How Does Osteopathy Work?

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still believed that many disease or illness began with structural problems in the spine. Long nerves connect the spine to various organs in the body. According to Dr. Still, when there is a problem with the spine, the nerves send abnormal signals to the body’s organs. Still called these spinal problems “osteopathic lesions” (“osteo” for bone and “pathic” for diseased), and created osteopathic manipulation techniques (OMTs) to treat them. These treatments, he believed, would return the nerves to their normal function and allow the blood to flow freely throughout the circulatory system. With structure restored, the body’s own natural healing powers would be able to restore full health.

Osteopathy recognizes the relationship between structure and function. A simple analogy is the garden hose. If it is twisted (distorted structure) it can’t function optimally. Similarly if our human structure is compromised due to posture, injury, traumatic or lifestyle patterns then our physiology is compromised. Circulation, nerve supply, hormone secretion etc are compromised. So when our body is “tuned well” it performs well.

An osteopath’s role lies in diagnosing and treating the factors that inhibit health thus restoring balance in the body through natural, non-invasive, hands-on techniques.

Stretching and releasing connective tissues, e.g. muscles, tendons and fascia that inhibit mobility

Strengthening unstable joint through muscle conditioning

Enhancing circulation and lymphatic drainage

Improving nerve supply

Educating about diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.

What Happens When You Visit an Osteopath?

A case history is taken:

The osteopathic manual practitioner conducts a thorough health survey listening to the chief complaint, any health issues, and other medical interventions received throughout the patient’s life.

A physical assessment is performed:

The osteopathic manual practitioner conducts a physical examination to rule out any major health concerns and ensuring a safe treatment can be provided. The practitioner assesses all systems and structures that may be related to the area of complaint.

A treatment plan is implemented:

After reviewing the examination findings with the patient, the osteopathic manual practitioner creates a treatment plan.

A treatment is given:

Hands on Treatments are administered based on the assessment, and consecutive treatments are administered as needed.