What is Osteopathy?

Osteopaths are primary healthcare practitioners trained to treat your whole-body using hands on treatment. This may involve mobilisation and manipulation of your spine and joints, connective tissue release, massage, lymphatic drainage… or a combination of it all depending on what’s best for your body.

As a manual medicine, Doctors of Osteopathy are also trained to screen for disorders of the cranial, nervous, respiratory, cardiovascular, visceral and lymphatic systems. And yes, we can refer you for imaging or specialist care, where required.

Does ACC cover Osteopathic Treatments?

If you’ve had an accident, YES! No need for a referral – we can sort it all out for you, or just bring your current ACC number to your first treatment. What’s more, many insurance policies cover Osteopathic treatment, and some also cover registered massage therapists – bonus huh! So, check in with your broker to find out about your options.

What’s the difference between Osteopaths, Chiropractors & Physiotherapists?

The million-dollar question! And having worked in this industry for years, there are cross overs in all of them.

Perhaps the biggest difference is that Osteopathy has been around the longest (since 1872) and out of the modalities – Osteopathy requires the greatest level of base training i.e. with a five-year Master’s Degree.

That being said, here’s how the differences were once explained to us:
“Imagine a tent as a body… at the centre of the tent is a pole (or spine) responsible for supporting the structure – generally this is what Chiropractors focus on using manipulation. Stabilising the tent are the pegs (or specific injury sites) – generally, this is what Physiotherapists focus on using their diagnostic skills and exercise prescription. Surrounding all of that and everything that’s inside (think nerves, organs, blood vessels etc.) is the canvas… and that’s Osteopathy. It incorporates a little bit of everything, making it truly a whole-body treatment. And that’s why we love it!

What should I expect with Osteopathic treatment?

Nothing scary! Osteopaths have a broad range of techniques in our toolbox to get the best results for you. As with all treatments at Vital Body, we work with you to make sure you are always happy with what we are doing.

Generally, sessions look like this:

The First Appointment – usually takes 45mins to 1hr. We’ll take a thorough health history and examination to find out what’s going on and work with you to come up with a treatment plan. Time permitting, we should get some treatment done too.

Future treatments – generally take 30mins and are treatment focused. We recommend a minimum of three successive treatments (depending on your presentation) to allow results to become evident.

Your modesty is protected! You may need to bring shorts or a singlet depending on the area being treated, but you should never be uncomfortable.

If we think you need further examination, Osteopaths are able to directly refer for imaging (ultrasound, X-ray), to advanced specialists and your GP.

What does Osteopathy treat?

Easy answer – pretty much everything! If we can’t treat it, we’ll let you know at your first session and refer you on for imaging, specialist care or to your GP. Here are some examples of what we’ve treated recently:

Stuck Ribs – patient A took a kick to the ribs from her toddler (bless her cotton socks :-)and was experiencing pain with deep breathes in her ribs and feeling of “being stuck”. After examination we treated her with a couple of manipulations and soft tissue work to free up her ribs, which resolved within a couple of treatments.

Chronic Headaches – patient B has suffered from chronic headaches for years. We found his neck and shoulders were very tight, neck movement was limited, and he clenched his teeth (lots of headaches come from that!). We freed up his neck and shoulders, worked on his jaw and re-aligned his workstation… split screens have a lot to answer for!

Sore Hip – patient C has a tear in her hip cartilage. She is not a candidate for surgery (and many surgeons are opting not to operate now which is awesome) so we worked to release the surrounding structures to take the pressure off her hip, gave her safe stretches specific for her needs and exercises to help reduce her pain. She is tracking along beautifully.

These are just a sample of how Osteopathy can help – with many subsidised by ACC… bonus!

How many Osteopathy treatments do I need?

We like to initially see patients in three fairly close successions to allow time to thoroughly examine, treat and re-assess. By your third treatment, we like to see some positive changes.

How many treatments you need from then on really depends on your diagnosis – for example, sticky joints generally resolve much faster than grumpy discs. It also depends how good you are at doing your homework… urgh …the dreaded word 🙂 We’ll let you know in your first treatment what you should expect.

Some patients pop in for a series of treatments when they have niggles, but most make treatment a weekly, fortnightly or monthly investment to stop the niggles from happening.

Why not make an initial booking and let’s see how we can tailor a treatment programme that will make a real difference for you?!

Book your appointment today

​The benefits of a fully functioning body are immeasurable. Osteopathy can help restore your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Book your initial consultation and then let’s get you moving towards a healthier, more vital, body today.