Osteopathic Therapy

What is Osteopathy?

Despite originating over 130 years ago, little is known about osteopathy by the general public. It was developed in 1874 by Andrew Taylor frustrated with what he viewed to be the ineffective and hazardous nature of remedies of that time. He believed that the doctor’s role in treating disease was to restore proper musculoskeletal function to the body through correcting structural problems arising within joints, muscles and connective tissues. Osteopathic treatment would return proper function to the nerves supplying every structure in the body and allow the blood to flow freely throughout the circulatory system. Muscles, joints, internal organs, connective tissues, nerves and blood vessels function together in an integrated manner. If on part of the body is restricted, then the rest of the body must adapt and compensate for this, eventually leading to inflammation, pain, stiffness and other health conditions.

The role of the osteopath is to find the source of the problems (not to focus on symptoms), and through precise manual diagnosis and treatment, allow the body an opportunity to heal itself.

What are the Tools of Osteopathic Practice?

The osteopath uses sense of touch called palpation to assess areas of weakness, tenderness, restrictions or strain within the human body. This palpatory ability is not a gift but rather a trained skill that takes years to develop. This allows an osteopathic practitioner to also detect almost imperceptible motion present in all living tissues called Primary Respiratory Motility (PRM). This ability is what distinguishes osteopaths from other manual practitioners allowing them to precisely locate the source of the dysfunction.

This assessment is combined with checking of position and mobility of the specific structures through orthopaedic testing. There are many manual treatment techniques that may be used to treat the dysfunction. Some of them are: osteoarticular (joint) adjustments, muscle energy techniques, visceral (internal organs) manipulation, myofascial release techniques, cranio-sacral therapy, neuromuscular massage, and many others. This variety is part of the strength of osteopathy. When mastered and applied appropriately, they can be very powerful and effective. Depending on specific findings during evaluation of the patient one of more of these techniques can be used during one treatment session to address the problem. Osteopathic adjustments are very precise and gentle which eliminates the danger of injury during the treatment.

What a Manual Practitioner of Osteopathy Does?

The typical osteopathic visit consists of a full-body evaluation. During the assessment osteopaths will look at your posture and alignment of your body, check all of your joints including the spine, pelvis, ankles, knees, hips and shoulders, evaluate the condition of your muscles, tendons and ligaments and also may use their hands to palpate position and motility of your internal organs and cranial (scull) bones. Variations in your skin temperature and sweat gland activity will also be measured. In order to treat specific dysfunction the osteopath may use two types of manipulative therapy: direct and indirect. In direct approach the affected tissues are moved away from areas of tightness or restricted movement (eg. spinal adjustment). In indirect techniques the osteopath moves the tight tissues towards the area of restricted movement waiting for the body’s inner ability to correct this dysfunction through function of the central nervous system (eg. cranial adjustment).

The osteopath focuses on tracing the changes in function that have occurred over a period of time.

A typical example might be a person who, while skiing, falls very hard on his bottom. The person develops low back pain, headache and digestive dysfunctions some time after the fall. The osteopath may detect misalignments of the pelvis, sacrum or spinal joint, his liver may shift downward (ptosis), muscles go into protective spasm and cranio-sacral system develops restrictions affecting functioning of the central nervous system. In order to remove discomfort, all of these dysfunctions have to be dealt with within few treatments to successfully treat the person.

What is Acupuncture?

TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE is the oldest continuously practiced medical treatment in the world. It includes acupuncture and herbal medicine. It originated approximately 5000 years ago in China.

According to ancient theory, energy flows within the human body and can be stimulated by using acupuncture needles to create balance and health. The energy (called qi) flows throughout the body along 12 channels known as meridians. Blocking of the flow of qi results in illness and pain. Acupuncture unblocks and rebalances the flow of qi to restore health.

Acupuncture needles relieve pain by stimulating nerves, releasing endorphins, natural pain killers and stimulating the release of cortisol, a hormone that is known to reduce inflammation. The treatment is helpful for many health conditions. It has been endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being effective in treatment for:

  • Menstrual Disorders and Infertility
  • Digestive Disorders and Weight Control
  • Insomnia and Fibromyalgia
  • Stress and Depression
  • Children’s Illnesses (eczema, asthma, ear infections, hyperactivity syndrome-ADHD)
  • Addictions
  • Sinusitis
  • Menopause
  • And many more

Cosmetic acupuncture is a non-surgical procedure that helps rejuvenate and revitalize the skin of the face. It improves blood circulation, nourishes the skin and increases collagen production to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and droopy eyelids. Acupuncture is covered by most Extended Health Benefits Plans.

Conditions Treated by Osteopathy and Massage Therapy

  • Traumatic injuries (sports, car accidents)
  • Low back pain and sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis and scoliosis
  • Shoulder, elbow, hip, knee, ankle, foot pain
  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • TMJ (jaw) dysfunctions
  • Strains and sprains (especially of the neck and back)
  • Tendinitis (Tennis/Golfer’s elbow, rotator cuff tear) and Bursitis
  • Plantar Fasciatis and Frozen Shoulder
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Digestive problems (constipation, reflux)
  • Postural stress contributing to weakness, fatigue and loss of flexibility
  • Post surgical pain (scars, adhesions)
  • Covered by extended health care insurance and motor vehicle accident insurance

Contact Info

1750 Steeles Ave, W. Unit 8
Concord, Ontario  L4K 2L7