What is Osteopathy?

Osteopathic healthcare addresses your body’s ability to move, and the effect that movement has on all the tissues of the body. You might be surprised to learn all the ways in which movement is essential to good health.

Osteopathy is a manual therapy. Osteopaths use their hands to move and stretch the body in ways that improve the mobility and the health of the underlying tissues. These osteopathic techniques can use strong movement such as stretching through to very gentle and subtle movement that supports the body to release patterns of tension. Osteopathic techniques that use this gentle and subtle movement are collectively referred to as Osteopathy in the Cranial Field. 

A hands-on approach to better movement

An Osteopath can help when your movement is compromised. Stiffness, discomfort, and pain, limit the way we can use our bodies. We all experience these issues when we start a new activity, sustain an injury, or use a repetitive activity too frequently for too long.

Children also present with movement challenges. It may be observed that they are struggling to master the types of movement relevant to their stage of development. An example of this might be a baby who struggles to turn their body easily to achieve a comfortable feeding position or an older child that finds it difficult to sit comfortably with their legs crossed on the mat at school. In these instances, adults may not notice the child’s movement restriction, rather they tend to notice the behaviour that is a result of this difficulty. In the examples mentioned above, the baby may struggle to establish efficient breastfeeding, and the older child might fidget or become easily distracted when sitting on the mat at school. An osteopath is able to provide a thorough movement and postural assessment to screen for issues like these.

Osteopaths have extensive training in human biology and clinical science. You can expect an Osteopath to screen for conditions that might need to be evaluated by a General Practitioner or another healthcare professional. Osteopaths routinely deal with musculoskeletal injuries and can help you process an ACC claim if necessary.

New Zealand Osteopaths are regulated by the Osteopathic Council of New Zealand. This framework promotes accountability for safe and competent osteopathic practice. For more information about osteopathy in New Zealand visit Osteopaths New Zealand’s website.