Osteopathy is a holistic manual therapy that uses diagnostic palpation and gentle manipulation to address somatic dysfunction. Treatment is not only limited to the spine, joints and musculature, but extends to include the nervous system, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive systems. Gentle manipulation of the visceral organs as well as cranio-sacral techniques are also utilised during treatments.
The objective of osteopathic treatment is to restore balance and mobility to the body’s structures for optimal health and functioning. During treatment, the bones, joints, muscles, fascia, visceral (internal) organs as well as the cranium are assessed for imbalances or abnormal tensions which restrict normal functioning. Treatment is based on the practitioner’s understanding that the body’s systems are inter-related, therefore a restriction in one area of the body may manifest as dysfunction in another area.
Osteopathic training allows the practitioner to hone in on subtle rhythms of the body’s structures. Through a technique known as ‘listening’, the practitioner is able to identify restrictions in the body’s natural rhythms using a very light touch. The restriction can then be treated effectively using very light touch, and the tissue’s response can be noted by the practitioner.
A Unique Approach to Treatment
An osteopathic manual practitioner works to gently realign the musculoskeletal system. He/she will investigate why there is a fault in the system’s framework, how it can be related to the physical problem and will look for the reasons behind it. Osteopathy is not a system of techniques. True osteopathy, as taught by Dr. Still, includes the “osteopathic thinking” to find the source of the problem, and indicates the way to unlock its own self-healing mechanisms.
Conditions commonly treated with osteopathy include (but are not limited to):
- Joint and muscular pain (neck, low-back, shoulder etc..)
- Back Pain in Pregnancy
- Tension Headaches/Migraines
- TMJ Dysfunction
- Arthritic Stiffness
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Digestive issues
- Post Surgical Pain
- Chronic Pain
What should you expect after treatment?
Most patients report a feeling of well-being following treatments. An adjusting period is expected following treatment, meaning that the full benefit of the treatment is often experienced of 2-3 days after, although there is often some significant relief following the session. For the most part treatments are gentle, however it is normal to experience some degree of tenderness in areas treated especially if there was significant muscular