What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that brings balance to the body by using gentle movements to correct structural and postural imbalances. Through treatment, structural dysfunctions are corrected to improve flexibility and movement of the spine and limbs to relieve obstruction of nerve and blood vessels which may inhibit the body’s capacity to heal and function. The primary goal is to treat the underlying cause of pain or disease rather than the symptom.
How is Osteopathy different from Chiropractic, Physiotherapy or Massage Therapy?
Osteopathy is unique in its philosophy and practice. It looks at the body as a global unit and how a mechanical imbalance, distal to the pain or symptom, may be the root cause of dysfunction. Osteopaths use gentle techniques which are integrative to the body, incorporating muscles, fascia, ligaments, and joints into the adjustment. As a result, the body is structurally balanced, which increases stability and a lasting treatment effect. The treatment aims to coordinate body parts to alleviate pressure on nerves and blood vessels to help support the healing process.
Who can benefit from an Osteopath?
Osteopathy can benefit a wide range of populations from newborns, expecting mothers, the elderly and everyone in between. Individuals with complaints of musculoskeletal (MSK) pain or visceral dysfunction should seek an Osteopath.
MSK pain may include back, neck or jaw pain, extremity pain (hip, knee or shoulder), sprains/strains, arthritis, degenerative disc disease or postural imbalances.
Visceral dysfunction may include digestive disorders, respiratory disorders, dizziness, skin conditions, reproductive issues, poor circulation, sinus troubles and sleep disturbances.
How does an Osteopath treat or what techniques do they use?
Osteopaths use gentle techniques or movements which encourage structural coordination and stability. Typically, movements are repetitive or oscillatory and incorporate an arm or a leg which acts as a lever to target force to all tissues of the body. By doing so, all tissue in the area is affected including bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and fascia. This has a positive treatment effect that makes the adjustment more stable and longer lasting. In addition, oscillatory movements encourage blood flow to help with nutrient supply and waste removal to improve the healing process. Osteopaths do not impose treatment on the body rather they work with the body to encourage it back to health.