What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a wholistic gentle hands-on approach to healthcare where the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner addresses dysfunctions within the body by finding and removing the main restrictions and blocks that prevent the inherent self-healing and self-regulatory capabilities in each person.
Osteopathic practitioners are trained to identify, assess, and treat the body’s various interrelated structures and rhythms using a gentle, highly refined palpatory skill to relieve pain, to improve mobility, and restore, support and stimulate health.
Conditions Osteopathy Can Help With
By treating structures of the body such as muscles, joints ligaments, tendons, fascia and internal organs, Osteopathic Practitioners are able to affect the physiology digestion, circulation, lymphatic drainage, respiration and metabolism. Common conditions treated are:
- Back & neck pain or stiffness
- TMJ/Jaw problems
- Soft tissue injuries: sprains, strains, tendonitis
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Joint dysfunction & arthritic pain
- Nerve pain: disc injuries, sciatica, tingling, numbness
- Painful periods, ovulation & chronic pelvic pain
- Bladder issues
- Pregnancy discomfort, labour preparation & post-natal care
- Leg, knee and foot pain
- Frozen shoulder
- Rib pain
- Digestive problems, reflux
- Head injuries, post-concussion syndrome
- Stress, depression, anxiety
- Post-surgery recovery
- And many others
What to expect from your visit
The initial osteopathic session will consist of a comprehensive review of your health history, Osteopathic assessment in standing, sitting and lying down, formulation of the day’s treatment plan, confirmation of consent to treat, and progression with your Osteopathic Manual treatment.
Osteopathic assessment is through observation and a highly trained sense of palpation. Palpation is the intentional touching of the body in order to gather sensorial information of position, mobility and quality of certain tissues, fluids, and rhythms in order to find the root causes of dysfunction and not just chase the symptoms. Assessment includes postural exam, active or passive movement of the patient, any special tests if needed and palpation of body structures.
The hands are the Osteopathic Practitioner’s tools. Treatment also uses palpation techniques of specific application and deliberate motion (can be very small) to the intended tissue. To facilitate correct body positions during manipulations, there will be body to body contact with a towel or pillow between.
At the close of your visit, your Osteopathic Practitioner can also provide you with advice on posture, exercise, routines, ergonomics, and lifestyle changes to build on the positive effects of the Osteopathic treatment.
What to wear to your session
Please be prepared to take off your jewelry including activity trackers. Refrain from wearing harsh scents as others may have allergies. Remember to turn off your cell phone. Ideally, assessment and treatment are done in undergarments. The more areas that are directly palpable the better the sensorial information.
For women, bra and underwear is ideal. Please don’t wear a bra top with a T-back as the Osteopathic Practitioner needs to view the spine, and no thong underwear. If you are uncomfortable you may wear elastic-waisted loose shorts.
For men, if briefs or underwear is uncomfortable then you may also wear elastic-waisted loose shorts or swim trunks. Any buttons or zippers provide bulk to palpate through.
There will be blankets, and sheets if you get cold!
The post-Osteopathy session experience
After your Osteopathy session, areas that were immobile would have regained movement. You may feel energetic, light, grounded, beat-up, sore, and the list goes on depending on how your body ultimately reacts to treatment. Or you may feel tired because your body will need to make more energy to integrate the treatment, and fight against the normal occurrence of inflammation.
Your body continues to heal after a session. You may or may not feel symptoms for 2-3 days and they may be more painful or stronger than before. Usually, symptoms will die down between 2-3 days. Typically, you will feel improvement after a few days or sometimes a few weeks. If symptoms don’t die down within 3 days, then your body has a hard time integrating and rebalancing itself. This is the moment to book another appointment sooner. If symptoms have reduced but haven’t gone away after 3 days then it could take you a week for things to subside which is dependent on you, your medical history, or stress level. After the initial Osteopathy session, a 2nd follow-up session should be booked 7-10 days after.
Make sure you drink plenty of water the help with the flushing of metabolites and help your body integrate the treatment better!
Avoid strenuous exercise for the rest of the day. You can do some light exercise no less than 2 hours after your Osteopathic session. Walking is the best activity to facilitate some integration and can be done soon after. Make sure you are not carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, and let your arms swing appropriately.
How many Osteopathic sessions?
Most patients will feel considerable relief after 2 or 3 appointments, although 5-8 treatments or more are required in the majority of typical cases to completely resolve the origin of the dysfunction or pain. This is dependent on the chronicity, state of the body’s tissues and dysfunction or pathology presented as to the pace corrections can take place.
Revitalize. Health be yours!