The focus of Osteopathy is to align and mobilize the body (bones, fascia, organs, all tissues). The philosophy of Osteopathy is that good alignment and mobility free circulation. The blood contains natural medication and healing properties enabling the body to heal itself from within. A good practitioner uses more than a series of techniques. They use extensive knowledge of anatomy and intricate palpation skills to restore alignment. Osteopathy doesn’t force the body to do anything (i.e. force a bone to move), rather, the practitioner travels along the path of least resistance to restore mobility. When an area is properly treated, it shouldn’t need the same, repeated adjustments over and over. This is why it’s known for being a gentle and safe, yet effective, therapy.
There are four tenets of Osteopathy that guide the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner:
- The body is a unit (body, soul, and spirit, none of which should be forgotten)
- The body has self-regulating and self-healing abilities
- Structure and function are interrelated
- Rational treatment is based on an understanding of these principles: body unity, self-regulation, and the interrelationship of structure and function
History of Osteopathy
Andrew Taylor Still officially founded the practice of Osteopathy in Missouri, in 1874. (Fun fact: it’s two years older than the chiropractic profession). People came from all over the world to get trained by A.T. Still and it quickly grew to be a worldwide profession. While it has thrived in the USA and Europe, Canada lacked osteopathic educational institutions and it became a dead profession. Thus, people today often mistake it for being a new therapy.
Check out this video on “What is Osteopathy?”
Accurate historical readings about Osteopathy can be found at the A.T. Still Univesity’s website.
Here is a Canadian YouTube channel dedicated to Osteopathy.
Massage Therapy has a surprisingly huge scope of practice, making it an excellent choice for not only relaxation purposes, but therapeutic ones as well. Classically, it uses Swedish massage techniques to help relax tight muscles and improve localized circulation. It can also be very therapeutic in nature and use more advanced techniques such as joint mobilizations (<grade 4), myofascial release, hydrotherapy, craniosacral release… you name it!
Every therapist has their own style and finesse (as with most things in life) which is a huge benefit for clients who are looking for something different than what they already have, or maybe just getting their feet wet. Finding someone you connect with who will be able to modify and adapt according to your various needs at each appointment is important.