Osteopathy FAQ

1) What is osteopathy?

Osteopathy, as practiced in Canada by manual osteopathic practitioners, is a type of manual therapy (meaning we use our hands to assess as well as treat) which aims to restore optimal function in the body.

This goal is achieved by the use of the osteopath’s highly refined sense of touch that is developed over many years of training. This refined palpation skill allows the practitioner to feel not only surface tensions, like muscle tensions and inflammation, but also deeper tensions and distortions.

The concept of the inter-relatedness of the body’s systems and tissues also plays an important role in how the osteopath reasons, and lends a holistic perspective to the therapy.

2) How can osteopathy help me and what kind of conditions does it treat?

By positively affecting and balancing the nervous system, which is in close relationship with all of the other systems of the body, osteopathy can be very helpful in the resolution of many conditions.

In addition to techniques for the nervous system, there are many other tools that osteopaths use to work with the musculoskeletal system, as well as the visceral system.

The following is a limited list of conditions that may respond favorably to osteopathic treatment:

– musculoskeletal complaints (ie. back , shoulder, arm, hip and leg pain)

– concussions

– G.I. complaints (ie. constipation, IBS and acid reflux)

– Anxiety and depression

– Fatigue

– Symptoms from falls or accidents (ie. whiplash, feeling “out of sorts”)

– Symptoms related to chronic conditions (ie. Shortness of breath due to asthma)

3) Is osteopathy compatible with other types of treatments, ie. massage therapy or acupuncture?

Yes, osteopathy can complement well other therapeutic approaches. In the treatment of certain conditions (ie. depression, anxiety, some chronic conditions), osteopaths may also make referrals to other health care practitioners like naturopathic doctors, MD’s or psychologists for additional necessary support.

4) What can I expect from an osteopathic session?

In your first session, you can expect to go over your health history with the osteopath as well as having a discussion about what your needs are. An assessment will be done, which includes observation of posture and tests to determine where treatment will be most indicated. With the remaining time, a treatment will be given. In subsequent appointments, there will be a quick assessment (in order to see what changes have occurred and again, to guide the process), and more time will be spent on treatment, which can take place with you sitting, lying face up, face down, or on your side.

5) What should I wear to an osteopathic session?

Ideally, for the assessment (and possibly for the treatment) shorts or loose/stretchy pants are worn, and if you are comfortable, a sports bra (for women) and no shirt (for men). Your comfort is very important however, so if you are not okay with disrobing, accommodations will be made. There is a blanket and heating pad handy so you will not be chilled.

6) Is osteopathy covered by my insurance plan?

Osteopathic treatment is covered by many private insurance plans. Please check with yours to see what your coverage is, as individual plans vary. It is important to note that osteopathy is not a service that can be directly billed to insurance companies. You will be given an invoice with my billing numbers on it and you will need to submit this invoice (and a doctor’s referral, if required – again, please check), to receive the reimbursement for the cost.

7) How often do I need to come to see improvements in my health?

The number of times you need to come depend on the length of time you have had your complaint, the severity of your injury, and your overall health. Some conditions respond quickly and others take more time. Please feel free to ask me about this when we talk in person.

Call or email today for your appointment!

Phone: (902) 463-9351
Email: massage@naturalpathwellness.ca