OSTEOPATHY TECHNIQUES

Osteopathy is
a NATURAL MEDICINE that views the individual as a functional 'whole' 
 - capable of restoring health to all parts for the wellness and vitality of the person.


Osteopathy is unique in that it focuses on the cause of pain and dysfunction rather than concentrating only on the symptoms.


A system of assessing how our 11 systems are functioning - alone, and together - osteopathic treatment f
ocuses on removing restrictions that prevent parts of the body from fulfilling their natural function - preventing you from feeling fit and healthy.

Using
very precise, drug-free, non-invasive, palpatory and manual techniques, osteopathic treatments strengthen the musculo-skeletal-fascial, fluid, and electrical systems, to remove restrictions and move the body toward a state of health.

The objective of Osteopathy is to restore mobility and proper function to every system in a body experiencing dysfunction and restriction.

Restoring mobility and proper function to each system allows normal interrelationships between systems. When normal structural and functional relationships exist between the body's systems, there is health in the whole.


With 11 different systems in the body, it is vital that all of our systems work well independently - and interrelate with each other properly.

These systems include:

  • Skeletal system (bones, ligaments)
  • Muscular system (muscle)
  • Nervous system (brain, spinal cord, nerve tissue, cerebrospinal fluid)
  • Cardiac system (heart, blood vessels)
  • Respiratory system (lungs, bronchi)
  • Digestive system (mouth, esophagus, stomach, stomach valves, gall bladder, intestinal visceræ and the organ of the Liver)
  • Elimination system (kidneys, bladder, colon)
  • Reproductive system
  • Endocrine system (hormones)
  • Immune system (thymus, spleen, cisterna chyli, lymphatics)
  • Integumentary system (skin, hair, nails)

Dr Andrew Taylor Still established the practice of Osteopathy in the late 1800s in the U.S. with the aim of using manual hands-on techniques to improve circulation and correct altered biomechanics, without the use of drugs.

Some of the techniques used in osteopathic treatment are:

Fascial Release
Fascial Release removes restrictions between several layers of connective tissue (fascia), promoting pain relief, greater ease of movement, and healthier function. Many release-combinations exist, often combined with other techniques, such as visceral manipulation.

Visceral Manipulation
Healthy internal organs (viscerae) are able to slide and glide over each other during normal movement. Restrictions in movement can show up in the layers of connective tissue (fascia) that surround the organs, in the same way that restrictions occur around muscles. Minor acid reflux, indigestion, bloating, gas and some types of abdominal pain may be symptoms of visceral restrictions. Visceral manipulation, a system of advanced osteopathic techniques developed by Osteopaths Barral & Mercier - also in scope now for specially trained massage therapists - can help minimize these restrictions, and move the body toward normal function.

Craniosacral Therapy
Craniosacral therapy works with the normal fluctuations of the nervous system's cerebrospinal fluid and the 'dura' (membranes that surround the brain, spinal cord and nerve roots). Dysfunctions in the craniosacral system are often a result of direct trauma or other existing conditions in the body. To apply this form of therapy in a directive, comprehensive way requires full Traditional Osteopathy training of five to seven years, and often used to effect positive changes in chronic pain, spasms, whiplash, concussions, balance problems, visceral dysfunctions, headaches, sinusitis, ear infections, temporomandibular (TMJ/jaw) problems, chronic nervous system conditions (multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic spinal injury) and general blood and lymph circulation.

Muscle Energy
Muscle Energy is an active therapy, designed to remove joint restrictions by using active muscle movements. Under the Therapist's direction, the Patient contracts specific muscle groups while the Therapist works to remove joint restrictions. The result is a dynamic form of re-positioning, re-mobilizing, and re-vitalizing muscles and their respective joints - as a group - back to health.

Osteoarticular Joint Mobilizations, Grades 1-4
Osteoarticular joint mobilizations are occasionally performed to promote greater range of motion, only after the associated soft-tissue structures are ready and available to accept the joint's change in position. Osteopathy uses Slow-Velocity, Low-Amplitude (SVLA) methods with zero force to achieve this change, so that the body accepts the improved range of motion and holds it in the body longer.

Decompaction
Decompacting joint surfaces from one another allows healthy synovial fluid to come into the jointspace and provide a liquid cushion at the joint's site and allow for proper movement.

Strain-Counterstrain
Strain-Counterstrain technique 'slackens' muscle and tendon groups to allow the central nervous system to 'reboot' the Gamma signal of tension back into the muscle area - thus 'rebooting' the muscle tissue back into its normal healthy tension.

Chapman's Reflexes
Chapman's Reflexes is a technique designed to relate nerve roots and spinal reflexes back to their associated organs. Chapman's Reflexes is also adopted in many hospitals worldwide as a tool to help diagnose acute conditions which may or may not involve the autonomic nervous system. In Osteopathy, we use Chapman's Reflexes as both an assessment and a treatment tool, when appropriate, often in combination with several other Osteopathic techniques.