Balancing the Body – Spinal Analysis Machine

Dec 03, 2015 by David Tio Topics: Osteopathy

Dr-Tio-Treating-PatientBalance is an important concept in health. We talk about eating a balanced diet and leading a balanced lifestyle. We know that good health depends on the balance of chemicals and hormones in the body as well as the balance of acid and alkaline.

In Chinese and Japanese health philosophy, there is the concept of balancing yin and yang energies. We even talk about balancing the left and right brains for greater well-being and effectiveness.

But is your body balanced? Try this simple test: Lie down with your eyes closed, in a position that you feel is “straight”. Open your eyes and tilt your head up to look at your feet. Are they directly in front of you? Or slanted towards one side.

Here’s another test: Stand on two separate weighing scales!

I did this recently using a Spinal Analysis Machine (SAM®) which is fitted with two, properly aligned weighing scales. I was shocked to see that my right side was eight kilograms heavier than my left.

“That’s worse than carrying a bowling ball with you wherever you go!” said osteopath Dr David Tio of the Osteopathic Treatment Centre, who brought in the SAM®. “When you have an imbalance, it is only natural to feel tired and develop aches and pain.

In 95 percent of the cases, people feel pain on the heavier side. “Some people try to solve their backache by doing back-strengthening exercises,” Dr Tio noted. “But when you have an imbalance, the muscles on one side are more tense and tight. You need to relax the muscles. Strengthening alone will not help.” Dr Tio said most adults he measured ranged from roughly balanced to about 8-kg off. But one young boy he measured recently was off by 50 percent! “His total weight was only 30-kg, yet he was 10-kg on one side and 20-kg on the other,” Dr Tio said.

Usually it is due to poor posture and improper use of the body, such as regularly carrying heavy loads on one side of the body, or sitting at an angle for prolonged periods, such as working at a computer that is placed to one side. After a long time, the muscles on one side of the body might become permanently tensed, the pelvis or hip might tilt or the spine might start to curve.

“After unproductive years of seeing ‘mainstream’ practitioners, 22 of 31 scoliosis sufferers got long-term relief by receiving treatment from an alternative practitioner.”

My case was a pelvic tilt and it was easily corrected. Dr Tio asked me to lie down and he proceeded to manipulate my lower back. All it took was a few painless “clicks” and I felt better. I weighed myself again and the balance was off by only 0.5 kg.

Another cause is an unbalanced way of walking, due either to unequal leg lengths or flat foot. This requires the use of orthotics, which are specially made shoes or in-soles. If not corrected, this could eventually lead to a more serious condition whereby the spine starts to curve. The medical term for this is scoliosis.

While scoliosis may develop because of body imbalance, scoliosis itself may be the cause of imbalance. Some people are born with an abnormal “S” shape spine. Others develop the problem during childhood, due to muscle or bone disease and other, often unknown, causes. In Singapore, school children are screened for scoliosis around the age of 12 to 14, at Primary 6 and Secondary 2.

Dr Tio feels this is too late. “It is more useful to screen children at the age of five to seven, before the skeletal structure is developed,” he said. “If the problem is detected early, the chances of correcting it are much higher.” Medical treatment for scoliosis involves making the person wear a brace around the body or, in more severe cases, surgery to insert a metal rod inside the spine. Most medical doctors insist that such treatment is necessary and that scoliosis during adulthood cannot be corrected.  However, such claims are disputed by health practitioners such as Dr Tio, as well as by people who have recovered from scoliosis.

One such person is Dr Martha Hawes, author of Scoliosis and the Human Spine.  She was diagnosed with “moderately severe thoradic scoliosis” at the age of 11 and her doctors kept warning her that she needed surgery to prevent the condition from worsening. Her doctors also declared that “exercises don’t work”.  However, she managed to keep her condition stable during her youth and, at the age of 40, managed to reverse her scoliosis with the help of her osteopath.

While scoliosis may develop because of body imbalance, scoliosis itself may be the cause of imbalance. Some people are born with an abnormal “S” shape spine. Others develop the problem during childhood, due to muscle or bone disease and other, often unknown, causes. In Singapore, school children are screened for scoliosis around the age of 12 to 14, at Primary 6 and Secondary 2.

Dr Tio feels this is too late. “It is more useful to screen children at the age of five to seven, before the skeletal structure is developed,” he said. “If the problem is detected early, the chances of correcting it are much higher.” Medical treatment for scoliosis involves making the person wear a brace around the body or, in more severe cases, surgery to insert a metal rod inside the spine. Most medical doctors insist that such treatment is necessary and that scoliosis during adulthood cannot be corrected.  However, such claims are disputed by health practitioners such as Dr Tio, as well as by people who have recovered from scoliosis.

Dr Hawes, a research scientist at Arizona University, decided to study the subject more deeply. She uncovered about 10,000 scientific papers on it and, after reviewing them over three years, concluded: “Statements claiming that scoliosis cannot be stabilized or reversed without bracing or surgery are not, and never have been, supported by scientific data. On the contrary… scoliosis can be reduced if not eliminated using non-surgical approaches.”

Balancing the Body – Spinal Analysis Machine

In Backache Relief, researchers Arthur C Klein and David Sobel write: “After unproductive years of seeing ‘mainstream’ practitioners, 22 of 31 scoliosis sufferers got long-term relief by receiving treatment from an alternative practitioner.”

Out of eight scoliosis sufferers the authors interviewed who tried yoga, “100 percent reported long term relief”.

So whether your body imbalance is mild or serious, whether you suffer slight discomfort or severe back pain, whether you are young or old, it is not too late to do something about it.

Dr Tio feels this is too late. “It is more useful to screen children at the age of five to seven, before the skeletal structure is developed,” he said. “If the problem is detected early, the chances of correcting it are much higher.” Medical treatment for scoliosis involves making the person wear a brace around the body or, in more severe cases, surgery to insert a metal rod inside the spine. Most medical doctors insist that such treatment is necessary and that scoliosis during adulthood cannot be corrected.  However, such claims are disputed by health practitioners such as Dr Tio, as well as by people who have recovered from scoliosis.

Dr Hawes, a research scientist at Arizona University, decided to study the subject more deeply. She uncovered about 10,000 scientific papers on it and, after reviewing them over three years, concluded: “Statements claiming that scoliosis cannot be stabilized or reversed without bracing or surgery are not, and never have been, supported by scientific data. On the contrary… scoliosis can be reduced if not eliminated using non-surgical approaches.”

Balancing the Body – Spinal Analysis Machine

In Backache Relief, researchers Arthur C Klein and David Sobel write: “After unproductive years of seeing ‘mainstream’ practitioners, 22 of 31 scoliosis sufferers got long-term relief by receiving treatment from an alternative practitioner.”

Out of eight scoliosis sufferers the authors interviewed who tried yoga, “100 percent reported long term relief”.

So whether your body imbalance is mild or serious, whether you suffer slight discomfort or severe back pain, whether you are young or old, it is not too late to do something about it.