Bridge to Health Blog
Bridge to Health Blog

Fighting Work Stress by Calming the Sympathetic Nervous System

Written by Mathieu Rossano   Posted in:Osteopathy   July 5, 2011

Stress is almost an inevitable consequence of modern life, yet few people have any practical tools with which to manage it on a routine basis.

Beyond the particulars of each specific patient presentation, one simple form of treatment stands out in the care of most, if not all, patients betraying signs of stress: that of calming (manual therapists will say “inhibiting”) the body’s sympathetic nervous system – a.k.a.the “fight and flight” system – which tends to be in overdrive at that point.

It is a simple form of treatment involving gentle but firm finger pressure on specific spinal intersections, it can be taught to anyone in the space of five to ten minutes, and most significantly it works.  Many patients will report a sudden feeling of being “steadied”, and will recount that after treatment, they had their first night of good sleep in a long spell…

It works not just for adults, but also with children.  An exhausted mother recently brought me her “hyperactive” 8-year old son, whose energy appeared never to flag, and who would rarely go to bed before his parents as a result.  My diagnosis was one of a strained and over-stimulated nervous system, irritated both emotionally (his younger brother had just been diagnosed with type I diabetes) and physically (by a diet dominated by fat, sugar and processed carbohydrates).

During the initial consultation, I treated the youngster’s sympathetic system, but also gave his mother a short tutorial, as well as providing some relevant dietary advice.  A week later, the mother reported her son was demanding treatment every evening, and falling asleep at 7.30pm sharp.

If you have any questions relative to this blog or this form of treatment, simply contact us by phone on 020 8566 0767 (Ealing) / 01895 2000 50 (Uxbridge) or by email at

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