How We View The Body
We view the body as a dynamic unit of function. This means that all the parts are meant to fit and move together in order for the entire structure to function properly. If one part is not moving as it should, it causes the surrounding parts to compensate for it, creating problems elsewhere.
A simple example: You sprain your ankle, and now it has a restricted range of motion. The hip & pelvis will have to lift more on that side when you walk in order to not drag the foot. This will over time cause issues in the position of the pelvis & the lower back. Then these changes with the pelvis & lower back can cause issues in the upper back & neck in order to keep you upright and looking forward.
There is a lot more to this, that is why these things take time to unwind and solve. Osteopathy looks at how the whole body moves together.
Structure Determines Function
The anatomy is the structure, meaning the shape of the bone, the attachment of the muscle, the connection of the fascia and so on. This all determines how the body moves, and how the physiology functions. They are dependent on each other. If the structure stops moving as it should, or is held in an improper position, then it will not function properly. This means the blood does not move the same as it did before and the nerves get mixed signals from altered joint position, so a variety of effects begin to happen.
Osteopathy's goal is to guide the structure back to its position and get it moving well, so that the body can begin to function as it should.
The Body is Self Healing and Self Regulating
When you get a cut or break a bone the body heals itself. As well, over time with posture, habit and injuries the body can heal in an improper position or simply get stuck there. The body will self regulate around these restrictions and positions, through compensation. Our goal as Osteopathic Practitioners is to set the body up so that is has the best chance of healing itself in a functional way. We help the fascia, muscles, and joints gain motion so that the body can continue to heal and move in its ideal position. This is why our knowledge of anatomy has to be extensive and detailed to know how everything fits together, how it is supposed to move, and why it is not moving as it should.
Osteopathy facilitates healing. The body does most of the work we just help it get there.
Osteopathy was founded by Andrew Taylor Still in the late 1800s in Kirksville, Missouri. He was first a medical doctor that was struggling to commit to medicine as the answer for treating illness because at the time there was not a lot of evidence it was helping patients. This caused him to ask questions about anatomy and how structure determines function; and if the structure is off then the function will be too.
Over time of studying anatomy and the interrelationship of it all. He began treating patients with his hands instead of the medicine used in those days, and was getting amazing results. Following this he started teaching the art and practice of Osteopathy and created a school called the American School of Osteopathy in 1892 - which stands today as, A.T. Still University | Kirksville Collage of Osteopathic Medicine.
Andrew Taylor Still MD, DO
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: HOW LONG ARE TREATMENTS?
A: This depends on the patient and the intention with the treatment. But they will be no longer than 25 minutes.
Q: DOES TREATMENT HURT?
A: No treatment should not hurt. There may be tender areas, or stretching sensations but pain does not equal gain during the treatment.
Q: IS THERE PAIN AFTER TREATMENT?
A: This depends on the person and the intention of the treatment. Discomfort or pain is commonly reported but it should not last longer than a few days. The pain is due to areas that were not moving well before, are now starting to move so this can cause pain or discomfort. Pain does not always have a direct correlation with progress, meaning if you never feel pain after treatment that does not mean your body is not adjusting.
Q: DO YOU USE TOOLS/MODALITIES/HEAT/ICE...?
A: No, only pillows to make you comfortable and my hands are used.
Q: DO YOU POP/CRACK THE SPINE?
A: No, that is never the intention. Sometimes joints can do that on their own but it is not the goal.
Q: HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
A: $50.00 including tax. There is no extra fee for your first appointment. Treatment length does not change the price. Anyone under the age of 18 the cost is $30.00 including tax. Cash, credit, and debit are accepted, no e-transfer.
Q: IF I HAVE INSURANCE FOR OSTEOPATHY, HOW DO I USE IT?
A: You pay after the treatment, then I give you a receipt that has my information on it. You will then submit your receipt to your insurance provider and they will give you your money back. I am a member of the Ontario Osteopathic Association so they are accepted by all insurance providers.
Q: WHAT DOES FOUR RIVERS OSTEOPATHY MEAN?
A: We talked about in school how the goal of the practitioner is to get the body aligned and moving well so that the "four rivers of life" can do their jobs. They are: Nerve, artery, vein, lymphatic.
Q: WHAT DO I WEAR?
A: What ever you are most comfortable in and can move freely in. Please no dresses or skirts unless you have shorts underneath. You are to remain fully clothed at all times. There is a washroom here you can change in if needed.
Q: DO YOU TREAT BABIES AND CHILDREN?
A: At this moment in time I do not treat babies. Osteopathy is great for babies but I personally am waiting a little while longer until I start taking babies as patients. I do treat children. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian during the treatment.