What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a primary health care system, complementary to other medical practices. It is suitable for almost anyone and can contribute to the treatment and management of a wide range of conditions. Osteopaths primarily work through the neuro-musculo-viscero-skeletal system, using holistic and patient-centred approaches.
A core principle behind osteopathy is the idea that the body is an integrated and undividable whole, and contains self-healing mechanisms that can be utilized as part of the treatment. No part of the body works, or can be considered, in isolation. Relevant psychological and social factors also form part of the process of patient diagnosis.
The key tools for osteopathic diagnosis include listening to the patient’s history, examining the whole body, observing movements. A wide range of gentle, non-invasive manual techniques such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation are applied therapeutically.
There is an emphasis on treating the whole person, looking for the cause rather than treating the presenting symptoms.
The osteopathy is based on a few principles:
1. The body is a unit. An integrated units of mind, body and spirit (A.T. Still)
2. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms, having the inherent capacity to defend repair and heal itself
3. Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related
These principles serve as the basis of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease.
At the first consultation a detailed case history is compiled, listening to the patient’s history of illnesses / trauma followed by a thorough examination and observation of movements- or more specific the lack of them – that might suggest a “blockage” in the body fluent operation. This may take up to an hour (sometimes an hour and a half). It is the Osteopath’s expertise that allows the physician to investigate en manipulate the patient’s “living anatomy” (motion of tissues en circulation of body fluids). Some patients may need just one treatment while others may have several appointments or return periodically for the long-term management of a condition.
What do we treat?
This is only part of the indications for a possible osteopathic treatment:
- Headache complaints (tension headache, cluster headache, migraine)
- Neck and shoulder complaints
- RSI injuries
- Back pains (acute and chronic back pain, hernia)
- Sciatica (radiations to the legs)
- Pelvic instability (also during en after pregnancy)
- Traumatic injury
- Digestive Disorder (upset stomach- stomach acid, sensitive stomach e.g. constipation, diarrhea, irritated bowel- IBS)
- Pregnancy (pre- and postnatal)
- Menstruation pain and cycles disorders
- Neurologic syndromes (MS)
- Vague complaints
- Burnout syndrome (chronic fatigue)
- Scar formation (adhesions)
- Residual complaints after operations
- Crying babies, reflux, restless babies, sleeping problems (falling asleep and sleeping), preferential posture, tilting of the head (torticollis), asymmetry of the skull (plagiocephaly), etc.