Sean Johnson: Structural Medicine
Natural and Manual Therapy Clinician
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
Etienne de Grellet
What I do
Structural Medicine uses alternate neuromusculoskeletal approaches to healthcare in which treatment is mediated through the soft and connective tissues of the body. My approach combines osteopathic principles with acupoint theory and aims to correct mechanical and neural dysfunction.
Each individual treatment is based on holistic appreciation of the systems of the body as well as its complex interrelationships and is intended to stimulate and facilitate the body's innate, natural capacity to self regulate and heal.
What to expect from treatment
The skin is no more separated from the brain than the surface of a lake is separate from its depths; the two are different locations in a continuous medium... The brain is a single functional unit, from cortex to fingertips to toes. To touch the surface is to stir the depths. - Deane Juhan
Treatment generally lasts about 30 to 40 minutes (sometimes shorter, sometimes longer). Children and babies treatments are generally shorter. It is performed fully clothed (wearing light, loose clothing or gym wear) and makes use of rolling movements of varying depth and pressure on the body. The speed and pressures of moves affect different mechanoreceptors (Golgi organ, Paccini, Ruffini, interstitials, muscle spindles) in the connective tissue of the body, creating sensory information for the Central Nervous System to act upon.
Something unique to the work is the use of a therapeutic pause to allow the process of interoception, whereby we allow the CNS to become sensitive to stimuli originating from inside the body. Sometimes this stimuli awareness is conscious and sometimes sub-conscious. During this pause I give the body a chance to respond to treatment and I leave the treatment room for a short period. On a busy clinic day I move into another treatment room to work on someone else and then return to assess and see what your body has done during the break. On a quiet day I leave the treatment room and have a sip of coffee before returning to you.
Treatment is holistic, focusing on trying to find root cause dysfunction within the body and not just treating symptoms. The body is assessed as a whole, treated as a whole and allowed to respond as a whole. Often the area of pain doesn’t need treatment as this is really the body’s attempt to find balance or is a compensation pattern.
Treatment is not just for an acute injury or problem but for general wellbeing and stress reduction as well, increasing the body’s adaptive ranges and allowing the body to return to homeostasis.
After treatment it is advisable not to perform any strenuous exercise for 24 to 48 hours, increase your water intake and prevent being sedentary for too long. Treatment is generally spaced between 4 and 7 days apart (this is however flexible under certain conditions) and it’s advisable to complete 3 treatment session for the full benefit of treatment (again this is also condition dependent and sometimes requires less or more sessions).
“Sean’s holistic approach to treatment and diagnosis - considering the body as an integrated system - is a breath of fresh air in relation to the specialised, blinkered world of modern medicine. He thinks outside of the proverbial box and isn’t afraid to consider the unconventional as it relates to human movement and sporting performance. He therefore offers immense value to our readers with his views, theories and opinions. For these reasons he is a regular contributor to all of our titles and his contributions are highly valued and respected. He is a thought pioneer in an industry that is constantly challenging conventional wisdom and various commonly held out-dated and even patently false beliefs.”