Osteopathy is a holistic system of manual therapy. It originated in America over 140 years ago and has spread across the western world. Osteopaths look at the body as a whole unit, how one area of the body effects other areas.
Osteopaths respect the bodies self-healing and regulating mechanisms and treatment aims to support these. Osteopaths are nationally registered primary care practitioners (no referral necessary) which takes five years of university training.
An osteopath focuses on your whole body, including the soft tissues (such as muscles, ligaments and tendons), the spine and nervous system, and may use a variety of different hands-on methods, including:
- Spinal manipulation
- Soft tissue massage techniques
- Articulation – gentle rhythmic joint movements
- Stretching muscles and joint capsules
- Muscle energy techniques – encouraging muscles to work against resistance
- Visceral manipulation – gentle movement of the abdominal and pelvic areas.
As osteopathic techniques include a gentle approach, they can be suitable for many people, from the newborn to the older person, and for those with complex medical problems.
Although osteopathy is best known as a form of hands-on medicine, osteopaths may also refer you on to other healthcare providers, and are able to offer advice on injury prevention, pain management and rehabilitation programs.
Osteopathy encourages you to take responsibility for your own long-term health and wellbeing and can help you find out which lifestyle and environmental factors may be contributing to your condition. These may include poor posture, stress or the need for ergonomic furniture.
What conditions can Osteopath’s treat?
- Spinal pain
- Lower back pain and ‘sciatica’
- Headaches and migraines
- Sports injuries
- Knee pain
- Jaw pain
- Shoulder pain
- Heel and arch pain
- Pregnancy-related pain
- and many, many more!