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.