What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a form of natural medicine that treats your body as a single functioning unit. Osteopathy is a branch of alternative medicine that is less intrusive and more effective than traditional Western medicine.
Osteopathy assesses and treats movement restrictions in your body tissues that prevent you from being healthy and fit. It is unique because it focuses on the root cause of pain and dysfunction rather than simply masking the symptoms. Western medicine typically focuses on treating the symptoms, and not the source of the ailment. It is an effective way of healing, because it doesn’t prevent symptoms from returning or getting worse.
What is the philosophy of Osteopath practitioners?
Preventing illness is the primary goal of any Osteopath practitioner. Osteopathic philosophy believes that physical problems should be treated as early as possible, in order to prevent further injury or other illness. The self-healing abilities of the body guides Osteopath practitioners in tailoring treatment to each client’s needs and lifestyle.
How can Osteopathy benefit me?
There are many benefits to osteopathic treatment. In a nutshell, osteopathic treatment seeks to address the root cause of pain or illness, and relieve chronic pain. The practice also encourages the body to heal itself and rely less on medication.
Here are some other benefits that you may find relevant:
- Increases range of motion in the joints
- Reduces pain and stiffness in joints
- Qualitatively and gently treats spinal problems resulting from poor posture or spinal disk injuries
- Relieves chronic pain through non-invasive treatment
- Decreases joint stress
- Reduces tension in the body
- Relieves tension headaches and migraine headaches
- Helps the body to adapt to hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Reduces visible scarring and adhesion on the skin
- Treats trauma from accidents, sports injuries, and motor vehicle injuries
- Increases circulation and healthy heart rate
- Reduces blood pressure and associated diseases
What happens when you visit an Osteopath?
Your medical history is examined and discussed at any initial session with an Osteopath practitioner. Your Osteopath will conduct a detailed health survey, paying attention to chief complaints, health issues, and other medical interventions that you’ve received in the past.
Then, an assessment of your needs will be performed. Your Osteopath will conduct a physical examination in order to assess your physical condition, and ensure safe treatment options. It is highly advisable to wear loose clothing, such as shorts and a t-shirt, for the physical assessment.
Upon completing the medical history and physical examinations, your Osteopath will discuss treatment options with you. After reviewing the examination findings with you, the Osteopath will put together a treatment plan to be carried out.
What are some treatment techniques that Osteopaths use?
Osteopaths tailor their approach to each patient’s needs and lifestyle. Here are a few examples of treatment techniques, with a brief description of how they are carried out.
- Osteoarticular corrections: Gentle realignment of the bones
- Visceral mobilization: Gentle mobilization of the organs of the body
- Cranial osteopathy: Gentle movement of the bones of the skull
- Normalization of myofascial tension: Restoring normalcy in the muscles and surrounding tissues
- Muscle energy: Muscle relaxation through muscle contraction
- Strain counterstrain: Method of relaxing and re-positioning joints
Progressive and qualitative changes result from working on a physical, mental, and emotional level.