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 Want to Know More About Osteopathy?

 Want to know if osteopathic treament is right for you?

If you are reading this page chances are you are considering osteopathic treatment and want to know more about it or if you have had osteopathic  treatment but are now are considering having treatment with me and you want to know what I have to say about it. 

What I’ve written is a little long for a webpage perhaps  but hopefully it will make it a little easier to understand whether Osteopathy and my particular approach to it seems like a good fit for you. 

So please just skip through the headings and find the bits that interest you.  

Some common conditions  treated by osteopaths (More than you think) 

 

Lower back pain

Neck pain

Pelvic floor pain

Menstrual pain

Headaches

Head injury

Vertigo

Tinnitus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glue Ear

Sinusitis

Arthritis

Joint Pain

Disc Injuries

Numbness

Postural Difficulties

Sporting Injuries

Whiplash

Pain related to pregnancy

Sciatica

RSI- Repetitive Strain Injury

Jaw Pain- TMJ dysfunction

Developmental/ movement  problems 

Gut problems

Breathing problems

. .   

 

 

What is Osteopathy....not just bones..a way of thinking and healing.

The word Osteo-pathy is derived from the 2 ancient Greek words for bone and disease.  However Osteopaths do not think of themselves as bone centric manual therapists.  Osteopathy is a way of looking at the body, a philosophy of healing and a set of techniques and approaches to healing pain, injury and disease.   

 

Modern Osteopaths are university trained with 4-5 years training. They are obliged to keep up to date with knowledge developments and current trends in medicine and manual therapy relevant to the conditions they treat.  Most are passionate about lifelong learning and highly motivated to keep on looking for ever better ways to treat their patients. However the 18th century philosophical underpinnings of Osteopathy are still relevant to understanding how today’s Osteopath practices and what their patient experiences.   Many Osteopaths believe that its philosophical basis sets it apart from other manual therapies that are perhaps more mechanistic and partly explains some of the “secret of its success “.

 What results can you expect from Osteopathic treatment

The results achieved depend on the condition and the skill of the practitioner. Some people feel better after just one treatment and I as the practitioner expect to see some change after each treatment. If I do not I change the techniques I use or re-evaluate my whole approach.  The following chart  from an Osteopathic clinic in Canada shows the results achieved within the first 5 treatments for their patients. (from www.intrinsi.ca). 

 

 

 

What is Osteopathy- not just bones… a way of thinking and healing.

The word Osteo-pathy is derived from the 2 ancient Greek words for bone and disease.  However Osteopaths do not think of themselves as bone centric manual therapists.  Osteopathy is a way of looking at the body, a philosophy of healing and a set of techniques and approaches to healing pain, injury and disease.   

Modern Osteopaths are university trained with a minimum of 5 years training. They are obliged to keep up to date with knowledge developments and current trends in medicine and manual therapy relevant to the conditions they treat.  Most are passionate about lifelong learning and highly motivated to keep on looking for ever better ways to treat their patients. However the 18th century philosophical underpinnings of Osteopathy are still relevant to understanding how today’s Osteopath practices and what their patient experiences.   Many Osteopaths believe that its philosophical basis sets it apart from other manual therapies that are perhaps more mechanistic and partly explains some of the “secret of its success “.

Some key points of Osteopathic philosophy

 

Everything in the Body is Connected- (Sometimes in Unexpected Ways) - It’s a basic tenet of Osteopathy that all parts of the body and all systems are dynamically inter-related.   Osteopaths rarely only treat the area in which symptoms are evident. This affects the treatment experience for the practitioner and the patient.  An osteopath who is working with the principle that “everything is connected, sometimes in unexpected ways”  needs to stay tuned in, listening to the body, looking at how it moves under different conditions, evaluating how different types of  tissue feel when they are palpated and challenged. Their mind is always open to discovering just where the origin of a problem is.  While aware of common patterns and connections an astute osteopath is always open to the unexpected and they tend to not follow  formulaic and cook book approaches to treatment.  In my experience a mindful presence is necessary for a truly great osteopathic treatment.

 Understand what the Body Needs for Healing (and Create Those Conditions)- From the earliest days of the profession  osteopaths  have  been trained that the body itself can be  the greatest healer and that they need to find ways to support this healing process. Modern research on  pain and neuroplasticity  shows us that the mind also plays a huge role in the healing process. A modern Osteopath has access to rapidly expanding knowledge and clinical strategies provided by  modern neuroscience to help their patients find ways to  re-wire  their brain and nervous system for improved neuromuscular function and pain free  functional movement.   During my treatments I often invite my patients to engage mentally using focused relaxed attention. I often ask them to modify their breathing or instruct them to perform movement mindfully during my hands-on treatment.   This helps to create the conditions for balanced relaxed and pain free function of the body, neuroplastic change and activation of the healing response.  Patients are also given instruction on what to do at home with diet, exercise, posture and movement to further promote healing.

The Body’s Structure and Its Function are Inter-related and both should be optimized- Today’s Osteopath is concerned with optimizing the body’s function as well as its structure.  Our body is adaptive to a great number of conditions including structural and postural abnormalities. However these adaptations can come at a cost and may be less than ideal.  The aim of Osteopathic treatment is not to make the body perfectly aligned but to make it function in ways that support health and allow pain free movement.   This is achieved through hands on treatment, postural correction and through repetition of particular types of breathing and movement exercises.

 

Whats unique about Osteopathic treatment

 Skilled Listening Hands - Osteopaths pride themselves on being highly skilled in the use of their hands to listen and respond to body tissue and mobility of its joints.  I call this listening and responding “interpretative touch”.  I believe that the skill with which a practitioner applies interpretative touch determines treatment effectiveness.  Interpretative touch involves concentration,  curiosity, presence and extensive anatomical knowledge.  My experience has been that when I apply my mind in this way, the results of my treatment improve dramatically.

Great Techniques- Traditional and Modern- Osteopaths have been great innovators, developing  a number of well known  low force manual therapy techniques such as muscle energy technique, strain counterstrain, cranio-sacral technique and other methods of adjusting manual treatment.  Osteopaths  tend to not rely on high velocity manipulation (cracking the spine) and often use a range of techniques to get the results they are looking for.    Im particularly excited by recent development in the functional approach to rehabilitation pioneered by Czech rehabilitation specialists like Drs Janda and Lewitt and developed by many wonderful practitioners and researchers the world.

Long treatments and less of them-Time taken for an Osteopathic treatment is 30 – 60 minutes. In my experience longer treatment time per session mean that total number of sessions needed to resolve the issue are reduced.  Tissue need time to fully respond and the nervous system needs time to learn. The number of treatments undertaken by an Osteopathy during a course of treatment is somewhere between 4 and 10.  I expect to see a significant change after each treatment and if  the patients does not experience improvement I change my treatment approach, engage different techniques,  focus more or reconsider my diagnosis.

Look for deeper causes- treat these and not just symptoms.  Osteopaths are trained to look beyond symptoms. We look deeper and work try to find  the root cause of the problem.   This is particularly the case when confronted with problems that are not solved using the usual measures e.g. back pain that does not heal or that keeps recurring on a regular basis.   Deeper causes include

-stress, anxiety and tension

-unresolved injury or joint dysfunction in a different part of the body

- organ dysfunction

-breathing dysfunction

-unhelpful learned response coming from the brain (maladaptive neuroplasticity affecting muscles and movement control).

 

Whats unique about the way I practice Osteopathy

All practitioners are slightly different and suit different people.  It’s important that you find the person that suits you.  In comparing myself to other practitioners I would say that I tend to be more holistic and to combine a greater number of therapies that many of my peers. I’m interested in what creates deep and sustained healing and the nature of the healing response.  I’m also science orientated, read voraciously and attend lots and lots of conferences and seminars including on topics related to manual therapy and functional rehabilitation.  I also pay very special attention to breathing dysfunction and use breathing therapy alongside Osteopathy.   After 35 years in practice I still love practicing Osteopathy and feel privileged to do this work.

Initial Osteopathic Consultations are for one hour to allow for comprehensive examination. 
Subsequent treatments are for either 30 or 60 minutes depending on the complexity of your condition.
Appointments are available at the Breath and Body Clinic in Avalon - 02- 99183460
and also at Lotus Health in Neutral Bay - 02- 9953-5153 
 
 Further Info on Osteopathy- More about Osteopathic treatment.
 
Research into Osteopathy- www.osteopathic-research.com
 
International Journal of Osteopathic Medici

ne - IJOM - www.journalofosteopathicmedicine.com/home

 
Commission for Osteopathic Research - http://www.corpp.org/home
 
Osteopathic Medicine Repository - www.ostmed-dr.com