Manual osteopathy is a holistic treatment method that can treat the entire body and attempts to achieve balance (homeostasis) which plays a major role in the body’s proper function (source: https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/role-of-homeostasis-in-human-physiology-a-review.ph p?aid=87462 retrieved 26 Apr 2022).
Treatment with manual osteopathy consists of 4 parts:
1. Bone and Joint Adjustment: Involves assessment of joint function and movement then application of gentle manipulation techniques to adjust joints. Many of the techniques are identical to the ones taught to chiropractors and physiotherapists along with many unique adjustments specific to osteopathy.
2. Muscle and Fascial Work: A careful study and understanding of the muscle, tendons, and connective tissue helps to reduce pain and improve strength and balance. The fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles, bones, and organs. Studies have shown that the pain response of fascia is greater than that of both the skin and muscles (source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24076047/ retrieved 26 Apr 2022). This makes the fascia one of the most if not the most important structure to assess and treat for muscle pain.
3. Visceral Manipulation and Lymphatic Drainage: Assessment and adjustment of internal organs which may be displaced because of weight gain/ loss, surgeries, or inflammation in the surrounding tissue. As the tissues around organs are stretched and pulled, organ function is affected. The goal of visceral manipulation is to improve organ functions. Lymphatic drainage deals with edema and excess fluid buildup in tissues. The goal of the lymphatic system is to filter the 10 plus liters of interstitial fluid (body fluid between blood vessels and cells) through a series of vessels and nodes. Proper filtration is important for immune function. Lymphatic drainage is a specialized massage technique that promotes lymphatic flow and will decrease swelling caused by excess fluid.
4. Craniosacral: Works with the skull and the pelvis bone, both which have fused or near fused bones that are not moved by muscle. Between these bones there are joints and a bit of space. This space can be impacted by hits to the head and tight muscles/ connective tissue. The reduced space results in headaches in the skull (cranial) and back pain and hip imbalances in the pelvis (sacrum). Craniosacral gently adjusts the bones to make more space and balance the joints, which will reduce headaches in the skull and reduce back pain from the pelvis.