Manual Osteopathy

Manual osteopathy is a holistic manual medicine that combines current medical knowledge with the osteopathic philosophy. Scientific plausibility and evidence-based outcomes have a high priority in patient treatment and case management. Yazdans’s approach to osteopathic treatment is unique, innovative and prominent. Each manual osteopathy session with Yazdan can include some or all of the following: Osteo-articular (gentle joint mobilization), Muscle Energy techniques, soft tissue therapy such as trigger point therapy, Myofascial Release and Lymphatic Drainage, Visceral Manipulation, Craniosacral therapy, Therapeutic exercises and nutritional advice. Treatments are customized for each individual according to their age, physical characteristics and specific reactions to treatments.

Manual osteopathy is best known for treatment of neuro-musculo-skeletal disorders such as back and neck pain, sciatica, sporting injuries and postural strain. Put simply, optimising structural balance allows the physiology to perform optimally. Manual osteopathy is a patient-centered approach to health care rather than disease centered. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognises the osteopathic concept of somatic dysfunction as scientific, and the British Medical Association also recognises osteopathy as a discrete health discipline.

Osteopathy can help relieve:

  • Acute / Chronic low back pain
  • Acute / Chronic neck pain
  • Whiplash Associated disorders
  • Migraine
  • Joint pains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatic pain
  • Arthritic pain
  • Neuralgia (Trapped nerves)
  • Sciatica
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle Tension / Spasms
  • Cramp
  • Minor sports injuries
  • Repetitive strain injuries
  • General shoulder girdle pain
  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen shoulder)
  • Tennis / Golfers Elbow
  • Knee pain
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Inability to relax
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Postural problems
  • Emotional distress and anxiety

History of Osteopathy

Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still was a Missouri medical physician who had become frustrated with what he saw as the ineffective nature of remedies at that time. He believed that the doctor’s role in fighting disease was to restore the body’ s proper musculoskeletal function. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy in Missouri in 1892. The school taught manual manipulation, nutrition, and lifestyle modifications rather than surgery and drug therapies.

Dr. Andrew Taylor Still believed that many disease or illness began with structural problems in the spine. Long nerves connect the spine to various organs in the body. According to Dr. Still, when there is a problem with the spine, the nerves send abnormal signals to the body’s organs. Still called these spinal problems “osteopathic lesions” (“osteo” for bone and “pathic” for diseased), and created osteopathic manipulation techniques (OMTs) to treat them. These treatments, he believed, would return the nerves to their normal function and allow the blood to flow freely throughout the circulatory system. With structure restored, the body’s own natural healing powers would be able to restore full health.

How Osteopathy Works

An osteopath’s role lies in

  • diagnosing and treating the factors that inhibit health thus restoring balance in the body through natural, non-invasive, hands-on techniques.
  • Stretching and releasing connective tissues, e.g. muscles, tendons and fascia that inhibit mobility
  • Strengthening unstable joint through muscle conditioning
  • Enhancing circulation and lymphatic drainage
  • Improving nerve supply
  • Educating about diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.

Principles of Osteopathy

1) The body is a unit.

2) Structure and function are reciprocally inter-related.

3) The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms.

4) The body has the inherent capacity to defend and repair itself.

5) When the normal adaptability is disrupted, or when environmental changes overcome the body’s capacity for self maintenance, disease may ensue.

6) The movement of body fluids is essential to the maintenance of health.

7) The nerves play a crucial part in controlling the fluids of the body.

8) There are somatic components to disease that are not only manifestations of disease, but also are factors that contribute to maintenance of the disease state.

These principles are the underpinnings of the osteopathic philosophy on health and disease. This philosophy is simple and sensible. When applied in practice, osteopathy can make profound changes in a person’s health.

When You Visit an Osteopath

The osteopathic manual practitioner conducts a thorough health survey listening to the chief complaint, any health issues, and other medical interventions received throughout the patient’s life.

The osteopathic manual practitioner conducts a physical examination to rule out any major health concerns and ensuring a safe treatment can be provided. The practitioner assesses all systems and structures that may be related to the area of complaint.

After reviewing the examination findings with the patient, the osteopathic manual practitioner creates a treatment plan.

Hands on Treatments are administered based on the assessment, and consecutive treatments are administered as needed.

Each session may include: Joint Mobilization, Muscle Energy techniques, soft tissue therapy, Visceral Manipulation, Craniosacral therapy, therapeutic exercises and nutritional advice.

Who Will Benefit?

Osteopathy is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. It offers an approach with gentle non-invasive techniques. An osteopathic assessment is so refined that the osteopathic manual practitioner can detect dysfunction without necessarily even having the benefit of a specific complaint, often difficult to obtain from young children.

Osteopathy is equally beneficial to athletes (whether professional or amateur), individuals with problems stemming from a sedentary job or life style, those exposed to occupational hazards, and to people suffering from a wide range of traumas.

Osteopathy can be a complement to medical care for women throughout their pregnancy and to mothers immediately after the delivery. In fact, osteopathy can be very effective in assisting the mother’s body to restore and resume function in the post-partum period.

Osteopathy assists patients to “manage” their own health so that “good health” is restored and maintained whenever possible. The philosophy of osteopathy promotes ‘health’ as opposed to ‘illness’, teaches people to learn to appreciate a quality of life and encourages opportunities to live it to the fullest.

Osteopathy as a science and an art

Osteopathy is a science because it rests on developed studies of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and other sciences.

It is an art because Osteopathic manual practitioners must be able to feel (in osteopathic language we speak of listening) with their hands all the responses to diagnostic tests.

They should interpret tensions before normalizing them.

In order to be more effective, their manual therapeutic work should be constantly modulating between the quantity and quality of their touch.

Yazdan Raees

Author

yazdanraees

Yazdan is a member of the Society of Osteopaths of Canada and studied Osteopathic Manual Therapy at National Academy of Osteopathy in Toronto under the guidance of Dr. Shahin Pourgol. He currently continues his education in the field of Botanical Medicine through National University of Medical Sciences in Spain. In addition to Yoga, Meditation, Philosophy and Bodywork, Yazdan enjoys swimming, practicing Tai Chi, and playing didgeridoo.