SinoUnited Health Targets the Problem…At Its Source

SinoUnited Health Targets the Problem…At Its Source

By Sophie Turton

SinoUnited Health is an extension of a US-based practice, which specializes in physiotherapy and orthopaedics. Additionally, they have recently developed pre and post natal services, which include individual and group sessions. The first practice opened in Shanghai in 2004 and brought a revolutionary new concept of pain relief and muscular-skeletal therapy to the Pearl of the Orient. SinoUnited Health has since opened three branches, each offering high tech facilities as well as completely comprehensive treatment.

SinoUnited Health's philosophy instantly sets it aside from other such practices, which are frequented in both the UK and the US. They do not encourage an endless stream of unnecessary treatments and instead aim to target the source of the problem and eliminate it, for good. For this reason, they have formed a good relationship with a number of Shanghai-based health insurance companies, who appreciate that all treatment that is provided will be necessary and focused on the individual needs of the patient. "For acute problems it can be solved even in two sessions but of course everybody's different," commented Patrick Ansovini, certified physiotherapist and osteopath. "We have to see how the body responds. Every subject responds in a different way."

Patrick Ansovini performing osteopathic treatment

As work demands in the modern world increase, more and more people spend a large percentage of their time sat in front of a computer or hunched over a steering wheel; stress manifests in muscles, good posture is shunned in favour of a comfy sofa recline and needless to say, back problems are on the increase. However, as Dr. Ben Tay, pain management expert at SinoUnited Health, accurately surmised, "many are ignoring the issue and just dealing with it." This could be for a myriad of reasons: the association between physiotherapy or osteopathic treatment and a constant stream of gloomy medical bills; health insurance companies who shirk responsibility or, in my case, just a tiny dose of that British 'keep calm and carry on' attitude. However, the simple fact is this: pain is the body's way of telling you that something is wrong and if something has been wrong for an extended period of time, it is very unlikely that it will get better by itself.

Osteopathic Medicine

Osteopathic medicine is a holistic approach to muscular-skeletal problems, as well as general health issues including stress, dizziness, insomnia and panic attacks. Osteopathy is often able to find the source of the pain, even when a diagnostic examination proves unable to provide a diagnosis. It is based on the palpatorial evaluation of the body as a "functional unit which must be treated globally." The diagnosis and treatment takes into consideration a variety of factors, including environment, biomechanical structures and psycho-social influences. This principle appreciates the intrinsic link between mind, body and spirit and believes that when one area is suffering, the other areas are affected. This is known as referred pain, "if you have some lower back pain it is also useful to treat the pelvis and hip joints," commented Patrick Ansovini, of SinoUnited Health.

Patrick Ansovini is a certified Osteopath and Physiotherapist who works at the clinic's Portman Centre branch. He uses a variety of techniques which involve feeling and manipulating parts of the body in order to assess the integrity of the structure and function of the muscles. Through this approach, "the osteopath is able to feel whether the areas are misbehaving," commented Patrick Ansovini. "This is in order to find the why rather than the what. The body will tell where the source of the problem is."

The object of Osteopathic treatment is to remove the obstacles in order to maintain health. The human body is then able to recover by itself after it is given the right stimulus.

This system of approach also acknowledges that all factors of the body are interconnected and any imbalances in the body cause chemical reactions, this is one reason why drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can increase levels of pain.

The body is a wonderfully resilient machine but, as with all machines, it requires maintenance and care. For this reason the osteopathic treatment is not only therapeutic but is also preventive because it restores the normal supply of blood flow, including lymphatic circulation which rids the body of toxins and stimulates the auto regulation mechanism. Ignoring a problem will not make it go away but in many cases, will instead elevate the issue and make the healing process longer and more difficult. Whatever the outcome of an injury and however the pain is manifested, the only way to treat the problem and to ensure that it doesn't return is to stop the problem at its source.

The team at SinoUnited Health, Portman Centre

Sophie Turton is an Associate Editor at ShanghaiExpat. She was delighted to have some insight into treatment methodology. If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, you can contact Sophie at: