Because Osteopathy is a holistic approach to realigning the body, it can help with many conditions. Osteopathy emphasizes manipulation of the muscoskelatal system, cranial bones and visceral treatment to positively affect the body’s nervous, circulatory and lymphatic systems. People most commonly seek osteopathy when experiencing pain in their back, neck or extremities. Other issues which an Osteopath may be able to help include:
- sleep problems
- digestive problems
- support for overall health/treatment for issues such as infertility
- potential structural issues in babies and children which can prevent long-term problems (positional plagiocephaly where the baby always returns to one side to sleep thus causing a flat spot on the skull, acid reflux, snoring)
When should you NOT receive osteopathic treatment?
Osteopathic manipulation shouldn’t be done while there is active infection or inflammation. Some examples include a broken bone or dislocation, a bone or joint infection or active rheumatoid arthritis. In cases where such issues are identified, an osteopath will refer you to other practitioners for treatment first.
How Osteopathy Works
Osteopathy’s goal is to find the root cause of your pain and health issues. An osteopath understands how all parts of the body function together. If one part of the body is restricted, then the body adapts and compensates, eventually leading to inflammation, pain and various health conditions. Osteopathic treatment helps to release these restrictions for greater mobility and reduced stress and pain.
When medical solutions only focus on symptoms, the underlying problems often worsen over time. Imagine if you are sitting in your home relaxing when you’re disturbed by the sound of your smoke detector. Symptom-based treatment is like turning off the smoke detector to stop the noise, while the fire keeps burning.
As an osteopath, I do a thorough assessment to find the root of pain and symptoms. This starts with a getting a patient’s history and asking questions about the problem. Through simply observing the patient I also gather a lot of information. Then, I will test key areas of the body I have identified to determine the best course of treatment.
Osteopathy holds that the body has all it needs within to heal. I usually do one treatment focused on the root issue and then allow the body two to three weeks to adjust and heal itself. During follow-up sessions, I can observe how the body has changed and assist with furthering the healing.
Patient Examples from a Shanghai Osteopath
Getting at the root cause of arm pain
A patient was having pain in her arm with no obvious cause. During the assessment, I found out she had a history of asthma. It turned out the root cause was in her chest and the treatment to that area resolved her pain quickly.
Diaphragm manipulation to resolve severe neck pain and headaches
Another patient had neck pain and limited movement, along with headaches and some vomiting. After observation and assessment, I did a manipulation of her diaphragm. After many previous unsuccessful solutions, she was amazed at how easily and quickly her pain went away.
Denis Boisseau provides a wide range of osteopathy treatments including joint manipulations, muscular, soft tissue, visceral and cranial treatments. He received extensive training and mentoring in France before relocating to Shanghai, where he provides consultations in Body & Soul’s Four Seasons Clinic – Jing’an and Century Park Clinic – Pudong.