What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a gentle and safe manual therapy that is centered around treating the whole person. This means that your osteopathic practitioner will listen attentively to your concerns while taking into account the various factors that can influence pain or discomfort. Your practitioner will ask you questions relating to your medical history and the details of your symptoms. This information will help your practitioner to develop a treatment plan with you that is tailored towards your individual needs and goals. Osteopathic practitioners understand that physical problems can be caused by emotional stress and strain, and work to help you find the source of your problem.
Osteopathy uses gentle manual techniques to help decrease or eliminate pain. These include soft-tissue techniques, which may involve light, sustained touch, or indirect techniques where the symptomatic joint is placed in a position of least discomfort to help with relaxation. Myofascial release, cranial sacral, and visceral manipulation are among the various tools that osteopathic practitioners are trained in. As well, gentle, rhythmic oscillatory joint mobilization and contract-relax type techniques may be used to try to increase the range of motion. Each treatment is tailored towards the individual’s specific needs and generally involves little to no discomfort. In other words, the hands-on treatment should feel good, and quite often has a relaxing effect.
In addition to manual techniques, osteopathy sessions often include an educational component where your osteopathic practitioner will provide you with information to help you to make sense of your pain and will provide you with movement strategies, modifications to daily activities, or exercises to give you control over your pain management.