About Osteopathy

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathy in short is a form of manual therapy or manual medicine. Osteo meaning ‘bone’ and pathy meaning ‘disease’. However, Osteopathy is more than just ‘bones’. It is a philosophy focused on the study of the entire human body.  Osteopathic treatment aims to assist the body to maintain health and prevent disease within its environment.Top

How did Osteopathy begin?

This form of therapy was developed by an American doctor Andrew Taylor Still in 1874.  He had become dissatisfied with ‘modern medicine’ following the death of several of his family members to spinal meningitis and searched for an alternative.

As contractible diseases were prevalent in the mid 19th century Dr Still wondered why some people would contract a disease but not others and sought the answers. After a decade of studying, with a focus on anatomy, he concluded that anatomical structure and function are related. He saw the person as a unit of body, mind and spirit and that these qualities enabled the person to be self-healing, self regulating and self-maintaining  – thereby creating the principles of osteopathic philosophy to which he coined the term ‘Osteopathy’.Top

Osteopathic philosophy

Osteopathic philosophy is what makes Osteopaths different from other manual therapists.  Treatment incorporates Osteopathic principles thereby considering the whole person and not just the condition.

The four osteopathic principles are:

  • The person is a unit of body mind and spirit,
  • The body has the ability to self-heal, self-maintain and self-regulate,
  • Structure and function are inter-related, and
  • Treatment is based upon the above three principles.

Osteopaths recognise that disturbances within the body’s structure and/or function impair the body’s ability to self-heal, self-regulate and self-maintain. These disturbances are described as ‘lesions’ or ‘somatic dysfunction’ and can also develop into compensation patterns. Its these dysfunctions that the Osteopath is concerned with. Top

What does an Osteopath treat?

Osteopaths treat a wide variety of conditions and populations.  They are primarily recognised for treating  musculoskeletal conditions such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, repetitive strain injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome) and joint conditions (such as sprains or arthritis). Pain is not the only reason to seek care from an osteopath.

Osteopaths in treating the whole person also treat more systemic conditions such as respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis, digestive conditions such as indigestion, reflux and constipation; gynaecological issues such as period pain and irregularity. Through removing structural impediments osteopaths assist the body’s own immune system to be able to combat systemic disorders.

As an allied health profession osteopaths provide an adjunctive service to modern medicine and are complementary in overcoming illness.

Osteopaths also treat a wide variety of populations such as children and babies, women in pregnancy, the elderly and sports people.Top

What to expect in an osteopathic consultation

When you arrive for an initial consultation with an osteopath, you will be asked to complete a New Patient History form which will ask for your contact details, the reason for your visit (presenting complaint) and a brief outline of your medical history.

Your osteopath will then discuss with you in further detail your presenting complaint and previous history.  A physical examination will then be conducted and the osteopath will provide an explanation of their opinion of your presenting complaint including any probable diagnoses.

Treatment Techniques – The osteopaths at Epping Osteopaths use only manual techniques. We use only our hands, no machines. There are a wide variety of techniques used by our practitioners and only those deemed of most benefit for you will be used in each consultation.

Following treatment the osteopath will provide you with advice about what to expect and ongoing management.Top

Do I need a referral? – No. Top

What do I need to bring with me to the appointment?

  • Any current and previous investigations that are relevant to your presenting complaint such as x-rays, MRI or CT scans , blood test results etc. If you are unsure if it is relevant, please bring it along anyway
  • Your private health fund card. We use the Hicaps claiming system which provides immediate claims through your health fund so you only have to pay the gap.Top