Have you recently suffered a back injury or experienced unexplained pain? Looking for a way to restore health to sore muscles, pulled tendons, or other chronic ailments? Osteopathy may very well be the answer you’ve been searching for. With gentle structural adjustments, an osteopathic doctor provides subtle yet effective corrections to help your body regain balance and heal itself.

What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathic medicine is a system of healing that focuses on the musculoskeletal system – the muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and other tiny structures that make up the moving parts of your body. This soothing treatment focuses on the spine, head, muscles, and viscera to relax the body and restore health.

Although it’s considered a holistic or alternative treatment, osteopathy is a well-respected doctorate degree that requires four years of study, just like medicine. The practice confers a broad knowledge and understanding of the human body and the way it works when it’s healthy, and its limitations when it isn’t.

What to Expect During Your First Session

Osteopathy is often compared to chiropractic medicine, for its focus on the spine and on restoring structural balance, but getting an osteopathic treatment is much more like a relaxing massage.

  • In your first session, you’ll be asked to fill out a detailed questionnaire about your health and family history.
  • Your osteopath will ask you stand with your back facing them to examine your posture and balance.
  • You’ll lie on a massage table, fully clothed, while your osteopath performs tiny adjustments to your neck and back. Although it’s similar, osteopathy is much gentler than chiropractic treatment, so there’s no snapping, cracking, or sudden adjustments.
  • Some people feel energized after an osteopathy session, but most feel tired and relaxed. It’s a good idea to schedule some peaceful time off for the remainder of the day.

How Quickly Does it Work?

Some people notice a difference immediately after their first session; others can expect to see results after a few sessions. Depending on your health and the issue you’re working on, your osteopath may want to see you every two weeks, once a week, or every few days for more severe problems. Every osteopathic doctor works a little differently, so it’s best to ask what you can expect in terms of results and how long you’ll need to keep coming back for adjustments.

For information about osteopaths in your area, visit our practitioner pages and contact your nearest osteopathic doctor to learn more.