General Osteopathic Techniques (GOT)
This involves passive joint mobilisation, usually taking the joint through its full functional range of motion (or that available) usually repetitively and with some oscillation. The effect is generally to release tension in surrounding soft tissue (muscles, tendons & ligaments), break down fibrous/ scar tissue, improve joint range and quality of motion, enhance circulation and improve lymphatic drainage.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
Gentle resisted muscle stretching at the “feather edge” of the motion barrier, enabling local spinal nerve reflexes to reset resting muscle length. The effect is to release muscle tension or spasm and improve joint range and function.
This involves passive shortening of a muscle to soften tension in and around a specific trigger point. This allows local spinal reflexes to release the particular muscle fibres involved. This is especially useful for muscles that do not respond well or are aggravated by more direct stretching or soft tissue techniques.
High Velocity Low Amplitude manipulation is aimed at putting a quick stretch through a joint capsule, effectively “gapping” the joint space. In the process the familiar “popping” sound may be elicited. The response is generally an improved range of motion in the joint aided by localised muscle release, thought to be activated by local spinal reflexes. We find that many people love or hate this style of technique. Love, because of its often-quick effectiveness, hate because of its perceived abruptness and fear of risks. We do evaluate each and every patient, and the appropriateness of each and every technique we perform. We value your consent and trust at every stage of treatment.
This is a gentle technique that may be applied to an individual joint, a whole limb, or group of tissues that govern the direction of ease or bind in a movement. The tissues are generally passively moved through a pattern of ease, which is monitored by the Osteopath. This is often experienced as a sense of “unwinding” in the tissues. This can be very beneficial if you have experienced trauma, such as in a car accident, when the body has been strained through complex movements, rather than in a single direction such as in a sprained ankle. The effect is that the patient feels that they can “let go” or finally relax, and it is also expected that vascular and lymphatic drainage are improved, further enhancing the healing process.
Osteopathy in the Cranial Field (OCF)
This is the most subtle of Osteopathic technique styles and yet, our experience as Osteopaths, and that of many of our patients is that it is the most far reaching of all. While this topic is covered in undergraduate study, the considerable level of skill and experience required can generally only be gained through extensive post-graduate study and practice, and is enhanced by the integrated clinical reasoning skills learnt in the formal university setting.
The biodynamic view of Osteopathy in the cranial field recognises that the natural forces that created the embryo are also the forces of growth and development, and the sustaining restorative forces throughout life. Working with these forces, the practitioner is able to communicate with the natural healing of the body as a whole to restore its vitality. This is achieved when the Osteopath engages with the patient’s stillness and allows their natural healing potential to be realised.