2021 is the year that one of my childhood dreams becomes a reality "space tourism." Citizens just like you and me will be able to take a trip into space with regular flights to above the Kármán line and back offered by among others Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin and SpaceX.
I already imagine myself up there one day viewing the earth from above. Ok, it is still a dream as I can't afford the ticket just yet, but I can imagine that one-day prices will have become more democratic and I will be able to afford it.
Journeying to space it will give your generation the planetary perspective on which the future of humanity rests that we're all in this together fellow travellers on Spaceship Earth.
Maybe by that time, I will not only be able to spend a few minutes in space but a few days on NASA's International Space Station (ISS), Orion Span's Aurora Station or the Gateway Foundation's Von Braun Space Hotel.
Needless to say, but we are truly living in an amazing time in human history where technology is offering us opportunities that only a few years ago were thought impossible.
Professionally as a forward-thinking Osteopath and Body-centred Stress Coach, I do ask myself the question: "How will the body deal with this unprecedented stressful experience?" It is not because it is an amazing experience that it isn't without stress and stress when not managed will have an impact on the private astronauts' health and physical, psychological, social and spiritual (biopsychosociospiritual) well-being?
The main physical-stress the body needs to deal with is the sudden acceleration to 3 - 4g followed by the few minutes of microgravity to then again be confronted with 3 or 4g on the way down.
There is also the increased anxiety and excitement stress... tensing muscles, increasing heart rate, blood pressure, changes in vascularisation, digestion, hormone levels (increased adrenaline and cortisol...)
Not to forget: "How will body, mind and spirit cope with the overview perspective?" Seeing the earth for the first time in its entirety is an unprecedented experience in our evolution. This overview effect might be life-changing for some in a positive way, but for others, it might leave a devastating effect when suddenly faced with the reality that the earth is but a tiny, fragile ball of life, "hanging in the void", shielded and nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere.
I see it very often in my practice how life-changes or extreme emotions have an impact on my patient's health and well-being. This impact goes from neck, shoulder or back pain to mood swings, depression, short-temperedness and concentration loss. Research on life-changes has been done and led to the creation of the Holmes and Rahe rating scale. When you add up all units for each event experienced to you in the last year and you come to 300 units the likelihood of becoming ill or having an accident is increased with 70%.
So knowing how change and experiences can have an effect on health and well-being (in my practice 3 to 4 months after a main good or bad life-changing event), I wonder how many units of stress a space tourist will have experienced preparing for and during a flight (so over a period of lets say 3 months)?
What if for example, the spine is not aligned, a vertebrae, disc or rib is just a tiny bit out of place? You won't be aware of this, there is no pain, but what will happen when you suddenly the acceleration to 3g confronts you with a force equal to a cow sitting on your chest?
So, you've had the most exhilarating ride and experience of your life, you saw the earth from above but the acute exposure to stress has - without you knowing or feeling it - led to long lasting adaptive changes in hormone levels (adrenaline and cortisol) and stress-susceptible brain regions, like the amygdala or hippocampus? Over time you will experience physical discomfort and behavioural changes not for the better of mankind. Just look at the behaviour of someone who is stressed.
All of these questions are going through my mind... You may think I'm exaggerating, it is all speculation Tom... but my experience as an osteopath tells me otherwise and this needs to be addressed or at least researched.
I believe it to be essential that private astronauts and space tourists (that are not rigorously tested and trained) not only train for their experience of a lifetime, but also receive appropriate person- and body-centred Stress Coaching.
Personally I think it makes sense to assure that the private astronauts' journey includes body-centred stress coaching. It will make the journey even more enjoyable and rewarding as it helps the body towards a dynamic balance to cope with the extra stressors put on it before and after 'the' flight of a lifetime.
I want to address this. I want to be involved in helping private astronauts have the experience of a lifetime in the best conditions and have mankind benefit from their experience afterwards. I want to train others in this approach and improve my approach learning form others.
To be continued.
Osteopath, Body-centred Stress Coach for Space Tourists 😉, Speaker, Author of "Futurize Yourself"
Yes, the holiday season is here. After many months of hard work, the time has come for you to have a well-deserved break, to relax, unwind and recharge the batteries. However, for a group of people, the start of the holidays isn’t always as relaxing as they hope.
Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself you’re finally off work and on your first day at your ideal holiday destination a severe headache, a cold, fever and flu-like symptoms start. Worse, just then a shooting pain in your back that has you in its grip and you’re bedridden for days.
This phenomenon is generally known as ‘leisure sickness’ and overcomes more often within the first days of being off work to those with high levels of stress.
Although not much is known about this phenomenon, most people attributed their condition to difficulties with the transition from work to non-work, stress associated with travel and vacation, as well as work-related stress and personality characteristics.
One of the many explanations researchers have suggested is that physiological processes play a key role in the development of these health problems.
One study demonstrated that in workers with a high workload, the production of adrenaline was not only increased during working hours but also in the evening hours and the rest periods after finishing work. In other words, when the relaxation response had to set in for the body to unwind, recuperate and regenerate it didn’t.
When this goes on for a day or two, there isn’t a problem. However, when this is weeks or even months on end and your immune system is chronically inhibited because of the increased production of the stress hormone cortisol, your heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension are permanently increased due to excess adrenaline production, and well yes illness will eventually set in.
But it could also be that last minute acute stress has just given you that extra boost you needed and then when the external demands suddenly stop the body fails to inhibit the counter-pressure in time, then this might result in a situation of being physiologically off balance, accompanied by an increased susceptibility to illness.
Whatever the reason 'Leisure Sickness' can be avoided by minding your body before it reminds you. Regular breaks at work, breathing exercises, taking enough 'YOU' time, having enough sleep, and so many other practices can help you.
When all of that is not enough and you feel your body, mind and soul needs a helping hand than don't hesitate to make an Body-centred Stress Coaching appointment.
Be good to you, always.
Osteopath & Body-centred Stress Coach, Brussels
Author of "Futurize Yourself"
The central aim of osteopathy – is to get your body back into balance and remove barriers to good health manually. While many techniques are used to to this the treatment itself is based on 4 principles which are the essence of osteopathy:
Historically, osteopathy has been around since the late 19th century, when it was discovered by an American physician by the name of Andrew Taylor Still. Since then, it has become an increasingly popular treatment around the world.
What makes osteopathy special is that it is a holistic approach to health and never work on the symptom alone but try to find and treat underlying cause. For example shoulder pain can have as a cause working 8h a day on the computer, but also stress of a twisted ankle that hasn't healed properly. With a verbal and palpatory anamneses the osteopath will try to find out and treat both even if that treatment means giving stress management advise .
Palpatory anamnesis means that the osteopath will use a heightened sense of touch, to assess your body and find points of strain and weakness. He or she will then choose a treatment plan that suits your body’s needs and physical condition.
Problems an osteopath can help you with
Osteopaths tend to treat chronic or acute musculo-skeletal problems. However, more and more it is showing to be a very good in offering deep relaxation, stress relief and is therefore highly recommended for prevention and to cope with the demands of life (work and private).
Want to know more about osteopathy or how I can help you? Send me an email or call 0472399779
As an Osteopath and Body-centred Stress Coach I have 12 years of experience and still everyday I'm marvelled with the amazing results body-work can provide not only for physical complaints but also on a psychological level.