With a variety of healthcare professionals to choose from, it can be hard to know which treatment option is right for you. If you’re suffering from persistent pain or illness, seeing an osteopath could be beneficial for you. Osteopaths favour a holistic approach to health, incorporating all parts of the body. So how exactly does osteopathy work and what are its key foundations?
Discover what osteopathy is, it’s key principles and how they can help – reach out to us at The Whole Body Clinic for more information from our team.
What is an Osteopath?
An osteopath focusses on manual medicine including therapy, rehabilitation, education and advice on the joints muscles and spine. This involves a holistic approach to wellbeing, aiming to make changes for your whole body rather than just focussing on one isolated pain area. Osteopathy also recognises the way different parts of the body work together and therefore influence one another. In this way, treatment will often involve other parts of the body likely contributing to patient symptoms.
What are the Principles of Osteopathy?
The guiding rules for osteopathy are based on philosophies of Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, and have since been refined and improved for contemporary medicine. The principles of osteopathy can be broken down into three key points as follows:
1. The Body is a Unit
This focuses on how to structure of the body, such as joints, muscles and tendons, affect how well the body can function overall. In understanding this, osteopaths focus on the bigger picture of your health and wellbeing which is why they will consider all contributing factors of your symptoms. The aim is to have all parts of your body working together in harmony to achieve your optimum health.
2. The Body is Capable of Self-healing and Regulation
The body has a predisposition toward homeostasis – think of it like a cut, bruise or even breathing, you don’t have to tell your body as it already knows to heal itself. A key part of an Osteopath’s role is to help identify any blockages that may be hindering this ability to self-heal and regulate as it should. This could include things like repetitive movement, on-going stress, malnutrition or low-quality sleep. Manual therapy and a change in lifestyle habits often significantly improves these biological interferences.
3. Structure and Function are Interrelated
The structure of your body, like muscles, joints and nerves, versus the function of these tissues and patient as a whole are heavily interrelated. However, both of these also respond to internal and external influences, which in turn impacts each other’s functional ability. This is a complex relationship that influences healing, resilience and adjustment to change. An osteopath will channel this relationship in favour of healing to overcome illness or injury.
What Are the Benefits of Osteopathy?
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is that an osteopath will help to treat multiple conditions simultaneously. This means you don’t have to see multiple different health practitioners for each issue. Your osteopath may also use many different techniques, carefully designed to suit your body and treat all of your problem areas. This means that each patient will be treated as an individual but with the same underlying focus on your holistic health and wellbeing.
Osteopathy is also a non-invasive approach, utilising manual therapy methods of the hands. This means you’ll explore methods of physical therapy rather than jumping to a surgical approach. It is a proactive approach rather than a reactive one, which means your osteopath will address concerns and underlying issues early before they become a larger problem. Thoughtful education and awareness on how your body works will also minimise issues in the future and get you back to doing the activities you love most.
Book a Consultation with one of our Osteopaths
If you’re seeing one health professional or more but nothing seems to be working, turning your attention elsewhere might be the answer. Get to know how your body functions with the help of an experienced professional, to discover what could be hindering your recovery. At The Whole Body Clinic we offer expert osteopathic treatments tailored to your individual needs – book a session with us today.