It’s a ‘gift’ to be able to stop peo­ple’s pain

No two days are the same for Nigel Stain­ton. The os­teopath treats ev­ery­one from new­borns to oc­to­ge­nar­i­ans and loves ev­ery minute. He sat down with Lau­ren Pri­est­ley to chat about the in­ner work­ings of the pro­fes­sion.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

There hasn’t been a day in nearly two decades that Nigel Stain­ton didn’t want to go to work.

The Glen­dowie man has been prac­tis­ing os­teopa­thy in Mt Eden for more than 16 years.

‘‘It’s not a grind at all, it’s a joy. I re­cently saw a pa­tient who’s work­ing through lots and lots of pain and he told me the next day it’s the calmest he has ever felt. What a gift to be able to help some­one like that.’’

Stain­ton says the pro­fes­sion came to him out of the blue when he was in train­ing to be­come a pro­fes­sional ath­lete in the United King­dom. He was 20 when the idea hit him.

‘‘I was prac­tis­ing javelin and all of a sud­den I said to my­self out loud, ‘I’m go­ing to stop mess­ing around as an ath­lete and be­come an os­teopath’. I’d never even thought of it.’’

At 33 he was study­ing at the Euro­pean Col­lege of Os­teopa­thy.

He had al­ready been to the Los An­ge­les and Seoul Olympics and was ranked 11th in the UK for javelin.

He never gave the sport up and for the last five years Stain­ton has been ranked in the top five world­wide for the 50 to 54 age group. His ex­pe­ri­ences as a top ath­lete have helped him in his work.

‘‘I could never see the body as fun­da­men­tally sep­a­rate to the mind. It all comes back to be­ing an ath­lete. When you re­alise that Olympic weightlift­ing is one of the most men­tal sports in the world, it’s just in­cred­i­ble.’’

Os­teopa­thy is based on the idea that well­be­ing de­pends on bones, mus­cles and con­nec­tive tis­sues work­ing to­gether in uni­son.

The holis­tic ap­proach to healthcare started back in the 1870s and was revo­lu­tion­ary in the med­i­cal world, Stain­ton says.

Al­ter­na­tive medicine was not a for­eign con­cept to Stain­ton af­ter liv­ing with an acupunc­tur­ist and watch­ing his brother be­come a herbal­ist.

‘‘What some peo­ple call al­ter­na­tive medicine was mainstream for me. Once I started my train­ing I never looked back re­ally.’’

He treats ev­ery­thing from the com­mon cold to sprained an­kles and chronic back pain. A lot of the nig­gles come from peo­ple be­ing over­worked and not tak­ing time to de-stress, he says.

‘‘Peo­ple are self-heal­ing but they need the right en­vi­ron­ment. Most peo­ple have stopped go­ing for a walk in na­ture or truly re­lax­ing be­cause they are all tied up think­ing ‘ do more’.

‘‘If they were ath­letes you would say they were over­trained but peo­ple just get over-lived, re­ally. The ath­let­ics teaches you to do more and then you rest and re­cover, oth­er­wise you burn out.’’

Photo: LAU­REN PRI­EST­LEY

No grind: Nigel Stain­ton is in his el­e­ment treat­ing pa­tients.

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