Osteopathy is a holistic approach to treatment, which involves manual manipulation of the body’s muscle tissue and bones. It can also include soft tissue massage and stretching. Osteopaths have undertaken at least five years of tertiary education and are recognised as primary health care practitioners, so you can be confident that your osteopath is qualified and understands how your symptoms are linked throughout the body.
Osteopathic techniques are adapted to individual’s age, weight and condition – yielding personalized, holistic medicine. These include rib raising technique, diaphragmatic manipulations, high-velocity low-amplitude, balanced ligamentous tension, myofascial release and the cranial concept.
Research assessing the efficacy of osteopathic treatments is growing. One recent study found that osteopathic manipulation reduced sleep apnea in infants and improved the function of their respiratory, nervous and lymphatic systems. It also showed that the osteopathic method of cranial manipulation stimulates spatial memory and increases fluid circulation, which removes metabolic waste from cells.
In addition to the above benefits, ongoing Osteopathic treatment can reduce pain and enhance your overall wellbeing. It is particularly popular as a preventative therapy, helping clients to avoid the chronic aches and pains that are often associated with ‘body neglect’ that can lead to costly hospital bills and lengthy periods off work.
Osteopathy is available in some areas on the NHS. Contact your GP or local integrated care board to find out more. Private health insurance typically covers osteopathic treatments. Only osteopaths registered with the General Osteopathic Council can call themselves osteopaths and practise in the UK.