Osteopathy for everyone

We see people with a huge range of conditions ranging from the emergency “my back or neck or shoulder or hip has gone” to helping people with long term challenges to their health.

General Principles

Working in the gentle integrated way that we do here means that much discussion is about its value in the treatment of babies of children. Don’t get me wrong we love to see babies and children. But we are also able to make a huge contribution to the health of adults of all ages.

Essentially when you come here for treatment we are looking at you as an individual. We are not considering a collection of symptoms which we can treat.

A Typical Example

You will often have heard people say something like “3 months ago I was bending down to pick up a piece of paper and my back went!”

This is obviously not the whole story, and when the history is explored, it emerges that there was a car accident perhaps 15 years previously which lead to some neck pain which apparently resolved over 2 or 3 months and was then forgotten. What has happened is that the body had resolved the problem itself as best it could, by distributing the disturbed load throughout the body’s connective tissues solving the local problem but making the whole system a little bit more vulnerable to later issues.

When this is combined with the stresses and strains of life: emotional, psychological, physical, maybe traumatic or simply occupational (such as sitting too long hunched over a laptop) it can get to the point where the body can’t cope with managing the pattern any longer and a small incident becomes the last straw – “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

How to treat it

You may go for treatment for the low back problem: this may have a short term effect, but the problem seems to keep returning and you start to despair convinced that you are a “back pain sufferer”.

Very often by looking at the whole body by understanding the processes that it has adopted to try to resolve the problems that it has had to manage, we can unravel the problem in such a way that the body can find a new balance in which the underlying pattern can be easily resolved and so the current symptoms can disappear. For example the back pain described above may need to be treated by unravelling the effects of the car accident 15 years before that have been only partly resolved in the body.

Why so little treatment is necessary

The interesting thing about treating the body is that if you do the right thing, if you meet the body as it needs to be met, you have to do very little. I often think a good metaphor is paddling a canoe. If you are paddling up stream it is hard work, but if you are paddling with the current all you have to do is just enough to maintain steerage and the river will take you where you want to go.

It is the same with the body; all you have to do is just enough to initiate a change and then support the change in the body, until the individual has taken it on board, the practitioner can then get out of the way and let the body do the work itself.

Don’t you just treat back problems?

The approach described above allows us to treat people who present with a wide range of conditions.

The osteopathic principle that there is a strong relationship between the structure of the body and how it functions means that by treating a disturbance in the relationship of the parts of the body it is possible to affect how they function.

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