Osteopathy is a form of manual medicine which was founded in the early 1800’s, by an American physician, Dr. A.T Still. At the foundation of Osteopathy is the understanding that the entire body functions as one unit, therefore dysfunction in one area of the body will often have repercussions in other adjacent areas. Dr. Still also believed in the body’s innate ability to self-regulate and heal, provided there were no blockages or restrictions hindering the body’s ability to circulate fluids freely. This type of therapy is a non-invasive and holistic (whole body) approach to health care. Osteopaths do not simply concentrate on treating the problem area,but use manual techniques to balance ALL the systems of the body, to achieve overall health and wellbeing.
The objective of osteopathic treatment is to restore balance where restriction or abnormal tension in the body may impede proper functioning. The role of the practitioner is to seek out and release restrictions in order to restore free movement of the tissues. By doing so, aiding in the body’s ability to heal itself.
What techniques do osteopaths use?
Gentle soft-tissue techniques: Are used to free up restrictions in the musculoskeletal system (muscles, joints, ligaments). Visceral manipulation: involves gentle mobilizations of the viscera, or internal organs to treat a variety of conditions from lowback pain, to constipation, acid reflux(heartburn) and insomnia to name a few. Very little pressure is used with visceral manipulation, and the objective is to free up local restrictions which may also be causing issues in other areas of the body through association.
Craniosacral techniques: With very gentle pressure, osteopaths are trained to seek out subtle movement patterns within the individual bones of the skull. The goal is to locate areas of restricted movement and direct gentle treatment to the area to free up restrictions. In addition to treatment of the skull, craniosacral treatment also involves the neck and spine, specifically the sacrum (a triangular bone at the lowest part of the back, which sits between your hip bones). Craniosacral treatment has a direct and positive effect on the central nervous system, which controls all our bodily functions from sleep to digestion, mood and pain perception. This type of treatments is used to treat a variety of conditions including concussions, migraines, anxiety, chronic lower back issues to name a few.
What conditions does osteopathy treat?
- Headaches/ migraines
- TMJ dysfunction
- Joint and muscular pain
- Dysmenorrhea (painful periods)
- Discomfort associated with pregnancy
- Constipation and digestive issues
- Cognitive issues
- Postural issues