Sophrology is relatively new and hence may be less well known in some places than others. However it is fairly well recognised and popular in many European countries. It is now a well established discipline in continental Europe, especially France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. More and more health insurance companies in France and Switzerland now include cover for Sophrology sessions as part of any comprehensive health insurance plan. Sophrology schools are now opening in the English speaking world, and Sophrology is recognized by the UK Institute of Complementary and Natural Medicine
Although Sophrology helps us feel at peace, this does not involve in-depth analysis as with Psychology. Sophrology allows us to reflect and adapt our behaviors as our awareness grows. The transformation arises from repeated practice – a very dynamic way to engage mind, body and emotions. Sophrology suits those who want to solve painful issues or manage challenging situations, but without an in-depth analytical approach. Sophrology and Psychology can, of course, be used to complement each other.
Mindfulness helps us learn to live in the present, to engage with the now. Sophrology does this too. It also allows us to explore and find peace, to draw the positives from our past and prepare for the future – because being at one with the past, present and future are all important. Sophrology uses specific movement and breathing techniques as well as visualization, especially when preparing for major events. Sophrology is very good for people who find it difficult to meditate. It offers many strategies to keep the mind still and present, as we tune into our inner resources to address particular life or health issues.
All approaches offer different benefits and it is for the individual to decide which might suit them best. The power of Sophrology lies in its combined approach – working on body and mind together. Being in a state of dynamic relaxation makes it easier to focus the mind, enabling you to examine your physical and mental being at a profound level. You learn to take responsibility for your own life and health and how to deal with a range of issues and symptoms.
That depends on you. Clear benefits are usually seen after only a few sessions. You might want to book a session to see how it feels and talk to about what you want to achieve.
It’s very common to be distracted by thoughts and emotions at the beginning of a session. The more you practice, the quicker and easier it becomes to reach a deep, comfortable and relaxed state. With regular training, you’ll be able to do this, even in a noisy environment. You will be provided with a recording of the practical time of the session to help you practice at home.
It is totally optional. It is up to you to decide if you want to share your experiences. However, at the end of your session, you will be invited to write or articulate your experience as a way of developing your awareness.
Sophrology does not involve active exercise although you are likely to do simple breathing exercises and gentle movements. There is no need for special clothing; just come as you are. You are welcome to wear very casual / comfortable clothes if you wish.
- Back pain
- Neck pain / Headache
- Shoulder pain
- Occupational strain / Postural strain
- Sports Injuries
- Post-trauma / Post-operative rehabilitation
- Muscular / Joint aches, pains and stiffness
- Chest pain and restriction associated with breathing disorders e.g.: Asthma, respiratory tract infections
- Back pain associated with pregnancy
- Otitis media
- Menstrual problems
- Digestive disorders
Osteopathy is a type of complementary therapy. Like all complementary therapies, osteopathy is not available on the NHS in all parts of the country. Even in places where osteopathy is available, there may be certain constraints which may limit the scope of service received.
It will be up to your local clinical commissioning group (CCG) to decide whether to allocate NHS funding for osteopathic treatment. You can speak to your GP or CCG to find out whether osteopathy is available in your area.
During your first osteopathy session, the osteopath will ask you about your symptoms and your general health before carrying out a physical examination.
The osteopath will use their hands to find areas of weakness, tenderness, restriction or strain within your body, particularly the spine. You will probably need to remove some clothing from the area being examined, and you may be asked to perform simple movements.
You should then be able to discuss whether osteopathy can help treat the problem and, if so, what the treatment programme should involve.
Osteopaths are trained to identify when a patient needs to be referred to a GP or needs further tests, such as MRI scans or blood tests to help diagnose the problem.
An osteopath aims to restore the normal function and stability of the joints to help the body heal itself. They use their hands to treat your body in a variety of ways, using a mixture of gentle and forceful techniques. These include:
- massage – to release and relax muscles
- stretching stiff joints
- articulation – where your joints are moved through their natural range of motion
- high-velocity thrusts – short, sharp movements to the spine, which normally produce a clicking noise similar to cracking your knuckles
These techniques reduce pain, improve movement and encourage blood flow.
Osteopathy is not usually painful, although there may be some discomfort if you’re having treatment for a painful or inflamed injury. If you feel any pain during treatment, tell your osteopath immediately.
In general, the first appointment can last up to an hour or longer. Further treatments last around 30-40 minutes. Your course of treatment will depend on your symptoms. In the case of lower back pain, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends that treatment should include up to nine sessions over 12 weeks.
Typically no. Although on occasions there may be some mild aching after treatment. Under all circumstances the Osteopath will offer guidance and explain the treatment in advance to highlight the steps to be taken and where/when the treatment may induce any sensation of pain.
If you have any concerns around the treatment you received it is always advisable in the first instance to highlight your dissatisfaction directly with the Osteopath in question and explain the reasons courteously. If subsequently you still feel the problem has not been addressed appropriately then you are free to contact the General Osteopathic Council who can advise you further.