Treatment techniques used at Sana Osteopathy
A range of treatment techniques are used during an osteopathic consultation to provide the best possible results. If you have seen an osteopath before and prefer a certain treatment approach, please discuss this with your osteopath.
Mobilisation is a non-specific term that may refer to active and passive joint movements, muscle stretches and soft tissue massage. We prefer the term ‘articulation’ or ‘manipulation’ when referring to joint movements, and ‘soft tissue’ when referring to the muscles, tendons, and connective tissue of the body as these more accurately specify what structure the technique is being applied to.
Manipulation with thrust
Manipulation with thrust in osteopathic language is called HVLA: High Velocity, Low Amplitude. This is because a very quick movement is applied over an extremely short distance to a joint that has been tensioned in a way to create a cavitation / popping sound.
It is commonly used for segments of the spine that have reduced range of movement or poor-quality movement but can also be used in the peripheral joints of the arms and legs.
Muscle Energy Technique (MET)
During the application of MET, patients are directed to provide a specific amount of resistance in a specific direction against a counter force applied by the practitioner. It can be aimed towards restoring joint range and quality of motion, improving symmetry to the body’s structure, decrease muscle/tissue tightness, inhibit pain and provide short term increase in tissue flexibility/length.
This term encompasses any technique applied to muscles, connective tissue, fascia, and tendons. It may involve sustained deep pressure, longer strokes inline with the fibres or shorter strokes across fibres, or of rhythmic stretching or traction. Its purpose is to move excess tissue fluids (oedema), promote blood flow, improve quality of movement, and relax tight muscles.
Dry Needling is a technique that requires the use of thin, solid filament needles that are inserted into muscles to aid in relieving muscular tension and pain. It most significantly differs from Acupuncture in that the Chinese Meridians are not part of the needle placement considerations.
Dr. Ellen Black is the only osteopath qualified to Dry Needle at Sana Osteopathy.
Visceral Manipulation treats the structural relationships between the viscera (organs), and their fascial or ligamentous attachments to the various systems in the body. Strains within the connective tissue of the viscera can result from surgical scars, adhesion's, illness, posture, or injury. These strains cause tension patters through the fascial network within the body and contribute to effects far from their sources for which the body compensates.
It can be used in the treatment of a wide variety of ailments from headaches and general musculoskeletal problems to digestive and urogenital complaints.
Craniosacral Therapy / Osteopathy in the Cranial Field
OCF is primarily concerned with two physiological phenomena: the motion present in the cranial sutures (joints) and the rhythmic impulse of the craniosacral rhythm produced by the production and absorption of cerebrospinal fluid within the brain. This rhythm can be felt throughout the body by skilled practitioners using an exceptionally light touch.
The craniosacral system is comprised of the bones of the skull and the sacrum, the meninges / connective tissue of the brain and spinal cord, and the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spinal cord. OCF releases restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve nervous system function, as well as many other systems of the body such as digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and more.
Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
During Biodynamic Craniosacral, a practitioner listens to the subtle rhythm of the cerebral spinal fluid to facilitate intrinsic reorganisations across the body’s tissues, its fluid matrix, and its energetic and emotional layers, so that there is a movement towards greater health. It involves a gentle touch with little to no external force, often resulting in surprisingly profound therapeutic effects.
Dr. David Bennett is the only osteopath at Sana Osteopathy trained in Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
Functional Release involves evaluating tissue responses to the introduction of light, gentle movement with the aim to determine which directions it likes to move. During application of the treatment technique, the joint is then ‘stacked’ into the position of ease and the nervous system is given time to respond to this new information being generated by the tissue receptors.
It is mostly used to improve joint mobility range and quality by influencing the joint capsule and local soft tissue structures.
Strain-Counterstrain places a body part into a position of tissue ease and comfort by shortening the muscle fibres that are causing pain or contributing to joint restrictions. By shortening the tissues there is a neurological relaxation reflex creating an instant change.
It is used for muscle spasm, guarding, and knots, to help reduce pain and joint restrictions associated with muscle tightness.