What does osteopathy treat?
Osteopathy is fast becoming recognized as one of the most effective and scientifically valid treatments available. Disease and illness of any sort is a physical condition, a bodily reaction to a stressor. At any stage of life, physical freedom is what allows us to function normally, without it, dysfunction occurs in many forms, most commonly, pain.
Every person is assessed in terms of their body and their circumstances. Osteopaths do not treat a disease, they treat the individual. Each pain and illness has many components which are just signals for an underlying body function or dysfunction. Therefore there are very few people, no matter what the symptom, that do not benefit from osteopathic treatment. The treatment will not “cure” some disabilities, like cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome or the more advanced and chronic diseases, such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, but it helps alleviate many of the associated problems.
It may be able to help with aspects such as high muscular tone or control, the function of the bowel and bladder and respiratory disorders. Osteopathy also attends to the general health and well being of an individual.
It is also commonly used for general check-ups and preventative treatment including;
Sports training and injuries
Postural, work and home help
General pain relief
Back and neck sprain
Peripheral joint and muscular strains (arms & legs)
Babies, children and pregnancy
Headaches and migraines
Breathing disorders such as asthma
Jaw, facial pain and dentistry problems
Ear pain and drainage
Abdominal complaints (e.g. IBS, digestive complaints & endometriosis)
Just as people have a family doctor who may care for children throughout their growth and development, many people have a family osteopath.
Treatment techniques include:
1. Myofascial, Connective Tissue & Neuromuscular Therapies – returns muscle and fascia to their original length, thus removing strain from joints and organs;
2. Cranial Osteopathy – attends to the underlying biorhythm and motion of the dural membranes and fluid which surround and invest the brain and spinal cord, and which influence cellular exchange throughout the whole body;
3. Visceral Mobilization - relieves stressful forces acting on internal organs or their suspensory ligaments, which improves mobility & blood flow, and helps the organ function more effectively;
4. Osteoarticular corrections - gentle realignment of bony joints to encourage efficient weight bearing and movement, and normalize associated function;
5. Muscle Energy Techniques - relaxes tight muscles and reeducates the nervous system, which controls muscle activity and greatly influences circulation
What does massage therapy treat?
Massage therapy involves the assessment and treatment of soft tissues and joints of the body using specific hands-on techniques. It is a clinically oriented health-care option that achieves undeniable results in the relief of an array of discomforts stemming from injury, repetitive strain, nerve dysfunctions, postural dysfunctions and many chronic pain syndromes. Massage therapy is also invaluable for physical and emotional stress. By balancing the autonomic nervous system and increasing circulation of oxygen, blood, and lymph through a healing hands-on experience, a session of massage therapy typically leaves the individual feeling relaxed and at ease in their body.
Styles used at the Family Osteopathy clinic:
Deep Tissue therapy
Effective in treating chronic tension patterns which result in consistent muscle discomfort or pain. Focus is on re aligning deeper layers of the body's soft tissues through slow, deep and concentrated strokes.
Focuses on restoring balance to the connective tissues in the body through direct or non direct forms of manual intervention. This facilitates postural healing and more optimal function and comfort in the body.
Most common and well known type of Massage Therapy which is quite gentle and effective in lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation, strengthening the immune system, facilitating flow of nutrients to to the body's tissues and promoting relaxation. Lotions or oils are typically used and the client lays between sheets on the table.
Many massage therapists are also trained in techniques like cranio-sacral therapy, joint mobilizations, counter-strain, and muscle energy. These were described in more detail above.