Osteopathy Bath – Osteopathy and health
Osteopathy science and healing art.
Osteopathy can be classed as both a science and a healing art.
In health a person’s body should be able to deal with health challenges, stress and trauma and restore itself to optimum health afterwards. Osteopathy recognises this intrinsically self-healing, self-regulating and self adjusting capacity of the body. As osteopaths we believe that physical strains and imbalances within the musculoskeletal framework can interfere with the body’s ability to maintain this state of health, by compromising blood flow, nerve supply and lymphatic drainage. Osteopathy is a therapeutic system of diagnosis and treatment which addresses these mechanical dysfunctions, to support the transition back to health.
Understanding the Body
Osteopathy is not just a series of techniques applied to the body. It is more an understanding of how the body is at a moment in time , what it is striving for and what it is trying to achieve in terms of health. Where it is struggling and where it needs support. Where the health is and is not within the body’s tissues. Our initial training is a thorough grounding in anatomy and physiology, so that we have an in depth knowledge of where everything is and how it works and functions in relation to everything else. In addition, we have hundreds of hours of hands on experience with each other as students and with our patients in the clinics . This helps us to develop an incredibly fine sense of touch known as palpation whereby you not only learn to feel and understand what is directly under your hands (tactile touch) but also how things feel several layers beneath (proprioceptive touch) and how that interconnects throughout the body.
This is not something you can learn as a quick fix over a short period of time but takes many hours/ weeks/ months and years of dedicated concentration and learning so that you end up with ‘thinking fingers’ that instinctively and intuitively feed back information into your brain about what is going on beneath them. It is with this knowledge that we apply our manual techniques to balance all the systems of the body, to restore health and wellbeing.
Osteopaths are taught a variety of manual techniques to employ when treating patients. These range from the traditional structural techniques such as joint manipulation and articulation to the more subtle and gentle functional and cranial techniques. Osteopaths are professionally qualified to choose the method of treatment which will best suit their patient’s individual needs.
About ‘Cranial Osteopathy’
The cranial techniques that we are trained to use as osteopaths, provide us with a very gentle, safe and non intrusive way of viewing the whole body including the head (cranium) hence the name cranial osteopathy. As many osteopaths choose to specialise in this type of work, people are often misled into thinking it is a separate modality. This is not the case, it is part of osteopathy as a whole. All types of cranial work derive from the original work and findings of Dr. W. G. Sutherland, an American osteopath, who in the early 1900’s first pioneered applying osteopathic principles and treatment to the cranium as well as the rest of the body.
Mechanical Dysfunction and Health
Cranial techniques deepen our understanding of the relationship between mechanical dysfunction and health as they require a highly developed sense of touch, to feel subtle changes in shape, tension and tissue quality within the head and body. As an osteopath it is an endlessly fascinating and beneficial way to work.
RECOGNISING WHEN TO REFER
Our in depth training as osteopaths includes studying pathology and general medicine, as it is important for us to recognise not only conditions that we are able to treat but also those conditions that we can not treat and which need referral to a medical specialist.