Chew on it: Pain in the

Founder, Richard Chew

Pain and I have been long-time companions. For the past few years, the pain has resided in my neck. I’ve tried regular massages, acupuncture, and osteopathy. I sometimes had all three therapies in a week. At best, I got mild relief for the rest of the day. I was at a stage where I didn’t know what life was like without constant pain.

I was chatting regularly in the weights area with Steven Lockstone, a member and chiropractor on level three in the Elixr building. He suggested I see him for treatments. I’ve long been sceptical of chiropractic medicine, but I thought I would give it a try. Steven first sent me to get an x-ray, which showed the problem in my spine. He then suggested treatments three times a week, and despite my scepticism, I gave it a go.

I am very pleased to report after 2 months of treatment from Steven, I am no longer in pain. It is pure bliss! As I often suggest to others – keep trying different therapies until something works. I applied this same strategy when suffering numerous bouts of depression. Many psychologists and psychiatrists were unsuccessful in treating me. Fortunately, in 2000 I found a practice called Journey Therapy which lifted my depression completely in one intensive session. Since then, I have not suffered from depression even though I have had some traumatic triggers.

When I had chronic neck issues, sleeping was a major issue as most pillows aggravated the pain. I went on a quest for the perfect pillow. There are now so many different shapes and sizes, with materials ranging from feathers to memory foam or latex etc. After trying 12 different pillows, I finally found the best one for me, made from latex and with a high profile and neck support.

It was worth the time and cost to find it, as sleep is extremely important for our health. During sleep, among other critical processes, our brain repairs and restores – this is essential for our mental and physical well-being.

With my bad back (three herniated discs), finding the right mattress was also a challenge due to the bulk and cost factors. Similarly to a pillow, having the right mattress depends upon sleeping position, body weight, and anatomy.

Some people swear by the Tempur memory foam mattress. But it did not suit me because it retained too much heat for my high-revving body. I even tried a hybrid, which combines a top layer of foam, memory foam or latex sitting on top of springs. No joy for me.

My perfect mattress is a high-quality old-fashioned spring mattress made by Sealy Posturepedic. The benefits I’ve experienced include no more back pain and many family members enjoying my hand-me-down mattresses!

Finally, I sleep with a bolster. As I am a side sleeper, having one leg and one arm on top of the bolster maintains a neutral spine position. Promoting good alignment reduces stress on the spine and muscles, which leads to better sleep, and this brings a well-rested body and a refreshed mind!

Sleeping with a bolster is very popular in Southeast Asia, where it is also called a Dutch wife. I love my Dutch wife as she does not complain or tell me what to do. I also introduced it to our Pilates Director, Rachel Crompton, when she was pregnant many moons ago. It has now replaced her partner.