What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual therapy built on the foundations of anatomy and physiology. The gentle touch of osteopathy is used to assess all the systems of the body, this includes all soft tissue, bone, nerves, circulatory and visceral (organs) systems. Together, these systems work in harmony to keep the human body functional and operating.
Over time things happen; life happens! All these stresses (physical and emotional), either chronic or acute, repetitive or traumatic, affect the harmony of the human systems to function properly as one. Osteopaths, using a number of techniques, work to restore function to the disrupted system allowing the body to self heal, bringing back harmony to the body.
Concepts and Principles
Osteopathic manual therapists believe that abnormal functioning of one area of the body can cause symptoms to present elsewhere in the body; the theory of ‘Tensegrity’. When the body is balanced there is no excessive stress anywhere in the body, but when the body becomes out of balance this can be amplified to other areas. For example, lack of proper spinal mobility can decrease shoulder mobility causing pain or dysfunctional foot mechanics that cause knee and hip pain.
Osteopathic manual therapists regard the whole of the body as greater than a collection of all its parts. They acknowledge the body’s inherent ability to heal itself and seek to support that process by removing any obstacles that impede it. In order for this to happen, osteopathic manual therapists specialize in individualized patient management, which includes educating the patient about their particular condition and how they can adjust their lifestyle to allow themselves the best possible chance recovery or optimal management. (Alberta Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapists)
How do I combine Kinesiology and Osteopathy?
Kinesiology, the study of human movement, has given me a solid foundation in identifying global movement dysfunctions. Osteopathy allows me to assess further, on a more local level, and from there provide manual therapy to help restore global synchronicity. When clients come to see me they can expect:
- A detailed history taking
- Global movement / palpatory assessment
- Manual therapy techniques (if appropriate)
How does an osteopathic kinesiology session tie in with other modalities?
The human body does not compartmentalize its function, if you suffer with depression and anxiety, there is a good chance that both the visceral and soft tissues of the body may become symptomatic. Having an osteopathic approach to healthy movement and overall function may decrease the negative effects associated to the physical body; it is always the goal to identify and correct the root cause of any ailments. A team of health care providers increases the chance of restoring overall health on all levels.
Naturopathic doctors provide an understanding of human physiology and biochemistry that greatly enhance the function of all systems. Psychologists provide healing on a mental and spiritual level that show up physically. Nutritional consultants help nourish the system, and without proper nourishment, the body is unable to adapt. Wellness specialists (yoga and meditation) can work physically, mentally and spiritually helping to restore or maintain a healthy body.
For more information on Osteopathy I encourage you to view the Alberta Association of Osteopathic Manual Therapy and the Canadian Federation of Osteopathy. It is an unregulated field and important to educate yourself when choosing a manual osteopath.