Understanding Osteopathic Medicine:
What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a natural medicine aimed to restore the natural pathways and function of the body by treating the root causes of the discomfort.
Osteopathic treatments are complementary to conventional medical treatment and are not an alternative medical treatment. Osteopathic manual practitioners will often rely on conventional medical diagnostic tools (eg. X-rays, MRIs, etc.) to determine the appropriate osteopathic treatment.
How does Osteopathy help assist the body to heal?
The osteopathic manual practitioner will rely on their palpation to work with the mobility, position and quality of the tissues causing the discomfort. This manual manipulation of the tissues will allow for the body to restore and enhances the body’s natural ability to self-regulate and heal.
Benefits of Osteopathic treatment:
Osteopathy is an effective and gentle treatment for people of all ages, as the techniques are non-invasive and very specific.
Conditions that can benefit from osteopathic treatments:
- Pain (headaches, TMJ, neck, back pain and acute and chronic pain from accidents)
- Digestive disorders
- Circulations disorders
- Genitourinary disorders
- Respiratory disorders (asthma, bronchitis)
- Chronic ear infections
- Birth trauma (forceps, suction, C –section)
- Spitting up
- Sucking difficulties
- Back pain during pregnancy or menstruation
- Edema and swelling during pregnancy
- Digestive upset
This short list of conditions that may benefit from an osteopathic treatment, if you have any specific concerns please don’t hesitate to email me directly.
Philosophy and Principles:
Osteopathy is a natural medicine that embraces the philosophy that the body has the innate ability to heal itself.
History of Osteopathy:
In 1864, Dr. Andrew Taylor Still, an American medical doctor, lost 3 family members to meningitis and began his 10 year journey towards developing a natural manual therapy that he found safer and more effective that the existing allopathic (western) medicine during that time.
In 1892, Dr. Still founded the American School of Osteopathy (ASO). The first class included 3 female students and 12 males students, which was revolutionary to have women in medical school at the time.
In 1917, the first osteopathic medical school opened in London, England. Osteopathy has continued to spread to other countries in Europe where they have gained official recognition and both osteopaths and osteopathic physicians are recognized. Osteopathy continues to spread to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, Russia and Brazil.
By 1926, osteopathic physicians in Canada created the Canadian Osteopathic Association and gained acknowledgement by the Canadian government. However, there were many different restrictions placed on the practice as health care regulations vary by provinces. Lobbying began between osteopathic physicians and allopathic medical associations for equal status in Canadian heath care began.
By 1970, due to all the restrictions placed on osteopathic physicians in Canada the numbers were starting to decline to near extinction.
In 1982, a group of health care practitioners in Quebec invited Philippe Druelle, an osteopath from France, to teach osteopathy in Quebec. This began the development of the College d’Etudes Osteopathiques (CEO) that offered a 5 year part-time program with clinical and academic study in osteopathic manipulation with a research thesis. Other osteopathy schools have been formed since 1982 but the CEO is still the largest.
In 1992, the CEO started a school in Toronto, named the Canadian College of Osteopathy (CCO). The school started with ten students enrolled and has now grown to over 200 students.
Osteopathic Educational Training:
There are currently two Ontario Association of Osteopathy (OAO) approved colleges. One of which is the Canadian College of Osteopathy.
The program at the Canadian College of Osteopathy is a 5 year part-time program with 34 courses and 20 days of supervised clinical practice and the completion of a research thesis that is evaluated by an international jury of Osteopaths and researchers. A pre-requisite is a degree in biological sciences and a current license as a health care practitioner.
Cranial-Sacral Treatment during Osteopathic Therapy:
Cranial-sacral treatment is actually a sub-set of osteopathy. It was developed by William Garner Sutherland, DO, a student of Dr. A.T. Still (founder of Osteopathy).
This treatment is created with the premise that the cranium (skull) and sacrum (tailbone), as well as all living tissues and systems in the body are in constant motion called the Primary Respiratory Mechanism (PRM). This is a key concept within Osteopathy.
In an osteopathic treatment, the practitioner is there to detect the client’s current cranial-sacral motility and restore the optimal rhythm of the PRM.
What to expect during an osteopathic consultation and treatment:
In an osteopathic consultation, it is common for the therapist to ask questions regarding your entire health history. This includes but is not limited to questions regarding all traumas (major or minor), surgeries, dental work, eye related problems, digestion, pregnancy, births (how you were born, how your children were born, if you have gave birth), medications, childhood illnesses and orthotics.
The reason for the extensive and detailed questions are to give the practitioner a global understanding of all the impacts that have effected to your whole body and the far reaching effects that it may have caused. For this reason, you can expect that the symptoms (eg. Pain) may show up in different areas of your body compared to where the actual root problem is and for that reason, your treatment may begin in an area further than the symptomatic region. As well there may be multiple contributing factors to the symptoms you are experiencing, that is why we may treat multiple areas before proceeding with the symptomatic region.
The treatment and assessment can be done fully clothed, but you may need to remove down to your undergarments. For this reason, it is more ideal for you to bring comfortable clothing (eg. gym clothing) to all the appointments. In the assessment, you will be required to demonstrate the series of actions for various joints in your body to see if you have any limitations or imbalances. The treatment techniques are very gentle, especially in the cranium (head) and you may not feel much movement as the techniques allow your tissues to adjust at its own speed and are not forced.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners are not Osteopaths (Osteopathic Physicians):
In Ontario, an Osteopath is a physician and a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario and not the same as an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner. Currently, there is no education available in Canada to become an osteopath. An Osteopathic Manual Practitioner is a health care practitioner who uses manual assessments and treatments to restore, maintain and improve the body’s normal physiological function to allow the body’s natural ability to heal.
Q: What should I bring to my first appointment?
A: Please bring any medical information you have about your health or injury (eg. x-rays, medication lists, doctor diagnoses) and dress comfortably by wearing loose clothing, as you can be assessed and treated fully clothed.
Q: What ages benefit from osteopathic and massage therapy treatments?
A: People from all ages, from infant to the elderly, can benefit from an osteopathic and massage therapy treatment.
Q: How often will I need treatments?
A: The number of treatments will depend on the severity of the condition you would like address. This can be better addressed after the assessment, health history and first treatment. It can range from once a week to once a month.
Q: What should I wear to my treatments?
A: Dress comfortably by wearing loose clothing (eg. gym clothes), as the assessments and treatment can be done fully dressed.
Q: What is the cancellation and missed appointments policy?
A: Please notify me with at least 24 hours in advance or you will be required to pay the full cost of the treatment as booked.
Q: What should I expect from an osteopathic treatment?
A: The treatment techniques are very gentle, especially in the cranium (head) and you may not feel much movement as the techniques allow your tissues to adjust at its own speed and are not forced.
Q: What methods of payment are available?
A: I accept cash, cheque, email transfer