Osteopathy & chiropractic
Supporting the body’s innate ability to balance, restore, and heal
“We don’t just ask “Where do you hurt?” and treat the painful part; we find and address the root cause for sustainable healing.”
– ‘Is the pandemic causing your pain?’ Victor Bourdeau, director and senior osteopath at IMI.
Our bodyworkers have the same goal: to relieve your pain, to fix injuries (past and present) and rebalance your whole system, moving you towards better health.
Osteopathy and chiropractic share two common philosophies: that the body has an inherent ability to heal itself, and that the musculoskeletal system is integral to our health and wellbeing.
Both disciplines use a similar variety of hands-on techniques and methods to treat muscular, postural, cranial and paediatric conditions. In general, osteopathy tends to work more on the subtler systems of the body, including the organs, soft tissues and cranial sphere, which consists of the skull, nerves and cranial fluid.
The style of osteopaths and chiropractors can vary widely, with treatment styles overlapping. For example, some osteopaths may use chiropractic techniques like spinal adjustments. We recommend reading our practitioners’ individual biographies; you may also find it beneficial to try both treatments so that you can decide which approach and practitioner is best suited to you.
If you’re looking for a different kind of healing touch, we also offer sports massage (a soft tissue massage) which helps speed up recovery after intense exercise or training, as well as improving emotional wellbeing.
Your first appointment
Our practitioners begin with a comprehensive evaluation to pinpoint any regions of pain and broader problem areas. Their initial assessment will include simple orthopaedic, neurological and vascular tests, to determine the health of your bones, muscles, nervous system and blood vessels, so your practitioner can rule out any conditions which may require immediate medical care.
They will then explain how they are going to help and design a treatment plan specific to your needs, so that you can meet your goals. Over the course of your treatment, they will alleviate any restrictions that impede your natural range of motion, restoring structural integrity and balance in your body.
“An osteopath is taught that Nature is to be trusted to the end.”
– Andrew Taylor Still MD, DO (founder of osteopathic medicine)
Osteopathy is a form of natural medicine that uses physical manipulation: stretching and massage, joint mobilisation, and soft tissue release, with the aim to increase mobility, relieve muscle tension, enhance blood supply to tissues and help the body to heal.
Many osteopaths train to doctorate level and focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue, and internal organs function together in an integrated way.
Osteopathy can alleviate a whole host of health conditions through all stages of life: pre-natal, pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, right through to old age. Because it is safe and gentle, osteopathy is ideal for treating newborns and babies.
There is often a misconception that osteopathy is limited to treating muscular-skeletal pain. While it is extremely effective in helping the body recover quickly, and preventing future reinjury, an osteopath can treat much more, including:
- musculoskeletal symptoms including neck, back, shoulder pain, tendonitis (tennis elbow) and TMJ (jaw pain).
- injuries: ankle sprain; tennis and golf elbow; iliotibial band syndrome; tibial periostis; psoas syndrome; whiplash.
- headaches and migraines.
- arthritis and joint pain.
- hormonal imbalances.
- circulatory problems, or simply improving circulation.
- immune health and relieving inflammation.
- stress, insomnia, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
- gynaecological issues including menstrual discomfort, pregnancy, birth and recovery from C-section.
- babies and infants (e.g. breast-feeding issues, excessive crying, flat head, colic, ear infections, teething, sinus problems).
- digestive issues (e.g. reflux, constipation) in babies, children and adults.
- growing pains - especially in children and teens.
Cranial osteopathy is a subtle form which works with the cranial system. Practitioners work with your skull and spine to assess and soothe the rhythm of your cranial system, which resounds throughout all tissues in your body.
Our cranial rhythm is affected by stress, illness and other forms of bodily or emotional strain. During a session, our practitioners will apply gentle pressure to your skull and spine, in order to soothe your nerves and provide deep relaxation.
By encouraging flow of cerebral spinal fluid, and working with the delicate area of the upper spine, the pathways for your senses (hearing, sight, smell etc) are opened, allowing for physical and energetic balance, making it an ideal treatment for people who feel tension in the face and neck.
Craniosacral therapy stems from, and is adjacent to cranial osteopathy. It uses subtle techniques to release blockages that affect the endocrine system (the glands in your body that make hormones). It is inherently relaxing and releases tension in the nervous system, making it particularly useful for anyone someone suffering with sleep disorder, anxiety or depression.
Cranial osteopaths and craniosacral therapists use a highly developed sense of touch to feel subtle changes of tension and tissue quality, diagnosing areas of strain in order to restore balance.
During your first consultation, your osteopath will explore, assess, and begin to tackle any issues you want to work on.
The follow-up consultation lasts between 40 minutes to an hour, during which we will continue to build on the previous therapeutic work, and as progress is made the sessions will become shorter.
Problem areas will become recovering areas and the focus will be on deeper, more subtle healing, restoring balance in the system, maintaining progress, and establishing good practise.
The approach is similar for children and can be adapted to their needs. Young children are treated in a relaxed environment whilst sitting down or playing with toys. The follow-up treatment will be the same in nature but would be slightly shorter.
“There is no effect without a cause. Chiropractors adjust causes. Others treat effects.”
– Barlette Joshua Palmer (developer of chiropractic medicine)
Chiropractic specialises in the detection, correction and prevention of muscle and joint problems. It focuses on the functioning of the joints of the body and in particular the spine, as problems in this area often affect the nerves, muscles and organs. Reducing stress on the spinal nerves promotes health throughout the body.
Most chiropractic treatment involves skilled adjustments, also known as chiropractic manipulation, manual manipulation or spinal manipulation. But chiropractors can take a much gentler approach, using subtle techniques to treat newborn babies. Many offer a combination of soft manual therapy, deep tissue work and adjustments. Proper alignment of the body’s musculoskeletal structure means that the body can heal and rebalance itself without medication or surgery.
Chiropractic ensures your spine and nervous system remain healthy. For that reason, it’s particularly useful for:
- back, neck pain and shoulder pain.
- joint pain and arthritis.
- providing support before, during and after pregnancy, improving pelvic balance and alignment as well as helping the body adapt to changes which occur during all stages of pregnancy.
- recovering from accidents and injuries.
- enhancing sports performance and healing injuries.
- improving poor posture while reducing its negative effects.
Like osteopathy, chiropractic treatment isn’t just for adults, everyone can benefit, from babies to seniors and everyone in between.
During your first visit, your chiropractor will run through your medical history, and carry out a neurological and orthopaedic exams. This will consist of simple physical assessments in order to determine the health of your nerves and muscles.
Your practitioner may also suggest that you go for an X-ray, MRI or further tests when clinically relevant. Once these examinations are complete, your chiropractor will analyse how your individual bones, joints and muscles move, in order to identify any problem areas and find the root cause of your concern.
Treatment may consist of gently unlocking stiff joints with skilled manipulation by hand, also known as an adjustment.
Depending on your concern, your practitioner may use a range of other treatments, including trigger point therapy, massage, dry needling, stretching, postural, ergonomic and exercise therapy as well as other electro therapeutic approaches to restore normal function.
“Nothing is so healing as the human touch.”
– Bobby Fischer
Sports massage is a soft tissue massage which helps release tension, for better performance during training, and improved emotional wellbeing. It helps increase blood flow and oxygen supply to muscles and tissues, reducing pain and inflammation for a speedy recovery post-workout or after injuring yourself.
This therapy also helps alleviate stress while improving quality of sleep, relaxation and mental clarity. Sports massage can help a wide range of people, from athletes of all levels, gym-goers, or anyone with stress, including parents and those working within the corporate world.
During your first appointment, your sports massage therapist will talk through your goals for treatment, any areas of your body which are causing you pain and your preference for pressure.
Your massage therapist will work to relieve tension in your muscles, in order to support recovery, alleviate pain and improve blood flow to your tissues.
30 and 60 minute sessions are available, and suitable for teens, adults and the elderly.
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