Osteopathy is a system of diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of medical conditions. It works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning efficiently together.
To an osteopath, for your body to work well, its structure must also work well. So osteopaths work to restore your body to a state of balance. Osteopaths use palpation, physical mobilisation, muscle stretching and soft tissue techniques to increase the mobility of joints, to relieve muscle tension and to enhance the blood and nerve supply to tissues, all of which stimulates your body's own healing mechanisms. We may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Gentle release techniques are often used, particularly when treating children and elderly patients. Osteopathy is a gentle process that works with, and not against, the body.
Osteopathy and Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time when women are more aware of the workings of their body. Osteopathy can be of great benefit to pregnant women, as they have to cope with a whole range of symptoms from back pain to heartburn and morning sickness. As the baby grows in the uterus, the extra weight causes the centre of gravity of the body to change. As a result, the mother's posture can change from week to week. This can lead to a variety of aches and pains. The hormones produced in pregnancy cause the ligaments to loosen and this may cause old problems to reoccur or even new problems to develop, especially low back pain. Treatment in pregnancy is very gentle and includes soft tissue massage, rhythmic mobilisations of joints and subtle release techniques.
Every pregnancy is special and Frank focuses on both the mothers' physical and emotional states in order to determine the best treatment options for her.
Birth can be one of the most stressful events our bodies go through. Before the baby is born
there are many twists and turns to be made as the head travels through the mother's pelvis.
During a normal delivery there is an enormous amount of pressure exerted on the baby's head. If intervention is required, as in the case of a caesarean section, a forceps delivery or a vacuum extraction, then these stresses are increased further.
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Osteopathy for Children and Teenagers
Osteopathy is an inherently safe treatment for children and teenagers. As children grow problems may arise due to earlier strains or as a result of trauma as in the case of knocks to the head or falls. Recurrent infections in the nose or ear (glue ear) are common. Mechanical stresses in the body are also an important factor in cases of developmental delay involving co-ordination, speech and educational difficulties. Many children respond very favourably to osteopathy and at Touchstone Osteopathy we have a very child friendly approach to treatment.
As children become teenagers their bodies must adjust to the many physical and postural demands made on it. Minor problems, if left undiagnosed and untreated, may lead to problems later in life. Young people also participate in many sporting and recreational activities. They carry schoolbags weighing up to 14kgs to and from school every day. This occasionally results in sprains or strains. The appropriate treatment can prevent problems developing at a later stage.