Persistent Symptom Principles

Samuel Maddock Health (SMH) Principles for Resolving Persistent Symptoms

The products and consultation options available from Samuel Maddock Health each follow our 3 key principles, and we use these to help you resolve your persistent symptoms. All of these may apply to you, or maybe just one. We decide that together. Also, if we need to consult other practitioners such as your GP, or a specialist, we can do that too.


Your Body Outside - In

Using this principle, we learn how your body is functioning on the outside.

We consider the mechanical factors that may be contributing to your symptoms, such as how well your spine and extremities are functioning. We consider your posture and the movement patterns of your entire body. We can also consider additional factors such as the presence of muscular tension, the influence that previous trauma and injuries may be having upon your symptoms, as well as observing the way that you breathe.

These factors can be assessed and addressed during osteopathic consultations.

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Your Body Inside - Out

Using this principle, we learn how your body is functioning on the inside and how this may be contributing to your symptoms.

We consider the function of the cells in your body, plus your internal organs and their associated systems, such as your digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system and many more.

We consider other factors too, such as how well your body is creating energy, how well it is able to heal and regulate inflammation, and whether there are any nutritional or lifestyle components that may be contributing to your symptoms. These factors can be assessed during a functional medicine consultation. Key elements of this principle also feature in the Osteopathy Hybrid consultation.

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Your Body Mode - Safety/Threat

Using this principle, we learn about your autonomic nervous system and the ‘mode’ of your body.

Whilst this may sound complicated, in many ways this concept is the simplest of the 3 principles. However, in my experience, it is also the most overlooked when attempting to resolve persistent symptoms. In assessing your body ‘mode’ we ask one key question; is your body in a ‘safe’ mode, or is it in a ‘threat’ mode?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is comprised of two systems;

  1. sympathetic nervous system (the ‘fight or flight’ response that our body employs in times of stress and threat).
  2. parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s rest and repair response).

The ANS orchestrates our body’s survival response, which is essential for our continued existence. This generally serves us very well. However, the problem arises when our ‘threat’ response begins acting inappropriately, which can occur as a result of various forms of trauma, big or small. In this situation our ANS becomes out of balance and our body is unable to switch off the ‘threat’ mode when the danger has passed. This state is known as ‘autonomic nervous system dysregulation’ and it can be extremely significant in the case of persistent symptoms.

When we assess your body ‘mode’, we can use various approaches, such as the polyvagal theory, which was developed by Professor Stephen Porges in 1994. He identified a hierarchy of functional states linked to the evolution of our autonomic nervous system. This hierarchy ranged from a withdrawal state (lowest), to energy mobilisation (fight/flight response), and finally to a connection with others state (highest). We use this theory to help understand the autonomic nervous system ‘mode’ that your body is currently in, and also to help identify situations where this may change. The end result being that we better understand the role that this may be playing in your persistent symptoms.

The important thing to remember is that there are clues we can look for when assessing your body ‘mode’. These include whether there has been a reduction in your pain tolerance and an increase in the amount of tension in your muscles, or perhaps a change to your breathing pattern and body posture. These factors and more can be considered and addressed during both osteopathic and functional medicine consultations.

If you are searching for answers and not sure where to begin,
we would love to hear from you.