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Osteopathy is a system of health care using manual methods of diagnosis and treatment designed to work alongside allopathic medicine to enable a suffering patient to achieve a better state of health.

Structural Approach

Is a system used within osteopathy that utilises the direct relationships between the bony articulations & the neuromuscular system, to restore mobility and physiological harmony between the moving parts. It utilises a variety of techniques including soft tissue mobilisation, ligamentous stretch techniques and high velocity short amplitude manipulations. It no longer works on the principles of bones being out of place, more that the normal structural relationships between the body parts is an essential requirement for health. The approach to Manipulative techniques in Osteopathic terms, focuses on the teaching of skills and hand holds which ensure operator and patient safety, control, specificity and effectiveness. Manipulations should be gentle, not painful and specifically non-torsional, using multiple components. High velocity low amplitude techniques can provide rapid local mechanical changes, as well as wider more far reaching effects throughout the circulatory, neuromuscular skeletal and other systems in the body encompassed within Osteopathy.

Cranial Approach

Is a gentle technique used in osteopathy for the last sixty years and discovered by William Garner Sutherland a pupil of Dr Andrew Taylor Still the founding father of osteopathy. There is an inherent voluntary motion of the brain and the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The skull is not one single bone but is a series of bones both big and small that are capable of movement in a co-ordinated and rhythmical fashion. Sometimes this motion becomes disturbed or distorted and this can often predispose the patient to disharmony in other apparently non-related parts of the body. It is a particularly popular technique used in babies and the young because in children the joints between the cranial bones do move a small amount. Birth traumas and strains are often reflected in babies who suffer from some digestive problems and restlessness. Treatment using these techniques is very gentle but specific adjustments to the body tissues not only in the head but also in the related and connected parts all over the body are utilised. It can be used alone or in conjunction with other techniques.

Visceral Approach

One of the principal tenets of osteopathy is that no one body part or system is alone or independent of any other body part or system. In this way the functions of the viscera or internal organs is dependant on the correct alignment and motion of the supporting bony parts and vice versa. Every organ must have an efficient blood supply, venous and lymphatic drainage in order to survive. The organs all have a complicated system of nerves that take messages to and from them to the spinal cord and the brain. Again this is an example of the body parts working together to create health and harmony. Osteopaths working with the visceral concept make use of these facts to work either directly or indirectly on the internal organs. The techniques employed include direct massage type techniques, cranial techniques, functional techniques as well as manipulative techniques applied to the spine. Examples of conditions that might be approached in this way include some breathing conditions, some digestive disorders, and some problems which afflict the female population, to mention but a few.

Functional Technique

Is a dynamic technique that uses a series of palpatory clues to bring about a sense of tension release in the tissues under investigation and thus approach a better state of function. It is used when working primarily on muscles that move the joints and on the fascias supporting the viscera.

Other Techniques

There are more technique modalities within Osteopathy, all of which provide their own specific style within the confines known as direct and indirect. Direct meaning pushing towards a sense of barrier or tension and indirect meaning moving away from tension. Harmonic or Rhythmic technique, Muscle Energy technique, Myofascial technique, Strain & Counter-Strain technique to name some others. This is not a complete "osteopathic list", it includes those already mentioned above, but should highlight the global approach to treatment that can be employed by the trained osteopath.

An Integrative Osteopathic Approach

This is a very important aim of Osteopathy as this follows directly the principles laid down by the founder, A T Still. With this in mind, it is important to realise that Cranial, Structural and Visceral techniques are conceptual, evaluative, technical and treatment approaches within the whole system. Using them and the other techniques mentioned as necessary, should ensure a more complete evaluation and therapeutic improvement for the patient. This is demonstrated in the working examples below:

An Integrated Osteopathic Approach to the Treatment of Pelvic Congestion Syndrome.

An Integrated Osteopathic Approach to the Treatment of Irritable Bowl Syndrome.

An Integrated Osteopathic Approach to the Treatment of Lower Back Pain.

An Integrated Osteopathic Approach to Treatment of Lower Extremity Pain

Statutory Registration

In 1993 the Osteopaths Act was passed in parliament allowing the initiation of the first Statutory Register for Osteopaths in the UK. This has made way for strict rules on registration, ethical codes, personal indemnity and public liability insurance, continuing professional development and of course protection of the public. From April 1998, the new register finally started the process of opening its books to accept and list the Osteopaths of the UK. April 2000 saw the completion of that process and the accreditation of the Osteopathic Training centres in the UK.

If you have any questions or you wish to find out more or you want to make an appointment then please call 020-8524-1505 or call into Churchill Medical Centre.

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Most Private Health Insurance (PHI) companies now will cover Osteopathic Treatment…………………

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Buy Instructional Videos

These sets of instructional videos have been produced in order to provide a visual and audible description of Osteopathic Minimal (short) Lever Mid Range Manipulation Techniques for osteopaths, physiotherapists, manual therapists, at mid to senior student level, graduates and post graduates. Techniques demonstrated look at the basic spinal regions, the spinal junctions, the sacro-iliac joints, ribs and the lower and upper extremity joints.

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Most Private Health Insurance (PHI) companies now will cover Osteopathic Treatment......