Osteopathic practice is a healthcare approach that provides a package of care that can include one or more of the following: manual therapy, health information, self-management advice and support, and/or exercise therapy, as determined by the individual needs of the patient.
Osteopathic techniques are never painful. If pain is already present, techniques which will exacerbate that pain can be avoided and an alternative technique can be used.
The manual therapy techniques include:
- stretching muscles
- articulatory techniques involving movement and manipulation of joints.
- techniques performed on the abdomen for organs such as the stomach or intestine (also called visceral techniques or visceral osteopathy).
- techniques performed on the fascia (the membranes which envelope all structures in the body), including the fascia of the head (also called cranial techniques or cranial osteopathy).
These are gentle and non-manipulative. They are often used when treating young children and newborn infants.
This range of techniques enables the osteopath to provide patient-centred care, aimed at answering the individual patient’s needs and expectations. For this reason two patients attending with the same condition may not have the same treatments and advice after the consultation, but will benefit equally from the experience.