by: Anne-Marie Mougeot, B.Sc. Kin., D.O.M.P.
Osteopathy is fairly new to this part of the world, despite it being quite popular in various countries. In hopes of sharing some information about what I do, and case you are also wondering, here are some of the most common questions I get asked about Osteopathy.
“Osteopathy… that’s.. bones, right?” Well, not exactly. For those of you who have not heard about Osteopathy, here it is, in a nutshell:
Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that uses various types of gentle techniques to work with the body’s ability to heal itself, in order to help people to feel better. Osteopathic Practitioners look beyond the site of pain, taking into consideration the whole person in front of them. We do this by listening attentively to our patients to hear their story and collect information about their health history, details about their pain, and we ask about their goals in order to get an idea of how to best help them. Osteopathic Practitioners perform physical assessments in order to rule out red flags and to make a decision as to where to lay their hands for treatment. Because we view the body as a whole, Osteopathic Practitioners may perform manual therapy techniques in areas other than the painful site(s). Following the treatment, your Osteopathic Practitioner may provide you with some recommendations about how to improve and manage your pain. I provide a more in-depth description of osteopathy here.
2. Can Osteopathy help with…(fill in the blank)?
There is no recipe treatment, and every one we see is treated as an individual, Osteopathic Practitioners can work with people with a wide variety of conditions and symptoms. People usually see Osteopathic Practitioners because they are experiencing some sort of pain or discomfort, but people can also benefit from the relaxing and stress-reducing effects of Osteopathy. We commonly work with people who are suffering from pain due to injuries, car accidents, or sports injuries, as well as persistent or chronic pain, arthritis, headaches, prenatal discomforts and digestive discomforts. Because of the gentle nature of osteopathy, it is an ideal choice for people of all ages, including infants and elderly people.
3. Is Osteopathy covered by my health benefits?
Good news! Most extended health plans do cover Osteopathy, when provided by a member of their osteopathic provincial association. As a member of Osteopathy BC, I am able to provide receipts with my membership number, which is what private insurance companies in BC require to provide reimbursement for appointments. The insurance companies that recognize OsteopathyBC (SPMPO) and may have Osteopathic coverage for their patients include: Pacific Blue Cross, Empire Life, Great West Life, Manulife, Sunlife, Greenshield, and Wawanesa. I am also an Affiliate member of the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Manual Practitioners, which allows for members who have Medavie Blue Cross insurance to also receive coverage for my services. Because Osteopathic manual therapy is not regulated in Canada, it is possible that some insurance companies may not cover my services, so it is best to check with your plan directly. It is important to note that I am an Osteopathic Practitioner (I provide manual therapy and am not medically trained) and not an Osteopathic Physician (medically trained). Osteopathic manual therapy is not covered by MSP.