What to expect during an osteopathic session
When beginning a new treatment, it is common to feel uncertain and wonder what to expect during a consultation. Thus here is a short outline of how best to prepare for the initial consultation.
For your first appointment bring in your completed intake form. Your osteopath will ask you questions about your past medical history and lifestyle, as well as any current symptoms you may be experiencing. This discussion is very important as it facilitates an accurate assessment and appropriate treatment.
During your visit, your osteopath will make an osteopathic assessment utilizing your case history, orthopedic tests and hands on techniques that range from a very light touch to a deeper touch with increased pressure. The use of precise palpation skills can detect areas of diminished mobility, and areas of restriction. Science based osteopathic techniques focus on finding the underlying cause of the symptoms, whether near to or distant from the person’s area of complaint.
Your physical examination will include a close assessment of your bodies structure to determine levels of function or dysfunction. This is achieved by hands on palpation, range of motion tests and orthopaedic tests involving muscle, joint, ligament, connective tissue and skin tissue.
The treatment focuses on techniques assisting the body to restore balance and normalize any areas of dysfunction. This may involve consecutive visits for continued manual therapy – and a range of gentle hands on techniques that focus on releasing tension, stretching muscles and mobilising joints.
While it is the clients body which heals itself; the practitioner’s role is to facilitate the initiation and guidance of the process while utilizing vast knowledge of the connections of bones, joints and underlying tissues and their interrelationship to the underling nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic system, encouraging self regulating forces at work to restore homeostasis.
There may be recommendations provided for home care including lifestyle suggestions, specific rehabilitative exercises and muscle stretches that you can continue at home to further support body integration in the days following treatment.
The number and frequency of sessions required will vary depending on the injury or condition. An osteopathic wellness program is never a one-program-fits-all scenario as manual osteopathy seeks to treat the individual; thus osteopathic treatment is tailored to the unique history of each individual.
Manual osteopathic practitioners do not diagnose or practice medicine, nor do we attempt to treat disease. If you are concerned about a medical pathology and /or disease, always consult your medical doctor prior to exploring Osteopathic Manual Practice.
How to prepare / What to wear
Similar to attending a yoga class or exercise, it is best not to consume a heavy meal immediately prior to the appointment. If you are hungry, a light snack would be ideal. For maximum improvement, stay well hydrated after treatment.
We recommend that you wear loose fitting clothing, such as loose yoga pants and T-shirts and comfortable athletic footwear, as stretching may be a part of your rehabilitation program.
Manual osteopathic treatment is completed while the patient is fully clothed, with occasional direct skin contact. As with any healthcare appointment, it may be occasionally necessary to expose an area of skin relating to discomfort to facilitate direct treatment; this is only done with patient consent while ensuring that your modesty is respected. If you do not feel comfortable with any part of treatment, please inform the practitioner immediately. The techniques can be discontinued or modified to be comfortable for you.
How does Osteopathy treatment feel ?
Manual osteopathy is widely recognised as one of the safest drug-free, non invasive therapies for the treatment of neuromuscularskeletal and joint complaints.
Although manual osteopathic therapy has an excellent safety record and many clients find the sessions relaxing; no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.
Many patients feel immediate relief following manual osteopathic treatment, but some may experience fatigue or mild soreness similar to sore muscles experienced after some forms of sports activities. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following soft tissue therapy typically resolves within a couple days.