Frequently Asked Questions
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What is Osteopathy?
Osteopathy is a manual medical treatment that coordinates between the skeletal structure and the surrounding muscles, ligaments, joints, blood flow, nerves and your internal organs. Therefore, an osteopath examines the body as a whole, how it functions and how one part affects another to remain in harmony with each other.
People typically consult an osteopath when this harmony is broken. Symptoms include ongoing muscular pain in areas like the head, neck and back. Pregnancy pains, sport or work injuries, child development irregularities and lifestyle habits are other reasons where an osteopath would be consulted.
Your treatment requires no drugs or surgery, consists primarily of physical therapy, and is complimentary to other medical treatment you may be undergoing. For this reason, the osteopathy profession is now better understood and accepted by the general public as part of the medical profession.
What is Naturopathy?
When thinking of the word "naturopathy" you could substitute the words, "natural", "non-invasive" and "self-healing". The human body has it's own defence mechanisms to ward off illness and to recover from injury. Naturopathy promotes this natural occurrence through natural herbs, food substances and other agents, like water, air and sunshine.
This alternative medical treatment particularly attracts people wary of the side-affects of synthetic pharmaceutical drugs that are so prevalent in today's society. Please note: as a practising naturopath please do not presume that all pharmaceutical treatments should be refuted when, in fact, they can be totally lifesaving in the right instances!
As with osteopathy, a naturopathic solution also is there to address the root cause of the underlying problem that you the patient may be suffering from. Furthermore, naturopathy looks at you as a unique entity with symptoms that may be particular to how your body as a whole is functioning.
Therefore, you can expect a "made-to-measure" diagnosis from your naturopath rather than a quick 10-minute appointment with your GP, followed by a prescription pill that solves all! I hope you get my point of the inherent shortfalls in comparison to the default health care system.
Do I need an Osteopath and not a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist?
This is a common question, especially if you are seeking help for the first time, and you are not familiar with any of these medical professions.
A chiropractor will tend to focus on the spinal joints alone and use a quite different method of manipulation which some people may find more forceful. The philosophy centres around the spine being the source of dysfunction in other parts of the body and by correcting the affected area of the spine that will correct the outlying problems.
An osteopath, on the other hand, believes that a problem can result from a dysfunction anywhere in the body. Should you experience pain anywhere in the body then that will change how you move and function, potentially causing problems elsewhere. The manipulation methods are more gentle than that of the chiropractor.
Often, a chiropractor will assess you subsequent to requesting you having x-rays taken. They will analyse the results and suggest their recommended treatment plan. Osteopath, on the other hand, are more likely to assess and start treating you on your first visit.
Osteopaths tend to use a more hands-on and individualised approach to assessing and treating patients compared to physiotherapists. Osteopaths will seek to understand their patient in the context of their lifestyle, firstly by taking a full case history, and then using a combination of skilled observation and palpation to feel how well the body, including the muscles and joints, is functioning. These all form an intrinsic part of developing a personalised treatment plan.
Physiotherapists have to work with a broad range of conditions, from breathing difficulties to post operative rehabilitation.
Physiotherapy works to maximise an individual's movement capability at three different levels:
1) Maintaining and improving body movement and function through treatment when someone is seriously ill in hospital.
2) Improving function and independence (at home, at work) by offering rehabilitation and advice.
3) Enhancing performance and participation (in their community and wider society) by offering advice and by challenging the environmental or social barriers that limit participation.
Physiotherapists understand that physical, psychological, social and environmental factors can limit movement and function. They use their knowledge and skills to identify what is limiting an individual's movement and performance, and to help individuals decide how to address their needs.
My advice when choosing either an osteopath chiropractor, or physiotherapist would briefly be as follows:
Make sure that whoever you choose has studied a three, four or five year full-time degree. Ask if they hold membership of their national association (e.g. General Chiropractic Association, General Osteopathic Association, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists).
Seek recommendations for an osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist from a friend or GP. In have gone to the trouble of asking my clients to share on video their experiences of working with me. Please visit my home page and watch a few. They are ordinary people just like you!
What conditions do you treat?
- generalised aches and pains
- joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
- arthritic pain
- general, acute & chronic backache, back pain
- headache & Migrane prevention
- frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/ tennis elbow
- circulatory problems, cramp
- digestion problems
- muscle spasms
- inability to relax
- rheumatic pain
- minor sports injuries and tensions
My naturopathic background may help you with the following:
- Muscular and Joint pain
- Cardiovascular problems including hypertension
- Digestive complaints including constipation and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Skin conditions such as acne and eczema
- Colds and flu
- Headaches and migraines
- Pregnancy health
What types of pain/ailments do you treat?
• Generalised aches and pains
• Joint pains including hip and knee pain from osteoarthritis
• Arthritic pain
• General, acute and chronic backache, back pain
• Headache and migraine prevention
• Frozen shoulder/ shoulder and elbow pain/tennis elbow
• Circulatory problems, including cramp
• Digestion problems
• Muscle spasms
• Inability to relax
• Rheumatic pain
• Minor sports injuries and tensions
What types of treatment do you offer?
Treatment can include one or more of the following:
- joint manipulation and mobilisation
- soft and deep tissue massage
- exercise, manipulation and stretching routines
- nutrition counselling
I also use Chinese medicines increase the mobility of joints, relieve muscle tension and enhance the blood supply to tissues in order to help the body to self-heal.
From my years of experience as a personal trainer and training in naturopathy, I can demonstrate and give you programmes to promote ongoing good health and physical performance.
What can I expect from my first consultation with you?
On your first visit I usually take up to 45 minutes getting a profile current problem and symptoms, current medical treatment by a physician, medical history and any medications that you are taking.
With lifestyle also a relevant factor to many of today's ailments I seek to discover anything along these lines, for example, stress, eating habits, sleep patterns, recurring physical activities causing physical strains.
Additionally, I physically examine your muscles, joints and movement related to your area of discomfort. You should be dressed in non-loose clothing . If applicable, you may even need to dress down to be more comfortable when examining.
From your initial visit I can then propose a programme and sessions to bring you back to achieve a realistic return to health.
How many treatment sessions should I expect?
Each case is unique according to your diagnosis, age and commitment to following your programme that we come up with on your initial consultation.
Most follow-up sessions with me are 30 minutes each. Depending on your condition you may expect to do things like stretching, exercising and following a nutrition programme in between visits.
Normally, you should expect to notice improvements after the first 2-3 visits. Your programme will be formulated to not only get you out of pain, but to prevent a later re-occurrence.
Why is it important to adhere to your recommended treatment?
At the initial consultation we agree on a realistic programme to correct your problem or improve your performance levels, whichever is appropriate.
Our goal is to help each other to achieve this. If your programme requires you to undertake 1) stretches, exercises between sessions, or 2) lifestyle or nutritional changes, then they are an important component. Busy lifestyles, finance challenges and work commitments are part and parcel of life nowadays.
My personal guarantee requires your commitment and participation. Please advise me up front if there are any obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals in the shortest time feasible. Overall, any treatment is better than none, but by following an agreed programme you are in fact reducing the time and cost in a protracted recuperation.
Can I expect any side affects from your treatment?
Being a natural, non-invasive form of treatment osteopathy has probably the least side effects as any medical treatment. Most of my patients report feeling no side effects after treatment, but there are still some you might experience.
Just like with any massage or exercise programme your muscles may react temporarily with mild soreness. This is perfectly normal and should only persist in the early stages of your programme. It is particularly important not to stop due to any such discomfort.
I can give you guidance on what to do should you be experiencing any such discomfort.
What health insurance do you cover?