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-skeletal system, mostly on muscles and joints, using holistic and patient-centred approaches. A core principle behind osteopathy is the idea that the body is an integrated and indivisible whole, and contains self-healing mechanisms that can be utilised 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. Osteopaths use touch, physical manipulation, stretching and massage techniques to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscular tension, enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues and to help a person’s own healing mechanisms.
A wide range of gentle, non-invasive manual techniques such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation are applied therapeutically. The key tools for osteopathic diagnosis include:
- listening to the patient’s history,
- examining muscles and joints,
- observing movements.
- X -rays, scans and other clinical investigations are also used if required.
Osteopathy is designed to provide pain relief for the body’s structural and mechanical problems and can benefit most types of aches, pains and strains in people of every age. It is a natural therapy which combines manual ‘hands on’ techniques with exercise and advice. An osteopath works to restore your body to a state of balance without using drugs or surgery Osteopaths often provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent problems from re-occurring For more information on osteopathy please visit the General Osteopathic Council website