4 things you didn’t know your Osteopath can help you with

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We treat people, not conditions
4 things you didn’t know your Osteopath can help you with.

Osteopathy is a form of manual healthcare which recognises the important link between the structure of the body and the way that it functions. By improving the function of the whole body, Osteopathy can help to stimulate the body’s own self-healing and self-regulating processes - aiding a return to health.

How can Osteopathy benefit my overall health? 

The Osteopathic philosophy is to treat the person as a whole, not just the specific symptoms. 

Osteopathic treatment can help to alleviate the underlying cause of pain, release tension and increase the range of motion in your joints, reduce blood pressure, improve circulation and help the body to adapt to hormonal and structural changes during pregnancy. 

Osteopathy for the treatment of stress and anxiety 

Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are - (Chinese Proverb)

Symptoms of stress and anxiety often manifest physically and can trigger pain associated with tight muscles, tension headaches, difficulty breathing and poor posture. 

The parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system are two of the three divisions of the autonomic nervous system, and are responsible for maintaining homeostasis within the body. 

The primary role of the sympathetic nervous system is to stimulate the body’s ‘fight-or-flight’ response. Persistent activation of the ‘fight-or-flight’ response as a result of chronic stress can cause or exacerbate many serious health problems including depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive problems.

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Osteopathic treatment can help to balance the autonomic nervous system via gentle manipulation of the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is an integral part of our parasympathetic nervous system and overall mind-body health. The parasympathetic nervous system works in opposition to the sympathetic nervous system by decreasing respiration and heart rate, increasing digestion and slowing the body’s stress response.  

Osteopathy for the treatment of headaches

Chronic stress can cause the muscles in the body to become tense and feel knotted and stiff. Some of the most commonly affected areas include the upper shoulders, neck and back muscles. Decreased blood flow as a result of muscular tension can often trigger tension headaches.  Your Osteopath can help to relieve a headache by gently manipulating your neck and upper spine using soft tissue massage to reduce knots, realign the spine and improve circulation and mobility. 

Difficulty Breathing  - Osteopathy can help you breath easy 

Breathing can be affected by bad posture, old injuries or bad habits - including prolonged periods of computer work (read Dr Kathleen Furey’s blog Do You Hold Your Breath At Work? for more on Screen Apnea). Correct breathing relies on the diaphragm and its associated musculoskeletal and nervous system’s ability to function correctly.  An osteopath can assess these various systems and correct any deficiencies to help you breathe as easily as possible. Your Osteopath can also give you some simple exercises to help practice efficient breathing. 

Osteopathy for the treatment of insomnia

Insomnia is a very common health problem that can be detrimental to health. Circulatory problems or chronic pain can be the source of insomnia as can any misalignment of the vertebra which disturbs the nervous system. Osteopathic treatment can help by gently manipulating soft tissues to release the stress and tension that makes it difficult to sleep. Not only will this help soothe overstimulated nerves it will also improve blood flow which is essential for a good night's sleep.