At the beginning and end of each treatment session I will talk with you about your progress and perform a short physical assessment. If appropriate, I will also provide advice on lifestyle, posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring.
Treatment techniques are applied with care and skill, and are safe and adaptable for patients of any age. Experience in a broad range of techniques enables me to work on specific areas of dysfunction, as well as addressing regional and whole-body issues, such as myo-fascial strain patterns, postural compensations, and imbalances in systemic mechanisms of homeostasis, repair and growth.
These techniques involve skilled touch, physical mobilisation/manipulation, muscle-energy, harmonics, stretching and soft tissue work, in order to increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension, and improve blood and nerve supply to tissues. To enhance the effectiveness of certain techniques, I may ask for your participation, for example changing body position, actively contracting (or relaxing) certain muscles, or altering your breath. The techniques are often gentle and rhythmical, and where greater pressure or sudden movements are required, your comfort and consent are naturally a first priority.
The health of the viscera (internal organs) can be assessed via their tissue tension and range/quality of movement (as with joints). As well as affecting vital physiological function, visceral mobility restrictions will often form part of a larger strain pattern, via their fascial and ligamentous attachments. Due to the viscera sharing the same spinal levels of innervation with a multitude of other tissues, such restrictions will often be behind unresolved symptoms in other areas (e.g. lower back pain caused by pelvic or abdominal organ dysfunction).
There is a palpable rhythm expressed in the tissues of the body, separate but intrinsically related to other natural rhythms (such as heart rate and respiration). Osteopathy regards the quality of this ‘cranial rhythm’, as a measure of the body’s vitality; its capacity for optimal growth, homeostasis, and regeneration. These techniques are usually applied with the patient lying down, and involve gentle sustained hand-holds, particularly around the head and sacrum (tailbone). These are areas where the cranial rhythm can be most disturbed by impaired mobility and strain patterns, although such techniques may also be applied anywhere on the body.