What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a “whole body” system of manual therapy, based on unique biomechanical principles, which uses a wide range of techniques to treat musculo-skeletal problems and other functional disorders of the body. It was developed in America in the 1870’s by a Missouri Doctor, Andrew Taylor Still, and has developed to the point where it is now widely recognised throughout the world as one of the most scientifically validated and effective “complementary” therapies.
The World Health Organisation recognises the Osteopathic concept of somatic dysfunction as being scientifically proven, and the British Medical Association also recognises Osteopathy as a discrete medical discipline. In Australia, Osteopaths are statutorily registered practitioners and five year, full-time university training is available, which covers anatomy, physiology, pathology and general medical diagnosis in addition to Osteopathic technique. Osteopaths are primary care practitioners, and are trained to be able to recognise conditions which require medical referral. They are also trained to carry out standard medical examinations of the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous system.
Do I need a referral?
No, osteopaths are primary health care practitioners, which means they have the skills to assess any health condition that their patients present with.
Are osteopaths covered by private health funds?
Yes, osteopaths are covered by most major health funds. The rebate people receive differs according to the fund they are in and the options/level of cover they have chosen.
Is it ok for me to sit on a gym ball/fit ball/Swiss ball at work?
Sitting on a Swiss ball is a good way to develop core strength. But no one I have ever met has got the endurance in those muscles to be able to hold a good upright posture all day. And when you fatigue, you have no back support so you fall to a really poor slumped posture. So I usually tell people to use it in short bursts – maybe 3 to 5 times a day for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, and use a normal chair with good back support the rest of the time.
What is the smoke point of extra virgin olive oil?
Glad you asked. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoke_point for a list of smoke points.
What caused my injury? AKA WHY ME?!?
Sometimes people present with a problem that had a very clear and identifiable cause, such as a motor vehicle accident, or twisting their knee when tenpin bowling. But a lot of people come in with pain that has seemingly come out of nowhere. The following is a simple way to think about possible causative factors in your lifestyle, and in your own body.
When you are doing normal activities and your alignment is sound, you generally get fewer problems. When your alignment/posture is suboptimal, even during normal activities of everyday life – like sitting at a computer or household duties – over time you may start to experience pain. When you start doing strange/unusual/extreme activities, even if you have good alignment, you may get problems, but certainly, when your alignment is not right, anything unusual you do will likely cause you problems.
Does Osteopathy work?
There exists a great deal of research which not only provides a physiological basis for Osteopathic concepts and techniques, but also provides statistical data on outcomes. Reports have shown not only a consistent level of successful outcome, but also a high degree of patient satisfaction.
There’s no such thing as a form of medical treatment which is guaranteed 100% safe in every case. Even the painkillers you buy in the supermarket for a headache may cause severe side effects in some patients. That said, however, Osteopathy has one of the best safety records of any medically-related profession. Osteopaths are trained to recognise any condition that might make Osteopathic treatment inadvisable, and will refer patients for appropriate medical attention in such cases. Just as a Doctor regards safety as the most important factor in selecting the appropriate medication for a particular patient, so an Osteopath will also select the most appropriate style of treatment with safety as the prime consideration.