Osteopathy for adults, children and babies

Who are osteopaths?

Osteopaths are government registered and regulated primary healthcare professionals who work in the private healthcare sector. The osteopaths at Ngaio Natural Health Centre are ACC registered health providers. You don’t have to go the GP to complete an ACC claim, you can do that directly with the osteopath during your consultation.

What is Osteopathy?

It is a healthcare system that helps people maintain and restore health by offering diagnosis, treatment and prevention for a range of health problems. It is based on the philosophy that the structure and function of the body are intimately related. The wellbeing of an individual relies on the arrangement of our body, particularly the musculo-skeletal framework i.e. bones, ligaments, muscles, joints, fascia, that supports the organs that keep us alive. If this framework is out of balance, strained, injured, or has areas of weakness, then it may influence the health of our whole body.

Osteopathic treatment is aimed at assisting the body to release the strains and restrictions and so improve or restore normal function. Or to put it another way, help remove the blocks that are preventing our body from getting better. There may be a number of contributing factors to the symptoms and the osteopath will therefore evaluate not only the area which is producing the symptoms, but also associated areas that may be contributing to the issue, including past trauma, environmental factors and the family’s health history. We try to build up a holistic picture.

Osteopathic practice is a healthcare approach that provides a package of care that can include one or more of the following: manual therapy, health information, self management advice and support, and/or exercise therapy. This and the therapeutic approach will be adapted and determined by the individual needs of each patient and the presenting complaint. We are trained to screen for health and identify when referrals are necessary to other allied professionals. We aim to ensure that each patient receives the highest standard of treatment appropriate for their needs. With your consent only we may share information with other professionals e.g. doctor or midwife. We may recommend a scan.

Your first visit

Try to arrive a little early for form filling.

Try to wear some loose comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict movement.

Depending on the area being looked at, it may be necessary to undress down to your underwear. Please please speak to us if you feel uncomfortable in any way. We can usually manage!

Try tomake your first appointment on a day when you won’t have to do strenuous exercise after your osteopathic treatment. Bring any relevant forms, scans, ACC claims, Plunkett books.

Make sure you or your child have eaten a little and had a drink prior to the session.

Infants - try to bring nappies, cloths, mats, clothes, bottles, pacifiers, Sophie the Giraffe…

What happens during an osteopathic treatment?

When you come in for your treatment the first thing that happens is that the osteopath will take time to listen carefully to the issue(s) that you want to talk about. We ask about the symptoms, when they started and also ask about your general health. We will always try to explain what we are doing even when we are asking questions that seem irrelevant at first. Examination will proceed with us looking at your movement and posture, standing, sitting and lying down. Osteopaths work with our hands and we will look at your body and assess how your spine and other joints move. Using our hands we concentrate on palpating/listening to the tissues. In this way the osteopath is building up a picture of the unique patterns within your musculo-skeletal system and is beginning to formulate a treatment plan to help to e.g. restore optimum motion of the joints, reduce muscular spasm, and ease pain. When the examination is completed the osteopath will discuss the findings and other aspects like the treatment approach, the frequency of visits and the expected outcome, with any advice that may help at home if symptoms are acute.

Treatment involves hands-on techniques which aim to gently help the body to restore its natural state of balance, alignment and function. This process can be deeply relaxing and we encourage our patients to take the opportunity to rest and unwind during the treatment. It is common to feel tired and achy after a consultation and it can be a good idea to have a quiet evening planned so that your body can integrate the changes made during the treatment. It is best to avoid strenuous exercise or work though we appreciate the latter may be difficult. Some people experience mild soreness for a day or two after treatment, similar to that felt after mild exercise. If this soreness persists or increases significantly, call your osteopath to discuss your concerns.

Generally you would expect to see some changes in your symptoms after one or two or three visits. However, some long-term or chronic conditions may require a longer course or more frequent treatment. If you have any questions or concerns, your osteopath will be happy to discuss these with you.

Cranial osteopathy

Cranial osteopathy is no different from any other branch or speciality within osteopathy in so much as it shares the same basic philosophy. It too works with the self healing mechanism in the body, its distinctive feature being the use of very small and subtle movements to help diagnose, unwind and release strains in the body and the head. So much so, it often looks like we aren’t doing anything at all. It can be used with people of all ages and is particularly suited to treating babies and children. It is safe, very gentle and non-manipulative.

Cranial osteopathy for babies

Gavin Crisp sees newborns and infants.Babies’ skeletons are softer than an adult’s and osteopaths will therefore use gentler techniques such as cranial osteopathy when treating babies. Very gentle manipulation could help soothe and relax your baby. Babies are usually quite happy to have treatment, and usually they can be treated on the treatment table. If a baby is unsettled it can be easier to treat them on the breast or while the mother, father or care-giver holds them on their lap.

Osteopathy in pregnancy

A woman’s body changes during pregnancy. Those changes include the softening of ligaments, weight increase and changes to posture. That can lead to additional pressure on joints in various parts of the body, including the spine or pelvis. Pregnancy can cause general aches and pains including joint and back pain. Osteopathy may help relieve the stresses and strains on your body during pregnancy and after birth.