What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a system of healthcare based on recognised and uncontroversial biology and science. There’s no magical thinking or woo-woo involved, no reliance on esoteric “energies” or mysterious unmeasurable “forces”, and no claim to unexplained new laws of physics that only work in osteopathic clinics. An osteopath will work with your body and lifestyle to resolve pain discomfort and disfunction.
As an osteopath everything I do to treat my patients relates back to your anatomy, physiology and the three principles of osteopathy:
– Structure and function are dependent on each other.
– The body strives to restore health and comfort.
– The rule of the artery is supreme.
At its simplest this means that if your anatomy – how your body fits together – isn’t at its best, then you can’t function to your best, and sooner or later that’s going to hurt. If your physiology – the internal workings of the chemistry of your body – isn’t at its best, then again, your body won’t work at its best. But your body always tries to mend itself.
Sometimes, your body can’t quite manage on its own. You know when that is, because that’s when it hurts. As an osteopath, it’s my job to help – not only to stop it from hurting, but to stop it from starting again.
Osteopathy is suitable for a broad range of people from babies and children, to pregnant and nursing mothers, to the eldery; from the very active to the very sedentary.
How Does It Work?
As an osteopath, I discover not only the immediate cause of pain or discomfort, but any underlying cause or predisposition. That might be from the way you grew, to the way you move or old injuries. I then help your body to correct itself and not only work without pain, but work to avoid the same problems cropping up again later.
I achieve this for you by using a combination of manual treatments to encourage your body to subtley alter its position and change the tensions between one area and another. With your anatomy better arranged, there are fewer challenges for it to overcome, and you can function again.
What happens at your first visit?
After you arrive, a full medical history will be taken, and a case history of the problem that’s prompted your appointment.
I’ll examine your posture, your movement, and what movements are uncomfortable or painful. We’ll discuss a diagnosis and a treatment plan. I’ll explain what that will involve. We’ll only start treatment once you’ve made an informed decision to agree a plan. You can ask any questions you like at any time, and you can bring a halt to treatment.
You may be asked to undress to your underwear for the examination and treatment. With that in mind, if you’ll be more comfortable bringing along a friend or family member, then please do. Remember it’s your privacy the clinic and I protect – not mine (I don’t mind an audience!)
A little more important information
By law, all osteopaths in the UK are registered with The General Osetopathic Council, who ensure we’re all trained to a high standard and that we maintain those standards throughout our careers. Their job is to regulate the practice of osteopathy and promote patient safety; to make sure we do the things we should (and not do the things we shouldn’t). All osteopaths have extended DBS checks (formerly CRB).
Some other perspectives
We joke that the collective noun for osteopaths is a “Difference Of Osteopaths”. Get five of us in a room and you’ll have six definitions of osteopathy. So here are some other descriptions:
– My old college The BSO’s description
– The General Osteopathic Council’s description
– The Institute Of Osteopathy’s description