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Friday
Oct172014

What is Osteopathy?

 

Osteopathy is a ‘hands-on' therapy (no surgery, medication, tablets or gimmicks) that restores the normal structure of the musculoskeletal system, which in turn improves the function of the nervous, circulatory and immune systems and allows faster healing, reducing pain, congestion and restriction within the body. Hands-on treatment ranges from very subtle techniques used for babies through to more robust techniques used for athletes.

Osteopathy takes into account not only physical symptoms, but also the patient's lifestyle and attitudes, as well as his or her overall health, effectively treating the patient as a whole. The osteopath considers physical, environmental and stress factors simultaneously.

Changes in the body lead to reduced or impaired function in the organs and tissues. Compensation gradually builds up until the body is unable to accommodate more change, at which time it may break down at the weakest part – even as a result of something quite trivial. Headaches, for example, could be the final symptom of lower-back or foot-related problems of which the patient may not even be aware. Osteopathic patients benefit because the underlying cause of the problem is treated.

Osteopathic treatment can improve many parts of the body by restoring normal movement in areas that have become dysfunctional. This allows for the restoration of normal function and enables the tissues to repair themselves more naturally.

The aim of osteopathy is to correct problems in the body frame, making it easier for the body to function normally and reducing the chance of problems occurring in the future.

In seeking to maintain good health and prevent future problems, the osteopath’s plan may include advice on posture, diet, lifestyle and stress. While biomechanics has become one of the most rapidly developing areas of medicine in recent years, osteopathy was one of the first professions to incorporate biomechanical analysis of how injuries occur and what the secondary effects are likely to be.