What is Osteopathy:

At the Vital Link Wellness Center our Osteopathic Manual Practitioners (OMPs) are members of Osteopathy Canada (OSTCAN) and adhere to the highest standards of practice. 

Osteopathic practitioners seek the cause of pain and dysfunction by taking a comprehensive case history and physical assessment to look at the interaction of multiple systems in the body (digestive, neurological, cardiorespiratory, and musculoskeletal).

Lifestyle factors are also discussed as potential contributors, including diet, exercise, stress, occupation, and sleeping issues. Osteopathic practitioners are trained in anatomy, physiology, pathology, and a whole range of hands-on techniques to provide a multi-system approach.

What does Osteopathy treat?

Osteopathic treatments can be carried out using a number of techniques, depending on the needs and conditions of different patients. This versatility makes osteopathic treatments fit for the whole family.

 What to expect during an osteopathic treatment?

Each initial a full medical case history and a physical examination will take place. This will involve assessing your posture and a range of certain movements to find the root cause of the problem. After this, you will then be provided with a treatment plan based on what has been found. Treatment will be aimed to restore function and encourage vitality. The overall aim of the treatment is to prevent the problem from recurring.

What should I wear to my appointment?

The perfect clothing is to come wearing what you would normally wear to the gym or for working out. You will never be asked to undress. We may ask for some part of clothing to be removed for treatment purposes (ie. a sock, if treating foot).

How many visits will I need?

Some patients have instant relief. Others discover it can take more time. Many factors can affect your recovery such as your age, how long you’ve had the problem, severity, your daily demands and general condition of your body.

Every patient reacts differently, and your osteopathic practitioner will be able to advise you on your likely recovery time. In most cases you will feel a definite change for the better early on in your treatment. Most patients do express significant improvement after just one or two treatments, but in general, the longer you’ve had it, the longer it will take to recover.

Is Osteopathy covered under OHIP?

No, osteopathy is not covered under OHIP but is covered under most private health care benefit plans. Please check with your benefit provider for coverage details.

Do I need a referral from my doctor?

No, you do not require a referral from your doctor to see an osteopathic practitioner and most private health care benefit providers do not require a referral.

What is the difference between Osteopathic Practitioners and Chiropractors?

Originally Osteopathy was founded in 1874 by Dr Andrew Taylor Still, an American medical doctor. One of Dr Still’s students was Daniel David Palmer who founded Chiropractic in 1895. The association between Dr Still and Palmer is not usually mentioned in accounts of the history of Chiropractic. Despite these early links, Osteopathy & Chiropractic are now quite different.

A shared philosophy for osteopathy and chiropractic is the importance of the integrity of the spine in ensuring good health. The primary objective of both osteopathy and chiropractic is to remove bodily aches and pains, and both are able to make a diagnosis by history, clinical tests and examination.

Chiropractors tend to use x-rays for diagnosis. However, Osteopaths focus on history, clinical tests and palpation for diagnosis, and do not order x-rays unless they are clinically indicated. This minimizes a person’s exposure to radiation.

Chiropractor tend to be very focused on a range of techniques for manipulation of the spine. Where as, Osteopathic practitioners make use of a wider range of techniques for the whole body, such as; stretches, myofascial release and muscle energy techniques.

Generally, Osteopaths allow a longer treatment time with each patient and require less frequent treatments. Treatments tend to be spaced out over a longer period, rather than once or twice weekly.

The Benefits of Osteopathy on the Immune System:

One of the major holistic benefits of osteopathy is the overall positive effects it has on the immune system. Osteopathic treatment works from the belief that the structure and function of the body are inter-connected. It therefore holds that osteopathy can help boost immunity. There are several ways it can do this:

Osteopathic manual therapy can help to improve thoracic mobility and increase lymphatic drainage. Techniques such as this can help to, among other things, boost the lymphatic system, which in turn helps to better regulate the body’s organ functions and its overall immunity.

Osteopathic therapy can help with our mental health and plays a part in promoting a feeling of overall well being. For instance, regular massage treatments can help to better regulate what is known as the sympathetic nervous system, which essentially controls the body’s “fight/flight” reflexes. If our body is placed under stress, then the sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive. This leads to adrenal stress, which in turn can have a negative effect on the other organs of the body.

Overall, osteopathy can help to rebalance the body’s nervous system, and restore motion and mobility to the joints. This in turn helps to boost the body’s overall immunity.