Living Healthily - Alternative Health - Osteopathy

Menu

  
  

Osteopathy

Osteopathy treatment can both relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the following conditions:

Cranial Osteopathy is especially helpful in treating babies and children and the frail and elderly where manipulation is not possible.  The following conditions respond well to this type of treatment:

PLEASE NOTE:
OSTEOPATHY AND ACUPUNCTURE COMBINE VERY WELL TOGETHER AND OFTEN PRODUCE MORE RAPID RESULTS IN COMBINATION THAN ALONE.  YOU CAN OPT TO HAVE BOTH TREATMENTS IN YOUR HALF HOUR SESSION AFTER YOUR INITIAL CONSULTATION AT NO EXTRA CHARGE.

Suzanne G. Harper is a member of the General Osteopathic Council and her details are available in their register.

 


 

What does an Osteopath actually do? 

Osteopathy is based on the premise that mechanical imbalances in the musculo-skeletal system predispose the body to ill health by reducing circulation of vital fluids, i.e. blood and lymph.  On a practical level, Osteopaths work with their hands, using highly developed palpatory and manipulative skills to get the best possible alignment of the spine and musculo-skeletal system.  Because their patients are mainly self-referred, their training lays great emphasis on recognising whether the presenting condition is caused by organic or functional disease.  Whenever there is any doubt, they will always refer the patient back to their G.P. for further testing and investigation.  Whilst organic disease does not preclude osteopathic treatment, it does mean that the selection of techniques may need to be modified and/or restricted.

Organic disease refers to conditions where there is demonstrable pathology or infection involved, e.g. kidney stones.  Functional disease refers to conditions where there are symptoms but no clear evidence of pathology, e.g. sciatica occurring after a lumbar strain caused by lifting.  Osteopaths consider that functional disease is a manifestation of the somatic-visceral reflex, and their treatment usually produces very positive results in these cases.  They are specialists in treating musculo-skeletal pain throughout the body, and speedy referral usually ensures more rapid results, whilst, at the same time, reducing the number of treatment sessions required.  RCGP guidelines and the Clinical Standards Group on Back Pain both recommend manipulation if symptoms last more than a few days.

In some cases, the pain of organic disease can be alleviated by osteopathic treatment.  For example, patients referred and regularly monitored by Consultant Oncologists have experienced significant relief of pain from Osteopathy.
 
Apart from manipulation, what other techniques does an Osteopath use? 

Soft tissue techniques and massage, mobilisation of joints, positional release techniques and cranio-sacral work, all of which are both gentle and safe, especially for children and the elderly.

How is Osteopathy regulated? 

The Osteopaths Bill was passed by Parliament in 1993.  Its purpose was to create a system of self-regulation for Osteopaths in keeping with other health professionals.

The General Osteopathic Council was set up in 1997 and is the official regulatory and disciplinary body for the profession.

What research is available about Osteopathy? 

American Medical Insurers hold a wealth of statistical information regarding Osteopathy as they found it was more cost effective for patients to be treated in Osteopathic hospitals because of swifter post-operative recovery times.  These hospitals currently run research programmes.  They did the basic research on the efficacy of Osteopathy from 1910 to 1920 when the Federal Authorities threatened them with closure pending proof of its benefits to the general public. 

In the UK, ongoing research is being carried out by the schools of Osteopathy.

Useful Websites:

Osteopathy:   www.osteopathy.org.uk