What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy is a holistic system of health care that is based on the philosophy that the body functions best when in a state of balance and alignment. Osteopaths use hands-on techniques to treat the whole body including the muscles, joints, ligaments, organs and nervous system. They aim to align the body, release strain and restriction within the joints, relax tension within the muscular system and optimize function of the whole body.

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial osteopathy is a very gentle style of treatment which uses small and subtle movements to help unwind and release strains in the body and the skull. It is particularly useful for treating babies and children because it is so gentle. Osteopaths who use this technique have completed extensive post-graduate training in order to master the use of this gentle and effective form of treatment.

Osteopathy and Children

Osteopathy is a gentle and effective way to treat babies and children and can help with a variety of conditions. In the older child, osteopathic treatment can help with:

  • Headaches
  • Growing pains
  • Behavioral problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Alignment problems
  • Asthma
  • Developmental delay
  • Recurrent ear infections

In the infant, conditions which can benefit from treatment include:

  • General unsettledness
  • Breast-feeding problems
  • Colic
  • Reflux
  • Asymmetrical head shape or neck movement
  • Sleeping difficulties

What Happens During a Treatment?

When you come in for your treatment the first thing that happens is that a detailed case history is taken, then the osteopath will begin to examine you for signs of tissue tension, asymmetry, restricted range of motion and areas of tenderness. Sometimes outer items of clothing will need to be removed in order to complete an effective examination. The osteopath is building up a picture of the unique strain patterns within your body and is beginning to formulate a treatment plan to help restore optimum motion of the joints, reduce muscular spasm and ease pain.

manipulation of knee

After discussing the findings, the osteopath will use hands-on techniques to help restore the body’s natural state of balance. These techniques range from very gentle joint and muscle release to a more direct and manipulative style of treatment, depending on what your body responds best to. Often specific stretches or exercises can be prescribed to encourage patients towards more effective self-management of their condition, and advice on posture, lifestyle, diet and exercise will be given when required. Where appropriate, referrals to other practitioners including GPs will be made to ensure that the patient is receiving the most appropriate and effective form of treatment for their specific condition.