Osteopathy is a way for detecting, treating and preventing pain or problems associated with your musculoskeletal system through special physical techniques and adjustments. Whether general, visceral, structural or cranial issues, the Osteopath’s goal is to help your body self-heal and regain its normal physiological functions without the use of drugs or surgery.
The Osteopath considers the root cause of the problem rather than the symptomatic compensating mechanisms.
Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, massage, and mobilisation or manipulation of body areas as well as practical exercises. Each individual is different and the treatment will be designed to suit the specific individual; young children and the elderly will be treated in a different way to professional sports players, for example.
Who Can Benefit?
For every age, gender and walk of life
Whatever your age or situation, osteopathic care can be beneficial for you. Be it babies, children, pregnant women, older people, active professionals, from every walk of life, can benefit from osteopathic treatment. The founder of Osteopathy, Dr Andrew Taylor Still, was famously quoted to have said “The only type of person who would not benefit from osteopathy is a dead one!”
Can help alleviate a variety of ailments
Osteopaths treat more than you think. Many patients present complaints of aches in the head, back, neck, heel/foot pain, sciatica, shin splints, tennis elbow and repetitive strain injury. Other patients suffer from asthma, arthritis, digestive problems, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), carpal tunnel syndrome, whiplash and postural problems. Osteopaths also deal regularly with patients who have been injured in the workplace, at home or while playing sport.
WHY IS IT DIFFERENT:
The key principles are based on all parts of the body functioning together in an integrated manner. If one part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions. When the body is free of restrictions in movement, Osteopathic treatment assists the body with pain minimisation, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
Osteopaths concern themselves with your whole being, not just a single organ, a joint or a symptom. The focus is on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework. Its aim is to positively affect the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
Osteopathic therapy is a holistic (whole body) approach to health care. We do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area solely, but observe and address all the systems of the body, in order to rebalance them and catalyse overall good health and wellbeing.
The Consultation Lifecycle
STEP 1 - Problem Profiling
The osteopath will want to know your medical history along with your current condition in order to understand and profile your case so that they may respond to your exact needs.
STEP 2 - Clinical Assessment
In order to establish a diagnosis, the osteopath will observe you in different perspectives: standing position, your balance, your breathing, and will then ask you to do a few simple painless movements. But also sitting and lying down to understand your body’s function.
STEP 3 - Diagnosis
The clinical assessment will lead to a diagnosis around the source of your symptomatic or asymptomatic dysfunction. Indeed, your body may be unbalanced without exhibiting either localised or general pain.
STEP 4 - Prescribing Treatment
In most cases, the treatment will consist of a combination of techniques that work on the craniosacral, visceral, functional and structural aspects. These different mobilisations allow the treatment of the body as a whole; It’s mechanical functions (muscular, articular, ligamentary), its circulation/ digestive/ respiratory/ and autonomous nervous systems (that work on and regulate systematically and non-consciously the functions of the organism, like the digestive process for instance).
STEP 5 - Re-Examination
At the end of the session, the osteopath will ask you to stand again. They will then proceed to a brief evaluation of clinical signs of response to the treatment, like symmetry of movement, depth of breath, new postural balance. They will then determine and explain the rest of the treatment, including advice on exercises to be carried out. In some circumstances the Osteopath may also need to refer you for further medical examination, or refer you to another alternative medicine to enhance your recovery.
STEP 6 - Follow-on Consultations
If required, the appointments may proceed in an iterative manner. The outcome of the initial consultation will provide the basis for any follow on stages. The Osteopath will determine the subsequent treatment steps and extra sessions required as well as personalised advice on remedial actions. The initial consultation will last 45 minutes and then 30 minutes for subsequent sessions.