Andrew Taylor Still,DO was the founder of osteopathy and osteopathic medicine. He was one of the founders of Baker University, the oldest four-year college in the state of Kansas, and was the founder of the American School of Osteopathy (now A.T. Still University), the world's first osteopathic medical school, in Kirksville, Missouri. Osteopathy is a Natural Medicine it’s a term used to convey the idea that with an osteopathic treatment, nothing is added (medications or remedies) or subtracted (surgery) from the body. Instead, the osteopathic philosophy embraces the notion that the body is naturally able to heal itself. The practitioner works with the body to enhance this natural ability to self-regulate and self-heal. Palpation (sometimes referred to as listening) is a diagnostic skill that the Osteopath uses to feel or sense the state of the tissues or systems being examined. This sense encompasses the many sensory aspects of touch, such as the ability to detect moisture, texture, temperature differential, and subtle motion. This ability to detect almost imperceptible motion, provides the Osteopathic Manual Practitioner with the capability of perceiving the inherent motion present in all living organisms. This palpatory ability is not a gift—rather it is a trained skill that takes years to develop. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners palpate by a gently yet intentionally touching the tissues or systems under examination. With experience Osteopaths learn to palpate not just superficially but also very deeply within the body. This sensory information is received through touch receptors on the fingertips and palms, and through the proprioceptors (motion and position sensors) embedded deep in the joints of the hands, wrists, arms, and even in the shoulders. The ability to detect minute modifications in the quality of the tissues is the assessment skill that allows the Osteopath to help prioritize a patient's course of treatment. These tissue qualities include, congestion, dehydration, scarring, stiffness, density or loss of resilience, as well as motility that is an infinitesimal movement inherent to all living tissues. It is this sensing of the quality of the tissue, in combination with the position, mobility and vitality of the tissues, that allows the Osteopathic Manual Practitioners to determine the tissues or systems that need immediate attention.
Although Osteopaths treat many conditions, most people think of us as “back specialists”. Back pain is what many osteopaths treat a lot of time. Osteopathic treatment does not target symptoms only but treats the parts of the body that have caused the symptoms. Osteopaths have a holistic approach and believe that your whole body will work well if your body is in good structural balance, imagine, for example, a car that has one of its front wheels not quite pointing straight. It may run well for a while, but after a few thousand miles, the tires will wear out. You can apply this example to the human body, which is why it is so important to keep the body in good balance. We use a wide range of techniques, including visceral, cranial, facial’s techniques and joint mobilization and this breadth of approach allows us to focus on every patient's precise needs.
Osteopaths assess and treat people of any age from the elderly to the newborn and from pregnant women to sports people.
We take a detailed medical history Before we start to treat you ,we will make a full medical assessment. We take time to listen to you and ask questions to make sure we understand your medical history and your day-to-day routine. We'll ask you about things like diet, exercise and what is happening in your life, as they may give clues to help our diagnosis. We may feel your pulse and check your reflexes. We may also take your blood pressure and refer you for clinical tests, such as X-rays, if we think you need them.
We usually look at your posture and how you move your body. We may also assess what happens when we move it for you and see what hurts, where and when.
Using touch, we may also find the areas which are sensitive or tight and this helps us to identify what's going on. When we have done this, we can diagnose your condition. We may sometimes feel that osteopathy is not appropriate for you and refer you to your Family Physician or another specialist.
Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations, depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis. Treatment is different for every patient but may include techniques such as different types of soft tissue massage and joint articulation to release tension, stretch muscles ,help relieve pain and mobilize your joints. Sometimes, when we move joints you may hear a 'click'. This is just the click people get when they crack their knuckles. We may discuss exercises that you can do to improve your posture and movement in your workplace and everyday life.