What is Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a holistic healing modality that has existed since the late 1800’s. Classically-trained Osteopathic Manual Therapists (OMTs) are trained based on the original teachings of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still’s teaching are based on the following principles which stand true today:

  1. The human body is a dynamic unit of function comprising mind, body and spirit
  2. Function follows Anatomy – The anatomical structure of the body and physiological function are interdependent and interrelated on all levels
  3. The body is self-healing and self-regulating
  4. Rational treatment is based upon the above principles

Based on these principles, osteopathy offers more than “spinal manipulation” or “massage with manipulation”; in fact, the osteopathic approach is adapted to each person at each visit. OMTs are skilled and trained to use muscle or connective tissue stretching, rhythmic joint movements, muscle energy technique, cranial osteopathy, joint manipulation, positional release, myofascial release, and other gentle manipulative techniques that address all aspects of the body.

Think of putting an elastic band around the bottom of your finger very tightly. What would happen if you left it there for too long? Pain, swelling, blood restriction would all start taking place and eventually the finger may even need to be removed because the decreased nutrient and nerve supply would result in tissue deterioration. Although this is an extreme example, osteopathy is akin to removing the elastic bands between the tissues to restore neural communication and blood flow.

What does Osteopathy help with?

The treatments are commonly beneficial for any type of illness, injury, or stress including, but not limited to: headaches, neck pain, backaches, neuromusculoskeletal tensions, as well as the impairments of digestion, elimination, respiration, and the endocrine system. Osteopathy is safe, efficient and, most importantly, effective. OMT is appropriate for patients of all ages from infants to the elderly. Combinations of general and specific adjustments encourage balanced blood flow and neural impulses which support each individual patient’s capacity for self-healing.


The above infographic was made available from www.downtownwellness.ca

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