What is Osteopathy?
What is Osteopathy?
As you can imagine this is one of the questions we are asked most when people first get in touch with us. Although people have often heard of the term osteopathy they often don’t know what it really entails and the range of treatments that it can include. Whilst osteopathy is most commonly linked to back pain treatment not many people know that it can also treat headaches, sports injuries and even poor sleep. Here I’ll tell you a bit about the history of osteopathy and how it has developed over the years. I’ll also explain what an osteopathy treatment session looks like in 2017!
A brief history of Osteopathy
Osteopathy was founded in the late 1800’s in America by a doctor named Andrew Taylor Still. It was a time when many medical or surgical treatments were ineffective or in some cases downright dangerous. Andrew Taylor Still felt that to gain optimum health all parts of the body needed to work together in harmony. Using his osteopathic techniques he started to treat patients for a wide range of conditions.
Taylor Still began to teach pupils his methods and his student J Martin Littlejohn was responsible for bringing osteopathy to the UK – founding the British School of Osteopathy in 1917. Since that time osteopathic training and techniques have continued to evolve and improve.
Osteopathy is now a respected and regulated discipline and is even available on the NHS in some areas. A qualified osteopath will need to have completed a 4-5 year degree course and we will also continue to develop and expand our knowledge throughout our professional life.
Osteopaths today often practice alongside GP’s, nurses or midwives. We can also work with practitioners of complementary medicine who take the more holistic route to wellbeing.
What will happen at my first osteopathy treatment session?
This is another really common question that we hear from patients as often they just don’t know what to expect! Firstly rest assured that we will always be friendly and discreet and will put you at ease if you have any fears or worries. We’ll begin our session with a chat about you, your lifestyle and the physical problems that you are experiencing.
We will then ask you to do some easy exercises so that we can begin to make a diagnosis. You may need to take off some outer clothing and do some physical movements so we usually advise that you wear something that you feel relaxed and comfortable in, and that allows you to move easily. If you have any test results or x-rays we are also happy to look at these.
Once a diagnosis can be made we will discuss the course of treatment that we recommend and look at any lifestyle changes that we feel could also enhance your wellbeing.