The goal of Osteopathy is to treat the whole person, the cause of the problem, not just the symptoms. Optimal health requires all systems of the body communicate with each other and work together as a whole. When there is disease or dysfunction in one system it will naturally affect all of the other systems. For this reason the therapist will want a detailed health history that includes as many injuries and illnesses as you can remember.
Osteopathy uses special manual techniques to assess for movement and health in all of the systems of your body. This includes the muscles, joints, ligaments, internal organs, cranium (skull), nervous tissue, fluids (blood and lymph) and fascia. If restrictions are found in any of the systems, the therapist will use gentle techniques to help restore movement and health in those tissues. When there are no restrictions in the systems, the body will be able to self-regulate, to “heal itself” so to speak.
Osteopathic techniques include but are not limited to: cranial osteopathy, joint (osteoarticular) mobilizations, myofascial release, visceral (internal organ) mobilization, counter-strain and muscle energy.
Osteopathy is helpful in treating many health related problems. People often seek out Osteopathic treatment when other forms of therapy have plateaued and their condition has become chronic.
Physiotherapy is a health care profession that deals with preventing, assessing, diagnosing and treating pain and movement dysfunctions that impair normal function. A physiotherapist uses modalities such as electric currents, ultrasound, laser, biofeedback, magnetic fields and hydrotherapy (hot and cold), and acupuncture. Manual (hands on) techniques are commonly used and include joint mobilization and manipulation, soft tissue stretching, muscle energy, myofascial release, craniosacral mobilization and neural tissue mobilization.
The desired outcome may be to increase mobility and coordination, decrease pain, decrease inflammation or increase circulation, but in the end the main goal is to provide the patient with increased function and independence. By alleviating pain and inflammation, physiotherapy can also be very helpful in decreasing reliance on medication.
Physiotherapists are also trained to assess the workplace. They can determine what aspects of a job are causing problems and then work with the employee and employer to make work place changes. Physiotherapists receive training in cardiac acute care and rehabilitation (i.e. Post heart attack), neurological rehabilitation (i.e. Stroke and head trauma), respiratory care (i.e. Cystic fibrosis and emphysema), pediatric care (i.e. Cerebral palsy and torticollis), and orthopedics (i.e. Back pain and sports injuries). Urinary incontinence is another less commonly known focus of some physiotherapists.
A Physiotherapist must have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy and be licensed to practice in their Province. The licensing board ensures that their members meet the standards of practice for the profession.
Cheri commonly practices using manual therapy techniques and education. She has had success in treating many conditions and has a particular interest in women’s health and chronic pain.