What is Osteopathy ?
I would simply say Osteopathy is a medical form of massage best known for treating back pain and neck pain. But it is much more powerful, treating other health complaints such as stomach problems, breathing problems, children’s complaints, stress management and more.
How does Osteopathy achieve this?
Osteopathy uses the muscle-body-brain relationship. Through the action of releasing tight muscles, stiff joints, un-trapping nerves and bringing fresh blood to an area, health can be boosted.
Osteopath’s are highly specialised at boosting health by exploiting this relationship. By contrast traditional medicine largely exploits the chemical pathway to health. Using drugs they can also achieve the release of muscles, joints, trapped nerves and also increase blood flow. However comparing like for like osteopathy can provide a drug-free way of getting better free of toxic side effects.
Nevertheless the massage-treatment is only the headline work of an osteopath. Importantly and much less well known, is the educational work that goes into making osteopathic care successful. This allows the patient to take control of their health, getting better faster, and staying better. For example treatment may progress a person 3 steps forward but if you don’t know how to care for yourself, you may take 3 steps backward again. This is a common reason for failing to heal or for incomplete healing.
In this way osteopathy is as much about education and patient awareness, as it is about the headline massage and manipulation treatment people are more familiar with.
More Than Pain Relief
By keeping the muscles and joints doing what they were designed to do – move – osteopathy keeps your body fluid, fresh and active. Osteopathy can help with organs of the stomach (visceral osteopathy), relaxation of the mind & stress management (cranial osteopathy), management of new-born babies & children (paediatric osteopathy) and of course pain-relief.
Osteopathy is Movement. Movement is King
The unique contribution of osteopathy to healthcare is restoring health thought movement.
For example if your joints “rust up” you are more likely to injure as your body is less supple. If your neck muscles are tight it can obfuscate the blood flow to the brain creating “brain fog”, if your diaphragm is tight you may experience difficulty taking a proper breath or affect your digestion. If the base of your skull does not move freely it may create face, jaw, sinus or ear pain.
In all these cases and many more besides, movement is needed for health. Osteopathy provides this unique cross-over between movement and “healthy” health.
Perhaps that’s why osteopathy is so popular in the UK and widely used by so many people seeking a different type of help, providing a reliable alternative for so many health conditions.