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Manual Osteopathy follows a principles based approach, with the understanding and theory of four main principles. The objective of this treatment is to restore the body's ability to self-heal and self-regulate, through realigning the body and removing pressure or compression on any and all nerves, arteries, veins and lymphatic's. Should any of the these structures become compromised, all the structures that they supply and drain will also be compromised and so disease begins. This treatment brings motion back to areas and systems in which it has been lost, and allows the body to function the way it was made to function.
The first main principle to bring the body into health is that the body is a 'dynamic unit of function' and works together for the good of the entire body and person. If one nerve, muscle, gland, one organ or one system is failing, the entire body fails as every piece of the body may have their own function and job to do; they all need each other for good health to be maintained. This also means that a problem with your right ankle might not be actually coming from your ankle, but from your low back or pelvis and affecting how you weight bear on that ankle which then causes the pain.
The second main principle is that the body has the inherent ability to self-heal, -protect and –regulate. Should we come in to contact with a virus or contaminant, the body has systems that will fight this intruder and protect the entire body from succumbing to it. Should we cut our leg, the body has a system to clot the cut and prevent bleeding out as well as an entire healing process. Should we become over heated our body sweats to cool us down, should we become too cold our muscles "shiver" to warm us up. We have automatic reflexes and systems that secrete fluids that protect us, give us the nutrients we need from our food, regulate our heart rate and blood pressure, and release hormones to maintain our homeostasis. In other words, we were created to have everything we need to survive.
The third principle outlines the structure and function loop of the body, that structure and function are reciprocally interrelated. Our bodies can only function based on its structures and how they are working, and our structures can change based on the function we ask of our bodies. Someone who just begins to lift weights may not be able to lift more than 5lbs at first, but as they continue demanding more and more weight on their body more frequently, the muscle cells will multiply and grow and therefore the ability to lift heavier weights will grow.
The fourth principle tells the Osteopathic manual practitioner that the above three principles will be consistently in mind and used when assessing and treating a patient. Our objective is to restore the body's inherent ability to self heal and self regulate. If we keep in mind that should we change the structure, the function will in turn change and vice versa, and that one small problem in the body is a problem for the entire body. This means, therefore, that a small problem can become a big problem. It is our job to find the health in the patient, not the disease, and bring the entire body into this health.
How Can Osteopathy help you?
If you have any of the following, or just a general interest in health and prevention, this is the therapy for you:
What to Expect on your First Visit
Once you arrive for your first appointment, we will ask that you fill out a confidential medical health history and consent form, in order to better treat you specifically based on your body and its needs. Once your practitioner has reviewed the forms with you in a patient interview and been through a complete review of systems, the assessment and treatment may begin. In a treatment, we ask that you wear loose and flexible clothing and remove shoes, belts and any items from your pockets. Your practitioner will be both assessing and treating throughout the treatment through gentle, safe and rhythmical motions. The treatment typically lasts between 30 to 40 minutes. Your practitioner will then offer a treatment plan after the treatment and advise when and how often you should be getting treatment based on their findings, and may also give remedial exercise for in between treatments.
Follow up visits will be 15-20 minutes shorter than initial visits, and shouldn’t require any paperwork or as thorough an interview. The practitioner will typically ask for an update on any changes to health as well as the reaction to the previous treatment. The treatment will last between 20-30 minutes and as the subsequent visits go on, may become more tailored to what the cause of the pain or problem is, becoming more focal, deeper or specific.