Osteopaths are guided by three main principles:
The body is a unit
This means that it is all connected and changes in one area can influence the other areas. An example is shoulder pain, your Osteopath will not just look at your shoulder but consider the body as a whole and what may be contributing to the shoulder issue developing.
Structure and function are interrelated
If you alter the structure you will alter how the tissues in that area function and vice versa. Changes in muscles, joints, circulation and nerves can influence each other and affect how the body works. Think of a person with a hunched back (kyphosis), this can affect how well their lungs will function, whereas someone with emphysema may get a barrel chest as the function of the lungs is creating a change in structure.
The body has the ability to heal itself
Our bodies normally fix themselves. If we cut ourselves, the cut gradually heals. The body is always trying to work to its best ability and correct itself, to adapt to any issues. Osteopathic treatment works with the body to address restrictions or barriers that are stopping the body from putting itself right, so that it can fix itself.
Osteopathy recognises the importance of the link between the structure of the human body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on the body's mechanical balance. It assesses how the muscles, joints, soft tissues, internal organs, circulation and nerves are functioning and how they are affecting each individual's symptoms.
As no two people are the same, it is important for Osteopaths to discover what factors are contributing to your condition. On your first visit, the Osteopath will spend time taking a detailed medical history, including important information about your work and lifestyle. You may be asked to undress to your undergarments to allow the Osteopath to further assess and treat your body (a gown is available on request). You may also be asked to perform a series of simple movements. This will allow for a full diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Osteopaths use a range of hands on techniques to identify and treat abnormalities within the human structure and its function, which may be limiting the body's ability to heal itself. With added exercises, postural advice and ergonomic guidance, Osteopaths aim to help to reduce the symptoms and improve your health and quality of life.