Dr Adam Thomas (Osteopath)

I will unravel Osteopathy here for you. More importantly, how it could deepen your yoga practice.

Ever wondered what an osteopath is? What they treat? Why they even exist? Is it a new buzz term? Or if you haven’t heard of it and you’d like to know how Osteopathy could deepen your yoga practise, read on.

What I will cover:

1) If I arrive at an Osteopathic appointment and say something like: 

“From my down-dog to pigeon Vinyasa with exhalation creates a pinch in my right hip but when I do it on my left side it feels fine AND this is the same pinching pain I get when I’m at the computer for more than 20 minutes” Will the Osteopath be able to work with me?

2) What is Osteopathy?

Is it new? What does it offer?

3) I will provide an example. 

How one little pain, let alone an injury, can penetrate and interrupt your yoga practice. This can derail the depth of your savasana (shavasana).

“From my down-dog to pigeon Vinyasa with exhalation creates a pinch in my right hip but when I do it on my left side it feels fine AND this is the same pinching pain I get when I’m at the computer for more than 20 minutes”

In an initial consultation with an Osteopath you will need to fill out a medical health history form. Don’t stress, it’s just a quick summary. This allows your Osteopath to direct the interview process. We will then explain if any of your previous health history is contributing to, maintaining or exacerbating your current physical discomfort. Often people are surprised at how inter-dependent the body regions are. So please disclose things you may not believe are related.

It is at this point you can use as much yoga lingo as you like. In case your yoga practice has progressed beyond ours and we are unsure to the detail of what you verbally describe, not to worry, Osteopaths will always work with you. In the physical examination we will ask you to reproduce the movements that concern you. All biomechanical motions are familiar to us. Using our thorough physical assessment we work with what is specific to your concern.

Yes this means from the example provided above, you will be asked to sink into your down dog. Then vinyasa to pigeon both right side and left side a few times before and after your consultation. Exploring your pain in its natural environment is always a key indicator for us to work with you. Using your demonstration and our assessments we can identify what contributes to your pinching pain. Sometimes we will alter your technique. Sometimes we use hands-on osteopathic treatment. Sometimes we prescribe specific exercises. Usually we include a combination of these interventions. We will help you create freedom of range of motion and decrease your pain.

Osteopathy is one of your options to consider when you would like to address a physical concern to do with the function of your body. We assess and create management plans for all aches, pains and strains. Reasons for presenting to our clinic vary. They range from mild, niggling and annoying pains to extreme conditions.

In our clinic, our biggest responsibility is ensuring you have a plan to address your concern, using the most appropriate methods available for your state of health. This screening process is to ensure you are safe. It is to ensure you are using the best option for your condition. We will provide treatment for most physical complaints. This also may mean we refer you to someone who would best help. It may mean co-management between a range of health care professionals.

It is not my place to describe what the differences are between osteopaths and what other allied health professions can offer. What I can do is tell you what Osteopathy is, where it came from and how it could assist your yoga practice. Then in your informed understanding you can use our services if it appears we could be of benefit to you.

Osteopathy is a form of manual (hands-on) healthcare. It recognises the important link; between the structure of the body and the way it functions. Osteopaths focus on how the skeleton, joints, muscles, nerves, circulation, connective tissue and internal organs function as a holistic unit.

Using skilled evaluation, diagnosis and a wide range of hands-on techniques, Osteopaths can identify important types of dysfunction in your body.

In Australia, Osteopaths are government-registered practitioners. We complete five years’ university training. Studies include anatomy, physiology, pathology, general medical diagnosis and osteopathic techniques.

Osteopathy was first taught in Universities in America in 1894 (yes 1894!). The Osteopathy we see today has transformed. This transformation is to ensure modern implementation of rehabilitation, biomechanics and medical sciences. Osteopathy stands proud on our history. It is grounded in philosophical approaches to holism of the human body and its function.

Osteopathy is one of 14 health professions regulated at the federal government level (AHPRA). AHPRA registered professions also include medicine, dentistry, nursing and psychology. All Osteopaths must meet the requirements of the Osteopathy Board of Australia. All Osteopaths at our clinic, Osteopath Central, choose to be members of Osteopathy Australia. Osteopathy Australia ensures our continuing professional development is of the highest standard currently available. Any further frequently asked questions may be answered here.

Here is an example. How one little niggling pain, let alone an injury, can penetrate and interrupt your entire yoga practice. This often derails the depth of your savasana (shavasana).

Class has started. Breath is deep; clarity is looming just around the corner, as you’ve had a busy day. Respecting where you are today in today’s practice. You’re lit-up on the inside to finally be where you’ve wanted to be all day. Centred and present you transition from down dog to pigeon on a deep exhalation that finally brings the clarity of mind. Then as you sink into pigeon you notice a little pinch. That little initial pinch grows in a split second to hold your entire focus. You dismiss it for now, vinyasa to the opposite sequence. You revisit that right side. That pinch is there, but worse. This time when you transition-out you notice your clarity is GONE. Your focus is on nothing but exploring where and when that right hip will pinch again.

Being experienced, you respect it. You move on. But deep in your consciousness you are waiting for it in every asana. It never comes. Class ends and you are laying in corpse pose and you think “What? Is that it? How did I get here?” Breath and experience takes you into a brief shavasana but your mind is really got a hang-up on that right hip. Shavasana ends. You leave class better than you walked in. But not having your typical clarity, peace and feeling of contentment.

Being optimistic you think it will sort its self out and tomorrows a new day. At the computer the next day that right hip has a mild, dull annoying pinching sensation. It’s perfect if you get up and walk about. After 20 odd minutes of sitting, the pinch is back again. You recognize this little bugger from the night before.

It’s time to take action. Not another minute, not another hour not another class! It has to end now. We are fortunate to live in a time, place and space that answers are available. There is no reason why your quality of life should suffer from any physical discomfort.

This example is just one outline to show how something small can have flow-on effects into your life. As osteopaths, we understand better than most, that dysfunction in any part of the body can contribute to a loss of quality of life.

If this sounds like it could be of benefit to deepen your asana’s, your shavasana and create ripple effects into the way your interact in life you can book online, check us out at www.osteopathcentral.com.au or call the clinic on 0425 876 929. We are just down the road in Burleigh Waters.

SPECIAL OFFER! Interested in feeling what Osteopathy can do for your yoga practise?

Students of Essence of Living can receive an initial consultation at the price of a return consultation at Osteopath Central if the booking is made before 31st of August 2016. Just mention this article when you make your booking either by calling 0425 876 929 or via our website.

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