Osteopathy is a manual treatment and diagnostic method directed at restoring balance to the body. Imbalances can manifest themselves as, for example, lower back complaints, shoulder and/or neck pain, headaches, stomach-aches and/or bowel movement problems etc.
In order to repair imbalance we need to manually investigate where in the body the cause of the imbalance is. Osteopathy does this by focusing on the mobility of the joints, organs and cranial plates as well as on the inter-relationships between these three independent systems. Because these systems are inter-related, it is possible for the source of a complaint to be somewhere else in the body to where the pain is experienced. For example:
- A complaint in the left shoulder can go hand in hand with a less optimally functioning stomach
- Lower back pain and sciatic pain in the legs can be related to a stomach operation in the distant past
- A motorically restless baby, baby’s with persistent stomach cramps or the “cry-baby” phenomenon can often be linked to neck problems that originated during birth
The human body is ingeniously constructed. We are capable of adjusting reasonably well to changing circumstances if we posses the compensatory options that are necessary for this adjustment. However, when our compensatory options are limited for some reason, new complaints can arise. For example:
- A sprained ankle can be the origin of future knee, hip or back complaints.
- An appendix operation could lead to back, hip or knee complaints or to problems with bowel movements.
In osteopathy we investigate the mobility limitation that is at the root of the complaint and treat this with manual techniques. In doing so, our aim is to get the body to the point where it no longer needs to compensate.
Osteopathy is based on an extensive knowledge of anatomy, physiology, pathology, behaviour and hygiene with a modern interpretation of the underlying relationships between these factors.