Updated: Mar 29
By Sandy Antunes, DO-MTP, M.OMSc., MICO
Osteopathy is a holistic form of manual health care that aims to remove obstructions to the proper functioning of the body. Although Osteopathy is getting better known and respected in Ontario, many people are still unsure about what it is and how it can help them.
Osteopathy is often seen as a musculoskeletal type of treatment, relieving back and joint pain. It does of course focus on the importance of posture and structural alignment, but it also addresses so much more. It is a physiological adjustment, as well as structural.
Here are a few conditions that see optimal results with Osteopathic care:
1. Respiratory issues
Osteopathy works on many aspects of breathing: the ribs, diaphragm, spine and other muscles involved in breathing, and by freeing restrictions and improving circulation, we can treat respiratory problems. Osteopathy is especially helpful for asthma, and also chronic bronchitis, shortness of breath and other respiratory issues.
2. Reproductive Issues
Period pain, hormone imbalance and premenstrual syndrome are conditions that osteopathy can treat by ensuring circulation, release of tension, and supporting the nervous system.
3. Pregnancy complaints
Osteopathy is a safe and gentle therapy during pregnancy, treating issues such as morning sickness, acid reflux, pelvic instability, pubic symphysis dysfunction, low back pain, sciatica, carpel tunnel syndrome and more. Due to the many changes that take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy, she may be more prone to dysfunction. Optimal prenatal care and alignment can also support a better delivery and reduces complications.
4. Mental Health
Taking a different look at depression as an issue with blood circulation, nerve function and tension in the head can be an additional vantage point in treating this condition. By restoring nerve function, improving blood flow and circulation to the brain, and improving the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord, we can optimize brain function and mood.
5. Digestive Disorders
Digestive disorders can be caused by compression, adhesion or strain on the ligaments and connective tissue around the organs. Visceral manipulation, a hands-on technique to support organ function can restore optimal function of your digestive organs, beyond what simple nutritional changes will make. Acid reflux, indigestion and chronic constipation are conditions that respond particularly well to this approach.
Carrying physical tension in the jaw, diaphragm and abdominal organs can affect your sleep quality and may be related to a chronically high stress response. Insomnia can improve by treating these issues, and also calming down the nervous system and over-active stress hormone response.
7. Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system caused by stress. By treating the overactive nervous system with osteopathic manipulation in the thoracic and lumbar areas especially, we can lower blood pressure in a lasting way.
8. Colic in Babies
Babies with colic respond extremely well to osteopathic care. This is a gentle treatment to address many potential causes of colic ranging from strains in the thorax, abdomen or pelvis that can irritate the bowel to dysfunction at the base of the skull affecting the major nerves supplying the gut area. Treatment can greatly reduce your baby’s discomfort by getting to the root of it.
Every treatment is not approached the same way. We take many things into consideration, including medical history and current aggravating factors. Treatment is individualized for each patient, depending on what’s going on in the body that particular day. This holistic approach includes the whole body, to find the cause of the problem, not just treat the symptoms. Assessment and treatment are simultaneous in Osteopathy. Recommendations are given for home care, to compliment what has been accomplished during the session. This may be as simple as being more body aware, and recognizing certain things that one could be doing that are aggravating the problem.
Sandy Antunes specializes in Classical Osteopathy and offers a well established approach to health care based on a deep understanding of the structure of the body and its relationship to the body’s functions. Read more about Sandy here