Did you know that physio can sometimes help people who aren’t actually in pain? One of the things I help people with relatively regularly is “brain fog” and fatigue. It’s not necessarily the primary symptom people seek me out for (though it sometimes is!) but I’ve happily got quite used to my patients telling me that, after treatment, they feel lighter, more energetic and as though a fog has lifted – so I thought I’d have a go at explaining why.
Many people who suffer with brain fog and fatigue have been diagnosed with other symptoms and syndromes. I’ve helped (not cured, but helped) people who’ve been diagnosed with issues including Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and burnout. So how does my treatment make a difference?
I think one reason my treatment helps is that it’s not all about the physical side. When I work with my patients, we start by discussing the foundation layer of my Health & Performance Pyramid, and we look at their sleep, stress, hydration and nutrition. Optimising these factors can make a big difference to the health and metabolism of tissues such as muscle, bones, nerves, gut and brain: it’s all about getting nutrients in and waste products out, efficiently.
Many people with brain fog and fatigue already have these things 100% covered by the time they come to see me; but many do not. It can be a vicious circle: being overwhelmed with stress and exhaustion can make it very difficult to take the time to really look after your health, and not looking after your health can lead to overwhelm and exhaustion. So we have the discussion, and hopefully either we’ll discover that you’ll have these things sorted out, or I might have some tips to help you manage your health more effectively.
Alignment and movement patterns
We then look at your physical alignment and the efficiency of your movement patterns. When your body isn’t stacked neatly, like a Jenga tower straight out of the box, it’s not perfectly balanced. And the less easily you’re able to control your balance, the harder you have to work in order to do the smallest of everyday tasks. If you’re off balance (which could be caused by tight muscles, stiff joints, untrained balance sensors, physical or emotional pain, loss of concentration due to tiredness or dehydration or stress… the list goes on) then holding you upright takes more energy, which means you have less energy to expend on the rest of your life… which can be stressful and lead to brain fog and fatigue. The more efficiently you rest and move, the less energy it takes, and the less stress you place on your system.
Central nervous system and gut
Another thing I often find when I’m working with people with brain fog and fatigue is that their gut, and/or their central nervous system, can feel “wired”. This is a tough thing to put into words; but after many years of touching people’s bodies professionally, you get to know what “normal” tone feels like. People with brain fog and fatigue often don’t feel quite normal to touch. I suspect this is something to do with changes in the electromagnetic fields that we all have; but it almost feels to me that people with brain fog or fatigue are vibrating at a faster rate. I’ve trained in Upledger Craniosacral Therapy for the past few years, and have also taken courses with Jean-Pierre Barral, a French osteopath who specialises in visceral manipulation, or using the hands to treat the organs such as the intestines and the stomach. I’ve learned that I can often help to relieve brain fog and fatigue by using these techniques to calm down the nervous system and gut.
Putting it all together
Combining these things – optimising tissue health, calming the nervous system, and then focusing on restoring alignment and balance, and teaching movement patterns – is not a panacea, and I don’t have perfect results with every patient. If you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, I can’t cure that – you have a connective tissue disorder. If you have chronic fatigue, then it’s likely that the mitochondria, the batteries that give energy to your cells, are damaged and not working properly. I can’t cure that either.
Managing the symptoms of chronic conditions is not a quick fix – it requires consistency of action and lots of rest; and in many cases you’ll also need the help of other specialists such as nutritionists, doctors and talking therapists. We have to be realistic and I don’t want to make excessive claims. But at the same time, my approach has helped many people – such as Bethany – to have their “brain fog” lifted, and to regain a higher quality of life.
So if this resonates with you, and you’d like to see whether my treatment might be able to help with your brain fog and fatigue symptoms, then please call my team on 0207 175 0150, and they’ll get you booked in for an assessment session.