When it comes to health, information is not hard to come by. Determining what information may be useful to you, however, takes discernment and perhaps some curiosity. Outside of the obvious—eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise and sleep—there are many options for treatment of ailments. One which often goes overlooked, however, is osteopathy, a medical practice emphasizing treatment through the manipulation of muscles, joints, bones, and even organs.
Osteopathy is a manual therapy that includes a full-body assessment with the osteopath’s hands along with the practitioner’s senses and training acting to interpret what is found. How the body feels and acts in response to stimuli can provide a great deal of information about how it is functioning. Something going wrong in one part of the body can quickly lead to a cascade of symptoms in an entirely different area. Anyone who has had a stiff neck when they wake up in the morning and a headache later in the day can attest to this. An osteopath may, for example, be able to find an inflamed area which, when released, allows blood and nerve flow to a body part that has been lacking it, leading to renewed vitality and health.
The fact is, osteopathy can be a keystone in a person’s overall wellness puzzle. For people in certain points of their lives, this can be even more true. Some examples include:
- Mothers before and after pregnancy (especially when new issues arise, such as urinary incontinence)
- People who have been through trauma
- Times when the body just doesn’t “feel right” or if something feels “off” without a clear cause
Osteopathy is one piece of the health puzzle which you may decide to explore. The body is composed of many parts making up a single whole. That “whole” is only going to be working best when all of the individual pieces are working properly. Thus, it can be surprising what changes occur when an osteopath finds something not working well. After all, a patient who has a headache isn’t likely to attribute that problem to a biomechanical change occurring as a result of an issue in the ankle or another body part. By focusing on the whole body and assessing how the parts act in relation to each other, an osteopath is sometimes able to help the whole function better.
Whether osteopathy is right for you or not is an individual decision, one you may find worth investigating, particularly if you have nagging ailments or can’t pinpoint the source of a problem. An appointment is quick and easy, requiring only stretchy, loose-fitting clothes (like workout clothing) for the examination.
If you have issues or think osteopathy could be right for you, you aren’t alone. Contact us at westcoastwomensclinic.com or balancemedical.ca for more information and to get started today.
By Dr. Lada Kokan, MD, DOMP (Doctor of Osteopathic Manual Practice)
Balance Medical Center