in the forest or take a dip in some cool waters to balance your vibrations again.
The latest creation from quantum physics in the UAE market – and just now released and available – is Lavylites, a vibrational cosmetic line. We have already tested the products at Classy Dubai are happily using the products. Have you heard of the Lavylite products?
Yes, I already had the opportunity to try some of the products myself. They smell extremely pleasant, feel very refreshing and my favourite “side effect” is that they have a gentle detoxifying effect.
What is your impression of the Well-being/Quantum/Energy treatment market and how open are people to it?
There are more and more people with health problems caused by industrial and environmental poisons, preservatives in foodstuff and by chemicals in cosmetics and clothes. Conventional medicine can often not treat the manifold symptoms to the full satisfaction of the people. This increases the desire in people to try natural therapies and other alternatives.
However, for people to be able to differentiate and find the most suitable one amongst the huge range of products and therapies available in the alternative health sector campaigns for clarification, information and education strategies need to be rolled out. When this happens the demand will rise drastically in the next few years.
It is my wish, that the natural therapies, which are presently classified as alternative, for instance osteopathy, hydrotherapy, herbalism to name but a few, become the norm again.
Which “First Aid Tips” can you offer, to start the day with a positive attitude?
Start with drinking water, have a healthy invigorating breakfast, after that do a few cross-crawl movements to lively music to wake up body and mind – add your smile and a beautiful day can start.
Vielen Dank für das Interview.