Osteopathy (pronounced Ostie-op-athy), is a therapy that addresses the relationship between structure and function in our bodies, the bone’s position within the body and its relationship to disease and illness. In Osteopathy, we believe that alignment of the bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs and connective tissue play a major role in how our body functions (or in many cases dysfunctions).
The focus is on locating areas where the body’s alignment has gone off course, and addressing the problem.
What is Structural Alignment and how do I know if my body is out of alignment?
The structure of our body is determined by our spine. The spinal column runs from the base of your skull all the way down to your tail bone. It is home to most of the nerves that control our muscles and is super important when it comes to the way we walk, stand or sit, as well as to our mobility, our digestion, elimination, breathing and blood pressure. Likewise, there are important blood vessels and an intricate drainage system (called our lymphatics) that run close the spine as well. The structural integrity of our bodies may be compromised from car accidents, sports injuries, slips/falls, emotional trauma and stress, giving birth and pregnancy, or even during our own birthing process.
When our alignment is off, we could experience problems such as:
- frequent injury
- slower healing and recovery
- lowered immunity
- digestive issues
- reproductive problems
- heart and lung difficulties
What is Compensation?
When part of the body is compromised or injured, the other parts will pick up the slack and begin working harder to maintain the equilibrium. When the workload is not balanced, problems begin to arise.
Metaphorically speaking, if you have a stone in your right shoe, over time it may become uncomfortable continue walking properly. Soon, you may begin compensating by leaning more weight on your left foot and leg. As you keep walking with the stone in your shoe, your left leg muscles may be forced to take on more load and your left ankle, knee and hip may feel sore or tired. Eventually, your back may ache on the left side. Osteopathy does not simply address the sore ankle, knee, back or hip. It seeks to "remove the stone from your shoe" by searching for the cause of dysfunction, never just the symptoms.
There is a strong philosophy in Osteopathy that the body has the ability to self heal and self regulate. If a proper environment is provided, the body will always strive towards health. By removing blockages in the form of stiff connective tissue, strained or tight muscles, and misaligned bones, we create the necessary space for the blood vessels to deliver nutrients and oxygen and remove waste products, for the nerves to conduct correct electrical impulses and for the lymphatic system to circulate and drain fluid adequately. When the body is receiving proper blood flow to all areas, it functions as nature intended. This translates to feeling, looking and performing your best in all areas of life.
Osteopathy is a therapy that benefits all ages and body types. Some people visit their therapist for acute injuries and pain, others for chronic aches and stiffness, and yet many come for general "check ups" and maintenance to keep themselves pain free and feeling great.
Book an appointment for an initial consultation today.