What is Osteopathy?
Hey there, my name is Shannon Uppington. I am a Manual Osteopath, Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor and Nutrition Coach. Now, I am sure you are probably familiar with what a Personal Trainer is, what a Group Fitness Instructor does, and what a Nutrition Coach can do, but you may be wondering what the heck is a Manual Osteopath? Chances are you have heard the term “Osteopathy” and you know it has something to do with bones but you are not too sure. Well, do not worry! That’s why I am here!
Compared to Massage Therapy, Chiropractic or Physiotherapy, Osteopathy is often seen as a newer form of manual therapy, when it isn’t really new at all. It’s actually quite old! Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Dr. Still believed that by treating the body’s musculoskeletal system, you could treat a variety of diseases, conditions and pain without the use of drugs or surgery. This would also spare patients from the harmful and negative side effects of those therapies. Dr. Still also believed that the body has the ability to heal itself and that by treating the source or the factors that inhibit health, the body can be restored to optimal function.
Osteopathy is very gentle and takes a holistic approach to heal as we focus on the body as a whole. Manual Osteopaths work on the spine, joints, muscles, soft tissue, organs and the Central Nervous System. Since Manual Osteopaths treat so many of the body’s structures, we can treat a variety of different conditions and pain. Some of the most common ones are back pain (low, middle and upper), neck pain/headaches/migraines, digestive issues, postural issues, PMS, shoulder conditions (frozen shoulder, AC joint pain, rotator cuff issues, subacromial impingement etc.), tight muscles, chronic pain conditions (such as Fibromyalgia) and sports injuries. I could keep going since the list is really endless but I will cap it there!
Some of the techniques that Manual Osteopaths use during treatment include (but are not limited to based on training and education): joint and spine mobilizations, muscle energy techniques, soft tissue therapy, myofascial release techniques, cranial osteopathy, visceral manipulation, laser and shockwave therapy, and kinesiology taping. Osteopathy can be an effective form of treatment for certain persistent or acute pains. The other goals and benefits from Osteopathic treatment are increased range of motion, decreased joint and muscle stiffness, increased flexibility, enhanced immune system function, better athletic performance, more energy and relaxation.
Many Manual Osteopaths, including myself, incorporate kinesiology taping into our practice. I love using SpiderTech kinesiology tape with my clients to help support the rehabilitation process and provide stability to the injured muscles and tissues. The combination of osteopathic treatment and using kinesiology tape helps my clients see great results. When our body comes out of alignment, it can create biomechanical imbalances throughout the body. These imbalances can either be brought on by or can potentially cause injury, poor posture, and pain. Structural applications of SpiderTech kinesiology tape can help correct biomechanical imbalances by keeping the body’s structures aligned where they should be in order to create a balanced state of forces and movements acting on the muscles and joints involved. One of the principles of Osteopathy is structure governs function. Therefore, if the structure of the body is aligned and correct, our body will function optimally. SpiderTech kinesiology tape can also help reduce the neural sensation of pain, promoting muscles to regain strength and mobility. Lastly, SpiderTech products provide continuous proprioceptive feedback that enhances the treatment done in the office so that you feel better for longer between appointments – which is something that we all want, right?
Now that you are familiar with what Osteopathy is and how therapeutic kinesiology tape can be incorporated into a treatment plan, please feel free to reach out and ask me any questions that you may have. I am looking forward to hearing from you!