What is osteopathy?

The aim of osteopathy is to correct problems in the body frame, allowing the body to function more efficiently and reduce the chance of problems occurring in the future.

In seeking to maintain good health and prevent future problems, the osteopath’s management may include additional advice on posture, diet, lifestyle and stress.

Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr Andrew Taylor Still; a medical doctor and surgeon. He founded the American School of Osteopathy in 1892 and his student John Martin Littlejohn established the British School of Osteopathy in 1917.

There are now nearly 4000 osteopaths registered in the UK and many more worldwide.

Osteopathy is a system of complete medical practice, diagnosis and physical therapy as recognised by the Allied Health Professionals Council of South Africa.

While ‘Biomechanics’ has become one of the most rapidly developing areas of medicine in recent years, osteopathy was one of the first professions to incorporate biomechanical analysis of how injuries occur and what the secondary effects are likely to be.

A simple example may include a knee injury. An osteopath will aim to understand exactly how the injury had occurred, to determine the tissues that may have been affected. In addition to this they will incorporate an holistic approach in assessing the possible involvement of other areas with a mechanical relationship to the knee such as the foot, hip, low back and pelvis, and associated soft tissues.

Baby’s head bones

At birth
, the occipital bone is complex. It is made up of four parts joined together with cartilage. This is particularly relevant as cartilage is deformable.

Test the flexibility of cartilage by pushing on your nose or ear.

Osteopathic treatment involves the application of gentle manual techniques to the head as well as any other areas of the infant body where the muscles or ligaments seem tight, or lack mobility.

Very light tactile pressure is applied to the affected area to release the relevant physical tensions and areas of dysfunction (including parts of the cranium).

Click here to find an osteopath in your area.

Have you used osteopathy for yourself or your child?

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