What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It is not just for backs! It is a physical therapy which works with the whole body, viewing it as a single unit, to encourage repair and healing.
As an osteopath I look at the entirety of the body. You may come with a frozen shoulder and whilst I will examine your shoulder, I will also be looking for compensatory mechanisms you may have put in place due to the pain and limitations of the injury, by also examining your spine and neck. Your body is an entire unit and when one part is functioning less well, the others have to lend support, join in or work in ways they wouldn’t usually. My job is to help you undo those compensatory mechanisms to get the whole of you back to optimal functioning again. Each person is different and so when Peter comes to me with an arthritic hip, the treatment may be entirely different to when Joan came to see me for her arthritic hip. The treatment approach is determined by the history, the onset and the tissue health. This is what we mean by treating people, rather than conditions, and makes Osteopathy a holistic healthcare system.
It was founded in the late 1800’s by an American Physician named Andrew Taylor Still. He devised methods of physical treatment which improve the body’s own ‘healing mechanism’. The concept came to England in the early 1900’s and there are currently over 5000 Osteopaths registered in the UK.
Training & Regulation
My 4-year degree focussed on the total understanding of the body in both a well state and when something which creates patterns of dysfunction is in operation. This might be seen as ‘4D’ and enables me to view you as an entire being. The course includes musculoskeletal, visceral and developmental aspects of health which means that we can treat systemic problems across the age ranges. I particularly enjoyed the supervised clinical training in the specialist clinics for Elderly care and The Children’s Clinic.
Osteopaths have been regulated since 1993 by the General Osteopathic Council which means that we must comply with various professional standards and do ongoing training every year to maintain our knowledge. Therefore we are often doing short courses to keep up to date or developing specialist interests in particular areas of clinical work.
Visiting an Osteopath
Osteopathic treatment is appropriate for babies, the elderly and everyone in-between. There are a number of more common conditions for which patients often seek osteopathic treatment; however the list does not indicate the full scope of osteopathic care.
- General aches & pains
- Neck pain, back pain, hip pain, knee pain
- Neuralgia, Sciatica, postural strain and repetitive strain injury
- Cevicogenic headaches, pregnancy-related aches & pain
- Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Fibromyalgia & Digestive issues
- Sports injuries
- Developmental issues for babies & children
We will take you through a case history, assessment of the symptomatic area and of related structures, before a diagnosis and discussion regarding treatment options. Treatments may involve joint manipulations, soft tissue release and balancing, stretching and articulations or gentle ‘cranial’ techniques. The hands–on approach is based on western models of Anatomy and Physiology and is applied with creative problem solving and technical skill to improve the nerve supply, blood supply, lymphatic drainage and biomechanical relationship to the rest of the body. In this way it seeks to improve the local tissue healing mechanisms and the state of an integrated body system.
To find an Osteopath near you, visit the website for the General Osteopathic Council, and search the register www.osteopathy.org.uk
If you’d like to book an appointment with us, please visit our appointments page.