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  • Writer's pictureJustine Bullen

Osteopathy 101

Treatments & Benefits of Osteopath Manual Therapy Osteopathic manual therapy is a form of holistic manual therapy based on the tenets of natural healing, and it focuses on the inter-relatedness of the human body. Osteopathic manual practitioners extensively study the anatomy of all body systems to understand their many connections. This in-depth understanding of the body is the foundation of our treatments for acute or chronic dysfunctions you may be experiencing.

The first principle of osteopathy is the body works as a whole unit, and no part functions independently. I will always be taking this into consideration when treating you. Osteopathy also acknowledges that we are part of our environment, where and how we live directly impacts our health and wellness. Osteopathy works in conjunction with western medicine and is science based in the belief that our bodies can heal themselves if our environment supports it. My responsibility as a manual osteopath is to help facilitate this change within you.

Manual osteopathy uses non invasive forms of manual therapy to achieve balance within your body. Many of these techniques you will be familiar with including massage, soft tissue release, joint mobility, lymph massage, acupressure points, trigger point releasing and fascia (connective tissue) release. Other techniques, including visceral manipulation and craniosacral therapy, are more specific to manual osteopathy and may be new to you. Visceral Manipulation is a form of gentle manual therapy to assess and treat the viscera (organs), their position, suspension system along with fascia and ligaments from which they directly attach into your musculoskeletal system. Imbalances in the viscera and its connective tissue may be directly related to posture and postural imbalances and can impact the musculoskeletal, nervous, vascular, respiratory and digestive systems. Craniosacral therapy is also extremely gentle, with light pressure to the skull, spine and sacrum to help release fascia and work with our central nervous system to help cause a parasympathetic change in our bodies. We’re often in fight-or-flight mode due to the stress we experience in life. The goal is to bring you back to rest-digest-and-restore to allow your body to find balance.

Many conditions and dysfunctions can benefit from manual osteopathy such as migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, TMJ disorders and musculoskeletal injuries. Even though the techniques used are gentle, your body is undergoing a big change. You may feel worse for a day or two while your body is getting used to better circulation, new posture alignment, increased lymph flow and improved digestion. I strongly recommend self care after treatments, no heavy lifting, plenty of fresh water, gentle stretching, and walking is encouraged along with heat or ice to stimulate circulation or calm inflammation. Typically, it's fine to go back to your regular schedule 24 hours after an appointment.

Manual osteopathy offers a vast depth of therapies, and it focuses on lifestyle change, so you get lasting results from your treatments with me. I’m excited to bring my practice to Kingsway Wellness and happy to be accepting new patients!

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