Types of Osteopathy
Structural Osteopathy is the type of practice that most people are familiar with involving several types of technique:
Massage: useful for relaxing tight muscles; can be very gentle, or address deeper muscles depending on what the problem is.
Articulation / mobilisation: this is a technique where the osteopath encourages movement within a joint – often the osteopath will ask you to relax fully whilst they move the affected joint to improve the range of movement. Again, the movement varies according to what the problem is.
Manipulation: This is a specific stretch of a joint, that can sometimes result in a popping/clicking sound. The sound is normal and nothing to worry about. The osteopath will move you into a certain position and then do a quick movement to complete the technique. This shouldn’t be painful at any point.
Cranial Osteopathy is the use of gentle techniques during which the osteopath places their hands on areas of the body – most commonly the head, pelvis, abdomen, shoulder and feet.
Despite the name, cranial osteopathy is used in other locations around the body apart from the head.
Cranial techniques aim to restore balance to the body. By using gentle palpation and feeling subtle movements of bones and fluid and tensions of the membranes within the body, cranial osteopaths work with these movements to ensure that any tension is released and therefore normal motion is able to resume.
This type of osteopathy is well known for treating babies and children, however is also used to treat adults.