July 2011

Since our meeting in June, we have lost our two oldest and longest standing members.
Beattie Pepper and May Copping died within 10 days of each other, and members of our Branch had attended both funerals.
In paying tribute to them, our President Iris Hitchin said that they were both invaluable members, as they knew so much, including the WI and the running of the branch. They had both been committee members and undertook various tasks at meetings. Among other duties, May had been responsible for organising the speakers at our meetings, and Beattie had supplied the birthday posies for members.
Our meeting started with the singing of Jerusalem and a two minute silence in memory of these two lovely ladies who will be greatly missed.

Our speaker this month was Clifford Bull, an osteomyologist who has practices in both Felixstowe and Woodbridge.
Mr Bull qualified as an osteopath in 1994, but after a while realised that membership of the Osteopaths professional body narrowed the treatments which he could give, and he had become interested in widening his knowledge and his expertise to include disciplines which came under the remit of an osteomyologist. He explained that an osteopath is the study of the structure of the body and the way it works, and deals with the manipulation of the skeleton, while the word ‘osteomyology’ includes ‘osteo ( bones ) myo ( muscles ) and ‘ology’ ( study ). He therefore considered, along with several colleagues, that changing his practice would allow him to treat the whole body, skeleton as well as soft tissue. So he resigned from the Osteopaths’ professional body and became an osteomyologist.
Most of Mr Bull’s patients are of mature years. He told us that this is because, when we are young, things tend to ‘bounce back into place’!
Before treating anyone, it is important for the practitioner to know the patient’s background and medical history so that appropriate treatment can be given. Manipulation is not suitable for everyone. For example, it is not used on osteoporotic patients. Massage is only one of the treatments available, and it used to relieve aches and pains. Mr Bull demonstrated the use of a small hand held machine to massage the backs and necks of some willing members, who all reported that they had found the experience very relaxing and enjoyable.
Mr Bull practices acupuncture in cases where manipulation is not an option.
In some cases surgery gives a very good outcome, and would be a much quicker and permanent solution to a problem.
Exercise is very effective in lots of conditions, providing it is the right kind of exercise for a particular symptom. A combination of exercise and massage keeps ligaments and tendons stretched and working well, and Mr Bull showed us simple massaging techniques which we can use on our own hands to keep the fingers and thumbs in good working order.
And did you know the importance of looking after your feet? Problems with feet may have knock on effects to the knees and hips, and may even be the cause of persistent headaches. In many cases, good made to measure shoe inserts may be the answer to rectifying the underlying condition which is the cause of the problem.
The use of ibuprofen and gels can effectively relieve aches and pains and it has been shown that those suffering from asthma can be helped by learning a good breathing technique.
Mr Bull summed up his practice by saying that osteomyology aims to ‘put the body in a position where it can heal itself’.
The Advertising Agency has stringent guidelines now, and an osteomyologist is not allowed to claim that he or she can cure or treat patients. They can only claim that they may be able to alleviate symptoms.

Maddy Rhodes