Osteopathy is a whole body system of diagnosis and hands on treatment which was developed in the 1870′s by a Missouri practicing physician and surgeon, Andrew Taylor Still. Dr Still became critical of the medical system at the time as he saw many people die of serious illness, including his three children. He developed a branch of medicine that took into account principles on which Osteopathy is still based upon today.
Osteopaths use touch and manipulation to diagnose and treat problems caused by misalignments of the muscles, bones, joints, ligaments and connective tissue that make up the musculoskeletal system. In a healthy body this framework supports and protects, helping all body systems including nerves, circulation, digestion and hormones to function at their optimum level. It is only when physical strains, emotional stress or injury overwhelm the body’s ability to compensate, that undesirable symptoms such as pain and muscle tension result.
Osteopathic treatment aims to restore optimum function to the body tissues, and thus facilitate the body’s inherent self-healing mechanism using techniques which range from soft tissue stretching and manipulation using a so called structural approach, to the more gentle subtle techniques of Cranial Osteopathy. Osteopathy can help relieve chronic or minor problems, provide one-off relief from pain and dysfunction or contribute to the management of long-term complaints.
Osteopathy is recognised by the British Medical Association as a discrete medical discipline. Osteopaths are trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology and general medical diagnosis, as well as Osteopathic diagnosis and technique. They are also qualified to perform standard medical examinations and recognise conditions that require further medical referral. If on presentation to the Osteopath, your condition is not appropriate for Osteopathic treatment, you will be advised and referred to your GP or an appropriate alternative.