What is Osteopathy?

Hello, my name is Sarah and I work as an osteopathic manual practitioner at the One to One Wellness Centre in Halifax. You or someone you know may be living with pain. Maybe you have tried other therapies and/or medication to help manage your symptoms. My goal is to help you understand what osteopathy is and how it can help you.

Osteopathy: That’s Bones, Right?

Osteopathy is a patient-centred healthcare discipline that uses therapeutic manual techniques to enhance each person’s ability to function and adapt to changes in their environment and circumstances. We use a science-based holistic approach to patient care. Contrary to what the name implies, osteopathic manual practitioners work with more than just bones!

What and Who Do We Treat?

We address the whole body from head to toe, focusing on the musculoskeletal, nervous, vascular, and lymphatic systems. The most common complaints are: muscle pain and tightness (e.g. low back and neck), joint pain (e.g. hip and shoulder), persistent pain, sciatica, arthritis, sports injuries, and headaches.

We work with people of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and from a number of backgrounds. For example, we regularly treat office workers, athletes, teachers, pregnant women, healthcare professionals, cancer patients, etc.

What Makes Osteopathy Unique?

Osteopathy’s philosophy and range of techniques are two major factors that help distinguish osteopathy from other manual therapies (e.g. physiotherapy, massage therapy, chiropractics, etc.).

Our practice is rooted in four fundamental principles that give rise to our holistic perspective of the body. These principles can be summed up as follows:

1) The human being is a dynamic unit of function.

2) The body possesses intrinsic self-healing mechanisms.

3) The body’s structure and function are interrelated.

4) Treatment is based on these principles.

Most osteopathic manual practitioners use a wide variety of techniques, including soft tissue, joint articulation and mobilisation, craniosacral, and visceral work.

The goal of osteopathic treatment is to restore the body’s natural ability to self-heal by enhancing its local and global health by removing obstructions to proper blood flow, fluid flow, and/or nerve function. This ultimately allows for the restoration of function.

How is an Initial Osteopathic Assessment Run?

The primary focus of an initial assessment is to take a case history and perform an examination. The case history allows us to learn more about your lifestyle, health, and details of your presentation. During the examination, we observe your natural morphology, apply our palpatory skills, and will often ask you to perform basic movements. The collection of information obtained from both of these processes allows us to understand:

  • If you are safe to treat
  • What the underlying issue may be
  • What treatment approach is best suited for you as an individual

We will discuss a treatment plan and, if necessary, the need for referral to another healthcare professional.

The 60 minutes we spend with you are also essential to help us understand how your symptoms  impact your life and what goals you wish to achieve.

Using all of this information, we can provide you with the appropriate treatment, education, support, and advice to address your symptoms and meet your goals.

Interested in Learning More About Osteopathy?

If you are interested in getting to the root cause of your pain and want help improving your overall wellbeing, please book an initial assessment today. Call the One to One Wellness Centre at 902-425-3775 or send us an email at [email protected] to talk to one of our osteopathic manual practitioners.