"An osteopath is only a human engineer, who should understand all the laws governing his engine and thereby master disease."

 

ANDREW TAYLOR STILL

WHAT IS OSTEOPATHY?

Osteopathy is a practice that focusses on enabling the body to heal itself through gentle manipulation of joints and muscular tissues and was founded in 1874 by Andrew Taylor Still, the son of a pioneer doctor, under whom he apprenticed at the culmination of the Jacksonian era. After serving in the Civil War, Still began to dedicate his life to the study of the human body. Disdaining the common practices of physicians of the 1800's he believed that everything that was necessary to sustain life was already present within the body.With this in mind Still made it his life's work to seek out non-medicinal and non-surgical interventions in order to allow the body to heal itself and function to its optimum. The first school of osteopathy was opened by Still in Missouri in 1892 and in 1917 osteopathy took root in Europe thanks to Dr. Martin Littlejohn, who eventually founded the British School of Osteopathy, the oldest osteopathic school in Europe and one of the most highly respected.

Of course, medicine has come a long way since the 1800's and many osteopaths now prefer to work alongside orthodox practices to compliment and enhance patients' treatment plans.

Above everything else osteopaths rely on the finesse of their palpation, or fine touch, in order to work with and balance the tissues and structures of the body and are able to detect the most minute changes or imbalances. During their training osteopaths will learn how to carry out thorough orthopaedic and medical assessments, which helps them to diagnose and treat their patients accordingly.

WHAT DOES OSTEOPATHY TREAT?

Although many patients suffer from back pain, osteopaths are well-versed in treating almost any area of the body and expect to include these as part of their routine and daily practice. Some of the most commonly treated areas of the body are the back, neck, jaw, knees, ankles, hands, feet, hips and shoulders. Osteopathic techniques can also be very effective in the treatment of pregnant women, whiplash injuries, young children and babies.

Osteopathy provides a cost-effective approach in the treatment of a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions and patients generally see results within 3-4 treatments. Referral time is also very prompt - most patients self refer and are seen within 2-3 days.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM A TREATMENT

The initial consultation will normally last up to an hour. During this time a thorough case history is taken to ensure it is safe for treatment to be given. An examination will follow and involves the osteopath looking at posture and movements of related structures. Treatment and advice will then be given, if appropriate. Osteopathic treatment is deemed, by most, to be very gentle and employs a variety of techniques including soft tissue massage and manipulation of joints. Treatment can be followed by a short lived mild discomfort and when this subsides, in most cases patients report improvement and a feeling of well being. Several treatments may be required in order to achieve the optimum outcome. 

  • Initial consultation £55.00.

  • Follow up consultations last up to 30 minutes and cost £40.00.

  • Ultrasound treatments last 10 minutes and cost £8.50.

If you prepay for a block of treatment and fail to show for an appointment without giving due notice the cost of a regular session will be deducted from your credit.

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTERWARDS

There is a tendency for patients to feel like their symptoms are worsening for the first 24-48 hours after treatment, or for patients to feel a little sore. This is generally a sign that changes have been made to the tissues which the body is now adapting to, but it usually eases after the first couple of treatments as things improve.

In order to get the best from your treatment it is really important that following each session you take away with you any advice given to you on the day, but also adhere to these simple steps so that we can get you back to feeling fit and well:

Drink plenty of water - this helps to keep you hydrated and will allow your body to work to its optimum during the healing process.

Refrain from any heavy exercise regimes or daily activities - think of your treatment like a gym session. The muscles have still been worked, just not in the same way. If you return to exercise too soon after a treatment it can either cause new injury or undo all the work that was achieved previously.

Keep moving - it is important to keep moving because it helps to maintain strength, balance and mobility. If we stay still for prolonged periods of time it means that injured tissues are unable to adapt to constant motion as they heal, thus increasing the chance of further injury occurring. The pumping action of the muscles as they are moved will also provide each area of the body with a fresh supply of blood, through which the body will rid itself of waste and take vital nutrients important for healing and maintaining good health.

​© 2017 Louise Boyer