Osteopathy, Cranial Osteopathy,
& Osteopathy for Babies and Children
Cissi Williams & Alan Williams
What is Osteopathy?
An Osteopath examines the body’s different structures, such as the skeleton, joints, muscles, fascia, nerves, blood circulation and the lymphatic system, to look for imbalances and strains, which can affect the body’s inner healing capacity. These imbalances can occur from joints affecting nerves, which disturbs the natural and healthy nerve flow to organs, muscles and other tissues. Other causes can be strains within body tissues, which can cause imbalances and thereby affect the body’s function and inner health.
Osteopathy’s main aim is to restore the body’s balance, by correcting these imbalances and strains, and in this way promote healthy nerve, blood and lymphatic function. This helps the body’s organs, muscles, joints and tissues to have more health, helping the body to heal itself.
Osteopathy can be used alone or as a complement to other conventional and alternative medical therapies.
The National Institutes of Clinical Excellence advises that GPs can safely refer patients to an osteopath for treatment.
Involves treating the whole person – body, mind and spirit – and not just the symptoms of the problem. It will take into account your diet, emotions, thought patterns, lifestyle, stress and environmental factors that may be either causing, pre-disposing or maintaining the state of imbalance and ‘dis-ease’.
The practitioner aims to empower the patient with knowledge, tools and resources so the patient can promote their own wellbeing. This may mean making changes to their diet, taking certain supplements, doing hot and cold packs (so as to stimulate the blood circulation as the body heals through the blood), practising daily meditation or looking at making other specific lifestyle changes. Hence Holistic Osteopathy is not a passive treatment, but one where the patient is very much involved in improving their own wellbeing.
Osteopathy looks to the whole person, so takes into account diet and daily habits, the body’s ability to move in a balanced way, our inner stress levels and we are feeling emotionally, as all of this will affect our physical health and wellbeing.
About Alan & Cissi
Alan and Cissi graduated from the British College of Naturopathy and Osteopathy in London (now re-named the British College of Osteopathic Medicine).
They have worked in various clinics in the UK, including a GP’s surgery in Buckingham, a private hospital department, and a large orthopaedic and osteopathic clinic in Milton Keynes. See their individual pages for more information.
Telephone: 07506 409224
Telephone: 07432 030826
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WHEN DID OSTEOPATHY BEGIN?
Osteopathy began in the 1870’s in America by a doctor, Dr Andrew Taylor Still. He lost three of his children to spinal meningitis, and this caused him to be disillusioned with conventional medicine. He started to question how the body’s immune system and inner health could be improved by using natural methods. He studied the body’s different structures and function, and discovered that if the lymphatic system, nerve flow and blood circulation was disturbed due to imbalances and strains within the body, the person’s health deteriorated. When he corrected these imbalances his patient’s health improved. A positive side-effect was that aches and pains from joints, neck and back disappeared, due to improved nerve function and better balance within the joints and muscles.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A CONSULTATION?
Osteopaths are highly skilled in examining and diagnosing the body’s structure, function, movement ability, health and balance.
First, your osteopath conducts a full case history, where you will be asked questions about your symptoms, medical history, diet, exercise habits, emotional balance, stress levels and much more.
A thorough examination follows and the osteopath will check your blood circulation, lymphatic and neurological system, as well as how your spine and joints move. The Osteopath will assess if there are any strains, weaknesses or inflammations within your joints, muscles, ligaments, as well as within other body tissues. At the end you will be given a diagnosis, and told if osteopathic treatment is suitable. The osteopath may refer you for further tests or different treatment.
WHAT CAN OSTEOPATHY TREAT?
Contrary to popular belief, Osteopaths don’t just treat back pain! Osteopathy is an established system for clinical diagnosis and hands-on treatment and is effective in the treatment for aches and pains in joints, muscles and ligamens, such as back and neck pain, headaches, shoulder, knee and ankle injuries. It can also help with digestion problems, arthritic pain and an inability to relax. It is suitable for all ages.
The following list complies with current CAP and ASA advertising guidelines.
Some of the conditions which Osteopathy can help relieve include are:
- Back and neck pain
- Shoulder and arm problems
- Pelvis, hip, knee and leg problems
- Sports and other injuries
- Arthritic pain
- Muscular aches, pains and strains
- Aches and pains following accidents and falls
- Postural problems caused by pregnancy, driving or work strain
- Other problems associated with pregnancy e.g. breathlessness, pelvic pain
- Restlessness, poor sleeping and digestive problems in babies
What is Cranial Osteopathy?
Cranial osteopathy is a refined and subtle type of osteopathic treatment that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head. It is a gentle yet extremely effective approach and may be used in a wide range of conditions for people of all ages, from birth to old age. Osteopaths may have different specialities including sports injuries, paediatrics, and visceral osteopathy (treating the internal organs of the body). Cranial osteopathy embraces all of these.
The philosophy behind this approach recognises that our natural state of being is health and that the capacity to heal is inherent within all of us. The same forces that guides the development in the womb is the same force that guides the repair of all our cells even later in life. A cranial osteopath can feel these forces in your body’s tissues, and can feel if any injuries, emotional strains, stress or illnesses impair this underlying health, vitality and life energy.
Of course we all experience various stresses in life, but with each new stress or strain the body may find it harder and harder to release them, which can affect your wellbeing; both physically and emotionally.
Cranial Osteopathy can help to support your body’s inner healing mechanism by supporting the health that is already present, and by helping to ease the strains and stresses that may restrict the healthy flow of life energy in all the body’s tissues, such as joints, muscles, fascia and nervous system. In this way Cranial Osteopathy may help to promote your general wellbeing, as well as easing pain and discomfort in your muscles and joints, and helping to balance your nervous system.
WHAT CAN CRANIAL OSTEOPATHS TREAT?
While it can be highly effective at relieving symptoms cranial osteopathy aims to treat the whole person not just the condition, so a very wide range of situations may benefit from treatment. These may include back and neck pain; joint pain and sports injuries; headaches, digestive difficulties; and treatment may also benefit general health and well-being.
Cranial Osteopathy is also a popular treatment for babies and children.
Osteopathy for Babies and Children
CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY FOR CHILDREN
It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies, because they are ‘so young’. The reality is very different. Birth is one of the most stressful events of our lives. The baby is subjected to enormous forces, as the uterus pushes to expel the baby against the natural resistance of the birth canal. As a result many babies may experience discomfort after birth and may show signs of distress, such as having difficulties sleeping and feeding.
CRANIAL OSTEOPATHIC TREATMENT
Osteopathic treatment using the cranial approach is gentle, safe and effective for babies and children. Very specific, skilled, light pressure is applied where necessary to assist the natural ability of the body to release stresses and tensions.
COULD THERE BE ANY ADVERSE REACTIONS?
Reactions to treatment are variable, often the baby or child is very relaxed afterwards and sleeps well. Others have a burst of energy after treatment, usually followed by a good nights sleep. Occasionally children are unsettled after treatment. This is a temporary situation, and usually clears within 24-48 hours.