Osteopaths aim to "tune up" your body making it balanced and more efficient.
They are able to detect abnormalities and areas that aren't functioning fully in the body by touch alone. They then work with the bodies own ability to heal itself using manipulation and stretching. It is all incredibly gentle.
Osteopaths treat all kinds of people, not just babies. Many adults also visit Osteopaths for things like poor posture, arthritis, and sports injuries. In babies it is used to treat colic and sleeplessness amoungst other things.
Osteopaths must be registered and they have to undertake a 4 or 5 year honours degree programme with clinic training.
Although some GP's are now referring patients on the NHS, the majority are private. A 30 minute session can cost anything from £20 up to £50, with the first session costing a little more as this session tends to be longer. How many sessions you need largely depends on how well you respond, some people only need two or three.
At the first session a detailed medical history is needed including details on your lifestyle and diet. For babies you will need to fill out a detailed questionaire about the pregnancy and birth. You will usually be requried to undress to your underwear [or nappy if you are a baby!].
My four month old son has now had three sessions with his osteopath, and the difference is remarkable. We took our son to an osteopath for three reasons; he had congenital muscular torticollis [His head tilted to one side from where he was squashed in utero] and plagiocephaly [Abnormal moulding of the skull] Also he was still waking up 10 or 11 times a night [very tired Mummy!]
There were other options for the former two problems but osteopathy seemed the gentlest. At our first appointment Tom, his osteopath, took a lot of details about my son, my pregnancy, the birth and the post natal period. I then stripped him down to his nappy [my son, not the osteopath!] and Tom spent alot of time talking to him before picking him up. He laid him on a couch and felt all over his body, spending a lot of time at the base of his spine.
He then sat him on his lap and put very gentle pressure on the skull, my Son didn't mind in the slightest, it was almost as though he knew Tom was trying to help him! At the end of the session there was an astounding difference in my son's head shape, and his tilt was only noticable when he was tired. And he was only waking up 4 or 5 times a night!
We have just had his third session and his head is now lovely and round, and 99% symmetrical. His tilt is hardley ever apparent, and last night he only woke up twice!
However he did cry at the end of the session because there was a big "release" which although isn't painful, does over sensitise everything.
I would recommend osteopathy to anyone, it is almost miraculous.
I used to suffer from RSI. Or something like RSI anyway. As a computer user who spent a lot of time working with databases (tabbing across fields, pressing return a lot) I ended up with painful hands. Hands, not wrists. So... as I was working at a private hospital, I got myself some free physiotherapy. This involved electrotherapy on both hands, massaging in Ibuleve (ibuprofen) cream and sitting with bags of frozen peas on my hands in the evenings in front of the TV. After six sessions and zero improvement, I went for the second option... Which was going to my local GP. He suggested that I required a course of anti-inflammatory tablets to take down any inflammation (of course I had already done all possible to improve my working environment - good chair, graphics tablet rather than mouse, monitor the right height etc etc). So my nice GP gave me Voltarol (diclofenac sodium) tablets and sent me on my way. I took the Voltarol for about six weeks and the problem seemed to ease slightly. The Voltarol tablets ran out and I didn't get round to getting any more. Then I found I was getting really tired. I thought I had flu. Then I thought I had ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I completely lost my appetite. When I eventually got an appointment with the doctor they said I had a Urinary Tract infection and gave me antibiotics. Two days later I was at the emergency doctor as the antibiotics made me badly sick. That doctor diagnosed me with diabetes, told me to eat fruit and no sugar, and sent me on my way. Scary moment. [Yes, I know this Op is about Osteopathy... it will come!] Anyway, trotted back to my own GP Monday morning who said that it wasn't diabetes as my readings were too low and I hadn't tested positive for sugar in my urine on my earlier visit. So they'd take a blood test. Blood test results came back eventually. I was in renal (kidney) failure. Now that's DEAD scary. Go
t sent up to the renal consultant at Guy's Hospital in London who did a biopsy (operation) on my birthday and concluded that I had suffered an allergic reaction to the Voltarol tablets I had taken for my RSI. Not only that, I would now be allergic to any other NSAID tablet such as ibuprofen, and that would include rubbing ibuprofen into the skin. Treatment for my interstitial nephritis involved a year on steriods (which did help the RSI situation!), putting on 3 stone in weight, loads of other side effects, but almost complete recovery from the kidney failure (I have some residual damage but not enough to worry about). So, now what. Off steroids I still had painful hands. I work with computers; I can't take Voltarol/ibuprofen or rub in Ibuleve. What to do? It just so happened a friend of mine said she had spoken about it with a friend who was an osteopath and that he said he could help about 50% of cases with RSI. Well, I thought I'd go for it - I had no other options. For my first visit the Osteopath, Brian Hounsfield of Epsom, took a full medical history. This took about 20 minutes and was very thorough. Apparently osteopaths are the only people (other than doctors) who are allowed to "diagnose". Anyway, we talked through everything and then he examined me. He got me to do lots of movements with my head (looking over my shoulder, looking up and down etc etc) and also looked at my hands, tested my reflexes and lots of other stuff. He then diagnosed my problem - and it was with my neck! Nothing to do with my hands, but actually a problem starting in my neck which affected my hands. Treatment involved me lying on the plinth (hospital bed thingy) whilst he gently pulled my head away from my body with a massage-like motion. It was pleasant - not uncomfortable. He did this for about ten minutes. Then, suddenly and very surprisingly, took my the side of my face in one hand and held m
y head in the other and swiftly twisted my neck to one side. There was an audible crack - like a gunshot! Then he carried on with the neck stretching, and then twisted the other way (another loud crack, but this time less of a surprise as I was ready for it!!!). He then did a little more neck stretching, did a couple of minutes work on my hands, and that was it. I stood up and then did all the looking over my shoulder exercises. I could twist my neck much further round, look up and down much further, and my head felt kind of light. The cost of this treatment was £35. He asked me to book an appointment for a fortnight's time, which I did. But my hands were almost better after this first treatment. It was like magic! The second treatment took about 25 minutes. And at the end of that there was no problem with my hands. Amazing! I asked him if I needed to do exercises at home or anything and he said no, just to make sure that I slept with only one pillow, not the two that I had, and to try not to read in bed (which I still do, actually!). I now go back every six months or so just to be "topped up" and the RSI is under control. I have a few other friends with a similar RSI-type problem and I have to say that we are all fairly tall. I of course recommend the osteopath to them all. Brian also sorted out my husband's whiplash after a bad car accident. I think osteopathy's great. I also wish I'd gone to the osteopath before two years of faffing around with other methods of treatment which involved kidney failure!!!
About four months ago, the company I work for, generous souls that they are, decided to give us all free gym membership, hoping no doubt to breed a new generation of fit, happy workers just raring to work our little socks off with all the increased energy and happy hormones flowing through our bodies. Never having been a fan of exercise, I seriously doubted my ability to stick to any kind of programme, but thought I'd give it a go. I tried a few classes, and found one that I liked, a kind of weightlifting class to music, and I also did a few cardio sessions each week. About two months into this, I started to get a weird kind of pain in my upper back, around my left shoulderblade, which seemed to radiate out around my chest and down my arm. When I breathed in, I got a sharp pain in my chest, which really scared me. The pain came in fits and starts - it would flare up, hurt for a couple of days and then disappear completely, so I kept putting off getting it seen to, hoping it would go away. One weekend it was particularly painful and I decided I had to pay a visit to the doctor. He was very dismissive, informed me that I had a "slight muscular strain" and prescribed some anti inflammatory painkillers. I went away puzzled and still in pain - the painkillers were pretty useless, and it didn't feel at all like a muscular strain. I decided to seek help elsewhere. I dithered over whether to try a chiropractor or an osteopath, not really sure what the difference is, and finally chose an osteopath near to where I live. I wasn't sure what to expect, and I was a bit nervous, expecting more pain and probably no relief. The clinic (in Clapham, South London) was small and welcoming, I didn't have to wait long before I was introduced to a smiling man in a white coat. He asked me some lengthy questions about the problem, my medical history and stuff, then I had to take my shirt off and he carefully exa
mined my back, commenting on the tightness of the muscles - not surprising, I'm a computer worker and rarely leave my desk during the day - and my posture. He then told me the problem was caused by a displaced rib, probably through lifting something wrongly - the gym class! In order to correct the problem, he said my muscles needed to be loose, so I lay on my side on a couch and he sort of pulled them around, loosening them, then I lay on my back and he pushed at the rib, there was a loud cracking sound and the pain was gone! I really couldn't believe it! it was that quick and simple. I was so impressed. I ached a little the next day, but the serious pain was gone and I've had no problems since. I'd have no hesitation in recommending osteopathy for this sort of musculo-skeletal problem. Doctors are fine with diseases but they really don't seem to have a clue when it comes to back problems - this wasn't my first bad experience with a doctor over an injury.
It all started while I was in labour with my little girl, there were complications where my daughters heart rate dropped rapidly and there was concern as to whether she was getting enough oxygen in the womb or not, to find this out the doctor had to take a blood sample from the top of Mia's head and test it to check the oxygen levels, this proved very difficult and took over an hour of prodding and poking. Needless to say little Mia was born very upset with a head full of angry red scratches and cuts. As any new parent knows newborns tend to do nothing in the first few hours but sleep, it was obvious to me even within an hour that Mia was not a settled baby, and who could blame her after such a traumatic time! Of course all I wanted to do at the time was hold and love her as much as any new parent possibly can but still she was upset and screamed if you went near her head... I was assured this was a temporary "discomfort" and would soon pass, it took 5 days for the marks to go down... The next thing we noticed was the 'V' shaped ridge across the top of Mia's head, at first we thought this was simply more obvious with Mia as she had very little hair and my other 2 boys had had quite a bit, but we mentioned it to the Health Visitor anyway to be told it was a common case of where the skull is molded in the birth canal and should reshape itself to normal by 3 months, it did in deed reshape but it took until she was 4 and a half months... While this was going on Mia remained to be unsettled, crying whenever laid on her back and constantly pulling at the back of her head and behind her ears while sobbing, of course this was traumatic for her and us and the only way we could soothe her was to carry her around and let her fall asleep propped up on our shoulders, by the time Mia reached 3 months I found myself looking into Cranial Osteopathy, I had heard various stories about this from television and media to magazine articles and
it seemed to do wonders. I was surprised to see this was aimed at young babies with anything from cerebal palsy to colic (it especially helps babies who have had a traumatic birth ie, forceps or ventouse delivery etc) AND adults suffering from sports injury, strain or migraine etc. I was very naive at first as to the wide range of things that Osteopathy can treat and admit to being a bit sceptical about the whole thing at first, I mean isn't it just somebody bragging a dimploma in massage and just widening it a bit? Well I couldn't have been more wrong!! Osteopathy is a treatment where the specialist you choose to see works with the structure and function of the body, finding a diagnosis and then treating it rather than just aiming anywhere. As we all know our limbs and joints have to be in good health or we just won't work as good! Thus if you have problems with the "framwork" of your body it can seriously affect the circulatory system, any nerves in the body and even affect your general health. The Osteopaths job is to restore the structure and the function of your body, resolving a perfect balance and harmony and restoring good health. Cranial Osteopathy is aimed solely at the head and neck that encourages the release of stress and tension throughout the body, this form of Osteopathy is extremely gentle (making it suitable from birth to adult) but very effective at relaxing the whole body and should be recommended to anyone suffering from any form of stress or tension. On explaining to my family and friends that we were introducing Mia to Cranial Osteopathy... "Oh I didn't tell you did I?" "What?" "We're taking Mia to see a Cranial Osteopath" "A what??" "It's a Specialist that deals with releasing extreme stress and tension in babies by head massage.." "Oh, erm, could you not just masage her head
yourself?" Well the reason that you don't get the same effect by trying massage yourself is that Osteopaths are trained to feel a very subtle, rhythmical shape change that is present in all body tissues. This is called the Cranial Rhythm. The movement is very small, therefore it takes practitioners with a very finely developed sense of touch to feel it. Tension in the body disrupts the cranial rhythm. Practitioners compare what your rhythm is doing to what they consider ideal. This shows them what stresses and strains your body is under at present, and what tensions it may be carrying as a result of its past history. It also gives them an insight into the overall condition of your body, for example if it is healthy, or stressed and tired. On taking Mia for her first appointment to see her Osteopath we were introduced as to what benefits Mia, and us!, could possibly get from Cranial Osteopathy, we were also told that even after the first session the Osteopath would be able to tell us if it would benefit Mia or not and he would not waste our money by telling us to continue treatment if it would be of no help. I first thought this would be quite simple and Mia would lie there quite happily relishing in the soothing massage. Umm hardly! Simon (the Osteopath) explained that in deed Mia had a lot of compression, all babies skulls "overlap" as they are born only to "open" up after a couple of days before they "fuse" themselves together into a "proper" skull shape! Mia's had overlapped a bit too much on her way into the world and although it had "opened" up ready to "fuse" together, it hadn't done it as much as normal and was causing a lot of pressure, explaining why she wouldn't lie on her back and kept pulling at the back of her head, she was getting headaches! poor babe! (this sounds quite horribly painful and probably is but we were reassured it is quite common and if le
ft babies tend to mould into the skull rather than the other way round - no evidence has proven that this causes any problems in adult life just tends to make life a lot easier at the time). Mia cried while she had the treatment, quite a bit actually, we were told this was because although it doesn't hurt it was a bit uncomfortable as Simon gently (believe me its very gentle pressure) massaged the skull bones into the right position. We were reassured at the next session Mia will probably enjoy it as the releasing has already taken effect. As soon as he had finished and I picked Mia up she was all smiles again and has been much more relaxed in herself since it was done, she will happily play, doesn't pull at her head as much and is in general much happier! We are lucky Simon told us we will only need 2 or 3 session at the most and all the tension and pressure will be gone, some babies need upto 10 sessions but it is definitely worth it and I personally would recommend it to anyone young or old! Prices at Manchester... £25 first session £18 subsequent sessions (per hour) Helpful information:- www.nat-healthclinic.co.uk/cranial www.cranial.co.uk Ann Cook 8 Upper Guildown Road Guildford GU2 5EZ Tel: 01483 504508
Cranial osteopathy was recommended by a friend of mine whose children all had colic, but were cured by osteopathy. When my daughter was crying endlessly and unconsolably every evening for 4 hours, we decided that something needed to be done. We went to a local practioner and he charged us £27.50 per session. He asked us questions about her birth and genaral health to see if there was any reason for her colic, and then gently held her in various positons in order to make changes in her system, which would help any trapped wind escape more easily. My daughter only needed 2 sessions and she was a completely different baby. It's not guarenteed to work, but definitely did the trick for us.
Physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractory. I have had them all and benefitted from them all. What's the difference? Physiotherapy - largely massage of the affected area. Chiropractory - manupulation of the spine, lots of jerks and cracks. Osteopathy - a little of the two. I can't recommend these therapies highly enough. Anybody who has a normal lifestyle probably needs some therapy and all you Dooyoo users almost definitely do, as sitting at a computer is one of the worst things you can do. Modern lifestyles lead us towards bad posture. All of our chairs and car seats are designed badly and we are lazy and don't exercies enough (on the whole). This leads us to having a spine shaped like and S, when it should be much straighter. Going to see an ostepath, or a physiotherapist (the least scary of them as they are soothing when the crack your spine, not just doing it as a matter of course) will benefit you as you can increase your area of rotation of your neck, shoulders and waist. At around £25 for the first consultation which should last about an hour, and then about £17 per half hour appointment after that, it is not very cheap. But most people only need to see a therapist once or twice per year to keep them nice and flexible. Look in the Yellow Pages to find one near you and make sure they are registered - it will say so next to their ad in the phone book. Be prepared to strip down to your underwear and wear a back fastening bra (girls) so that it can be undone easily. I would recommend it to anyone. Freedom of movement is a wonderful thing. I am usually high as a kite when I come out. I find it very relaxing and feel very pampered. After the first session, I can be a little sore as my muscles are lazy and not used to the movement, but this soon wares off. Try it. It will make you feel good when you didn't realise you were feeling bad.
An osteopath uses manipulative therapies to deal with problems associated with the musculoskeletal system. They work with bones, muscles and connective tissue, using their hands to diagnose abnormalities and then treat them by realigning the body. They carry out a range of soft-tissue manipulation to relieve muscular spasm or increase a joint's range of movement and also they manipulate bones using sharp thrusting movements. All chiropractors and osteopaths are now state registered and regulated. Manipulative treatment is beneficial for headache, including migraine, childhood glue ear, colic, arthritis and sports injuries.
I have a long term problem with my ilo siliac joint (sorry, Im not sure of the spelling!) in my pelvis area, following a car accident six years which fractured my pelvis. I take anti inflammatorys and various other pain killers and injections, but I do find that visiting the osteopath does help. My osteopath is very good and I feel that I can trust him. He doesnt encourage me to go for courses or anything to get more money out of him, just leaves it for me to make another appointment when I feel I need to. And I dont go that often, just when my hip gets really inflamed, and I cant bear it any more. But he has always helped when I have been. It costs between 20 and 30 pounds from my experience, more for the initial consultation. You need to be sure that you visit a good one as well, because I have heard some real horror stories about people who have visited bad ones! You can look registered ones up in Yellow Pages, and you would need to make sure they are registered, but I would also ask around and get recommendations first. For anybody that hasnt been before and is worried, mine has never caused me any pain. My hip does feel a bit worse for a day or so after before it starts getting better, and if it is your first visit it might be an idea to get someone else you can drive back just in case. But it is not a horrible experience, quite the opposite. Mine is almost alternative, he normally only does a couple of gentle manipulations per visit. The rest of the time he kind of holds his hand on the inflamed area, and moves them a little every now and again. He explains that your body is constantly assessing the situation, seeing what needs help and where, and that he is guiding it to where it needs to go and what it needs to do. Like I say it sounds almost alternative, and Im not sure that all osteopaths work like that, mine has been on an awful lot of courses, but it does work. Give it a try! But ask around for recommendations first.
I cannot rate osteopathy highly enough. I was a little uncertain the first time that I went with my back problem, but I would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone. Several times I have cricked my back and had trouble walking, and my osteopath has fixed it first time every time. On one occasion, I was referred by my GP for physiotherepy for a problem with my elbow. After six sessions and no change in my condition, I went to my osteopath and he manipulated my neck and all was well within a week. I have been impressed at the professionalism of the osteopath and his partners. They do not ask you to make further appointments unnecessarily and have shown me exercises that I can do to relieve my back pain and thus negate the need to attend the practice.
I have been using osteopathy for back pain for many years. It has been the only way I have found to relieve backache, leg pains, sciatic nerve pain etc etc apart from medication. Each practitioner appears to do the same job but they certainly have different results. If I have a problem that doesn't resolve I try a different therapist and very often they seem to sort me out quickly. I have also used them for headaches, massage and to relieve trapped nerves in elbow and wrist. Again matching the therapist to the job is the key. Unfortunately this can be an expensive experiment but it is worth it in the end.
This might not be suitable for everyone with back problems and i would seek a doctor's opinion before embarking on a course of treatment. We first got involved with osteopathy when our son suffered a whiplash effect when in the car after we had had to swerve to avoid an oncoming maniac. I took him to the hospital and he was given a neck collar. For 10 days he wore the collar but would not move his neck and kept his chin tucked into his shoulder. I was getting worried that muscles would atrophy and he would be like that for the rest of his life. He was 3 at the time. A friend suggested an osteopath as the hospital was as much use as a chocolate fireguard. The osteopath gave it a few swift clicks, my son was able to move his neck and never wore the collar again. I needed to go to see one after suffering with bad back pain as a result of bad posture. Again some clicks or freeing up of stiff tendons and I'm almost as good as new. Again choose someone is registered with the governing body-you don't want to end up in a worse state.