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What is Osteopathy

Osteopathy is a system of complementary medicine that takes into account the whole individual. In order to understand as much as possible about the patient in relation to his environment it is important to take a comprehensive case history detailing not just the current complaint, but also any previous problems or injuries including a full medical history. Appropriate tests; X-rays, blood tests etc. are used where necessary.


MTand Mum


How can we help you?

 Using the principles of osteopathy, a very wide variety of conditions can be helped, Listed below are some of the conditions that patients have brought to us:


             • Back and neck pain

             • Joint pains

             • Headaches and migraines

             • Digestive disorders

             • Sciatica

             • Recurrent infections

             • Nerve pains

             • Circulation problems

             • Symptoms related to stress and tension

             • Depression and fatigue

             • General Ill health    

             • Children- many different childhood problems.

             • And many more


More information will be found in our articles on treatment of adults and children in this section & testimonials from our patients

Jeremy patient examination

How does Osteopathy work?

Osteopaths are best known for treating muscular and joint pain but we actually treat much more than that.

We aim to address the underlying cause of the symptoms you are presenting with. For example most back and neck problems rather than being caused by a single incident tend to result from a combination of: disturbed body mechanics, poor posture, stressful living and working habits, gradual loss of strength and flexibility, and a general decline in physical fitness.

Months or years may pass before a combination of these factors results in an actual problem occurring often from a very minor event.  


Your Osteopath will aim to relieve the acute symptoms, but also, by looking at the underlying patterns that lead to the problem, enable you to find a better balance through your body to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence.  


Look through our site for  more details of what we do here

What is Cranial Osteopathy?

Cranial Osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that uses very gentle manipulative pressure to encourage the release of stresses throughout the body, including the head. It is extremely effective in treating a wide range of conditions in people of all ages, from birth to old age.

Dr William Garner Sutherland

William Garner Sutherland

founder of Cranial Osteopathy


Why is Cranial Osteopathy different?

Osteopaths are taught a variety of methods and techniques, ranging from the well-known “high velocity thrust” with its dramatic clicks, to the very gently applied methods used by so called “cranial osteopaths”. Osteopaths vary their treatment methods depending on their own preference and individual patients’ problems.


“Cranial Osteopath” is the name by which osteopaths who work at the gentler, subtle end of the spectrum of different treatment approaches have become known.


It is not about just treating the head, but considers treatment of problems relating to the head in a way that was not done before Dr William Garner Sutherland in 1901 questioned the reasons behind the complex relationships between the bones of the skull.


Osteopaths may have different specialities including sports injuries, paediatrics, visceral (treating the internal organs of the body). Cranial Osteopathy embraces all of these.

“Involuntary Motion” in the body

Cranial Osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called involuntary motion.


The skull is made up of 26 bones that are intricately joined in such a way that during the rhythmical cycle of involuntary motion, the skull can actually change shape very slightly to accommodate the normal involuntary motion of the brain inside. Dr Sutherland demonstrated this over many years of experimentation on himself. He strapped his head up in a variety of devices to limit the motion in the bones of the skull. On one occasion his wife came into his office to find him unconscious and had to release the device that he had made from a modified baseball cap to revive him.       

(From::With Thinking Fingers by Adah Sutherland 1963)

 

Impacts to the head can disrupt this movement. This can cause a very wide variety of problems both in the head and elsewhere in the body. Using involuntary motion in the tissues, osteopaths can feel whether a person’s body is working in the best way to achieve an optimum state of health, or whether there is something preventing healthy movement of the tissues from occurring.


 Some Early History

An American from Missouri, Doctor Andrew Taylor Still founded osteopathy over 130 years ago on the basis that the body has the innate ability to heal itself.


He emphasised unobstructed movement in all fluids, tissues and joints. Dr Still felt that in both health and sickness the neuro-muscular skeletal system interacts with the rest of the body including the organs.  


When part of the structure is altered through for example, physical trauma, occupational strain or stress or emotional trauma, a chain reaction may take place which is often mediated through the communication networks of the body; the blood supply, nervous or hormonal systems.


This can lead to abnormalities in other parts of the body causing a process of "dis-ease".

Dr Andrew Taylor Still

Andrew Taylor Still

 founded Osteopathy in 1874

Check out our articles on treatment: pregnancy babies and children  treatment of adults and family care

The body attempts to resolve these problems of disturbed function itself and in the majority of cases it is successful, it is after all a wonderful design.  


 But on some occasions it may need the presence of an external reference point or a catalyst to optimise the potential of its own self-healing mechanisms to resolve the part, which is out of harmony with the whole.

 

The techniques an Osteopath uses to restore harmony to the body range from subtle palpation, where the practitioner just seems to be holding a particular part of the body, to gentle rhythmic movement, to a very specific, focused, more assertive manipulation as appropriate.

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