The discipline of osteopathy includes various different kinds of approach. And even different osteopaths who follow they same general approach may use different kinds of techniques to achieve their goals. So if a client goes to five different osteopaths, the treatment they receive may seem different from each one. Given this, I am providing here some information to give you an idea, so far as possible without actually showing you, about how I work and the philosophy behind what I do.
- Painful mechanical disorders of the spine, joints, muscles, tendons and nerves.
- Other symptoms associated with such mechanical disorders, such as headaches and vertigo.
- Any health problem in which mechanical, psychosocial factors (stress) or lifestyle combine to affect the problem.
- Manual treatment.
- Problem solving: my approach is a logical one focused on solving your problem.
- Personalised treatment.
- Look at your lifestyle, diet and other environmental influences on your health.
- Take an interest in psychological influences on your health.
- Have a special interest in chronic (long-standing, more complex) problems.
I don’t do:
- Cranial/Craniosacral treatments.
- Putting bones “back in place”.
- Superficial fixes or instant cures.
- «Energy» work.
So please do not expect spectacular techniques, nor complicated, or esoteric methods. My approach is simple, concrete, and thorough. It applies technical knowledge, experience and reason to the art of manual treatment.
What do you actually do when you treat somebody with your hands?
I use gentle manual techniques applied to the soft tissues and joints. My general way of working makes use of a number of different techniques such as massage, stretches, the use of gentle rhythmic movements, techniques involving a small muscular effort from the patient, and others involving precise positioning to achieve relaxation of the tissues. The objective is to promote normal tone, mobility, and alignment. Often, particularly in long-standing conditions, I will treat the whole body in this way.
I tend to avoid the practice of forcibly pushing individual bones this way or that way in an attempt to «correct» them. Clicks and cracks come very sparingly if at all with my treatments. Rather, I seek to promote health in the body’s tissues through gradually improving freedom of movement. I seek fluidity, coordination, balance. This is in contrast to the rather simplistic and superficial «click it where it hurts» approach that is frequent today. The aim is to achieve positive change in a physical but non-traumatic way.
How does it work?
Treatment is based on the simple observation that, given a favourable environment and in the absence of impediments, the body can often heal itself. There are many stresses and strains in life which can hinder recuperation, and disorder of the musculoskeletal system is one of these. With an easing of strain in the musculoskeletal system, the healing efforts of the body may more easily do their work. In fact, practitioners and patients have long observed that beneficial effects of manual treatment extend beyond the musculoskeletal system to the general functioning of the body, as manifest in improved health, vitality, and quality of life. Other important aspects are attention to psychological, lifestyle and environmental influences on health.
My role is to promote health by facilitating the organism’s capacity for healing. I regard ill health as a problem to be solved; if it is solvable, I use my knowledge and skills to help you to a solution.
Many of the patients I see have longer-term problems. Even a first episode of pain is often just the final result of a long-term accumulation of stresses, strains, trauma and postural issues. Here, the best solution is not a «quick fix», but the gradual, gentle and sure resolution or improvement in the underlying factors that are maintaining the condition.
My approach is not one of chasing symptoms. For example, if you have several different areas of pain or other symptoms, there is usually a more fundamental problem which renders the organism generally vulnerable to stress and strain. Thus the rational approach is not to treat each symptom or area, but to identify and address fundamental causes, such as whole-body patterns of dysfunction, postural, dietary, psychological and lifestyle factors.