How does it work?

The most common questions we are asked are:

  • “what are you doing?”
  • “what can you feel?”
  • “how does this work?”. 

There are a couple of analogies we use when explaining to patients how Osteopathy can help:

Firstly it is essential to acknowledge that the body has an inbuilt self healing mechanism in order to maintain health. Your body will always try to heal itself, but sometimes it needs a helping hand. Osteopathy can be the catalyst to assist your body to regain its healthy balance.

The simplest analogy here, is that of a twisted telephone cord. Suspended in the appropriate manner the cord will unwind back to it’s original shape. This is a very basic example, but ignores the fact that osteopathic intervention provides not a static suspension but a dynamic fulcrum to help the body unwind back towards health.

A more detailed explanation is as follows:

At conception the body acquires a blueprint of how it should form and then function. This blueprint represents perfect form and function and the body utilizes the blueprint to build itself, placing all the tissues in the appropriate area, encouraging differentiation in the cells to specialized cell masses with differing function, all the time integrated to form a whole being with the equipment necessary to maintain life and health.

This blueprint also originates and expresses a pattern of continuous, rhythmical pattern of micro - motion throughout every cell of the body. Ideally this pattern is expressed in a symmetrical fashion, with all parts expressing motion within a harmonious whole.

However this pattern of motion is liable to be distorted by trauma. The body is continuously exposed to trauma, and has to adapt to it. The most obvious form of trauma is physical, and whilst this is true other forms of trauma e.g. infective, toxic, metabolic or emotional all affect the bodies ability to express the pattern of health.

This is where the bodies self healing mechanism intervenes. The body maintains the pattern of the original blueprint throughout life. In case of the pattern of activity becoming distorted the body compares the pattern of activity present with the pattern of activity represented by the blueprint, and actively tries to move back towards the blueprint. This is why a broken leg heals into it’s original form, or how we recover from a chest infection.

If the body cannot manage to dissipate the trauma sufficiently then the elastic limits of the body are exceeded and symptoms may persist. At this point as a patient you may seek osteopathic help. Osteopathy works by providing a dynamic fulcrum in the interface between the forces of distortion and the original blueprint, enabling changes to take place under the direction of the bodies own inner healing tendency rather than using force from without.

In Cranial Osteopathy the force to create this change comes from within the patient, rather than the osteopath externally, and hence treatment can appear to be a passive process, but do not be misled!  Osteopathy offers an immensely powerful tool for helping people to regain Health.