Osteopathic treatment does not limit itself to treating symptoms but is a holistic approach based on the importance of good balance for overall health.
Treatment is hands-on and involves gentle and skilled manipulation of the whole body. I may use a wide range of techniques, including massage, cranial techniques (sometimes referred to as ‘cranial osteopathy’) and joint mobilization.
Your treatment will depend on your specific problem and may also vary from one treatment session to next. I will choose an approach best suited to your needs at a specific time and may switch between techniques during treatment, as your body starts to release.
Below are some common osteopathic approaches and terms explained. I take a holistic approach and consider all of them integral to my osteopathic assessment and diagnosis.
Structural osteopathy recognizes the importance of the interdependence between the body structure and its function. A dysfunction of a joint or tissue, generally characterized by a decrease in mobility and tightness, will affect the biomechanics and overall function of that area. Structural approaches to treatment include soft tissue, stretching and mobilization techniques of the joints, muscles, ligaments, fascia and soft tissues.
Visceral osteopathy focuses on an organ’s mobility. This can be affected by musculoskeletal problems, intense emotional stress, direct trauma, infections, scar tissue, chronic illness and immaturity in infants. Restriction in the mobility of an organ may in time result in an impairment of the organ’s function. Improving the circulation, blood supply and lymphatic drainage of the organs through osteopathic treatment can have a positive outcome in treating the symptoms of visceral problems.
Cranial osteopathy applies osteopathic principles to the treatment of the whole body, including the skull and its contents. Very gentle in its approach, cranial osteopathy is suitable for patients of all ages. It is particularly helpful for newborns and babies, as the cranial system suffers immense stress during birth. During the cranial osteopathic treatment, the practitioner first assesses the patient’s rhythm as well as any specific restriction. Gentle pressure is then applied to restore the mobility of the affected structure, allowing the body’s powerful self-healing mechanism to fully express itself.
Biodynamic osteopathy is based on the view that motion is more important than biochemistry in embryologic development, and that the forces of embryologic development do not cease functioning at birth. Instead they are maintained throughout our lives as the forces of growth and development, as well as those involved in the healing processes. Biodynamic treatment is a very gentle, hands on approach which allows the practitioner to support the patient’s own expression of health and can be applied to any area of the body.