The Trident Concept© was founded by Alison Salter and forms the basis of our Adult Chronic Pain Treatment Programme. It is a three tiered Treatment Approach to healing the mind and body after physical trauma (usually to the upper cervical spine i.e the upper neck), whether the trauma be recent or sustained several decades ago or perhaps even from one’s own birth. This may be trauma which you remember and acknowledge but it is also very common for us to treat patients who are not aware of any trauma having caused injury to their spine. An upper cervical injury cannot necessarily be felt and is not obvious to the untrained eye.
Please read About Us in order to fully understand the Trident Concept, how it came into being and what it entails.
Our collaborative Treatment Course comprising Mindfulness for Pain Management and Reduction-SAT-Pilates/Somatics is appropriate for you if you can relate to any of the following:
- You feel that your chronic pain and ill-health is/has become unbearable and debilitating. Your life feels as though it is completely overshadowed by your pain or health condition. You have become your illness and it dominates your thoughts. You frequently refer to ‘my illness’ such as ‘my fibromyalgia’ or ‘my asthma’ for example.
- You relate to the symptoms laid out above in the Symptomology and in the content of Alison’s Story.
- You remember falls/accidents and have a suspicion that all of your deteriorating health began to manifest sometime after such an incident. You have tentatively made this link yourself.
- You feel that conventional medical approaches have nothing to offer you; nothing has been effective in easing the pain/fatigue/tension. You have tried many other therapies (physiotherapy, exercises, pilates, acupuncture, alexander technique, sports massage, surgery etc), but still must resort to painkillers or to just resign yourself to having to ‘put up with’ the tension/pain which seems to be spreading through your body. The pain/fatigue/tension or other general health problems always return.
- You suspect there is a root cause health problem which has not yet been located and addressed.
- You believe your ill health stems right back to birth and actually are aware of having had a difficult/breech birth yourself. You have felt generally unhealthy/fatigued (either physically/mentally) for much of your life relative to other people around you. No one has ever been able to provide an explanation for this.
- You are open minded and rather than looking for a ‘quick fix’ and just to merely manage your health problems, you are looking to find and permanently address the root cause of the problem. You are ready to embark on a longer and more thorough journey back to full health with constant developments along the way in which you have control and input yourself.
- You are ready to let go of various diagnostic ‘labels’ such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Fibromyalgia/various Autoimmune Disorders which you have been given and absorbed into your identity. You feel you can be open to – over time – the possibility of (at the very least) partial, (but in many cases), full recovery.
- You are willing to take on board that the mind and body are not separate entities and you are willing to learn about and accept that at least some of the elements of your pain/fatigue/discomfort are being manifested or augmented by the mind.
- You are willing to put in effort yourself in this healing journey. This will be in the areas of meditation and/or pilates.
- You are willing to accept that it is you yourself who is capable of making the biggest changes rather than any external source. The SAT practitioners and Mindfulness for Pain Management ‘teacher’ should be seen as ‘facilitators’ rather than ‘teachers’ per se.
And most of all, you are willing to make the task of healing your body a priority for the next seven months and possibly beyond.
If you feel that you would struggle with any of the above, please Contact Us with your concerns and we can discuss whether now is the correct time for you to take this course of treatment.
Our course of treatment is spread over a seven month period and has been very carefully crafted into a complete body-mind healing course with the aim of moving your health in the direction of long term recovery rather than on-going expensive osteopathic appointments (or other therapies) which offer no definite end or long term resolution. Please note that we do not offer one-off appointments for adults and that you should ensure that you are able to commit to the treatment period as outlined below without significant disruption, before you book.
Treatment at the Centre will include a combination of:
Breathworks – based Mindfulness for Pain Management and Reduction techniques
SAT Osteopathic treatment
A one to one course of Pilates offered in conjunction with Pilates Tornagrain
There are three stages to our Course:
You will be asked to fill in a comprehensive medical history in advance of your SAT Assessment so that the SAT practitioner can study this before you meet.
Your SAT Assessment in which our SAT practitioners will examine you to determine whether our Treatment Course is appropriate for you.
The initial 8-week Introductory Mindfulness for Pain Management sessions will run weekly and will be 2hrs in length (a total of 16hrs). For more details of this Course click here.
SAT osteopathic appointments spaced three weeks apart which will be 30mins in length and at a weekend. For more information about what SAT osteopathy involves.
Progression on to our follow-on Course: Mindfulness for Pain Reduction sessions of 1.5hrs in length. These sessions complement your SAT appointments and will support you between treatments. For more details of this Course click here.
Upon completion of Stage 2, you will have completed our Treatment Course. However, it is absolutely imperative that you follow up our work with regular Pilates/Somatics to restrengthen and rebalance your body and to ensure that the results from our course remain with you on a long term basis. We work in collaboration with Pilates Tornagrain and you will be advised to follow up our course with regular one to one Pilates sessions.
You will also be required to attend sporadic ‘settling out’ appointments with your SAT practitioner. These will become more and more infrequent as your body settles and heals. A regular osteopathic annual checkup is a standard recommendation for anyone regardless of whether you have been through our Treatment Course.
Our approach here at this Centre differs from the normal medical approach primarily in that we aim to treat the root cause of health difficulties, rather than treating or merely managing the ‘end-resulting symptoms’. Our approach involves some very complex ‘unravelling’ work in both the mind, body and throughout the entire Central Nervous System and takes much longer than merely managing or patching up an ‘end-resulting symptom’. Because our approach treats the root cause of your health difficulties however, it offers long term results. We must stress that this requires a commitment from you to work through the – often long and complex – process with our specialist practitioners here at the Centre.
Due to the location of the cervical vertebrae, people suffering from an injury to the cervical spine usually experience a gross disconnection between mind and body. They tend to live more in the mind, getting caught up with thoughts and ignoring the body because it is has become so painful and such a nuisance. They regard the body as a separate entity even to the point where they resent it and merely ‘drag’ it around with them everyday to ‘exist’ rather than really ‘live’. This disconnection can cause difficulties in everyday life such as:
- inability to concentrate often described as ‘brain fog’
- poor coordination
- an inability, difficulty or slow progress in learning any skill which requires rapid interplay and coordination between mind, body and senses such as playing a musical instrument or learning to dance.
Most people are not aware of this because it has become ‘the norm’ for them, but once they begin on the SAT-Mindfulness journey, they realise just how big this disconnection is and how much it is preventing them from operating at their optimum level in life. A leading osteopath, Renzo Molinari explains quite succinctly why this mind-body disconnection occurs:
“When we are hurt somewhere in the body we can choose not to feel the pain or, if it’s emotional, we can forget the event which caused it. In this way we can forget a small part of our body, a muscle, perhaps a small series of muscles and fascia. So, this part of the body is your body, but not fully integrated because you have forgotten about it.”– Prof Renzo Molinari DO MROF GOsC (From Crooked Angels by Carol Lee)
Prof Renzo Molinari (Osteopath) was featured in the Britain’s top 100 doctors.The Times Magazine. November 2010.
He goes on to say:
“If you take something [muscles and ligaments] that is very tense and try to stretch or pull it, it will snap back into its original position, or be weakened by being pulled away from what it’s used to. If you relax the muscle first, it will reposition itself ‘with more confidence.” – Renzo Molinari (Crooked Angels, Carol Lee)
By placing our Mindfulness Course first in our Treatment Course and then following on with Mindfulness input throughout the SAT treatment, we ensure that your mind – and therefore your body – is as relaxed as possible to be open to the new changes in your body which the osteopathy is bringing about.
By combining osteopathic treatment with a Breathworks-based mindfulness model, we first heal the root cause of the disconnection and then gradually begin to reinstate a connection between the two. We do this by means of the Breath. The Breath connects Mind and Body. It begins to once again, connect up and stabilise our sensory inputs which have either become hypersenstised or completely switched off. This allows body awareness to grow.
Our follow up Pilates programme is vital in ensuring that these changes are maintained long term.
What is Mindfulness – An Overview.
Forty years ago, Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced to the Western world to what would become Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a course developed primarily to help people with pain management. Since then, mindfulness techniques have been adapted to help with more or less any difficulty which we face whether that be anxiety, depression or any medical health condition.
Mindfulness practice helps to calm down our minds and observe with more clarity our actual experience of life. This means that we can learn to respond – rather than react – to difficult circumstances in a much more measured, freer and often creative way. As our mind enters a state of calm, we begin to perceive the connection between thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations. Once we begin to understand how these affect one another, the opportunity opens up to first of all notice our habitual reactions (which often can be quite destructive), and then find new ways of responding. This allows us to break the cycle of bouncing from one negative thought to another and move through life in a much calmer manner – much like a yacht moving sleekly through the ocean, cutting through the waves with ease rather than a small dinghy bobbing up and down and being tossed around and at the mercy of every wave.
In Mindfulness, we cultivate the art of staying in the present moment rather than dwelling in the past and all the feelings of regret/guilt/shame etc which are embedded in that, or catastrophising about the future and worrying about all of the possible worst case scenarios which could play out (most of which never will). Bouncing between dwelling in the past and worrying about the future is how most of us spend our lives. We spend very little time paying attention to and enjoying the present! Sadly, most people’s lives pass them by in this way while they live on auto pilot.
Mindfulness offers a new way of ‘being’ which opens up possibilities and opportunities along with a significant degree of liberation in living your life.
Yesterday is history
Tomorrow is a mystery
Today is a Gift; that is why we call it the Present.
What it is not! Some myths dispelled.
Mindfulness has gained recognition synonymously with the rise in the degree of stress, anxiety and often depressive states which living in the modern world often brings. However, as it has risen in popularity, it has often been misinterpreted which has led to a degree of misunderstanding.
Following are some common myths dispelled:
- Firstly, mindfulness meditation is not a religious practice and in the context of our course, is not affiliated with any religion. Although mindfulness does have it’s roots in Buddhism, through the work primarily of Jon Kabat-Zinn, the health benefits of mindfulness practice have been reframed and adapted to be relevant to a secular Western audience. The Course will not contradict or compromise religious beliefs connected with other faiths and will not direct you towards Buddhist practice.
- Mindfulness is not about ’emptying our minds’. Instead of aiming for an empty or blank mind devoid of thoughts, we learn instead, the skill of becoming aware of our thoughts, without necessarily doing anything with them or adding any layer of judgement to them. By just noticing thoughts, we learn how to detach ourselves from ‘drowning’ in them, which ultimately causes us a lot of mental and physical suffering. Noticing thoughts is very different from pushing thoughts away. We are merely changing how we relate to our thoughts, rather than trying to push them away all together.
- We are also not trying to push away unpleasant experiences and grasp on to more of the pleasant experiences. We are just aiming to be with all of our experience. This involves an element of acceptance first and foremost. Mindfulness practice will not eliminate these difficulties, but will instead offer us an opportunity to respond to them in different ways which benefit our mind and body and allows a profound state of healing to follow. Through thoroughly learning and practising our meditative techniques in just ‘being’, and by learning how to relate to and respond to difficult experience, you will discover a route out of difficulty which you did not know existed and which may just lead to pain reduction after all.
“There is a freedom there waiting for everyone to access. Our Mindfulness Courses will show you how to transform your life dominated by pain and difficulty into this state of freedom.”
- Mindfulness is not about cultivating a ‘complacent I don’t care’ attitude’. If something in our lives needs changing, then mindfulness will provide you with tools and techniques to help you take appropriate action to change in a way that is borne out of compassion and deep understanding rather than in a reactive and frustrated way.
- We are not actively trying to reduce physical pain or mental stress. Mindfulness is not about trying to do anything. If we can let go of the idea of trying to achieve anything and instead, first learn how to be comfortable with and therefore relate to our pain or stress in a different way, then the reduction of it will take care of itself…all by itself – without any effort.
- Mindfulness is not about aiming to achieve a state of relaxation. This may be a by-product of mindfulness practice but it should not be our goal.
And finally, it should be noted that practising Mindfulness will not change your life immediately. Like anything which we learn, it is a journey which requires regular practice.
The concept of Mindfulness Based Pain Management (MBPM) has been shown to help with conditions such as chronic pain, fibromyalgia, spinal injuries, musculo-skeletal pain and tension, arthritis, strokes, diabetes, neuropathy, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and many more conditions. MBPM has also been successfully applied to people suffering from stress. Breathworks have carried out extensive internal and external research on the effectiveness of Mindfulness techniques in the field of chronic pain, chronic fatigue and ill health.Click here for details of Breathworks Research.
Clinical trials have shown that mindfulness meditation can be as effective as prescription painkillers, and can enhance the body’s natural healing systems. Mindfulness can also reduce the anxiety, depression, irritability, exhaustion, and insomnia that arises from chronic pain and illness.
The underlying concept of Mindfulness Based Pain Management is quite simple but somewhat counter intuitive: when we turn towards our pain (whether it be physical, emotional or mental), we begin to stop resisting it, and instead, we soften compassionately towards it and over time, we actually begin to accept it. Through practising letting go of resistance on the one hand and cultivating acceptance on the other, our pain gradually begins to lessen. The softening of our mind allows the layers of physical tension which have been building in our body around the problems, often for years and probably decades, to dissolve.
Our Osteopaths aims to build a complete picture of you as a person and to treat the root cause of symptoms rather than individual symptoms themselves. As such, our Osteopaths are usually not overly interested in any diagnostic labels which you have been given throughout your medical history; they serve only as a starting point from which the Osteopath will work. Here at the Chronic Pain and Whiplash Centre, we are all about working with what is right with your body = the possibilities and the positives – which your body displays towards healing, once the catalyst’s (SAT and Mindfulness) are in place. This approach yields much more positive results as opposed to succumbing to the various labels you may have been given which only serve to cultivate a negative and limiting effect on the mind and body’s innate ability to heal.
Our Osteopaths require a full medical history to work out when and why your health started to take a downward spiral. By understanding the underlying ‘cause’ of the problem, the root cause of the problem can be treated. If we address the root cause, then problems are also much less likely to reoccur in the future.
“The story of your life, your history, is written in your body.”
– Prof Renzo Molinari DO MROF GOsC (From Crooked Angels by Carol Lee)
Prof Renzo Molinari (Osteopath) was featured in the Britain’s top 100 doctors.The Times Magazine. November 2010. See https://www.molinari-institute-health.org
Upon completion of the SAT and Mindfulness courses you should follow up with regular restrengthening/rebalancing one to one Pilates sessions with a Body Control teacher. We work with Pilates Tornagrain for this purpose. You will be required to practise regularly at home. The more you practise, the greater the long term benefits you will receive. The Pilates input is imperative to strengthening the new neural pathways which will have by now been established through the SAT and Mindfulness input. Pilates will ensure that your health improvements are long term.
It is imperative that the patient is 100% engaged with and committed to the Course of Treatment from the outset. Interruptions or ceasing treatment before the Course is complete opens up a strong possibility of relapse into old health problems. We obviously aim to avoid this. Please ensure that you have a clear run of at least 7 months without any significant periods away or holidays (i.e more than three weeks at a time) from home, any significant medical procedures or any known uncertainties which may compromise you financially to completing the course of treatment. There are many people suffering with Chronic Pain related illnesses. Places on this Treatment Course are in high demand and so we need to ensure that everyone on the course will attend for the duration.
If you leave the Course before completion, you will most likely not benefit from the treatment long term and your health problems will most likely begin to reappear.