What Is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual medicine, preventive and curative that focuses on health. Osteopathy aims to restore posture and function, and maintain balance, harmony and homeostasis (ability of the body to regulate itself and maintain internal stability) throughout the body so that you can live at your fullest health. It apprehends individuals holistically because the health of an individual depends on the ability of its tissues to function together.
Much like an architect is trying to achieve the best structure for a building to be as strong as it can be and withstand all it needs to; osteopathy believes that “Once optimal body structure is achieved function is at its optimum”.
Osteopathy is sometimes defined as a science and an art. Indeed, it is based on the sense of touch and the palpatory capacity of the practitioner. The osteopath develops its sense of touch, as the musician develops his ear or the oenologist his sense of taste. As such, osteopathy is seen as an art. The osteopath uses his hands to “listen, and feel the human body”. At the same time, osteopathic palpation is nothing without the anatomical and physiological knowledge of the human body. Osteopathy needs both these scientific components to be effective.
Osteopathy is a magnificent balance between science and art, the essence of which lies in the harmony of the human body.
Osteopathic treatment always aims to restore tissue mobility. Once restrictions are lifted, the reduction of inflammatory stress combined with greater mobility allows the body’s self-healing mechanism to function, thus providing the body with the opportunity to heal itself.
Osteopaths use a broad range of gentle hands-on techniques including soft tissue release, gentle functional techniques, muscle-energy technique, joint mobilisation and manipulation but also cranial and visceral techniques, but do not use drugs or surgery. They may also provide advice on posture and exercise to aid recovery, promote health and prevent symptoms recurring. Osteopaths maintain good working relationships with other medical bodies and will refer the patient if needed.
Professionalism and Safety
Dr. Andrew Taylor Still is the founding father of osteopathy, who established the practice of Osteopathy in the United States in the late 1800s. Osteopathy developed into the established complementary medicine we know it today and is widely practised in Europe. The UK was the first European country to recognise and regulate Osteopathy with the Osteopaths Act in 1993. Osteopathy is regulated in the UK by the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). An osteopath in the UK has completed a four to five years university study, leading to a Bachelor or a Master of Osteopathy. This is similar to a medical degree course, with more emphasis on anatomy and musculoskeletal medicine, and less on pharmacology. Osteopaths are required to update their skills each year through CPD continual professional development. You can be assured that osteopathy is safe and one the most effective forms of manual treatment available. Osteopaths are highly competent healthcare professionals, recognised in the UK by the NHS as fully qualified to diagnose and treat independently. Patients may be referred by their doctor, or may opt to see an osteopath directly.
As you don’t need a referral from your doctor to see an osteopath, you will typically be able to see an osteopath quickly. Over 30,000 people every day visit an osteopath in the UK alone (Source: (GOsC); (NHS Choices).
An Osteopathic consultation
The first appointment will generally last for about 1 hour. The osteopath will take a full patient history, ask you questions about your general health, medical conditions you may have and medications you may be taking. If you have performed any medical investigation (Blood tests, X-rays, Ultrasound, Scans or MRI) please bring the reports along. The information you provide is strictly confidential.
You may be asked to undress to your underwear so that we can examine and treat you (towels will be provided to keep you warm). If you feel more comfortable wearing a swimming suit or short during treatment please do not hesitate to do so. The osteopath will observe your posture, look at your painful area, the way your body moves and examine the health of the joints, tissues and ligaments using their hands and a highly developed sense of touch called palpation. Osteopaths take into consideration the mechanics of your whole body and may examine and treat different parts of the body than the one where you are experiencing pain or discomfort. For example hand pain may originate from your neck. The osteopath may need to take your blood pressure, and carry out various tests to ascertain the cause of your problem.
After the examination the osteopath will explain their findings and the appropriate course of treatment plan. You will then be treated with a combination of soft tissue release, mobilisation and manipulation best suited to you and your complaint. At the end of the treatment, the osteopath may give you some home stretches, exercises or other advice. Sometimes additional investigation may be required and you may be referred back to your doctor.
Follow up appointments when needed; generally last for about 45 minutes.
Usually patients feel an immediate benefit from osteopathic treatment. However, because they often come in pain and may have been in pain for some time, a mild reaction to treatment can occur. It is possible that you might feel a little soreness or some increased stiffness or pain in the first 24-48 hours; this can be aided by using ice packs. Patients can feel tired after a treatment session as a deep sense of relaxation occurs, a sure sign that the body has responded, sometimes a patient can feel energised by treatment as they are no longer suffering with tight painful muscles. These reactions are not systematic and you might as well not experience any of the above reactions. Each individual reacts differently, If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the osteopath and ask their advice.
It is advised not to do excessive exercise for roughly 24-48 hours post-treatment, you can walk but avoid doing sports, too much housework, gardening, carrying heavy weights.
It may require more than one visit before your musculoskeletal problem is resolved. As no two people respond to treatment in the same way and people heal at different rates, the osteopath will review your progress at each subsequent visit and seek your consent to any changes to your treatment plan.
Children under the age of 16
An adult is required to be present during treatments for children under the age of 16.
English speaking Osteopathic Clinic Nice – Roquefort les Pins
Location, opening hours and how to contact us
The English speaking osteopathic clinics in Nice and Roquefort les Pins are opened from Monday to Friday from 8am-8pm, on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm. Emergencies are usually taken on the same day and home visit are also available.
For an appointment call Katie D’AGOSTINO, Osteopath D.O. MROF on 06 60 51 23 42 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
English, French, Italian and Spanish spoken
Osteopathic Clinic Nice
80 Rue Marechal Joffre, 06000 Nice
Osteopathic Clinic Roquefort les Pins
1157 Route de Notre Dame, 06330 Roquefort les Pins
“Life is movement. Osteopathy helps to restore body movement and function, to reduce pain and improve your quality of life.”