Osteopathy is a form of drug-free non-invasive manual therapy that focuses on total body health by treating and strengthening the musculoskeletal framework, which includes the joints, muscles and spine. It looks at symptoms within the body as a whole, rather than focusing on discrete areas. Osteopaths use manual techniques such as deep tissue massage, joint articulation and manipulation to release tensions and blockages in the body tissues. The aim is to restore balance to all the systems of the body, not just the muscles and joints, including the nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Cranial Osteopathy is a gentler and more subtle branch of osteopathy using very gentle manipulative pressures to encourage the release of stresses and strains throughout the body, including the head.
‘I first went to see Charlotte with a back problem which had not responded well to heavy manipulation. Charlotte got me back on track with a combination of adjustments and exercises – she has an uncanny ability to spot muscle and joint imbalances and sort them out. I now very much rely on Charlotte to keep me going despite the strains imposed by various asymmetric sporting activities; she has done a fantastic job and I wouldn’t go anywhere else’.
Is osteopathy regulated?
Osteopathy is an established system of diagnosis and treatment and is regulated by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). GOsC maintains a statutory register of osteopathic practitioners entitled to practice. These practitioners on the Register have completed a long training and meet the highest standards of safety and competence. They all have professional indemnity insurance. Under the Osteopaths Act of 1993 osteopathy was accorded statutory recognition and the title ‘osteopath’ is protected by law. In the UK it is now a criminal offence to describe oneself as an osteopath unless registered with GOsC.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT THE SITE OF THE GENERAL OSTEOPATHIC COUNCIL (GOsC) www.osteopathy.org.uk
An example of treatment for pain from tissue damage using osteopathy.
You may have symptoms of low back pain that came on immediately when you were putting a heavy bag into the boot of the car. The back went into spasm, there was pain and you had to rest. Having identified the cause, treatment might involve relieving tight muscles in the lower back and hips with massage, and also loosening the mid back. I might use gentler cranial osteopathic techniques to release some compression in the sacrum from a previous snow-boarding accident. We might then have look at why the low back had been vulnerable in the first place, perhaps poor posture or weakness. We would then look at long term strategies and advice to help prevent a similar incident happening again.