Osteopaths have been working in the United Kingdom
for nearly 100 years and were the first complementary health care
profession to receive statutory recognition under "The Osteopath's
Act" of 1993. Today the profession is regulated by the General
Osteopathic Council (GOsC). The GOsC has been given powers by
Parliament to set standards of education and conduct for osteopaths
and to maintain a register those entitled to practise.
Osteopathy is an independent system of healthcare that places
its emphasis on the diagnosis of movement restrictions in the
body. These restrictions can occur anywhere in the body but are
commonly felt in the musculoskeletal system. Such restrictions
are a sign to the osteopath that the structures of that area are
unable to function to their best ability
Osteopaths use their refined sense of touch (known as palpation) to diagnose and treat these areas of restriction. The aim is is to help reduce any restrictions, helping the body move and function normally.
Anatomy illustrates the relationship of one tissue to another
in each part of the body. Osteopathic techniques are then based
upon knowledge of these relations; how to move one tissue against
another. Since it forms such a large part of our body structure
the musculoskeletal system of bones, joints, muscles, tendons
and ligaments is given particular emphasis.
Treatment is based on osteopathic manual techniques that rhythmically
move the tissues of the body for therapeutic purposes.
For example every joint should be able to move
smoothly and freely throughout its full range.
Osteopaths are trained to assess and differentiate those conditions
which may be helped by manual techniques from those which require
help in another way.
For further information on the principles of osteopathic healthcare,
common conditions treated and what to expect on your visit to
an osteopath click
Osteopaths have always considered themselves to be practitioners
who diagnose and treat a full range of conditions. In recent decades
there has been a growth of osteopathic work in particular areas:
these have become known to many people as cranial and visceral
Cranial osteopathy is a subtle and refined form of osteopathic treatment using light touch. It is extremely gentle and aims to encourage the release of stresses and tensions found throughout the body.
Cranial osteopaths are trained to feel for the
subtle rhythmical shape change that occurs in all body tissues.
This shape change is known as the "cranial rhythm" or
The name "involuntary motion" is perhaps more apt as
it reflects the fact that this rhythmical shape change occurs
without influence from other bodily processes.
The involuntary motion may be disrupted by tensions in the body. Through their assessment of where these disruptions have occurred the practitioner can then offer treatment aimed at releasing the “tension patterns”.
For further information on cranial osteopathy click
Viscera is the collective name for the organs present in the chest and abdomen. Visceral osteopathy therefore seeks to release tensions from the tissues of these organs to allow them to function freely. A build up of tissue tension in these organs may exert a pull on the spine through their ligamentous attachments. To avoid further stretch on the organs the body may unconsciously hunch forward. This may be a factor in chronic back and neck pain.
Addressing the poor mobility of chest or abdominal organs may offer improvement to their functioning.
For further information on visceral osteopathy click
For information on this new area of osteopathic treatment click
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