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The last stage on your journey to health is to ask yourself how you can maintain your health and wellness gains? As an osteopath I both train regularly with a strength and conditioning coach a minimum of twice per week and get a quarterly session with a clinical colleague when I’m well. Why bother?

If I don’t have a regular spot for training it simply vanishes in the long list of busyness that envelopes our lives and very quickly all training can simply evaporate into thin air. The moment is lost and then the habit is lost. I no longer have severe joint pain and I am fitter and stronger now than I was 15 years ago and I value that dearly.

The discipline of seeing a colleague on a regular basis allows me a moment to reflect upon how much balance there is in my life. There are periods when balance has to go out the window to achieve an important deadline or goal. The value in a regular review in clinic is to get feedback on small changes that I can make that have a cumulative effect and to be challenged to take a step back and reflect upon my priorities and current work life balance. I value the honest advice from a colleague, the peace and quiet, the time for me and the sense of well-being that I get from my osteopathic and acupuncture treatment. If it’s good enough for me, it’s probably good enough for you too!

So what would a maintenance programme look like? Well, it’s as individual as you are, but it’s likely to involve the following: a scheduled visit to the clinic once every eight or twelve weeks when you are well, an exercise programme, nutritional advice and a treatment.

Your scheduled visit allows time for you to explain any niggles you’re experiencing and to address them. Interestingly the range of ‘niggles’ goes well beyond the purely physical eg one patient has gone back to her employer and resolved her problems via occupational health and personnel becoming involved in looking at work flow and office furniture, another patient has started to make some major lifestyle changes to help her unexplained infertility, yet another patient just comes in so she can have 45 minutes to herself with her iPod and acupuncture as an oasis in a very demanding life running her successful business. When asked why they bother to come for regular maintenance treatment they’ve all said in different words ‘Because I feel better for doing this for myself’.