Osteopathy is a hands on, holistic form of treatment, assessing the whole body. First described by Dr. A.T. Still in the 1800’s, it focuses on treating the musculoskeletal system, so called “osteopathic lesions”, to re-establish balance and encourage the self-healing mechanism of the individual.
By regarding body, mind and soul as a unit, Osteopathy is concerned with a person-centred health care rather than disease-centered. While considering the interrelationship of structure and function, the osteopathic practitioner performs non-invasive techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue therapy, and prescribes exercises.
The osteopathic manual practitioner at Alliance Wellness Vancouver palpates by gently yet intentionally touching the tissues or systems under examination. With experience, the osteopathic manual practitioner palpates learn to palpate not just superficially, but also very deeply within the body. Sensory information is received through touch receptors in the fingertips and palms, as well as through the proprioceptors (motion and position sensors) embedded deep in the joints of the hands, wrists, arms, and even the shoulders.
The ability to detect minute modifications in the quality of the tissues is the assessment skill that allows the osteopathic manual practitioner to prioritize a patient’s course of treatment. These tissue qualities include congestion, dehydration, scarring, stiffness, density, and loss of resilience, as well as motility.