What is Osteopathy and how does it work?
Osteopathy is a holistic therapy which works on the musculoskeletal system to help the body invoke its own self-healing properties. Osteopathy began in America in the 1800s, founded by Dr Andrew Taylor Still. He lost three children to meningitis, unable to help them even though he was a medical doctor. Disillusioned with conventional medicine, Still studied anatomy by using bones from native American graves and formulated the theory that the human body has an innate ability to heal itself and that poor health could result from restrictions in the musculoskeletal framework. Osteopathy is now known as a treatment for musculoskeletal disorders such as backache, sciatica, neck pain, headache, trapped nerves and joint problems. However, osteopaths regard it as much more far-reaching than this. Nerves and blood vessels which supply the organs must pass through or around muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments. Any structural imbalance can therefore have widespread effects on the whole body. Through this relationship, osteopathy can sometimes help with conditions such as migraines, bowel disorders, breathing problems and noises in the ear, to mention just a few. Osteopathy can thus treat the whole body by affecting the blood and nerve supply to the various parts and organs of the body through the spine, thus allowing the body to heal itself through the following concepts that Still formulated:
The body has its own natural healing powers and self-regulatory mechanismsThe body is an integrated unit and all its systems are interrelatedThe mechanical component of the body is important in both health and disease
How can an Osteopath help me?
If you suffer with:
- Back pain;
- Joint problems:
- Sports injuries;
- Neck pain;
- Trapped nerves.
What happens in an osteopathy treatment?
Joanne will take a case history about your health, past problems, family conditions and the reasons for your visit.
You will need to undress to your underwear and your joints and movements will be examined. Osteopathy is a holistic therapy and all body systems are interrelated: the cause of your pain may lie elsewhere, so the osteopath will need to look at the whole body. She may perform other tests such as blood pressure, reflexes, etc to make sure you are likely to benefit from treatment. If not, she might refer you elsewhere or to your GP. Treatment is tailored to the individual and varies from person to person and even between treatments. It is not usually painful, though you may ache afterwards. Joanne will also advise on posture, ergonomics and exercises to prevent recurrence. She can ease muscular pain and the nerve pain of trapped nerves such as sciatica by using various techniques, including manipulation if required. She can help by providing both pain relief and stress relief in a relaxing, therapeutic environment
Most problems will need more than one treatment session, but the average is 4-6 sessions. Some chronic (long-term) problems, such as arthritis, may benefit from regular “maintenance” treatment.
Visit Joanne at her osteopathy clinic in Rayleigh. Book an appointment today by calling 0800 2300719 or text 07956 524679