Osteopathic Manual Therapy by Osteopathic physician (D.O) in Dartmouth

Osteopathic Manual Therapy

What is Osteopathic Manual Therapy?

Osteopathic Manual therapy (manual osteopathy) is the practical implementation of the principles of Osteopathy. It’s a manual method that osteopathic physicians use to diagnose, treat, and prevent musculoskeletal and systemic disorders. The basic principle of Osteopathic Manual therapy is that the interconnected systems of the body can be manipulated to promote healing and overall well-being.

The goal of Osteopathic Manual therapy is to restore the body’s natural ability to self-heal.

Osteopaths help to remove obstructions to proper blood flow, fluid flow,, and nerve function through the use of skilled palpation and manual therapeutic techniques.

Osteopathic Manual Therapy

What is a Manual Osteopathic Practitioner (D.O.M.P.)?

Manual Osteopathic Therapists are specialized in manual therapy and are proficient in using manual methods to heal the body. This differs from a medical-osteopathic approach, as they use pharmacy, surgery, and other medical practices in their approach. Since there are no osteopathic medical schools in Canada at the moment, all DOs who work here have studied abroad, most notably in the United States. As a result, osteotherapists make up the vast majority of Osteopathic Practitioners in Canada.

What is an Osteopathic physician (D.O.)?

Osteopathic Physicians are educated in schools of Osteopathic Medicine and are licensed and credentialed for an unrestricted scope of medical practice in the USA. The only nation in the world to provide an accredited medical degree in osteopathic medicine is this one. 

Few osteopathic physicians completed their education in the United States and obtained their licenses to practice medicine in Canada, as there are currently no schools in this country. Both professions still have Dr. Still’s philosophy as their foundation, but the education and training differ.

History of Osteopathy

Osteopathy emerged during the late 1800s through the contributions of Andrew Taylor Still, an American surgeon who strongly believed in the connection between the body’s structure and its function.

 “Still” was trained in conventional medicine and tragically lost three children in a meningitis epidemic in Missouri. He then started looking for a different medical model that would be more effective at treating diseases.

Still,  developed the foundations of osteopathy based on the principle of body unity, emphasizing that optimal health could be achieved by ensuring proper alignment and functioning of the musculoskeletal system.

The four principles of osteopathic philosophy

There are four principles of Osteopathic Manual therapy philosophy:

  • Your body’s general functionality is supported by all of its structures.
  • It’s necessary for protecting and preserving the regular flow of your body’s liquids, including the lymphatic, vascular, and neurological ones.
  • Your body’s physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems work simultaneously. They need to work together and interact to provide you with optimal health.
  • The body is capable of self-healing when its systems are not constrained.

How Osteopathic Manual Therapists (Osteopaths) Work

Practitioners use numerous Osteopathic Manual therapy techniques to address various imbalances and disorders. Some commonly applied techniques include:

  • Soft tissue manipulation
  • Positional release techniques
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Osteopathic technique
  • Myofascial release
  •  Visceral manipulation
  •  Strain-counterstain
  •  Cranio-sacral techniques
  •  Neuromuscular techniques
  •  Articulation and joint manipulation
  • Stretching
  •  Trigger point therapy
  •  Counters train
  •  Muscle energy techniques
  •  High-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrusting

Types of Osteopathy Techniques: 

  • Cranial Osteopathy: This approach focuses on the subtle movements of the skull, membranes, and cerebrospinal fluid to improve overall central nervous system function.
  • Visceral Manipulation: This technique involves the gentle manipulation of internal organs to improve mobility, blood flow, and function, ultimately reducing pain and discomfort.
  • Balance Ligamentous Tension (BLT): This approach is used to address restrictions in the body’s ligaments and connective tissues surrounding joints, improving joint mechanics and reducing pain.
  • Facilitated Positional Release (FPR): A method that relaxes muscles, tendons, and ligaments, improving joint mobility and decreased pain.
  • Muscle Energy Technique (MET): This technique mobilizes restricted joints and stretches tight muscles utilizing the patient’s muscular effort.
  • High-Velocity Low-Amplitude (HVLA): This method involves the application of a rapid, controlled force to specific joints to help restore their natural movement and function. Strain-Counter Strain (SCS): A technique focused on identifying tender points in the body and gently positioning the affected areas to relieve pain and muscle tension.

Assessment and treatment: What can I expect from an Osteopath?

  • At your first visit with an osteopathic manual practitioner, you’ll talk about the issues you have and your health background, including past treatments and medicines. Everything you share will stay private.
  • If needed, the practitioner might ask you to do simple activities, like walking, to check certain body parts. You could have to take off clothing for a detailed look at problem areas, so wearing shorts and a T-shirt or tank top is a good idea.
  • The practitioner will examine the troubled areas to find problems and possible treatments. They might recommend exercises you can do at home to feel better.
  • Your first visit could take more or less time based on the practitioner’s check. Based on what they learn, they could send you to another therapist at One to One Wellness or a specialist outside. Treatments are usually scheduled one to two weeks apart, allowing the body to adapt and begin the self-healing process.

Can Osteopathic Manual Therapy help my lower back pain?

Yes, Osteopathic manual therapy (osteotherapy) may be helpful in treating lower back pain.  It is one of the benefits of osteopathy. With techniques including gentle massage, movement of joints, and rapid motions, it helps correct imbalances in the body to bring comfort and improve long-term effects. 

Is osteopathy safe?

Yes, Osteopathic Manual therapy will generally be considered safe if it is practiced by a qualified and registered osteopath.

What can an osteopath help with?

The symptoms that Osteopathic Manual Therapy may relieve are:


  •  Muscle pain, especially back and neck pain
  • Premenstrual pain
  • Sciatica
  •  Migraines and Painful headaches
  • Jaw pain (TMJ issue)
  • Tendinitis and bursitis
  •  Arthritis and pain in the joints
  •  Automobile accident-related pain
  •  sports-related pain
  •  Pain related to repetitive strain or injury from overuse
  • Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy Issues:

  • Sciatica and lower back pains 
  • Digestion issues 
  •  Edema (Swelling)

Children’s Issues:

  •  Colic
  •  spitting out
  •  problematic sucking
  •  the delay in development
  •  trauma during childbirth
  •  ear infections called otitis media

Systemic Problems:

  • disorders of the nervous system
  • abnormalities of the digestive system
  • genitourinary issues
  • persistent infectious disease
  • Circulatory issues

Respiratory Illness:

  •  Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pleurisy
  • Allergies

Ear, Nose, and Throat Problems:

  •  long-lasting ear infections
  • repeatedly painful throats
  • Regular colds
  • Glaucoma (Infection or inflammation of the nose)
  • Tinnitus (ear noise or ringing)

Benefits of Manual Osteopathic Therapy

Osteopathic manual treatment focuses on the entire body. They may be effective for a variety of reasons, including :

  • Expand your range of motion
  • Deal with the root causes of the pain
  • Reduce joint stiffness as well as pain
  • Decrease anxiety
  • Serving pregnant women to cope with the changes in their hormones
  • Improve blood flow
  • relieve spinal problems
  • Taking care of accident-related trauma
  • Reduce tension in the muscles
  • Reduce headaches
  • Fixing posture

With osteopathic treatment, stress levels can be reduced and the efficiency of the body can be improved. It is very relaxing.

Osteopathy vs Physiotherapy vs Chiropractors: 

With similarities, osteopaths, Chiropractors, and physiotherapists treat pain and injury. They release tension in the joints, muscles, nerves, and fascia to bring healing.

However, chiropractors concentrate on the muscles, joints, and nerves and use tools if necessary. On the other hand, Osteopaths use their hands for therapy when they examine fluids, soft tissues, and scars. 

However, the assessment and treatment techniques of physiotherapy are different. It sometimes includes tools, exercise, ultrasound, heat, etc.

Osteopathy for digestive problems: 

Osteopathic Manual Therapy reduces inflammation and increases mobility in the digestive tract, which helps ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It enables improved food transit through the digestive tract. By reducing stomach muscle tension and improving digestive fluid flow, it can help with indigestion.

osteopathy can help with acid reflux by improving the function of the lower esophageal sphincter and relieving pressure on the stomach.

Osteopathy for tennis elbow: 

Tennis elbow is a condition resulting from overuse of the forearm muscles, leading to pain on the outer side of the elbow. Osteopathic manual therapy can be an effective treatment for tennis elbow, addressing factors like poor posture, muscle imbalances, and joint constraints. During osteopathic manual therapy, your posture, joint mobility, and muscle tension will be assessed, along with a review of your medical history and symptoms. Based on this evaluation, an osteopath will design a personalized treatment plan that may include soft tissue massage, joint mobilization, and specific exercises for strengthening and stretching.

Before and After cranial osteopathy: 

Before Cranial Osteopathy: 

Symptoms: A variety of symptoms, including headaches, neck discomfort, back pain, stress, insomnia, and more, may be present in patients.

Pain or discomfort: Some people may experience pain or discomfort in their faces, heads, or other regions.

Tension: The body may feel tight or tense all over, even in the cranial area.

Stress: Patients may seek cranial osteopathy for relaxation or stress reduction.

After Cranial Osteopathy: 

Relaxation: After a session, many people say they feel more at ease and less anxious.

Pain relief: Some patients report a lessening of their pain or discomfort, particularly in the back, neck, or head.

Sleep Quality: Better sleep and fewer sleep disruptions may be experienced.

Enhanced Health Condition: Patients can speak of enhanced energy levels, balance, or a general feeling of well-being.

Can osteopathy help nerve damage:

Yes, there are several ways that osteopathic manual therapy may help with nerve injury. It can aid in reducing swelling and irritation around the afflicted nerve by increasing joint mobility, relaxing muscular tension, and encouraging healthy blood and nerve flow. This may result in fewer feelings of pain, tingling, and numbness as well as an increase in range of motion and functionality.

Find an osteopath:

Finding a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathic Manual Therapy in Dartmouth: 

If you are wondering how osteopathic manual therapy may help you or are unidentified, whatever the problem is, our Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine and the rest of our team can help.

Holistichealing4life in Dartmouth is an osteopathic clinic and massage therapy center that provides osteopathic manual therapy to our patients. Patients of all ages are invited to come in for an evaluation.

To begin your booking, please contact us at (902) 462-7600 or schedule an appointment online by clicking here.

 Frequently Asked Questions with Answers about Osteopathic Manual Therapy (Click Here)

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