Manual Osteopathic Therapist

A number of you have heard that I am going back to school.  I’m heading in for my second diploma course to receive training and develope my skills to become a manual osteopathic therapist.  The biggest question I get is “what is manual osteopathy?”  Does it have something to do with bones?  Well, yes and no.  It’s not really that simple, but I hope to clarify it here today.

Directly from the college:

Manual Osteopathic Therapists identify, assess, and treat the body’s structures and rhythms using a gentle, hands-on approach. This fundamental technique is called osteopathic palpation. Manual Osteopathic Therapists develop a very sensitive sense of touch to master osteopathic palpation. Osteopathic palpation is what makes Manual Osteopathy different from other forms of therapy.

Osteoarticular

Manual Osteopathic Therapists use this technique to reduce muscle spasms near a joint, ease neurological irritations around a joint, make joints more mobile and to reduce pain and discomfort.  The osteoarticular technique involves gently moving 2 joint surfaces.  Before doing this, manual osteopathic therapist carefully prepare the soft tissues around the treatment area.  They also move the patient into a position that will minimize, or eliminate the energy and force needed to perform the manoever.  Many patients find this technique less forceful than joint manipulations.

Visceral Manipulation

Manual Osteopathic Therapists use visceral manipulation to treat organs and viscera of the body, including the liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach, pancreas, intestines, bladder and uterus. Patients may feel pain in one or more of these organs, or the viscera may be less pliable than it should be. Manual osteopathic therapists gently move the structures themselves and the fascia (connective tissue) that surrounds them to restore full movement.Most patients treated with visceral manipulation feel only the gentle pressure of the manual osteopath’s hand, but the corrections are powerful enough to improve the mobility of an organ, improve blood flow, and help the organ function more effectively.

CranioSacral

This is a very gentle osteopathic technique, and it requires the most experience to use effectively. To learn this technique, Manual osteopathic therapists undergo intensive training. Through this training, their hands become sensitive to the cranial mobility and develop great precision in utilizing cranial techniques. Manual osteopathic therapists use this gentle technique to assess and treat the mobility of the skull and its contents. They may also use it to assess and treat the spine, the sacrum, and other parts of the body. The goal of this technique is to adjust the body’s physiology by restoring balance to the circulation of the blood and other body fluids. Manual osteopathic therapists do this by treating the body’s inherent biorhythm. They are able to feel this rhythm in the patient’s head, spinal cord, and in the sacrum and the rest of the body. Manual osteopathic therapits use the biorhythm to assess the patient’s condition, and they may modify it during treatment.

Advanced Fascia Release

The practitioner uses advanced fascia release in many different ways. In general, they use it to evaluate the condition of tissues and to help the body’s fluids (such as blood and lymphatic fluid) flow smoothly. Keeping fluids flowing smoothly reduces harmful fluid retention and makes the body’s immune system more effective. Fascia is tissue found in all parts of the body. It connects all of the body’s structures at both superficial and deep levels. Practitioners evaluate the fascia to find areas of restriction, and then use soft tissue manipulation to make sure the length and tension of the fascia are properly balanced. Throughout the treatment, manual osteopaths keep checking on the state of the body’s tissues. If one technique isn’t working to correct a restriction, they use another approach instead. Above all, manual osteopaths try to restore health without over-treating.

How is this different from what I do today.  You will see as the year unfolds.  I am hoping to find the “keys” to unlocking even the most obscure conditions.  Stay tuned!  I’ll be needing your help with my studies!  Enjoy the day!!