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Manual Osteopathic Therapy is a safe and effective whole body treatment that utilizes thorough assessment and manual therapy techniques to find and treat the root problem of a person's pain or dysfunction. It is an alternative healthcare disciple not widely known about in Canada. The term “Osteopathy” was coined by a Medical Doctor– Dr. Andrew Still, who lost three children to meningitis in 1864. He then dedicated his life to the study of the nature of health, illness and disease. Through his work and the work of many others that followed him, Osteopathy focuses on how the human body can heal itself when the body is provided the optimal environment, both physically and functionally.

The founding principles have evolved over time to encompass the evolution of Osteopathy and have been adapted by the Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles (ECOP) of the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and they read as follows:

  1. The body acts as an entire unit

  2. The body possesses self-regulatory mechanisms that are self healing

  3. Structure and function are related at all levels

  4. Rational treatment is based on all these principles

It's important to point out the distinction between an Osteopathic Physician and a Manual Osteopathic Therapist. A Manual Osteopathic Therapist’s scope of practice differs from country to country. For example, in some countries they can deliver high velocity thrusts (the same as chiropractors), and in some (such as Canada) they can not.

Osteopathic Physicians are doctors and can perform all the same things a doctor can; they can prescribe medicines, do surgeries that they are trained to do and can send you for imaging, etc.

Manual Osteopathic Therapists utilize only manual therapy techniques to treat imbalances in the body and do not have to be doctors to become a practitioner. The four techniques that are utilized are:

  1. osteo-articulations through muscle energy techniques

  2. myofascial release techniques

  3. visceral manipulation

  4. craniosacral techniques

(I’ll dive into these techniques in further posts).

That is a quick summary of Manual Osteopathy. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, or send comments through my website.

Yours in Health and Balance,



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