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Shiatsu Blog: How your hip joint health is linked to your gut health!



I knew in April I was going to have a go at a detox for my liver, this is a major thing for me as I love my food, and I love a lot of inflammatory foods too: Chocolate, Bread, Cheese,Wine! I knew I needed this detox to sort out some creeping menopausal symptoms but what I didn’t know was that as I went on my little journey that I’d find out how your hip joint health is linked to your gut health!


Your hip joints in middle age

Just as I started the detox I went to a talk about the Menopause; and chaps you don’t need to switch off as there’s valid info here for you to! Amongst all the messages that came out a major one was how modern day high stress levels, plus hormones, plus processed food with high sugars/carbs (ie pasta, biscuits, bread, sauces, alcohol etc) become a toxic mix and create more fat around the middle of your body, the dangerous area, viscal fat where it sits in the organs and then messes up their functionality further.

The modern day high stresses have changed over the generations, and we now live on caffeine fuelled adrenalin, and again I know this has been me for years, but the additional releasing of Cortisol (a hormone) in both men and women is unhealthy issue #1.

Leading our busy lives means we can’t all eat natural food all day, so processed foods get into the gut and inflame the small intestinal lining, this in turn affects the intestine from extracting as much nutrition as it can. So not only is the food lacking in nutrition but the body isn’t functioning as well to extract it; issue #2.

Fibre – Remember the Bran Flakes and Fruit & Fibre Ads? We just don’t see them anymore, and we’re not getting enough fibre in our system to regulate our gut health. It’s a vast subject but to channel it down to a couple of sentences, fibre does 2 things, it keeps the large intestine in good working shape and aids the gut bacteria to be varied and bountiful. The better the gut bacteria the better your health. You get fibre from from things that are tough to eat and not so pleasant – think fruit pith and broccoli stems. It’s why fruit juice without the substance of the fruit is bad; all the sugar without the healthy part, this is issue #3.

The major issues we have with our food and health right now are:

  1. Too much of the wrong hormone circulating in our body, and this mixes with carbs to retain as viscal fat

  2. Lack of nutrition in food plus impaired Small Intestine function means we’re not getting goodness into our blood and it becomes too toxic, this leads to low energy, achy muscles

  3. Too much sugar is in our system day to day, not passing through with fibre and being processed incorrectly; turning into hard to shift fat around the middle.

You know the NHS is having a crisis over Diabetes Type 2, and these 3 points all add up to create the conditions in your body to allow this to happen. What I’ve come across this month is something slightly different that I just wanted to let you know about as it’s very much in my area of interest as well.


How to keep your hip joints healthy

‘Once on the lips, forever on the hips’ now takes on a new meaning!

The other major workload on our health system is replacing hips and knees; they’ve worn out ... but they don’t need to, we just need to help them in longevity and they need these 3 things:

  1. Musclo-skeletal balance

  2. Nerve supply

  3. Good Blood

Less than 5% of people are born with a skeletal issue that means they could have impaired hip function in their lives, so that means a vast majority of us shouldn’t get hip problems congenitally; but a lot of us are suffering with lower back ache.

Lower back ache can be caused by many things, but today I’m raising awareness of pelvic imbalance, this is where back ache may move around a bit, some days your legs don’t feel like walking, you may have pelvic floor issues and after sitting for extended periods you really stiffen up. This isn’t the spine, this is possibly due to how the spine (sacral part) is sitting in the pelvis, and the knock on effect to how your leg bones sit into the hip joints.

The first thing here is to get a therapist to look at what’s going on with the muscles that are tight in one place, weak in another that allow your pelvis to twist or drop, and put unnecessary pressure on the ‘hip’ joint, the ball and socket. This imbalance can also impair the nerve supply if left too long, you’ll know this as Sciatic pain, plantar fasciitis or numbness/ tingling in certain leg regions. The great thing is, a good therapy can aim to resolve the first 2 issues of hip health (as long as there isn’t physical degradation of the bones).

Then we come on to Issue 3 - quality of blood. Bones are full of blood vessels, it’s how they grow and regenerate. Toxins in the blood will already be hampering this system, but also the acidity in your system can impair the cartilage over time (cartilage covers the joints surfaces to remove friction). Acidity in your bodily fluids means joints aren’t as lubricated as well as they should be and allow heat into the joint, which in turn allows the friction to increase. Hip Joint decline is this wear and tear based on imbalance, nerve weaknesses and toxic blood that weaken bones and causes heat in the joint that then leads to inflammation and wearing down of the joint surfaces.

I think knowing this though you can be aware of your lower back and pelvic/hip health as well as have some thought to what you’re eating, and this can go a long way to keeping you away from any waiting lists in your distant future.

Shiatsu treatment for healthy hip joints


Just about anyone I see in my clinic who has a back, knee or ankle problem has an imbalance in the pelvic area, and this may or may not lead directly to hip pain but it will be putting a stress on the joints. If they are out of balance they will wear out sooner; hips, knees, ankles and your back are all affected. This can even affect your shoulders and neck too.


Your body is like 3 triangles balancing atop one another, if anyone of them (head, shoulders, pelvis) is out of alignment it will have an impact on the rest of the body.


Shiatsu is truly holistic, you may come in with a pain in one joint but your whole body will be assessed in the treatment and the likelihood is that other joints will either be affected or sometimes are the cause!


If you're in pain then don't put up with it any longer; check out how shiatsu can help you find relief. If you're worried or feel something is not quite right, like one leg is longer than the other then you do need help realigning your pelvis





About Andrea at Shiatsu Bodyworks Cheltenham


Andrea is a qualified zen shiatsu and chinese medicine practitioner with over 20 years immersed in holistic therapies and the energetics of mind and body. Based in Cheltenham, UK she offers in house clinic and online shiatsu sessions to help people with midlife health issues and also offers online consultations as she is a menopause specialist too.






Further information in Hip Health – see DrJohnBergman.com “Owner’s Guide for Human’s”



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