What is Osteopathic Manual Therapy?
Osteopathy is a form of drug-free non-invasive manual medicine that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine, as well as the internal organs, and fluids of the body. Its aim is to positively affect the body's nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems.
This therapy is a unique 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 provide overall good health and wellbeing.
The philosophy of Osteopathy is what sets it apart from other medical disciplines. 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 minimization, reduced stress and greater mobility providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners study for years to develop very sensitive palpation skills. Many gentle tests and techniques are used to find and treat the root causes of dysfunction and not just chase the symptoms. Some of these hands-on techniques include soft tissue stretching, deep tactile pressure, and mobilization or manipulation of joints, and organs.
In some cases, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can complement the advice given by GPs. For example, people who suffer from arthritis are often prescribed medication by their GP. In addition to that, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can ease the pain caused by joint and muscle stiffness, by improving joint mobility and the flow of blood to the joints, and show arthritis sufferers how to prevent causing injury to themselves.
A treatment plan is formulated by understanding the relationship between the structure of the body and how well it functions, and knowing the connections between all the tissues, fluids, organs and systems of the body.
Virtually all health conditions may benefit from a visit to an Osteopathic Manual Therapist. Some of the most common disorders include:
•Neck and back pain, headaches & migraines
•Sciatica, joint pain, traumatic injury and overuse injuries
•Pediatric health such as chronic ear infections
•Pregnancy and postpartum depression
•A multitude of other, less obvious disorders
Chris Reiach, Osteopathic Manual Therapist
Kathy Teal, Osteopathic Manual Therapist
Michael Lindee, Osteopathic Manual Therapy Student
Elizabeth Morgan-Maver, Osteopathic Manual Therapy Student
What to expect at a visit:
A typical follow up visit lasts 30minutes to one hour. Many different techniques may be used; overall the treatment is gentle, leaving the patient very relaxed.
Inquire whether your extended health plan may cover our services.
* Portions of description was reproduced and adapted from May 10, 2007 article on website of medicalnewstoday.com, "What is Osteopathy?"