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Manual Osteopathy has been around for over 140 years with the core belief that joints, muscles, internal organs, connective tissues, nerves, and blood vessels function together. Dysfunction happens when there is an imbalance in the system.
It is a gentle, hands-on treatment style that involves several components:
1) Myofascial release and osteoarticular manipulation: movement and balance of the muscles and fascia (connective tissues) and slow release of joints. All muscles and bones are covered in a layer of elastic collagen that keep the components separate and adds strength to the system. Problems occur when the collagen layer is damaged and does not heal properly. This can result in problem areas such as adhesions (Integrative Diagnosis: What is muscle adhesion? - YouTube). The problem areas can pull joints out of alignment and lead to excess wear and tear. The goal is to find out where the tight spots are and balance them.
2) Visceral manipulation: if an organ is in the wrong place or is squeezed it will not function optimally. The most dramatic example of this would be with pregnancy and major organ surgery. Even weight gain and visceral fat can put pressure on organs and reduce their function. Manual osteopaths are trained to work on the internal organs.
3) Lymphatic: while most people know about blood vessels and the circulatory system the lymphatic system is often overlooked. This system filters all of the tissue fluids outside of the blood vessels. Treatment involves promoting lymphatic flow to reduce swelling in problem areas. A strong lymphatic system creates a strong immune system.
4) Craniosacral therapy: the skull has multiple bones that are separated by fibrous (immovable) joints. Even though they are defined as immovable they can still be shifted through bumps on the head and when muscles pull too hard on the bones. Manual osteopaths are able to gently move the bones to their correct positions, This can help with ailments such as headaches and sinus issues. The sacrum is the triangular shaped bone at the bottom of the spine above the coccyx (tailbone). It is made of 5 separate bones that fuse in adulthood and is connected on both sides to the ilia (upper pelvic bones). The joint is known as the sacroiliac joint (SI) and can be the primary or tertiary cause of lower back pain. Treatment can bring balance to the joint and surrounding area.
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