- What is Osteopathy?
- What conditions can Osteopathy treat?
- What to expect from a session?
- What happens after the treatment?
- How many treatments will I need?
- Can I claim the cost of treatments?
Dr Still was disillusionned by traditional medicine and after losing his 4 children to illness he was convinced he could improve conventional medicine and created this new type of manual therapy called Osteopathy. Osteopathy uses a wide range of different techniques aiming to restore homeostasy / balance in the body and allow optimal health. Osteopathy relies on four main principles :
- The body has a self-regulated healing mechanism, it can repair and defend itself. The Osteopath is only a facilitator of this healing mechanism.
- “The rule of the artery is supreme” : Arterial blood supply is essential for proper nutrition therefore good function of tissues. The osteopath helps to optimize blood supply and drainage by releasing any tension.
- The body is one big unit and not just the addition of its different parts. It balances itself based on the principle of tensegrity. This also means that the area of pain may not be the area causing the symptom, but may be a compensation. The Osteopath always aims to find and treat the primary lesion.
What conditions can Osteopathy treat?
- Musculoskeletal : Sciatica, Repetitive strains (from sport or work), back pain during and after pregnancy, pain following a whiplash injury, sprains like tennis/golfer’s elbow, ankle sprains.
- Babies or infants with colic/reflux/sleeping difficulties.
- Chronic conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, helping with the symptoms resulting from the condition but treatment will not cure the condition.
- Decreased immune system (following an illness or trauma for example).
- Stress and tension headaches.
- Functional digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloatedness, reflux.
The Osteopath will first take a case history, asking you questions about the reason for you consulting, your past medical history, and general health to get a global picture of your health. You will then be asked to partially undress and it is advised to wear loose fitting clothing so you are comfortable (tracksuit bottoms or shorts for example) The Osteopath will then perform tests, using neurological, orthopaedic, medical and osteopathic tests depending on what the problem is / what is required. The treatment consists of the use of a wide range of techniques : soft/deep tissue, cranial, visceral, fascial and structural that will be used appropriately at the time of the treatment. The treatment is always gentle and if you don’t feel comfortable with a specific technique (i.e. ‘clicking the spine’) Blanche will use another one the patient you are comfortable with.
What happens after the treatment?
It is very common that tiredness and some soreness appears after a treatment, at the original site of pain or in a different area. This shows that the body is responding and changing. This soreness usually lasts for 2 days. During this period you should rest as much as possible and drink plenty of water so as to allow the body to recover quicker from all the changes it’s going through. It is therefore better to book an appointment when you know you can rest after the treatment.
It obviously depends on the complaint, the severity of symptoms and the speed of recovery which varies from a person to another. On average, 3 treatments in a row allow a good recovery for an acute or semi acute condition and chronic conditions usually require more treatments. Please feel free to discuss this with Blanche as each person is different.
I am registered with the Osteopathic Council of Ireland meaning that patients can claim part of the cost of the treatments from the main health insurances (VHI, Quinn, Aviva). Being a member of the OCI ensures that the osteopath has a ‘high standard’ qualification and is fully insured. Osteopathy is a primary contact health care profession so you don’t need a referral letter from your GP. However if you want to claim tax on the treatments, you do need one.